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This little volume contains, in story form, a brief outline of the history of the Negro. In collating the facts herein set forth it was my privilege to consult the Congressional Library at Washington, the libraries of Harvard and Yale universities and the Boston Public Library. I am fully aware that such opportunities should have insured a better book, but I earnestly hope that the motive which prompts me may cause the shortcomings and imperfections of the work to be forgiven.
I wish to acknowledge my indebtedness to the following authors: Hereen (Historical Researches), Edmund D. Morel, Robert P. Skinner, Edward Howell, T. J. Alldridge, J. V. Delacroix, J. J. Crooks, Frederick Douglass, Thomas Ashe, records of the American Colonization Society, W. J. Gardner, John Atkins, John Bigelow, Hasting Charles Dent, Frank Wiborg, J. W. Birch, Joseph A. Tillinghast, Rev. Robert Walsh, Increase N. Tarbox, Lydia Maria Child, Sir Harry Johnston, Sir Henry M. Stanley, Dr. W. E. B. Dubois, Prof. Kelly Miller, Dr. Booker T. Washington, Charles W. Williams, Joseph T. Wilson, William Still, W. H. Grimshaw, James M. Trotter, W. H. Crogman, J. T. Headley, B. J. Lossing, J. W. Gibson, Zachary Macaulay, Edward W. Blyden, J. J. Pippin, Mrs. R. M. O'Connor, Mrs. F. B. Williams, Andrew Carnrgie, G. W. Forbes.
For assistance in other directions, I wish, also, to thank Hon. Robert Spurgeon, Brooklyn; Mr. Reginald Peters, St. Kitts; and Miss Beatrice Le Strange, of Boston. Because of his unfailing interest, encouragement and advice in this attempt I owe most of all to my husband.
In presenting this narrative, as a sort of "family story" to the colored children of America, it is my fervent hope that they may hereby acquire such an earnest desire for greater information as shall compellingly lead them, in maturer years, to the many comprehensive and erudite volumes which have been written upon this subject.
LEILA AMOS PENDLETON.Washington, D. C., March, 1912.
LEILA AMOS PENDLETON
MOST girls and boys, who are from twelve to fourteen years old can tell, if one should ask them, many interesting things about America, the country in which we live and most children whose foreparents came from Europe or Asia have been taught to love those countries just because their kinfolk once lived there. Many little colored children can draw a map of Africa, tell some of its products and describe some of its people; I wonder how many have been taught to think of Africa with interest and affection, because our great, great grandparents came from that continent? Perhaps if we talk awhile about our Motherland and some of the notable things which have happened there, we shall all learn to love that wonderful country and be proud of it.
In these talks, though sometimes the adjective "colored" will be used just as the word "white" is frequently made use of, we shall, as a rule speak of ourselves as "Negroes" and always begin the noun with a capital letter. It is true that the word Negro is considered by some a term of contempt and for that reason, many of us wince at it; but history tells us that when England had been conquered by the Normans, centuries ago, and the Norman barons were beating, starving and killing the natives, the name "Englishman" was considered an abusive term, and the greatest insult one Norman could offer another was to call him an "Englishman." You know that now all who claim England as home are justly proud of it, and no Englishman is ashamed of that name.
If history repeats itself, as we are often told it does, the time will come when our whole race will feel it an honor to be called "Negroes." Let us each keep that hope before us and hasten
the time by living so that those who know us best will respect us most; surely then those who follow will be proud of our memory and of our race-name.
There are some of us who feel that, pitifully small though it be, we have given the very best and done the very most it is possible for us to give and to do for the race, and we are looking to you, dear children, to perform the things which we, in our youth had hoped and planned. We beg that you will not fail us. In order to realize our hopes for you, there is one thing which you must do: While you are still too young to be earning money, while you are yet at the beginning of your education, you, each, may be building up a strong and beautiful character, an honest, truthful, brave and upright character; it is THE ESSENTIAL thing and without it either money or education or both will be worse than wasted.
After leaving Africa we shall take a glance at the past and the present of the Negro in other lands, especially in our own country of America.
MAP OF AFRICA
LET us look at a map of the Eastern Hemisphere. In the northern part we see Europe and Asia, and southwest of these lies Africa, almost entirely in the Torrid Zone. As vast as is the United States, the continent of Africa contains more than three times as many square miles. In the northeastern part of Africa we see Egypt, moving westward we come to what are called the Barbary States--Tripoli, Fezzan, Tunis and Morocco. Remember these countries, for on their soil many of the most important events of the ancient world took place. Some hundreds of years before our Saviour was born in Bethlehem, hundreds of years before men had even heard the names "England," "France," "Germany," "America," the people of northern Africa were engaged in building cities, sailing the waters and rearing statues and monuments, some of which latter are standing until this day.
Let us now start from Alexandria in Egypt on the Mediterranean Sea and sail down the east coast of Africa. We may touch the coasts of Nubia, Eritrea, French Somali coast, British Somaliland, Italian Somaliland, British East Africa, German East Africa, Portuguese East Africa, Transvaal, Natal, and at the southernmost part of the continent we find Cape Colony, while jutting out from the very tip of Cape Colony is the famous Cape of Good Hope. And now we start up the west coast passing German Southwest Africa, Angola, French Congo, Kamerun, Nigeria, Dahomey, Ashanti, French West Africa, Liberia, Sierra Leone, French and Portuguese Guinea, British Gambia, Rio de Ora, and so back to the Barbary States and Egypt.
In our travels we sailed through the Suez Canal, which cuts Africa off from Asia and makes of it an island continent; down the Red Sea where Pharaoh and his army were drowned; through the Gulf of Aden; down the Indian Ocean; through
the Mozambique Channel, which separates Africa and the island of Madagascar; around Cape Good Hope, where the winds and the waves have made it very dangerous for us; up the South Atlantic Ocean; through the Gulf of Guinea; into the Atlantic again, and through the Strait of Gibraltar. On the north coast of Gibraltar stands the great rock considered by the ancients the western boundary of the world and prized by the English who now own it as one of their most important possessions. Leaving Gibraltar we find ourselves again in the Mediterranean and back to Egypt. While sailing up the South Atlantic and passing southern Angola, we should have taken a long look directly out to sea, for in that direction but more than one thousand miles away lies the little island of St. Helena where Napoleon Bonapart was held prisoner and where he died.
But with all this travelling we have seen nothing of the great heart of Africa, which in ancient times was sometimes called Libya, sometimes Ethiopia, where dwell millions of people, thousands of wild animals, fruits and vegetables in greatest profusion and where many of the articles highly prized by civilized man are to be found in abundance--diamonds, gold, ivory, india rubber, ebony, ostrich feathers and many other valuable articles. Among the native animals of Africa are elephants, lions, monkeys, snakes of many kinds, leopards, camels, giraffs, gorillas, wolves, jackals, hyenas, zebras, rhinosceros, buffalos, and many species of birds of beautiful plumage. How would our "zoos" and our circuses manage if it were not for Africa? In some parts of Africa sugar cane, cotton and the coffee plant grow wild and beside these apples, peaches, plums, grapes, pomegranates, dates, spices, cereals, melons, gourds, cocoanuts and many other fruits and vegetables are to be found.
Looking again at the map we see just below the northern countries and stretching from east to west almost the entire width of the continent, the Sahara and Libyan deserts--the greatest in the world. Below these lies the Soudan, farther
south and crossed by the Equator is the Congo Free State, which is anything but free; while still farther south we find Matabele and the Transvaal. I hope you will remember the location of the different countries of Africa, for we shall speak of many of them again.
There are many deserts in Africa but the Sahara is the greatest of them all. As you know, a desert is a large tract of land where the ground is sandy, patched and dry and where rain seldom or never falls. In Sahara, which is 1,000 miles wide and 2,000 miles long, the sand is almost always moving and when the fierce windstorms arise, as they frequently do, the sand is blown about in huge billows like the waves of the ocean, and the camel, which has been called "the ship of the desert" is the only beast of burden which can cross the dreadful wastes. The few underground springs scattered here and there, sustain grass and bushes as far around them as their moisture reaches. These green and fertile spots are called oases and they are the only places in the desert where men and beasts can obtain rest and refreshment. Anyone who attempts to cross Sahara may expect many hardships--thousands have lost their lives in the attempt. So here we have one reason why not many of the ancient civilized Africans went southward for any purpose.
Indeed the whole of Africa was and is little suited for comfortable traveling. The rivers contain many rapids, waterfalls, etc., which cause them to be in some places almost entirely unnavigable. All kinds of vegetation flourish in this tropical country; swamps and jungles abound, especially in central Africa, and its mountains are covered with dense forests. The climate which is very hot and enervating makes travelling quite unpleasant aside from the other drawbacks, and so, for hundreds of years very few serious attempts were made to find out just what kind of country Africa really was.
In modern times much has been done toward making a journey in Africa more agreeable. Many miles of railroad have been laid in different parts of the continent; there is one
road running for some hundreds of miles across the Libyan desert, and another from the coast of British East Africa to Victoria Nyanza, while a road from the Cape to Cairo has long been planned.
The Congo, the Niger, and the Nile are the three great rivers of Africa; the Nile, wonderful and mysterious, comes up out of the central part of the continent through Egypt and empties into the Mediterranean Sea. Though long it is at ordinary times but a narrow river, yet every year it overflows its banks flooding the surrounding country; but it is a kindly flood for it fertilizes the soil and the prosperity of each successive season depends upon "Father Nile." The Niger flows through the northwestern part of Africa and the Congo through the southwestern part.
In its Nile and its Sahara, in its climate, in its jungles and its mountains, in its wild animals, its vegetable products and articles of value in commerce Africa stands alone and unrivaled.
THOUSANDS of years ago, far up the river Nile and near the modern Senaar, flourished the Ethiopian kingdom of Meroe. Many statues and monuments have been unearthed in this region from time to time, and it is from the
writings, pictures and carvings upon these that most of our knowledge of this ancient country comes.
These statues were erected to the idols or gods whom the people worshipped because they did not know the true God; the monuments were built with passages and chambers and were used as temples for the worship of their gods; so while no trace is now found of the dwellings of the people their
temples covered with pictures show plainly their manner of living and of worship as well as many other things of interest.
The city called Meroe was the seat of government, or as we say in these days the capital, and the rulers were chosen from among the priests. Some very interesting things are told of the manner of choosing a king and the rules by which he was governed. As in most ancient countries, the men who were by nature the cleverest made themselves priests and whenever a new king was selected, they pretended their gods had selected him. As soon as the choice was made known the people fell down before the king and gave him all honor. He was beautifully clothed and given great power but he could not go beyond what the laws of the country allowed, so that Meroe was what is called a limited or constitutional monarchy.
When the priests felt that the king had reigned long enough, they sent to him a messenger with the emblem of death; as soon as the poor king saw this emblem he was compelled to retire at once and kill himself. So you see that even in those days to be a king was not always to be either safe or happy.
The city of Meroe was a lively, bustling place, for its streets were crowded with caravans bringing in from the surrounding regions, gold, silver, copper, salt, iron, frankincense, etc. These articles were sent down to Egypt and along with them went ideas which were even more valuable than the articles of commerce. The Egyptians enlarged upon and continued the civilization which was begun in Ethiopia, especially in the kingdom of Meroe and even the pyramids of Egypt are merely larger and elaborated copies of those whose remains are dug up around the site of Meroe.
Remember that in this old, old kingdom king and court, priests and worshipers, merchants and householders were Negroes.
On both sides of the Nile have been found the ruins of ancient cities, at least twenty on either side, and learned men have taken great pleasure in bringing to light the buried evidences of what was once the busiest and most prosperous part
of the world; these ruins stretch from beyond Meroe down to Egypt. We shall be able to take, here, but a glance at Egypt for you may find many books on that country. Many persons have devoted their lives to the study of ancient Egypt, and it has been made so important a branch of human knowledge as to have a name of its own--Egyptology.
Some historians tell us very plainly that the Egyptians were not Africans at all and so Negroes need not be proud of what they did, but it is not reasonable to suppose that the natives had obligingly left that most fertile region uninhabited to await the coming of strangers and as there is so much uncertainty as to whom the Egyptians were and whence they came and as to which were Negroes and which were Egyptians proper in those dim and distant days, it is just as well to believe that we were and are all related though we cannot tell exactly the degree of our cousinship.
Alexandria in Egypt contained the largest and most remarkable library of the ancient world, for that city was the seat of learning and culture. This library, gathered through hundreds of years before the advent of Christ, by the rulers of Egypt was burnt when the fleet of Julius Cæsar caught fire in the harbor. If any books escaped, or were subsequently replaced they must have perished when the whole quarter of the city was burnt by Aurelian.
While the destruction of the library was a tremendous loss to the whole human family, the Negro was by far the heaviest loser; for there can be no doubt that many now disputed points of race origin, relationship, and achievement might have been settled by the facts recorded upon the parchments and scrolls with which the shelves of the Alexandrian Library were filled.
It is very certain that the Egyptians and other peoples of northern Africa were, as has been said, far ahead of the rest of the continent, but nevertheless it is also certain that the neighboring countries of Europe obtained their first instruction in the arts and sciences and received their first ideas of a written language from what has been in modern times called
the Dark Continent, but which was in olden days a light which lighted the world. Civilization moved northward into Europe rather than southward into the heart of Africa for the reason that travel in the interior, on account of the jungles, deserts, mountains, swamps and ravines, was unsafe and uncomfortable.
The most ancient rulers of Egypt were called Pharaohs and they governed the country for hundreds of years. A Pharaoh was ruling when Joseph was sold by his brothers into Egypt and another Pharaoh reigned when the Jews, who had been held in bondage many years, were led by Moses out of the country over the Red Sea into the Promised Land in Asia. The Persians conquered the country about 520 B. C.; after them it was ruled by Alexander the Great; next by a line of kings called Ptolmies; then by Rome; next by the Mohammedans and today it is largely under the government of England. Egypt played a wonderful and important part in the world's history for thousands of years. It was to this country that the child Jesus was carried to be saved from wicked King Herod who would have killed him. There is near the site of ancient Heliopolis, the City of the Sun, a sycamore tree about which the legend runs that it once sheltered the Holy Family; here, also, at Heliopolis, it is said that Moses taught and Jeremiah wrote.
It was when Alexandria was the fountain of the learning of the ancient world that the Christian religion took root in northern Africa, There were men from Africa present in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost, when hundreds testified to the wonderful works of God, each in his own tongue. These men and others first took the Gospel to Africa, and it flourished there unhindered for nearly three centuries, but while Diocletian was Emperor of Rome, Christians suffered great persecution.
In the Church in Africa, as elsewhere, many died--young girls and women among them--rather than betray their faith. "Among those who thus perished was Leonidas, the father of Origon, Potimicæna, who was put to death by being slowly dipped into burning pitch; Felicitas, a beautiful slave girl, who
was torn to pieces by wild beasts; Perpetua, a young woman of high birth, and many others."
When Constantine became Emperor, these persecutions ceased, but, as you see, African Christians had their share in the glory of martyrdom.
You have all heard of the great pyramids of Egypt built in a time so far distant that no one knows just how old they are. Other structures of interest are the Sphynx, the catacombs and the labyrinth. The labyrinth is built or hewn out of marble, is partly underground and is said to have comprised twelve palaces and 3,000 chambers.
Abyssinia is another African country of great antiquity. It is a very mountainous country and its climate is peculiar, for though so near the equator the earth never becomes warm, but is always damp and chilly while the nights fall suddenly and are very cold. This is because the country is so high above the level of the sea.
The Abyssinians claim that their country is the Sheba whose queen journeyed to the court of King Solomon to behold its glory and to learn of the wisdom of the great king. It is said that she was converted to the Jewish faith and that her people believed in the true God long befor Christ came, and it is known that Christianity was established in Abyssinia before 350 A. D.
Carthage, which flourished near modern Tunis, was one of the richest and most important states of the ancient world. It was founded by Phoenicians and at first these paid a yearly tax to the native Africans who owned the soil, but just as soon as the colonists grew strong enough they waged war against the Africans and finally conquered them. The natives were driven back into the interior where they were cruelly treated, heavily burdened by taxation and forced to till the soil for their conquerers.
Meanwhile the settlers were marrying the native woman and there arose a race known as Afro-Phoenicians or Liby-Phoenicians. They became very numerous and were an important
factor in the country, many of them becoming colonists, in their turn, and settling in other countries. Some settled in Spain and at one time 30,000 of the Afro-Phoenicians emigrated from Carthage and settled on the west coast of Africa south of the Straits of Gibraltar.
The Carthagenians were a seafaring people and their trading vessels went to northern Europe, western Africa, and, it is supposed, as far as the Azores. They planted colonies in many countries and are said to have worked the tin mines of Cornwall in Wales. The Carthegenian navy was for long the most powerful in the ancient world, and "the waters of every sea were white with her sails."
Finally, a great rivalry arose between Carthage and Rome and after a time these two countries went to war. For the space of nearly one hundred and twenty-five years these countries were enemies. There was first war, then peace between them, but in 146 B. C. Rome conquered and many thousands of the Carthagenians were killed by the sword or buried under the burning ruins of their homes; the remainder were sold into slavery, the Romans razed what was left of the city to the ground, plowed up the, earth and sowed salt in the furrows as a sign of utter desolation. Hannibal, the great general, was a Carthagenian who did his part in his country's service. He won many great victories and finally killed himself rather than fall into the hands of the enemy.
All the pomp and pride of these ancient countries, their wealth and power, the things for which they killed themselves or killed each other have melted into nothingness, have become "as a tale that is told." Yet we learn from their story how important a part Africa played in ancient times.
The interior of Africa has always abounded in those things which civilized men prize and the earliest explorers were seeking for articles of value to commerce. Beside these, the Egyptians sent out many hunters for the elephants so useful in their wars and the Romans paid good prices for lions and other wild beasts for their arenas and circuses. These
RIONGA, A NATIVE CHIEF, RECEIVES BAKER
ancient explorers and more modern ones also brought wonderful tales of the creatures they claimed to have seen, creatures which never existed anywhere, such as dragons, griffins, headless men and so forth. Such tales did not serve to make men anxious to enter Africa.
Then Arabs, however, as missionaries or as traders, have, for centuries, been familiar with the interior of this great continent. Arabian missionaries converted many tribes to the
Mohammedan faith, and even before the rise of Mohammedanism, "Negroes shared in the learning and politics of Arabia." Travelers in the interior of Africa have often been astonished at the number of natives who could read and write the Arabic language; hundreds of them know many passages of the Koran (the Mohammedan Bible) and can repeat them from memory as well as extracts from other Arabic writings.
The Arab traders early penetrated far into the country seeking for the articles in themselvs so valueless to Africa but worth so much money in other countries. They also hunted the natives whom they kidnapped and sold into slavery. Selfishness, cruelty and treachery were the lessons they taught and the early white traders and later ones, too, did very little better. One writer says of the latter that "a white man to the natives of Africa stood for wrong and cruelty alone. The very word meant separation of wives and husbands, parents and children to be carried to a fate as mysterious as it proved to be horrible. Hence the white man's greed and cruelty was a bar to his curiosity and energy; his love of knowledge and science was defeated by his love of sin and wrong, and the civilized world, instead of wondering at the ignorance and barbarity that kept back for so long a time, all efforts to know and to help should wonder that anyone from the outside world should have been allowed to live for a day where these wronged, outraged savages ruled."
But with all that Africa has suffered, and, in some places, is still suffering at the hands of so-called civilized men, there have been brave, noble men and women who have devoted the best years of their lives to Africa and some have finally died a martyr's death at the hands of those whom they were trying to help.
One of the first of these was Mungo Park, a native of Scotland. In 1795, when he was only twenty-four years old, he went to West Africa to try to find the source, or beginning of the River Niger. One of the drawbacks to the west coast is its deadly climate, and shortly after arriving at Kano young
Park fell ill of fever and remained an invalid for five months. While recovering, he learned the language of the Mandingoes, a native tribe, and this was a great help to him.
He finally started with only six natives on his journey. Had he been older and wiser he would have taken a larger company. At one time they were captured by Moors and a wild boar was turnd loose upon them, but instead of attacking Park the beast turned upon his owners, and this aroused their superstitious fears. The king then ordered him to be put in a hut where the boar was tied while he and his chief officers discussed whether Park should lose his right hand, his eyes or his life. But he escaped from them, and after nearly two years of wandering in search of the Niger's source, during which time he suffered many hardships and made many narrow escapes he returned to Kano, the place where he had been ill.
At one time during his journey Mr. Park arrived in the neighborhood of Sego and as a white man had never been seen in that region before, the natives looked upon him with fear and astonishment. He asked to see the king, but no one would take him across the river, and the king sent word that he would by no means receive the strange traveler until he knew what the latter wanted. Park was tired, hungry and discouraged and was preparing to spend the night in the branches of a tree when a native woman pitied him. She invited him into her hut, and with the hospitality for which the natives are noted, shared with him her food. By signs she made him understand that he might occupy the sleeping mat and as she and her daughters sat spinning they sang their native songs, among them the following which was impromptu and composed in honor of the stranger:
The wind roared and the rain fell.
The poor white man, faint and weary, came and sat under our tree.
He has no mother to bring him milk; no wife to grind his corn.
Let us pity the white man;
No mother has he to bring him milk;
No wife to grind his corn.
Speaking of this incident Park says: "Trifling as this recital may appear to the reader, to a person in my situation the circumstance was affecting in the highest degree. I was oppressed by such unexpected kindness and sleep fled from my eyes. Another writer says: "The name of the woman and the alabaster box of precious ointment, the nameless widow, who, giving only two mites, had given more than all the rich, and this nameless woman of Sego, form a trio of feminine beauty and grandeur of which the sex in all ages may be proud."
Mungo Park went from Kano back to England and as every one had thought him dead long ago his return caused great rejoicing throughout the country. Eight years afterward he went again to Africa on the same errand and with quite a company, but one by one his companions sickened and died and finally, though having traveled many miles and endured much suffering, Park himself was drowned while trying to escape from the natives and without coming in sight of the Niger's source.
David Livingstone was also of Scotland and was born about eight years after Park died. His parents were poor, and as he was compelled to work in the day, he received his early education at a night school. He was of a serious turn and while quite young decided to give his life to the cause of missions. In 1840, at the age of twenty-seven he went to South Africa where for nine years he preached and taught at various stations in the vicinity of, Cape Town; he also sent to England during this time much information of value to geographers and scientists.
At length he started into the interior on a journey of discovery, realizing, as we all finally do, that by a true, sincere and unselfish life he might point the way to God no matter where he was nor what his occupation. And so, for years, he devoted himself to the double cause of religion and discovery.
Sometimes for months and again for years there would be no word from him and upon two or three occasions searching
parties were sent out to find him. He traveled thousands of miles and made many discoveries and though he sometimes met hostile tribes who would engage him and his followers in battle, because they did not know how good and kind he was, wherever they had the chance to really know him they became his true friends. His native servants were devoted to him and among other things he taught them English. Chumah and Susi were the names of two who rendered him valuable assistance.
During his travels he went one time from Cape Colony up to the northwestern part of what is now Matebele; another time he went much farther north and discovered Lake Nyassa; with Stanley he sailed up to the northern end of Lake Tanganyika and his last trip was made to Lake Bangeola, where he had been once before. Here he fell sick and died.
His wife had died in Africa about ten years before and he had hoped after exploring the region around Bangeola to return to England and spend his last days with his children; but, alas, this was not to be. Those who were with him when he died embalmed his body as best they could and at last succeeded in carrying it to Zanzibar. Here it was received by a government vessel and carried to England, and Livingstone was buried with the honor he deserved in Westminster Abby.
Samuel White Baker, an English explorer of note, had traveled much in Asia and Africa and in 1864 had discovered Albert Nyanza or Lake Victoria Nyanza had previously been discovered by two explorers--Speke and Grant. In 1869, Baker with his wife and a large company which included soldiers sailors, a physician, engineers, carpenters and other trained men, started from Egypt, with the consent of the Khedive or king for the purpose of establishing honest trade with the natives instead of the cheating system and also to break up the slave trade as far south as possible. His plan was to reach the interior by means of the Nile and its branches and he took along several vessels, some of these were in pieces to be put together when needed.
You must remember that these explorers had nothing to
guide them and that they were making a map not only for themselves but for the rest of the world. They never knew one day through what sort of country they would be traveling next nor whether the natives would be friends or enemies.
On this trip, after sailing for over a month through waters sometimes so covered with vegetation that the men were compelled to swim ahead and cut a canal for the boats with their swords, through waters filled with crocodiles which kept the men in constant fear, through waters in which were many hippotami which sometimes upset the small boats and broke holes in the large ones, Baker and his party were compelled to return to the Nile proper because the water became too shallow to float the boats. But he and his companions would not give up and after resting a while, set out once more.
On the way to Fatiko, the home of Abou Saood and the hotbed of slavery, they met hostile tribes of natives, and the Arabs who made their living by selling slaves, set many traps for them. After much hardship, suffering hunger and thirst, lack of clothing, the burning of their camp and many other losses, they succeeded in conquering their enemies and Baker and his party had the happiness of knowing that their trials had not been in vain. The slave station of Abou Saood was completely broken up and that cruel, wicked man left for Cairo saying that he had been wrongfully treated and would enter a complaint against Baker at the court of the Khedive. However, for the time being, at least, the slave trade throughout the entire region through which Baker had passed and down to the equator no longer existed; the natives returned to their homes and began once more to till the soil.
Henry M. Stanley has been called the most successful explorer of modern times. He made three separate trips into the heart of Africa, each of which was entirely successful, though at the cost of many lives.
His first trip, made in 1870, was for the purpose of finding Livingstone, his second was for the purpose of carrying forward the work which Livingstone had not been able to finish;
at this time Stanley explored Lake Victoria and proved it to be one of the sources of the Nile. His last trip was for the relief of Emin Pasha, who after being appointed governor of a province in the interior had been surrounded by hostile natives.
He published to the world many interesting and wonderful facts about the country and inhabitants of Africa. Money, at that time was of no use in the heart of Africa and food and other necessaries were exchanged for beads, bells, wire, cloth and such other things as the natives could not make. More than once life hung on a string of beads or a yard of cloth.
If you have imagined that all of the native Africans resemble the pictures of such usually placed in school books you are greatly mistaken, for, according to Stanley there is as much difference in color, features and character between the tribes of Africa as between the various nations of Europe. Some African tribes are of lighter or darker brown, some are black, some resemble what are called mulatoes, and there is a tribe living on Mt. Gambaragara, near Victoria Nyanza members of which were seen by both Livingstone and Stanley and who are as fair as Europeans with brown hair. "The Wahumba, is a fine well-formed race, the mouth exceedingly well cut, delicately small; the nose that of the Greeks, limbs long, shapely and clean as those of the antelope. Their robes of calf and goat skins hang from the shoulders and fall to the knees." "The Wadoe is a warlike intelligent people living in a picturesque country. On account of their superior physique and intelligence they are eagerly sought for as slaves by the cruel Arabs." "The Wagogo, a sturdy native with his rich complexion, his lion front, menacing aspect, bullying nature, haughty, proud and quarrelsome, is a mere child with a man who will study his nature and not offend his vanity. He believes in God or the Sky Spirit and his prayers are generally directed to Him when parents die." In the course of his journeyings Stanley saw many beautiful native women and many dignified and handsome men.
King Ruoma was, perhaps one of the most positive native characters with whom this explorer came in contact. Hearing that Stanley was about to cross his territory the king sent the following message: "Ruoma sends salaams to the white man. He does not want the white man's cloth, beads or wire, but the white man must not pass through his country. Ruoma does not want to see him or any other man with long red hair down to his shoulders, white face and big red eyes. Ruoma is not afraid of him, but if the white man will come near his country, Rouma and Mirambo will fight him." Stanley did not lead his company across Rouma's territory.
Ruling over Uganda, the country next to Rouma, was the powerful King Mtesa, one of the finest native characters mentioned by explorers. Mtesa is described as a "tall and slender man, but with broad powerful shoulders. His eyes were large, his face intelligent and amiable while his mouth and nose were like those of a Persian Arab. As soon as he began to speak, Stanley was captivated by his courteous , amiable manner. He was infinitely superior to the Sultan of Zanzibar, and impressed one as a colored gentleman who had learned his manners by contact with cilivized, cultured men, instead of being, as he was, a native of Central Africa who had never seen but three white men before in his life. Stanley was astonished at his native polish."
Mtesa had been converted to Mohammedanism by an Arab but soon agreed to observe the Christian as well as the Moslem Sabbath. He also caused the Ten Commandments, the Lord's Prayer, and the Golden Rule to be written on a board that he might read them daily. Under his government, Uganda was a happy, prosperous country.
In addition to the foregoing several other explorers have done good work in Africa; but these are mentioned that you may form a general idea as to what has been accomplished along this line.
It is said that more than seven hundred explorers have traveled in Africa and of that number fully five hundred have found there their last resting place. Of the missionaries, both men and women who have died in Africa, there is a long roll.
A NATIVE YOUTH OF MODERN AFRICA
IN MODERN times Africa has been little more than a big, rich grabbag for the great powers of the world. By might not by right have they divided her territory among them, and small indeed is the portion to which the natives may lay claim. Thoughtful people agree that there are two reasons for this state of affairs. First, the lack of unity, or oneness among native Africans, which is the most important reason, and second, inferior knowledge of modern warfare and lack of modern arms. Says one English writer, "No single separate African race or tribe has yet felt anything like unity with the black race in general; otherwise Europe and Asia could not continue to govern Africa." As it is, England, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Belgium and Turkey claim large portions of African soil.
Friends of Africa have often been discouraged by some of the barriers to progress which have been unnecessarily placed in the way. A white American missionary has recently written: "I wonder that the Africans do not shoot with poisoned arrows, every white man that lands on their coast, for he has brought them rum, and is still bringing it; and in a few decades more, if the rum traffic continues, there will be few left in Africa to be saved. The vile rum, in that tropical climate, is depopulating the country more rapidly than famine, pestilence and war. Africa, with the simple gospel of Jesus is saved, but Africa with rum is eternally lost."
