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Full text of "Twentieth century Negro literature; or, A cyclopedia of thought on the vital topics relating to the American Negro"

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S. G. and E. L. ELBERT 





OX THE^^— 





D, W. CULP, A. M., M. D. 



One Hundred Fine 7*ho1o Engraxting* 




Toronto, Can. Naperville, 111. Atlanta, Ga. 

Copyright 1902 by J. L. Nichols & Co. 



4^ ^K ^^ 

tCo all persons of mfjatecer race anb of mljate&er section of our country, 

tr»l}0 in any may contribute^ in tt^c Xlineteentr) Century, 

to tfye financial, intellectual, moral anb spiritual elevation of tfye XUg>to, 

tfye ebitor bebicates tfyis book tDiti) tfje arbent fyope, 

tfyat before tb/is century sr/all I?at>e enbeo, 

tfye Hegro, 

tfjrougfy tjis oirm manly efforts, 

aibeb by b/is frienbs, 

sfyall react? tfyat point in tfye Clmerican citrilization, 

tt>b/ere Ife mill be recognizeb anb treateb as any otb/er Clmerican citizen. 

^L 4^. ^> 


The idea of putting this book on the market originated in the follow- 
ing considerations : 

First. There is considerable ignorance, on the part of the white 
people of this country, of the intellectual ability of the Negro, and, as 
a consequence, the educated Negro does not receive, at the hands of the 
whites, that respectful consideration to which his education entitles him. 

Second. At this time, when the attainments made in the nineteenth 
century by the other races and nationalities are being paraded, the 
friends of the Negro are particularly interested to know something of 
the attainments made by him in that century. 

Third. There is a strong desire, on the part of those white people 
who are deeply interested in the American race problem, to know what 
the educated Negroes are thinking on the topics touching this problem, 
since it is believed that, if this problem is to be correctly solved, it will 
be solved by the combined efforts of the intelligent elements of both 

Fourth. A book, in which the aspiring Negro youth of the land can 
study the character sketches and the literary productions of the scholarly 
men of their own race, along with their study of the character sketches 
and the choice literary productions of the scholarly white men of the 
country, is a desideratum. 

Fifth. The majority of the Negroes need to be enlightened on those 
vital topics relating to themselves, and on those questions touching their 
development in civilization. 

The object of this book is, therefore : (1) To enlighten the uninformed 
white people on the intellectual ability of the Negro. (2) To give to 
those, who are interested in the Negro race, a better idea of the extent to 
which he contributed to the promotion of America's civilization, and 
of the intellectual attainments made by him in the nineteenth century. 
(3) To reflect the views of the most scholarly and prominent Negroes 
of America on those topics, touching the Negro, that are now engaging 
the attention of the civilized world. (4) To point out, to the aspiring- 
Negro youth, those men and women of their own race who, by their 
scholarship, by their integrity of character, and by their earnest efforts 
in the work of uplifting their own race, have made themselves illus- 



trious; also, to enlighten such youth on those ethical, political, and 
sociological questions, touching the Negro that will sooner or later 
engage their attention. (5) To enlighten the Negroes on that perplex- 
ing problem, commonly called the "Race Problem," that has necessarily 
grown out of their contact with their ex-masters and their descendants; 
and also to stimulate them to make greater efforts to> ascend to that 
plane of civilization occupied by the other enlightened peoples of tha 

Now, among all the books on the Negro, there is none whose object 
is so worthy, comprehensive, and specific as that above set forth. In 
this the superiority of this book to all others, on the Negro, may be seen. 
And the superior value of this book is also apparent from the following 
considerations: (1) This is the only book in which there is such a 
magnificent array of Negro talent. Other Negro books of a biographical 
character are objected to, by the intelligent people who have read them, 
on the ground that they contain too few sketches of scholarly Negroes, 
and too many of Negroes of ordinary ability. But such a criticism 
cannot be made on this book since, as a matter of fact, all of the one 
hundred men and women, appearing in it, are among the best educated 
Negroes in the world. (2) This is the only book from which one can 
get anything like a definite and correct idea of the progress made by the 
Negro since his Emancipation along all lines. (3) There is no book 
but this one in which there can be found expressed the thoughts of any 
considerable number of educated Negroes on so many political, religious, 
civil, moral and sociological problems touching the Negro, which are 
interesting alike to the politician, the moralist and the sociologist. 

But it is not to be understood that the one hundred men and women 

mentioned in this book are the only Negro scholars in this country. So 

far from this, there are hundreds of other Negroes who are as scholarly, 

as prominent and as active in the work of uplifting their race as the one 

hundred herein giv^n. These one hundred appear here, rather than 

others, for no other reason than that they are better known to the editor. 

Now, in sending forth this book, the editor ardently hopes that it will 

not only accomplish the objects herein set forth, but that it will also do 

much towards bringing about a better understanding between the two 

races in the South. 

D. W. Culp, Palatka, Fla. 


Prof. W. H. Crogman, A. M., who occupies the chair of Greek and Latin in Clark 
University, Atlanta, in Christian character, scholarship in his department, literary 
ability, general culture and distinguished services stands, it is safe to say, among the 
first four, if not at the head of the Negro race. In all the particulars mentioned, he 
would honor a professorship in any college in the land. 

Prof. Crogman was born on the island of St. Martin, May 5 ; 1841. In 1855, Mr. B. L. 
Boomer, chief mate of the vessel, visiting the island, became interested in the boy, then 
an orphan, and induced him to come to the United States. Mr. Boomer took him to his 
home in Middleboro, Mass., sent him to district school in the winter, and always took 
great interest in him. Mr. Boomer's brothers were all seafaring men, captains or officers 
of vessels. With one of these the boy, Willie, began to follow the sea. This beginning 
afterward led to a life of eleven years on the ocean. He visited many lands, and obser- 
vant and thoughtful, obtained a wide knowledge of various nationalities and parts of 
the world. His visits included especially England, various points on the Continent of 
Europe, Calcutta and Bombay in Asia, various places in South America and Australia. 

In 1866, at the suggestion of Mr. Boomer, that an academic education would make 
him useful, Prof. Crogman, then at the age of twenty-five, began to earn means to 
attend an academy. He worked and laid by money till two years later in 1868, he 
entered Pierce Academy, in Middleboro, Mass. He remained there two years, taking an 
English course with French and bookkeeping. 

After completing his academic course, in the Fall of 1870, Prof. Crogman started 
for the South to give his life to the Christian education and elevation of his race. He 
was recommended by the Boston Preachers' Meeting to the work in South Carolina, and 
was employed by Rev. T. W. Lewis as instructor in English branches, at Claflin Univer- 
sity, Orangeburg, S. C. Here he remained three years. In this work he became im- 
pressed with the need of a knowledge of Greek and Latin and began the study of Latin 
by himself. To gain a knowledge of these branches he went to Atlanta University in 
the Fall of 1873. This resulted in his completing there the full classical course in 1876. 
Prof. Francis, of Atlanta University, who was one of his teachers there, was present 
at the reception and in a most happy speech paid a high tribute to Prof. Crogman's man- 
hood, industry, thorough scholarship and rapid advancement during his college life, 
completing as he did the four years' course in three years. He spoke also of Prof. 
Crogman's carrying off as his bride one of their noblest and most gifted and cultured 
young ladies, Miss Lavinia C. Mott, of Charlotte, N. C. Immediately on his graduating 
from Atlanta University, Prof. Crogman was called to a position on the faculty of Clark 
University, where he has been ever since, having occupied his present chair since 1880. 
I Letters expressive of their highest appreciation of him and his work were read from 
several of his students, who now themselves occupy prominent positions. 

Prof. Crogman is author of "Talks for the Times," a book in which almost every 
phase of the Race Problem is discussed in a very practical and fascinating style. Speak- 
ing of this book, the "Independent" says: 

"We notice this collection of 'Talks for the Times' with unusual pleasure. They 
are worthy of the strong and cultivated gentleman who is their author. They deal 
largely with Negro education, educational institutions and educators, but occasionally 
deal with general topics, such as 'Life's Deeper Meanings.' The author speaks of his 
race and speaks in strong, polished English, full of nerve and rich in the music of good 
English prose." 

The "California Christian Advocate" says: 

"We are minded to say, 'here is a volume that must be intensely interesting to all 
who are interested in the culture and continued advancement of the Negro.' But why 
should we thus write? It would be nearer our deliberate estimate to say, 'Here is a 
book made up of manly and vigorous addresses by a vigorous, scholarly and independent 
thinker.' Whoever values the result of scholarly investigation will be interested in this 
volume. We do not hesitate to say that but for the noble identification of the author 
with his own people in such addresses as 'The Negro's Need,' 'The Negro's Claims,' and 
'The Negro Problem,' no one who reads this book would guess that Professor Crogman 
was other than a vigorous minded Anglo-Saxon. And yet to our thinking, it is much 
to say that 'Talks for the Times' is the production of a ripe scholar who is of almost 
pure African blood — a man who almost entirely by his own exertion has climbed steadily 
up the ladder of scholarship until he is no mean exponent of the culture of our day." 



I am requested to write an introduction to this volume of essays, 
written by representative men and women of the Negro race and touching 
almost every phase of the Negro question. Certainly it is a hopeful 
sign that the Negro is beginning, with some degree of seriousness, to 
turn his eyes inward, to study himself, and try to discover what are his 
possibilities, and what the obstructions that lie in the way to his larger 
development. Undoubtedly this is a rational method of procedure, and 
the one most likely to reward his effort; for it is only in proportion as 
we become interested in ourselves that we enlist the interest of others, 
and only in proportion as we respect ourselves that we command the 
respect of others. The story is told of a Negro who, at some time during 
the War of the Rebellion, being asked why he did not enlist in the army, 
replied: "De Norf and de Souf am two dogs fightin' over a bone. De 
nigger am de bone and takes no part in de conflict." That this is not the 
language of an intelligent Negro is quite evident, if, indeed, it be the lan- 
guage of a Negro at all. So common has it been in this country to cari- 
cature the black man, to represent him as a driveler in speech and a 
buffoon in action, that I am always loath to accept as his those many 
would-be-witty sayings which, too often, originating with others, have 
been attributed to him. But be the author of that remark whosoever he 
may, one thing now is perfectly apparent — the Negro has reached beyond 
the "bone" stage. He is no longer content with being a passive observer, 
a quiet looker-on, while his character and interests are under discussion. 
He is now disposed to speak for himself, to "take part in the conflict." 
Any one desiring evidence of this will find it in the following pages of 
"Twentieth Century Negro Literature." 

This book will do good. It will enlighten many of both races on 
topics respecting which they seem to be profoundly ignorant. Not very 
long ago a Negro delivered an address in one of the largest churches in 
Atlanta. It was an occasion in which a goodly number of white people 
was present. They expressed themselves as being delighted. One man 
said to a colored bishop that he didn't know there was a Negro in the 


state that could hare delivered such an address. The fact is, both the 
good bishop and the writer of these lines might have found him twenty 
who could, at least, deliver an address as good, and ten, probably, who 
could deliver a better. Well, we don't know each other — we white and 
black folk. We are neighbors, yet strangers. Our thoughts, our mo- 
tives, our desires are unknown to each other. Between the best white 
and black people, in whom alone vests the possibility of a rational and 
peaceful solution of the race question, there is absolutely no communica- 
tion, no opportunity for exchange of views. Herein lies the danger; for 
both people, as a consequence, are suspicious, the one of the other. Not 
infrequently, with much uncharitableness, we attribute wrong motives 
to those who are truly our friends. Were we acquainted with one 
another, as we ought to be, we would doubtless be surprised to discover 
how little we differ in our thinking with reference to many of the vexed 
questions confronting us. Indeed, it has always been the belief of the 
writer, frequently expressed, that neither of the races is as bad as it 
appears to the other. May we not hope, then, that "Twentieth Century 
Negro Literature" may have the good fortune of falling into the hands 
of many white friends. 

On the other hand, the book must be stimulating to the Negro people, 
especially to those of the younger generation, now blessed with large 
educational privilege. It must awaken in them self-respect, self-reliance, 
and the ambition to be and to do. By the perusal of its pages they will 
be led to see more clearly the path of duty, and to feel more sensibly 
the weight of responsibility resting upon them. The first generation of 
Negroes after emancipation exhibited to a painful degree the spirit of 
dependence, an inclination to lean on something and on somebody — now 
on the politician, now on the philanthropist. The reason for this, of 
course, is not far to fetch. The spirit of dependence is invariably a 
characteristic of weakness. It was not to be expected that the first 
generation emerging from slavery would possess all the heroic qualities. 
Gradually, however, the Negro is realizing the importance of self-help. 
Good books, among other agencies, will deepen this impression, and 
ultimately lead him to imbibe in all its fulness the sentiment of the 

"Destiny is not about thee, but within; 
Thyself must make thyself." 


The contributors to this volume are worthy of notice. They are 
among the best we have. Some of them are personally known to the 
writer. They are men of experience, scholarly men, shunning rather 
than courting notoriety — just the class of men to guide a people, alas, 
too easily led astray by pretentious ignorance. From a number so large 
and so meritorious it would seem invidious to select any for special 
mention. It may not be out of place, however, to say a few words with 
reference to the editor and compiler, Dr. D. W. Culp. Born a slave in 
Union County, South Carolina, like many a black boy, he has had to 
forge his way to the front. In 1876 we find him graduating in a class 
of one from Biddle University — the first college graduate from that 
school. In the fall of the same year he entered Princeton Theological 
Seminary, and at the same time pursued studies in philosophy, history, 
and psychology in the university under the eminent Doctor McCosh. 
His first appearance in the university was the signal for a display of 
race prejudice. To the Southern students especially his presence was 
very obnoxious. Several of them immediately left the college and went 
home. To the credit of their parents, it should be said, they were led to 
return. Before the expiration of three years Mr. Culp, by exemplary 
conduct and good scholarship, won the respect and friendship of the 
students in both university and seminary, the Southerners included. 
He was graduated from the seminary in 1879, and immediately found 
work as pastor under the Freedmen's Board of the Northern Presby- 
terian Church. He served in the pastorate several years in different 
states, was for a time principal of a school in Jacksonville, Florida, the 
largest school in the state. Becoming, however, more and more inter- 
ested in the physical salvation of his race, he entered upon the study of 
medicine in the University of Michigan ; but was finally graduated with 
honor from the Ohio Medical University, in 1891, since which time he 
has followed the practice of medicine. For a passionate love of knowl- 
edge, and for persistent effort in trying to secure it, Dr. Culp is a noble 
and inspiring example to the young and aspiring Negro. 

Clark University, South Atlanta, Georgia, 
December 16, 1901. 


The writers of this book are one hundred (one for each year in the century) of 
the most scholarly and prominent Negroes of America. 


ANDERSON, J. H., D. D., Pastor of the A. M. B. Zion Church, Wilkesbarre, Pa 323 

ATKINS, REV. S. G., President of the State Normal and Industrial College of North 

Carolina 80 

BAKER, HON. H. E., Washington, D. C 391) 

BIBB, PROF. J. D., A. M., Atlanta, Ga 449 

BLACKSHEAR, MR. E. L., President of Texas Normal and Industrial College, Prairie 

View, Texas 334 

BOWEN, MRS. ARIEL, S. H., Atlanta, Ga 264 

BOWEN, REV. J. W. E., Professor in Gammon Theological Seminary 29 

BOWSER, MRS. ROSA D., Teacher in Richmond, Va 177 

BOYD, DR. R. F., Physician and Surgeon, Nashville, Tenn 215 

BRAWLEY, REV. E. M., D. D., Secretary and Expositor of the National Baptist 

Publishing Company 254 

BRAGGS, REV. GEO. F., JR., Rector of Episcopal Church, Baltimore, Md 356 

BROOKS, REV. W. H., D.D., Pastor Nineteenth St. Baptist Church, Washington. D. C. 315 

BROWN, REV. S. N., Pastor of Congregational Church, Washington, D. C 68 

BUTLER, HENRY R., A. M., M. D., Atlanta, Ga 221 

CARVER, GEO. W., Professor of Agriculture, Tuskegee Institute 388 

CHAPPELLE, REV. W. D., Secretary of Sabbath School Department of the A. M. E. 

Church 63 

CHEATHAM, HON. H. P., Recorder of Deeds, of the District of Columbia 57 

CLINTON, BISHOP G. W., A. M. E. Zion Church, Charlotte, N. C 115 

COOPER, E. E. Editor of the Colored American 464 

COUNCIL, PROF. W. H., President of Alabama Normal and Mechanical College, 

Normal, Ala ". 325 

COX, PROF. J. M., President of the Philander Smith College, Little Rock, Ark 295 

CROMWELL, J. W., Washington, D. C 291 

CROGMAN, W. H., Professor of Greek and Latin, Clark University 7 

DAVIS, REV. D. W., Pastor of Baptist Church, Manchester, Va 38 

DAVIS, REV. I. D., Pastor Presbyterian Church, Goodwill, S. C 124 

DUNBAR, MRS. PAUL LAURENCE, Washington, D. C 139 

ELLERSON, REV. L. B., Pastor Presbyterian Church, Jacksonville, Fla 313 

FLIPPER, REV. J. S., D. D„ Presiding Elder of North Georgia Conference, Atlanta, 

Ga 257 

FORTUNE, T. T., Editor of The Age, New York City 227 

FRANCIS, DR. J. R., Physician and Surgeon, Washington, D. C 204 

FRIERSON, A. U., Professor of Greek, of Biddle University 241 

GILBERT, J. W., Professor of Greek in Paine College 190 

GILBERT, REV. M. W. D. D., Pastor of Baptist Church, Charleston, S. C 287 

GOODWIN, G. A., Professor in Atlanta Baptist College 132 




GREEN, HON. JOHN P., Government Position, Washington, D. C 89 

GRIMKE, REV. F. J., D. D., Pastor of Presbyterian Church, Washington, D. C 427 

HARLLEE, PROF. N. W., Principal of High School, Dallas, Tex 299 

HAWKINS, PROF. J. R. ( Secretary of Educational Department of the A. M. E. 

Church 153 

HEARD, REV. W. H., D. D., Pastor of Allen Temple, Atlanta, Ga 442 

HEWIN, J. T., Attorney, Richmond, Va 110 

HILYER, ANDREW F., Washington, D. C 375 

HOLSEY, BISHOP L. H., C. M. E. Church, Atlanta, Ga 46 

HOOD, BISHOP J. W., of A. M. E. Zion Church, Fayetteville, N. C 51 

HUNT, H. A., Principal of Industrial Department of Biddle University 394 

JACKSON, MISS LENA T., Teacher of Latin in High School, Nashville, Tenn 304 

JOHNSON, REV. J. Q., D. D 270 

JOHNSON, PROF. J. W., Principal of Grammar School, Jacksonville, Fla 72 

JOHNSON, REV. H. T., D. D., Editor of Christian Recorder 186 

JONES, PROF. J. H., President of Wilberforce University 83 

JONES, T. W., Prominent business man, Chicago, 111 370 

JORDAN, D. J., Professor in Morris Brown College 129 

KERR, REV. S., Rector of Episcopal Church, Key West, Fla 320 

KNOX, GEO. L., Editor of the Freeman 454 

LEWIS, PROF. W. I., Reporter for Evening Metropolis, Jacksonville, Fla 272 

LOGAN, MRS. WARREN, Tuskegee Institute 199 

LOVINGGOOD, PROF. R. S., President of Samuel Houston College, Austin, Tex 48 

MASON, MRS. LENA, The Evangelist, Hannibal, Mo 445 

MASON, REV. M. C. B., Secretary of the Freemen Board of the M. E. Church 34 

McCLELLAN, PROF. G. M., Teacher in High School, Louisville, Ky 275 

MILLER, KELLY, Professor of Mathematics in Howard University 158 

MORGAN, REV. J. H, Minister, Bordentown, N. J 383 

MORRIS, REV. E. C, D. D., Editor of National Baptist Publishing Co., Helena, Ark. 259 

MURRAY, HON. G. W., Providence, S. C 231 

ONLEY, D. W., D. D., Dentist, Washington, D. C 347 

PARTEE, REV. W. E., D. D., Pastor of Presbyterian Church, Richmond, Va 309 

PETERSON, B. H, Professor at Tuskegee Institute 236 

PETTIFORD, W. R., President Alabama Penny Savings and Loan Co., Birmingham, 

Ala 468 

PETTEY, MRS. BISHOP C. C, Newbern, N. C 182 

PORTER, J. R., D. D. S., Atlanta, Ga 191 

PROCTOR, REV. H. H., Pastor of Congregational Church., Atlanta, Ga 317 

PURCELL, I. L., Attorney, Pensacola, Fla 104 

RICHARDSON, PROF. A. ST. GEORGE, President of Edward Waters College, Jack- 
sonville, Fla 330 

ROBINSON, G. T., Attorney, Nashville, Tenn 108 

ROBINSON, PROF. R. G., Principal of LaGrange Academy 302 

RUCKER, HON. H. A., Internal Revenue Collector for Georgia, Atlanta, Ga 202 

SCARBOROUGH, W. S., Professor of Greek of Wilberforce University 411 

SMITH, MRS. M. E. C, Teacher in Edward Waters College, Jacksonville, Fla 24G 

SMITH, R. S., Attorney, Washington, D. C 92 

SMYTH, PROF. J. H, President of Reformatory School of Virginia, Hanover, Va. . . 434 




STORUM, PROF. JAMES, Teacher in High School, Washington, D. C 75 

TALBERT, MARY B., Buffalo, N. Y 17 

TALLEY, T. W., Professor of Science, Tuskegee Institute 338 

TERRELL, MRS. MARY CHURCH, Washington, D. C 172 

THOMPSON, R. W., Associate Editor of the Colored American 351 

TUCKER, PROF; T. de 8., Baltimore, Md 418 

TURNER, BISHOP H. M., D. D., LL. D., A. M. E. Church, Atlanta, Ga 42 

TURNER, PROF. C. H., Professor of Science in Clark University 162 

WALLACE, W. W., Editor of Colored American Magazine 349 

WALLER, REV. O. M., Rector of Episcopal Church, Washington, D. C 363 

WALKER, PROF. H. L., Principal High School, Augusta, Ga 342 

WASHINGTON, PROF. BOOKER T., President of Tuskegee Institute 142 

WHITAKER, REV. J. W., Traveling Agent for Tuskegee Institute 359 

WHITE, HON. GEO. H., Washington, D. C 224 

WILDER, DR. J. R., Physician and Surgeon, Washington, D. C 210 

WILLIAMS, REV. J. B. L., D. D., Pastor of M. E. Church, Fernandina, Fla 120 

WYCHE, REV. R. P., Pastor of Presbyterian Church, Charlotte, N. C 123 

YATES, MRS. JOSEPHINE S., Kansas City, Mo 21 

YOUNG, PROF. N. B., President of Florida State Normal and Industrial College 125 




I. Did the American Negro make, in the nineteenth century, 


II. Will it be possible for the Negro to attain, in this country, 

unto the American type of civilization ? - - - 42 

iii. how can the friendly relations now existing between the 

two races in the south be strengthened and maintained ? 57 

IV. Should the Negro be given an education different from 


V. Should the ignorant and non-property holding Negro be 

allowed to vote ? -89 

vi. is the criminal negro justly dealt with in the courts of 

the South? 92 

vii. to what extent is the negro pulpit uplifting the race? - 115 
viii. is it time for the negro colleges in the south to be put 

into the hands of negro teachers? - 125 

IX. Will the education of the Negro solve the Race Problem? 142 
X. What role is the educated Negro woman to play in the 

uplifting of her race? 167 

XI. How can the Negroes be induced to rally more to Negro 


XII. What are the causes of the great mortality among the 
Negroes in the cities of the South and how is that mor- 
tality TO BE lessened ? 199 

XIII. What should be the Negro's attitude in politics? - 224 

XIV. Is the Negro as morally depraved as he is reputed to be ? - 236 


XVI. The Negro as a writer 270 

XVII. Did the American Negro prove, in the nineteenth century, 




XVIII. What progress did the American white man make in the 
nineteenth centuet along the line of conceding to 
the Negro his religious, political and civil rights? - 261 

XIX. The Negro as a laborer 299 

XX. The Negro as a Christian 309 

XXI. Does the North afford to the Negro better opportuni- 
ties of making a living than the South ? - 323 

XXII. What is the Negro teacher doing in the matter of 

uplifting his race? 330 

XXIII. Is the Negro newspaper an important factor in the ele- 

vation of the Negro ? 347 

XXIV. Are other than Baptist and Methodist Churches adapted 


XXV. The Negro as a business man 370 

XXVI. The Negro as a farmer 388 

XXVII. The Negro as an inventor 399 

XXVIII. What the omen? 414 

XXIX. Why the Negro race survives 418 

XXX. The signs of a brighter future for the American Negro 427 

XXXI. Negro criminality - 434 

XXXII. The American Negro's opportunities in Africa - - 442 

XXXIII. The Negro and education 445 

XXXIV. A Negro in it 447 

XXXV. The Negro's adversities help him 449 

XXXVI. The American Negro and his possibilities - 454 

XXXVII. Important lessons from the awful tragedy - 464 

XXXVIII. How to help the Negro to help himself ... 4.68 


Daniel Wallaee Culp, compiler and editor of this book, was born about forty-seven 
years ago, of slave parents, four miles from Union Court House in South Carolina. His 
mother, Marilla by name, was an excellent type of the devout Christian woman of her 
day; she believed firmly in that God, whose inscrutable wisdom directed the ways of her 
race through paths that were truly hard. She hesitated not to teach her son Daniel to 
love, fear and obey the God in whom she trusted, using whatever light she had. 

Christopher Brandon, to whom Daniel and his mother belonged, was one of those 
slave-holders in South Carolina who did not believe in the institution of slavery, but 
being uncertain as to whether his slaves would be better off if he freed them, he held 
them, establishing a sort of patrimony in which his slaves were allowed such superior 
opportunities and advantages that the lees favored neighbors styled them "Brandon's 
free Negroes." This distinction carried with it its disadvantages as well, for on account 
of the ease and comfort allowed them, they were despised alike by the hard-hearted 
slave-owners and the less fortunate slaves. Brandon was kind to his slaves, who were 
made to work enough to keep a plenty at home to live upon. He also protected them 
against whatever ill treatment begrudging neighbors might be prompted to offer. 

Brandon was a bachelor. He made a favorite and close companion of Daniel to the 
extent of having him occupy the same bed with him. This affection of the bachelor 
master lasted until his death, which occurred several years after the emancipation. 

It is said that in his expiring moments this good man, Brandon, called for young 
Daniel, who was then too far away to be on hand in time to hear what was to have 
been said before death ensued. Thus died a man who was brave enough, in the midst 
of environments that were exacting to the extent of active ostracism for his assertion 
of his belief that the Negro is a real human being, possessed of a.mind, soul and rights 
to happiness, and should share in tke community of responsibilities. 

At an early age Daniel became anxious to know what is in books. This ambition 
was fed by his former master, who became his first teacher. This make-shift tutelage 
continued until 1869, when this rapid little learner caught a sight of better intellectual 
food. Accordingly he left his rural home, his soul charged with greater things, and 
entered Biddle Memorial Institute, now Biddle University, at Charlotte, N. C. 

As a student Daniel did not attract any special attention until he had passed the 
preparatory and entered the regular classical course of that institution. It was here 
that he won great distinction in his faculty for acquiring a ready knowledge of the 
languages and the higher mathematics. So rapidly did he advance in these studies that 
it was found necessary to place him in a class alone, none of his mates being able to 
keep up with him. This separation was from a class of about twenty young men from 
the Carolinas, Virginia, Georgia and Tennessee. For five years he studied, making an 
advancement that was frequently a marvel to the teachers, some of whom were at times 
puzzled to sustain their place of superiority over him. 

In 1876 Daniel Wallace Culp graduated from Biddle University, being the first 
graduate from the classical department of that institution, with the degree of Bachelor 
of Arts. 

Having decided to study theology, he, in the fall of the same year in which he 
graduated from Biddle, entered Princeton Theological Seminary. At the same time he 
entered Princeton College to study the History of Philosophy and Psychology under the 
great Dr. McCosh. 

The presence of a colored student in the classes at Princeton College (which has 
no connection with the Theological Seminary) was particularly obnoxious to the young 
men of the South, of whom there were several then in attendance. This brought on a 
crisis. The young white men of the South packed their trunks and left for their homes, 
declaring with much emphasis that they would not sit in the lecture room with a 
"nigger." But, strange to relate, their parents showed better sense by requiring them 
to promptly return. In the meanwhile efforts were made to have Dr. Culp discontinue 
his attendance at these lectures, all of which He positively refused to do. The young 
men from the South finally became friendly, and things moved on smoothly, Dr. Culp 
winning the respect of all the students by his gentlemanly conduct and scholarship. 

In the Theological Seminary he was regarded as one of the brightest students in 
his class, excelling in the study of the Hebrew language and theology. He graduated 
from this seminary in the spring of 1879. 

Now came the most trying time in the life of the young man who had been sated 
with frequent conquests while in the pursuit of knowledge. Dr. Culp was assigned to an 
humble Presbyterian Church at Laurens, S. C, under the auspices of the Freedman's 

Board of the Northern Presbyterian Church. His work was to preach and teach at 
that place. He remained at Laurens one year, when he was called to the pastorate of 
Laura Street Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville, Fla. 

In the fall of 1881 he was appointed principal of Stanton Institute, the largest 
colored college in the state of Florida. For a while he filled both the pastorate of the 
church and the principalship of Stanton, but finding it impracticable to hold both he 
finally resigned the pastorate, after having served the church for five years. He was 
principal of Stanton four years. Rev. F. J. Grimke, D. D., succeeded Dr. Culp as pastor 
of Laura Street Presbyterian Church. 

Desiring to help his people in what is known as the "black belt" of Florida, he 
severed his connection with the Stanton Institute and went to Lake City and established 
the Florida Normal and Industrial Institute. There he prepared many young men and 
women to teach in the district schools. This school was operated under the General 
Congregational Association of Florida, of which Dr. Culp is a member. 

In 1886 he accepted an appointment from the American Missionary Association 
to take charge of the church and school at Florence, Ala. He did not remain there long 
before the same board appointed him to the pastorate of the First Congregational Church 
in Nashville, Tenn. It was here that Dr. Culp became deeply concerned about the 
physical salvation of his race. To fit himself to do actual work along this line, he 
resigned his pastorate over the strongest protests of his members, and entered the 
Medical School of the University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor. After remaining in this 
college for some time, studying with the avidity and success of former years, he left 
and entered the Ohio Medical College, where he could enjoy the advantages of the study 
of the superior hospital facilities. Here he graduated with honors in 1891, and again 
came South, locating in Augusta, Ga. 

Shortly after his arrival in Augusta, Dr. Culp having demonstrated his high 
capabilities and fitness, was elected by the City Council to be superintendent and resi- 
dent physician of the Freedmen's Hospital in that city. This position was coveted by 
several white physicians, hence the election of Dr. Culp created no small stir. The 
excitement was great for some time. Finally it became apparent that to continue to 
hold this position would be hazardous in a number of ways, and upon the advice of 
his wife and friends Dr. Culp resigned, after serving one year. 

Afterwards he built up an excellent practice of medicine in the city of Augusta, 
but owing to the fast failing health of his family he moved to Palatka, Fla., and after 
two years of successful practice he moved to Jacksonville to give his children, a promis- 
ing girl and boy, the advantages of the schools. 

After remaining in Jacksonville for about seven years, Dr. Culp yielded to the 
entreaties of the people of Palatka and returned to that city, where he now is, having 
won the fullest confidence of the people as a successful physician. 

Dr. Culp married Mrs. Mary Emily Jefferson, of Jacksonville, in 1884. She was 
at that time a prominent teacher in the public schools of that city. His union has been 
blessed with two children, a girl, Charlotte Marilla, fourteen years old, and Julian Mc- 
Kenzie, twelve years old. 

Dr. and Mrs. Culp are both profoundly interested in the education of these children, 
hoping to fit them to be useful to their race. 

Dr. Culp is classed as a thorough race man. Freed from the monstrous visions 
which many delight to parade as arguments, he abides by a strong faith In the destiny 
of the valuable elements of his race. That his people are destined to reach a high 
point in civilization has been his private conviction for years, not being very free, how- 
ever, to say that this will be attained in America. 

Dr. Culp also seriously believes that if the race problem is ever solved in this coun- 
try, it will be done by the combined efforts of the intelligent elements of both races. 
His great interest in the physical salvation of his race has moved him to both lecture 
extensively and write books and pamphlets on health topics during the past seven 
years. Notable among these are his books on smallpox and vaccination, consumption, 
etc., all of which have done good among the people whose means of information on the 
proper care of health are the poorest. 

Dr. Culp has good standing with the editors of the leading magazines. By these he 
has been invited repeatedly to write articles on the Race Problem. This invitation he 
has accepted more than once, and when he writes, he displays a degree of literary 
ability that is striking. His purpose in compiling and editing this book is but one of the 
several great plans he has in reserve to publicly demonstrate what he regards as actual 
service for the inspiration of his day and generation. 


Mary Burnett Talbert was born at Oberlin, Ohio, in 1866, her father's family having 
gone there from Chapel Hill, N. C. She is descended on her maternal side from Rich- 
ard Nichols, who compelled Peter Stuyvesant to surrender New Amsterdam and who 
for a short while was Governor of the State of New York. 

She graduated at the early age of sixteen from the Oberlin High School, and 
through the generosity of Ex-President James H. Fairchild was enabled to attend 
Oberlin College. 

When applying for admission to the class in trigonometry, the instructor doubt- 
fully admitted her, as so many of the High School pupils had found the subject very 
hard and preferred a review of other mathematics. She entered the class, however, 
on trial, and made a term's record of 5 per cent, with an examination of 5.5 per cent, 
6 per cent being the highest mark for lessons in college. 

During the next term she entered the class of mechanics, and made a perfect 
record for term's work and examination. 

While attending school she was well liked by her classmates, being made Treasurer 
of Aeolian, one of the two college societies for young women, and was also one of 
six representatives chosen for Class Day Exercises. She was given the place of honor 
upon the programme, and recited an original poem, "The Lament of the Old College 
Bell, Once First, Now Second." 

Mrs. Talbert graduated from Oberlin at the early age of nineteen, being the only 
colored member of her class after the withdrawal of the late Lieutenant John Alexander. 

She started out in life equipped not only with a great love of learning but with 
all the encouragement which made it possible for her to follow the inclinations of 
her mind. 

In 1886 she accepted a position in Bethel University, Little Rock, Ark. 

Some women make themselves teachers, but Mrs. Talbert was a born teacher. 
The late Professor John M. Ellis, in writing of her, said: "She is a lady of Christian 
character and pleasing address. As a student she has an excellent record and standing 
in her class, showing good abilities and industry and fidelity in her work. She has 
the qualities natural and acquired to make a superior teacher." 

In January, 1887, she was elected Assistant Principal of the Little Rock High 
School, the highest position held by any woman in the State of Arkansas, and the 
only colored woman who has ever held the position. Mrs. Talbert resigned her place 
after her marriage to Mr. William H. Talbert, one of Buffalo's leading colored young 
men, and was urged after marriage to reconsider her resignation and take up her 
work again. 

Leading educators and literary men, such as Charles Dudley Warner, Samuel A. 
Greene of Boston, L. S. Holden of St. Louis, and others who visited her classes, and, 
having seen them at work, registered their names with written comments. 

Professor Albert A. Wright of Oberlin writes as follows: "Mary Burnett received 
her education in the public schools and college of this place, where her parents have 
resided for many years. She has won the respect and approval of her teachers by 
her successful accomplishments of the tasks set before her." Mrs. Talbert received 
the degree granted to students of the Literary Course in 1894, and is a member of the 
Association of Collegiate Alumnae, being the only colored woman in the city of 
Buffalo eligible. 





As the hand upon the dial of the nineteenth century clock pointed to 
its last figure, it showed that the American Negro had ceased to be a 
thing, a commodity that could be bought and sold, a mere animal ; but 
was indeed a human being possessing all the qualities of mind and heart 
that belong to the rest of mankind, capable of receiving education and 
imparting it to his fellow man, able to think, act, feel, and develop those 
intellectual and moral qualities, such as characterize mankind generally. 

Let us glance at the intellectual Negro and see if he has made any 
progress commensurate with his opportunities during the nineteenth 

Intuitively we turn to that great historian of our race — who for 
seven years worked with such care and zeal to write a thoroughly trust- 
worthy history of the American Negro, and to-day stands as our first 
and greatest historian — George W. Williams. In prefacing his second 
volume, he says: "I have tracked my bleeding countrymen through 
widely scattered documents of American history; I have listened to 
their groans, their clanking chains, and melting prayers, until the woes 
of a race and the agonies of centuries seem to crowd upon my soul as a 
bitter reality. Many pages of this history have been blistered with my 
tears; and although having lived but a little more than a generation 
my mind feels as if it were cycles old. 

"A short time ago the schools of the entire North were shut in his 



face; and the few separate schools accorded him were given grudgingly. 
They were usually held in the lecture room of some colored church or 
thrust off to one side in a portion of the city or town toward which 
aristocratic ambition would never turn. These schools were generally 
poorly equipped; and the teachers were either colored persons whose 
opportunities of securing an education had been poor, or white persons 
whose mental qualifications would not encourage them to make an honest 
living among their own race." 

It will not be necessary to enumerate the various insults and dis- 
couragements which faced the noble pioneers of our race who, seeing 
their fellow men denied the opportunities and privileges of securing an 
education, scorned by the press and pulpit, in public and private gather- 
ings for their ignorance, set about to lift the Negro from his low social 
and mental condition. 

The Negro turned his attention to the education of himself and his 
children; schools were commenced, churches organized, and a new era 
of self-culture and general improvement began. 

In Boston we see Thomas Paul, Leonard A. Grimes, John T. Ray- 
mond, Robert Morris and John V. DeGrasse. 

In 1854 John V. DeGrasse was admitted to the Massachusetts Med- 
ical Society, being the first instance of such an honor being conferred 
upon a colored man in this country. 

In New York we find Rev. Henry Highland Garnet, Dr. Charles B. 
Ray, Charles L. Reason and Jacob Day doing what they could to elevate 
the Negro and place him on a higher intellectual plane. 

Philadelphia also added her quota, to the list of noble men who were 
striving to show to the world that the American Negro, although 
enslaved, was a human being. We find such men as Robert Purvis, Wil- 
liam Still and Stephen Smith. 

In Western Pennsylvania and New York were John Peck, John B. 
Vashon and Peyton Harris and all through the North, each state held 
colored men who were anxious to do what they could to elevate the race, 
and it seems as if God gave each one a special duty to perform, which 
combined, made one mighty stimulus to the young colored youth to do 
what he could to build up the Negro race. 

Do you ask if the Negro has advanced intellectually, I need only to 
refer you to the showing made by the men and women of our race to-day. 
The works of Frederick Douglass, John M. Langston, Blanche K. Bruce, 


J. C. Price, are living testimonials of what the Negro accomplished a 
generation ago. 

When we consider the fact that the Negro was of such import that laws 
were made making it a misdemeanor to educate the Negro, both before 
and after the Civil War; when we consider the Greek text books of 
Professor Scarborough of Wilberforce used by one of the oldest Colleges 
in ximerica; when we consider the Presidents and Principals of various 
Negro schools in our country, such as Livingston, N. C. ; Spellman Sem- 
inary, Atlanta, Ga. ; Wilberforce, Ohio; Virginia Normal and Collegiate; 
Shaw University; when we consider the place that our honored clergy; 
occupy among the intellectual men of the world; when we consider the 
work of Booker T. Washington, we must admit that the love of knowl- 
edge seems to be intuitive. No people ever learned more in so short a 

Every year since the Civil War the American Negro has been taking 
on better and purer traits of character. 

The Negro of to-day is materially different from the Negro of yester- 
day. He delights in the education of his children, and from every section 
of our Southland come letters asking for competent colored teachers 
and educated ministers. The young man and woman who educate them- 
selves in our Northern colleges and normal schools do not always have 
to turn their attention to the far South to seek fields of labor, but in an 
honest competition, gain places of honor and trust in the North. 

Think of the scores of young colored women all over our Northern 
states teaching the "young idea how to shoot," and not a black face in 
the class. We find colored women with large classes of white pupils in 
St. Paul, Minn. ; Chicago, 111. ; Detroit, Mich. ; Cleveland, Ohio; Buffalo, 
N. Y. ; and other Northern cities. "From the state of semi-civilization," 
says Williams, "in which he cared only for the comforts of the present, 
his desires and wants have swept outward and upward into the years to 
come and toward the Mysterious Future." 

Several hundred weekly newspapers, a dozen monthly magazines, 
conducted by Negroes, are feeding the mind of the race, binding com- 
munities together by the cords of common interest and racial sympathy. 
The conditions around which the Negro was surrounded years ago have 
disappeared and the Negro is as proud of his own society as the whites 
are of theirs. Sociological study and laws have given to our present 
generation the will power and tenacity to establish and maintain a social 


standing equal with any of the races of the world. Without a question 
of doubt he has shown moral qualities far in advance of those which 
dominated in slave history und under which he was constantly subjected. 

Has the Negro made any achievements along the lines of wealth? 
needs only a review of statistics to answer the above question, for where 
once was the rude cabin, and one-room hut, we now see the beautiful 
homes with well kept stock and farm, hygienic stables as well as artistic 
lawns. The first experiment the general masses of negroes had in the 
saving of money was under that institution known as "The Freed man's 
Saving and Trust Company." The institution started out under the 
most favorable auspices. The depositors numbered among its rank and 
file, day laborers, farmers, mechanics, house-servants, barbers and 
washerwomen ; thus showing to the entire country that the emancipated 
Negro was not only working but by industry and economy was saving 
his earnings. We know too well of the misplaced confidence in that bank 
and how after a short time the bank failed and thousands of colored men 
and women lost their earnings. During the brief period of its existence 
157,000,000 were deposited. Although the Freedman's Bank caused 
many a colored person to shrink from any banking institution, yet some 
were hopeful and again began to save money. Throughout the entire 
South we find scores of colored men who have excellent farms, elegant 
homes and small fortunes. 

"In Baltimore a company of colored men own a ship-dock and trans- 
act a large business. Some of the largest orange plantations in Florida 
are owned by colored men. On most of the plantations, and in many of 
the large towns and cities colored mechanics are quite numerous." 

The total amount of property owned by the colored people in all the 
states is rated at over f 400,000,000. 

In the North, East and West we see many colored men with hand- 
some estates run high into the hundred thousands. Almost every large 
city and town will show among her population a Negro here and there 
whose wealth is rated between five and ten thousand dollars or more. 

Bev. A. G. Davis of Raleigh, N. C, in an address at the North Caro- 
lina Agricultural Fair, said, "Scan, if you will, the long line of eight 
million Negroes as they march slowly but surely up the road of progress, 
and you will find in her ranks such men as Granville T. Woods, of Ohio, 
the electrician, mechanical engineer, manufacturer of telephones, tele- 
graph and electrical instruments; William Still, of Philadelphia, the 


Mrs. Josephine Yates, youngest daughter of Alexander and Parthenia Reeve-Silone, 
was born in Mattiluck, Suffolk County, N. Y., where her parents, grandparents and great- 
grandparents were long and favorably known as individuals of sterling worth, morally, 
intellectually and physically speaking. On the maternal side Mrs. Yates is a niece of 
the Rev. J. B. Reeve, D. D., of Phildelphia. 

Mrs. Silone, a woman of education and great refinement of character, began the 
work of educating this daughter in her quiet, Christian home, and both parents hoping 
that she might develop into a useful woman spared no pains in endeavoring to secure 
for her the education the child very early showed a desire to obtain; and with this end 
in view she was sent to Newport, R. I., in her fourteenth year, having already spent 
one year at the Institute for Colored Youth in Philadelphia, and Mrs. Coppln, then 
Miss Fannie Jackson, with her vigorous intellect, aided the inspiration the mother had 
begun. In 1877 Miss Silone graduated as valedictorian of a large class from Rogers 
High School of Newport; and although the only Colored member of her class', and the 
first graduate of color, invariably she was treated with the utmost courtesy by teachers, 
scholars and such members of the School Board as Thomas Wentworth Higginson, T. 
Coggeshall, and others. 

Two years later she graduated from the Rhode Island State Normal School in 
Providence, and soon began her life work as a teacher. During the eight years spent 
in Lincoln Institute, Jefferson City, Mo., she had charge of the Department of Natural 
Science, and was the first woman to be elected to a professorship in that institution. 

In 1889 Miss Silone was married to Prof. W. W. Yates, principal of Phillips School, 
Kansas City, Mo., and removed to that city, where since she has been engaged in either 
public or private school work. 

From the age of nine years she has been writing for the press, and her articles 
have appeared in many leading periodicals — for a long time under the signature "R. K. 
Potter." Mrs. Yates has long been a zealous club worker and is well known as a 
lecturer East and West. She was one of the organizers and the first President of the 
Kansas City Woman's League; and in the summer of 1901 was elected President of the 
National Association of Colored Women, which organization she had already served 
as Treasurer for a period of four years. 

Mrs. Yates is the mother of two children, whose education she carefully superin- 
tends, and is ever ready to comfort the sick or to stop her round of duties to give 
counsel or render help along any line possible to the many young people and others 
who seek her door. 


coal dealer; Henry Tanner, the artist; John W. Terry, foreman of the 
iron and fitting department of the Chicago West Division Street Car 
Company; J. D. Baltimore, engineer, machinist, and inventor, of Wash- 
ington, D. C. ; Wiley Jones, of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, the owner of a 
street car railroad, race track and park; Richard Hancock, foreman of 
the pattern shops of the Eagle Works and Manufacturing Company, and 
draughtsman; John Beack, the inventor, whose inventions are worth 
tens of thousands of dollars; W. C. Atwo«d, the lumber merchant and 

And now in review let me add that the social conditions of the Amer- 
ican Negro are such that he has shown to the world his aptitude for 
study and general improvement. 

Before character, education and wealth, all barriers will melt, and 
these are necessary to develop the growth of the race. 

From abject serfdom and pauperism he has risen to a plane far above 
the masses of any race of people. 

By his industry and frugality he has made himself master of any 
situation into which he has been placed, and none will deny that his 
achievements along all lines have been commensurate with his oppor- 




The measure of the success of a race is the depths from which it has 
come, and the condition under which it has developed. To know what 
the Negro actually accomplished in the nineteenth century, one must 
know something of his life and habitat previous to the year 1619, when 
against his will or wish, he was brought to the Virginian coast; must 
also know his life as a slave, and his opportunities since emancipation. 

History shows that the Negroes brought from Africa to this country 
to be sold into slavery were at the time in a more or less primitive stage 
of uncivilized life; while the methods used to capture and transport them 


to this "land of the free and home of the brave," recently revived 
through the vivid pen pictures and other illustrations running in serial 
form in Scribner's, Pearson's and other reliable periodicals (accounts 
which bear the impress of truth, and are hardly liable to the charge of 
having been written within too close range of time and space, or vice 
versa, to be strictly truthful), indicate the demoralizing and debasing 
effects of the "system" from its initial period, this followed up by the 
blighting influences of slave life, even under the most favorable con- 
ditions, for nearly two hundred and fifty years, left upon Negro life and 
character just the traits it would have left upon any other people sub- 
jected to similar conditions for the same length of time. 

It may be said, and with truth, that slavery gave to the Negro some 
of the arts of civilized life; but it must be added, that, denying him the 
inalienable rights of manhood, denying him the right to the product of 
his labor, it left him no noble incentive to labor at these arts, and thus 
tended to render him improvident, careless, shiftless, in short, to demoral- 
ize his entire nature. 

It is further stated that the system gave him Christianity. Did it 
give him piety? Could it give him morality in the highest sense of these 

Constantine could march the refractory Saxons to the banks of a 
stream and give them their option between Christianity and the sword, 
but the haughty monarch soon found that a religion forced in this per- 
emptory and wholesale fashion did not change the moral nature of the 
soldier; and we submit that Christianity, language, and the arts of 
civilized life, absorbed amidst the debasing influences of a cruel and 
infamous bondage could not be productive of a harmonious develop- 
iment of body, mind and soul; of strong moral and intellectual fiber; 
or of ideas of the dignity of lab®r; of habits of thrift, economy, the 
careful expenditure of time and money; or knowledge of the intimate 
relationship of these two great factors in the process of civilization. 
These are results attained only where the rights of manhood and woman- 
hood are acknowledged and respected. The lack of these results or basic 
impulses to advancement represent defects in the Negro character, pre- 
venting a more rapid development in the nineteenth century and directly 
traceable to his enslaved state ; and the origin or cause, the growth and 
subsequent development of these, and other defects, must be taken into 
consideration before the Negro is stamped as the greatest criminal on 


earth, wholly irredeemable ; before he is condemned in wholesale manner 
for not having made more rapid strides toward advanced civilization in 
little more than one generation of freedom. Indeed, it speaks well for 
the intrinsic merit of the race, that although public opinion freely admits 
that the natural outcome of bondage is a cowardly, thieving, brutal, or 
abject specimen of humanity, even in the darkest hours of slavery, there 
were many, many, high-born souls who, if necessary, at the price of life 
itself, maintained their integrity, rose superior to their surroundings, 
taught these same lofty sentiments to others. 

Emancipation and certain constitutional amendments brought free- 
dom to the material body of the erstwhile slave, but the soul, the higher 
self, could not be so easily freed from the evils that slavery had fastened 
upon it through centuries of debasement; and because of this soul 
degradation the Negro, no less than the South, needed to be physically, 
mentally and morally reconstructed. 

Reconstruction, the eradication of former characteristics, the growth 
and development of new and more favorable ones, is with any race the 
work of time. Generations must pass, and still it need not be expected 
that the process will be full and complete ; meanwhile, what measure of 
success is the Negro achieving? Were his achievements in the nineteenth 
century, educationally, morally, financially and otherwise at all com- 
mensurate with his opportunities? 

The year 1863 saw four million Negroes come forth from a state of 
cruel bondage with little of this world's goods that constitute capital ; 
with few of those incentives to labor that universally are requisites to 
the full and free development of labor and capital. The knowledge the 
Negro had of agriculture, of domestic life, and in some cases, his high- 
grade mechanical skill, gave him something of a vantage ground, but 
for nearly two hundred and fifty years he had been so "worked" that it 
would be expecting too much to demand that he at once comprehend the 
true dignity of labor. Nor was it to be expected that to his untutored 
mind freedom and work were terms to be intimately associated. Then 
there was a certain amount of constitutional inertia to be overcome, a 
natural heritage of the native of a tropical or semi-tropical climate, but 
quite incompatible with the fierce competition of American civilization, 
or with the material conditions of a people who owned in the entire 
country forty years ago, only a few thousand dollars ; and among whom 
education was limited to the favored few whose previous estate either 


of freedom, or by other propitious circumstance, had rendered its acqui- 
sition possible. Organizations for business enterprise or any purpose 
of reform and advancement, outside of the Northern cities, was prac- 
tically unknown. 

Evidently one of the first things to be done by which the Negro could 
be reconstructed and become an intelligent member of society was to 
educate him; teach him to provide for himself; making him more provi- 
dent and painstaking; teaching him self-reliance and self-control ; teach- 
ing him the value of time, of money, and the intimate relationship of the 
two. Certainly not a light task. These lessons could only be learned 
in the practical school of experience, then, not in a day. And what has 
been accomplished? Forty years ago there was not in the entire South- 
land a single Negro school; before the close of the nineteenth century 
there were twenty thousand Negro school houses, thirty thousand Negro 
teachers, and three million Negro school children happily wending their 
way to the "Pierian Spring." 

Under the "system," generally speaking, it had been considered a 
crime to teach the Negro to read or write ; and the census of 1870 shows 
that only two-tenths of all the Negroes of the United States, over ten 
years of age, could write. Ten years later, the proportion had increased 
to three-tenths of the whole number; while in 1890 only a generation 
after emancipation, forty-three per cent of those ten years and over were 
able to read and write; this proportion before the close of the century 
reached forty-five per cent. 

To wipe out forty-five per cent of illiteracy in less than forty years ; 
to find millions of children in the common schools; to find twenty thou- 
sand Negroes learning trades under the soul inspiring banner of free 
labor; to find other thousands successfully operating many commercial 
enterprises; among these, several banks, one cotton mill, and one silk 
mill; to find Negroes performing four-fifths of the free labor of the 
South, thus becoming a strong industrial factor of the section is to fur- 
nish proof of achievements in the nineteenth century of which we need 
not be ashamed; and considering the restrictions of labor unions, the 
fields or classes of labor from which the Negro is practically barred 
regardless of section, quite commensurate with the opportunities afforded 
him during the period in question. 

Within forty years the system of instruction in the American schools 
has undergone some radical changes for the better; and if the system 


in vogue at the beginning of this period, with the study of the classics 
as the pivotal point, did not fit the practical needs of the average Anglo- 
Saxon youth, with his heritage of centuries of culture, it is not strange 
if some blunders were made in attempting to shape this same classical 
education into a working basis for a people emerging from a state of 
bondage in which to impart even the elements of education, was con- 
sidered a crime, generally speaking. 

Industrial, manual, or technical training had not, forty years ago, 
taken firm hold upon the educational system, and school courses for 
Negroes were planned after classical models, perhaps better suited in 
many instances for students of a more advanced mentality and civiliza- 
tion; for humanity at large can scarcely hope to escape the slow and 
inevitable stages and processes of evolution. Individual genius, how- 
ever, bound by no law, may leap and bound from stage to stage ; and we 
point with pride to Negroes whose classic education in the early decades 
of freedom served not only to prove their own individual ability, but the 
capacity of the race for, and susceptibility to, a high degree of culture at 
a time when such demonstration was a prime necessity. 

We do not consider that any mistake was made in at once providing 
for the classical or higher education of those who were mentally able to 
receive it, and as brilliant achievements of the nineteenth century from 
an educational standpoint, we refer with a keen sense of gratification to 
the two thousand five hundred and twenty-five or more college graduates 
who are helping to raise the standard of the race from all points of view ; 
to the real genius of the race that has given us Douglass, Langston, 
Bruce, Washington, Tanner, Scarborough, Page, Grisham, Miller, Du- 
bois, Wright, Bowen, Crogman, Johnson, Dunbar, Chestnutt and others 
too numerous to mention, whose names should be enshrined in the hearts 
of present and future generations ; to the forty thousand Negro students 
pursuing courses in higher institutions of learning; to the twelve thou- 
sand pursuing classical courses ; to the one hundred and twenty thousand 
taking scientific courses; to the one hundred and fifty-six institutions for 
the higher education of Negroes; to the two thousand practicing physi- 
cians; to the three hundred newspapers and the five hundred books writ- 
ten and published by Negroes; to a gradually increasing discrimination 
in all those matters of taste and form which mark the social status of a 
people, and give to the individual, or the mass, the, perhaps, indefinable, 
but at the same time, distinctive, stamp of culture. 


These achievements, alone, within less than forty years of freedom, 
serve to demonstrate our fitness for civilization, and also, that as the 
years pass there is a still greater necessity for Negroes who possess a 
broad, a liberal, a well balanced education ; and at the same time a simi- 
lar need for Negroes possessing shrewd, business ability ; a high degree 
of mechanical skill ; extensive knowledge of industrial arts and sciences, 
and of profitably invested capital. 

From the early years of freedom a few leaders, as at Hampton, real- 
ized, that the great mass of Negroes needed first of all experimental 
knowledge of the dignity of labor such as could never result from labor 
performed under the conditions of slavery; that they needed to know 
more of skilled labor in order to be able to meet and enter the fierce 
competition of American industrial life, or even to live upon the plane 
of American civilization ; and in spite of adverse criticism, these leaders 
proceeded to establish industrial and manual training schools for the 
Negro, with such elementary training as from their point of view seemed 
most beneficial. That the methods chosen have been rich in results, it is 
only necessary to know something of the deep and extensive influence 
of Hampton, Tuskegee, Normal, and other industrial schools, in directly, 
or indirectly, improving the environment and daily life of the masses. 

The insidious and ultimate effect of slavery upon the normal and 
spiritual nature of the enslaved is to blunt, to entirely efface the finer 
instincts and sensibilities, to take away those germs of manhood and 
womanhood that distinguish the lowest savage from the beasts of the 
field. Continue this soul-debasement for centuries, denv the slave the 
right to home, the right to family — ties which universally prove the great- 
est stimulus to courage, patriotism, morality, civilization — then declare 
the emancipated slave a brute, for whom education does nothing, because 
in little more than a generation he has not wiped out all of the degrada- 
tion that the conditions of generations instilled and intensified ! 

Criminologists, discussing the apparent increase of crime in this coun- 
try, assert that this apparent increase is largely due to the more complete 
records kept of criminals within the last forty years than formerly, and 
the better facilities for ferreting out crime and for subjecting offenders 
to the penalty of the law; and it may be added, in the Negro's case, as 
recently stated by a Kansas City judge, a native of Georgia, noted for 
his unprejudiced views and fair dealing, "It takes less evidence to con- 
vict a Negro than it does a white man; and a longer term in the peni- 


tentiary will be given a Negro for the same offense than will be given 
a white offender. That is why I have been so frequently compelled to 
cut down the sentence of Negroes." The entire history of the chain-gang 
system corroborates these statements — a system that helps to increase 
the reported number of criminals ; and although race riots, lynchings and 
massacres may seem to indicate the opposite to the uninitiated, the Negro 
is not a lawless element of society. In the United States a natural rest- 
lessness has possessed him since emancipation, and it requires time to 
work out and adjust conditions under which he can develop normally 
from the standpoint of morality as well as from other points of view. 
Meanwhile, the prime necessity to raise the moral status is the develop- 
ment and upbuilding of that which in its highest embodiment, was denied 
him in the days of bondage — the home. We need homes, homes, homes, 
where intelligence and morality rule. And what was accomplished in 
this line in the nineteenth century? From owning comparatively few 
homes forty years ago, the Negro advanced before the close of the century 
to the position of occupying one million five hundred thousand farms 
and homes; and of owning two hundred and seventy-five thousand of 
these; many of them, as shown by views, forming a part of the exhibit at 
the Paris Exposition and elsewhere, compare favorably with the homes of 
any people. 

As to the intelligence and morality that constitute the environment 
of the great mass of these homes owned by Negroes, the statistics of 
education and of crime show that Negro criminals do not, as a rule, come 
from the refined and educated classes, but from the most illiterate, the 
stupid, and the besotted element*; from the class that has not been 
reached by the moral side of education, if at all. Says the compiler of 
the eleventh census: "Of juvenile criminals the smallest ratio is found 
among Negroes." This speaks well for the general atmosphere of the 
home life of our youth; while the bravery displayed by the colored man 
in every war of American independence has demonstrated his ability to 
risk life fearlessly "in defense of a country in which too many states 
permit his exclusion from the rights of citizenship." Such sacrifice pre- 
supposes a moral ideal of the highest type. 

The position of the women of the race, always an index to the real 
progress of a people, in spite of slanderous attacks from unscrupulous 
members of her own and other races, is gradually improving, and was 
materially aided and abetted by the liberal ideas that especially obtained 


in the latter half of the century with reference to the development of 
women — irrespective of race or color — along the line of education, the 
professions, the industrial arts, etc. 

As to the advancement of the Negro from a financial standpoint, it 
is possible that his achievements during the period in question might 
have been greater; yet both from within and without there have been 
many hindrances to overcome in the matter of accumulating wealth. 

One of the greatest crimes of the slave system was that in practically 
denying to the slave the right to the product of his labor or any part 
thereof; it, to all intents and purposes destroyed his acquisitive faculty; 
thus he had small incentive to labor when free; and as the years went 
by, accumulated little in the shape of capital; showed little interest in 
profitable investment of his savings, if he were so fortunate as to have 
any. The great number of secret orders, and other schemes for the 
unwary, the main object of which apparently was to "bury the people" 
with great pomp and show, drained his pockets of most of the surplus 

The Freedmen's Bureau sought to establish Negroes as peasant pro- 
prietors of the soil on the farms and plantations of the stricken South, 
jand dreams of "forty acres and a mule" for a long time possessed the 
more ambitious only, in many instances, to meet a rude awakening; but 
notwithstanding the fact that the system of renting land, combined with 
the credit system of obtaining the necessities of life while waiting for 
the production and sale of the crop, is not conducive to the ownership 
of land on the part of the tenant; notwithstanding the very natural 
tendency on the part of the Negro to disassociate ideas of freedom and of 
tilling the soil, added to a desire to segregate in large cities in place 
of branching out to the sparsely settled districts of the great West and 
Northwest, there to take up rich farming lands and by a pioneer life to 
mend his fortunes in company with the peasants of other nations who 
are thus acquiring a firm foothold and a competence for their descen- 
dants; we repeat — in spite of the facts mentioned — before the close of 
the century the Negro had accumulated farms and homes valued in the 
neighborhood of seven hundred and fifty million dollars; personal prop- 
erty valued at one hundred and seventy millions; and had raised eleven 
millions for educational purposes. From these, and such other statistics 
as are available, relative to the achievements of the Negro in the United 
States during the nineteenth century, bearing in mind our first propo- 

j. W. E. BOWEN, A.M., PH.D., D. D. 

Dr. John Wesley Edward Bowen was born in New Orleans. His father, Edward 
Bowen, went to New Orleans from Washington, D. C. He was a free man, a boss carpen- 
ter and builder by trade, and able to read, write and cipher. He was highly esteemed, 
was prosperous in business, accumulated some money and lived in comfort. Dr. Bowen's 
mother, Rose Bowen, he says, was the grand-daughter of an African Princess of the 
Jolloffer tribe, on the west coast of Africa. When he was three years old his father 
bought him and his mother out of slavery. When he was thirteen he went to the prepara- 
tory school of New Orleans University for colored people, established after the war by 
the Methodist Episcopal church. When he was seventeen he entered the University 
proper, and five years later he was graduated with the degree of A. B. At the age of 
seventeen he was converted in a Methodist revival meeting, and nine months later was 
licensed as a local preacher, and has been preaching ever since. 

boon after his graduation Dr. Bowen became Professor of Latin and Greek in the 
Central Tennessee College, at Nashville, in which position he remained for four years. 
In 1882 he resigned his professorship and entered Boston University, where he studied 
four years, taking the degree of B. D. in 1885; and the degree of Ph. D. in 1887 from the 
school of all sciences of Boston University. He a. so did special advanced work in Greek, 
Latin, Hebrew,. Chaldee, Arabic and German, and in Metaphysics and Psychology. 

He was the first colored man in the Methodist church to take the degree of Ph. D. 
and the second colored man to take the degree in any university in this country. 

Soon after leaving the university, Dr. Bowen joined the New England Methodist 
Conference, and was appointed pastor of the Revere Street Church. While in New- 
England he also preached acceptably in many white churches — serving one for a month, 
and was asked to become their pastor after this period. After serv ing St. John's colored 
church in Newark three years, he became pastor of the Centennial Methodist Episcopal 
church in Baltimore, and at the same time professor of church history in the Morgan 
college for colored people in that city. During this pastorate he conducted a phenomenal 
revival in which there were 735 conversions. 

Dr. Bowen next was the pastor of Asbury Methodist Episcopal church in Washington 
for three years, and at the same time Professor of Hebrew in Howard University for 
colored people in that city. He here acquired a national fame as a scholar, orator and 
thinker. During this pastorate he pursued the study of the Semitic languages in the 
school of correspondence of Dr. W. R. Harper, then at Yale University. When he resigned 
his positions at Washington, he became for one year a Field Secretary of the Missionary 
Society of the Methodist Episcopal church, retaining his Washington residence. 

Dr. Bowen was next elected Professor of Historical Theology in Gammon Theological 
Seminary for colored people at Atlanta, Ga., which position he still holds. In consequence 
of the resignation of the president, the Rev. Dr. Thierkield, he has been for several 
months the chairman of the faculty, and the executive officer of the institution. He is 
also the Secretary of the Stewart Foundation for Africa, a member of the American 
Negro Academy, and a member of the American Historical Association, which last society 
numbers among its members some of the most learned men in this and other countries. 
Dr. Bowen received the degree of A. M. from the University of New Orleans in 1886, and 
that of D. D. from Gammon Theological Seminary in 1892. 

Amid all these engrossing occupations, Dr. Bowen has been a voluminous writer and 
an indefatigable lecturer. His publications include a volume of sermons and addresses, 
"Plain Talks to the Colored People of America," "Appeal to the King," "The Comparative 
Status of the Negro at the Close of the War and To-day," "The Struggle for Supremacy 
Between Church and State in the Middle Ages," and "The American and the African 
Negro." He has now ready for the press a volume of "University Addresses" and a 
volume of "Discussions in Philosophy and Theory;" also "The History of the Education 
of the Negro Race." 

Dr. Bowen was voted for at the last General Conference for Bishop. He stood second 
on first ballot. His friends predict that he will be elected at the forthcoming General 


sition — the measure of the success of a people is the depths from which 
it has come — we conclude that educationally, morally, financially, the 
Negro has accomplished by means of the opportunities at his command 
about all that could be expected of him or any other race under similar 

That the Negro has made mistakes goes without saying. All races 
as well as all individuals have made them, but — "Let the dead past bury 
its dead." 

The great problem confronting this and future generations is and 
twill be, how to surpass or even equal our ancestors in bringing about 
results that make for the upbuilding of sterling character; how with 
our superior advantages to make the second forty years of freedom and 
the entire future life proportionally worthy of honorable mention. 

"Build to-day, then strong and sure, 

With a firm and ample base, 
And ascending and secure 

Shall to-morrow find its place. 
Thus alone can we attain 

To those turrets, where the eye 
Sees the world as one vast plain, 

And one boundless reach of sky." 



BY REV. J. W. E. BOWEN, D. D. 

Inference and conjecture are the stock methods of argument of the 
unintelligent or the superficially informed. Such indisposition or in- 
capacity leads to erroneous conclusions. Nothing but an appeal to facts 
involving careful and painstaking labor and a wise sifting of facts, that 
myth and legend be eliminated, should claim the attention of thinking 
men. It must be confessed, however, that in any discussion that relates 
to the comparative status of the Negro over against his standing in 
slavery full and accurate data are lacking. The statistical science of 


to-day was unknown then, and it is next to the impossible to affirm 
positively the relative superiority or inferiority of present day growth 
over those of that day. This statement is not made to deny the truth of 
the immense stride of the latter times, but it is made as a reasonable 
off-set to those prejudicial and dogmatic declarations of the supepior 
conditions of slavery over those of freedom. Dogmatism is the argument 
of the bigot. It is not wide of the truth, to say that the claims of certain 
writers that the Negro has retrograded physically, morally and socially, 
lacks the confirmation of veritable data. It is admitted that the modern 
diseases of civilized life have made inroads into his hardy nature, but 
the universal declaration of inferiority is not proved. It is also true 
that in isolated cases physicians of that day noted the comparative 
freedom of the blacks from the maladies of ennui and bacchanalian 
feastings, but no half-kept record of that day is before us to justify the 
statement that the Negro of to-day is superior to his mighty sire of ante- 
bellum fame that stood between the plow handles all day and danced or 
shouted all night. The increase of zymotic diseases is admitted, but 
there has been a corresponding increase of power in many lines that will 
more than counteract this baleful growth. 

Again, over against this admission may be placed another statement 
of fact, not to minify the truth already alluded to, but to illustrate the 
futility of basing an entire argument upon one arm of a syllogism, viz. : 
the Negro's numerical growth since freedom sung in his ears, is a clear 
evidence of physical vitality. This growth has kept pace with the glow- 
ing prophecies of statisticians. 

Let us subdivide the subject, that the facts may be grouped in a 
logical order. Let us study the growth of the race under three heads: 
Numerical growth, material growth, moral and social growth. 

Growth in numbers is growth in power of resistance, and this is 
basal in the life of any people. If there be not found in a people a power 
to resist the forces of death and to reproduce itself by the natural laws 
of race increase, then such a people should not be counted in the struggle 
of races. In other words, race fecundity contains the germs of intel- 
lectual and national existence. 

At the distance of forty years from slavery, the declarations of the 
early extinction of the Negro, under the conditions of freedom, are com- 
ical and absurd. It was affirmed with all the authority of divine prophecy 
that the Negro race could not exist under any other condition than 


slavery, and this concern became a basis for contending for his con- 
tinued enslavement. 

The unvarnished facts brought to light by cold mathematicians are 
now before us, and a few interesting and startling discoveries are placed 
before us. In the next place growth in material productions and the 
possession of the fruits of civilized life deserve attention. 

The story of the burdens and disadvantages of the Negro at the 
beginning of his days of freedom has not yet been committed to paper. 
It will require a black writer to perform this deed. But it is within the 
limits of truth to affirm that history can furnish no burdens upon a 
race's shoulders parallel to those upon the shoulders of the untutored 
black man when he was shot out of the mouth of the cannon into free- 
dom's arena. A Hindoo poet, of English blood, has written a beautiful 
poem upon the "White Man's Burden," but it is poetry. "The Black 
Man's Burden" is a burden that rests upon his heart, and, like the 
deepest feelings of the human heart, it cannot be reduced to cold type. 
Thomas Nelson Page describes the untoward beginnings of the race : 

"No other people ever had more disadvantages to contend with on 
their issue into freedom. They were seduced, deceived, misled. Their 
habits of industry were destroyed, and they were fooled into believing 
that they could be legislated into immediate equality with a race that, 
without mentioning superiority of ability and education, had a thousand 
years' start of them. They were made to believe that their only salvation 
lay in aligning themselves against the other race, and following blindly 
the adventurers who came to lead them to a new promised land. It is 
no wonder that they committed great blunders and great excesses. For 
nearly a generation they have been pushed along the wrong road. But 
now, in place of political leaders, who were simply firebrands, is arising 
a new class of leaders, which, with a wider horizon, a deeper sagacity and 
a truer patriotism, are endeavoring to establish a foundation of morality, 
industry and knowledge, and to build upon them a race that shall be 
capable of availing itself of every opportunity that the future may pre- 
sent, and worthy of whatever fortune it may bring." 

Slavery did not teach him economy; on the contrary, it taught him 
profligacy, and, where he learned to economize, it was in spite of the 
system. His wastefulness is not yet a thing of the past, but he has made 
commendable advance in learning how to save. What are the facts? In 
the state of Georgia alone, the Negro has dug out of the hills more than 


$30,000,000 of taxable property. This amount represents more than five 
times the entire wealth of all the Negroes of the United States, North 
and South, bond and free, taxable and personal, at the birth of freedom. 
But when we collect together the wealth of the entire race, the figures 
read like romance. 

Some facts for reflection : 

Four millions of slaves were valued at $3,500,000,000. Negroes own 
87 per cent of their homes in fee simple; 89 per cent of their farms are 

They own, Banks 3 

Magazines 5 

Newspapers 400 

Value of Libraries $ 500,000 

Drug stores 500,000 

School property 20,000,000 

Church property 42,000,000 

160,000 farms 400,000,000 

150,000 homes 350,000,000 

Personal property 200,000,000 

With these facts undisputed, the question, Has the Negro kept pace 
with his opportunities? contains its own affirmative answer. It is an 
incomparable achievement that the Negro should have accumulated and 
saved this vast amount of wealth within the short space of forty years. 

In the social and intellectual life the Negro has surpassed all hopes. 
There can be furnished by the race a thoroughly equipped man for any 
chair of learning for a university. He began with the blue-back spelling 
book and has steadily grown in learning and power until he now occu- 
pies a respectable position in the literary world. 

But the pivotal point that is determinative in this discussion, and 
that which is considered the conclusion of the whole matter, is the moral 
and social question, as well as the domestic virtues of which woman is 
the queen. The accumulation of property, and the achievements in the 
world of letters, admirable as they are in themselves, and for purposes of 
civilization, are secondary and valueless in the final analysis, if there 
is no corresponding moral development and social power. The evolution 
of the family, based upon monogamy, is one of the chief glories of Chris- 
tianity over against the libertinism and polygamous practices of 


Speaking of the women of our race, we cannot but speak the things 
which we have seen and heard. With Dr. Crummell, "In her girlhood all 
the delicate tenderness of her sex has been rudely outraged. In the field, 
in the rude cabin, in the press-room and in the factory, she was thrown 
into the companionship of coarse and ignorant men. No chance was 
given her for delicate reserve or tender modesty. From her girlhood she 
was the doomed victim of the grossest passions. All the virtues of her 
sex were utterly ignored. If the instinct of chastity asserted itself, then 
she had to fight like a tigress for the ownership and possession of her. own 
person, and oftentimes had to suffer pains and lacerations for her vir- 
tuous self assertion. When she reached maturity all the tender instincts 
of her womanhood were ruthlessly violated. At the age of marriage, 
always prematurely anticipated under slavery, she was mated as the 
stock of the plantation were mated, not to be the companion of a loved 
and chosen husband, but to be the breeder of human cattle for the field 
or auction block." 

Has this condition of affairs changed? I answer unequivocally, yea, 
a thousand times, yea. A negative answer would be the quintessence 
of ignorance. From a recent careful survey of every Southern state 
through nearly one hundred trusty observers, I have the testimony that 
the young women are pure in large numbers, and are rapidly increasing 
in an intense desire and determination to preserve themselves chaste 
and pure from the lustful approaches of the sinner, and that the number 
of legally and lovingly married families, purely preserved in the domestic 
and social virtues among husbands and wives, sons and daughters, is so 
far beyond the days of slavery that a comparison would minify the dif- 

The marvel is, that the Negro has sufficient moral vitality left to 
cut his way through the whirlpool of licentiousness to the solid rock 
of Christian character. From the harem life of promiscuous and unname- 
able sins of slavery, some of which were the natural and fatal growth of 
pagan vices, others the fruit of prostitution, to the making of one clean, 
beautiful, noble and divine family and home, covers a period of intense, 
moral, spiritual and intellectual development, more significant than the 
geologic transformation of ages. 'Be it known that this one family can 
be duplicated by a hundred thousand and more. 

The moral and social darkness has not been increased either in 
quality or intensity. The splendid results of philanthropic effort have 


served only as a small tallow candle which has been brought into the 
darkness of this Egyptian night, and the darkness has thickened rela- 
tively only because the light has been brought in. That faint and flicker- 
ing light reveals how great the darkness has been, and is. Some think 
that the shadows are lengthening into eternal night for the Negro, but 
that flickering light within has upon it the breath of God which will 
some day fan it into the white and penetrating blazes of the electro-car- 
bon searchlight, that shall chase away the curse of slavery. Thus, from 
every point of view, the growth of the Negro has more than kept paee 
with his opportunities. 




The progress made by the Negro since emancipation has challenged 
the admiration and wonder of the world. In all the annals of the world's 
history, there is no parallel to it, and this progress, remarkable as it is, 
has been in all lines, and in all departments of his life and activity. 
Indeed, it would be quite a problem to be able to declare in what par- 
ticular line he has made the most progress. To secure some adequate 
conception of what he is to-day, we must compare him with what he was 
yesterday. In no other way can we come to any comprehensive idea of 
the progress which he has made and the work which he has accomplished. 

A generation ago, he had practically nothing. He started out with 
scarcely a name — poor, ignorant, degraded, demoralized, as slavery left 
him. Without a home, without a foot of land, without the true sense 
of real manhood, ragged, destitute, so freedom found him. He stood at 
one end of the cotton row with his master at the other and as he stepped 
out into the new and inexperienced life before him his master still 
claimed him and the very clothes upon his back. Under these peculiar 
circumstances and amid these peculiar difficulties he began life for him- 
self. He had, however, learned how to work; so much he brought out 
of slavery with him ; and right royal service it has rendered him. What 

REV. M. C. B. MASON, PH. D. 

Rev. Dr. M. C. B. Mason, senior corresponding secretary of the Freedmen's Aid 
and Southern Education Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, was born of slave 
parents near Houma, La., March 27, 1859. In 1857, two years before young Mason was 
born, his father purchased his own freedom, paying $1,350. The papers were never 
legally made out and his father had to wait with other members of the family for the 
Emancipation Proclamation to secure their freedom. 

Young Mason was twelve years of age before he had ever seen a school-house, 
having entered school in July, 1871, and mastered the alphabet the firs't day. Subse- 
quently he attended a school of higher grade and in 1888 graduated from the New 
Orleans University from the regular classical course. Two years afterward he entered 
the Gammon Theological Seminary at Atlanta, Ga., graduating therefrom in 1891. 
Immediately after his graduation he matriculated in the Syracuse University, at Syra- 
cuse, N. Y., taking the "non-resident course" leading to the degree of Doctor of 

In July of the same year he was elected Field Agent of the Freedmen's Aid Society 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church, being the first colored man ever called to such a 
position. So successfully did he prosecute his work that at the General Committee 
meeting, which met in New York in 1893, he was elected Assistant Corresponding Sec- 
retary, and in May, 1896, at the General Conference in Cleveland, composed of 537 repre- 
sentatives, only 69 of whom were colored, he was elected Corresponding Secretary, with 
a majority of 104 votes against 11 competitors, all of whom were white. Four years 
later at the General Conference which assembled in Chicago, Dr. Mason was re-elected 
and made Senior Corresponding Secretary, receiving the largest vote ever given to any 
General Conference Secretary in the history of the Methodist Episcopal Church. This 
is all the more remarkable when it is remembered that there were 14 candidates in a 
body composed of 701 representatives, of whom only 73 were colored. It will be remem- 
bered also that the salary paid a General Conference Officer of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church is the same as that paid to the Bishops, and Dr. Mason is no exception to the 

The Doctor is quite a success as a money raiser and has secured hundreds of thou- 
sands of dollars during the ten years he has been connected with this great educational 
institution of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The Freedmen's Aid and Southern 
Educational Society has educated hundreds and thousands of men and women of our 
race, and has an average attendance of over seven thousand young men and women 
of color in its schools every year. Dr. Mason is thus brought in contact with more 
young men and women of the race than any other Negro in America. And the whole 
race is very largely indebted to him for the work which, through this institution, he 
is accomplishing. 

As an orator the Doctor has no superiors, and few equals. He is in great demand 
all over the country, especially in the North. We are told that he has been offered 
$6,000 per year with a guarantee for ten years, if he would resign his present position 
and take the lecture platform. This offer he has constantly refused preferring to 
remain in the work where he can be more useful to his own people. 

During a recent trip to Europe he was in constant demand for lectures in London, 
Glasgow, Belfast and among the English colony in France, 


is he to-day? From this humble beginning of a generation ago when 
he had absolutely nothing he has begun to acquire something of this 
world's goods. He has been getting for himself a home, some land, some 
money in bank, and some interest in stocks and bonds. His industry, 
thrift and economy are everywhere in evidence and he is bravely and 
consciously struggling toward the plane where his vindication as a 
man and a citizen is what he is and what he has acquired. In Louisiana 
he pays taxes on twelve millions, in Georgia on fourteen millions and 
in South Carolina on thirteen millions. A recent statistician, writing 
for the New York Sun, estimates his wealth North and South at four 
hundred millions. During the last few years much. of this accumulation 
of property is in farm land which everywhere is rapidly increasing in 
value. In this matter of securing a home and some land, the Negro's 
achievements are certainly commensurate with his opportunities. 

In education his progress is even more clearly manifest. There are 
to-day 2,912,912 Negro children of school age in the United States. 
Of these 1,511,618 are enrolled in the public schools and the average 
attendance is sixty-seven per cent of the enrollment. In addition to the 
1,511,618 who are enrolled in the public schools 50,000 more are attend- 
ing schools under the care and maintenance of the church. In this work 
all the leading denominations of the country are represented. The 
Freedmen's Aid and Southern Educational Society of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church among the first, if not the very first to engage in this 
work, has under its care forty-seven institutions of Christian learning, 
twenty of which are mainly for the education of the colored people. 
These institutions are scattered all over the sixteen former slave states 
and have possibly sent out more graduates as teachers, preachers, physi- 
cians, dentists, pharmacists and industrial workers than any other 
institution or set of institutions doing work in the South. In addition 
to the work of the Freedmen's Aid and Southern Educational Society 
there are the American Missionary Association, under Congregational 
auspices, the Baptist Home Missionary Society, the Presbyterian Home 
Missionary Society, the Lutheran Evangelical Society — all of which sup- 
port institutions for Christian learning for the education of the colored 
people throughout the South. These schools are mainly for the higher 
and secondary education of the Negro and have accomplished untold 
^ood. There are to-day nearly 30,000 Negro teachers in the United States 
did a careful estimate will show that these church schools have sent out 


over 20,000 of them. And these teachers, prepared by these church 
schools, commonly so called, were the first to take their places in the 
public schools as rapidly as they were opened and these, in the very 
nature of the case, represent a very large per cent of the teaching force 
even at the present time. 

Again distinctively Negro bodies of churchmen, especially Baptists 
and Methodists, are also carrying forward a commendable work of Chris- 
tian education among their own people. Some schools of excellent stand- 
ing in the African Methodist Episcopal, the African Methodist Episcopal 
Zion and the Colored Methodist Episcopal Churches are doing most 
effective work and the results are being felt in all directions. 

The work of industrial education is steadily growing in all sections 
of the South, and is destined more and more to occupy a prominent place 
in the education of our people. The emphasis placed upon this line of 
education at Hampton Institute, Hampton, Va,, Claflin University at 
Orangeburg, S. C, and Tuskegee Institute at Tuskegee, Ala., is having 
its effect in many other places. New Orleans, Louisiana, Wilmington, 
Delaware, Nashville, Tennessee, and several other cities have adopted 
some lines of industrial education in their public schools, and in some 
places it is compulsory. Consequently, industrial education, which, a 
few years ago, was mainly confined to a few institutions, has been, in some 
form or other, adopted in a large number of cities both in the North and 
in the South. The results of this line of work are alreadv seen. Hun- 
dreds of industrial artisans and trained mechanics are scattered here 
and there all over the South, and are practically and effectively solving 
the problem. 

In addition to the work of general education, Negroes have entered 
all the learned professions, and are succeeding beyond the most sanguine 
expectations of their friends. This is especially true in medicine, phar- 
macv and dentistrv. The Negro lawver has done well. He has had a 
difficult field, and the fact that some have acquired sufficient ability and 
influence to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States, 
speaks well for the race in this difficult field. But, the success of the 
Negro physician is perhaps the most remarkable in any line of profes- 
sional work to which he has aspired. From the results of careful study 
made bv an eminent statistician, it was found that the average salarv of 
white physicians in the United States is about f 700, and the average 
salary of Negro physicians is $1,444 per annum. The encouraging 


feature about this whole matter is that as physicians among us increase, 
the greater is the increase in the average salary. While dentists and 
pharmacists have not succeeded quite so well, yet the success of the phy- 
sician has directly opened an avenue for the pharmacists, and has indi- 
rectly helped the dentist. Consequently, in nearly every town of any 
considerable size in the South to-day, there are four or five prosperous 
Negro physicians, with two or three drug stores, where Negro pharma- 
cists carefully compound their prescriptions, and have the confidence 
and respect of the entire community. 

The Negro is progressing morally. From whatever standpoint you 
view him he is getting away from the past and wiping the reproach of 
Egypt from him. Any careful observer will see at once that in the field 
of ethics and morals a veritable revolution has taken place among the 
Negroes during the present generation. There is still, however, much 
room for improvement, and to this perhaps, more than to any one thing, 
the race must now turn its attention. Some questions regarding his 
inability to learn have all been settled by the remarkable achievements 
which he has made in all lines of intellectual endeavor, but it must still 
he confessed that in the field of morals and manners, the charge is still 
made, and that not without some semblance of truth, that evidences of 
the essential qualities of sturdy and manly character are not as clearly 
manifest among us as they should be. 

Here the problem comes home and the Negro, as ever, is the most 
important factor. The pertinent question is not what shall be done with 
the Negro, but rather what will the Negro do with himself. This is the 
question, and the answer he gives to it will largely depend, in no small 
degree, whether he shall continue to be an insignificant element in this 
Nation or become more a living factor in its growth and development. 
Here I repeat it, is the question and this is the problem. Intellectual 
ability is good, but individual purity is better. Rights and privileges 
are in themselves good, but to make ourselves worthy of them is infinitely 
better. It is encouraging and gratifying to know that so many are get- 
ting a correct interpretation of life's deeper meanings and are daily com- 
ing into possession of higher and purer ideals. Who can say that the 
Negro has not made progress commensurate with his opportunities? 





To the superficial observer, it would sometimes appear that the Amer- 
ican Negro did not make achievements commensurate with his oppor- 
tunities, during the nineteenth century. Yet, on taking a more com- 
prehensive view, the student of history and sociology must decide in the 

In deciding upon the comparative progress of a race, along the lines 
of a higher civilization, care must be taken as to the standard by which 
he is to be measured, and what has been his real opportunities. Civiliza- 
tion is a plant of slow growth, as evidenced by the history of all Nations 
that have accomplished great things in the past. There is a difference, 
as wide as the heavens, between the refined and cultured Englishman Of 
to-day, and the rough, uncouth Norseman of the ninth century ; but more 
than a thousand years were required to bring about that transformation. 
A difference, as wide as the poles, exists between the ancient Gauls, who 
were conquered by the Franks in the tenth century, and the Chester- 
fieldian Frenchman of to-day; yet the same time elapsed between these 
two periods. There is just as marked a difference, in many respects, 
between those twenty uncouth savages, brought to the shores of Virginia 
in 1620, and the best specimens of the American Negro of to-day, and yet 
only 287 years lie between the former and the latter. 

The next question that naturally rises is, "What have been the real 
opportunities of the American Negro?" Brought here a savage from his 
native wilds, and thrown into abject, and, in many cases, cruel slavery, 
he yet received from this iniquitous institution something of God. As 
Dr. Booker T. Washington so well says: "He went into slavery, prac- 
tically, without a language, and came Out speaking the beautiful English, 
the finest language to convey thought, ever devised by the mind of man. 
He went in without a God, and came out with the Christian religion." 
These are powerful agencies for civilization, and yet, the debasing influ- 
ence of slavery has done much to hinder, while it has done something to 
help him. Only a comparatively few Negroes came into direct contact 


Randall and Charlotte Davis, who were valued servants on a Caroline County farm, 
found themselves, March 25, 1862, the parents of a little black boy, who brought glad- 
ness and sorrow to their hearts. Gladness, because the Lord had sent them a boy, and 
he was their boy, bone of their bone, flesh of their flesh, blood of their blood. Sorrow, 
because, while he was their child, he was "Marster's" child too; he belonged to 
"Marste?-"' more than he did to them. 

"War was raging. The Negro cabins knew little else but muffled prayers, stifled songs, 
unuttered sermons — all for deliverance. From the cabin to the broad fields of tobacco these 
emotions and utterances were carried daily. Father preached, mother prayed. Singing 
was but the opening of the oppressed heart. Those were troublous years, heart-aching 
years. Years of consecration, fixed and unceasing, to the God of Freedom. In such an 
atmosphere the boy was nurtured and reared. 

The war was over. The boy over whom mother and father had prayed had changed 
from a chattel, a thing of barter, to a free child, belonging only to mother and father. 
What a change! 

Entering the public schools of Richmond, step by step, grade by grade was passed 
with honor and public commendation, until June, 1878, when D. Webster Davis gradu- 
ated from the Richmond High and Normal School, receiving at the same time the 
Essayist Medal. 

In 1880 the subject of our sketch commenced to teach in the public schools of 
Richmond and has taught therein continuously ever since, and is to-day rated as one 
of the best and most progressive in the system. 

September 8, 1893, Mr. Davis married Miss Lizzie Smith, a teacher in the Rich- 
mond public schools. From this happy union three children have been born. 

In October, 1895. feeling that the time had come for him to be about his Father's 
business he was ordained to the ministry. 

From a child he babbled in verse, and the poetic muse brought in 1896, "Idle 
Moments." and in 1898, "Weh Down Souf." These two books established the name of 
new Mr. Davis as a poet and have given him front rank with his contemporaries in 

Guadaloupe College, Seguin, Texas, recognizing the meritorious work of Rev. Davis 
bestowed upon him the degree of A. M. in 1898. 

Rev. Mr. Davis is at present pastor of the Second Baptist Church of Manchester, 
where he has an ideal growing church of young folks, which work he began in 1895. 

In the winter of 1900, the Central Lyceum Bureau of Rochester, N. Y., engaged 
the services of Rev. Davis for a four-weeks' reading tour, reading selections from his 
own works. The whole tour was an ovation, showing that texture of hair and color 
of skin cannot destroy that aristocracy of intellect, that charmed inner circle wherein 
"a man is a man for a' that." 

The Lord has been good to Rev. Daniel Webster Davis, blessing him with intellectual 
xorce. blessing him with poetic utterance, blessing him with oratorical ability, blessing 
him in domestic felicity. Not yet in his prime, yet so richly endowed in the gifts 
which make men strong and powerful, it is hoped that he may be spared many years 
to work in the Master's vineyard, and many years to labor for the uplift of his race, 
oppressed and downtrodden. 

May he expand and grow greater, remembering that he is God's servant, endowed 
for the benefit of his race, blessed, so that he may bless his people made strong, so that 
he may reach down and lift his people up, growing brighter and better unto the present 


with the best side of American civilization, during slavery. The house- 
maids, coachmen, body-servants and, in many cases, the cooks came in 
direct contact with the civilization of the "Great House," and their 
superiority, and, in many cases, that of their ancestry, is still apparent. 
The "corn field Negro" (and they outnumbered the others 200 to 1) 
received none of the influences of this civilization, and none of the oppor- 
tunities accorded the more favored servants around the "Great House." 

When we take into consideration all of these circumstances, coupled 
with the fact that when "cut loose" from slavery in 1865, it was a matter 
of "root hog or die" with him for many years; and that only thirty-six 
years have passed away since this happy event, his achievements have 
been marvelous. 

Optimist, as I try to be, I am not one of those who believe that the 
Negro has reached the delectable mountain, and that he is as good as any- 
body else. He is far from perfection, far from comparison with the more 
favored Anglo-Saxon, in wealth and culture, yet he has made progress 
commensurate with his opportunities. 

It is a well-known philosophical axiom, that "action is equal to reac- 
tion, and in a contrary direction." The American Negro is now meeting 
the reaction consequent upon his violent action in the direction of civili- 
zation and culture; but, this reaction is only temporary, and, even the 
realization of his condition by the leading thinkers of his race, is a sign 
of hope, and an evidence of substantial progress that must tell for good. 

Now, what achievements did he make? First, as to wealth: Accord- 
ing to the census of 1900 he has forty million dollars in church property, 
and twelve millions in school property. He has 140,000 farms, worth 
$750,000,000, and 170 million dollars in personal property. This is the 
result of thirty-six years of freedom. One noticeable feature is that the 
great bulk of kis wealth has been accumulated in the South, where the 
large majority of the American Negroes live. No one fact is more start- 
ling in history, than that a people, once held as slaves, have been able 
to live and thrive among the very people by whom they were held. This 
accentuates the fact that, after all, nowhere has the Negro better friends 
than can be found among the white people of the Southland. His prop- 
erty aggregates f 75 per capita for every man, woman and child in this 
country, which is certainly no mean showing for thirty-six years of free- 

As to education, he has reduced his illiteracy forty-five per cent, he 


has written more than 500 books, publishes 300 newspapers, three of them 
dailies ; he has produced 2,000 lawyers, a still larger number of doctors 
and 32,000 teachers. He supports several colleges, seventeen academies, 
fifty high schools, five law schools, five medical schools and twenty-five 
theological seminaries. It is true that all of the education he is obtain- 
ing is not practical ; and also true that many so-called educated ones are 
shiftless and trifling; but this is no more than was to be expected under 
the circumstances. 

He has built 29,000 churches, and this must mean something. It is 
true that in the past, his ministers have in many cases appealed to the 
passions, rather than to the intellect ; and yet, under these old preachers, 
many of them honest, earnest and Godly men, the Negro has made gigan- 
tic strides in morality. He is yet far, very far below what we would 
like to see him, but he is coming. The new gospel of work is striking 
a responsive chord in the American Negro's heart, and he is beginning 
to see that he must be able to do something if he would be something. 

Happily for him he learned to work, during the dark days of the past, 
it only remained for him to learn to put brains in his work. This he is 
fast learning under the apostles of industrial training. Since the fiat 
went forth, amid the groves of Eden, when man lost his first estate, "by 
the sweat of thy brow shalt thou eat bread," God has never reversed his 
edict. Work must be his salvation, as it has been the salvation of all 
other races. To put into poetry the words of an old friend : 

I ain't got no edikashun, 

But dis, kno', is true: 
Dat raisin' gals too good to wuch 

Ain't nebber gwine to do; 
Dese boys, dat look good nuf to eat, 

But too good to saw de logs, 
Am cay'in us, ez fas' ez smok' 

To Ian' us at de dogs. 

These great achievements have not been accomplished alone. The 
great American Home Mission Society, the American Missionary Associa- 
tion, the Freedmen's Bureau, and the various churches and societies of 
the North and South have contributed liberally of their time and means 
to aid us in an upward struggle. The South itself has contributed its 
millions to the aid of their former slaves ; they have given for his schools, 
they have aided him in building his churches, and there is scarcely a 


single home among us, humble or palatial, that has not been erected 
largely by the aid of Southern capital. But for the friendly aid of these 
people among whom the great bulk of the American Negroes live, we 
could never have climbed as far as we have on the ladder of progress. 
The Negro is fast learning that, if he would be free he, himself, must 
strike the blow, and he is teaching his children the gospel of self-help. 
The heights are still beyond, but he is slowly rising, and day by day 
hope grows brighter. May God continue this progress until he shall 
stand shoulder to shoulder with the highest civilization and culture of 
the world. 



BY BISHOP H. M. TURNER. D. D., LL.D., D. 0. L. 

This interrogatory appears to presuppose that the seventeen or more 
millions of colored people in North and South America are not a part of 
the American population, and do not constitute a part of its civilization. 
But the term ''this country" evidently refers to the United States of 
America, for this being the largest and the most powerful government 
on the American continent, not unfrequently, is made to represent the 
entire continent. So the Negro is regarded as a foreign and segre- 
gated race. The American people, therefore, who grade the type of Amer- 
ican civilization are made up of white people, for the Indian, Chinamen, 
and the few Mexicans are not taken in account any more than the Negro 
is, by reason of their diminutive numbers, and not because they are 
regarded wanting in intellectual capacity, as the Negro is. 

The above is an interrogatory that can be easily answered if the term 
"American" is to include the United States and the powers that enact 
its laws and proclaim its judicial decisions, as we have no civilization 
in the aggregate. Civilization contemplates that fraternity, civil and 
political equality between man and man, that makes his rights, privileges 
and immunities inviolable and sacred in the eyes and hearts of his 
fellows, whatever may be his nationality, language, color, hair texture, 
or anything else that may make an external variation. 

Civility comprehends harmony, system, method, complacency, urban- 
ity, refinement, politeness, courtesy, justice, culture, general enlighten- 
ment and protection of life and person to any man, regardless of his 
color or nationality. It is enough for a civilized community to know 
that you are a human being, to pledge surety of physical and political 
safety to you, and this has been the sequence in all ages among civilized 
people. But such is not the condition of things as they apply to this 
country, I mean the United States. True, we have a National Congress, 
State Legislature, Subordinate and Supreme Courts, and almost every 
form of government, necessary to regulate the affairs of a civilized coun- 



Bishop H. M. Turner, D. D., LL. D., D. C. L., was born near Newbury Court House, 
South Carolina, February 1, 1833 or 1834. His mother's maiden name was Sarah Greer, 
the youngest daughter of David Greer, who was brought to this country when a boy and 
sold in Charleston, S. C. Greer was the son of an African king. His father, the 
African king, sent seven African slaves for the return of his son, but the captain of 
the slave ship dying before he returned, the sen received his freedom when South 
Carolina was still under British rule, upon the ground that Royal blood could not be 
enslaved. Henry McNeal Turner was the oldest son of Hardy Turner and Sarah Greer 
Turner. Henry grew up on the cotton fields of South Carolina, and when eight or nine 
years old he d /earned he was on a high mountain and millions of people were looking 
up at him for instruction, white and colored. He then procured a spelling book and 
commenced to learn to read and write, to prepare to give that vast multitude instruction. 
He got a white boy to teach him his alphabet and how to spell to three syllables. By 
this time he was large enough to wait in a law office at Abbeville Court House, S. C. 
The young lawyers took great pleasure in giving him instruction in their leisure moments 
for pastime. He gained a respectable knowledge of history, arithmetic, geography, 
astronomy and some other branches, but would not study grammar, as he thought he 
could talk well enough without a knowledge of grammar. 

He made such remarkably rapid progress that by the time he was fifteen years 
old he had read the Bible through five times, and by the aid of Walker's Pronounc- 
ing Dictionary and the young white lawyers he became a good reader, and read Wat- 
son's Apology for the Bible, Buck's Theological Dictionary and very largely in Dr. 
Adam Clark's Commentary and other books. He became acquainted with the Africau 
M. E. Church, joined the same, leaving the M. E. Church South, met the Conference in 
St. Louis, Mo., and was admitted after an examination. Bishop D. A. Payne, D. D., 
LL. D., appointed him to a mission in Baltimore city. While he served his appointment 
he studied English Grammar, Latin, Greek, German and the Hebrew languages, and 
became what was regarded as an excellent scholar. He studied the rules of elocution 
under Dr, Cummings of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and was regarded as quite an 
orator. He was appointed in charge of Israel Church, Washington, D. C, and his fame 
became so notable that President Lincoln appointed him Chaplain, the first colored man 
that was ever made a commissioned officer in the United States Army. He served his 
regiment so faithfully and gained such a reputation that President Johnson commissioned 
him a Chaplain in the regular service of the United States Army. He resigned in a short 
time and commenced the organization of the A. M. E. Church in Georgia, and was so 
abundantly successful that the General Conference elected him manager of the Publica- 
tion Department in 1876. He served there four years with headquarters in Philadelphia, 
and m 1880 the General Conference sitting in St. Louis, Mo., elected him Bishop, and 
on the 20th of May he was consecrated to that holy office. Bishop Turner has worked 
up territory enough as an organizer of the A. M. E. Church to demand five conferences. 
He has organized four conferences in Africa, making eleven conferences that he is the 
founder of. 

