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A History of the Young Men's Christian Association Movement in North Carolina. 1857-1888. Read before the Twelfth Annual State Convention in Charlotte, N.C., April 21, 1888, and Published by the Executive Committee at the Request of the Convention:
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Weeks, Stephen Beauregard, 1865-1918

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(title page) A History of the Young Men's Christian Association Movement in North Carolina. 1857-1888. Read before the Twelfth Annual State Convention in Charlotte, N.C., April 21, 1888, and Published by the Executive Committee at the Request of the Convention
(cover) A History of the Young Men's Christian Association Movement in North Carolina. 1857-1888. A Historical Sketch.
Stephen B. Weeks, A. M.,
20 p.
Raleigh, N. C.
Observer Printing Company, Printers and Binders,
Call number Cp267.3 W39h c.2 (North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

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[Cover Image]


[Title Page Image]




Secretary Executive Committee Young Men's Christian Associations of North Carolina.
Secretary North Carolina Historical Society and Corresponding Member
of the Wisconsin State Historical Society.


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I Charlotte March 30 to April 1, 1877 No formal Organization.
II Greensboro June 14-16, 1878 Isaac H. Foust, Charlotte Thos. M. Pittman, Charlotte.
III Salisbury June 26-29, 1879 Thos. M. Pittman, Charlotte Rev. Mr. Franklin, Winston.
IV Raleigh June 17-20, 1880 W .S. Primrose, Raleigh R. M. Davis, Salisbury.
V Statesville June 16-20, 1881 R. E. Caldwell, Greensboro A. M. Young, Salisbury.
VI Shelby October 12-15, 1882 Thos. N. Ivey, Shelby W. J. Tomlinson, Hickory.
VII Hickory September 13-16, 1883 A. M. Witherspoon, Statesville G. M. Smithdeal, Greensboro.
VIII Greensboro September 12-14, 1884 Thos. P. Johnson, Salisbury G. M. Smithdeal, Greensboro.
IX Asheville March 12-15, 1885 Chas. E. Graham, Asheville  
X Chapel Hill March 11-14, 1886 Joshua W. Gore, Chapel Hill Rev. W. D. Akers, Asheville.
XI Raleigh April 1-3, 1887 A. G. Brenizer, Charlotte Stephen B. Weeks, Chapel Hill.
XII Charlotte April 19-22, 1888 Wm. G. Burkhead, Durham Stephen B. Weeks, Chapel Hill.

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        Time in his flight has numbered nearly forty-four years with the silent past since George Williams of London, inspired by the Spirit of God, first conceived the idea of a union of all men, regardless of denominational lines, for Christian work, fellowship and sympathy. In the great city of London, on June 6th, 1844, Williams, with one companion, knelt in a quiet room and asked the blessings of God on their enterprise. George Williams still lives to see and to enjoy the fruits of his labors. His work, like the drum-beat of his own majestic nation, now keeps time with the hours, and follows the sun in his journey around the earth. From England to India, from Canada to Chili, the good work has spread. The isles of the Pacific are made to rejoice and the Young Men's Christian Association is now proclaiming the gospel of peace to the millions of China.

THE Y. M. C. A. IN NORTH CAROLINA, 1857-1861

        The first organization in North Carolina, designed especially and solely for the spiritual improvement of young men was formed in Wilmington, prior to October, 1857. The Corresponding Secretary of this Association was W. M. Hays. The Y. M. C. A. Quarterly Reporter April, 1858, mentions an association at Wilmington, with the same secretary as in 1857. The Young Men's Christian Journal, for March 1859, says: "An Association has been in existence in Wilmington, N. C. since last May." This would imply that the first organization had failed, but had been revived again. The secretary of the association says: "Within the last three or four months we have been adding to our members, and now have many good working men who feel a great interest in our efforts to do good. We hold a prayer-meeting every Sunday afternoon at some one of the churches, and thus far our meetings

        NOTE--I wish to express here my thanks to J. C. Bowne, Librarian of the Historical Library of Y.M.C.A. Literature, Springfield, Mass., for much valuable information and for courtesies shown me.

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have been well attended, and much apparent interest manifested in them by young men who have no hope in Christ. We have engaged five very able gentlemen to deliver a lecture each, during the winter and spring, one of which has been delivered by Rev. John L. Girardeau, of Charleston, S. C. Our Association is composed mostly of young men who were converted during the glorious revival of last spring. We number about seventy five. President, George Chadbourn; Corresponding Secretary, Wm. R. Utley."*

        *Y. M. C. Journal, 1858.