In modern times there have been a few of the native kingdoms which have attracted the attention of the world by their tribal unity and their ability to resist the stealthy advance of civilized nations. The Ashantis first came under European notice in the early part of the eighteenth century. King Osai Tutu, who founded the nation, brought into union several neighboring tribes, by means of warfare or by tactful management. He was slain in 1731. The Ashantis kept up a constant
war with the neighboring Fantis, and when the latter sought British protection, the Ashantis fought against them both, with varying fortunes, for many years.
In the war of 1896, the English won and King Prempeh surrendered and was exiled. "Though outwardly submissive, the chiefs of Kumasi, the principal tribe, were far from reconciled to British rule, and in 1900 a serious rebellion broke out in the Kumasi, Adansi, and Kokofu tribes. Rebellion was crushed and Ashanti formally joined to the British dominions and given a separate administration under control of the governor of the Gold Coast. It was reported, in 1905, that the Ashantis were becoming reconciled to the English and that the maintenance of the tribal system, and the support given to the lawful chiefs, did much to win the confidence and respect of a people naturally suspicions, and mindful of their exiled king."
Yorubaland is a large tract in the hinterland of Lagos, West Africa. The Yorubas are said to vary in color from jet black to quite light, and in features, from the heavy, thick cast of countenance to the more delicate and refined. There is among them a tradition that their forefathers were of Oriental origin, and a large number of American Negroes are said to be of Yoruba stock. The nation comprises many tribes and they are both city-dwelling and farming people. It is said that the houses of the chiefs often contain as many as fifty rooms, decorated with carvings representing symbolic devices, fabulous animals, and hunting or warlike scenes. They have an excellent system of government, the power being in the hands of a Council of Elders, presided over by a chief. The chief must always be taken from members of one or two families and owes his position to a combination of the principles of heredity and election. Yoruba is now divided into semi-independent states, placed under British protection by the treaty of 1893. The country extends from Benin on the east to Dahomey on the west, and contains several large cities, some with a population of 40,000.
In 1821, Adjai, a boy of about eleven years, was captured in Yorubaland and sold into slavery. The next year, he was rescued by a British ship and landed at Sierra Leone. The missionaries cared for and educated him and in December, 1825, he was baptised and given the name, Samuel Adjai Crowther. He became a teacher at Furah Bay and afterwards an energetic missionary in the Niger country. In 1842, he went to England and entered the Missionary College, and in June, 1843, was ordained by Bishop Blomfield. Returning to Africa, he went first to Yorubaland and afterwards to Abookuta where he labored earnestly. At the latter place, he translated the Bible and the Prayer Book into Yoruba and other dialects and also prepared school books for the people. He showed the natives how to improve their way of farming and how to trade their cotton for other things. He went on several expeditions up the Niger and afterwards went to England, where on St. Peter's Day, 1864, he was consecrated first Bishop of the Niger. Bishop Crowther, upon reaching Africa again, established several missions and turned many to Christianity. He died of paralysis on December 31, 1891, having for many years displayed as a missionary, untiring industry, great practical wisdom, and deep piety.
Benin was another powerful native kingdom. It was first visited by the English in 1553 and for many years carried on a trade in ivory, palm oil, pepper, etc. The Beni are said to be a pure Negro tribe, speaking a distinct language and having a well-organized government. In the seventeenth century, it was known to Europeans as Great Benin. The King of Benin was a puppet in the hands of the priests, who were the real rulers. The people are skilled in weaving cloth, ivory carving and working in brass, and much of the work of the native artists is to be seen.
In 1897 the English consul general sent to ask for an audience with the king. The latter requested the English to remain away until after the annual "customs," but in spite of this request, the consul, with eight others started for Benin and
were massacred on the way, only two escaping. A large English force was sent against Benin and after a long, hard fight the city was conquered and partly burned. The king and chiefs were tried, the king deported to Calabar and the chiefs executed. The whole country is now governed by a Council of Chiefs, under supervision of a British resident.
The kingdom of Dahomey, like those of Benin and Ashanti was a purely Negro and pagan state. King Gezo, its most famous ruler, reigned forty years and under him the country was exceedingly prosperous. He reorganized the women warriors, or Amazons, for which Dahomey is famous. The strongest and best looking women were drafted into the Amazon regiments and they were the pride of Dahomy. Each of these regiments had its own peculiar uniform and badges and the Amazons took the post of honor and danger in all battles.
"Sir R. F. Burton, who saw the army marching out of Kano on an expedition in 1862, computed the whole force of female troops at twenty-five hundred, of whom one-third were unarmed or only half armed. Weapons were blunderbusses, flint muskets and bows and arrows and the system of warfare was to surprise the enemy." "The Amazons were carefully trained and the king was in the habit of holding "autumn maneuvers" for the benefit of foreigners. Many Europeans have witnessed a mimic assault, and agree in ascribing a marvelous power of endurance to the women. Lines of thorny acacia were piled up one behind the other to represent defences, and at a given signal the Amazons, barefooted and without any special protection, charged and disappeared from sight. Presently, they emerged within the lines, torn and bleeding but apparently insensible to pain, and the parade closed with a march past, each warrior leading a pretended captive."
The independent existence of Dahomey ended with the surrender of Bohanzi, the last native king and the kingdom is now a French colony.
The Basutos of South Africa were able for a great while to
maintain their independence against the English and the Boers through the patriotism and intelligence of Mosesh, their great leader and king. When he was forced to make a choice of allies, he had the insight and intelligence to choose the English and in the protectorate of Basutoland the natives are sturdy and prosperous. Moshesh died in 1869, but his people still enjoy the fruits of his tact and skill. "As a result of the great work of Moshesh, Basutoland is today almost entirely self-governing, with nearly 300,000 inhabitants, with annual exports of grain, cattle and wool amounting to $700,000 a year." It is exceedingly encouraging to feel that when "the time" comes, as come it will, that the descendants of all these brave peoples shall again have opportunity for self-government they will be able to add to their natural capacity that which they have learned from contact with modern civilization.
The Barbary States, on whose soil Carthage once stood, play, in these days, an unimportant part in the world and the several states are under the government of different nations. The native ruler of Egypt is called the Khedive, but at present the government is practically in the hands of Great Britain. Travel in Eastern lands has become so rapid and comfortable that a trip to Egypt is now taken by many people as a sort of summer outing, and every year thousands of tourists gaze in wonder and awe at the Pyramids, the Sphynx, the Catacombs and the River Nile.
The Kingdom of Abyssinia was, for many years wisely governed by King Menelik, who called himself, among other things, "the King of Kings and the Lion of the Tribe of Judah." Because the King had been in ill health for some time, Prince Lidj Jeassu was, in May, 1909, at the age of thirteen, proclaimed heir to the Abyssinian throne, and Ras Hessama was appointed to act as guardian of the little heir and to govern in his stead. In May, 1911, Prince Lidj Jeassu was proclaimed Emperor.
The inhabitants are justly proud of their centuries-old history and prefer to be known by their ancient name of Ethiopians.
As a whole they are an extremely intelligent people, grave of countenance, elaborately courteous and it is said that with training and experience they will be fully "capable of meeting the competition of the Western world." Their dress is the toga such as was worn by the Greeks and Romans. Menelik is described as "tall and straight, with a face full of intelligence and the manners of a gentleman as well as a king." As a part of their literature, handed down for centuries, the Abyssians prize extracts from the Old Testament, in the Gheze language, the Sabbatical laws, commandments given to Moses by God and a translation of Josephus.
It is said that on the plains and lower lands the soil of Abyssinia is very fertile and produces sometimes three crops per year; nearly every grain that will grow anywhere, can be grown in Abyssinia. The inhabitants also engage in raising sheep and goats and a certain amount of commerce is carried on. "By methods as old as Moses, gold to the average amount of five hundred thousand dollars is annually produced."
Recently a commission was appointed by the President of the United States to visit Abyssinia and to endeavor to establish friendly relations between the two countries. The commissioners were received with great pomp and assured of the interest and friendship of Menelik. Modern Abyssinia is said to be one of the few remaining lands of romance and adventure.
You have already heard of the Congo Free or Independent State. It was so called because in 1885, representatives from fourteen countries, the United States included, met and agreed that in that part of Africa, at least, trade should be free to all, the navigation of the Congo river should be free and the natives should not be oppressed, but encouraged to make the most of themselves. King Leopold of Belgium was one of those who consented to this and he succeded in having himself appointed a kind of guardian to see that the agreement was carried out; but he was a wicked, cruel king, sly and crafty and by degrees he obtained absolute power over every soul in the Congo. He claimed that the Congoland and everything in its was his and
that the natives were simply his tenants and, strange to say, the thirteen other countries allowed him to do so.
The Congo is a vast region and has been described as being as large as the whole of Europe, omitting Spain and Russia. Leopold placed over every village in the Congo, men as heartless and cruel as himself, and if the natives of a village failed to bring out of the forest as much ivory and rubber as the overseers thought they should, these wicked men would send after them cannibal soldiers who would burn the huts and kill and eat the natives. The terrible things that were reported from the Congo, horrified the civilized world, and more than once Leopold pretended to stop them, but recently accounts of awful conditions have been published. It is said that in seven years, driven by their cruel taskmasters, the natives gathered fifty-five millions of dollars' worth of rubber for which they received barely enough to keep them alive.
Dr. W. H. Sheppard, himself a colored man and a citizen of the United States, took up missionary work in Africa in 1893. In 1911 he returned to America from the Congo region and tells many interesting things of the tribes with which he came into contact. Among them there was a tribe which he was the first civilized man to visit. The king of this tribe had heard of foreigners and their cruelties to the natives, and as he thought they were all alike, he issued an edict that no foreigner should enter his kingdom. But Dr. Sheppard had won the love of the tribes around Stanley Pool, and accompanied by some of them, he finally made his way into the forbidden land. He found the natives weaving their own cloth, making their own farming and domestic implements, and living very contentedly. He also came into contact with a tribe of cannibals, whose lives were, as a matter of course, on a much lower plane. He preached to them the Gospel, and after many years has the happiness to know that he and his helpers have been the means of bringing many to Christianity and civilization.
There are still in Central Africa, regions which are unknown to the civilized world, but in some places of which until recently
little has been heard, the natives have reached a high state of development. As you know, the Arabs who believe in the Mohammedan religion have for centuries been traveling through Africa, and in many places have erected villages for permanent homes and intermarried with the natives. This is true of Nigeria where the natives show their contact with the Arabs in many ways. The two most important tribes of this region are the Fallani and the Hausas, both of which are highly intelligent and progressive. Kano, the chief city of this locality, has been called the Chicago of West Africa and is a busy city with markets crowdeded with buyers and merchants selling vegetables, fruits, fowl, sheep, goats and many other things, while its shops are filled with native and foreign products. The people engage in tilling the soil, tending herds, weaving, dyeing, and manufacturing pottery, native cloth, farming tools and simple arms such as daggers, spears, etc.
Uganda, where good King Mtesa reigned in Stanley's time, is now a British protectorate; but there is still a native king. It is said that one hundred thousand of the natives are Christians and twice as many of them can read and write. Beside the king there is a court and a parliament, nobles, ministers and a code of laws. The people are industrious, cultured and peaceable. "The white man cannot live here long at a time, for in his flesh every cut or scratch festers, small wounds become running sores and malaria turns to the fatal black-water fever."
South Africa is rich in gold and diamonds and for many years was governed by people called Boers, who are of Dutch descent. Recently the Boers and England went to war and England conquered the country and added it to her other possessions. It was to this country that Livingstone, the explorer, went, taught and preached to the people and converted many to Christianity. But the Boers were not kind to the natives and oppressed them in many ways.
Spreading all over South Africa is a great tribe of natives called Kaffirs and of these the Zulus are said to be the best type.
They are noted for their hospitality and though partly nomadic, they are lovers of home and children. Those Kaffirs who have not been tainted by the vices of the Boers are described as the "most intellectual of all savage races, with lofty, thoughtful foreheads." In complexion they are dark with a tinge of red, the skin is thin and fine grained and the hair crisp and curly. They are very proud of their appearance and if asked what complexion they prefer will say, "black like mine, with a little red." The blacker a person is the more beautiful the Kaffirs consider him and though Albinos are sometimes found among them they are pitied rather than admired. In recent years several Negro missionaries have gone to South Africa as well as to other sections and the natives are joining the churches, educating their children and learning many of the arts of civilization.
Of the West Coast of Africa a writer has recently said that "to partition finally among the powers this strip of death and disease, of unaccountable wealth, of unnamed horrors and cruelties, has taken many hundreds of years, has brought to the black man every misery that can be inflicted upon a human being and to thousands of white men, death and degradation or great wealth." It was from this part of Africa that the majority of slaves were brought to America.
Sierra Leone was founded on the West Coast by English philanthropists as a home for freedmen, and later American friends of humanity established a colony adjoining Sierra Leone for the same purpose, and this colony was finally called the Republic of Liberia.
The native tribes which live in Sierra Leone and Liberia and in that part of the adjoining country which reaches toward central Africa and which is called the hinterland, are a very interesting people. The most progressive of them are the Mandingoes (whose language Mungo Park learned) and the Vai. Of these the men are, as a rule, stalwart and handsome and many of the women are beautiful. Other tribes are the Gora, the Sunu, and the Kru, to which belong the Grebe, the De, the Basa
and the Gibi. The Krumen are the workingmen of the West Coast. They are heavily built and muscular and neither the women nor the men are especially attractive in appearance; but they are very industrious and much of coast traffic depends on their labor.
The natives of this section manufacture a kind of pottery which is very artistic and not unlike that made by the Indians in this country. They also weave a cloth which is called "country cloth," and rude musical instruments, swords, wooden plates, drums and similar articles are made.
Throughout Africa there exist secret societies known by different names in different places. The societies for men and women are separate and distinct and they are not allowed to hold sessions at the same time. In the vicinity of Sierra Leone the women's society is called the Bandu and the men's, the Poro. When the older women of the tribe decide to hold a meeting, a space is cleared in the forest or bush and thus the session has been named the Bandu Bush. The chief officers are called "dibbles," "boogies," or "devils," and they dress in a very fantastic manner. Over the head and face is worn a hideous mask from which hangs a covering of palm fiber so adjusted as to completely hide the figure and disguise the individual. They pretend to be supernatural and only the highest officials know who they really are.
Into the Bush the girls from about twelve to sixteen are taken to be initiated. The girls who do not go are looked upon with contempt and are called "silly" and "idiots." The initiates remain in the Bush for months and the women teach them many useful things; among others, to be obedient and respectful to their elders and to be good wives and mothers. After they have been sufficiently instructed, they are "medicine washed" and a public feast takes place in their honor, something like a debut party in civilized countries. When the boys go into the Poro bush they are told the laws and legends of their tribe and commanded to respect them, they are taught to
hunt and fish and are also made to understand their duties and responsibilities as future husbands and fathers.
Of the natives of western Africa a missionary has said: "Whatever other estimate we may form of the African, we may not doubt his love for his mother. Her name, whether she be dead or alive, is always on his lips and in his heart. She is the first thing he thinks of when awakening from his slumbers and the last thing he remembers when he closes his eyes in sleep; to her he confides secrets which he would reveal to no other human being on the face of the earth. He cares for no one else in time of sickness, she alone must prepare his food, administer his medicine, perform his ablutions and spread his mat for him. He flies to her in the hour of his distress, for he well knows if all the rest of the world turn against him, she will be steadfast in her love, whether he be right or wrong." How wonderful must be the women who can inspire and keep such deep and constant love and devotion in the hearts of their children!
All lovers of humanity earnestly desire the civilization and redemption of the entire continent of Africa, and many plans to that end have been suggested. Speaking of these, Didwho Twe, a native African, and a man of great culture and discernment, has said: "A new form of Christianity for the African race will develop from the present commercialism. The initiative of this great change will come from men of pure African blood--Africans in appearance, Africans in body, Africans in spirit, Africans in pride, Africans in thought."
THE first historical mention of Sierra Leone was by Hanno of Carthage, who is said to have entered its harbor and to have hurriedly left, because of "the fires in the forests, the beating of drums and the strange cries that issued other of the approach of possible enemies, are used in some
NATIVE KING AND COUNCIL, HINTERLAND, SIERRA LEONE.
from the bushes." These signs by which the tribes warn each parts today and have often struck terror to modern travelers.
The Portuguese claim to have traded with the natives around Sierra Leone as early as the middle of the fifteenth century and English trade began a century later. Trading posts or "factories" were established by these nations on ground leased from the natives, but at first they were used for a fair exchange of the valuable products of the country. It was not until the colonization of America began that the kidnapping
of the natives themselves was thought of. For about two hundred years the great nations of the world engaged in one form or another of the slave trade, but toward the end of the eighteenth century the horror of the traffic began to force itself upon the attention of friends of humanity everywhere.
In 1765, Jonathan Strong, a slave who had been brought to England, fell sick and was deserted by his master. He managed to recover and when his master found this out he planned to have him kidnapped and sent back to the West Indies. But the great Granville Sharpe took all interest in the case, interceded for Strong and finally succeeded in sending him out. of his master's reach. Seven years afterward, Sharpe took up the case of James Somerset and plead for him before the High Court at Westminster.
The case aroused wide-spread interest and the judges finally decided that Somerset could not be held, and that from that time forward every slave who set foot on English soil was free. There were a number of slaves in London at the time and these either left their masters or were driven away. The condition of these people, without money, food or shelter, became very pitiable. And meanwhile American Negroes, who had found shelter with the British army, and other Negroes from the West Indies joined their brethren in London, which added to the distress of the situation. Granville Sharpe, William Wilberforce, Dr. Smeathman, Henry Thornton, Joseph Hardcastle, Thomas Clarkson and other good men joined together to assist these freedmen. After a long discussion, it was thought best to send them to Africa where they might not only become independent, but might help to Christianize the natives and break up the slave trade.
The English government was persuaded to purchase from Naimbanna, King of Sierra Leone, about twenty square miles of land and the first colony reached Africa on the 9th of May, 1787. Several of the colonists had died on the voyage, and of the 480 persons who embarked only 64 were living in 1791. But the English friends of the colony were not discouraged;
they formed a company which was first called St. George's Bay, and afterward, the Sierra Leone Company. A large sum of money was subscribed and the company sent out more colonists, among them a number of English soldiers who had been granted land as a reward for services. Several hundred Maroons living in Nova Scotia sent a delegate to England to ask that they might be allowed to join the new colony and their request was granted. Some hundreds of Maroons from the West Indies also joined the colony, but the deadly climate caused many to die of fever and destroyed the energy of the survivors. The people became entirely discouraged, and "the whole community smouldered down into chronic mutiny." At this crisis, Zachary Macauley, father of the famous English historian, was sent as general manager of the colony. He acted as governor, secretary, paymaster, envoy to the natives and clergyman, and it is said that he was peculiarly adapted to the work. Things were moving smoothly, under Mr. Macauley's management, when, in 1794, eight French ships filled with sansculottes came into the harbor. The lawless French men entered the town and conducted themselves in such an outrageous manner that the governor asked to be given an audience with the commander of the vessel. Macauley says "As I passed along the wharf the scene was curious enough. The Frenchmen who had came ashore in filth and rags, were now many of them dressed out with women's gowns and petticoats. Others had quantities of cloth wrapped about their bodies or perhaps six or seven suits of clothes upon them at a time. The scene which presented itself on my getting on board the flag-ship was still more singular. The quarter-deck was crowded by a set of ragamuffins whose appearance beggared every previous description, and among whom I sought in vain for some one who looked like a gentleman."
About the middle of October the French left Freetown, having remained about a month. "They never revisited the place; indeed, they had left it in such a condition that it was not worth their while to return. Ten houses had been carefully
burned to the ground and the livestock killed. Except the clothes on their backs and a little flour, the Europeans had lost everything they had in the world. * * *" "In the office, every desk and every shelf and every drawer, together with the printing and copying presses, had been completely demolished in the search for money. The floors were strewn with types, and papers and leaves of books, and I had the mortification to see a great part of my own labor and of the labor of others for several years, totally destroyed. At the other end of the house I found telescopes, hydrometers, barometers, thermometers and other articles lying about in fragments. In the town library the volumes were tossed about and defaced with the utmost wantonness, and if they happened to bear the least resemblance to Bibles they were torn in pieces and trampled on. In the collection of natural curiosities, plants, seeds, dried birds, insects and drawings were scattered about in great confusion. The destruction of livestock was immense. In my own yard alone, they killed fourteen dozen fowls, and there were not less than twelve hundred hogs shot in the town. It was unsafe to walk in the streets of Freetown during the forty-eight hours that followed its capture because the French crews were firing at the pigs of the poor freedmen over whom they had gained such a questionable victory." But as has been said, the French finally left Sierra Leone, and left a very disheartened set of colonists behind them. However, Mr. Macauley rallied them as best he could and when he left the colony in 1799, because his health had been broken by the fever, things were moving on fairly well; but the year 1800 found the Company with very little money left and the colony in a very discouraging condition.
The natives, who had for years been able to obtain as much rum and gunpowder as they wanted at the nearest baccaroon, did not appreciate the colony and gave great annoyance. King Naimbanna, however, recognized the superior progress of the Europeans and believed it to be due to their religion, but he was very much puzzled when he found that there was more
than one European religion. After much thought he decided that in order to secure the greatest benefit to his tribe it would be a good plan to send one son to Turkey with orders to become a Mohammedan; another to England to be a Protestant and a third to Portugal to become a Roman Catholic. This he did, but he shortly afterward died and, except that the son who went to England died on the homeward voyage, the result of the King's experiment is not recorded.
In 1807, twenty years after the landing of the colonists, the Company turned Sierra Leone over to the British government. In the same year the slave trade was declared piracy and an English squadron was stationed along the coast to put down the trade and to recapture slaves. Many hundreds were added to the population in this way.
Sierra Leone has passed through many trials before reaching its present state, and there are also a number of very interesting things in the history of this colony. The very first person who actually conducted Negro emigrants from America to Africa was Capt. Paul Cuffee, a wealthy Negro of New Bedford, Mass. Among the colored residents who have risen to prominence may be mentioned Mr. John Carr, Queens Advocate in 1840 and Chief Justice in 1841; Samuel Crowther, a native and the first African admitted to the Church of England (1841) and first Bishop of Niger (1864); Staff Surgeon W. Ferguson, of the Army Medical Department (1813) and Acting Governor (1841.); Mr. Robert Dougan, Queens Advocate (1832), Acting Governor (1858-59); Dr. James W. Blyden, scholar, author and diplomat. Dr. Blyden, who died February, 1912, was, on more than one occasion entrusted with missions to the natives in the interior which required great tact and skill and which were always successful.
On his mission to the King or Alami of Timbo, in 1873, Dr. Blyden was invited to accompany His Majesty to a town fifty miles away where was gathered an army of fifteen or twenty thousands Foulahs. "The town was crowded and preparations for war were being made, but prayers were not neglected.
Five times a day immense crowds gathered at the Mosque and soldiers with a musket in one hand and their beads in the other might be seen going through their devotions."
The chief official in Sierra Leone is a governor appointed by the English Crown, a colonial secretary, and an executive and a legislative council. Freetown, the greatest seaport on the West Coast, is the seat of government; it has an excellent harbor, fortified with several batteries of heavy guns.
There is a government school for the sons of chiefs; there are public, technical and church mission schools, besides Fourah Bay College, established in 1845, and connected with the University of Durham. There is at present a railway of about three hundred miles and others planned.
In size Sierra Leone is about equal to the State of Maine; much of the land has been cleared, and is regularly tilled; the natives come into the cities for employment between the sowing and reaping of their crops; sanitary arrangements and a better understanding of the fever have improved health conditions; many of the citizens are skilled artisans, several are merchants, and Sierra Leone is now a flourishing colony.
ONE of the first persons in America to publicly denounce the slave trade and to act upon his convictions was the Rev. Samuel Hopkins, of Newport, R. I. He had owned and sold a slave, but afterward became convinced of the sinfulness of his conduct and devoted himself to arousing the consciences
LIBERIAN SOLDIERS AND CITIZENS.
of his neighbors. He formed a plan to educate freedmen and send them as missionaries to their native land, and he appropriated to that purpose the money received from the sale of his slave; he borrowed money to free a slave whom he thought especially intelligent and brought about the emancipation of three others. In August, 1773, he published an address to the public in which he outlined his plans and begged for assistance; he mentioned two devout African members of the Congregational Church in Newport, by name John Quamine and Bristol Yamma, who were willing and anxious to carry as best they
could, civilization and Christianity to their brethren in Africa.
Quamine, who was the son of a wealthy native of Annamboe, had been sent by his father to England to be educated, but the person to whom he had been entrusted, had treacherously sold him into slavery. Besides the two named, Salmur Nubia, another young African, was desirous of furthering Dr. Hopkins' plan. But little money was donated and when the Revolutionary War broke out, it put an end to the project. Many years after, two of Dr. Hopkins' proteges joined the Liberian colony--one of them was Salmur Nubia, the other Deacon Newport Gardner.
In 1787, Dr. Thornton, of Washington, D. C., published "an address to the free people of color in Rhode Island and Massachusetts," inviting them to accompany him to the west coast of Africa, there to plant a colony, but the plan fell through for lack of funds.
"The first public meeting ever held in this country to consider the subject of African Colonization was called by Dr. Robert Finley, and was held in the Presbyterian Church in Princeton, N. J. After maturing his plans, Dr. Finley went to Washington in December, 1816, during the session of Congress and succeeded in having many of the prominent men present in the city attend a meeting to consider his project. Hon. Henry Clay was present and was called to the chair. After the society was organized many other prominent Americans became actively interested in its work. Among them were Judge Bushrod Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, John Marshall, John Randolph, J. H. B. Latrobe, and Francis Scott Key.
About thirty-five years after the first colony of freedmen went from England to Sierra Leone, the American Colonization Society sent a company of freedmen from this country to Africa. About the same time, Congress authorized the President to provide a place in Africa for the slaves who might be recaptured at sea. The government chartered a vessel to carry its agents and agreed to take also the agent of the Colonization
Society and such free Negroes as that organization should recommend. Eighty-nine persons were finally selected and the vessel sailed from New York February 6, 1821, arriving in Sierra Leone March 9.
The government agents in charge were Rev. Samuel Bacon and John P. Bankson, while Dr. Samuel Crozer was the agent of the colonization society. The emigrants made a temporary settlement at Sherbo, but before land could be purchased for a permanent home the agents and many of the colonists died. Just before his death Dr. Crozer solemnly entrusted the colony and all its posessions to the care of the Rev. Daniel Coker, a colored Methodist preacher. Though new to such responsibility, the latter managed affairs with great ability and received the praise of Dr. Ayres, the next agent.
After looking over the situation Dr. Ayres decided to buy land on Mesurado Bay, and in December, 1821, made an agreement with the six native kings or headmen who owned the ground, receiving a deed to the same and giving in exchange muskets, beads, gunpowder, rum, knives, forks, spoons, hats coats, looking-glasses, handkerchiefs, canes, umbrellas, soap, etc. The contracting parties pledged themselves to live in peace forever. The first colony arrived at Mesurado on January 7, 1882, and found much work awaiting them; land was to be cleared, shelter made for the provisions, houses built for themselves and many other things to be done which life in a new country required.
Though the natives had promised friendship it was not long before they began to show signs of hostility. Slave traders in the neighborhood aroused ill feeling by telling the tribes that if the colony was allowed to flourish, it would break up the selling of slaves and would mean the loss of the rum and tobacco which the natives had been taught to prize. Several raids were made upon the colonists and they who were already fighting disease and great bodily discomfort were called upon to take arms and fight for life itself. The situation called forth the best that was in them and among the freedmen who distinguished
themselves in the early days, along more than one line were Lot Cary and wife, Elijah Johnston, Collin Teague and wife, Joseph Blake, Richard Sampson and Joseph Langford and wife. Later came Joseph Shepherd, a school teacher, and J. B. Russwurm, who founded and edited the Liberia Herald and afterward became Governor of New Maryland. Colored lieutenant governors were Lot Cary, Rev. C. M. Waring, Anthony D. Williams, J. J. Roberts. Other notable characters of colonial Liberia were George M. Erskine, a Presbyterian minister; Jacob W. Prout, of Baltimore; Mr. and Mrs. Tittler, missionaries; Archie Moore and Closter Simpson, of Mississippi; Dr. Robert McDowell, of Edinburgh, Scotland, colonial physician; and Charles H. Webb, his assistant.
In 1836 Mr. James Brown was elected President of the Town Council of Monrovia, an office equal to that of mayor. Mr. Brown took the greatest interest in agriculture and made a number of very interesting and successful experiments. He published several circulars looking to the promotion of good farming in the colony and he also instituted an agricultural conversation club, a fair and a museum. He lent every assistance to the White Plains Manual Labor School, established during his presidency by Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The school was located at Millsburg, a beautiful and fertile spot, and was under the care of Rev. B. R. Wilson.
No one can read the early history of Liberia without deeply appreciating the spirit of Christian love and devotion which moved the white agents and missionaries most of whom gave their lives to the cause; among them were Bacon, Andrus Sessions, Helton, Ashmun, Randall, Levi Scott and others.
The spirit which animated Bacon seems to have been in all the rest. Said he, "As regards myself, I counted the cost of engaging in the service before I left America. I came to these shores to die and anything better than death is better than I expect."
After the colony had been established, many slave owners
in the United States freed their slaves and sent them to Liberia. Hundreds were recaptured from slave vessels, and several companies of free Negroes joined the colony. The colonization society had branches in many states and was untiring in its effort to support the colony. The Colonization Society of Maryland was independent of the National Colonization Society because it was found that thereby it would receive more support from the state legislature. The colony at Cape Palmas was founded and controlled by the Maryland Colonization Society, but finally became part of the Liberian Republic.