Dr. Turner was for many years superintendent in the church for the whole State 
of Georgia and was the first Bishop of Africa, which position he held for eight years, 
while having his regular conferences in the United States. He says he has received 
over forty-three thousand on probation in the African M. E. Church. He has been a 
member of the Georgia Legislature twice, a member of the Constitutional Convention. 
Postmaster, Inspector of Customs and held other minor positions, and was at one time 
regarded one of the greatest orators of his race in the United States. 


try. But above these, and above law and order, which these legislative 
and judicial bodies have been organized to observe, and execute justice 
in the land, we are often confronted through the public press with re- 
ports of the most bai barous and cruel outrages, that can be perpetrated 
upon human beings, known in the history of the world. No savage na- 
tion can exceed the atrocities which are often heralded through the coun- 
try and accepted by many as an incidental consequence. Men are hung, 
shot and burnt by bands of murderers who are almost invariably repre- 
sented as the most influential and respectable citizens in the community, 
while the evidences of guilt of what is charged against the victims, who 
are so inhumanly outraged, are never established by proof in any court, 
and all we can learn about the guilt and horrible deeds charged upon 
the murdered victims comes from the mouth of the bloody handed 
wretches who perpetrate the murders, yet they are not known according 
to published accounts. But enough is known to get from their mouths 
same horrible statements as to why this and that brutal murder was 
done, and invariably, it is told with such oily tongues, and the whole 
narrative is polished over and glossed with such skillfully constructed 
lies, that the ruling millions lift up their hands in holy horror and 
exclaim "they done him right." 

Why, the very judges surrounded with court officers are powerless 
before these bloody mobs. Prisoners are cruelly, fiendishly and inhu- 
manly dragged from their very custody. Sheriffs are as helpless as new- 
born babes. I do not pretend to say that in no instance have the victims 
been guilty as a whole or in part of some blood-curdling orime, for men 
perpetrate lawless acts, revolting deeds, disgraceful and brutal crimes, 
regardless of nationality, language or color, at times. But civilization 
presurmises legal adjudication and the intervention of that judicial 
authority which civilized legislation produces. And when properly ad- 
ministered the accused is innocent till he gets a fair trial ; no verdict of 
guilt from a drunken lawless mob should be accepted by a civilized coun- 
try; and when they do accept it they become a barbarous people. And 
a barbarous people make a barbarous nation. Civilization knows no 
marauders, mobs or lynchers and any one adjudged guilty by a drunken 
.band of freebooters is not guilty in the eyes of a civilized people. For 
the ruthless and violent perpetrators of lawless deeds, especially when 
they are incarnate, are murderers to all intents and purposes, and popu- 
lar approval does not diminish the magnitude of the crime. Millions 


may say, "Well done," but God, reason and civilization stamp them as 

I confess that the United States has the highest form of civilized 
institutions that any nation has had. Let us take a cursory glance at the 
institutions in this country. It has common schools by the tens of thou- 
sands ; colleges and universities of every grade by the hundred ; millions 
of daily newspapers are flying from the press, and weekly papers and 
monthly magazines on all imaginary subjects; it has a Congress and 
President, Governors and State Legislatures without end, judges, various 
courts and law officers in countless numbers. Hundreds of thousands 
of school teachers, professors, and college presidents, and Doctors of 
Divinity, thousands of lecturers and public declaimers on all subjects, 
railroads, telegraphs and telephones in such vast numbers as stagger 
imagination itself, churches and pulpits that are filled by at least a 
hundred and twenty-five thousand ministers of the gospel, and Bibles 
enough to build a pyramid that would almost reach to heaven ; a land 
of books upon every subject scattered among the people by the billions, 
and in short, we have all the forms and paraphernalia of civilization. 
But no one can say, who has any respect for truth, that the United States 
is a civilized nation, especially if we will take the daily papers and inspect 
them for a few moments, and see the deeds of horror that the ruling 
powers of the nation say "well done" to. 

I know that thousands, yea millions and tens of millions would not 
plead guilty of having a part in the violent and gory outrages which 
are often perpetrated in this country upon human beings, chiefly because 
they are of African descent, and are not numerically strong enough to 
contend with the powers in governmental control. But that is no virtue 
that calls for admiration. As long as they keep silent and fail to lift 
up their voices in protestation and declaim against it, their very silence 
is a world-wide acquiescence. It is practically saying, well done. There 
are millions of people in the country who could not stand to kill a brute, 
such is their nervous sensitiveness, and I have heard of persons who 
would not kill a snake or a bug. But they are guilty of everything the 
drunken mobs do, as long as they hold their silence. Men may be ever 
so free from the perpetration of bloody deeds, personally, but their fail- 
ure to object to any outrageous crime makes them particeps crimines. 

I forgot to say in cataloguing the crimes committed in the United 
States that persons for the simple color of their skin are thrust into 


what are called Jim Crow cars on the public highways and charged as 
much as those who are riding in rolling palaces with every comfort that 
it is possible for man to enjoy. This is simple robbery on the public 
highways and the nine United States judges have approved of this rob- 
bery and said, "well done," by their verdict. 

Such being the barbarous condition of the United States, and the 
low order of civilization which controls its institutions where right and 
justice should sit enthroned, I see nothing for the Negro to attain unto 
in this country. I have already admitted that this country has books 
and schools, and the younger members of the Negro race, like the younger 
members of the white race, should attend them and profit by them. But 
for the Negro as a whole, I see nothing here for him to aspire after. He 
can return to Africa, especially to Liberia where a Negro government 
is already in existence, and learn the elements of civilization in fact; 
for human life is there sacred, and no man is deprived of it or any other 
thing that involves his manhood, without due process of law. So my 
decision is that there is nothing in the United States for the Negro to 
learn or try to attain to. 





This question is one of pre-eminent importance and interesting alike 
to both races. Civilization means culture and refinement. The Amer- 
ican type of civilization is somewhat different from the European and 
Asiatic; but, in the main features or characteristics, the world's great 
civilizations have always been the same in tone and design. Patriotism, 
religion, and a thirst for power are the most prominent features of all 
civilizations. All civilizations have their imperfections. One of the 
strong features of the American type of civilization is the widespread 
and terrible social prejudice, which seems to be greatly increasing. 

In this country the negro is despised and rejected, simply because 
he has a black skin, and social traits that distinguish him from other 
races. We cannot see, neither do we believe, that it is possible for the 
Negro to attain unto the American type of civilization, while he lives in 
the same territory and in immediate contact with the white people. This, 
however, applies especially to the former slave states. Eight-tenths of 
the Negroes are at present in the old slave states, and if they remain 
there, which is very questionable, they will never be brought into the 
political, religious and social fabrics. The} 7 can never become full : fledged 
and free citizens like the white people. As a race, the Negro cannot enjoy 
in this country, like the Anglo-Saxon, the immunities and privileges 
guaranteed to him by the Constitution. The civil rights, the ample pro- 
tection and the broad and liberal sentiment that protect and inspire the 
white people, are nowhere in America accorded to the black man. He is 
everywhere proscribed, because he is a Negro. No matter how much 
culture and refinement he may possess, he does not receive at the hands 
of the prejudiced whites that respectful consideration to which his cul- 
ture entitles him. If we enter the field of legislative enactments by the 
Southern people, we find the prejudice still more pronounced. 

Every enactment that has found its way to the statutory documents 
of the Southern States, where the rights and privileges of the two races 
are involved, shows race prejudice; then this thing is getting no bet- 
ter, but worse. As the Negro rises from the darkness of the past and 


Bishop Holsey was born a slave near Columbus, Ga., July 3, 1842. In 1862 he was 
married to Miss Harriet Turner, a young girl who belonged to Bishop Geo. F. Pierce, 
of the M. E. Church South, who performed the marriage ceremony in his own house. 
His early life was spent in Sparta, La. He was licensed to preach in 18G8 in the 
M. E. Church South, and served the Hancock circuit for nearly two years. In 1870 he 
pastored the church in Savannah, Ga. Early in 1869 he became a member of the 
colored conference which belonged to the M. E. Church South. This conference was 
composed entirely of colored ministers. At this conference Bishop Holsey was ordained 
deacon by Bishop Pierce and a year later he was ordained elder. In the fall of 1870 
his conference elected him a delegate to the first General Conference of the Colored 
Methodist Episcopal Church, held in America. This conference was held in Jackson, 
Tenn., where the first C. M. E. Church in America was organized. In 1871 he was sent 
to Augusta, Ga., as pastor of Trinity Church and served there until in 1873 he was 
elected Bishop of the C. M. E. Church. In 1881 he was sent to London, England, to 
represent the C. M. E. Church in the first ecumenical council. In that council Bishop 
Holsey represented his church well. He was also sent as delegate to the same council, 
which met in Washington, D. C, in 1897. He is the founder of Paine College in Augusta, 
Ga., which is now in a flourishing condition. Bishop Holsey has always taken an active 
part in all that concerns the C. M. E. Church. He has written all the messages but 
one to the General Conferences and has suggested its entire legislation up-to-date. He 
also wrote the Manual of Discipline, and composed the hymnal of the church, and he 
is the author of a book of Drawings and Lectures, containing an autobiography. He 
has written much for his church and done many other good things, too numerous to 
mention here. 


approximates the American standard of civilization, the feeling against 
him becomes more intense, bitter and decisive, which does not speak well 
for the American civilization. 

No Negro, however highly accomplished, can be brought into the 
social fabric. The lowest Greek, the dirtiest Jew, the vilest Russian, and 
the most treacherous Spaniard can be absorbed and assimilated into the 
social compact, but the Negro, because he is black, cannot enter into this 

Unless the Negro can enter the political and social compacts in some 
part of this country, there is no way for him to attain unto the Ameri- 
can type of civilization. Can this be done? We think not, because as the 
Negro migrates to the North or to the Northwest, the process by which 
he enters the arena of full citizenship annuls and destroys his social 
characteristics in a greater or less degree. 

There is, at present, among the majority of Negroes in the South, 
an unrest. Millions of them are waiting and wishing for somebody to 
lead them from the land of oppression and proscription to some more 
congenial clime, outside of the land of their nativity, but they do not 
want to depart, unless they can be assured that by so doing, they can 
better their condition. As it is, many are going to the North, East and 
West, and the time is fast approaching when the Black Belts of the South 
will be things of the past, unless the white people change their way of 
treating a Negro. The cotton fields and sugar farms now maintained 
by the Negroes will eventually be deserted by them, if the whites continue 
to oppress them. This, perhaps, would be beneficial to the South, as it 
would relieve them of the perplexing Race Problem. Now, if the Negroes 
were as free and as safe in their homes; if they had the same feeling of 
security of life and property; if they had the same treatment before the 
courts and had all the rights and privileges of a full citizen, as the white 
man, he would not be long in attaining to the American type of civiliza- 
tion. All Southern people, and many Northern people, for that matter, 
do not believe that the Negro is capable of as high a degree of civilization 
as the Anglo-Saxon. They believe him to be by nature inferior to the 
white man. But I contend that the Negro is not by nature inferior to 
the white man, but that he is as capable of reaching the American type 
of civilization as the white man. This is obvious from the phenomenal 
strides made by him within the past thirty-six years along material, 
moral and educational lines. 


No one seems to take on and absorb the American civilization moi>> 
readily than the American Negro, and if he has the same advantages and 
was allowed to enjoy the same full and free citizenship along with his 
white neighbor, his advancement in civilization would be as rapid as 
that of the white man. 

There are to be found now not a few Negro men and women whose 
culture and refinement would not suffer by comparison with that of the 
best white people of this country. It is not native incapacity and the 
want of vital manhood that limit the Negro's progress in civilization, 
but it is the fight made against him on the ground of his previous condi- 
tion. Remove this and give the Negro the white man's chance and he will 
keep pace with the white man in his march toward civilization. 




I presume it is not necessary to show in detail what the American 
type of civilization is, or will be. Whatever that type is, or may be; will 
the Negro attain unto it in this country? Of the American type of civili- 
zation this much may be said, that this is a "government of the people, 
for the people and by the people ; that all men are created with certain 
inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of 
happiness;" that governments derive "their just power from the consent 
of the governed;" that in such governments each individual is entitled to 
all the rights vouchsafed to any other individual in that government; 
that every one is entitled to stand on his merits as a citizen of the gov- 

Taking this view of the American type of civilization, will it be pos- 
sible for the Negro to attain unto it? Will the time ever come when 
the Negro will stand on his merits in our government? Will it ever be 
that the Negro will stand the same chance to be Mayor, Congressman, 
Senator, Governor, President? That he will be tried for crimes as other 
men are tried? No one who believes in the innate capacity of the Negro 
to achieve as high a type of civilization as any other race, will question 


Prof. R. S. Lovinggood was born in Walhalla, S. C, in 1864. He came to Clark 
University, Atlanta, Ga., in 1881, and remained in school nine years, completing the 
college course and taking a course in carpentry. Immediately after graduating, he 
began to publish the "Atlanta Times," a weekly paper, which he continued for two 
years. He sold out his interest in the paper, and was elected principal of a city school 
in Birmingham, Ala., where he taught with great success for three years. Here he was 
married to Miss Lillie G. England, in 1894. In the fall of 1895, he was elected to the 
chair of Greek and Latin at Wiley University, Marshall, Texas, and entered upon his 
work with enthusiasm. His wife died in January, 1896, leaving him a boy only ten 
days old. He continued his work at Wiley University for five consecutive years. His 
success was notable in this position. He wrote a work which has received favorable 
mention in several papers of high grade. The title of the work is "Why Hie, Hale, Hoc 
for the Negro?" 

He was married a second time on April 25, 1900, to Miss Mattie A. Townsend of 
Birmingham, Ala. In the fall of 1900, he was elected to the presidency of Samuel 
Houston College, Austin, Texas. His success here has been notable. Though this is a 
new school, he enrolled 205 the first year. This is its second year, and the enrollment 
will doubtless reach 300. 

Prof. Lovinggood is a good scholar, a fluent speaker, and an earnest Christian. He 
was a delegate to the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Chicago 
in 1900. He is quite popular with the preachers and the people wherever he goes. A 
bright future is before him and the young school of which he is president. 


that it will be possible for him to achieve the American type of civiliza- 
tion along the lines of invention, commerce, philanthropy, scholarship, 
etc. The Negro can be industrious, patriotic, courageous. He can be 
useful in the community in which he lives. He can be as good as any- 
body else. No one doubts that he can be as meritorious as any other. 
Geographical lines cannot prevent the Negro from being meritorious. 
Now, if he is meritorious, will he be treated according to his merits in 
both church and state? Is it possible in this country that he will be 
treated according to his deserts? I take this to be the gist of the question, 
and it is a hard one to answer. The prejudice against the Negro is more 
severe than that against any other people, and the prejudice grows 
stronger. Even the Christian churches are yielding to it. I remember 
that the Plebeians in the Roman Empire, though of the same blood as the 
Patricians, were excluded from the Comitia, the Senate and all civil and 
priestly offices of the state for several hundred years. Though of the 
same color, the statute of Kilkenny prohibited the Irish and English 
from intermarrying in the fourteenth century. Prejudice ran high, and 
has not ended yet. The wail of sorrowful Ireland continues to go up 
before England for justice. I remember the sad story of Kosciusko and 
the Poles. The Poles were white. 

Here we are of a different color, ex-slaves, poor, beaten back by 
prejudice. Who can tell our future? We can only hope and give the 
reason for the hope that is in us. 

I believe it is possible for us to succeed in America. I should despair 
if I did not believe this. Why do I believe it? Here is my ground for 
hope: First, the Negro is the only race that has ever looked into the 
face of the blue-eyed Anglo-Saxon without being swept from the face of 
the earth. There is that docility, that perseverance, that endurance, long- 
suffering patience and that kindness in the Negro which rob the pangs of 
the hatred of the white man of much of their deadly poison. The Negro 
thrives on persecution. He never loses faith. Individuals may lose hope, 
but the race will never. The Negro does not run against the buzz-saw of 
destruction, and this fact should be put down to his credit. The saw will 
not whirl forever. 

Second: The success of the last thirty-seven years gives hope of 
ultimate triumph. The Negro has increased in intelligence, in wealth, in 
moral worth, in population, etc. It is useless to give figures. All right- 
thinking men admit this. 


I take no part in that view of a few pessimists, that the Negro race 
grows worse; that the "old time Negro" is better than the young "new 
Negro." The old Negro was submissive because he was not allowed to 
be otherwise. There is no character in slavish goodness. Character must 
be developed in freedom of action. Under freedom, a few young Negroes 
have gone to excess, but, thank God, under freedom, hundreds of thou- 
sands of young Negroes, in schools and out of schools, are struggling 
up the hill of virtue, of industry, of learning, not goaded on by the lash 
of the master, but impelled by a holy ambition that does not halt at tem- 
porary defeats. 

Third : So I believe the Negro will be as good as any. He will pro- 
duce his poets, historians, philosophers, inventors, his men of commerce, 
his humanitarians. His present disfranchisement will keep him along 
these lines. The best people in America are helping him. Besides the 
Negro's own efforts in such organizations as the A. M. E. Church, the 
American Missionary Association of the Congregational Church, the 
Freedmen's Aid and Southern Educational Society of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, the Home Mission Society of the Baptist Church, and 
many other organizations are behind him with millions of dollars, with 
prayers and with the souls and the flesh and blood of the best men and 
women of the world. There are good men North and South — white men — 
who desire the Negro's success. Their number will grow. With these 
helps the Negro can become noble in character. He can merit the best at 
the hands of the American people. If he is as good and useful as any 
other class of people, will he be treated as any other class? 

Fourth : Now, I will go a little further and say I know it is "possible" 
for the Negro to attain unto the American type of civilization; but, is it 
"probable"? I even believe it is probable. 

The Negro is included in the "all men are created with certain inalien- 
able rights." He is included in the "Our Father." He is included in the 
"Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do you even so unto 
them." Now, if the nation adopts some separate and unjust manner of 
treatment of the Negro, it must repudiate the Declaration of Independ- 
ence. It must repudiate the Lord's Prayer. It must repudiate the Golden 
Rule. Can it do that and survive? Can it practice injustice upon the 
Negro and survive? Sin recoils upon the sinner. Injustice to the Negro 
will destroy the Nation. For that reason good white men and women are 
striving to bring the Nation up to that high plane of righteousness where 


The subject of this sketch was born in Kennett Township, Chester County, Pa., 
May 30, 1831. His father's house being near the line between freedom and slavery was 
a station of the Underground Railroad. Hence, the boy was very early impressed with 
the evils of slavery and imbibed an intense hatred toward that institution, and an 
intense love for his afflicted race. This sentiment has been a great factor in shaping his 
conduct through life. His moral and religious convictions were fixed in early life. He 
was sensible of a call to the ministry, but hesitated a long time because he felt a lack 
of necessary qualification. He was licensed to preach in 1856; ordained a deacon in 
1860; elder in 1862, and bishop in 1872. He entered upon a course of studies soon after 
he was licensed, and has been a hard student ever since. 

His first appointment was to a mission in Nova Scotia. In December, 1861, he was 
appointed to missionary work in the South. Following the army, he reached New 
Berne, N. C, January 20, 1864. As a traveling minister he always had encouraging 
success, especially in North Carolina, in which State his denomination has a larger fol- 
lowing than in any other. Two of its most important institutions are located there, 
namely, the Publication House at Charlotte and Livingstone College at Salisbury. Bishop 
Hood is one of the founders of the college, and has been President of the Board of 
Trustees during its entire history. 

He has been married three times, and has six living children, all of whom have 
been mainly educated at this institution. The Bishop is an untiring worker, and has 
traveled as much as 20,000 miles a year. He once preached forty-five sermons in thirty- 
one days, driving from five to twenty-five miles a day. He is a natural presiding officer 
and governs his conferences with an ease and quietness that is astonishing. 

He is an author. His first work was a book of twenty-five sermons. The second 
a pamphlet, "Know, Do. and Be Happy." The third, a history of the A. M. E. Zion 
Church (625 pages). 

The fourth a pamphlet, "The True Church, the Real Sacrifice, the Genuine Mem- 
bership." His fifth, and most important, is, "The Plan of the Apocalypse." He has 
in manuscript, a work on the Millennium; also the material for a second book of ser- 
mons, and is now writing an Autobiography. 

Bishop Haygood of the M. E. Church South, who wrote the introduction to the 
Book of Sermons, says: "Bishop Hood has traveled the continent to and fro. His 
ability, his eloquence, his zeal and usefulness, have commanded the respect and con- 
fidence of the best people of both races. 

As one of the members of the Ecumenical Conference that met in London in 1881, 
Bishop Hood made a lasting impression. 

These sermons speak for themselves. Their naturalness, their clearness, their force 
and their general soundness of doctrine, and wholesomeness of sentiment, commend 
them to sensible and pious people. I have found them as useful as interesting. 

Those who still question whether the Negro in this country is capable of education 
and "uplifting," will modify their opinions when they read these sermons, or else will 
conclude that Iheir author is a very striking exception to what they assume to be a 
general rule. 


justice is meted out to all alike. These good white men and women ought 
to conquer. I believe they will. Not to-day, but to-morrow. Thus the 
Negro, striving to be the best in the community, the white men, striving 
to reduce to practice the Golden Rule, may it not come to pass that "They 
shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning 
hooks," and that the country of Lincoln shall thus become the "land of the 
free and the home of the brave," where all men of all races shall be treated 
in all departments of life according to their worth? 




The subject of this article is one upon which much thought has been 
spent, and yet, excepting the color of the skin and the texture of the hair, 
the Negro has more the appearance of the white American than any other 
race. A cultured colored woman, with gloves on her hands and a veil on 
her face, is hard to distinguish from a cultured white woman a little 
way off. 

And the same is true of men when the complexion is not seen. We 
shall take the position that the inherent possibility of the Negro is equal 
to that of any race. Notwithstanding his environments are against him, 
yet he has the inherent power to break through them, and will break 
through them and reach the highest plane of Christian civilization. 

This is indicated by the progress he has made in the few years in which 
he has had any chance for development as an American citizen. Almost 
everything has been against him. Every possible effort has been employed 
by his enemies to keep him down ; but in spite of all he rises. Like Israel 
of old, the more he is oppressed the more he prospers. 

His possibility is indicated by the stock from which he comes. 

It is the impression of many that the Negro has no history to which 
he can point. There could be no greater mistake than this. If it had been 
in the power of modern historians of the Caucasian race to rob him of his 
history it would have been done. But the Holy Bible has stood as an 
everlasting rock in the black man's defense. God himself has determined 


that the black man shall not be robbed of his record, which he has made 
during the ages past. 

The first and most illustrious of earth's historians has left on record 
statements which set forth the fact beyond reasonable doubt that an 
ancestor of the Negro race was the first of the earth's great monarchs; 
and that that race ruled the world for a long period ; and the statements 
of Moses are confirmed by the testimonies of the earliest secular his- 
torians, whose writings have come down to our time. Ethiopia and 
Egypt were first among the early monarchies, and these countries were 
peopled by the descendants of Ham, through Cush and Mizraim. 

Palestine was peopled by Canaan, the younger son of Ham, upon 
whom the curse was pronounced; and, notwithstanding the curse, his 
posterity ruled that land for hundreds of years. They were in it when the 
promise of it was made to Abraham ; and four hundred years later, when 
Israel came out of Egypt, they were still in full possession of it. And, 
although the land was promised to Israel, yet two tribes, the Jebusites 
and Sidonians, resisted the attacks of Israel for more than four hundred 
years after they entered upon their promised possessions. Neither 
Joshua, nor the Judges of Israel, could drive them out. Not until David 
became King were the Jebusites driven out from the stronghold of Zion. 
(Even David failed to drive out the Sidonians.) It was from the ancient 
seat of the Jebusites, Jerusalem, also called Salem, the seat of royalty 
and power, that Melchizedek, the most illustrious king, priest and prophet 
of that race, came forth to bless Abraham, as seen in Gen. XIV., 18 :19. 
There have been many wild notions respecting this personage, for which 
there is no good reason. Dr. Barnes, a standard author, whose commen- 
taries have been adopted by the Presbyterian Board, takes the position 
that there can be no question but that Melchizedek was a Canaanite. 

That the Phoenicians, who were the founders of Carthage in connec- 
tion with the original Africans, were the descendants of Canaan there 
ought to be no question; but, since everything honorable to the Negro 
race is questioned, we will simply give the testimony of Rollin. He says : 
"The Canaanites are certainly the same people who are called almost 
always Phoenicians by the Greeks, for which name no reason can be 
given, any more than the oblivion of the true one." Thus it is seen, that 
up to Rollin's time there was no question as to the fact that the Phoe- 
nicians were Canaanites. Rollin did not know why this, instead of the 
true name, was given; neither do we know; but we may easily conjecture 


that, since it was the Greeks that gave this name instead of the true one, 
it may have been their purpose to hide the fact that the people to whom 
they were so greatly indebted were the descendants of the accursed son 
of Ham. This would be in perfect accord with the conduct of Caucasian 
authors now. We have also the testimony of Dr. Barnes that the Phoe- 
nicians were descended from the Canaanites. In his notes on Matt. XV., 
22, of the woman of Canaan who met Jesus on the coasts of Tyre and 
Sidon, he says : "This woman is also called a Greek, a Syro-Phoenician 
by birth" (Mark VII., 26). 

Anciently the whole land, including Tyre and Sidon, was in the pos- 
session of the Canaanites, and called Canaan. The Phoenicians were 
descended from the Canaanites. The country, including Tyre and Sidon, 
was called Phoenicia or Syro-Phoenicia. That country was taken by the 
Greeks under Alexander the Great, and these cities, in the time of Christ, 
were Greek cities. This woman was therefore a Gentile, living under 
the Greek government, and probably speaking that language. She was 
by birth a Syro-Phoenician, born in that country, and descended there- 
fore from the ancient Canaanites," On the same text Dr. Abbott says : 
"The term Canaan was the older title of the country and the inhabitants 
were successively termed Canaanites and Phoenicians; as the inhabitants 
of England were successively called Britons or Englishmen." 

Of Carthage we may remark that through all the hundreds of years of 
its existence, as an independent government, it remained a republic. 
Rollin, speaking of the government, says : "The government of Carthage 
was founded upon principles of most consummate wisdom ; and it is with 
reason that Aristotle ranks this republic in the number of those that were 
held in the greatest esteem by the ancients, and which were fit to serve as 
a model for others. He grounds his opinion on a reflection which does 
great honor to Carthage, by remarking that from the foundation to his 
time (that is, upward of five hundred years) no considerable sedition had 
disturbed the peace, nor any tyrant oppressed the liberty of the state. 
Indeed, mixed governments such as that of Carthage, where the power 
was divided betwixt the nobles and the people, are subject to the incon- 
veniences either of degenerating into an abuse of liberty by the seditions 
of the populace, as frequently happened in Athens, and in all the Grecian 
republics, or in the oppression of the public liberty by the tyranny of the 
nobles; as in Athens, Syracuse, Corinth, Thebes, and Rome itself, under 
Sylla and Caesar. It is, therefore, giving Carthage the highest praise to 


observe that it had found out the art by the wisdom of its laws, and the 
harmony of the different parts of its government, to shun during so long 
a series of years, two rocks that are so dangerous, and on which others so 
often split. It were to be wished that some ancient author had left us an 
accurate and regular description of the customs and laws of the famous 

While we agree with Rollin in his lament of the want of a more com- 
plete history of that ancient Negro republic, yet, if those Caucasians who 
are wont to arrogate to themselves all the excellencies of the world, and 
deny that the Negro ever has been great, or ever can be, would take time 
to read what has been written with sufficient care to understand it, they 
would lose some of their self-conceit and add much to their store of 

That the ancient Egyptians were black, both the Holy Scriptures and 
the discoveries of science, as also the most ancient histories, most fully 
attest. But as some profess to have doubts on this point, we shall take 
some testimony, which, we think, no fair-minded man will attempt to 

The Psalmist calls to memory the wonders which God wrought for 
his people, and celebrates in song his dealings with Israel in Egypt, and 
frequently calls Egypt the land of Ham. How can this be accounted for 
if Egypt was not peopled by the posterity of Ham? But he goes further 
than this; he calls their dwellings the tabernacles of Ham. "He smote 
the firstborn in Egypt; the chief of their strength in the tabernacles of 
Ham." Psalm lxxvii, 51: "Israel also came into Egypt; and Jacob 
sojourned in the land of Ham." Psalm cv, 23 : "He sent Moses, his ser- 
vant and Aaron whom he had chosen. They set among them his signs and 
wonders in the land of Ham." Psalm cv, 26 :27 : "They forget their God 
their Savior which had done great things in Egypt; wondrous things In 
the land of Ham." (Psalm xvi, 21:22.) 

The man who, after reading these passages, can doubt that the 
Egyptians to whom Israel was in bondage were the descendants of Ham, 
is beyond the reach of reason. The repetition seems designed to settle 
this fact beyond question. We might add, if it were necessary, that the 
Book of Canticles is an allegory, based upon Solomon's affection for his 
beautiful black wife, the daughter of Pharaoh, King of Egypt, 

In the sixty-eighth Psalm we have a prophecy which connects Egypt 


with Ethiopia, as follows : "Princes shall come out of Egypt. Ethiopia 
shall soon stretch forth her hands unto God." 

Rollin, in speaking of the fact, that all callings in Egypt were hon- 
orable, gives this as a probable reason : "That as they all descended from 
Ham, their common father, the memory of their still recent origin, occur- 
ring to the minds of all in those first ages, established among them a kind 
of equality, and stamped in their opinion a nobility on every person 
descended from the common stock. 

Again, treating of the history of the Kings of Egypt, Rollin says: 
"The ancient history of Egypt comprises two thousand one hundred and 
fifty-eight years; and is naturally divided into three periods. The first 
begins with the establishment of the Egyptian monarchy by Menes or 
Mizraim the son of Ham, in the year of the world 1816." On the next 
page he says of Ham : "He had four children, Cush, Mizraim, Phut and 
Canaan." After speaking of the settlements of the other sons he returns 
to Mizraim and says : "He is allowed to be the same as Menes, whom all 
historians declare to be the first king of Egypt." 

In speaking of the sons of Ham, Rollin says: "Cush settled i\ 
Ethiopia, Mizraim in Egypt, which generally is called in Scripture after 
his name, and by that of Cham (Ham) his father." 

That ancient Egypt was the seat of the arts and sciences, there can be 
no doubt ; the evidences of this still remain. The cities built by the early 
kings of Egypt have been the wonder of all succeeding ages. 

Sesostris stands at the head of the list of the great Egyptian warriors. 
Rollin says: "His father, whether by inspiration, caprice, or, as the 
Egyptians say, by the authority of an oracle, formed the design of making 
his son a conqueror. * * * " (See Rollin, Vol. I, p. 161.) 

The record given by Rollin indicates that Sesostris was among the 
wisest, as well as among the most powerful monarchs of the earth. 
Napoleon was a great warrior, but he died in exile, a prisoner of war. 
Alexander was a great general, but he made a foolish march across a 
desert country almost to the destruction of his army, for the foolish pur- 
pose of worshipping at the shrine, and being called the son of Jupiter 
Ammon. This so discouraged his forces that he never accomplished the 
object of his ambition. 

Sesostris made no such blunders in his campaigns. He went forth 
conquering until he met a providential interposition; his climax of 
wisdom was displayed in his turning back when he discovered that not 


merely mortal beings, but the Great Immortal, opposed his further con- 

He returned to his own country to enjoy in peace and prosperity the 
fruits of his unparalleled victories. His conduct toward those cities 
which resisted in attacks most stubbornly was in striking contrast to that 
of Alexander. As Alexander advanced to invade Egypt, he found at 
Gaza a garrison so strong that he was obliged to besiege it. It held out 
a long time, during which he received two wounds; this provoked him to 
such a degree that when he had captured the place he treated the soldiers 
and inhabitants most cruelly. 

Sesostris, on the other hand, was pleased with those who defended 
their possessions most bravely ; the degree of resistance which he had to 
overcome was denoted by him in hieroglyphical figures on monuments. 
The more stubborn the resistance, the greater the achievement ; and the 
more worthy the people to become his subjects. 

If the descendants of the accursed son of Ham could establish and 
maintain for five hundred years a republic which was never disturbed by 
sedition nor tyranny, and enjoyed a civilization in some respects better 
than the boasted American civilization, there is no reason why any other 
branch of Ham's family may not attain to the highest and best civiliza- 

Our opinion is, that within two hundred and fifty years the American 
Negro will reach that Christian civilization taught by the Son of God 
to a degree equal to any race on the face of the globe. He has in him the 
elements for such a civilization to a degree not possessed by some other 

But the limit allowed this article has been reached. 


Men who attain to real leadership and those who lift as they climb; broad in men- 
tal resource, generous, and strong in manly impulse, they forget self and become the 
embodiment of principles that make genuine progress and win the hearts of their com- 
rades by the compelling force of character and personal magnetism. Promoting the 
well-being of a race, multiplying the happiness of the individual, these captains of moral 
thought practically accept the duty marked out by the Great Teacher and "cause two 
blades of grass to grow where but one grew before." 

Such a man as pictured above is Henry Plummer Cheatham, one of the most suc- 
cessful forces in the public life of the twentieth century Negro. His career has been 
visited by success because he has richly deserved it. Mr. Cheatham was born in Hen- 
derson, N. C, some forty-odd years ago. He was educated in the public schools of his 
county and at Shaw University, of his native state. He was a promising lad, and with 
prophetic spirit laid deep the foundation upon which a brilliant character was to be 
built. His first public office was that of registrar of deeds in his native county. So 
conspicuous was his work and so worthily did he impress himself upon the judgment 
of the people, Mr. Cheatham was nominated and elected to the Fifty-first Congress, and 
was again chosen to sit in the Fifty-second Congress. When President McKinley reached 
the White House, one of his earliest appointments was that of Mr. Cheatham to be 
Recorder of Deeds for the District of Columbia, a post which has come to be regarded 
as carrying the insignia of leadership in the political councils of the race. That he 
has performed his duties capably and zealously, goes without saying. He is an ardent 
adherent of the merit system, and in both appointments and promotions the merit 
system has been his invariable guide, declining to be influenced by considerations of 
person, politics, religion or color. He has been instrumental in enroling more Afro- 
Americans upon the governmental roster than any other Negro living. 

Mr. Cheatham is a positive race man and is a foremost champion of the idea that the 
Negro's best development must come along natural lines, and that material progress 
is as much the result of sensible and persistent individual effort as of legislation and 
adventitious aid. He believes in practical education for the masses, technical education 
for the captains of professional thought and industrial leadership. He is unusually 
effective upon the "stump," and has been heard with pleasure and profit in many states 
during national campaigns. 




Prosperity to a nation is most secure when all elements and classes 
of that nation are at peace, one with the other. Christianity reaches the 
height of its sacred mission when the spirit of co-operation and brotherly 
love is most conspicuously in evidence. National prestige and the in- 
fluence of a people in the councils of the world are invincible when the 
contributing forces of the land are happy and united. The problems of 
civilization are solved when wars are silenced and "rumors of wars" are 
heard no more. 

America, as we have come to call the land of our birth, has not grown 
to her present proud proportions upon "flowery beds of ease." Her strong 
place among the powers of the earth has not been gained without resort to 
martial strife. But, it is a gratifying fact, that up to this hour every 
struggle against outside foes has made American people stronger from 
within, and every victory, in our long, unbroken line of successful cam- 
paigns, has bred a warmer spirit of homogeneity and knit us together in 
closer bonds as a national unit. Foreign foes offer our country no danger 
to-day. Our army and navy are without peers upon the globe, and, des- 
pite our marvelous sketch of coast line, we have nothing to fear from 
foreign invasion. 

The disease that threatens us most is from within. If salvation be 
needed, we must pray to be "saved from ourselves." To "make clean our 
hearts" — to face in proper spirit the duty that lies before us — should be 
the earnest supplication of every true American citizen. A spirit of 
unity is our urgent need at the opening of the 20th century. 

Thanks to the wise economic policies of those intrusted with the 
reins of legislation and government, our country is enjoying a period of 
unexampled commercial prosperity. Business is booming, money is easy, 
crops are abundant and labor is receiving a fair return for energy ex- 
pended. But, in our mad rush for the material things of life are we not 
forgetting the spiritual wants of the citizen, are we not neglecting the 



moral qualities that make nations enduring and the principles that must 
live when cities decay and dynasties cease to be? In fine are we not 
veering too far from the altruism of our fathers, in the apparent subordi- 
nation of human rights to the acquisition of power and of wealth? This 
dangerous ambition breeds in our midst socialism and industrial unrest, 
exemplified in strikes and lockouts. It fosters anarchy — a spirit of law- 
lessness, from which but a few weeks ago the nation suffered the loss of 
a beloved chief magistrate. It stirs up racial antagonisms, and defies the 
ameliorating influences of Christian brotherhood. All difficulties sur- 
rounding our labor problems, however, are easy of solution, for while 
capital and mechanical industry may be frequently at war for one reason 
or another, the outbreaks are merely sporadic and short lived. They are 
invariably adjusted, from time to time, either through arbitration or 
equitable concessions. Capital and industry are of one color, and the 
complications are purely superficial. The one contention that "passeth 
all understanding"' and which defies the skill of the ethnologist, the 
psychologist, and all who deal with the ancestral or philosophical aspects 
of mankind, is the "race problem." 

I say "race problem" advisedly, because sociologists, in analyzing the 
issues growing out of the relations between the white American and the 
colored American, have eliminated from the discussion all difficulties 
surrounding their settlement — save the impossible effacement of race or 
color. All have admitted that the bronzed American may have character, 
intellect, capacity, wealth, industry and comeliness — yet he is a social 
"Pariah" because of his social identification. A problem that otherwise 
would be simple is thus converted into a perpetual issue by reason of 
race, and hence we have a "race problem." The race issue is particularly 
acute at the South — not because the Southern Negro differs materially 
from his Northern brother in character or attainments — but because in 
the Southern states the Negro abounds in the greatest numbers, and 
because upon her fertile soil he was once held in bondage. As a slave, the 
Negro came to be regarded as one whose inferiority must continue from 
generation to generation. The Civil War brought freedom in its wake, 
and one of its results was to clothe the emancipated servitor with the full 
vestments of citizenship. By proclamation and legislation, the ex-slave 
was made the political equal of his white master, and if numbers are to 
be counted the slave class became the superior force in the reconstructed 
Southland. That the new Negro citizen was honest and well meaning, 


no one doubts. It must be confessed, however, that the masses were 
ignorant of the high responsibilities charged to them, and it is but natural 
that many mistakes were unwittingly made. Indeed, the wonder is not 
that many errors could be laid at the door of the amateur "statesman," 
lawmakers and suffragists, but that more grievous blunders were not 
made. The result, all things considered, is highly creditable to the heads 
and hearts of the leaders of that trying epoch. The masters did not take 
kindly to the seeming domination of their former bondmen. The anoma- 
lous situation was made infinitely worse by the gross frauds and mal- 
administration of Northern white carpet-baggers, who misled the trust- 
ing Negro into false channels and bred in the minds of the landowners 
and former slave-magnates a bitter hatred for all that savored of the 
Negro and the party that they held responsible for their humiliation. 
Readers of history are familiar with the stirring scenes that went abreast 
with the efforts of the whites to free themselves from the consequences of 
the war. With the accession of President Hayes came the restoration of 
the democracy to local control in the Southern states. All are acquainted 
with the "reign of terror" and the depredations of red-shirted adventurers 
and night-riders. The instinct of white supremacy solidified that section, 
and later came the era of lynchings. General disorder prevailed wherever 
the racial problem was brought actively to the fore. 

Of late we have heard much of "constitutional conventions," and the 
press has been filled with arguments pro and con as to the necessity for 
eliminating the Negro from politics or abridging his right to vote. There 
has been going on for years a seething cauldron, with the Negro as the 
burning impulse ; but evidence is gradually accumulating to warrant the 
belief that a healthier atmosphere is coming out of the storm. Passions 
cool after full vent is given, and the sober second thought of races and 
nations invariably makes for peace, for law and for justice. Upon this 
established principle of metaphysics the Negro must base his hope for 
happier results in the near future. The South has awakened to its vast 
opportunities, and there seems to be a well-defined and determined effort 
on the part of the intelligence, the culture, and the wealth of that section 
to make the most of its bountiful resources. The commercial era opening 
in the South, gradually bringing into control the conservers of Chris- 
tianity, of peace and of civil equity, will develop better conditions for 
the Negro ; for among the aristocracy — among the landowners and mon- 
eyed classes — the black man has always found his best friends and most 


ardent sympathizers. They understand the Negro more thoroughly than 
many Negroes understand themselves, and the facts will bear me out in 
saying that when our people have needed advice, or have appealed for aid 
for churches, schools and for industrial opportunities, the high-grade 
white classes of the South have never turned a deaf ear. They have never 
been wanting in their approval of the self-respecting, thrifty and law- 
abiding Negro, and have always been ready to encourage him in the 
acquirement of a home, a farm or other real property — frequently lending 
the money for the first large payment. Many times they have exerted 
their influence to guarantee fair play for such Negroes in the courts — 
even when their causes were laid against a white man, or where white 
men had accused them of crime. It cannot be denied that injustice 
has been practiced against us in all sections of the South, and it is also 
true that the Negro's ignorance and credulity have made him an easy 
prey to the unscrupulous; but ignorant whites have suffered likewise, 
for he that knoweth little, no matter what his race, is the natural victim 
of the sharper. With the keenest of sleuths in our detective departments 
of the North, and with courts and juries of unimpeachable integrity, 
crime stalks boldly in its greatest cities, and arrogant corruption goes 
unwhipt of justice. So, in the Southland, there are crimes and criminals 
and the law will be powerless to bring them to book until a nobler senti- 
ment is created by the supremacy of the better classes, and the relegation 
of the riotous element, through the vigorous and constant efforts of the 
rightful rulers of the South — the educated and peace-loving citizenry. 
In no case has any outrage against Negroes been given the approval of 
any responsible officer of the law. Violations of the letter and spirit of 
the statutes are committed over the protest of the authorities, and those 
who desire the aggressive execution of all the laws in the future must 
exercise more care in the selection of men intrusted with the power of 
administration. More attention must be paid to the character and per- 
sonal fitness of candidates standing for office. The Negro can and will 
help to do this. The regeneration of existing conditions among the whites 
must come from an enlightened public spirit and a broader culture, such 
as are being bred through the public schools and through the introduction 
of improved methods in business and social life. First-class white men 
must take hold of the reins of government throughout the Southland. 
The Negro is an imitative creature, and he takes on the color of his 
environment. If it be charged that he is frequently immoral, dishonest 


and shiftless, the dissolute whites with whom he has been closely iden- 
tified have furnished a model that he has copied only too faithfully. Let 
the Christian element become a more prominent factor in state affairs, 
and the Negro will at once grow in character and address by virtue of the 
inspiring example thus set for him. 

This phase of the "Negro problem" carried to its logical conclusion 
becomes the "white man's problem." Will the Southern American rise 
in his majesty, dismiss his prejudice and prove equal to the lofty duty 
allotted to him? Will he give the Negro a man's chance in the battle of 
life, and depend upon his own natural gifts of mind and heart for his 

The political phase of the race problem I shall touch but briefly. 
There is no call for the Negro "to get out of politics/' as the term is popu- 
larly used. The fact is the Negro should begin "to get into politics" in 
the truest sense of the word — that is, to begin at the a b e of political 
power and come up by the usual processes of individual development. 
The suffrage is a privilege conferred by the state. States make certain 
restrictions for their own protection as sovereign commonwealths. Al- 
though it is unfortunately a fact that the restrictions are enforced more 
rigidly against black illiterates and black non-property-holders than 
against the whites, of similar deficiencies, the conditions are there and 
can only be fought down by intelligently meeting the requirements, what- 
ever they may be. No educated Negro is refused the right of suffrage by 
any constitutional enactment. No property-owner is made to feel him- 
self outlawed bv virtue of suffrage restrictions. 

The moral is plain. Get education. Be thrifty and economical. Get 
lands and money. Get character and personal culture. These qualities, 
united, pass as good coin in any state North or South. They go far to 
minimize the disadvantages of color everywhere. Without them no race 
is strong anywhere. They are potent in allaying the race feeling aggra- 
vated by too many of us, through voting under the leadership of schem- 
ing politicians who are opposed to the best interests of the masters of the 
Southern soil, and who have no use for black men except on election day. 
In the matter of suffrage, I would suggest that the black voter place 
himself in touch with his white neighbors. The interests of each are 
identical. It is of far greater importance to the Negro to have the friend- 
ship, respect and confidence of his next-door neighbor than who shall be 
President of the United States. It is of more moment to him who shall 


be sheriff or member of the state legislature and city council than who 
shall go to Congress. This suggests that the Negro use clear judgment 
in casting his ballot, and that he use that instrument to identify himself 
with the law-abiding and progressive forces about him. The Negro's 
natural home will ever be in the South. The careful exercise of suffrage 
in promoting the interests of that section, eliminating partisan bitterness 
and vengeful spirit, will be one of the most powerful agencies in main- 
taining and strengthening friendly relations between the races there. 

Further, let the Negro make for himself a place in the business world. 
Let him develop hotels, groceries, stores and shops of all kinds, thus 
affording employment to our competent young men and women. Let him 
perfect himself in the useful arts; till the soil, and become an indis- 
pensable factor in the uplift of the community which he calls home. 
The farmer, the artisan, and industrious wage-earner form the backbone 
of racial progress, for they support the church, are patrons of the schools, 
and are steady conservers of public morals. From this firm center, a 
lever is furnished which holds up the house of the minister, the editor, 
the teacher, physician, the artist, the lawyer, and all of the so-called 
"polite" professions. Let the Negro build up his own social circle, and 
strive to perfect it through an exemplary home life. While a part of the 
general social system the Negro people can be to the whites, as Booker 
T. Washington so well puts it, "separate as the fingers" in social contact, 
but "one as the hand" in all that tends to sustain and improve the State 
and Nation. 

In short, let the white man be just, if he cannot be generous. Let him 
give the Negro what is due him. Weigh him honestly as to character and 
manly worth. Let the Negro be patient, persevering, philosophical, 
thrifty, self-respecting and far-seeing. Brains and energy will eventually 
win their legitimate place in the equation of civic virtue, and the forces 
of right will gravitate, the one towards the other, just as the flowering 
plant turns to the sunlight. In peaceful conditions, nurtured by mutual 
sympathy, mutual suffering and mutual triumphs, will be forged a bond 
that shall in due season draw the best in each of the great races of the 
South in closer and more friendly communion. Our beloved America 
shall throw off the shameful shackles of racial prejudice. Progress to- 
wards a sweeter civilization will be the watchword for all. Then, there 
shall be, indeed and in truth, for every class, color, condition and section 
in this land, "One God, one country, and one flag." There is hope ahead. 


Rev. William D. Chappelle was born in Fairfield County, South Carolina, November 
16, 1857. At twelve years of age, he was sent to the common schools of Winnsboro, S. C, 
to Northern teachers. So eager was he to learn that he cut light wood up at night and 
carried it to town on his head, using the money thus obtained to buy his first book. 
After finishing the common schools, he entered Fairfield Normal Institute, and there 
prepared himself for a teacher, which vocation he pursued for several years. After his 
conversion he felt called to the ministry. Accordingly, he joined the Columbia Annua! 
Conference in 1881, and feeling his inability to effectually preach the Gospel of Christ, 
he entered Allen University, there taking a collegiate course, at the same time serving 
missions near Columbia. 

With a wife and one child, he found that the mission work was inadequate for his 
support, having very often to cease his studies in school and go out and teach for two 
or three months to relieve the wants of his family. This was very discouraging to him, 
but he courageously worked on until Bishop Dickerson relieved him of some of his 
responsibilities by giving him a room in his back yard. This he gladly accepted that he 
might earn some money with which to buy books and thus sustain himself in his 
struggle for an education. 

I know of my own personal knowledge that he had very often to walk sixteen miles 
on Sundays and preach twice, getting back home at 11 or 12 o'clock at night to be 
enabled to make recitations on Monday. Nevertheless, he struggled on and graduated at 
the head of his class in 1887. 

He was ordained deacon in Bethel A. M. E. Church, Columbia, S. C, March, 1883, 
by Bishop Dickerson, and ordained elder by Bishop James A. Shorter at Greenville, S. 
C, in 1885. He graduated from Allen University in 1887, in a class with six other young 
men — four preachers and two lawyers. In 1887 he was elected a delegate to the General 
Conference which met in Indianapolis, Ind., and he has been elected to each successive 
General Conference ever since. He served eight years as a pastor, holding three appoint- 
ments, and ten years as a presiding elder. He was appointed to the Manning District 
in 1889, and after serving there four years he was appointed, by Bishop Salter, to the 
Orangeburg District, the largest district in the State, and served there five years. Bishop 
A. Grant appointed him to the Sumter District in 1898, which district he served until 
the General Conference met in Columbus, Ohio, 1900, where he was elected Correspond- 
ing Secretary and Editor of the Sunday School periodicals of the A. M. E. Church. 

Dr. Chappelle also served two years as President of Allen University, his alma 
mater, being elected just ten years after his graduation from that institution. 

He has had a successful career as teacher, as preacher and, now, as business man- 
ager and editor. He ranks, also, as one of the leaders of his race, as a scholar and 
writer of no mean ability. He is an able debater, having few superiors as an extempo- 
raneous speaker. Acute in thought and incisive in speech, he is a fluent talker. 

Unlike most men of a literary turn of mind, he combines fine business acumen 
with his intellectual ability, and has accumulated property, real and personal, to the 
amount of ten thousand dollars, situated in Columbia, S. C, and Nashville, Tenn. 





The subject above assigned me is a momentous one and involves an 
issue which is not settled, nor will it be settled until the relation which 
now exists between the two races is based upon that moral "ought" 
growing out of the ethical rule given by God for the government of man. 
For it must be conceded that all friendly relations are based upon ethical 
treatment. A relation upon any other basis is forced, and, therefore, not 
genuine. The so-called Negro problem which is being agitated by the 
public press is forced upon us by fictitious sentiment, conceived in preju- 
dice, and watered by opportunity, and a disregard for law, and truth- 
fulness of statements made concerning the Negro as a citizen. 

When a relation is fixed by such undue advantages, that relation is 
not, for it is ex-parte, and the party having the public ear creates the 
sentiment, and thus forces the party which is not heard to terms, whether 
those terms be satisfactory or not. Then, it can be plainly seen that such 
relations are not real, for they are not based upon that law under which 
all men are created and governed. 

Now, I lay down the following as a general proposition which I think 
will stand the test of critics, whether they be of the North or South. It is 
the rule of international law to have a friendly relation between nations, 
states and individuals, and that relation is made by representatives of all 
the parties concerned. The agreement must be mutual and that mutual- 
ity must be based upon righteousness — that righteousness which makes 
sacred the rights of all the contending parties. 

If the friendly relationship existing between the two races in the 
South is mutual, then the development of the Negro will fasten and rivet 
such a relation. But if it is not mutual, and undue advantages have been 
taken of him, his development will make it impossible for such relations 
to be strengthened and maintained. 

To perpetuate a relationship, it must first be based upon the principles 
of right, guaranteed by the force of all competent power, that power being 
common to all parties concerned. This is the sum maximum of all ethical 
science and is complete. To add to it, or take from it, would change the 


rule. Then, the solution to all ills must be measured by that sense of con- 
science unimpaired, emanating from that innate rule of human duty 
based upon moral obligation. 

Now, there must be a standard of righteousness, not fixed by man, 
but by a superior power ; for it is not man's will which he must obey, but 
the will of his Maker. This will can be shown in two ways only. First, 
by revelation, and, second, by example, both of which have been verified 
and demonstrated in the sacrifice made by Christ for the world of man- 
kind. This relationship can and will be sustained, because Christ sought 
to know the nature and power of the second party. He enters into a 
covenant fixing that relationship forever, between the two. Now, if the 
so-called superior race, with the boasted power of all the heavy centuries 
of the past, has given to the inferior race in its undeveloped condition, 
that consideration which is necessary to sustain and maintain the rela- 
tionship which now exists, then, the relationship is real and the education 
and development of the Negro along economic and commercial lines will 
but make this relationship stronger. And the future of the two races in 
the South, under such conditions, must be bright and glorious. 

But, I fear we have been hasty in our conclusions when we measure 
the relationship which now exists in the South, by constitutional rights 
and enactments. The Constitution of these United States makes the 
people a compact, and therefore equals in immunities, privileges and 
rights, with a common flag as the symbol of our common protection. 
Every citizen, then, of these United States — let him be of any race 
variety — owes to that flag its protection, and, in return, that flag is to 
protect him. So that the relationship of all the citizens of the United 
States to the flag is the same ; being the same to the flag, they are the same 
to each other from a civic point of view. 

I agree that there is such a thing as "State rights," but such rights 
must be local and subsidiarv and must in no case conflict with, or counter- 
act, the rights of a citizen growing out of a common Constitution whose 
jurisdiction holds the sisterhood of states together. To sustain and 
maintain such a sisterhood the compilers of the Constitution gave the 
general government the right to summons such states to protect her in 
the discharge of her duty. So that it is seen that the government is 
exercising a power that was given it by the sovereign people, acknowledg- 
ing equal rights to all and special privileges to none. Among these are 


life, liberty and the peaceful pursuit of happiness. These are the rights 
which are guaranteed by the Constitution. 

Now, an agreement entered into by the people of any part of these 
United States which does not conform to the stipulated rights men- 
tioned above, is not a contract and can not be considered binding under 
the law. Therefore, a relationship based upon privileges of one and the 
denied rights of the other, cannot be friendly and must, sooner or later, 
be dissolved. I, for one, cannot concede that the relationship between 
the races in the South is friendly. It is, for the most part, peaceful, but 
that peace grows out of a fear of the law in the hands of an unfriendly 
and prejudiced people who feel that the Negro race has no rights which 
they are bound to respect. Accepting this position, the Negro quietly 
moves on, trying to make for himself and family a living, but he feels 
keenly the class legislation which proscribes him to the "Jim Crow" cars, 
to the rear seats in street cars, behind the doors in public restaurants, 
and a hundred other indignities heaped upon him. He is also denied the 
right to vote, which is the greatest evil done him and the only protection 
that the Constitution gives him. 

Now, I ask, "Can there be friendly relations with such environments, 
and, if they are friendly, can they be sustained and maintained?" I assert 
that the infringement of any right is an unfriendly act, whether the one 
whose rights are infringed upon is conscious of the unfriendly act or not. 
If he is unconscious of it, it is all the more unfriendly. I assert further, 
that whenever existing conditions make it necessary for one race to sup- 
press another, the suppression affects both races alike. The stronger race 
ceases to develop that strength which is necessary for the growth of a 
nation, and to prepare it to meet the great problems which are indis- 
pensable in the fostering of a government such as ours. And the weaker 
race is deprived of the opportunities which are necessary to cultivate 
those innate powers which are intended by God to be developed in the 
rounding out of good citizenship. In fact, the denial of freedom to any 
race, along any of the walks of life, has a tendency to teach that race 
irresponsibility; for responsibility must rest with the volition of the 
human family. 

"The Nashville American," in a, recent issue, admits that the Southern 
white people have made no progress in the great world of thought, be- 
cause they had everything their way. The solid South practically de- 
stroyed its, opportunities to develop thinkers in the political world, and 


the prejudice they entertain and foster by mere sentiment was not con- 
ducive to the production of strong men, or the development of great 
thinkers or leaders of distinguished constructive ability. In some sense 
the South has for some time lived in an eddy. There has not been that 
broad sweep of the current of thought which once made it strong and 
powerful. And the reason for this is assigned in their surroundings, 
their highest ambition being to suppress the Negro in the civil walks of 

Now, we are confronted with a condition — call it a relation, if you 
please — in which the interest of the entire Southland is involved, and we, 
as the Negro race, are called upon to express ourselves as to the basis 
of this relationship and the perpetuity of the same. The facts above 
stated make it extremely difficult for one to conscientiously concede, 
first, that the relations are friendly; and, second, that they can be sus- 
tained and maintained. As a matter of fact, the subject assigned me can 
be easily answered by saying that the friendly relations which now exist 
can be sustained and maintained by destroying the system of public 
instruction ; by making no protest against the encroachments upon our 
liberty; by destroying the medium of the Christian religion, pulling down 
our altars, demolishing our churches and hanging crape on the door- 
knobs of all places of public instruction. This we are unwilling to do, 
and, as God gives us strength and light to see our plain duty, we shall 
work, watch and wait for that surrounding which shall be congenial to a 
healthful development of a Christian manhood, when the sphinx of this 
age shall have passed into the oblivious past; and mankind, transformed 
from brutish prejudice to that lordly prince, divested of all racial preju- 
dice, shall stand upon that plain of reason where all are equals. We must 
see that our rights under the Constitution are one thing and the enjoy- 
ment of those rights quite another thing. 

Now, then, shall we, because these rights are denied us, fail to teach 
our children that these rights are ours? And can it not be seen that for 
us to concede that the relationship, now existing between the two races in 
the South, is friendly, is an admission of the righteousness upon which 
such relation is based? And even this very book will be brought in evi- 
dence against us. 

A friendly relation grows out of real friendship, so that it is neces- 
sary here to explain friendship. Mr. Webster gives the meaning of friend- 
ship as a state of being friends ; a friendly relation or attachment, to a 


person, or between persons; affection arising from mutual esteem and 
good will ; friendliness ; amity ; good will. 

"There is little friendship in the world," says Bacon. There can be no 
friendship without confidence, and no confidence without integrity. 

Dryden says, "Aptness to unite; conformity; affinity; harmony and 
correspondence are the signs of friendship." These grow out of that soil 
and are the forerunners of that friendship out of which a relation must 
be had to be called friendly. 

Now let us analyze this term "friendship." "Amity" — from the Latin, 
amare to love, or friendship in a general way between individuals, socie- 
ties or nations. "Goodwill" — I wish you well, peace and prosperity. 
"Integrity" — moral soundness; completeness; honesty; rectitude. 

We have given some of the terms which Mr. Webster used in the 
explanation of the word friendship. Our purpose for so doing is to see if 
it is possible to base the relationship which now exists between the two 
races in the South, upon all the synonyms or any one of them. I confess 
with candor that I cannot see (nor can any lover of liberty who holds 
sacred the rights of the human family, regardless of race, color or previous 
condition of servitude) even a semblance of amity in the treatment which 
the Negro gets at the hands of the dominant race, in fact, it is just the 
opposite, the relationship is forced and also one sided. 

The seemingly friendly relation is forced from the Negro ; that is, he 
must show up friendly or be lynched by the first angry mob who becomes 
thirsty for Negro blood. 

If we sustain a friendly relation based upon the integrity of the 
Southern whites, there could be no lynching; the friendship of the white 
man would cause it to cease at once. 

Would to God that they would interpret our actions in the light in 
which they are rendered and not make us suffer for what somebody else 
has done, simply because we are weak and unable to protect ourselves 
against the insanity of the prejudice. 

The Southern white people, in their haste, are making an unenviable 
history at which they will blush in the years to come. 

Three innocen^people in the State of Mississippi have just been taken 
from the officers and lynched, two of whom were women. Can a race of 
people said to be friendly towards another race reach such hasty con- 
clusions? Would not friendship suggest an investigation in order that 
the facts in the case may be had? But we are living in the midst of a 


people whose civilization is christianized, thus having in it that friend- 
ship which characterized Christ in taking the sins of mankind upon him- 
self. "Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you" (Bible). 
This text makes friendship conditional and reciprocal ; that is, there can 
be no friendship without mutuality; so that the relation which now exists 
is not based upon friendship, for the relation which is made to exist is not 
in accordance with that moral rule given for the government of man, 
therefore things are not what the.y seem to be in the Southland. 

I tell you that the Negro is not satisfied with his condition and the 
more he learns of the common rights of the human family, the more he 
sees the great wrongs "perpetrated" upon him and the reasons for the 
same. You cannot educate a people and crush them, history does not 
narrate an instance. 




Any superficial or narrow view of the present conditions existing 
between the Blacks and Whites of this country will surely be discourag- 
ing. It is a time for an unbiased, comprehensive, and discriminate study 
of the situation. This, I think, will point to a basis of a coming final 

No people have ever achieved lasting distinction or greatness without 
hardships. God's way of development seems to be through trial. The 
Negro has not been, and will not be, excepted in this regard. The tests 
of life have been well borne by him and he has clearly demonstrated cer- 
tain essential elementary characteristics. From slavery is learned his 
amiability, vitality and patient endurance, and from freedom, the spirit 
of hope, forgiveness, and his ability for the highest improvement. 

At this time, when the race problem is demanding renewed considera- 
tion, we note with interest the extreme as well as c<*nservative views. 
The unfriendly discuss the Negro in the light of his savagery, his bondage 
and his mistakes. They read history "with their prejudices and not with 
their eves." 

Just as white men candidly and otherwise hold their individual view* 


Rev. Sterling N. Brown was born in Roane County, East Tennessee, November 21, 
1857. He attended the first free school ever taught in his county. He entered Fisk Uni- 
versity (Nashville, Tenn.) in 1875,, and for some years, during his terms of vacation, 
taught school to provide the means with which to pursue his studies. He was converted 
when quite a boy and has been able since, almost continuously, to lead men to Christ. He 
began to preach early after his conversion, and many revivals have followed his min- 
istry. The first great awakening where, under God, he was the instrument, was at 
Kingston, Tenn., where every child in school, of over one hundred in number, became 
Christians, and when the whole town was stirred as never before. Many hardened 
sinners were brought to Christ in the meeting. Several of the converts are now actively 
engaged in the ministry. Mr. Brown's acceptance as a preacher made it possible for 
him to spend the entire vacations of his last years at college in supplying the pulpits 
of his denomination in different parts of the South. 

He graduated from the college course of Fisk University in 1885, and took the 
degree of A. M. in 1891. He is also a graduate from the Oberlin Theological Seminary 
with the degree of B. D. He was called, June 1, 1885, to the Mount Zion Congregational 
Church, Cleveland, Ohio, and was by that Church ordained to the gospel ministry. This 
church was composed of a few faithful but discouraged members. They worshipped 
in a small frame chapel without either attraction or convenience. 

Soon the membership was increased, the church took . new courage and a great 
ingathering came, the old building was torn away and in its place a beautiful and 
convenient house of worship was erected. Mr. Brown served Mt. Zion for nearly four 
years when he accepted a call from the Plymouth Congregational Church, Washington, 
D. C, April 1, 1889. This church, under his pastorate for eight years, had a steady 
and most healthful growth. In January, 1897, he gathered about him a few leading 
men and women of the race and organized a church in Northwest Washington, in the 
midst of a large unchurched population. Park Temple, the name of the new church, 
at once took an important place in the community and its influence for good was felt 
far and near. For five years the work grew and throbbed with life. Its lines of 
work, so practical and successful, awakened such interest in an older sister church 
nearby that overtures were made for a union, and so, October 1, 1901, the Lincoln 
Church and Park Temple were merged into a new organization to be known as Lincoln 
Temple, with the Rev. Mr. Brown as pastor. The new Institutional Church with a 
large main building and a branch work gives promise of an unusual church movement. 
The pastor of this church is one of the hardest worked men in the city. He was for 
three years a most active and influential member of the Washington Board of Educa- 
tion, and has been for seven years and is yet Professor in the Theological Department 
of Howard University. He is an able minister, a good pastor, and a practical man 
of affairs. His long public life in the city has added to his influence and in every 
best sense, he is still a growing man. He is full of sympathy and helpfulness, and so 
is continually drawn upon by all classes and conditions of people. He is regarded 
highly by public men of both races for his conservative views, good judgment and 
genuine public spirit. 

Mr. Brown is a tireless worker, and one who looks always upon the bright side 
of things. He has an ear to hear man, but keeps also an ear attentive to the voice 
from the clouds. When he has settled upon a plan no discouragement can change 
him. Once convinced of the righteousness of his course he pushes ahead with no 
wavering. Many a time in his works he seemed headed for a stone wall, insurmountable 
and impassable, but he went up to the wall with as much courage and faith, as if 
there lay before him a beautiful green sward, inviting to his sandal. Thus through the 
years of school life and the years of his active ministry he has gone forward. 


point of the subject, so do colored, men differ as to their opinions. We, 
too, have extremists and conservatives among ourselves and friends. 
This is what ought to be expected. Why should an intelligent colored 
man be different in his thoughts and conclusions from his white brother 
of equal intelligence? What the American school and spirit do for the 
one may be expected for the other. There are certainly strong grounds 
for extreme views and for even more extreme measures. But who can 
rationally deny the wisdom of moderation and sensible counsel? Person- 
ally I cannot bring myself to accord with either one of these views. The 
extremist spits fire, swears vengeance and talks loudly. He might offer 
his life as a sacrifice, and yet he reckons without his host. The conserva- 
tive builds without hope, is easily cast down, and thoroughly pessimistic. 
There is a middle ground that can and must be taken. 

Were it not that we have unshaken faith in the great heart of our 
American government, we might, like the captive Jews, hang our harps 
upon the willows, and, as if in a strange land, find no song to sing. 

The fact that the very warp and woof of American institutions are the 
eternal principles of right and justice encourages the hope that the inci- 
dent of color, race or previous condition can not always be a bar to pre- 
ferment. An equal chance and fair play to all the citizens are absolute 
essentials to the continued life of a republic such as ours is to be. It is in 
this self-evident truth that is found a sure ground of confidence. Upon 
this bed-rock of America's boasted pride for interest in her humblest 
citizen may be built the superstructure of the future of the race. 

I do not share in any disparaging view of the ultimate outcome of 
conditions. The white man's attitude North and South towards the 
Negro is now well defined. There is to be no more special legislation in 
his direct interest ; he will be expected more than ever "to weed his own 
row," and by self-endeavor continue to prove his right to be. 

It would be amusing, if it were not so serious, to find the varied, 
strange theories for the black man's future well-being. Deportation, 
colonization, and a voluntary political self-effacement have all been 

There is much said and written that would imply the need of some 
special kind of training suited alone for the Negro. If he has any special 
need whatsoever above his brother in white it is due to mistreatment and 
not to natural conditions. His phenomenal development along all lines 
indicates what is in him and what may be possible for him. 


The race numbers from eight to ten millions, pays taxes upon property 
to the amount of nearly $300,000,000. They have graduated from uni- 
versities, colleges, high, normal and professional schools about forty 
thousand. There are in all grades from the common school up about one 
and a half million pupils. 

Men of the race own and control about three hundred newspapers, 
journals and periodicals. This is substantial progress for only thirty-six 
years, and yet this is no day for boasting qr fine-spun flattery. As long 
as the great bulk of the race are in abject poverty and ignorance, and 
while more than a million of colored children of school age are not 
attending school for want of accommodation, and the number increasing 
more rapidly than facilities for education, and so long as the unsettled 
race question seriously agitates the American mind we do well to be 
deeply concerned. But it is unreasonable and not helpful to be over 
alarmed. It is time for the race to be sober and thoughtful, and if present 
conditions bring this about a sure blessing will result. 

Among the mistakes of our years of freedom have been the surface 
view of life, and an ever present dependence upon politics and by-gone 
friends. The present shock from eliminating certain manhood rights 
in the Southland necessarily creates a sensation, but is also sure to 
quicken for us new life, purpose and hope. 

The Negro question is only one aspect of America's larger problem. 
Can it be truthfully said that every worthy citizen shall have an equally 
fair opportunity in the race of life? It seems to me clear that racial 
adjustment at the South may be reasonably hoped for when the parties 
most interested unite upon the spirit of the golden rule. This and this 
alone will insure friendly relationship. The white man must make up 
in his mind to be fair, and just, and to recognize the fact that the Negro 
deserves a chance for the highest, broadest and best possible life. Will 
the Southern white man ever willingly accord this common right? Yes, 
I think so. But the alienation is not all on one side. For thirty-six years 
the fact has been specially emphasized that the Southern white man is the 
black man's enemy. The result is a natural one. Antagonism and race 
friction have enlarged rather than lessened. The time has fully come 
when the colored pulpit, press and leadership throughout the country 
and specially in the South should seek to make friends of these people 
with whom the blacks must necessarilv live. We can not over-estimate 


the value of education and the getting hold of homesteads in the progress 
of the race, but these alone are not sufficient. 

Our churches must mean more for right living. The sacredness of the 
home, of the married life, of honesty, of integrity, of uprightness and of 
right character must more than ever be impressed. The churches must 
be more practical and less sentimental. Instead of encouraging late 
hours — thus opening the evil way to our young — and spending long 
seasons in mere shouts and gesticulations, let there be training classes, 
mothers' and children's meetings, and those within reasonable hours. 
Let our pulpits and press rebuke crime among us as well as away from 
us. Let us organize and encourage good citizenship committees in all our 
churches and in every community. Let us draw the line between the idle 
and industrious among us. Let us urge vagrant laws upon that set of 
men who will not work but form the criminal class in all our cities. Let 
us more than ever show ourselves ready to help rid the community of 
objectionable persons and places. Let us not say less — if well said — for 
right public sentiment must be made, but let us do more. There must be a 
studied use of "Yankee" common sense. It is not to be expected that the 
Southern man's training, relative to the Negro, can be readily displayed. 
But having been born and reared under Southern skies and for parts of 
ten successive years taught there is one country, and having former slave- 
holders among some of my warmest friends, I am prepared to believe that 
there is no innate hindrance to a life of peace between the races. 

I can not think that the best people of the South will long endure the 
savage methods of avenging their madness. They must have a better 
second thought and will ultimately welcome the spirit of maintaining 
law and order. 

With all, there is but one way to settle the race question. It must be 
squarely and justly met upon the uncompromising basis of right. The 
Negro is a human being with clearly demonstrated capabilities, and it 
can not be that the world's foremost nation will need to further climb 
the ladder of fame by keeping the foot of the strong upon the neck of the 

When men are possessed and led by the Gospel of Jesus Christ then 
will there be peace and harmony and good will among all the people. 
"They shall" then "neither hurt nor destroy in all" His "holy mountain ;" 
"for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters 
cover the sea." God hasten that better day! Amen. 





In answering the question involved in the above subject it becomes 
necessary to define the word "education" ; for the term, "education given 
to the whites," is too loose and broad to be easily or logically handled. 
If the word is used in its ordinary sense, then it embraces every known 
form of education, from instruction in the elementary English branches 
on up through to instruction in the most abstruse sciences ; and I can see 
no reason why the blacks should not receive the same instruction as the 
corresponding class among the whites. Mark you, I say, as the corres- 
ponding class among the whites. 

If by the term, "education given to the whites," is meant higher educa- 
cation as opposed to industrial training, the question can not be answered 
in the form in which it is stated ; for there is no "the Negroes" in the unit 
sense. Since its freedom the colored race has classified itself into almost 
as many grades, as regards ability and capacity, as there are to be found 
among the whites; it is, therefore, no longer possible to speak of "the 
Negroes," meaning that they are all upon the same mental and moral 
plain. It is as absurd to say that every Negro should be made to receive 
an industrial training as it is to say that every Negro should be given a 
college education. 

The question of higher education or industrial training is one that 
depends entirely upon the individual ; and there should be no limit placed 
upon the individual's right of development. I think it a great folly to 
educate a colored man beyond his capacity; I think it an equally great 
folly to so educate a white man. 

It is needless, and not within the limits of the subject, for me to make 
any defense of higher education for Negroes; but, I do say that every 
man, be he black or white, should be allowed to make the most of all of his 
powers, his possibilities, and his opportunities. I recognize the fact that 
the great majority of Negroes must, and, I hope, will be engaged in agri- 
culture and the trades ; that is true of every race ; but there is, and ought 



J. W. Johnson was born in Jacksonville, Fla., and after finishing the public schools 
of his native city he went to Atlanta University, from which institution he graduated 
with the degree of A. B. in 1894. The same year he was appointed principal of the 
Central Colored Grammar School, which position he now holds. In 1895 he edited and 
published the "Daily American," an afternoon paper. The publishing of this paper 
was one of the greatest and most creditable efforts in journalism ever made by any 
member of the race. In 1898 he was admitted to the bar, and in 1899 to the Supreme 
Court of Florida. In 1901 he was elected President of the Florida State Teachers' Asso- 

Mr. Johnson is a man of varied talents. He has a reputation as a pleasing speaker 
and fluent writer. He has devoted much of his time to literature, and is a contributor 
to the leading magazines. Mr. Johnson is a poet of more than ordinary talent and 
ability, and is widely known as the writer of the words of "Lift Every Voice and Sing," 
a national hymn for the Colored people of America. He is also the author of many 
songs and ballads, and also of the lyrics of two comic operas. 


to be, no power to say that this or that individual in any grade of society 
shall not break through his environments, and rise above his conditions. 
And I think it safe to say that the proportion of colored men and women 
who have been given an education beyond their capacity for receiving 
and using, is very little larger than the same among the whites; and, in 
the years to come, as the race shall more and more fit itself to the grind- 
ing process which it takes to turn out a people, that proportion will 
become less and less, and each individual will settle to his level, or rise 
triumphant over obstacles and circumstances to the place for which his 
ability and aspirations fit him. 

But let us consider our subject in a deeper sense; if by education is 
meant that training, those influences by which the habits, the character, 
the thoughts, and the ideals of a people are formed and developed, then, 
the answer hinges upon the answer to another question : Is the Negro to 
remain in this country a separate and distinct race, or is he to become 
one of the elements in the future composite American? 

If, as some claim, the Negro is to remain in this country a separate 
and distinct race, then, in this deeper sense of the word, he should receive 
an education different from that given to the whites. 

Because the Negro and the white race, although they have the same 
inherent powers, possess widely different characteristics. There are some 
things which the white race can do better than the Negro, and there are 
some things which the Negro can do better than the white race. This is 
no disparagement to either. It is no fault of the Negro that he has not 
that daring and restless spirit, that desire for founding new empires, that 
craving for power over weaker races, which makes the white race a 
pioneer; neither is it the fault of the white race that it has not that 
buoyancy of spirit, that cheerful patience, that music in the soul, that 
faith in a Higher Power, which supports the Negro under hardships that 
would crush or make pessimists of almost any other race on earth. 

There have been given to each race certain talents, and for them each 
will be held accountable, and rewarded accordingly as they shall use 
them. Two boys in the same family may be gifted differently, one with an 
artistic, the other with a scientific, turn of mind; both cannot become 
artists, nor both scientists, yet they may each become equally great in 
their respective spheres. It is for the Negro to find out his own best and 
strongest powers, and make the most of them. He cannot by merely 
imitating the white man arrive at his fullest and truest racial develop- 


ment. He cannot and will not, as an absolutely distinct race, evolve, 
along the same lines, the identical civilization of the white race, but 
who shall say that along his own lines he may not evolve one equally as 
glorious and grand? 

It is true, situated as he is among the most advanced people of the 
world in the very height of their power, with almost all of the ideals 
before him belonging to that people, the American Negro is greatly handi- 
capped in distinct racial development; but the task is, perhaps, not an 
impossible one. Some of the most accessible means have not yet been 
fully employed; for instance, the race has never been made entirely 
familiar with the deeds and thoughts of the few men of mark it has 
already produced. In this deeper sense of educati m the knowing of one 
Crispus Attucks is worth more to the race than the knowing of one George 
Washington; and the knowing of one Dunbar is worth more than the 
knowing of all the Longfellows that America will ever produc 

If the Negro is to remain in this country a separate and distinct race, 
and is, as such, to reach the highest development of his powers, he ought 
to be given an education different from that given to the whites ; in that, 
in addition to whatever other instruction he may receive, those virtuous 
traits and characteristics which are peculiarly his should be developed 
to the highest degree possible. 

If, on the other hand, he is to become, in time, one of the elements 
in the future American race — and this seems the more plausible answer 
to the question — his education ought to be purely American and not in 
any special way Negro. 

History affords no precedent of two races, distinct yet equally power- 
ful, living together in harmony; one has always reduced to a secondary 
position or destroyed the other, or the two have united. So it will be a 
question, if the Negro succeeds in making himself the equal of the white 
man in intellectual attainment, wealth, and power, whether or not what 
is now antipathy between the two races will develop into outright antago- 
nism ; and if we are to judge from human experience through all the past 
we must say that it will. If the Negro shall succeed in making a new 
record in history so well and so good ; but if he is to follow the precedent* 
of the past, it will be a far nobler destiny for him to become an integral 
part of the future American type than to drop into an acknowledged and 
permanent secondary position. 

And may it not be in the great plan of Providence that the Negro shall 


Prof. James Storum was born in the city of Buffalo, New York, March 31, 1847. His 
mother, Mary Cannady, was a native of Sussex County, Virginia, where she lived for 
twelve years, when her father sold his farm and moved to Ohio and located with his 
wife and eight children near Urbana. His mother was a woman of strong character, 
deep religious convictions, and piety, and full of energy and enterprise, a counterpart 
of which is seen in her worthy son. 

His grandfather, Charles Storum, of Duchess County, New York, was a soldier in 
the Revolutionary War, and did valiant service for the independence of this Republic. 
He died in 1843 at the age of one hundred years. Prof. Storum began his school life 
in the public schools of his native city. He was admired by his associates for his 
manly qualities and good fellowship, and was held in high esteem by his teachers for 
his studious habits and exemplary deportment. At the age of thirteen he embraced 
religion and united with the Michigan Street Baptist Church, where both his parents 
were useful and active members. 

He frequently heard his parents express their purpose to send him to college, and 
as he grew older and better able to appreciate the value of education, the desire grew 
very strong within him to fit himself for a larger field of usefulness. In due time he 
entered Oberlin College, and after spending eighteen months in the preparatory depart- 
ment he entered the college proper, and graduated with the class of 1870. 

Immediately after his graduation, Prof. Storum came to the city of Washington to 
teach in Wayland Seminary, one of the schools fostered by the Baptist Home Mission 
Society. He taught at Wayland thirteen years. Here, as in every walk in life, he 
exerted a most wholesome influence over the young men and women attending the 
seminary, whose graduates are found in all parts of this country. They delight to speak 
of the inspiration and high incentive they received from Prof. Storum while under his 

After leaving Wayland, Prof. Storum taught in the public schools of Washington 
one year, whence he was called to the city of Petersburg, Virginia, to organize the Vir- 
ginia Normal and Collegiate Institute, provided for by the Legislature of the "Old 
Dominion." He remained here three years and endeared himself to the pupils of the 
new school and to the citizens of Petersburg, irrespective of race, political bias or 
denominational creeds. He then returned to Washington and from that time until the 
present he has been teaching in the public high school. 

Prof. Storum has ever been interested in and connected with the various enter- 
prises whose aim has been the improvement and elevation of the Colored people. For 
five years he was secretary of the Capital Savings Bank of Washington and a member 
of the Board of Directors of the Industrial Building and Savings Company. For three 
consecutive years Prof. Storum was president of the Bethel Literary and Historical 
Society, the most prominent association of its kind in the country. Through his influ- 
ence and by his energy the library and reading room were established and are now the 
most interesting and prominent features of the society. 

In addition to his many and exacting duties, Prof. Storum has written and lectured 
on a great variety of subjects, religious, political, educational and financial. 

He was happily married in 1872 to Mrs. Carrie Garrett Browne, a teacher in the 
public schools of Washington. There are three surviving children. Their domestic life 
has had its sunshine and its shadow. The darkest cloud that has overhung their house- 
hold was the death of their oldest son, who died eight years ago at the age of eighteen, 
and who had given promise of being an unusually brilliant and useful man. 


supply in the future American race the very elements that it shall lack 
and require to make it the most perfect race the world shall have seen? 
If the Negro is to become an inseparable part of the great American 
nation his education should be in every way the same as that of other 
American citizens. 





The excuse for presenting this article is the oft repeated declaration 
that there should be one kind of education for the more favored class and 
another kind of education for the less favored class of our citizens. This 
declaration was never mooted until these latter years. The following 
incident will serve to illustrate the position taken by the advocates of 
this subject : A young man of more than ordinary ability, having a fine 
mind, and exceedingly apt and ambitious to learn, came to one of the 
schools in the South supported by Northern friends. He had had some 
advantages and had proved his capabilities to learn. He was giving great 
satisfaction to his teachers. He was prepared to take up one of the 
advanced studies, and did so and wrote to his friend telling him of the 
studies he was pursuing and the progress he was making. His friend, 
a would-be philanthropist, replied that he would not assist him if he 
pursued such studies. "You only need to learn to read, write, and cipher 
a little to teach your people." Yet this same man thought it necessary 
to take the common school course, a college course, and a professional 
course to teach his people. What class of people will have confidence in 
or give their support to a teacher, preacher, lawyer, or physician who 
knows only the A, B, C's of his profession? It is an historical as well as 
a scientific fact that no people have ever risen to influence and power 
without a strong intellectual and moral class permeating and leavening 
the entire mass. From the very beginning of our educational system the 
idea that the system and method of education should be different for the 
different classes of our people never entered the mind or thoughts of our 
educators nor any part of the body politic. 

In the Southern part of our land the ruling class denied educational 
facilities to the colored people, and quite generally throughout the South 


it was made a penal offence to teach a colored man, woman, or child to 
read. The reason for this was well understood. Education produces 
intelligence and unfolds to one his powers and capabilities, and an intelli- 
gent people cannot be enslaved. 

After the close of the war of the rebellion, schools were opened for 
the colored people. The newly-emancipated were not entirely oblivious 
to some of the advantages and benefits that follow from education, for 
they were constantly in touch with the master-class, so that when the 
opportunity was offered the colored people flocked to the schools in 
numbers far beyond the accommodations given. The colored people 
showed such avidity for learning and made such surprising progress that 
it seemed almost miraculous. Dr. Mayo says: "No people in human 
history have made such progress as the colored people of the United 
States." I can see no reason why the colored people should be differently 
educated from mankind generally; nor can I understand why persons 
should urge a different education unless they are hostile to and bitterly 
opposed to the progress of the colored people. 

The aim or purpose of education is, always has been, and will ever be, 
preparation for complete living, that is, to be useful in one's day and 
generation and to live happily. "To secure this requires the acquisition 
of knowledge found in two fields of human endeavor. First, man and his 
experience and achievements and external nature; second, training to 
intelligent and productive activity in the use of this knowledge and the 
proper enjoyment of it." 

What the education of the youth of a nation shall be depends upon 
the aim, purpose, and character of the government. 

The history of the education of a people is the history of its civiliza- 
tion. Its civilization is not to be found in its material success, nor in its 
achievements in arms; but its civilization is manifest in its intellectual, 
moral, and esthetic development. It follows, then, that the education of 
a nation is to be found in the characteristics of its civilization; this 
includes religion, politics, justice, art, and mode of thought. The history 
of education fully attests this fact. 

The government of Egypt was monarchical in form. The ruling 
classes were educated ; the lower classes were not ; yet while they were 
the beasts of burden and forced to toil under the most exacting task- 
masters they were of a mild and kind disposition, the result of their 
religious training. 


The government of the Jews was Theocratic; their civilization was 
distinctively religious ; their education was along religious lines. Their 
poets sing of the love, the power, the majesty, and the everlasting do- 
minion of "I AM THAT I AM." Through the Jews indeed are all the 
nations of the earth blessed, in that they have preserved and transmitted 
through the ages the religion of their King and His Anointed. 

Greece had two distinct ideas of government. The Dorian, as 
exemplified by the laws of Sparta, whose fundamental principle was that 
the individual existed for the state and must obey the behests of the 
state. The Ionian, as we find it in the constitution of Athens, whose 
basic principle was that the state existed for the individual and the 
individual was a freeman. The educational system of Sparta was entirely 
military, in keeping with the aim and purpose of the state. The boys at 
the tender age of seven years were taken from their homes and placed in 
state schools to be taught the art of war, and how to endure all of its 
hardships and privations. The educational system at Athens reflected 
the aim and purpose of the Athenian State; it was humanistic. The 
intellectual, ethical, and physical powers of the child were developed. 
In that little peninsula of Southern Europe there were two distinct 
civilizations having very little in common and always antagonistic. 
Sparta developed human machines, men of great physical force, but con- 
tributed nothing to the civilization of the world, nothing for the better- 
ment of mankind. Liberty, patriotism, love of home and kindred, are the 
characteristics of the Athenian civilization. The contributions of Athens 
for the civilization of the world and the elevation of mankind are beyond 
human conception. The mind of man cannot conceive of the innumerable 
blessings that have flowed from Athenian civilization, the great reservoir 
of thought and perfected art, The profoundest thoughts of philosophy, 
the most electrifying words of statesmen and orators; the grand, sublime 
and patriotic strains of the muses, the illimitable beauty and symmetry 
of her art have been bequeathed to the world by Athens, "THE EYE OF 
GREECE." But above and beyond these is the principle of personal lib- 
erty and popular government that has come down to us from the Athenian 
Commonwealth. The aim and purpose of the Athenian Republic in its 
educational svstem was to train the children to become useful citizens, 
capable of aiding in the management of the state. Aristotle says : "Edu- 
cation should be regulated by the state for the ends of the state; * * * 
as the end purposed to the State, as the whole, is one, it is clear that the 


education of all the citizens must be one and the same and the super- 
intendence of it a public affair rather than in private hands." 

The aim and purpose of the Roman government was to bequeath to 
humanity moral energy and jurisprudence, the latter of which is the 
basis of all modern law. A strong and an abiding faith subsisted be- 
tween the Roman State and each of her citizens. "I am a Roman citizen," 
was the proudest allusion a man could make to himself, for he knew that 
the great Roman power was behind him to protect him in his rights. The 
children of the Romans were educated to be of use to the state. Cicero 
says : "The fatherland has produced us and brought us up that we may 
devote to its use the finest capabilities of our minds, talents, and under- 
standing. Therefore, we must learn those arts whereby we may be of 
greatest service to the state, for that I hold to be the highest wisdom and 

The aim and purpose of our government is to maintain and perpetuate 
the idea of constitutional liberty and to develop a popular government 
in which each inhabitant shall feel a personal interest in all that pertains 
to the government, and the government in turn shall feel itself obligated 
to protect and defend the interests of the humblest citizen within its 
dominion. Our government is "of the people, for the people, and by the 

In this country there must be but one system of education welding 
all the people in one aim and purpose. Unity of thought, unity of action, 
and sympathy, unity in American life and duty, is and must ever be 
maintained in the stratification of American society. The government 
must be unique and homogeneous in its aim, purpose, and sympathy. 
The entire question of American citizenship is especially important in 
harmonizing the elements. Herbert Spencer says: "The education of 
the child must accord, both in mode and arrangement, with the education 
of mankind as considered historically; or, in other words, the genesis of 
knowledge in the individual must follow the same course as the genesis 
of knowledge in the race. * * * It follows that if there be an order 
in which the human race has mastered its various kinds of knowledge, 
there will arise in every child an aptitude to acquire these kinds of knowl- 
edge by the same order. As the mind of humanity placed in the midst of 
phenomena and striving to comprehend them, has, after endless compari- 
sons, speculations, experiments and theories reached its present knowl- 
edge by a specific route, it may rationally be inferred that the relation- 


ship between mind and phenomena is such as to prevent this knowledge 
from being reached by any other route; and that as each child's mind 
stands in this same relationship to phenomena they can be accessible to it 
only through the same route." 

Man is a trinity in his nature, consisting of mind, soul and body; 
these must be developed and the same means must be employed to bring it 
about. Intellectual, moral and physical training must characterize our 
system of education. The intellectual and the physical is being empha- 
sized and the moral training must be made more prominent than it has 
been in the past. The aim and purpose of the founders of this Republic 
was to preserve in the substrata of the government those noble and lofty 
principles of the Christian religion for the maintenance of which they 
left their native land that they might plant these principles in the virgin 
soil of America. 

Manual training is now being made an attractive feature in our 
schools, though by no means a new feature. Manual training must be 
made to strengthen the intellectual and moral training or it will fail in 
its purpose and end as an educational value. Trade schools are one thing, 
manual training schools another thing. It is not the purpose nor the end 
of manual training schools, as a branch of our school system, to teach 
trades per se, but rather to aid the pupils to find out their natural bent 
and to strengthen the trend of their ambition along chosen lines; or, in 
other words, to help the pupil to discover his powers, capabilities and 
capacity, to reveal the pupil to himself. Dr. Mayo says: "The higher 
education according to the last American interpretation is just this : The 
art of placing an educated mind, a consecrated heart, and a trained will, 
the whole of a refined manhood and womanhood, right at the ends of the 
ten fingers of both hands, so that whether you eat or drink or whatsoever 
you do you may do all to the glory of God." 

There were two distinct civilizations attempted in this country; one 
was planted at Jamestown, Virginia, the other at Plymouth, Massachu- 
setts. They were antagonistic in thought, aim and purpose. The civiliza- 
tion at Plymouth was an example of the "survival of the fittest," the 
errors of the one must be engulfed in the ever abiding principles of the 
other. The educational feature of the one must yield to the educational 
feature of the other. There must be but one system of education for all the 
people, great and small, black and white. This is essential for the peace, 
comfort, and prosperity of the nation. 



This is an Anglo-Saxon country. The thought of this country is 
Anglo-Saxon. The progress of this country is Anglo-Saxon. The colored 
people of this country, like all others born and reared on our shores, 
are Anglo-Saxon in thought, in religion, in education, in training, and 
hence it is unsafe and dangerous, not to say impracticable, to educate 
them or any other class of our citizens along different lines. The people 
of this nation must be one in purpose, one in aim ; there must be a com- 
mon bond uniting them in a common sympathy and fraternity. To secure 
this end all the people must be trained to the highest wisdom. "The fear 
of God is the beginning of wisdom." Herce, says Milton : "To govern 
well is to train up a nation in true wisdom and virtue and that which 
springs from thence, magnanimity and likeness to God, which is called 
godliness. Other things follow as the shadow does the substance. 





"The education of a Negro is the education of a human being. In its 
essential characteristics the human mind is the same in every race and in 
every age. When a Negro child is taught that two and two are four he 
learns just what the white child learns when he is taught the same propo- 
sition. The teacher uses the same faculties of mind in imparting the 
truth as to the sum of two and two. The two children use the same 
faculties in learning the truth; it means the same thing to them both. 
In further teaching and training the methods may vary, but variations 
will depend less on differences of race than on peculiarities of the indi- 
vidual." — Bishop Haygood. 

The above quotation from Bishop Haygood indicates my answer to 
the question. This question is simply a revival of tlte old superstition 
concerning the Negro that manifested itself in the inquiry as to whether 
the Negro had a soul. Civilization and fraternity have so far developed 
that it would be hard in these days to find a person whose skepticism 
concerning the Negro would find a doubtful expression as to the Negro's 
humanity. The light has become too strong for the existence of that kind 


Prof. S. G. Atkins, President and Founder of The Slater Industrial and State Normal 
School, Winston-Salem, N. C, was born of a humble, yet high, because Christian, parent- 
age, in Chatham County, North Carolina, June 11, 1863. Through this humble slave, yet 
Christian, parentage, there came to this youth principles of industry, morality and Chris- 
tianity which formed the broad, deep, and solid foundation on which has rested his 
eventful and useful life. In early life he learned that "the fear of the Lord is the 
beginning of wisdom." In the days of youth he remembered his Creator. 

Like many of the world's noblest and best characters. Prof. Atkins started life's 
journey at the plow handles; clearing the ground of roots and stumps, splitting rails, 
opening the furrow, planting and harvesting the crops, constituted the duty and pleasures 
of his early life. 

Early evincing an insatiable thirst for knowledge, all the advantages of the village 
school were given him. His progress here was phenomenal. His eagerness to know 
truth; his power of mind to perceive, comprehend and analyze; his retentive memory, 
soon gave him first place among his fellows in the school in the village. A few years 
passed; he in the meantime having prepared himself, the master-mantle of the village 
school falls upon him. His work here caused a widening of his intellectual horizon. 
In the year 1880, therefore, he entered the Academic Department of St. Augustine Normal 
and Collegiate Institute, Raleigh, N. C, and graduated with distinction in 1884. 

Immediately after leaving college, President J. C. Price, the famous colored orator, 
invited him to join the faculty at Livingstone College, Salisbury, N. C. At this post he 
proved himself one of the most useful men in the faculty. At times he filled various 
positions in the college. The Grammar School Department, under his management, was a 
model department, and was the pride of the college. He taught here, serving well and at 
a great sacrifice, six years. Prof. Atkins retired from the Livingstone College to enter the 
public school work in which he had long taken a deep interest. This interest had been 
manifested chiefly in connection with his devotion to the work of building up the North 
Carolina Teachers' Association, which body he helped to organize and of which he was 
President for three successive years. His first extended work in this field was as Prin- 
cipal of the Colored Graded School, of Winston, N. C. This position of responsibility 
he held, with increasing success, for five years, when he gave it up, against the protest 
of the Board of School Commissioners of Winston, to become President of The Slater 
Industrial and State Normal School. This Institution had already been projected by 
him to meet a want among the colored people in the community which he soon saw that 
the public school could not meet, viz.: a deeper ethical culture and the training of the 
youth of the community, not only in books, but also in some useful handicraft which 
would the sooner furnish the basis for strong personal character and sound home-life. 
His first step in this direction had been the founding of the settlement known as 
"Columbian Heights," to serve as a background for the Institution, which would do this. 
The settlement was founded in 1891, and the Institution projected in 1892. Prof. Atkins, 
as the first settler on Columbian Heights, and as the organizer and both Secretary and 
agent of the Board of Trustees, pushed the work of The Slater Industrial School, encour- 
aged and supported by the industrious efforts of the members of the Board, until in 1895 
he was called to the Presidency of the Institution. From that date to the present his 
labors have been an inseparable part of the history of the school. 

Hon. C. H. Mebane, Superintendent of Public Instruction for North Carolina, says of 
him: "If I had fifty such men as Prof. Atkins in North Carolina, I could make a com- 
plete revolution in educational work in a short while, a complete revolution as to moral 
uplift and general good of the negro race." 

In addition to his work as an educator, Prof. Atkins has taken much interest in the 
work of the American Academy of Social and Political Science, of which he is a member. 
He is also a member of the American Statistical Association, and has been twice elected 
Secretary of Education of the A. M. E. Zion Church. 

The esteem in which he is held by leading men of the nation wherever he is known 
is fairly indicated in the following statement of Hon. J. L. M. Curry, LL. D., ex-minister 
to Spain and agent of the great Peabody and Slater Trusts for educational purposes. 
Dr. Curry says: "I regard President Atkins, of The Slater Industrial and State Normal 
School at Winston, N. C, as one of the most worthy and capable men connected with 
the education of the Negroes in the South. His intelligence, courtesy, good deportment, 
high character and efficiency as the head of a school have won the confidence and good- 
will of the people among whom he lives, and of all who best know his work and worth." 


of mist; hence the unsympathetic critic has been forced to find a new 
way of putting his wish begotten thought 

There is still a higher authority for a negative answer to the question, 
"Should the Negroes be given an education different from that given to 
the whites?" in the following language : "God had made of one blood all 
nations of men for to dwell on the face of all the earth." 

This declaration of St. Paul goes to the core of the matter, unless it is 
proposed to revive the old superstition that the Negro is not included as 
a part of the "nations of men." It is a strange fact that nobody ever pro- 
poses a modified or peculiar form of education for any other nationality. 

It is the glory of the backward peoples of the earth that they are 
adopting the forms and methods of education which have made Western 
civilization the touch-stone of the world's progress. 

But the implied contention that the Negro should be given an educa- 
tion of a different kind is not absolute. Most disputants on this subject 
— so far as published statements go — allow that after a long period of 
adaptation and modified training the American Negro may reach a stage 
in his mental evolution that he may assimilate the same kind of mental 
food that is admittedly suited to the Caucasian, Mongolian and others. 
This view of the matter leaves out of the count another great fact, viz., 
that the American Negro is more American than anything else, that he is 
not an alien either by birth or blood. Whatever exceptions might be 
alleged against Africa can no longer be made a bar to him. 

But let us recur again to the evolution theory, and I will not under- 
take to consider this theory as Darwinian. 

It is not generally advanced as a presumption that the Negro is not 
yet a thoroughbred, but it is presented in certain catchy and specious 
phrases such as suggest the necessity of beginning at the bottom rather 
than at the top, the necessity of giving to the colored American a kind of 
colored education, the necessity of making his civilization earthbound 
and breadwinning rather than heavenbound and soul-satisfying — the 
necessity of keeping him close to mother earth — as he "is of the earth 

In those assumptions it is forgotten that education is not a questior 
of mechanics; it is rather a question of ethics and immortality. Educa- 
tion is primarily an effort to realize ip man his possibilities as a thinking 
and feeling being. 

Man's inheritance is first froip heaven, from above. That is the 


respect in which education differs from all merely constructive processes. 
The stimulating and quickening power is from above. Historically this is 
eminentlv true. 