        The Journal for August, 1859, mentions the Association at Wilmington. President, Avon E. Hall; Corresponding Secretary, Wm. R. Utley. In April, 1859, it is still in existence, and under the same control. We find no more mention of this Association until 1872.

        Charlotte.--In the Y. M. C. A. Quarterly Reporter for October, 1857, Charlotte is mentioned as a new Association. John Henry Wyat was Corresponding Secretary. He was acting in the same capacity in January, 1858.*

        *Y. M. C. A. Quarterly Reporter, January, 1858.

He was serving in March, 1859, in August, 1859 and in April, 1860.*

        *Y. M. C. Journal.

Nothing further is known of this Association until it was re-organized in 1868.

        Raleigh--This Association was organized mainly by Mr. W. J. Young and Mr. John Armstrong, formerly of Philadelphia. Mr. Young, the Corresponding Secretary, writes:*

        *Y. M. C. Journal, August, 1858.

"We have been thinking for years that we ought to have a Young Men's Christian Association in our town, but we have never been able to commence one until this spring. A few of us seeing and feeling the great need of something of the kind, determined to make one more effort to establish an Association, believing that if we would put our trust in God, and ask His blessing and guidance in humility and faith, He would, second our efforts, and we would be instrumental in saving many of the young men of Raleigh, and advance the Kingdom of Christ on earth. Some of us met on the 19th of March, organized and elected our officers. For several meetings seven was all we could get, and sometimes not even that number. But our number has increased to twenty-six. Our meetings are very well attended. The members generally seem to be very much interested, and are working with zeal, and I think with a fair prospect of doing good. We have devotional meetings once a week. Our regular business meetings are held monthly. Our plan of operations will be to visit the sick, administer to the wants of the needy, establish Sunday-schools, if necessary distribute tracts, books, &c." Even at this early date we can see the germ of the doctrine which was to turn them from their true mission, a subordination of the spiritual to the physical man. This work was good and praiseworthy of its kind, but it was too much of a general character. They had not narrowed down to the idea of young men for Christ.
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August, 1859, the president was H. P. McCoy, the Corresponding Secretary W. J. Young.*

        *Y. M. C. Journal

In April, 1860, T. H. Brame was President and W. J. Young Corresponding Secretary.*

        *Y. M. C. Journal

Work was carried on until the war, then there was no Association until 1867.

        Salisbury.--In August, 1859, there was an Association in this town. President, Wm. Murdock; Corresponding Secretary, Luke Blackmer.*

        *Y. M. C. Journal

It was still existing in April, 1860, with the same officers.*

        *Y. M. C. Journal.

        Washington.--This Association was organized in 1859. "Weekly prayer meetings are held, and other means of usefulness will soon be inaugurated. President, Thomas Sparrow; Corresponding Secretary, Prof. S. H. Wiley."*

        *Y. M. C. Journal

It was in existence in April, 1860 with the same officers.*

        *Y. M. C. Journal

        University of North Carolina.--During the college year 1857-'8 students in the Universities of Michigan and Virginia, without any knowledge of each other's action, organized Young Men's Christian Associations in these institutions. One of the most earnest advocates of the Virginia Association, and its first President was the present Chairman of the Executive Committee of North Carolina, the Rev. Thomas Hume, Jr., now Professor of the English Language and Literature in the University of North Carolina. The Association at Chapel Hill was organized in May, 1860. Its Constitution is based on that of the Virginia Association. The preamble reads: "We, the undersigned, desiring to promote Christian sympathy and brotherhood, and to advance the moral and religious welfare of the students of this Institution and of others around us, and impressed with the importance of united effort in accomplishing this object, have formed an Association." The object was to be the "improvement of the spiritual condition of the students, and the extension of religious advantages to destitute points in the neighborhood of the University."

        They publish the following card:*

        *North Carolina University Magazine, June, 1860

        We have the pleasure to announce that the students of the University of North Carolina have established a Young Men's Christian Association.

        If parents and others who send young men to the University will give them letters of introduction to us, it will afford us pleasure to introduce them to the pious students of the University, and also to the pastors of the church to which they or their friends may belong.

        The Association hopes in this way to accomplish much good; for sad experience has taught us that many pious and moral young men are led astray by falling into the company of the dissipated and the vicious when they enter college.





        The membership was divided into two classes, active and honorary. The fees were one dollar per year. The meetings were held on Sunday evening. James Kelly, now a Presbyterian minister in Bladen county, was the first President, A. Hill Patterson, of Milton, Corresponding Secretary. They seem to have been eminently successful in their work.