The natives showed themselves willing to be taught. Writing of them in 1827 Lot Cary said: "The heathen in our vicinity are very anxious for the means of light. They will buy it, beg it, and sooner than miss it, they will steal it. In renewing our school establishment up to Cape Mount, I had upwards of forty natives carry out baggage, and though they had every opportunity to commit depredations nothing was lost except fifteen spelling books."
When it was plainly to be seen that Liberia as a colony could not defend itself steps were taken to form it into an independent government, and on July 26, 1847, the colony became the Free and Independent Republic of Liberia. Article I, Section 1 of the constitution reads as follows: All men are born equally free and independent, and have certain natural inherent and inalienable rights, among which are the rights of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and of pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.
The republic was first recognized by Great Britain, next by France and then by the other powers. The chief officials are the President, Vice President, a Senate and House of Representatives, a Cabinet and a Supreme Court. The President must be thirty-five years of age and own real estate; electors must be of Negro blood and be owners of land; natives may vote but usually do not except in larger towns.
Governor Joseph Jenkins Roberts became the first President
of the Liberian Republic and served from 1848 to 1856. Succeeding Presidents were Hon. Stephen A. Benson, 1856-64; Daniel Warner, 1864-68; James S. Payne, 1848-70; Edward J. Roye, 1870-72; James Jenkins Roberts, 1872-76; James Spriggs Payne, 1876-78; Anthony W. Gardner, 1878-84; Hiliary R. W. Johnson, 1884-1891; Joseph J. Cheeseman, 1892-98; William D. Coleman, 1898-1900; Garretson W. Gibson, 1900-04; Arthur Barclay, 1904-12.
On January 1, 1912, Hon. Daniel Edward Howard was inaugurated President of the republic. "It was the first inauguration ever attended by native chiefs."
Liberia is about the size of the State of New York, and the total population is between fifteen and twenty-one hundred thousand, about twelve thousand of whom are Americo-Liberians. The principal tribes represented are the Mandingo, the Kisi, the Gola, the Kru and allies. The coast region is divided into three counties--Basa, Sino, and Maryland.
There is a government college, Methodist college and a Protestant Episcopal high school; Dr. Blyden was at one time president of Liberia College. Dr. Alexander Crummell once had charge of the Episcopal mission in that country.
Francis Burns was the first colored missionary bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church to West Africa, serving from 1858 to 1863. In 1834 he went to Liberia and did splendid work as evangelist and teacher. Upon his election to the bishopric, he came to this country to be ordained and returned to Africa. In a few years his health failed and in 1863 he died. John Wright Roberts was ordained a few years afterward and succeeded Bishop Burns. "Roberts vigorously carried forward the work so wisely begun by his predecessor, and it is said that at the time of his death, in 1875, the Methodist Episcopal Church in Africa numbered more than two hundred thousand souls." "The Right Reverend S. D. Ferguson, the present Protestant Episcopal Bishop of Liberia, is a native of South Carolina. Bishop Ferguson has spent almost his entire life in Africa. Although now advanced in age, he is
extremely active and has a firm grip on his work. He has trained up a fine body of native clergymen."
In Liberia there is an organized militia, a volunteer force and a police force. Every male citizen from sixteen years old to fifty, capable of bearing arms, is liable to serve. The national flag bears a single star and stripes.
The hinterland is undeveloped so that the resources of the country are not exactly known, but gold, diamonds, copper, lead, zinc have been found. There are no railways and oxcarts are the vehicles commonly used; a motor road has recently been constructed, about twenty miles in length. Seven lines of steamers regularly visit Monrovia--British, German, French, Spanish.
The following colored Americans have served as United States Ministers to Liberia: Hon. J. Milton Turner, John H. Smith, Henry Highland Garnet, O. W. L. Smith, Ernest Lyon, W. D. Crum. Hon. James Robert Spurgeon, a graduate of Yale, was at one time secretary of legation. He was commended for excellent service. In 1902, Hon. George W. Ellis, of Kansas University, succeeded Mr. Spurgeon. Mr. Ellis served eight and one half years, and as he is an authority upon questions of economics and sociology, he was able to render important service to the Liberian government.
Of Liberia, Mr. Ellis says: "Liberia offers to the United States an opening to the most extensive, the most desirable and the best paying commerce of all the world. Agricultural possibilities of the republic are tremendous, on account of the fertility of the soil. Liberia also affords access to a hundred million Sudanese natives, the highest type of the Negro race, and cultured in many arts." "The Sudanese of northern Africa have a civilization dating back for centuries, and similar in its origin to that which made Morocco the metropolis of Negro culture years ago."
Besides the multitude of valuable articles to be found in Liberia proper and the Hinterland, "not least are the hides of many animals--of the leopard, the beautiful spotted bushcat,
of many varieties of deer, of the monkey, the alligator and the boa-constrictor. All these beasts inhabit the interior. The elephant is to be found within two or three days' walk of Cape Mount. Domestic cattle are also numerous on the Mandingan plains and among some of the coast tribes. These cattle are descended from ancient stock, introduced into Africa centuries ago from Egypt and the Mediterranean."
The government of Liberia has not had a smooth path, for, envious of the great natural wealth which the country contains, some of the European powers have artfully tried to undermine the republic. In 1910 a commission, appointed by President of U. S., visited Liberia to look into the condition of the country, as the Liberians had urgently requested America to come to their aid. The commission consisted of Messrs. Roland P. Folkner, George Sale and Emmett J. Scott: the latter has been for many years, secretary to Dr. Booker T. Washington. The commission reported favorably and the United States has established a sort of financial protectorate over the country and has placed American officials in charge of Liberian customs.
Writing of Liberia in 1832 a visitor says: "All my expectations in regard to the health, harmony, order, contentment, industry and general prosperity of the settlers were more than realized. I saw no intemperance nor did I hear a profane word. I know of no place where the Sabbath appears to be more respected than in Monrovia; no man, not even a native, could be hired "for love or money" to work on the Sabbath day. Most of the settlers appear to be rapidly acquiring property and I have no doubt that they are doing better for themserves and their children than they could do in any other part of the world."
"Previous to the settlement of Liberia the mouths of the rivers St. Paul, Mesurado and St. John were the greatest marts for slaves on the windward coast. Thousands came down those streams each year and were sold away. Now those rivers are used by the husbandmen to bring their produce to Monrovia, Grand Bassa and Etina, and the native paddles
his canoe in safety under the protection of the colonies founded by the Colonization Society."
A visitor to Liberia in 1910 writes: "The people of Monrovia look, act and dress very like the better class of Negroes of Atlanta or Louisville. All the Americo-Liberians (and many civilized natives) are neatly but not flashily clothed, and most of the aborigines put on an extra cloth when they come to town. I doubt if there be anywhere in the United States a Negro community of the size of Monrovia where there is so little boisterousness or profanity. Swearing is a lost art and I saw but one case of drunkenness during my first month in Monrovia."
"The Liberian Sabbath suggests the quiet of a New England city--a quiet that is broken only by the sound of church organs and congregational singing. The churches are well attended and the services are conducted with due regard to dignity and reverence." So you see that for at least eighty years the Liberians have conducted themselves with the same dignity and have had no need to be ashamed of their country.
A writer describes the inaugural ceremonies of President Howard, held January 1, 1912, as very imposing. "It was the first inauguration ever attended by native chiefs, headmen and retainers, and their presence was significant. They talked nothing but peace and prosperity, and promised to do all in their power to make the new administration a highly successful one. Nearly two thousand natives from the interior listened to President Howard advocate that they be given equal rights, and when on the second day President Howard and Vice President Harmon donned attire similar to that worn by the native chiefs, the incident occasioned much good feeling."
Following is the official family of the new administration: President, Daniel Edward Howard; Vice President, Samuel George Harmon; Secretary of State, C. D. B. King; Secretary of Treasury, Thomas W. Haynes; Secretary of War and Navy, Wilmot E. Dennis; Postmaster General, Col. Isaac Moort; Secretary of Interior, J. J. Morris; Attorney General, Samuel
A. Ross; Secretary of Education, B. W. Payne; Executive Secretary to the President, Walter F. Walker.
Still another writer sums up a recent article on Liberia as follows: The Republic needs men, not so much missionaries in the ordinary sense of the word. Like the Negroes of the United States, she appears to have no lack of preachers. She needs men who will support themselves by their toil, and who, as citizens, will strive for the national good. Especially does she need men of mechanical ability to grapple with her industrial tasks. I think if I were a Negro, Liberia would appeal to me strongly upon this ground. I think I would count it a privilege to cast in my lot with the Negro Republic, to toil with her for high national ideals, for the assimilation and civilization of my brothers of the jungle, and to prove to the world what the black man can do.
HAITI lies in the Atlantic Ocean a short distance, about 600 miles, to the southeast of Florida. This little island which Christopher Columbus named Hispanola or little Spain and which was afterward called Santo Domingo, has
THE PRESIDENT'S PALACE, PORT AU PRINCE, HAITI.
been the scene of many stirring events which we can here but briefly mention. On this island Europeans built the first city and erected the first Christian church in the New World; here Negro slaves struck their first blow for freedom and here was founded the first Negro Republic.
In formation the country is diversified by mountains and valleys, by majestic plains and swiftly flowing rivers; the landscape is attractive and the climate delightful. When Columbus and his fellow-voyagers came upon the island in December, 1492, the beauty of the country and the kindness of
the natives so impressed him that in reporting his discovery to the King and Queen of Spain, he said: "These people love their neighbors as themselves; their discourse is ever sweet and gentle and accompanied with a smile. I swear to your Majesties there is not a better nation or a better land." You will regret to learn that the example of these natives (who though ignorant of the Christ, yet practiced his precepts) was utterly lost upon the Spaniards, so-called followers of Jesus. The Spaniards had not long been settled upon the island before they had turned the friendly natives into bitter foes and the bitterest foe of all was Caonbo.
He had his stronghold in one of the mountain fastnesses and after the Spaniards began to cruelly treat the natives Caonbo and his followers would descend from the mountains and wreak vengeance upon the whites. For a long time he was a terror to the settlers, but he was finally captured by treachery and placed on board a vessel bound for Spain, though he did not live to reach there.
It is said that when the Spaniards discovered the island, the natives numbered about one million and in fifteen years, through overwork and cruel treatment, only about one-twentieth of them were living and by the year 1600 the last native had died. The childish, trusting natives were taught from the beginning that the Spaniards came from heaven and as the cruelties increased and life became unbearable, they began to ask their oppressors when they would return to heaven and to beg them to hasten their departure.
When it became evident that the natives would finally die out entirely, the wicked plan was formed to capture natives of Africa and bring them over the sea to do the work and suffer the treatment which had killed so many thousands of the native Indians of Hispanola; this, in the early sixteenth century was the beginning of Negro slavery in the Western Hemisphere.
The English and the French had long envied the Spanish their West Indian possessions, and in 1630 French people established
a colony at St. Christopher on the island of Santo Domingo, but the Spanish drove them away. The French then took refuge on the tiny island of Tortuga near by and lived quietly there for awhile; but the Spanish went there one day while the men were at sea and killed all the women and children. The Frenchmen, their hearts filled with grief and rage, became pirates; others joined them and for over fifty years war was waged between them and the Spanish. In 1697, the French obtained from Spain a regular cession of the western part of the island of Santo Domingo and began to colonize it, naming their part Haiti.
After that, the two nations lived peacefully on the island; the fertile soil was thoroughly cultivated and prosperity reigned. Meanwhile, there had sprung up three distinct divisions of the population: the whites, of European descent; the blacks, of African descent, and the mulattoes, who were an admixture of the other two races. From time to time the blacks had risen in insurrection because of cruel treatment, many had escaped to the mountains and had there made for themselves homes; but the large majority were slaves. The mulattoes, though free in name, were far from free in reality; they were taken advantage of, imposed upon and the worst indignities heaped upon them; they were allowed to hold no public office, to take no part in public affairs and to practice no profession, it mattered not how well qualified they might have been. So they busied themselves with the buying of land and other property and with the acquirement of education and culture; they were compelled to serve a length of time in the army and became skilled in the tactics of war. Numbers of them grew very wealthy, traveled abroad, educated their children in France and were persons of refined and cultivated tastes.
At the outbreak of the revolution in France, the population of Haiti was about 500,000, of which about 40,000 were whites, 30,000 mulattoes and the remainder, a tremendous majority as you see, were black slaves; the mulattoes at this time owned
about one-third of the soil and one-fourth of the slaves. While residing in France, the mulattoes had made friends among the most advanced thinkers of that country and, putting before these friends the state of affairs in Haiti, had received great sympathy.
The whites of Haiti largely sided with the revolutionary party in France (though some were Royalists) and at once responded to the call of the National Convention in Paris by sending delegates and by adopting the motto: "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity." The mulattoes also demanded representation which was denied them, so they sent a delegation of their own, headed by J. Vincent Ogé, who had been educated in France. This delegation was well received by Lafayette, Abbe Gregoire, Robespierre and other influential Frenchmen, who belonged to a society called the Friends of the Blacks, and who were really trying to put into practice their noble motto; said Robespierre, "Perish the colonies rather than sacrifice one atom of our principles."
When Ogé and his fellow delegates returned to Haiti they were arrested "for their presumption" and put to death in a horrible manner. This news aroused great indignation in Paris and the Friends of the of the Blacks brought such influence to bear upon the National Assembly that a decree was passed declaring that "all persons of color, born of free parents, were entitled to all the privileges of French citizens."
During these happenings neither whites nor mulattoes had given a thought to the slaves, but the pulse of Freedom throbbing throughout the world and the blacks were thinking for themselves. They had long been secretly planning a stroke of some kind and on August 23rd, 1791, they arose and swept from plantation to plantation, killing and burning as they went. It is said that fully one thousand plantations were destroyed and twelve hundred families reduced to want and misery. As mulattoes and whites were both slave-holders, this blow drew them together for the time against the blacks; the Spanish of Santo Domingo attacked the Haitians, Royalists
fought Revolutionists and the war which resulted was "neither a civil war nor a foreign war, nor a war of races, but a composite of all three."
At this moment appeared the mighty leader of the Blacks, Pierre Dominique Toussaint Breda, who, because he could always find a way or make one, was once called by a French General, Toussaint the Opener, Toussaint L'Ouverture and this is the name by which he is known to history. As a child Toussaint possessed unusual intelligence and was taught to read and write by a fellow slave. As he grew he was constantly improving his mind; he gained quite a knowledge of Latin and medicine and was often employed as a horse doctor. He was finally promoted to be coachman by his master and allowed the use of the library in his spare time. This advantage he fully appreciated as you may judge.
When the slave insurrection broke out on an adjoining plantation, Toussaint refused to join the blacks because he thought their plans cruel and useless. He secretly conveyed his master and family to an American vessel which was about to sail sending with them as much produce as he could gather. Then, seeing the aimlessness of the insurrection and the need of leaders, he joined the blacks and immediately was placed in a responsible position. He disciplined and trained his men, who were devoted to him, until they were worthy the name "soldiers."
Meantime France and England had gone to war and in May, 1794, an English squadron appeared before Port-Au-Prince; the French gave up the city and the English took quiet possession. The blacks and mulattoes had now joined forces and occupied the mountainous part of the island under the command of Toussaint and Regaud, a mulatto. In March, 1797, the French government appointed Toussaint commander-in-chief of all the armies in Haiti. He began a campaign against the English "who found him a powerful opponent, and dreaded exceedingly to fall into his hands." He also aided in conquering the Spanish who occupied the eastern part of
the island and they, by treaty, gave, over the whole island to France. Toussaint next concluded a treaty with General Maitland, head of the English forces, who "in behalf of his government acknowledged Haiti to be an independent, neutral power and agreed to withdraw his forces from the island."
In connection with the withdrawal of the English a story is told which shows what manner of man Toussaint was. To make final arrangements, General Maitland had agreed to visit General Toussaint at his headquarters, and to do so he was obliged to cross territory filled with hostile Negro soldiers. General Roume, a Frenchman, who had a command some distance away, knowing that Maitland was practically defenceless, sent word to General Toussaint to capture the Englishman. When the latter arrived at headquarters he was compelled to wait quite a while before Toussaint appeared, and, realizing his position began to grow uneasy. When Toussaint finally made his appearance, he gave Maitland two letters to read; the first was the treacherous advice of Ronnie and the other his reply, which read as follows: "What! Have I not passed my word to the English general? How then, can you suppose that I will cover myself with dishonor by breaking it? His reliance on my good faith leads him to put himself into my power; and I should be forever infamous, if I were to act as you advise. I am faithfully devoted to the Republic; but will not serve it at the expense of my conscience and my honor." It is needless to say that General Maitland was ever after a firm friend of Toussaint L'Ouverture.
When peace was restored, Toussaint who had been appointed governor for life, showed himself as able to lead in the affairs of state as in affairs of war. He caused the adoption of a constitution which acknowledged the authority of France, but allowed no distinction between citizens because of race or color; the whites were protected and their estates restored to them and prosperity returned to Haiti. When Napoleon Bonapart made himself First Consul of France, Toussaint, admiring his genius, sent him a communication addressed
"From the First of the Blacks to the First of the Whites." Napoleon, incapable of valuing such qualities of mind and heart as Toussaint possessed, deeply resented what he considered the presumption of the ex-slave; he could not bear the thought of Haiti, independent and free, and resolved to establish slavery again.
To this end he fitted out an expedition under command of his brother-in-law, Le Clerc, which suddenly appeared off Cape Francois. Le Clerc seized Sanjos, the harbormaster, and threatened to hang him if he refused to lead the squadron into the harbor or to reward him with 2,000 pounds sterling if he consented. Sanjos heroically refused to betray his country, but Le Clerc succeeded in making a landing near by. General Henri Christophe, commander of the forces in the vicinity, upon hearing of the arrival of the French, burned the town to ashes and marched his men to Toussaint's residence about forty miles away.
Le Clerc had brought over with him Toussaint's sons who had been studying in France. He sent them, under guard, to their father to beg him to yield quietly, claiming (the boys really believed it) that Napoleon had only the good of Haiti at heart. Toussaint's wife joined her prayers to those of her children and the great general began to feel that they might be right. But soon his insight taught him that the French meant nothing but evil and once more he took up arms.
When Le Clerc found that he could not subdue the Haitians he made a treaty of peace with them which he had no intention of keeping. Shortly after this the home of Toussaint was surrounded at midnight and he and his family were placed on a vessel and hurried to France. It is said that the noble general did not lose hope, but felt that Napoleon would give him justice. Being himself the soul of honor, capable of justice to his humblest enemy, he judged the First Consul by himself, but he was to find out his sad mistake. Upon arriving at France he was separated from his family; he never saw Napoleon, but was taken from one prison to another and finally
unused to the climate and tortured by cold and hunger, on April 27th, 1803, in the gloomy dungeon of Joux, great Toussaint died.
The Haitians, furious at the treacherous and inhuman treatment of their leader, took up arms under General Jean Jacques Dessalines. The French army was reduced to a handful, as much by yellow fever as by war and was compelled to capitulate. On January 1st, 1807, Haiti proclaimed her independence and Dessalines was appointed governor for life, shortly after taking upon himself the title of Emperor Jean Jacques I. Unfortunately, he had not experienced and witnessed the inhumanities of the French and Spanish in vain, and after a reign of about two years, marked by the greatest cruelties to the whites, he was assassinated.
The Spanish now took back the eastern part of the island and the western was governed in the north by Henri Christophe and in the south by Petion; Christophe took the title of King Henri I and had his family proclaimed as royal, but Petion remained satisfied with the title of president. Upon the death of these two, Haiti was united under the rule of Boyer. He succeeded in bringing the Spanish part under his government, and the whole island became one republic and was recognized by France in 1825. In 1842, the citizens revolted against Boyer and compelled him to flee, and in 1844 those of the Spanish section formed themselves into an independent republic, taking their old name, Santo Domingo.
The capitol of the Republic of Santo Domingo is the city of the same name which was founded in 1496 by Bartolemeo Colombo, brother of Christopher Columbus. It was destroyed by hurricane in 1547, and rebuilt on right bank of the Ozama. The government is in the hands of a president, a senate, and a chamber of deputies; there is a supreme court and a regular army. The inhabitants are largely of mixed European and African blood and there are many Turks and Syrians; the language is Spanish and the religion Roman Catholic. The
people engage in cattle raising, etc., and sugar growing is a flourishing industry.
The Republic of Haiti is governed by a president, a senate and a chamber of commerce. The inhabitants number about 960,000, about nine-tenths of whom are rated Negroes, the remainder mulattoes. There are four hundred national schools, for which one million dollars are annually appropriated; the religion is Roman Catholic, the language French; the people chiefly engage in agricultural pursuits and excellent coffee, cotton and cocoa are grown. There is a light railway and a tramway of about five miles in Port-au-Prince, the capital.
Besides the men already named, the following have ruled over Haiti: Jean Pierre Boyer, from 1818 to 1843; Herard-Riviere, four months; General Pierrot; General Soulouque, who called himself "Faustin I, Emperor of Haiti," and ruled from 1847 until 1859, organized a terrible massacre of mulattoes. He was succeeded by a mulatto, Fabre Geffrard, 1859-67; then came Sylvain Salnave,1867-9; Nissage-Saget, 1869-74; Michel Domingue, 1874-6; General Boisrond-Canal, 1876-9; General Salomon, 1879-88; Gen. F. D. Legitime, 1888-9; General Hyppolite, 1889-96; Gen. T. A. S. Sam, 1896-1902; Gen. Nord Alexis, 1902-08; Gen. H. E. A. Simon, 1908-1911.
Hon. R. D. Bassett, of Pennsylvania, was the first United States Minister to Haiti, and served from 1869 to 1877. He was succeeded by John M. Langston. Other ministers were Frederick Douglass, John S. Durham, W. F. Powell.
The Rev. Theodore Holly, minister of the Protestant Episcopal Church, made a visit to Haiti in 1855 to consult with the authorities there as to the proposed settling in that country of American Negroes. In 1861, a number of colored people left this country to make their homes in Haiti, and some of their descendants are there at the present time. In 1874, Mr. Holly was consecrated Bishop in Grace Church, New York, and was given charge of the work in Haiti. Bishop Holly gained
the affection of the people and did a notable work in the island. He died March 22, 1911.
The history of Haiti is not a peaceful one, for the Haitians are, as we have seen, both by inheritance and training, a warlike people and there have been many uprisings and revolutions. It has been said, however, that the mass of the people have long since tired of war; and, indeed, how could it be otherwise since they are always the ones who suffer most?
There has been and is, however, a set of men who, instead of devoting their time and talents to the arts of peace, are always ready to bring about an upheavel hoping thereby to gain for themselves wealth or position; there are also men of other nations who, hoping for financial gain, are constantly, though secretly, urging the Haitian malcontents to revolution.
How sad that the example of great Toussaint should so often be forgotten; Toussaint to whom Haiti was always first and self last; Toussaint, true patriot, statesman and soldier of whom it has been said: "It is to affirm the scantiest truth that to the names of Cincinnatus and Washington, history has added that of Toussaint L'Ouverture."
THE early history of the Negro in Brazil and in all the West Indies Islands was much the same as the early history of the wicked system of slavery in Haiti. In each place we see the native Indians oppressed, crushed and killed in great numbers; we then see native Africans brought over to take the
A MAROON TOWN IN JAMAICA.
place of the Indians. Brazil was the headquarters of slavery in South America, and the first African slaves were brought to Brazil by the Dutch, in the early seventeenth century. Though for many years the Dutch and the Portuguese contended for power in Brazil, to the Negro it mattered not which side won for he still remained in slavery. Both nations established colonies in Africa whence they exported natives to the New World, and it is said that for years the average exportation was not less than forty thousand each year.
In the latter part of the seventeenth century, about seventy years after the arrival of the first slaves, a number of Negroes working in the forests of Pernambuco, beat down their overseers, took their freedom and for many years harried the Portuguese. In 1719 a plot was formed by Negroes in Minas Geraes, southeast Brazil, to kill all the whites on Holy Thursday; but the plan was betrayed before the time and most of those concerned in it fled to the forests and lived with the Indians. These and other escaped slaves in Brazil and the West Indies became known as Maroons.
The origin of the word "Maroon" is uncertain, but it was a name greatly dreaded by the whites of the countries above named, for the Maroons were merciless and fearless. In the Dutch colony of Surinam, a band of Maroons had been forming for some years and by suddenly descending upon the settlers, from time to time, had obtained arms and ammunition. The authorities of the colony repeatedly tried to conquer or scatter them, but were always unsuccessful.
In 1736, thinking to terrify the Maroons, the officials of Surinam executed in a horrible manner a few who had been captured. "One man was hanged alive by an iron hook stuck through his ribs, two others were burned alive, six women were broken upon the wheel and two little girls were beheaded." But instead of terrifying the Maroons these awful deeds made them furious. They waged such effective warfare that the Dutch governor of Surinam finally offered a treaty of peace which was accepted and signed by the great Maroon chief, Captain Adjoe, in 1749. Peace lasted, however, but a short while, and after that, for many years, there was war between the colonists and the Maroons.
In 1773 troops were brought over from Holland but were unable to subdue the Negroes, who added to their dauntless courage a perfect knowledge of the country, and finally the colonists gave up the contest. The Maroons formed an independent republic with laws and customs of their own.
The great majority of the Negroes in Brazil, however, still
remained in slavery, though few of them became reconciled to that condition. Many committed suicide and the more courageous joined the Maroons or went to live with the natives in the forests.
Laws were passed in favor of the slaves and from the sixteenth century they were allowed about eighty-five days in each year in which to earn money with which to purchase their freedom; beside, "any slave who was the parent of ten children could demand his or her freedom."
A number of the freedmen acquired great wealth, educated their children and not a few became priests and bishops in the Roman Catholic Church. In 1828 an English clergyman visiting Brazil wrote of the Negro as follows:
"For the first time I saw an African Negro under four aspects of society; and it appeared to me that in every one his character depended upon the state in which he was placed, and the estimation in which he was held. As a despised slave he was lower than other animals of burden that surrounded him, more miserable in his look, more revolting in his nakedness, more distorted in his person and apparently more deficient in intellect than the horses and mules that passed him by. Advanced to the grade of a soldier, he was clean and neat in his person, amenable to discipline, expert at his exercises, and showed the port and bearing of a white man similarly placed. As a citizen he was remarkable for the respectability of his appearance, and the decorum of his manners in the rank assigned him; and as a priest, standing in the house of God, appointed to instruct society on their most important interests, and in a grade in which moral and intellectual fitness is required, and a certain degree of superiority is expected he seemed even more devout in his orations and more correct in his manners than his white associates. I came, therefore, to the irresistible conclusion in my mind that color is an accident affecting the surface of a man and having no more to do with his qualities than his clothes--that God had equally created an African in the image of his person and equally given him an immortal
soul; and that an European had no pretext but his own cupidity, for impiously thrusting his fellow man from that rank in the creation which the Almighty had assigned him, and degrading him below the lot of the brute beasts that perish."
It has been nearly one hundred years since these words of wisdom were written and slavery has long since been abolished in Brazil and elsewhere. As you grow older, my children, you will understand that these words are as true of the Negro today as ever they were and you will wonder that all men everywhere cannot grasp this simple truth.
At the present day the population of Brazil is largely an admixture of Negro and Indian, the number of whites being comparatively small. In the northern provinces the Indian element is largest, while in Pernambuco, Bahai, Rio de Janeiro and Minas, Negroes are more numerous. The Negroes of Bahia are said to be physically superb.
Brazil remained a Portuguese colony until 1822, when it became independent under the title of the Empire of Brazil, and Dom Pedro, son of the King of Portugal, was crowned Emperor. In 1871, a law was passed for the gradual abolition of slavery and in May, 1888, slavery was entirely abolished in Brazil.
The peasant class, called Moradores, an admixture of Negroes, Negroid and Indians, settle on the estates of the larger land owners and are encouraged to do so by the owners since they give labor for rent. They purchase goods and borrow money of the landlords and are usually in their debt. The landlord and his wife are often godparents for the children and share with them the two principal meals of the day. Speaking of this class a writer says: Until the Negro in Brazil acquires money and invests it in the buying and development of land so long will the white man hold the political and social ascendency.
But there is no color line, and as the Negro has been given every opportunity to advance, since the emancipation and many have made splendid use of their opportunities, they have
proven themselves good citizens in every sense of the word, and it is said that more than one president of the republic has had Negro blood in his veins.
The wealthier Brazillian Negroes travel extensively, educate their children abroad and buy much of their clothing in the shops of London and Paris.
The island of Jamaica, lying about sixty miles to the southwest of Haiti, furnished another background for scenes of Negro daring and bravery in their pursuit of freedom. The lives of the slaves were exceedingly miserable, and in the early days many committed suicide, believing that thus they would return to Africa. The first slaves were brought over by the Spaniards about 1517, and almost from the beginning, the Negroes began running away to the mountains and living with the natives, as in Brazil. When the English gained possession of the island, in 1657, these Maroons were so numerous and so well organized that the new government was compelled to recognize them. To every man who would promise obedience, twenty acres of land was given and a "Black Regiment" was formed of the younger men under command of Juan de Bolas, in 1664. He was the first Negro to receive the rank of colonel in the Jamacia militia. But the Black Regiment was in existence but a short time before its leader was killed and it was disbanded.
From that time on, for over seventy years there was constant warfare between the Maroons and the colonists. Jamaica abounded in fruits of many kinds, there were many wild pigs, turtles and pigeons so that the Maroons were well provided with food. They would frequently descend upon the planters murder them and their families and burn their homes. And this was kept up, as has been said for more than seventy years. Toward the end of that period the government employed great packs of savage dogs and imported a number of
Indians from South America to harry and hunt down the Maroons.