Education has been a process from above. It is not my intention 
to enter upon the discussion of the merits of any particular kind of edu- 
cation. My contention is that because the Negro is a part of humanity, 
because he is an American with an American consciousness and with a 
demonstrated capacity to take on training after the manner of an ordi- 
nary man he should not be treated as a monstrosity. Bishop Haygood 
sets forth the only proper line of distinction in education in the follow- 
ing sentence : "In further teaching and learning the methods may vary, 
but variations will depend less on differences of race than on peculiarities 
of the individual." The "peculiarities" here indicated unquestionably 
exist. They may be noted even in the same family, but these peculiarities 
are found in differences which lie deeper than the skin. There is no 
philosopher, unless he "is joined to idols," so bold as to base his presump- 
tion of difference in human beings upon the skin, for then his judgment 
might have to depend on whether the skin is dark, copper-colored, brown, 
white, yellow, freckled, red, etc. Human differences, all will admit, are 
essentially differences of individual souls, and this does not preclude the 
importance of environment and other incidental influences. 

The great fact is that mind is mind — of like origin and like substance 
— and that it has been found to yield to like treatment among all nations 
and in all ages. There is no system of pedagogy that would hold together 
for a. moment if the idea of the unity of the human race and the simi- 
larity of mind were invalidated. Philosophy itself would be threatened 
and all science would be in jeopardy. Investigation and practice never 
fail to support this theory of the solidarity of the human race. In the 
schools where it has been tried it has been found not to be a matter of 
color, nor even of blood — and certainly the differences have not depended 
on race affiliation. It has been a question of the individual and of local 

But so positive and indivisible is the human identity that even the 
influence of individualism and environments is overcome by the great 
universal processes of education, the great processes of mind quickening 
and mind development. In many of our best institutions there sit side 
by side the representatives of many nationalities and races, and it has 
never been found in the work of these institutions — as far as I have been 


The Rev. Joshua H. Jones was born at Pine Plains, South Carolina, June 15, 1856. 
He professed religion at ten years of age and joined the Shady Grove A. M. E. Church 
of the Bull Swamp Circuit, South Carolina. At the age of fourteen ho was made Sunday 
School teacher, and at the age of sixteen Sunday School superintendent. By the time 
he was eighteen he had served in all the local spiritual offices of the church, and was 
then licensed as a local preacher by the quarterly conference of said circuit. The 
pastors soon discovered his usefulness and aid to them. He was a diligent student and 
an ardent churchman, and acquired education rapidly. At the age of twenty-one years 
he entered the Normal Department of Claflin University, Orangeburg, South Carolina, 
and in 1880 finished the Normal and College Preparatory Courses. He then taught and 
preached one year, after which he returned to Claflin University, and in 1885 graduated 
with the degree of A. B. Not daunted nor yet satisfied with his attainments he came 
north, studied awhile at Howard University, Washington, D. C, thence to Wilberforce 
University, were in 1887 he graduated from the Theological Course with the degree of 
B. D. In 1893 Wilberforce University conferred upon him the degree of D. D. in recog- 
nition of his superior worth and ability. In June, 1900, he was elected President of 
Wilberforce University, and a year later Claflin University conferred upon hira the 
degree of M. A. 

As a minister of the Gospel he has been pastor in charge of Williams Chapel, 
Orangeburg, South Carolina; Branchville Circuit, South Carolina; Fort Motte Circuit, 
South Carolina; Wheeling, West Virginia; The Holy Trinity Church, Wilberforce, Ohio; 
Lynn, Massachusetts; Providence, Rhode Island; Columbus, Ohio; and Presiding Elder 
of the Columbus District, Ohio Conference; Pastor at Zanesville, Ohio. In all an un- 
broken period of thirty-six years of church work and twenty-eight years in the ministry 
he has never known a failure. His labors have been indefatigable and his ministrations 
clean and inspiring. 

In his public services he has been an inspiration to the race. For fourteen years 
he has been a Trustee of Wilberforce University, five years Trustee and Secretary of 
the Normal and Industrial Department at Wilberforce, and a constant and ardent helper 
in the establishment and development of the same. For six consecutive years he was 
elected and served as member of the Columbus Board of Education, and through his 
efforts six colored teachers were put into the mixed schools of Columbus, Ohio, as 

In private affairs he has been industrious, frugal, economical and administrative. 
He has accumulated a comfortable estate and stands well with the banking and business 
circles of Columbus, Ohio, and pays taxes on a tax valuation of $10,000. 

He has always been an ardent lover of his race, of his church, of his country and 
his God, and has always been a striking figure in the circles of men wherever his lot 
has fallen. Fifteen years ago he was elected Dean of Allen University, Columbia, South 
Carolina; eight years ago Professor of Theology in Payne Theological Seminary, neither 
of which he was able to accept because of heavy demands upon his energy elsewhere. 
In 1890 he was elected delegate to the Methodist Ecumenical Conference and has been 
several times delegate to the General Conference of the A. M. E. Church, and in 1900 
was a strong candidate for the Bishopric, receiving fifty or more votes on the first ballot. 
In his present position he bids fair to give the church good service. 


able to discover — that any one color or race could monopolize the bene- 
fits, but, on the contrary, it has been found that the benefits were realized 
according to individual temperament and power. 

My position is not one in reference to non-essentials but essentials; 
it is not a contention based even so much on degree, but rather on quality 
and capability. I would not contend that environment would not make 
a whole group of children more or less backward, and I do not dispute 
the fact that because of better environments the whites represent as a 
whole a higher state of civilization. But I hold that this is true not 
because of race identity but rather because of individual embarrassment. 
Give a white child and a colored child the same environment and their 
progress or backwardness, I hold, would be essentially the same under the 
same stimulants and encouragements. Wherever colored and white chil- 
dren have been put to comparative tests too little attention has been 
paid to difference of environment, and too often there has been a dormant 
presumption that the same environment would not have produced the 
same results upon white children. Wherever these tests have been made 
it has been too often overlooked that the facilities for their education 
were not equal ; they may have been nominally equal but the fact remains 
that they were not really equal. 

Considering the inequalities of environment and educational facilities 
the results of most of the comparative tests are complimentary to the 
colored child and demonstrate the similarity of his mental susceptibili- 
ties — demonstrate that he is but a normal constituent part of the great 
human race with substantially the same limitations and capabilities as 
other members of the great human family. 





If this question is to be answered affirmatively or negatively, I 
emphatically say no. If the question be asked inquiringly, carrying with 
it the thought of race experience, race opportunity, race status and the 
variations growing out of these, then I would give the dubious answer, 


yes and no. In the first place, all things are educative and all forms of 
education have a definite relation to all other forms of education, and all 
educational processes have definite relations to all other educational 
processes, so all of these factors make for unity in education, and the 
completest education is that which embraces the greatest number of 
educational factors. It is perfectly true that educational processes may 
be varied so as to suit varying ideals or they may be varied so as to 
accomplish certain ends, for unvarying sequences follow definite ante- 
cedents ; even so educational systems may be framed for the accomplish- 
ment of varying results or definite results as the framers of such systems 
may determine to suit the conditions of mankind as conceived at any 
given time. The end in view in an educational system is everything. 
What the chosen end of any system of education may be ought to depend 
upon the institution of the country in which a people lives and every 
educational system should be framed so as to utilize all of the agencies 
and involve all of the processes that make most rapidly for the achieve- 
ment of the end in view. 

If the end in view is serfdom for the Negro, then a vast amount of 
industrial training by rote, minus the natural sciences and mechanic 
arts for the generation of capacity, plus such rudiments in arithmetic, 
reading and writing as will enable him to be an efficient workman under 
the directions of others is the requisite. If it is the desire to make the 
Negro a useful agent in the production of wealth through the operation 
of the basal industries, in the largest quantity or the highest quality for 
the smallest amount of outlay, then a still higher class of training would 
be necessary, whether this production of wealth be for the good of self 
or for the common good of society. But if the end in view is to prepare 
him for the higher responsibilities of American citizenship, involving as 
that citizenship does the relationships, obligations and duties which 
devolve upon freemen and equally binding upon him as upon the whites 
in a democratic society or in a country of the people, for the people and 
by the people, it is evident that such a system must have structural 
affinity with such a system of education carried on by the whites and for 
the whites. In other words, such must be his education that his whole 
being is developed and in him there is the largest generation of capacity, 
insight, foresight, the power to think with proportions so as to give him 
that mastery over his environments and over the questions of common 
good which will enable him at all times to do the right things, the wisest 


things, the best things under any given circumstances in the midst of 
which he may be thrown. Any educational system that has an aim short 
of this as its end will certainly fail to prepare the Negro for the high 
duties which belong to a free individual in a democratic society. 

Why should the Negro be given an education different from that given 
to the whites? Is he not a man? Is he not a free man? Is he not a citi- 
zen? Is he not held responsible by society for the performance of duties 
enjoined upon him by law? Is he not a subject of government? As a 
subject of government, ought he not participate in the affairs of the gov- 
ernment? I think it will be admitted by all fair-minded men that all 
governments are for the welfare of the governed. Now, since the Negro 
is more interested in his own welfare than anybody else is and since to 
have a thing well done you had better do it yourself, since also his welfare 
is shaped by any government under which he lives, it must necessarily 
follow that his best good requires that he participate in the affairs of that 
government if he is to continue to be a free man. It is argued — and that 
not without some degree of reason — by part of the more favored people 
in this country, that the gift of the high privileges of citizenship carries 
with it the demand that the recipients of these gifts possess the capacity 
to exercise them for the common good of all who belong to the body 
politic. They also argue that human conditions for government are 
grounded in intelligence, virtue and property. So good, so well. But how 
is the Negro to acquire intelligence, virtue and property according to 
the American standard if his education is to be according to an un- 
American system? There are four fundamental American doctrines that 
both experience and philosophy attest as being right: (I) The right of 
education is a human right. (II) That the schools furnished by the 
state should be open to all of the children of the state. (Ill) The safety 
of the state depends upon the intelligence of our citizens of that state. 
(IV) As a matter of self-defense the state should compel all of its citizens 
to become intelligent. These doctrines have their root in the great truth 
that every individual is a member of society and that therefore society 
has an interest in him, in his capacity, in his intelligence, in his worth, 
and in turn is injured by his incapacity, his lack of worth, his ignorance. 
The great war-cry of American leadership is "Educate, educate, educate ;" 
yea, more, "Educate your masters." No man lives unto himself. God has 
made every man dependent, associative and co-operative, and hence the 
good of every individual is found in the common good of society and the 


common good of society is found in the good of the individual. Every man 
who is not at his best or not doing his best is to that extent a failure and 
a hurt to the common good. 

To me it is perfectly clear that if the Negro is to be in this country and 
not of it then his education should be different from that given to the 
whites. But if he is to be in the country and of the country it follows 
without argument that he must be educated in common with all of the 
people of the country so that the nation may have a common ideal and a 
common consciousness so that our whole society may have or feel a com- 
mon interest in our common country. To be more explicit, whether or not 
the Negro should be given the same kind of education the whites are given 
depends upon whether or not the whites have the proper kind of educa- 
tion. I should rather contend that if the whites have the proper kind of 
education for mankind, then that given to the Negro should be exactly 
like it. If the whites have not the proper kind of education for mankind, 
then it follows that the Negro should be given a different kind, for 
whether or not one man should have the same thing as another depends 
upon whether or not that thing is fit for mankind in general. This would 
naturally force upon us the inquiry as to what kind of education the 
whites receive. If upon proper inquiry we find that theirs is the proper 
kind for man, in this same finding we should discover that this is the 
proper kind for the Negro. 

Here differentiation begins, even in the field of education itself. A 
careful study of the constitution of man, involving the fundamentalities 
that grow out of his intellectual, moral, industrial, social and political 
nature will lead us, I think, to see that much of the white man's education 
is to be regretted and repudiated; much of it is to be approved and 
appropriated. All training given in avarice, hatred, prejudice, passion, 
sensuality, sin and wickedness, growing out of self-conceit and vanity, 
must assuredly be repudiated. But all things embraced in their educa- 
tion that make for the good, the true, the beautiful, the just and the eleva- 
tion of mankind should be embraced, seized upon, masticated, digested 
and assimilated — transmuted into the elements of Negro character, form- 
ing a part of the very sub-consciousness of his being. In short, whatever 
education the whites have had or do get which makes for human enlarge- 
ment, for righteousness, and brings man into closer relationship with 
God and gives him a fuller conception of the laws of God made manifest 
by the operation of His laws throughout the cosmos enabling him to dis- 


cover the relationships which he sustains to God, to his fellow-men, to 
the lower creatures which inhabit this earthly sphere in which man lives 
and the laws that govern the universe, expressing modes of existence and 
orders of sequence, together with the principles of industry, frugality 
and economy, which determine the material accumulations necessary for 
the maintenance of life, these the Negro should know as largely as pos- 
sible, for certainly they have been fields of educational processes found 
necessary for the white man through many generations. It is to be 
noticed that for centuries the white man has studied in order to get a 
thorough grasp, first of all, upon the intellectual tools — so to speak; in 
other words, to know how to read, write and cipher in terms of his own 
language, and at the same time to lay a foundation broad enough to 
pursue useful knowledge in all other directions possible. For instance, 
having mastered his own language to a reasonable degree, he takes the 
Latin and the Greek that he might acquaint himself with the develop- 
ment of the institutions out of which his own was evolved as well as to 
make double his hold upon his own; he studies Hebrew and the cognate 
languages to get mastery of the great truths, philosophy and institutions 
of a great people, adding to his own thereby ; he studies the modern lan- 
guages, German, French, Spanish and Italian, that he may gather the 
best fruits of the achievements of these nations and add them to his own 
store ; yea, he covers the whole field of philology that he may add to his 
own store the best that has been garnered by all of the nations of the 
earth ; he studies the literature, science and philosophy of all living races 
of his day and time with the same end in view and when he has swept the 
field of historic times he delves into the mysteries of geology and archae- 
ology and follows the mute footsteps of man through Neolithic and Paleo- 
lithic times to the very zero of human beginnings and comes back laden 
with truths to enrich the thought of his day. 

He studies natural science as God manifested in nature, by observa- 
tion and experiment; he commences with God through the discov- 
ery of the reign of law, classifying and systematizing the same and thus 
broadening his own vision and adding to the store of knowledge in our 
day and generation. As a preparation for this scientific research, he 
studies mathematics from the elementary principles through the largest 
elaborations of Euclid, Keppler, Newton and Copernicus, and their 
illustrious successors; he studies sociology, biology and mechanics; he 
studies civil and sociological laws and principles to the end that the 


intricacies of democratic business intercourse might be the more fully 
and clearly understood, mastered and applied in civilized processes. No 
form of industry has escaped him, no law of frugality has eluded him; 
whatever has in it an element of truth or virtue, he has pursued with a 
relentlessness that knows no failure. As a student, he has gone the 
rounds of the world in search of truth and has come back rich in the 
knowledge of the things that God would have us know. 

How the Negro can live in the midst of a civilization created by such 
a people, drawing upon such vast resources as we have but faintly indi- 
cated and be given an education different from that of this people — and 
yet live among them with any degree of security — for the life of me, I 
cannot see. If, to keep up with the requirements of such a civilization as 
America furnishes to-day, a white child — notwithstanding his inheritance 
— has to go to school from his earliest days away into the years of his 
majority and be systematically trained in all of the subjects as taught in 
the kindergarten, the public schools, the secondary schools, the acade- 
mies, the universities, and the professional schools, how much more 
imperatively necessary must it be that the Negro should have like train- 
ing. It seems to me that he should not only have the same training but 
that he should have more of it than the white man has. His education 
should be physical, moral, intellectual, social, industrial and political, 
and his educational processes should have the highest structural affinity 
with the educational processes of the whites so that he may be brought 
into national and political assimilation with the white man's institu- 
tional life. 


Hon. John P. Green was born in 1845 at New Berne, N. C, of free parents. As a 
boy twelve years of age, he went with his widowed mother to Cleveland, Ohio. He was 
educated in the Cleveland public schools, graduating from the Central High School in 

He was admitted to the bar of South Carolina in 1870. Returning to Cleveland, 
he for nine years served as justice of the peace. In 1881 he was elected member of 
the Ohio Legislature, serving three terms. In 1897 he was appointed to a position in 
the postoffice department by President McKinley. 

He was also delegate to the National Republican Convention in 1872, in 1884 and 





All citizens who are industrious, honest, brave and patriotic should 
vote, without regard to their color; for, a man may possess all these 
characteristics and yet be "ignorant." Ignorance is only relative any- 

(a) The Negro is a citizen. See XIV Amendment to Constitution, 

(b) He is industrious, and by his industry has not only helped to 
develop the resources of the United States but he has produced much of 
the property which is unjustly held by many white voters, and withheld 
from him ; especially in the South. 

The property of the South is due not more to the capital invested in 
the agricultural and manufacturing enterprises of that section than to 
the labor of the Negro, who furnishes the foundation of all wealth — labor 
— there. 

(c) The untutored Negro has shown himself to be honest; he has 
never betrayed a trust imposed in him. During the great Civil War he 
was true to the trust imposed in him by his master at the front, who 
confided to his care the sustenance and even life of his wife and little 
ones. This was the supremest test of his honesty, which he sacredly dis- 
charged. Since the war, he has faithfully adhered to and followed the 
fortunes of the Republican party, by the mandate of which he was emanci- 
pated ; even though in doing so he has suffered all the evils which a hos- 
tile opponent can invent to plague and swerve him from what he con- 
siders the path of gratitude and honor. 

(d) He is brave; as the records of our wars will prove. His blood 
has stained many battlefields where, under "Old Glory," he fought 
for the Union and Liberty ; not only on American soil, but also in foreign 
lands. The Negro, in contending in war, for the life and liberties of this 
Republic, has literally covered himself with glory. 

(1) That he is patriotic goes without saying, in the light of what has 



been written in the foregoing paragraph. With all his coarse and homely 
ignorance, the heart of the American Negro, when yet a slave, throbbed 
with patriotic love and loyalty ; and this, too, at a time when his college- 
bred and intelligent ( ?) master was doing his uttermost to destroy this 
glorious fabric of Union. 

It is only reasonable to assume that a man whose ignorance does not 
blind him from shooting right, can, and will, under proper instruction, 
which is given in prints and on the stump to all other voters, vote rightly. 

(2) The first and most potent step in the direction of humiliating 
the Negro and relegating him to a condition of mental serfdom, is to 
deprive him of the ballot. It is the only token of real power which he 
possesses, aside from his brawn, which the white American really covets ; 
and once shorn of that, he would, like Samson, be passive, in the hands 
of the Philistines. 

(3) Another suggestion which may be urged in behalf of the suffrage 
rights of the "ignorant and non-property-holding Negro" is, that he is a 
hopeless minority; nor could he, by any means, control the destinies of 
this country, if the intelligent voters of the land would but be vigilant 
and prompt in the exercise of the franchise, imposed in them. It is a sad 
reflection that the alleged fraud and corruption which existed under 
"carpet-bag rule" in the South during the reconstruction period could 
never have existed had the white voters of the South, who were yet 
clothed with the elective franchise, given their countenance and affilia- 
tion to the Negro voters, instead of standing aloof from them and leaving 
them to be swayed by a set of educated men, many of whom were neither 
"to the manor born," nor particularly interested in the welfare of the 
several communities in which they operated. 

(4) We must never lose sight of the fact that the welfare of the 
Republic is not resident altogether in the brains of the voters. The heart 
plays a very conspicuous part in the casting of a pure and salutary ballot. 
As between a voter possessing a pure, kind and patriotic heart but an 
uncultivated mind, and another endowed with all the learning of the 
universities, but swayed by ulterior and unpatriotic designs, one would 
experience little or no difficulty in making choice of the former, even 
though clad in a black skin. 

(5) The fact that a Negro is a "non-property-holding Negro" should 
not militate against his right to exercise his rights of citizenship; for, 
many of the most useful and valuable of our voters, of both races, arc 


non-property-holding" voters. The fact of holding property is frequently 
predicated on conditions altogether fortuitous — a reverse of the wheel of 
fortune, a large or expensive family — a drought or flood, as well as many 
other contingencies all play conspicuous parts in preventing good and 
true citizens from accumulating property, even to the extent of an humble 
homestead; while fire, cyclone and flood often reduce a man of great 
possessions in a day to the conditions of a "non-property-holding M citi- 
zen; and did his right to vote depend on his property holding, he would 
be utterlv bereft of it. On the contrary, it is no extraordinarv thing to 
see a man of less than average intelligence endowed with "worldly 
goods" through a turn of the wheel of fortune or the expansion or con- 
traction of a "margin," where men win or lose all on the casting of a die. 

It does not seem to have occurred to many of those who are exceed- 
ingly anxious to deprive "ignorant and non-property-holding Negroes" of 
the ballot, that ignorance in a white man is just as vicious as ignorance 
in any other class of citizens; yet they go on eliminating, by laws of 
questionable validity, the hard working, wealth producing Negro of the 
South, while in most instances the ignorant, dilettante and faneant, with 
a white skin, is not only permitted to vote, but even protected in the 
exercise of the function. 

Upon the whole, after mature reflection, an affirmative answer would 
seem to be the proper one to the foregoing proposition. Under our 
present Constitution, yes; the "ignorant and non-property-holding 
Negro" ought to vote. 





At first glance the above question would seem to be fully answered 
with one word comprising but two letters, namely, N-o. And yet, upon 
second thought, it will be seen that that answer would not apply, for the 
reason that the alleged criminal Negro seldom reaches a court-house in 
the South before alleged summary justice is visited upon him by an un- 
reasoning Judge Lynch. 

The fact that the question is asked whether the criminal Negro is 
justly dealt with in the courts of the South, would imply that there i;-; 
at least a doubt as to the genuineness of the justice meted out to him 
there. In legal phraseology, a criminal is one who has been duly con- 
victed of crime. This being so, it would seem that my first inquiry should 
be, whether the Negro who has been legally ascertained to be a criminal 
is justly dealt with in the South, in the matter of his punishment there- 
for? This line of inquiry leads me into the investigation of the convict 
lease system which obtains in certain Southern states, and other unlaw- 
ful abuses of colored criminals there. 

It is not my purpose in the limited space allotted to consider this 
phase of the subject at great length, but rather to briefly point out its 
manifest injustice. 

One of the greatest wrongs of the South is its convict lease system ; 
and its lynch law, and its disfranchising statutes are like unto it. Al- 
though the emancipation proclamation, written and promulgated by the 
immortal Lincoln, has been operative for more than thirty-six years, yet 
a species of slavery still exists there, fostered and nurtured by the stat- 
utes authorizing the convict lease system. So vile became this evil in 
Anderson county, South Carolina, that the leading officials there de- 
nounced it as brutal and barbarous, a crime against nature and nature's 
God — a crime against civilization and humanity. 

Some of the specific charges against the system were that these 
unfortunate beings, without regard to sex, were huddled together in 



Reuben S. Smith, attorney-at-law, No. 420 Fifth Street, N. W., Washington, D. C, 
was born in Jackson County, Florida, April 1, 1854. He received his early education in 
the common schools of Marianna, in that county, and at Howard University, Washing- 
ton, D. C. Before coming to Washington he taught school for a time and in 1876 
served as an alternate delegate-at-large from Florida to the National Republican Con- 
vention, held at Cincinnati, Ohio. As a resident of the national capita! he served as 
a clerk in the United States Treasury Department, in the office of the sixth auditor and 
in that of the second auditor. He was also Washington correspondent of several news- 
papers, but after graduating from the law department of the Howard University, in 
1883, was admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia, and 
has since been successfully employed in the practice of his profession. He has not 
only established a lucrative private business, but has acted as attorney for a life 
insurance company and other corporations. In November, 1899, he was unanimously 
elected moderator of the conference of the Congregational churches of Virginia, Mary- 
land, West Virginia and the District of Columbia, and is Superintendent of the Lincoln 
Memorial Congregational Church Sunday School. 

Mr. Smith was a delegate to the National Republican Convention held at Chicago 
in 1880, and a special agent of the eleventh census of the United States (1890), assigned 
to the work of collecting the statistics of the recorded indebtedness of the State of 
Florida. It is therefore evident that he is a man of versatility as well as ability. — 
Biographical Encyclopedia of the United States. 

The subject of this sketch also served as assistant sergeant-at-arms of the Phila- 
delphia National Republican Convention of 1900. He has been attorney in several im- 
portant cases in the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia, involving damage suits 
against large corporations, and has been generally successful. He has also been retained 
in many equity, real estate and contested will cases, wherein he has been equally suc- 
cessful. He has been almost exclusively engaged in civil practice during his experience 
of fourteen years as a practitioner before the Supreme Court of the District. 

Mr. and Mrs. Smith are domiciled at No. 715 Second Street, Northwest, where they 
have resided for the past twenty years. Two children survive to them: Master Jerome 
Bonaparte, a student at Howard University and Miss Rosa Virginia, a pupil in the 
Washington High School. 


prison quarters like so many cattle. It has been a foul blot upon the 
escutcheon of the South, second only to the murderous stains made there- 
on by the lynchers. It is a disgrace even to the civilization of medieval 
times. For cruelty and outrage it is unparalleled in the annals of civ- 
ilized society. Siberia itself is preferable to the convict camp. Given 
the worst form of human slavery plus the barbarities of prison life; add 
to this the horrors of a Spanish prison, and you have somewhat of an idea 
of the iniquitous institution of the barbarous convict lease system. 

But as if compounding crime, it is asserted with many of the appear- 
ances of truth, that Negro boys and girls, upon trivial charges, are con- 
victed and sent to the convict camp for the express purpose of securing 
to the lessees of convicts the benefit of their unrequited toil until they 
reach their majority. Thus confined among confirmed criminals they 
naturally partake of the character of their environments, and conceive 
and multiply vice and criminology. This system punishes the real crimi- 
nal unjustly. The ill-gotten gain it offers furnishes the incentive to 
thrust the innocent into prison pens. 

Then, too, it is claimed with the appearance of truth that unscrupu- 
lous white men in certain Southern localities actually trump up charges 
against Negro men and procure their convictions and sentence to the 
convict camp for the double purpose of affording the lessees the com- 
paratively free labor of the alleged criminals and to deprive them of the 
right to vote. While heartily approving of such reasonable punishment 
as shall deter crime, I can command no language strong and severe 
enough to condemn in fitting terms the cruelties and deviltries heaped 
upon the Negro in certain sections of the South in the name and for the 
sake of those who profit by the convict lease system. 

It is undisputed that some of those sent to the convict camp have 
been properly found guilty; some have been illegally convicted; some 
deserve proper punishment, while some, by reason of their tender years, 
should have been put into reformatories, where they might have been 
rescued from a life of crime and brought up as law-abiding citizens. 
Such institutions may have been intended to protect society from the 
dishonest and vicious and to repress crime, but they are really made 
hotbeds of vice; and where sufficient vitality remains in the unfortu- 
nates, they actually propagate and multiply criminals. 

But if the question should become so varied as to inquire whether 
the Negro in the South charged with crime is justly dealt with in the 


courts thereof; in other words, is he afforded a fair trial there? — it could 
not be fully answered without taking into consideration the heinous 
crime with which the Negro is generally charged. There is nothing more 
revolting than rape, unless it be mob-rule. There is no true man, white 
or black, who would not rejoice to see condign punishment visited upon 
the brute legally proven guilty of this most diabolical crime. 

The South justifies lynching on the ground that it shields the victim 
of the crime from the publicity to which a trial of the perpetrator would 
expose her. That is to say, the lynchers prefer to violate the organic law, 
which provides that no one shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, 
without due process of law. They put the mob above the judicial system 
of the country, and arrogate to it greater power to protect the honor of 
the outraged female and uphold the majesty of the law than a court of 
justice. It is a sad reflection upon the administration of justice even to 
intimate that the mob which ruthlessly defies the law is better qualified to 
administer justice than the court established by law to try aud determine 
the guilt or innocence of persons charged with the commission of crime. 

In the dark ages of English history, it frequently happened that the 
person charged with the commission of crime was first executed and 
afterward his trial was had, and if a verdict of not guilty was found, his 
bones were disinterred and given a state funeral. But the Negro charged 
with the commission of crime in the South is frequently not granted a 
trial before or after execution ; so that the Negro is not justly dealt with 
in the courts of the South, even after he has been hung, drawn and quar- 
tered, or burned. 

In some instances where the Negro is fortunate enough to confront 
his accusers in a court in the South, the caste prejudice against him too 
often reduces his trial to a mere mockery of justice. 

The cornerstone of the Republic is justice, to establish which, under 
liberty, its founders set foot upon these hostile shores in the early part 
of the seventeenth century. From that time to the present the slogan of 
every campaign, the rallying cry of every battle, has been justice in some 
form or other. And yet, in the alleged interest of innocence, justice, in 
certain localities, is often outraged, law dethroned, and mob rule exalted. 

Whether or not the Negro charged with crime is justly dealt with in 
the courts of the South can only be answered relatively, for in some 
localities fair trials are granted even to Negroes charged with the 
commission of crime. But for the most part, it must be admitted that 


Negroes brought into the courts of the South accused of crime against 
white people are not accorded a fair trial. 

The reason of this unjust dealing with the Negro in the courts of the 
South is not far to seek; he is looked upon as an alien; then, too, the 
doctrine that he has no rights which a white man is bound to respect is 
exploded in certain localities only in theory, for in practice it is still 
unmistakably prevalent. 

The crying need of the times is a wholesome respect for law and order, 
and a righteous condemnation of mob rule everywhere. Every pulpit 
North and South should speak out against mob rule and lynch law. The 
eloquent divine in Greenville, Miss., who recently denounced with right- 
eous indignation the damnable outrages of mob violence in that state, 
was as a voice crying in the wilderness. For some reason his brethren 
of the cloth have not seen fit to join him in a crusade against this abom- 
inable sin. If the Southern clergy could only be induced to preach 
against this evil occasionally, there would soon be created throughout the 
sin-ridden districts such a healthy public sentiment and respect for law 
and order that these crimes against the state would soon become things 
of the past ; nor could there be found throughout, our broad land a mis- 
creant, who, under the influence of the spirit of lawlessness, would take 
the life of our Chief Magistrate; nor would there be anywhere such an 
illiberal public sentiment as would openly criticise our Chief Executive 
for dining a representative member of the race whose feasts even Jupiter 
did not disdain to grace. 

But let us consider the alleged crime for which lynching is attempted 
to be justified. L. H. Perkins, Esq., of the Kansas Bar Association, in 
an address to its annual meeting, in July, 1901, said : 

"Lord Coke observes: 'There are crimes that are not so much as to 
be named among Christians.' It is difficult for us in Kansas to believe 
that certain crimes exist ; crimes against nature, practiced by force upon 
defenseless childhood, disclosed in criminal records of great cities; but 
there is one crime in Kansas that we have learned to know. It ought 
not to be named, much less permitted in a Christian land. The crime 
and its fit punishment, can scarcely be discussed; but how else can it 
be expunged? Shall it be by fire? Must he who writes the story of this 
new-born age still further shock the world and foul the fair name of 
America by pictures of a howling mob, profaning every law of God and 
man; with every bulwark of our rights thrown down, the gates of hell 


unchained, and passion, loose, unbridled as hurricane, roaring above the 
prostrate guardians of the peace, annihilating in an hour the civilization 
of six thousand years? 

"Death in flames! Savage, bloodthirsty vengeance! Three things 
this savory orgy lacks : salt and sweet herbs and a good appetite. 

"There is a law that in the last extremity, in the presence of impend- 
ing death, all barriers are removed, all ranks are leveled, all rights are 
equalized. Supreme necessity is supreme law. Can it be possible that 
some such overmastering impulse at times dethrones the public mind, and, 
while the fit is on, the latent cannibal runs riot in the land? It seems it 
must be so ; and, if it be, 'twill be until we rise to the necessity. 

"We may excoriate the cannibal, but which of us will now affirm the 
provocation is not great? Poor, helpless woman! Why don't she learn 
to shoot? This monstrous crime pursues her like a nightmare. It is an 
ever present peril to every woman in the land. Must she shun every alley 
and fly from every bush lest lascivious eyes be on her and unbridled, 
brutal passion block her way? Of all the hobgoblins abroad in the night, 
in fact or fancj r or in song or story, there is none so hideous as the 
stealthy form of the lecherous brute that leaps forth out of darkness and 
drags defenseless woman to her ruin. 

"And can it be that we who make the laws ; we who have wives and 
daughters and sisters and mothers who are dearer than life itself; we 
who honor woman, not for her strength but for the very attributes that 
render her the prey of force; can it be that we can make no laws that 
will protect her, or satisfy the public that justice will be done? 

"Concede that in the sight of God the crime of rape is worse than 
murder, yet is it plain that the punishment should be death? In the inter- 
est of woman herself were it not better that the brutal ravisher have 
somewhat more to bear if he do also murder? Else would not the motive 
to silence forever the most dangerous witness be complete? 

"I offer the suggestion of three degrees for rape — the first to cover only 
ravishment by brutal violence and force ; the second all the intermediate 
grades save statutory rape, which alone shall constitute the third degree. 
I am no firm believer in the justice of our age of consent, and would leave 
corporal punishment for statutory rape to the discretion of the trial 
court. The terms of imprisonment as now prescribed are doubtless long 
enough, but let us add to them the sting and shame of the ancient whip- 
ping post. For the third degree, in the court's discretion, not more than 


seven lashes. For the second degree two floggings of twenty lashes each, 
soundly administered within twelve months. And for the first degree, 
three several floggings of forty lashes each within twelve months, and 
then castration. There is much reason in this ancient penalty, and the 
time has come when it should be revived. If, as some say, this morbid 
and unbridled passion is disease, then treat it like appendicitis — remove 
the cause." 

Mr. Perkins is on the right track. I am glad that he neither endorses 
lynching nor takes stock in the absurd report from certain sections of 
the South that all Negroes are ravishers of white women. I think his 
suggested remedy against rape a good one for white and black. 

But to return to the consideration of the other phase of the question, 
I desire to say that Mrs. Helen Douglass, the widow of the lamented 
Frederick Douglass, is accepted authority on the convict lease system, 
and consequently I am indebted to her for most of the data used in this 
article touching that subject. In a well prepared lecture on convict 
leases, Mrs. Douglass introduces her theme as follows: 

"We know what happens when manufactories are shut down and a 
vast amount of accumulated material is suddenly thrown upon the mar- 
ket. For 250 years the South had been manufacturing a peculiar article; 
had been literally stamping this article with its own lineaments and 
putting it upon a market created especially for it. The war came! The 
manufactories were closed; the material was on hand; what should be 
done with it? Never in the world, perhaps, has there been a clearer 
demonstration of the irrevocable nature of law, as affecting society, and 
the awful power of habit as the sum of reiterated choice." 

At the Prison Reform Convention, held in Atlanta in 1888, Dr. P. D. 
Sims of Chattanooga, Tenn., said that, the impoverished condition of the 
South succeeding the War of the Rebellion, caused it to drift into the 
convict lease system, for which there were many excuses, but no justi- 
fication. The lessee buys from the State the discipline of prisoners solely 
for gain; that neither the State nor the lessee had regard to the element 
of reform or consideration of a philanthropic character; that although 
many good men were engaged in it, the system was wrong. He presented 
the statistics of thirty-nine State prisons, showing that in the non-leasing 
prisons, the annual mortality was fifteen per thousand, while in the leas- 
ing, it was sixty-four per thousand, and that in the former, escapes were 


but five per thousand, and in the latter, they were fifty-one per thousand. 
He appealed to the South to change the system. 

The lease system was adopted in Georgia in 1869, both Democrats and 
Republicans favoring it. The first year there were 350 convicts to be 
hired, and the second year the number doubled. An investigation showed 
that one company paid nothing to the State for the labor of its convicts, 
and that although the law provided for a chaplain, the State had none ; 
that convicts were worked on Sundays contrary to law, and in some 
instances whipped to death. The evils of the system became so flagrant 
that a Senator on the floor of the Senate Chamber declared that the rich 
and powerful were allowed to go free, while the poor white person and 
the ignorant Negro were shown no mercy. It was proved that even a 
governor of the State was himself a lessee, working State convicts for 
private gain, under a $37,000 bond in force until 1899, although he was 
the convict's only protection against the wrongs of the lessee. 

The ease and facility with which colored persons were sent to the 
penitentiary kept a goodly supply of prisoners on hand. While it was 
burdensome to taxpayers to keep them within walls, it was unjust to 
mechanics to allow them to learn trades; ergo, they were leased out to 
grade streets, to work on railroads, in mines and the like, where their 
physical powers might be availed of, but where they could learn nothing, 
save yes and no, axe and hoe. 

By an act passed in 1876, by the legislature, the Marietta and North 
Georgia Railroad Company was leased 250 convicts for three years, to 
grade its road where the people were too poor to pay for it. The rest 
of the convicts the governor was authorized to lease to three penitentiary 
companies for twenty years for $500,000, to be paid in annual installments 
of $25,000. In a test case by two of these companies, in the Supreme 
Court of Georgia it was decided that the lessees acquired a vested right 
of property in the labor of these convicts, which the legislature could not 
disregard unless their labor was required by the State, in which case the 
lessee demanded compensation. The Supreme Court consequently 
granted an injunction restraining the keeper from delivering said con- 
victs to said railroad company, thereby securing to the lessees a legal 
right of property in the labor of the convicts till the contract is legally 

In an investigation of 1896, presided over by Governor Atkinson, 
Capt. Lowe, a lessee, testified : 


"We do not think ourselves liable for the conduct of whipping bosses. 
They are given their commissions by the State, and we insist that they 
are answerable to the State alone. We cannot direct the whipping of 
convicts; it must be done by the bosses. If all the convicts were disabled 
by whipping, we think the State would be liable to us for loss of time, 
because the whipping bosses are the agents of the State." 

Lessee Lowe admitted he was a close corporation, being president, 
secretary, treasurer, boss and everything else of the company, which held 
no meetings, had no stock, and declared no dividends. 

Attorney-General Terrell held that the convicts were under the care 
of the lessees, whose duty it was to see that they were treated humanely, 
citing the order of 1887 by Governor Gordon, to prove that while the 
whipping bosses were appointed by the governor, they were under the 
control of the lessees. Governor Atkinson said that he did not dream 
for a moment that the lessees did not consider it their duty to see that 
the convicts were properly treated. 

Mr. Huff, addressing the legislature, said, that "any attempt at 
reformation of the present system is an absurdity, a swindle and a fraud. 
It is a damnable outrage. The lessee contract would not stand fifteen 
minutes before a petit jury. I could hang any of the lessees before a petit 
jury in two and a half hours," said he. 

One convict testified that in his case the skin came off with every 
blow inflicted by a soaked strap drawn through sand; that twenty bas- 
tard children were in one camp. A female convict testified that during 
her prison life of fourteen years she had borne seven children. A lessee 
testified that such irregularities as bastard children would occasionally 
occur as long as women were guarded by men. 

Dr. Felton, addressing the Georgia Legislature, said: 

"I stated ten years ago that the State was acting as a procuress for 
convict camps; the legislature is keeping up the supply in accordance 
with the demand. I repeat the accusation here and now." 

In 1895 a number of convicts had their feet so frozen that the flesh 
and toes rotted off. Governor Atkinson enlightened the legislature of 
the deplorable condition existing in the convicts' camps through the 
report thereon by Hon. R. F. Wright, showing nearly fifty misdemeanor 
camps. In the chain-gangs were twenty-seven white and 768 colored con- 
victs; generally both races and sexes being together day and night. 
Among these were eleven children under fourteen years of age. Some 


slept in rude floorless houses; some in tents on the bare ground, and a 
few in bunks. The bedding was scant and filthy, and full of vermin. 
The camps were poorly ventilated, the sleeping quarters being generally 
sweat-boxes, constructed to prevent escapes. There were no hospitals 
and no preparations for comfort or medical treatment. Female prisoners 
dressed in male attire, worked side by side with men. 

A member of the legislature declared : 

"Most lessees would rather see the devil in their camps than a Metho- 
dist or Baptist preacher. I do not urge the bill for the Negro, but for 
the safety of homes and property. Crime has increased in the United 
States more than in any other country on the globe. I plead for the 
orphan boys and girls of the State. Better send them to a bottomless 
hell than to James' camp." 

Said the lamented Colonel Alston : 

"The public knows how hard it is to get testimony in a case like the 
lease question. If a guard kills a man, he is not going to tell of it. If 
a lessee chooses to whip one to death, who is to know it? If he starves 
them, who is the wiser? I never expect to give up the agitation of this 
question till I can point to my native State redeemed, regenerated, and 
disenthralled from this great sin, and the finger of shame shall no longer 
be lifted at her, as a State that is banking on the crimes and misfortunes 
of her defenseless and ignorant population." 

Three months after this Colonel Alston was shot dead in the State 
Capitol of Georgia, by a sub-lessee during a controversy arising from 
the leasing of some convicts; whereupon Governor Atkinson declared 
that, under heaven and by God's help, he meant to lift up the administra- 
tion of the laws of the State to that high plane that will put an end to 
these things. 

Mr. Byrd of Rome, Ga., by authority of Governor Atkinson, inspected 
the misdemeanor camps in 1897, and reported that private chain-gangs 
were being operated against law, and in spite of the decisions of the 
Supreme Court of Georgia, and that the average penal camp of the State 
penitentiary is a heaven, compared to the agony and torture endured 
by the misdemeanor convicts in many of these joints. He said that Mr. 
Wright did valiant service for humanity by showing that a bondage 
worse than slavery was being inflicted upon the convicts, who were con- 
fined in these "hells upon earth." 

In one camp, he said, an ante-bellum residence had been converted 


into a prison by removing every window, and closing up every aperture, 
leaving not even an auger hole for light or air. In the center of a room 
only 18 feet by 20, was an open can, the reeking cesspool of this dungeon 
in which sat a sick Negro convict confined in this dark sweat-box, per- 

In another camp, after the visit of Mr. Wright, the guards took turns 
at beating a convict to death and buried him in his shackles. A respect- 
able citizen asserted that they caught the convict by the shackles and 
ran through the woods dragging him feet foremost, and that when these 
facts were sworn to before the Grand Jury of Pulaski County, it was 
thought best to hush them up and keep the matter out of the newspapers, 
and out of court, as the superintendent of the prison camp had friends 
on the jury. 

Another case sworn to before the coroner's jury was that of a guard 
who had whipped nearly all the life out of an old Negro, who said : "Boss, 
is ye gwine to kill me?" The guard replied with an oath in the affirma- 
tive, whereupon the convict begged to be shot and thus freed from his 
sufferings. He was chained up to a tree where he died in thirty minutes. 

In another camp a white convict, was being boarded at a hotel ten 
miles away, and doing a prosperous business at painting, while another 
white convict who had been made night guard and given a gun and the 
keys to the camp, had it so free and easy that he threw up his job and 

Mr. Boies of Pennsylvania, in his instructive work, discusses the con- 
vict lease system, and shows that the sentences of Negroes in the South 
are double those of white men for the same offenses; that for petty 
larceny a Negro may be condemned to the criminal class for life, albeit 
he had to steal or starve. He shows that the criminal machinery of the 
South is frequently used to nullify the Negro's right of suffrage; that 
no hand is extended to lift him up when he falls, and no effort is put 
forth for his reformation, and for this reason the South turns out one- 
third of the criminals of the whole country; that Massachusetts expends 
$20 per capita upon the children of her public schools, while Mississippi 
with a heavier tax, expends but $2 per capita. 

In the Evening Star of Washington, D. C, of November 16, 1901, an 
exhaustive article on the prison camps of Florida appeared. Although 
guardedly, it favored the effort to make the criminal self-supporting, 
arguing that as he lives on the public when at large, he should not be 


permitted to continue to live on the public when in confinement. But 
it admits that the convict lease system is faulty. It says : 

"At present, offenders of all grades and ages are thrown together, 
and the younger ones learn more evil than they knew at the time of their 
arrest, growing daily more depraved and vicious so long as they remain 
in bad company. It may be possible, however, to employ most of the con- 
victs at tasks which will not require their close association, either at 
work or in quarters, and if that desideratum can be reached, the last 
argument against the leasing of prisoners will be met, and the system 
will be continued indefinitely, such minor matters as the corruption of 
inspectors, of which Alabama has complained, being capable of rebuke 
through legislation. 

"There are now thirteen camps in Florida, each one of which is tech- 
nically a State prison, and they are under the watch of a supervisor, who 
must visit them at least once in sixty days, examine the buildings, food, 
clothes, and bedding, question keepers and convicts as to work, punish- 
ment and health, enforce compliance with the laws and report to the 
governor every month. All leases are for four years, and the only cost 
of its criminals to the State are the salaries of supervisors and a sum 
of $300 a year for chaplain service. 

"The country expends at least $200,000,000 per annum in maintaining 
its convicts. In the city of New York alone, the annual assessment for 
that purpose is $6 per citizen. 

"Where the labor unions have not prevented it, society has made the 
criminal pay his own bills. In the South where the people are begin- 
ning to show a keenness for money that is not surpassed in the North, 
but where, as yet, capital is not gathered into such immense and usable 
sums as in the central and eastern States, a new policy has been adopted 
with regard to the offender. He is generally a Negro, hence he is sent 
back to slavery. He is sold to a farmer, a distiller, a phosphate miner, 
or a manufacturer, for a term of years, and his employer pays consider- 
ably less to the State than he would otherwise lay out in wages. 

"In Alabama if a State prisoner or long-termer escapes from his 
employer, he must pay into the public treasury $200, and $100 if a county 
prisoner or short-termer escapes. 

"When an inspector is present at a whipping, the turbulent convict 
may be given twenty-one lashes on his bare back ; in the absence of the 
inspector, the whipping boss is limited to fifteen lashes. 


"The guards are of the poor white class, dull and illiterate, and 
receive from |20 to $30 per month and their 'keep.' 

"In Florida shackling is seldom practiced except as a punishment 
for running away, as it interferes with the work of the convict. Guns 
and bloodhounds are much in evidence in the convict camps. Nothing 
is done for the betterment of the convicts intellectually or otherwise. 
Missionaries are graciously permitted to distribute tracts among them. 

"White convicts are generally assigned to offices and cook shops, or 
become gang foremen. For the white prisoner, whatever his offense, 
there is always a hope of pardon, but the Negro prisoner, unless he be a 
crap-shooter or chicken thief, congratulates himself on being consigned 
to open air work in the convict's camps, for he remembers how dreadfully 
easy in Florida it is for a Negro to be lynched." 

Judge M. W. Gibbs of Arkansas said he had known white employers 
in the South to be in collusion with magistrates to have colored men 
committed on the flimsiest pretext, simply that they might obtain more 
free labor on their plantations by means of the convict lease system. 

The eleventh census shows that in the United States there were 2,468 
county jails and only 44 reformatories. There were no reformatories 
in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, 
South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. 

Great Britain supports over 400 reformatories and inebriate schools, 
and they have closed 56 out of 113 prisons and jails in ten years, and 
thereby reduced to that extent the amount of material for the manufac- 
ture of criminals. 

Said Judge Calhoun, of a recorder's court in Georgia : 

"I tremble when I contemplate the future of little boys who come 
before me for the first time, and are sentenced to the chain-gang. Some 
of them are bright-faced and intelligent; some are orphans; many 
thoroughly penitent ; and, I believe, nearly all could be reclaimed, could 
they be sent to a reform school and surrounded with an atmosphere that 
would benefit instead of contaminate." 

Mrs. Helen Cook, wife of Hon. John F. Cook, of Washington, D. C, 
has established an organization in the District of Columbia, known as 
"The Woman's League," which is doing a wonderful work in reducing 
the number of those who are brought into the courts to be justly or 
unjustly dealt with. Let the good women of the race throughout the 
country follow her example and do something to rescue the perishing. 


In conclusion, let us hope and believe with the widow of the Sage 
of Anacostia, that "Meanwhile Hampton and Wilberforce, Howard and 
Shaw and Fiske and Atlanta and Tuskegee and other like institutions 
are silently setting the seal of manhood and womanhood upon a race 
whose face, with ours, is set toward a higher and better civilization." 





First: What constitutes a court? In the South as in the North and 
other parts of the country, to constitute a court, there must be a judge, 
whose duty it is to preside over the court, a sheriff and deputies, and 
a State's solicitor, who looks after the interests of the State, and last, 
but by no means least, comes the jury, whose duty it is to discharge or 
pass on the innocence or guilt of the prisoner according to the law and 
evidence as offered ; it requires all these to constitute an organized court 
of law. 

First: The judge should be a man selected on account of his nobility 
of character, of heart, of soul and of mind; a man of experience and 
training, a man of affairs, learned in the affairs appertaining strictly to 
his branch, as also in literature and science; a man merciful, kind and 
generous, of a sterling character, temperate, though positive and un- 
biased by private opinion, in a word, he should be a man, the representa- 
tive of justice, though not usurping that power as abiding in himself, 
but as the instrument of that power; whose moral character ought to 
be without blemish, a man whose habit, integrity, shrewd judgment and 
wise counsel place him above the average man, making him of the people 
and for the people. 

Sheriffs and deputies ought to be honest and fearless, having the 
highest regard for the life and liberties of the people; they should be 
kind and generous, yet positive and fearless, ever ready to defend the 
life and liberties of the people, using their office only in consonance with 
the prescribed law in aiding the conviction of crime, but not as a means 
of revenging personal wrongs or injuries of the people whose color is 
their only sin. 


Isaac Lawrence Purcell, the subject of this sketch, was born July 17, 1857, in Winns- 
boro, S. C. His father, John W. Purcell, by occupation a carpenter, was born in 1832 in 
Charleston, S. C, being one of the old free families. 

Isaac Lawrence first attended a school provided by the Episcopal Church for Colored 
youths. He afterwards attended the public schools of his city and, in 1871, entered 
Brainard Institute, Chester, S. C, where he remained one term. In 1872 he entered 
Biddle University at Charlotte, N. C, where he remained until in the Fall of 1873, when 
the color line was removed at the South Carolina University. He entered the competitive 
examination for the scholarship in the South Carolina University from his county, being 
the only Colored applicant. In the Fall of 1873 he entered the South Carolina Uni- 
versity, where he remained until the Spring of 1877, when the act of the Legislature of 
the State went into effect again drawing the color line, so he with the other Colored 
boys had to leave. 

Mr. Purcell returned home, and under his father's instructions learned the car- 
penter's trade. He went to Palatka, Fla., in 1885, where he studied law, and was ad- 
mitted to practice law in the Circuit and inferior courts October 8, 1889, and at once 
commenced the active work of his chosen profession at Palatka, Fla. 

At the first term of the Circuit Court after his admittance he represented plaintiffs 
in several large damage suits, two against the city of Palatka; in both he got verdict 
for his clients; one was appealed to the Supreme Court. He was admitted to the State 
Supreme Court January 19. 1891, where he has successfully represented many cases. 
January 19, 1897, he was admitted to the United States Circuit and District Courts, and 
November 8, 1901. was duly admitted to the Supreme Court of the United States. He 
has represented some of the most important cases coming before the courts of his 
State. He came to Pensacola. his present home, in February, 1899, and has by his 
energy and ability built up a fine and growing business. 

In politics he is a Republican, and has attended as a delegate every State, congres- 
sional and county convention since coming to the State, several times presided over 
State and congressional conventions, was for twelve years chairman of the Republican 
Executive Committee of his county, Putnam. For many years an alderman of the city 
of Palatka, Fla. In 1895 he was elected as a delegate to the Republican National Con- 
vention which convened in St. Louis, 1896. He has never held any office of profit, always 
honest and fearless in his opinions and his advocacy of right. 

His private life has always been consistent; while not a member of any religious 
denomination, always attends the services of the Episcopal Church; is a temperate man; 
is generous and kind in disposition; was married October 24, 1895, to Miss E. L, An- 
drews, of Orangeburg, S. C. 


The Juby: The jury ought to be composed, if possible, of men of 
learning, whose moral character, love of truth, unbiased by racial preju- 
dice or private opinions, being only representatives of the people, who 
in the name of the people adjudge, condemn or acquit according to the 
evidence, not from any private opinion, but governed by such law as is 
made in the statement of the judge bearing upon the case given previ- 
ously to their retiring; if these men of learning can not be found, as iu 
most cases, let others who, for the above qualifications minus learning, 
be substituted in their stead. In the selection of the jury in the most 
cases they come as the most refined element of the scum and refuse of 
the party class, whose labor in the election of some democratic officer, 
can only be rewarded under these terms; being unqualified to fill even 
the most inferior office of their party, in a majority of cases, not even 
one of these is acquainted with even the lowest element of learning, and 
if, perchance, one can be found, he is made foreman. The Negro is 
never thought of, but if, perchance, one should be selected, and in such 
a manner is he prominent, even his color makes him conspicuous, he 
also is on a par with his companions; men of influence are never selected. 
Before I conclude with the jury may I say a word of those who select 
them? In most States they are selected by the county commissioners, 
in some by a jury commissioner. These commissioners, in most cases, 
are none other than tools, instruments, who have no minds of their own, 
but like a reed before a gust of the mighty wind that blows nobody good, 
as serfs and pampered menials bend irrespective of that higher principle, 
that innate quality of man that places him above the brute creation, 
serving in abject slavery for the carrying out of party crime and cunning 
as well as subtle devices. 

A court constituted of such elements as described, is an "Ideal One." 
One to be desired, and the only one at whose hands justice, and only that 
as gold refined, shall be tried, counterpoised and mete out to every man 
justice, in the name of Heaven and at the hands of man. 

But may I ask how are our courts of the South constituted? are any 
two of the above qualities to be found in the most prominent of our South- 
ern courts of criminal jurisdiction? If Diogenes of old would seek in 
our Southern courts for such a man, hereto, as in Greece, such an one 
could not be found, for truth is no longer enthroned on its sacred altar. 

Having defined the true elements of which the courts of our South- 
land are constituted, I shall pass to consider, the manner in which the 


Negro is dealt with in these courts. Is the criminal Negro justly dealt 
with in the courts of the South? is a question that I think is more fre- 
quently asked than words can answer, language describe, or man's wis- 
dom unravel. Our woes have gone out to the ends of the earth and, the 
stagnant waters can no longer contain its contaminating germs, and now, 
even on the other side of the globe, we hear the re-echo of our cries from 
this damnable cruelty wafted back to us by the zephyrs that sustain 
expectations impregnated with hope telling of some bright future. 

What of the Negro in the sunny South? what of his rights as a citizen? 
what of his treatment at the bar of justice? are questions also propounded 
on the other side and since the trial cause of the alleged rape has been 
made clear, we expect and are looking forth to the dawn of a brighter 

In our civil courts, in other words, our courts where property rights 
are tried, I must say, that where tenement rights are concerned, justice 
is meted out to the Negro even against the white man when elevated 
to our higher courts, this is the only sphere in which a lenient form of 
justice is prescribed and given the Negro. The same cannot be alleged 
of him when his life, his liberty, or reputation or citizenship is at stake. 

Against a fellow Negro, he is in some instances protected, as against 
a white man, seldom, if ever. In this latter it is not justice that is the 
object of our courts, but the impeachment and condemnation of a fellow 
man, giving vent to a vindictive racial prejudice. Be the crime of the 
Negro ever so trivial, when against the white man, the sheriff, having to 
carry out the oath; the jury, their party plans; the judge, his selfish 
means ; and, therefore, no evidence, however palpable, however substan- 
tial and convincing can shield the Negro under such instances. The skin 
of a white man being held sacred, cannot be violated or polluted by the 
touch of the Negro's hands, be it in self-defense, or in defense of his man- 
hood, or in the defense of wife, daughter or some other female relative. 
On the other hand, seldom, if ever, can a white man be convicted when 
charged with striking a Negro, or for any insult he may offer to his wife, 
sister, daughter or mother ; the juries being all white, they consider this 
no crime for a white man. 

May we notice the following facts of the records of our courts ; may 
I here testify and, without a fear of successful contradiction, that by 
these, as matter for the criminal statistics of the race serves no purpose. 

First: Because our best citizens, the better class of our thinking 


men and the most virtuous of our people are not tried at the hands of 
an impartial jury, and innocence made to bear the stamp of guilt, can 
in no way be accounted justice; for instance, in a case of assault and 
battery, although the party charged is able and does prove, by legal evi- 
dence, that his actions were prompted only by resistance in self-defense, 
however convincing, if a white man can be found, if even he does not 
know anything, but can allege a negative, this unjust evidence counter- 
poises the balance of justice and the Negro is found guilty. If, on the 
other hand, larceny be charged, it is almost an impossibility even to 
attempt to defend, if there be a white witness against you, it being taken 
for granted that every Negro is a thief. Now in courts of justice accord- 
ing to my judgment, and according to the law, every man is presumed 
to be innocent until his guilt is proven beyond a reasonable doubt, by 
legal evidence, and such evidence must be furnished or obtained by the 
prosecution. But men are daily convicted in our courts, simply because 
they are Negroes. 

In concluding, let me say, that a majority of my people labor under 
appalling disadvantages, but I hope that the time is not far distant when 
our courts will be constituted as the "Altars of Justice," the judges and 
their associates, as its priests, and the American citizen, be his color 
what it may, can come and there receive at the hands of unblemished 
and unspotted servants redresses for wrongs, compensation for im- 
peached innocence and justice for his wrongs. 

The time is coming when all racial prejudice shall have passed away, 
and when color will no longer impede our obtaining what is due us, 
and when the Negro will receive a fair and impartial trial before a jury 
of his peers; then will justice and equity rule sublime, and the Negro 
being protected in all his rights; his liberty, life and reputation will be 
held sacred, and virtue and worth will be considered; and man, the 
prince of God's creation will be crowned for doing justice unto man. 






I answer this question in the negative. 

There are some exceptions, but proof is too abundant to gainsay the 

In the first place, all of the machinery of the law is in the hands of 
the white man. He is judge, jury, sheriff, constable, and policeman. 

Race prejudice and antipathy so over-ride reason, that the average 
dispenser of justice is blinded to a. sense of right, especially when a white 
man appears against an accused Negro. What is sop for the white man, 
is not always sop for the black man. As a matter of fact, the black man 
is discriminated against in everything in the South, and it would be un- 
reasonable to expect the courts would do otherwise. 

The presumption of law is that the accused is innocent, and that pre- 
sumption stands as a witness in his favor until overcome by credible 
proof. But in the average court of the South, this applies to white men 
only. The Negro is presumed to be guilty, and the burden of proof is 
placed upon him to establish his innocence. 

Cases have come under my observation where the accused Negro was 
not only tried without being represented by counsel, but on ex parte evi- 
dence, the black defendant not being permitted to testify in his own 
behalf or to introduce proof. These cases were not in courts of record. 

The organic law of the land guarantees not only trial by jury on an 
indictment or presentment, but entitles the accused to be heard by him- 
self and counsel and to introduce witnesses. In some instances, the 
accused is not even in court. The matter is prearranged and the impris- 
oned wretch is informed afterward and forced into agreeing to the "sen- 
tence," as .the easiest way out of trouble. It is a rare thing now to see 
a Negro on a jury in the South. 

Even the Federal courts are ignoring him. A white man does not 
consider a Negro his peer. Then from a white man's standpoint, a 
colored man tried by a white jury is not tried by his peers. 

The Constitution is violated in letter and spirit, in order that the 
criminal Negro may not be justly dealt with. The greater the demand 


George Thomas Robinson was born in Macon, Miss., January 12, 1854, of slave 
parents. An orphan, in 1865, he set out to fight life's battles with no one to guide and 
protect him. He has risen to a place of distinction — a journalist of note, a lawyer 
of high standing, a learned professor of law, an orator of repute, a molder of thought, 
and a reformer. He received his first inspiration from a remark which he heard Hon. 
C. S. Smith, now a bishop in the A. M. E. Church, make to a public school of which he 
was a pupil. It was: "A boy can make of himself whatever he has a mind to." George 
said to himself, "I will make speeches, too." Since that time Captain Robinson and 
Bishop Smith have delivered many addresses together. They spoke at the Emancipation 
Celebration in Nashville, 1st of January. 1892, which took place in the Representative 
Hall of the capitol. They were the principal speakers. 

An afternoon paper on the 2nd said: "The ablest address of the occasion was 
delivered by Capt. George T. Robinson on Abraham Lincoln. The speaker electrified 
the audience." 

"Cap." Robinson graduated from Fisk University in 1885 and from law in Central 
Tennessee College, now Walden University, both of Nashville, Tenn. He is a pro- 
fessor of law in the university. 

In 1875 he refused a seat in the Legislature of Mississippi, in order to complete his 
education. In 1886 he delivered the commencement address at Lane College, Jackson, 
Tenn.; the same year he began the publication of the "Tennessee Star" in Nashville. In 
1887 he was made a Captain in the Tennessee National Guard by Governor R. L. Taylor. 
In 1888 he was on the invitation committee to invite President Cleveland to Nashville 
and served on Gen. W. H. Jackson's staff as commander of a division in the parade. In 
1893 he was a nominee on the Citizens' ticket for the city council. In 1896 he was 
appointed a member of the executive committee of the Negro department of the Ten- 
nessee Centennial and was chairman of the Military Committee. But the entire com- 
mittee resigned before the exposition opened. 

Settling in Nashville in 1886, he soon forged his way to the front and became a 
champion of Negro rights. Hon. George N. Tillman says of him: "He is one of the 
best and ablest men of his race in the State." Bishop Evans Tyree says: "Professor 
Robinson is a giant physically and mentally." Mr. Robinson's fame rests on his jour- 
nalistic career. 

The "Star" was regarded as one of the ablest edited Negro journals ever published. 
After several years of successful work for God and humanity, it consolidated with the 
"Indianapolis Freeman." 

The "Star" made its advent in the midst of a big social scandal with a pastor of 
the most prominent Baptist Church in the city, the central figure. With the large 
following the divine had, it was not only unpopular, but dangerous to fight him, espe- 
cially since he had been acquitted by the courts; and a large majority of his congrega- 
tion endorsed the verdicts. The editor routed the opposition. He told the preacher 
that he had to quit that pulpit and leave the city. 

This was the beginning of a reformation in colored society in the city which was 
far reaching, and brought editor Robinson into prominence. "He woke up one morning 
and found himself famous." His article, "A Pure Ministry," caused the reformer to be 
welcomed to Nashville as a Moses. 


to keep the convict ranks filled up, the more unjustly is the black criminal 
dealt with in the severity of the sentence. 

The very fact that Negroes are not permitted to serve on juries, even 
when all the parties are black, proves that it is for the purpose of pre- 
venting justice being done the accused Negro. 

One of the most popular courts in the South is the Court of Judge 
Lynch. This "court" comes pretty nearly voicing the sentiment of the 
section where it thrives and does a large business. Members of this court 
are summoned as jurors to try Negroes, in legal courts, and thus the mob 
spirit is carried into the very temple of justice and is meted out to the 
black criminal in the name of the law. In such cases, who could expect 
a just verdict? Again, the professional juror, believing his job depends 
on the number and severity of the convictions of Negroes, is always 
ready to strain a point in order to convict. 

Instead of giving the accused the benefit of the doubt, he seeks to ease 
his guilty conscience by rapping criminal laws. 

The Negro who outrages the person of a female, is worthy of death — 
a legal death. His crime is no less heinous because his victim is colored 
— the crime in either case is blacker than the hinges of midnight. 

A mob composed of white men takes the ravisher of a white female 
and burns him at the stake or hangs him and riddles his body with bullets 
or dismembers his body. 

In such a case the criminal is not only unjustly dealt with, for both 
the moral and civil laws are violated, but a great sin is committed against 
society, the moral sensibilities are blunted and the crime intended to be 
suppressed is given new impetus. 

Mob violence is the violation of every penal law. The victim has no 
show whatever. 

A mob is not composed of men who have it in their hearts to respect 
the rights of the victim of their fury. 

This is the cause of so many innocent, inoffensive Negro men, women 
and children perishing at the hands of mobs. Mob violence leads to the 
utter disregard for law and order, and increases crime, making criminals 
of "some of the best citizens." 

There can be no such thing as dealing justly with the criminal Negro, 
as long as the rule is to deal unjustly with all Negroes. 

For instance, take the black laws, notably the Jim Crow car laws and 
the infamous election laws, the most outrageous ever inflicted upon a 


free people. The Negro has been legislated out of the legislative halls, 
leaving the white man clear sailing in enacting unjust laws which dis- 
criminate against all Negroes alike, regardless of condition, culture, 
refinement, wealth, position or station. 

The law places the mark of Cain upon him. His aspirations and 
ambitions must be curbed in spite of his fitness by character and train- 
ing. The worthlessness of the Negro does not cause the opposition that 
the prosperity of the best of the race does. The legislator and constitu- 
tion maker aims his darts at the latter class. 

This state of affairs obtains in every Southern State; and the fact 
that the ballot, our only safeguard, has been taken from us, shows that 
the criminal Negro need not expect to be dealt with justly. 

The nearest approach to fair play is to be had in the larger towns and 
cities of the South, and even here the chances are against the Negro. But 
it will not always be thus. A change will come sooner or later. Let us 
be courageous, do our best and trust in God. 





For a man of color to approach a subject of this kind, first of all, he 
must crucify "self." He must not imagine that he is writing to suit the 
whims, fancies and caprices of a single individual, but must confine him- 
self to the pure and unadulterated truth. To discuss this question from 
a lawyer's point of view, that is to say, by detailed cases, would be 
unintelligible to an ordinary layman's mind. 

Therefore, we must confine ourselves to the subject from a layman's 
way of understanding legal matters. The Negro occupies to-day a pecu- 
liar position in the body politic. He is not wanted in politics, because 
his presence in official positions renders him obnoxious to his former 
masters and their descendants. He is not wanted in the industrial world 
as a trained handicraftsman, because he would be brought into competi- 
tion with his white brother. He is not wanted in city positions, because 
positions of that kind are always saved for the white wardheeling poli- 


J. Thomas Hewin was born in Dinwiddie County, Va., December 24, 1871. His 
parents were slaves. He was left an orphan at the age of thirteen, with no knowledge 
even of the alphabet. At the age of seventeen he was seized with a desire for an 
education. Finding no opportunity for mental improvement, he went to Richmond, Va., 
in 1889, where he found employment in a stone quarry. He took his books with him 
and studied at meal-time. In the fall he became janitor of a business college. Finding 
that he could do his janitor work mornings and evenings, he entered the public school 
of Richmond and afterward graduated from the Richmond Normal School as valedic- 
torian of his class. 

So thrifty was Mr. Hewin, that when he graduated from school, he had a bank 
account of $1,375 to his credit. 

He also graduated from the Boston University Law School, and after returning to 
his native state was admitted to the bar. He was especially helpful to the unfortunate 
of his race. 

He organized in Richmond the Anti-Deadly Weapon League among the young colored 
men of the place, for which he received the commendation of the press and people. 
He is a member of the Baptist Church, an ardent worker among his people, a power 
as an organizer and an orator of the Frederick Douglass type. 


ticians. He is not wanted in State and Federal offices* because there is 
an unwritten law that a Negro shall not hold an office. He is not wanted 
on the Bench as a judge, because he would have to pass upon the white 
man's case also. Nor is he wanted on public conveyances, because here 
his presence is obnoxious to white people. 

But let us not lose sight of our subject which is: Is the criminal 
Negro justly dealt with in the courts of the South? Permit the author 
of this article to say that there is no section in this country where there 
is not some prejudice against the Negro. 

Whether the Negro be tried for a crime he commits in the North or 
South, he will get as fair a verdict upon the law and evidence as pre- 
sented in a Southern court as in the courts of any State in this Union. 
When we see such awful examples of brutality and inhumanity as occur 
in some sections of our common country against the Negro, we do not 
wonder that people who live in distant lands say that there can be no 
justice for a Negro in the Southern States. This assertion has been 
repeated so often, that now it is a common thing for men to say that a 
Negro can get no justice in the South. Yet it is important for us to note 
that not one of these miscarriages of justice is traceable to the partiality 
©f the courts. They are the result of men's prejudices, who are not will- 
ing for the Negro's case to be tested upon its merits, because they know 
that in nine cases in ten he would be acquitted in a court of justice; and 
for this reason they take the law into their own hands, rather than sub- 
rait it to an intelligent, cool and unprejudiced judicial body as every 
court is. Is there a man under heaven who would charge this state of 
affairs up against the courts of the South? Certainly, no one can be 
found who would do it. It has been my experience in my State in the 
trial of criminal cases that in nine cases out of ten, the white juries are 
in sympathy with the poor, ignorant Negro. I think the same rule will 
hold good in other Southern States. When we approach the subject of 
criminal law, we must constantly bear in mind that the object of every 
criminal prosecution is twofold: (1) to reform the criminal; (2) to 
make an example of him, so that the public will be deterred from the 
commission of the same offense. It is not the severity of a criminal 
prosecution that deters crime, but it is the certainty of punishment, when 
crime is committed. While it is true that the courts of the South as con- 
stituted, at present, give the Negro equal justice upon the law and fa^ts 
of his case, yet we must bear in mind that a criminal prosecution is noi 


ended with judgment in the courts. There are other humane principles 
to be put into operation, in order that the criminal may receive the bene- 
fits of his punishment. The relation of the Southern courts towards the 
Negro in this respect is particularly weak. Splendid examples of this 
may be seen in the "Convict Lease System," prevailing in the States of 
South Carolina, Arkansas and other Southern States. Under this sys- 
tem a Negro may be convicted of a felony calling for a minimum term 
of imprisonment, and yet serve out a life-time in prison. It is a system 
which, instead of reforming the Negro, gradually re-enslaves him. It has 
become such an outrage upon justice and common decency that the eyes 
of the civilized world are upon the United States to see how long a demo- 
cratic government will tolerate such an outrage upon common justice 
and a defenseless people. Yet, when we, at home, begin to trace the causes 
of this evil, we invariably ascribe them to the courts of the South. 
Wrong ! Wrong ! The courts of the South are not legislative bodies, but 
judicial bodies whose function it is to interpret the laws made, and not 
to make laws. That right in a republic, like ours, belongs exclusively to 
the legislative department, and not to the judiciary. The failure on the 
part of the public to distinguish between the legislative and judicial 
branches of the government accounts in a large measure for the criticism 
that has been made upon the courts of the South in their dealings with 
the criminal Negro. It is well for us to bear in mind that a court cannot 
make a law, but can only confine its opinion to the law as it is. It is a 
well-known fact that the United States and the several States composing 
the same are governed by written constitutions; also, that in a consti- 
tutional government all laws must be uniform in their operation. Hence, 
no law can be made that will operate more harshly upon a Negro than 
upon a white man who is guilty of the same offense. The criminal Negro 
naturally thinks that he is dealt with unjustly in the court. I have never 
seen in my practice a Negro who did not think that a white judge and 
a white jury were not his enemies, and that they were looking for false 
evidence upon which to convict him, and were not desirous of passing 
upon his case on the law and evidence as presented. This, in a large 
measure, accounts for the enormous fees paid by Negroes to white attor- 
neys for the simplest trouble they may get into. They believe that a 
white man has more influence in a court than a Negro lawyer, as though 
the laws were based upon favors to individuals rather than upon fixed 
rules of judicial construction. As for the judiciary of other States, I 


cannot speak, but for Virginia, I can and will say, that for the integrity 
of her judiciary — a fairer and more impartial set of men cannot be found 
in this country. Never, in my life, has anyone of them treated me amiss 
in their courts, nor can I point to a single case where snap judgment was 
meted out to a man of color, for the simple reason that he was colored. 
The experience of my brother members of the Bar in other States seems 
to tally with mine in this respect. Though I did once read of a Missis- 
sippi judge who told some colored men who had assembled in his court 
to listen to the trial of one of their race that this was a white man's 
country, and that Negroes had no business in a court room, unless there 
on business. Lest we forget it, we will say it now that the greatest of 
all virtues is charity. The numerous complaints we hear about the mal- 
treatment of the Negro, do not come from within, but from without. They 
come from people who know nothing of the position we occupy in the 
South. They tell us that the Southern people are our enemies, that they 
are doing us all the harm that can be done to any people. Worst of all, 
our people in many instances, are silly enough to believe them — ignorant 
of the fact that their success depends upon making their next door neigh- 
bors their friends. The same people take this charge and lay it to the 
courts of justice. Shame that in a democratic government like ours a 
free people should be slaves to such tricksters whose only object is to 
create discord among a poor and defenseless people! When we hear 
people charging the Southern courts with treating the Negro unjustly, it 
reminds us of an old colored lady who was once warning a young colored 
man about dying in his sins. The young man wanted to know if the fire 
in hell was hot. The old lady said, "Hunney de olde sinners fetch their 
fire wid dem." If the Negro gets a harsh verdict at the Bar in a Southern 
court, it is because he brings his fire with him. Just why it is that the 
Negro cannot see things in the same light, I do not know. It is a rule 
of physics that action is equal to reaction and in the contrary direction. 
By the side of that we can put this statement, that a man is worked upon 
by that which he works. The Negro, as a rule, labors under the belief 
that he is an object of persecution and proscription, and in turn that 
insane belief so works upon him that it is useless for anybody to endeavor 
to make him believe otherwise. There is one thing I must say before I 
close and that is this, that if the Negro wants to break down the great 
undercurrent against him in the courts of the South, he must do all in 
his power to establish among his own people the element of caste — a line 


between the good and bad. He must frown upon those who do wrong, 
and uphold those who do right. He must lay aside the old adage that 
you must never do anything against your own color. If a man is my 
color, and he is wrong, I am against him. If a man is my color and he is 
right, I am for him. Let the Negro adopt this as a maxim, and justice 
in the courts of the South is his, now and forever. 


The career of Bishop George Wylie Clinton, A. M., D. D., furnishes indisputable 
evidence that merit wins success, and that industry, joined with native and acquired 
ability, cannot be denied pre-eminence. His is a story of a man, who, starting life with 
a definite goal in view, has allowed neither the blandishments of flattery nor the frosts 
of discouragement to hinder his progress; but, impressing his great personality upon 
all with whom he came in contact, he moved steadily forward, and is now one of the 
best examples of erudition, eloquence and practicability in the Negro pulpit. 

This remarkable man was born March 28, 1859, in Lancaster County, South Carolina. 
As a child he was religiously inclined and thoughtful beyond his years, and none who 
knew him was surprised, when at the age of ten years, he became a member of the 
A. M. E. Zion Church. When quite young he was sent to the public school, and after- 
wards to a private school where he remained until 1874, when he entered the South 
Carolina University. In 1876 when the Democrats succeeded in electing Wade Hampton 
governor, all the colored students were forced to withdraw from said university and 
thus, after finishing the Junior Classical year he went to Brainard Institute, Chester, 
S. C, from which he graduated with very high honors. 

Young Clinton finished his education by taking Theology, Greek and Hebrew at Liv- 
ingstone College. Realizing that the urgent need of his people was education, he 
became a successful and conspicuous educator. For ten years, with all his energy, he 
was engaged in the public education of his people, being at one time Principal of 
Lancaster (S. C.) High School and Industria.l Institute; and he held a similar position 
in the Howard Graded School of Union, S. C. Both of the above schools made mar- 
velous advancement while under his management. He founded a private school at 
Rock Hill, S. C, out of which has come the widely known Clinton Institute. As a 
writer, Bishop Clinton is easily among the best which the race has produced. In his 
style there is wonderful richness, energy and variety. His chaste, pleasing and con- 
servative writings made the leading papers of his State seek his contributions. 

He founded the A. M. E. Zion Quarterly Review, which he issued for two years with 
increasing success; and in 1892 he transferred it, free of debt, to the General Conference. 
His eminence as an editor was so pronounced that said General Conference elected him 
editor of the Star of Zion. During his incumbency in this office he added to his fame 
as a thoughtful, versatile writer, and inaugurated the plan by which the A. M. E. Zion 
publication was established. 

Naturally, his greatest fame was made in the pulpit, for he is a most eloquent man, 
and possesses much magnetism. Added to a most pre-possessing personality, and a 
sonorous but well modulated voice, the Bishop has all the graces of a finished orator, 
and all the charms of a deep, earnest scholar. Like Martin Luther, he intended to study 
law; but the Bible overshadowed Blackstone. He began to preach at twenty years of 
age and in 1896 was elected Bishop in the A. M. E. Zion Church. 

In spite of a multiplicity of duties, the Bishop finds time to serve as President of 
Atkinson College; and so well has he supervised and managed its affairs, that it is 
enjoying great popularity and is maintaining a high intellectual standing. 

He was married, February 6, 1901, to Miss Marie Louise Clay of Huntsville, Ala. 
His wife is a highly accomplished lady, and a soloist of national repute. He has one 
son, George William, being the issue of his former marriage to the late Mrs. Annie 
K. Clinton. The Bishop lives in becoming style at Charlotte, N. C, where he owns 
some valuable and well-located property. His mother, for whom he has always mani- 
fested the deepest affection, makes her home with her distinguished son. Bishop 
Clinton is yet young; and the church and the race have every reason to hope for many 
more years of the distinguished services of this brilliant leader. 



From the establishment of the gospel system the pulpit has occupied 
an important, unique and potential position in all things pertaining to 
man's well being along moral, social and spiritual lines. 

It has not failed to concern itself about other affairs that tended to 
man's betterment. It may be stated in brief that at one time or another 
the pulpit has taken a deep interest and exerted a helpful, as well as a 
healthy influence in whatever has tended to man's highest and best wel- 
fare. Speaking of the Christian ministry, Daniel Webster on one occa- 
sion said: "The ministers of Christianity, departing from Asia-Minor, 
traversing Asia, Africa and Europe, to Iceland, Greenland and the poles 
of the earth, suffering all things, enduring all things, raising men every- 
where from ignorance of idol worship to the knowledge of the true God, 
and everywhere bringing life and immortality to light, have only been 
acting in obedience to the divine instruction; and they still go forth. 
They have sought, and they still seek, to be able to preach the gospel 
to every creature under the whole heaven. And where was Christianity 
ever received, where were the truths ever poured into human hearts, 
where did its waters, springing up into everlasting life, ever burst forth, 
except in the track of a Christian ministry? 

"Did we ever hear of an instance ; does history record an instance, of 
any part of the globe Christianized by lay preachers or lay teachers? 
And descending from kingdoms and empires to cities, countries, to par- 
ishes and villages, do we not all know, that, wherever Christianity has 
been carried, and wherever it has been taught by human agency, that 
agency was the agency of the ministers of the gospel." 

In the above high tribute from one of the greatest American states- 
men since the Republic began its existence, we have set forth the peculiar 
work as well as the grand achievements of the pulpit. But as has been 
stated in the previous paragraph the pulpit has ever sought to uplift man 
on every line where his uplifting meant his highest good. 

The Negro pulpit has not been an exception in the great work of 



uplifting mankind, especially that part of mankind with which it is 
ostensibly identified. No other pulpit ever had a more difficult task or 
labored under greater disadvantages than the Negro pulpit. In the very 
beginning the Negro pulpit had the leadership and the enlightenment of 
the race in spiritual and intellectual knowledge thrust upon it, when it 
was neither qualified nor regularly organized. Despite the disability 
within and the disadvantages without the Negro pulpit became the pio- 
neer in the first movements to better the condition of the race by lifting 
it from the degradation and disorganized state in which it was left by 

In almost every effort and successful plan which have been inaug- 
urated since the race began its life of freedom the Negro pulpit has 
been the prime promoter and the advance guard. When other leaders 
have faltered, failed or retreated, the Negro pulpit has remained stead- 
fast and redoubled its efforts. 

As is indicated in the quotation from America's greatest orator, 
Daniel Webster, the chief and first work of the pulpit is spiritual instruc- 

As an evidence of the success of the Negro pulpit along this line the 
race may point to a larger percentage of Negro Christians according to 
population than is true of any other people in this Christian land. While 
it is true the Negro brought the Christian religion over from slavery as 
the best heritage which that cruel system bequeathed to him, it remained 
for the Negro pulpit to give shape, tone and organic significance to Negro 

In organizing the Negro into separate and distinctly racial societies 
for the conduct of religious worship and church government the Negro 
pulpit did a work which has given the race greater prestige and more 
clearly demonstrated its capabilities and possibilities than any other 
work which has been done by or for the race toward uplifting it. When 
the Negro proved his ability to organize and conduct successfully a 
religious denomination of great size and strength, it proved its capacity 
to develop and govern itself along any other line. Surely the words of 
the prophet in which he speaks of a people "scattered and peeled," "a 
nation meted out and trodden down," seem fittingly applicable to the 
condition of the Negro just emerged from slavery. 

It was this people, thus situated, that the Negro pulpit took hold of 
and formed into church societies and religious denominations, which now 


have followings which number up into the hundred thousands and possess 
property valued at millions of dollars deeded to, and held by and for the 

Quickly seconding the work of organization followed the work of 
education. Before the free school began the Negro preacher became a 
teacher of his people to the full extent of his ability. Those who were 
sufficiently qualified found employment as public school teachers, while 
the more progressive and better qualified began to plan for institutions 
of higher grade to better qualify themselves and prepare teachers and 
leaders for the future weal of the race. 

Whether we point to Wilberforce at Xenia, Ohio, secured to the A. 
M. E. Church through the late lamented Bishop D. A. Payne, D. D. ; 
Livingstone College, over which that prince of American orators and 
foremost of Negro educators, Dr. Joseph Chas. Price, presided, from its 
permanent organization to his universally mourned death; the State 
University; the Chief Negro Baptist School located at Louisville, Ken- 
tucky, or the scores of other schools of high grade, it is a fact beyond 
dispute that the Negro pulpit began the initiative and has exerted the 
most helpful and controlling influence since they were founded. 

A majority of the college, seminary and high school presidents and 
principals, as well as some of the strongest members of the several 
faculties, are men from the pulpit or men who do double duty by serving 
as best they can the pulpit and schoolroom. 

In politics as well as in other spheres some of the most effective work 
which has been done for the uplifting of the race has been done by the 
Negro pulpit. 

To the writer's personal knowledge some of the ablest, most faithful 
and useful men found in the constitutional conventions, legislatures and 
county offices during the reconstruction period were men from the Negro 

The Rev. James Walker Hood (A. M. E. Zion), now Bishop J. W. 
Hood, D. D., LL. D., in the Constitutional Convention of North Carolina, 
in the Legislature, and as Assistant Superintendent of Education for the 
State, did a work which contributed not only to the uplift of the race but 
to the best interest of all the people of the State. 

Rev. Henry McNeal Turner, D. D., LL. D. (A. M. E. Church), as 
legislator in Georgia, exerted an influence which is still felt in that State. 

Bishop B. W. Arnett, D. D. (A. M. E.), whose efforts in the Ohio 


Legislature secured the repeal of the "Black Laws"; Rev. D. I. Walker 
(A. M. E. Zion), as school commissioner and State Senator from 
Chester County, South Carolina; Rev. J. E. Wilson (M. E.), as school 
commissioner and postmaster at Florence, South Carolina; Rev. Wm. 
Thomas (A. M. E.), and R. H. Cain (A. M. E.), Legislator, Congressman 
and later Bishop; Rev. H. R. Revels (M. E.), United States Senator, 
whose deportment in the United States Senate and in other walks of life 
called forth the highest encomiums from the Southern press ; Rev. Henry 
Highland Garnett (Presbyterian), and Rev. M. G. Hopkins (Presbyte- 
rian), and Owen L. W. Smith (A. M. E. Zion), United States Minister to 
the Republic of Liberia, each and all have contributed much to the uplift- 
ing of the race in the political sphere. But the Negro pulpit has not con- 
fined its efforts along the line of race organization to the religious sphere. 
Knowing, as every thoughtful leader and man of the race must know, 
that material possessions, financial standing and social combination for 
material well being are indispensable, the Negro pulpit has not failed to 
project, foster and encourage organizations of a character to benefit the 
race along the above lines. In Masonry the Negro pulpit has ever held 
a commanding influence and served a most useful purpose. The same is 
to some extent true in Odd Fellowship and other societies which have 
been helpful to the race. But the most substantial organization now 
operated by and for the Negro race in this country are the True Reform- 
ers, Galilean Fishermen and Birmingham, Alabama, Penny Savings 

The well-known and much lamented Rev. Wm. W. Brown (M. E.), 
C. C. Steward (A. M. E. Zion), W. R. Pettiford (Baptist), were the 
chief factors in founding and firmly establishing these healthy and help- 
ful race institutions, which are still doing a thriving and widening busi- 
ness which is not only uplifting the race but benefitting the community 
at large. The Hale Infirmary, established by the widow of the late Elder 
Hale (A. M. E. Zion), of Montgomery, Alabama, in compliance with the 
expressed wish of her husband while living; the Orphanages of Charles- 
ton and Columbia, South Carolina, established and now being managed 
by Revs. Jenkins and E. A. Carroll (Baptist), in the above cities; also 
the Orphanage at Oxford, North Carolina, established by ministers of 
the Baptist Church, according to information obtained by the writer ; the 
Episcopal Industrial School of Charlotte, North Carolina, founded by 
Rev. P. P. Alston (Episcopal), are but a few of the many ways in which 


th« Negro pulpit is uplifting the race. In the literary sphere the Negro 
pulpit has made numerous and valuable contributions which stand to the 
credit of the race and add to American literary productions. 

Bishops Payne, whose "History of the A. M. E. Church" and "Do- 
mestic Education ;" B. T. Tanner's several works ; Levi J. Coppin's "Key 
to the Bible," and "Baptized Children;" W. J. Gaines' "Negro and the 
White Man;" Dr. H. T. Johnson's "Logos;" Rev. Whitman's works; Rev. 
T. G. Steward's works; Bishop J. W. Hood's (A. M. E. Zion) "Negro in 
Christian Pulpit," "History of the A. M. E. Zion Church" and "Apoca- 
lypse Revealed;" Bishop J. B. Small's "Pulpiteer," "Human Heart" and 
"Predestination;" Dr. W. J. Simmon's (Baptist) "Men of Mark;" Bishop 
Holsey's (C. M. E.) sermons and addresses; Dr. C. H. Phillip's (C. 
M. E.) "C. M. E. Church History;" Dr. G. L. Blackwell's (A. M. E. 
Zion) "Model Home;" Rev. Geo. C. Lowe's (Congregational) poems; 
Rev. J. D. Corrother's (A. M. E. Zion) poems; Rev. W. H. Nelson's 
(M. E.) "A Walk With Jesus;" Dr. Alexander Crummell's (Episcopal) 
sermons and addresses and papers, with scores of books I can not men- 
tion for lack of space, besides others I have not seen or heard about, are 
contributions which cannot help but inspire and uplift the race. The 
greatest and most widely known race organization that is endeavoring to 
uplift the Negro along social lines and combat the prejudices, caste regu- 
lations and other efforts to crush out race-manhood and turn back the 
hand in the dial plate of the Negro's progress, is the Afro-American 
Council, headed by that born leader of men, the eminently pious and ever 
aggressive race leader, Bishop Alexander Walters, D. D. (A. M. E. Zion), 
and his most substantial following is made up of representatives of all 
the Negro pulpits in America, 

In the Negro Press Association the Negro pulpit is largely and ably 
represented and the preacher editors are doing their work well. The 
above brief and partial (but partial only for lack of broader information 
and of more space) is but a feeble testimony to what the Negro pulpit 
is doing toward uplifting the race. 

In the religious sphere the Negro pulpit stands out in bold promi- 
nence as the chief agency in the work of uplifting the race. In organiz- 
ing and perpetuating existing organizations the Negro pulpit now, as 
before, leads all other agencies. 

In the work of education the progressive pulpit is always a patron 
and supporter, as well as a workman which needeth not to be ashamed. 


In the endeavor to constrain the people to a settled condition, instill 
the principles of Christianity in all the affairs of life, and promote peace 
and harmony between man and man, regardless of race, the Negro pulpit 
is doing a work which is ever adding new stones to the grand building 
of race progress and influence. I know no single agency which is accom- 
plishing so much in the task of uplifting the race as the Negro pulpit. 
What the great Negro religious and social organizations are doing, 
especially in such establishments as the A. M. E. Zion, A. M. E. and 
Baptist Publication establishments at Charlotte, North Carolina; Phila- 
delphia, Pennsylvania; Nashville, Tennessee, and Jackson, Tennessee, is 
due largely to the management and business skill of the Negro pulpit. 
Now as in the past the Negro pulpit constitutes the true leadership of 
the race. 

Having been the pioneer in almost every race uplifting enterprise it 
will ever heartily co-operate with those who have come along in the paths 
blazed out by the Negro pulpit until the race shall take its place among 
the foremost peoples of the earth in every good work for the advancement 
of man and for the glory of God. 



The Christian pulpit has ever been acknowledged to be a great power 
for good among all people. Coming as it does divinely commissioned and 
bearing to man a divine massage, it has a claim upon the attention and 
the acceptation of mankind. Its claim to be heard is founded on the fact 
that it has something to say — some truth to communicate about God, His 
character, His purpose concerning man, His unbounded goodness and 
infinite love — about man, his duty and his destiny, and the great salvation 
offered to him. The Christian pulpit is peculiarly and inseparably inter- 
woven in the social life, moral deportment and religious growth of the 
people. In its character it is to be the representation of the highest 
standard of ethical deportment and the best example of religious life. 
From it the people are to receive their inspiration for that which is pure, 
exalted and ennobling. To the Christian pulpit the people look for the 


Rev. John B. L. Williams, D. D., was born in Baltimore, Md., November 22, 1853. 
His parents, John W. Williams and Elizabeth Williams, were examples of piety, and 
were of prominent family connections in Baltimore. At an early age he was placed in 
a Roman Catholic School. Later in life he attended the city public schools and Douglass 
Institute. At 17 he was converted and joined the Methodist Episcopal church. At 18 
he was divinely impressed with a call to the ministry. At 19 he became an apprentice 
at cabinet work and undertaking and completing his apprenticeship engaged in business 
for three years in Baltimore. In his 22d year he was licensed to preach by the Quarterly 
conference of John Wesley M. E. Church in Baltimore. 

In March, 1876, he abandoned his business and left Baltimore to accept an appoint- 
ment at Oak Hill, Ga. The same year he joined the Savannah Conference in its 
organization by Bishop Levi Scott, and he has rendered efficient service in 
the leading charges of the Conference: Newnan, three years; Loyd Street, Atlanta, one 
year; Presiding Elder Atlanta District, four years; M. E. Church at LaGrange, five 
years. He was honored by his brethren to the election of secretary of the Conference 
fifteen successive years. While pastor at Newnan he was principal of the city public 
school. At LaGrange he served two years as a member of the faculty of LaGrange 
Seminary and one year its principal. In 1882 he entered Clark University, taking 
studies in the college preparatory course. The same year he entered Gammon Theological 
Seminary and graduated in 1885 with honor. In 1891 he was transferred by Bishop H. 
W. Warren to the Florida Conference to take charge of Ebenezer M. E. Church in Jack- 
sonville. He served Ebenezer Church five years, during which time its membership was 
doubled the last year, being marked by a great revival which lasted two weeks and 
resulted in the conversion of 130 persons. His next charge was Trinity Church, St. 
Augustine, where he served five years with success. He is now pastor of Trinity M. E. 
Church, Fernandina. As a preacher he is deliberate, convincing, persuasive and instruc- 
tive. His sermons are well constructed, choicely worded, rhetorically polished, full of 
thought and eloquently delivered. He was honored with the degree of Doctor of Divinity 
by Wiley University of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Marshall, Texas, May 20, 1895. 


loftiest ideals of life. In this respect the Negro more than any other 
people has been largely dependent upon the pulpit. Emerging as he did 
more than a quarter of a century ago from a thraldom which fettered his 
body and imprisoned his intellect and buried him in ignorance, it was 
the Christian pulpit represented at that time by the good old fathers of 
those dark and trying days — to whom the good and lamented Bishop 
Haygood paid high compliment in one of his addresses — they it was who 
saved their people from conditions which would have been vestly more 
deplorable but for such moral and religious instruction as they were able 
to impart. As a race we have moved an amazing distance from that 
period. Schools, seminaries and universities have sprung up as if by 
magic. Educated young men and young women have gone forth from 
these institutions determined to do their best for God and humanity. 
The Negro press has also arisen and swayed a mighty influence for moral 
and religious good, but neither the school nor the press has been recog- 
nized as an efficient substitute for the pulpit. What was true as regards 
the place and power of the pulpit to uplift the people in the dark days of 
the past is equally true now in these days of light and knowledge. The 
educated and Christian pulpit is an indispensable factor in the elevation 
of the race to-day. 

The extent to which the Negro pulpit is uplifting the race is to be seen 
in the gradual but certain and permanent reformation taking place in the 
social and moral life of the race. Social distinction, based exclusively 
upon moral character, is being clearly defined and rigidly observed. The 
moral standard has been elevated and the conceptions of the race in 
relation to ethical life has been greatly improved and beautifully exempli- 
fied in the lives of thousands. The home life of the race is purer and the 
sacredness of the marriage vow is gaining pre-eminence over the divorce 
system. The home life of the masses is gradually being touched and 
improved by the far-reaching influence of the Negro Christian pulpit, 
and there are signs and indications of better things and happier condi- 
tions. From these pulpits the Gospel goes forth with simplicity and 
power. Its truth and teaching is made to touch, shape and direct the 
practical side of Christian life. The evils which exist and which are a 
menace to the best and purest modes of life are strongly denounced and 
openly rebuked by the Negro Christian pulpit, and the race ie being led 
to understand that sound moral character is the foundation upon which 
to build a strong, symmetrical, well-rounded manhood. 


The religious life of the race is being uplifted by the Negro Christian 
pulpit. S ound is being displaced by sense in the pulpit. Senseless emo- 
tion by thoughtful and reverential worship in the pew, and a clear concep- 
tion and deep knowledge of divine truth is being gained by the people. 
The individual of pessimistic temperament may say that the masses are 
not being influenced and lifted up by the Negro pulpit, but this would 
be a mere statement and not an actual fact, The pessimist lives in an 
unwholesotme atmosphere, he will not see the sunshine because he prefers 
to stay down in the valley beneath the cloud of doubt and surmounted 
with the fog of hopelessness. The educated Negro pulpit is mainly 
optimistic and sees beyond its immediate surroundings. It sees to it that 
the leaven of sound doctrine and moral ethics are being put into the meal, 
and from personal developments believes that in process of time the 
whole lumj) will be leavened. The Negro pulpit is awake to the gravity 
of its responsibility and it is putting forth its best efforts and mightiest 
endeavors to uplift the race socially, morally and religiously. Evidences 
of this aim and purpose are not difficult to be seen in all communities. 



The question has been raised as to the part taken by the pulpit in the 
uplift of tile race. The most casual observer must conclude that there are 
influences at work which are elevating the Negro race, and it is interest- 
ing and instructive to trace out the work which is done by each individual 

The pulpit has long been recognized as a potent factor in the forma- 
tion of character, and the Negro pulpit is not an exception to the general 
rule. Its Influence may be elevating or degrading. The character and the 
ability of the man in the pulpit will determine its nature and extent. 

The office itself implies an active interest in the elevation of man from 
the lower to the highest stage of life. But the uneducated ministry 
proved itself unequal to the task of teaching and leading the people along 
the difficult path to true excellence. 

Some oif the most stubborn opposition to the progress of the race was 
found in that class who had good reasons to fear the loss of power as the 

REV. R. P. WYCHE, D. D. 

Robert P. Wyche was born near Oxford, the county seat of Granville County, N. C. 
His father was a carpenter by trade and early taught his son the use of tools. In 
his humble home he was taught the dignity of labor, fidelity to duty, obedience to God 
and faith in prayer. These simple lessons shaped the course of his life probably more 
than any other influence. For a while he attended night school, as he worked in the 
day in order to earn the means to buy his books and to pay other necessary expenses. 
Robert was ambitious to excel. From the night school he went to a private school at 
Henderson, N. C. This school was conducted by the Rev. J. H. Crawford, a Presbyterian 
minister. Here Robert prosecuted his studies with eagerness, fitting himself to enter 
the preparatory department of Biddle University. The President of the university, the 
Rev. S. Mattoon, D. D., became interested in Robert, whom he esteemed as a promising 
student, and assured him that no worthy student should leave school for the want of 

After graduating in 1877 his first thought was to enter the medical profession, but 
afterward he abandoned this idea and began seriously to consider the call to the 
ministry. After teaching school for a short period he returned to the seminary and 
took the full course in theology. He was licensed and ordained by the Presbytery of 
Catawba and was called to the pastorate of Seventh Street Presbyterian Church, at 
Charlotte, N. C. The degree of A. M. and the honorary degree of D. D. were conferred 
upon Rev. R. P. Wyche by Biddle University. He is at this time Moderator of the 
Synod of Catawba. 

He married Miss Belle Butler, a popular educator, who unites with her husband 
in every measure for the true elevation of the Negro. 


race advanced in intelligence. All of the higher interests of the people 
suffered at the hands of this class of leaders. 

But let us now turn to another and better class of leaders. There are 
ministers who have enjoyed the benefits of a Christian education. This 
class of men form a strong factor in the elevation of the Negro. The 
present attainments of the pulpit are far-reaching in their beneficent 
influence upon the race. 

The Negro pulpit is absolutely necessary to the higher moral develop- 
ment of the Negro. This development should lie at the foundation of all 
of his attainments, for men cannot reasonably hope to rise permanently 
along other lines while they neglect moral culture. The moral influence 
of the pulpit is now creating correct views of life in the Negro and lead- 
ing him to good citizenship. The practical pulpit teaching along this 
line is having its effect in the moral uplift of the Negro. In this way the 
pulpit is serving as an uplifting force. Moral stability is the only solid 
foundation of an enduring elevation. 

Considered from an intellectual point of view, the pulpit is of great 
value to the Negro race. The example set by the Negro pulpit in acquir- 
ing its intellectual status is worthy of imitation, and the youth of the 
rising generation will profit by it. The positive instruction and counsel 
coming from safe and trusted leaders will certainly yield its fruit, We 
cannot estimate the worth of the pulpit as the moulder of thje thought, 
the character and the destiny of the race. 