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The list of officers contains the names of many of the best students of the University. But their organization was doomed to a speedy death.

        Fort Sumpter fell April 14th, 1861. North Carolina severed her connection with the Federal Union May 20th, 1860, just as she, eighty-six years before to a day and in this very town of Charlotte, had thrown off her allegiance to the British Crown. Many students left the University to join the Confederate army. They left the shades of quiet and the paths of peace to battle for a cause they considered just. They fought. They bled. They died. Thirty-five members of that Association served as officers and committee-men during the year of its existence. Of this number, thirteen-Luther R. Bell, of Oxford; Harrison P. Lyon, Edgecombe; Wm. J. Headen, Chatham; Lawson W. Sykes, Aberdeen, Miss.; Wm. T. and Edward A. T. Nicholson, Halifax; James B. McCallum, Robeson; John H. Dobbin, Fayetteville; Neill R. Kelly, Moore; David H. Foy and George W. McMillan, New Hanover; Jesse H. Pearson, Franklin, and Henry G. Williams, of Warrenton, now fill soldiers graves, and sleep the sleep that knows no waking.*

        *Memorial tablets, U. N. C. Last Ninety Days of the War in North Carolina.

They did their duty to their country and to their God. They have entered into rest. May their shining example be emulated by future generations.


        The five long, dreary years of war at last came to an end. Few towns of the South, large or small had escaped the hand of the invader. The lands were lying uncared for and untilled. The gaunt wolf of famine was standing by many a door. To repel his attacks the energies of the whole people were employed, and thus time passed on. The Young Men's Christian Association movement had been completely crushed, and for two years we hear of no Association work in North Carolina.

        Raleigh.--This Association was re-organized about 1867. For two years they continued their regular work for young men. There was much suffering following in the track of war. The body was undenominational, and it occurred to certain members that it would be wise for the Association to undertake general charity work. For years Mr. John Armstrong, one of its original founders, fought this idea. But other opinions prevailed. The poor of the city became, during the winter, the especial care of the Association. Mr. Weidensall visited them in 1872. He writes: *

        *Year Book, 1872.

"In Raleigh, N. C., the Association has become a relief society, and is doing a very good work of that kind. A meeting of the Association was called to listen to any suggestions that I had to offer. After addressing them for some time, it was determined to undertake the legitimate work of a Young Men's Christian Association. At the same meeting, Rev. H. T. Hudson was selected as a suitable man to act as temporary Corresponding Member for North Carolina, whose
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name I sent to the Convention in New York. " They started to retrace their steps and to return to their proper sphere of action. How well they succeeded can be seen from their By-laws: "The Committee for the Relief of the Poor shall consist of twelve members, who shall be called Supervisors, each one of whom shall have control of such a portion or district of the city as may be set apart by the Association. Each Supervisor may select at his option an assistant, with the sanction of the Executive Committee, and shall make a full report in writing at each regular meeting of the Association of all work performed during the past month."*

        *By-laws Raleigh Association, 1875. Art 3, & 4.

        Thus, this Association had been led away from its legitimate field. It was considered a charitable institution. It was treated as such. This militated much against the progress of the organization, narrowed its range, bound and confined its efforts for good.

        September 7th, 1875, the Association took possession of and dedicated its new hall with appropriate exercises. This was the first time the Association had been able to rent a hall to be used exclusively for its purposes, and the prospects were decidedly encouraging then.*

        *New York Weekly Mail, September 22, 1875.

The hall was kept open from 9 A. M. to 10 P.M. Unfortunately, this extra and heavy expense brought the Association into debt.

        From this state of things it is easy to see that the organization was barely alive. They had left their first love, and were now suffering the penalty that must always inevitably follow.

        Charlotte.--In 1868 the Y. M. C. A. was re-organized in Charlotte. The aim of this body was vague and indefinite, and its existence of short duration. It was again re-organized in 1874, with A. S. Caldwell as President. The aim of the Association was now definite and precise. It had been fully demonstrated that young men were its proper objects, and not the general interests of the community at large, except so far as its proper work bore on the general welfare. Many costly and abortive experiments were undertaken to find out the best ways of work, but amid all discouragements, and in spite of many failures, the end was kept steadily in view. The religious work was the first point of operation, and it was kept up with as much vigor as could be reasonably expected under the circumstances, and without doubt the permanency of the association is due to the happy results of this effort. Messrs. Hall and McConnoughy, sent out by the International Committee on a missionary tour through the South, spent Thursday, January 28th, 1876, with the brethren of Charlotte, making talks and addresses in three different churches, contending there was too little enthusiasm among Christians, and urged them to greater activity. They proposed holding a State Convention. The idea was not carried into immediate execution, but their visit was not without good results.