In 1738 a treaty of peace was signed by Governor Sir William Trelawney and the Maroon chiefs, Cudjoe, Quaco, Accompong, and Cuffee. By the terms of this treaty the Maroons were given their freedom and were to be paid thirty shillings for each runaway slave returned to the colonists. So much anxiety had the Maroons caused the planters that an English statesman advised that they be "settled near some large town in the lowlands where they would have easy access to alcohol, the use of which would decrease their numbers and destroy the hardy constitutions gained in the mountains." What a temperance lesson should this suggestion teach us!
From the signing of the treaty for nearly sixty years the Maroons lived peaceably with the English, but in 1795 they revolted and nearly succeeded in inducing the slaves to join them. The rebellion was put down in a few months, and "those who gave themselves up before January 1, 1796, were allowed to remain in Jamaica, and from them are descended the Maroons of today settled at Moore Town, Trelawney Town and at various places in their old haunts round the Cockpit country." Nearly six hundred of those who delayed to surrender were deported to Nova Scotia and it was of them you have read in the story of Sierra Leone.
Besides the Maroons there were in Jamaica many thousands of Negroes who were held in slavery, and from time to time several uprisings occurred among them. Writing of them in 1735 an Englishman says: "We who buy slaves say we confer a good, removing them to a better state both temporal and spiritual, the latter, few among us have the hypocrisy to own; to remove Negroes from their homes and friends, where they are at ease, to a strange country, people and language must be highly offending against the laws of natural justice and humanity, especially when this change is to hard labor, corporal punishment and for masters they wish dead. We are accessories by trade to all that cruelty to their countrymen,
which has subjected them to the condition of slaves little better in our plantations than that of cattle. The rigour of their usage having made some hundreds of them at Jamaica run away into barren mountains where they choose to trust to Providence rather than to their fellow Christians in the plantations."
But the wickedness and cruelty of slavery came to an end in Jamaca in 1834 and the Negroes were allowed to fit themselves to freedom as best they could. That this was not an easy thing to do at first, you will readily understand. They suffered injustice and discrimination and there was much unrest and dissatisfaction.
What has been called the Morant Bay Rebellion was the outcome of years of oppression and injustice. The "Rebellion" began on October 12, 1865 and lasted but two or three days, the Negroes and the whites killing each other and burning each other's homes. There were eighteen killed in all and about thirty-one wounded. The whole island was in a state of panic and martial law was proclaimd. Hundreds of innocent Negroes were put to death and thousands made homeless. The chief victim of the "Rebellion" was the Hon. George William Gordon, a well-educated Negro of property and influence. He had held several public offices, but was disliked by the governor. The latter accused him of inciting the Negroes to riot, and though time has proven him to have been innocent, he was hung just eleven days after the beginning of the riot.
"As early as 1850 the Negroes of Jamaica had made progress; at the time of emancipation there were practically no Negro land owners, but in sixteen years they were worth one hundred thousand dollars. At that time there was no distinction between white and colored; people were rated by culture and wealth, though Negroes were on a much higher footing than Jews, or ex-shopkeepers. The Negroes furnished two regiments of soldiers and almost the entire police force of the island was colored, The public printers, Messrs. Jordan and
Osborn were colored, and likewise the editors of the Kingston journal, the government paper.
"The famous West India Regiments grew, in 1795, out of a local militia corps called the St. Vincent Rangers. All the twelve regiments took part with the navy in the capture of the French, Dutch and Danish possessions in America. After the Napoleonic wars were over, the West India Regiments (one or more of which had been qualified as 'Royal,' so that their direct descendant of today has royal emblems in its insignia), were reduced and reorganized. After the abolition of slavery in the 30's, they became more especially a body of Negro troops, only the officers of which were white, and included many Barbadians in their midst. Two Regiments (now two battalions of the West India Regiment) were stationed at Freetown, Sierra Leone, and from 1850 onwards they fought many battles for the British government on the Gambia river in the interior of Sierra Leone and in Ashanti. At the present day the First Battalion is stationed in Jamaica and the Second Battalion in Sierra Leone. The total strength of the two battalions is about eleven hundred."
"Their present uniform, so picturesque, yet business-like, and so attractive to recruits, was practically the invention of Queen Victoria. It was introduced in 1858. These remarkable Negro soldiers could, if necessary, play a considerable part in maintaining the British position in tropical America, if it were ever menaced."
At this time (1911) the Negroes of Jamaica are very progressive, they have perfect political and social freedom, the educational advantages are many and the standard high--the Cambridge (England) examinations having been held annually for forty years. Negroes, besides tilling the soil, fill nine-tenths of the positions under the government, while many earn a living as doctors, dentists, preachers, teachers, lawyers, musicians, clerks, waiters, tradesmen, skilled artisans, postal employees, press reporters and many other positions of honor and trust.
The Bermudas or Somers Islands consists of a number of islands (said to number over three hundred) covering in all about twelve thousand acres of land. The group is a British possession, and in modern times its great value lies in the fact that it is a naval station and coaling depot for English ships. Bermuda was first discovered in 1522 by a Spaniard who merely sighted and named them but did not land. Not long after, Henry May, an Englishman, was shipwrecked on one of the largest of the group. The story goes that he built, with the aid of materials gathered from the wreck of his own ship, a vessel of the cedar wood with which the island abounds, and returned to England. He published an account of his adventures and of the island, then entirely uninhabited.
In 1609, Sir George Somers and others were also shipwrecked upon the islands, while on their way to Virginia. It is said that they, too, built a vessel and finally reached their destination. There are no springs of fresh water in the island.
It is said that Negro slaves were probably landed here in 1620 and that in ten years there were several hundreds of them in Bermuda. Beginning with the latter part of the seventeenth century and running through a period of more than one hundred years, the colored people joined their masters in seafaring and became a "fine, bold race of seamen." "They built sailing ships of from two to three hundred tons from the timber of the Bermuda "cedar" (a red juniper), and in these vessels brought the fish from the Newfoundland Banks to the coasts of Portugal and the Mediterranean, or waited at the islands of Madiera, Ascension or St. Helena for the returning Indiamen, from whom they obtained cargoes of tea, spices, porcelain, silks and other wares of the Far East. They carried back port wine to Newfoundland, and Madeira wine to New England and the Carolinas; and distributed all along the eastern seaboard of North America the products of the East Indian trade."
The House of Assembly, for which Negroes and Mulattoes may now elect members and in which, if elected, they themselves may sit, dates almost from 1620. Certainly from 1684, in which year the Bermudas became a colony directly governed by the Crown. There is a garrison of five or six thousand soldiers and seamen and besides these, there are about 1,320 electors out of a population of nineteen thousand; and there are no discriminations whatever on account of race or color.
The climate of the Bermuda is most delightful and it is becoming quite a winter resort for persons from the United States. It is said that there is hardly a more beautiful sight in the floral kingdom than a field of Bermuda lilies in bloom.
HAVE you ever owned a kitten or any other living creature? Was it your very, very own, to treat just as you pleased? If you are a sweet-tempered child you have
always been kind to Kittie, you have always seen to it that she has been well fed and comfortable; no doubt you have often kept her in when she would have liked to be free to come and go, and you may have given her meat to eat when she wanted fish or milk. But because Kittie was not a human being she may have (we cannot tell) considered you a good owner and made herself satisfied.
If you are a cruel child with a bad temper, Kittie has had a hard time; you have kicked, pinched, beaten, maybe half starved her, perhaps even killed her; you have not cared whether she was comfortable or not so long as you had her to play with.
If you have ever owned any living thing you can form some idea of what it meant to be a slave owner and if you will quietly think for a while you can faintly imagine what it meant to be a slave; to talk, walk, dress, eat, move, live, not as one wanted or knew to be best, but in obedience to the will of one's owner. I have compared the state of a slave with that of your kitten because nearly every child has owned a kitten, but the comparison is a feeble one and as you come to understand more about slavery, I want you to think out for yourself a more just comparison. Of course, a kitten cannot talk, or think, or plan, or hope, in other words, it is not, as you know, a human being, but it is weak and defenceless, and you have had absolute power over it, even the power of life and death.
In our talks we have often mentioned slavery and it has always been the Negro or the Indian who was the slave. I want you to know how old and how evil a system slavery was, how in ancient times it covered the then known world, and how none of the races of the earth have escaped its effects. Slavery existed in one form or another since history began. Those who had the strength and the power have ever been willing to compel the weaker to do their bidding and not until the coming of Christ was there any persistent attempt either to destroy slavery or to soften the hard lot of the slave, but strange to say, it took hundreds of years before the preaching of Christ's Golden Rule and Gospel of Love was so understood by Christians every where as to cause them to work with energy and determination for the freeing of all slaves.
The ancient Hebrews, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Chinese, the people of Indian, all held their conquered enemies as slaves. The Phoenicians were great slave traders and kidnapped people of any and every nation, selling them as slaves.
"They stole Greeks and sold them, twelve centuries before Christ, and they also sold stolen people to the Greeks." It is said that in every country the condition of female slaves was much worse than that of the males and that they were required to do the hardest work and were treated in the harshest manner.
The Greeks held many slaves and the bondsmen of Athens are said to have been much better treated than those of Sparta. Since the Spartans were so stern with their children, they would hardly have been tender with slaves. The slaves of Sparta were called helots; they belonged to the state and were assigned to land owners, so many to a certain amount of land. Their condition was very miserable and as they increased in numbers they grew very restless, finally uniting and marching against Sparta, which they nearly succeeded in taking. As a usual thing, however, they were as loyal as they possibly could be and often fought in the armies of Sparta, but they received little gratitude from the state. The masters, through guilty consciences perhaps, were kept in constant fear of uprisings, and at times would secretly give young Spartan men permission to massacre the helots by night. At one time two thousand helots who had valiantly fought for Sparta were slain.
The Romans owned many more slaves than the Greeks and their numerous victories over other nations filled the slave market to over-flowing. It is said that at the close of the war with Greece and the East "men were sold for four drachmae each or about sixty-two cents of our money," and these were men of the highest type of ancient civilization. The Romans seemed to prefer to humble the proudest, and men, who in their own country had been slave owners, men who were cultured and who had lived in luxury, were most desired as slaves by the Romans. "All races furnished their share of the greatest population of slaves that ever existed under one dominion." The Roman conquests extended through Germany and France and as far north as England, and many Englishmen
men were carried into slavery, and their chiefs chained to the chariot wheels of the conquerors.
"Roman citizens who had committed certain crimes became 'slaves of punishment;' thieves who could not repay four times the value of what they had stolen, became slaves to those whom they had robbed; children were sold into slavery by their parents, and poor debtors were sold as slaves."
Many citizens owned a great number of slaves, some as many as twenty thousand each. "The price of slaves were not fixed; good actors, doctors, cooks, beautiful women, handsome boys and jesters brought heavy sums. Learned men, grammarians, architects, rhetoricians, and gladiators also sold at high prices; some classes of artisans and laborers sold for upward of three hundred dollars of our money each, but one hundred dollars was a fair average price for a common slave, and when a slave could be bought for about half that sum, the price was held to be low." Rome as well as Greece experienced many slave insurrections and these were usually led by the gladiators or trained fighters; the insurrection of which Spartacus, the renowned gladiator was the leader, cost many lives and would probably have been successful had not the leader been slain early in the conflict.
You can see that a country in which so many of the inhabitants were restless, discontented and miserable and where so many others were cruel tyrants, could not survive. Slavery is said to have been one of the chief causes of the fall of Rome. After the decline of the Roman power, the peoples who overthrew the empire, established there the feudal system and serfdom, another form of slavery.
The word serf means a servant or slave, and serfdom existed in nearly every country in Europe. By this system the whole mass of poor people were just a little better off than slaves; they were compelled to work the land for the lords or owners and though they could not be removed from the land and were only bought or sold with it, their condition was pitiable
in the extreme; they were housed and fed with less care than the livestock and clothed themselves as best they could.
When the Christian nations of western Europe united to take back the Holy City of Jerusalem from the Turks, every serf who enlisted in these wars (which were called Crusades) became free to live where and how he pleased upon his return home, and from this time serfdom gradually died out in most European countries; Hungary in 1848 and Russia in 1861, being the last to give it up. As the general emancipation of Negro slaves in the United States took place in 1865, Russia was but a few years ahead of this country in freeing its bondsmen.
During the long wars between the Turks and the peoples of southern and eastern Europe, in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, after each encounter, the defeated army was sold into slavery; each also invaded the others territory and captured women and children for slaves. It was about this time that Negro slavery came into prominence, but white slavery still continued in Turkey and the Barbary states, being carried on by the corsairs or pirates until 1816, when an English fleet under Lord Exmouth successfully bombarded Algiers.
You have seen how, at some time in their history, members of every great European race have been held in slavery. In the early days of this republic white Americans had, in their own persons a bitter taste of slavery in a most humilitating form; before this country possessed a navy, many American merchant vessels were captured while passing through the Mediterranean, by the Corsairs, of North Africa and the officers and seamen of these vessels were sold as slaves. In order to ransom those American citizens the United States Government was compelled to pay the sum of one million dollars. It seemed to give the Dey or ruler of Algiers the greatest pleasure to insult and humiliate Americans.
Speaking of the enslavement of the Negro in ancient times a writer says: "The fact that the ancients regarded black slaves as luxuries proves that their number could not have
been large in European countries to which they were taken, either by the way of Egypt or that of Carthage. Such details as we have concerning the black slaves of antiquity all serve to show that they were not numerous, far less so, indeed, than were slaves belonging to some of the highest of the white races."
It is said that with Admiral Don Christopher Columbus, when he made his first voyage of discovery in 1492, was "Pietro Alonzo, or Alonzo the Negro, who piloted the Nina, one of the three vessels under the command of Columbus." "Diego el Negro was another Spanish Negro who sailed with Columbus on his second voyage in the capacity of cabin boy. The Negro pilot, Pietro Alonzo also made minor discoveries and was the first European Negro navigator to discover the Pearl Coast, after having purchased pearls from naked men. Alonzo the Negro was also a pilot on Columbus' second voyage and navigated the flagship on which Columbus himself sailed. After leaving the Cape Verde Islands, Columbus relied upon this black man's knowledge of navigation."
"Alonzo afterward became master and captain of a fleet that sailed from Cadiz in, January, 1496, and upon his return to Spain from America, this black navigator was given a public dinner at Seville by the Duke of Medina, which was attended by the city authorities and court officials, in recognition of his achievement in opening up to Spain a veritable 'gate of pearls;' so that Negro brains aided in the discovery of America on the very first voyage which Christopher Columbus made to this continent."
It is also said that three hundred Negro porters and soldiers accompanied Cortes on his Mexican expedition; Negroes carried the loads of Balboa on his discovery of the Pacific Ocean in 1513, and went with Hernandez to Peru in 1530. Negroes assisted as servants and laborers in the founding of the Spanish city of St. Augustine, in Florida, in 1565, and were sailors in the Spanish ships which explored the coasts of Virginia in
1521. A Spanish Negro explorer, Estevan, discovered New Mexico, the land of the Zuni Indians, in 1539.
In 1562, John Hawkins, an English sea captain, together with a number of other Englishmen, asked permission of Queen Elizabeth to capture native Africans and sell them in the New World. The request was granted, but the ships were so packed that a great many died on the voyage. When the Queen heard of it she was shocked, and called Hawkins before her to reprimand him and to take away his charter; but Sir John grew very eloquent over the benefits of slavery to the Negro and made the Queen believe that to bring the African into contact with such highly civilized and Christian people as their new owners, was to do God's service. So, instead of scolding, the Queen praised him, took shares in his company and in 1564, lent him one of her ships. John Hawkins was at heart, you see, a knave instead of a knight.
In the Mohammedan countries there have been black slaves from the time of the prophet, and they often rise very high, as well in the state as in the household. But in all these cases, the Negro has but shared the common lot and might have been sold on the same day with the Greek and Arab and by the same trader. The Negro was then sold, not because he was a Negro, but because be was a man whose services could be turned to profitable account.
While, as we have seen, Negro slavery was known in antiquity, it was left to the New World in general, and to the country which we call our own, the United States of America, in particular, to bring it to its largest and worst development.
PICTURE to yourselves, dear children, a small group of foreigners frightened and sad, with hearts aching for home and for the loved ones from whom they had been torn, with minds filled with dread as to what was about to befall them; picture them landed, half clad and in chains in a country where the climate, the people, the manners and customs were all totally different to anything they had ever known and you will have a faint idea of the feelings and the condition of the first group of Negroes who landed on the continent of North America.
Although authorities differ as to the exact date of the landing and also as to the exact number of persons which made up this little group, we know that about the year 1619, a small number of native Africans were landed in the Colony of Virginia and that these were the forerunners of countless others who were to be brought here to take a part as slaves and freemen in the development of this country.
The early part of the seventeenth century belongs to the dark ages of the world's history, to the time when men had not yet understood that it is the right of every human creature to be free and that it is the solemn duty of every man and every race to help toward true freedom every other man and every other race. So that, at this period in North America, we find the Negro and the Indian enslaved and white men and women convicted of crime in Europe sent to the colonies as bond servants. The latter were on much the same level as the slaves, the great difference being that slaves were bound for life, while bond servants were held for a limited number of years.
The story of the Negro during the first one hundred and fifty years of his stay in America has been but briefly recorded and the record shows little that is bright and pleasant. When
the first slaves were landed the colony of Virginia included what shortly afterward became Maryland and the history of the Negro in the two colonies is much the same. The raising of tobacco had not yet become an important industry, there was no particular work for the Negro to do and for about fifty years the increase in the number of slaves was but slight. Until 1662 they were held because they were powerless to help themselves, and because the whites found the holding of slaves an easy and profitable thing, but no laws had been passed concerning slavery in the Colony of Virginia. The law passed in 1662 concerned the children and provided that the children of slave mothers should be slaves, but eight years later the following act was passed: "It is resolved and enacted that all servants not being Christians, imported into this country by shipping shall be slaves for their lives; but those who come by land shall serve, if boys or girls, until thirty years of age, if men or women twelve years and no longer." Those coming by water were Negroes and those by land were Indians. On this point one writer says: "No doubt the Indian was as thoroughly despised as the Negro; but the Indian was on his native soil and therefore was a more dangerous subject." From this time on several acts were passed concerning slavery, but most of them were designed to make the lot of the slave harder and more hopeless.
In the colony of New Netherlands, which as you know, was governed by the Dutch, Negro slaves were much prized. Here, as in the other colonies, a large amount of labor was necessary to make the country habitable, and it was the Negro who did this heavy work, and without whom this whole U. S. would doubtless have been at least one hundred and fifty years behind its present state of development.
The Dutch brought their slaves from the coast of Guinea and from their possessions in Brazil, and employed them as farmers, as roadmakers and as house servants. "The jolly Dutch fed and clothed their slaves as well as their white servants. There were no severe rules to strip the Negroes of social
amusements or public feasts. They were married and given in marriage, and if there were no schools for them there were no laws against their acquirement of knowledge." Many bought or were given their freedom. This is said to be very different to the treatment of the natives of South Africa by the Dutch of modern times.
When, in 1664, the English took possession of New Netherlands (naming it New York), the condition of the slaves was not changed for the better. Severe laws were passed putting the slaves on a plane very much worse than that which they had occupied under Dutch rule. The English pretended to be anxious to convert the slaves to Christianity, but they hastened to assure the owners that no slave could become free by professing a belief in Christianity.
"In 1709 a slave market was erected at the foot of Wall street and here Negroes and Indians, men, women and children, all as sheep in the shambles, were daily declared the property of the highest cash bidder." "By law free Negroes were prevented from holding property and there was therefore, but little hope for the Negro in either state--bondage or freedom. There was little in this world to allure him, to encourage him, to help him. The institution under which he suffered was one huge sepulchre and he was buried alive."
The most stirring event in the history of slavery in the colony of New York was the so-called Negro plot, of 1741. Some time before this the Negroes had risen, burned a house and killed some of the whites; but the troops had been called and the riot quelled. A feeling of insecurity, however, took possession of the colonists and when in May, 1741, the charge was made that a number of Negroes and a few whites had plotted to kill the residents of New York city and burn down their homes, the people became insane with fear and unable to reason.
Innocent men and women were accused and cast into prison; false witnesses arose on every hand; the accused, hoping to clear themselves, made charges against others and every one
was at the mercy of any enemy he might have. "From the 11th of May to the 29th of August, one hundred and fifty-four Negroes were cast into prison, fourteen of whom were burnt, eighteen hanged, seventy-eight transported and the remainder pardoned. During the same space of time twenty-four whites were committed to prison, four of whom were executed and the remainder discharged." This period has been likened to the time when so many innocent persons were burnt as witches, at Salem, Mass.
In the colony of Massachusetts the Pequod Indians were the first slaves, but as they "would not endure the yoke," they were sent to the Bermudas and exchanged for Negroes in the hope that the latter would bear slavery more patiently. "The first exchange of Indians for Negroes was made in 1637, the first year of the Pequod war and was doubtless kept up for many years." As in Virginia, slavery here was at first of slow growth, but towards the end of the seventeenth century the institution grew rapidly. Slavery bred in this colony, as elsewhere a disregard for human feelings in dealing with the Negro and "Negro children were considered incumbrances, and when weaned were often given away like puppies." But while these and many other hardships were imposed upon the slaves the general tenor of public feeling was more humane than in colonies farther south. So that when a ship from Boston raided a native town on the Guinea coast and brought home the captives as slaves, the people protested and the kidnapped Africans were ordered to be returned to their own country.
The question of slavery, pro and con, was always being discussed in this colony and in May, 1766, the representatives of the people were instructed to vote for the total abolition of slavery; but the measure was not passed.
In an address on slavery published in 1769 the author says: "What! cries our good people here, Negro slaves in Bostion? It cannot be. It is nevertheless true. For though the Bostonians have grounded their rebellion on the 'immutable
laws of nature' yet, notwithstanding their resolves about freedom in their town meetings, they actually have in town two thousand negro slaves."
The slaves, however, understood what was going on around them, the undying longing for freedom within their own breasts was increased and strengthened by the conversations which they overheard and by the speeches which some heard and repeated to others; there were also a few slaves who had managed to obtain some little education, of which they made the very most. Being thus moved by the spirit of liberty it was but natural that they became restless and sullen in their bonds and their manner caused fear among the whites, some of whom began to charge every fire or other untoward happening to the Negroes.
But white friends came forward to plead the cause of the Negro slave and many efforts were made to enact laws in his behalf. Encouraged, doubtless by the friendly attitude of the best whites, many slaves sued their owners for their liberty, charging that they were unlawfully held in bondage, and in several instances their petition was granted by the courts of Massachusetts. On June 25, 1773, a petition, signed by Felix Holbrook and other Negroes, was read before the House of Representatives, "praying that they may be liberated from a state of bondage and made freemen of this community; and that this court would give and grant to them some part of the unimproved lands belonging to the province, for a settlement; or relieve them in such other way as shall seem good and wise upon the whole." This petition, which had been laid aside was read again before the house in January, 1774. The committee which was appointed to consider it presented, instead, "a bill to prevent the importation of Negroes and others as slaves into this province." This bill with additions was read in the House of Representatives, read in the Council and sent to Governor Hutchinson, who refused to sign it. It was then read before the general court, sent again to the Council but finally failed to become a law.
In the colony of Rhode Island there was, almost from the beginning a feeling against slavery and laws were passed against it, but neither the sentiment nor the law was strong enough to prevent the holding of slaves in this colony. But here the Negro had many white friends especially among those known as Quakers; these friends did all they could to lighten the lives of the oppressed, but their kindness angered the slave owners. Laws were passed to fine those who entertained slaves and to whip them if they could not pay the fine. As in nearly every other slave-holding colony laws were passed forbidding Indians as well as free Negroes to assemble at night or to walk the streets after nine o'clock without a pass or a lawful excuse.
The many vessels which entered the ports of New England and of Rhode Island especially, opened up a path to liberty which the slaves were not slow to take; they were constantly running away and shipping on these vessels. The officers encouraged this, for they made splendid seamen, but the loss to the owners was so great that a law was passed forbidding the masters of vessels to ship them. Vermont and New Hampshire had always the smallest number of slaves.
The Quakers, or Friends, did much to help the slaves in Pennsylvania. "The first recorded protest of an American against slavery was written in 1688 by a Quaker, Francis Daniel Pastorius, adopted by the Germantown Friends and by them sent up to the monthly meeting at Philadelphia. Speaking of the slaves, Pastoria asks, 'Have not these Negroes as much right to fight for their freedom as you have to keep them slaves?' He believed the time would come--
'When from the gallery to the farthest seat,
Slave and slave owner should no longer meet,
But all sit equal at the master's feet.'"
In the colonies of Maryland, Delaware and Connecticut, conditions were much the same as those recited above. The colony of New Jersey was the only one in which the Negro
was tried by jury, the law also requiring the presence of three justices of the peace. though in Pennsylvania a negro charged with murder must be tried before six freeholders and two justices of the peace. Other humane laws were passed, but when New Jersey passed into the hands of the English, these laws were not regarded.
Slavery was encouraged in the Carolinas from the very beginning, but in 1690 an act more positive than any passed by the other colonies legalized salvery. A part of the act reads: "It shall be always presumed that every Negro, Indian, Mulatto and Mustizo is a slave unless the contrary can be made to appear, the Indians in amity with this government excepted, * * * Providing also, that nothing in this shall be construed to hinder or restrain any other court of law or equity in this province, from determining the property of slaves or their right of freedom." Until 1732 Georgia was included in the Carolinas.
Because of the rice industry, the number of slaves increased rapidly but their lot was an exceedingly hard one. "They were not allowed to go to other plantations on Sundays, fast days or holy days, even though they had written passes; they were not allowed to hire or buy a house or plantation; they could not own a horse, a boat or cattle." These oppressive laws became unbearable and many slaves ran away; those who were caught were beaten, branded with hot irons, suffered other cruel punishments and often were barbarously killed.
In most of the colonies in the early days education was neglected, the whites themselves as a rule having but little learning. In 1670, the government in England requested an account of education in the colony of Virginia and in his reply the governor, Sir William Berkeley, said: "I thank God there are no free schools nor printing and I hope we shall not have these hundred years; for learning has brought disobedience and heresy and sects into the world; and printing has divulged them, and libels against the best government. God keep us from both." You see, that though an English peer and a college-bred man the governor was really very ignorant as he
had not the first idea of the true value of a sound education. But an earnest desire for knowledge has always been characteristic of the Negro and the slaves in the colonies showed themselves so eager to learn and it so often happened that white friends were willing to teach them that in nearly every province, laws were passed forbidding any one to teach them even to read or write.
There is one thing which you must remember, dear children, that is that always, always in every country, the Negro has had staunch, true, courageous white friends, will always have them, nor can we do without them. There will ever be a larger or a smaller number who will firmly stand for righteousness, justice and truth. So let us ever appreciate, honor and be worthy of all our friends.
Throughout the colonies there were a number of slaves who had, in one way or another, gained freedom; in some cases they were set free by their masters, in others by making every spare moment count and often by working all night, they had earned enough money to buy themselves; sometimes their owners, dying, would leave them free. But freed Negroes were feared and distrusted by the whites and despised by the slaves, and many laws which worked to their discomfort were passed. In some colonies it became quite customary to free a slave or let him buy himself for a small sum when old age or ill health caused him to be no longer useful to his master. But you can see that such a practice was almost as cruel as slavery.
In the ancient cemetery at Concord, Mass., is the grave of a slave, born in the early part of the eighteenth century, over which is a headstone bearing the following:
"God wills us free, man wills us slaves.
I will as God wills, God's will, be done.
Here lies the body of
A native of Africa, who died
March, 1773, aged about sixty years.
Tho born in a land of slavery, he was born free,
Tho he lived in a land of liberty he lived a slave,
Till by his honest though stolen labors
He acquired the source of slavery
Which gave him his freedom;
Tho not long before
Death the grand tyrant
Gave him his final emancipation
And set him on a footing with kings.
Tho a slave to Vice (the vicious)
He practiced those virtues
without which kings are but slaves."
THE latter half of the eighteenth century is notable as showing the first unmistakable signs of the remarkable fitness of the Negro for modern civilization; during this
period also, began in England and America the organized persistent efforts of the friends of the slave who were usually called Abolitionists. During this time the colonies fought with England and became free and independent states, and in this war of the Revolution the Negro played, as we shall later see, a noble part.
You have heard that several slaves in Massachusetts entered suit for liberty against their masters. It was a woman who began it, Jenny Slew of Ipswich, Essex County, who sued the man who claimed to own her in September,1775. The case was at first decided against her, but she appealed to the Superior Court and won her freedom and four pounds, English money, besides. Think what a brave, determined woman Jenny Slew must have been! Following that, many slaves obtained freedom in like manner. After the colonies declared themselves independent, Massachusetts adopted a constitution in 1780, and again a woman, Elizabeth Freeman, led in suing for liberty under the new constitution. Mr. Sedgwick, who afterward became a United States senator, pleaded Elizabeth's case and won it, and this is said to have been the death blow of slavery in that colony. When the census of 1790 was taken there were no slaves in Massachusetts.
Before that time the Negroes of Massachusetts had addressed two strong and able petitions to the legislature, the first of which is as follows:
To His Excellency, Thomas Hutchinson, Esq., Governor:
"To the Honorable, His Majesty's Council, and to the Honorable House of Representatives in general court assembled at Boston, the 5th day of January, 1773:
The humble petition of many slaves living in the town of Boston and other towns in this province, is this namely--
That Your Excellency and Honors, and the Honorable the Representatives, would be pleased to take their unhappy state and condition under your wise and just consideration.
We desire to bless God, who loves mankind, who sent His Son to die for their salvation, and who is no respecter of persons, that he hath lately put it into the hearts of multitudes, on both sides of the water, to bear our burthens, some of whom are men of great note and influence, who have pleaded our cause with arguments, which we hope will have their weight with this Honorable Court.