The financial status of the pulpit, under existing conditiofls, may be 
considered comparatively good. It has been made what it now is by 
industry, economy and self-denial, and stands as an object lesflon for the 
benefit of those wishing to better their condition. The salaries paid 
Negro preachers are usually small, even less than the wages of mechanics. 
But these small earnings are carefully saved and wisely invested. As a 
result many of the Negro preachers have comfortable homes, while others 
of them have small bank accounts. The Negro minister has learned the 
dignity of labor and does not hesitate to labor with head anci hands in 
order to attain to the position of usefulness and influence in the world. 
The people are taught in this practical manner the lessons of industry 
and economy more forcibly than in any other way, and they ajre thus led 
to secure homes, to enter into business and to educate their cfeildren. 

Our elegant church edifices are largely due to the taste, tacjt and busi- 


ness qualities of the pulpit. These beautiful edifices exert a refining and 
uplifting influence upon the lives of men. 

The spiritual power of the pulpit — this is the chief power that it is 
expected to wield in the world, for its mission is spiritual, and this great 
fact should ever be remembered. Our deepest needs are of a spiritual 
nature, and the pulpit offers to supply these deep-seated needs and to 
assist us to rise to the rank of "the sons of God." 

The Gospel is the divinely appointed means to elevate men in Chris- 
tian character. The promulgation of the Gospel and the exhibition of 
practical Christianity are the essential elements to an onward and up- 
ward progress. 



The influence of the Negro pulpit on the race is immeasurable. It is 
to the race what the lighthouse is to the ship laden with human souls 
upon the tempestuous sea. At the close of the war when the Negroes 
were in darkness, the Negro preachers were the first to come forward to 
lead them to the light, and whatever may be said to the contrary, the 
Negro preachers have done more for the Negro's uplift since his emanci- 
pation than any other class of persons. We delight to boast that the 
Negroes pay taxes on $400,000,000.00 worth of property, that they have 
thousands of well educated men and women, that their illiteracy has been 
reduced forty-five per cent, that they have hundreds of newspapers, that 
they have four hundred or more skilled physicians who are making good 
money, that they have hundreds of men who are engaged in business 
enterprises, that they have thousands of honest, sober, upright Christian 
men and women. 

Now, to whom are we more indebted for all this than to the Negro 
preachers, who have faithfully taught their people to save their money 
and buy homes and lands, who have constantly advised them to send 
their sons and daughters to the schools, who have urged their people to 
patronize Negro business enterprises and Negro physicians and lawyers, 
who have ishown their people the importance of taking Negro papers, 
who have enjoined them to be honest, sober, industrious citizens? 

REV. I. D. DAVIS, D. D. 

The subject of this sketch was born at Laurens, S. C, in 1858. His parents were 
Nelson and Sarah Davis. In 1870 Rev. Charles Thompson (a Presbyterian Missionary 
from the North) came to Laurens and began services in a part of the town known as 
"Tin Pot Ally." The first to be enrolled in his Sunday School was the subject of our 

After Rev. Thompson left Laurens our little hero went to school to another vet- 
eran, Mr. Wright, who soon learned to regard him highly. The late Rev. D. Gibbs 
now took charge of the church, and our subject was the first to enter his Sunday 
School. While the Rev. Gibbs was boarding at his father's home, the seed of the 
Presbyterian ministry was planted. 

He now entered school under Rev. and Mrs. McDowell, and began the study of 
the Shorter Catechism. A polyglot Bible was offered for the most perfect recitation 
of the Catechism, and he won the first prize. In 1874 he took the examination and 
won the county scholarship for the State Normal at Columbia. From this examina- 
tion he was given a teachers' certificate and taught his first school in the country; at 
the close of this school he accompanied Rev. and Mrs. McDowell to Statesville, N. C, 
and in November Rev. McDowell had arranged for him to go to Biddle University, 
Charlotte, N. C. 

He returned home every summer and taught. So acceptable were his services 
that scholars were offered to him and held until his return from school. In 1877 on 
account of failing health he remained out of school, and was chosen as the principal 
of the city school at his native home. He was always known as the "Mocking Bird" of 
Laurens. He was the chorister in Sunday Schooi and church. Returning to Biddle Uni- 
versity in the fall of 1878, was taken under the care of Catawba Presbytery as a candi- 
date for the ministry, and graduated with the degree of A. B. in 1881. In October, 1881, 
he entered the seminary of Biddle University, was licensed to preach the gospel in 1883, 
and was placed in charge of the Pleasant View Church, Greenville County, South Caro- 
lina, where he served so acceptably that he was desired as a settled pastor. In 1884 he 
graduated from the seminary, and was ordained to the full work of the gospel ministry 
the next day after graduating. 

He took charge of the work at Lincolnton, N. C, where he served six years and 
six months, conducting both church and school, and was then re-elected principal of 
the city school. 

The new church at McClintock was built under his administration. He was chosen 
moderator of the Presbytery of Catawba at Monroe, N. C, and in 1887 was sent as a 
commissioner from Catawba Presbytery to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian 
Church in the United States, which met at Omaha, Neb. In 1888 the degree of A. M. 
was conferred by Biddle University. In 1890 he accepted the call to Winnsboro, 
S. C, continuing in the church and school work here for four years very acceptably. 
In 1892 was sent as commissioner to the General Assembly at Saratoga, N. Y. In 
1894 he accepted the work at Goodwill, Sumter Co., S. C, where he now serves the 
largest Colored Presbyterian Church in the United States. He administered com- 
munion to 2,000 communicants. 

In connection with the church he has charge of the Goodwill Academy, with an 
enrollment of about 400 students. In 1895 he was chosen stated clerk of Fairfield 
Presbytery, which position he fills with accuracy and ability until to-day In 1900 the 
degree of D. D. was conferred upon him by Biddle University. 

He has been Moderator of Fairfield Presbytery and Atlantic Synod. 

He is the secretary of the Sunday School Convention, chairman of the Committee 
on Vacancies and Supplies of the Fairfield Presbytery, and chairman of the Committee 
on Foreign Mission, Atlantic Synod. 


Nathan B. Young was born in Newborn, Ala., September 18th, 1862. He was edu- 
cated in the private schools at Tuscaloosa, Ala., at Talladega College, and at Oberlin 
College. He has taught school in Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, and Alabama. He is 
now President of the Florida State Normal and Industrial College, Tallahassee. 




The answer to this question depends upon what is meant by placing 
these schools in the hands of Negro teachers. If it means that they 
are to be manned and managed by them I answer, no. If, on the other 
hand, it means that they should have some hand in managing these 
schools, I answer, yes. 

For two reasons I claim that the time has not arrived for the pass- 
ing of these institutions into his sole control : the first is a financial 
reason, the second is an intellectual or cultural reason. 

At present the majority of the Negro colleges and institutions of 
higher and professional learning are supported by white people, either 
directly or indirectly, and the withdrawal of white faculties and boards 
of trustees will mean a withdrawal of white supporters. Whether this 
withdrawal will be logical or ethical, it will nevertheless be a fact. 
Those whose duty it is to collect funds for these schools can testify to 
the certainty of such a result if the experiment should be made. 

The white man is a very careful giver to charitable institutions of 
any kind, and he takes every precaution to see that his donations are 
wisely expended, and that, too, according to his standards. Hence, 
when he makes a charitable contribution he feels safer when one of his 
own race is a trustee, or dispenser of the contribution. This explains 
the fact that in cases where Negro schools under Negro management 
make an appeal for large endowment funds they find it necessary to 
appoint a white endowment committee to manage the fund. 

The Negro has no standing in the financial world, because he has 
made no financial record. This is not so much his fault as it is his mis- 
fortune. He is without the financial experience that he would need in 
order to manage successfully large sums of money such as he would 
be called upon to collect and to manage in colleges. Without aid from 
the white donors these colleges would be unable to do the work of a 
college — in other words, with possibly one notable exception, it takes 



a white man to get a white man's money, and since it is necessary to 
get a white man's money to support these institutions, it is also 
necessary to put their management into his hands. This condition will 
gradually change as the Negro race accumulates wealth within itself. 
This will naturally bring with it that experience which will eventually 
enable him to be a successful manager of these institutions. 

It is generally known among those who are familiar with college 
management that the financial feature is the most difficult feature in 
this work. It requires a rare combination of qualities in a man to carry 
on successfully this phase of college work. The managing boards of 
white colleges find it exceedingly difficult to find white men fully equal 
to the task. If this takes place in the green tree, what may we expect 
in a dry? 

At present the Negro race, to say the least, is too poor to take on 
itself the complete control of its colleges. Such a transfer would be a 
calamity, indeed, for under the white management these institutions 
are leading only a tolerable existence, are progressing but slowly and 
some of them not at all. To take these feeble institutions, then, and to 
connect them with a poorer source of supply would be practically to 
destroy them — certainly seriously to handicap them. 

Besides, even if their financial support were guaranteed, at present 
a more serious obstacle would present itself. It would be impossible 
from the present supply of educated Negro men and women to get 
faculties for them. I mean, to get faculties every whit prepared for 
their progressive management. An up-to-date college must have not 
only strong financial backing but it must also have strong intellectual 
and moral backing. Each teacher should be so trained, intellectually 
and morally as to have a very keen appreciation of the deep significance 
of the work in which he is engaged. This means that he must in addi- 
tion to a careful formal training, have a sort of intellectual and culture 
background to cause him to stand out in clear relief before his students 
as an embodiment of what he would have them become. He should, in 
very truth, be "a scholar and a gentleman." 

The fact that a man or a woman is a graduate from some of these 
misnamed Southern "universities" or "brevet" colleges does not argue 
that he has a liberal education. The fact is that there are no Negro 
universities in this country and less than half a dozen "bona fide" 
colleges. These reputed "universities" and colleges are but indifferent 


high-schools for the most part, and their graduates without additional 
study, are not prepared to take a place on a college faculty. Strange 
to say, very few of these graduates feel the necessity of doing additional 
study before becoming anxious candidates for presidents of colleges or 
for professorships. 

I stand by the statement that there are not enough really educated 
men fully equipped to manage the colleges such as we have, not to say 
anything of those that we ought to have. The race is not yet far enough 
removed from slavery to have that intellectual and moral background 
necessary to the bringing out of college professors and coUege presi- 
dents. It has taken the white race many generations to develop an 
Eliot, a Dwight, a Hadley, and an Angell, not to say anything about 
the Butlers, the Harrises, and the Wheelers. These men are develop- 
ments — the very cream of the intellectual history of the Anglo-Saxon 
race in America. As I have indicated elsewhere, the trustees find it 
hard to fill their places when vacant. 

The incipient Negro teacher and educator might as well admit the 
fact of their incompetency and with the admission bend themselves 
with renewed energy to hard study, laying aside all bogus degrees and 
meaningless titles, and acknowledge the fact that they are yet intel- 
lectual pigmies. If they will do this, perchance they themselves may 
not only add to their own statures but but they may also becoKne the an- 
cestors of intellectual giants, fully competent to occupy the positions 
which they fain would hold in the educational world. 

Although the time has not yet come, as I believe, for the entire 
management of Negro colleges by Negroes, yet the time has come when 
he should have some hand in managing both as teacher and as trustee. 
It would be a sad commentary upon the Negro race and upcn its white 
teachers to have these schools remain permanently under white tute- 
lage and management. It would also be a sad commentary upon the 
Negro to have an alien race to continue giving its money to 'educate his 
children. He must be brought gradually to see the necessity of his 
supporting and managing his own institutions of learning. The only 
way to do this is to gradually place the managing of them upon his 
shoulders. Every Negro college ought to have one or more Negro 
trustees on the board, as well as one or more Negro teadhers on the 
faculty. The only way to learn how to swim is to go into jthe water — ■ 


the only way for the Negro to learn how to manage his institutions is 
for him to have a hand in managing them. 

Of the large number of Negro youth that are graduated every year 
from our colleges, there are not a few among them who have in them 
the making of fine professors if they were stimulated by the sure hope 
of securing a place on the faculty of their "alma mater." It is the im- 
perative duty of the faculties of these schools to inspire these men to 
their best efforts and when they have done so it is the duty of the 
trustees to give them a place on the faculty. 

I would not, however, make vacancies for them by moving efficient 
white teachers, but, when these white teachers fall out because of age 
or other reasons, I would appoint in their places competent Negro men. 
This policy would at once keep the support of the white donors and 
also the support of the Negro patrons. The Negro must have a larger 
hand in managing his institutions of learning even from the lowest to 
the highest- 

I answer, then, that the time has not yet come for the com- 
plete transfer of Negro colleges to Negro management because the 
Negro is not yet able to assume the financial control of these institu- 
tions, nor the intellectual control ; but he is able to have a larger hand 
in controlling them as donor, as trustee, and as teacher. This policy 
is being pursued by some of the educational agencies now at work in the 

The efforts of the Negro churches, especially of the A. M. E. Zion 
church, the A. M. E. church, of the C. M. E. church, and a icing of the 
Baptist church, are to be commended in so far as they do not assume a 
hostile attit ude toward other agencies which pursue a slightly different 
policy. There cannot be too much educational activity among Negroes 
for Negroes, and there certainly should be no antagonism among these 
agencies growing out of differences of opinion as to policies and 
methods of work. They should all make "a long pull, a strong pull, and 
a pull all together" for the educational, moral, and spiritual uplift of 
the masses of the Negro people. 


Nature has not been extravagant in her gift of geniuses. "What has come to most 
of our leading men has come by hard work. 

Although Prof. D. J. Jordan possesses talents about the average, he owes his suc- 
cess largely to persistent work. He was born near Cuthbert, Ga., October 18, 1866. His 
father was Rev. Giles D. Jordan who was for twenty-five years a highly respected min- 
ister in the A. M. E. Church in Georgia. He inherits many of his excellent traits of 
character from his mother, Julia Jordan. 

In his early life he was unable to attend school more than three months of the 
year, but by close application while in school and faithful study during vacations, he 
was always able to make the next higher class at the beginning of the following school 

After finishing the English branches he attended Payne High School at Cuthbert. 
In 1892 he graduated at Allen University, Columbia, S. C, with the degrees of B. S. and 
LL. B. 

His record at this institution was in many respects remarkable. He was successful 
in passing the written examination given by the Supreme Court of South Carolina, and 
was admitted to practice in all the courts of that state, May, 1892. 

After his graduation, he returned to his native city, taught a term and made 
preparations to enter upon the practice of the legal profession, but he was prevailed 
upon to accept a position on the faculty of Morris Brown College, in 1893. 

He served here as Professor of Science and Dean of Law until November, 1895, 
when he resigned to accept the Presidency of Edward Waters College at Jackson- 
ville, Fla. 

He was married December 31, 1895, by Bishop A. Grant, to Miss Carrie J. Thomas, 
principal of one of the public schools of Atlanta. Four children have been born to 

He was elected as a lay delegate to the General Conference of the A. M. E. Church 
which was held at Wilmington, N. C, in 1896. 

In the spring of '96 he accepted the position of Professor of Literature at Morris 
Brown College, which position he held until September, 1898, when he was appointed 
Professor of Mathematics and Vice-President of the same institution. The degree of 
M. S. was conferred upon him by Allen University in 1900. In the Summer school, held 
at Clark University in 1901, Professor Jordan was instructor in mathematics. He has 
developed with the institution with which he has been connected, fitting himself for 
every promotion which has come to him. 

Professor Jordan has an experience of eighteen years in the class room and is an 
excellent disciplinarian. The fact that he has filled four different chairs with credit is 
sufficient argument that he is an able "all-round scholar." His greatest strength, how- 
ever, lies in his knowledge of English. His language is chaste; his diction, pure. 

As one of the best writers and speakers of the race, he has contributed articles to 
our leading periodicals, including the "Atlanta Constitution," "Atlanta Journal," "A. M. 
E. Review" and "Indianapolis Freeman," and has delivered several commencement 





I am asked to say whether or not it is time for the Negro colleges 
in the South to be put into the hands of Negro teachers? The educa- 
tion of a people is the greatest question that can possibly concern them. 
It touches every phase of human interest and holds the key to the 
solution of every rational problem arising out of man's duty and 
destiny. The foundations of every helpful institution known to our 
social system rest upon such conceptions of right and wrong as the 
people's intelligence has called into being: for true teaching is not only 
the application of methods for the development of one's powers, but is 
also a directing or turning of those powers into proper channels. With 
any people it will not matter ultimately who now writes the laws, issues 
decrees, or enforces judgments if their youth are kept under wise, 
efficient instructors. How necessary, then, must it be to a race so con- 
ditioned as is the Negro in America that their schools should be con- 
ducted by only those who are most capable and worthy! 

However, before we attempt to answer the question propounded, it 
is important that we fully comprehend its meaning. As I understand 
it, the matter might be stated in other words thus: Should Negroes ex- 
clusively be placed now on the faculties of the several missionary col- 
leges which Northern philanthropy has established in the South since 
the close of the Civil War? There were then not only no schools for us, 
but there were no teachers and no money with which to employ 
teachers. No night in Egypt in the time of Israel was darker than 
those years immediately following the Negro's emancipation. And 
what must have been our condition to-day had not those pillars of light 
been placed in our starless sky? But what is more, for thirty years the 
same spirit and the same people who first made these colleges possible 
among us, have continued their aid, and still make them possible 

And now let us see what advantages could be reasonably expected 
from such a change in management as the subject suggests. So far as 
I know, they who advocate the change establish themselves upon this 
proposition, namely, "Negro teachers are best for Negro schools." 


And this is true, say they, (1) because being of the same race, there 
must of necessity exist such a spirit of sympathy and helpfulness be- 
tween teacher and student as we could not reasonably expect were the 
teacher and the taught of different races; (2) because placing before 
students competent men and women of their own race as teachers sets 
before them an example and an object lesson of what the students 
themselves may become and do, that cannot fail to be inspiring; (3) be- 
cause the employing of Negro teachers in Negro schools furnishes an 
honorable vocation to a large number of our own people who otherwise 
would possibly be unemployed; (5) because Negro teachers in Negro 
colleges, by their presence and work, increase the race pride among 
ourselves and win for us greater confidence and respect from others. 

These are weighty considerations, and, per se, have my most hearty 
approval. But however complete may be our endorsement, we must 
not forget that unqualifiedly acting upon them in the matter under dis- 
cussion would not be without its losses. Let us now consider what 
these might be, and then we shall be prepared to decide whether we 
would not — 

um * * ra ther bear those ills we have 
Than fly to others we know not of." 

In the first place, if the people who own and sustain these schools 
could be induced to sever their connection with them and turn them 
fully into the hands of Negroes, although the colleges are already built, 
equipped and advertised, yet, chiefly on account of our poverty, we 
should have to close the majority of them at once. This would be a 
most serious loss. The amount of ignorance and the lack of trained 
leaders among us, together with the small pittance done for us in the 
direction of even high-school education by the states and cities in which 
we live certainly do not suggest the advisability of ridding ourselves of 
even one agency for enlightenment. Far better would it be for us and 
for the country if they were increased tenfold. 

This view takes into consideration the fact that the great majority 
of people who give of their means to support the schools do so because 
they have confidence in the ability, integrity and experience of those 
who control them. And if any one is so credulous as to believe that the 
schools under the management of Negroes could command the amount 
of interest and support as they now receive, I would ask him, why have 
Negroes, from Mr. Booker T. Washington down, who are trying to gain 


public confidence and assistance for their work, find it necessary to in- 
vite white men to accept membership on their boards of trustees? One 
need not go far to find the correct answer. In this connection, it will 
be in order to inquire also if there are, under the control of Negroes, 
any colleges that receive anything like the amount of money for their 
support that is received by similar institutions under the management 
of white men? 

Furthermore, the placing of the colleges referred to wholly into the 
hands of Negroes would be an unnecessary drawing of the race line, 
and would very effectually close our mouths against making protest or 
complaint on account of our being discriminated against for similar 

Again, at this time, when there seems to be, on the part of certain 
persons of influence, a foul conspiracy against the Negro, it is of great 
importance that we have among us persons whose knowledge of the 
facts, and whose intellectual and social standing with those whose good 
opinion we value enable and impel them to speak out in our behalf. I 
recall with much gratification several instances where white persons 
connected with Negro schools have used the superior opportunities af- 
forded them by the accident of race to say good things of us at a time 
when a spokesman who had the ear of the king was sorely needed. If, 
under present conditions, this class of people be sent from among us, I 
fear it might in a measure be with us as it was with a certain people 
in ancient times when "a new king arose who knew not Joseph." 

And finally, would it not be highly presumptive and insolent on our 
part to demand of others that they deliver into our keeping, without 
price, property which they have purchased with their own money, and 
of which we have had the use and benefit for a third of a century? Un- 
til we shall be able to buy these colleges and properly support them, 
even the serious discussion of the question, it seems to me, is inappro- 
priate and puerile. When, therefore, you ask me, if in my opinion the 
time has come when the Negro colleges in the South should be put into 
the hands of Negro teachers, I must answer you frankly, no. 

I would not be understood, however, as placing my approval upon 
everything pertaining to the management of the schools under consider- 
ation. I do not deny that in some cases teachers are employed who are 
not possessed of the proper spirit for doing the best work among us. 
They are sometimes haughty, unsocial, and unsympathetic, and find 


themselves among us because there is offered better pay for less work 
than was found in their own neighborhoods. But these do not vitiate 
the schools; they are exceptions. I think, too, that the faculties of the 
several schools, together with the boards of trustees, should be as 
largely composed of competent, worthy Negroes as the interests of the 
institutions will allow. I am sure that such a policy would both en- 
courage our people and train them in the management of such interests, 
and would be fully in harmony with the spirit and purpose of the insti- 
tutions' founders. But we cannot state this as a demand based on what 
is justly ours; let it stand rather on its soundness as to what is best as 
a policy designed to accomplish the highest results. Before we find too 
many faults, though, with these missionary colleges^ we ought to show 
by our full, loyal support of the few colleges we do control, that we are 
both able and willing to do the proper thing when the time shall come, 
if ever, for placing the Negro colleges in the South into the hands of 
Negro teachers. 




In attempting to answer this question, I do so fully cognizant of the 
widely differing opinions which are superinduced by the present restive 
state of society. It is a delicate task. In this brief article it is not 
possible to be very extensive. Condensation is a necessity. Taking ob- 
servations from ancient and modern civilizations as external evidence, 
and corroborating the experiences of the present age as internal evi- 
dence, my conclusion is reached. If my judgment is faulty, let us re- 
member that trite aphorism : "To err is human, to forgive, divine." 

If this be the question of the fawning element among us, then let us 
beware of the leaven of the separatists. If the liberal philanthropist 
makes the inquiry, let us demonstrate the wisdom of his investment by 
our exhibitions of gratitude and common sense. It cannot be a serious 
question with the learned sociologist, for he is too conversant with the 
philosophy of history and the laws of psychology. Of the popular idea 
of the over-ardent lovers of the race, it may be more comforting to an 


George Augustus Goodwin was born at Augusta, Ga., February 20, 1861, being the 
eldest son of Mr George and Mrs. Catherine Goodwin. His parents taught him until 
he was old enough to enter the public schools taught by "Yankee teachers." Having lost 
his father at an early age, he subsequently experienced some difficulty in remaining in 
school. However, his now sainted mother, by the assistance of his uncle, Mr. Charles 
Goodwin, kept him in school. For two consecutive years it was necessary for him to 
walk twelve miles daily in order to secure proper school advantages. While yet a lad 
he attracted the attention of both races and was several times offered good positions 
as a public school teacher. He, however, taught a private school four miles from the 
city and was thereby able to attend the Augusta Institute, now the Atlanta Baptist 
College. In the spring of 1879 he united with the historic Springfield Baptist Church, 
Augusta, Ga., where, for three generations, his parents and paternal grandparents had 
worshiped. May 29, 1884, he graduated from the Atlanta Baptist College as salutatorian. 

On leaving school he took up teaching as a profession, in which he has been emi- 
nently successful in developing hundreds of young people. He has filled with credit 
and satisfaction the principalship of Eddy High School at Milledgeville, Ga., Union 
Academy, Gainesville, Fla., Preparatory Department, Livingstone College, Salisbury, 
N. C; also Atlanta Baptist College and Waller Baptist Institute. Augusta, Ga. He was 
the prime factor in the movement which resulted in the organization of the present 
Georgia State Teachers' Association, of which he was secretary for a number of 
years. In the organization of the Florida Teachers' Association he was one of the 
original members. As an institute lecturer he is helpful in many ways. 

Having received a call to the pastorate of the Second Baptist Church at Gainesville. 
Fla., his church at Augusta, Ga., ordained him to the ministry, January 6, 1889. He was 
very successful in this work in connection with his school duties. In July, 1895, he 
jvas happily married to the talented Miss Anna Laura Gardner of Augusta, Ga. 


oppressed people; but truth is better than fiction — facts than theories. 
Therefore, with a conscience void of offence to all, and with the sincere 
hope that right will ultimately triumph before all is lost in the mad 
rush of the enthusiasts, I venture to express some of my convictions re- 
garding this question. The proposition categorically stated would be: it 
is time for the Negro colleges in the South to be put in the hands of Ne- 
gro teachers. Such an affirmation would imply, at least, that these col- 
leges are elsewhere than in the South; that the colleges in the South are 
not wholly nor partially taught by Negro teachers; that those who teach 
in them for some cause, real or imaginary, are not equal to the demands 
of the times; that the Negro, exclusively, is superior for educating the 
Negro in the South; that a crisis is upon us making it imperative to man 
Negro colleges with Negro teachers. These inferences might be indef- 
initely multiplied; but they are harsh and fallacious — implications un- 
worthy of the best thought interested in an issue involving the destiny 
of a race and this great republic. The facts in the case are so potent 
that I shall not attempt a critical refutation of the inferences deduced, 
but will consider the subject more freely on another line, in this way 
avoiding what might be a fearful indictment of those least prepared 
for it. Critically considering every contingency I see no valid reason 
for such a course as the question suggests. In answer thereto wisdom 
replies, "It is NOT time for the Negro colleges in the South to be put in 
the hands of Negro teachers/' 

This is an intensely practical age; in many respects, it is utilitarian. 
"The survival of the fittest," is the almost universal creed of the age. 
The American civilization is distinctly Anglo-Saxon. Whatever does 
not attain to that standard is out of harmony with real conditions. The 
Negro is here to stay. Two radically different civilizations cannot 
thrive in one country at the same time. One advances, the other retro- 
grades. Every chapter in history verifies the assertion. It is provi- 
dential that the American Negro is brought into close touch with the 
highest ideals of American life through his most enlightened Anglo- 
Saxon brother. Only in this way can the Negro meet the rigid require- 
ments of the ever-advancing standard of the proud, progressive Anglo- 
Saxon. The dominant race is naturally the criterion. Any other al- 
ternative would be abnormal and destructive in its far-reaching results. 
The ruling people in this country have the prestige of centuries of 
culture. Had the Negro's days of enslavement been years of culture 


and refinement equal to that of the best people about him, present con- 
ditions would be greatly changed. However desirable it may be to 
elevate the Negro to places of dignity, it should be borne in mind that 
his color is not a qualification. These institutions will, in time, be more 
generally under the management of Negro teachers, if the future proves 
the work of the present regime non-productive of the highest results. 
Such a change will greatly depend upon the ability of the Negro to ap- 
preciate his real condition and to utilize, to the best advantage, the 
means and opportunities now afforded him. Error now will prove 
abortive and, perhaps, postpone indefinitely what might otherwise 
sooner come in the natural course of events. Such a transition must 
not be revolutionary, but evolutionary if come it must, and come it will. 
It were better to hope that all schools in the South were as they are in 
the North for the most part. That the Negro himself should so soon 
contemplate this as practical is an anomaly. That some evils exist I 
do not deny. But would separation and exclusion be a remedy? No. 
It is praiseworthy in the Negro that he, in a measure, has kept abreast 
with the march of this civilization. He has been responsive to the 
magic touch and the benign influences of those who came to rescue him 
from intellectual and moral darkness. The Northern teachers and a 
few Southern heroes began the work of educating the Negro, at a time, 
when teaching the Negro was an extremely delicate innovation — nay, 
dangerous experiment. Through what perils, privations, ridicule, and 
ostracism they passed, only such pioneers as Drs. H. M. Tupper, D. W. 
Phillips, C. H. Corey, J. T. Robert, E. A. Ware, E. M. Cravath, Gen. 
Armstrong, Miss S. B. Packard, and others of the immortal galaxy, are 
permitted to speak from their high citadel of triumph. Shall these of 
blessed memory, together with their associates and workers of less promi- 
nence, be forgotten? Shall they be revered, or shall they be calumniated? 
Dumb be the lip, and palsied the hand that would, in any wise, dishonor 
them and their efforts to uplift humanity! It will not be remiss on my 
part to ask for their successors in spirit and labor, and for their con- 
stituency that consideration which a superior statesmanship and a prac- 
tical Christianity dictate. 

These institutions, under their present management, have met the 
exigencies of the times. Granting that no human effort is perfect, the 
fact remains that these institutions have lived up to the high purpose 
for which they were founded, and are still being liberally supported and 


endowed. What more could be required by rational beings? This 
couplet may be suggestive: 


"He who does as best his circumstances will allow, 

Does well, acts nobly, angels can do no more." 

That others could have done better or equally as well remains to be 
seen. The history of the country from 1619-20 to 1865 is valid testi- 
mony. It was the influence of the Northern teachers, for the most part, 
that the best educated men among us were matriculated at the great 
Northern universities. It was by them that Negro schools were first 
operated in the South. The needs and magnitude of Negro education 
in the South have greatly intensified the philanthropic spirit of the 
Northern missionary societies and workers, each year resulting in a 
vast expenditure of money and energy. Shall those who believe 
"culture is colorless" be affronted; and shall their representatives be 
exiled by the beneficiaries? Is the wounded, dying traveler under the 
healing ministrations of the good Samaritan competent to protest 
against the merciful steward? Is such the subsequent of all human 
action? Let justice and reason answer! Formerly for the Negro liter- 
ary culture was a sort of forbidden fruit in the Edenic South. For more 
than two centuries the cherubim of social pollution and moral degrada- 
tion stood at the school-house gate with sword-like lash in hand, under 
governmental authority, to defy the return of the Negro to his pristine 
eminence in literary culture and moral probity held many years prior 
to the rise and supremacy of his now dominant kinsman. It was the 
northern missionaries, for such they are, who threw open the wicket- 
gate of opportunity unto the despairing Negro causing him to reach 
forth his hand unto the tree of life manifesting itself in the develop- 
ment of the higher faculties of a being with God's image. The Negro 
colleges in the South, with scarcely an exception, were built up by 
Northern philanthropy. They are the best institutions available to a 
great majority of those seeking the fullest possible development of their 
intellectual powers. As a rule, they are superior in equipment, in both 
standards of scholarship and discipline at least. This is true by virtue 
of the power vouchsafed to their management and teaching force 
through superior years of splendid environment. Under such circum- 
stances the Northern missionary teachers are in their normal condition 
in prosecuting the work of Negro education. They are usually dis- 


pensers of exact scholarship, consecrated service, and broad culture. It 
is scarcely possible that the Negro, in less than forty years, a creature 
of misfortune many years prior to his enslavement, should now be the 
equal of his more favored brother in the acquisition of knowledge or his 
over-match in teaching ability. Physiologists are quite unanimous in 
making the Negro a member of the human race. He, therefore, has the 
same faculties and susceptibilities as other members of the human 
family. He is governed by the same laws of thought. In what then is 
the Negro constitutionally a better educator of the Negro? There is 
absolutely nothing in his skin nor sympathies that makes him a su- 
perior teacher of the Negro. Other things being equal preparation is 
the only synonym for superiority in teaching. If now the race has 
idiosyncrasies entirely different from the rest of the human family, as 
some wiseacres would imply by their persistency in making this de- 
mand for a change in the colleges, then maybe it were better to gratify 
their wish. 

These colleges are more than so much material ana apparatus. 
Through them the white brother is best prepared to represent the 
Negro to those who are to help in his uplift. The peculiar customs in 
the South weaken the authority of the Negro teacher in comparison 
with the fiat of the Anglo-Saxon teacher. The Negro teacher in the 
public schools, and in the schools distinctly his own, is not more suc- 
cessful, to be charitable, than the Northern teacher in securing and 
holding pupils. Nor has it been shown that the Negro teacher develops 
the powers of the child any faster, or in better ways of thinking and 
acting than does the Northern teacher. Coming to us as they do, their 
ability is rarely questioned. They are never anxious to advertise their 
fitness for the place by resorting to that unique process in promotions 
which seems so often the naivete of many another in similar spheres 
without hereditary influences as his legacy. At some time, in some 
way, I have been closely connected with schools of all grades in the 
South for the Negro — schools owned by the Negro, taught by the Negro 
exclusively, schools taught by the Negro and the Anglo-Saxon. I have 
been the pupil of Northern and Southern white teachers; for a brief 
while a pupil of the Negro teacher; and at one time janitor of a leading 
white academy in which help was mutually given by the janitor-tutor. 
I confess that I have yet to see the slightest difference in the general 
character of receiving and imparting knowledge, or in developing char- 


acter on the principle of color versus culture. To accept any such doc- 
trine would be pernicious. 

These colleges are too important to be used as experimental stations 
even to gratify the caprice of the most cautious. Such a change in the 
work of these colleges, as the question suggests, should be looked upon 
with some degree of suspicion and as inimical to the best interests of 
the Negro. Without undervaluing the great importance of the public 
schools, it were better to try the experiment with them and the few 
secondary schools for Negro education connected with the several 
Southern States and managed by white trustees exclusively. What 
has been the history of the local academies and schools transferred to 
the Negro trustees and teachers not many years after the Civil War? 
What of those operated in later years as a monument to the creative 
genius of the Negro? For the most part, they remind us that they have 
seen better days. They speak a mighty truth which should be borne 
in mind by every class of inquirers on this subject. Self-help and 
worthy ambitions are commendable, but should be rational. The 
Negro needs the help of the Anglo-Saxon without regard to sections of 
country. He can advance more safely and rapidly as he walks arm in 
arm with his brother North and South. Far be it from me that I 
should, in any way, underestimate the heroic efforts of institutions 
wholly run by the Negro! Many of them are striking illustrations of 
what united effort can do; they serve a purpose which cannot be over- 
looked. Only in proportion as he is more a producer than a consumer, 
and as wealth and intelligence become common factors in his social 
life, will the Negro be able to assume entire control of these great 
institutions founded for him by the Northern societies. As to the 
ability of some members of the race to adorn any position in the gift 
of these colleges no one denies. There are men of superior scholarship, 
broad culture, sound character, tact, and executive ability even to 
grace similar places in white institutions. They are exceptions; and 
yet I do not hesitate to say that were their services in demand they 
could do so with comparatively more ease and satisfaction than if at 
the head of a strictly Negro institution. The reason is apparent to 
those experienced in such matters. Ability and adaptability are not 
the only requisites for this work. 

If the Negro has not been able to acquire similar institutions by his 
own efforts aided by friends North and South, is there any guarantee 


that he would properly appreciate them if thus thrust upou him? To 
ask such a concession would be an admission of the point at issue. The 
South, commercially, believes in free trade; assuming it is right, it 
then would not be right to close the intellectual ports of the Negro 
against the cultured wares of his time honored benefactors in literary 
commerce. The Negro least of all should not ask it. 

In Southern courts, where life and great interests are involved, the 
most intelligent Negro finds it to his advantage to employ legal talent 
of the opposite race because he is conditioned by the peculiar circum- 
stances of a white judge and jury who, in most cases, seem to interpret 
law and weigh evidence in accordance with the prevailing opinions of 
the dominant class. In the work of Negro education vital interests are 
involved. The Anglo-Saxon teachers have the culture and the means 
at their command. They are actual competitors with the Negro and 
every other people in this particular missionary endeavor. They have 
given the world its highest civilization. Through them, as instrumen- 
talities, the torch-light of civilization progresses; Christianity brightens 
every prospect in every land. Why should they be discriminated 
against in educating the Negro in the South? Should this service and 
philanthropy be directed to founding and supporting similar institu- 
tions for the more unfortunate class of the stronger race, there would 
be no question about the color of teachers though they be Indian or 
Japanese. The means used in maintaining these institutions is not 
obtained from the Negro nor by his influence. Would a change in the 
policy of the teaching force help or hinder in securing this aid? This 
change would establish more rigidly the color line so objectionable to 
the Negro himself. It would be a backward movement. In all prob- 
ability the color of the darker races is due more largely to some sort 
of skin disease, than to other causes, transmitted through the ages 
since the flood. That is a very charitable Negro who wishes isolation 
to prevent inoculating the Anglo-Saxon if permitted to teach the 
Negro. The Negro has ample opportunity for his individuality in his 
societies and churches. He has gained absolutely nothing by com- 
pletely divorcing himself from the fostering care of the Anglo-Saxon. 
Observe the contrast between those Negro churches wholly separated 
from the Anglo-Saxon and those partially controlled by the dominant 
race. Those who have been somewhat under the guardianship of the 
stronger race are usually the highest types of intelligent Christianity. 


Mrs. Paul Laurence Dunbar (Alice Ruth Moore) was born in New Orleans, La., 
July 19, 1873. Attended public schools there and Straight University, and was gradu- 
ated from the latter institution in 1892. Taught in the public schools of New Orleans 
until 189G, when she went to Boston and New York for study, taking a course in 
Manual Training at the Teachers' College. "Was appointed a teacher in the public 
schools of Brooklyn, N. Y., in 1897, and taught there until her marriage to Mr. Paul 
Laurence Dunbar, in March, 1898. 

In 1895, Mrs. Dunbar's first book. "Violets and Other Tales." was published by the 
Monthly Review Publishing Company, Boston. The next book, "The Goodness of St. 
Rocque," published by Dodd, Mead & Co., New York, in 1899, was favorably received 
by some of the best critics. Mrs. Dunbar has written a number of short stories for 
some of the leading magazines and newspapers in the country, among them McClures, 
the Smart Set, Ladies' Home Journal, the Southern Workman, Leslie's Weekly, the 
New York Sun, Boston Transcript, and for over a year did regular work on the Chicago 

While teaching in Brooklyn, Mrs. Dunbar was actively interested in mission work 
on the East Side of New York, conducting classes in manual training and kindergarten 
after the regular hours of public school work was over. Since her marriage, Mrs. 
Dunbar has resided in Washington, and has done some of her best work in short story 
writing, as well as acting as secretary and general helpmeet for her husband. 


Both races have suffered by the separation; but it is needless to say 
how much greater the Negro has suffered. The Negro has more to gain 
by co-operation with his Anglo-Saxon neighbors. Intelligence must 
be handed down from generation to generation, from race to race by 
contact, from individual to individual. In the schools of the American 
Baptist Home Mission Society, for the year 1898-1899, the annual report 
shows that out of 321 teachers employed, 124 were Negroes. It 
will be borne out by the report of each succeeding year. In a large 
measure, the other missionary societies North and South are about as 
liberal in recognizing the Negro teacher. Therefore to mix the facul- 
ties and boards of trustees of all these schools would be ideal in most 
respects. • This would be a happy golden mean. Let us be patient, con- 
siderate, and faithful. 




It seems a rather incongruous fact that so many of our Negro col- 
leges in the South, whose purpose is avowedly the insistence of higher 
education of Negro youth, should deny that youth not only the privilege 
of teaching in the very institutions which have taught him, but also 
deny him the privilege of looking up to and reverencing his own people. 
For so long have the whites been held up to the young people as the 
only ones whom it is worth while taking as models; for so long have 
the ignorant of the race been taught that their best efforts after all, 
are hardly worth while, that wherever possible, it behooves us to place 
over the masses those of their own race who have themselves attained 
to that dignity to which the education of the schools tend. 

It has been my good or ill fortune to number among my acquaint- 
ances a number of young boys and girls who could rattle off with 
fluency the names of Greak philosophers of ancient days; who could at 
a moment's notice tell you the leading writers of the Elizabethan 
period, or the minor Italian poets of the fifteenth century, but who 
were hopelessly ignorant of what members of their own race had done. 
They had, perhaps, a vague idea of an occasional name here and there, 


but what the owner of that name had done was a mystery. Happily 
these instances are decreasing in proportion as our schools are filled 
with teachers of our own race who can teach a proper appreciation of, 
and pride in the deeds of that race. 

It is unreasonable to suppose that any teacher of another race, no 
matter how conscientious and scrupulous, is going to take the same 
interest in putting before his pupils the achievements of that people 
in contradistinction to the accepted course of study as laid down by 
the text books. How many young students of history in the white- 
taught schools remember being drilled to revere the glorious memory 
of Lincoln, and Sumner and Garrison and Wendell Phillips, and how 
few remember being drilled to remember Crispus Attucks and the 
fifty-fourth and fifty-fifth Massachusetts? How many students of 
literature are taught of the first woman Writer in America to earn 
distinction, Margaret Hutchinson, but how few are reminded of her 
contemporary, Phyllis Wheatley? How many students remember the 
lachrymose career of Byron and how few know of his contemporary, 
Poushkin? The student of natural science is taught about Franklin, 
but not of Benjamin Banneker; the elocution classes remember Booth 
and Macready, and even how excellent an actor was Shakespeare, but 
they seldom hear of Ira Aldridge. How many of the mathematical 
students remember that Euclid was a black man? And the elementary 
classes in art, how glibly they can discuss Turner and Ruskin and the 
pre-Raphaelites and the style of Gibson, but they are likely not to 
know the name of the picture that the Paris Salon hung for Henry 

It is unreasonable, of course, to expect any Caucasian to remember 
these things, or if remembering them, to be able to point them out with 
the same amount of pride and persistence that a Negro in the same 
position would. And therein lies the secret of the foundation of a 
family, a government, a nation — pride. Pride in what has been done, 
in what may be done, in the ability to reach the very highest point that 
may be reached. With that quality instilled in the young from the 
very first, the foundation for individual achievement is firmly laid; and 
what more can we ask of any education? 

It has been said that Negro boys and girls hearing of the deeds of 
some great man or woman have exclaimed, "Oh, well, no colored person 
could do that!" Fortunately, there are few of these now, but how 


much it is to be regretted that such an expression could ever have been 
made — at least within the last thirty years? 

By all means let us have Negro teachers in our Negro schools and 
colleges. Let the boy who wants to be a farmer carry with him the 
memory of successful Negro farmers and of a Negro who knew enough 
about scientific agriculture to teach him to compete with the best white 
farmers in the country. It will be easier for him to reach his goal, and 
he will have more respect for his own ability and less cringing, servile 
admiration for his Caucasian rivals. Let the boy or girl whose inclina- 
tions tend to a profession get their instruction from some one whose 
complexion is akin to their own. It is a spur to ambition, a goal to be 
reached. The "what man has done, man may do" is so much easier 
from a successful brother than from a successful, though supercilious, 

Of course, the good effect of Negro teachers upon the youthful 
minds is the only point thus far touched upon. The other side of the 
question is obvious. What is the use of training teachers, of spending 
time and money acquiring college training if there is no place to use 
such training? There is room, and plenty of it, for the college bred 
man and woman, and for every place filled by our own teachers there 
is so much more money saved to our own race. 

The closer the corporation, the wealthier it is. The tighter the lines 
drawn about distributing money outside our own great family the 
more affluent our family becomes. Every cent is an important item. 
More money for ourselves, a better opinion of our own achievements 
and ability to do more, higher regard for the raising of Negro ideals, 
and a deeper sense of the responsibility imposed on each individual to 
do his part towards leavening the lump; these things are dependent 
upon our teachers in our own schools. 

By all means let us have Negro teachers in Negro colleges. 




"Will Education Solve the Race Problem?" is the title of an inter- 
esting article in the June number of The North American Review, by 
Professor John Roach Straton, of Macon, Georgia. My own belief is 
that education will finally solve the race problem. In giving some 
reasons for this faith, I wish to express my appreciation of the sincere 
and kindly spirit in which Professor Straton's article is written. I 
grant that much that he emphasizes as to present conditions is true. 
When we recall the past, these conditions could not be expected to be 
otherwise; but I see no reason for discouragement or loss of faith. When 
I speak of education as a solution for the race problem, I do not mean 
education in the narrow sense, but education which begins in the home 
and includes training in industry and iu habits of thrift, as well as 
mental, moral and religious discipline, and the broader education 
which comes from contact with the public sentiment of the com- 
munity in which one lives. Nor do I confine myself to the education 
of the Negro. Many persons in discussing the effect that education will 
have in working out the Negro question, overlook the helpful influence 
that will ultimately come through the broader and more generous 
education of all the race elements of the South. As all classes of 
whites in the South become more generally educated in the broader 
sense, race prejudice will be tempered and they will assist in lifting 
up the black man. 

In our desire to see a better condition of affairs, we are too often 
inclined to grow impatient because a whole race is not elevated in a 
short time, very much as a house is built. In all the history of man- 
kind there have been few such radical, social and economic changes in 
the policy of a nation as have been effected within thirty-five years in 
this country, with respect to the change ojf four million and a half of 
slaves into four million and a half of freemen (now nearly ten million). 
When all the conditions of the past are considered, and compared with 
the present, I think the White South, the North and the Negro are 



Prof. B. T. Washington, the founder and principal of the Tuskegee, Alabama, Normal 
Industrial Institute, was born at Hale's Ford Postoffice, Franklin County, Virginia, 
about 1856 or 1857. At the age of nine he went with his mother and the rest of the family 
to Maiden, Kanawha County, West Virginia. Here he attended the common schools 
until 1872. In the Fall of that year he left Maiden and proceeded to Hampton Institute, 
at Hampton, Virginia. His means were scanty, but he thought he had money enough 
to reach that place. Upon his arrival at Richmond, he found himself minus enough 
to pay for a night s lodging. He took the next best, shelter under a sidewalk. Next 
morning he got employment in helping to unload a vessel, thus earning a sufficient 
sum with which to continue his journey to Hampton. At this institution the first year 
he paid his expenses by working, with a brother helping him some. The two remain- 
ing years he worked out his entire expenses as janitor. Graduating in 1875, he taught 
school several years at Maiden, the place of his birth. In 1878 he entered Wayland 
Seminary and took a course of studies there. After leaving there he was given a 
position in Hampton Institute, which position he held two years, the last year having 
charge of the Indian boys. Meanwhile the Legislature of Alabama passed an act estab- 
lishing a Normal School at Tuskegee, Alabama. The State Commissioners applied to 
Gen. S. C. Armstrong, principal of Hampton Institute, to recommend some one for 
principal. He recommended Mr. Washington, who went at once to Alabama, and organized 
the school July 4th, 1881. The buildings then occupied were a church and a small 
dwelling house, with thirty pupils and one teacher. Since that time it has made such 
wonderful progress that, to-day, the site of the institution is a city within itself. Mr. 
Carnegie recently donated to the institution $20,000, with which to build and equip a 
library. It is aided by friends both North and South. Mr. Washington is a splendid 
example of "grit and determination," and the history of his life is worthy the study of 
every colored youth in our land. 

Professor Washington, in speaking of his experiences at Hampton, says: "While 
at Hampton, I resolved, if God permitted me to finish the course of study, I would 
enter the far South, the black belt of the Gulf States, and give my life in providing as 
best I could the same kind of chance for self-help for the youth of my race that I 
found ready for me when I went to Hampton, and so, in 1881, I left Hampton and went 
to Tuskegee and started the Normal and Industrial Institute." 

Professor Washington is in great demand as a speaker in all educational gather- 
ings. For several consecutive years he has addressed the National Educational Asso- 
ciation, where from ten to fifteen thousand of the cream of the educational workers of 
the nation listen to his addresses with rapt attention. Without question he is the 
great leader of his race, and one of the great men of this age. 


to be congratulated on the fact that conditions are no worse, but are 
as encouraging as they are. The sudden change from slavery to free- 
dom, from restraint to liberty, was a tremendous one; and the wonder 
is, not that the Negro has not done better, but that he has done as well 
as he has. Every thoughtful student of the subject expected that the 
first two or three generations of freedom would lead to excesses and 
mistakes on the part of the Negro, which would in many cases cause 
moral and physical degeneration, such as would seem to the superficial 
observer to indicate conditions that could not be overcome. It was to 
be anticipated that, in the first generation at least, the tendency would 
be, among a large number, to seek the shadow instead of the substance; 
to grasp after the mere signs of the highest civilization instead of the 
reality; to be led into the temptation of believing that they could 
secure, in a few years, that which it has taken other races thousands 
of years to obtain. Any one who has the daily opportunity of studying 
the Negro at first hand cannot but gain the impression that there are 
Indisputable evidences that the Negro throughout the country is set- 
tling down to a hard, common sense view of life; that he is fast learn- 
ing that a race, like an individual, must pay for everything it gets — 
the price of beginning at the bottom of the social scale and gradually 
working up by natural processes to the highest civilization. The exag- 
gerated impressions that the first years of freedom naturally brought are 
giving way to an earnest, practical view of life and its responsibilities. 

Let us take a broad, generous survey of the Negro race as it came 
into the country, represented by twenty savages, in 1619, and trace its 
progress through slavery, through the Civil War period, and through 
freedom to the present moment. Who will be brave enough to say that 
the colored race, as a whole, has not increased in numbers and grown 
stronger mentally, morally, religiously, industrially, and in the accumu- 
lation of property? In a word, has not the Negro, at every stage, 
shown a tendency to grow into harmony with the best type of Amer- 
ican civilization? 

Professor Straton lays special stress upon the moral weakness of 
the race. Perhaps the worst feature of slavery was that it prevented 
the development of a family life, with all of its far-reaching signifi- 
cance. Except in rare cases the uncertainties of domicile made family 
life, during two hundred and fifty years of slavery, an impossibility. 
There is no institution so conducive to right and high habits of physical 


and moral life as the home. No race starting in absolute poverty could 
be expected, in the brief period of thirty-five years, to purchase homes 
and build up a family life and influence that would have a very marked 
impression upon the life of the masses. The Negro has not had time 
enough to collect the broken and scattered members of his family. 
For the sake of illustration, and to employ a personal reference, I do 
not know who my own father was; I have no idea who my grandmother 
was; I have or had uncles, aunts and cousins, but I have no knowledge 
as to where most of them now are. My case will illustrate that of hun- 
dreds of thousands of black people in every part of our country. Per- 
haps those who direct attention to the Negro's moral weakness, and 
compare his moral progress with that of the whites, do not consider 
the influence of the memories which cling about the old family home- 
stead upon the character and aspirations of individuals. The very fact 
that the white boy is conscious that, if he fails in life, he will disgrace 
the whole family record, extending back through many generations, 
is of tremendous value in helping him to resist temptations. On the 
other hand, the fact that the individual has behind him and surround- 
ing him proud family history and connections serves as a stimulus to 
make him overcome obstacles, when striving for success. All this 
should be taken into consideration, to say nothing of the physical, 
mental and moral training which individuals of the white race receive 
in their homes. We must not pass judgment on the Negro too soon. 
It requires centuries for the influence of home, school, church and 
public contact to permeate the mass of millions of people, so that the 
upward tendency may be apparent to the casual observer. It is too 
soon to decide what effect general education will have upon the rank 
and file of the Negro race, because the masses have not been educated. 
Throughout the South, especially in the Gulf states, the great bulk 
of the black population lives in the country districts. In these districts 
the schools are rarely in session more than three months of the year. 
When this is considered, in connection with poor teachers, poor school- 
houses, and an almost entire lack of apparatus, it is obvious that we 
must wait longer before we can judge, even approximately, of the effect 
that general education will have upon the whole population. Most 
writers and speakers upon the subject of the Negro's non-progressive- 
ness base their arguments upon alleged facts and statistics of the life 
of Negroes in the large cities. This is hardly fair. Before the Civil 


War the Negro was not, to any considerable extent, a denizen of the 
large cities. Most of them lived on the plantations. The Negro living 
in the cities has undergone two marked changes: (1) the change from 
slavery to freedom; (2) the change from country life to city life. At 
first the tendency of both these changes was, naturally, to unsettle, 
to intoxicate and to lead the Negro to wrong ideas of life. The change 
from country life to city life, in the case of the white man, is about as 
marked as in the case of the Negro. The average Negro in the city, 
with all of its excitements and temptations, has not lived there more 
than half a generation. It is, therefore, too soon to reach, a definite 
conclusion as to what the permanent effect of this life upon him will 
be. This, I think, explains the difference between the moral condition 
of the Negro, to which Professor Straton refers, in the states where 
there has been little change in the old plantation life, as compared 
with that in the more northern of the Atlantic states, where the change 
from country to city life is more marked. 

Judging from close observation, my belief is that, after the Negro 
has overcome the false idea which city life emphasizes, two or three 
generations will bring about an earnestness and steadiness of purpose 
which do not now generally obtain. As the Negro secures a home in 
the city, learns the lessons of industry and thrift and becomes a tax- 
payer, his moral life improves. The influence of home surroundings, 
of the school, the church and public sentiment will be more marked 
and have a more potent effect in causing him to withstand temptations. 
But, notwithstanding the shortness of the time which the Negro has had 
in which to get schooled to his new life, any one who has visited the 
large cities of Europe will readily testify that the visible signs of 
immorality in those cities are far greater than among the colored 
people of America. Prostitution for gain is far more prevalent in the 
cities of Europe than among the colored people of our cities. 

Professor Straton says that the Negro has degenerated in morals 
since he became free; in other words, that his condition in this respect 
is not as hopeful as it was during the early period of slavery. I do not 
think it wise to place too much reliance upon such a view of the matter, 
because there are too few facts upon which to base a comparison. The 
bald statement that the Negro was not given to crime during slavery 
proves little. Slavery represented an unnatural condition of life, in 
which certain physical checks were kept constantly upon the indi- 


vidua! To say that the Negro was at his best, morally, during the 
period of slavery is about the same as to say that the two thousand 
prisoners in the State prison and the city penal institutions in the city 
of Boston are the most righteous two thousand people in Boston. I 
question whether one can find two thousand persons in Boston who 
will equal these two thousand imprisoned criminals in the mere nega- 
tive virtues. During the days of slavery the Negro was rarely brought 
into the court to be tried for crime; hence, there was almost no public 
record of crimes committed by him. Each master, in most cases, pun- 
ished his slave as he thought best, and as little as possible was said 
about it outside of his little plantation world. The improper relations 
between the sexes, with which the black race is now frequently charged 
in most sections of the South, were encouraged or winked at, under 
the slavery system, because of the financial value of the slaves. A 
custom that was fostered for three centuries cannot be blotted out in 
one generation. 

In estimating the progress of a race, we should not consider alone 
the degree of success which has been actually attained, but also the 
obstacles which have been overcome in reaching that success. Judged 
by the obstacles overcome, few races, if any, in history have made prog- 
ress commensurate with that of the colored people of the United States, 
in the same length of time. It may be conceded that the present gen- 
eration of colored people does not compare favorably with the present 
generation of the white race, because of the reasons I have already 
given, and the further reason that on account of the black man's 
poverty of means to employ lawyers to have his case properly appealed 
to the higher courts, and his inability to furnish bonds, his criminal 
record is much worse than that of the white race, both in the Northern 
and Southern states. The Southern states, as a whole, have not yet 
reached a point where they are able to provide reformatories for 
juvenile offenders, and consequently most of these are sent to the state 
prison, where the records show that the same individuals are often 
committed over and over again, because in the first instance, the child 
prisoner, instead of being reformed, becomes simply hardened to prison 
life. In the North, it is true, the Negro has the benefit of the reforma- 
tories; but the unreasonable prejudice which prevents him from secur- 
ing employment in the shops and the factories more than offsets this 
advantage. Hundreds of Negroes in the North become criminals who 


would become strong and useful men if they were not discriminated 
against as bread winners. 

In the matter of assault upon white women, the Negro is placed in 
a peculiar attitude. While this vile crime is always to be condemned 
in the strongest language, and it should be followed by the severest 
legal punishment, yet the custom of lynching a Negro when he is 
accused of committing such a crime calls the attention of the whole 
country to it, in such a way as is not always true in the case of a white 
man, North or South. Any one who reads the daily papers carefully 
knows that such assaults are constantly charged against white men in 
the North and in the South; but, because the white man, in most cases, 
is punished by the regular machinery of the courts, attention is seldom 
attracted to his crime outside of the immediate neighborhood where 
the offense is committed. This, to say nothing of the cases where the 
victim of lynch law could prove his innocence, if he were given a hear- 
ing before a cool, level-headed set of jurors in open court, makes the 
apparent contrast unfavorable to the black man. It is hardly proper, 
in summing up the value of any race, to dwell almost continually upon 
its Weaker element. As other men are judged, so should the Negro be 
judged, by the best that the race can produce, rather than by the worst. 
Keep the searchlight constantly focused upon the criminal and worth- 
less element of any people, and few among all the races and nations of 
the world can be accounted successful. More attention should be 
directed to individuals who have succeeded, and less to those who have 
failed. And Negroes who have succeeded grandly can be found in 
everv corner of the South. 

I doubt that much reliance can safely be placed upon mere ability 
to read and write a little as a means of saving any race. Education 
should go further. One of the weaknesses in the Negro's present con- 
dition grows out of failure, in the early years of his freedom, to teach 
him, in connection with thorough academic and religious branches, 
the dignity and beauty of labor, and to give him a working knowledge 
of the industries by which he must earn a subsistence. But the main 
question is: What is the present tendency of the race, where it has 
been given a fair opportunity, and where there has been thorough 
education of hand, head and heart? This question I answer from my 
own experience of nineteen years in the heart of the South, and from 
my daily contact with whites and blacks. In the first place, the social 


barrier prevents most white people from coming into real contact with 
the higher and better side of the Negro's social life. The Negro loafer, 
drunkard and gambler can be seen without social contact. The higher 
life cannot be seen without social contact. As I write these lines I am 
in the home of a Negro friend, where in the matter of cleanliness, 
sweetness, attractiveness, modern conveniences and other evidences of 
intelligence, morality and culture, the home would compare favorably 
with that of any white family in the neighborhood; and yet this Negro 
home is unknown outside of the little town where it exists. To really 
know the life of this family, one would have to become a part of it for 
days, as I have been. One of the most encouraging changes that have 
taken place in the life of the Negro race in the past thirty years is the 
creation of a growing public sentiment which draws a line between 
the good and bad, the clean and unclean. This change is fast taking 
place in every part of the country. It is one that cannot be accurately 
measured by any table of statistics. To be able to appreciate it fully, 
one must himself be a part of the social life of the race. 

As to the effect of industrial education in the solution of the race 
problem, we should not expect too much from it in a short time. To 
the late General S. C. Armstrong, of Hampton Institute, in Virginia, 
should be given the credit, mainly, for inaugurating this system of 
education. When the Hampton Institute began the systematic, indus- 
trial training of the Negro, such training was unpopular among a large 
class of colored people. Later, when the same system was started by 
me at the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute, in Alabama, it 
was still unpopular, especially in that part of the South. But the feel- 
ing against it has now almost disappeared in all parts of the country, 
so much so that I do not consider the opposition of a few people here 
and there as of material consequence. Where there is one who opposes 
it there are thousands who indorse it. So far as the colored people are 
concerned, I consider that the battle for this principle has been fought 
and the victory won. What the colored people are anxious about is 
that, with industrial education, they shall have thorough mental and 
religious training, and in this they are right. For bringing about this 
change in the attitude of the colored people, much credit should be 
given to the John F. Slater Fund, under the wise guidance of such men 
as Mr. Morris K. Jesup and Dr. J. L. M. Curry, as well as to Dr. H. B. 
Frissell, of the Hampton Institute. That such institutions for indus- 


trial training as the Hampton Institute and the Tuskegee Institute are 
always crowded with the best class of Negro students from nearly 
every state in the Union, and that every year they are compelled to 
refuse admission to hundreds of others, for lack of room and means, 
are sufficient evidence that the black race has come to appreciate the 
value of industrial education. The almost pathetic demand of the 
colored people for industrial education in every corner of the South 
is added evidence of the growing intelligence of the race. In saying 
what I do in regard to industrial education, I do not w T ish to be under- 
stood as meaning that the education of the Negro should be confined 
to that kind alone, because we need men and women well educated in 
other directions; but for the masses industrial education is the supreme 
need. I repeat that we must not expect too much from this training, 
in the redemption of a race, in the space of a few years. 

There are few institutions in the South where industrial training is 
given upon a large and systematic scale, and the graduates from these 
institutions have not had time to make themselves felt to any very 
large extent upon the life of the rank and file of the people. But what 
are the indications? As I write, I have before me a record of gradu- 
ates, which is carefully compiled each year. Of the hundreds who have 
been trained at the Tuskegee Institute, less than five per cent have 
failed because of any moral weakness. These graduates, as well as 
hundreds of other students who could not remain to finish the course, 
are now T at w T ork in the schoolroom, in the field, in the shop, in the 
home, or as teachers of industry, or in some way they are making their 
education felt in the lifting up of the colored people. Wherever these 
graduates go, they not only help their own race, but, in nearly every 
case, they win the respect and confidence of the white people. 

Not long ago I sent a number of letters to white men, in all the 
Southern states, asking, among others, this question: "Judged by 
actual observation in your community, what is the effect of education 
upon the Negro?" In asking this question, I was careful to explain 
that by education I did not mean a mere smattering, but a thorough 
education of the head, heart and hand. I received about three hundred 
replies, and there was only one who said that education did not help 
the Negro. Most of the others were emphatic in stating that education 
made the Negro a better citizen. In all the record of crime in the 
South, there are very few instances where a black man, who has been 


thoroughly educated in the respects I have mentioned, has been ever 
charged with the crime of assaulting a woman. In fact, I do not know 
of a single instance of this kind, whether the man was educated in an 
industrial school or in a college. 

The following extracts from a letter written by a Southern white 
man to the Daily Advertiser, of Montgomery, Alabama, contain most 
valuable testimony. The letter refers to convicts in Alabama, most 
of whom are colored: 

"I was conversing not long ago with the warden of one of our min- 
ing prisons, containing about 500 convicts. The warden is a practical 
man, who has been in charge of prisoners for more than fifteen years, 
and has no theories of any kind to support. I remarked to him that I 
wanted some information as to the effect of manual training in pre- 
venting criminality, and asked him to state what per cent of the 
prisoners under his charge had received any manual training, besides 
the acquaintance with the crudest agricultural labor. He replied : 'Per- 
haps about one per cent.' He added: 'No; much less than that. We 
have here at present only one mechanic; that is, there is one man who 
claims to be a house painter.' 

" 'Have you any shoemakers?' 

" 'Never have had a shoemaker.' 

" 'Have you any tailors?' 

" 'Never have had a tailor.' 

" 'Any printers?' 

" 'Never have had a printer.' 

" 'Any carpenters?' 

" 'Never have had a carpenter. There is not a man in this prison 
that could saw to a straight line.' " 

Now, these facts seem to show that manual training is almost as 
good a preventive for criminality as vaccination is for smallpox. 

We can best judge further of the value of industrial and academic 
education by using a few statistics bearing upon the state of Virginia, 
where graduates from the Hampton Institute and other schools have 
gone in large numbers and have had an opportunity, in point of time, 
to make their influence apparent upon the Negro population. These 
statistics, based on census reports, were compiled mainly by persons 
connected with the Hampton Negro Conference: 

"Taking taxation as a basis, the colored people of the State of Vir- 


ginia contributed, in 1898, directly to the expenses of tlie State govern- 
ment, the sum of $9,576.76, and for schools $3,239.41 from their per- 
sonal property, a total of $12,816.17; while, from their real estate, for 
the purpose of the commonwealth there was paid by them $34,303.53, 
and for schools $11,457.22, or a total of $45,760.75 — a grand total of 

"The report for the same year shows them to own 987,118 acres of 
land, valued at $3,800,459, improved by buildings valued at $2,056,490, 
a total of $5,856,949. In the towns and cities, they own lots assessed at 
$2,154,331, improved by buildings valued at $3,400,636, a total of 
$5,554,976 for town property, and a grand total of $11,411,916 of their 
property of all kinds in the commonwealth. A comparative statement 
of different years would doubtless show a general upward tendency. 

"The counties of Accomac, Essex, King and Queen, Middlesex, 
Mathews, Northampton, Northumberland, Richmond, Westmoreland, 
Gloucester, Princess Anne and Lancaster, all agricultural, show an 
aggregate of 114,197 acres held by Negroes in 1897, the last year 
accounted for in official reports, against 108,824 held the previous year, 
an increase of 5,379, or nearly five per cent. The total valuation of land 
owned by Negroes in the same counties for 1897, is $547,800, against 
$496,385 for the year next preceding, a gain of $51,150, or more than 
ten per cent. Their present property, as assessed in 1897, was $517,560, 
in 1896, $527,688, a. loss of $10,128. Combining the real and personal 
property for 1897, we have $1,409,059, against $1,320,504 for 1896, a net 
gain of $88,555, an increase of six and one-half per cent. 

"The records of Gloucester, Lancaster, Middlesex, Princess Anne, 
Northumberland, Northampton, King and Queen, Essex, and West- 
moreland, where the colored population exceeds the white, show that 
the criminal expense for 1896 was $14,313.29, but for 1897 it was only 
$8,538.12, a saving of $5,774.17 to the State, or a falling off of forty per 
cent. This does not tell the whole story. In the first named year 
twenty-six persons were convicted of felonies, with sentences in the 
penitentiary, while in the year succeeding only nine, or one-third as 
many, were convicted of the graver offences of the law." 

According to these returns, in 1892, when the colored people formed 
41 per cent of the population, they owned 2.75 per cent of the total 
number of acres assessed for taxation, and 3.40 per cent of the build- 
ings; in 1898, although not constituting more than 37 per cent of the 


population (by reason of white immigration), they owned 3.23 per cent 
of the acreage assessed, and 4.64 per cent of the buildings — a gain of 
nearly one-third in six years. 

According to statistics gathered by a graduate of the Hampton 
Institute, in twelve counties in Virginia, there has been in the part of 
the state covered by the investigation an increase of 5,379 acres in the 
holdings of colored people, and an increase of $51,150 in the value of 
their land. In nine counties there has been a decrease in the number 
of persons charged with felonies and sent to the penitentiary from 
twenty-six in 1896 to nine in 1897. 

I do not believe that the Negro will grow weaker in morals and less 
strong in numbers because of his immediate contact with the white 
race. The first class life insurance companies are considered excellent 
authorities as to the longevity of individuals and races; and the fact 
that most of them now seek to insure the educated class of blacks, is 
a good test of what these companies think of the effect of education 
upon the mortality of the race. 

The case of Jamaica, in the West Indies, presents a good example 
by which to judge the future of the Negro of the United States, so far 
as mortality is concerned. The argument drawn from Jamaica is valu- 
able, chiefly because the race there has been free for sixty-two years, 
instead of thirty-five, as in our own country. During the years of free- 
dom, the blacks of Jamaica have been in constant contact with the 
white man. Slavery was abolished in Jamaica in 1838. The census 
of 1844 showed that there were 364,000 Negroes on the island. In 1871 
there were 493,000, and in 1891 there were 610,597. In a history of 
Jamaica written by Mr. W. P. Livingston, who spent ten years study- 
ing the conditions of the island, we find that, immediately after eman- 
cipation on the island, there was something of the reaction that has 
taken place in some parts of our country; but that recently there has 
been a settling down to real, earnest life on the part of a large propor- 
tion of the race. After calling attention to certain weak and unsatis- 
factory phases in the life of the Jamaica Negro, Mr. Livingston says: 

"This, then, is the race as it exists to-day, a product of sixty years 
of freedom; on the whole, a plain, honest, Anglicized people, with no 
peculiarity except a harmless ignorance and superstition. Looking at 
it in contrast with what it was at the beginning of the period, one can- 
not but be impressed with the wonderful progress it has made; and 


John Russell Hawkins, the oldest son of Ossian and Christiana Hawkins, was born 
in the town of Warrenton, Warren County, North Carolina, on May 31, 1862. At the age 
of six years, he began attending the public school of his native town and made rapid 
progress in his studies. 

When old enough to help his father work, he had to stop attending school regu- 
larly and apply himself to work on his father's farm. In the mean time, he kept up 
studies by attending night school and employing private tutors. At the age of fifteen, 
he went with four members of the highest class in the regular graded school to take 
the public examination for school teacher. Of the five examined, he made the highest 
grades and received an appointment as assistant teacher in the same school where he 
had received his first training. 

In 1881, he left home and went to Hampton Institute, Hampton, Va., where he 
spent one year in special study preparatory for business. 

In 1882, he left Hampton and accepted a position in the Government service, as 
railway postal clerk, on the line between Raleigh, N. C, and Norfolk, Va. Here he 
soon made a record that classed him among the best clerks in the service. In 1885, Mr. 
Hawkins returned to his native town and was elected as principal of the graded school. 
Here he spent two years teaching and reading law under private tutors. 

In 1887, he was asked to go to Kittrell, N. C, to fill the position as business man- 
ager and treasurer of Kittrell College, then known as Kittrell Normal and Industrial 
Institute. So acceptably did Mr. Hawkins fill this position that in 1890 he was elected 
to the Presidency of Kittrell College which position he has filled with credit. 

During the first eight years of his work at Kittrell, he developed that work so 
rapidly that the trustees deemed it wise to accept his recommendations and broaden 
the work so as to cover a regular college course. Mr. Hawkins has always been an 
ardent advocate of higher education for the Negro and worked hard to fit himself for 
giving such advantages to his students. For five years he spent his summers in the 
North, where he could get the best school advantages and keep himself in touch with 
best school methods. 

Mr. Hawkins has been one of the most successful educators of the South and has 
raised large sums of money by public canvass among the philanthropists of the country. 
In his native State, North Carolina, he is a recognized leader among his people, and 
by his ability and standing has won the confidence and respect of all classes. A ripe 
scholar, a deep thinker, a ready writer and a polished orator, his services are almost 
constantly in demand. Indeed, it has been said of him that he is one of the finest 
public speakers on the stage. He speaks with such power of conviction as to touch the 
heart of his audiences and at once lead them into the subject under consideration with 
interest and profit. 

In 1896 he was elected by the General Conference of the African Methodist Episco- 
pal Church as Commissioner of Education and filled that office so acceptably that at 
the end of his first term in 1900, he was re-elected by acclamation. He is regarded as 
among the strongest laymen in his church and one of the best financiers of the race. 

One of the finest qualities of Mr. Hawkins is his devotion to his family and his 
high ideals in home life. 

In 1892 he married Miss Lillian M. Kennedy, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, whose 
companionship and devotion has been a most important factor in contributing to her 
husband's success. They are the happy parents of two children, a girl and a boy, and 
are pleasantly located at Kittrell, N. C, in a very beautiful home. 


where there has been steady progress in the past, there is infinite hope 
for the future. * * * The impact of Roman power and culture on 
the northern barbarians of the United Kingdom did not make itself 
felt for three hundred years. * * * Instead of dying off before 
civilization, he (the Negro) grows stronger as he comes within its best 

In comparing the black race of Jamaica with that of the United 
States, it should be borne in mind that the Negro in America enjoys 
advantages and encouragements which the race in Jamaica does not 

What I have said, I repeat, is based largely upon my own experience 
and observation, rather than upon statistics. I do not wish to convey 
the impression that the problem before our country is not a large and 
serious one; but I do believe that in a judicious system of industrial, 
mental and religious training we have found the method of solving it. 
What we most need is the money necessary to make the system 
effective. The indications are hopeful, not discouraging; and not the 
least encouraging is the fact that, in addition to the munificence of 
Northern philanthropists and the appropriations of the Southern state 
governments from common taxation, with the efforts of the Negro 
himself, we have now reached a point at which the solution of this 
problem is drawing to its aid some of the most thoughtful and cultured 
white men and women of the South, as is indicated by the article to 
which I have already referred, from the pen of Professor John Roach 




Every nation of recognized merit and ability, chronicled in the 
world's history, is proud to revert to some special feature of its life, 
and point with pride to some one thing that has given character to its 
institutions and added to its national glory. As far back as history 
runs, we find nations, classes and races, pointing out different things 
as the stronghold, the ground work, the pillars on which their fame 


The thing to which the Negro can point with most pride, is the 
activity and progress made in the development of an ideal home life 
and the providing of a liberal education for his people. Indeed, it is 
worthy of note, that in both church and state, there is a growing inter- 
est in behalf of extending to all classes the privileges and benefits of 
at least a limited education. Nations that once thought of nothing but 
war and conquest are throwing their influence in the scale of popular 

Countries that have long wielded the scepter of power, and held 
thousands subject to the will and opinion of one man or set of men, are 
being aroused to the importance of individual thought and individual 
responsibility. Churches and organizations that necessarily began 
their work with one or two as leaders, who had to do the thinking for 
hundreds of others, are now turning their attention to the work of 
training and developing the faculties and character of each one so as to 
enable him to think and act intelligently for himself; this is the spirit of 
the present age. In this lies the hope and destiny of all classes and all 

Hence, if there be any particular problem as connected with the 
Negro race, in my opinion the solution of that problem will come only 
by following the rule of action applied to the uplifting and develop- 
ment of others. 

The Negro is no new specie of nature; he is no new issue in the 
category of life; no new element in the citizenship of this country, and 
needs no special prescription to suit his needs. His case is one com- 
mon to a people whose surroundings and environments have placed, 
or caused them to be placed, in a dependent attitude, and his only hope 
for rising above the common level of a menial slave is to so husband 
his resources as to change these environments and become the master 
of, rather than the helpless creature, of circumstances. The faithful 
pioneers who carried the torch of knowledge into darkened regions and 
cheered the lives of thousands with rays of hope and promise, opened 
the way for the liberation of great forces that had long lain dormant 
and smothered. Knowledge has been the torch in the civilizer's hand, 
and carrying this still we can find treasures still unearthed and truths 
still unlearned. 

The glories already achieved in the field of science, art and litera- 
ture have but aroused us to seek for still greater honors. The ray of 


light that has fallen across our pathway, giving hope and promise of 
better and brighter things further on, has but fired the zeal within us, 
and there is no way of satisfying this burning zeal save the feasting on 
the coveted goal — the riches and beauties of wisdom. One writer says : 
"As long as one's mind is shrouded in ignorance he is but the tool of 
others, and the victim of foolishness and gross absurdities. He will 
never experience those pleasures which come from a well-directed train 
of thought and which is akin to the dignity of a high nature. On the 
other hand, the person whose mind is illumined with the light of 
knowledge, and whose soul is lit up, is introduced as it were into a 
new world. He can trace back the stream of time to its commence- 
ment, and gliding along its downward course, can survey the most 
memorable events and see the dawnings of Divine Mercy and the 
manifestations of the Son of God in our nature." 'Tis not enough to 
know that we have faculties. Tis not sufficient to say that there lives 
in us the power to see, to hear, to feel, to reason, to think and to act; 
we must develop these powers until we can feel the benefit of the bless- 
ings that come from their use. We will never be able to reason for 
ourselves unless we learn to think for ourselves. The thinking mind 
is the active mind, and the active mind is the growing mind; the grow- 
ing mind moves the man, and the man that moves helps to move the 
world. He moves step by step from the common level of events to 
things of greater height. He rises from pinnacle to pinnacle, never 
ceasing, never tiring, never stopping, ever growing, ever moving, ever 
rising till he finds the fountain head of all truth and all virtue. We 
are now face to face with a new order of things. Under this new 
regime we witness the foreshadowing of a higher sense of civilization, 
a higher standard of morals, a broader field of culture and a purer 
realm of thought. 

Indeed, we are only in the shadow of this great light. ? Tis not the 
promise alone that brightens our sky. The dawn has appeared. The 
music of the morn has already been heard, and nations are awaking 
and rushing to crowd around the altar as worshippers at the shrine 
of learning. What lover of letters would doubt for a moment that if 
Thomas Carlyle could re-enter the world of letters and dignify the 
profession with the fertility of his brain, instead of captivating the 
world with his beautiful outline of heroes and hero worship, he would 
summon all his powers as an agency to do reverence, as a worshipper 


at the shrine, not of things material, not of men, but of ideas. This is 
the school to which we are crowding. In the development of our educa- 
tional system we are enabled to find the highest ideals and center our 
thoughts on the highest and purest standard of life. 

Only those who think, or those who seek to know the virtues of 
intelligence, and to enjoy the beauties of a pure and ideal life, can 
enter into the spirit of rejoicing over the approach of the time when 
each person will be measured by what is represented in his ability to 
exert a potent influence in shaping the destiny of things and helping 
to mold public sentiment. The mind can no more be allowed to remain 
dormant or inactive than the turf of the field, or the muscles of the 
body. It must be stirred up; it must be awakened from its stupor and 
quickened into a newness of life. 

The opportunity for this general awakening was denied our parents, 
who were the victims of slavery, and they suffered the loss of the pres- 
tige and influence that naturally follows; but what was lost to our 
ancestry must be redeemed to posterity. We must center our work 
in the youth of our land and give them the broadest, deepest and 
highest training. The most liberal education should be provided for 
all. An education free from bias, free from proscription, free from any 
label that will mark them as Negro laborers, as Negro mechanics, as 
Xegro scholars, but an education that will mark them as artisans, as 
skilled mechanics, as scholars, thinkers, as men and women with 
master minds and noble souls. In this will we find the reward for our 
labors and the hope of the race. I agree with the writer who says: 
"There is nothing to be compared with the beauty of an excellent 
character and the usefulness of a noble life. To the unlimited, unfet- 
tered spirit of man's mind that can rise above the mountain peaks and 
sweep across the ocean bounds. To that unequaled beauty of a pure 
and spotless soul. The whole earth, with all its beauties of art and 
skill, are counted as naught in the sight of God, as compared with a 
living creature, that represents in his body the image of his Creator, 
and in his mind and soul the divine principles of the mystery, the 
power, and glory of His Son." 

'Tis not enough to know that schools and colleges exist, and to boast 
of the advantages and opportunities afforded us. We must lay hold 
upon them and become a part of them. We must, by our own efforts, 
out of our own means, build, own and control our own institutions for 


the training of our youths, and then establish enterprises of business 
for the practical display and use of the training received. 

The great trouble about our system of education is that the masses 
have not yet felt the real good of it. To some it is no good, because 
they have simply gotten enough to misuse. You cannot satisfy a man's 
appetite by stopping him at the door of your dining room, where he 
can get only a smell of the dinner while he sees others eating. Of 
course he would turn away in disgust and call it all a farce. You 
cannot teach a man to swim by stopping him at the water's edge. 
You cannot convince a man that he is at the top of a mountain when 
you stop him at the base, where he can look up and see others above 
him; and you cannot show a man the virtue of education when you 
stop him at the school house door and deny him entrance while others 
crowd by and pass through. Let him in. Open the doors wide and 
let all come in and sit down to the intellectual feast. We want to 
bring the people out into the middle of the stream, into the deep water 
where they can be borne up by the strong tide of intellect and follow 
the current of popular ideas. 

We must take them up and away from the foot of the mountain, 
place them on top, where they can bask in the sunlight of intelligence, 
where the atmosphere is pure and the virtue of education beams in 
every eye. God made man in his own image, prepared him a body, 
arranged for his food and raiment, stretched nature before him, and 
then commissioned him to go forth and subdue, replenish and have 
dominion over all. Yea more than this. He endowed man with reason- 
ing faculties and for these faculties fixed no bounds; but left them to 
work out their own destiny and achieve their own triumphs. 

I do not believe God intended for man's mind to remain undevel- 
oped. He did not intend that His creatures should forever remain 
ignorant and shrouded in ignorance. Wherever He places talents 
there he expects to find evidence of growth and increase. Hence it is 
our duty to educate and prepare all for the intelligent use of what God 
has given them. If we expect to have a part in shaping events in this 
life; if we expect to be numbered among the learned, the strong, the 
molders of public sentiment, the masters of things material, free from 
abject menial servitude, we must educate the people. 

Let this idea run all through our schools until it permeates the life 
of every boy, every girl, every man, every woman; making its influence 
felt in every home, every clime and among all nations. 




It is a hopeful sign when those who are vitally concerned in the 
outcome of the Negro problem are guided in their discussion by the 
light of evidence and argument, and are not impelled to foregone con- 
clusions by transmitted prejudice and traditional bias. The article 
of Professor John Roach Straton in the North American Review for 
June, 1900, is notable for its calm, dispassionate, argumentative treat- 
ment, and for its freedom from rancor and venom. His conclusions, 
therefore, if erroneous, are all the more damaging because of the evi- 
dent sincerity and helpful intention of the author. 

With much erudition and argumentative skill Professor Straton 
sets forth the proposition that . education has failed to check the 
Negro's degenerating tendencies or to fit him for his "strange and 
abnormal environment." 

There are two leading divisions of the race problem: 

1. The development of a backward race. 

2. The adjustment of two races with widely divergent ethnic char- 

These two factors are, in the mind of many, antagonistic to each 
other. The more backward and undeveloped the Negro, the easier is 
the process of his adjustment to the white race; but when you give him 
"Greek and Latin and eyeglasses" frictional problems inevitably arise. 
Under slavery this adjustment was complete, but the bond of adjust- 
ment was quickly burst asunder when the Negro was made a free man 
and clothed with full political and civil privilege. The one great ques- 
tion which so far remains unanswerable is, can the two be readjusted 
on terms of equality? The solution of social problems belongs to the 
realm of statesmanship, philanthropy and religion. The function of 
education is to develop latent faculties. It was a shallow philosophy 
which prophesied that a few years of schooling on the part of the 
Negro would solve the race question. If the education of the colored 
man has not worked out the fulfillment which its propounded 
prophesied, it simply proves them to be poor prophets. The Negro, too, 
believed that if he could only learn to read and write, and especially 


if he could go to college, that he would be relieved of every incum- 
brance that beset him. Education was looked upon as an end and not 
as an agenc}\ As his friends were destined to disappointment, the 
Negro himself was doomed to humiliation and chagrin. Education 
creates as many problems as it solves. It is both static and dynamical. 
When Professor Straton says, therefore, that education has not solved 
the race problem, he utters a truism. But if he means to imply that it 
has not had a wholesome effect upon the life of the Negro, his conclu- 
sion verges upon the absurd. 

We are apt to be misled by the statistics showing the decline of 
illiteracy among Negroes. All those who can read and write are set 
apart as educated persons, as if this mere mechanical information had 
worked some great transformation in their nature. The fact is a very 
small per cent of the race is educated in any practical or efficient sense. 
The simple ability to read and write is of the least possible benefit to 
a backward race. What advantage would it be to the red Indians to 
be able to trace the letters of the English alphabet with a pen, or to 
vocalize the printed characters into syllables and sentences? Unless 
the moral nature is touched and the vital energies aroused there would 
be no improvement in conduct or increase in practical efficiency. 
Education has a larger function for a backward than for a forward 
race. To the latter it merely furnishes a key to an existing lock, while 
to the former it must supply both lock and key. The pupil who is 
already acquainted with the nature and conditions of a problem may 
need only a suggestion as to a skillful or lucky combination of parts in 
order to lead to its solution; whereas to one ignorant of the underlying 
facts and factors such suggestion would be worse than useless. 

Even much of the so-called higher education of the Negro has been 
only a process of artificially forcing a mass of refined information into 
a system which had no digestive or assimilative apparatus. Such 
education produces no more nourishment or growth than would result 
from forcing sweetmeats down the throat of an alligator. Of educa- 
tion in its true sense the Negro has had very little. The great defect 
of the Negro's nature is his lack of individual initiative, growing out of 
his feeble energy of will. To overcome this difficulty, his training- 
should be judiciously adapted and sensibly applied to his needs. Indus- 
trial training will supply the method and the higher culture the motive. 

Professor Straton tells us that f 100,000,000 have already been 


expended upon the education of this race. Princely as this sum seems 
to be, it is nevertheless utterly insignificant when compared* with the 
magnitude of the task to which it has been applied. The city of New 
York alone spends $15,000,000 annually for educational purposes. And 
yet if we are to believe the rumors of corruption and the low state of 
municipal morality it will be seen that education has not yet done its 
perfect work in our great metropolis. Then why should we rave at the 
heart and froth at the mouth because a sum of money, scarcely equal 
to a third of the educational expenditure of a single American city, 
though distributed over a period of thirty years and scattered over a 
territory of a million square miles, has not completely civilized a race 
of 8,000,000 degraded souls? 

The whites maintain that they impose taxes upon themselves for 
the education of the blacks. This is only one of the many false notions 
of political economy w r hich have done so much to blight the prosperity 
of the South. Labor pays every tax in the world; and although the 
laborer may not enjoy the privilege of passing the tribute to the tax 
taker, he is nevertheless entitled to share in all of the privileges which 
his toil makes possible. And besides children are not educated because 
their parents are taxpayers, but in order that they may become more 
helpful and efficient members of the community. It would be wisdom 
on the part of the South to place the future generations under bonded 
debt, if necessary, for the education of its ignorant population, white 
and black. This would be far more statesmanlike than to transmit to 
them a legacy of ignorance, degradation and crime. Pride in a political 
theory should no longer prevent the appeal to national aid to remove 
the threatening curse. 

Professor Straton underestimates the effect of culture upon a back- 
ward race when he minimizes the value of individual emergence. The 
individual is the proof of the race. The conception of progress has 
always found lodgment in the mind of some select individuals, whence 
it has trickled down to the masses below. May it not be that the races 
which have withered before the breath of civilization, have faded 
because they failed to produce individuals with sufficient intelligence, 
courage and good sense to wisely guide and direct their path? What 
names can the red Indian present to match Benjamin Banneker or 
Booker T. Washington, Frederick Douglass or Paul Laurence Dunbar? 
The Negro has contributed four hundred patented inventions to the 


mechanical genius of his country; how many has the aborigne con- 
tributed? The congressional library has collected fourteen hundred 
books and pamphlets by Negro authors. These works are, of course, 
in the main, commonplace or indifferent. But a people who have the 
ambition to write poor books will soon gain the ability to make good 
ones. Have any of the vanished races shown such aptitude for civiliza- 
tion? But these are exceptions. So are the eminent men of any race. 
When the exceptions become too numerous it is rather poor logic to 
urge them in proof of the rule. It is also a mistake to suppose that 
these picked individuals are without wholesome influence upon the 
communal life. They are diffusive centers of light scattered through- 
out the whole race. These grains of leaven will actually leaven the 
whole lump. 

"We take these savages from their simple life and their low plane 
of evolution and attempt to give them an enlightenment for which the 
stronger races have prepared themselves by ages of growth." There 
is in this utterance a tinge of the feeling which actuated the laborers 
who had borne the heat and burden of the day when they objected to 
the eleventh hour intruders being received on equal terms with them- 
selves. One answer suffices for both: "Other men have labored, and 
ye are entered into their labors." It is true that the Negro misses 
evolution and his adjustment to his environment is made the more 
difficult on that account. Education, therefore, is all the more essen- 
tial and vital. The chasm between civilization and savagery must be 
bridged by education. The boy learns in a few years what it took the 
race ages to acquire. A repetition of the slow steps and stages by 
which progress has been secured is impossible. Attachment to civili- 
zation must take place at its highest point, just as we set a graft upon 
the most vigorous and healthy limb of a tree, and not upon a decadent 
stem. Must the Negro dwell for generations upon Anglo-Saxon stems 
and Cancerian diction before he is introduced to modern forms of 
English speech? The child of the African slave is under the same 
linguistic necessity as the offspring of Depew and Gladstone. He must 
leap, instant er, from primitive mode of locomotion to the steamboat, 
the electric car and the automobile. Of course many will be lost in 
the endeavor to sustain the stress and strain. Civilization is a saver of 
life into life and death into death. Japan is the best living illustration 
of the rapid acquisition of civilization. England can utilize no process 


of art or invention that is not equally invaluable to the oriental 
islanders. This has been accomplished by this young and vigorous 
people mainly through the education of picked youth. Herein lies the 
only salvation of the Negro race. 

In the meantime the dual nature of the solution and its relative 
importance to both races is clearly indicated by Voltaire, the great 
French savant: "It is more meritorious and more difficult to wean men 
from their prejudices than to civilize the barbarian." 



The War of the rebellion is over, Negro slavery in America is no 
more, and the days of reconstruction have passed into history. 

Dr. DuBois in speaking of that period "wrote: "Amid it all two 
figures ever stand to typify that day to coming men: the one a gray- 
haired gentlemen, whose fathers had quit themselves like men, whose 
sons lay in nameless graves; who bowed to the evil of slavery because 
its abolition boded untold ill to all; who stood at last, in the evening 
of life, a blighted, ruined form, with hate in his eyes. And the other 
a form black with the mist of centuries, and aforetime bent in love 
over the white master's cradle, rocked his sons and daughters to sleep, 
and closed in death the sunken eyes of his wife to the* world; aye, too, 
had laid herself low to his lusts and borne a tawny man child to the 
world, only to see her dark boy's limbs scattered to the winds by mid- 
night marauders riding after niggers. These were the saddest sights 
of that woeful day; and no man clasped the hands of these two passing 
figures of the present-past, but hating they went to their long home, 
and hating their children's children live to-dav." 

Would some power had clasped the hands of these "two fleeting 
figures of the present-past!" Then those "marauders chasing niggers" 
would have been subdued and there would not be so many bloody 
threads in the weft of the history the New South has been weaving. 

The "gray-haired gentleman" has left a grandson who has all the 
culture and education money and thrift can buy. He is thrifty and 


Charles Henry Turner was born at Cincinnati, Ohio, February 3, 1867. Both parents 
were of Negro descent. His mother was a Kentucky girl and his father a Canadian. 
Both parents were temperate and Christian in habits. Neither parent was college-bred, 
yet Charles' father was a well-read man, a keen thinker, and a master of debate. He 
had surrounded himself with several hundred choice books and one of the earliest ambi- 
tions of Charles was to learn to read these books. 

The only education of our subject was obtained in the excellent public schools of 
Cincinnati, Ohio. From the Walnut Hills District School Charles passed to the Gaines 
High School, from which he graduated valedictorian of his class. From High School he 
passed to the University of Cincinnati, from which he graduated in 1891 wth the B. S. 
degree, and in 1892 with the M. S. degree. 

When a youth in college. Charles hoped some day to be the head of a technological 
or agricultural school for Negroes, and much time and money was expended mastering 
those essentials that the head of a school should know. That youthful day dream has 
never been realized, but Charles has been an active teacher for years. Even before 
graduation he taught one year in tbe Governor Street School at Evansville, Indiana, 
and occasionally taught, as a substitute, in the public schools of Cincinnati, Ohio. 
From 1891 to 1893 he was assistant in Biology at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio. 
Since then he has been Professor of Biology at Clark University, South Atlanta, Ga. 
In 1901 he was dean of the Georgia Summer School. 

By training Prof. Turner is a biologist who has contributed his mite towards the 
advancement of his favorite science. In the following list of some of the principal 
publications of Prof. Turner, those marked with an asterisk are contributions to 

♦Morphology of the Avian Brain; "Jour, of Comp. Neur." (1891), 100 pp. 8 pis. 

*A Few Characteristics of the Avian Brain. "Science" (1891). 

♦Psychological Notes on the Gallery Spider. "Jour, of Comp. Neur." (1892). 

♦Notes on the Clodocera, Ostracoda and Rotifera of Cincinnati. "Bull. Sci. Lab. of 
Den. Univ." (1892), 17 pp., 2 pis. 

♦Additional Notes on the Clodocera and Ostracoda of Cincinnati, 18 pp., (1893), 
2 pis. Ibid. 

♦Notes on the American Ostracoda. Ibid, 11 pp., 2 pis. 

♦Preliminary Note on the Nervous System of the Genus Cypris. "Jour. Comp. Neur." 
(1893), 5 pp., 3 pis. 

♦Morphology of the Nervous System of Cypris. Ibid, (1896), 24 pp., 6 pis. 

♦Synopsis of the Entomostraca of Minnesota, etc., C. L. Herrick and C. H. Turner 
(1895), 525 pp., 81 pis. [C. H. Turner is only part author of this.] 

Numerous abstracts and translations from German and French published in the 
Jour, of Comp. Neur. 

Reason for Teaching Biology in Negro Schools. "Southwestern Christian Advo- 
cate" (1897). 

Object of Negro Memorial Day (1899). 

New Year Thoughts About the Negro. "Southwestern Christian Advocate" (1899). 

♦Notes on the Mushroom Bodies of the Invertebrates. "Zoological Bulletin" (1899), 
6 pp., 6 figs. 

♦A Male Erpetocypris Barbatus, Forbes. "Zool. Bulletin" (1899). 

♦Synopsis of North American Invertebrates. V. Fresh-Water Ostracoda. "Amer. 
Naturalist" (1899), 11 pp. 

Living Dust. "Southwestern Christian Advocate" (1901), xiii chapter. 

♦The Mushroom Bodies of the Crayfish and their Histological Environment. "Jour, 
of Comp. Neur." (1901), 50 pp., 4 pis. 


enterprising, law-abiding and conscientious. He has inherited preju- 
dices, yet he is sincere. He loves the South no less than did his grand- 
father; but he loves the Union more. He would die to save the Union; 
he lives to glorify the South. He is known as the new Southerner and 
he is evolving a New South. 

The "marauder chasing niggers" has left a grandson who is illiter- 
ate, uncultured and thriftless. He despises manual labor, but is too 
poor and too ignorant to live without doing it. Unfit to be the asso- 
ciate of the new Southerner, and feeling himself too superior to mingle 
with Negroes, he broods over his hardships and bemoans his fate. He 
is a Negro hater and thirsts for the excitement of a lynching bee. This 
condoned clog to the progress of Southern civilization is known as 
white trash. 

The "form black with the mist of centuries" has left two grandsons. 

One is a thrifty, law-abiding gentleman; too thrifty to be a beggar 
#nd too busy acquiring an education or accumulating wealth or educat- 
ing his race to be a loafer or criminal. In his home are all the com- 
forts of modern life that his purse can afford. He loves his country 
and his Southland, and is educating his children to do likewise. He 
even contributes his mite to the literature, science and art of to-day. 
He is modest and retiring and is known as the new Negro. 

The other grandchild is a thriftless loafer. He is not willing to pay 
the price of an education; but he likes to appear intellectually bright 
and entertaining. He often works, but merely to obtain the means for 
gratifying his abnormally developed appetites. He laughs, he dances, 
he frolics. He knows naught of the value of time nor of the deeper 
meanings of life. In the main he is peaceable and law-abiding; but, 
under the excitement of the moment, is capable of even the worst of 
crimes. This thriftless slave of passion, this child-man, this much con- 
demned clog to the progress of Southern civilization is called the 
vagrant Negro. 

Prejudice is older than this age. A comparative study of animal 
psychology teaches that all animals are prejudiced against animals 
unlike themselves, and the more unlike they are the greater the preju- 
dice. A comparative study of history teaches that races are prejudiced 
against races unlike themselves, and the greater the difference the 
more the prejudice. Among men, however, dissimilarity of minds is 
a more potent factor in causing prejudice than unlikeness of physiog- 


nonry. Races whose religious beliefs are unlike the accepted beliefs 
of our race we call heathens; those whose habits of living fall below 
the ideals of our own race we call uncivilized. In both cases we are 
prejudiced. When a highly civilized race is brought in contact with 
another people unlike it in physiognomy but in the same stage of 
intellectual advancement, at first each is prejudiced against the other; 
but when they become thoroughly acquainted prejudice gives way to 
mutual respect. For an example of this recall the relations of the nations 
of Europe to the Japanese. 

The new Southerner is prejudiced against the new Negro because 
he feels that the Negro is very unlike him. He does not know that a 
similar education and a like environment have made the new Negro 
and himself alike in everything except color and features. Did he but 
know this he and the new Negro would join hands and work for the 
best interest of the South and there would be no Negro problem. At 
present he does not and cannot know this, for the white trash and 
vagrant Negro form a wedge separating the new Southerner from the 
new Negro so completely that they cannot know each other. Every 
unmentionable crime committed by the vagrant Negro, every lynching 
bee conducted by white trash, every Negro disfranchisement law 
passed by misguided legislators, every unjust discrimination against 
the Negro by the people drives this wedge deeper and deeper. 

Render this wedge so thin that it will no longer be a barrier and 
the Negro problem is solved. This cannot be done by banishing white 
trash and the vagrant Negro; for that is neither possible nor practica- 
ble. The only way to accomplish the thinning of this wedge is to 
transform a large number into the new Southerners and the new 
Negroes. Will education do this? 

In order to transform the majority of white trash and vagrant 
Negroes into new Southerners and new Negroes it will be necessary 
to instill into them the following regenerating virtues: 

1. The manners of a gentleman. Not the swagger of the dude nor 
the cringing of a scapegoat, but the manners of a being permeated with 
the Golden Rule. 

2. Cultured homes. Not necessarily extravagant mansions, but 
comfortable dwellings, wherein impoliteness, intemperance, slander 
and indecent tales have given place to politeness, temperance, intelli- 
gent conversation and refined pleasantries. 


3. Business honesty. Not only punctual in the payment of debts, 
but also truthful in making sales. 

4. Thrift. Not the ability to hoard as a miser does, but the ability 
to spend one's earnings economically, to purchase property and to lay 
by a little for a rainy day. 

5. Christian morality. Not the ability to shout well, and pray 
well and testify well, but the ability to live the Christ life. 

6. The ability to do something well that the world desires bad 
enough to be willing to pay a good price for it. This includes not only 
mechanical but also commercial and scholastic achievements. 

7. Ability to lead in the light of modern civilization. 

8. Love for justice and contempt for lawlessness. 
Experience and thought convince me that the "highest education" 

is the only agency that will instill all of these virtues into a people 
without detriment to the multitudes that are forced to stop school 
before graduation. Highest education is a new phrase; but can we 
not truthfully say that there are three system of education in the world 
to-day: the lower or industrial education, the higher education and 
the highest education? 

In each of these three systems the student begins his education by 
an attempt to master the English branches, and in each attention is 
given to developing the moral side of the pupil. 