        The Association in Charlotte owes much of its present strength and efficiency to Prof. George B. Hanna, who by his unwearied and constant

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efforts has done much to increase its power for good--a man modest and retiring in disposition he does not come forward to claim his share of honor, but in Charlotte he has borne the brunt of the battle.

        Goldsboro.--An Association was organized here in April, 1870.*

        *Year Book, 1870.

They had no rooms, but held prayer-meetings, Sunday-schools, &c. It was of short duration.

        "At Wilmington, N.C. *

        *Mr. Weidensall in Year Book, 1872.

I found many friends to the Association cause. Held a meeting, and it was determined at once to organize. I don't know that I ever had better material in any preliminary meeting. Since that time I learned that they have perfected the organization. There is also a German Y. M. C. A. connected with the German Lutheran Church, whose pastor is a strong friend of our cause, and has already identified himself with the English Association just organized."

        The German Association was first organized in 1870 and existed until 1880. It had over one thousand dollars in its treasury, which it turned over to the German Lutheran Church to assist in liquidating a debt with which the church was burdened. The officers were: President, Henry Ehrbeck Vice-President, Jacob Duls; Corresponding Secretary F. E. Hashagen; Recording Secretary, H. W. Strauss; Treasurer, H. Litgen. It had thirty-seven members, and was an active, vigorous and successful organization, and did a noble work.*

        *Rev. F. W. E. Peschan, Pastor Lutheran Church, Wilmington, to Author.

This Association was more like a Young Men's Prayer-meeting, and therefore not properly a young Men's Christian Association. It never connected itself with the State work, and was never recognized as an Association in full connection by the International Committee. It has recently been re-organized.

        The English Association was short-lived. It fell into debt and became insolvent, one of its members (James Sprunt) paying $400 out of his private means to redeem it from bankruptcy.

        The Maxton Association, formerly Shoe Heel (Scotch Quhele), was organized in 1873, and has been in active operation ever since. It is one of our most earnest organizations and showed its spirit last year by sending the only delegate from North Carolina to the International Convention at San Francisco.

        The Charlotte, Fayetteville, Goldsboro, Wilmington (English and German) Associations did not formally report at the Lowell Convention in 1872.*

        *Year Book, 1872.

Charlotte, Fayetteville, Goldsboro, Raleigh, and the German Associations of Wilmington did not report at the Poughkeepsie Convention in 1873**

        **Year Book, 1873.

nor at the Dayton Convention in 1874.*

        *Year Book, 1874.

Charlotte, Fayetteville, and the colored Association of Raleigh, reported at Richmond in 1875.*

        *Year Book, 1875.

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In 1876 nine associations, Antioch, Beaufort, Charlotte, Fayetteville. Lumber Bridge, Philadelphus, Raleigh, (colored), Shoe Heel and St. Pauls, reported at Toronto, and the work seemed to be brightening. Wm. M. Hunter, serving as Corresponding Member of the International Committee writes:*

        *Year Book, 1876

"There are twenty-two (22) associations in North Carolina, eighteen in and near Robeson country, and in Wilmington, Raleigh, Salisbury and Charlotte. The association in Raleigh is doing much to relieve the poor. The one in Charlotte has also a small fund for objects of charity, but is laying out its strength in mission work, tending now towards establishing permanently a day mission or Sabbath-school in a destitute part of the city. Our associations are scattered, and have not had an opportunity to consult with other associations, although an invitation was extended throughout the state papers on the arrival at Charlotte of our brethren, Messrs. Hall and McConnoughy, whose visit is remembered with pleasure."

        We have seen that only one college association was organized previous to the civil war, that at the University of North Carolina. This was re-organized September 17, 1876, with Arthur Arrington, a member of the first State Executive committee, as its president. Since that time the association has been engaged in regular work. Bingham School organized its association for the first time in 1867.