We presume not to dictate to your Excellency and Honors, being willing to rest our cause on your humanity and justice, yet would beg leave to say a word or two on the subject.
Although some of the Negroes are vicious (who doubtless may be punished and restrained by the same laws which are in force against others of the king's subjects) there are many others of quite a different character, and who, if made free, would soon be able, as well as willing, to bear a part in the public charges. Many of them of good natural parts are discreet, sober, honest and industrious; and may it not be said of them that they are virtuous and religious, although their condition is, in itself, so unfriendly to religion and every moral virtue, except patience. How many of that number have there been and now are in this province, who had every day of their lives embittered with this most intolerable reflection, that, let their behavior be what it will, neither they nor their children, to all generations, shall ever be able to do or to possess and enjoy anything--no, not even life itself, but in a manner as the beasts that perish.
We have no property! We have no wives! We have no children! We have no city! No country! But we have a Father in heaven, and we are determined, as far as His grace shall enable us, and as far as our degraded condition and contemptuous life will admit, to keep all his commandments; especially will we be obedient to our masters, so long as God, in His sovereign Providence, shall suffer us to be holden in bondage.
It would be impudent, if not presumptuous, in us to suggest to your Excellency and Honors, any law or laws proper to be made in relation to our unhappy state, which although our greatest unhappiness is not our fault; and this gives us great encouragement to pray and hope for such relief as is consistent with your wisdom, justice and goodness.
We think ourselves very happy, that we may thus address the great and general court of this province, which great and
good court is to us the best judge under God of what is wise, just and good.
We humbly beg leave to add but this one thing more: we pray for such relief only, which by no possibility can ever be productive of the least wrong or injury to our masters, but to us will be as life from the dead."
A later petition is signed by Lancaster Hill, Brister Slenfen, Peter Bess, Prince Hall, Jack Pierpont, Nero Funelo and Newport Sumner. As the last three are recorded as making "their mark," the others were evidently able to write.
Prince Hall became famous as the founder of Freemasonry among the Negroes of America. Born in Barnadoes, West Indies, in 1748, he went, a youth of seventeen, to Boston and entered at once into the life of the community. He quickly learned to read and write and by the time he was twenty-five was a taxpayer and a voter.
In 1775 he applied for admission, and was initiated, into British Army Lodge, No. 58, and having induced fifteen other colored men to become initiated in the same lodge, Hall set up with these men the African Lodge, Number 459.
Speaking of Hall, a writer says: "He knew that virtue, temperance, charity, education, justice, honor and truth are necessary to make good citizens, which are the glory of any community. Prince Hall's foresight led him to believe that his race in North America, through the providence of God, would live as one people, free and untrammelled, as to education and rights of citizenship. He lived to see the doors of schoolhouses opened to colored people in 1796 in Massachusetts."
Until his death, in 1807, Hall was a leader among his people, and composed several petitions to the House of Representatives. As a preacher he was noted for his eloquence and his deep religious feeling.
The latter part of the eighteenth century also found the Negro with an acknowledged leader in the field of literature, and this leader was a woman--Phillis Wheatley. When but a
frail little girl, eight years of age, she was taken from home and friends in Africa and brought to this country; wrapped in a piece of soiled carpet she stood in the slave market of Boston, when Mrs. John Wheatley, who had gone to the market to buy a house maid saw the child. Liking the appearance of the little girl, Mrs. Wheatley bought her intending to train her to do housework, but the child seemed so intelligent that Mrs. Wheatley and her daughter made the experiment of teaching her to read and write, They were surprised and delighted with her aptness, for within eighteen months after she had landed in this country, the little girl whom they named Phillis could read well. Even the most difficult portions of the Bible, which was in those days, the great text-book of English-speaking peoples, was easily read by Phillis.
The Wheatley family was one of refinement and culture and by contact with them and their friends, the very best that was in Phillis was brought out. When she was twelve years of age she was able to write and converse with great ease and when she was seventeen her first poems were published in pamphlet form in Boston.
About this time also, in 1770, Phillis accepted the Christian religion and though there was a law which forbade the baptising of slaves, she was baptised in the Old South Meeting House. About three years later the Wheatleys set Phillis free, but she still made her home with them, for the family treated her as a beloved daughter and she returned their affection.
After obtaining a sound foundation in English, Phillis took up the study of Latin and did so well that her translations were favorably spoken of in London and her fame gained for her many English friends. She had never enjoyed robust health and when, shortly after she had been emancipated at the age of twenty, and her physician prescribed for her a sea voyage, she went to England, and "she carried London by storm." "Thoughtful people praised her, titled people dined her and the press extolled the name of Phillis Wheatley, the African
poetess," and in 1773 a little book of her poems was printed by a London publisher.
Mrs. Wheatley fell ill and longed to see Phillis whom she dearly loved, so Phillis came back to America, but Mrs. Wheatley lived but a short while afterward, and as her husband and her daughter soon followed her to the grave, Phillis was left alone in the world.
The fact that a slave straight from Africa was capable of being so thoroughly trained in mind, in manners and in morals had a great influence upon the thoughtful people of her time; it made many friends for the Negro and encouraged those who were already friendly.
Miss Wheatley was married to John Peters, a young man "of talents and information," who had read law and who owned a thriving grocery business in Court Street. But he was not kind to Phillis and her life with him was an unhappy one. In December, 1784, she died, "greatly beloved and sincerely mourned by all whose good fortune it had been to know her."
Benjamin Banneker, born near what is now Ellicott City, Maryland, was another great Negro of this period. His mother's father was an African prince, and her mother taught Ben to read the Bible and to learn many of its beautiful verses by heart. There was also in the neighborhood a private school and the teacher admitted Benjamin and several other colored children along with the whites. Benjamin cared more for knowledge than for play and made the most of his time in school. Leaving school, he went to live on his father's farm and was considered an ideal farmer, making the most of the soil and keeping his place neatly and in order. He read every book he could buy or borrow (books were scarce in his neighborhood in those days), being especially inclined to mechanics, mathematics and astronomy. In 1770, using a borrowed watch as a model, he made a large clock which struck the hours, kept perfect time and was the wonder of the neighborhood.
It is said to have been the first clock of its kind that was made in America.
In 1773 he made the acquaintance of Mr. George Ellicott, whose business firm had built a flour mill and opened a store not far from Banneker's home. As the post office was in this store, Benjamin went there quite often and in that way became acquainted with the farmers and gentlemen who lived in the surrounding country. His large stock of information and his modest bearing made him a great favorite and he exchanged with the learned men of the vicinity problems in mathematics which was a favorite pastime of the period.
Benjamin was given full access to the library of his friend, Mr. George Ellicott, and the latter encouraged and urged him to make the most of his abilities. Benjamin made great progress in astronomy, and at the suggestion of Mr. Ellicott he compiled an almanac for Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia and Maryland. In 1791 he sent a written copy of his Almanac to Thomas Jefferson, together with a long letter pleading for the Negro and begging that his own accomplishments, however humble, might be taken as a sign of what the Negro could do if given opportunity and encouragement. Mr. Jefferson's reply was most courteous, and he informed Banneker that he had sent the Almanac to scientific friends in Paris, as it deserved wide publication. This Almanac was in manuscript, but the next year Banneker had his Almanac printed and after that they appeared each year until his death.
Benjamin Banneker was invited to assist the men who laid out the boundaries of the District of Columbia, and his qualities of mind and modest, dignified deportment made a great impression upon the other surveyors. He died at his home in the year 1804, the most renowned and intelligent Negro of this time, honored by all who knew him in America and Europe.
Connecticut furnished a noted Negro to the closing days of the eighteenth century, in the person of Lemuel Haynes, who was born in Hartford in 1753. He was educated for the ministry
and was famous for his Biblical knowledge, his brilliant, eloquent sermons and his forceful arguments. About 1788, he made his home in Vermont where, as a preacher he was well known and very popular. In 1804 Haynes received from Middlebury College the honorary degree of A. M.
Other famous ministers of the period were Absalom Jones, who in 1792 founded in Philadelphia, St. Thomas Episcopal Church. This was the first colored church of that denomination in America, and Absalom remained its rector for about twenty years.
In New York City the Zion branch of the African Methodist Episcopal Church was organized by James Varick, William Miller, Abraham Thompson, and in Philadelphia, Richard Allen and his friends organized in an old blacksmith shop, the first church of the African Methodist Episcopal body.
John Cuffee, born in Africa, and sold as a slave in Massachusetts, stands out in bright colors for wealth, intelligence and progressiveness. "After he learned the English language, he turned his thoughts to freedom and in a few years, by working beyond the hours he devoted to his master, was enabled to buy himself."
By working and saving Cuffe was, in a few years, able to buy a farm of one hundred acres, near New Bedford, where his Christian character, his devotion to learning and his great business ability caused him to be respected by all. He was married to an Indian woman and one of their ten children was Captain Paul Cuffe of whom you have read in the talk on Sierra Leone.
In our day there are many distinguished Negro physicians, of whom we are justly proud. In the latter part of the eighteenth century there was but one in the whole country--Dr. James Derham. He was born a slave in Philadelphia in 1762 and his master taught him to read and write and to assist him in the making of medicines, for in those days doctors compounded themselves most of the medicines which they prescribed. Though the master was as kind as he knew how to
be, he did not free Derham, and the latter, upon the death of his owner, was sold to a surgeon in the 16th British Regiment.
The surgeon sold Derham at the close of the Revolutionary War to Dr. Robert Dove of New Orleans. Dr. Dove appreciated the ability of James and allowed him to buy his freedom in a short time. Dr. James Derham then opened an office of his own and gained a large practice. In 1789, when Derham was only 27 years old, a white physician of Philadelphia wrote a very complimentary article concerning him to a scientific journal of the period. Dr. Derham is said to have spoken the Spanish and French languages and to have been regarded as one of the most able physicians of his day in the city of New Orleans.
In 1770, the year in which Phillis Wheatley's poems were first published and Benjamin Banneker was making his clock, the Negro race gave to the cause of American freedom the first martyr--Crispus Attucks.
Trouble with England had been brewing for some years and the British soldiers in Boston and elsewhere treated the Americans with insult and contempt, while the governors of the Colonies, who were natives of England and appointed by the crown, sympathized with the soldiers.
Attucks, who twenty years before ran away from his master who lived in Framingham, had later come to Boston and had become intensely interested in the quarrel between England and America. On one occasion he addressed the following letter to Lieutenant-Governor Hutchinson:
"To Thomas Hutchinson,
Sir: You will hear from us with astonishment. You ought to hear from us with horror. You are chargeable before God and man, with our blood. The soldiers were but passive instruments, mere machines; neither moral nor voluntary agents in our destruction, more than the leaden pellets with which we were wounded. You were a free agent. You acted coolly, deliberately, with all that premeditated malice, not against us in particular, but against the people in general, which, in the sight
of the law, is an ingredient in the composition of murder. You will hear further from us hereafter.
There were several riots in the streets of Boston on Monday, March 5, 1770, between the citizens and the soldiers, the latter going from place to place trying to arouse the anger of the citizens. "Fresh, wet snow had fallen and frost had covered the streets with a coat of ice. The moon was in its first quarter and shed a pale light over the town, when at twilight, both citizens and soldiers began to assemble in the streets. By seven o'clock fully seven hundred persons, armed with clubs and other weapons were on King (now State) Street and, provoked by the insolence and brutality of the lawless soldiery, shouted: "Let us drive out the rascals! They have no business here; drive them out!" At the barracks on Brattle Street the soldiers rushed out, and leveling their muskets, threatened to make a lane paved with dead men through the crowd.
The excitement all over the city grew more and more intense and when a detachment of soldiers under Captain Preston, officer of the day, encountered a crowd of citizens near the Custom House the soldiers were pelted with snowballs and ice. Crispus Attucks, leader of the citizens, accused the soldiers of cowardice and urging the citizens to attack them, he rushed forward, seized one of the guns and was almost immediately shot. Samuel Gray and Jonas Caldwell were also killed, while Patrick Carr and Samuel Maverick were mortally wounded.
News of the tragedy spread over the town in a few minutes. It was now near midnight. There was a light in every house, for few besides children had retired on that fearful night in Boston. The alarm bells were rung; drums beat to arms. A cry went through the streets, "The soldiers are murdering the people. To arms! To arms! Turn out with your guns!" Preston also ordered his drums to beat to arms. But the colonel of the regiment and the lieutenant-governor promised the citizens that justice should be vindicated and order was restored.
As Attucks and Caldwell were without relatives in the city, their bodies were carried to Faneuil Hall, so justly called the "Cradle of Liberty," and from there they were buried. The hearses met those containing the bodies of Gray and Maverick in King Street, and from thence the procession moved in columns six deep with a long line of coaches, containing the first citizens of Boston. The obsequies were witnessed by a very large and respectful concourse of people. The bodies were deposited in one grave, over which a stone was placed bearing this inscription:
"Long as in Freedom's cause the wise contend,
Dear to your country shall your fame extend;
While to the world the lettered stone shall tell
Where Caldwell, Attucks, Gray and Maverick fell."
The murder of Crispus Attucks and his comrades was called the Boston Massacre. Although in those days there were neither steam cars, electric cars, telegraph nor telephone, the news of the massacre spread like wild-fire through the colonies. The feeling of indignation and resentment which the affair aroused did much to unite the people. A statesman of the period said, long afterward: "Not the battle of Lexington or Bunker Hill, nor the surrender of Burgoyne or Cornwallis, were more important events in American history than the battle of King Street, on the fifth of March, 1770. The death of four or five persons, the most obscure and inconsiderable that could have been found upon the continent, has never yet been forgiven in any part of America."
BESIDES the achievements noted in the foregoing chapter the Negro played a courageous and distinguished part in the War for American Independence. By this time there were many free Negroes in the colonies; besides those
NEGROES IN THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL.
who had been able to buy themselves and those who had obtained their liberty by other means, a number of men had been freed for brave conduct shown during the Indian and French wars. From the very beginning these men stood ready to fight with the Americans.
At the battle of Bunker Hill, when the English leader, Major Pitcairn, suddenly appeared before the American breastworks, calling upon the colonists to surrender and exclaiming to his followers, "The day is ours," for a few moments the Americans were dumbfounded and neither answered nor fired. "At
this critical moment a Negro soldier stepped forward, and aiming his musket directly at the major's bosom, blew him through," thus checking temporarily the advance of the British.
The Negro who so distinguished himself was Peter Salem, an ex-slave of Framingham, the place where Crispus Attucks had lived. Salem served for seven years in the Continental army and came out of the war unharmed. He received many honors during his life and died at Framingham in 1816.
Salem Poor was another who was known as a brave and gallant soldier. He fought in the battle of Bunker Hill and in other engagements and the officers under whom he served sent a petition concerning him to Congress in which they state that Salem Poor had "behaved in battle like an experienced officer, as well as an excellent soldier," and that "the reward due to so great and distinguished a character, we submit to Congress."
Not only the freedmen but the slaves were anxious to help the colonists, the latter feeling that if they loyally assisted their masters to throw off the British yoke there would be a chance of securing also their own freedom. But the Committee of Safety early decided that slaves should not be allowed to enlist, and any who had attached themselves to the army were ordered to be returned to their masters.
Many masters in the northern colonies offered to free their slaves, hoping thereby to strengthen the army. The southerners objected to that and the whole subject of allowing the Negro in the army was warmly debated, by the delegates from the northern and southern colonies. A committee which included Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Harrison and Thomas Lynch with the deputy governors of Connecticut and Rhode Island, met a committee of the Council of Massachusetts Bay and it was agreed "That the Negroes be rejected altogether."
Later General Washington advised that the free Negroes who had served faithfully in the army at Cambridge might reenlist therein, but no others. "The General was induced to take this action by a committee of freemen, headed by Prince
Hall, who went to headquarters and laid their case before the commander-in-chief."
While the Americans were divided as to allowing the Negro to enlist, the English were offering freedom to all who would join them, and in many colonies, especially in Virginia, South Carolina and New York, many slaves flocked to the British standard. General Washington saw that this would prove a serious blow to the cause of the Americans, especially in the south. To take the Negroes out of the field, from raising produce for the army and place them in front of patriots as opposing soldiers, he saw was a danger that should be averted. And so the matter was discussed backward and forward and decided first one way then another.
"In the south the dread in which the colonists held the Negro was equal to that with which they regarded the Indians. The incendiary torch, massacre, pillage and revolt were ever presenting to their minds a gloomy and disastrous picture. Their dreams at night, their thoughts by day, in the field and in the legislative hall, were how to keep the Negro down. If one should be seen in a village with a gun, a half score of white men would run and take it from him, while the women in the street would take shelter in the nearest house. The wrongs which they continued to practice upon him were a terror to them through their conscience, though then, as in later years, many, and particularly the leaders, endeavored to impress others with their feigned belief of the natural inferiority of the Negro to themselves. This doctrine served them, as the whistle did the boy in the woods; they talked in that way simply to keep their courage up and their conscience down."
Although the southerners, as a whole, opposed the enlistment of Negroes, there were among them wise and farseeing individuals who advocated it. Prominent among the latter were the Hon. Henry Laurens and his son, Col. John Laurens, of South Carolina. Colonel Laurens had acted as aid-de-camp to General Washington and his services in Rhode Island and elsewhere had given him a chance to correctly value the Negro as
a soldier. He spent much energy, time and thought in an endeavor to have the people of his native section agree to the enlistment of Negroes. Until his death he urged upon his southern countrymen the advisability of this step, but in vain.
Meantime, both north and south, Negroes were attaching themselves to the American army in various capacities, always earning the respect of their comrades. They realized, as you have read in the petition of the Boston Negroes, that the arguments, which led their masters to fight applied much more truly to themselves and they hoped by meritorious conduct to compel their owners to see as they did. "The Negro's ancestors were not slaves, so upon the altar of their hearts the fire of liberty was rekindled by the utterances of the white colonists."
The distressing condition of the American army at the close of the campaign of 1777, when it lay at Valley Forge and many soldiers for want of shoes walked barefoot on the frozen ground; few, if any, had blankets for the night, and great numbers sickened, caused the authorities to welcome strong and able-bodied men. Those who favored the enlistment of the Negro again began to plead for him. Before the close of the war many Negroes were enlisted in the companies of the southern colonies, but Rhode Island was the only colony which had an entire regiment of Negroes.
In Connecticut a Negro company was organized and David Humphreys, a gallant Negro, became the captain. Congress commissioned him as lieutenant colonel in November 1782 with the order that his commission should date from the 23rd of June 1780, when he received his appointment as aid-de-camp to the commander-in-chief. Colonel Humphreys served until the close of the war.
In Massachusetts and in some of the other northern colonies friends of the Negro insisted that there should be no separate companies, hoping in that way to overcome race prejudice, consequently there is but a fragmentary record of the deeds of Negro soldiers. Following are the names of some who gave praiseworhy service:
Ebenezer Hill was a slave at Stonington, Conn., who served throughout the war and who took part in the battles of Saratoga and Stillwater, and witnessed the surrender of Burgoyne.
Prince Whipple acted as bodyguard to General Whipple, one of Washington's aids. Prince is the Negro seen on horseback in the engraving of Washington crossing the Delaware, and again pulling the stroke oar in the boat in which Washington crossed. "Deborah Gannett, a Negro woman enlisted in the Fourth Massachusetts Regiment in disguise, under the name of Robert Shurtliff in 1782, and served a year and a half, for which the General Court paid her thirty-four pounds sterling in 1792."
"At the storming of Fort Griswold Major Montgomery was lifted upon the walls of the fort by his soldiers and called upon the Americans to surrender. John Freeman, a Negro soldier, with his pike, pinned him dead to the earth. Among the American soldiers who were massacred by the British soldiers, after the surrender of the fort were two Negro soldiers, Lambo Latham and Jordan Freeman.
"Quack Matrick, a Negro, fought through the Revolutionary War, as a soldier, for which he was pensioned. Also Jonathan Overtin, who was in the Battle of Yorktown. Simon Lee, of Virginia, and Major Jeffrey, of Tennesse, also rendered excellent service."
Following is an interesting account of an aged Negro patriot from the Burlington Gazette, written in the early nineteenth century: "The attention of many of our citizens has doubtless been arrested by the appearance of an old colored man who might have been seen sitting in front of his residence in east Union street respectfully raising his hat to those who might be passing by. His attenuated frame, his silvered head, his feeble movements, combine to prove that he is very aged, and yet comparatively few are aware that he is among the survivors of the gallant army who fought for the liberties of our country.
"On Monday last we stopped to speak to him, and ask how old he was. He asked the day of the month, and upon being
told that it was the 24th of May replied with trembling lips, 'I am very old; I am a hundred years old today.'
"His name is Oliver Cromwell, and he says that he was born at the Black Horse (now Columbus) in this county, in the family of John Hutchins. He enlisted in a company commanded by Captain Lowry, attached to the Second New Jersey Regiment, under the command of Col. Israel Shreve. He was at the battles of Trenton, Brandywine, Princeton, Monmouth and Yorktown, at which latter place he saw the last man killed. Although his faculties are failing, yet he relates many interesting reminiscences of the Revolution. He was with the army at the retreat of the Delaware, on the memorable crossing of the 25th of December, 1776, and relates the story of the battle on the succeeding day with enthusiasm. He gives the details of the march from Trenton to Princeton, and told us, with much humor that they 'knocked the British around lively' at the latter place."
"Cromwell was brought up with a farmer, having served his time with Thomas Hutchins. He was for six years and nine months under the immediate command of Washington, whom he loved affectionately. His discharge, at the close of the war was in Washington's own handwriting, of which he was very proud, often speaking of it. He received annually ninety-six dollars pension. His long life was an honorable one."
The census for 1775 gave the slave population as follows: Connecticut, 5,000; Delaware, 9,000; Georgia, 16,000; Maryland, 80,000; Massachusetts, 3,500; New Hampshire, 629; North Carolina, 75,000; New York, 15,000; New Jersey, 7,600; Pennsylvania, 10,000; Rhode Island, 4,373; South Caroline, 110,000; Virginia, 165,000. By the end of the eighteenth century, Massachusetts and Vermont had freed their slaves, but many of the other colonies had increased their holdings.
So that in spite of the distinguished services which Negro soldiers and sailors gave to their country, in spite of the expectations of the slaves and their friends, the close of the
war brought little relief; indeed many who had fought with great Bravery were returned to slavery, and the beginning of the nineteenth century found hope almost dead in the breast of slaves. Almost, but not entirely, for there have always been those among us whose faith and trust in God has never wavered and whose belief in the final triumph of justice and right has remained unshaken.
What is called the "Negro Problem" has occupied the time and thought of Americans from the very beginning of the existence of the United States. True patriots have never doubted what was best to do with the Negro--simply to treat him as
NEGRO SAILORS IN THE WAR OF 1812.
any other human being, to give him every opportunity and encouragement, and to demand of him strict obedience to the same laws which equally apply to other men. But, alas, how small a proportion of true patriots and statesmen has this country so far produced! How few who comprehend that naught but good can come to the individual or the nation that persistently deals justice and righteousness!
The convention of delegates which met in New York in May, 1787, and over which George Washington presided, agreed, after a heated debate, upon a compromise by which
the merchants of the northern states were to have the shipping privileges (they owned most of the ships) and the southern rice-planters were to have the privileges of importing slaves from Africa or elsewhere during a period of twenty years; all the colonies but North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia had previously passed laws against the importation of slaves.
At the close of the Revolutionary War, the people began to move from the older colonies and to spread out to the south and west. It was not long before the dwellers in the newly settled territory began to apply to Congress for admission into the Union. At once began the struggle between the Abolitionists and those who desired to perpetuate slavery; the former saw slavery to be a curse upon the land and people, the latter could think of nothing but the labor which they could wring from the slave and the wealth it would bring them.
Most of the New England and Middle States had passed laws for gradual emancipation and in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania the Quakers worked without ceasing for universal emancipation. In 1799, when Kentucky revised her constitution, Henry Clay, then a young man, made a brilliant speech in favor of gradual emancipation in the state, but in spite of his eloquence, the clause was not inserted. Up to 1802 Georgia included all the territory that is now Alabama and Mississippi; in April of that year, with the provisions that slavery should be allowed, Georgia ceded the territory and "Alabama and Mississippi became the most cruel slave states in the Union."
The following census for 1810 will show that though slavery had decreased in some parts of the Union it had greatly increased in other parts since 1775: District of Columbia, 5,395; Rhode Island, 108; Connecticut, 310; Pennsylvania, 795; Delaware, 4,177; New Jersey, 10,851; New York, 15,017; Louisiana, 34,660; Tennessee 44,535; Kentucky, 80,561; Georgia, 105,218; Maryland, 111,502; North Carolina, 168,824; South
Carolina, 196,365; Virginia, 392,518; Mississippi Territory, 17,088; Indiana Territory, 237; Louisiana Territory, 3,011; Illinois Territory, 168; Michigan Territory, 24.
When war was declared with Great Britain in 1812, Negroes offered themselves as soldiers, but at first few were accepted; it is said, however, that about one-tenth of the crews of the war vessels were Negroes, and that they fought bravely in all the battles on the Great Lakes. New York raised two colored regiments. After the British had captured Washington, burned the Capitol, President's house and many other public buildings and threatened Baltimore, an English fleet suddenly appeared outside New Orleans.
General Andrew Jackson, commander of the army of the southwest, issued a call for free Negroes as soldiers, in which he said: "Through a mistaken policy you have heretofore been deprived of a participation in the glorious struggle for national rights in which our country is engaged. This shall no longer exist. * * * As sons of freedom you are now called upon to defend our most inestimable blessing. As Americans, your country looks with confidence to her adopted children for a valorous support, as a faithful return for the advantages enjoyed under her mild and equitable government. As fathers, husbands, and brothers, you are summoned to rally around the standard of the eagle, to defend all which is dear in existence."
Of course the brave Negroes responded (five hundred of them) and were organized into two battalions. On December 18th, 1814, when General Jackson reviewed his forces, his address to the Negroes was as follows: "Soldiers, from the shores of Mobile I collected you to arms. I invited you to share in the perils and to divide the glory of your white countrymen. I expected much from you; for I was not uninformed of those qualities which must render you so formidable to an invading foe. I knew that you could endure hunger and thirst, and all the hardships of war, I knew that you loved the land of your nativity, and that, like ourselves, you had to defend
all that is most dear to man. But you surpass my hopes. I have found in you, united to these qualities, that noble enthusiasm which impels to great deeds.
"Soldiers, the President of the United States shall be informed of your conduct on the present occasion; and the voice of the Representatives of the American nation shall applaud your valor, as your general now praises your ardor. The enemy is near. His sails cover the lakes, but the brave are united, and if he finds us contending among ourselves, it will be for the prize of valor, and fame its noblest reward."
The Negroes behaved gallantly and the Black heroes of the battle of New Orleans were loudly applauded at home and abroad, but the noise of the slave marts soon silenced this praise and nowhere were the laws more rigidly enforced against the Negroes, both slave and free, than in Louisiana. Nor did gratitude affect the lot of the slave in any state where slavery existed.
It is said that about this time a gang of slaves were being driven through Washington on the Fourth of July. The city was gaily decorated, cannon were booming, drums beating and flags flying under shadow of the dome of the Capitol of this "mild and equitable" government. One of the men lifted his hands, loaded with irons, toward the flag and sang in bitter irony, "Hail Columbia! Happy Land."
The bravery of the Negro and the injustice and cruelty with which he was treated filled the hearts of humane white people with pity for him and with determination to help him. As you know, the Quakers or Friends have always been foremost among the lovers of justice and mercy. Though uniformly kind to their slaves when convinced of the wickedness of the system, they had freed their slaves by the hundreds and wherever possible had caused the passage of immediate or gradual emancipation laws.
Anthony Benezet was a Frenchman by birth, who had settled in Philadelphia and joined the Society of Friends. He
was a "reasoning, eloquent, learned and eager denouncer of slavery and the slave trade and published several works on the subject." He wrote to Queen Charlotte and interested her in the matter and also corresponded with Granville Sharpe and other members of the Abolition Society in England.
In 1750 he established in Philadelphia the first school for colored people in the state and "taught it himself, without money and without price." He said, "I can, with truth and sincerity, declare that I have found among the Negroes as great variety of talents as among a like number of whites, and I am bold to assert that the notion entertained by some that the blacks are inferior in their capacity is a vulgar prejudice, founded on the pride or ignorance of their lordly masters, who have kept their slaves at such a distance as to be unable to form a right judgment of them." In January, 1770, through his influence was appointed a special committee of Friends who sought to employ an instructor to teach (not more than thirty at one time) Negro children "in the first rudiments of school learning and in sewing and knitting." Benezet died May 3rd, 1784, greatly mourned, especially by the Negroes to whom he had proven so kind and true a friend.
Another Quaker, Benjamin Lundy, talked and wrote without ceasing against slavery; he traveled from place to place and as he journeyed, he preached his doctrine and distributed his paper, "The Genius of Universal Emancipation," which he had established in 1821. "He raised his voice against slave keeping in Virginia, Ohio, Tennessee, Maryland and the District of Columbia, and once he made a tour of the Free States, like another Apostle Paul, stirring up the love of the brethren for those who were in bonds, lecturing, obtaining subscribers for his paper, writing editorials, getting them printed where he could, stopping by the wayside to read his proof, and directing and mailing his papers at the nearest post office; then, packing up his column rules, type, heading and direction book, he would journey on, a lone, solitary Friend."
Lundy's paper reached the editorial desk of an enthusiastic young man away up in Bennington, Vermont. The latter was William Lloyd Garrison, who was publishing a paper called the Journal of the Times. He had been advocating the principles of Peace and Temperance, and to those he now added "an intense hatred for slavery." Garrison secured many names to a petition to Congress to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia, as that territory was, and is, under Congressional control.