In the lower or industrial education, parallel with the elementary 
English training, or after its completion, the student learns how to 
work at one or more trades, but he gets no training in the higher 
English branches nor in languages nor science. This system may 
instill into students the majority of the regenerating virtues mentioned 
above, but it is impossible for this system to impart the ability to lead 
in the light of modern civilization. Without this virtue one is not fit 
to lead in this strenuous age. A race without competent leaders is 
doomed, and any system of education which does not furnish such 
leaders is defective and doomed. It has been well said that the advo- 
cates of the lower or industrial education are welding a chain that will 
bind the race in industrial servitude for ages. 

In the higher education, after completing an elementary English 
training, the individual takes a collegiate course in science, literature, 
history and language; but no attention is given to industrial training. 
Such a course does instill into those who complete it all of the regener- 


ating virtues mentioned above; but how about the multitudes that 
necessity forces to drop out before the course is completed? It is a 
sad, sad fact that the taste they have had of something different 
renders them not content to be servants, yet their training is not suffi- 
cient to enable them to be anything else. 

In the highest education a thorough training is given in the com- 
mon English branches, but parallel with it instruction is imparted in 
the care and practical use of tools. The elementary course is followed 
by a secondary course, in which, along with instruction in the elements 
of languages, literature and sciences, is given a thorough training in 
some trade. Above this come the colleges and technological schools, 
wherein the pupil specializes according to his natural tastes. In its 
ability to instill into those who complete it the regenerating virtues 
mentioned above this highest education ranks with the higher educa- 
tion. In this respect neither is superior to the other. ( But when it 
comes to fitting those who stop before the complete course has been 
mastered to successfully fight the battle of life, then highest education 
is infinitely superior to the higher education. Indeed it is the only 
education that helps abundantly not only the graduates, but also those 
unfortunate legions that drop out while yet undergraduates. 

In attempting to solve the Negro problem, the industrial or lower 
education has been tried on the Negro and found wanting; the higher 
education has been tried upon both races and has succeeded but little 
better than the lower education; if we will cast aside our prejudices 
and try the highest education upon both white and black, in a few 
decades there will be no Negro problem. 

Clark University, December 1, 1901. 


The subject of this sketch was born in New Bedford, Mass., June 24, 1839. She is 
the oldest child and the only living daughter of the late Frederick Douglass. At the 
age of five years she moved with her parents to Lynn, Mass., where the first narrative 
of Frederick Douglass, written by himself, was published. Its publication attracted 
widespread notice and stirred the ire of slaveholders in the vicinity from which he 
escaped. His many friends fearing for his safety arranged to send him abroad. 

His wife has often told of the demonstrative and enthusiastic young father catching 
up his infant daughter and fervently thanking God that his child was born free and 
no man could separate them. Among the many friends who were solicitous for the fam- 
ily were two maiden ladies, Abigail and Lydia Mott, of Albany, New York, who were 
cousins of Lucretia Mott, the well-known philanthropist and friend of the Negro. These 
women, who conducted a lucrative business on Broadway, opposite Bleeker Hall, were 
also staunch Abolitionists. Being anxious for the welfare of the little six-year-old 
daughter of Douglass, they sought the privilege of caring for her while the father was 
abroad. The wife and three sons remained at their home in Lynn during the father's 
absence. Mrs. Sprague has frequently spoken of her stay with the Motts, who were in 
good circumstances, and with their one servant lived in comfort. Their little charge 
was amply provided for, and was made contented and happy. She had a time for 
play and a time for study. Miss Abigail gave her instruction in reading and writing 
and Miss Lydia taught her to sew. 

At the age of seven Rosetta wrote her first letter to her father, and when her 
eighth birthday had passed she made a shirt to give him on his return from England. 
At this early age the child was painfully conscious of the trials and misery resulting 
from slavery. Many slaves had sought and obtained shelter with the Motts, and the 
anxious moments of their stay made a deep impression on her childish mind. 

After the establishment of the "North Star," by her father in Rochester, N. Y., in 
1847, the family were reunited in that place, a governess secured and for several months 
the children pursued their studies at home. Later the father was convinced that as 
he was a taxpayer he ought to avail himself of the privilege of the public schools; and, 
accordingly, sent his sons there. But the little daughter was sent to a private school 
but recently opened for girls. Tuition was paid in advance, the little girl was sent, 
but never saw the inside of the school-room nor met any of the pupils. Finally she with 
her brothers attended the public schools until the year 1850, when the Board of Educa- 
tion decided that Colored children should no longer be permitted to remain in the public 
schools. At the next meeting of the Board Mr. Douglass and some Anti-Slavery friends 
were present to debate the question why such distinction should be made. As the result 
of that conference the doors were opened to Colored children in that city. 

Rosetta being the only girl of color in her room was subjected for a time to such 
indignities as only the vulgar are capable of inflicting. Her complaints pained her 
fond father, but his counsel was, "Daughter, I am sending you to school for your bene- 
fit; see to it that you are punctual in attendance, that you do not offend in your 
demeanor and cope with the best of them in your lessons — and await the results." 
The daughter strove to obey, and soon found herself appreciated by her teachers, who 
classed her as one of their best pupils. Her companions also changed and sought her 
aid in the preparation of their lessons. At the age of eleven years Rosetta became 
her father's assistant in the library. She copied for him, wrapped, addressed and mailed 
eight hundred copies of the "North Star" each week. 

Rosetta Douglass married December 24, 1863, Nathan Sprague, who, like her father, 
had been a victim of the slave-holding power. 





The problems of life are manifold. Wherever we turn questions of 
moment are presented to us for solution and settlement. At no period 
in the history of the American Negro has his status as a man and an 
American citizen been so closely scrutinized and criticised as at the 
present time. 

The galling - chain and merciless lash were the instruments used to 
accomplish the humiliation and degradation of the African. Avarice was 
the factor in the composition of the character of a large number of the 
white men of America that wrought such ravishes in the well-being of 
the African. 

To-day, after the short space of thirty-six years has passed over him, 
from the deep degradation of centuries the descendants of these Africans 
are wrestling with the situation as it exists to-day. Through the avarice 
of the white man in the past the black man's physical, moral and mental 
development was sacrificed. To-day egotism stalks abroad to crush, if 
possible, his hopes and his aims, while he is struggling from the effects 
of his thraldom. 

This latter process is more subtle in its operation — placing, as it does, 
a weapon that can with confidence be used by the most inferior and 
degraded ones of the white race — so that color and not character is made 
the determining factor of respectability and worth, and as the target is 
to the archer, so is the Negro to the white man. 

Notwithstanding that the presentation of such facts are not flattering 
to the white man or pleasurable to the black man, they are facts which 
are to be considered. 

Rapid changes have already been wrought in the condition of the 
American Negro. His capabilities and possibilities as a factor in the 
nation have been marked and encouraging, and yet there are labors to 
be performed to further obtain and maintain his position in the land of 



his birth. The Negro is but a man, with the frailties that bound hu- 
manity, and cannot be expected to rid himself of them in any way dif- 
ferent from methods adopted for the betterment of mankind generally. 
In view of much that has inspired the friends of the Negro in the years 
now past with faith in him and the interest and belief in him of his 
numerous friends at the present time, he is still an object of hatred to a 
considerable number of his fellow citizens. 

Ages of deception, vice, cruelty and crime, as practiced by the Cau- 
casian upon the African in this land, would in itself produce fruit in 
kind. We would submit a suggestion to those who are disposed to criti- 
cise very closely and to condemn in strong terms the delinquencies of the 
Negro. Allow the Negro two hundred and fifty years of unselfish contact 
to offset the two hundred and fifty years of Caucasian selfishness, and be 
as assiduous in his regeneration as you were in his degradation — then 
judge him. 

The twentieth century in its infancy is striving to grasp what it 
pleases to call the Negro problem, when it is in reality only a question 
as to whether justice and right shall rule over injustice and wrong to any 
and every man regardless of race in this boasted land of freedom. The 
Negro is made the test in everything pertaining to American civilization. 
Its high principles of religion, politics and morals all receive a shock 
when a Negro's head appears, upsetting all theories and in a conspicuous 
manner proving that the structure of American civilization is built higher 
than the average white man can climb. At this stage of Afro- American 
existence the question is asked, "What role is the educated Negro woman 
to play in the uplifting of her race?" 

As this is unquestionably the woman's era, the question is timely and 
proper. Every race and nation that is at all progressive has its quota 
of earnest women engaged in creating for themselves a higher sphere of 
usefulness to the world — insisting upon the necessity of a higher plane 
of integrity and worth — and thus the women of the Negro race should 
be no exception in this land of our birth. Feeling thus, this particular 
woman, previous to the question above presented, has already in con- 
siderable numbers formed various associations tending to the ameliora- 
tion of existing conditions surrounding her race. The most notable of 
them is "The National Association of Colored Women," for several years 
presided over by Mrs. Mary Church Terrell of Washington, D. C, but now 
under the guidance of Mrs. J. Salome Yates, a woman of refinement, 


culture and education and an earnest worker in the cause of the advance- 
ment of the race. It is with pride I point to this body of women, as its 
scope is far-reaching, being composed of organizations from every part 
of the country. 

There is no woman, certainly no woman in the United States, who 
has more reason to desire and more need to aspire for better opportuni- 
ties for her brothers and herself than the Negro woman in general and 
the educated Negro woman in particular. 

Avarice and egotism have done and is doing its work in retarding, 
but not entirely subjugating, the advances that a respectable number of 
the race are making. 

The task that confronts the thoughtful woman as she surveys the 
field in which she must labor is not a reassuring one. It will be through 
a slow process that any good will be accomplished. 

Much patient and earnest endeavor on the part of our women — a 
strong missionary spirit needs to be exhibited before any appreciable 
results may be reached. It will require the life-work for many years to 
rescue even a fractional part from the condition of to-day. Not only has 
the Negro race to be uplifted but the white race need to stand on a 
stronger platform than that of egotistical display of virtues which are not 
wholly theirs. 

As long as they deny to the Negro the fact of his brotherhood and his 
consequent rights as a man, they are false to their God, and to the nation. 
Happily for us there have been a considerable number of the white race 
who are mindful of what is due to those of a race whose tendencies are 
upward and onward. 

It is with feelings of deep gratitude, love and respect when we reflect 
upon the great work that was accomplished in the nineteenth century for 
the Negro by the truly great and good men and women of the white race. 
Now the twentieth century is confronted with the fact that there is more 
work yet to do, and the Negro has his part to bear in it. The progress of 
the race means much to the Negro woman, and as she goes fiorth adding 
her best energies to the uplifting of her people the work in itself will 
react upon her, and from a passive individual she will be a more alert and 
useful factor in the regeneration of her race and to the social system at 

How to begin the work in a systematic manner for the further ad- 
vancement of a people struggling amidst so much that is discouraging 


is puzzling to the would-be reformers within our own ranks. We would 
have the Negro, now that the mantle of freedom is thrown over him, and 
also as an acknowledged citizen, to fully understand and appreciate the 
fact that now that his destiny is in his own hands that he must make of 
himself a potential value. 

In order to emphasize himself as a factor of value he must place 
himself in touch with the highest and best thought of past and present 

Barring the barriers that avarice has placed in our way in the past 
or the growing egotism of our brothers in white at this stage of our 
progress, the women of the Negro race should put themselves in contact 
with all the women of this land and espouse all worthy efforts for the 
advancement of the human race. 

The educated Negro woman will find that her greatest field for effec- 
tive work is in the home. The attributes that are necessary in forming an 
upright character are each of them facts, the acceptance of them making 
or marring the character as they are accepted or ignored. 

In view of this thought I cannot see that any different role should be 
adopted by us than by women in general in this land. 

Industry, honesty and morality are the cardinal attributes to become 
acquainted with in forming an irreproachable character, and each and 
all of them must be dwelt upon in the home. Already the mothers all 
over the country are uniting themselves in the one thought — the home. 
No less should our women esteem it essential to place themselves in line 
with the progressive mothers in our common country. In advancing 
such a thought we are confronted with the fact that the development of 
the homes of this land has not been a day's work, and the improvement 
of the character of the homes will test the energies of the women who 
preside over them. The home life of the Negro has taken on a new 
significance during the past thirty or more years, and the zeal required 
to show the parents to-day their duties in the rearing of their children 
should be untiring. We have a few among us that are interested workers 
for the maintenance of good government in the home. 

We would that in every city, town and village, where any number 
of the race reside, they would form aid societies for the maintenance of 
kindergartens and industrial schools, as well as to aid those already 
established, and before the twentieth century has reached its quarter 
centurv mark "The Colored Woman's Aid Societies" would have an 



astonishing effect on the manners and morals of those who come under 
its benefits. 

It is a source of regret and deep concern to a number of our women 
that there is so little attention paid to the labors of "The Woman's Chris- 
tian Temperance Union," when we reflect that through the medium of 
rum, and, I may add, red beads, African homes were devastated. We 
wonder at the apathy of our women in the matter of temperance. The 
homes of the race can but be humble and poverty-stricken so long as the 
men and women in them are intemperate. The educated women among 
us need to set the pace in discountenancing the social glass in their 
homes. In this transition stage toward a higher plane of civilization 
we need every faculty pure and undefiled to do the work that will lift 
us to a merited place in our land. Surely our women must see the neces- 
sity of urgent endeavor against a traffic fraught with so much that is 
inimical to the promotion of good citizenship and purer and better homes. 

From the word of God we receive decided instructions against strong 
drink, as in the instance of the instructions concerning the character of 
John— his work was to be such that all his energies were to be called 
in action, and there was to be no weakening of them. "He was to be 
great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong 
drink." We have a great work to perform in meeting the demands of the 
hour, requiring all the energy possible of a brain unclouded — pure and 
unsullied. The motto of the National Association of Colored Women, 
"Lifting as we climb," is in itself an inspiration to great activity in all 
moral reforms ; and with a spirit of devotion for the welfare of humanity 
we embrace the work of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union in 
their motto, "For God and Home and Native Land." 

If the educated Negro woman will rally to the support of the prin- 
ciples involved in the organizations already presented in this paper, I 
think they will be amply repaid in the results accruing from their labors. 






Should any one ask what special phase of the Negro's development 
makes me most hopeful of his ultimate triumph over present obstacles, 
I should answer unhesitatingly, it is the magnificent work the women 
are doing to regenerate and uplift the race. Judge the future of colored 
women by the past since their emancipation, and neither they nor their 
friends have any cause for anxiety. 

For years, either banding themselves into small companies or strug- 
gling alone, colored women have worked with might and main to im- 
prove the condition of their people. The necessity of systematizing their 
efforts and working on a larger scale became apparent not many years 
ago and they decided to unite their forces. Thus it happened that in the 
summer of 1896 the National Association of Colored Women was formed 
by the union of two large organizations, each of which has done much 
to show our women the advantage of concerted action. So tenderly has 
this daughter of the organized womanhood of the race been nurtured 
and so wisely ministered unto, that it has grown to be a child hale, hearty 
and strong, of which its fond mothers have every reason to be proud. 
Handicapped though its members have been, because they lacked both 
money and experience, their efforts have, for the most part, been crowned 
with success in the twenty-six States where it has been represented. 

Kindergartens have been established by some of our organizations, 
from which encouraging reports have come. A sanitarium with a train- 
ing school for nurses has been set on such a firm foundation by the 
Phyllis Wheatley Club of New Orleans, Louisiana, and has proved itself 
to be such a blessing to the entire community that the municipal govern- 
ment has voted it an annual appropriation of several hundred dollars. 
By the Tuskegee, Alabama, branch of the association the work of bring- 
ing the light of knowledge and the gospel of cleanliness to their poor 
benighted sisters on the plantations has been conducted with signal sue* 
cess. Their efforts have thus far been confined to four estates, comprising 
thousands of acres of land, on which live hundreds of colored people, yet 


?n all matters affecting the interests of the women of her race. Mrs. Mary Church 
Terrell, of Washington, D. C, is a leading spirit. Three times in succession she was 
elected President of the National Association of Colored Women by most nattering 
majorities. When, according to the provision of the constitution, which limits the 
term of officers, Mrs. Terrell could not be re-elected president, she was made Honorary 

She has twice been invited to address the National Woman Suffrage Association at 
its annual convention in Washington. Her public utterances have always made a pro- 
found impression on her hearers and no speakers associated with her have received more 
applause from audiences or higher praise from the public press than herself. Not many 
years ago when Congress, by resolution granted power to the Commissioners of the Dis- 
trict of Columbia to appoint two women on the Board of Education for the public schools, 
Mrs. Terrell was one of the women appointed. She served in the board for five years 
with great success and signal ability. 

Mrs. Terrell is the only woman who has ever held the office of President of the 
Bethel literary and Historical Association at Washington, the foremost and oldest 
Lyceum established and controlled by colored people in America. Her splendid work 
as presiding officer of this organization had much to do with her other subsequent 
success in attaining similar positions in other bodies of deliberation. 

Mrs. Terrell's life has been an interesting one. She was born in Memphis, Tenn., 
of well-to-do parents. 

She graduated at Oberlin College in 1884 with the degree of A. B. In 1888 she 
received the degree of A. M. from Oberlin. She was for a while a teacher at 
Wilberforce University at Xenia, Ohio. In 1887 she was appointed teacher of lan- 
guages in the Colored High School at Washington. She went abroad for further 
study and travel in 1888 and remained in Europe two years, spending the time 
in France, Switzerland, Germany and Italy. She resumed her work in Washington 
In 1890. In 1891 she was offered the registrarship of Oberlin College, being the first 
woman of her race to whom such a position was ever tendered by an institution so 
widely known and of such high standard. This place was declined because of her 
approaching marriage. In 1891 she was married to Mr. Robert H. Terrell, who is a 
graduate of Howard College and who was recently appointed by President Roosevelt 
to a Federal Judgeship in the District of Columbia, being one of the two colored men 
first to receive this high distinction. Mrs. Terrell has a daughter whom she has named 
Phyllis, in honor of Phyllis Wheatley, the black woman whose verses received the com- 
mendation of George Washington and many other distinguished men of her time. 

Mrs. Terrell is now engaged by a lecture bureau. She has traveled extensively in 
the West, speaking before large audiences and everywhere her talks have received the 
highest praise. The Danville, 111., "Daily News," speaking of her address before the 
Chautauqua of that town, says: 

"Mrs. Terrell's addresses are the pure gold with less dross of nonsense than any 
lecturer that has come upon the stage at this Chautauqua. From the first word to the 
last she has something to say, and says it as a cultured lady in the best of English, 
which has no tinge of the high falootin or the sensational. Such speakers are rare. 
She should be paid to travel as a model of good English and good manners." 

Mrs. Terrell's eloquent utterances and chaste diction make a deep impression, which 
must have influence in the final shaping of the vexed problems that confront the Negro 
race in this country. Her exceptional attainments and general demeanor are a wonderful 
force in eradicating the prejudice against colored women. She is making an opening for 
her sisters as no one else is doing or has ever done. 


in the darkness of ignorance and the grip of sin, miles away from 
churches and schools. 

Plans for aiding the indigent, orphaned and aged have been projected 
and in some instances have been carried into successful execution. One 
club in Memphis, Tennessee, has purchased a large tract of land, on which 
it intends to erect an old folk's home, part of the money for which has 
already been raised. Splendid service has been rendered by the Illinois 
Federation of Colored Women's Clubs, through whose instrumentality 
schools have been visited, truant children looked after, parents and 
teachers urged to co-operate with each other, rescue and reform work 
engaged in, so as to reclaim unfortunate women and tempted girls, public 
institutions investigated, garments cut, made and distributed to tbe 
needy poor. 

Questions affecting our legal status as a race are sometimes agitated 
by our women. In Tennessee and Louisiana colored women have several 
times petitioned the legislature of their respective States to repeal the 
obnoxious Jim Crow car laws. In every way possible we are calling 
attention to the barbarity of the convict lease system, of which Negroes 
and especially the female prisoners are the principal victims, with the 
hope that the conscience of the country may be touched and this stain on 
its escutcheon be forever wiped away. Against the one room cabin we 
have inaugurated a vigorous crusade. When families of eight or ten 
men, women and children are all huddled promiscuously together in a 
single apartment, a condition common among our poor all over the land, 
there is little hope of inculcating morality and modesty. And yet in 
spite of the fateful heritage of slavery, in spite of the manifold pitfalls 
and peculiar temptations to which our girls are subjected, and though 
the safeguards usually thrown around maidenly youth and innocence are 
in some sections entirely withheld from colored girls, statistics compiled 
by men not inclined to falsify in favor of my race show that immorality 
among colored women is not so great as among women in some foreign 
countries who are equally ignorant, poor and oppressed. 

Believing that it is only through the home that a people can become 
really good and truly great the National Association has entered that 
sacred domain. Homes, more homes, better homes, purer homes is the 
text upon which sermons have been and will be preached. There has 
been a determined effort to have heart to heart talks with our women 
that we may strike at the root of evils, many of which lie at the fireside. 


If the women of the dominant race, with all the centuries of education, 
culture and refinement back of them, with all the wealth of opportunity 
ever present with them, feel the need of a mother's congress, that they 
may be enlightened upon the best methods of rearing their children and 
conducting their homes, how much more do our women, from whom 
shackles have but yesterday been stricken, need information on the same 
vital subjects. And so the association is working vigorously to establish 
mothers' congresses on a small scale, wherever our women can be reached. 

From this brief and meager account of the work which has been and is 
still being accomplished by colored women through the medium of their 
clubs, it is easy to observe how earnest and effective have been their 
efforts to elevate their race. No people need ever despair whose women 
are fully aroused to the duties which rest upon them and are willing to 
shoulder responsibilities which they alone can successfully assume. The 
scope of our endeavors is constantly widening. Into the various chan- 
nels of generosity and beneficence we are entering more and more every 

Some of our women are now urging their clubs to establish day nur- 
series, a charity of which there is an imperative need. Thousands of our 
wage-earning mothers with large families dependent almost entirely 
upon them for support are obliged to leave their children all day, en- 
trusted to the care of small brothers and sisters, or some good-natured 
neighbor who promises much, but who does little. Some of these infants 
are locked alone in the room from the time the mother leaves in the 
morning, until she returns at night. Not long ago I read in a Southern 
newspaper that an infant thus locked alone in a room all day, while its 
mother went out to wash, had cried itself to death. When one reflects 
upon the slaughter of the innocents which is occurring with pitiless per- 
sistency every day and thinks of the multitudes who are maimed for life 
or are rendered imbecile because of the treatment received during their 
helpless infancy, it is evident that by establishing day nurseries colored 
women will render one of the greatest services possible to humanity and 
to the race. 

Nothing lies nearer the heart of colored women than the children. 
We feel keenly the need of kindergartens and are putting forth earnest 
efforts to honey-comb this country with them from one extremity to the 
other. The more unfavorable the environments of children the more 
necessary is it that steps be taken to counteract baleful influences upon 


innocent victims. How imperative is it then that as colored women we 
inculcate correct principles and set good examples for our own youth 
whose little feet will have so many thorny paths of temptation, injustice 
and prejudice to tread. So keenly alive is the National Association 
to the necessity of rescuing our little ones whose evil nature alone is 
encouraged to develop and whose noble qualities are deadened and 
dwarfed by the very atmosphere which they breathe, that its officers are 
trying to raise money with which to send out a kindergarten organizer, 
whose duty it shall be to arouse the conscience of our women and to estab- 
lish kindergartens wherever means therefor can be secured. 

Through the children of to-day we believe we can build the founda- 
tion of the next generation upon such a rock of morality, intelligence 
and strength, that the floods of proscription, prejudice and persecution 
may descend upon it in torrents and yet it will not be moved. We hear a 
great deal about the race problem and how to solve it. The real solution 
of the race problem lies in the children, both so far as we who are 
oppressed and those who oppress us are concerned. Some of our women 
who have consecrated their lives to the elevation of their race feel that 
neither individuals nor organizations working toward this end should be. 
entirely satisfied with their efforts unless some of their energy, money 
or brain is used in the name and for the sake of the children. 

The National Association has chosen as its motto: Lifting as We 
Climb. In order to live strictly up to this sentiment, its members have 
determined to come into the closest possible touch with the masses of our 
women, through whom the womanhood of our people is always judged. 
It is unfortunate, but it is true, that the dominant race in this country 
insists upon gauging the Negro's worth by his most illiterate and vicious 
representatives rather than by the more intelligent and worthy classes. 
Colored women of education and culture know that they cannot escape 
altogether the consequences of the acts of their most depraved sisters. 
They see that even if they were wicked enough to turn a deaf ear to the 
call of duty, both policy and self-preservation demand that they go down 
among the lowly, the illiterate and even the vicious, to whom they are 
bound by the ties of race and sex, and put forth every possible effort to 
reclaim them. By coming into close touch with the masses of our women 
it is possible to correct many of the evils which militate so seriously 
against us and inaugurate the reforms, without which, as a race, we can- 
not hope to succeed. 


Through the clubs we are studying the labor question and are calling 
the attention of our women to the alarming rapidity with which the 
Negro is losing ground in the world of labor. If this movement to with- 
hold employment from him continues to grow, the race will soon be con- 
fronted by a condition of things disastrous and serious, indeed. We are 
preaching in season and out that it is the duty of every wage-earning 
colored woman to become thoroughly proficient in whatever work she 
engages, so that she may render the best service of which she is capable, 
and thus do her part toward establishing a reputation for excellent work- 
manship among colored women. 

Our clubs all over the country are being urged to establish schools of 
domestic science. It is believed that by founding schools in Avhich col- 
ored girls could be trained to be skilled domestics, we should do more 
toward solving the labor question as it affects our women, than by using 
any other means it is in our power to employ. We intend to lay the 
Negro's side of the labor question clearly before our large-hearted, broad- 
minded sisters of the dominant race and appeal to them to throw their 
influence on the right side. We shall ask that they train their children to 
be broad and just enough to judge men and women by their intrinsic 
merit rather than bv the adventitious circumstances of race or color or 
creed. Colored women are asking the white mothers of the land to teach 
their children that when they grow to be men and women, if they delib- 
erately prevent their fellow creatures from earning an honest living by 
closing their doors of trade against them, the Father of all men will hold 
them responsible for the crimes which are the result of their injustice 
and for the human wrecks which the ruthless crushing of hope and ambi- 
tion always makes. 

Through our clubs colored women hope to improve the social atmos- 
phere by showing the enormity of the double standard of morals, which 
teaches that we should turn the cold shoulder upon a fallen sister, but 
greet her destroyer with open arms and a gracious smile. The duty of 
setting a high moral standard and living up to it devolves upon colored 
women in a peculiar way. False accusations and malicious slanders are 
circulated against them constantly, both by the press and by the direct 
descendants of those who in years past were responsible for the moral 
degradation of their female slaves. 

Carefully and conscientiously we shaH study the questions which 
affect the race most deeply and directly. Against the convict lease sys- 


The writer of the subjoined article is a native of Virginia, and belongs in the front 
rank of educators of her race in this grand old commonwealth, which may justly 
boast of the eminence to which its black as well as white citizens attained before and 
since the war. The first president of the black republic on the West Coast of Africa, 
Joseph Jenkins Roberts, as well as the foremost Baptist leader, Lott Carey, were Vir- 

Mrs. Rosa D. Bowser was born in Amelia County, and was reared in the city of 
Richmond. She passed through the grades of the public schools, and completed her 
school work at the Normal School of that city under the instruction of its founder, 
Mr. Ralza Morse Manly, of Vermont, a distinguished educator in the North as well 
as the pioneer educator in Virginia among the Negro race. Mrs. Bowser received special 
training from Mr. Manly, having been instructed by him in the higher mathematics 
and Latin. She early developed a taste for drawing, painting and music, and made 
commendable progress in the fine arts. Mrs. Bowser's work as an educator has not 
been limited to the school room, in which she has been so efficient for the last twenty- 
five years, but she has been conspicuous in other and wider fields of usefulness among 
her people within and without the State. 

This is evidenced by the following facts: She founded the Woman's League, which 
rendered signal service in the Lunenburg trials; she is President of the Richmond 
Mothers' Club; she is a member of the Executive Board of the Southern Federation 
of Colored Women; she is Chairman of the Executive Board of the Women's Educa- 
tional and Missionary Association of Virginia; she is Chairman of the standing Com- 
mittee of Domestic Economy, for the Hampton Conference; she is President of the 
Woman's Department of the Negro Reformatory Association of Virginia; and is one 
of the most conspicuous members of many benevolent organizations in Richmond. 
She is an eloquent and fascinating orator, bringing to that accomplishment, earnestness 
of manner, grace of gesture, and a charming personality. 


tern, the Jim Crow car laws, lynchings and all other barbarities which 
degrade us, we shall protest with such force of logic and intensity of soul 
that those who oppress us will either cease to disavow the inalienability 
and equality of human rights, or be ashamed to openly violate the very 
principles upon which this government was founded. By discharging 
our obligation to the children, by coming into the closest possible touch 
with the masses of our people, by studying the labor question as it affects 
the race, by establishing schools of domestic science, by setting a high 
moral standard and living up to it, by purifying the home, colored women 
will render their race a service whose value it is not in my power to 
estimate or express. The National Association is being cherished with 
such loyalty and zeal by our women that there is every reason to hope it 
will soon become the power for good, the tower of strength and the source 
of inspiration to which it is destined. 

And so lifting as we climb, onward and upward we go, struggling and 
striving and hoping that the buds and blossoms of our desires will burst 
into glorious fruition ere long. With courage born of success achieved 
in the past, with a keen sense of the responsibility which we must con- 
tinue to assume we look forward to the future, large with promise and 
hope. Seeking no favors because of our color or patronage because of our 
needs, we knock at the bar of justice and ask for an equal chance. 





In all ages of the world woman has been the central figure around 
which all joys and sorrows, all inspirations, all aspirations, and all 
accomplishments have circled. In all conditions of life, in all climes, in 
all Christian epochs, in all countries, she holds this position indisputable 
among the nations of the earth. For without her there would be no 
home circles, without the home circles there would be no races nor 
nations. Her office, of divine institution for the perpetuation of the 
human family, should not be lightly regarded by any class of people. 
Woman's primary duty is the systematic and wise ordering of the 
household. The infant looks into its mother's face and there receives 


its first impressions. These impressions are stamped upon the mind and 
heart of the child. The mother notices all the little disorders and griefs 
of the child from its birth throughout its life. The conscientious mother 
is ever ready to console, advise and sympathize in all grievances and 
perplexities which may confront her offspring. Hence there is great 
need for proper instruction to wives, mothers, and, in fact, to all women 
in anticipation of the responsibilities of a home, and the obligations of 
motherhood. It has been well said that the training of children should 
begin with their grandparents. The character of the homes of the land, 
the moral and immoral bearing of every settlement, town, and city, in a 
large measure depend upon the class of women — upon the idiosyncrasies 
of wives, mothers, and women in general, who by nature mould the senti- 
ment of every department of human control. That society is ruled by 
women cannot be questioned. The age of complete dependence of women 
upon the stronger sex, has so far passed as to be foreign to the minds of 
the present generation. Not that the gentler sex is averse to the protec- 
tion and tender solicitudes of the father, husband and brother, but it is 
of such common occurrence that women are thrown upon their own 
resources in the maintenance of the home, that they of necessity rather 
than from choice assume a degree of independence in various avenues of 

Christianity is the medium by which woman has been exalted to her 
legitimate sphere in the world. The best colleges that a few years past 
closed their doors against her, have gradually put the latch strings on the 
outside. The coeducation of the sexes and the attendant results have 
displaced the old idea of the moral and intellectual inferiority of women. 
The learned professions are subject to her choice. She stands beside her 
brother as a partner, sharing equally with him in the world's work for 
humanitv. Of one flesh God made all men. Hence thev have the same 
general tendencies or inclinations, the same likes and dislikes, the same 
sympathies and the same indifferences^ the same joys and the same sor- 
rows manifested in a greater or less degree as their sensibilities have 
been cultured and developed. The Negro is no exception to this general 
rule. The centuries of servitude when he dared not of his own volition 
pursue courses for intellectual growth now place the Negro as an adoles- 
cent race, yet one that has made wonderful strides in improving its condi- 
tion morally, intellectually and financially. The Negro is grateful for 
much in past experiences, which experiences have been rigid disciplina- 


rians, urging him to think and act for himself. Therefore his hopes and 
aspirations grow stronger for more glorious results for the future. Com- 
pare the first thirty-six years of the independence of any civilized race 
with the progress made by the Negroes since their emancipation; who 
can, in a spirit of justice, say that the Negro has not made a very credit- 
able record wherever the opportunity to show himself a man has pre- 
sented itself. The Negro is grateful that there are many Southern as 
well as Northern friends in the dominant race who publicly commend 
him, and give him due credit for his energy and perseverance in making 
the best use of his time and talents. The fact is generally known that 
whatever success has been made was achieved through many difficulties. 
The best class of Negroes is not discouraged by the ravings and unjust 
criticisms of certain classes of people who do not know the Negro, having 
had little chance of intercourse with him even in the years prior to and 
during the Civil War. Yet he is far, very far from being contented with 
his present condition. The harvest is great, and many sheaves are yet to 
be gathered. He knows that the number whose eyes are opened to the 
beauties and utilities of life, and whose souls can discern the grand pos- 
sibilities of the future, is a great contrast to the masses of the race that 
must yet be induced to appreciate the light of day. More teachers are 
needed to point out and supply this light. Who can better perform this 
duty than the unselfish, humane, intelligent Negro woman? Who can 
better feel the touch of sympathy and get out of self to help by lifting as 
she climbs? Who can better see the need than one who is interested in 
the lowly of her own household? Who but the educated Negro woman 
will feel more keenly the stigma of the depravity of her weak sister w r ho 
has wearied of the struggle for a higher plane of living? To whom is the 
call to this duty more urgent? Will she answer? She must do so. Her 
advantages, intellectually and socially, demand that she should take a 
front rank in the crusade against ignorance, vice and crime. She is the 
lighthouse, giving warning of the hidden shoals and guiding away from 
the rocks which are wrecking the lives of many capable young men anc T 
women. These young people are anxious in many cases to be led into 
paths of purer man and womanhood. They incline toward leaders. But 
they will follow only good leaders in whichever course they take, whether 
the straight and narrow path of integrity and upright Christian char- 
acter, or the broad road which leads to shame, degradation and death. 
They must and will follow leaders. But they require of leadership a 


reflection of their ideals. In other words, they require them to be as 
leaders all that they would admonish others to become — models of true, 
intelligent, morally pure women and men. Not only must these upright 
Negro women take their role as counselors and teachers, but it is highly 
essential that they be WITH the element to be uplifted, yet, certainly 
NOT OF it. It is impossible to help a fallen or weak sister to rise if the 
helper, like the Levite, pass by on the other side, and merely call out, 
Arise and stand in the beauty of pure womanhood — rather than like the 
Samaritan, she goes to her and lifts her to her feet. The touch of the 
hand, in proof of a heart full of sympathy, goes a long way in winning 
and holding a living, lasting evidence of the regenerating influence of 
charity to the recipient. The alarming death rate among the Negro 
population is largely due to ignorance of the laws of health, and the 
proper care of children. Such people need instruction in their homes, 
for you will reach them nowhere else. They will not attend public meet- 
ings nor church services; they feel out of place in them. Hence there 
is no way to reach such people other than by going among them. This act 
will not mar the reputation of a true leader, one whom they can emulate, 
and in whom they have confidence. It rather increases her influence ; for 
they know she is not of them, but with them in their efforts to improve. 
The magnitude of the work may sometimes cause one to shrink, when the 
progress seems slow. But all reforms require deliberation, endurance, 
and perseverance. Occasionally we get an encouraging comment which 
comes like a calm after storms of criticisms and abuse. Two of the daily 
papers of Richmond, Virginia, made very favorable statements in regard 
to the conduct of the colored people during the week of the carnival — 
October 7th-12th, 1901. For violations of the law there were about two 
hundred arrests, and not one colored person of the number. The colored 
schools came in for a liberal share of praise for their attendance during 
said week. All colored groups of schools were way up in the nineties. 
Baker School (colored), of six hundred and twenty-seven pupils, led the 
city schools, with 98.9 per cent of attendance. We hailed the announce- 
ments with delight, for they strengthened our belief that "Negro educa- 
tion" may not always be considered "a failure." We are stimulated to 
more earnest endeavor when we find persons of great minds and large 
hearts voicing such helpful sentiments as expressed by Mr. Joel Chandler 
Harris, in his article to the New York Journal, November 3, 1901, on 
"Negro Education," from which I quote: 


"What is called the Negro problem is simply the invention of men 
with theories. 

"The spectacle spread out before us is not in the nature of a problem. 

"It is made up of the actual efforts and movements of a race slowly 
and painfully feeling its way toward a higher destiny. 

"The conditions and circumstances being without parallel or prece- 
dent in the history of the world, it was inevitable that serious mistakes 
should be made ; that misunderstandings should arise, that philanthropy 
should stretch out full hands in the wrong direction, that partisan poli- 
ticians should pour out the vials of wrath. 

"But what of it? 

"The real progress of the race has not been retarded a moment. 
Nothing has been lost. And now, at last, the whole conservative and 
intelligent element of the race is placing itself under the leadership of 
men well qualified to lead it, and is making a new start. 

"If the philanthropists and rich men of the country will hold up the 
hands of such Negroes as Booker T. Washington they will be able to for- 
get in a few years that any serious mistakes have been made. 

"More than that, they will be able to view leniently the mistakes that 
are still to be made." 

And, I add, if the hands of such women as Mrs. Booker T. Washington 
of Tuskegee, and Miss Georgie Washington of Mt. Meigs, Alabama, be 
upheld by friends of the North, South, East and West, many skeptics 
would, in a comparatively short time, forget that they had at any time 
doubted the ability of the Negro to make for himself a creditable place in 
history. Such are the women needed to-day. Women who teach by 
doing. Women who can take a basket of soap on the arm, and in a 
gentle, winning way present it to homes that need it, while at the same 
time extol its merits in a pleasant manner. Women are needed who can 
teach the lesson of morality, cleanliness of soul and body, and the 
hygienic and economic management of the humble home, by showing 
them how to perform these acts, and furnish examples. Women who can 
arouse their sense of propriety to such a degree that by frugal habits they 
may abandon the one-room cabin in which a family of eight or ten eat, 
cook, sleep, wash and iron, for the neat two, three, or four-room well 
ventilated cottage. The laundry tub may be an excellent substitute when 
no better can be provided, but they will be taught to see the need of a 
genuine bath tub in everv home. Thev will be taught that honest labor 


is no disgrace; that, however much education one may acquire, the 
deftness of the hands to execute the mandates of the mind tends rather 
to elevate the possessor, and hastens the day of a full developed man or 
woman with mind, heart, and hand trained to the best service — thereby 
dignifying labor. Above all, the thought must be impressed indelibly upon 
the hearts and consciences of the youth that the men can be no better 
than the women. Men are what the women make them. If a woman is 
refined, and exhibits a modest, dignified bearing, men can not fail to 
appreciate her demeanor and conduct themselves accordingly. While, on 
the other hand, boisterous, uncouth conduct upon the part of women will 
encourage boldness toward them, disrespect for them, and win the con- 
tempt of the men of a community for such women. Hence, wherever 
uplifting influence is needed, the result of the labor depends upon the 
compliant nature of the element, upon which they are working, whose 
persuasive power is more efficacious in directing the upward and down- 
ward trend of the masses. The women who can best appreciate this fact 
have the very grave responsibility of keeping the lesson constantly before 
the people — "Lest we forget, lest we forget." The so-called Xegro problem 
must be solved by the Xegro. The plane to which he must attain is 
limited by the energy and persistency of the most competent and sympa- 
thetic leaders, in piloting the followers in such a manner that they may 
realize that* 

"Life is real, Life is earnest, 

And the grave is not its goal ; 
Dust thou art, to dust returnest, 

Was not spoken of the soul." 





Woman's part in the consummation of any project which has to do 
with the elevation of mankind is of paramount importance. With her 
influence eliminated or her work minimized failure is inevitable. This is 
true regardless of race or nationality. In the civilization and enlighten- 
ment of the Negro race its educated women must be the potent factors. 


Mrs. Sarah Dudley Pettey, the brilliant and accomplished wife of the late Bishop 
Charles Calvin Pettey, A. M., D. D., was born in the historic city of New Berne, North 

She is the daughter of Hon. E. R. and Caroline E. Dudley. Her father is a gentle- 
man of great prominence. He was a member of the General Assembly of North Caro- 
lina during the reconstruction period, and has held important local, state and national 
positions, and his services are now in great demand as a political orator and editor. 
Her mother, the lamented Mrs. Caroline E. Dudley, was a lady of refinement and of 
natural gifts. 

From environments, contact and association at home, Mrs. Bishop Pettey always 
had the instruction and advice of intelligent parents. At the age of six she could read 
and write. She entered the graded school of her native city, and after finishing her 
course she entered the State Normal School and remained three years; then she entered 
the famous Scotia Seminary at Concord, N. C, from which institution she graduated 
with distinction June, 1883. 

In addition to her inherited gifts, Mrs. Pettey is a woman of great acquired ability. 
She reads the classics well, has a taste for the higher mathematics. She is a student 
of current events and a close observer of human nature. Upon graduating at Scotia 
Seminary she was, in October of the same year, tendered the position as second assis- 
tant in the New Berne graded school. Next year she was promoted to vice-principal, 
which position she held with credit and honor until she was married. For two suc- 
cessive summers she taught in the Craven County Teachers' Institute. 

As a teacher, she was able, brilliant and magnetic. Popular with her associates, 
she was loved and honored by her pupils. She ruled with kindness and love, and 
punished with a flash of her eye. Well versed in the theory and practice of teaching, 
she soon won the sobriquet "Model Teacher." 

She is a gifted musician; and for several years was the organist for one of the 
most prominent churches in her native city. On the morning of September 19, 1889, 
she was married to Bishop Charles Catoin Pettey, A. M., D. D. Immediately after her 
marriage she became the private secretary of her husband; and with him traveled 
extensively in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Great Britain and Continental Europe. 
She is an able writer and eloquent speaker. 

For several years she has been General Secretary of the Woman's Home and For- 
eign Missionary Society of the A. M. E. Zion Church. As wife, mother and Christian 
worker, Sarah Dudley Pettey is a model woman, endeavoring to lead men and women 
upward and Heaven-ward. 


The difficulties that the Negro must labor under, in his effort to rise, are 
manifold and peculiar. The critics of the Negro have assaulted him at 
the most vital point, viz., character. In their onslaught they have 
assailed the morals of the entire race. To meet this criticism the Negro 
must establish a character of high morals, which will stand out so con- 
spicuously that even his bitterest foe will acknowledge its reality. Id 
establishing this our women must lead. It must be understood that 
their virtue is as sacred and as inviolate as the laws of the eternal veri- 
ties. They must not compromise even with an apparent virtuous senti- 
ment; it must be real. Nothing great is accomplished without the shed- 
ding of blood. To convince the world of the virtue of the Negro race, 
Negro blood must be shed freely. Our young women must be taught that 
gorgeous dress and fine paraphernalia don't make a woman. They 
should dress modestly, becomingly and economically. 

She is a true woman whose honor must not be insulted ; who, though 
poorly paid, pursues her honest labor for bread and would scorn the 
obtaining of a livelihood any other way, regardless of the magnitude of 
the inducement. The foundation for this high sentiment finds its initia- 
tive in the home. Home life is the citadel and bulwark of every race's 
moral life. The ruler of home is mother. A faithful, virtuous and intel- 
ligent motherhood will elevate any people. The impress of mother fol- 
lows her children to the grave; when her form is changed and her 
physical existence extinct the footprints of her noble and pious life live 
long after her. Womanhood and manhood begin in the cradle and around 
the fireside; mother's knee is truly the family altar. True patriotism, 
obedience and respect for law, both divine and civil, the love and yearning 
for the pure, the sublime and the good, all emanate from mother's per- 
sonality. If mother be good all the vices and shortcomings of father will 
fail to lead the children astray; but if mother is not what she should 
be all of the holy influences of angels cannot save the children. I would 
urge then, as the first prerequisite for our work, a pure, pious and 
devoted motherhood. 

Secondly, a firm stand for right and truth in all things. Woman's 
power is her love. This pure flame lights up all around her. Her wishes 
and desires men love to satisfy. There are many things in society, 
politics and religion that ambitious men would seek to obtain by all 
hazards, but when woman takes her stand against these things she in- 
variably wins. Our first stand must be for intelligence. No woman of 


to-day, who is thirty years of age, has the right to be queen of a home, 
unless she is intelligent. In this advanced day, to rear up a family by an 
illiterate woman might well be considered a crime. As a race, if we 
would possess the intelligence desired, our children must be kept in 
school, and not allowed to roam idly through the streets when the school- 
house is open. Since, in most of the Southern states, countless numbers 
of our people have been disfranchised, our educated women should insti- 
tute a movement which will bring about compulsory education and a 
general reform in the educational system of the South. We need better 
schools and a higher standard of education for the masses. In our homes 
wholesome literature, periodicals, papers and books must be had. Mother 
must be acquainted with these herself. She introduces the little ones to 
them by the story form. This catchy method soon engrosses their atten- 
tion, and they become wrapped up in them. Great care must be exercised 
in the selection of reading matter for our girls. Nothing is more hurtful 
than obscene literature. 

When our homes become intelligent, we shall have intelligent states- 
men, ministers and doctors; in fact, the whole regime that leads will 
be intelligent. In public affairs woman has her share. She must speak 
through husband, son, father, brother and lover. Men go from home into 
the world to execute what woman has decreed. An educated wife formu- 
lates the political opinion of husband and son and though she may 
remain at home on election day, her views and opinions will find expres- 
sion in the ballots of the male members of her household. The same 
thing is true in the church. I shall not dictate what woman should do 
here or limit her sphere of activity, but this I know she can with pro- 
priety — in her auxiliary work to the church she can become a mighty 
power. Woman's Missionary Societies, Christian Endeavor Societies, 
Sabbath School work, etc., afford a broad field of labor for our educated 
women. Her activity in all things pertaining to racial advancement will 
be the motive power in establishing firmly and intelligently an enlight- 
ened racial existence. Thirdly: The educated Negro woman must take 
her stand among the best and most enlightened women of all races ; and 
in so doing she must seek to be herself. Imitate no one when the imita- 
tion destroys the personal identity. Not only in dress are we imitative 
to the extreme, but in manners and customs. When our boys and girls 
become redeemed from these evils a great deal will have been accom- 
plished in the elevation of our race. 


There are some noble women among other races whom we may imi- 
tate in virtue, morality and deportment. Those women come not from 
the giddy and gay streets of London, Paris or New York; but such 
women as Queen Victoria, Helen Gould, Frances Willard and others. 
These women have elevated society, given tone and character to govern- 
ments and other institutions. They ornamented the church and blessed 
humanity. I can say with pride just here that we have many noble 
women in our own race whose lives and labors are worthy of emulation. 
Among them we find Frances Watkins Harper, Sojourner Truth, Phillis 
Wheatley, Ida Wells Barnett and others. Our educated women should 
organize councils, federations, literary organizations, societies of social 
purity and the like. These would serve as great mediums in reaching the 

I cannot refrain from mentioning public or street decorum here. 
Woman, as she glides through the busy and crowded thoroughfares of our 
great cities is eyed and watched by everyone. It is here that she im- 
presses the world of her real worth. She can by her own acts surround 
herself with a wall of protection that the most vicious character would 
not dare attempt to scale or she can make it appear otherwise. 

Beware then, mothers; accompany your daughters as often as pos- 
sible in public. 

In this advanced age, if the Negro would scale the delectable heights 
already attained by more highly favored races, our women must unite in 
their endeavors to uplift the masses. With concentration of thought 
and unity of action, all things are possible; these can effect victories 
when formidable armies and navies fail. The role that the educated 
Negro woman must play in the elevation of her race is of vital import- 
ance. There is no sphere into which your activities do not go. Gather, 
then, your forces; elevate yourself to some lofty height where you can 
behold the needs of your race; adorn yourself with the habiliments of a 
successful warrior; raise your voice for God and justice; leave no stone 
unturned in your endeavor to route the forces of all opposition. There 
is no height so elevated but what your influence can climb, no depth so 
low but what your virtuous touch can purify. However dark and fore- 
boding the cloud may be, the effulgent rays from your faithful and con- 
secrated personality will dispel; and ere long Ethiopia's sons and 
daughters, led by pious, educated women, will be elevated among the 
enlightened races of the world. 




Before an opinion uncomplimentary to the colored man's interest in 
the professional and business ventures of his race-variety can be of 
weight, there are several antecedent facts of primal value to be con- 
sidered. If devotion to either class is lacking, it must be remembered, 
that shortcoming is traceable to causes which, however marked may be 
their effects in the Negro's case, are equally marked and striking in 
others of similar condition. Given centuries of environments and disci- 
pline hostile to the development of racial pride and co-operation, the 
result will not be unlike, whether the subject be the Red Man of America, 
the Yellow Man of Asia, the White Man of Europe or the Dark Descen- 
dants of Africa. 

Time is an all-potential healer in the life of any progressive people 
and it is only when races are viewed in the light of extensive discipline 
and persistent struggles that achievements gratifying and reassuring 
are to be seen. The Rothschilds, Carnegies, Vanderbilts, and towering 
lights in the business and professional worlds at large are but well- 
favored children of a long-drawn ancestry, men in whose ancestral veins, 
the blood and iron of hope, pluck, anticipation and realization found 
outlet through the ravines and across the hill-tops of centuries bygone. 
However the claims of heredity may be made to appear in other direc- 
tions, they carry weight when applied to an infant race and the traits 
which distinguish the more advanced varieties of the human family. 

As it is futile to attempt the solution of any problem by eliminating 
any of its salient factors, so it would be well for us to admit the factor 
of unfavorable environment while that of an unfriendly heredity cuts so 
large a' figure in the shortcomings and strivings of a race. The curse 
of slavery has so marred the visage of this otherwise comely and coming 
race that it will be the work of centuries to completely eradicate the 



H. T. Johnson, Ph. D., D. D., educator, minister, author, journalist, scholar, was 
born in Georgetown, S. C, October 10, 1857. Early life was spent in the public schools 
of his native town. Apprenticed to learn the printer's trade in his fifteenth year; 
worked for three years on the "Georgetown Planet" and "Charleston Independent." 
Gave up newspaper service for school teaching, in which occupation he earned sufficient 
means to enable him to enter the State Normal School in the Capital of his native 
State and subsequently the State University, at the same place continuing his studies 
with credit until the Fall of 1876, when Colored students were no longer allowed to 
enjoy such advantages by the Democrats who gained control of the State. For a time 
checkmated, young Johnson returned to the labors of the school-room until the autumn 
of 1878, when, having been licensed to preach a year earlier, he entered Howard Uni- 
versity as a divinity student, graduating in the Spring of 1880. 

While at Howard, Johnson took special studies in mathematics and the classics in 
the college department of the university. After preaching and teaching in his native 
State for two years, he resumed his student life, this time at Lincoln University, Chester 
County, Pa., graduating with honors in the class of '83. "While at Lincoln he 
engaged in pastoral labors at Oxford, Kennett Square, Hosanah, Little Wes- 
ley and Morris Brown, Philadelphia; was ordained elder by Bishop Brown in Bethel 
Church, Philadelphia, June, 1883, having won the highest encomium for creditable 
examination passed in biblical, classical and metaphysical studies. The same year, the 
subject of our sketch was transferred to the New England Conference; was stationed 
at Chelsea, matriculated in the Boston University, where he studied for three years in 
the schools of Theology, Expression, Elocution, Voice Culture and Metaphysics, until 
from failing health he was compelled to change climate and sacrifice for a season at 
least his ambition for learning. 

Between ministerial and educational services our subject applied his time in Ten- 
nessee until the winter of 1889, when he transferred to Arkansas and was stationed at 
Visitor's Chapel, Hot Springs, where he remained for two years. From here he was 
assigned the presiding eldership of the then leading district in the State, which position 
he held until the General Conference of 1892, which elected him to the editorship of the 
"Christian Recorder," the leading official organ of the A. M. E. Church, and the oldest and 
most widely known Colored newspaper in the world. 

That the literary and moral worth of Dr. Johnson is recognized locally and in 
general is indicated by the place he holds in the confidence of the church. His two 
books, "The Preacher" and "Divine Logos," have been adopted in the ministerial course 
of studies of his church. He was the first course lecturer at Payne Theological Seminary 
at Wilberforce and is annual lecturer at Phelps Bible School at Tuskegee Institute at 
this writing. Is President of the National Association of Educators of Colored Youth, 
Treasurer of Douglas Hospital, Philadelphia, and Trustee of the New Jersey Industrial 
School at Bordentown, prior to its incorporation by the State Board of Education. 

At the General Conference of 1900, Dr. Johnson was a popular candidate for the 
Episcopal honors of his church, and would have been numbered among the chosen ones 
had it not been for the triumph of foul methods rather than fair, as his votes on the 
first and only ballot (other ballots being thwarted) being in evidence. 

As a man of liberal and progressive ideas and striking force of character, Dr. 
Johnson has already exerted an abiding influence in his race and generation. 


awful results of its deeply imbedded hoof-marks. The lack of mutual 
confidence and inter-race alienation were among the most cherished ten- 
drils to which the hot-bed of slavery gave birth for ages. That the sour 
grapes on which their ancestors fed should set on edge the incisors of 
their descendants is no less a deduction of common sense and history 
than the unavoidable finding of iron-clad logic. 

The far-reaching effect of the unwholesome environment and heredity 
mentioned, is seen in the business and professional struggles of the more 
resolute and enterprising members of the race on every hand. While 
these endeavors are in many instances healthy and promising in char- 
acter, the greater multitude are skeleton-like in shape and dwarfish in 
proportion, indicating to a pitiful degree the lack of blood to supply and 
brain to conduct the enterprise, it matters little whether it be of the pro- 
fessional or business type. The medical practitioner and undertaker are 
striking exceptions to the non-prosperous and unsuccessful class, al- 
though the good fortune of both is due chiefly to> giant causes which 
account for the business and professional dearth of the race in other 
directions. While the physicians and funeral directors of the dominant 
race will not refuse service to colored applicants who seek them, the fee 
they charge, together with the cruel usages of certain social institutions, 
almost invariably drift or drive the trade in question in the direction of 
the professionals mentioned. 

To trace the non-support of these classes to the conditions outlined 
exclusively will be to ignore other prime factors in the problem under 
consideration and render hopeless the remedies which may be applied 
toward an improvement of the case. However much in others or in 
conditions beyond his control lies the secret of the Negro's misfortune 
as a business or a professional venturer, the fact remains that he is 
himself responsible for much of the shortcomings which hamper his suc- 
cess and that in his hands resides the power to improve upon the dis- 
advantages cited. The success achieved by business enterprises and 
professions conducted by men of the race in various communities of the 
different sections, clearly demonstrates the capacity of those who operate 
and establish their merit of the support of their peoples beyond the ques- 
tion of a doubt. In Wilmington, Del., Boston and New Bedford, Mass., 
Albany and Brooklyn, N. Y., and other places too numerous to mention, 
these enterprises and professions derive support mainly from white pa- 
trons, which fact is sufficient to dissipate every suspicion as to the 


demerit or inferiority of the articles handled or the agents patronized. 
Why Negro dentists, lawyers and doctors in the professions, merchants, 
farmers, butchers, smiths, produce and real estate dealers in the business 
world can prosper and succeed without the aid or patronage of their 
people, as is demonstrated in numerous instances, is a potential query 
the answer to which suggests a reply to the topical question under dis- 

On the list of sundry answers helpful to a successful investigation 
of our inquiry the good offices of the race acknowledged leaders and 
opinion moulders occupy a leading place. By constant precept and con- 
tinuous example these leaders have it in their power to overcome the 
apathy of their followers or those within the range of their ministrations 
or influence as is true of no other agents. Chief among this class are the 
teachers and preachers of the race. In the contact of the former with 
children in the schoolroom and with their parents elsewhere the spirit 
of race-pride and race-patronage, if instilled and stimulated, cannot fail 
to produce the most gratifying outcome in the business endeavors of the 
race. Too much credit cannot be given the religious guides of the race 
for the interest and support inspired by them in this, as in all uplifting 
services toward their people, yet to the continuation of this devotion 
and the removal of their zeal must the eyes of the masses be directed until 
the royal harvest of a more prolific race-loyalty be seen and gathered 
on every hand. 

But on its face value, may not the inquiry be construed as an 
impeachment of the loyalty or confidence of the race toward its 
leaders? That the indictment is rather well-founded, " 'tis true, 'tis pity, 
and pity 'tis, 'tis true." However specious may be the reasons assigned 
for this lack of support, the real and underlying cause is the absence 
of integrity, intelligence and race-pride on the part of the people them- 
selves. The practice of constantly aiming to destroy the credit of those 
professional and business creditors who refuse to remain at the mercy 
of those who would serve only their own selfish aims, is a notorious fail- 
ing which, the sooner outgrown or uprooted, the better. 

In the attempt to solve the problem before us, the duty of business 
and professional men of the race toward their customers, clients, patients 
and the subjects with whom they severally deal, cannot be overlooked in 
the hope of success in our investigations. The duty which the former 
owe the latter can best be discharged by the application of ethical rather 


than ethnological standards, and this should be duly borne in mind, since 
it is the peculiar weakness of both sides to expect lenience and indulg- 
ence where probity and common sense require allowance for neither the 
one nor the other. If it be exacted that promptness and integrity char- 
acterize the actions of one let it be demanded that the same virtues be 
exercised by the other. If the race in other words would be induced to 
more liberally patronize its business and professional leaders, let the 
latter make it a point to furnish the articles and render the service and 
exercise the methods and manners which constitute the stock-in-trade of 
people who furnish standards in the commercial and professional worlds. 

It may be, however, that after exercising the prerogatives and apply- 
ing the principles defined, the results desired are not forthcoming. In 
that case it is possible that tact and faith combined with an enterprising 
genius may score the victory which surrenders itself only to the most 
patient and determined search. If the people are of mountainous pro- 
portions and are unyielding in their attitude of stolidity or unconcern- 
ment in the affairs of their business leaders, for the latter naught is left 
but to assume the role of Mohamet and go to the people. 

In various ways the suggestion can be followed, but in no more feas- 
ible and effective way than by an appeal to their selfish and individual 
interests. On the principle that a people's pocket can be reached before 
their pride, it is suggested that those who would more largely secure 
their trade and patronage, do so by holding out to them the inducements 
common to co-operative business enterprises. The business represented 
by huge department stores operated by such merchant princes as John 
^Yanamaker and Siegel & Cooper in their returns to their employees, and 
the offering of bargain inducements to their patrons in general, illus- 
trate to a large degree what can be done on a smaller scale by business 
men of the race, provided the experiment be deemed worth the trial. The 
True Eeformer's Organization is a purely Negro enterprise, representing 
interests running up into the millions, having as its mainspring of suc- 
cess the co-operative and profit yielding principle indicated. 

The foregoing illustrations, references and suggestions cannot fail, 
at least in part, to answer the grave and momentous question on whose 
right solution so much of the race's future welfare depends. 





By proper education of the patrons, and merit on the part of Negro 
business enterprises and professional men, is a summary answer to the 
above question. It will be well for our present purposes to investigate 
this answer in detail. The natural inference therefrom — an inference 
whose justness is easily demonstrable — is that the education of the Negro 
race, so far and in such manner as it has already proceeded, is defective, 
when it comes to the question of training Negroes to support their own 
business enterprises and professional men. The very text books, not 
to mention the living teachers, in every department of education, 
whether professional or otherwise, are written by authors and for stu- 
dents other than Negroes. For every public, and well nigh every 
private educational institution of the land, the trustees of education 
have prescribed books which, besides suppressing whatever praise- 
worthy associations the race has had with the history and literature 
of our common country, never call the words of a Negro wise; nor his 
deeds noble. It is neither a sufficient nor true answer to the question, 
to say that Negroes have contributed nothing of educational or civic 
value to the literature or history of this country. Manifestly, then, our 
young people come out of school without confidence in the ability of 
their race to do what members of other races can do. This, I take it, 
is the reason why we find educated Negroes, as a rule, bestowing their 
patronage upon business enterprises and professional men of other 
races rather than upon their own representatives in the same vocation. 
This lack of confidence and race pride, characteristic of the educated 
as well as of the uneducated Negro, is the most destructive heritage 
bequeathed by slavery days to any once enslaved race in the history of 
the world. Hence, as a race, we need a thorough revision of our system 
of education which shall encourage the production of Negro author- 
ship, on the one hand, and the confidence-and-pride-inspiring study of 
the worthfulness of the Negro's enviable record, on the other. 

The schools are, however, only one of the agencies of education in 
the broadest acceptation of that term. Equally potent with scholastic 


Prof. John Wesley Gilbert, A. B., A. M., was born at Hephzibah, Ga., July 6, 1864. 
Young Gilbert was left to the care of his widowed mother and his uncle John, for 
whom he had been named. He usually spent half the year on the farm and the other 
half in the public schools of the city of Augusta. After finishing the public grammar 
school course, he spent twelve months, all told, in the Atlanta Baptist College (then 

In January, 1884, Paine College opened in Augusta. He attended this institution 
eighteen months and graduated from it in June, 1886. In September of the same year 
he entered the Junior Class of Brown University, Providence, R. I. He graduated from 
this historic institution with honor in June, 1888. For excellence in Greek a scholarship 
in the American College, Athens, Greece, was conferred upon him at the end of his 
Senior year. In the spring of 1889, he married Miss Osceola Pleasant of Augusta. Ga. 
He attended the American College, Athens, Greece, during 1890-91. Under his super- 
vision the site of Ancient Eretria, now Nea Psara, en the island of Eubola, was 
excavated and in collaboration with Prof. John Pickard, the only extant map of this 
ancient city was made by him. All the places of classic note in Greece were visited 
and studied by him. His M. A. degree was conferred upon him by Brown University 
upon the presentation of his thesis, "The Demes of Attica." He also took one semester 
of lectures in the University of Berlin, in 1891. He is author of several archaeological 
productions and has contributed articles on this subject to the Xew York Independent 
and other journals of like standing. He is at present a member of the Philological 
Association of America, and membership, which he accepts, in the Archaeological Insti- 
tute, has also been tendered him. Ever since the fall of 1891, he has held the chair 
of Greek and German in Paine College, Augusta, Ga. Besides, he is a preacher of the 
order of Elder in the C. M. E. Church in America. As representative of that church, 
he was a delegate to the Ecumenical Conference, held in London, England, September, 
1901. During the session he preached and lectured for a number of the largest and 
most intelligent audiences in England. 


training, if not more so, is the cultivation of social sentiment in the 
community. Sentiment is higher than law, and the endeavor of all 
honest legislation should be to make laws expressive of the mandates 
of the highest and best sentiment. Any given community can almost 
always be trusted to act upon the impulse of sentiment, whether this 
comports with the law or not. Whether expressed or unexpressed, the 
social sentiment among Negroes — and it is seemingly often innate — is 
not favorable to the support of their own enterprises and professional 
men. Were it otherwise, we should now have prosperous wholesale 
and retail merchants, successful factories, large real estate agencies, 
considerable banks, solid insurance companies, better institutions of 
learning, well-paid lawyers, physicians, dentists, etc., and the reaction 
on the whole race would have been to change our status in the nation 
from that of mendicant denizens, as at present, to that of influential 
well-to-do citizens. This mutual helping of each other is expected of 
us, if we are to judge from the evidences given us from time to time 
by our white fellow citizens. For example, the white undertakers in 
Augusta, Georgia, have given up to the colored undertakers all their 
Negro patronage. The best white physicians do not seek Negro pa- 
tients. Although greed for "the almighty dollar'' keeps most white 
business men seeking Negro patronage, they do not, as a rule, try to 
prevent Negroes from patronizing Negroes except by striving to make 
it to their pecuniary advantage to patronize white men. In a word, it 
is natural, they allow, for birds of a feather to flock together. And 
this is true of the Jew, the German, the Irishman, of all except the 
Negro. As it is, the average Negro chooses rather to be discourteously 
and carelessly treated by a white professional or business man, often 
of inferior ability, than to be properly treated by a man of superior 
ability of his own race. Hence, to induce Negro patronage of Negro 
enterprises and professional men, there must be cultivation of the 
social sentiment of the Negro community by all possible means. 

From every view-point the pulpit is the strongest factor in the culti- 
vation of social sentiment. Some few preachers occasionally "talk on 
this line/' but unfortunately for the influence of their admonitions, they 
themselves purchase their groceries and drugs, employ their physician 
and undertaker from members of another race. "A house divided 
against itself cannot stand," like many another passage and teaching 
form the "Book of God and the god of books," might as applicably be 


preached to a large number of Negro preachers as to their congrega- 
tions. It is no "unholy compromise" of the gospel of saving grace to 
teach that the "Man of Galilee" came first unto his "own," and that to 
"follow after him" and his apostles in their doctrine of "first to the 
Jew," our religion should exemplify Christ by our acting on the 
principle, "first to the Negro." I would have this doctrine promulgated 
persistently, earnestly, constantly, from every Negro pulpit as the only 
hope of the Negro race, as such, and, therefore, of the perpetuity and 
progress of their churches. Nor should the publishing of the doctrine 
find place only in the congregations of the laity, but it should be pro- 
claimed in the clerical conferences, conventions, associations, synods, 
assemblies, etc., for I recognize it as a case of "Physician, heal thyself." 

This cultivation of sentiment in the purely religious bodies should 
be supplemented by similar efforts in the "thousand-and-one" societies 
of one sort and another among us. Let them incorporate it in their con- 
stitutions as a requirement for membership. It would not be amiss 
for our national race congresses and conventions to scatter broadcast 
and thickly over the whole land literature to this effect. Let that 
Negro individual or body be ostracized that does not subscribe to this 
doctrine, or fails to live in accord therewith. 

To summarize, this training in the school room, preaching in the 
pulpit, proclaiming in social and civic organizations, promulgation 
from the rostrum, and broadcast distribution of literature, all tending 
toward the same end, it seems to me, would properly educate the 
popular mind and be productive of that social sentiment without which 
Negro enterprises and professional men are doomed either to utter 
failure, or, at most, to the eking out of a miserable death-in-life ex- 

Now, as to those engaged in these enterprises and professions a few 
words may be befittingly said. In order to inspire the confidence and 
reasonably expect the patronage sought, there must be merit in the 
claims of the seeker. The business enterprise must present no appear- 
ance of hazard or mere adventure ; for the mere matter of sameness of 
race does not warrant one in taking risks as a partner or patron in 
"wild-cat schemes." No man should expect or receive patronage solely 
because he is black; for your patron, besides generally being poor, is 
also black, and might as justly look for favors of you upon that score 
as you of him. The business, let us say of buying and selling, must 



show reason for its existence and firmness in its project. Besides 
capital, a common sense application of the economic laws of supply 
and demand, the principle of "low prices, quick sales,'' the proper es- 
timates of the actual and prospective fluctuations of the market, these 
all must give evidences of your raison d'etre, your firmness of business, 
and your claim upon public patronage. It goes without saying that the 
quality of your goods or services must be second to none at the same 
price. In the professions Negro practitioners, if there is to be any dif- 
ference in point of ability between them and other professional men, 
must be exceedingly well prepared for their chosen fields. This is im- 
perative, because the presumption of the masses of Negroes, to say 
nothing of others, is that, on the average, the Negro professional man 
is not amply qualified for the pursuit of his profession. I would have 
Negro professional men spend much time in the study of their profes- 
sions both before and after entrance thereupon. I should like to know 
that the average Negro preacher, physician, lawyer, etc., is better 
equipped for his work than the average professional man, whether 
white or black, who is now receiving the patronage of Negroes. 

Finally, the business or professional man must be of the people and 
for the people, interested in their welfare of whatever sort, and promo- 
tive of the same as far as he is able. He must not be "seeking only 
what he may devour," but must give himself unreservedly to the people 
for their uplift in every good cause. I do not mean that there should 
be any "let-down" along moral lines, but I do mean to imply that a 
great many failures are due to the exclusive separation of not a few 
Negro professional men from the people unless when pecuniary gain 
is the sole purpose. 

These principles have made others successful. They are but natural 
laws deducible from the philosophy of history'. Therefore, if two and 
two make four, why should not an application of these laws induce, 
nay, compel Negroes to rally to the support of Negro enterprises and 
their own professional men? 




BY J. R. PORTER, D. D. S. 

In discussing questions of race building it is but just that we 
recognize the causes that have led up to the condition that may exist. 
If we are to suggest methods by which we may correct our weak points, 
we should first attempt to make plain what these are and then offer 
our remedy. 

We have enterprises innumerable, enterprises of all classes and 
kinds, dignified and undignified, humble and pretentious, scattered all 
over this broad land. But these do not take on the sturdy growth of 
permanency and prosperity that usually attaches to the affairs of 
others. On the contrary we are surprised if they exhibit undue vitality 
and outgrow their long clothes. 

Some of our businesses are lasting monuments to our commercial 
and professional ability, and stand out proudly against a background 
of restricted opportunities, while the unnumbered many fade into the 
shadow of the horizon and are lost to sight. 

The questions that come to us are: Why is it so, and how may it be 
remedied? Are the causes for these economic conditions of commercial 
origin or social? Are they extrinsic or intrinsic? Are they the results 
of the unbusinesslike methods of our merchants, or the lack of appre- 
ciation of our buyers? 

We glory that we are a full-fledged race. It is a splendid thing to 
glory over. But do we realize what we have missed in our sudden 
growth? Imagine a man, who has had no babyhood, no childhood, no 
youthhood; a man born into manhood, without the pleasures and ex- 
periences of boyhood; who has never fallen into a pond, battled with 
wasps, played truant, or done any of those innocent mischiefs that de- 
velop the boy both in body and in mind, and fit him for the strenuous 
duties of life. Imagine such a man and you have our race. 

A nation in a day, is our record. We were born into cities, govern- 
ments, laws, comforts, pleasures and schools. Aladdin's lamp has 
never accomplished anything so wonderful, and we rubbed our eyes 
and were amazed because everything had been prepared for us. This 


Dr. J. R. Porter was born and reared in Savannah, Ga., among very pleasant home 
influences. He is the son of the late Rev. James Porter, of that city, well remembered 
as educator and musician, as one who loved his fellow man, and was eager to serve 
his race in any capacity. The son has partaken of these better qualities, and is 
earnestly following the father's footsteps. 

J. R. Porter received his primary education in the West Broad Street Public School 
of his native city, and through assiduous application while a pupil of the public school, 
was enabled to enter Atlanta University on a two-year scholarship won in competitive 
examination. He graduated in 1886 with the degree of A. B., and after a year entered 
the Dental Department, of Walden University, at that time Central Tennessee College. 
He received the degree of D. D. S. in 1889, and the following year was Professor of 
Operative Dentistry in his Alma Mater. 

But this field was too narrow for his ambition. An active practice was more 
to his liking, and he wanted to get in touch with the people. With this in view he 
selected Birmingham as his field of labor. 

The Doctor soon built up an excellent practice, and became indispensable both 
in public and religious affairs. He was the founder of the Alabama Penny Savings 
Bank of Birmingham, Ala., and the first Secretary of its Board of Directors. What- 
ever is of public interest has always appealed to him, and has had his hearty alliance. 

But at that time Birmingham was a place of a few industries, and their inter- 
dependence was so marked, that to tie up one was to tie up all. In the strike of '92 
and '93, the Magic City slipped from under the influence of the magician's wand, and 
was like any other broken and beaten town. The strike had ruined it, and Dr. Porter, 
like others, sought a better country. He chose Atlanta, Ga. He came here in the spring 
of '93. By faithfully attending to business, he has built up an excellent dental practice, 
and has become one of our most popular leaders. He is genial, thoughtful and reliable, 
and all classes feel very kindly toward him, because of his deep interest in them and 
their affairs. He is very much concerned in the young men and their future, and is 
a prominent officer in the Y. M. C. A., established by the colored men of Atlanta. He 
is conservative and just on all public questions, and earnestly desires to give his best 
to his people, because he has great faith in the ultimate adjustment of the abnormal 
conditions that so fetter them. 


very munificence has hampered us. We have not had that develop- 
ment as individuals and as a people that would best fit us to grapple 
with each succeeding obstacle. Therefore we must patiently though 
painfully start from the beginning and travel over the same road, that 
each race has traveled, because individuals and races develop alike, 
and the same conditions that attach to the growth of one race, attach 
to that of all others. 

A nation in a day is a splendid record. But a nation that v came out 
of the wilderness, constructed its own cities, builded its own roads, 
made its own laws, established its own schools, devised its own com- 
forts and pleasures, and in the contest with nature and poverty, 
wrestled until it won a new name, that nation with its scars, its expe- 
riences, and its development has far more to be desired, and has far more 
resources upon which to draw in its after contests than the former. 

We entered the lists with these natural handicaps, and other con- 
ditions imposed upon us. We have made mistakes, and the wonder is 
that we have not made more, and that we have shown such splendid 
powers of adaptability. Shunted to the right and left, with our path 
continually obstructed, and our ambition jeered at, we have kept 
quietly and persistently on, until we can now show a very extensive 
catalogue of enterprises, that have grown and grown, until they are 
sufficiently important to call forth discussions of this character. 

We have no definite figures of the exact amount invested in our 
business ventures. Though it is small when compared with the vast 
amounts invested by others, yet it is enormous when compared with our 
actual resources. The Negro merchant and professional man, have 
ceased to be novelties, and in many sections are making serious impres- 
sions on the business of both citv and country. 

We may still regard our enterprises as pioneer. We can even see 
the visible signs of our endeavors to learn a business while conducting 
it. Yet it is quite gratifying to notice an improvement. Our ventures 
are taking on more and more the general character of business, and 
losing the less desirable ones of race peculiarities. 

What are the causes of so many failures among our enterprises, es- 
pecially those that gave promise of great success? This question like 
the historic ghost will not down, but walks at unseemly hours, both by 
day and by night, calling for an adjustment of our commercial and 
economic sins, that it may go to its rest. 


Our men do not have that thorough grasp of business principles, 
that comes with years of experience. One cause for our mistakes is 
that we do not have the opportunity of apprenticeship. The white 
youth enters an establishment, and step by step learns a business before 
he starts in it for himself. He thereby places a large factor of success 
to his credit. 

The Negro goes into business without that intimate knowledge that 
is so essential, and stumbles into success or into failure. But this con- 
dition is gradually changing. We have been in active life long enough 
to have somewhat of an apprentice class of our own. Here and there 
we find men, who have, through this system gained a knowledge that 
gives them a decided advantage. It is through these means that we 
hope to improve the personnel of our merchant class, the character of 
our enterprises, and increase our patronage because of the excellency 
of the service. 

One great need of our enterprises is the freedom of location. Ex- 
perience and capital are both seriously hampered by want of proper 
place to house business. I have seen a prosperous merchant move 
across a street and fail. I have seen a splendid business carried around 
a corner and utterly destroyed. 

If this is so with those who have choice of places, how much more 
must it be so with us who must take what we can get, and what wonder 
is it that we utterly fail, or that we imbibe the squalor and shiftlessness 
of the miserable places we must occupy. All life is subject to the same 
general physiological influences. Man and plant alike flourish in the 
sunshine, and fade and weaken in the damp and dark. Our business 
languishes as much from environment as from any other cause. Trade 
is a sensitive thing and increases or decreases according to fixed laws, 
and there must be more than goods to attract active patronage. Grant 
us this freedom of location and our road to success through business 
ventures would be much shortened. 

I do not lay our failures to external causes alone. There are other 
and as grave ones within. Certain economic exactions must be com- 
plied with before success is ever assured. Some do not choose the pur- 
suits for which they are best fitted, but strike out boldly and confi- 
dently, forgetful that adaptability is always an essential factor in suc- 
cess. Some are unable to carry out their plans from lack of capital. 
This has also kept many from getting the business training that is so 


necessary, and we therefore have less merchants and more store- 
keepers. We must know that business is progressive and demands an 
ideal. The whole system of Southern commercial life has been revolu- 
tionized, but the revolution is the product of a great evolution. 

Under these conditions, have our business and professional men 
done their best to attract and hold the patronage of our people, or have 
they been content to drift along and catch whatever may come their 
way? Have they realized that they have obligations as well as those to 
whom they would sell? They have not done all of their duty, nor have 
they been as progressive as they might have been. Yet when we think 
of the severe handicaps they have had, we feel that they have done 
remarkably well. Life is a continual comparison, to-day with yester- 
day, this year with last. In the comparison we see better merchants, 
better stores, and higher business ideals among us. These appeal to 
us very sensibly, and we give more and more liberally of our patronage. 

We are apt to forget the terrible handicaps that faced us as a 
people not so long ago, and the commercial ones that face our business 
men of to-day. We grow impatient with their mistakes and twit them 
because they are unable to display as large and as valuable a stock as 
some one else, or because of their shabby establishments. We are too 
exacting. We are not as generously inclined towards our enterprises 
as we should be, and it is only when we put ourselves in places that 
require patronage, that we can understand why so many fail. The 
power to discriminate between the useful and useless is born of ex- 
perience and is of slow growth. The struggle between the right and 
wrong, the necessary and unnecessary is the heritage that came to us 
with our sudden birth of racehood. All fields of endeavor are new to 
us, and even when there are no restrictions, our adjustment must be 

For us to rally to our enterprises simply because they are ours, 
would bring temporary but not permanent success. The latter can 
only come by normal means. Abnormal conditions are not lasting. 
They may hold for a time and even prosper, yet they must ultimately 
fail, and then affairs will follow their natural tendency, and seek the 
normal. The restrictions that press us so, must in time yield to this 
law, and all efforts to rally to our enterprises from pride, and not from 
reason, must follow the same fate. There are a hundred cents in a 


dollar but no sentiment. Lessen its purchasing value and you lessen 
the desire to purchase. 

We may rally to enterprises simply because Negroes are the pro- 
jectors, but we soon begin to cast about for reasons for our patronage, 
and if we find none to outweigh self-interest we soon drop off. But if 
we find good reason for our support, we soon lose the idea of race pride, 
in the greater idea that our merchant is a splendid business man. 

The best agents for securing active support for our enterprises are 
the attractions that these enterprises hold within themselves. Our in- 
telligent and thrifty merchants, with their well appointed stores, and 
enlarged stock are to settle this problem of patronage, because they 
have within their keeping, the means to develop the normal conditions 
of trade and to build up a demand for their wares. 


Mrs. Warren Logan, whose maiden name was Adella Hunt, was born in a Georgia 
village after the close of the Civil War. When asked for this sketch, she said: "There 
is little to tell, as my busy life has been without romantic event. I was not born a 
slave, nor in a log cabin. To tell the truth, I got my education by no greater hardship 
than hard work, which I regard as exceedingly healthful." 

It is known that she has an inheritance of blood, tradition and history of which 
any American woman might be proud. 

Her early education was of a private nature. In 1881 she was graduated from 
Atlanta University as a bright member of one of its brightest classes. 

Two years of teaching in an American Missionary School in a South Georgia town, 
where she was also a city missionary, prepared her for more advanced work, which 
opened to her at Tuskegee, Ala. 

In 1883 Miss Hunt joined Mr. Washington, Olivia Davidson, Warren Logan and the 
handful of teachers who were the originators of the now famous Industrial School. 

From the first she fitted into the activities and spirit of the school and became Miss 
Davidson's right hand helper. She succeeded to the position of Lady Principal when 
Miss Davidson became Mrs. Booker T. Washington. In this position Miss Hunt em- 
phasized the academic side of the school and also urged the physical development of 
the girls. Her own line of teaching was the normal training of student teachers. Her 
services were constantly in demand for Peabody and other teachers' institutes in 
Georgia and Alabama. 

In 1888 Miss Hunt was married to Warren Logan, treasurer of the Tuskegee Normal 
and Industrial Institute. Since that time she has ordered her household, written a 
little, read much, completed the Chautauqua Course, and kept abreast with the times. 
While she has given her best thought to her husband and children, she has kept in 
touch with the school and has lent a hand to the Woman's Club. 




In these days of specialists among physicians and of specialists 
among students of social science it seems rather presumptuous for a 
teacher to attempt any formal discussion of causes and remedies for 
the high death rate among Negroes in the cities of the South. A few 
suggestions, however, may serve to draw more attention to this vital 

The sections of the cities inhabited by Negroes are generally the 
most unsanitary. The house in which the average Negro family lives 
is poorly built and too small. Frequently old houses are set aside ass 
too far gone for any except Negro tenants. In many instances these 
dilapidated houses contain germs of disease which it is practically im- 
possible for the young and the feeble to withstand. The food, fuel, 
clothing and general comforts of a family thus housed are insufficient. 
Food plays too large a part in the havoc made by death among Negroes. 
In many instances, there is great intemperance in both eating and 
drinking. With another large class there is actual scarcity of food and 
that, too, often of poor quality. Add to this, irregularity of meals and 
poor cooking and one can not wonder at the low state of health nor 
even at the excessive mortality. 

One of the most serious phases of ignorance is criminal carelessness 
in regard to nutrition. Cooking is that part of household work which 
almost every woman undertakes and very few understand, and herein lies 
the foundation of disease. 

The long death-roll among Negroes contains an excessive number of 
infants. Careful investigation shows that this slaughter of innocents 
is due in large measure to improper feeding. Some mothers must be 
away from their babies earning bread and shelter. Others leave their 
little ones for less worthy and less honorable purposes. Others neglect 
their offspring because they have a fancied or cultivated dislike of chil- 



dren. It is a sad day for a people when happy motherhood declines. 
Man has devised successful substitutes for natural food for babies, but 
these should be used only when the best good of all concerned can be 
subserved thereby. Nature's ways are wisest and best, and parents 
must try to walk in those ways if they would have their children have 
life and have it abundantly. 

Far be it from us here to attempt a technical discussion of tubercu- 
losis, but in plain simple language, let us cite a few facts in regard to 
lung diseases among Negroes. 

The oft repeated statement that the Negro slave did not have con- 
sumption, cannot be verified, for lack of authentic records on the sub- 
ject. The Negro free, however, is dying of consumption and kindred 
diseases in appallingly large numbers. 

Many theories in regard to consumption have been exploded, but it 
is acknowledged by all, to be an infectious disease. As such, ignorant 
people do not understand how to escape it; indeed, until anti-spitting 
laws are more universal and more rigidly enforced, every one may be 
exposed to these deadly germs. They respect neither race lines nor in- 
tellectual grades. The Negro, however, seems to be peculiarly suscepti- 
ble to this class of ailments. I. Because of comparatively small lung 
capacity. 2. Because of general low nutrition. 3. Because of lack of 
bath rooms and their proper use. 4. Immorality. 5. General indiffer- 
ence to the incipient stages of the disease. Colds and coughs are passed 
by as matters of course with little or nothing done to prevent or cure 

The physical life and death of man has a much more intimate con- 
nection with his moral life than is at first thought apparent. Too many 
children are robbed by Sin of a child's first right, viz. : the right to be 
well born. If parents have lived lives of shame and thereby weakened 
their bodies, the effects of this will be a sad legacy of weakness in the 
persons of their children. Men and women given to social impurity will 
hardly escape the notice of those about them. Their characters are imi- 
tated and shame and weakness, physical as well as moral, multiplied. 
"Sin conceived and brought forth Death." 

Among people of low intellectual development and low moral 
standards, family love is below normal. With this defective class, 
there is much indifference to the life and death of their dependent rela- 
tives. The young and the aged are shamefully neglected. It is sufli- 


dent to be bereaved— better, the relieved, to say : "The Lord's Will be 
done." Remedies for these sad and unfortunate conditions are much 
more easily suggested than applied. 

Better environment, greater comfort in the homes, come only as a 
return for money. Money will come as a return for labor. Money will 
come to those who earnestly desire it, because they will work for it. 
They will do whatsoever their hands find to do, accepting the pay such 
labor brings, but fitting and aspiring for something better. There is 
usually plenty of work for all honest, industrious Negroes in Southern 

Even money may not cause the old shanty to give place to a good 
house nor raise the standard of general comfort very materially, ex- 
cept as the demands of the family are enlarged as a result of education. 
No one factor will have such weight in the decrease of suffering and 
the reduction of the high death rate as enlightenment of mind. 

The system of education in vogue in Southern cities will work 
slowly because up to the beginning of the twentieth century, school 
attendance has not been made compulsory. There are no truant schools, 
no reform schools. Idleness tends to vice. Idleness and vice are in no 
way conducive to health and longevity. 

Many Negroes do not want education for themselves nor for their 
children. These people swell the death lists in Southern cities' health 
offices to such distressingly large numbers. They are often cared for and 
buried by funds from the city treasury. Would it not pay to try compul- 
sory education? To try teaching them to help themselves, to save them- 

To say that the home life of the masses must be improved is but 
another way of saying they must be educated. 

Among the most potent forces in the uplift of a people are the 
school, the press, the courts and the church. 

Under a system of compulsory education, the Negro would much 
sooner learn to observe the laws of health and thus to extend his life. 

When newspapers in Southern cities are fairer in their attitude 
toward the black citizen, he will become a better citizen. It will in- 
crease his respect for others and greatly increase his self respect. He 
will then make more effort to live and to live well, because his life will 
seem more worth living. 

Every state included under the "Land of the free and the home of 


the brave" should strive to make its criminal laws reformative rather 
than revengeful. A very considerable number of Southern Negroes 
come to their life's end in the prisons, which in no Southern state are 
all that prisons should be. From a health standpoint, most of them are 
all that prisons should not be. 

It pays the municipality better to educate and reform its citizens 
than to convict and execute them. 

A cultivated, spiritual ministry will emphasize the best teaching of 
the schools. 

An active church will sustain a fair press; will uphold law and 
order; w T ill supplement the work of the good doctor and in various ways 
try to reduce the number of funerals among the Negro population in 
Southern cities. 




One who has never been taught to appreciate what health is ami to 
understand hygienic laws can not become a safe guardian of his or her 
physical being. For when this being is attacked, as is constantly the 
case, by its millions of enemies, if all of its portholes have not been 
properly guarded it easily falls prey to disease and death. 

As a race the Negro has had neither the time nor the opportunity 
to inform himself on the principles of health saving or in those of 
health getting — if there be such. Both prior to and since his emancipa- 
tion his time, except nominally, has been the property of others from 
whom he has barely eked out an existence, and, from a humanitarian 
standpoint, has had but little interest in caring for his health. 

During the years of his enslavement, his mortality, in proportion to 
his numbers and his environments, was no less than it has been since 
he became a free man — and the bald statement that his death-rate dur- 
ing the past thirty-eight years has greatly increased, may not be 
founded on facts. Fair play in discussing this phase of the subject de- 
mands careful and patient inquiry into the past history of a people 



Out of the Southland — that awful crucible of prejudice and proscription, — like steel 
tempered by fire, and hardened for the practical uses of mankind, has come numerous 
valiant spirits, whose advent was so timely as to have seemed divinely inspired. Price 
and Cain, Elliott and Bruce, Cailloux, and others, who have joined the silent majority, 
did noble work and lived to see the race's redemption, but it has been left for newer 
and younger men to complete the structure on the foundation that was furnished by 
the "Old Guard." The modern age of politics and business in the sunny South — the home 
of nine-tenths of the Negroes — offers no brighter luminary than the Hon. Henry A. 
Rucker of Georgia. Young as years go, but mature in all the attributes that command 
success and popular esteem, the life of Henry A. Rucker is a priceless text-book for 
the aspiring Afro-American youth. Guided upward by nothing save the lofty counsel 
of a good mother and the inherent qualities of a true gentleman, he has scaled the 
heights, and for himself, has solved the problem of "how the fittest" may survive, and 
is giving to the whole race the key by which he wrought out so clear a solution. No 
legerdemain has worked his upward flight. The ingredients that he has utilized are 
simple, even if rare, and are within the reach of the least favored of human beings — 
honesty of purpose, fidelity to every trust and adherence to the golden rule. He has 
always been able to secure what was justly his without encroaching upon the sacred 
rights or legitimate possessions of another. .Harboring no malice in his own bosom 
he has softened the wrath of his neighbor and demonstrated how clever diplomacy and 
a manly appeal to the finer instincts of a possible enemy yields richer returns than 
all the force and invective that a century could bring to bear. If the battle is to be 
fought out on lines of mental competition and personal worth rather than by balls and 
bayonets, Mr. Rucker has grasped the situation and the best evidence of the wisdom of 
his policy of inter-racial cooperation is the results he has individually achieved, and 
the commendation freely offered by the white and colored people who greet him day 
by day in the routine of duty. Atlanta owes much to the indefatigable energy and 
inexhaustible public spirit of Henry A. Rucker. He has been active in promoting all of 
her interests and that his services have been valuable is cheerfully admitted in the 
Board of Trade and industrial circles. He was conspicuous in advancing the prospects 
of the famous exposition of 1895, and is now striving to round out the work of securing 
a commodious federal building for the enterprising Georgian capital. He bore the 
brunt of the fight against the "Hardwick bill" and was potent in defeating both that 
infamous measure and the "Payne resolution." He has been repeatedly elected a dele- 
gate to the national conventions of the Republican party. 

Since July 26, 1897, Mr. Rucker has been collector of internal revenue 
for the District of Georgia with headquarters in his own city, Atlanta. The receipts 
for the last fiscal year were more than double those of preceding years and exceeded in 
the same proportion the revenues gathered in any single year since the organization of 
the state. This marvelous showing is due partially to Mr. Rucker's prompt, thorough and 
painstaking plan of operation and of course in large measure to the national prosperity, 
growing out of President McKinley's shrewd financial policies. Brilliant as has been 
the past of this progressive Afro-American, the future holds out the promise of grander 
achievements. The race honors Mr. Rucker and holds him close to its heart, because 
he has proven himself a leader that can be trusted. When he commands "close ranks, 
steady, march," the Georgia populace goes forward in one conquering phalanx, deter- 
mined, aggressive and undaunted, remembering that enduring power comes not by "fits 
and starts," but by clinching with mailed hand the rewards that have been won. 


concerning whom little or no minute data of a national character was 
kept. However, this question may not properly enter into the subject, 
the contention being that the mortality among the race is excessive, 
which, if true, may be accounted for in part in the existence of certain 
acknowledged conditions. 

Wherever the Negro has been cared for either by himself or by 
others he has enjoyed the same immunity from disease and death that 
those of other races have. And whenever neglected or abused, whether 
the failure or fault rests with himself or others, impaired health, decay 
of mind and body and death have ensued. 

Compared with the masses but few Negroes at any time within the 
history of the life of the race in this country, have been properly 
guarded against exposure — the few who in ante bellum days were 
selected as house servants and to fill other kindred places, were meas- 
urably protected. And now the same classes and that of the more 
fortunate or business classes have limited protection from more than 
ordinary exposure. 

The masses have always done the drudgery. And that too without 
knowledge or reference to health keeping. A common practice of em- 
ployed Negroes is to go or be sent on short quick errands, leaving warm 
and, in this respect, comfortable places of employment without hat or 
wrap to breast chilling winds or atmospheric conditions many degrees 
removed from their places of services. In this practice is the exposure 
from sudden changes of temperature without preparation. The dray- 
man, the cartman, the man in the ditch and others whose employment 
is in the open air are exposed not alone by the character of the work in 
which they are engaged but also by reason of the fact that six days of 
the week, those in which they labor, of necessity, their clothing is poor 
and shabby and their persons are ill kept. While the seventh day finds 
them as a rule well clad and well shod. Then their homes — no, their 
houses, partly because of circumstances beyond their control and partly 
on account of their improvident natures, are little more than shelters 
or huts. 

These houses are built in what is known or accepted as Negro tenant 
districts, and those acquainted with the localities need no evidence to 
convince them that they are not sought as either health or pleasure 
resorts. They are the city alley ways and the low malarial districts 
where the noxious gases and foul vapors rise from emptying sewers. 


More than two hundred years' application has made the Negroes 
agriculturists; they have been accustomed to labor and to plenty of 
nature's fresh, invigorating air; they have, because of conditions not 
proper to treat here, drifted from the farms and fields into the crowded 
cities, thence into the slums, to be infected with disease. 

They have been thrust into prisons where they were provided with 
the poorest of covering and meanest food for their bodies; where scurvy 
and other loathsome diseases have made their impress upon them and 
where incentive to cleanliness is as distant as the North and South 
poles. Freed from prison life they have gone forth mingling with a 
class of people infecting them with their scales and spreading disease 
and death. 

Then again the race is without proper places to care for its un- 
fortunate, aged and infirm; without orphanages, reformatories and 
homes for its friendless. Institutions which are potent factors in the 
efforts of a people to prevent neglect and cure criminal tendencies. 

All of these conditions are breeders of ills and conductors of death 
which must be and happily are being abated. 

The remedy suggested is a knowledge coupled with an appreciation 
of health. Both to embrace the science of health, preserving and of 
health gptting; better homes and better habits, even to being "temper- 
ate in all things." 

Acquired, accepted and practiced the mortality of the race will be 
materially lessened. 




In the study of the causes and remedy for the great mortality among 
the colored people of Southern cities I shall not waste time and words 
in an attempt to prove, by much statistical evidence, that which is al- 
ready too well known to us as an admitted fact, viz. : a mortality of 
colored people in cities of the South, very largely in excess of that of 
the white people of the same communities. 


Dr. John R. Francis, physician and surgeon, was born in Georgetown. D. C, in 1856. 
He attended the private and public schools of Washington, D. C, until his sixteenth 
year. His academic education was received at Wesleyan Academy. Wilbraham, Mass. 
He began the study of medicine under the tutorage of Dr. C. C. Cox. at that time dean 
of the Board of Health, and one of the foremost men in the profession of medicine in 
the District of Columbia. 

His professional course was taken at the University of Michigan, from which he 
graduated with high honor in the class of 1878. Settling in the home of his boyhood, 
where he was well and favorably known, and where his parents before him were 
honored and respected, it is no wonder that he succeeded and stands as the leading 
Colored physician of Washington. D. C. 

Dr. Francis was appointed in 1894 by the Secretary of the Interior to the position 
of first assistant surgeon of the Freedman's Hospital, with a salary of $1.S00. He 
instituted several needed reforms in the treatment of patients. He installed the present 
training school for nurses, and, indeed, was so active in his reformation of affairs in 
the institution that those who know the facts admit that Dr. Francis, more than any 
other man, is responsible for the opening of the new era of the Freedman's Hospital, 
which led to its present flourishing condition. He is now, and has been for several 
years past, the obstetrician to the hospital. 

He is the sole owner and manager of a private sanitarium on Pennsylvania Avenue. 
Washington. D. C. This institution has proven to be a panacea to the best element of 
Colored citizens. 

It is a noteworthy fact that Dr. and Mrs. Francis have both served as members of 
the Board of Education of the District of Columbia. 


I am fully justified, in the face of our present enlightenment, in enter- 
ing, at once, into the discussion as to its causes. 

If it be true that the animal organism is intended by nature to pass 
through a cycle, and that natural death is not a disease, but a com- 
pletion of the process of life, it follows that the organism, with ex- 
ceptions, as to any particular class of people born in health, is con- 
structed to pass through this cycle and is not of itself, — that is to say, 
by its own organism, — capable of giving origin to any of the phenomena 
to which we apply the term disease. We must, therefore, seek for 
origins of the phenomena in causes lying outside the body, and affect- 
ing it in such manner as to either render the natural actions and pro- 
cesses irregular, or to excite actions and processes that are altogether 

Writing out in correct lists all the groups of phenomena that make 
up the term disease, we will find that they invariably come from with- 
out. From my point of view all the groups of diseases are in truth 
accidents; exposure to some influence or influences that pervert func- 
tion or create new motion. I must first refer to the cause to which at 
various times has been ascribed the responsibility for this excessive 
mortality, viz. : that innate vital weakness exists in the colored popula- 
tion of this country as a result of amalgamation. On this theory the 
black race when mixed with the Caucasian is the only one which pro- 
duces with the latter a progeny of weakened innate vitality. I have 
never seen this statement supported by any trustworthy knowledge or 
information. On the other hand it has always been accompanied by 
the most absurd arguments which invariably tend to expose the mind 
of the writer as being prejudiced to the intermingling and the inter- 
marriage between the two races. It is among the possibilities that 
physiological peculiarities account for dispositions to disease belonging 
to tvpical classes of the human family. No one has as yet been able to 
determine what these peculiarities are. Whether they are primitively 
impressed on a race, or are acquired is a question that can be answered 
only when the exact relationships of diseases to race are discovered. 
My own view is, that acquired and transmitted qualities and specific 
existing social peculiarities are sufficient agencies for the production of 
all the known variations of vitality belonging to peculiar races. 

I am now thoroughly convinced that the causes of this great mor- 
tality of the colored people of the cities of the South are poverty, pre- 


judice, and ignorance. For obvious reasons I will submit them in the 
following arrangement: 


a. Contagious Diseases (close contact). — Diphtheria, scarlet fever, 

small-pox, tuberculosis, syphilis, etc. 

b. Unsanitary Nuisances (11,705 abated in the District of Columbia 

for year ending June 30, 1900). — Filthy alleys, cellars, bad drain- 
age, garbage, filthy gutters, hog pens, filthy houses, filthy lots, 
stagnant water, filthy privies, leaky roofs, sewers, filthy yards, 
filthy streets, wells, etc. 

c. Unsanitary Homes. — Only those houses that are refused or 

abandoned by the white people are offered to the colored people 
for dwellings. 

d. Impure Food. — The large quantity annually condemned in the 

District of Columbia, is an indication of that to which the poor 
is subjected. 

e. Impure Air. — Bad design and construction (small rooms) and un- 

healthy location. 

f. Impure Water. — Unhealthy sources, cheap, shallow and un- 

healthy wells, etc. 

g. Infantile Mortality. — Unusually large from poverty alone. 


a. Idleness and Crime. — Late hours, broken rest, depraved associa- 

tion, tobacco, alcohol, syphilis, other diseases, etc. 

b. A Destitute Laboring Class. — Prejudiced employers, poor pay, 

excess of work, deficient rest, worry combined with physical 
exhaustion, unsanitary rooms, etc. 

c. Defective Homes. — Small rooms, poor ventilation, either no w r ater 

supply, or a very bad one, neglect of sanitary measures by both 
landlord and agent, all the nuisances enumerated above, etc 


a. Diseases from bad hygiene (public, home, and personal). 

b. Induced diseases from physical strain. 

c. Diseases from combination of physical and mental strain. 

d. Disease from the influence of the passions. 


e. Disease from sloth and idleness. 

f. Disease from late hours and broken rest. 

g. Disease from food. 
h. Disease from water, 
i. Disease from alcohol, 
j. Disease from tobacco. 

k. Disease from errors of dress. 