        Such was the Y. M. C. A. in North Carolina up to the first Convention. The associations were few and widely separated. Few persons knew anything of the work, and still fewer were interested in it. The associations had had no communications with one another. They had no opportunity to learn of improvements and proper methods, or to get out of and away from fogyish and narrow ideas. They needed to meet each other. We have seen that many association sprang up and died. This is due to the fact that the general public had not been aroused to the importance of this means of Christian growth. They had not considered the souls of young men the bone and sinew of every land, of enough importance. The association must needs pass through a probationary stage. That stage is now fortunately passed. The star is now in the ascendant.


        In March, 1877, at the instance of the International Committee, and on the advice of Mr. A. S. Caldwell, the association of Charlotte sent out a call for a State Convention to be held in that city. The Convention met March 30th. Four visiting delegates, representing perhaps two hundred members, were present--Arthur Arrington and John H. Dixon University of N. C.; A. D. Jenkins, Raleigh; R. A. Yoder, N. C. College. Messrs. Hall and Cree represented the International Committee. Much interest was taken in the work. A State Executive Committee was appointed. The committee issued a circular, addressed to all the associations

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in the state, and proposed to enter vigorously into the work. The associations were far apart and it was difficult to bring them close together. For three years this committee labored for the most part on their own responsibility, and gave much time and earnest thought to the welfare of the state work, to the establishment of new associations, to the encouragement and strengthening of the old. No money was provided to pay any expenses of this committee, so that their sphere of usefulness was very much narrowed. They did good work, however, and this was the beginning of a brighter era. Four associations, with two hundred and thirty-seven members, are reported in the Year Book for 1877.

        1878. The second Convention was held in Greensboro: "There has been a more marked growth during the year in North Carolina than in any other state visited. Last year the first State Convention--a very small one--was held, and a State Executive Committee appointed. At that time there were but five associations, little was known of the work, and few were interested in it. The State Committee have worked heartily, and as a result the associations now number fourteen active organizations. The second State Convention, at Greensboro, was attended by forty members, and was a decided success. Points visited: Charlotte, Statesville, Salisbury, Greensboro, Raleigh and Durham."*

        *T. K. Cree, Year Book, 1878

In May, before the Convention, Mr. Cree began his labors in North Carolina as State Secretary, at Charlotte. He rendered much aid to the association in that city, in Statesville, Greensboro and Raleigh. He also helped to establish an association in Salisbury, and another in Durham. Twenty-two associations are reported in the Year Book, four having a membership of one hundred and sixty.

        1879. Convention met in Salisbury, Nineteen associations and churches were represented by forty-five delegates. E. W. Watkins, of the International Committee, was present. "The increased interest taken in the young men for the last two years is very gratifying. Now we have eighteen or twenty associations, with five or six hundred members. The influence of the second Convention has been felt wherever there is an association. During the past year few new associations have been formed, but the increased efficiency of the old has been marked. The Executive Committee has recently laid off four districts, and appointed District Committees."*

        *Thomas M. Pittman, Year Book, 1879

Sixteen associations reported at the Baltimore Convention, with six hundred and sixty-five members.

        1880. Convention met in Raleigh. Unfortunately the Raleigh brethren had changed the nature of their work from Christian to charitable. They were known as nothing else. They had left the care of men's souls, and had begun the care of their bodies instead. "The Convention promises to be one of unusual interest, and it is hoped that our citizens will

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do all they can to aid these charitable workers, who meet to consult about the best interests of the young men of our State.*

        *Raleigh Observer, June 16, 1880

E. W. Watkins represented the International Committee. Thirty-three delegates present; eight associations reported. "The state work is not as satisfactory now as at the time of our last report. The Salisbury Convention was well attended, and proved profitable to those present. Some new associations have been formed, principally in small villages and country places. An upward tendency is noticeable in several places, more marked, probably, in Charlotte. There the hall has been newly painted and furnished, while a reading room and library is kept open at evening. The work at the state capital is assuming a more encouraging aspect, and a number of smaller places are displaying considerable activity. We have about twenty-five associations, and hope for good results from the coming Raleigh Convention."*

        *Thomas M. Pittman, in Year Book for 1880.

Twenty-nine associations are reported in the Year Book, thirteen having five hundred and sixty-six members.

        1881. Convention held in Statesville; thirty delegates present, representing thirteen associations; eleven more were represented by letter. E. W. Watkins, of the International Committee, was in attendance. He worked faithfully and well. This year twenty associations are reported in the Year Book, with a total membership of seven hundred and seventy-one active and associate.