Lundy was so pleased with Garrison's forceful writings and original methods, that he went to Bennington to see him. You can imagine how both enjoyed that conference, for up to that time the number of people who felt as they did were comparatively few. Garrison consented to go to Baltimore and edit the Genius of Universal Emancipation and Lundy was to sell the paper and attend to other details.
Garrison had not long been in Balitmore when he witnessed the shipping of a load of slaves for the New Orleans market. The heart-rending scenes, as husbands and wives, parents and children were torn from each other, probably to meet no more, made a deep impression upon the young editor. He published in his paper such a scathing article upon the subject that he was arrested for libel and thrown into prison, while a large sum was demanded as bail.
When finally released he came out of prison more than ever the unfaltering, implicable enemy to slavery. Before this the cause of Abolition had lacked leadership; it now found in Garrison a leader in every way fitted for the task. He determined to go to Boston, the birthplace of Liberty, and there he published his new paper, the Liberator. Speaking of his purpose, he said: "Let Southern oppressors tremble; let their secret abettors tremble; let all the enemies of the persecuted Black tremble." "I am aware that many object to the severity of my language, but is there not cause for severity?" "I am in earnest. I will not equivocate; I will not excuse; I will not retreat a single inch, AND I WILL BE HEARD."
"Oppression, I have seen thee face to face,
And met thy cruel eye and cloudy brow;
But thy soul-withering glance I fear not now--
For dread to prouder feelings doth give place,
To deep abhorence. Scorning the disgrace
Of slavish knees that at they footstool bow,
I also kneel--but with far other vow
Do hail thee and thy herd of hirelings base;
I swear while life blood warms my throbbing vein
Still to oppose and thwart, with heart and hand,
Thy brutalizing sway--till Afric's chains
Are burst, and Freedom rules the rescued land,
Trampling Oppression and his iron rod;
Such is the vow I take--so help me, God!"
William Lloyd Garrison kept his vow and lived to see the cruel system of slavery crushed to death and the oppressed Negro set free. Among the first subscribers to the Liberator was James Forten, a colored man of Philadelphia, who gave fifty dollars.
There is a long list of noble women and men who took active part in the Abolition movement; among them were: Wendell Phillips, Charles Sumner, Gerrit Smith, James G. Birney, Myron Hally, Beriah Greene, Samuel Green, Lewis and Arthur Tappan, John P. Hale, John G. Saxe, Owen Lovejoy, Benjamin Ward, Joshua R. Giddings, S. J. Chase, Jas. M. Fitch, Chas. G. Finney, W. A. Seward, Henry Ward Beecher, Lyman Beecher, Archbishop Hughes, Frederick Douglass. Charles L. Remond, Samuel Ringold Ward, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Geo. W. Curtis, Calvert E. Stowe, Sojourner Truth, Theodore Parker, Elizur Wright, Horace Bushnell, James Russell Lowell, Ralph Waldo Emerson, John G. Whittier, Henry W. Longfellow, William Cullen Bryant, Daniel Anthony, Susan B. Anthony, H. B. Stanton, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Gertrude Brown, Sarah E. Grimke, Angelina Grimke, Phoebe Hathaway, Horace Greeley, Ethan Allen, Arthur Allen, George F.
Seward, Edward and Samuel H. Blake, Frederick Seward, Jas. H. Wilson, Lucretia Mott and Professor Goldwin Smith. Of some of the Negroes who were prominent Abolitionists, you shall hear later.
While the Abolitionists were striving for emancipation, with tongue and pen, the lot of the slave became so unbearable in some places that some of them plotted to kill their masters and gain freedom in that way. It is very possible that they had heard of what had been accomplished in Haiti; at any rate, in 1800, a Negro named General Gabriel planned an uprising by which he hoped to take possession of the city of Richmond.
He expected to bring together eleven hundred men and they were to meet at a brook about six miles from the city, where the force was to be divided into three parts. The attack was to be made at night, "the right wing was to fall suddenly upon the penitentiary (which had been turned into all arsenal) and sieze the arms; the left wing was to capture the powder house and the two columns were to supply the third with arms. The third column was to divide and enter the town (which at the time had only about eight thousand inhabitants) from both ends, while the other two columns were to act as reserves."
The plan failed and the leaders were punished, but the effort caused a great commotion throughout the country and the insurrection was pointed out as one of the evil results of slavery.
In 1822, Denmark Vescy, Peter Poyas and others plotted for an uprising in Charleston, S. C. It is said that hundreds of Negroes were in the plot and that it extended for fifty miles around the city; the leaders made a point of enlisting no one who was talkative or intemperate, and house servants were not welcomed. It was through one of the latter, however, that the plan was betrayed and the leaders captured and executed. They died without revealing the details of their plan.
Nathaniel Turner was born in Southampton County, Virginia, October 2nd, 1800, just about one month after "General" Gabriel's plot was discovered. His father was a preacher and
his mother a very pious woman, who believed the Old Testament Scriptures would again be fulfilled in her day and that her little son was to be a prophet and a "Moses" for his people. She taught him to believe this, also, when he was very young and she urged him to prepare himself for his mission. Consequently Nat grew up with serious thoughts; he took no part in the social life of his acquaintances; it is said he never laughed, but whenever he could he would go off into the woods or the mountains where he could be alone. His grandmother also encouraged Nat in peculiar thoughts and actions and the name of Nat Turner was known to the Negroes for miles and miles around as that of a leader and prophet.
Finally, like Joan of Arc, Nat declared that he heard spirit voices which told him that the time had come to strike a blow for the freedom of his people. He summoned four men whom he could trust, and without weapons they started on the night of August 21st, 1831, to kill, with their own weapons, all the white people in the neighborhood. They succeeded in reaching nine plantations and killing fifty-one persons, when the alarm was sounded and companies of infantry and cavalry were soon on the scene.
The name of Nat's four friends were Hark Travers, Samuel Edwards, Henry Porter and Nelson Williams; on their way to the first plantation they were joined by a man named "Will," whose master had treated him with great cruelty and had sold his wife to the traders. Will armed himself with a sharp broad-ax and with it killed several people. When the militia arrived he would not surrender, but fought to the last and when dying asked that his ax be buried with him.
Nat, with one or two, escaped to the swamps, where they remained for more than two months. When he had surrendered and was brought to trial, he pleaded "Not guilty," and insisted to the last that God had called him to do what he did.
Mr. Gray, the white gentleman to whom Nat explained his visions and belief, said of him: "It has been said that he was ignorant and cowardly, and that his object was to murder and
rob, for the purpose of obtaining money to make his escape. It is notorious that he was never known to have a dollar in his life, to swear an oath, or to drink a drop of spirits. As to his ignorance, he certainly never had the advantages of education, but he can read and write, and for natural intelligence and quickness of apprehension, is surpassed by few men I have ever seen. As to his being a coward, his reason as given for not resisting Mr. Phipps shows the decision of his character. When he saw Mr. Phipps present his gun, he said he knew it was impossible for him to escape, as the woods were full of men; he therefore thought it was better for him to surrender and trust to fortune for his escape."
"He is a complete fanatic, or plays the part most admirably. On other subjects he possesses all uncommon share of intelligence, with a mind capable of attaining anything, but warped and perverted by the influence of early impressions. He is below the ordinary stature, though strong and active, having the true Negro face, every feature of which is strongly marked. I shall not attempt to describe the effect of his narrative, as told and commented upon by himself in the condemned hole of the prison; the calm, deliberate composure with which he of his late deeds and intentions; the expression of his fiend-like face, when excited by enthusiasm; still bearing the stains of the blood of helpless innocence about him, clothed with rags and covered with chains, yet daring to raise his manacled hands to Heaven with a spirit soaring above the attributes of man. I looked on him and the blood curdled in my veins."
Nat Turner was tried and sentenced to be hanged, and the sentence was carried out at Jerusalem, Southampton County, 1831.
As you have heard, whenever a territory applied to Congress for admission into the Union as a state the question as to whether the state should be a free or a slave state always brought on an earnest discussion. When Missouri applied the
question was voted up and voted down in the House and Senate for nearly three years. Finally, it was agreed that Missouri should be admitted as a slave state, but that all lands lying north of latitude 36 degrees, 30 minutes should be forever free and this agreement was known as the Missouri Compromise. Remember this for you will hear more of it later.
Many earnest people thought that to send the Negro back to Africa was the best way to solve the problem, and so the American Colonization Society was formed with branches in many states. A number of slave holders freed their slaves that they might return to their native land. You have already heard something of the work of the Colonization Society in Liberia.
What was called the Underground Railroad was not run under the ground nor was it a railroad. It was the name given to the friends, both colored and white, of the Negro, whose homes formed a chain of stopping places or "stations" between the slave states and Canada where slavery did not exist.
A large volume has been written of the exciting events and the hairbreadth escapes which they experienced who sought freedom through the Underground Railroad. A large number of the members of the U. G. R. R. were Quakers, and all who took part in it were people of great kindness and compassion, intelligence and ingenuity. Sometimes men slaves were disguised as women, sometimes women disguised as men; persons of fair complexion passed themselves off as the owners of the darker skinned runaways; some with the help of friends, were nailed up in boxes and sent as freight, and the whole story of the U. G. R. R. showed how many and how good were the white friends of the Negro during this period.
We have had in this chapter a sketch of what was done for and against the Negro in the first half of the nineteenth century; in the next chapter we shall hear of what the Negro did for himself during the same space of time.
AT THIS period (1800-50) the Negroes were beginning to better understand the benefits of united action, and their white friends gave them all possible support and encouragement.
BISHOP RICHARD ALLEN
Founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church
A number of Philadelphia Negroes presented, in 1800, through Mr. Waln, the delegate, a petition to Congress calling attention to the unlawful dealing in slaves which was going on between several American ports and Guinea, and stating that a number of freedmen had been kidnapped and
sold into slavery. The southern delegates were very indignant that such a petition should have been presented. However, the petition was finally referred to a committee which brought in a bill forbidding American vessels to carry slaves from this country to foreign markets.
The Negroes of Philadelphia were thoughtful and progressive and in 1817, they held a local convention to protest against the plans of the American Colonization Society. In 1830 Rev. Richard Allen, Junius C. Morel, James C. Cornish, Cyrus Black, and Benjamin Pascal requested the free people in the several states to send delegates to a meeting called for September 20, 1830. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss ways and means for the establishment of a colony in upper Canada. The delegates met and recommended that a parent society be formed with branches in different towns and money be raised to buy a tract of land for the proposed colony. Agents were sent to Canada to see if the plan would be advisable. Some of the States had already passed laws forcing the free Negroes to leave and many of these exiles had made their home in Canada.
Consequently what was called the "First Annual Convention of the People of Color" met in Philadelphia, June 6-11, 1831, in the Wesleyan Church on Lombard street. The delegates were as follows: Philadelphia, John Bowers, Dr. Belfast Burton, James Cornish, Junius C. Morel, William Whipper. New York, Rev. William Miller, Henry Sipkins, Thomas L. Jennings, William Hamilton, James Pennington; Maryland, Rev. Abner Coker, Robert Cowley; Delaware, Abraham D. Shad, Robert Cowley; Virginia, William Duncan. The officers chosen were: President, John Bowers; vice presidents, Abraham D. Shad, William Duncan; secretary, William Whipper; assistant secretary, Thomas L. Jennings. The stated purpose of the meeting was to discuss the general condition of free Negroes.
A committee made a report in which those who were engaged in the Canadian settlement were praised and urged to continue
the work; and among other things, the virtues of education, temperance and economy were recommended to the race. "The convention attracted public attention on account of the intelligence, order and excellent judgment which prevailed. It deeply touched the young white men who had, but a few months previous, enlisted under the broad banner William Lloyd Garrison had given to the breeze."
"The Rev. S. S. Jocelyn, of New Haven, Conn.; Arthur Tappan, of New York; Benjamin Lundy, of Washington, D. C.; William Lloyd Garrison, of Boston, Mass.; Thomas Shipley and Charles Pierce, of Philadelphia, visited the convention, and were cordially received." Messrs. Jocelyn, Tappan and Garrison made stirring addresses and especially urged the establishment of a college for the education of colored youth. A committee appointed to consider the matter reported as follows: "The plan proposed is that a college be established at New Haven, Conn., as soon as $20,000 are obtained and to be on the manual labor system, by which, in connection with a scientific education, they may also obtain a useful mechanical or agricultural profession; and (they further report having received information) that a benevolent individual has offered to subscribe one thousand dollars toward this object, provided that a farther sum of nineteen thousand dollars can be obtained in one year."
The report of the committee was received and adopted, a soliciting agent and a treasurer appointed and committees appointed in several cities. You can see that for a long time the subject of manual training has engaged the attention of thoughtful people. But the people of Connecticut showed themselves very unfriendly to Negro schools as we shall presently see, and the idea of the college in that State was given up. Nearly every year during this period, conventions of colored men were held and the delegates represented the intelligence, the culture and the learning of the race in the United States.
In the town of Canterbury, Conn., a select school for young
ladies was established in the summer of 1832 by Miss Prudence Crandall, a Quaker lady. It was intended to give instruction in the higher branches of learning. Not long after the school opened, Sarah Harris, a colored girl seventeen years old, whose father was a well-to-do farmer applied for admission to the school. She stated that she had finished the highest grade in the village schools and wanted to increase her knowledge so as to teach among her own people.
Miss Crandall admitted Sarah and for a few days all went well, for many of the other girls had known Sarah in the village school and liked her. But after a time some of the parents called on Miss Crandall and objected to a Negro girl attending a private school with their children, no matter how good she was nor high and unselfish her aim. But Miss Crandall was firm and when the white parents withdrew their children she advertised to teach colored girls.
The angry parents called a town meeting to discuss the matter and a set of resolutions were drawn up protesting against the founding of a colored school in their neighborhood. Nevertheless Miss Crandall received into her school in April, 1833, about twenty young colored girls from Boston, Providence, New York, Philadelphia; but the storekeepers refused to serve Miss Crandall and her pupils; the latter met with insult, contempt and abuse in the streets, the well and the doorsteps of the house were filled with refuse and a number of other petty meannesses were practiced, but Miss Crandall and the girls remained firm.
The right-thinking people of the neighborhood came to Miss Crandall's suport, among them being the Rev. Samuel May, Mr. Arnold Buffom, Mr. George Benson and others. But a man named Judson, a citizen of Canterbury, and a leading politician of the State, was bitterly opposed to the school and he so exerted his influence that a law was passed forbidding the founding of Negro schools anywhere in the State. This law, which was called a "black law," reads in part as follows:
"Be it enacted that no person shall set up or establish in this
State any school, academy or other literary institution for the instruction or education of colored persons, who are not inhabitants of this State, or harbor or board, for the purpose of attending or being taught in any such school, academy or literary institution, any colored person who is not an inhabitant of any town in this State, without the consent in writing, first obtained, of a majority of the civil authority, and also of the selectmen of the town in which the school, etc., is situated." The reason for the law was that the whites did not wish the colored population to increase and a fine was attached in case the law was violated. The law was passed May 24, 1833.
When the news reached Canterbury that the law had passed, the people were wild with joy, bells were rung, cannon fired as if a great battle had been won, a battle with a whole state on one side and a little Quaker teacher and twenty children on the other. Miss Crandall went on with her teaching until the latter part of June, when she was arrested and after a brief hearing she was committed until the next session of the Supreme Court of the State, in August.
Her enemies, knowing that to put her in jail would weaken their cause with good people, hoped that her friends would not allow her to go to jail; but they hoped in vain for she was taken to jail and placed in a cell where a murdered had been kept. The news of this outrage spread throughout the north and made many friends for Miss Crandall and her school. Next day bond was given for Miss Crandall, but nothing could undo the treatment she had received; she was brought to trial August 23, 1833, and as the jury could not agree, she was again tried in October, when the verdict was against her. Her counsel appealed to the Court of Errors, but the case was finally dropped.
A short time afterward Miss Crandall's house was set afire, and though this did not cause her to close the school, when the building was again attacked by a mob one night in September and the doors and windows broken in, it was thought best for the pupil's safety to give up the effort. Said Mr. May, who
at Miss Crandall's request dismissed the school, "Twenty harmless, well-behaved girls, whose only offense against the peace of the community was that they had come together there to obtain useful knowledge and moral culture, were to be told that they had better go away, because, forsooth, the house in which they dwelt, would not be protected by the guardians of the town. The words almost blistered my lips."
Miss Crandall's school was closed but efforts to educate the Negro were made in other States, though the laws of the several States differed widely. In some States the teaching of Negroes was strictly prohibited, among these were Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi, Missouri, Indiana, South Carolina, and Virginia. In other States, while education was not prohibited by law, it was by custom, while still other States tolerated efforts to enlighten the Negro. Those latter, of course, were the States where the white people were most enlightened.
You have read of the splendid work of Benezet in Philadelphia. The first school for Negroes in New York, was also started by a native of France, Elias Neau, in 1704. In his home he had embraced the Protestant faith, and being exiled, took up his abode in New York. His heart was touched by the condition of the Negroes, and, at first, he taught them by going from house to house after his day's work was done. Later, he was given permission to have them meet at his home in the evenings and in 1708, the average attendance was two hundred which shows how his work was appreciated. Besides reading, writing and arithmetic, he taught his pupils the truths of the Bible and many became communicants of Trinity P. E. Church, while the Rev. William Vesey was rector. In spite of many hindrances, Elias Neau continued his work until 1722, "when amid the unaffected sorrow of his Negro scholars and the friends who honored him for their sake, he was removed by death." The school had several teachers, chiefly assistant rectors of Trinity, who kept the good work alive, year after year.
In 1786, a school was opened in Cliff street and in 1791, a woman was engaged to teach the girls needlework. This school had many trials and in 1815, the schoolhouse having been burned down, a substantial brick building was erected in William street and opened for colored pupils. The number of pupils grew so rapidly that, in 1820, another school was opened on Mulberry street, which accommodated five hundred children.
General Lafayette visited this school in 1824, and Master James M. Smith, one of the pupils, aged eleven years, came forward and made the following speech:
"General Lafayette: In behalf of myself and fellow-schoolmates may I be permitted to express our sincere and respectful gratitude to you for the condescension you have manifested this day in visiting this institution, which is one of the noblest specimens of New York philanthrophy. Here, sir, you behold hundreds of the poor children of Africa sharing with those of a lighter hue in the blessings of education; and while it will be our pleasure to remember the great deeds you have done for America, it will be our delight, also, to cherish the memory of General Lafayette as a friend of African emancipation, and as a member of this institution."
In 1836, Mr. John Peterson, colored, was appointed principal of Colorado Grammar School No. 1, and Mr. R. F. Wake, also colored, principal of School No. 2. These gentlemen served with great success and when in 1853, the Board of Education established a colored normal school, Mr. Peterson was appointed principal of it.
Some of the educated and cultured colored men of New York were: "Dr. Henry Highland Barnett, Dr. Charles B. Ray and the Rev. Peter Williams in the pulpit; Charles L. Reason and William Peterson as teachers; James McCune Smith and Philip A. White as physicians and chemists; James Williams and Jacob Day among business men." Rev. Dr. Alex Crummell was ordained priest in the Protestant Episcopal Church in 1884. In 1852 he graduated from the University of Cambridge, England. After fifty years as a minister he retired
from active service. Peter Ogden founded the G. U. O. O. F. during this period.
As you know, the women of our race have from the beginning taken part in every movement which has sought to uplift, so when the Anti-Slavery Women of America met in New York in May, 1837, colored women were of the number. Mary S. Parker was chosen president of the convention, Angelina E. Grimke, secretary, and Sarah Douglas, a colored woman, was a member of the central committee. The convention sent out a circular telling of its object and plans and Sarah Forten, a colored member, composed the poem with which the circular ended. It reads as follows:
"We are thy sisters. God has truly said
That of one blood the nations He has made.
O Christian woman in a Christian land,
Canst thou unblushing read this great command?
Suffer the wrongs which wring our inmost heart,
To draw one throb of pity on thy part?
Our skins may differ, but from thee we claim
A sister's privilege and a sister's name."
In Ohio, the first schools for Negroes were opened in 1820, through the efforts of colored men of Cincinnati, foremost among whom was Owen T. B. Nickens. Other schools were opened later and were supported by a white educational society assisted by Negroes of means, Dennis Hill, William O'Hara, John Woodson, Baker Jones, John Liverpool and Joseph Fowler being among the latter.
In 1833, Oberlin College was opened and from the first Negro students were well received. Some of the earlier graduates were William Howard Day, John Mercer Langston and George B. Vashon.
The Cincinnati High School for colored pupils was established in 1844 by a cultured and wealthy white gentleman, the Rev. Hiram S. Gilmore, and in 1850, public schools for colored children were opened. On account of some defect in the law,
these schools were closed after three months, and the teachers went unpaid.
A mass meeting of the colored people was called by John I. Gaines, a brave and intelligent Negro, and the people were urged to take their case to the courts; they did so and, after an appeal to the Supreme Court, won their case. But there was dissatisfaction and friction with regard to the management of the schools until 1856, when the law was altered and the colored people were given the right to elect their own trustees, by ballot. Two years later, Nicholas Longworth built a schoolhouse for the use of colored people and leased it to them on condition that they pay for it in fourteen years.
One of the pupils of the Cincinnati schools was Moses Dickson. He was born in that city in 1824, and when he was fourteen years old, his mother died; as his father had died some years before, he was forced to help support himself. He learned to be a barber while still going to school and when he was sixteen, he went to work on a steamboat. For three years he followed this occupation, and as he was a very observant young man, the condition of his people throughout the slave States made a great impression on him, and at length he resolved to find a way to help them.
In the early part of 1844, when only twenty years old, he called together at St. Louis, eleven other earnest young men and they decided to organize and form a plan to help the slaves. They knew that a thing of that kind should be arranged thoroughly and secretly, so they separated to meet again in two years from that time. Meanwhile each was to travel, hear and see as much as possible, so as to be able to make wise and helpful suggestions. Free Negroes traveling in this country, at that time, especially in the slave States, ran many risks. They might be captured and sold as slaves, if a white person attacked or beat them, they had no redress, and if they were killed little would be said about it.
But these young men were brave, fearless and determined. Dickson made a trip through Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, and
other States and on August 12, 1846, the twelve friends met again in St. Louis. They called themselves the Knights of Liberty, and, after talking over what they had learned, each one went out as an organizer to form societies wherever he could. They did not mean to spring their plan for ten years, but during that time they were to make the separate bodies as many and as strong as possible. While doing this, they worked with the Underground Railroad and helped thousands of slaves to gain freedom.
When the ten years were over, it could readily be seen that the state of the public mind was such that all the slaves would soon be free, and the Knights of Liberty did not attempt to put their plans into action. A remarkable thing about the organization was that for years no outsider knew of its existence, nor the names of the twelve founders, and the full extent of work and final plans of the Knights were never made known.
After the civil war Dickson, who had been a soldier, and had also become a licensed preacher of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, founded a beneficial order in memory of the Twelve Knights, which he called the Order of Twelve of the Knights and Daughters of Tabor, "which has for its object the encouragement of Christianity, education, morality and temperance among the colored people." The Order is said to have, at present, more than sixty-five thousand members.
In Pennsylvania, the education of Negroes was greatly assisted by the bequest of Benezet. In 1787, with the aid of five hundred pounds sterling from Thomas Shirley, a colored man, a schoolhouse was erected. In 1819, a committee of women Friends, to have charge of the admission and general superintendence of girls, was added to the board which had charge of the school.
Other buildings were erected, and in 1849, statistics showed that "there was one grammar school, with 463 pupils, two public schools with 339 pupils, an infant school under charge of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, with 70 pupils, a ragged school and a moral-reform school with 81 pupils. There were
about twenty private schools with 300 pupils, making an aggregate of more than 1,300 children receiving an education."
Richard Humphreys, who died in 1832, provided, by his will ten thousand dollars for the establishment of an Institute for Colored Youth in Philadelphia, and in 1837, the school was opened. By the terms of the will, the money was placed in charge of trustees who were to pay it over to any society that would undertake the work. An association was formed by thirty Quakers, for the purpose and they stated their ideas as follows: "We believe that the most successful method of elevating the moral and intellectual character of the descendants of Africa, as well as of improving their social condition, is to extend to them the benefits of a good education, and to instruct them in the knowledge of some useful trade or business, whereby they may be enabled to obtain a comfortable livelihood by their industry; and though these means to prepare them for fulfilling the various duties of domestic and social life with reputation and fidelity, as good citizens and pious men."
In 1839, the trustees purchased a farm in Bristol township and boys were taught farming, shoemaking, wheelwrighting, blacksmithing, etc. Several legacies, including one from Jonathan Zane, were added to the school funds and the work flourished for about seven years, when it came to a standstill and the farm was sold. In 1852, the work was again started in the city of Philadelphia, under the management of Charles L. Reason, a young colored man of New York, who was well educated and had an especial fitness for this work. A girls' school was started under the same management, and "many worthy and competent teachers and leaders of the Negro race came forth from these schools."
In 1835 the African Methodist Episcopal Church issued the first copy of the Christian Recorder. Among the leading colored men of Philadelphia were William Whipper, Stephen Smith, Robert Purvis, William Still, Frederick Hinton and Joseph Cassey.
The three pioneer Negro educators of the District of Columbia knew not one letter of the alphabet, but, with the respect for knowledge which characterizes the Negro, they planted that others might reap. George Bell, Nicholas Franklin and Moses Liverpool were the names of these lovers of their race, and in 1807, they had built the first schoolhouse for colored children and hired a teacher. But there were, at that time, only 494 free Negroes in the city and it was not an easy thing for them to support a school, so it was closed for a while.
In 1818, an announcement that the Resolute Beneficial Society would open "a school for the children of free people of color, and others that ladies and gentlemen may think proper to be instructed in reading, writing, arithmetic, English grammar, etc., was published in the National Intelligencer." The advertisement was signed by William Costin, George Hicks, James Harris, George Bell, Archibald Johnson, Fred Lewis, Isaac Johnson and Scipio Beens.
A number of schools for colored children were afterward opened in Washington, by both white and colored people. John Adams was the first Negro teacher. Others were Mrs. Anne Maria Hall, John W. Prout, Lindsay Muse, John Brown, Benjamin McCoy, Charlotte Norris, Sibby McCoy, John F. Cook, Catherine Costin, George F. T. Cook, Louise Park Costin, Martha Costin, James Enoch Ambush, Maria Becraft, Mary Wormley, Nancy Grant, Fanny Hampton, Dr. John N. Fleet, Charles H. Middleton, Alexander Cornish, Eliza Anne Cook, Annie Washington, Elizabeth Smith, Isabella Briscoe, Charlotte Beans, Rev. James Shorter. A large number of pupils were trained under these teachers, many of whom have proven an honor to themselves and to the race.
Primus Hall, an intelligent colored man of Boston, opened in his home in 1798, the first separate school for Negro children, and the teacher, Elisha Sylvester, was paid by the parents of the children. "In 1800, sixty-six colored citizens of Boston presented a petition to the school committee, praying that a school might be established for their benefit," but the town
meeting refused to grant it. In 1806 the colored Baptists arranged for a school room in the basement of their church in Belknap street and the school was removed from Mr. Hall's house to the church.
Abiel Smith left a sum of money to build a schoolhouse for Negro children and in 1835 this building, which was called the Smith schoolhouse, was erected. Interesting exercises marked the opening of the school and the address of the occasion was made by Hon. William Minot. The city made an annual appropriation of two hundred dollars and the parents paid twelve and a half cents per week for each child who attended. Among those who taught this school was John B. Russwurm.
From 1820 to 1855 the colored children of Boston attended separate public schools, but in the latter year a law was passed by the Legislature which forbade any distinction being made between the children "on account of race, color or religious opinion."
John Brown Russwurm, the teacher just mentioned, graduated from Bowdoin College in Maine in 1826, and was the first of his race in America to be so honored. It was through the goodness of his stepmother that he was supported and encouraged, and his career at college justified her kindness. For a short while he had charge of Freedom's Journal, an Abolition paper published in New York; but in 1829 he went to Liberia as superintendent of public schools. After holding other public positions there he was appointed Governor of the Maryland colony at Cape Palmas, which place he held until his death in 1851. Governor Russwurm has been described as follows:
"He was a man of erect and more than ordinary stature, with a good head and face and large keen eye. Of sound intellect, a great reader, with a special fondness for history and politics. Naturally sagacious in regard to men and things, a man of strict integrity, a good husband, father and friend, and in later life a devoted member of the Protestant Episcopal Church."
Other prominent Negroes of Boston were "among its clergymen, Leonard Grimes and John T. Raymond; among its lawyers, Robert Morris and E. G. Walker; among its business men, J. B. Smith and Coffin Pitts; among its physicians, John R. Rock and John V. DeGrasse; among its authors, William W. Brown and William C. Nell; among its orators, Remond and Hilton." During this period Alexander Pouskin, the celebrated Russian writer of prose and poetry, and Alexander Dumas, the famous French novelist, both of negro descent, came into public notice.
In Baltimore, the Oblate Sisters of Providence, colored women who were refugees from San Domingo, opened St. Francis Academy for colored girls in 1829. For about twelve years before that time there had been schools also supported by the Catholics.
In 1835, a colored man named William Wells opened a free school for colored pupils, and upon his death left the sum of seven thousand dollars for the support of the work. The Wells school rendered good service to the race and community.
A distinguished Marylander of this period was Ira Aldridge, who was born in Belaire, in 1810. When quite a young man he served as valet for Wallack, the actor and theatrical manager. In this way he came into contact with the theatrical world, and felt himself capable of becoming an actor. Edmund Kean recognized his ability and encouraged him, and Aldridge went to England where he appeared in several plays. As Aaron, the Moor, in Titus Adronicus, he created a sensation, and he was also very successful in his interpretation of Shakespearian plays, appearing as Othello in Covent Garden in 1833. At the time of his death in 1867, he was considered the greatest Othello. Aldridge was highly esteemed and greatly honored by the crowned heads of Europe, receiving from them many medals and other decorations. Sir Ira owned nine villas in different parts of Europe and was said to have been worth more than $250,000.