1. Children of parents diseased or weakened from various causes. 
The space allowed for this article will not permit the discussion of 
all the causes mentioned above. There are, however, a few that are 
worthy of our special consideration. For the purpose of condensation, 
I will attempt the elucidation of the importance of such causes as de- 
mand our most serious attention by incorporating them in the follow- 
ing discussion of the most important part of this article: "How is this 
great mortality to be lessened?" 

In my opinion the remedy for this alarming condition exists in edu- 
cation and money. In other words our remedy is the same as that of 
other races. The only difference is that the barriers we must surmount 
are so very peculiar and so very much greater than that of other 
peoples we must do our best to, at once, recognize the fact and begin 
the work. I believe the goal is ours and if we will only struggle man- 
fully and hopefully onward we will soon reach it. With 


as the remedy, the colored people must be taught that the first step 
towards the reduction of disease is to begin at the beginning, to pro- 
vide for the health of the unborn. The error, commonly entertained, 
that, marriageable men and women have nothing to consider except 
money, station, or social relationships demands correction. 

The offspring of marriage, the most precious of all fortunes, deserves 
surely as much forethought as is bestowed upon the offspring of the 
lower animals. 

It is well that we teach, in the school room and from the pulpit, about 
the condition that exists in the parental line, maternal and paternal. 
The necessity for such instruction is somewhat indicated, in the effect 
upon the prenatal state, of such conditions as scrofula or struma, of 
various forms of tuberculosis and syphilis, of epilepsy, of rheumatism, 
and of insanity. These are only a few. We have to contend even with 


hereditary proclivity to some forms of the acute communicable dis- 
eases, such as diphtheria and scarlet fever and also to immunity from 
the same. 

We must furnish, by all available means and through every possible 
channel of information, persistent and systematic instruction in public, 
home and personal hygiene. We should utilize especially the power of 
the pulpit and influence the public school authorities to institute, in the 
colored schools throughout the South, special instruction on these sub- 
jects. The importance of such instruction is evident in the agitation 
which is now occurring among the educators in the schools of the 
Eastern states. If it is needed there then the need of it in the colored 
schools of the South must be urgent indeed. 

We must give such education as will tend to a better general knowl- 
edge, especially of the two diseases which, I believe, more than any, 
should be the most dreaded as being the most prolific of injury to man- 
kind and especially to the colored people on account of their ignorance 
of the communicability of disease combined with their poverty. I refer 
to the contagious maladies tuberculosis and the one called "specific" or 
syphilis, the moral as well as the physical blot on all civilized life. The 
former is well known nowadays to be one, if not the worst contagion to 
which the human family is subjected. In its various forms it is respon- 
sible, probably, for more deaths among the colored people than any one 
disease with a definite phenomenon. As less is known about the latter 
disease, syphilis, I must mention it a little more forcibly, however un- 
pleasant and brief the utterance. The poison of the malady once 
engrafted into the living body, and producing its effect there, leaves, 
according to my professional experience, and observation, organic evils 
which are never completely removed. Various forms of disease of the 
skin; some forms of consumption; some phases of struma or scrofula; 
many forms of cachectic feebleness and impaired physical build — what 
are denominated delicate states of constitution — these and other types 
of disease are so directly or indirectly connected with the "specific" taint, 
it becomes impossible to be too careful in tracing it out, or in measuring 
the degree to which it extends in the field of morbid phenomenon, in our 
efforts to improve the vitality of the colored people and to enlighten them 
upon this class of diseases. 

The widespread encouragement of thrift, industry and efforts among 
the colored people to gain a livelihood or, to put it more boldly, to get 


money and keep it, thereby obtaining the means with which to supply 
themselves with the necessaries of life, and possibly, with some of its 
comforts, will materially wipe out a large percentage of that class of 
diseases and death that proceed from such causes as worry, excess of 
work, physical and mental strain, late hours, broken rest, etc. 

Washington, D. C, is considered a very clean city. It is, therefore, 
significant that the 11,705 nuisances, referred to in the foregoing, are an 
indication as to the great risk, from this source throughout the South. 
It is obvious at once that the colored people, who form the bulk of the 
poor class, are the principal victims to that which escapes official in- 

Notwithstanding the fact that the colored population of the District 
of Columbia is less than one-third of that of the whites, in the year 1899- 
1900, there died in the homes located in the back alleys of the city 411 
colored persons and eleven white persons, indicating to what extent these 
umsanitary homes are occupied by the colored people. 

Space will not permit the further elucidation of the foregoing causes 
and remedies, which I have done nothing more than to touch upon. How- 
ever, I cannot close without giving further emphasis to my views by offer- 
ing in evidence the conditions, as to vitality, of the Jews. The facts are 
that this race, from some cause or causes, presents an endurance against 
disease that does not belong to any other portion of the civilized com- 
munities amongst which its members dwell. We do not have far to go to 
find many causes for this high vitality. The causes are simply summed 
up in the term "soberness of life." The Jew drinks less than the 
Christian ; he takes, as a rule, better food ; he marries earlier ; he rears 
the children he has brought into the world with greater personal care; 
he tends the aged more thoughtfully; he takes better care of the poor; 
he takes better care of himself; he does not boast of to-morrow, but 
he provides for it; and he holds tenaciously to all he gets. It may be 
true that he carries these virtues too far, but I do most earnestly plead 
that if the colored people will only emulate the Jew, they, like the Jew, 
will win, like him they will become strong, and like him in scorning 
boisterous mirth and passion, will become comparatively happy and 





The American Negro finds himself, at the beginning of the twentieth 
century, seriously embarrassed by the many false and damaging accusa- 
tions that have been made against him, not least of which is the charge 
of physical inferiority. The charge has been wholesale that the Negro 
differs from the white man physically, and that he is ethnically and 
strongly predisposed to certain fatal and contagious diseases. This 
stigma of disease has been placed upon him and repeatedly emphasized, 
but despite the fact that the effort has been made for years, by men 
learned in anthropology to find and prove the inherent inferiority of the 
Negro, based upon anatomical, physiological and biostatic peculiarity, 
to-day the bare statistical fact of his high mortality alone supports the 
calumnious fabrication. It is true that according to official statistics 
the Negro's death rate in this country is relatively high, but the causes of 
disparity are extrinsic and remedial and he was not stamped thus ab 
initio, but by the fiat of the Creative-will. 

The Negro, identified as he is with the great human family, is subject 
to the same deteriorating influences that affect his fellow-man. Hence 
impure air and water, polluted soil from defective sewerage, adulterated 
food-stuffs, and the unhealthful conditions imposed during the school- 
going period of life — which are questions of public hygiene and general 
concern — contribute, in no small degree, to his mortality. But aside 
from these influences, common to all people, he is subject to others pecu- 
liar to himself, on account of the environments that govern him. The 
proverbial unreliability of statistics justifies the assumption that the 
Negro's death-rate is not as great as it is said to be. The occupations 
of the Negro tend to keep him in the back-ground and to encourage a 
neglect on the part of the census enumerator to record accurately all of 
the Negroes in a certain locality. But the Negro dies faster than the 
white man, and it is not my purpose to deny it, but to recite a few of 
the real causes of the disparity in the cities of the South, and to show 
how that mortality is to be lessened. 


James Randall Wilder was born at Columbia, S. C, and is the son of Charles M. 
Wilder, who was postmaster at Columbia, for many years. His mother was Maria 
Coleman, also a native of the Palmetto State. 

Dr. Wilder is a man of spotless character, and enjoys a striking appearance, a 
magnetic personality, and a brilliant and versatile mind. His early training was 
received in the public schools of his native city. He spent a season in the classical 
department of Howard University, and from there he went to Howard Medical Col- 
lege, from which he graduated in the year 1888. Availing himself of the unrivalled 
opportunities afforded by the Freedmen's Hospital, he rapidly acquired both theoretical 
and practical knowledge, so that when he stepped into the world he possessed a prep- 
aration seldom equaled by the young practitioner. He has also the degree of Phar. 
D. from Howard. 

He located in Washington, the capital of the nation, where today he enjoys a 
large and lucrative practice. His modest, sympathetic nature makes him an ideal 
man for the sick room. His ability has won prefessional recognition not only for him- 
self but for others. He was for many years physician to the National Home for Des- 
titute Colored Women and Children, and is today the examining surgeon for a number 
of benevolent and charitable organizations. He has been prominently connected with 
many of the business ventures of the colored people in the District of Columbia for the 
past ten years, and is ranked as a broad-minded, solid, public-spirited citizen — a grand 
object lesson for what is best and most progressive in the community. He has in- 
vested his earnings judiciously, so that today he has a competency seldom attained 
by a man of his years. The success gained, the making the most of himself, renders 
him the best advocate of truth, and a potent factor in the growth and development of 
the race. This plain, honest, earnest young man is a type of the generation since 
citizenship came — a splendid example of worth since the selfhood of the race has been 
partially recognized, and the members have been permitted to add their quota to the 
sum of human advancement and achievement. The hour calls* for fact, not fancy — 
for flesh-and-blood examples of what has been done by the young manhood of the 
country. The interest here and now is due to the fact that he has had somewhat to 
say on a subject of vital moment, and has said it vigorously and eloquently. Here he 
is the champion of truth, performing a service in a dignified, scholarly manner, and so 
winning the praise and gratitude of all lovers of truth. His article must call a halt 
to those inconsiderate ones who persistently repeat what through haste and insuf- 
ficient data has been given to the world as fact — as logical inference from scientific 

Dr. Wilder has collected a large library of professional and literary works, and has 
never ceased to be a hard student. His home shows the taste of the scholar and wide- 
awake practitioner. He married Miss Sallie C. Pearson of Columbia, S. C, and to 
them have been born two children — Charles McDuffie and Susan Maceo. 

Dr. Wilder belongs to that class of quiet, earnest souls who pursue the "even 
tenor of their way" and are doing most to establish truth, to refute error, content to 
let the "deeds, though mute, speak loud the doer." 


(1) American slavery, with its unparalleled cruelty and bestiality 
has injured the Negro, intellectually, physically and morally. It has 
been claimed that the admixture of the Negro with the Caucasian has 
given us a resulting mulatto, weaker physically than either of the parent 
stock, but this statement is based upon hypothesis, and is not borne out 
by the facts in the case. It is true, however, that a resulting lowering 
of vitality has followed the admixture of "kindred blood/' which was 
almost unavoidable during the days of slavery as the result of certain 
well-known procreative practices that obtained on the part of the master, 
and on account of the itineracy of the Negro incident to his chattelism. 
In "those dark days" it was hard enough for the Negro to recognize his 
near kin on his maternal side, and it was infinitely impossible for him 
to trace the "family tree" from the paternal side. The evil effects of this 
consequent admixture of "similar" blood cannot be denied, and must bear 
a modicum of responsibility for the excessive mortality of the Negro of 

(2) The fact that the great majority of the Negro women in the 
cities of the South are compelled to work steadily even while they are 
enceinte, doubtless often interferes with the normal development of the 
internal organs of their offspring, causing a lack of vitality which is not 
apparent to the casual observer, but which must make them an easy vic- 
tim to disease. 

(3) The same social and economic conditions that keep the ex- 
pectant mother busy with her daily labors, also abbreviate her "lying-in- 
period," which not only weakens her physically, but deprives her newly- 
born offspring of its natural food — thus consigning it to an infant's 
grave, or so debilitating it that it succumbs to the first disease with which 
it becomes affected. It is bad enough to be bottle-fed, physiologists tell 
us, but it is infinitely worse to be hand-fed. The majority of the Negroes 
in the Southland are hand-fed from birth with food decidedly improper 
both as to quality and quantity, thus making defective the very sub- 
structure of their being. Is it any wonder that such a people die faster 
than another people, who nurse their young or have it done, or who give 
them pure cow's milk modified scientifically, or other artificial infant 
food prepared skilfully amid the best sanitary environments? 

(4) The early motherhood of the Negro has its evil effects. The 
proper age for a woman to become a mother is at twenty-five years and 
usually before that time development is not complete, and the whole 


organism is in a transition state. It is equally true that the use of any 
organ before it has attained its complete growth or development is dam- 
aging to that organ and interferes with its normal function, and "we 
cannot but believe that children developed in immature sexual organs 
must be deficient in true vital force and energy. It is often noticeable 
that a child apparently strong and vigorous, may have but little power 
to resist disease, or may even be strongly predisposed to some infirmity." 
The colored women in the section under discussion who become mothers, 
are usually inultiporae long before the twenty-fifth year. 

(5) The element of overwork must come in for its increment of 
responsibility in the excessive mortality of the Negro. While deficiency 
in exercise favors a lack of nutrition conducive to wasting in size, on the 
other hand too much work favors hypertrophy of vital organs and tissue 
degeneration. The average healthy man should work about eight hours 
per day and "should do work to the equivalent of 150 foot-tons daily." 
The American Negro's working hours, as a rule, are regulated, if at all, 
by the exigencies of the work to be performed, as it appears to an exact- 
ing employer. 

(6) The kind of work performed by the Negroes in the Southern 
cities includes all menial occupations, which conduce to accident and 
exposure. The death-rate among the laboring class of any community, 
irrespective and independent of its nationality, is necessarily greater 
than that of the well-to-do leisure class. 

(7) The manner of living of the majority of the colored people in 
the cities of the South — which is sometimes the progeny of ignorance, 
but oftener the result of necessity — is responsible, in a large measure, 
for their high mortality. They are crowded together on back streets, in 
lanes and ill-smelling bottoms, near ponds of stagnant water, on the 
banks of rivers — wherever their scanty means consign them. The igno- 
rant among them, like the ignorant among any other people, ignore the 
teachings of hygiene, because they are ignorant, and not because they are 
black. They do not know the value of fresh air and sunlight and cleanli- 
ness, and hence are ignorant of the fatality attached to the unholy trinity 
— darkness, dampness and dirt, which is responsible for the tuberculosis 
that is charged to their "inherent tendencies." The pittance that is paid 
to the Negro in the name of wages forces him to crowd together in narrow 
and ill-ventilated sleeping apartments, which is decidedly unhealthful 
and favors the spread of contagious diseases. Thus smallpox spreads 


rapidly in a Negro settlement, not because they are Negroes, but because 
their manner of living brings them into the most intimate contact with 
one another, so that whatever disease attacks one, rapidly spreads to all 
of the others who are not immune. 

The lack of suitable clothing and proper food, as a result of poverty, 
weakens the Negro physically. The neglect of the bath through lack of 
time, is responsible for much of the heart, kidney and skin diseases so 
prevalent among the laboring classes of the colored people. It takes time 
to keep clean, and the laborer has no leisure. Ignorance of the serious- 
ness of certain diseases like syphilis, scrofula and rheumatism, has 
played an important role in the drama of his mortality. 

(8) Another fruitful cause of his excessive mortality arises out of 
his struggle for existence. The exigencies of life are such with him that 
he does not heed the admonitions of nature made manifest in the early 
symptoms of disease, so that unwittingly he becomes habituated to dis- 
comfort and pain. When the common Negro laborer lays aside his imple- 
ments of labor on account of sickness, the disease with which he is 
affected is well founded and passed beyond the abortive and often the 
curative stage, and very frequently when medical advice is obtained, it is 
of the dispensary or "physician to the poor" type, which too often savors 
of unconcern, inexperience and incompetency. 

(9) The prevalent habit among the colored people of taking pat- 
ented cure-all nostrums, which contain narcotics that insidiously benumb 
the sensibilities and mask the symptoms of disease, would naturally con- 
tribute to the mortality of any people. 

(10) Not the least fruitful of all of the causes of the Negro's exces- 
sive mortality, is a lack of resistance to disease, engendered by the social 
conditions that obtain in the Southland. There he is so oppressed and 
persecuted that he finds himself not only an easy prey to disease, but an 
early victim to death. He has little to live for, and his religion promises 
him much after death, which, in a sense, he welcomes as a relief from 
his trials and troubles. This statement will not appear exaggerated 
when one considers the powerful influence that the mind has over the 
body. A cheerful, hopeful,' contented mind, predisposes to a healthy 
body, and conversely, a discontented and despairful mind, interferes 
with the vital functions and invites disease and death. 

(11) Lastly, in a consideration of the relatively high mortality of 
the Negro in the cities of the South, considerable weight must be given 


to the contracted death-rate of the whites due to their superior social 
and financial condition. Their environments are, as a rule, as healthful 
as education can suggest and as money can obtain, and when disease 
overtakes them, they combat it not only with the skill of science, but with 
the power of will. The incentives of life, so lacking for the colored 
people, are theirs in all of their plenitude. The earth is theirs and the 
fullness thereof, and there is no power therein that they may not covet. 
This feeling, this knowledge, becomes a vis-a-mente that proves a poten- 
tial factor in their struggle with disease. Despite this powerful influence 
however, and because of it, the morbidity of the white man in this country 
is great. I venture the assertion that his morbidity far exceeds that of 
the Negro — not because he is more prone to disease, but because he is 
enabled to live longer with disease on account of the influences to which 
allusion has already been made. The plain fact is, the Negro dies sooner 
and the white man lives longer with disease, which presents the unique 
question : Is it not more advantageous to the public good to die of a dis- 
ease and be buried safely and deeply beneath the soil than to live with 
it and thus increase the opportunities of disseminating it? 

(12) The remedies for the excessive mortality of the Negro in the 
cities of the South are self-evident. He is a man and identical with other 
men structurally, so that whatever is health-giving and life-lengthening 
for other civilized peoples, is health-giving and life-lengthening for him. 
To be specific, his greatest need is an increase of knowledge along the 
line of hygiene, and a studious application of that knowledge. He must 
not only be taught to run the race of life intelligently, but he must not 
be hindered in the process of his running. He must know the life to lead, 
and then lead it. In this he must have the liberal co-operation of his 
employer, and his brother-in-white generally. He must be paid in accord- 
ance with the labor that he performs and must be allowed an equitable 
participation in the every-day affairs of life. Actuated by the hopes and 
aspirations that actuate other men, and given a man's chance in the 
struggle of life, his industry and genius will soon improve his condition 
and bring him material prosperity, upon which depends, in a measure, 
the development of moral, intellectual and physical growth. Leisure 
and opportunity, comfort and freedom from sordid cares and anxieties 
regarding the immediate necessities of life, must be secured, if a race is 
to find time for study and thought, and to develop its best moral and 
physical life. May not the Negro justly find some consolation in his 

R. F. BOYD, M. D., D. D. S. 

Dr. R. F. Boyd has clearly demonstrated by energy, pluck, ability and upright 
dealing with his fellowman, the possibility of rising from poverty's hard estate to 
honor's golden prize. Dr. R. F. Boyd was born and partly reared on a farm in Giles 
County, Tennessee, where he learned to hoe, to plow, to reap and to mow. "When quite 
a boy he worked for the famous surgeon, Dr. Paul F. Eve, in Nashville, and attended 
as best he could night school in the old Fisk buildings on Knowles street. He taught 
his first school at College Grove, Tennessee. The Doctor would teach a school and at 
its close re-enter Fisk University or Central Tennessee College. In 1882 he graduated 
from Meharry Medical College, with the degree of M. D. He went to Mississippi and 
taught a high school at New Albany and practiced his profession till the fall of 1882, 
when he re-entered the Central Tennessee College to complete his college course, receiv- 
ing at the same time an adjunct Professorship in Chemistry at Meharry and made 
teacher of Physiology and Hygiene in Central Tennessee by which he was able to pay 
his college expenses. In 1883 he was made Professor of Physiology in Meharry, which 
position, together with a position in the Literary Department, he held till he graduated 
from the College Department of Central Tennessee College, in 1886. In 1887 he gradu- 
ated from the Dental Department of Meharry, receiving the degree of D. D. S., teaching 
in the school at the same time. In June, 1887, he opened his office in Nashville, where 
so many had tried and failed. In 1888 Dr. Boyd was made Professor of Anatomy and 
Physiology in Meharry; in 1890 he attended the Post-graduate School of Medicine at 
Chicago, from which he received a diploma. In 1890 he was made Professor of Hygiene, 
Physiology and Clinical Medicine, which position he held until 1893, when he was made 
Professor of the Diseases of Women and Clinical Medicine, which chair he still holds. 
In 1892 he took a specal course in the Post-graduate Medical School and Hospital of 
Chicago, on the diseases of women and children, among whom the greater portion of his 
practice is. One of the greatest needs of the colored people in the South is well regu- 
lated hospitals, where trained nurses can handle and care for the sick under skilled 
physicians. Until Mercy Hospital was instituted, there was no place of this kind in 
the South. It was Dr. R. F. Boyd who established and instituted this the largest and 
most complete hospital owned and controlled by colored people. There surgeons of our 
race do all kinds of operations and trained and graduate nurses of the race care for 
the sick under their management. 

It is in this institution where the graduates of Meharry in the Medical and Nurse- 
Training Departments get their practical work. It is the great center to which 
colored physicians of the South may send cases to be operated upon by skilled physicians 
and handled by trained nurses. The death rate of this institution has been less than 
three per cent from all causes. 

Besides this work, Dr. Boyd has taken a great interest in secret societies. As 
an Immaculate, he has gained a National reputation and has filled nearly all of the 
offices in the Supreme Lodge. As a Pythian he has served the Grand Lodge as Grand 
Medical Register, and has been honored by the Supreme Lodge as Supreme Medical 
Register, and is Surgeon General of the Military or Uniform Rank of that Order. The 
Ancient United Sons and Daughters of Africa is a creation of his own brain and he 
is at present Supreme Secretary of that Order. As a business man he ranks among the 
foremost of the race. He owns some of the best realty of the city, among which is 
the Boyd Building, 417-419-421-423 Cedar Street. This building has four business fronts, 
a hotel and restaurant, offices of various kinds and four large society halls, in which 
about forty societies meet. The Mercy Hospital was purchased by him solely, at a cash 
value of $6,000. Besides this he is the owner of other valuable property of Nashville and 


excessive mortality of to-day? May he not believe that "death is the 
philosophy of life?" May he not feel that his race is being strengthened 
by the dying of the weak, just as a tree is strengthened by losing its 
unsound branches? If so, then the future Negro in this country will be 
the fittest of "the survival of the fittest," and will represent the grandest 
type of physical manhood that the world has ever known. 




This is a question of vital importance to us as a race and to the nation 
as well. Much thought has been given to it by the best thinkers of both 
races and many articles have been written by friend and foes. All kinds 
of solutions have been proposed and yet the great death-rate goes on. In 
the larger cities of the South our people die from two to three times as 
fast as the whites. 

The number of premature deaths is on the increase; the infant death- 
rate is appalling; and consumption, a hitherto unknown disease among 
our people, is credited with one-fourth the victims of all ages. 

All the powers of science and art are being taxed to the utmost to 
afford a complete solution to this problem. Every large city in the South 
is being awakened to the sense of the importance of this subject. And 
well they may; for the ignorance, the vice, the poverty, the habitation 
and the food that cause this alarming death-rate effect the whole com- 

A proper knowledge and observance of the laws of health will give 
happiness to all. 

Man is as subject to the organic laws as the inanimate bodies about 
him are to mechanical and chemical laws, and we as little escape the con- 
sequences of the neglect or violation of these natural laws, which affect 
the organic life, through the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water 
we drink, the clothes we wear, and the circumstances surrounding our 
habitation, as the stone projected from the hand, or the shot from the 
mouth of the cannon can escape the bounds of gravitation. 


What we need is the gospel of the physical health to be preached from 
every pulpit, and in every school room and in every home. All strong 
motives of religion and the eternal world are taught from the pulpit and 
the Sunday school to euforce certain duties that are no more important 
to the well-being of man than the laws of health, which are so widely 
disregarded. These laws are God's laws as truly as any inscribed by Him 
on the Table of Stones. 

The boards of health of our cities prescribe rules and regulations to 
insure the peace and happiness of the individual and the longevity of life 
which must apply to all in order that they might live out the expected 
term of life. What is the natural term of life? Physiologists have fixed 
it at a hundred years. Florens at five times the time required to per- 
fectly develop the skeleton. David says: "The days of man's life are 
three score years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be four 
score years, yet indeed is his strength labor and sorrow." 

Under modern hygienic rules and regulations the days of man have 
been increased in civilized countries. Carefully prepared statistics show 
that while the maximum age has not increased in many centuries, the 
number of persons who survive infancy and reap a ripe old age is greatly 

According to the Secretary of the Chamber of Commerce of New 
York City, civilization largely interferes with the laws of evolution, by 
survivorship and by encouraging the waste which arises from it. We 
know that a human being soundly constituted continues in good health 
until he reaps a ripe old age, provided certain conditions are observed 
and no injurious accident befall him. 

We might learn a lesson from the early Jews, or the ancient Greeks 
or Romans, if we had at our command statistics of their mortality. 
Doubtless they had a small death-rate ! For they were strong and vigor- 
ous and observed the laws of hygiene. When these laws are properly 
observed, they decrease mortality and bring about greater health, com- 
fort and happiness to the individual and to the country at large. Those 
who would preserve health in themselves and in the community in which 
they live, who would reap the greatest benefits of earth, and live out the 
appointed time, must strictly conform to these essentials : 

1. A constant supply of pure air. 

2. Cleanliness of person and surroundings. 

3. Sufficient nourishing food properly prepared and properly taken. 


4. Sufficient exercise of the various organs of the body. 

5. The proper amount of rest and sleep. 

6. Eight temperature. 

7. Proper clothing. 

8. Sufficient, cheerful, innocent enjoyment. 

9. Exemption from harassing cares. 

Conform strictly to these rules and all avoidable disease will be anni- 
hilated. On the other hand, where hygienic and sanitary science is not 
enforced, filth, decay and putrifying matter is sure to accumulate. In 
this we have suitable material for the propagation of disease germs, 
which cause all communicable and contagious diseases. These minute 
organisms exist in the atmosphere everywhere, and multiply by their 
own peculiar method of procreation; such as filth, heat and moisture. 

A population under the influence of vice, poverty, filth, debauchery, 
foul air, poorly prepared food and crowded dwellings, or in low, damp 
localities, with no rule regulating their eating or sleeping, clothing or 
exercise, is sure to have a great degree of mortality. 

With our thorough knowledge of how to prevent epidemics, most 
of the diseases that enter the body through the respiratory, digestive, 
cutaneous, circulatory, nervous, and genito-urinary systems should be 
less frequent. Taking the facts which I have here given into account one 
may see that not only do health and longevity depend upon laws which 
we can understand and successfully operate, but man has it in his power 
to modify to a great extent the circumstances in which he lives, with a 
view to the promotion of his well-being and preservation. 

We know that the draining of a marsh pond banishes malaria; a 
change from the city to the country reinvigorates, and that those who 
live in the high, well drained portions of our cities have the smallest 
degree of mortality and that the greater comforts possessed by the 
affluent secure for them longer life than the poor who are not so favored. 
To diminish the mortality in the Southern cities will depend upon both 
the individual and social efforts as well as upon the public measures of 
the legally constituted authorities. 

The dirty neglected portions of our city where refuse and rubbish, 
animal and vegetable matters are deposited and allowed to rest and send 
up their poisonous odors from house to house, must be looked after. The 
dwellings of our people must be improved. The old, dilapidated stables, 
in the narrow, filthy alleys; the low, damp basements and dark cellars, 


often below the ground, with an insufficiency of both light and air; the 
clusters of homes built in the bottom and low places, closely pent up, back 
to back so as to prevent ventilation with only one entrance to each, and 
a privy between; the over-crowded conditions of these uninhabitable 
quarters and the quality of the food taken by those who live in these dis- 
graceful dwellings must be looked after. 

Habits of living must be corrected and a crusade against ignorance 
and vice begun by society. I don't think I would miss it very far 
when I say that one-third of the colored people in our cities live in just 
such dwellings as I have described here ; while most of the white popu- 
lation live in well-built houses in the healthy portions of the cities. Is 
there any surprise that there should be so great a disproportion in the 
mortality of the races? Compare the statistics of all the large cities and 
you will find that under similar conditions, this same proportion in 
mortality exists in the Northern and foreign cities, where the food and 
dwelling of the poor have the same difference. But this same difference 
exists nowhere in the world as it does in the South. It is almost impos- 
sible for a colored man to rent a respectable house anywhere in the cities; 
but the dark, low, damp, confined, ill-ventilated cellars and alley houses 
are rented for as much as comfortable quarters ought to bring. I don't 
wonder that the mortality of the Negro is so great ; but I do wonder that 
it is not greater. Any other race of people would have been exterminated 
in twenty years. 

The remedy for the high death-rate is the enactment and enforcement 
of laws against allowing the people to sleep in basements, cellars, old 
stables, alley houses, in low malarial sections of the cities, and making 
the penalty against the landlords so great, that they will not rent such 
places for dwellings. Regulate the kind of tenement houses and the 
number of persons who shall sleep in one room, the kind of food and 
rules for its preparation ; break up these late church meetings in poorly 
ventilated houses, and the problem will be solved. 

The infant mortality will be reduced one-half when our people learn 
that the care of a good conscientious physician is necessary, from genera- 
tion to development, and through the entire stage of adolescence ; not so 
much to cure, as to prevent disease. Our whole system of medicine is 
now turning upon prevention rather than cure. When the public is 
educated up to the point of paying physicians to prevent as well as cure 
diseases, then, there will be less sickness and fewer epidemics. 


Then sanitary science, under the strict observance of hygiene, will 
reach perfection; the rude, gross habits of living will be corrected; a 
system of perfect drainage and ventilation will be inaugurated; pure 
air and fresh water supply will be furnished to every public and private 
house; only pure, unadulterated foods will be on the markets; every 
hotel, private and boarding-house will furnish properly prepared diets, 
and universal cleanliness will be the law. 

Last, but by no means least, I call your attention to another most 
potent remedy for the diminishing of the great mortality of the race in 
the South. Besides the city hospitals, the whites have many other hos- 
pitals and infirmaries, supported by church and benevolent organizations 
where those that pay are at the hospitals because they can receive the 
constant attention of a physician and nurse. We need and should have 
such hospitals. The benevolently disposed people, the churches and 
societies of the cities could establish and well support them. In them, 
there would be pay wards and charitable wards. Each church and soci- 
ety supporting the hospitals could send their indigent sick to the charity 
wards and those who can pay, to the private apartments. 

These hospitals would afford a much needed opportunity for young 
women of the race to prepare for trained nurses and afford better facili- 
ties for the physicians to practice surgery and study remedies. 

We have established in the city of Nashville, the Mercy Hospital 
under the care and management of the Board of Trustees, composed of 
some of the best citizens and heads of our great universities. Among the 
directors are, Hon. J. C. Napier, President; W. T. Hightower, Treas- 
urer; Dr. G. W. Hubbard, Dean of Meherry Medical College; Dr. P. B. 
Guernsey, President of Roger Williams University; Prof. H. H. Wright, 
Pisk University, and Dr. R. H. Boyd, President of the National Baptist 
Publishing Board. 

The hospital is located at 811 S. Sherry street, Nashville, Tenn., in 
one of the most quiet, beautiful and healthful localities of the city. The 
site is high and well drained; the building large and commodious and 
up-to-date in all its apartments. There are two large wards; one for 
male and one for female, and private rooms, to which good, pay patients 
are assigned where they will come in contact with no one but their physi- 
cian and the nurse. 

In this hospital great care is given to surgical work of all kinds and 
especially to abdominal surgery and gynecology. Colored physicians all 


over the South may send or bring their surgical cases here and get every 
advantage that can be provided by the best first-class hospitals and in- 
firmaries all over the country. We have the best graduate-trained nurses 
in constant attendance and the resident physicians are men of the race 
who have made marvelous progress for two decades in all branches of 
their work. 

Since the establishment of the hospital we have had a record of which 
few similar institutions can boast. During the first year we have had 
more than 140 surgical cases, including abdominal section and other 
major operations and yet the death-rate was less than 3 per cent from all 

Our operating room is well appointed, with an abundance of sunlight 
by day and gas light at night. Many of the physicians of the South have 
sent us cases for which we are verv grateful. We have had cases from 
Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas, Kentucky, Missouri, Florida and 
Georgia, Until the other cities of the South are able to afford the facili- 
ties and accommodations and the skill and experience of the Mercy Hos- 
pital we feel that it is the duty and should be the great pleasure of every 
colored physician to send his surgical cases to this hospital. I consider 
this one of the great factors to solve this vexed problem. 

The causes of the great mortality among the Negroes of the large cities 
of the South are due to ignorance; vice; debauchery; poor food, illy 
prepared; unsanitary environments; their habitation in the over- 
crowded tenement houses; in old stables; damp cellars; and low, damp 
sections and in narrow, filthy alleys, where the foul air, improper nour- 
ishment, poor ventilation and the want of personal cleanliness, furnish 
the proper condition for the development of disease and death. Correct 
these conditions and educate the people up to a thorough knowledge of 
and a strict compliance of the laws of health and the problem is solved. 
The death-rate among our people will not only be lessened, but I believe 
the ^egro will outlive any other people on earth. 


Dr. Butler was born in Cumberland county, North Carolina, April 11, 1862. His 
early life was spent on the farm, during which time he received at odd times three 
months' free school instruction. 

In 1874 his parents moved to Wilmington; there he worked in saw mills, lumber 
yards, with the cotton compresses and as a stevedore. He spent his nights studying 
under Prof. E. E. Green, now Dr. E. E. Green of Macon. Ga. January 3, through the 
assistance of his instructor, he entered Lincoln University, Pa., and was graduated June 
18, 1887, receiving the degree of A. B. ; October, the same year, he matriculated in 
Meharry Medical College. Nashville. Tenn.. graduating with the degree of M. D. February 
:i7. 1890. The same year the degree of A. M. was conferred on him by Lincoln University. 
While at Nashville he won the H. T. Noel gold medal for proficiency in operative sur- 
gery and dissecting. He arrived in Atlanta March, 1890, and began the practice of 
medicine. He was one of the organizers of the first drug store owned and operated by 
colored men in Georgia. It was known as Butler, Slater & Co. He was organizer and 
first president of the Empire State Medical Association of colored physicians. He was 
appointed surgeon of the Second Georgia Battalion, colored volunteers, in 1891, with 
rank of first lieutenant, by the Honorable. W. J. Northern, then governor. 

May 5, 1893, he married Miss Salina May Sloan of Atlanta, a graduate of Spellman 
Seminary, who has been a most faithful, loving and helpful companion. He took a 
special course in the diseases of children in 1894 at the Harvard School of Medicine, 
Boston. Mass. In 1895. in the same school he took a special course in surgery. November 
1, 1900. H. K. Butler, Jr.. came, adding new blessings and happiness to his home and life. 
Dr. Butler is the first, and so far the only colored man to be a regular contributor to the 
great Southern daily. The Atlanta Constitution. He has held that position since 1835. 
He was three years president of the Y. M. C. A. of colored men. He was four years 
physician and surgeon in charge at Spellman Seminary, and is now holding a similar 
position in Morris Brown College, and is organizing a nurse training department to that 
institution. He owns some valuable real-estate, besides a beautiful home on Auburn 
avenue. He has a large and lucrative practice. He is Grand Master of Masons of the 
Jurisdiction Georgia, is grand Medical Register of the Knights of Pythias. His life is 
t.-uly full, every moment of his time is taken. 





The causes of excessive mortality among the colored people in 
Southern cities are said to be many and have been discussed from just 
as many points of view by students of the social status of this people. 

But after several years of professional service among these colored 
people, which service gave me an opportunity to more closely study 
them, their faults, habits, needs, methods of living and their knowledge 
of hygiene and its laws, I have calmly reached the conclusion that the 
want of money is the main cause of the excessive mortality of this peo- 
ple. It is true that there are several minor causes, but all have their 
origin in the one mentioned. 

Among the most prominent of these minor causes may be men- 
tioned Ignorance and Poverty. Let us briefly consider the first of 

The colored people have made wonderful progress in the acquire- 
ment of knowledge since emancipation, and this improvement has 
played no small part in reducing their excessive death-rate. Yet from 
this height we look down and see the great masses of these people still 
held in the death-like grip of ignorance. To these, education has taken 
no knowledge of clean homes, pure air, ventilation, soap and water and 
other things conducive to good health. These are they who to-day are 
falling so rapidly before the great reaper, death. 

It is a truth known to the profession, health departments and stu- 
dents of this subject that most of the deaths of the great human family 
occur between birth, and the ages of five years. The children of the 
colored race are not an exception to the above statement. 

If the children of the intelligent, good, better and best die fast, it 
stands to reason that those of the ignorant, bad and poor would die 
even faster, and this is just what I have found to be the case. 

Ofttimes, among the lowly masses, ignorance is the first to take 
charge of the babies at birth ; it sticks a slice of fat meat in their inno- 


cent little mouths immediately after birth; it rocks the cradle; it fills 
their little stomachs with all kinds of decoctions, of teas and whiskies 
to bring out the "hives;" yea, ignorance feeds these little ones on all 
kinds of solid foods before they are able to digest them, until it finally 
feeds the grave with the bodies of its little victims. 

Even when manhood and womanhood are reached, ignorance, ghost- 
like, stands forbidding the ventilation and cleaning of homes; it says: 
"It's too cold to bathe;" it sends men and women to bed in wet and 
damp clothes and does many other acts that multiply the graves in 
the old church-yard on the hill. 

We come now to consider poverty. Oh, what an enemy it is, and 
has been, to the human family! It makes its home mostly among the 
ignorant, and especially among the masses. In the cities of the South 
the great masses are colored people. Hence it is among these that 
poverty sits enthroned — a sceptered king ruling amid disease and 
death. It retards the masses of the race in their march to the city of 
improvement; it prevents them from having larger and cleaner and 
better homes; with its bony fingers it points them to the cheap renting 
huts in alleys, dens, dives and basements of cities, and commands them 
to enter and die; it follows them into the market places and fills their 
baskets with cheap adulterated and semi-decayed food-stuffs; aided by 
prejudice and man's inhumanity to man, it drives the colored people 
from the healthy country districts into the crowded, sickly settlements 
of the Southern cities, where they soon sicken and die. 

Poverty, supplemented by ignorance, and the want of the true 
Christian spirit, stands in the doorways of the public hospitals, in- 
firmaries and libraries where aids to health are to be found and forbids 
these people to enter either on account of their color or the "want of 
space." Poverty keeps these people from building such institutions for 

Again, the colored people of Southern cities constitute the great 
labor force, hence most of the diseases that result from exposure are 
more prevalent among them than they are among the white race. 

Those diseases that result from improper foods, poor sanitation, 
want of pure air, need of better homes and want of public parks and 
baths, together with those untimely deaths due to the want of proper 
medical attention, good nursing and surgical operations at the right 
time are more extensive among the colored masses because they are 


the ones that suffer the privations mentioned to a greater extent than 
any other people. 

Along with the observations already mentioned on this subject, 
and which observations have led me to reach the conclusion that "the 
want of money" is at the base of this excessive mortality, is this encour- 
aging fact — that the colored people are not dying now as fast as they 
were even a decade ago. The reason of this is not far to seek. The 
truth of the matter is, these people are growing in wealth and intelli- 
gence and in proportion as they have acquired these essential quali- 
ties their mortality has decreased. 

I have observed in my practice that those who live in good, clean, 
well ventilated homes have no more sickness and deaths than white 
citizens of equal intelligence and wealth. I now call to mind here in 
Atlanta twenty homes of colored citizens which are fitted and furnished 
with all modern conveniences, including heating and baths. The own- 
ers are well-educated and spend much time and money in keeping their 
homes and yards clean and in good sanitary condition. What I wish 
to say is this, in twelve years' time only two deaths have occurred in 
that circle of twenty homes, and one of these was a baby whose death 
was due to an accident, and the other was an aged person whose death 
was the result of Bright's disease. Does not this speak volumes to 
prove the truth of my position? What I have observed here in Atlanta 
relative to the real causes and prevention of this excessive mortality is 
true in other Southern cities. 

It is no doubt plain to the reader that I have not mentioned here a 
single cause upon which this excessive mortality rests, but that which 
money can remove. That being true, what is the conclusion of the 
whole matter? It is simply this: 

1st. Pay the masses sufficient wages to remove their ignorance and 
poverty, to build better homes and to furnish and equip them with 
baths and other things necessary and conducive to good health, to pur- 
chase proper food-stuffs, fuel and comfortable clothing. 

2d. The cities should enlarge their present hospital facilities, or 
build others especially for these people, cities and towns that have no 
such facilities should provide them at once, parks, public baths and 
libraries should be opened by the cities for the poor. 

It is simply a matter of money, before that mighty king, ignorance 
and poverty, together with all their allies, take flight. 




In presenting this subject to the public, I shall endeavor to treat it 
from a broad and liberal standpoint, eliminating all selfishness or indi- 
vidual political bias, and viewing the situation from the standpoint of an 
American citizen. 

The first prerequisite to good government in a republic, is purity in 
the ballot. No stream can be pure unless its source is pure; neither 
can a republic hope for just and fair laws and the administration and 
execution of them, unless there is purity and fairness in the sources from 
whence these cardinal principles of government spring. Laws should 
be enacted for the whole people and not for individuals, races or sections 
— thereby securing the support and retaining the confidence of all the 
parts of our heterogeneous compact, to the end that a homogeneous whole 
may move in the same direction for the good of all concerned. 

The Negroes ask for — and as a part of this republic — have a right to 
demand the perpetuation of these basic principles of our government. 
While we are young in citizenship, and admit having made many political 
mistakes, yet we are willing that the search-light of reason be thrown 
upon our acts, and a fair and impartial verdict rendered as to our con- 
duct, when all the circumstances surrounding our variegated political 
history are taken into consideration. Liberated, enfranchised and turned 
loose among our former masters, who could not take kindly to our new 
citizenship, we naturally sought friendship and political alliance with 
those claiming to be our best friends — those who had been instrumental 
in obtaining our freedom. These new friends came largely from the 
Federal army, interspersed with many adventurers who followed in the 
wake of that army, seeking strange fields in which to ply their vocations. 
Many of these new-comers proved to be true friends to the Negro of the 
South and led us on and taught us as a faithful guardian would teach 
and care for his wards. But the great majority of them were wholly 
unscrupulous and worked upon the ignorance, inexperience and gulli- 
bility of the Negro, overtime, to place themselves into positions where 



Mr. White was born in a log cabin, located at the confluence of "Richland Branch" 
and "Slap Swamp"' in Bladen County, North Carolina, near the line of Columbus County, 
remote from cities and towns. His maternal grandmother was half-Indian and his 
paternal grandmother was Irish, full-blood. His other admixture is facetiously described 
as "mostly Negro." His early boyhood was a struggle for bread and a very little butter, 
his schooling being necessarily neglected. He usually attended two or three months in 
the year. Later, by dint of toil, and saving a few dollars, he was able to secure 
training under Prof. D. P. Allen, President of the Whitten Normal School at Lumberton, 
N. C, and afterwards entered Howard University at Washington, graduating from the 
eclectic department in 1877. Believing that he could best serve his race and himself 
as an advocate of justice, he read law while taking the academic course, completing 
his reading under Judge William J. Clarke, of North Carolina, and was licensed to 
practice in all courts of that State by the Supreme Court in 1879. 

Although Mr. White has won marked success in several walks of life, as lawyer, 
teacher and business man, it is his political achievements that have won for him not 
only a national reputation, but have evoked no small degree of comment from the press 
and diplomats of many of the countries of the old worl.1. It is worthy of remark that 
up to this time, at the age of forty-nine, he has never held an appointive office, his 
commissions coming invariably from the hands of the sovereign people direct. He was 
elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives in 1880, and to the State 
Senate in 1884; was elected solicitor and prosecuting attorney for the second judicial 
district of North Carolina for four years in 1886, and for a like term in 1890; was 
nominated for Congress in 1S94, but withdrew in the interest of harmony in his party. 
He made the race for Congress in 1896 and was triumphantly elected by a majority 
of 4,000, reversing a normal democratic majority of over 5,000 — a change of fully 9,000 
vo:es, indicating in no uncertain tone the confidence and esteem in which he was held 
by his friends and neighbors. He was re-elected in 1898. His services as a legislator 
were conscientious and valuable. At the close of his second term, he delivered a 
valedictory to the country, whi< h was universally praised as the best, truest and most 
timely expression of the Negro's plea for equality of citizenship that ever rang through 
the halls of Congress. The speech was widely circulated, and was favorably com- 
mented upon by the leading newspapers of the nation. 

Mr. White has accumulated quite a handsome fortune, his wealth being estimated 
at from $20,000 to $30,000. His personal popularity and the respect for his ability are 
attested by the fact that several honorary degrees have been conferred upon him ty a 
number of the noted educational institutions of the land. 

Mr. White is a thirty-third degree Mason. For six years he was Grand Master of 
Masons for the State of North Carolina, having filled most of the subordinate offices 
in that body before his elevation to the Grand Mastership. 

Since his retirement from Congress, Mr. White has been engaged in the practice of 
law in Washington, D. C, and so favorably has he impressed his qualifications upon 
the bench and bar of the national capital that one of the judges publicly, and without 
precedent, complimented him in open court and set his methods up as an example for 
other lawyers who practice there. Eminent as are his abilities, Mr. White is proverbially 
modest. Of strong character, well-balanced mind and an unswerving sense of justice, 
liberal in views upon all subjects, political, social or religious, companionable in private 
life, unostentatious in manner of living or in the bestowal of charity, ready to sacrifice 
personal convenience to serve the worthy, Mr. White is indeed a typical American. 
The Negro people, in slavery or freedom, as serfs or citizens, offer no model more inspir- 
ing, no picture more inviting. 


; they had unlimited sway. The result that followed was most natural — 
the use of public trust for private gain, the looting of many of the South- 
ern states, the political degradation of the Negro, and the complete 
estrangement between him and his former neighbors. When all these 
things were accomplished, these human cormorants betook themselves 
to their Northern homes to live in ease and splendor on the results of 
their pillage, while the black man was left in the South to endure dis- 
franchisement, torture and murder on account of the malice and hatred 
begotten from his first political experience. 

Surrounded by such environments, the suppression of his right of 
franchise, the open and notorious examples of fraud, ballot-box stuffing 
and intimidation practiced in every Southern election for the last thirty 
years, on the one hand, and the unfaithfulness, "Jingoism," the free 
offering of bribes and the continued practice of duplicity, on the part of 
those claiming to be his friends, on the other hand, no fair-minded man 
would expect to find complete political perfection among a people thus 
treated. Thus has the Negro been obstructed, not only in politics, but 
his civil rights have been denied him, and the doors of many industries 
are closed against him. 

But let us turn our faces away from all the horrors of slavery, recon- 
struction and all kindred wrongs which have been heaped upon us, and 
stand up, measuring the full statue of an American citizen, upon the 
threshold of the new century as a New Man. The slave who has grown 
out of the ashes of thirty-five years ago, is inducted into the political and 
social system, cast into the arena of manhood, where he constitutes a 
new element and becomes a competitor for all its emoluments. He is put 
upon trial, to test his ability to be accounted worthy of freedom, worthy 
of the elective franchise. After all these years of struggle against almost 
insurmountable odds, under conditions but little removed from slavery 
itself, he asks a fair and just judgment, not of those whose prejudice has 
endeavored to forestall — to frustrate — his every forward movement; 
rather those who have lent a helping hand that he might demonstrate the 
truth of "The fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man." 

In a nation like ours, blessed with peace, plenty and full of pros- 
perity; filled with the spirit of "Expansion," sound money and a pro- 
tective tariff; when there is a disposition to forget all sectional lines, 
and to know no North, no South, no East, no West, but having all to 
stand out in bold relief as one reunited whole, when one political party 


slaps the other upon the shoulder with a knowing look and a smile indi- 
cating the fraternal feeling everywhere present, the question naturally 
comes home to every colored American, "What should be the Negro's atti- 
tude in politics?" Constituting as we do, one-eighth of the entire popula- 
tion of this Nation, the Negro's political attitude should be a firm stand 
for the right, the support of honest men for office, the advocacy of strong, 
pure American policies, an unceasing contention for fair elections, a 
pure ballot, a complete repudiation of any party or man who seeks to 
bribe, or in any way to hamper or degrade him politically. Should he 
become self-effaced, politically? No, never! He should, at all times, 
contend wisely, firmly for every right accorded to other American citizens 
under the organic laws of the nation. He should identify himself with 
that political party which proves to be the most friendly towards him. 
There is very little in a name. Kesults should be sought, and the Negro 
should never waver until they are obtained. This will necessitate a 
division of the Negro vote. No fixed rule can be established as a political 
guide for him, any more than it can be done for any other people. The 
location, environment, men and measures sought to be obtained, should 
guide him. The political pathway for the future may seem dark and 
discouraging, but nothing daunted, we should continue to press forward, 
contending for every inch of our rights — no right which man enjoys aside 
from his own household should be guarded more sacredly than his right 
of franchise — a right which makes each one a sovereign in himself; a 
right which determines what laws shall govern us, who shall construe 
them and execute them. 

I am not unmindful of the fact that the views here expressed, may 
sound rather Utopian. But in this age of rush and bustle for place, 
preferment and national gain, by individuals and the nation; and in an 
age when anarchists, lynchers and murderers set at defiance all law and 
government; in an age when, in certain sections of the country, the bal- 
lot-box ceases to stand as an exponent of the registered will of the people, 
but stands rather as a political cesspool of reeking rottenness, impreg- 
nating the national atmosphere with germs of discord that may yet 
stagnate and throttle the Union; in such an age, it is quite necessary 
that a halt should be called; a reckoning had, and that these small, 
though dangerous political sores should be lanced from the body politic 
before they develop into putrifying cancers that will destrov the life of 
the. republic. 


Timothy Thomas Fortune, the subject of this sketch, is an author, a journalist, 
an agitator, and a lecturer. 

Mr. Fortune's grandmother was a mulatto, and his grandfather a Seminole Indian. 
Thomas was born of slave parents in Florida in 1856. His father took an important and 
active part in the ^construction of Florida, being a delegate in the Constitutional 
Convention that framed the present constitution of Florida, and a member of the first 
five sessions of the reconstructed Florida Legislature. 

During the Ku Klux Klan period, which followed, the father of Thomas had to 
stand for his life, which he manfully did by preparing his house to receive the night 
marauders. The father finally moved with his family to Jacksonville, Florida. Here 
young Thomas soon found a position as printer's "devil," which was the first step to 
that high position which he now occupies. He left his printer's "case" for two years 
in order to attend school and to work in the Jacksonville city postoffice. 

In 1874 he was appointed mail route agent between Jacksonville and Chattahoochee; 
but he was soon promoted to the position of special inspector of customs for the first 
district of Delaware. A year later, 1876, young Fortune entered that school which has 
been an inspiration to so many negro youths, Howard University. After two years' 
study in this school he returned to the printer's trade. While in Washington he married 
Miss Smiley, of Florida. 

In 1878 Mr. Fortune returned to Florida to try his hand at school teaching. After 
a year's experience at this work, he again returned to his first love, the printer's trade, 
but this time he went to New York City. Of course the other compositors objected to 
working with a "Nigger," but by the manly stand of the publisher, Mr. John Dougall. 
the "Nigger" remained, and after a short strike the white compositors were glad to 

Mr. Fortune's real career as journalist began in 1880, when, with two friends, he 
began the publication of the Rumor, which, after two years, was changed to the New 
Yorlc Globe. After four years the paper was forced to suspend. Mr. Fortune immediately 
began the publication of the Neic York Freeman. A year later, 1S85, the name of the 
paper was changed to the New York Age, of which Mr. Fortune is still editor. 

His writings are, however, not confined to the editing of his paper. He is the 
author of several books, but "Black and White," and "The Negro in Politics," are 
perhaps the most noted. 

Mr. Fortune was the first to suggest the Afro-American League, an organization 
in the interest of the Negro race. He was the president of the first convention of this 
league, which met in Chicago in 1890. His address as president of the convention was 
a scathing arraignment of the South. 

Mr. Fortune was also elected chairman of the executive committee of the National 
Afro-American Press Association which met in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1890. 

The National Negro Business League was the outcome of a conversation between 
Booker T. Washington and Mr. Fortune. Mr. Fortune was elected chairman of the 
executive committee of the National Negro Business League which met in Boston in 
1900, and also at its meeting in Chicago in 1901. 

Mr. Fortune is, as might be suspected, a Republican in politics. In the presidential 
election of 1900 he took an active part in the political canvass of that year. He spoke 
in Indiana and in Missouri, advocating the re-election of President McKinley. 

The whole energy of his life is devoted to the interests of the Negro race in America. 
He wields a sharp rapier. He is the complement of Booker T. Washington. Each is 
doing his own work in his own way; the one supplements the other's work. 


From any view that may be taken of the present political situation, it 
is apparent that the time is ripe for the colored American to think and act 
for himself. If he reasons correctly, he will certainly reach the conclusion 
that right must some day prevail ; and in order that he may enjoy the re- 
sultant blessings flowing from a pure ballot, the colored man must set the 
pace, and thereby place himself in a position to command respect and 
proper recognition. "He who would have equity must first do equity." 

The Negro's loyalty to friends, his impressionable soul, his devotion 
to church, his yearning for education and enlightenment, his thrift, in- 
dustry, devotion to country, fidelity to the flag shown upon hundreds 
of battle-fields, must be admitted and command the admiration of all 
fair-minded men. Let him add to all these attributes, purity in all things ; 
let him cultivate a love for justice and fair play, live as an example for 
his neighbors, ally himself with the best men in the community or state 
where he lives, and the day must certainly come when his rights — politi- 
cal and civil — will be conceded to him. 

Let us learn what is right and then dare to do the right; ever pressing 
forward to higher and nobler things; never lagging, but remember, 
"That constant effort will remove the mountain, and that continued 
dripping will wear away the stone." 



There are some questions which, it seems to me, need no discussion, 
because the truths in them are self-evident; and yet, so perverse is the 
human understanding, that unanimity upon any subject of common 
interest is rare in social ethics; and by social ethics I mean the philoso- 
phy of organized government in all of its multifarious life. 

How intricate and perplexing these questions are; even the uniniti- 
ated intuitively understand, although they cannot explain them; while 
ignorant and learned alike wrangle and often fight over the means to 
reach ends upon which there is no disagreement. There is, therefore, no 
phase of the Afro-American problem upon the proper solution of which 
there is not a substantial agreement among members of the race, The 


processes by which the solution shall be reached are the bases of the 
disagreements and discussions, which often defeat the common wish and 

"What should be the Afro-American's attitude in politics?" is a 
sophomoric, rather than a practical, question. What he should do at a 
given crisis is answered by what he has done ever since the right to vote 
was conferred upon him by the adoption of the war amendments to the 
Federal Constitution. Neither threats, fire, rope, nor bullet has been 
powerful enough to swerve him from pursuing the course made manda- 
tory by his self interests. He may have pursued this course by the 
intricate processes of reasoning employed by educated men, or of intui- 
tion employed by the unlettered. The fact remains that his attitude has 
been one of sympathy and helpfulness towards those who were unmis- 
takably sympathetic and friendly towards him and as unmistakably 
antagonistic and troublesome to those who were antagonistic to him. 
With him, as with the rest of mankind, "self-preservation is the first 
law of nature. " What his attitude in politics should be now will be what 
it has been — governed absolutely by his self interests. 

There will be nothing gained in the proper elucidation and compre- 
hension of the subject under discussion by holding up holy hands of 
horror at the statement that selfishness, pure and simple, has governed 
and will govern the attitude of the Afro-American in politics. The 
purists, who prate of the common interest and loyalty to the flag as 
the first and highest duty of the citizen, are entitled to their view of 
the matter, but the fact remains and is true of the people of every ancient 
and modern government that self-interest will govern the actions of the 
voter. One of the components which is discriminated against and op- 
pressed by legal enactment through popular clamor will invariably pro- 
duce substantial unanimity of thought and action on the part of fhe pa- 
riah against the common interest, and, in the last analysis, against the flag 
itself, as the emblem of governmental discrimination and oppression. 
The Helots of Sparta and the Jews under the Pharaohs were of this sort. 
The Jews in Russia and Germany and the Irish in Great Britain are mod- 
ern examples. The first concern of every man and of his own race is his 
own concern. He will oppose those who oppose him, whether as individual 
or state; he will look to his interests first and to those of his neighbor 
afterwards. The Afro-American is just like other people in this, as well 
as in all respects, despite the puerile contention of some, even of his own 


household, that he is not as other men. He will not love those who hate 
him nor pray for those who despitefully use him, although enjoined to do 
so in thunderous tones from every pulpit in Christendom. And, there- 
fore, the Afro-American's attitude in politics will be governed, as it has 
been, by his selfish interests. And, why not? The banker's attitude in 
politics is governed by the policy that serves his selfish interests best; 
the manufacturer's attitude is the same. The same rule of conduct 
governs all men in their social and civil relations to the state. 

In a republic, government by party is the fundamental basis of it. 
There must be parties or there can be no government; this is equally 
true of democracies and limited monarchies. The primary is the basis of 
party government. His selfish interests, of whatever sort, make it neces- 
sary for every citizen, who wishes to conserve those interests, to belong 
to some one party. Unless he is permitted to enjoy the rights and bene- 
fits of the primary, or party referendum, he cannot hope to enjoy the 
rights and benefits of the party of his choice — enjoy them to their fullest 
extent — for the right to vote, which does not carry with it the right to 
be voted for, leaves the citizen in a voiceless condition as to those specific 
interests in which he is concerned, and which can only be secured from 
the state through the action of his party. No man can speak for another 
as he can speak for himself, hence, in every party, men and special inter- 
ests, such as railroad, bank, manufacturing and the like interests, habitu- 
ally seek to put in control persons who will represent them, speak for 
them and vote for them upon any question of legislation which arises. 
It is because of this that there is great rejoicing among Afro- Americans 
when any man of theirs is put forward for his party in any official 
capacity whatever, and it is because of this that so few of them have been, 
and are put forward. 

Wherever an Afro-American is found supporting, by his lung-power 
and ballot, a party which denies him participation in its primary (basis 
of party) government, then you have found a man who does not know 
what his attitude in politics should be; and, whether he should be pitied 
or despised, must remain a question for each individual to decide. The 
democratic party is the only party in the United States which denies to 
the Afro-American this basic right in party government. Logically 
enough, it is the only party in the United States which has always sought 
to prevent him from enjoying the rights of the elective franchise, the 
right to vote and to be voted for, and which has necessarily, to justify 


this policy, always sought in every conceivable way to degrade his man- 
hood to the brute standard. A voteless citizen is always a social and 
political outcast ; a voteless race in a composite citizenship will always 
constitute a problem more or less dangerous to the state — enemies, fos- 
tered in the bosom, as Cleopatra's asp, only to wound to the death. It 
has been the way of the world since the dawn of history. 

It is creditable to the good sense and the manhood of the Afro- 
American people that they have constantly recognized and acted upon the 
theory I have here laid down, as the consistent one in politics. Their 
attitude has been manly and consistent ; they have stood by their friends 
and defied their enemies, even when their friends have been lukewarm, 
or brutally indifferent, and this has been the attitude of their friends 
since 1876. 

Through good and evil report they have refused to be seduced from 
their allegiance to the party of freedom, and their enemies have wreaked 
their vengeance, without hindrance, so that the attitude books of every 
Southern state bristle with a code of laws as infamous and oppressive 
as the slave code. But that does not affect the principle in the least, 
and the principle is the thing; it is the essence of all life. He who clings 
to it, though he may die, as the poor Indian has done, deserves and 
receives the respect of mankind. When it has been said of him that he 
was corrupt, purchasable, unreliable in politics and that the franchise 
should be denied to him by fair or foul means, because of this, by the 
kuklux klan terrorists, or red shirt brutalists — sufficient answer to it 
all, in my mind, has been that if he could have been seduced from his 
best interests, from his friends in party politics, without violence towards 
him, none would have molested him or made him afraid. That is a self- 
evident proposition in partisan ethics. 

We do not terrorize and shoot and defraud people who vote with us. 
No, the Afro- American has instinctively distrusted his political enemies, 
even when they came to him bearing grapes in their hands and honey on 
their tongues. His attitude has been one of manly protest, wherever he 
was allowed to vote, or made to sulk in silence and indignation. And 
here has been and here is the rub. W 7 hen you cannot coax a man against 
his will, as Jonathan did David, or purchase his birthright as Jacob did 
Esau, if you have the power you terrorize and shoot him into compliance. 
That is what the political enemies of the Afro-American have done and 
are doing, but patient as the ass and with the faith of Job, which passes 


George Washington Murray was born September 22, 1853, of slave parents, near 
Rembert, Sumter County, S. C. Emancipation found him a lad of eleven summers, 
bereft of both parents. "Without a friend upon whom to rely for either aid or advice 
in an impoverishing section, he entered upon the fierce combat then in progress for the 
indispensable bread of life. Among the waifs of his neighborhood in 1866, he learned 
the alphabet and acquired an imperfect pronunciation of monosyllables. In efforts to 
improve his meager stock of knowledge during the succeeding five years, he so indus- 
triously applied himself that in January, 1871, he entered a day school, while in ses- 
sion, for the first time, but as teacher, not scholar. 

He taught until the Fall of 1874, when he successfully passed a competitive exami- 
nation and secured a scholarship as sub-freshman in the reconstructed University of 
South Carolina. He was successfully employed as e teacher until February, 1890, when 
he secured an appointment as inspector of customs at the port of Charleston, S. C. 

Entering the political arena in the contest for the Republican nomination for Con- 
gress in 1892, he successfully won the stake and was pitted in the general election 
against Gen. E. W. Moise, one of the most brilliant, wealthy and popular Democrats in 
the State, whom he finally defeated and was declared elected to the Fifty-third Congress. 

He was again elected to the Fifty-fourth Congress, and counted out, but contested 
and was finally seated. He was again elected to the Fifty-fifth and Fifty-sixth Con- 
gresses, and counted out, and failed to be seated after strong contests. 

Since his retirement from congressional contests, seeing the primary and crying 
need of his race is a larger per cent of the ownership of homes, and the impossibility 
of securing them in the desired space of time, under the prevailing circumstances, 
where the necessaries of life and rents consume the entire resources year after year, 
he has applied himself to the development of a scheme of buying large estates and 
cutting them into small holdings, and giving long periods of time in which to pay 
for homes, receiving about the usual rents as payments. 

He now has about 200 families located on about 9,000 acres of land, and is adding 
from 2,000 to 3,000 acres to his territory each year. 

He has already secured twelve letters patent on a multiple farming machine, that 
is destined to revolutionize farming methods. 

Without his request upon the demand of the President himself, he was recently 
appointed Division Internal Revenue Deputy Collector for the district of South Caro- 


all understanding, he sticks to his principle of self-interest and waits; 
and the good proverb says, "All things come to him who waits." I 
believe it. And if every man of the race had the alternative of being shot 
in his tracks for clinging to his principles or life eternal for deserting 
them, the part of manhood and honor would be to stand up and be shot. 
As a matter of fact, thousands upon thousands of Afro-Americans have 
been shot to death by their political enemies since 1868, and perhaps 
thousands more will be shot in the future in the same wav, and for the 
same reason and by the same heartless enemies, before the nation reaches 
the conclusion that an Afro- American citizen should have as much pro- 
tection under the Federal Constitution as any other citizen with a white 
skin, despite the fact that the whole matter is largely one of state control 
and regulation. When cancers get on the body politic like this of 
disfranchisement and debasement of an entire element of the citizen- 
ship, they are usually cut out, as that of slavery, and its exceeding 
horrors, were. 

Steadfastness, therefore, in the faith that moves mountains and pa- 
tience which overcomes a world of wrong and injustice, will bring the 
reward as it has so often done with the race in the past. The reward is 
perfect equality under the laws of the Federal Government and of the 
several states. But our attitude must be one of absolute fidelity to the 
priceless sacred trust of citizenship, which comes to us out of the agonies 
of the greatest war of modern times. If we be true to ourselves, the great 
republic will be true to us "in God's way and time." 




To the casual observer the above query is easy of solution, but it is 
at the same time engaging the profoundest attention and thought of the 
wisest statesmen, and the greatest philanthropists and humanitarians. 

It is especially difficult to the black victims of present political en- 

With a proportionate share of all the elements of strength, intelli- 
gence, wealth, business and character — the Negro's attitude politically 


should, and would, be the same as that of the other members of society. 

The writer presumes that in dealing with the question at issue, he 
is territorially restricted to the ex-slaveholding portions of the United 
States, as the Negro's political status in the rest of tie territorial limits 
of the country differs so little from that of other members of society. 

As we see it, the mistake of the nineteenth century was the attempt to 
make the ex-slave a governor, before he had learned to be governed. 

It seems that members of the race have not even yet learned that 
governments have their origin and growth in the necessities originating 
in the business and wealth of mankind, and have attained their greatest 
perfection where there is most business and wealth. 

The naked, wandering savage has the lowest order of governments, 
because, in that state, he has need for no other, and could not support 
any higher. 

If twenty intelligent and progressive men settle down in the midst 
of a hundred thousand such savages, they will immediately set about 
establishing business, accumulating wealth, and will very naturally 
organize in self-defense, and in time rule the ninety-nine thousand nine 
hundred and eighty others. 

When just emerging from the shambles of two and a half centuries 
of slavery and inforced ignorance, penniless and without experience, it 
was a serious blunder to have placed the Negroes in such a position as to 
make them responsible for the government. 

They were not only without the necessary intelligence and experience 
for its successful operation, but all the resources essential to its main- 
tenance were in the hands of the minority class, and they were without 
the ability to compel any contribution for its support. 

Placed upon the wrong track in the primary stages of emancipation, 
the race spent its energy in trying to control the kind of government 
that other people's business and resources made necessary, instead of 
trying to acquire the elements which would have made it welcome as 
part owners and rulers of that government. 

Such conditions as resulted from the plans and policies pursued in 
the rehabilitation of civil government, after the War of the Rebellion, 
very naturally created great friction between the former master-class, 
possessing practically all the business, wealth and experience, though in 
the minority in many localities, and the former slave-class, without busi- 
ness, wealth and experience, on the other hand. 


The master-class determined that in self defense it had to organize to 
repossess itself of governmental control, which was then in the hands 
of the slave-class, and withheld its support from the government, which 
the latter class was helpless to compel without the strong compelling 
arm of the Federal government, which the peaceful and considerate judg- 
ment of mankind would no longer sustain in maintaining such condi- 

Whereupon all over the South where the ex-slave class controlled 
merely, by reason of numbers, its power and influence failed, until to-day 
it finds itself absolutely shorn of power, even so much as is necessary to 
protect its property, family and life. 

While it may be both unjust and unwise for a class in the condition 
©f the former slave class to absolutely control a government made neces- 
sary by the resources of others, yet it is a cruel wrong to deprive it even 
of that influence that is absolutely necessary for the protection of family, 
property and life. 

The paramount issue of Southern Negroes should not be political 
office, but the possession of such political influence as is necessary for the 
protection of their property and lives. 

While it is desirable that as many Negroes as possible be provided 
for at the official pie-counter, the all important issue, in my humble 
judgment, is the equality of civil and political rights, without which we 
are in some measure worse off than slaves. 

Deprived of that influence, which selfish interests always impel the 
master-class to give in defense of his property rights, the emancipated- 
class must possess a counter voting power somewhere within its own 
personality, which an untrammelled ballot alone affords. 

Wisdom dictates that the Negro should speedily assume the task of 
producing such conditions as will give the needed influence. 

This brings us to the question at issue, What should be the Negro's 
attitude politically? 

In short, whatever attitude would prove most beneficial to him the 
Negro should adapt himself to it, until he shall have acquired sufficient 
strength along all lines to occupy and maintain an independent position, 
and shape the course of action to suit his fancy and convenience. 

The difference in the treatment of colored men North and South is 
not half so much on account of a difference in the education and customs 
of the white people in the respective sections, as from the difference 


between the business, intellectual and political status of the members 
of the colored race itself in the two sections, coupled with the fact that 
the white man possessing practically all the business, wealth, culture 
and experience in the North, is divided into two political camps, each 
controlling influence sufficient to protect each constituent member, how- 
ever weak, while in the South he is united in one political party, which 
wholly destroys the colored mans influence and partially his own. 

In fact, in the North, the combined wealth, culture and influence of 
the entire party with which he is allied overshadows and protects his 
rights, both public and private, and this brings us to the question at 
issue, What should be the Negro's attitude politically? 

Upon this question there are as many opinions as there were colors in 
Joseph's coat. 

Some advise that we solidly vote the Republican ticket. 

Others that we should all vote the Democratic ticket; still another 
class advise us to divide our vote, and another class advise us not to 
vote at all. 

There may be a grain of truth in each one of the above theories, but 
for all times and occasions each one is essentially false. 

Under present environments it appears that we accomplish nothing 
by voting the Republican ticket, and gain no more by voting the Demo- 
cratic ticket than we would by not voting at all. 

To us the all important task is to find a way to make our ballot 

Though, throughout the South, a cruel and savage spirit seems tri- 
umphant, let the Negro take courage, for God is still ruling, and the 
very machinery that has been set in motion for his political destruction 
is hastening the day of his political regeneration. 

The reduction of the Negro's vote to an insignificant fraction which 
does away with the possibility of absolute Negro control, is not an 
unmixed evil, as it entirely destroys the foundation of the scarecrow of 
Negro supremacy, which has been used as a great welding hammer to 
forge the white race, with so many divergent views and opinions, into 
one political mass, while the standards of wealth and intelligence raised 
as a bar to his progress are causing the Negro, as never before, to bestir 
himself in efforts to reach them. 

Thus it is seen that his would-be enemy destroys the welding hammer 
at one fell blow; sets in motion irresistible currents that will inevitably 


find outlets in the broad ocean of the political freedom of both races, 
and arouse in the Negro, by the standards set up, the very desirable 
incentive to make preparation for the enjoyment of the destined freedom 
which the fates seem bent on bringing him. 

Once more the wonderful hand of Providence is using man's malice 
and prejudice as His own marvelous highway of hope to bring good 
results from evil intentions. 

Let the poor, desponding Negro, way down in the valley of degrada- 
tion and oppression, continue to be industrious, honest and frugal, and 
pray, and God will again hitch His own all powerful steeds of hope to 
his chariot of despondency and oppression, and, riding over the moun- 
tains of man's folly, manifested in unjust rules and practices, in defiance 
of His will, will draw him upon the broad eminence of joy, gladness and 




The conclusion reached in this discussion will depend in part upon 
the viewpoint of the observation, upon the character of the judges and 
upon the logic employed. In considering any subject it is always -best, 
fair and proper, to admit freely and fully the well known facts in the 
case. The book of books, which is an infallible code of morals, says that 
"there is none good, no not one." But there is none as depraved as he 
could be. In either direction, progression is possible. 

Unfortunately, immorality is not a stranger to any people; and that 
it is to be found among the Negroes, should not excite wonder and 
amazement; for it grows out of their previous condition of servitude. 

The horrible system of slavery, with its direful effects, is still felt to 
a greater or less degree by the American Negro. And the ex-slaveholders, 
from the very nature of the case, could not make their escape from its 
awful consequences. The market still has fruit from this system. 

There can be little doubt that the arrangement which places one man 
or any number of men at the entire disposal and control of another, sub- 
ject to his absolute and irresponsible will and power, is a system of things 
not the most favorable to moral excellence, whether of the master or the 
slave. The exercise of such authority must, from the very nature of the 
case, tend to foster the spirit of pride and arrogance, to make a man 
overbearing and haughty in temper, quick and irascible, impatient of 
restraint and contradiction. The passions of our nature, the animal 
propensities, ever ready to assume the mastery, and requiring to be kept 
in check with a firm hand, finding now no barriers to their indulgence 
but those which are self imposed, will be likely to break over those feeble 
barriers, and acquire unrestrained course and dominion. The tendency 
of the system to these results in morals, so far as the master is con- 
cerned, is inevitable. There may be some honorable exceptions, but the 
tendency is ever the same. It must and will be so while human nature is 
what it is. The temptation to the abuse of power over those who cannot 
or dare not resist to undue severity of punishment, where the passions 



Butler Harrison Peterson, the subject of this sketch, is a native of the State of 
Florida. He was born of slave parents, just in time to be spared the horrible experi- 
ences of that slave system which swept over this country with such direful results. 

When the war clouds of the Civil War passed over, he was sent to an ex-slave for 
private instruction. Shortly after the public school system was introduced into the 
state of Florida he entered as a regular attendant. Three very profitable and successful 
sessions were spent in these schools. Soon after entering upon the fourth term his 
mother moved to another part of the state, leaving him in the care of an aunt, who. 
loving money rather than education, took him out of school and hired him to a law 
firm as office boy, for $1.50 per month. This lasted for nearly two years. He then took 
a position as porter in a dry goods store, and then a clerkship in a small grocery store, 
owned and controlled by a colored man, the Rev. William Bell. 

During this time Mr. Peterson showed signs of a thirst for knowledge. He had 
now become a member of the Baptist Church and was actively engaged in Sunday- 
school work. Having attracted the attention of a few friends, among them Mr. John 
J. Montth, an opportunity soon presented itself, which Mr. Peterson eagerly seized. This 
opportunity opened the doors of Cookman Institute, Jacksonville, Fla., at which place he 
remained two years. Mr. Peterson next found himself for three years a student of the 
St. Augustine Normal and Collegiate Institute, Raleigh, N. C. In 1883 Mr. Peterson 
entered Lincoln University, Chester County, Pa., passing successfully through the 
freshman, sophomore, junior and senior years. He tarried yet three years longer at 
Lincoln, taking the full theological course; and in 1889 returned home to begin work. 
His first position was as principal of the Oakland Graded School, Jacksonville, Fla. 
During the two years spent here, he was offered the chair of "ancient languages," Selma 
University, Selma, Ala., which he accepted and held for two years to the satisfaction 
cf the President, Dr. C. L. Purse, D. D., and the Board of Trustees. 

At this time matters over which he had no control so shaped themselves that this 
very pleasant and profitable work had to be given up. In 1893 Mr. Peterson became 
the first assistant teacher in the Phelps Hall Bible Training School, Tuskegee Normal 
and Industrial Institute, Tuskegee, Ala., and in connection with this work he is 
instructor in the Normal Department of Mental and Moral Science and Primary Mathe- 
matics. He is still here at work. 

He is also pastor of one of the churches of the town of Tuskegee and spends a part 
of his vacations at the Summer Schools of the Hampton Normal and Industrial Institute 
and the University of Chicago. 

In this brief sketch no reference is made to ways or means, but only the results 
are announced, the rosebush, however, has thorns as well as roses. 



of the master are aroused, and there is no one to say, What doest thou? 
to the gratification of the baser appetites in their various forms, must 
be too great for ordinary and unaided human virtue. The tendency of 
such a system must ever be, not to progressive self refinement and moral 
culture, but to barbarism. We should expect to find in connection with 
such a civil polity, a state of society, of religion and morals somewhat 
peculiar — acts of violence and barbarity not infrequent, the street affray, 
' the duel, the murderous assault, the unrestrained indulgence of the 
animal appetites. It would be quite natural and reasonable under such 
a state of affairs to expect this; and such, unless all history and ex- 
perience be false, we find the world over, to be the general state and 
tendency of things wherever the system of slavery prevails. 

Nor is the effect on the morals of the slave more favorable; on the 
contrary, it is even more disastrous. In proportion as the feeling of 
self respect and self dependence is taken away, and a man is taught to 
look upon himself as merely the tool in the hands of another, the instru- 
ment of another's will and pleasure, without responsibility of his own, 
just in that proportion the foundation of moral character is undermined. 
Nothing can be more demoralizing* in its effect upon the character. Strip 
a man of all that constitutes manhood ; of all self reliance and self respect ; 
of all the rights which nature has conferred upon him, and all the facul- 
ties with which God has endowed him; take away from him all control 
and disposal of himself, all ownership of himself and all that can stimu- 
late to activity, and incite to noble attainment and excellence, is gone at 
once. He sinks down to the level of the brute. What inducement is there 
for him to hope or strive for anything further or better than his present 
lot, and enjoyment which the moment may bring with it? He becomes 
as a matter of course improvident and reckless, content with the gratifica- 
tion, so far as may be, of his merely animal appetites; indolent, for why 
should he be otherwise? 

Deceptive and dishonest, for what motive has he to be honest? He is 
governed only by fear of the lash, with little thought of anything future, 
with little knowledge of that hereafter whence are derived the most 
powerful motives to present virtue. His mind is shrouded in ignorance, 
his moral nature almost wholly uncultivated, his condition is little above 
that of the beast with whom he toils, and with whom he perishes. As in 
the case of the master, so in the case of the slave ; some will rise above 
the influence that surround and drag them down, and, in spite of all 


these depressing and demoralizing influences, will maintain their in- 
tegrity. But such is not the rule, such is not the tendency of the system. 
No one who has either reflected on the matter or observed the actual 
working of the system can honestly suppose that it is. It is a notorious 
fact that, as a general rule, wherever this system exists, the slave is 
indolent, deceptive, dishonest, improvident, not to be trusted away from 
the eyes of honest people. 

Such a system having a growth of two hundred and fifty years, would 
it be reasonable to expect that thirty-five years could eradicate entirely 
the work done during the two hundred and fifty years? While this is 
all true, can any one with so many facts and figures all about him, enter- 
tain a doubt as to the Negro's progress along all lines of human activity 
and toil? The Negro has either advanced, morally and religiously, or 
the proud Anglo-Saxon's standard of morals and religion is a hopeless 
failure. Considering the depths from which he came, the fact that he has 
come at all, or any part of the way, shows at least some progress. 

A journey through this country, especially the South, the home of the 
Negroes, and an inspection of the homes and surroundings, and coming 
into near contact with them, will serve to change a great many baseless 
and unfair criticisms found afloat among a certain class of people, of 
whom Mr. Win. Hannibal Thomas' book, entitled ''The American Negro," 
is the mouthpiece. One room log huts, dirty floor, the home of the Negro, 
for large families during the period when slavery existed, are giving 
away to neat little cottages, sometimes two-story buildings, with rooms, 
furniture and surroundings sufficient to make each member of the family 
comfortable, and secluded enough to avoid the temptation to immoral 
conduct. And these homes, together with lands attached, in a great many 
cases are owned by the colored people whose morals are called in ques- 
tion. Some of the most fashionable weddings of the day are celebrated 
among the Negroes. Births out of wedlock, the plurality of wives and 
divorced cases, have decreased among the Negroes 65 per cent. Woman- 
hood, virtue and honor are defended at any cost, at the proper time and 

The Negro got the idea imbedded in him during his servitude that 
religion and morality, like the Jews and Samaritans, had no dealings 
with each other. To-day this idea has lost its power and influence. The 
professors of religion and leaders of the people stand first and foremost 
with the people, and are expected to take the lead in all matters of reform. 


The church property owned and controlled by the Negro tells its own 
story. The Sermon on the Mount is taking a hold of the Negro as never 
before. If I should offer an adverse criticism on the Negro's religion, it 
would be that, as he understands it, he has a surplus of religion. But 
he is surely grasping the idea that God is a Spirit, and "they that wor- 
ship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth." There are to be 
found among the Negroes those whose words are as good as gold. The 
true significance of morality is being better understood and practiced by 
the Negro. The newspaper gossip and sophistical reasoning to the effect 
that some Negroes have been apprehended for immoral conduct, and 
therefore all Negroes are immoral, would astonish all creation if applied 
to the white race. Let us be fair and try the Negro by the same logic 
that the white man is tried by. 

A very sure and hopeful sign is the fact that the Negro is ashamed 
of any immoral conduct which he hears has been committed by any 
member of his race. The mere desire of better things is indicative of a 
better state of affairs. A straw often shows which way the wind is blow- 
ing. It is a historical fact that any race which has been subdued and 
ruled over by another race will imbibe, imitate and copy after the domi- 
nant race, and especially is this true if the conquered race live in and 
among the conquering race. It follows, then, that if the Negro is wholly 
immoral, his white neighbor needs to move a pace in the moral world. 

Other causes might have been assigned accounting for the Negro's 
previous immorality, but slavery comprehends them all. Rut for the 
sake of emphasis and showing the contrast, let us note the following: 
Granting that the Negro as a mass is ignorant. Is he as ignorant as he 
w r as? If he is, then in what light shall we regard the philanthropists of 
this countrv North and South who have done and are doing so much for 
the Negro's elevation? The public school system, so w r ell organized and 
maintained throughout this country, and patronized so largely by the 
Negro youth, cither means the Negro's advancement morally or a lack 
of wisdom on the part of those wiio administer the nation's affairs. I 
realize that a people could advance intellectually without advancing 
morally at the same time. But such is not possible in this country where 
the Bible is made the basis of our education. A mere reference to this 
topic is all that is needed. 

The Negro is poverty stricken, this needs no demonstration. But is 
he as poor as he has been? The banks, county records and business 


enterprises of the country are living witnesses to the Negro's advance- 
ment along this line. How could a man wholly depraved come into such 
relationship with a moral man and get along so well? "How can two 
walk together except they be abreed," asks the faithful prophet. 

The time was when the Negro could not take out a policy in a life 
insurance company, because he was regarded immoral, and would soon 
die out and bring the company under obligations to his estate. To-day 
the Negro can hold a policy in almost any insurance company of what- 
ever nature it may be. This is a case where the Negro's advancement 
in morals is admitted and he himself not a judge in the case. Negro 
lawyers consult with white lawyers, Negro doctors consult with white 
doctors, Negro teachers consult with white teachers, Negro preachers 
consult with white preachers, Negro workmen of whatever kind confer 
with the whites of like occupation, and, sometimes, the process is re- 
versed, the white mechanics go to the Negro mechanics for counsel. 
In all of this, the Negro's upward march is admitted. And there is no 
advancement worthy of the name of advancement that does not include 
moral strength, worth and improvement. 

We hail with joy the rapidly approaching time, under the sunlight of 
civilization and Christianity, when the color of the skin and the texture 
of the hair will not be badges of reproach, humiliation, degradation and 
contempt. True merit will yet be the worth of the man, under the wise 
and just government of a beneficent God and Father, who "of one blood 
made all nations for to dwell upon the face of all the earth." The poet 
Burns labored under no misapprehension when he wrote the following 
lines : 

" Is there for honest poverty 

Wha hangs his head, and a' that? 
The coward slave! we pass him by; 

We dare be poor for a' that — 

For a' that, and a' that, 

Our toils obscure, and a' that ! 
The rank is but the guinea's stamp — 

The man's the gowd for a' that 

" What, though on hamely fare we dine, 

Wear hodden gray, and a' that? 
Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine; 

A man's a man for a' that — 


Mr. A. U. Frierson was born in the State of South Carolina a few years before tne 
Civil War. His parents were slaves, and, of course, were uneducated. After some 
preparation in the public schools, he entered Biddle University, from which he graduated 
with honor in 1885. The same year he entered the theological department of the same 
university, graduating therefrom in 1888. 

The Summer of 1885 was spent as teacher and preacher to the ex-slaves of the 
Choctaw Indians, Indian Territory. He worked under the Freedman's Board of the 
Presbyterian Church. For several years he acted as pastor of different Presbyterian 
churches in North and South Carolina. 

In 1891 he was called to the chair of Greek language and literature of Biddle Uni- 
versity, which position he holds at this writing. 

In 1893, his alma mater conferred upon him the degree of D. D. 


For a' that, and a' that, 
Their tinsel show, and a' that ; 
The honest man, though e'er sae poor, 
Is king o' men for a' that. 

" A prince can mak a belted knight, 

A marquis, duke, and a' that; 
But an honest man's aboon his might — 

Guid faith, he maunna fa' that! 

For a' that, and a' that, 

Their dignities, and a' that; 
The pith o' sense and pride o' worth 

Are higher ranks than a' that. 

" Then let us pray that come it may — 

As come it will, for a' that — 
That sense and worth, o'er a' the earth, 

May bear the gree, and a' that. 

For a' that, and a' that, 

Its coming yet, for a' that — 
When man to man, the warld o'er, 

Shall brothers be for a' that !" 



A question so pertinent, so comprehensive, so thoroughly charged 
with what must give rank and standing to a people in the eyes of the 
world, ought not to be superficially considered, nor lightly and rashly 
answered. On the surface it would seem to involve a simple yes or no. 
But slight Reflection reveals the fact that the yes or no fails to satisfy 
the conditions. That the answer to this question has long since been 
removed from the realm of the simple negative and affirmative, becomes 
very evident from what has been, and is still being, said pro and con. 

The moral status of the Negro of the United States has long since 
given rise to a debated question. This debate waxes hotter and hotter, 
and the lines are more closely drawn as the years go by. For it is 
impossible to think of the future of the Negro apart from his moral 
status. His future will be bright, gloomy, or blighted, in proportion as 


he is able or not able to set to his account true moral worth. I speak of 
the Negro by limitations, as I feel that only the American Negro, and 
that, too, of the United States, can be contemplated by the query under 
consideration ; hence, by the discussion. 

That my answer will be in line of an emphatic negative will appear 
from what follows. I know full well the tremendous task I have set 
myself by this position. In doing this, I must take up the defensive as 
well as offensive alike against a large per cent of people, outside of the 
Negro race, who set themselves up as an authority on all questions 
affecting the Negro, and, mark you, from their decision there is no appeal ; 
as also against the know-alls within the ranks of the race. But I am 
not deterred by this, since I feel that I owe it to the friends of the race ; to 
those of the race who honestly strive to do what is right, and to myself, 
to utter no uncertain sound in responding to this important question. 

For the encouragement of a weak and struggling people and their 
friends, for the better enlightenment of mankind in general, touching the 
moral status of the Negro, I place in evidence and offer in support of 
my negative the following considerations : 

First : As far as my knowledge goes, the sum total of the considera- 
tions and discussions tending to show and set forth the moral turpitude 
of the Negro, leave out, if they do not ignore wholly, a most vital element. 
Any conclusion, therefore, reached, must eliminate the same, and in the 
degree that this element is important, the conclusion will be inconclusive 
and defective. 

I contend, in the outset, that any just and charitable answer to this 
question must take into account the fact that the Negro is not unlike the 
other children of Adam, in that he is possessed of an inherent immoral 
tendency. Yet how many, speaking to this subject, reckon from this 
point? I think all sane people, at least, are agreed that since the fall, 
conformity to the moral standard, as set up by our Creator, is relative 
and not absolute. I think it would be a very light task to prove this 
assertion true, on the best authority known to man — the Bible. A single 
instance will suffice to put to silence all dissenters. David, "the man 
after God's own heart," gives us a life whose complexity at once pre- 
sents the elements of passion, tenderness, generosity, and fierceness. 
From this life flowed a character blackened by adultery and murder. 
Rather checkered, measured by a perfect moral standard. 

Grant that the Negro is a child of Adam, and I score one of the 


most important points on the side of my negative. Weighed in the bal- 
ance of a perfect moral scale, "There is none good, but one, and that is 

Second : When talking or writing on this subject, men seem to forget 
also that this inherent or natural immoral tendency in the Negro has 
had the impetus of the most debasing influences of a baser system of 
slavery, covering a period of two and a half centuries. This is not a 
defense, nor by any means an apology, for the shortcomings of the Negro, 
which are too many by far, but it is a plea for fairness in making up a 
verdict which is very far-reaching in its consequences. 

In my humble opinion this thought is sufficient to temper, at least, 
the criticisms of the most rabid and reckless assailants of Negro morals. 
Let friends and foes alike think, if they can, what two hundred and fifty 
years of training means in a system whose principal tenet was that a 
Negro had no wish or will of his own — either morallv or otherwise — a 
mere thing, acting only as it is acted upon. Under this system the next 
most natural thing would be and was the breaking down and beating 
back of every bar to the baser passions, except when its observance, per- 
chance, contributed to the physical vigor and resistance of the Negro, 
thus rendering him more valuable and indispensable to his master. Add 
to this, if you please, the fact that there were few, if any, formal mar- 
riages; the "shanty" system instead of the home; no responsibility in 
the training of boys and girls that naturally came to the so-called homes ; 
no safeguard thrown around the morals of the tender years of boyhood 
and girlhood, but, on the other hand, everything most favorable and 
conducive to the development of bad morals. Out of this condition, 
unless the superior — the master — had a very high moral sense, which 
was highly improbable, if not impossible, under the existing circum- 
stances, little could justly be expected of the inferior — the Negro. Yet, 
in spite of all this, the Negro gave the world a very few rapists of whom 
we hear so much nowadays, and on whose account we are so often called 
upon to defend him from the viewpoint of our question. 

As regards this particular crime, I digress here to say that my faith 
is small. For this reason, there was a time when the commission of it 
was more opportune and easy than now. For example, during the Civil 
War, when it was scarcely, if ever, heard of. I have introduced this 
subject here simply to say this, that human nature is one and the same 
in mankind, and the argument that natural tendencies do not assert 


themselves alike in a slave and a freeman under like favorable condi- 
tions, is open to serious objections, if not in a degree fallacious. The 
pertinence of this reference will also appear when attention is drawn to 
the fact that the tendency of the race to criminality, hence, to moral 
worthlessness, is more largely hypothecated upon this than upon any 
other single crime. By a similar process of reasoning it would not be 
difficult to show that all the races of the world are moral reprobates. 
For what escape would there be for any measured by its criminal class? 
I, therefore, contend, finally, that the standard by which the Negro is 
measured is seriously at fault, if not wholly wrong. Coming out of the 
most untoward circumstances, with less than a half century in which to 
outlive and unlearn the deadly doings of two hundred and fifty years, 
who can lay claim to more or to so much as the Negro? Measure him 
by the depths from which he came as well as by the heights which you 
would have him attain, when taking his moral pulse. 

Third : I note the work of the press, which is largely in the hands 
of, and controlled by, those least friendly to the Negro's progress. Hence, 
a magnificent contribution is daily made from this quarter, to his moral 
impeachment. I think it is never, perhaps, properly considered, that the 
class generally held up by the press is one and the same with that already 
noticed under the preceding head — the criminal. Further, news gath- 
erers are at great pains to ferret out and dole out to the public daily 
whatever serves to excite, and especially whatever shows the moral 
crookedness of the Negro, and that the years of freedom already enjoyed 
by him have simply brought forth a generation of vipers. Too often, from 
the lowest to the highest court, the records are so manipulated as to show 
the moral obliquity of the Negro. It is a potent fact that public opinion 
of the Negro is largely, if not wholly, based upon press reports, whether 
it pertains to religion, politics, morality, or otherwise. I hold, therefore, 
that it is largely misinformation that brings the Negro into bad odor in 
this regard, and earns for him the opinion that he is on the decline or 
"moral lapse," if you please. Then, too, the dying testimony of what is 
commonly called the worthless Negro, is given wider publicity and 
greater credence than the precept and example of ten thousand living, 
straightforward, upright Negroes. I say this because the opinion obtains 
so widely that the Negro is growing worse. 

Fourth : That the Negro is not as morally depraved as he is generally 
reputed to be, and that those who are foremost to note and proclaim it 


do not believe it themselves, I place in evidence the following: 1st. A 
considerable number of Southern states has passed laws restrictive, if 
not prohibitive, of the removal of the Negro from his holy (?) confines, 
and this, too, where most is seen and known of him. What ! Make it a 
misdemeanor to influence to emigrate or to deport a people whose pres- 
ence is a standing menace to the good morals of those who enact meas- 
ures and those who uphold them? Do not they make themselves liable 
to mild criticism? Other countries and sections of countries seek to rid 
themselves of all incubus of whatever kind. Of this we have numerous 
examples in the scum from Europe and other parts of the world unloaded 
upon our shores annually. 2d. Let the Negro with all his moral de- 
pravity initiate any movement looking toward his withdrawal even from 
one part of our country to another. The scene of such activities attracts 
special attention, and unsought advice is poured upon his "worthless" 
head ; words of warning flow apace, and direct steps are taken to defeat 
the end in view. In view of this fact, the Negro is seldom allowed to 
organize, secretly, for mutual protection and helpfulness, in some sec- 
tions; and, when organized, he is always looked upon with grave sus- 
picions. That people should go so far out of the way to circumvent the 
legitimate endeavors of the undeserving, to my mind, is the most un- 
natural thing to be sure. "Consistency, thou art a jewel !" 

Fifth : What people regard as a most discouraging sign touching the 
Negro of this country, I consider a most portentous and hopeful one. I 
refer to it here, because it bears decidedly upon my answer, and is strictly 
in line therewith. As shown by the census of 1890 and 1900, the increase 
of the Negro has suffered a positive check, if not back-set. In explana- 
tion of this, one theory and another has been advanced. Some have seen 
that he, like the American Indian, is on the road to a kindred fate — final 
and utter extinction. Others have consigned him to this or that destiny, 
according as they have felt kindly or unkindly towards him. True, he has 
increased less rapidly, but more surely, because of his stricter observance 
and growing regard for the proper and God-appointed channels to this 
end. His propagation by marriage, in which case one man is the husband 
of one woman, and one woman the wife of one man, would naturally tend 
to this. 

I might record and add to what has already been said, a rich and 
varied experience, growing out of actual contact with, and work for, my 
people covering twenty-four years — a period in which no year has passed 


without leaving something done or suffered. But time and space will 
not permit. 

Finally, out of the unfavorable moral conditions to which the Negro 
as a child of Adam is heir; out of the most untoward circumstances, 
surrounding him in the dark days of his enslavement; out of the tra- 
ductions to which he is exposed at the hands of a most cruel and relentless 
foe — the printing press; out of the mock trials and false convictions 
visited upon him by the courts, too often manned by his oppressors; out 
of the Mrriers put in the way of his withdrawal from the midst of those 
who pronounce him without moral worth; out of the glaring incon- 
sistency of all dissenters ; out of the pure and spotless lives of ten thou- 
sand women — the wives, mothers, sisters and lovers — of as high souled 
and moral men as the world ever saw or produced, I here and now once 
again and forever record my most unconditioned and emphatic no to the 
query I have in some measure tried to answer. 

I have attempted no fine analysis of the case, but simply tried to 
point out a few facts more or less familiar to all. 



This question is as grave as it is suggestive. There being a marked 
difference between character and reputation, its discussion naturally 
leads to a consideration of the Negro as he really is, and not as he is 
represented. The delineation of the Negro's true character is one of the 
most effectual means of refuting the calumnious epithets so constantly 
hurled at him — a veritable blasphemy against his higher and better 

Has the Negro a higher and better nature? We shall see. 

To separate him from the rest of the human family would be to dis- 
pute the great truth, that has been so long accepted, by all thoroughly 
Christianized nations — the Fatherhood of God, and the brotherhood of 
man. "Of one blood God formed all nations, for to dwell upon the face 
of the earth." Man, in his first estate, was supremely moral, being 
created in the righteous image of his Maker; had man continued in this 


Mrs. Mary E. C. Smith, daughter of Peter H. Day, was a native of New York city. 
Her education was provided for by her energetic widowed mother, to whom she ascribes 
the secret of her success. From early childhood she showed strong power of mind, and 
inherited from her mother that force and determination of purpose which prefigure 
success in whatever is undertaken. As a pupil she was prompt and energetic, and never 
failed to win one of the Ridgeway prizes for good scholarship, which were given an- 
nually to successful contestants. She was an excellent Bible student, and when ten 
years old was elected a teacher in the Sunday-school. At this age she was impressed 
with the idea that it was her duty to go to the South to instruct her people, who were 
just emerging from bondage. 

By a strange coincidence she was led to Florida, when she had finished her school 
course, the very place she had named when in an outburst of childish enthusiasm, 
while preparing a geography lesson, she had said: "0, mother, how I long to go there 
and teach my people!" The "land of flowers" has been the principal field of her 
labors as a teacher. Her ability as a teacher was soon discovered, and in 1890 she 
became principal of the Normal Department of the Edward Waters College, under the 
presidency of Prof. B. W. Arnett, Jr. Hundreds of students are better citizens because 
of her faithful teaching and Christian influence. As a church and Sunday-school worker 
she has few equals. The earnestness of purpose with which she performs the slightest 
duty is an example worthy of imitation. 


condition, he would have been perfectly innocent and happy, favored 
with the exalted privilege of direct communion with God, inspired only 
by Him who is the Great Source, all light and perfection, from whom 
emanates nothing dark, unholy or unclean. 

But man fell, and was driven from Eden. Hence, he began to wander 
away from God, in spirit and purpose; the tempter had been admitted 
and man's heart grew very deceitful and desperately wicked. The com- 
mand of God, however, as written in Genesis, 1st chap., 28th verse, was 
inviolable. The earth must be peopled ; thus man continued to wander, 
and his heart became proud and defiant, even to the resistance of the 
will and purpose of God. So far did the distance become between man 
and his Maker and so greatly abounded his wickedness, that at last God 
gave him over to his own evil imaginations. 