        1882. Convention held in Shelby. This year the minutes of the Convention were printed in pamphlet form for the first time. Thirty-three delegates, including two colored members, and representing eleven associations, were present. From the report of the Executive Committee for the year then closing, we learn that measures had been taken to district the state; that the members of the committee had pledged themselves to make individual efforts towards organizing colored young men, and that they had made efforts to put a General Secretary in the field. To accomplish this, it was necessary to raise money by subscription. Appeals were sent to all associations, with the following result: Davidson College, $5.00; University of North Carolina, $5.00; Bingham School, $10.00; Statesville, $8.00; Shelby, $5.00; Prof. Hanna, $5.00; total, $38.00. As this was not enough to get a General Secretary into the field, the plan was abandoned. The committee to consider the report of the Executive Committee recommended that "The Executive Committee be instructed to allot each two members of its body a portion of territory for district work and that they be held responsible for the advancement of the work in that territory, and report at the next annual Convention the progress of that work. We believe by so doing the cause of the Y. M. C. A. can be carried on with but little demand for financial aid, which has so crippled our efforts in the past. We further recommend that the Executive Committee make special efforts in this district work to encourage and persuade the colored young men to organize themselves

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into Associations, and work with us in the glorious cause. We recommend that the Executive Committee place a General Secretary in the field, if for only one month provided the means for doing so can possibly be obtained."*

        *Minutes, 1882

That night a collection was made to defray cost of printing minutes. Thirteen dollars and thirty-five cents, was contributed, not a cent having been raised towards the salary of a General Secretary. The Convention now puts on its committee work requiring both time and money, and provides neither. The work was necessarily a failure. It will always be, except among philanthropists.

        1883. Convention met in Hickory; thirty-one delegates present, representing seventeen associations, also T. A. Harding, of Washington City, representing the International Committee, and Rev. D. H. Tuttle, of Vanderbilt University. The verbal reports from associations were very encouraging, and manifested much zeal for the spiritual welfare of young men. The Executive Committee reported that seven new associations had been organized during the year; that they had collected $49.10 and paid out $37.63. "No effort has been made to put a General Secretary in the field. The committee have not succeeded in carrying out their plan of districting the state. The heartiest co-operation of local association is needed for such an undertaking. There is promise of a District Organization being formed, with its centre at Hickory, and another at Dallas. In some sections successful work seems to have been done in behalf of the colored people."*

        *Minutes, 1883

The committee further recommended that all associations put themselves in correspondence with the Executive Committee, by this means accomplishing more efficient work. It was resolved that the committee solicit from town associations $5.00 for work and expenses of committee, and $2.00 from country; for salary of General Secretary, $10.00 from town, and $5.00 from country. A collection of $11.61 was made at the Convention for the Executive Committee. A list of forty-eight associations in North Carolina is in an appendix, eighteen of them having a Membership of six hundred and twelve.

        1884. Convention met in Greensboro. The weather was exceedingly warm. A contest for President, and for all the state officers, was going on. These, with other things, made a very small meeting. Six delegates only were present, together with H. M. Clarke and M. Dickie of Richmond, and E. W. Watkins of New York. The Convention was turned into an informal conference of Y. M. C. A. workers. A collection of $8.09 was made for the International Committee. The Year Book for 1884 gives reports from sixteen associations, with a membership of three hundred and eighty-seven.

        1885. Convention met in Asheville, it was gotten up hurriedly, and was more of a gathering of local associations than of the state organization. Very little seems to have been done. A new Executive

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Committee was appointed. This committee "did nothing to extend the work during the year. Nothing was given them to do. They had no money, and could do nothing. Twelve dollars in all was expended."*

        *Minutes, 1886.

During this year twenty-three associations reported eight hundred and eighty-six members to the international Committee.

        From these reports it is easy to see that this work in North Carolina has had many ups and downs of fortune. There are few large cities in the state; most of the associations are in small towns and villages. They are organized, and start off with a promise of continuance. There is perhaps one leading spirit that controls and directs the whole. This person moves away, gets absorbed in business, or grows indifferent and the work for Christ begins to lag and to decay. We need more workers of earnest, consecrated lives. Then our work will flourish. This is one of the most serious drawbacks of college associations. There the membership is constantly changing as soon as a fellow learns something of the work, he must go, and the freshman takes his place. It will be noticed that up to this time very little has been said about money in the Conventions. The Executive Committee was first appointed in 1877. For three years, at least, the committee had no treasurer. It seems that no more than $83.00 was put into their hands from their first organization up to 1886. Without arms, it is impossible to wage a successful warfare; without money it was soon found impossible for the Young Men's Christian Associations of North Carolina to carry on any successful campaign against the Kingdom of Satan. The Executive Committee did as much as could be expected of them under the circumstances; but there seems to have been very little effort made to raise money at any Convention. The golden moment was allowed to pass unheeded by. Men will always give more freely when there is a spirit of generous rivalry urging them on. It was thought best to write to the different organizations, so they could discuss the proposition at their leisure. The result we have seen already. In regard to this point, the Executive Committee and the leaders of the Conventions were at fault. This feature was not discussed warmly enough, nor urged sufficiently well.