Perhaps the most distinguished son of Maryland was Frederick Douglass, of who we shall hear in the next chapter.
THE life of Frederick Douglass reads like a romance, at times almost tragic in its development. Born on the forsaken Eastern Shore of Maryland, the exact date of his
birth unknown to him, born a slave and suffering all which that condition entailed in the first quarter of the nineteenth
century, he lived to gain the respect of the whole enlightened world and the admiration and friendship of rulers of the earth.
His mother, having nothing else to bestow upon him, started him off in life with the resounding cognomen of Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey. This name his companions soon shortened to "Gus Bailey," and by the latter title he was known for some years. While still very young, he was separated from his mother, and his earliest recollections of her were that she would often steal from the plantation where she worked, miles away, and would come to see him in the middle of the night.
Long after the Civil War, Mr. Douglass once told the following story of his life to the pupils of a colored school in Talbot County, Maryland, the county in which he was born: "I once knew a little colored boy whose father and mother died when he was six years old. He was a slave and had no one to care for him. He slept on a dirt floor in a hovel and in cold weather would crawl into a meal bag, headforemost, and leave his feet in the ashes to keep them warm. Often he would roast an ear of corn and eat it to satisfy his hunger, and many times has he crawled under the barn or stable. and secured eggs, which he would roast in the fire and eat.
"This boy did not wear pants like you do, but a tow linen shirt. Schools were unknown to him, and he learned to spell from an old Webster's spelling book, and to read and write from posters on cellars and barn doors, while boys and men would help him. He would then preach and speak, and soon became well known. He finally held several high positions and accumulated some wealth. He wore broadcloath and did not have to divide crumbs with the dogs under the table. That boy was Frederick Douglass.
"What was possible for me is possible for you. Do not think because you are colored you cannot accomplish anything. Strive earnestly to add to your knowledge. So long as you remain in ignorance, so long will you fail to command the respect of your fellow men."
At an early age Frederick Douglass was taken to Baltimore where he lived with members of the Auld family, his owners, When about sixteen years old, he was sent to work with other slaves on the farm of Edward Covey, and it was here that he made his first resistance against the system of slavery by overpowering an overseer who attempted to whip him. The attempt was not made again. After an unsuccessful attempt to escape in 1836, he was caught and sent to Baltimore. But his mind was made up to flee from slavery and after a while he escaped to New York and later to New Bedford, Mass. By this time he had learned to read and write, and above all, to think. In New Bedford he changed his name to Frederick Douglass and here also he was wed to Miss Anna Murray, a free woman, who bore him several children.
In 1839, Edwin Thompson, a noted Abolitionist, traveled through Massachusetts making speeches in the anti-slavery cause. Mr. Douglass was present at one of these meetings held in New Bedford, and some years afterward said that it was Thompson who waked him up on the subject and by quoting some of Whittier's poems, inspired him and made him feel, indeed, a new man. In 1841, Mr. Douglass was, after much begging and persuading, induced to relate to the congregation of the Rev. Thomas James--himself an ex-slave--the story of his experiences in slavery.
This was his first public talk, and though his audience was small and humble, it is said that he was very nervous and ill at ease. This man who was destined to stir the world by his oratory, was at first overcome by timidity at the thought of addressing an audience of his own people. But once started and brought to realize his possession of the divine gift, he went on from triumph to triumph.
Like water seeking its level, he made one acquaintance after another among the enlightened, broadminded, cultured people of Massachusetts; for people of that caliber were the only ones who were capable of appreciating him. He consorted
with the noble company who were working for the overthrow of slavery--Wendell Phillips, William Lloyd Garrison, Owen Lovejoy and many others; and since he realized that the love of freedom is not bounded by sex, he threw his support also to the cause of equal suffrage, and was the friend of such noble women as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Sojourner Truth, the Grimke sisters, Susan B. Anthony and a host of others.
It is interesting to note that about this time, the "Jim Crow" car law was in full force in Massachusetts and colored persons were forced to travel in a rough car with hard seats, much as in the case in the Southern States today. Those who protested against this and entered other cars, were thrown off bodily. It is related that Mr. Douglass was frequently thrown from the cars and that on one occasion in Lynn, four seats were broken in trying to get him out, as he would not help himself out. And this reminds me of an incident told of Mr. Douglass and the Jim Crow cars of the South.
It is said that on a certain occasion, he had an engagement to lecture in a southern city and toward the end of his journey was compelled to use the section reserved for colored people, which in this case was an end of a freight car. This, it will easily be understood, was particularly obnoxious and when the delegation which went to meet him saw him in such surroundings they began to apologize that coming to them had caused him to be so humiliated and degraded. Drawing himself up to his full height, the grand old mail replied, "Gentlemen, by ignoble actions I may degrade myself, but nothing and no man can degrade Frederick Douglass." Those words should never be forgotten, for the lesson they teach is worthy of imitation by all. Be master of your soul, do nothing that is ignoble and whenever an attempt is made to embarass or humiliate you, you will be able to treat it with the contempt which it deserves.
In 1845 Mr. Douglass went to Europe to lecture on slavery; on the trip over he was not allowed a first cabin berth. As the ship neared her journey's end, the captain gave to the first
cabin passengers a complimentary dinner, after which some of the passengers knowing of Douglass' presence on board, desired to hear him speak. As soon as he began a great uproar was started by those who at heart were slaveholders, and there were loud cries of "Kill him," "Throw him overboard," and for a time he was in great danger. The captain, however, took his part, and invited those who did not wish to hear Douglass to leave the dining saloon, threatening that if the speaker was again interrupted, every one of the disturbers should be put in irons. Douglass then went on and delivered one of his most telling speeches.
Upon his arrival in England his lectures upon slavery were delivered to large audiences and won for himself and for his causes many friends. A purse of $750 was made up by his English friends to purchase his liberty, and he returned to this country a free man.
In 1847 he began the publication of a newspaper, "The North Star," in Rochester, N. Y., and the paper was widely read by lovers of liberty. While living in Rochester, his little daughter, Rosetta, applied for admission to the public schools, but was denied admission on account of color. Mr. Douglass at once began to fight the silly prejudice and did not rest until "every door of the public schools of Rochester not only swung wide open to the admission of his own children, but to every child of every race."
Mr. Douglass had become an intimate friend of John Brown and in 1859 a despatch was sent to the sheriff of Philadelphia, where Mr. Douglass was at the time, to arrest him for complicity in the John Brown raid. The telegraph operator, being a friend of Douglass, held up the despatch and left his office in search of Douglass' friends, advising them to hurry the latter out of the country. This they did, and the despatch was not delivered until Douglass was well on the way to Rochester. He reached home in safety, went over into Canada, thence to Europe where he remained until danger was over.
At the beginning of the Civil War, he returned to this country and helped persuade President Lincoln to arm the Negroes; the colored regiments of Massachusetts were raised with his active assistance, his sons becoming members of the famous 54th Massachusetts Volunteers.
Besides his splendid work in other directions, Mr. Douglass held several public positions of honor and trust. In 1871, he was appointed assistant secretary to the Commission to San Domingo; upon finishing that task, he was appointed a member of the Upper House of the Territorial Legislature of the District of Columbia, which he had previously chosen for his permanent home. In 1872 he was presidential elector-at-large for the state of New York; he was successively appointed United States Marshal for the District of Columbia, Recorder of Deeds for the same place, and U. S. Minister to Haiti. The sympathy and insight which he showed for the people of that Republic endeared him to them and his memory is held in greatest reverence by all patriotic Haitians. Mr. Douglass was married in 1884 to Miss Helen Pitts.
Mr. Douglass died at his home, Cedar Hill, Anacostia, D. C., February 20th, 1895, at the age of seventy-eight. An immense throng attended the funeral services and many glowing tributes were paid to his worth. Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton sent a letter which was read by Miss Susan B. Anthony. The following is an extract: "I saw Mr. Douglass first before a Boston audience, when he was fresh from the land of bondage. He stood there like an African prince, conscious of his dignity and power, grand in his physical proportions, majestic in his wrath, as with keen wit, satire and indignation he portrayed the bitterness of slavery, the humiliation of having been subject to those who in all human virtues and capabilities were inferior to himself. His denunciation of our national crime, of the wild and guilty fantasy that men could hold property in man--poured like a torrent that fairly made his hearers tremble."
"Thus I first saw him and wondered as I listened, that any mortal man should have ever tried to subjugate a being with such marvellous powers, such self respect, such intense love of liberty. Around him sat the great anti-slavery orators of the day, watching his effect on that immense audience, completely magnetized with his eloquence; laughing and crying by turns with his rapid flights from pathos to humor. All other speakers seemed tame after Douglass. Sitting near I heard Wendell Phillips say to Lydia Maria Child, 'Verily, this boy, who has only just graduated from slavery, throws us all in the shade.' 'Ah,' she replied, 'the iron has entered his soul and he knows the wrongs of slavery subjectively; the rest of you speak only from an objective point of view.' "
One of the colored women who came into prominence during the first half of the nineteenth century was Isabella Ardinburg, born a slave in New York. By the Gradual Emancipation Act, she was entitled to her freedom in 1828, but as often happened in these days, she was twice sold in spite of the act. Isabella settled the matter by running away. She gave herself the singular name of Sojourner Truth, claiming that God had commissioned her to be a traveler or sojourner and that as she went from place to place she was to preach and teach the truth.
She could neither read nor write, but having a splendid memory, all that was read in her hearing became a part of her, and as she was remarkably intelligent she made the most of all she received. It is said that she could quote passage after passage of Scripture and could aptly apply it to the affairs of everyday life. She was active in all good works, and was a forceful and magnetic speaker having the happy faculty of expressing a powerful thought in a few words. She was in great demand at Woman Suffrage and Anti-Slavery meetings.
Her unwavering trust in God made her a power among the people, in spite of her ignorance of books, and during the Civil
War she gave great assistance to the soldiers. After the war, she formed the idea that the freedmen would be much better off as colonists in the West, and while on her travels obtained many signatures to a petition to Congress asking that body to take some steps in the matter. Congress failed to act, but Sojourner persuaded a large number of individuals to follow her suggestion.
Some years before the war she was present at a meeting in Rochester when Frederick Douglass, saddened and discouraged by the operation of the Fugitive Slave law, was making a very gloomy speech. Suddenly Sojourner arose and said, "Frederick, is God dead?" The effect of her question was magical, and Douglass immediately began to speak in a more hopeful tone, finally making one of the best speeches of his life. "A short time before her death in 1883, she claimed to be more than one hundred years old; but at that time she seemed to be renewing her youth, as some of the failing senses grew strong again, and her power as a speaker was not abated." Because of her wisdom and the pointed brevity with which she expressed herself, Sojourner Truth was called the Libyan Sibyl.
Harriet Tubman, born Arminta Ross, who still lives (February, 1912), is another strong character who became famous during this period. She was married in 1844 to a free Negro named John Tubman. She was a slave in Maryland, but decided that she would not remain in that condition. Having made her escape to freedom, she was not satisfied, but determined to rescue her parents and as many of her former companions as she could by making personal visits to her old home.
"Her success was wonderful. Time and again she would visit Maryland and be absent for weeks, running daily risks while making preparations for herself and her passengers on the Underground Railroad. Great fears were entertained for her safety, but she seemed wholly devoid of personal fear. The
idea of being captured by slave hunters or slaveholders, seemed never to enter her mind. Half of her time she had the appearance of one asleep, and would actually sit down by the roadside and go fast asleep when on her errands of mercy through the South, yet she would not suffer one of her party to whimper once, however wearied they might be from hard travel day and night." A reward of $40,000 was offered for her capture but she laughed when it was read to her by one whom she was helping to escape.
Harriet had a very short and pointed rule of her own, which implied death to any who talked of giving out and going back. Of course Harriet was supreme, her followers called her "Moses" and had full faith in her; so when she said to them that "a live runaway could do great harm by going back, but that a dead one could tell no secrets," she was sure to have obedience. It is obvious, however, that her success in going into Maryland as she did, was attributable to her adventurous spirit and utter disregard of consequences. Her like, it is probable, was never known before or since.
It is said that on one occasion, while walking down the road near her old home, she met her ex-master face to face. Her presence of mind did not fall her, but drawing her sunbonnet well over her face, she caused a bunch of chickens which she was carrying, to keep up such a flutter that the man passed her by without dreaming of who she was.
At one time, up in the state of New York, a colored man was being sought by slave catchers, under the fugitive slave law. Harriet Tubman came up just as they were taking the man to be locked up. She at once took command of the crowd of sympathetic bystanders and by her great courage, nimble wit and physical strength caused the man to be rescued.
Like Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman did not allow her interest in her race to end with slavery, but in many ways busied herself in their behalf. At Auburn., N. Y., she founded a home for the homeless and while her strength lasted she
ministered to the necessities of those within her gates. At first the Harriet Tubman home consisted of a brick house and seven acres of land; at present there are two other houses and a total of twenty-six acres of ground. Aunt Harriet, who is said to be nearly one hundred years old, is a tenderly cared for inmate of the home and receives a small pension from the government as well as help from her own people, the Empire State Federation of Women's Clubs contributing a generous share. Harriet was personally acquainted with John Brown who introduced her to Wendell Phillips as "General Tubman, one of the bravest and best persons on the continent." During the Civil War she acted as nurse, spy and scout in the Union Army.
In contrast to the two women just mentioned, Frances Ellen Watkins was born free and had in her youth some advantages of education. She was born in Baltimore in 1825, and having lost her parents when very young, she was reared by an aunt. Her uncle, William Watkins, taught a private school, and to this school Frances went until she was thirteen years old. She then went to work for a lady who owned quite a library and who took quite an interest in Frances and allowed her to read any book in the library during her spare time, 'except a novel."
Frances preferred reading to anthing else and eagerly took advantage of her opportunities. She soon began to make rhymes and before she was twenty-one, she had written a number of pieces, both prose and poems. In 1846, they were published in a little book called "Forest Leaves." One of the poems, called Ethopia, was printed at the time in an English journal. It read as follows:
Yes, Ethiopia yet shall stretch,
Her bleeding hands abroad;
Her cry of agony shall reach
The burning throne of God.
The tyrant's yoke from off her neck,
His fetters from her soul,
The mighty hand of God shall break
And spurn the base control.
Redeemed from dust, and freed from chains,
Her sons shall lift their eyes;
From lofty hills and verdant plains
Shall shouts of triumph rise.
Upon the dark despairing brow,
Shall play a smile of peace;
For God shall bend unto her woe,
And bid her sorrows cease.
'Neath sheltering vines and stately palms
Shall laughing children play;
And aged sires, with joyous psalms,
Shall gladden every day.
Secure by night and blest by day,
Shall pass her happy hours;
No human tigers hunt for prey
Within her peaceful bowers.
Then, Ethiopia, stretch, O, stretch,
Thy bleeding hands abroad;
Thy cry of agony shall reach
And find the throne of God.
Leaving Baltimore in 1851, Miss Watkins resided first in Ohio and then in Pennsylvania, teaching school in both states. But the sight of a man who had been captured and brutally treated under the Fugitive Slave Law caused her to feel that she could do more good as a lecturer in the Anti-Slavery cause, and in 1854 she began that work in New Bedford. Her first lecture was called the Education and the Elevation of the Colored Race. Her engagement lasted for about eighteen months and during that time, she spoke in nearly all of the New England states, addressing her audiences upon various phases of the subject so dear to her heart.
She then visited the flourishing colony of Negroes in Upper Canada. She became a warm friend of Mrs. John Brown and spent two weeks at the home of the latter during the sad time that the Hero of Harpers Ferry was waiting to be executed. In 1860 Miss Watkins was married to Mr. Fenton Harper of Ohio, but household duties did not entirely prevent her keeping up her literary work and following the course of public events. After a happy married life her husband died in 1864.
Upon the issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation, Mrs. Harper was invited to address a public meeting in Columbus, and from that time on was almost constantly engaged in writing, lecturing or ministering in other ways to the needs of our people. Throughout the southern states she went, carrying a loving heart, a cultivated mind and an unconquerable soul. She plead the cause of temperance, industry, thrift and equal opportunity. Many times she was advised to abandon a lecture, as to give it might be dangerous, but she never took such advice. As a temperance lecturer she was said to be unsurpassed.
A southern white man who once heard her, described her as follows: "Her voice was remarkable--as sweet as any woman's voice we ever heard, and so clear and distinct as to pass every syllable to the most distant ear in the house. The speaker left the impression on our mind that she was not only intelligent and educated, but, the great end of education, she was enlightened. She comprehends perfectly the situation of her people,
to whose interests she seems ardently devoted." "Get land," she said, "every one that can, and as fast as you can. A landless people must be dependent upon the landed people. A few acres to till for food and a roof, however humble, over your head, are the castles of your independence."
Mrs. Harper died in Philadelphia in 1911, full of years and honors. Her own words, written in 1871, seem her most fitting epitaph: 'But after all, what matters it when I am in my grave, whether I have been rich or poor, loved or hated, despised or respected, if Christ will only own me to His Father, and I be permitted to a place in one of His mansions of rest."
The years from 1850 to 1860 were to the Negro full of interesting and important events, In 1850 the Fugitive Slave Law was passed, which allowed owners to hunt for and claim their runaway slaves in any part of the Union. By this time
JOHN BROWN AT HARPER'S FERRY
there were hundreds of fugitives who had found freedom and made homes for themselves in the northern and western States and this law carried terror to their souls. As many as could do so fled to Canada, but numbers of those who had for years enjoyed the blessings of liberty were claimed and dragged back into slavery. This law became a broad cover, under which the
kidnapping of free persons of color was extensively carried on, and scores of men, women and children, born free were dragged from their homes and consigned to hopeless bondage.
On some occasions pitched battles were fought between the fugitives and their owners, "every man was compelled to become a slave hunter, under certain conditions, and every kind-hearted woman who might give a cup of cold water or the shelter of a roof to a suffering sister fleeing from intolerable bondage, incurred the penalty of a felony."
But though the operation of the Fugitive Slave Law darkened this whole decade, there was here and there a gleam of light amid the darkness. In 1851, Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe began to publish, in serial form, in the National Era, of Washington, D. C., her epoch-marking story of Uncle Tom's Cabin. From the beginning the story aroused the most intense interest, and when it was published in book form, it was translated into nearly every known language. The little author became famous and thousands of friends were made for the slave through this book. It hastened emancipation.
Colored authors of the period were Rev. Daniel Payne, Martin R. Delaney, Frederick Douglass, Rev. Samuel Ringgold Ward, William C. Nell, Rev. Austin Stewart, Dr. William Wells Brown.
About this time, the Negro began to take his place in the musical world and again a woman led the way. Elizabeth Taylor was born in Natchez, Miss., in 1809, and was taken to Philadelphia by Mrs. Greenfield, a Quaker lady. After a time it was discovered that Elizabeth had a beautiful voice and a kind young lady, a friend of Mrs. Greenfield's gave her vocal and instrumental lessons. Elizabeth, who added Mrs. Greenfield's name to her own, gained quite a name as a singer, and in 1851 accepted an invitation to sing before the Musical Association of Buffalo. Her voice was described by musical critics of the time, as being "full, round, of immense compass and depth and remarkable sweetness; her pronunciation very correct and her intonation excellent. She plays with ability upon
the piano, harp and guitar." In compliment, she was called the Black Swan.
"After singing in nearly all the free States she resolved to carry out her long-entertained purpose of visiting Europe in order to perfect herself in the technique of her art." Arrived in London, May, 1853, she called upon Harriet Beecher Stowe, who was also in the city at the time. Through Mrs. Stowe Miss Greenfield was introduced into the most exclusive English circles, and on one occasion she sang before the Queen. Her beautiful voice and modest, dignified bearing gained many friends for her as well as for the race. Upon her return to America, her voice showed remarkable improvement, due to the additional training which she had received, and until her death in 1876, she devoted herself to her art.
Thomas J. Bowers, of Philadelphia, styled "the colored Mario," and his sister, Sarah Sedgwick Bowers, were famous musicians of this period, the former appearing with the Black Swan, in 1851. Justin Holland, of Norfolk county, Va., performer on the piano, guitar and flute; Henry Williams, of Boston, composer and bandmaster; the Lucca family of Connecticut, all became famous during this decade. The Luccas toured for a while with the famous Hutchinson family, a group of white musicians.
In 1854 Dred Scott, a Negro, sued for his freedom because of having been taken by his master from Missouri to Minnesota, which latter State had been made free territory by the Missouri Compromise. The case being decided for Scott was appealed to the Supreme Court in 1856, and Judge Taney, a Maryland slaveholder, there rendered his infamous decision to the effect that Negroes "were beings of an inferior order and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations; and so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect." The effect of this decision upon the Negroes and their white friends may better be imagined than described. It was a milestone toward the inevitable end.
Efforts were still being made to educate the Negro. Abolitionists were still trying to free him, and he was still trying to help himself. Negro churches were endeavoring, as they had from their organization, to serve as levers for moral and spiritual uplift.
The Rev. Charles Avery, of New York, left at his death, a large sum for the benefit of the race in Africa and America. He also left $25,000 as an endowment fund for the college which he had founded in, Allegheny City and which bears his name. In 1856, what was then called Ashmun Institute, but is now known as Lincoln University, was formally dedicated. It is situated in Chester county, Pa., and was founded for the "scientific, classical and theological education of colored youth of the male sex."
In the summer of 1856 the Cincinnati Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church decided to establish a university for the education of colored youth. Its board of trustees consisted of twenty-four members, four of whom were colored. The latter were Bishop D. A. Payne, Rev. Lewis Woodson, Mr. Alfred Anderson, and Mr. Ishmael Keith. The school was dedicated in October, 1856, and remained open until 1862. Colored Methodists bought the land and buildings in 1863 for $10,000, and the growth of the institution under their management is a credit to their church and their race.
Charles Sumner, the learned and distinguished senator from Massachusetts and the unfailing friend and defender of the slave, was on May 22, 1856, struck down and beaten with a cane while sitting at his desk in the Senate room. His assailant was a member from South Carolina, who had taken offence at a speech made by Senator Sumner. It is said the latter never fully recovered from the effects of the assault; he died in Washington in 1874.
A colored woman, having been put off a street car in New York on account of her color, employed Hon. Chester A. Arthur as lawyer and entered suit against the company. She
won her suit, and by the decision then given, no discrimination in public conveyances was afterward allowed in the State.
The members of the Underground Railroad were especially active during this decade in defiance of the Fugitive Slave Law. Besides those already named the following took earnest interest in this work: Charles Wise, Edwin Coates, Esther Moore, Abigail Goodwin, Daniel Gibbons, Lucretia Mott, Thomas Garrett, James Mott, J. Miller McKim, Rev. William Furness, William Wright, Elijah Pennypacker, Dr. Bartholemew Fussell, John Hunn, Samuel Rhoades, Grace Anne, Miriann and Elizabeth Lewis, John Needles, Thomas Shipley and others. Prominent among the colored members were: William Still, for many years secretary of the Philadelphia Vigilance Committee, and author of a book containing the records of the Underground Railroad; N. W. Depee, Jacob White, Robert Purvis, William Whipper, Samuel Burris Frances, E. W. Harper and many others.
Another true friend was Miss Myrtilla Miner, who was born in Brookfield, Madison county, N. Y., March 4, 1815. In person she was very frail and spent several of her early years as an invalid, but her strong and beautifuul spirit upheld her and enabled her to acquire, after many difficulties, a sound education. It was this spirit which helped her to accomplish what later became a master passion--the founding of a school for the education of colored youth.
As governess to the children of a Mississippi planter, she came to understand the horrors of slavery and its blighting effect upon both races. She saw, too, the pitiable condition of free colored people and realized that to educate them was to do them the greatest kindness. Accordingly, though friends advised against it she determined to establish in the District of Columbia a school for free colored girls.
When in Rochester, visiting friends, she went to see Frederick Douglass and told him of her plan. He did all he could to prevent the attempt, as she seemed so fragile and he knew full well what she would have to undergo in such a cause. But
nothing could deter Miss Miner and she came to Washington and opened her school with six pupils, in the home of Edward C. Younger, a colored man, who lived on Eleventh street near New York avenue.
There were in Washington at that time, about ten thousand colored free people and about three thousand six hundred slaves. The number of Miss Miner's pupils rapidly increased and she was compelled to remove several times. Finally, after many struggles and trials, she bought in 1852 with the help of friends, a lot containing three acres, bounded by New Hampshire avenue and N street and Nineteenth and Twentieth streets. There were two small frame houses on the lot, the whole costing forty-three hundred dollars. Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe gave toward its purchase one thousand dollars of the money she received from Uncle Tom's Cabin, and other friends gave largely. But Miss Miner was not allowed to teach her school in peace. Rowdies gave her constant annoyance, often gathering as the girls passed out to go home, and insulting and terrifying them. Once her house was set on fire, but a passerby awoke her and helped to put it out. Stones were frequently thrown at her windows in the night time and she was otherwise annoyed. At one time in answer to threats of violence she fearlessly and indignantly exclaimed, "Mob my school! You dare not! If you tear it down over my head, I shall get another house. There is no law to prevent my teaching these people, and I shall teach them, even unto death." So brave and so magnificent was the soul within that frail body.
In 1857, the Mayor of Washington began to oppose Miss Miner's work and for a time it seemed that the school would be closed, but that danger passed. In 1863, by act of Congress the Institute for the Education of Colored Youth in the District of Columbia was incorporated with the following as trustees: Henry Addison, J. C. Underwood, G. J. Abbott, W. H. Channing, Nancy M. Johnson and Myrtilla Miner. The first
lot purchased was sold for nearly ten times its cost, and another lot bought at Seventeenth and Church streets.
In May, 1864, while in California for the benefit of her health, Miss Miner met with an accident from which she never recovered. She returned to Washington and died December 17, 1864. The Miner Building, used for years for pupils of the colored normal school of Washington and another large building are maintained by the Miner Board.
When we remember the trials and sacrifices of Miss Miner, Miss Crandall and a host of others, it does seem that not a colored child in the whole country should be tardy or absent from school without grave cause and that no colored child should ever play truant.
You have heard that the Fugitive Slave Law did much to arouse pity and sympathy for the Negroes and added to the number of their friends and well-wishers. But all the people of the northern and western States were not frinds of the slave. There were many who valued nothing but money and who resented the agitation which slavery was creating because it was "hurtful to business." It was this latter class who assisted in the Boston riot of 1835, when William Lloyd Garrison was dragged through the streets with a halter around his neck. A sort of fury seemed to lay hold upon them and they were glad to help catch slaves.
When the people of the south heard of such actions they felt encouraged and began to talk of seceding from the Union and forming an independent government of which slavery was to be the keystone--though of the latter plan they did not speak openly. The question of whether or not the Union should be preserved with slavery or without it was being discussed from every angle in Congress and out of it and the southerners claimed that the Missouri Compromise had taken all power from the south and that the anti-slavery agitation would compel them to withdraw from the Union--but that was only an excuse.
In 1854 a bill to repeal the Missouri Compromise was introduced, and in the debate which followed, Senator Salmon P. Chase said: "Now, sir, who is responsible for this renewal of strife and controversy? It is slavery that renews the strife. It is slavery that again wants room. It is slavery with its insatiate demand for more slave territory and more slave States." But the bill was practically passed when Kansas and Nebraska were admitted into the Union with the understanding that the dwellers in those States should decide whether their land should be slave or free.
Since the whole eastern border of Kansas adjoined the slave-trade State of Missouri there followed years of struggle, fighting, murder, election frauds, etc., for the pro-slavery and the anti-slavery people were each determind to win. During this time the State was called Bleeding Kansas. And on the scene, brave, fearless and uncompromising, appeared John Brown, the Man of the Hour.
John Brown was of the fourth generation from Peter Brown, who landed at Plymouth, Mass., December 22, 1620, from the Mayflower. The former was born in the first year of the nineteenth century (May 9, 1800), at Torrington, Conn. He was of a stern and upright character, little given to talking, but when he did speak, it was with purpose and power. For many years he had been thinking deeply upon a plan to free all the slaves, and had decided that the best way would be to arm them and lead them into battle against their masters.
Perhaps he felt that the plans of Gabriel, Vesey and Turner might be enlarged and improved upon. At any rate he kept his designs to himself and very few of his most intimate friends had the slightest idea of what he was thinking. It is said, however, that he took his sons into his confidence, and they pledged themselves to help him in a cause which they all felt to be a high and holy one.
Meanwhile, when the struggle began in Kansas (some of his sons were living there) Brown appeared at a meeting at Ossowatomie, where he made a speech, which threw the convention
into consternation. He said that slavery had been the curse of all ages, that slaves were men and that some active steps should be taken to help them. "Talk," he said, "is a national institution, but it does no good to the slave." He continued his speech at some length and so great was the impression he made that he was often referred to as "John Brown, of Ossawatomie."
He joined his sons at their home and in 1856 helped them to gain a victory over the pro-slavery forces on the Kansas prairie. In 1858 he began to unfold his plans to a chosen few, and in May called a secret convention in Chatham Canada West, to which were invited the white and colored friends of freedom. The convention adopted a "Provisional Constitution and Ordinances." In June he returned to Kansas whence in December he went over into Missouri and rescued some slaves who were about to be sold, conveying them, after many perils to Canada.
About a year before this John Brown went to Boston, where he made many personal friends and received large contributions for the defence of Kansas. But as the terrors of slavery increased, Brown, then in his sixtieth year, resolved to strike a blow against the system. Gathering a handful of followers in the summer of 1859 he secretly prepared for action by hiring a farm a few miles from Harpers Ferry, where he stored as many weapons of various kinds as he could gather.