The inhabitants of the antediluvian world, as a consequence of man's 
first transgression, fell lower and lower in the scale of good morals. 
They became so confirmed in wickedness, so totally depraved, that God 
destroyed them all, save one man and his family, whom He accounted 
as righteous, for the sake of his faithful obedience, and whose seed He 
preserved for the repeopling of the earth. The races, whether Semitic, 
Hamitic or Japhetic, as springing from the three sons of Noah, all par- 
took of some of the natural proclivities of their revered and ancient 
grand-sire. What Canaan lacked in the line of perfection in the moral 
ethics of his day, may be directly attributed to heredity. The lineage of 
the Negro has been directly traced through Cush to Ham; hence, to 
argue the total moral depravity of the sons of Ham is but to concede the 
total moral depravity of the entire human race, as emanated from Noah 
in the postdiluvian age. 

To assert that the Negro has no defects, and is morally good, would 
be to deny him as one of the legitimate heirs of the family of Noah, and 
deprive him of his natural inheritance. On the contrary, the Negro is 
joint-heir to all the virtues and all the infirmities of the other members 
of the human family. He is just as good and equally as bad as his fairer- 
complexioned brothers. 

"Multiply and replenish the earth," was the eternal fiat. The subse- 
quent confusion of tongues, and the dispersion of the people even to the 
remotest parts of the globe, were but links in the chain of God's design. 
The entire globe must be peopled, not a portion of it; hence the sons of 
men continued their migration until they were lost to each other. 


The history of civilization discloses to us the land of the Hainites, 
as the cradle from whence sprang all learning, literature and arts, but 
man's heart still being deceitful, proud and wicked, continued to wander 
away from the true God ; and, notwithstanding his acquired knowledge, 
and the very high state of civilization to which he had attained, he forgot 
God, and was allowed to drift into pagan darkness and superstition. 
These people were scattered, and their land despoiled, and they fled for 
refuge far into the wilderness where they were left in thick darkness : 

"Grouping in ignorance, dark as the night," with 
"No blessed Bible to give them the light." 

Had any other division of the human family been subjected to the 
influences of the same depressing climate, for an equal length of time, 
as were the Hamites, and surrounded by the same degrading circum- 
stances, having no light without the assistance of divine counsel, their 
degeneration would have been equally as great as these descendants of 
Ham, when first began their involuntary migration iuto this country. 
The subsequent training which the Negro received in the school of 
bondage, while, in some respects, may have been a very potent lever in 
raising them from the pit of darkness and superstition, was not that 
which would best serve in the development of his higher moral nature. 

Prior to the beginning of colonial slave traffic, the Negro, as found in 
his original home, the dark continent, was innocent and simple in his 
habits, possessed of a very high regard for truth and virtue. And, 
though very ignorant and superstitious, the result of his paganistic wor- 
ship, vice and immorality was to him almost unknown. He was a lover 
of the beautiful, and in disposition easily entreated; and, because of 
these very tractile elements in his character, he fell an easy prey to the 
machinations of his more wily and crafty brother Japhet. 

A study of the American Negro since his most remarkable advent into 
this country, after being decoyed from his fatherland, portrays him as a 
mild, impressionable and submissive being — extremely imitative and 
very easily led or controlled. Those who speculated upon him, as human 
chattel, very often took advantage of his traits of character in order to 
further their own interests, and perpetuate the abominable institution 
of slavery. 

The Negro was so tractile in disposition and so easily trained for 
good or bad that he was frequently developed in the practice of deceit, 


hypocrisy, tattling and numerous other weaknesses, as the result of the 
course of training which he received from those who were directly re- 
sponsible for his physical and moral well being. That peculiar nature of 
his education in the school of bondage, which taught him that his owner's 
will was supreme, divested him of his very high regard for virtue ; and, 
wherever resistance was presumed, coercion soon forced him to yield, 
and he instinctively bowed to the inevitable. Thus, the females drifted 
into the belief that their bodies were the absolute property of their 
owners, and that they had no sacred personal rights which he, their self- 
imposed master, was bound to respect. But, like begets like. Wbat 
wonder, then, that the seed of unrighteousness, which was implanted in 
the modern American Negro, before his birth, should spring up and bring 
forth abundantly of the same kind? Whatever is immoral about the 
American Negro of to-day was bequeathed to him by his unrighteous 
ancestors of fairer hue. 

A closer inspection of the Negro's home life reveals him as an upright, 
religious character, and, even under the most adverse circumstances of 
his unholy environments, he was in many instances so tenacious of his 
preconceived standard of good morals that he defended his principles 
even to the extent of yielding his life. 

The Negro's native integrity and fidelity were so thoroughly relied 
upon that during the Civil War, which arrayed in fratricidal strife the 
two sections of our beloved country, the heroes of the South left their 
homes and went forth to battle, feeling perfectly secure in entrusting 
their wives, their daughters, and, in many instances, their fortunes, in 
the hands of their faithful Negro servants, who remained true to their 
trusts, caring for, and defending, their precious charges, even at the 
risk of their own lives. To their credit, it may be inscribed that, although 
they were aware that victory for the South and the return of their mas- 
ters meant the prolongation, if not the perpetuation, of their unjust 
bondage, they swerved not from their posts of duty, and took no advan- 
tage of the situation, thus proving the high standard of their moral 

In the darkest days of thralldom the dominant powers relied upon 
the Negro's higher moral sense; to the nurse was entrusted almost the 
entire care of their offspring, and numerous other duties of great responsi- 
bility were frequently imposed upon their male and female Negro ser- 


vants, who invariably proved their high sense of honor, based upon their 
highest conception of good morals. 

Notwithstanding the efforts made to keep the Negro ignorant and 
degraded, ever and anon, the scintillations from his superior nature 
would flash out like a burning meteor and exhibit him as he was designed 
by God his Father, who is no respector of persons. In this connection, 
we cannot help referring to the beautiful character of Phyllis Wheatley, 
whose life was absolutely pure, and who was so remarkably inspired by 
the poetic muse that, even in the darkest days of Negro bondage, she 
forced the recognition of mankind. Her genius flashed forth as a beacon 
light to her benighted brethren as a token of assurance to them of the 
fulfillment of the promise, "Ethiopia shall again stretch forth her hand 
unto God." Benjamin Banneker, the great mathematician and astrono- 
mer, was another instance, in those remote days of darkness, that the 
Great Dispenser of all light, and truth, imparted His gifts alike to all ; 
and there were others, but for our purpose, these names must forever 
stand as exponents of that higher and better life that was pent up within 
the Negro's breast, as a dimly-lighted torch, enshrouded under the mantle 
of slavery, which needed only the removal of the garment to be clearly 
seen ; and thus, surrounded by the igniting influences of the atmosphere 
of liberty, would burst forth into all the effulgency of a brilliant light. 

As a rule, the modern Negro of America, since his liberation from 
the shackles of his unjust bondage, has put forth strenuous efforts to 
uplift himself. And he has succeeded beyond his own most sanguine 
expectations; having had so many obstacles to overcome, he should not 
be measured by the heights he has attained, but by the depths from which 
he came. Out of the depths cried the Negro unto God; and He heard 
him! A few have arisen far above the masses, and are by their noble 
examples beckoning the others to come on. The general response is, 
"We are coming," up out of the cesspool of darkness, ignorance and 
immorality to the higher plane of virtue, knowledge, purity, and true 
righteousness which exalteth nations. 

That there are dark sides to the picture of the Negro's career since his 
emergency from that dreary school of bondage, must be admitted, but 
many of his defects are directly traceable to his imitative propensity. To 
his own sorrow, he imitates the bad, as well as the good. 

Like the Indian, the fire-water which he has learned to imbibe has 
divested him of his manhood, and robbed him of his virtue, and it is a 


sad truth that he is encouraged in this personal debasement of himself 
by his brother in white, who is still, in many instances, taking advan- 
tages of his weak traits, offering him every inducement to continue in 
his course of self-degradation. 

Thirty-six years of light and privilege have wrought wonders for the 
Negro, but these are scarcely a day, when compared with the long night 
of over two hundred years of bondage; it is impossible for him in this 
short period to have totally eradicated the evils for which he was not 
wholly responsible, but which were entailed upon him at his birth. 

Those deflections in the Negro's practice of his code of good morals, 
whiah are so often exhibited as an argument against the entire race, 
are but the results of the development of his weaknesses, by the methods 
of former years, which he now, finds it so hard to overcome. But those 
who transgress the general rule of uplifting are the exceptions. To God 
be the glory for the present Negro, measured, not by the few, who have 
overlooked their most sacred rights and privileges, but by the many 
who are daily demonstrating, by honest toil and labor, that they have 
the highest regard for all that is pure, ennobling, and virtuous. 

The Negro's inspiration for poetry, music and the fine arts, proves 
conclusively that there dwells within him a higher and better nature, 
which neefls only to be developed to its fullest capacity to convince the 
world beyond the possibility of a successful contradiction that his stand- 
ard of good morals is as elevated as that of mankind in general. As it 
is impossible for any fountain to pour forth pure and impure water at 
the same time, so is it impossible for total depravity to exist in the same 
mind where dwells that finer sense or appreciation of the beautiful, which 
originates music, poetry and the fine arts. Again, we refer the world to 
such beautiful examples as our own dear Edmonia Lewis, B. T. Tanner, 
now abroad ; Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Frances W. Harper, Madam Salika, 
Flora Batsen Bergen, Nellie Brown Mitchell, Virginia Adele Montgom- 
ery, Hallie Quinn Brown, and scores of others; some, perhaps not quite 
so famous as those mentioned, but who along the line of the higher inspi- 
ration of the Negro, refute any argument that may be opposed. As an 
ensign of the very high standard of Christian ethics attainable by the 
race, we mention with heart-felt gratitude our dear Amanda Smith, the 
leader among hundreds of other noble Christian women, who have given 
not only their lives to God and their race, but feel themselves responsible 
for the general uplifting of mankind wherever found, knowing that there 


is no difference with Him, for whom they labor, "whether Greek or Jew." 
There is no difference, whether high or low, rich or poor, bond or free, 
white or black ; all have a part in the common salvation of Him who came 
to lift the world up to its original standard of morality by sacrificing 
His own pure life, and who said, "And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all 
men unto me." The essential need of the human family is charity. Our 
Saviour said of the Christian graces, "And now abideth these three, 
Faith, Hope and Charity, but the greatest of these is Charity." The 
time was when there was very little, if any, faith in the Negro's ability 
to rise and equip himself as a man ; af terwards there came a faint glimmer 
of hope, which commingled with the slowly but gradually increasing 
faith, proved a blessed and powerful agent in the line of effectual assist- 
ance. The Negro began to rise, and he has, with the omnipotent aid of 
God, his Father, continued his rising until the present, with wonderfully 
good results, as must be conceded by all minds unbiased by prejudice. 

Still there is much land to be possessed, and one thing is yet lacking 
in the attitude of those who scrutinize him daily for the purpose of ren- 
dering an unfavorable judgment. "Charity suffereth long and is kind." 
Suffer in this connection means to bear; those who claim to have attained 
a higher standard of morality should bear patiently the infirmities of 
the Negro, while he is rising, knowing full well that his inherent weak- 
nesses are not of his own begetting, and that it will require some time 
to overcome the inertia of wrong instruction and practice. But "thanks 
be unto God, who giveth the victory," to all who obey Him, the Negro 
as well, God requires simply the earnest effort on his part, and then 
accomplishes the work Himself. 

The highest type of morality is that which generates a disposition on 
the part of its possessor to have compassion for the lowly and extend 
a helping hand toward the elevation, comfort and restoration of their 
inferiors. It has been wisely asserted that "an idle brain is the devil's 
work-shop." In view of this truism it is wisdom to keep the hand and 
brain well employed. Booker T. Washington comprehended this fully 
when he commenced the great work which he is now so successfully 
prosecuting at Tuskegee. Like the sainted bishop, Daniel A. Payne's, 
Booker T. Washington's standard of true morality was far above the 
average of his race. The range of his vision being so extensive, he saw 
clearly the situation of his people, and without hesitation undertook, in 
his own way, the work of ameliorating the condition of the masses with 


the hope of uplifting them to a higher plane of truth and virtue. His 
motives being pure, his success has been thus far commensurate with 
the scope of his prodigious undertaking. Notwithstanding his being mis- 
understood and misinterpreted by many, he has, with unswerving purpose, 
pursued the trend of his own honest convictions, proved his fidelity to 
the race, and convinced the world of his unshaken faith in the ultimate 
success of his enterprise. He is still practically demonstrating his 
obedience to the Moral Law, as summed up in the Divine command, 
"Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Many noble women, also 
of the race, having outrun their less-favored sisters and reached the 
highest standard, are now extending their hands to assist others in 
making their ascent into the more etherial atmosphere of that highest' 
sense of good morals. Thousands, with organization as their watch- 
word, have banded themselves into associations and federations under 
the significant motto, "Lifting as we climb." The Negro race, under the 
combined influence of its army of noble workers, both male and female, 
is fast journeying the upward way of truth and virtue; new heights it is 
gaining every day. 

The little leaven of purity will be unceasingly applied until the whole 
lump of Negro humanity is raised upon the lofty plane which will force 
the recognition of his antagonistic brother and convince him that the 
same high sense of morality governs the Negro as does the Caucasian, 
or any other highly civilized race upon the globe. 

God grant that the refining fires of truth may burn until all the dross 
of prejudice shall be melted and consumed, when, 

" Man to man united, 

The whole world shall be lighted, 
As Eden was of old." 



A generation has come since the passing away of the period to which 
the old Negro belonged, and this generation has lived in the period of the 
new Negro. Is this new Negro an improvement morally on his father? 
Zealous friends of the race stoutly maintain that he is; while enemies 
assert that he is not as good. It is the purpose of this article to present 
some facts which will prove that the young Negro, in spite of his dreadful 
inheritance, has, by the aid of generous friends and the grace of God, 
lifted himself to a higher moral plane than that upon which his unfor- 
tunate father stood. 

It is well, however, to note carefully at the very beginning, that we are 
not dealing with exceptions in this discussion, but with the race as a 
whole. At a river bank the water sometimes appears to run up stream, 
while if one will but look in the middle, he will see the river in full force 
gliding smoothly on to the ocean. So in all matters belonging to the 
realm of morals we must discard the narrow vision, and, taking the 
broad view of the Christian philosopher, sweep the entire horizon. 

Let us first, as an antecedent matter, consider some reasons why the 
young Negro should be expected to be better than his father. 

1. His father had no moral training. His very person was the vic- 
tim of a prodigious theft, and his labor was daily stolen. Could such a 
man be effectively taught honesty? To have taught the slave the ele- 
ments of morals meant the quickening not only of his moral, but also 
of his intellectual nature; and such a thing would ultimately have devel- 
oped resistance on the part of the slave. No true instruction in morals 
was possible in a condition of slavery. Look over the entire moral code 
as set forth in the Ten Commandments, and the impossibility of teaching 
effectively those great truths to slaves — American slaves — becomes 
apparent. The old enslaved Negro was destitute of true moral training; 
and very much of what was offered to him as such was nothing more 
than "sounding brass," and he knew it and could not profit by it. 

2. And while the old Negro did not have true moraL training, he 



Edward MacKnight Brawley was born at Charleston, S. C, March 18, 1851. His 
parents, James M. and Ann L. Brawley, were both free. Before the Civil War, in order 
that he might secure good educational advantages, he was sent to Philadelphia, Pa., 
where he passed through the grammar school; then he entered the Colored High 
School, of which Prof. E. D. Bassett was principal, and there prepared for college. In 
the fall of 1871 he entered Bucknell University, where he was graduated Bachelor of 
Arts in the class of 1875. During his college course he also pursued theological studies 
and was ordained for the ministry on the day after his graduation, by a council com- 
posed largely of professors of the university. He was the first colored student to 
attend Bucknell, and in 1878 he secured from his college the degree of Master of Arts. 
In 1885 the State University of Louisville, Ky., conferred upon him the degree cf 
Doctor of Divinity, and Rev. E. M. Brawley has this distinction, that he has held this 
degree for a longer time than any other living colored Baptist minister. For eight 
years he was State Missionary in South Carolina for the American Baptist Publication 

In 1883 he was called to the presidency of Selma University, Selma, Ala., 
and devoted several years to educational work. He then became District Secretary 
for the South for the American Baptist Publication Society, which work he resigned 
in 1890 to accept the call to the pastorate of the First Baptist Church of Petersburg, 
Va., the oldest colored Baptist Church in the country, which he subsequently left to 
go back to the work of the Society, at its earnest solicitation. He has also served 
in the pastorate at Greenville, S. C, Darien, Ga., and Palatka, Fla. He has done con- 
siderable newspaper work, and has devoted much time to religious writing, many 
pamphlets and books along race and denominational lines having been written by 
him. He is now Editorial Secretary of the National Baptist Publishing Board, of 
Nashville, Tenn., under the auspices of the National Baptist Convention. Dr. Brawley's 
qualifications and experience well fit him for his present position, for he has made 
a specialty of Sunday-school and denominational literature. 


did have positive training in the opposite direction. For the very 
svstem under which he lived was a training in evil. His ancestors had 
been stolen ; he himself was stolen ; his civil liberty was stolen. Could he 
form any adequate conception of property rights? And is it now a 
matter of surprise to us that the old man sometimes did a little stealing 
himself in order to relieve a hungry stomach? He was not taught the 
sacredness of the married life. Indeed, he was not taught to marry at 
all. He was, as a rule, simply told to live with a woman whom he might 
call his wife, and when the good pleasure or the necessities of his master 
demanded that she should be sold away, to take another woman and 
live with her and call her wife, also. He was not allowed to develop 
the idea of fatherhood toward his children, for they were not his, but 
rather mere chattel, to be sold at the pleasure of his master. The two 
great vices charged against the Negro race are theft and adultery. What- 
ever truth there is in this charge is due to the long training slavery gave. 
Indeed, slavery was largely a training in moral evil. Antecedently, 
therefore, we expect the old Negro to be worse, than his son. 

But, now, what are the positive arguments to prove that the young 
Negro is an improvement morally on his father? 

1. Slavery has been abolished, and the young Negro has not felt it. 
He has, therefore, missed its direct evil training. It is not denied that 
he is damaged because he was trained by a father who was brought up 
in slavery; but it is claimed that he has not received from his father, 
and cannot receive, as much injury as his father received from the system 
of slavery. 

2. The young Negro now has the gospel. The many thousands 
who came to Christ in the davs of slaverv, and are now at rest from their 
earthly toils and sufferings, are not forgotten. That they were saved 
is due to the fact that, owing to God's infinite goodness and mercy, a 
little knowledge and a little faith can save a sinner ; and God pitied our 
fathers. But the young Negro now has the gospel in its fullness. He 
gets it from the pulpit, from the Sunday-school, and daily in scores of 
our highest literary institutions. The gospel is the power of God unto 
salvation, and our youth, constantly learning it, have in large numbers 
been made to feel its power. Their lives having thus been purified and 
ennobled, beautiful and strong Christian characters have resulted. 

3. Many young Negroes have been thoroughly trained for the minis- 
try, who have led strictly upright lives and have taught others to do 


the same; and many others, not ministers, have enjoyed systematic 
training in ethics. Is it conceivable that the combined work of this 
class of our young people has accomplished nothing in the moral uplifting 
of the race? Such work must and does count powerfully on the right 
side, or else the gospel is a failure. Just as heathen nations have been 
redeemed and regenerated, having put away their savage life and 
accepted civilization and Christ because the gospel was preached to 
them, even so has our race been saved; and just as no other people ever 
received the gospel without being immeasurably blessed and lifted up, 
so also is that true of the Negro. And it is further true of all men that 
the more gospel privileges they enjoy, the better will be their condition. 
For the kingdom of evil is sure to be overthrown, and the kingdom of 
Christ established on the earth. And thus the young Negro cannot help 
being a better man morally than his father. 

4. The young Negro is living in an age of higher morals and neces- 
sarily partakes of its superior advantages. The age of brute foice is 
fast passing away. When after our great civil war the adjustment of 
our troubles with England was arranged by arbitration rather than set- 
tled by war, an immense stride in civilization, men say, was made. Very 
true, but why not say that the men in control of the two great nations 
involved were moved to act as they did because of their strong ethical 
principles? And from that time until now the moral advance of the 
world has been rapid and steady. The new Negro is living in this higher 
and better age, and his moral constitution has been built up and made 
strong because of it. The principles of international comity are fast 
spreading among the nations. And just as the economic principles of 
the trust are being applied to religious organizations, even so the stronger 
ethical principles that are moving the nations are inducing Christian 
white men to come nearer to their brethren in black, and to treat them 
more as men, brethren, than has ever been done before. And thus both 
external and internal forces have combined to make the young Negro 
morally better than his father. 

5. And, last of all, the young Negro is turning h ; s social and political 
disadvantages to his best interest by relying calmly upon the justice 
and wisdom of God's moral government. Life is, indeed, but a conflict 
of forces, but the intelligent young Christian Negro knows that the 
universe does not operate by chance. He feels the full force of what 
Charles Sumner said in his eulogy on Abraham Lincoln : "In the provi- 


The subject of this sketch was among the first to enter Atlanta University the first 
day it opened, 1869, and there remained until 1876. He taught school in Georgia for 
several years. He was converted in 1877 and joined the A. M. E. Church at Thomasville, 
Ga. He was licensed both to exhort and to preach. In January, 1880, he joined the 
Georgia Annual Conference. In 1882 was elected secretary of the Georgia Conference, 
which position he held for five consecutive years. In this same year he was ordained a 
Deacon by Bishop W. F. Dickerson and sent to Darien, Ga., where he prepared for and 
took care of the session of the Georgia Conference. 

In 1884 he met Ihe Georgia Conference at Valdosta, Ga., and was ordained an Elder 
by Bishop W. F. Dickerson, and was stationed at Quitman, Ga., remaining there two 
years. In January, 1886, he was transferred by Bishop James A. Shorter to the North 
Georgia Conference and stationed at Big Bethel A. M. E. Church, Atlanta, Ga., the city 
in which he was born. His mother had been a member of this church and its old mem- 
bers knew him when a boy. There he remained four years with great success, raising 
the largest amount of dollar money that had up to that time been raised in the State; 
by this he became one of the dollar money kings of the connection fo^ 1886 and was 
awarded a gold badge by the Financial Department of the A. M. E. Church. Thus, in 
six years after entering the ministry, he became pastor of the largest church in the 
State at the age of twenty-seven years. In 1889 he was assigned to Pierce's Chapel, 
Athens, Ga., and served it three years. In 1892 he was made Presiding Elder of the 
Athens District, which place he filled for three years. In 1893 he preached the annual 
sermon to the students of Allen University, Columbia, S. C, when the faculty and 
Trustee Board conferred on him the title of Doctor of Divinity. In 1892 he was a 
delegate to the General Conference of the A. M. E. Church, which met in Philadelphia, 
and served as a member on the committee on statistics. 

In 1895 he was stationed a second time in Atlanta, at Allen Temple, A. M. E. 
Church, remaining here four years with great success and entertaining the session of 
the North Georgia Conference in his last year. He was elected again to the General 
Conference, which met at Wilmington, N. C, in May, 1896, and served on the committee 
on revision of discipline. 

In 1899 he was elected not only a delegate but the leader of his delegation to the 
General Conference, which met at Columbus, Ohio, in May, 1900. Here he was elected 
without opposition chairman of the Episcopal Committee, the most important committee 
of the church; it is composed of all the leaders of the delegations from all parts of the 
church, and before this committee the Bishops appear for an examination in their moral, 
religious and official character; it fixes the boundaries of the districts and assigns the 
Bishops to their fields of labor. 

He is now a trustee of Morris Brown College, Secretary of the Trustee and Execu- 
tive Boards, Treasurer of the Theological Fund, Chairman and treasurer of the dollar 
money committee of the Atlanta, Ga., Conference, Book Steward, Chairman of Committee 
on Fourth Year's Studies. He is a prominent craftsman and for one year was Deputy 
Grand Master of the Most Worshipful Union Grand Lodge, A. F. and A. M. of Georgia, 
Grand Representative of the Stringer Grand Lodge of Mississippi to the Grand East 
of Georgia, with the rank of Grand Senior Warden. He is now a Trustee of the W. E. 
Terry Masonic Orphan and Widows' Home and Industrial School, located at Americus. 
Ga., Associate Editor of the "Voice of Missions," the missionary organ of the A. M. E. 
Church, published in New York. 

One of the greatest events of his life was the receiving of Rev. Jas. M. D'wane of 
the Ethiopian Church from Pretoria, Transvaal Republic, South Africa, into the A. M. 
E. Church, and through him eighty preachers and two thousand eight hundred members. 


dence of God there is no accident — from the fall of a sparrow, to the 
fall of an empire' or the sweep of a planet, all is controlled by divine 
law." And thus he lives undisturbed by the wrathful elements that are 
at play around him. His full confidence in God at this trying hour, and 
his firm belief that the wrath of man will yet be turned to his advantage, 
are but the evidence that he trusts intelligently; and the fact that he 
does so, and does not become an anarchist, is the proof of his higher 
moral life. If it be said that his father did not become an anarchist, 
the answer may be that slavery had dispirited him. But the young 
Negro is not dispirited. He knows enough and has spirit enough to 
make this country tremble; but whatever knowledge and spirit he has 
which could be used for evil, he has restrained and will yet further 
restrain, because he has abiding confidence in God, and knows that 
"giant right is more than might;" and this confidence has aided in 
making him a better man than his father. 



The difficulty of considering this question deepens as we consider the 
young Negro from every phase of life. Universally it cannot be answered 
in the affirmative, for the Negro is divided into classes as well as are 
other races, and as no people are universally, morally good, so such 
cannot be expected of the Negro. 

The Negro possesses an upper class, a middle class, and a lower class, 
and in a consideration of these classes we shall look for an answer to the 
question. The upper class consists of those who have made extraordi- 
nary progress, morally, religiously, mentally and materially; who have 
outstripped their fellows in the race of life and attained a standard of 
civilization commensurate with their opportunities and proved to the 
civilized world that under favorable circumstances the Negro is as capa- 
ble of a high development in civilization as any other race. This class 
is an improvement, morally, upon their fathers. For their opportunities 
have been such as to render them more capable of a higher conception of 
morality and of their duties to their fellowmen, and in proportion as a 


man is enlightened on morality does he improve in morality, other things 
being equal, and reaches a higher type of manhood. Morality is always 
affected by one's religious views. The moral binds us to our fellowmen, 
and the religious to our God ; and a man may in many respects be better 
than his fellowman but he can never be better than his God. If a mau 
has low and meagre ideas of God his ideas of man will be low and meagre 
whatever may be his conceptions of the law, government, and the char- 
acter of his Creator will be his ideas of duty to wife, children, neighbors 
and country. 

The educational qualifications on moral and religious lines must 
furnish some of the rules by which the standard can be gauged for the 
man who has by liberal and extensive educational facilities gotten the 
capacity to know his God and His moral government over His creatures 
must rise in moral improvement and stand out as the towering mountain 
above the plain that surrounds it. And on this line the upper class of 
Negroes, by reason of religious and educational advantages, are an 
improvement morally on their fathers, whose opportunities for moral 
improvement were very meagre, indeed. 

The middle class of Negroes are not equal to the upper class in attain- 
ments. Their educational advantages have not been so great as those 
of the upper class, and yet their moral development has been corre- 
spondingly as great. The moral law of God has been heard as distinctly 
by them as by the upper, but they have not that discriminating judgment 
that enables them in every instance to distinguish between the morally 
wrong and the morally right, and yet there has been awakened in them 
a consciousness of certain things due to their fellowman and to their 
God that has kept them in a way that they could not be charged with 
wilful moral wrong, and their conservatism has placed them in a manner 
nearer to the morally right than to the morally wrong. And the young 
Negroes of this class are an improvement morally on their fathers. Solo- 
mon hath said, "As a man thinketh, so is he." Good character cannot arise 
out of low thoughts, but it must emanate from pure, noble, God-fearing 
and elevating thoughts and ideas. Correct ideas of life practically 
embodied in conduct can lift man above the low, sensual, evil walks of 
life. Now that there are many young Negroes with correct ideas of life 
cannot be denied. Now the lower class of Negroes are those whose 
ideas are distorted; who are conscience-seared, and who have no regard 
for God nor man; and as the upper and middle classes have ascended 


On May 7, 1855, near Springplace on the Connesauga, in the chestnut hills of 
North Georgia, of slave parentage, was born E. C. Morris, now the President of the 
National Baptist Convention, which is the largest deliberative body of Negroes in the 
world, the editor-in-chief of the Sunday School series issued by the National Baptist 
Publishing Board, the President of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention, and pastor 
of the Centennial Baptist Church of Helena, Arkansas. His early education was through 
the common school, but practically from nature and necessity. From earliest childhood 
he was peculiarly interested in men and things; hence, now possesses a large stock of 
knowledge concerning human nature, is an advocate of prudence, conservatism and 
manliness in all affairs bearing upon the relation of the races in this country. He 
stands for self-help and racial integrity and believes that when man has acknowledged 
his inability and failure to ameliorate the ill conditions in this country, God will settle 
the same and cause the deserved recognition of all men, black and white. 

He saw with his father the first train that passed through North Georgia, though 
the spectacle was quite an amusing draft on his youthful nerve, for, says he, "Had I 
been older than five years, it is questionable that my father, by whose hand I was led, 
could have detained me from the urgent business I felt I had back home when that 
mysteriously terrible locomotive came rushing down the track seemingly intent upon 
spending its fury upon no one else but me." 

When Elias was ten years old, his parents, James and Cora Morris, moved into 
Alabama, settling at the little town of Stevenson. But Elias had a short while before 
begun living with the late Rev. Robert Caver, his brother-in-law, at Stevenson, and so 
lived until he arrived at the age of twenty-one. Mr. Caver taught the young man the 
shoemaker's trade and the latter earned his bread upon the shoemaker's bench until 
thirty and three years old. He felt a call to the gospel ministry immediately upon 
his conversion at the age of nineteen, which took place just at the time when he had 
grown so inimical and impatient toward a revival that had been going on for several 
days in the church at Stevenson that he had plotted mischievous disturbance of the 

He grew in grace and general ability, and in 1879 accepted a call to the pastorate 
of the Centennial Baptist Church of Helena, Arkansas, which position he has held 
continuously to the present time. His ability as an organizer is fully recognized among 
his people. He established and for the first two years edited the first religious paper 
published by the Negroes in the State of Arkansas. In 1884, he organized the Arkansas 
Baptist College and for sixteen years has been Chairman of its Board of Trustees. For 
nineteen consecutive years he has been annually elected President of the Arkansas 
Baptist State Convention. In 1894 he was elected President of the National Baptist 
Convention, whose constituency numbers about a million and a half, and has been 
elected every year since to the same position. Under his leadership, this society has 
been firmly unified and has enjoyed the greatest prosperity in its history. It was his 
address before this Convention at Washington, in 1893, that inspired an indomitable 
and uncompromising determination in the minds of the colored Baptists to begin 
publishing interests of their own. It was his active brain that conceived the idea of the 
National Baptist Young People's Union Board, which Board is located at Nashville. 
And so his progressive acts have multiplied as he has advanced in age and responsibility. 
Dr. Morris is an acknowledged adviser of the colored people of his community, in all 
matters relating to their general uplift. He is a friend to humanity and a lover of his 
race. He is a possessor and advocate of wholeheartedness and sincerity, being char- 
itable to a difference or a fault. His influence begins at home and spreads abroad, and 
all distinctions that he bears are borne with gentlemanly modesty, believing leadership 
to him a duty rather than an honor. 


in the scale of moral civilization, so the bad class of Negroes have 
descended in the scale, their finer sensibilities having become blunted by 
vice and crime, so that education on moral and religious lines has no 
charms for them. Sinai's inajesti« summit and moral law are as chaff to 
them, and as freedom has given a greater and better opportunity for 
the morally good to improve and rise, so it has given the same for this 
class to descend and become more and more corrupt. Indeed, they have 
gone lower than their fathers on this line. But the character of a race 
is not to be judged by its degraded element, but by the upper and middle 
classes, which form the major portion of any race and give it a standing 
along the line of moral and religious civilization. We conclude by saying 
that tbe young Negro is an improvement morally upon his father. 

First, because freedom has given to the young Negro aspirations for 
a purer life, which his father did not have. 

Second. The moral atmosphere of the young Negro's home life is 
better than that of the old Negro. 

Third. The young Negro's educational advantages give him higher 
conceptions of life and duty than those had by his father. 

Fourth. The young Negro has a more enlightened pulpit than his 
father had to preach a broader and more comprehensive gospel to him, 
and to thus give him more correct ideas of life. 

Now these superior advantages, which the young Negro has, make it 
possible for him to outstrip his father in moral accomplishments, and the 
arguments of his enemies to the contrary notwithstanding, the educated 
young Negro presents a striking contrast in point of morality to the old 



The subject of this article is a very important and delicate one; 
important because it forms the base from which all the advancement 
made by the race for the last past thirty-six years must be measured, and 
delicate because it makes comparison between father and son. If there 
has been no improvement in the race, morally, since its emancipation 
from slavery, then no real advancement has been made ; and to say that 


the Negro has made no advancement would be sufficient to call forth 
universal derision. 

It must be admitted in the beginning that to do full justice to the 
subject, much study and space is required. In the absence of compre- 
hensive statistics od the subject and the time in which to compile the 
same, several standpoints of reasoning must be assumed, and these will 
be taken up in no regular order, one being important as the others. I 
do not attempt to go upon or set up a system of scientific theories either, 
but simply to state and connect obvious facts. The past and present 
moral status of the race is involved, but I shall not go beyond that period 
in which the race was emancipated', and will include, as the fathers, such 
as were the heads of families at that time and those who were born about 
that time, constituting largely the heads of families now, as the respective 
parties to the comparison. 

What is here said in comparison of father and son is not intended 
as unfavorable criticism even where the language may appear uncompli- 
mentary, but rather to make a truthful statement of the virtues found 
in both. I wish also to be understood as placing myself with those who 
have faith in the race, to the extent that I believe a large majority of the 
freedmen and their descendants are moral, and should be counted with 
the good and upright in heart. Such a decision cannot be reached, how- 
ever, from a surface examination or outward appearances. For it is a 
notorious fact that in all the years of the Negro's life in this country, he 
has been subjected to the most menial occupations such as would, in a 
large measure, prejudice the disinterested observer against any high 
opinion of his morals. The subject is by no means a new one, but has 
been investigated and discussed for a long time by great writers and 
thinkers. Opinions have been expressed which are by no means favor- 
able to the race — by no means favorable because of the ignorance of the 
party expressing the opinion. Many of these opinions have been formed 
and influenced by what is seen of the Negro in the crowded streets of 
great cities, at railroad depots, or at steamboat landings; or upon the 
great cotton, rice and sugar plantations, where thousands of Negroes 
who are employed only as day laborers, meet. But these do not represent 
the majority of the Negroes. Nor should opinions be formed, of the 
moral status of this people, out of what may be seen of them at such 
places as above referred to, any more than the morals of a great city like 
New York or Chicago should be judged by what is seen of the motley 


crowds that gather about the wharfs and in the congested streets and 
other places where the lowest element of society is to be seen in the 
majority. The Negro fathers of forty years ago were as good as the 
circumstances and conditions of that day required, and many of them 
showed themselves to be superior to the requirement. It is to be admitted 
that environment and teaching have much to do with moral development, 
and that neither of these were, as a rule, favorable to the fathers. The 
contraband life of the Negroes during the war was perhaps the best that 
could be provided at that time. But it was far from being conducive to 
good morals, and was not, in a moral sense, an improvement upon the 
plantation life prior to the war, when almost all the slaves were huddled 
by families in one room cabins of what was known as "the quarters." 
It was fortunate for the race and the fathers that the contraband life 
was of short duration, and the heads of families among the Negroes, as 
fast as they could get their loved ones together, began to settle in families 
all over the Southland. The privilege of being a free man, to come and 
go at will, had its evil effect upon the fathers for a few years, but they 
soon became enveloped with the desire that their children become edu- 
cated and otherwise cultured, as were the children of their white 

The desire to educate and accumulate for the good of the children 
became the restraining point in the lives of the fathers, and a very appre- 
ciable change for better morals was noticeable in the latter sixties and 
early seventies. 

Immediately following the close of the war, a great many missionary 
agencies set to work among the Negroes for the purpose of improving 
them morally and intellectually. These agencies operated among the 
old and young alike, but not with the same results; for it soon became 
known that very little change could be wrought among the aged ones 
whose superstitious notions of religious worship and peculiar ideas about 
"white folks' religion" made it a difficult task to teach them. Notwith- 
standing their superstition, the aged Negroes were singularly kind and 
respectful to their white neighbors and permitted the white teachers — 
for nearly all teachers were white at that time — to have absolute control 
of their children both as to home and school life. 

One of the attributes of morality is a happy conscience, or happiness, 
for there can be no true happiness where there is no morality. Hence, 
there existed an appreciable element of morality among the fathers, for, 


as a rule, no happier or more contented people could be found anywhere. 
I speak of the whole race. One may be a good servant or a good neigh- 
bor, and yet not a good man. Opportunities have much to do with 
developing the attributes of the soul. Many of those noble qualities 
which go to make a good man were latent in the fathers, for there had 
been no opportunity for the development of these qualities. 

The home is the foundation place of all that is good and grand in a 
race or nation. Wisdom and virtue are inseparable from a good home. 
Hence, to make the comparison which my subject calls for, we must 
inquire into the home and religious life of the present generation. The 
young men from eighteen to twenty-one years of age who are, so to speak, 
in embryo with respect to questions affecting the progress of the race, 
are not included in the summary we make and should not be considered 
directly, in measuring the moral status of the race. As to the homes 
of the fathers forty years ago, very little can be said. But late statistics 
show that there are over three hundred thousand homes and farms owned 
by the Negroes in the United States, which indicates that nearly two 
millions of the nine million of our people live in their own homes. The 
figures are very significant when it is remembered that the race started 
forty years ago, four million and a half in number of individuals, with 
practically no homes. The property value of the homes now owned is 
conservatively put at one billion dollars — not a bad showing for a people 
who commenced forty years ago at zero in wealth. But the accumula- 
tion of wealth does not always mean that the owner is moral, yet the 
accumulation and maintenance of good homes present a better argument 
in favor of the good moral inclination of the people accumulating and 
maintaining these homes than can be produced in words. These mean 
more than the mere ownership of a house and lot, or a sixty acre farm ; 
a respect for the first institution set up by the Creator is thereby shown 
and that in that institution (the family) is one to love and honor; and 
that there an altar is to be erected around which all are to kneel and 
worship God ; they mean that morality, the foundation of all true great- 
ness, is to be enthroned there. The establishment and maintenance of so 
many Christian homes among our people has brought forward a demand 
which is a barometer of the moral changes, and shows conclusively that 
the race is improving morally. This demand is for the right kind of 
men as preachers and teachers. The time was when a man who could 
read and write, no matter what his character, could find a place to preach 


and teach among our people. This does not obtain now so much as 
before, and the people are demanding that their teachers and spiritual 
advisers, be men and women whose lives and characters are living epistles 
of virtue. If proof of this point were necessary, one would need only 
to refer to the continued upheavals in various communities, in the schools 
and churches, where war has been made upon those persons whose lives 
have been such as to arouse suspicion that they were unworthy the offices 
held. The fact that these demands are being made for a pure ministry 
and a competent and worthy corps of teachers is encouraging. 

In passing judgment upon the moral status of the young Negro, or in 
comparing this status with that of the father who has gone from the 
stage, we will necessarily have to apply the multiplication process, for 
it will require a life fully lived in all its details to constitute the sum 
total of a well built character. Therefore, the whole truth about the 
morals of the present generation will be known only to the next. The 
processes used in the moral development of the race have been gradual 
and almost imperceptible in progress, bufc they have been in progress, 
nevertheless, and promise great results. The man who sowed his seeds 
yesterday does not expect to reap a harvest to-morrow. Cultivation is 
to follow planting. The warm spring rains, the hot rays of a summer 
sun are to come and moisten and w r arm the soil around the roots, cause 
the blade to shoot forth and then harden the stalk and the grain. These 
are to be followed by the cool winds and frosts of autumn before harvest 
comes. The planting of moral principles in the present generation of 
Negroes has been done ; the cultivating process is now going on by means 
of the buying of homes, entering into business and agricultural pursuits, 
building churches and schools and in educating the youth. These facts 
point to the moral trend of the mind of the present generation, but per- 
haps none of them in the same degree as the religious desire of the colored 

A larger per cent of the Negroes in this country are members of the 
Christian churches than of any other race of people. Notwithstanding 
the criticism to the contrary, they are as practical in their Christianity 
as any set of people. The matter of divorce has been a great problem 
to many of the most thoughtful men of the race, and the frequent resort 
to the courts to obtain divorces has been used as an argument against the 
growth of the moral sentiment in the race. But the very fact that such 
inputs with opposition and is disapproved by the good people is evidence 


in favor of the Negro's morals. Then again, the class of Negroes who 
have but little respect for the marriage vow are, as a rule, those who are 
indolent, worthless and without a home and making no effort to obtain 
one. But, happily, this class form but a small minority. 

Another virtue in the Negro's character which comes only from a 
moral sentiment is gratitude. He loves his benefactors and would 
gladly repay them for all they have done for him, if he were able to do 
so. If the mind was filled with sensuality, deception, hatred and like 
vices, there would be no room for that noble characteristic, gratitude, 
which is so prominent in the present generation. His gratitude extends 
beyond the individual benefactor to the flag of his country; overlooking 
present conditions and remembering past favors, he is always ready to 
dare and die for his country's honor. We conclude by saying that the 
fathers who came up out of slavery, unlettered and untrained, did well. 
The present generation of fathers, or heads of families, by reason of 
superior advantages, are doing far better. The race as a whole for the 
last past thirty-six years has made a history for itself which will form 
the apex of its glory when it has passed through a century of training 
under its changed condition from slavery to freedom. 



The most important and vital factors in the development of a race 
are physical strength, intelligence and morality, these three, but the 
greatest of these is morality. 

The individual or the race possessed of either or both of the first 
two, and that utterly ignores the third, can never attain to the full status 
of man, nor reach the zenith of full racial development or the pinnacle of 
civilization. To-day we hear much about the survival of the fittest and 
the "superior race and the inferior races." The earnest, thoughtful 
student of life and its affairs immediately raises the question, To whom 
do such titles "fittest," "superior" and "inferior" refer, and why? The 
history of a people shows the advance and growth of that people. Their 
development can be traced from the crude barbarous or semi-barbarous 


Mrs. Ariel Serena Hedges Bowen, wife of Dr. J. W. E. Bowen of Gammon Theological 
Seminary, Atlanta, Ga., was born in Newark, N. J. Her father was a Presbyterian 
clergyman in that city. He had graduated from Lincoln University, Pa., and had 
organized churches in New York State. Her mother represents one of the oldest Presby- 
terian families of that State. Her grandfather was a bugler in the Mexican war, and was 
a Guard of Honor when Lafayette revisited the United States. Her parents removed 
early to Pittsburg, Pa., where she attended the Avery Institute. She completed the 
Academic course of this school. Her parents then moved to Baltimore, Md., where her 
father became pastor of Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, and finally of Grace 
Presbyterian Church. She was sent to the High School of Springfield, Mass., where she 
remained and graduated with honor in a large class in 1885. She also took the Teachers' 
Course and Examination and passed a creditable examination and was favorably con- 
sidered as teacher for one of the schools of that city, c-he was then called to teach 
History and English Language in the Tuskegee Institute, Tuskegee, Ala., under Prof. 
B. T. Washington. 

In the year 1886 she was married to Dr. J. W. E. Bowen. She became a Life Member 
of the Woman's Home Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church. She 
removed to Atlanta with her husband in 1893. She became Professor of Music in Clark 
University in 1895. She is the State President of the Georgia W. C. T. U., No. 2. She 
has written very largely, among which may be mentioned, "Music in the Home." "The 
Ethics of Reform," etc. She is an accomplished vocalist and musician with the piano 
and pipe organ. She is busily engaged in temperance and reform work, together with 
training and fitting her family of one boy and three girls for life. She is regarded as 
one of the foremost and best cultured women of her race. She reads Greek, Latin and 
German with facility, and is a superb housekeeper. 


state in which, physical prowess predominated through the period of 
intellectual development where the mind begins to grasp new ideas and 
where new ideals of higher and nobler purposes are, sought after. Then 
came the greater perfection, the nobler aspiration, the purer, higher 
civilization, growing out of the purer thought and purer life of a purified 
people. This is true of all races, therefore the Negro race is no exception, 
and is entitled to the same justice that is accorded to every race that has 
had its rise and fall. 

The writer takes it that the young "Negro" and his father are to 
represent only the ante-bellum and the post-bellum Negro. To go beyond 
that, to take him in his earlier state in the native wilds of his fatherland, 
before the Anglo-Saxon missionary reached him and gave to the world a 
true picture of his morality, would be to present to the world some 
startling facts that would not only put to shame the "young Negro," but 
also the hosts of men of all nations who glory in the progress they have 
made in morals. 

It can be proven by the best authorities that many of the heathen 
Africans, though crude in ethics, were pure morally. 

But the discussion resolves itself into two very important questions. 
What was the moral condition of the Negro before the war, and what is 
his moral condition to-day? Before the war, what a picture comes 
before us at these words, what a panorama of deeds passes before our 
mind's eye. Years of gross darkness, darkness that deepens into the 
blackness of the pit, those days that seem like a hideous nightmare to 
the hoary headed, and the story of which sounds to the youth like a heart- 
rending and nauseating recital. Yet, it was not all dark, some would 
say ; perhaps not, but the bright spots only tended to intensify the dark- 

What morals were chattels expected to have, and who gave to these 
chattels their moral code? It was certainlv not of their own making. 
What could be the moral condition of a race to whom family rights were 
forbidden and whose business, next to labor, was to propagate solely 
for the master's gain? The words mother, father, were used only in the 
language of the "big house." 

Womanhood, the foundation stone of moral eminence, passed through 
a crucial ordeal, and it is to be greatly wondered at that the Negro 
woman emerged with even the crudest type of moral capacity. 

Every line on every page of the history of those dark days teem and 


reek witti the abandon of licentiousness, nor could this be otherwise. It 
was the natural sequence of a debasing system. It is no disparagement 
upon the noble few whose garments were kept unspotted, nor upon those 
who would have reached towards higher ideals, if they had been masters 
of themselves, to say that the ante-bellum Negro did not possess a great 
degree of morality. There can be no other conclusion drawn from such 
demoralizing conditions. 

The moral status of the Negro is to-day an all-absorbing theme, and is 
discussed pro and con by friend and enemy in other races, and by the 
optimist and pessimist of his own. Comparisons concerning his morals 
and moral growth are made as all other comparisons are made concern- 
ing him, not between his present and former condition, nor between his 
condition and that of any other people at the same stage of development, 
under the same conditions and environments. On the contrary, incon- 
sistency is ever present in the attempts to show the world existing facts. 
Whenever an attack was made upon the system of slavery, the defenders 
of the system immediately pointed to the poor slaveholder and the dearth 
of Negro criminals as points in favor of a time when the Negro enjo} 7 ed 
the blessings of a "mild and humane system." 

When the progress of the black race in America is placed in the bal- 
ance, the lowest and most degraded and careless of the masses who have 
not come out of a state of inertia are brought into comparison with the 
noblest types that have ascended the scale of life. What wonder then 
that there is so much adverse criticism ; what is needed is a search for 
facts and an unprejudiced putting of all that appertains to the Negro, 
and a just acknowledgment of the results attained. 

That the American Negro has made an advance along all lines that 
make for the higher development of a people cannot be denied. He has 
improved morally in a corresponding way. The limit of this paper will 
not permit a statistical comparison, but a few points may be noticed in 
passing. His moral instinct is quickened and his moral nature asserts 
itself in higher forms of life under the new conditions. He has started 
at the fountainhead and the purity of his home and hearthstone is a 
magnificent memorial to the purity of the black woman. 

Were it possible to give in numbers the correct estimate of these 
beautiful homes and their characters, even the most bitter of his enemies 
and the pessimists of his own race would look with doubt upon the 
pernicious libels disseminated in the periodical literature of the day. 


The dark picture of the Negro's shortcomings is thrown on the canvas 
and so familiar has it become that not a few seldom think that there is 
another picture which the Negro himself knows to be truer to life and 
more prophetic of his real nature, taken from real life, and one that 
ought to give inspiration and hope to all seekers after facts. 

The Negro ministry has made rapid and marked progress in moral 
achievements for itself and also for the race in their wide influence upon 
the same. There is a constant and ever-increasing demand coming from 
the people for a higher and nobler service in the pulpit, and the demand is 
being met in a comparative measure. Moreover there are professional 
men whose lives prove the possessors' estimate of virtue and are being 
spent in bringing others up to these lofty ideals. 

The noble army of teachers, most of whom are women, are not to be 
overlooked or underestimated. Next to the faithful mother, these noble 
women have lived and worked for the race. They have proved them- 
selves ever against untoward conditions. Their work and worth should 
not be reflected against because of the few whose lives are not up to the 
standards of true womanhood. It is undeniably true that the virtues of 
Solomon's virtuous women may be duplicated in multitudes of our 
women teachers. 

A word concerning the criminal record of the Negro might be worth 
considering. It is here that the moral weakness of the race is said to 
be most manifest. We are told that figures do not lie, and an appeal 
from the records is not to be considered for a moment. Yet, he who wants 
facts and is in search of the truth must appeal and must make personal 

As yet statistics, the press and history, have not given a truthful, 
unbiased record of the Negro of to-day as he really is. One side has been 
faithfully followed, and elaborately and painfully portrayed, but of the 
other side only here and there an item, a reference and a charitable sur- 
mise rewards the seeker after knowledge. A careful study of the environ- 
ments of the so-called criminal class, also the courts of justice before 
which the criminals are arraigned, would develop some interesting, not 
to say startling, facts ; for example, "it has been shown by Prof. Branson, 
of the Georgia State Normal School, that while the illiterate Negro popu- 
lation of the state furnish three convicts per thousand, the Negroes who 
have profited by the public schools furnish only one convict per thou- 


sand." Many of the criminals start from the court-room and are the 
victims of injustice. 

Such untoward conditions serve rather to stamp out every vestige of 
nobility rather than inspire to a reaching out after higher ideals. 

The young or post-bellum Negro is steadily improving morally. In 
the face of strong opposition, in his moral development, just as he does 
rn mental, financial and civil growth, against all the opposing forces that 
would hinder his growth and relegate him to the lowest stratum of man- 
kind, he is forcing his way up the stream. His spiritual and mpral nature 
is beating under the animal nature which for so long a time heltt him as 
a slave. He now does right for right's sake, and loves the pure and good. 
He honors the women of his race and is raising her to nobler plains in 
his thoughts and life. 

The Negro woman is asserting herself also and is building for herself 
a character that rests upon a foundation of personal purity. This she 
is doing not only for herself, but for others. The building up of pure 
homes is her chief concern and in them she reigns with womanly queen- 

Social reform receives her attention, and in these walks she may be 
found teaching the young the single standard of purity for both sexes. 
Her way is the roughest, her path most closely beset with snares, but her 
works show for themselves. 

If there had been no advancement along moral lines, the Negro's 
material and intellectual attainments would count for very little in the 
world of affairs, for he would degenerate to a mere mechanical factor 
in human society and become a tool in every case in the hands of a 
stronger race. But he has added te his material and intellectual strength 
a greater and higher force, viz., that of moral worth, which at once raises 
him to higher planes in the social and civil world, and brings him into 
contact with his enemies and oppressors. 

The Negro has met and overcome the great barriers to his progress 
one by one. Despite the snares that are all about his path, and their 
hidden evils that seek to hold him in thralldom, yet he bursts his chains 
and marches forward with renewed purpose and greater zeal. 

Yes, the young Negro is embodying nobler ideas in his nature and 
reaching forward after higher ideals because of his superior advantages. 
He is to face a future pregnant with struggles of a higher order and of a 
more diverse character, than the struggles of an earlier day. He enters 


into competition, not with one race only, but with all the races of man- 
kind. As the knowledge of the fierceness of the battle comes to him, he 
raises himself from his lethargy and in the strength of his manhood he 
goes forward. 

He who doubts not the Negro's growth and development along intel- 
lectual and financial lines cannot gainsay his steady and sturdy growth 
in moral and social power. 



It would be extravagant to set up any claims of greatness in behalf of 
Negro writers. The Negro has yet his contribution to make to the litera- 
ture of mankind. We fullv believe that he has a message to deliver. 
The making of a writer is a matter of centuries. England was a long 
time producing a Shakespeare or a Milton, Italy a Dante, Russia a Tolstoi, 
France a Hugo or a Dumas, Germany a Goethe and a Schiller. America, 
active in invention and commerce, has not yet produced a name worthy 
to stand by the side of those just mentioned. All really great writers 
have not only a national or racial, but also a universal quality in their 
productions. So far the greater part of our literary effort has been of 
historical compilations. We have accumulated a large mass of material 
for the future historians. Williams' "History of the Negro Race" is an 
example of this kind. In this way we have recorded the deeds of distin- 
guished Negroes in every avenue of life. Such works have kept alive 
the hope and kindled the aspirations of the race. A most interesting 
work of this kind is that of Prof. E. H. Crogman, "The White Side of a 
Black Subject." In this book we have the serious and earnest efforts of 
the race recorded. Here we learn of educators like Booker T. Wash- 
ington and J. W. E. Bowen, lawyers like T. McCants Stewart and S. A. 
McElwee, women physicians like Halle T. Johnson and Georgia Wash- 
ington. Books of this kind are in almost every Negro home in the 

The Negro as a writer of prose is nowhere seen to a better advantage 
than in Dr. Blyden's "Christianity, Islam and the Negro Race.'' Here 
we find the Negro in command of the best English style. AVhatever may 
be said of his opinions, his mastery of a forcible, spirited, nervous expres- 
sion reminds one of Macaulv and Addison. Probablv the best book 
from the standpoint of scientific, historical investigation is the work 
of Dr. DuBois on "The Suppression of the African Slave Trade." 

Bishop B. T. Tanner, in his "Dispensations in the Church," has made 
a real contribution to our race literature. In this he establishes the 



Rev. J. Q. Johnson, D. D., was graduated from the Collegiate Department of Fisk 
University in 1890; from the Hartford Theological Seminary in 1893. He taught mathe- 
matics at Tuskegee for one year; the John F. Slater fund published his report of the 
fifth Tuskegee Negro Conference in its series of "Occasional Papers." He has been 
President of Allen University, Columbia, S. C. His pastoral work has embraced some 
of the strongest and most influential churches in the A. M. E. connection. Associated 
with him was his brilliant and cultured wife — Mrs. Halle Tanner Johnson — the first 
woman who ever passed the State Medical Board of Examiners of Alabama. Her 
recent death was a loss to the race. 

Dr. Johnson is among the foremost men of his church. He is among the best read 
men of the race. He is an able preacher and a strong, forceful writer. One of his 
characteristic points is his ability to say much in little. He goes right to the point 
without wasting time with needless icords. He received Doctor's degree from Morris 
Brown College, Atlanta, Ga. He studied two years as a post-graduate student at Prince- 
ton University. 


Ilamitic origin of the ancient Egyptians and shows that Hani is not one 
whit behind Japheth and Shem in achievement. Dr. R. L. Perry's work, 
"The Cushite," is a very excellent work along the same line. In this 
department there is yet much work for the Negro scholar. 

In Paul Lawrence Dunbar, the race has struck its highest note in 
song. A high and worthy tribute has been paid this writer by William 
Dean Howells. His lyrics have not only a genuine race flavor, but at 
the same time they appeal to the universal heart, Dunbar's work is of 
the first class. He has made a real contribution to the literature of the 
country. His name must now appear in any Manual of American liter- 
ature. The success of this writer is a matter of note. His poems and 
stories are in most of the popular magazines and his books on all news 
stands. It is clear from this that, whenever a Negro writes anything 
worth reading, his productions will be in constant demand. 

Mention must here be made of the commendable work of Chas. W. 
Chestnutt, another popular writer of the race. The lamented Dr. A. A. 
Whitman and Mrs. Frances W. Harper are two poets well-known to 
the public. Some think that Whitman is a greater poet than Dunbar. 

In a short sketch like. this, it is impossible to do justice to the literary 
achievements of the race. A whole volume might be written on the 
great work done by the Negro press. Here we have many strong writers 
— men of such mould as Fortune, Stewart, Mitchell and H. T. Johnson. 
Then, too, there are noted names as magazine writers — Scarborough, 
Kelly Miller, D. W. Culp and B. T. Washington and H. T. Kealing. 

The Negro has been a failure nowhere. In war, there stands Tous- 
saint L' Overture and Maceo; in education, B. T. Washington; in oratory, 
Frederick Douglas; in art, H. O. Tanner; in letters, Phyllis Wheatley and 
Paul Lawrence Dunbar. These and others like them are our prophets of 
the future. Being thus judged by our best men, it doth not yet appear 
what we shall be. The Greeks are great in a large measure because 
they wrote of themselves. So the Anglo Saxon, and any race for that 
matter. The Negro must do the same. His story will not be adequately 
told till it is done by himself. The Negro poet, novelist and historian 
have a vast wealth of material before them. Every southern city and 
plantation are vocal with the past history of our race. From the past 
and the present, from our achievements and our suffering, the Negro 
writer, whether poet, novelist or historian, will deliver our message to 
the world. 




On the stage, on the platform, in the pulpit and in conversation, 
the Negro has demonstrated a power in the use of speech that has well 
won him a merited distinction. This fluency and force of language, 
so often found in striking disparity to his other attainments, has armed 
critics and students of his racial peculiarities with the opinion that 
talking is his peculiar forte. 

Such an opinion does not obtain, however, in the face of noble exam* 
pies of this race who have the art of forcibly and correctly writing great 

The great cause of the Christian religion has furnished the field for 
more writers of this race than any other. This is noted not as a fault, 
but rather to confirm the fact that since the emancipation, the train- 
ing of the Negro, both at school and in his home, has been largely reli- 
gious, owing to his inborn susceptibility to religious impressions, and his 
well known proneness to abide by the teachings of his fathers; it is no 
marvel that the major portion of his written thoughts should be deeply 
tinged with religious ideas. 

Even in his occasional contributions to current literature, and when 
he is making an attack or a defense, right often does the religious effu- 
sion predominate. 

Until about twenty years ago, rare were the instances where Negro 
writers had produced books and other productions on other than religious 
subjects. And even at the present the number of secular writers is not 
large, considering the opportunities for writers of this class and the 
profits available. There are certain advantages, strange to relate, that 
the Negro has, that might be called natural. The great realm of thought, 
through which fiction and mental analysis holds undisputed sway, is not 
circumscribed by caste and other invidious discriminations as are most 
other avenues, through which the bravest souls essay to traverse, but 
are either crushed down or are ejected. Perhaps this is why, in cases 
that have doubtless come under the observation of all readers of the 
productions of Negro writers, there is a tendency toward recklessness. 

But it will be equitable and fair to take under consideration only 


Walter I. Lewis was born near Chester, S. C. No record having been kept, it is 
not possible to determine the date of his birth. Walter is the third of seven children 
that were born to William Charles and Mollie Lewis who were slaves to a man by the 
name of W. T. Gilmore. 

He successfully passed from the common schools to the preparatory department 
of Biddle University. 

Walter I. Lewis graduated with the second honor of his class of five from Biddle 
University, in Charlotte, N. C, and at once began his life-work, public school teaching, 
at Spartanburg, S. C. 

After teaching in that city for three years, two of which he succeeded in securing 
a sufficient donation from the Peabody Fund to have the school term increased from 
five to nine months, he accepted an appointment under the Freedmen's Board of the 
Presbyterian Church, to take charge of their parochial school in Columbia, Tenn. 

Special inducements were offered him to take a position in the newly organized 
graded schools of that city, and he resigned the parochial school after serving one 
year, and accepted work with the graded school. This he found congenial and won 
special distinction in using the phonetic method of teaching primary pupils, that sys- 
tem being newly introduced there then. 

Having a turn for political contests he vigorously entered local political campaigns, 
generally on the winning side, and won some distinction as a campaign orator. 

Mr. Lewis came to Florida in 1890, as corresponding secretary of the Afro-Amer- 
ican Chautauqua Association, whose president was the lamented Dr. J. C. Price. 

The failure of that enterprise was a withering blow to Mr. Lewis. 

After remaining in Florida for nearly a year, at Tallahassee, Mr. Lewis became 
held correspondent and agent for the Florida Sentinel, then published in Gainesville. 

In 1892, Mr. Lewis got a position as city editor on the Labor Union Recorder of 
Savannah. For a time his activity seemed to be equal to the task of redeeming that 
paper, but the entailments of indebtedness were too great. It went under. 

He was urged to go to Jacksonville to enter the office of the Jacksonville "Advocate"; 
the inducements being flattering he went. He served the "Advocate" until the "Daily 
American" was established. He was on the "Daily American" as its city editor, and was 
on deck when that sheet went down. 

In the winter of 1895-96, necessity demanded a better daily news for the colored 
people of Jacksonville. This was secured at the office of the "Metropolis," one of 
the most successful afternoon papers that is published in the whole South. 

Mr. Lewis was put on as reporter for his race, on the staff of the "Metropolis," and 
has held this place continuously ever since. 

He is a firm believer in the survival of the fittest in all things, and declares this 
is the key to the solution of the race problem. 


those Negro writers, who have won more or less distinction as such, 
while discussing the Negro as a writer. 

From Alexander Dumas to the latest celebrity among Negro writers, 
the close observer of racial traits is furnished with vivid evidences of 
methods of thought that are peculiar to this people. In imagery, there 
is that floridity that goes dazzling to the sublime with a brilliancy that 
is captivating. If sorrow is depicted, his course through its horrible 
depths brings a shudder over the most listless reader. If happiness is 
to be portrayed, the coziest nook in Elysium is laid bare. If anger 
pleads for expression, no bolt frOm Vulcan's anvil has ever fallen with 
so crushing a clang. 

The Negro writer is prolific in detail. Situation follows situation in 
rapid success, demanding close attention to keep clear of the meshes of 
involvement. The writings of the Negro are full of soul. If, at times, 
there is a lacking of aptness in conventional adjustments, the hiatus is 
beautifully abridged with a freshness and wealth of expression that fully 

The Negro writer has it largely in his power to demonstrate the 
higher possibilities and capabilities of his race. As long as there is a 
Charles W. Chestnut, or a Paul Lawrence Dunbar, a T. Thomas Fortune, 
and others, whose writings are read by the thousands of literary people 
of this country and England, so long will there be an irrefutable argu- 
ment for the intellectual worth of the Negro race. 

It is within the power of the Negro writer to practically and profitably 
demonstrate the oft repeated aphorism, "Genius is not the plant of 
any particular soil." 

It should be a matter of some congratulation to the Negro that the 
great publishing houses of this country are not, and never will be, 
located at the great centers of race prejudice. A manuscript of merit 
can easily find publication. Within recent years it has been noticed 
that the vein of seriousness that has run through the writings of Negro 
authors is fading away, and a jollity that is his own is taking its place. 
Most of the men and women of the race, who have written enough to 
win public notice, are known to be persons of a cheerful and jovial dis- 
position. For such a person to live in the role of the miserable is at least 
a misrepresentation. 

The Negro's aptness in detecting the facetious, even in things that 
are serious; his laughing soul that places a bouquet of joy and sunshine 


where the somber draping of woe would so often be found, is his God- 
given stoftk in trade upon which he can do business for generations to 
come. This secret is being discovered by him. This discovery will yet 
furnish the great world of letters with men and women of this race, 
who will place millions under tribute to graciously acknowledge the 

The way to favor and preferment for the Negro writer is to be made 
by himself. The epic of his race awaits a writer. The drama of an 
unwritten history covering about four centuries will welcome the facile 
pen of some gifted son or daughter. The well nigh inexhaustible field 
of folk-lore of his own people is ready to be told to the world, whether 
in the crude dialect of the race, or in Americanized English, it matters 
little. It will make no difference. The English speaking people of both 
continents will read it if it is written by a master. It is not at all taken 
for granted, admitted, or intimated, that the Negro writer of the present 
century is oblivious to any of these facts. Just as the "coon" melodies 
have captured the musical realms of this country, and will remain in 
the saddle for some time yet; just as Negro singers and actors are honor- 
ably invading the progressive end of the American stage, so will Negro 
writers swarm in the great field of writers, bringing with them a supply 
of freshness of genius, that will rejuvenate and give fresh life to the 
literature of this country. 

This is a domain that mocks at legislative restrictions, caste, exclu- 
sionism and what not. Those who will enter and maintain their ground 
will be few. All of the stars in the heavens are not fast flying meteors. 
There never was such a thing as an army of sages. 

Mindful of the fact that his antecedence is small in the world of 
letters, the Negro writer is the more ardently inspired when he looks 
beyond and catches sight of golden fields into which no swathy hand has 
thrust a sickle. 

The world wants more joy; the world cries for more sunshine; the 
world begs for a laugh. Mankind gloats over the depiction of deeds 
both noble and ignoble. The world delights in that which is novel. 
The Negro is a son of caloric. His presence is sunshine. He tells a 
story leaving nothing out. He is himself a novelty, and it will not be 
too far in the twentieth century before he will take pity on the world 
and mankind and write them what thev like. 


The objection is often raised against schools of higher education for the Negro race 
that these people need instruction, not in Latin, history, geometry and moral science, 
but in scientific farming and geometric bed making. The leaven of truth in this asser- 
tion makes a plump denial hard to return; while its leaven of error is a reminder of 
the old antislavery assumption that till the end of time the Negro must be a hewer 
of wood and drawer of water, with no mental life to speak of. This error is best con- 
futed by proof of the race's actually wide range of intellectual demands, imaginative 
sympathies, moral questionings; and for this reason, if for no other, one thanks Mr. 
George Marion McClellan for venturing on the publication of his verses. This gentleman 
is a graduate of Fisk University, as he tells us in the interesting and modest preface 
to his volume. Thus he belongs to the first generation since the War. His parents, 
he indicates, were slaves, and his early home was upon the "Highland Rim" of Ten- 
nessee, amid the poverty of a freedman father's little farm. These things well weighed, 
the refined love of nature, the purity of sentiment, the large philosophy, the delicacy of 
expression which his poems display, are sufficiently marvelous. One must, per- 
haps, deny him the title of "poet" in these days when verse writers are many. His ear 
for rhythm is fatally defective, while, so far as one may judge from the few dates 
appended to the poems, the later productions seem not to be the best. Nevertheless, 
his little volume stimulates to large reviews and fair anticipations. It is a far cry 
from "Swing low, sweet chariot" — an articulate stirring of poetic fancy, but hardly 
more than that — to Mr. McClellan's "September Night in Mississippi": 

"Begirt with cotton fields, Anguilla sits, 
Half birdlike, dreaming on her summer nest 
Amid her spreading figs and roses still 
In bloom with all their spring and summer hues. 
Pomegranates hang with dapple cheeks full ripe, 
And over all the town a dreamy haze 
Drops down. The great plantations stretching far 
Away are plains of cotton, downy white. 
Oh, glorious is this night of joyous sounds. 
Too full for sleep Aromas wild and sweet 
From muscadine, late-booming jessamine 
And roses all the heavy air suffuse. 
Faint bellows from the alligators come 
From swamps afar where sluggish lagoons give 
To them a peaceful home. The katydids 
Make ceaseless cries. Ten thousand insects' wings 
Stir in the moonlight haze, and joyous shouts 
Of Negro song and mirth awake hard by 
The cabin dance. Oh, glorious is the night! 
The summer sweetness fills my heart with songs. 
I cannot sing; with loves I cannot speak." 

If many thoughts and feelings such as these lie folded in Southern cabins, let us 
not deny, for their unfolding, the genial influences of literature and history and the 
sciences. The race that possesses such powers, even though undeveloped in the great 
majority of its members, needs Fisk and Atlanta educated pastors and teachers. 



"The pen is mightier than the sword." It would have seemed idle to 
have said this at the mouth of the mountain pass at Thermopylae with 
Leonidas and his immortal Spartan heroes all lying dead amid the wreck 
made by the mighty host of Xerxes. A century afterward, at Cannae, 
one sixth of the whole population of Rome lay dead on the battlefield 
by the sword thrust. Where was the might of the pen to compare with 
this? The might of the sword at Thermopylae, together with the con- 
cluding events at Salamis, turned back the Persian hordes and thereby 
saved the Greek civilization for Europe. Again, after the blood of 
Cannae, at Zama, Hannibal was utterly broken and Carthage, with her 
attending civilization, was doomed to everlasting death, while Rome, 
her mighty adversary, with her eagles and short sword, carried her 
dominion and her splendid civilization from England to India. One 
more great movement in the world illustrating the power of the sword 
is too tempting to pass by in this connection. From the deserts of 
Arabia a fanatical dreamer came forth claiming a new revelation from 
God and as a chosen prophet to give the world a new religion. His 
pretentions at first caused his expulsion from Mecca, together with a 
small and insignificant band of followers. Yet because of these it was 
not long until there came from out the desert the sound of the marching 
of a mighty host, heralding the approach of the Arab, the despising and 
despised. Before these barbarous hordes the principalities of the East 
were doomed to crumble and yield up their accumulated treasures of the 
ages, and so triumphant were these invaders from the desert they decided 
to appropriate for themselves the whole world, and from this they were 
not dissuaded until Charles Martel sent them back from Tours and out 
of Europe, together with their hateful civilization. So it would seem 
from these and all other mighty movements of races and tribes, men and 
nations, the sword has ever been the arbiter. Yet over all the mighty 
sweep of events and the stupendous results of the sword-thrust through- 
out the ages, comes this insinuating claim, "The pen is mightier than the 
sword." And when we consider the whole of accumulated philosophy, 
the onward march of science and human thought, and the consequent 


development of the human race, the comparative might of the sword 
becomes insignificant before the less demonstrative power of the con- 
quering pen. And here comes the question, which in some phase or 
other comes up in all great questions of America, "What part has the 
Negro in the might of the pen?" Nobody doubts that the great move- 
ments of the world at present, let their primary manifestations be mili- 
tary or political, scientific or industrial, have any other great lever than 
knowledge and sentiment brought into notice and activity by writers. 

The chief agencies for the dissemination of thought and discoveries 
are the newspapers, magazines, literary journals and books of fiction. 
The newspapers have the most immediate and controlling influence over 
the action of men in the business and political world. To undertake to 
estimate with anything like exactness the part the Negro has in molding- 
sentiment through the press and giving the consequent direction to the 
action of men would be a task impossible in the very nature of the case. 

It shall be, then, the purpose of this article to discuss in a general way 
the Negro as a writer in all lines in which he has essayed to express 
thought. It would be easy to dispose of the question in two ways. One 
would be to separate all that he has done as far as that would be possible, 
and put it over against the production of the white race and thus so 
minimize it by comparison that its power would likely to be underrated. 
Another way would be to magnify all that has been done as especially 
praiseworthy, because the production comes from the Negro, thus over- 
rating its significance, forgetting that whatever power any writing can 
have can only be in proportion to its real merit in the thought-world, 
regardless of all source from which it came. Overrating the Negro as 
a writer is more likely to be done in passing on his attempts in literary 
art than in any other field. But in literary lines the number who can 
command attention and be worthv of notice is very small. One does 
not have to go far to see that the most effective work, so far as creating 
sentiment is concerned, and thereby wielding power in the great moving 
forces of this age, the Negro as a writer is best evinced by the Negro 
press. We have many newspapers, and after thirty years we have not 
been able to produce one single great newspaper, nor for many good 
reasons one single great editor who is a power in the land. Indeed, the 
most of the many papers of ours that come from the press have but little 
in them that can attract the intelligent minds of the race. There is, 
however, among us too great a tendency to ridicule the Negro press 


unreservedly, and though much of the ridicule many be deserved it 
remains true that the accumulative power of the Negro press is hardly 
appreciated as it deserves to be. They who write for us and fight our 
battles are essentially our only spokesmen, and as ignored as our articles 
and editorials would seem to be by the white press, it is true nevertheless 
that the white newspapers take close notice of what the Negro writers 
have to say. They may not ordinarily deign to appear to take notice, 
but let any publication be made in our most humble sheets that seems to 
them to be dangerous or too presumptuous to let pass, and it will be 
seen then that the white press takes notice and the power of the colored 
press will become apparent. I have said that we have not yet produced 
one single great paper, nor one great editor, as white papers and editors 
are great, and to this I think there can be justly no exceptions taken, for 
we are lacking in nearly all the accessories to make such greatness possi- 
ble, but we do have a few papers and editors of marked power. The two 
most exceptional papers of power that have come under my notice are the 
New York Age, edited by Mr. T. Thomas Fortune, and the Richmond 
Planet, edited by Mr. Mitchell. These two papers and their editors 
have been, and are yet, valiant warriors for the race and of incalculable 
benefit to the race. As a terse, caustic and biting editorial writer Mr. 
Fortune is hardly surpassed by any one, and his paper for years has been 
uncompromising in fighting all adverse issues in the race question. 
Almost the same thing can be said of the Richmond Planet, and more 
than any other, perhaps, has this paper been valiant in waging war 
against lynching. These two papers, together with a host of others, have 
set forth the power of the pen and have accomplished far more to offset 
the adverse sentiment created by the white press than can ever be fully 
determined. There is another class of Negro writers than those I have 
mentioned that gets an occasional hearing in the white papers of the 
South and is of great value to the race. Any one familiar with the 
strictures of the South, knows that the Negroes themselves have essen- 
tially no chance to discuss through the white newspapers the great 
questions which are ever to the front concerning them, and their position 
in the South, and also but very little more in the newspapers of the 
North, unless in the South the Negroes write some articles to say amen, 
and highly sanction the white man's dictums and positions on the Negro 
questions that happen to be up. But there are a few who are able to 
write on some questions in our defense without compromise, and yet so 


skillfully as not to offend. In speaking of the attitude of the white 
press, and its representations, it is not assumed that there is no disposi- 
tion of fairness on the part of the writers of the white press. Many of 
the great editors mean to be fair from their standpoint. The Southern 
white people are prejudiced and supersensitive on some points beyond 
all reason, and in all questions between the Negro and the white man, 
as man to man, the assumptions, without an exception, are arrogant be- 
yond all naming, so that it comes about at any point of issue, where men 
differing, usually would permit the opponent his views as fitting from 
his side of the question, what the Negro has to say, if he is emphatic and 
decided, is called impudence. The writer must be skillful, then, to write 
uncompromisingly and yet not be of the "impudent." There are a few 
men among us who are able to write for the Southern white papers with 
reserve, yet without compromise, greatly to our advantage. Among 
those few, prominent are Prof. G. W. Henderson, of Straight University, 
New Orleans, and President W. H. Councill, of the College, Normal and 
Industrial School at Normal, Alabama. Prof. Henderson is a graduate 
of Middlebury College, Vermont, and Yale Theological Seminary, having 
taken the fellowship from that institution and studied in Germany two 
years. His writings show his scholarship and refinement. He has been 
persistent and valiant in all race matters, especially in educational lines 
in Louisiana, and his articles, though uncompromising, have from time 
to time found a hearing and forced respect from the great dailies of New 
Orleans. President Councill is the most widely accepted in the Southern 
white press of all Negroes. On some points of disagreement between the 
Negroes and the white people he concedes more to some of the white 
man's claims than any other Negro who writes. Secondly, he is truly 
a great man, and has gained his right to a hearing in intelligent sources. 
As a writer, pure and simple, he is forcible; and while the whole of his 
attitude many not be accepted generally by his own race, there is no 
doubt about his uncompromising attitude and loyalty to his own race 
first and last, and any one who has followed his articles in newspapers 
and leading magazines have surely seen that the apparently sometimes 
too generous bouquet throwing to the white brother is fully offset by the 
terrible blows given that same white brother for his sins against the 
Negro race. This is especially seen in his symposium article m the 
April number of the Arena, 1899. It would be impossible in the limita- 
tion of this article to mention the many Negro writers who are acceptable 


in leading magazines, and to a greater extent in the great weekly jour- 
nals of this country. Only one or two can be mentioned: Rev. H. H. 
Proctor, pastor of the First Congregational Church at Atlanta, Ga., is a 
graduate of Fisk University and Yale Theological Seminary, and he is 
a young man of exceptional ability as a writer on timely questions, but 
as an article writer is often seen in the Outlook, the New York Inde- 
pendent, and such papers. Above them all is Bishop Tanner, of Phila- 
delphia. For diction, fine style, conciseness and logical conclusions, one 
must go far to find his superior. In the way of history, text books on 
various subjects, and scientific presentation, not much has yet been 
done among us. Mr. Geo. W. Williams, the Negro historian, has done 
more in that field than any other. Dr. D. W. Culp has written a treatise 
on consumption and other medical subjects that have attracted attention 
and favorable criticism. 

It now remains to speak of the writers in literary art. In this field 
there are many who have certainly made praiseworthy attempts, and of 
the ladies who cannot be classed with those who have truly made a place 
among successful literary artists, but whose writing has attracted atten- 
tion and in character is literary, most complimentary things can be 
said of Mrs. Frances E. W. Harper, of Philadelphia; of Mrs. Fanny 
Barrier Williams, of Chicago; of Miss Edna Matthews, of New York, and 
of Mrs. Cooper, Washington, D. C. Mrs. Cooper's book, "A Voice from 
the South,'' is a work in purpose and execution of decided merit. In 
real literary art, perhaps there are only two in the whole race who have 
reached a place of genuine high rank among the critics, namely, Dunbar 
and Chestnut. There are four poets, however, who have attracted much 
attention and favorable criticism, and of these I will speak in turn. 
It is in order to speak of Mr. A. A. Whitman first, because he appeared 
first of all and in one particular of excellency he is first of all four. His 
"Eape of Florida" is truly poetry and as a sustained effort, as an attempt 
in great lines, it surpasses in true merit anything yet done by a Negro, 
and this assertion without one qualifying word. He failed as a poet? 
Certainly. Mr. Whitman made attempts in lines in which Shelley, Keats 
and Spenser triumphed, and with such mediocrity only possible to him 
in such a highway, what else could follow beyond a passing notice, 
though his "Rape of Florida" is a production of much more than passing 
merit. Aside from the mediocrity of the work attempted in Spenserian 
lines the man himself in his lack of learning, in his expressible egotism, 


was derogatory to his ultimate success, and his styling himself as the 
William Cullen Bryant of the Negro race was sickening in the extreme. 
Air. Whitman died recently, but not before he had done all in literary 
excellence that could be hoped from him. It remains true, however, 
that he was worthy of a much better place than is accorded him as a 
Negro poet, and it is to be regretted that his work is so little known 
among us. 

Ten rears after Mr. Whitman, Paul Dunbar came forth as a new 
singer, and got the first real recognition as a poet. As a poet, pure and 
simple, as a refined verse maker in all directions, Mr. Dunbar surpasses 
Mr. Whitman by far in the truest significance in the term poet, and he 
is justly assigned the first place among Negro poets. For many reasons 
Mr. Dunbar is famous, and to enter into any extended discussion of 
his work in this connection is needless. Mr. Dunbar is the first Negro 
to attempt poetic art in Negro dialect. To speak the truth, however, 
it must be said that there is no such thing as a Negro dialect, but in 
the bad English called Negro dialect Mr. Dunbar has in verse chosen to 
interpret the Negro in his general character, in his philosophy of life, 
in his rich humor and good nature, and the world knows how well he 
has succeeded. Robert Burns has shown how the immortal life of all 
beautiful things can be handed down for all time in dialect, but it 
can scarcely be believed by any one that great poetry can ever be clothed 
in the garb known as Negro dialect. But for some pathos and to put 
the Negro forward at his best in his humorous and good natured charac- 
teristics the so-called dialect is the best vehicle, and in these lines, and 
these lines only, is Mr. Dunbar by far greater than all others. Out of 
those lines he is still the first poet, Whitman not excepted, but he is first 
with nothing like the difference in real merit and the fame he has above 
all others. But in passing from him, here is Dunbar at his best, dialectic 
and otherwise: 

" When de co'n pone's hot — 

Dey is a time in life when nature 

Seems to slip a cog an' go, 
Jes' a-rattling down creation, 
Lak an ocean's overflow; 
When de worl' jes' stahts a-spinnin' 

Lak a pickaninny's top, 


An' you feel jes' lak a racah, 

Dat is trainin' fu' to trot — 
When yo' mammy says de blessin' 

An' de co'n pone's hot. 

" When you set down at de table, 

Kin' o' weary lak an' sad, 
/ An' you's jes' a little tiwhed 

An' purhaps a little mad; 
How yo' gloom tu'ns into gladness, 

How yo' joy drives out de doubt, 
When de oven do' is opened, 

An' de smell comes po'in out; 
Why, de 'lectric light o' Heaven 

Seems to settle on de spot, 
When yo' mammy says de blessin' 

An' de co'n pone's hot. 

" When de cabbage pot is steamin' 

An' de bacon good an' fat, • 

W 7 hen de chittlins is a-spuller'n' 

So's to show you whah dey's at; 
Tek away yo' sody biscut, 

Tek away yo' cake an' pie, 
Fu' de glory time is comin', 

An' it's 'proachin' mighty nigh, 
An' yo' want to jump an' hollah, 

Dough you know you'd bettah not 
When vo' mammv savs de blessin', 

An' de co'n pone's hot. 

" I have hyeahd o' lots o' sermons, 

. An' I've hyeahd o' lots o' prayers, 

An' I've listened to some singin' 

Dat has tuck me up de stairs 
Of de Glory-Ian' an' set me 

Jes' below de mahstah's th'one, 
An' lef my hea't a-singin' 

In a happy aftah tone; 
But dem wu'ds so sweetly murmured 

Seemed to tech de softes' spot, 
When my mammy says de blessin', 

An' de co'n pone's hot." 

This is not so great a poem as the "Cotter's Saturday Night" by 
Burns, because the spiritual element and the whole scope of the tenderest 


concerns of the family and of life in that poem are left out of this. But 
in Dunbar's poem, where only the festival is pictured, the scene is so 
intensified that one feels the warmth and sees the glow of the evening 
fire and inhales the appetizing odors of the coming homely cheer, and 
can see back of these the tender care and ineffable love of the ''Mammy," 
who puts the crowning touch upon her love with the blessing. As far 
as it goes, "When the co'n pone's hot" is great precisely in the same lines 
that the "Cotter's Saturday Night" is great. 

Mr. Dunbar has also written a number of novels and short stories. 
It has not been my good fortune to see "The Stories from Dixie ;" but the 
novels I have bought and read. If there were no Charles Chestnut, Mr. 
Dunbar's novels would have to be discussed in this connection, and he 
would have to be put down as the very first Negro novel writer, mainly, 
however, because there would be no other ; but with Mr. Chestnut in the 
field, no true admirer of Mr. Dunbar will ever discuss the prolific diffu- 
sions of his, bearing the name novels, in any connection with Dunbar, the 
poet. There is only enough space left in this article for the poets, to 
barely mention the names of Mr. Daniel Webster Davis, of Manchester, 
Virginia, and Mr. James D. Corrothers of Bed Bank, New Jersey, and to 
give a selection from each and let their poems speak for them as writers. 
Both of them have received notice in the best magazines and favorable 
criticism elsewhere. Both owe their distinction mainly to their work in 
dialectic verse which, I fear, is too much like the "ragtime" music, con- 
sidered quite the proper dressing for Negro distinction in the poetic art. 

Here is to "De Biggis' Piece ub Pie," by Mr. Davis: 

"When I was a little boy 
I set me down to crv, 

•/ 7 

Bekase mv little brudder 


Had de biggis' piece ub pie. 
But when I had become a man 

I made my min' to try 
An' hustle roun' to git myself 

De biggis' piece ub pie. 

"An' like in bygone chil'ish days, 

De worl' is hustlin' roun' 
To git darselbes de biggis' slice 

Ub honor an' renown ; 
An' ef I fails to do mv bes', 

But stan' aroun' an' cry, 


Dis oF worF will git away 
Wid bof de plate an' pie. 

"An' eben should I git a slice 

I mus' not cease to try, 
But keep a-movin' fas' es life 

To hoF my piece ub pie. 
Dis ruff oF worF has little use 

Fur dem dat chance to fall, 
An' while youze gittin' up ag'in 

'Twill take de plate an' all." 

The one more selection from Mr. Davis will show him as a poet out- 
side of dialect : 


"The rose of the garden is given to me, 
And, to double its value, 'twas given by thee ; 
Its lovely bright tints to my eyesight is borne, 
Like the kiss of a fairy or blush of morn. 

"Too soon must this scent-laden flower decay, 
Its bright leaves will wither, its bloom die away; 
But in memory 'twill linger; the joy that it bore 
Will live with me still, tho' the flower's no more." 

Mr. James D. Corrothers writes: 


"Cindy, reach dah 'nine yo' back 
'N nan' me dat ah Almanac ; 

W'y, land ! t'morrer's Thanksgivin' ! 
Got to git out an' make hay — 
Don't keer whut de preaehah say — 
We mus' eat Thanksgivin' day, 

Uz sho' uz you's a-libbin. 

"You know whah Mahs Hudson libs? 
Dey's a turkey dah dat gibs 

Me a heap o' trouble. 
Some day Hudson g'ine to miss 
Dat owdashus fowl o' his; 
I's g'ine ober dah an' twis' 

'At gobbler's nake plumb double. 


"Goin' pas' dah t' othah day, 
Turkey strutted up an' say, 

'A-gobble, gobble, gobble,' 
Much uz ef he mout remahk, 
'Don' you wish 'at it wuz dahk? 
Ain't I teniptin'?' S' I, 'you hah'k, 

Er else dey'll be a squabble. 

" 'Take an' wring yo' nake righ' quick, 
Light on yo' lak a thousan' brick, 

'N you won't know whut befell you.' 
'N I went on. Yet evah dav 
When I goes by that a-way, 
'At fowl has too much to say ; 

'N I'm tiahd uv it, I tell you. 

"G'ine to go dis bressed night 
An' put out dat turkey's light, 
» 'N I'll nail him lak a cobblah. 

Take keer, 'Cindy, lemme pass, 
Ain't a-g'ine to take no sass 

Off no man's turkey gobblah." 

And now for the last and the greatest Roman of them all in literary 
art — Mr. Charles W. Chestnut, of Cleveland, Ohio. I have never seen 
him, and at present the only personal acquaintance I have with him, is a 
brief letter of a dozen or more lines; but Mr. Chestnut, revealed by his 
novels, I know well. The chief distinction one finds in reading Mr. Chest- 
nut from all other Negro story-writers, so far as there are such, is that he 
is truly an artist and that his art is fine art. Secondly, and this is of the 
greatest concern to Negroes in any thought of the Negro as a writer, he 
is the best delineator of Negro life and character, thought and feeling, 
of any who has attracted notice by writing. It is not possible to give 
in this connection any quotations from Mr. Chestnut's work that may 
speak for him, but it is fitting in this article to speak of the character 
of some of Mr. Chestnut's stories, and, as far as possible, suggest the 
ground and purpose of his fiction. Perhaps, to mention the stories, 
"The Wife of His Youth," "The Wheel of Progress," and "The House 
Behind the Cedars," would serve best for this occasion. There are some 
situations of the Negroes too full of ineffable pity for utterance. Who 
has not sat at some time in a Negro church and heard read the pitiful 
inquiry for a mother, or a child, or a father, husband or wife, all lost 


in the sales and separations of slavery times — loved ones as completely 
swallowed up in the past (yet in this life they still live) as if the grave 
had received them. At such a reading, though it was given with uncon- 
cern, one heard the faithful cry of faithful love coming out of the dark 
on its sorrowful mission. 

And in this realm Mr. Chestnut tells us of a mulatto boy who marries 
a woman of Negro type, and who was old enough for the boy's mother, 
but had, at that time, youth enough left to make the disparity of age at 
the time of little objection, especially in the times and situation where 
there was little objection to marriages of any sort. But the youth escapes 
from slavery and in the far North receives education, development and 
culture, and in time earns a competence that makes life desirable and 
opens up vistas to new happiness, for the old life is now only a memory 
of what the new man once was, and the new man is on the borderland of 
new love and marriage befitting all his advancements, while the mulatto 
slave boy, the slave girl, the black slave-wife and the slave connections are 
left forever behind. But in all these twenty-five years the black slave 
wife is still living, still ignorant and yielding all the while to age until 
she is an old woman. But there was one thing that did not yield to age 
and time, and that was her love for her boy husband, and, what was 
more, her sublime and unwavering faith in the constancy of her "Yaller 
Sam," after whom she sends inquiry after inquiry, and year after year 
tramps from place to place in her search, with faith and love divine ever 
leading her on, until one day in a Northern city, to which place she had 
finally traced him, she stopped at his very door to humbly inquire of the 
strange gentleman she saw for her "Yaller Sam," never dreaming that it 
Avas he to whom she spoke, though he knew her and had to face the bitter 
tragedv of it all. But Mr. Chestnut's art enables him to take care of so 
sorrowful a case satisfactorily. 

"The Wheel of Progress" touches another phase of pathetic situations 
arising out of the mixture of people and sentiments in the South. The 
story tells of an ostracized Northern white teacher who, from young 
womanhood, labors away her life for the Negroes, until her age and 
health reach that degree of disadvantage that her position as teacher, 
once her medium of charity, becomes her only means for a living. In the 
meantime the Negroes whom she and others helped to uplift and develop, 
and to whom, because of race distinction, most all avenues outside of 
menial labor are closed, except preaching and teaching, had become her 


competitors. In the conflict that arose over the reappointment of the 
white missionary teacher and a young Negro to the place the pitiful 
situation is again taken care of by Mr. Chestnut's fine art. "The House 
Behind the Cedars," until his latest, "The Marrow of Tradition," was his 
most ambitious attempt. In this book the story of an Octoroon family 
is put forth in all the pathos and tragedy that is the lot of so niany 
Negroes who belong wholly to neither race. 

Mr. Chestnut's latest book, "The Marrow of Tradition," is a strong 
and vigorous presentation of the colored man's case against the South 
iu the form of a dramatic novel. This book especially deserves a wide 
reading among the Negroes, who have none too many friends to plead 
their cause. Mr. Chestnut, as one truly high-rank novelist among us, 
ought to have such a hearing among the eight millions that would give 
him all the advantages of a successful novelist from a financial stand- 
point as a return for his labor, which is by no means for himself alone. 

In closing, it is but fair to say, while the artists of high rank among 
us are few in number, in an article discussing the Negro as a writer, in 
mentioning names at all, it must necessarily follow that there are very 
many names not here mentioned that would deserve to be if in such an 
article as this there were any intention or necessity to mention the whole 
list of Negro writers who write well and with power in every department 
of letters. 


The subject of this sketch was born July 25, 1862, at Mechanicsville, Sumter County, 
South Carolina. His parents were slaves and his father, a Baptist minister, is still 
alive. Mr. Gilbert began his early school life during the reconstruction period, at 
Mechanicsville, and continued it at Mannville, in an adjoining township, until 1879, 
when he entered Benedict College (then Benedict Institute) at Columbia, South Caro- 
lina. He remained in Benedict till the spring of 1883, when he graduated from a classical 
course specially designed to fit him for a Northern college. In the fall of 1883, after a 
searching examination, he entered the freshman class of Colgate University and 
remained in that institution four years, until his graduation in 1887 with the degree of 
A. B. During his college course Mr. Gilbert particularly distinguished himself in the 
languages and oratory. During his sophomore year he won in an oratorical contest 
the First Kingsford Prize. Although the only colored man in his class, yet he was so 
highly esteemed by his classmates that he enjoyed the unique distinction of being 
elected every three months for four years as Class Secretary and Treasurer. In addi- 
tion to this he was elected Class Historian in his senior year. His alma mater con- 
ferred on him the degree of A. M. in 1890. Immediately after his graduation Mr. Gil- 
bert was called to the pastorate of the First Colored Baptist Church at Nashville, Tenn. 
He remained in this position three years and a half and then he accepted the call of 
the Bethel Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Fla. He was not permitted by his denom- 
ination to remain long in this pastorate; for after one year in it, on the nomination 
of the American Baptist Home Mission Society of New York, he was elected to lead in 
the educational work among the colored Baptists of Florida. He presided one year 
over the Florida Institute at Live Oak, and he led in 1892 in the founding of the Florida 
Baptist Academy (now college) at Jacksonville, Fla. The cares and anxiety involved 
in this work threatened his health and in 1894 he resigned this position to accept the 
pastorate of a young church organization in Savannah, Ga., having in the meantime 
declined an election to the presidency of State University at Louisville, Ky. In 1894 
he was elected Vice-President and Professor of History, Political Science, and Modern 
Languages, in the Colored State College at Orangeburg, S. C. He served in this capac- 
ity two years and after re-election for a third year he resigned to re-enter upon his 
life-work in the gospel ministry. He served a few months after this in the office of 
General Missionary and Corresponding Secretary of the Baptist State Convention of 
South Carolina, but this work militating against his health he gave up to enter upon 
the pastorate of the Central Baptist Church at Charleston, S. C, where he now is. Mr. 
Gilbert received three years ago the degree of D. D. from Guadalupe College of Seguin, 
Tex. In 1883 Dr. Gilbert was married in Columbia, S. C, to Miss Agnes Boozer. 
Seven children have been born to them, five of whom are still living. Dr. Gilbert is 
much in demand as a public speaker on great occasions and his services are fre- 
quently sought by some of the best churches of his denomination. 




The necessity for asserting and maintaining the affirmative of the 
above question is due to the deep-seated prejudice against the Negro, 
which prejudice is the unfortunate fruit of the Negro's past enslavement. 
It is not surprising that those who for centuries held the Negro as a 
chattel should regard him as a being essentially inferior to themselves, 
and time is required, in the changed condition of affairs, to completely 
eradicate this idea. Even now, despite the remarkable development of 
the Negro since his emancipation, occasionally some Rip Van Winkle, 
awaking from a long sleep, essays to deny the complete humanity of the 
Negro race. A true believer in the Scriptures must be equally a believer 
in the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of all men. For the divine 
record declares that God "hath made of one blood all nations of men 
for to dwell on all the face of the earth." Language, physiology and 
psychology confirm the truthfulness of Scripture on this issue. The 
mission of Christianity to preach the gospel over the inhabited world 
is based upon this great idea. Science and Holy Writ assert the intel- 
lectual equality of all men of whatever race or color, so far as real 
capacity and possibilities are concerned. 

The position and relative importance of a race or nation in the world's 
history are determined more by its antecedents and environments than 
by the original endowments of each individual that constitutes it. Two 
different races, having the same antecedents and subject to the same 
environments, will produce the same results. In answering the question 
as to whether the Negro has demonstrated his intellectual equality with 
the white man during the century just closed, our inquiry must neces- 
sarily be confined to the closing third of that century; for prior to the 
emancipation of the race the colored people were generally in an enslaved 
condition. Opportunities for education, citizenship, and the develop- 
ment of manhood, were few, and at best could apply to but few of the 
race. Although our inquiry is limited to only one-third of the century 



just closed, nevertheless we can safely assert that in that short period 
the Negro has demonstrated by actual results his intellectual equality 
with the white man. 

1. The Negro has demonstrated in thirty-five years a capacity for 
education equal to that of the white man. This remark does not apply 
alone to his primary education, but also to the highest. He has entered 
already every intellectual field that is open to him, and he is achieving 
success in every one that he has entered. Within a third of a century 
one hundred and fifty-six institutions for the higher education of the 
Negroes have been founded, and from these and Northern colleges there 
have been more than seventeen thousand graduates. These colleges are 
located chiefly in the South, and their courses of studies are as high as 
their neighboring white colleges; in some instances they are higher. 
Some of these graduates have evinced great ability and brilliancy in 
mastering the most difficult studies included in the curriculum. The 
existence of Negro colleges and the successful graduation of Negroes 
therefrom is a strong argument for his intellectual equality. Nor has 
the Negro simply demonstrated his ability to master the literary courses 
of the college, but also his capacity to acquire the knowledge and training 
to fit him for life in the various professions. Within a third of a cen- 
tury the race has produced thirty thousand teachers, five hundred physi- 
cians, two hundred and fifty lawyers, and a large number of others who 
have entered the ministry, politics, and editorial life. If there is doubt 
on the demonstration of the Negro's ability to acquire education in his 
own colleges, we need only to mention the fact that his ambition has led 
him to some of the leading Northern universities where he studied at the 
side of white men, and even there he has demonstrated his essential in- 
tellectual equality with the white man by winning, in several well-known 
instances, some of their highest honors for scholarship, proficiency and 


2. The Negro has demonstrated his capacity for imparting an educa- 
tion to others after he has himself received it. He is an essential and 
established factor in the public school system of the South. It is he that 
is intrusted** with the primary education of his people, and it is due 
largely to him that his people in thirty-five years have reduced their 
illiteracy 45 per cent. During those thirty-five years he has become pro- 
fessor of law, medicine, theology, mathematics, the sciences, and lan- 
guages. In the colleges devoted to the education. of the colored men, 


there are colored professors who have become eminent in their depart- 
ments and who would fill with credit similar chairs in white institutions 
of learning. All of the colored state colleges of the South are under the 
management of Negroes as presidents and professors. 

3. The Negro has also demonstrated his productivity in the field of 
authorship. In this particular he has shown a white man's capacity. In 
calling attention to the Negro's achievement in this particular, it may be 
well to note the fact that the Negro's white neighbor, although he lives 
in a clime similar to that which produced in Greece, philosophers like 
Plato and Aristotle and poets like Homer, Euripides, and Sophocles, and 
in Italy poets like Virgil and Horace, has not produced a philosopher 
or a first-class poet, with all the leisure he enjoyed while the Negro has 
been engaged in enforced labor for him. In the highest field of thought 
as in philosophy and the works of imagination the South presents a 
barren field. In the sphere of authorship usually entered by white men 
the Negro has already worked his way. He has already produced meri- 
torious books on mathematics, sociology, theology, history, poetry, travels, 
sermons, languages, and biographies. There have been three hundred 
books written by Negroes. 