        March 11th, 1886, the tenth Convention met at Chapel Hill with the University Association. Messrs. Watkins and Wishard, of the International Committee, and forty-four delegates, representing eight associations and three places without definite organization, were in attendance. The question of State work was taken up with energy by E. W. Watkins; $170.00 was pledged by associations and $50.00 by individuals. On Sunday night a collection amounting to $27.00 was made. This was the first sign of active life in the state organization of the Young Men's Christian Associations of North Carolina. A new Executive Committee was appointed, with headquarters at Chapel Hill. The report of the Treasurer, for the year ending April 1st, 1887 showed that $298.45 had

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been collected for all purposes, and $209. 40 expended. This committee employed Mr. H. O. Williams to visit the State during the month of March, 1887. He did good and telling work at Charlotte, Davidson College, University of North Carolina, Salisbury and Raleigh. The associations were revived, freshened and strengthened, and they went to the Raleigh Convention with the fixed determination to do more for the Master's cause, and as a result, $359.00 was pledged for the State work, against $220.00 for the previous year. The headquarters of the Executive Committee continued at Chapel Hill. The fruit of their labors is before our eyes to-day. The state work is thoroughly organized: one association has a building of its own, four others have building funds, two employ General Secretaries, and a third has provided means for this purpose. There is more earnestness, more activity, more work, more success, more of Christ in our hearts, than ever before. To one man more than to all others belongs the glory of this success. He, by his untiring efforts, by his unflagging zeal, has brought about this happy result. That man is the present Chairman of the Executive Committee, THOMAS HUME, D. D., Professor of English in the University of North Carolina.


        The first native North Carolinian to devote himself to the work of the Young Men's Christian Association, and enter the field as a Secretary, was Eugene Lewis Harris. He is a descendant on his mother's side from Edward, the brother of Oliver Cromwell. Edward migrated to the United States about 1660. While on the ocean he changed his name from Cromwell to Crowell, and under this title the family has since been known. Mr. Harris was born at Sassafras Fork, in Granville county, N. C. March 12th, 1856. He was graduated at the University of North Carolina in 1881, and at Cooper Institute, New York City in 1882. He at once established himself in Raleigh as an artist. He followed this profession until elected General Secretary of the Raleigh association, April 4th, 1887. An earnest, simple, devoted Christian, his work has been eminently successful.

        A. M. Ingham was employed as General Secretary by the Charlotte association in March, 1887, for six months. He is a native of Brattleboro, Vermont.

        Of our State Secretaries, Mr. H. O. Williams, now Secretary of Virginia, is a native of Watertown, New York, Mr. T. A. Harding is from Washington, D. C., Mr. Claus Brandt, a German-American, and the General Secretary of the German branch of the Y. M. C. A. is from New York.


        In November, 1886, Mr. Eugene L. Harris issued the first number of the Monthly Bulletin, at Raleigh, 7xl0, four pages. It is very valuable as an aid to local work. February, 1888, the name was changed to Our Young Men, and the publication went on as usual. September 1887,

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the first number of The Record was issued at Charlotte, 7x11 eight pages, monthly, and is under the editorial management of A. S. Caldwell, J. H. Tolar, George B. Hanna and G. T. Raymond. At the Eleventh Annual Convention the Christian Voice, published at Norfolk, Va., by R. H. Turner, was adopted as the official organ of the State Associations. The Journal of the Convention was printed for the first time in 1882; the one for 1883 was printed, and also those for 1886 and 1887.


                         Books give
                         New views to life and teach us how to live;
                         They soothe the grieved, the stubborn they chastise,
                         fools they admonish, and confirm the wise.