4. Nor has the Negro's mind followed slavishly in the beaten path 
of imitation. He has demonstrated that he possesses also a high order 
of intellect by his inventive genius. The "lubricator" now being used 
on nearly all the railroad engines in the United States was invented by 
a colored man, Mr. E. McCoy, of Detroit, Michigan. Eugene JBurkins, a 
Negro, was inventor of the Burkins' Automatic Machine Gun, concern- 
ing which Admiral Dewey said it was "by far the best machine gun ever 
made." Many other useful inventions in the country are credited by the 
Patent Office to the Negro. 

5. The Negro has also demonstrated in thirty-five years his capacity 
for organizing, controlling, and directing great and diversified interests. 
Capacity to organize, maintain, and direct presupposes a high order of 
mind. Executive ability requires accompanying intellectual ability and 
not mere brilliancy. Unaided and alone the Negro has set on foot great 
ecclesiastical organizations which he is maintaining and developing with 
much credit to himself. In all these organizations, leadership to the few 
has been cheerfully conceded by the masses. As a church builder, with 
little means at his command, the Negro stands without a peer. Within 
the last thirty-five years of the nineteenth century the Negro lias founded 


high schools, academies and colleges, and he is successfully supporting 
and managing them. If it is fair to estimate the ability and worth of men 
by real achievements, then it must be conceded that the foremost man for 
real ability throughout the entire South is a Negro, and we refer to the 
eminent founder and developer of the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. 
It is unquestionable in our mind that the greatest enterprise conceived 
and executed by any one mind, in the entire South, during the past forty 
years, was that conceived in the brains of a single Negro, the child of a 
slave mother, that resulted in the world-renowned Tuskegee Institute. 
The results at Tuskegee will demonstrate that the highest order of mind 
in the South, as well as the most famous, is in the keeping of the Negro. 
The leading Presbyterian institution of learning in the South for the 
education of colored men is now managed successfully by Negro scholars. 
We refer here to Biddle University. 

6. In business and politics the Negro, despite the odds arrayed 
against him, is succeeding reasonably well. He is constantly undertaking 
new business enterprises, and wherever the government or state has in- 
trusted him with official position the intelligent Negro has discharged his 
public functions with credit to the government and glory for himself. 
Whenever failure is recorded against the Negro it is not due to his lack- 
ing the mental endowments equal to that of the white man, but because 
he was denied the white man's favorable past, and because a white man's 
opportunity is denied him. Equality of opportunities and equality before 
the laws should be cheerfully granted him. Criticism against him is 
savage and un-Christian, if these doors are closed against him. 


John Wesley Cromwell, the twelfth child and seventh son of Willis H. and Elizabeth 
Carney Cromwell, was born at Portsmouth, Va., September 5, 1846. In 1851 the family 
moved to Philadelphia, where he entered the public schools and subsequently the Insti- 
tute for Colored Youth, graduating in 1864. 

He taught at Columbia, Pa., after which he established a private school in his native 
town. Under the auspices of Northern charitable associations he taught at Spanish 
Neck and Little Gunpowder in Maryland, Providence Church, Scott Farm, Charlotte 
County and Wytheville, Va. On the inauguration of the public school system he became 
principal of the Dill's Bakery School in Richmond, Va., and in the following summer 
taught near the scene of the Nat Turner Insurrection in Southampton County in the 
same State. 

Mr. Cromwell took an active part in the reconstruction of Virginia, was delegate to 
the first State Republican Convention, did jury service in the United States Court for 
the term at which the case of Jefferson Davis was calendared, and was a clerk in the 
reconstruction Constitutional Convention. A shot, fired with deadly intent, grazed his 
clothing while at Spanish Neck. Md.. where the church in which the school was taught was 
burned to the ground, and he was twice forced to face che muzzles of revolvers in Vir- 
ginia, because of his work as an educator. 

In 1871 he entered the law department of Howard University, graduating therefrom 
in 1874. In 1872, after a competitive examination, having distanced two hundred and 
forty applicants, he received a $1,200 appointment in the Treasury Department, in 
which he was twice promoted, by the same method, within twenty months. In 1885, in 
the early days of the Cleveland administration, he was removed as an offensive partisan, 
having established and conducted since 1876 "The People's Advocate," a weekly journal 
of more than local influence. He then began the practice of law in connection with 
his journalistic work. In 1S89 he was tendered and he accepted a principalship of one 
of the grammar schools of Washington, D. C, the position he still holds. 

In 1875 he was chosen at Richmond the president of the Virginia Educational and 
Historical Association and was four times reelected. He has served two terms as the 
president of the "Bethel Literary," with which he has been officially connected for 
twenty years. He was one of the original members of the American Negro Academy 
founded by Rev. Alexander Crummeil, and is its corresponding secretary. 

In 1873 he was married to Miss Lucy A. McGuinn, of Richmond, Va. Six children 
survive of that marriage, the eldest being Miss Otelia Cromwell, the. first Colored grad- 
uate (1900) of Smith College, Mass. In 1892 he married Miss Annie E. Conn, of 
Mechanicsburg, Pa. 

In 1887 he became a member of the Metropolitan A. M. E. Church under the pastor- 
ate of Rev., now Chaplain, T. G. Steward. 

Among his addresses and papers are "The Negro in Business." "The Colored Church 
in America," "Nat Turner, a Historical Sketch," "Benjamin Banneker," "The Negro as 
a Journalist," and other historical and statistical studies. The first named, published 
for a syndicate of metropolitan newspapers in 1886, found its way in one form or 
other in nearly all the representative papers of the land. 




The status of the Negro at the close of the eighteenth and the opening 
of the nineteenth centuries was substantially the same, North and South. 
These well-defined geographical sections on both sides of Mason and 
Dixon's line were not as extensive then as now. Ohio, Kentucky and 
Tennessee were the only states west of the Alleghanies; Florida was a 
foreign possession, Alabama and the region beyond were to be numbered 
with the United States at a subsequent period. 

The colored population in 1800 was 1,001,436, free and slave, or 18.88 
per cent of the entire population; 893,041 were slaves, of whom there 
were in round numbers 30,000 in the states of New Hampshire, Rhode 
Island, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New York and Delaware; 20,000 
were in New York alone. In 1900 the total population is 76,303,387, with 
8,S40,789 persons of Negro descent, or 11.5 of the aggregate population. 

The year 1800 marks the beginning of an epoch of increasing hard- 
ship for the Negro, both in church and state. It was also characterized 
by fierce aggressiveness by the slave power, stimulated by the invention 
of the cotton gin by Eli Whitney and the impetus which it gave to the 
growth and importation of cotton. The acquisition of the Louisiana 
Purchase from France added to the possible domain of slave territory 
and affected the current of political action for more than half a century. 

During this period the Negro was a most important figure, both in 
church and state, the occasion if not the cause of perplexing problems. 
In the field of religion and politics, especially, has his status attracted 
world-wide attention. 

At a very early day the Methodist and Baptist churches had the 
largest number of colored followers in both town and city; but these 
as yet were not assembled in distinctive organizations. The right of the 
Negro, not only to govern but to direct his religious instruction, was 
bitterly contested, sometimes by force, at other times by law. The high- 



handed manner in which the ordinary rights of worship were denied the 
Negro led to the withdrawal of the majority of colored Methodists in 
Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland and South Carolina, and ultimately 
to the formation of the two denominations, the African Methodist Epis- 
copal and the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Churches, that became 
independent before the end of the first quarter of the last century. 

As to the recognition of the right of colored Baptists to church fellow- 
ship, the white Baptists were more liberal, for we find an association of 
white churches recognizing the existence of a colored Baptist church at 
Williamsburg, in 1790. 

The first colored Episcopal society was received into membership on 
the express condition that no delegate was to be admitted in any of the 
diocesan conventions.* As early as 1801 Rev. John Chavis, a Negro of 
North Carolina, was licensed by the Hanover Presbytery of Virginia as 
a missionary to his own people.f The incompatibility of an ordained 
minister of the same denomination being a slave was recognized in the 
manumission of Rev. John Gloucester, the slave of Rev. Gideon Black- 
burn, of Tennessee, on the organization of the first colored Presbyterian 
church of the country, at Philadelphia, in 1807, and the subsequent 
settlement of Rev. Gloucester as its pastor.! 

That the white Baptists really manifested greater liberality in this 
period is obvious, because we also find Jacob Bishop, a Negro, the pastor 
of the First Baptist church of Portsmouth, Virginia, for a few years.** 
The church was a large and influential one, and the predecessor of Bishop, 
Rev. Thomas Armistead, had served with distinction as a commissioned 
officer in the Revolutionary War. 

To-day at all the general conferences of the M. E. and M. E. South — 
both white — and of the A. M. E., A. M. E. Zion, and C. M. E. denomina- 
tions — all colored — fraternal delegations are exchanged with all the 
courtesies bestowed by the two former on the two latter that should 
prevail among brethren. A further concession is seen in the fact of 

*History of the Protestant Episcopal Church in America. Samuel 

f History of Education in North Carolina.— United States Bureau of 

iSemi-Centenary Discourses.— Rev. William T. Catto. 

**Rise of the Baptists.— R. B. Semple. 


the elections of colored ministers of recognized scholarship and fitness to 
important secretaryships and an editorship by the powerful M. E. Church. 
Another illustration is the organization about thirty years ago by the 
M. E. Church South of its colored membership into the C. M. E. denomi- 
nation and the liberal provision made by the former connection for 
secondary education in the Payne Institute, at Augusta, Georgia. 

The Protestant Episcopal Church that forbade St. Thomas, Phila- 
delphia, and St. Phillips, New York, to aspire to membership in diocesan 
conventions repealed this resolution after the breaking out of the Civil 
War and delegates from these and other colored parishes throughout the 
North and West, at least, find free admission. 

Sixty years ago the application of so promising and talented a young 
man as Alexander Crummell to be matriculated as a student in any of 
the Episcopal divinity schools created a great shock in church circles, 
and his rejection is set forth at length in Bishop Wilberforce's History 
of American Episcopalianism ; yet both at the New York and Phila- 
delphia theological seminaries numerous colored clergymen, Episcopalian 
and others, now graduate with honor and distinction. 

To-day in the House of Bishops there are two colored prelates of 
African descent, Rt. Rev. S. D, Ferguson, the Bishop of Africa, and the 
Rt. Rev. James Theodore Holly, the Bishop of Hayti; the former a 
native of South Carolina, the latter of the District of Columbia. Their 
welcome to the pulpits of many of the most exclusive Episcopal Churches 
and to the homes of their parishioners is in marked contrast to the greet- 
ing of the Negro by the same communion only two generations previously. 

In the general assemblies of the Presbyterian Church to-day the pres- 
ence of colored commissioners is no novelty, and the faculty of Biddle 
University, composed of colored professors, by the will of the Presby- 
terian Board of Education, shows what this conservative body has done 
in the recognition of Negro scholarship. 

The conventions and associations of the Baptist Church in the South, 
;v,iiere the bulk of the black race dwell, are still on the color line, yet 
there is progress towards true fraternal feeling here. Some years since 
"The Religious Herald," of Richmond, Virginia, the leading journal of 
that denomination in the South, announced among its paid contributors 
the name of a prominent colored divine. 

It must be said, nevertheless, that during the first half of the nine- 
teenth century the record of the white church on the Negro shows not 


only a temporizing, but a cowardly spirit. This was true in some respects 
of the Congregational Church ;* instead of leading, the church followed 
the state. The anti-slavery sentiment which was unmistaken in the later 
years of the eighteenth century became with the growth of commercialism 
and national expansion, quiescent and subservient to the slave power. 
The right to vote, which in colonial days was generally exercised by 
colored freeholders, was subsequently either restricted or wholly denied. 
North Carolina, Maryland and Tennessee in the South, and Pennsylvania 
in the North, disfranchised their colored suffragists. The wave of dis- 
franchisement then, as on the threshold of the twentieth century, dashed 
from one state to another. In the North repeated efforts were made to 
concede to the Negro his complete political and civil rights. Though the 
sentiment in his behalf became stronger at every trial of strength, yet 
with a single exception — Wisconsin — each result was decisive against the 
concession of the franchise to the Negro. It was only after a bloody 
civil war, in which thousands of lives were sacrificed and billions of 
treasure were expended, that the nation conceded to the Negro, first, his 
freedom, next his civil rights, finally his political franchise. 

One hundred years ago there were but few colored schools, even in 
the free states, and these only in the larger towns and cities. Phila- 
delphia was in the lead, with New York a second and Boston a third. 

Connecticut, in the third decade of the nineteenth century, would not 
permit Prudence Crandall to maintain a school of colored girls. The 
means employed to break it up stands a blot on the name of the common- 
wealth. A resolution of the National Convention of Colored Men, held 
at Philadelphia, to establish a college for the education of colored youths, 
at New Haven occasioned both fierce excitement and bitter hostility. 

Negroes could ride only on the top of the stagecoach when traveling, 
and Jim Crow cars prevailed on the introduction of railroads. Angry 
mobs were frequent. Churches and schools were the common target of 
attack. In the opening of the West to settlement public sentiment there 
against the Negroes found emphatic expression in Black Laws forbidding 
with heavy penalties their permanent abode in that section. These laws 
have only been removed in the memory of men still living. In many 
communities, however, these laws were a dead letter, just as to-day there 


Slavery and Anti-Slavery. — Wm. Goodell. 


James Monroe Cox was born in Chambers County, Alabama, February 26, 1860. 
While he was yet a boy his parents moved to Atlanta, Ga., and in the public schools 
of that city he received his first educational training. Having a desire to go to college 
and receive the best training possible for life's work, he entered Clark University. 
He took high rank in his studies, completing the classical course in 1884, and grad- 
uated from Gammon Theological Seminary in 1886, being the first student to receive 
the degree of B. D. from that institution. The year following his graduation from 
Gammon he was appointed teacher of ancient languages in Philander Smith College, 
Little Rock, Ark. In the fall of 1887 he was married to Miss Hattie W. Robinson, a 
young woman of culture and refinement, who after graduating from Clark University 
in 1885, taught two years in the public schools of Macon, Ga. They have five interest- 
ing children, and their married life has been singularly happy and helpful. After a 
professorship of eleven years in Philander Smith College he was appointed president of 
the institution. As president he has served for five years, and under his adminis- 
tration the school has had a strong, healthy growth, until now it numbers almost 
five hundred students. A much-needed addition to the main building has been com- 
pleted at a cost of fourteen thousand dollars, the faculty has been increased, and 
through the efforts of the students he has raised some money, which forms the nucleus 
of a fund for a trades school. He is a member of the Little Rock conference of the 
M. E. Church, and has twice represented his brethren as delegate to the General Con- 
ference, — at Omaha, Neb., in 1892 and at Cleveland, Ohio, in 1896. His influence over the 
young people committed to his care is great, and he is striving to send out strong, 
well-rounded, Christian characters, and thus erect monuments more enduring than gran- 
ite or marble. Last year Gammon honored him with the degree of D. D. 


are isolated localities in Indiana and Illinois, as in Georgia and Texas, 
where no Negro is permitted to permanently abide. 

Through the Anti-Slavery and Abolition agitation, carried on by 
such reformers as William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips, Frederick 
Douglass, John G. Whittier and Horace Greeley, the organizations of the 
colored people themselves, and their appreciation of the meager educa- 
tional advantages afforded them prior to Appomattox, the sentiment of 
the country yielded one by one the rights and privileges of citizens, until 
colored members of state legislatures in more than half a dozen Northern 
states, delegates to city councils, a judgeship each in Massachusetts and 
Michigan, and state elective officers in Kansas — in none of which com- 
munities was the colored voting population of itself sufficiently numerous 
to elect — evidences the remarkable revolution in public opinion towards 
the Negro throughout the North. 

In the South, since 1867, there have been more than a score of con- 
gressmen, including two senators, state legislators by the hundreds, 
councilmen, police officers, city and county officials without number; but 
nearly all of these were obtained by the numerical preponderance of the 
Negro rather than any liberalizing of dominant white sentiment. 



BY REV. J. M. COX, D. D. 

The very language of our subject assumes that the Negro is entitled 
to religious, political and civil rights, and limits our task to showing the 
extent these rights have been conceded to him by the American white 
man. In considering this, as well as other subjects that concern the race, 
it is well to bear in mind the fact that men make conditions and condi- 
tions also make men. The truth of this statement is strikingly demon- 
strated in the reactionary influence which slavery had upon the American 
white man. The chains that bound the Negro and made him a chattel, 
also fettered the mind and soul of the white man and caused him to 
become narrow and selfish. Lincoln's proclamation gave freedom alike 
to slave and master, and now the progress made by each along all lines 


of human development will depend upon the extent he leaves behind 
slavery conditions and thinks on purer and higher things. Living in the 
past, meditating upon the time when he was owner of men and women, 
the white man must still be a slaveholder. If he can not hold in subjuga- 
tion human beings, he will arrogate unto himself the rights of others and 
use them to further his own selfish ends. The Negro also must get away 
from slavery conditions, if he hopes ever to be a man in the truest sense 
of the word and have accorded him the rights of a man. Time and 
growth are determining factors in what is known as the Negro problem. 
The white man must grow out of, and above, his prejudice, learn to 
measure men by their manly and Christian virtues rather than by the 
color of their skin and the texture of their hair. The Negro must devote 
himself to character-making, wealth-getting, and to the faithful perform- 
ance of all duties that belong to him as a man and a citizen, for, he may 
only hope to receive his rights to the extent that he impresses the white 
man that he is worthy and deserving of them. We repeat, it will take 
time to accomplish these things, but when they are accomplished, rights 
which now the white man withholds, and which it seems he will never 
concede, will, like Virgil's golden branch, follow of their own accord. 
Viewiug the subject in the light of the above stated facts, we believe that 
much progress was made by the American white man in the nineteenth 
century along the line of conceding to the Negro his religious, political, 
and civil rights. 

In fact, the progress made in this direction stands without a parallel 
in the annals of history. It surpasses the most sanguine expectation of 
the Negro's friends, and even of the Negro himself. Although the white 
man is not entirely rid of his prejudice in religion and the color line is 
written over the entrance to many of his temples of worship, yet he recog- 
nizes the Negro as a man and a brother and accords to him religious 
rights and privileges. The Negro worships God according to the dictates 
of his own conscience, and the laws of the land protect him in this wor- 
ship. He is a potent factor in all religious and reformatory movements 
and works side by side with his brother in white for the overthrow of 
vice and sin and for the hastening of the time when man and nations shall 
live and act in harmony with the principles of the Christian religion. 
He sits in the councils of the leading denominations of the country and 
assists in making their laws and determining their polity. He is accorded 
a place on the programs of the different young people's gatherings and 


is listened to with the same attention which other speakers receive. He 
bears fraternal greetings from his to white denominations, and is cour- 
teously received and royally entertained. In international assemblies 
and ecumenical conferences he enjoys every right and receives the same 
attention that others enjoy and receive. 

But this progress is further evidenced by the profound interest mani- 
fested by the white man in the Negro's religious and moral development 
and by the strong pleas on the part of the nation's best and ablest men 
for the complete obliteration of the color line in religion and for dealing 
with the Negro as with any other man. Millions of dollars have been 
given for the building of churches and schools and hundreds of noble 
men and women have toiled and suffered that the Negro might be ele- 
vated. The bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church, representing 
two and a half million members, said in their address to the General 
Conference, at Omaha, in 1892: "We have always affirmed them (the 
Negroes) to be our brothers of the same blood and stock of all the races 
which compose one common humanity. As such, we have claimed for 
them the same rights and privileges which belong to all other branches 
of the common family. 

His political rights. He, who but yesterday was a slave, is now a 
citizen, clothed with the elective franchise. This is marvelous, and all 
the more so, because the ballot is a wonderful force. It is the ground 
element of our American civilization. In its exercise the poor man 
counts as much as the rich, the ignorant as much as the learned, and the 
black as much as the white. Indeed, the free and untrammeled use of 
the ballot makes its possessor a veritable sovereign and gives him power 
over men and their possessions. Opinion is divided as to the wisdom of 
giving the Negro citizenship at the time it was given him. We think 
no mistake was made. It came at the time the Negro needed it most. 
It was the weapon with which he defended himself when he had but few 
friends. The Negro has not been a failure in politics. The very leaders 
who urge our young men to let alone politics, will, on the other hand, 
point out Bruce, Douglass, Pinchbaek and others as the most worthy and 
conspicuous characters of the race. That a reaction has set in, and the 
Negro is being deprived of the ballot, should occasion no alarm and little 

The grandfather clause in the different state constitutions will serve 
as a check to the white man's progress along educational lines, but a 


spur to urge us on. These seeming setbacks in the concession of political 
rights I count as progress, and place it to the white man's credit. 

The decision of the Supreme Court at Washington against the con- 
stitutionality of the Civil Rights Act of 1875 has had its effect, and to-day 
we find the Negro more discriminated against in his civil than in any 
other class of rights. Then, too, the social bugbear has had much to do 
with this discrimination. However, progress has been made. It has 
been slow, of course, because of the channel (public opinion) through 
which it has been compelled to come. In many sections of the country 
the Negro enjoys the most of his civil rights. He is admitted to the 
hotels, theaters, and other public places, and on public conveyances he 
is furnished fair accommodations. We believe in the ultimate triumph 
of right. Let us be patient. There is a disposition on the part of the 
better class of white people to do the fair and just thing by the Negro. 
This class will continue to increase, and some day the Negro will enjoy 
all of his rights, and our fair country will indeed be the land of the free, 
as well as the home of the brave. 

N. W. HARLLEE, A. M., A. B. 

The subject of this sketch was born a slave in Robeson county, near Lumberton, 
North Carolina, July 15th, 1852. His father was a Methodist preacher who exhorted 
the plantation slaves, and was noted as "a natural mathematician." His mother was 
deeply religious. 

Mr. Harllee is a self-made man, for he taught himself to read and write after being 
taught to spell about a third through Webster's blue-back spelling book, and with this 
small beginning he laid the foundation for a collegiate education and for the active 
work of life. 

In 1881 he was elected register of deeds in Richmond county, N. C, where he had 
taught school for a number of years, and in 1882 was appointed United States postal 
clerk on the Carolina Central Railway and transferred to Charlotte, Columbia and 
Augusta Railway, which position he held till 1885. In 1879 he was graduated at the 
Biddle University, Charlotte, N. C, with honors. In 1885 he went to Texas and engaged 
in the profession of teaching, and served for a number of years as principal of the 
Grammar School No. 2 of Dallas, Texas. Afterward he was promoted to the principal- 
ship of the Colored High School of the Dallas City Public Schools, which position he 
now holds. 

Professor Harllee has taken an active part in the educational work of his state, 
and has served as president and secretary of the Teachers' State Association of the 
state of Texas; he has also held the position of Superintendent of the Colored Depart- 
ment of the Texas State Fair for eight years, and still holds that position. He is a 
practical staff reporter on the Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Tex. 

Mr. Harllee was married to Miss Florence Belle Coleman of Dallas, Tex., 1891, and 
has three children, Lucretia, Chauncey Depew and Norman W.. Jr. 

He is author of "Harllee's Tree of History," a new and graphic method of teaching 
history; also Harllee's "Simplified Long Division," a new graphic method of teaching 
long division; also Harllee's "Diagram System of Geography." 

He has for a number of years advocated the establishment of a State University 
for the youth of Texas, and is also working with the Rev. W. Lomas and D. Rowens 
to establish an industrial school for his people at Dallas. 

He is also chairman of the Y. M. C. A. board of education of Dallas, and along with 
Messrs. Rice, Darrell, Polk, Weems and Anderson is conducting a successful Y. M, C. A, 
night school for all ages and sexes. 



For two hundred and fifty years the American Negro has been a 
drawer of water and a hewer of wood. He felled the trees and turned the 
forest into fields of cotton and corn ; he drained the swamps and turned 
them into fields of rice; he graded the highways and made them possible 
for railroad transit and traffic. In summer he was to the white man, 
his owner, an umbrella ; in winter, to the same owner, he was his winter 
wood, and always a ready servant with hand and brawn, as bread and 
meat and shelter. 

The question of labor is one of bread and meat. To the bread-winner 
it means much; to the unemployed it often lends a charm for crime; for 
after all, the unemployed needs food, clothing, medicine, a shelter and 
employment alike for body and mind. 

But the subject of labor is not a new one, and, indeed, it has been 
made a question of many complex phases introduced by prejudice from 
white trade unions. Also, climate makes an important factor, hence the 
different sections of our country employ to a large extent different kinds 
of labor, suited to the prevailing industries, thrift and enterprises. 

We may consider at once the two general classes of labor, the crude 
and the skilled. For generations the black man, as a crude laborer, raised 
"King Cotton'' in the cottonfields of the South. He has had no compe- 
tition as a crude laborer ; he still holds a trust on the fleecy staple ; his 
right there is none to dispute. 

But to-day a new and brighter era opens before us. "We are to 
manufacture cotton as well as raise it. We are to advance and keep pace 
with the mental training of our children and provide employment for 
them in every avenue. As the Turk weaves his carpet and darns his 
shawl and as the Chinese prepares his silk, so the black youth must be 
trained to change cotton into cloth. 

Trained hands and trained minds are inseparable companions. If 
we educate our boys and girls, we create in them a desire, we thrust upon 
them a stimulus which pushes them out into the active world, and, if 



only with polished brain and soft hands, they wander from place to 
place seeking the shady side of active, stern reality. 

Since we, by educating our boys and girls, create new appetites, new 
desires, new activities, we set in motion new forces; then we ought the 
more to create new enterprises, open new avenues, establish new business 
or improve the old so as to meet the new relations, the awakened appe- 
tites, the growing activities and the employment of the new forces in 
the culture of cotton and the establishment of cotton mills. 

We commit a crime by creating appetites and then failing to appease 

The education of our children should no longer be a mere theory, but 
a matter of real practical nature, such as will benefit the bread-winner, 
the home-seeker, the higher citizenship, the welfare of the greatest 

While I favor the higher education of the youth of the nation, I 
also think the youth ought to learn trades, to wear the overalls at the 
forge, at the work-bench, to adjust the machinery in the work-shop and 
the factory. I would have the youth able to design and build a house 
as well as to live in one, to raise potatoes as well as to eat them, to pro- 
duce as well as consume. For many years the great majority of the youth 
must be common laborers, whatever their education, whatever their 
social condition or station; then it follows as the day follows the night 
that they should be educated with the trend of the mind and in connec- 
tion with environment. 

In the days of slavery many of our young men and women were 
trained along certain lines; the young men such as skilled carpenters, 
blacksmiths, stone masons, bricklayers, and the like, and the young 
women were trained in dressmaking and the like, and these boys and 
girls grew up having a kind of monopoly in their respective lines, al- 
though controlled by their owners. But for a quarter of a century very 
little attention has been paid to trade learning in many sections of the 

This condition confronts us to-day; however, it is claimed that it is no 
fault of the children that they do not learn trades, and it is further 
urged by many parents that the blame does not lie at their hands ; but 
that it is the fault of the times, of conditions and circumstances; and still 
others claim that the trade unions are the main cause. Many claim that, 
if their children are trained along certain lines, they will be debarred 


by the opposition of the trade unions. But these excuses seem too trivial. 
The opposition of the labor organizations should urge greater activity 
in superior trade learning in every pursuit, so that when the white 
striker walks out of the shops the black man, skilled, trusted and tried, 
should walk in and demonstrate his ability to do better and more work 
than the outgoing striker. 

We are to take no steps backward in industrial and intellectual prog- 
ress in the opening days in the dawn of the new century. A thinking 
people is a prosperous people. We are to be measured by what we can 
accomplish, not by the color of the skin, the texture of the hair, the color 
of the eye or the contour of the head. But we are to be measured as 
skilled farmers, mechanics, printers, artists and scholars. 

This age demands substantial progress in every department of in- 
dustry, in the home, at the fireside, in the shop and on the farm. To 
labor with skill, to facilitate and hasten its benign results with trained 
hands and cultivated brain, must ever be the fiery incentive of our people, 
in order that they may keep abreast of the times in all practical opera- 
tions as skilled laborers, and, as such, vindicate their usefulness as 

As laborers and citizens, the black face must stand for integrity in 
the community, the emblem of sterling worth, the black diamond intrinsic 
in value. 

The time has come when one person ceases to employ another because 
he is of color, but he employs the one who can give more than value 
received. The race needs to bring the hand and the head nearer together. 

The boy who has completed a college education should, in the course 
of time, raise more corn to the acre, if he be a farmer, than his unedu- 
cated father ; for his knowledge of geology should better fit him to know 
the condition and nature of the soil; if a mechanic, his knowledge of 
geometry and of physics should enable him to be an adept. 

The question of labor during the last few years has become, in many 
respects, intensely sectional. North of Mason and Dixon's line, the color 
of the skin has to do with the employment of the colored man along cer- 
tain lines of skilled labor. While this is true in the South, the prejudice 
is not so rank as in the North, except where the colored laborer comes 
in contact with the Yankee or the foreigner. 




So artful is nature that she does not permit man to break one of hei 
laws for his pleasure without a sacrifice on his part ; that for every action 
there is a corresponding reaction ; and so the laws of compensation hold 
good in the dealings of man with man, races with races, and nations 
with nations. Slavery, as ignominious as it was, had a dual effect. The 
master race, forming what might be termed a landed aristocracy, looked 
upon manual labor as degrading; while it of necessity became the nat- 
ural sphere of the weaker. Thus the spirit of work became engrafted 
into the very being of the Negro. This is the path all races have trod. 

The basis of the South's industrial system was Negro labor; and 
although the Emancipation Proclamation changed the whole structure 
from a base of slave labor to that of free labor, nevertheless the Negro 
remained virtually in the same position, but with enlarged opportunities. 
This was a legacy greater than the ballot, for it is vastly more important 
to a man to be able to earn an honest living than to be privileged to cast 
a ballot, and doubly so if the element of doubt as to its being counted 
enters into the privilege. It was a cruel change from that of an irre- 
sponsible creature to that of a man clothed with the responsibility of 
self-support and of American citizenship — a change that would have 
staggered any race, but the Negro has acted nobly his part. 

To say that the Negro is a valuable citizen, and a necessity in the 
development of the South, is to put it mildly. It can best be appreciated 
when we remember that since the war the Negro has earned seventy-five 
billions of dollars, and out of this vast amount he has saved the pitiful 
sum of five hundred millions; thus contributing to the wealth of the 
South seventy-four billions and a half of dollars. It is estimated that 
four-fifths of the labor done in the South is done by the Negro. The 
theory advanced by those who claim themselves to be immunes from 
that dreaded disease of Negrophobia is, that the industrial education of 
the Negro will inevitably inspire a similar movement for the industrial 
training of the poor whites, and the resultant competition means a 
further complication of the race problem, which will only be solved by 
the ultimate separation of the races. This theory is as unique as it is 


Prof. R. G. Robinson, B. L. ( the subject of our sketch, was born in Hamilton Ber- 
muda Islands. B. W. I., February 16, 1873. In pursuit of education he came to the 
United States at the early age of eleven, going directly to New Hampshire. In the fall 
of '85 he entered Dow Academy in Franconia, N. H. By economy and thrift he main- 
tained himself in this institution for eight years, graduating in 1893, second in his 
class. During this course he was several times elected president of the Autonomation 
Literary Society. His conduct and standing was very tersely stated by one of his pro- 
fessors, when he said that "he was courteous and obliging under all circumstances, clear 
and logical in his deductions and conscientious as a Christian." 

He immediately entered Dartmouth College in the class of '97. During his college 
course he was prominent in athletics, at the same time holding a good position in his 
class. Despite the fact he was one of the two colored men in a class of a hundred and 
twenty-eight, yet at the close of Freshman year he was unanimously elected class 
auditor for the ensuing year. He was a charter member of the Ruskin Society, a society 
for the cultivation of the histrionic art in Dartmouth College. In 1897 Dartmouth 
gave him the degree of Bachelor of Letters. Says President Tucker of Dartmouth: 
"He is a man of clear and earnest purpose, possessing tact and good executive ability." 

After graduation he was elected to the chair of English language and literature 
in the Tuskegee Institute, but resigned at the close of the year and was elected principal 
of one of the city schools of Montgomery, Ala., which position he held until elected by 
the Freedmen's Aid and Southern Educational Society as principal of the La Grange 
Academy, La Grange, Ga. 

In 1899 he was married to Lily Belle, the daughter of Wm. Hill, the wealthy truck 
gardener of Montgomery. Mrs. Robinson is a graduate of the A. & M. College at Nor- 
mal, Alabama. They have a son, Mason Francis. 

Prof. Robinson has a brother who is a member of the Boston Bar. He graduated 
from Dow Academy in Franconia, N. H.. in 1893; attended Oberlin College and 
received the degree of LL. B. from Boston University. In 1898 he was a member of 
the Boston Common Council. 


original, and bids fair to revolutionize the laws of economics. But to 
the contrary the laws of trade and labor are as imperious as all the 
enactments of necessity. The South is fast regaining her lost treasures 
and bids fair to become not only an agricultural section, but with her won- 
derful oil and mineral resources to be the rival of the North. Coupled with 
her wonderful resources is the free Negro labor, which is the cheapest 
in the world outside of Asia, and will not only be in demand but will 
ultimately enter into all industries, driving all before it. It is a cer- 
tainty that capital will inevitably seek and secure the cheapest labor. 
Besides cheapness, other qualifications have made, and will continue to 
make, him indispensable to the South's development and make him far 
superior to the foreign element for which a few seem to clamor. 

Coming out of slavery ignorant, irresponsible, no name, no home, no 
"mule," there is no better way to measure the influence of Christian edu- 
cation than by the increased ability to earn, to save and to wisely invest 
money. The spirit of home-getting and the eagerness for education are 
very hopeful signs. We proudly quote from a lengthy editorial in a 
recent issue of the Atlanta Constitution: "The building up of wealth 
follows a sharpening of intellect. If the untutored colored man of the 
past quarter of a century could amass nearly a half a billion of dollars, 
why may not the educated Negro, during the next quarter of a century, 
quadruple the amount?'' 

As a skilled laborer it will take time for the race to make a mark, 
because here he will meet with sharper competition. This is the oppor- 
tunity of the industrial school. The lack of sufficient numbers of skilled 
colored mechanics and because of the existence of prejudice, the employer 
shows timidity in attempting to supplant white labor with Negro labor. 
This fear will decrease as the supply increases. We indorse industrial 
training for the masses, but as efficient as it is, it is not sufficient. The 
tendency of these schools is to make the training of the hand of primary 
importance and that of the brain secondary. This might suffice for a 
while, but in this age of progress, of invention, when the genius of the 
age seems to have directed all its power to the invention of labor-saving 
machines, the demand for brainy mechanics is increasing so rapidly that 
the industrial school of to-day will wake up to-morrow only to find itself 
behind the times. 

The Northern section of our country, with its large manufacturing 
interests and the constant demand for skilled labor, has encouraged the 


combining of labor into trades unions as a means of protection against 
the encroachments of capital. Because of the social side of these organi- 
zations the Negro has been debarred, with some exceptions. The unions 
will operate against him just as long as the interests of the unions are 
not in jeopardy and the supply of skilled colored mechanics is insuffi- 
cient. But in the South, where Negro labor is plenty and agriculture is 
the chief occupation, the Negro will always have a practical monopoly, 
and his opportunities in all the trades in the North, as well as in the 
South, will increase in proportion as he becomes an educated, thrifty, 
law-abiding land-owner. The time has come when the Negro can no 
longer afford to play upon the sympathies of his friends, but as a man 
among men he must be pre-eminently fitted for his place; fitted in intel- 
lect, in the knowledge of his craft and in sobriety. 

As a common laborer the Negro in his ignorance has had to battle 
against great odds. Too often his employer, who built the courts, run 
them and owns them, but who made the Negro shoulder the expense, 
feeling that he has the right of way and in his eagerness to get something 
for nothing, has forced the Negro through necessity to do the very thing 
for which he condemns him. Despite these great odds, industry and 
uprightness in any man, be he white or black, makes him a valuable 
member of any community. 




The wide scope of this subject, and the limited time given for research, 
together with the absence of statistics, make it impossible at this time 
to present more than a brief sketch. I propose to continue my research 
and investigation and at some later date to present the subject in a very 
much enlarged form, giving the condition of the Negro as a laborer in 
all the leading cities of the United States. In the present sketch men- 
tion will be made of only a few cities. 

The Southern cities, with their stately residences and business houses 
that were constructed in ante-bellum days, bear emphatic testimony to 
the skill of the Negro in the mechanic arts. All of the labor of the South 


Lena Terrell Jackson was born December 25, 1865, in Gallatin, Sumner County, 
Tenn. Her father died in her early childhood; hence the responsibility of her support 
and education fell upon her mother. 

This mother determined to give her daughter the advantage of a good education. 
Accordingly at the age of seven years the daughter was placed in a private school and 
remained there until the autumn of 1876, when, having finished the course of study 
in the private school, she was entered as a pupil in the Belle View City School and 
remained there three consecutive years. 

She completed the course of study in the Nashville City Schools in June, 1879. 
In September, 1879, she entered the Middle Preparatory Class of Fisk University and 
remained at Fisk six years, graduating from the Collegiate Department in 1885. 

During the six years spent at Fisk she taught school during the summer months 
in the rural districts and with the money thus earned helped to support her mother 
and maintain herselt in school. She also assisted her mother in her family work after 
school hours. 

After graduation, in 1885, she was elected as a teacher in the Nashville Public 
Schools, having resigned two similar positions, the one at Birmingham, Ala., and the 
other at Chattanooga, Tenn., to accept the Nashville appointment. 

In 1894 she was assigned to the Junior Grade in the colored High School and two 
years later to the Chair of Latin in the High School, which position she is still filling. 

Following out the principles of economy that are so thoroughly inculcated in the 
minds of Fisk students, her first thought after completing her course of study was 
turned towards the acquisition of real estate and the purchase of a home for her mother, 
who through so many struggles and sacrifices had made it possible for her to obtain a 
college education. 

Her hopes in this direction have been realized to some extent; and she has secured 
not only a home, but considerable other real estate. 


at that time was done almost exclusively by the Negro. Plantation 
owners trained their own blacksmiths, wheelwrights, painters and car- 
penters. The Negro was seen as a foreman on many Southern planta- 
tions during ante-bellum days. Education has greatly improved his 
lability to labor, and to-day in every vocation he is found as a laborer, 
'competing successfully with other laborers. Notwithstanding the fact 
that prejudice and labor organizations are arrayed against him, the 
character of his work is such, and his disposition as a laborer such, that 
his services will always be in great demand. 

Negro laborers are given employment on large buildings alongside 
of white laborers, and generally give entire satisfaction. In the city of 
Nashville, Tenn., during the present year, in the construction of the 
Polk Flats, two Negro laborers were employed with a number of white 
laborers; a strong pressure was brought to bear upon the foreman to 
displace the two Negro laborers and fill their places with white men. 
The request was promptly denied. This is conclusive proof that had the 
character of the Negroes' work not been eminently satisfactory the 
reverse would have been the result. 

The Negro is found in all the occupations that are characteristic of a 
progressive people, namely, barbers, blacksmiths, brick and stone masons, 
carpenters, coachmen, domestic servants, firemen, farm laborers, mail 
carriers, merchants (grocers), millers, shoemakers and repairers, wait- 
ers, nurses, seamstresses, housewives, washerwomen and milliners. 

Trades and Industries. — As stone and brick masons the wages range 
from $2 to $3 per day. Huntsville, Ala., has a brickyard that is owned 
and controlled by Negroes. This firm secures the contract for a large 
number of houses in Huntsville and the adjoining towns. 

There is a town in the northern part of Virginia in which the entire 
brickmaking business is in the hands of a colored man, a freedman, who 
bought his own and his family's freedom, purchased his master's estate, 
and eventually hired his master to work for him. He owns a thousand 
acres or more of land and considerable town property. In his brickyard 
he hires about fifteen hands, mostly boys from sixteen to twenty years 
of age, and runs five or six months a year, making from 200,000 to 
300,000 brick. Probably over one-half the brick houses of the place are 
built of brick made in his establishment, and he has repeatedly driven 
white competitors out of business. 

As firemen the Negro has shown himself courageous and faithful to 


his trust. During a great fire in Nashville, Tenn., a few years ago, it 
was conceded by all that the progress of a disastrous fire was checked 
and much valuable property saved by the heroic efforts of the colored fire 
company. Unfortunately, however, the captain of the company and two 
of his comrades were sacrificed. In all the large cities colored fire com- 
panies are to be found, and in every case they are making a good 

In some sections of Texas and Mississippi Negro plantation owners 
are often found. 

Just after the close of the war the highest ambition of the Negro was 
the ministrv. But there has been a remarkable change in that direction 
and Negroes are now found in all the professions. The Negro physician 
has made an enviable record. One of the leading surgeons in the West 
is a colored physician. He is the founder of a large hospital in a west- 
ern town, and is also surgeon-in-chief of one of the largest hospitals in 
the country. The Negro has also gained some distinction at the bar. A 
large number of Negroes are teachers, and an increasing number of these 
are young women. 

Clerical IVork. — Negroes are given employment as clerks in the gov- 
ernment service at Washington, D. C. There is a large number of rail- 
way-mail clerks, with salaries ranging from one thousand to fifteen hun- 
dred dollars a year. Nashville, Tenn., has three mail clerks who have 
held their respective routes for more than ten years. 

Common Laborers. — This class includes porters, janitors, teamsters, 
laborers in foundries and factories. The usual wages paid for this 
class of work is f 1 a day. 

The barbering and restaurant businesses, toward which the Negro 
naturally turned just after emancipation, for which their training as 
home servants seemed especially to fit them, are not so largely followed 
now owing to the fact that the best talent of the race have entered the 
professions. Yet, however, in some places the Negro restaurant keeper 
does a thriving business. In Chicago, Illinois, there were two fine up to 
date restaurants which did a good business. One of these employed white 
help exclusively. 

The Negro blacksmiths and wheelwrights do a good business, some- 
times taking in from $5 to $8 a day. 

As shoemakers and repairers, and furniture repairers and silver- 
smiths, the Negro is successful, and is kept busy. In painting there is 


a colored contractor in Nashville who does business on a large scale. 
He is proprietor of his own shop, employs a large number of men, and 
secures the contract for a large number of fine dwellings. His patronage 
is confined mostly to white people. 

Nashville has a steam laundry owned and operated entirely by colored 
men, and it has a large white patronage. In the rural districts most of 
the Negroes devote themselves to farming, either working on the farms 
of others or are themselves proprietors of farms. 

Domestic Service. — In this field of labor both men and women are 
found. The average wages paid the men is $15 a month and boird. 
The women receive from $5 to $12 a month, according to age and work. 
In addition to their wages they also receive lodging, cast-off clothes, and 
are trained in matters of household economy and taste. At present 
there is considerable dissatisfaction and discussion over the state of 
domestic service. Many Negroes often look upon menial labor as degrad- 
ing and only enter it from utter necessity, and then as a temporary make- 
shift. This state of affairs is annoying to employers who find an increas- 
ing number of careless and impudent young people who neglect their 
work, and in some cases show vicious tendencies. 

The low schedule for such work is due to two causes: One is, that 
from custom many Southern families hire help for which they cannot 
afford to pay much; another reason is that they do not consider the 
service rendered worth any more. This may not be the open conscious 
thought of the better elements of such laborers, but it is the unconscious 
tendency of the present situation, which makes one species of honorable 
and necessary labor difficult to buy or sell without loss of self-respect 
on one side or the other. 

Day Service. — A large number of single women and housewives work 
out regularly in families, or take washing into their homes; and, like 
house servants, are paid by the week, or if they work by the day from 
30 to 50 cents a day. This absence of mothers from home not only occa- 
sions a neglect of their household duties but also of their children, espe- 
cially of girls. Aside from house servants and washerwomen, many of 
the women are seamstresses and readily find employment in white fami- 
lies. Some do a remunerative business in their own homes. The Negro 
woman is especially successful as a trained nurse, and a considerable 
number of the brightest and most intelligent among the young women 
are entering upon that calling. 


Conclusion. — The closing years of the nineteenth century indicate 
remarkable advancement on the part of the Negro in all industrial lines; 
but the twentieth century will doubtless furnish opportunities which 
will enable him to carry these beginnings to their legitimate fruition. 


Rev. William E. Partee, D. D., was born at Concord, N. C, of Christian parents in 
the year 1860 and at an early age placed in the common schools of his native town. 
He was left an orphan at the age of ten, but by determination and the help of friends 
he gained an education. When but sixteen years of age he taught a country school. 
He was graduated from the collegiate and theological departments of Biddle University 
and was licensed to preach in 1883 and ordained in 1884 by the Presbytery of Catawba 
and entered upon his life work by serving as pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church 
at Concord, N. C, for more than three years, among his early playmates and companions. 

In the year 1887 he took charge of a mission church and school at Gainesville, Fla., 
serving acceptably in that work for more than four years and standing faithfully by 
his people during that memorable epidemic of yellow fever in 1888. In 1892 he was 
called to the pastorate of Laura Street Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville, Fla., which 
position he occupied for nearly seven years. During two years of that time he was 
also principal of one of the city graded schools. In 1896 he was sent as commissioner 
from the Presbytery of East Florida to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian 
Church at Saratoga. 

In 1898 he resigned from his work in Jacksonville to take charge of the First Pres- 
byterian Church of Richmond, Va. Thus he has been engaged for many years in the 
active work of the ministry, always doing earnest and faithful work and held in high 
esteem by the people of every community in which he has labored. 

He was married in 1886 to Miss Edith I. Smith, of Lynchburg, Va., who proved a 
worthy and efficient helper in his work, and uncomplainingly shared with him the trials 
and vicissitudes which fall to the preacher's lot in life for fourteen years. Then the 
Master called her to rest from her labors. 



To form a correct estimate of the Negro as a Christian Ave must take 
into account the "depths from which he came." 

Back of his forty years of freedom lie more than two hundred years 
of bondage, in which he was forced to obey the will of another absolutely 
and kept in ignorance. All real manhood was repressed and every ambi- 
tion curbed. Though under the control of the Christian Church and 
people of the South, and living on the farms and in the homes and fami- 
lies of their masters, mingling in their lives and their society, and subject 
to their moulding influence, yet, as a rule, the moral principles and 
qualities necessary to a religious life were not taught him, neither was 
he encouraged to cultivate them. 

There was no lawful marriage, no true home, but husband and wife 
were the property of a master who used or abused either as he chose; 
their children grew up under the same conditions and were encouraged 
or forced into unchastity, lying, stealing and betraying of one another 
under the teaching that there was no moral wrong to them since they 
were the property of another who was responsible for their acts. There 
could be no growth in morals, and there can be no true religion without 
morals. To say the least they came out of bondage with a dwarfed 
moral nature, and to this day suffer more or less from the effects of it. 
The carnality of slavery has not yet ceased to bear fruit, as we all know. 
Ever and anon it shows itself in those horrible acts which the newspapers 
report in full. 

It takes long and weary years to root out of a race or nation evils that 
have become fixed in its nature. But while there is much to be deplored as 
to laxity in morals among the masses there has been constant and steady 
improvement in this regard. It is no doubt true that any race, kept in 
bondage under similar conditions, and for the same length of time as the 
Negro was, would come out of it in no better condition, and would, per- 
haps, show no better record in forty years than this race has shown, and 
especially so if that bondage were preceded by heathenism. 



Dr. Haygood has said, "The hope of the African race in this country 
is largely in its pulpit. No people can rise above their religion; no peo- 
ple's religion can rise above the doctrines preached and lived by their 

The Negro began almost unaided and alone in this particular. As to 
their religion they were very largely left to themselves during slavery. 
Their ministers were ignorant and unlettered. Many of them were 
pious, but many were ungodly and unscrupulous. So theirs was a religion 
largely without the Bible. It consisted of bits of Scripture here and 
there, of glowing imaginations, of dreams and of superstitions; yet it 
was the best they knew. 

Then many years of freedom had passed by before fully equipped 
ministers could be provided them. During those years faithful servants 
of God, unlettered, did their best to be the true religious leaders of the 
people (all honor to them), but they necessarily came short in many 
respects and could not carry the people up to the higher plane of religious 

With these things before our minds we say that the race has shown 
a remarkable growth in the essentials of true Christian manhood. Their 
notions may, in some things, be crude; their conceptions of truth may 
be realistic; they may be more emotional than ethical; they may show 
many imperfections in their religious development; nevertheless is it 
true that their religion is their most striking formative characteristic. 
So susceptible are they that no other influence has had so much to do in 
shaping their better character, and what they are to become in their 
future development will be largely determined by their religion. 

While in their church and social life there are some elements of evil 
and superstition, some of which are the inheritance of past ages in the 
fatherland, while others have been developed in this country by the con- 
ditions of life during the years of slavery, still any fairminded person 
who takes the pains to correctly inform himself will acknowledge that 
these are being gradually but surely eradicated. 

As a Christian he commends himself in his faith and devotion. 
Though his religion may sometimes be defective in its practical applica- 
tion to the principles of right conduct and living, God, heaven, hell and 
the judgment day are realities to him. He believes the truths of the 
Bible to be real, and thus he is sound in the faith so far as he understands 
it, and that is more than can be said of many who are better informed 


than lie. What a rare thing to find one an infidel ! Where can you find 
a people more susceptible to religious teaching? 

The emotional nature is highly developed, and they are quick to 
respond to whatever appeals to their sympathies and affections. Emo- 
tion has its place in religion and is not to be ignored, but to be properly 
used and controlled and directed. To move any one we must first reach 
the feelings; if these can be aroused they may develop into a conviction 
that the subject of them should adopt a given course of action, and he 
accordingly does so. I am not sure after all that we should seek to 
repress such to any great extent. It may be a point in his favor, for 
since he is easily and powerfully impressed by strong appeals, he is the 
more readily brought under the influence of the wise teacher or leader. 
It is true in some cases that mere physical excitement is mistaken for 
being ''filled with the spirit," and thus some swing to the extreme in 
this direction. It is noticeable, however, that this is being rapidly out- 
grown and more self-control is being practiced. After all it does seem 
that being easily moved and swayed may furnish the lever by which the 
wise and prudent may begin to lift them to the higher ground of religious 
life. No doubt in most cases there is deep down beneath the easily over- 
wrought feelings a true religious disposition, with much spirituality and 
divine energy. 

Benevolence is rightly regarded as an important matter in Christian 
living. In proportion to his means the Negro excels in this. Hundreds 
of churches, and many schools and colleges have been built out of their 
poverty. To sum up and place on record their gifts for the extension of 
Christ's kingdom would perhaps show to the world an unequalled record 
of self-sacrifice and devotion to a cause. Show that a cause is a worthy 
one and they are ready to give according to their ability to help that cause. 
To give help to ministers of the gospel and other Christian workers is not 
only regarded as a duty but as an honor and a pleasure. On the whole 
they are kind at heart, generous to the distressed, obliging and consider- 
ate. Love to friends and forgiveness of enemies are marked character- 

The statement has been often made that loose notions as to morals are 
held. To some extent this may be true. Let us bear in mind that the 
large majority are poor and are common laborers, and more than half the 
race are illiterate. Compare them with this class of any race in this or 
any other country and I dare say they will suffer but little by the com- 


parison. Some have made much of the fact that in many places whole 
families by necessity live in one or two-room cabins. While this is 
unfortunate and to be regretted, it is nevertheless true that you can find 
even in such conditions in the majority of instances that purity and virtue 
are as much respected as among those who live in roomy homes where 
every privacy is afforded. They are not any worse, certainly, and, per- 
haps, are better in this respect than the multitudes of other races who 
live in the cellars and attics of crowded tenements in our great cities. 

Let us not make the mistake of including all in one general class, and 
that the worst, but while acknowledging that there is great room for 
improvement, let us recognize in the vast mass of multitude who, in 
education, morals and religion, are the equals of any people. 

The correspondence between the profession of the heart and the out- 
ward life is often not what it should be, but is not that true also of many 
Christians of any race? There are Christians of highest education who 
enjoy abundant and varied opportunities of enlightenment and culture 
who fail to show in all their outward life what they profess in their heart 
to be. Some do fall into the error of trying to separate between the 
religion of the heart and that of the life, but generally they are learning 
the better way. Where so large a percentage of the people cannot read 
and write, how can you expect of them the highest degree of moral and 
religious life? Taking into account the disadvantages and limitations 
under which they labor, you rather wonder that they have reached so 
high as they have in Christian living. We must consider the past history 
of the race, its present disadvantages, environment and opportunity, if we 
would justly estimate its Christianity. We must base our judgment upon 
the developed Negro if we would be fair. Education helps us to be better 
Christians just as it helps others and, and as we get more knowledge Of 
Bible truths such as education can give us we will be better Christians. 
Educated ministers are fast displacing the uneducated, and those whose 
moral and Christian character fall below the standard are being crowded 
out, and schools and colleges are sending out every year hundreds of 
educated Christian men and women who raise the standard of right living 
in any community where their lot is cast. 

The material prosperity of the Negro may be placed in evidence as 
to his Christianity. With all the odds against them and starting up from 
absolute poverty, the race now owns farms, homes, schools, churches, bank 
accounts and personal property amounting to five hundred and fifty mil- 


Rev. L. B. Ellerson, A. M., was born at Cheraw, S. C, in 1869. Mr. Ellerson's 
father having died when the son was but an infant, Mr. Ellerson was left to be reared 
under the fostering care of his mother alone. He spent his youthful days in the public 
schools of his native town until he was sixteen years old. At that time he was happily 
converted to Christ and received the impressions that he was called to the gospel 
ministry. At the same time he united with the Presbyterian Church. In 1886, Mr. 
Ellerson entered Biddle University at Charlotte, N. C, to pursue such a course as 
would prepare him for the ministry. He remained at Biddle University until 1893, 
when he graduated from the classical course with honor, taking the Philosophical 
Oration. In '92 Mr. Ellerson was the successful contestant for the medal given by the 
Alumni to the Junior Class. During his course at Biddle, Mr. Ellerson spent his sum- 
mer vacations, teaching in the district schools of North and South Carolina. In 
June, 1893, Mr. Ellerson was employed to do missionary work near Asheville. N. C. 
He continued in this work until September, 1893, at which time he entered the Theo- 
logical Seminary of the Presbyterian Church at Princeton, N. J., for the purpose of 
completing his course for the ministry. During the first two years of his course of 
Theology at Princeton he continued to come South in summer and engage in teaching 
during vacations. He graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1896. He 
and two others being the only colored students in a class of sixty-nine young men. 
Besides keeping up the studies of the last year, Mr. Ellerson supplied the pulpit of 
Dwight's Chapel at Englewood, New Jersey. Here he remained until September, 1896, 
when he came to South Carolina and was ordained to the full work of the gospel 
ministry by the Fairfield Presbytery, the same Presbytery having licensed him the pre- 
ceding year. 

During Rev. Ellerson's course at Princeton he was at one time engaged to supply 
the pulpit of Siloam Presbyterian Church at Elizabeth, N. J. At another time he was 
employed to assist the Rev. H. G. Miller, pastor of Mt. Taber Presbyterian Church, in 
New York City, during the illness of the pastor. Upon his ordination by Fairfield 
Presbytery in 1896, Rev. Ellerson was placed in charge of the church and school work 
at Manning, S. C. Here he worked very successfully preaching and teaching until 
November, 1898, when he was called to the pastorate of Berean Presbyterian Church 
at Beaufort, S. C. At the same time he was made principal of Harbison Institute. 
Rev. Ellerson labored with a marked degree of success on the Beaufort field from 
November, 1898, to April, 1901, when he was urged to accept a call from the Laura 
Street Presbyterian Church at Jacksonville, Fla., where he is at present prosecuting 
the work of his church with success. For a young man of his age, Rev. Ellerson 
evidently stands high in the estimation of his fellow Presbyters. This is evinced by 
the fact that he has already filled some of the highest offices in the gift of his brethren. 
In 1898 he was unanimously chosen moderator of Fairfield Presbytery at Camden. 
S. C. In 1899 he was made the choice of Atlantic Synod for moderator at Columbia. 
S. C, and in 1900 he was unanimously elected to represent the Presbytery of Atlantic in 
the General Assembly which met in St. Louis, Mo. 

He has filled each of these offices with credit and ability. The degree of A. M. 
was conferred upon him by Biddle University, his Alma Mater in 1900. 


lion dollars. It is remarkable that this has been acquired in forty years. 
God's word teaches that nations prosper in material things as they get 
close to God. 

Thus looking upon the brighter side we are led to commend in many 
things the Christianity of the Negro race and to believe that as a people 
higher ground is aimed at. Though yet a long way off from perfection, 
yet ever onward and upward are thef tending. 




If it is true that man is naturally a religious being, then it is pre- 
eminently true in the case of the Negro. If the Negro is anything at all 
he is religious. It matters not in what walk of life you find him or what 
may be his personal or individual character, it is a very rare case indeed 
when you find a Negro who indulges in doubt as to the existence of a 
supreme being or the existence of a future state of rewards and punish- 
ments. With him these are fixed points of belief. But as much as may 
be justly said regarding the Negro's natural piety, it must be observed 
and admitted by all who know the Negro" best that his religion is very 
much defective in its practical application to the principles of right 
conduct and living. And this, we perceive, is the main point at issue, 
for when we discuss the Negro as a Christian we must of necessity feel 
called upon to distinguish between his native piety and his applied Chris- 
tianity. We wish it understood, too, that the general observations made 
here refer to the masses of Negroes rather than to the individual. 

We unhesitatingly affirm that individuals of our race have risen to as 
true and as high a Christian status as has mankind anywhere. And 
although we know and confess that the masses of our race have not yet 
come up to the genuine standard of the New Testament Christianity — 
even in apprehension — yet it must be observed that their religion con- 
tains many features that are highly commendable. Chief among these 
features are, first, his simple, child-like, unwavering faith in God. Nor 
can this condition be wholly attributed to ignorance or thoughtlessness, 
as some might hold ; for, indeed, we have produced some men of as rare 


ability as move among the human throng; yet it is almost as difficult to 
find an atheist, an agnostic, or an infidel of any sort among us as it is to 
find a "needle in a haystack." The Negro believes in the God of the 

Second. Because the Negro is naturally emotional he is usually 
earnest and fervent in the exercise of his religious worship, as far as 
that goes. He likes the strong, passionate appeal which for the time 
being, at least, tickles him into laughter or moves him to tears and sweeps 
him off his feet in its flight. The earnestness and fervency are all right 
but too often these run to the extreme and so constitute by far too large 
a portion of his Christianity. 

Third. Again, the Negro's religion is characterized by benevolence. 
I believe that history has no record of a people who, out of their want and 
poverty, have given so much to benevolent causes as have the Negroes in 
this country. Is it not wonderful to reckon the millions of dollars that 
have been given by us for erecting and maintaining church edifices, 
schools and other benevolent institutions since emancipation? It is per- 
fectly safe to affirm that no people have exceeded us along this line. But 
with all of these good things that can be justly said to the credit of our 
religion, the fair-minded must still admit that when we come to the daily 
application of the principles and practices of Bible Christianity we are 
lacking. If this be true, there is a cause. What is it? We believe that 
the cause was stated in part when we referred to the natural emotional 
element in our makeup. That element too often causes us to run off with 
the sentiment, having left the substance behind. Another cause, and, 
perhaps the main one, is to be found doubtless in the same way in which 
we find the causes of defects in our race along other lines, i. e., from 
defective leadership and instruction along this particular line. We 
would be understood. The crying need of our race to-day is and has been 
a competent ministry to lead and instruct the masses in the application 
of the principles of right life and conduct from the standpoint of Bible 
Christianity. To-day the church, especially in our race, is the center of 
both our social and Christian life. Like priests, like people. All honor 
to the pioneers who did their best in their circumstances and who served 
well their day and generation. But this is another age ; this, a brighter 
day — one that demands improvement along all lines, and especially in the 
pulpit of my race. The pew is advancing, hence the pulpit had better 
push on. The key to the situation, then, is nothing more nor less than 


Rev. Walter H. Brooks, D. D., has a very unusual and interesting history. He was 
born a slave in Richmond, Va., August 30, 1851, his parents belonging to different 
masters. In 1859 his mother's master died, and arrangements were made to sell her 
and her six children, she being allowed to select a purchaser if she could find one. 
Through a white friend his father bought Dr. Brooks' mother, together with two of the 
youngest children. Walter H. Brooks and an elder brother were bought by a large 
tobacco manufacturing firm in Richmond. In 1861 the breaking out of the war affected 
the tobacco trade, and many of the tobacconists were obliged to sell or hire out their 
slaves. Walter and his brother David were hired by their mother, who, each quarter 
of the year, managed to pay the amount agreed upon. For the next three years both 
of the boys worked, thereby aiding their mother in paying their hire. After the war 
Walter H. Brooks, for a short time, attended a primary school in Richmond, taught by 
a young lady from the North. 

In October, 1866, he had received one year's instruction when he went to Lincoln 
University, Chester County, Pa. He remained there seven years, graduating in 1872, and 
then entered a theological class for one year. During the second year of his seminary 
life he was converted and became an elder in the Presbyterian Church. He expected 
to become a Presbyterian preacher, but in 1873 his ideas having made him a subject to 
baptism, he joined the First African Baptist Church of Richmond, Va. 

For a short time he was a clerk in the postofnce at Richmond, Va., but in 1874, 
having resigned his position, he entered the service of the American Baptist Publica- 
tion Society in the State of Virginia. Having been ordained in December, 1876, in 
April, 1877, he accepted the pastorship of the Second Baptist Church of Richmond, Va., 
where he succeeded in paying off the entire debt of the church. In June, 1880, he was 
sent as a delegate for the Virginia Baptist State Convention to the Baptist General 
Association in session at Petersburg, and he was the first Colored delegate received by 
that body. In September, 1880, he resigned the charge of the church and went to New 
Orleans, La., to commence work in the American Baptist Publication Society's employ, 
but his wife's failing health caused him to return to Virginia in 1882. 

In November, 1882, he was called to the pastorship of the Nineteenth Street Baptist 
Church of Washington, D. C. where he has been ever since. 

Roger Williams University, Nashville, Tenn., and State University, Louisville. Ky., 
both honored him with the title of Doctor of Divinity; while his alma mater, in June, 
1883, conferred upon him the degree of M. A. 

Recently he was elected a trustee of the United Society of Christian Endeavor, to 
represent the Colored Baptists of the world. 

Dr. Brooks has distinguished himself as a temperance advocate, and for a number 
of years has been the Chaplain of the Anti-Saloon League of the District of Columbia. 

His article, printed some years since in the "National Baptist" of Philadelphia, Pa., 
on "George Liele, the Black Apostle," and his more recent paper on the "Beginnings 
of Negro Churches in America," have won for him many praises. 

For twenty-eight years Dr. Brooks has been in public life, and his power as a 
speaker still gives him a commanding influence in the pulpit and on the platform. 

Dr. Brooks married Miss Eva Holmes, of the family of Rev. James H. Holmes, of 
Richmond, Va., and this union resulted in the birth of ten children — eight of whom 
are living, four boys and four girls — the oldest born being 27 years of age, the youngest 
four years. 


a more consecrated and intelligent Christian ministry for our race 
throughout the length and breadth of this land. And we are hopeful; 
for the "signs of the times" portend the coming of better things. Already 
bright streaks of gray high up upon the eastern horizon herald the dawn 
of a new and brighter day. Every branch of the Christian church in our 
race is putting forth strenuous efforts to supply the pulpits of the race 
with competent ministers. Let this glorious day be hastened and soon 
Ethiopia will stretch out her hands to God. 


The Christian religion is eminently adapted to the wants of humanity. 
It has always had a charm for lowly and oppressed peoples. It was, 
therefore, the one thing, above all others, which gave comfort and hope 
to the American Negro during the night of his long bondage. 

The story of the enslavement and marvelous deliverance of God's 
ancient people; of Daniel, the prophet, and the Hebrew youths, whom 
God protected and honored in the house of their bondage; the psalms 
of David, the sweet singer of Israel ; the inspired narratives of Jesus of 
Nazareth, the Christ of God; the Biblical account of the faith, suffer- 
ings and triumphs of the apostles; and the manifold promises of God, 
made to all who served Him in truth, and patiently wait for their fulfill- 
ment, could not fail in influencing the conduct and life of America's 
Negro slaves. It was in circumstances like these the Christian Negro, 
many years ago, sang out his hopes, his sorrows, and his soul-yearnings 
in melodies peculiarly his own, whose plaintive strains have been echoing 
around the globe for a generation and more. 

The balm of Gilead was never so soothing to the wounds of an Israelite 
as the Gospel of Jesus Christ was, in the dark days of slavery, to the 
oppressed and sorrowing soul of the unfortunate Negro. It is not sur- 
prising, therefore, that at least one-fourth of the entire Negro popula- 
tion of the country was devout Christians forty years ago, while the 
entire Negro population was nominally believers in the living and true 
God, and in Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. 


Whether the Negro Christian has lost some of his old-time love for 
Christ, and his zeal for the sanctuary, is, in the minds of some, an open 
question. We, however, believe that the Savior and the sanctuary are 
dearer to the Negro than ever. Indeed, so far as the census, which was 
taken by the United States in 1890, proves anything as to the matter of 
religion, the Negro is the most religious citizen of the country. Here is 
an extract from that report: "The Negro population of the country, 
exclusive of Indian territory and Alaska, according to the census of 1890, 
is 7,470,040. As the churches report 2,673,197 Negro communicants, 
exclusive of Indian territory and Alaska, it follows that one person in 
every 2.79 of the Negro population is a communicant. Excluding Indian 
Territory and Alaska, the total population is 62,622,250, and the total of 
communicants 20,568,679. The proportion here is 1 communicant in 
every 3.04 of the population. In other words, while all denominations 
have 328.46 communicants in every 1,000 of the total population, the 
colored organizations reported have 357.86 communicants in every 1,000 
of the Negro population." According to this showing, more than a third 
of the entire Negro population of the country was enrolled as active 
members of the churches, ten years ago. At the same time, less than a 
third of the white population was connected with the churches of the 

It remains to be seen whether the census of the United States, which 
is now in process of completion, will show any change in the relative 
strength of the Negro and white churches of the country. 

It is certain that the Negro Christian is displaying commendable 
zeal in erecting spacious houses of worship; in acquiring school prop- 
erty; in giving the Gospel to the heathen in Africa, and in other parts 
of the world; in raising funds for the cause of education, and in pro- 
viding himself with a religious literature of his own making. 

In the quality of his religion, we dare say, there is room for improve- 
ment. But the changes mostly needed for his highest good are intel- 
lectual, material, social, commercial and political in nature, rather than 

The Negro Christian is as a rule as good as he knows how to be. He 
often errs, not knowing the Scriptures. He sometimes plunges headlong 
into the ditch of shame, because his spiritual adviser and instructor is a 
"blind leader of the blind." 

Christian schools, however, are giving us better leaders every year, 


Henry Hugh Proctor was born near Fayetteville, Tennessee, December 8, 186N 
After completing the public school course of his native town he studied in Fisk Uni 
versity, Nashville, Tenn., from which school he was graduated with the degree ot 
Bachelor of Arts, June, 1891. That fall he entered the Divinity School of Yale Uni- 
versity, graduating three years later. He was assigned by the faculty to the post of 
honor among the chosen orators of the class. He at once entered upon the pastorate 
of the First Congregational Church of Atlanta, Ga. 

Mr. Proctor has lectured extensively in many parts or the country, his best-known 
lecture being "The Black Man's Burden." He has been active in preventing legislation 
in Georgia adverse to the colored race, especially measures designed to restrict the 
franchise and cut down public school facilities of the Negro. He is correspondent for 
a number of Northern periodicals, and extracts from his sermons are published 
weekly in the "Atlanta Constitution," the leading daily of the South. At his recent 
seventh anniversary as pastor many letters of congratulation came from all parts of 
the country, one being from Principal Booker T. Washington, whose esteem and friend- 
ship he enjoys. 


and the time is hastening when the Negro Christian of America shall be 
respected and loved because of his intelligence, his Christian piety, his 
zeal for God's cause, his manly bearing, his general worth as a moral and 
material contributor to the well being, both of the state and of the 
country which claim him as a citizen, and because of his excellent spirit 
and gentlemanly deportment. 




In the historic development of Christianity race and religion have had 
a reciprocal relation. Conversion has involved a mutual conquest. The 
religion has modified the race, and the race has modified the religion. 
Every race that has embraced Christianity has, by developing that ele- 
ment of truth for which it has affinity, brought to the system its own 
peculiar contribution. 

In the Semitic race, the high priest of humanity, Christianity, was 
born. "Salvation is of the Jews." Israel's code of ethics was the highest 
known to antiquity. It was but natural that the Hebrew should leave 
upon the new-born system the impress of his genius for ethics. 

Hellenism may be regarded as the complement and contrast of Hebra- 
ism. Hebraism revealed the transcendence of Jehovah. Hellenism de- 
clared the divinity of man. The Greek, pre-eminent in philosophy as a 
pagan, became, as a Christian, pre-eminent in theology. He blended 
the complemental conceptions of divinity and humanity. If the contribu- 
tion of the Hebrew was ethical, that of the Greek was theological. 

The Latin mind, practical rather than speculative, political rather than 
theological, established the Civitas Dei where once stood the Civitas 
Roma. This ecclesiastical masterpiece of human wisdom "may still exist 
in undiminished vigor," says Macaulay, "when some traveler from New 
Zealand shall, in the midst of a vast solitude, take his stand on a broken 
arch of London Bridge to sketch the ruins ®f St. Paul's." Truly the 
Church of Rome has left upon Christianity an ineffaceable political 

The Teutonic mind — fresh, vigorous, even childlike in its simplicity 


and love of reality, accustomed to enjoy the freedom peculiar to lands 
where the national will is the highest law — would not brook the in- 
flexible dogmatism of the Greek nor the iron ecclesiasticism of the 
Roman. The Teuton loved liberty in religion as well as in other things, 
and asserted his right to stand before his God for himself. The free spirit 
revealed in Christianity through Luther can never die. "Christianity 
as an authoritative letter is Eoman; as a free spirit it is Teutonic." 

The Saxon, pre-eminent in capacity for developing ideas, has so 
assimilated Christianity as to become its noblest representative. Enter- 
prise and energy, vigor and thrift, striking characteristics of this great 
race, are becoming part and parcel of our Christianity. This is the 
missionary age, and it is the enterprising Saxon, unchecked and un- 
daunted by sword, flame or flood, that is encircling the globe with a 
girdle of divine light. 

And yet our Christianity is not complete. Notwithstanding its moral 
stamina, its philosophic basis and its organic solidarity, its free spirit 
and its robust energy, do we not feel there is something lacking still? 
Does not our Christianity lack in its gentler virtues? To what nation 
shall we look for the desideratum f Shall it not be to the vast unknown 
continent? If the Jew has modified our religion by his ethics, the Greek 
by his philosophy, the Roman by his polity, the Teuton by his love of 
liberty, and the Saxon by his enterprise, shall not the African, by his 
characteristic qualities of heart, bring a new and peculiar contribution to 

The Negro is nothing if not religious. His religion touches his heart 
and moves him to action. The result of his peculiarly partial contact 
with Christianity in America is but an earnest of what his full contribu- 
tion may be confidently expected to be. The African's mission in the 
• past has been that of service. "Servant of all" is his title. He has hewn 
the wood and drawn the water of others with a fidelity that is wonderful 
and a patience that is marvelous. As an example of patient fidelity to 
humble duty he stands without a peer. 

His conduct in the late war, which resulted in his freedom, was as 
rare a bit of magnanimity as the world ever saw. The helpless ones of his 
oppressor in his power, he nobly stayed his hand from vengeance. And 
at last, when he held up his hands that his bonds might be removed, his 
emancipator found them scarred with toil unrequited, but free from the 
blood of man save that shed in open, honorable battle. 


His religious songs are indicative of his real character. These songs 
embodied and expressed the only public utterance of a people who had 
suffered two and a half centuries of unatoned insult, yet in them all 
there has not been found a trace of ill will. History presents no parallel 
to this. David, oppressed by his foes, called down fire, smoke and burn- 
ing wind to consume his enemies from the face of the earth. But no such 
malediction as that ever fell from the lips of the typical American slave; 
oppressed, like the Man of Sorrows, he opened not his mouth. 

Truth is stranger than fiction. Harriet Beecher Stowe's "Uncle 
Tom" was more than a character of fiction. He was a real representative 
of the Christian slave. Recall that scene between Cassy and Uncle 
Tom. Unsuccessful in her attempts to urge him to kill their inhuman 
master, Cassy determines to do it herself. With flashing eyes, her blood 
boiling with indignation long suppressed, the much-abused Creole woman 
exclaims : "His time's come. I'll have his heart's blood !" "Xo, no, no," 
says Uncle Tom ; "No, ye poor lost soul, that ye must not do ! Our Lord 
never shed no bl6od but his own, and that he poured out for us when we 
was his enemies. The good Lord help us to follow his steps and love our 
enemies." Uncle Tom's words are not unworthy of immortality. 

"Howe'er it be, it seems to me, 
'Tis only noble to be good ; 
Kind hearts are more than coronets, 
And simple faith than Xorman blood." 

Humility, fidelity, patience, large-heartedness, love — this is Africa's 
contribution to Christianity. If the contribution of the Saxon is Pauline, 
that of the African is Johanine. Paul, with his consuming energy, carry- 
ing the Gospel to the uttermost parts, stands for the white man; John, 
the man of love, leaning on his Master's bosom, is typical of the black. 
The white man and the black are contrasts, not contraries; complemen- 
tary opposites, not irreconcilable opponents. 

The Jew has given us ethics; the Greek, philosophy; the Roman, 
law; the Teuton, liberty. These the Saxon combines. But the African 
— "latest called of nations, called to the crown of thorns, the scourge, the 
bloody sweat, the cross of agony" — the African, I say, has the deep, gush- 
ing wealth of love which is yet to move the great heart of humanity. 




My purpose in writing upon this subject is to investigate God's 
disciplinary and retributive economy in races and nations, with a hope 
of arriving at some clear conclusion concerning the Negro as a Christian. 

First, it may be just and proper to view the races of mankind in 
respect to growth and mastery. The principles of growth and mastery in 
a race, a nation, or a people, are the same all over the globe. The same 
great agencies needed for one quarter of the globe, and in one period of 
time, are needed for all quarters of the globe, for all people and for all 
time, and consequently needed for this American nation. 

The children of Africa in America are in no way different from anv 
other people in respect to Christianity. Many of the differences of races 
are accidental and oftentimes become obliterated by circumstances, posi- 
tion and religion. 

Go back to a period in the history of England, when its rude inhabi- 
tants lived in caves and huts, when they fed on bark and roots, when their 
dress was the skins of animals. Then look at the eminent Englishman of 
the present day — cultivated, graceful, refined, Christianized. When we 
remember that his distant ancestors were wild and bloody savages, and 
that it took centuries to change his forefathers from rudeness and bru- 
tality into enlightened, civilized Christians, there is no room to doubt the 
susceptibility of the Negro to Christianity. 

The same great general laws of growth continue unchangeable. The 
Almightv neither alters nor diminishes these laws for the convenience 
of a people, of whatever race they may be. The Negro race is equally 
susceptible of growth in Christianity as in civilization. 

At once the question arises — Is the Negro race doomed to destruction? 
Or, does it possess those qualities which will enable it to reach a high 
degree of moral and Christian civilization? To the first of these ques- 
tions I reply that the Negro race is by no means doomed to destruction. 
It is now over five hundred years since the breath of the civilized world 
touched powerfully, for the first time, the mighty masses of the pagan 
world in America, in Africa and the isles of the sea, and we see every- 
where that the weak heathen tribes of the earth have gone down before 


To give anything like a true sketch of Mr. Kerr's life and labors both in and out of 
the ministry would fill a good-sized volume rather than a page of this book, as his life 
has been replete with thrilling, romantic: incidents. The Rev. Mr. Kerr graduated with 
honors, having received the degree of A. B. from Rawden College, Leeds, England. He 
returned at once to the West Indies, where he labored three years. 

In 1859 he did extensive missionary work in the Turks and Caicos Islands, where, 
in 1860, he accepted the appointment of Registrar of Births and Deaths. In 1863 he 
accepted the appointment of Assistant Master of the Government Schools at Grand 
Turk, and was afterwards appointed Head Master. In 1864 he filled the dual role of 
Inspector of Schools and missionary, and he passed unscathed through the great hurri- 
cane of 1866 which devastated the whole colony, destroyed all the schools and public 
buildings, as well as 2,500 dwelling houses, including Mr. Kerr's personal property. 
In 1867 he was sent as missionary to Hayti, where, as everywhere, he did good work. 
In 1873 he was appointed professor in the National Lyceum College for boys and young 
ladies, where he did effective and extensive missionary work in Cape Hatien, Grande 
Riviere and Dondon, and maintained considerable influence with the Haytien officials 
and authorities. 

In 1880 he was advanced to the Priesthood of the Episcopal Church of America, 
by the Rt. Rev. J. Th. Holly, D. D., LL. D., Bishop of Hayti. In 1882 he was delegated 
to represent the Episcopal Church in the United States, and to collect funds for the 
building of the same in Hayti On landing in New York, his reception by Bishop Horatio 
Potter was cordial in the extreme — the same by Bishops Littlejohn, of Long Island; T. 
A. Starkey, of Northern New Jersey; T. M. Clark, of Warwick, R. I.; M. A. De Wolf 
Howe, Central Pennsylvania; William C. Doane, Albany; Alfred Lee, Primate, Dela- 
ware; W. B. Stevens, Pennsylvania; H. A. Neely, of Maine; A. C. Coxe, Western New 
York. He occupied the pulpits of the leading Episcopal Churches in New York — Old 
Trinity, Grace Church, St. Chrysostom's, St. Paul's, St. Philip's and others. The leading 
churches in Brooklyn. Yonkers, Newport, R. I., Newark, N. J., Orange, N. J., Syracuse, 
Saratoga Springs, Utica, Buffalo, Rochester, Albany, Newburg, Poughkeepsie, Sing Sing, 
Barrytown, Tarrytown, Philadelphia, Germantown, Ashebourne, Reading, Cheltenham 
and many others. 

In 1883 he was sent to Jamaica, W. I., and the following year he was appointed by 
the Provincial Synod (under the auspices of the Society for the Propagation of the 
Gospel — London, Eng. ) Rector of the Panama Railroad Church and Arch-deacon of the 
Church of England Mission, and Chaplain to the Panama Canal Company. In 1889 he 
made an extensive missionary tour through Central America, where he performed 
religious services at the opening of the Nicaragua Canal, coming in touch with several 
Indian tribes, and gaining considerable knowledge of their manners and customs in 
their crude condition. 

In 1890 he returned to the West Indies and was transferred to the Diocese of 
Florida and made Rector of St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Key West, where he has a 
large parish and congregation and where he is highly esteemed by all classes, white and 


the civilized world ; tribe and nation have dispersed before its presence. 
The Iroquois, the Pequods, the brave Mohawks, the once refined Aztecs 
and others have gone, nevermore to be ranked among the tribes of men. 
In the scattered islands of the Pacific seas, like the stars of the heavens, 
the sad fact remains that from many of them their populations have 
departed like the morning cloud. They did not retain God in their knowl- 
edge. Just the reverse with the Negro. Destructive elements, wave after- 
wave, have swept over his head, yet he has stood unimpaired. 

Even this falls short of the full reality of the Negro as a Christian, 
for civilization at numerous places has displaced ancestral heathenism, 
and the standard of the cross, uplifted on the banks of its great river, 
showing that the heralds of the cross have begun the glorious conquests 
of their glorious King. Vital Christian power has become the property 
of the Negro. Does God despise the weak? No, the Providence of God 
intervenes for the training and preservation of such people. 

But has the Negro race any of those qualities which emanate from 
Christianity? Let us see. The flexibility of the Negro character is uni- 
versally admitted. The race is possessed of a nature more easily moulded 
than that of any other class of men. Unlike the Indian, the Negro yields 
to circumstances and flows with the current of events, hence afflictions, 
however terrible, have failed to crush him ; his facile nature wards them 
off, or else through the inspiration of hope their influence is neutralized. 
These peculiarities of the Negro character render him susceptible to 
imitation. Burke tells us that "imitation is the second passion belonging 
to society, and this passion arises from much the same cause as sym- 
pathy." This is one of the strongest links of society. It forms our man- 
ners, our opinions, our lives. Indeed, civilization is carried down from 
generation to generation, or handed over from a superior to an inferior, 
by means of imitation. A people devoid of imitation is incapable of pro- 
gress or advancement, and must retrograde. If it remains stagnant, it 
must of necessity bring its own decay. The quality of imitation has been 
the grand preservative of the Negro in all lands. Indeed, the Negro is a 
superior man to-day to what he was three centuries ago. 

I feel fortified in the principles I have advanced by the opinions of 
great, scrutinizing thinkers. In his treatise on Emancipation, written 
in 1880, Dr. Channing says: "The Negro is one of the best races of the 
human family ; he is among the mildest and gentlest of men ; he is singu- 
larly susceptible to improvement." Kinmont declares in his "Lecture on 


Man" that "The sweet graces of the Christian religion appears almost too 
tropical and tender plants to grow in the soil of the Caucasian mind; 
they require a character of the human nature of which you can see the 
rude lineaments in the Ethiopian, to be implanted in and grow naturally 
and beautifully withal." Adamson, the traveler who visited Senegal in 
1754, said : "The Negroes are sociable, humane, obliging and hospitable, 
and they have generally preserved an estimable simplicity of domestic 
manners. They are distinguished by their tenderness for their parents, 
and great respect for the aged — a patriarchal virtue which, in our day, is 
too little known." Dr. Raleigh, also, at a great meeting in London, said : 
"There is in these people a hitherto undiscovered mine of love, the develop- 
ment of which will be for the amazing welfare of the world. * * * 
Greece gave us beauty; Rome gave us power; the Anglo-Saxon unites 
and mingles these, but in the African people there is the great gushing 
wealth of love, which will develop wonders for the world." 

I feel that the Almighty, who is interested in all the great problems 
of civilization, is interested in the Negro problem. He has carried the 
Negro through the wilderness of disasters, and at last put him in a large 
open place of liberty. There is not the shadow of a doubt that this work 
which God has begun, and is carrying on, is for the mental and spiritual 
elevation of the Negro. 


Rev. J. H. Anderson was born June 30, 1848, in Frederick, Md. Dr. Anderson is 
what is called a self-made man, he having attended school only six months in his life 
and studied a short time under a private tutor. By hard, persistent efforts and close 
application to books. Dr. Anderson has risen to a point in scholarship and prominence 
that only a few college Negroes have reached. He is noted as a pulpit orator and 
platform speaker. He has attained to some prominence as a writer and takes front 
rank as a preacher in his denomination. For his scholarly attainments and usefulness 
as a minister of the gospel, Livingstone College conferred upon him, in 1896, the 
degree of doctor of divinity. Dr. Anderson was one of those heroic liberty-loving souls 
who went to the battlefield in the Civil War to fight for their and their race's freedom. 




Colonization is a condition of cosmopolitan society as it is of races. 
As "birds of a feather flock together," so the different races in the Ameri- 
can civilization form settlements or colonies, as far as possible. The 
truthfulness of this statement is seen in the thickly-settled German, Irish, 
Jewish and Italian communities in the North. Their race affinities pro- 
duce natural and social relations promotive of their varied interests. The 
Negro's civil and social privileges are more restricted in the South than 
in the North, owing to which fact the Negroes of the South are more 
united than the Negroes of the North. In the North a few individuals 
may rise to intellectual, professional, business and mechanical distinc- 
tions, but from general employment in the skilled industries, business 
enterprises and political preferment he is debarred, and, being cheaply 
and conveniently accommodated in almost, every respect by the whites, 
he is not under the same necessitv as the Southern Negro to establish and 
operate business enterprises. It is rather inconvenient to establish and 
maintain Negro business enterprises and schools in the North, for the 
reason that there are no thickly settled communities. A Negro lawyer, 
doctor, dressmaker, music teacher, hair dresser and mechanic do well in 
some instances, because they receive patronage from the whites. It is 
not so much the prejudice of the whites nor the indifference of the Negro 
as it is the peculiar conditions of the North that prevent the Negro from 
enjoying the business enterprises and founding race institutions. The 
few new institutions and even churches in the North are largely sus- 
tained by donations from the whites. Renting houses and purchasing 
property and living in the North are commensurate with the large scale 
and competition along all lines of industry, and social life is so active that 
the mo<st rigid economy and business tact are essential to success in any 
kind of business in the North. 

The Negro who embarks in business in the North has not only to 
compete with his own people, but with the shrewd Yankee, who seeks to 



monopolize all interests that have money in them. The Negro of the 
North for the most part appears to be content with his superior civil and 
social privileges. He breathes the air with more perfect liberty, enjoys 
life free from violence, is vindicated and redressed at law and recognized 
in his citizen rights, and, like the Pharisee, thanks God that he is not like 
the ex-slave of the South, and this is the height of his ambition. Throe- 
fourths of the freeholding and tax-paying Negroes in the North are from 
the South, and Southern Negro labor is preferred in the North as in the 
South. Waiters, domestic servants, janitors, teamsters, laundrymen and 
coachmen from the South can find employment in the North. Any in- 
dustrious Southern Negro can find common labor to do in the North. 

Before the formation of labor unions and federations in the North, 
the Negro skilled laborer found employment, but after deciding to exclude 
the Negro from membership these unions became an effective dictating 
power to employ when Negroes applied to them for work. 

The tax-payers in many Northern sections favor mixed schools because 
it is less expensive to have them. They would not be justified in main- 
taining separate schools for the few Negro pupils. Of course, race fav- 
oritism, competition and prejudice, combine to exclude Negro teachers, 
and yet a few Negro teachers are employed to teach in the mixed schools. 
That Negro children, procuring their education by Negro teachers in the 
Negro schools, can better appreciate race efficiency and dignity there can 
be no question. The Northern Negro is ill fitted for living in the South, 
it being difficult for him to adapt himself to the conditions of the South, 
yet it is quite easy for the Southern Negro to adapt himself to the North 
where full and free expression is equally accorded to all, and where no 
legal discriminations are made and where the social question is left for 
adjustment by the parties nearest concerned. In the North the Negro 
has the opportunity of advocating the interests of his Southern brother 
in a way that would not be tolerated in the South, and thus the Northern 
Negro can assist in the formation of a proper sentiment in his favor. 
The Northern Negro is, therefore, a necessity to the Southern Negroes, 
and vice versa. The Negro's destiny is to be worked out in the "South 
because he has greater numerical strength and superior advantages in 
the South, notwithstanding the civil, social and legal restrictions upon 
him. The lesson of self-dependence and self-effort is forced upon the 
Southern Negro as not upon the Northern Negro. 

When the Southern Negro was emancipated, his first thought was 


W. H. Councill was born in Fayetteville, N. C, in 1848, and was carried to Alabama 
by the traders in 1857, through the famous Richmond Slave Pen. In Alabama he 
worked in the fields with the other slaves. He is a self-made man, having had only 
few school advantages. He attended one of the first schools opened by kind Northern 
friends at Stevenson, Ala., in 1865. Here he remained about three years, and this is 
the basis of his education. He has been a close and earnest student ever since, often 
spending much of the night in study. He has accumulated quite an excellent library, 
and the best books of the best masters are his constant companions, as well as a large 
supply of the best current literature. By private instruction and almost incessant study, 
he gained a fair knowledge of some of the languages, higher mathematics, and the 
sciences. He was Enrolling Clerk of the Alabama House of ^.spresentatives in 1872-4. 
He was appointed by President Grant Receiver of the Land Office for the Northern Dis- 
trict of Alabama in 1875. He was founder and editor of the "Huntsville Herald" from 
1877 to 1884. He founded the great educational institution, Normal, of which he is 
president, and has been for a quarter of a century. He read law and was admitted to 
the Supreme Court of Alabama in 1883. But he has never left the profession of teach- 
ing, although flattering political positions have been held out to him. He has occupied 
high positions in church and other religious, temperance, and charitable organizations, 
and has no mean standing as a public speaker. 

Prof. Councill has traveled quite extensively in Europe, and was warmly received 
and entertained by the Hon. W. E. Gladstone and His Majesty, King Leopold, of Bel- 

And thus by earnest toil, self-denial, hard study, he has made himself, built up one 
of the largest institutions in the South, and educated scores of young people at his own 

Prof. Councill is proud to be known as a friend to Africa. He is co-operating; with 
Bishop Turner in the redemption and civilization of that continent. Normal, under 
Prof. Councill, is educating native Africans for this purpose. He has received the 
degree of Ph. D. from Morris Brown College. 

Prof. Councill is author of "The Lamp of Wisdom." He writes extensively for the 
leading magazines and newspapers of the country. 


education, and, adhering steadfastly to this idea, he has made a progres- 
sive education since his emancipation that has astounded the civilized 
world. No school-loving race can be kept down or back. Brought here 
a heathen, the Negro soon exchanged fetichism for Christianity, and, 
having been trained in the school of servile labor for centuries, he learned 
how to labor so that when his emancipation came he was prepared to 
strike out on lines of self development, and he has made in thirty-six years 
a progress in the acquisition of wealth that is without a parallel in 

The prejudices of the whites against the Negro have rather helped 
him, in that they have stimulated him to make greater efforts to reach 
the independence of the white man. 

Having lived in both sections of our country, I am prepared to say 
that the Negro can do better towards working out his destiny in the 
South than in the North. 




A comparison of the opportunities which different sections hold out 
to any class of our fellow citizens should not be regarded as hostile criti- 
cism. No man, no country suffers by the truth. 

We cannot answer this question by yes or no. The North affords the 
better opportunities in some things, while in others the South gives the 
Negro the better opportunity for making a living. If we are correct in 
putting a broad and educated mind as the foundation for every useful 
superstructure, we are forced to admit that the opportunity for laying 
this foundation is better in the North, where a century of thought on 
popular education has developed the finest public school system in the 
world. While this brings the Northern Negro in contact with the great 
Anglo-Saxon mind, and fits him for making a living and for business in 
that atmosphere, he has to undergo a kind of mental acclimatization be- 
fore he can effectively and usefully enter into work in the South, where 
the atmosphere at every turn is different from that in the North. For 


twenty-five years I have been brought in direct contact with Negroes 
reared or educated in the North, and I do not recall one who did not 
have to un-Northernize himself in many respects before he could har- 
monize to usefulness in the South. It is to the credit of our Northern 
brethren that they are thus willing to sacrifice a part of their individual- 
ism in order to serve their race in the South. In my long experience I 
have not met a quarter dozen who have not cheerfully put aside their 
selfishness for the common good of their associates and their work. In- 
deed, I have found my Northern brethren more willing and helpful in 
this regard, perhaps, than Southern Negroes, who are more self-assertive 
and persistent in their make-up, a spirit imbibed from the general char- 
acter of independence and domineering found in the South. But the 
Southern Negro, reared in harmony with Southern institutions, having 
assimilated prejudices and counter-prejudices, can use to greater advan- 
tage his small amount of education and training. 

In a country where competition is sharp, as in this country, and where 
any kind of excitement is resorted to in order to give advantage to the 
competitors, the minority race, especially in inferior circumstances, must 
suffer along lines of battle for bread in which the masses engage. 
Thus it is, while the Northern Negro enjoys high privileges of an intel- 
lectual character among the classes, he is bumped, shunned, and pushed 
to the rear among the quarreling, scrambling masses. 

There are scattered far aud wide a few Negroes in the North who are 
doing well in business. They get the patronage of their white neighbors. 
There are few communities in the North where the Negro population is 
strong enough to support a Negro in business, if the race lines were 
drawn in business. I think the voluntary collections of like tribes and 
races of men, as Italians, Jews, Chinese, Poles, Norwegians, Swedes, and 
the like, in settlements in our large cities and some country districts, 
show clearly the gregarious disposition of like peoples; and from time 
out of mind each tribe, clan or race, has depended upon itself for patron- 
age and support. In order for the Negro to succeed in any considerable 
degree in business in the North, it would be necessary to increase the 
Negro population in that section. As I have intimated above, there are 
few fields for operation in the North for Negroes, regardless of their 
ability to succeed, for there are few cases where Negro patronage is not 
limited to the Negro population. While occasionally a few Negroes may 
get patronage from the other clans and tribes it is nevertheless true that 


as a general rule the aim is to keep the trade in the family, as it were. 

Every whip of tribal differentiation and prejudice is applied to enforce 

a rigid observance of this general rule. I think that we may logically 

conclude that the opportunity for that training and education which 

could make the Northern Negro immediately useful to the mass of the 

race, and the opportunity to gather material wealth, are not ideal in the 


Ninety-two per cent of the Negro population reside in the South, 
where slavery left them. Under normal conditions there should be ninety- 
two per cent of Negro wealth, thrift and energy in the South. The 
opportunity to accumulate wealth and the accumulation are different. 
The Southern Negro is a wealth producer. He does four-fifths of the 
agricultural labor of the South and thereby adds four-fifths to the wealth 
of the South derived from agriculture, the leading Southern industry. If 
the whole of the billion dollars to the credit of the Negro race were placed 
to the credit of the Southern Negro alone, it would be less than half of 
what he should have saved since the war. The Negroes of the South 
handle more money than New England did one hundred years ago, and 
yet New England would be glad to place her barrels of gold and silver 
at nominal interest — so rich has she grown, although in the chilly winds 
of the Northeast. 

The opportunities for the Southern Negro are as good for material 
gain as are enjoyed by any other people in this country. The census of 
1890 shows two hundred and twenty-four occupations followed by the 
wage-earners of the United States. The Negroes are represented in every 
one of these occupations — grouped under five heads : Professional, Agri- 
culture, trade and transportation, manufactures and personal service. 
The Southern Negro, while not in all of them, occupies in the South 
the vantage ground in those that bring the most independence in living. 
We must not forget that agriculture is what we might call the staple 
industry of the South. 

I am indebted to Hon. Judson W. Lyons, register of the United States 
Treasury, for the following statistics, showing the wonderful influence 
of Negro labor in the commercial industries of the world : More cotton 
is exported from the United States than any other article. In the last ten 
years, 30,000,000,000 pounds of cotton, valued at $225,000,000 have been 
exported. The United States produces more cotton than all the balance 
of the world. The cotton manufactories of Great Britain, Germany, 


France, Belgium, and Italy depend upon our cotton exports. Ten years 
ago, $354,000,000 were invested in cotton manufactories, employing 
221,585 operatives, who received for wages $67,489,000 per annum. The 
South produced from 1880 to 1890, 620,000,000 bushels of corn, 78,000,- 
000 bushels of wheat, and 97,000,000 bushels of oats. The Negro per- 
formed four-fifths of the labor of the South, as we have seen. Therefore, 
his share in the average annual production in the last ten years would 
be 6,988,000 bales of cotton, valued at $209,640,000. In the last ten years 
the Negro's part of the production of corn, wheat, oats and cotton was 
$431,320,000 per annum. The entire cotton acreage of the South would 
form an area of 40,000 square miles. Negro labor cultivates 32,000 square 
miles of this space. 

Fifty-seven per cent of the Negro race are engaged in agricultural 
pursuits, and 31 per cent are engaged in personal service. Therefore, 
88 per cent of the wage-earners of the race in the South are engaged in 
these two pursuits, or, in other words, 88 per cent of the wage-earners of 
the race have opportunity for profitable employment. 

Where the masses of the Negroes are found and can get paying work, 
as they can in the South, there we must expect the greatest prosperity 
among Negroes. Our expectation is highly gratified in this case in the 
South. No doubt if the ninety-two per cent Negro population were to 
exchange places with the eight per cent, the opportunities now held out 
in the South would be transferred to the North. Our opportunities over 
those enjoyed by our Northern brethren are the creatures of accidents 
rather than of our meritorious invention. 

The opportunities to win character and wealth afforded the Negroes 
of the South by agriculture and domestic service are probably better than 
are enjoyed by any other class of people in the world. The field is broad 
and ripe and the Negro must now see and seize these opportunities or 
they will pass from the race forever. No peasant population ever had 
more favorable environments. The Negro does not only do four-fifths of 
the agricultural labor of the South, but he has the opportunity to ow r n 
four-fifths of the land he cultivates.. This opportunity is not enjoyed 
by any other peasant class in the world. As I see it, the greatest success 
for the Negro race in America lies in the farm. . There he meets the least 
resistance and obtains the greatest sustenance. There color prejudice is 
almost unknown, while everywhere in the mechanic arts, prejudice is 
bitter, competition is sharp, and the chances for success are small. This 


is a matter which the Negro must seriously consider now, or weep over 
his procrastination. The drift to the cities to exchange the free, honest, 
healthful, plenteous conditions of farm life for the miserable slums, sin, 
and squalor of city life must be checked. Our boys and girls must be 
educated for the farm. 

It would be hard to find a people better suited for domestic and per- 
sonal service than the Negro. In all the elements which are necessary 
for personal and domestic service, the Negro cannot be excelled. He is 
not treacherous. He forms no plots and schemes to entrap his master. 
He resorts to no violent incendiary measures of avenging himself against 
his master, but he humbly and tamely submits to the conditions, ever 
looking for betterment through superhuman agencies. If the South 
would only look this matter squarely in the face, it would admit that it 
has the best service on earth, and would vote liberal appropriations for 
the development of Negro education of every character. 

It may seem to persons not informed incredibl