        Unfortunately, too little attention has been paid to this subject in North Carolina. The public library at Raleigh, founded in 1831 has not more than 45,000 volumes. The University and its Literary Societies have only 20,000. The teachings of some of our public men have been of too much influence. They taught that books were idle capital, a useless, and therefore a valueless investment. This is not true. They are better than friends; they instruct, and cannot get angry when thrown aside. They laugh and cry. They love and hate. They speak to us, and suit themselves to every freak of fancy. Give me good books, and the world may go, for I can then commune with the best minds of every age. The first Y. M. C. A. library was founded in Boston, in 1851. It now contains 3,500 volumes. The largest is that of the New York City association, with 34,362 volumes. To Charlotte belongs the honor of inaugurating this happy movement in North Carolina. Their library was founded in 1875. The work progressed but slowly. The associations were poor; few people had many books, and still fewer had learned the art of giving. The following tables, taken from the Year Book, show the condition of our libraries for each year since 1876:

1876. Charlotte. . . . . 138 $69 00
  Philadelphus. . . . . 55 30 00
1877. Charlotte. . . . . 123 100 00
  Philadelphus. . . . . 56 50 00
  Raleigh. . . . . 123 100 00
1878. Philadelphus. . . . . 56 50 00
1879. Charlotte. . . . . 300 200 00
  Greensboro. . . . . 450 200 00
  Philadelphus. . . . . 50 50 00
  Winston. . . . . 373 186 00
1880. Charlotte. . . . . 234 250 00
  Greensboro. . . . . 300 250 00
  Winston. . . . . 300 75 00
1881. Charlotte. . . . . 609 700 00
  Greensboro. . . . . 300 250
  Salisbury. . . . . 300 200 00

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1882. Charlotte. . . . . 1,000 $600 00
  Greensboro. . . . . 300 150 00
  Hickory. . . . . 80 90 00
  Salisbury. . . . . 300 150 00
1883. Charlotte. . . . . 600 400 00
  Shelby. . . . . 30 100 00
  Statesville. . . . . 250 60 00
1884. Charlotte. . . . . 532 300 00
  Salisbury. . . . . 300 100 00
  Statesville. . . . . 240 100 00
1885. Charlotte. . . . 721 375 00
  Mount Zion. . . . . 50 50 00
1886. Charlotte. . . . . 847 500 00
  New Berne. . . . . 12 12 00
  Shoe Heel. . . . . 20 15 00
  Statesville. . . . . 200 . . . . .
1887.Charlotte 600 450 00
  New Berne. . . . . 200 175 00
  Raleigh. . . . . 300 300 00

        The condition of our libraries on April 1st, 1888, is shown by the following table:

ASSOCIATIONS. Volumes. Value. When Founded. Library Fund Cash. Library Fund Pledged. Reading Room. Daily Attendance.
Bingham School         $75.00    
Charlotte 1,923 500 00 1875     yes 12
Davidson College 225 200 00 1879     yes 25
Fayetteville           yes  
Henderson 325 200 00 1888     yes 6
Laurinburg 100 100 00 1887     yes 5
Maxton       40 00      
New Berne 150 300 00 1885     yes 20
Raleigh 340 500 00 1886     yes35
Reidsville 50 75 00 1887     yes  
Salisbury           yes 5
Statesville 200 300 00 1883        
Trinity College           yes 50
 3,313 $2,175   $40 00 $75 00 10  

        Such has been our work in North Carolina. We have done something; much we have left undone. The work has at last been thoroughly organized. The people of the State are waking up to its importance. They are giving to its support. The prospect is brightening. Our motto must be: "The Young Men of North Carolina for Christ, and Christ for the Young Men of North Carolina."

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        A. M. Witherspoon, of Statesville, was for awhile acting Secretary of this Committee.








        *Prof. Bingham died January 24th, 1888, and Prof. Henry Louis Smith, of Davidson College, was chosen to fill the vacancy.

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  • PROF. THOS. HUME, D.D., Chairman Chapel Hill.
  • STEPHEN B. WEEKS,*Secretary Chapel Hill.
  • WALTER M. CURTIS, Assistant Secretary Chapel Hill.
  • EUGENE L. HARRIS, Treasurer. . . . . Raleigh.
  • GEO. B. HANNA. . . . . Charlotte.
  • JAMES H. SOUTHGATE. . . . . Durham.
  • Major ROBERT BINGHAM. . . . . Bingham School.
  • A. G. BRENIZER. . . . . Charlotte.
  • A. M. BAKER. . . . . New Berne.
  • I. H. FOUST. . . . . Salisbury.
  • A. S. CALDWELL. . . . . Charlotte.
  • Prof. H.L. SMITH. . . . . Davidson College.
  • P.B. MANNING. . . . . Wilmington.

        *At the special request of the Committee, Mr. Weeks will continue to act as Secretary so long as he remains in the State,--until October.