"On Sunday, October 16, 1859, under cover of profound darkness, Brown, at the head of seventeen white men and five Negroes, entered Harpers Ferry, put out the lights, seized the armory and the railroad bridge and quietly arrested and imprisoned in the government buildings the citizens found here and there in the streets, each one of whom was ignorant of what had happened. By eight o'clock Monday morning Brown and his few followers among whom were two of his sons, had full possession of the village and government works. When asked what was his purpose and by what authority he acted Brown replied: 'To free the slaves and by the authority of God Almighty.' "
He felt assured that when the blow had been struck the Negroes of the surrounding country would rise and flock to his standard. He sincerely believed that a general uprising of the slaves of the whole country would follow. But the slaves knew nothing of his plans, his character, nor his past deeds and so they knew not whether he was a real friend or was only trying to entrap them.
When the Virginia militia, arriving Monday night, attacked the little band it was driven to a last stand in the fire-engine house, and here Brown defended himself with great bravery. With one son dead by his side and another shot through he felt the pulse of his dying child with one hand, held his rifle with the other, and issued commands to his men with all the composure of a general in his marquee, telling them to be firm and to sell their lives as dearly as possible."
The militia was reinforced by Col. Robert E. Lee, with two pieces of artillery and ninety United States marines. The soldiers broke open the doors of the engine house and captured the insurgents, and the survivors were hurried off to prison. Brown was quickly tried and indicted for murder and treason; being found guilty, he was hanged December 3, 1859, at Charlestown, just a short distance from Harper's Ferry.
In a letter written to a Boston friend in November he said: "I am quite cheerful and never more happy. Have only time to write you a word. May God forever reward you and all yours. My love to all who love their neighbors. I have asked to be spared from having any mock or hypocritical prayers made over me when I am publicly murdered; and that my only religious attendants be poor little, dirty, ragged, bareheaded, barefooted, slave boys and girls, led by some old gray-headed slave mother. Farewell. Farewell."
His wish was granted for a negro mother brought her child, and he kissed it as he passed on his way to the gallows. The news of John Brown's raid spread terror to slave owners, and they imagined that there were conspirators scattered over all the country, but a strict investigation showed that only about
twenty-five knew the details of his plan and most of them were dead or imprisoned at the time of investigation.
In the little burial ground at Oberlin, Lorain County, Ohio, there is a monument dedicated to the memory of three of John Brown's men as follows:
L. S. Leary, died at Harpers Ferry, October 20, 1859, aged twenty-four years.
S. Green, died at Charlestown, Va., December 2, 1859, aged twenty-eight years.
J. A. Copeland, died at Charlestown, Va., Dec. 2, 1859, aged twenty-five years.
These colored citizens of Oberlin, the heroic associates of the immortal John Brown, gave their lives for the slave.
Though John Brown's raid seemed to be a failure the spirit which moved him spread through the land and roused to word-conflicts, fiercer than ever, the friends and foes of slavery. "The Union must be dissolved," cried some. "Save the Union at all costs," cried others. And over all the dark clouds of civil war--a war in which brother should fight against brother and father against son--lowered on the horizon.
THE number of slaves in this country in 1860 was 3,950 531, and of free Negroes there were 251,000. In December of that year, the people of South Carolina through representatives assembled at Charleston, adopted articles of secession and declared South Carolina an independent State,
BATTLE OF FORT WAGNER.
calling upon other southern States to follow their lead and assist in forming a Confederacy. Six States soon responded in the following order: Mississippi, January 9; Florida, January 10; Alabama, January 11; Georgia, January 19; Louisiana, January 26; Texas, February 1. The ferment of secession was active among the politicians of all the Southern States, though in some cases, Virginia notably, the mass of the people hesitated, but finally nearly all of the slaves States joined in the secession.
The people of South Carolina seized the Federal buildings, drove out loyal officials, and on the morning of April 12, 1861, after having demanded the surrender of Fort Sumter, which was occupied by national troops, fired upon the fort. The long-looked-for, long-planned-for war was begun! You have already learned that not all the people who lived in the north were friends of the Negro, or loyal to the Union. It is also true that many who lived in the south were true to their country and believed that all men should be free. But the latter were very unpopular in their home section.
In the light of what follows, it is interesting to note that, at first, neither the government nor the secessionists acknowledged that slavery had anything to do with the war. The first claimed that it was a war to preserve the Union, the last, that the war was to dissolve the Union, and both agreed that it was "a white man's war." So when President Lincoln issued his first call fer troops, the northern Negroes who flocked to the Union standard were scornfully rejected. In New York some colored men, hired a room and began to drill, but when the white people learned of it, they threatened to mob them, and the Superintendent of Police ordered their drilling to cease.
One of the leading Virginians said: "It is a gross mistake to suppose that abolition is the cause of dissolution between the north and the south. The Cavaliers, Jacobites and the Huguenots who settled the south naturally hate, contemn and despise the Puritans who settled the north. The former are master races, the latter a slave race, the descendants of the Saxon serfs." We are told that God maketh the wrath of men to praise Him, and we know that He is constantly using even wicked men as instruments to work His will. The Civil War was a black man's war and it was brought about to redeem both white and black from the curse of slavery.
For nearly two years Negroes were denied admission to the Union army as soldiers and the army acted as a band of slave catchers, returning runaway slaves to their masters. While some of the commanding officers rebelled against this, others
gave the slave hunters every assistance. Strange to say, as early as May, 1861, there was a call for "patriotic men of color" to assist the rebel army and it is said that several companies of them fought on that side during the war. One wonders what these men could have been thinking of. However, the "Creole mulatto" who commanded three companies of Negro Confederate troops, on guard at the Mint in New Orleans, allowed his men to be cut off from the retreating white Confederates, refrained from destroying the Mint, and quietly surrendered to the Union forces which entered the city.
In May, 1862, Robert Smalls was pilot of the Confederate vessel, The Planter, and three other colored men were employed on the boat--A. Gradine, engineer; William Morrison, and John Smalls, sailors. While the officers of the vessel were ashore in Charleston, Robert Smalls, with the help of the others, carried the boat over Charleston Bar, past Fort Sumter and delivered it to the commander of the United States ships which were blockading the harbor. This daring deed was greatly commended. Smalls was appointed pilot on a Union boat, promoted to a captaincy in 1863, and placed in command of The Planter, which position he held until the boat was put out of commission in 1866.
In the spring of 1862, Gen. David Hunter, with headquarters at Hilton Head, S. C., feeling the need of a larger force and receiving no help from his superior officers, organized and equipped a regiment of Negroes. When the news reached Washington, a representative from Kentucky, angrily called for an investigation of the report. The reply of General Hunter was at once so pointed and so witty that the matter was laughed out of Congress, but the courageous general was not supported in this matter as he deserved; though, a few weeks later, an order was sent to the military governor in his department to "arm, equip and receive into the service of the United States such a number of volunteers of African descent" as would be useful.
In the summer of the same year General J. W. Phelps, of
the Army of the Gulf, found the work of his soldiers hampered by the large number of Negroes--men, women and children--who flocked to his camp. He asked permission to arm and enlist the men, but was instead told to employ them in digging ditches, building fortifications, etc. Replying that he had neither ability nor taste for the position of slave-driver, General Phelps resigned his commission and returned to his home in Vermont. Almost before his resignation went into effect, the point for which he had contended was more than gained, for in some instances the colored companies were officered by colored men.
On January 1, 1863, President Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation through which the slaves in the rebellious section drew, for the first time, the breath of liberty, and the laws which through two hundred years had been, passed to keep them down, melted into nothingness. If the free men had given valiant service, imagine with what eagerness the newly freed slaves enlisted in the Federal army. But they were not always received with kindness by their brothers in arms; they were at first forced to suffer many humiliations. Most of those who had witnessed the valor of the Negro in the war of 1812 were dead and in the minds of both enemies and friends was the query, "Will the Negro fight?"
Will the Negro fight! In the very first battle where Negro companies were given a fair chance--the battle of Port Hudson, May 20, 1863--they made their mark. With others the First Louisiana Regiment, General Banks, commander, had been ordered forward, and before leaving camp, their colonel had made them a patriotic and inspiring speech, and ended by addressing these words to the color-sergeant, Anselmas Plancianos: "Color guard, protect, defend, die for, but do not surrender these flags." The sergeant replied: "Colonel, I will bring back these colors to you, or report to God the reason why." And so, animated by the highest sentiments of courage and patriotism, the black regiment moved against the enemy. When ordered to charge the rebel fortifications they
did so at a rush, but what was the amazement of officers and men alike to find that between them and the enemy rolled an impassable stream. It was only about forty feet wide, but the enemy's guns were turned upon it and as the men reached the edge of the stream they were mowed down like grass before the scythe. Seven times this gallant regiment charged toward the enemy in the hopeless effort to capture the fort, and the bayou between rolled red with their blood.
Captain Andre Callieux, "a man so black that he prided himself upon his blackness," was in command of Company E. He rushed out at the head of his men, waving his sword and crying, "Follow me." He was struck by a shell and fell dead and the enemy's guns so covered the place where he fell that it was not possible to obtain his body. Soon afterward Sergeant Plancianos proudly bearing the colors, was also struck by a shell and fell dead, tightly clasping the flag. He went up to "report to God" the blunder which had needlessly sacrificed the lives of brave men. A comrade snatched the colors from his dead hands, and he being almost immediately killed, the flag was taken by another and borne aloft throughout the battle. Forty days afterward, the body of Gallioux was reclaimed and buried in New Orleans with the highest military and civil honors. The news of the bravery of the black regiment at Port Hudson spread throughout the country and their praise was unstinted. The First, Second and Third Louisiana and the First Engineer Regiment took part in this battle. The following is an extract from a poem written in honor of the Black Regiment:
"Freedom," their battle cry,
"Freedom, or leave to die!"
Ah! and they meant the word,
Not as with us it's heard,
Nor a mere party shout,
They gave their spirits out;
Trusted the end to God,
And on the gory sod
Rolled in triumphant blood,
Glad to strike one free blow,
Whether for weal or woe;
Glad to breathe one free breath,
Though on the lips of death.
Praying, alas! in vain,
That they might fall again
So they could once more see
That burst of liberty.
That was what "Freedom" lent
To the Black Regiment.
Hundreds on hundreds fell;
But they are resting well;
Scourges and shackles strong
Never shall do them wrong.
Oh! to the living few,
Soldiers be just and true.
Hail them as comrades tried
Fight with them side by side;
Never in field or tent
Scorn the Black Regiment.
On the 13th, 14th, and 15th of July, 1863, occurred what were called the New York Draft Riots. A draft to fill up the ranks of the Union army had been ordered, and the low-class whites of the city, claiming that the Negroes were to blame, formed a plot to kill them all. Of the plotters it is said, "arson and plunder, murder and maiming were their business and recreation. Men and women were clubbed to death in the streets, hung on lamp posts or butchered in their homes. The infuriated rioters laid in ashes an asylum for colored children, and the terrified inmates, who fled in every direction, were pursued and some of the poor children were cruelly beaten and maimed. The colored people throughout the city were hunted
and treated as if they were noxious beasts, and many fled to the country. Finally, the police, aided by troops suppressed the insurrection, but not until several hundred human lives had been lost, and property worth $2,000,000 destroyed.
The rebels were so angry because Negroes were enlisted to fight against them that they declared they would kill every Negro captured, as well as the white men who officered them. Special vengeance was vowed against General Butler who had announced that all Negroes who came into his lines were free as "contraband of war," and against General Hunter who had freed and armed those who came to him. In the battle of Milliken's Bend, La., fought on June 6, 1863, the slaughter was fearful. It is said "the rebels drove our forces toward the gunboats, taking colored men prisoners and murdering them. This so enraged their comrades, that they rallied and charged the enemy more heroically and desperately than has been recorded during the war. White and black men were lying side by side, pierced by bayonets. In one instance, two men, one white and the other black, were found dead side by side, each having the other's bayonet through his body. Broken limbs, broken heads, mangled bodies, all proved that it was a contest between enraged men on the one side from hatred to a race, and on the other, desire for self-preservation, revenge for past grievances and the inhuman murder of their comrades. One brave man took his former master prisoner and brought him into camp with great gusto."
The 54th Mass., the first colored regiment from the North, took part on July 18th, 1863, in the battle of Fort Wagner, on Morris Island, S. C. Col. Robert Gould Shaw commanded, and the post of honor and of danger, in front of the attacking column, was assigned to the 54th. "A terrific fire was turned upon the Union troops, and here the brave Shaw, with scores of his black warriors, went down fighting desperately." "What fighting and what fearful carnage! Hand to hand, breast to breast, here on this little strip of land, scarce larger than the human hand, dense masses of men struggled with fury in the
darkness, and so fierce was the contest that the sands were reddened and soaked with human gore."
Color Sergeant Win. H. Carney, of New Bedford, dashed up to the fortifications of the enemy and planted the Union colors. But the enemy's fire thinned out the regiment, and Sergeant Carney, being wounded, drew himself up on the parapet of the fort, still holding the colors aloft. When his comrades were finally compelled to retire, he crept away, but did not lower the flag. "When he entered the field hospital, where his wounded comrades were being brought in, they cheered him and the colors. Though nearly exhausted with the loss of blood, he said, 'Boys, the old flag never touched the ground.' "
On April 13th, 1864, occurred the horrible massacre of Union troops at Fort Pillow, Kentucky. There were 557 National troops in the garrison, 262 of which were Negroes of the 6th Battery. The rebels, in great numbers attacked the fort, and after heavy firing on both sides, the attacking party demanded, under flag of truce, the Union forces to surrender, saying that if they were compelled to capture the works, they would give "No quarter." Major Bradford, the commander, refused to surrender, when the whole Confederate force (having crept close to the fort while under flag of truce) charged the works and gained entrance. "They butchered black and white, soldiers and non-combatants, men, women and children. Disabled men were made to stand up and be shot; others were burned within the tents wherein they had been nailed to the floor. This carnival of murder continued until dark and was even renewed the next morning. Major Bradford was not murdered until he had been carried several miles on the retreat." The atrocities committed there made such an impression upon the Negro troops throughout the country that in every battle afterward "Remember Fort Pillow" was their battle cry, spurring them to terrible vengeance.
"Gen. Benjamin F. Butler commanded a number of Negro troops at the battle of Fort Harrison where they made one of
the most brilliant charges of the war and captured the works in an incredibly short time, crying "Remember Fort Pillow" A large number of them were slain and General Butler, who ten years later, as a member of Congress, was making a speech on the Civil Rights Bill, referred to Fort Harrison in the following words: "It became my painful duty to follow in the track of that charging column, and there, in a space not wider than the clerk's desk, and three hundred yards long, lay the dead bodies of five hundred and forty-three of my colored comrades, fallen in the defence of their country, who had offered up their lives to uphold its flag and its honor as a willing sacrifice; and as I rode along among them, guiding my horse this way and that way lest he should profane with his hoofs what seemed to me the sacred dead, and as I looked on their bronze faces upturned in the shining sun, as if in mute appeal against the wrongs of the country for which they had given their lives, whose flag had only been to them a flag of stripes on which no star of glory had ever shone for them-- feeling I had wronged them in the past, and believing what was the future of my country to them--among my dead comrades there, I swore to myself a solemn oath, 'May my right hand forget its cunning, and my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth,' if I ever fail to defend the rights of those men who gave their blood for me and my country that day, and for their race forever, and God helping me, I will keep that oath."
Nearly two hundred thousand Negro soldiers, including a number of officers, fought during the Civil War; they took part in scores of battles and always distinguished themselves for bravery. "At Petersburg, Deep Bottom, Chapin's Farm, Fair Oaks, Hatchers Run, Farmville, the black soldiers won for themselves lasting glory and golden opinions." When the war ended in 1865, no one asked the question, "Will the Negro fight?"
The following is a resumé of the American Negro as a warrior: "The first blood shed in the Revolution was that of a Negro, Crispus Attucks, on the 5th of March, 1770. The first
blood shed in the war for the Union was that of a Negro, Nicholas Biddle, a member of the very first company that passed through Baltimore in April, 1861; while the very first Negro killed in the war was named John Brown. The first Union regiment of Negro troops raised during the Rebellion was raised in the state that was first to secede from the Union, South Carolina. Its colonel was a Massachusetts man, and a graduate of Harvard College. The first action in which Negro troops participated was in South Carolina. The first regiment of Northern Negro troops fought its first battle in South Carolina, where it immortalized itself. The first Negro troops recruited in the Mississippi Valley were recruited by a Massachusetts officer, Gen. B. R Butler, while their fighting here was directed by another Massachusetts officer, Gen. N. P. Banks. The first recognition of Negro Union troops by the Confederate army was in December, 1863, when Major John C. Calhoun, a grandson of the South Carolina statesman of that name, bore a flag of truce, which was received by Major Trowbridge of the First South Carolina Colored Regiment. The first regiment to enter Petersburg was composed of Negroes, while the first troops to enter the Confederate capital at Richmond were Gen. Godfry Weitzel's two divisions of Negroes. The last guns fired at Lee's army at Appomattox were in the hands of Negro soldiers. And when the last expiring effort of treason had laid our beloved President low in death, a Negro regiment guarded his remains, and marched in the stately procession which bore the illustrious dead from the White House. And on the 15th of May, 1865, at Palmetto Ranch, Texas, the 62nd Regiment of Colored Troops fired the last volley of the war."
The colored sailors were noted for their valor and the following colored soldiers received medals of honor from the government of the United States for heroic conduct during the Civil War: Sergeant-Major C. A. Fleetwood, Color-Sergeant A. B. Hilton, Private Chas. Veal, all of the 4th Regiment; 1st Sergeant James Brownson, Sergeant-Major M. M.
Holland, 1st Sergeant Robert Pinn, 1st Sergeant Powhatan Beaty, 5th Regiment; 1st Sergeant Alexander Kelly, 6th Regiment; Sergeants Samuel Gilchrist, Wm. Davis, Corporal Miles James, Private James Gardner, 36th Regiment; 1st Sergeant Edward Ratcliff, Private William Barnes, 38th Regiment. The 55th Mass. also played a notable part.
The Emancipation Proclamation issued by the President in 1863, was on Jan. 1st, 1865, extended to include the entire United States and was ratified by Congress in the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution. Hardly had Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Court House, on April 9th, 1865, than the whole world was horrified by the assassination of President Lincoln. Whatever hopes and plans he may have entertained for the assembling of the scattered forces of the nation and the bringing about of peace and prosperity, were suddenly ended. Vice-President Johnson took up the reins of government, but he proved more a hindrance than a help to re-adjustment, and the country and the world bewailed the loss of Lincoln.
FREE at last! Free to make a home; free to educate our children; free to enter business; free to keep our earnings; free to build churches and publicly worship God! Free at last! Such was the feeling of thoughtful Negroes at the close of the war, and this class, North and South, began to make the most of their opportunities.
Somehow, the idea that the Federal Government would give to the head of each colored family forty acres of land and a mule had obtained hold of many minds. Some waited around to receive the gift, and were laughed at for their pains. But the very fact that they wanted land and were willing to cultivate it was a favorable sign; and to have made this dream come true, would have been a splendid investment on the part of the United States Government. At the time there were thousands of acres of unclaimed land, and who can say how much poverty, misery, disease and crime might have been prevented by
turning the freedmen into landowners? But they were largely left to work out their own salvation, and the end is not yet.
At the close of the war there were in the South four classes of white citizens. Those who would not accept defeat and exiled themselves in foreign lands; those who remained at home, but refused to take any part in the reconstruction of their section; those who accepted conditions and did what they could to help, and those who set themselves to hinder anything the Federal Government might attempt. The last class seemed to be the most numerous and the provisional conventions and legislatures which convened in the southern states just after the war, passed laws which would slyly undo all that the war and emancipation had accomplished.
It became clear that "any reconstruction that denied or postponed the right of the freedman to the ballot and restored it to his former master would have been foolish, wicked and disastrous. This was the judgment of the patriotic statesmen of that era. They represented a vast majority of the people of the north, who were in no mood for trifling, but were resolved that the blood shed and the treasure wasted by the Civil War should be, as far as possible, compensated for by a re-establishment of the Union that would preclude all possibility of another rebellion based upon a demand for state rights or for slavery in any form." So the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, gave full rights of citizenship to all persons born or naturalized in this country, and by means of this act the Negro began to feel himself an American citizen.
But this was more than rebel sentiment could bear and it finally became necessary to further amend the Constitution and in 1870 the Fifteenth Amendment, by which the privilege and duty of voting was extended to all Americans without regard to "race, color or previous condition of servitude." During this period many northern white men took up their residence in the south, and began to accept election to various public offices; many of these men were moved by the highest feelings of philanthropy and patriotism, but others were actuated by
selfish motives only. Between the northern politicians and the Negroes on the one side and the Southerners on the other, there arose the bitterest enmity. There followed a long series of brutal outrages, murders, maimings, beatings, burnings of the Negroes and their northern friends by the southerners, who had organized themselves into secret societies for the purpose. But notwithstanding this reign of terror, there were several Negroes elected to high office during this period.
Besides a large number who served in the legislatures of the several states, there were two U. S. Senators, Hiram R. Revels elected from Mississippi, served from February, 1870, to March, 1871; Blanche K. Bruce, from Mississippi, served from March, 1875, to March, 1881. United States Congressmen were Richard H. Cain, elected from South Carolina, served in the Forty-third and the Forty-fifth Congresses; Robert C. DeLarge from South Carolina, Forty-second Congress; Joseph H. Rainey, South Carolina, Forty-first, Forty-second, Forty-third, Forty-fourth Congresses; John R. Lynch, Mississippi, Forty-third, Forty-fourth Forty-fifth Congresses; Benjamin Sterling Turner, Alabama, Forty-second Congress; Josiah T. Walls, Virginia, Forty-fourth Congress; James T. Rapier, Alabama, Forty-third Congress; Alonzo J. Ranzier, South Carolina, Forty-third Congress; John Hyman, Forty-fourth Congress; John R. Lynch, Mississippi, Forty-third, Forty-fourth Congresses; Jere Haralson, Georgia, Forty-fourth, Forty-fifth Congresses; Charles H. Nash, Louisiana, Forty-fourth Congress; Jefferson F. Long, Georgia, Forty-first Congress. February, 1871. As Lieutenant-Governors of States, the following served: Oscar J. Dunn, P. B. S. Pinchback, C. C. Antoine, in Louisiana; Alex Davis in Mississippi; Alonzo J. Ransier, Richard Howell Cleaves, South Carolina. The following entered the diplomatic service: Ebenezer D. Bassett, Pennsylvania, United States Minister to Haiti; John M. Langston, Virginia, Minister Resident and Consul-General to Haiti in 1877; J. Milton Turner, Missouri, Minister to Liberia; John H.
Smyth, North Carolina, Minister to Liberia, 1866-82; Henry Highland Garnett, Minister Resident and Consul-General to Liberia. Besides these men and a host of others like them, there appeared during this period a number of capable women whose influence was for race advancement; among them were Mrs. Mary Ann Shadd Carey, Mrs. Fannie Jackson Coppin, Mrs. Charlotte Forten Grimke, Miss Louise De Mortie, Miss Mary Jane Patterson, Miss Edmonia Lewis, Miss Martha Briggs, Mrs. Sarah Jones, Miss Eliza Gardner and others.
Politicians were not the only northerners who went south during this time. Hardly had the war closed when a Grand Army of Peace, an army of Christian men and women left their homes and all that makes home dear to carry to the freedmen the light of education, true religion and culture. Of them there was a great host, too numerous to mention here, whose work lives after them and will live. Some of those Christian soldiers went in 1861 to the islands off the Carolina Coast and took up work among the Negroes there. It is said that upon these islands, in slavery days, the Negroes had been regarded as beasts of burden and that they were hardly as well cared for. "Cleanliness or neatness were as unknown as the alphabet and decent homelife was nowhere to be found among the plantation Negroes, to whom the appearance of a white face was so rare as to frighten the children by its novelty." The St. Helena Island, noted for the excellent quality of the cotton which it produces, is the home of one of the oldest schools for Negroes in the south. Miss Laura W. Towne, the northern lady who founded it, has been called the uncrowned queen of the island. The founding of Penn School was the beginning of a better time for the islanders and it is said that there is now hardly in the south a more intelligent, industrious and prosperous community of colored people.
Major-General O. O. Howard was appointed Commissioner of the Freedmen's Bureau, May 20th, 1865. His task was a huge one, but he was equal to it. "He founded hospitals for
the sick, infirm, blind, deaf and dumb, issued food and clothing to the needy and apportioned land to the worthy. In six months this bureau had furnished transportation for 1,946 freedmen. In 1870, General Howard reported that the Bureau had furnished 654 school buildings, employed 9,307 teachers, and instructed 247,333 pupils; the freedmen themselves supported and owned 592 school buildings. There was 74 high and normal schools, and 61 industrial schools; $1,002,896 was expended and of this sum the freedmen raised $200,000."
"The work of education for the Negro at the south had to begin at the bottom. There had been no schools at all for this people, and hence, the work began with the alphabet. And there could be no classification of the scholars. All the way from six to sixty the pupils ranged in age; and even some who had given slavery years of their existence--mothers and fathers in Israel--crowded the schools established for their race. Some ministers of the Gospel, after a half century of preaching, entered school to learn how to spell out the names of the twelve Apostles. Old women who had lived out their three-score years and ten prayed that they might live to spell out the Lord's prayer, while the modest request of many departing patriarchs was that they might recognize the Lord's name in print."
General Howard appointed over the Virginia branch of the Freedmen's Bureau a young "veteran" of the Civil War, Gen. Samuel Chapman Armstrong. Realizing the need, General Armstrong decided to establish "a school to teach both sexes manual labor as a moral force," and Hampton Institute, near Old Point Comfort, was the result. At Hampton every teacher and every pupil has always been required to live up to the best that was in him and Hampton graduates have had a mighty part in race development. Regarding teachers, General Armstrong's fixed policy was, "In the school the great thing is not to quarrel, and to get rid of workers whose temperaments are unfortunate, no matter how much knowledge or culture they
may have. Cantankerousness is worse than heterodoxy." It is well for us all to remember that it takes more than one sort of culture to make the desirable citizen--heart culture and soul culture have a large part.
By 1879, there was a long list of Negro schools and colleges, supported principally by northern philanthrophy; most of them were denominational schools for Methodists, Congregationalists, Baptists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians and Roman Catholics all took part in the mental and moral elevation of our race. Bearing witness to their efforts, besides many primary and secondary schools, are Atlanta University, Georgia; Berea College, Kentucky; Leland University, New Orleans; Straight University and New Orleans University, Louisiana; Shaw and Alcorn Universities, Mississippi; Biddle University, North Carolina; Wilberfore University, Ohio; Lincoln University, Pennsylvania; Claflin University and College of Agriculture, South Carolina; Central College, Tennessee; Fisk University, Tennessee; Agricultural and Mechanical College, Hempstead, Texas; Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, Virginia; Howard University, Washington, D. C.
There was, perhaps, in the whole country no greater power for good at that time than the American Missionary Association, the A. M. A. as it beneficiaries lovingly call it; Atlanta, Fisk, Hampton, and numbers of other schools for Negroes, owe a lasting debt to the heroic band of women and men who spent themselves and all they owned for the colored people. Among the true and devoted friends of the Negro, Mr. Robert C. Ogden has stood for many years.
A great many colored newspapers were started during this period, about eight of which number are still being published. Among Negro authors were Bishop Daniel A. Payne, Rev. Benjamin T. Tanner, James Monroe Trotter, Sr., Wm. Still and H. O. Flipper. Throughout this period the Negro, North and South, began to show to the world his inate love for music, and his capacity for high attainment along musical lines. Some
noted musicians were Anna Madah and Emma Louise Hyers, of California; Frederick Eillot Lewis, of Boston; Miss Nellie E. Brown, of Dover, New Hampshire; Samuel W. Jamison, of Washington, D. C.; Joseph White, of Matanzas, Cuba; Thomas Greene Bethune, known as Blind Tom. The latter was born near Columbus, Georgia, in 1849, but though blind from birth, he was a born musician.
He became quite a pet in his master's family and before he was two years old was able to sing second to anything he heard. When he was four, a piano was brought to the house and at his first opportunity, Tom surprised his master's family by playing several pieces he had heard. When they realized that he was a genius, they allowed him to play whenever he wanted to do so and he soon begin to compose "what the wind, or the birds, or the trees said to him." Tom finally gave concerts in many American and European cities. He knew by heart fully seven thousand pieces and everywhere received the highest praise from musical critics.
The Colored American Opera Company was organized in Washington, D. C., and on February 3rd, 1873, gave its first performance. Prof. John Esputa was musical director, and Mr. Henry Donohue, business manager. The principal singers were Mrs. Agnes Gray Smallwood, soprano; Miss Lena Miller, contralto; Miss Mary A. C. Coakley, contralto; Mr. Henry F. Grant, tenor; Mr. Richard Tompkins, tenor; Mr. William T. Benjamin, baritone; Mr. George Jackson, baritone; Mr. Thos. H. Williams, basso profundo. The company gave several presentations of the "Doctor of Alcantara" in Washington and in Philadelphia, and received favorable comment from competent critics.
The Jubilee Singers of Fisk University became famous through singing the folk songs of the Negro people. "Shortly after the close of the war a number of philanthropic persons from the North gathered into an old government building that had been used for storage purposes, a number of freed children and some grown persons living in and near Nashville, and
formed a school. Professor Ogden was at first in charge, but ere long the school was taken under the care of the A. M. A." When the number of pupils made it necessary to have more room, the question as to where the money would come from was answered by Mr. George L. White, one of the teachers. "He had often been struck with the charming melody of the 'slave songs' that he had heard sung by the children of the school; believing that these songs, so peculiarly beautiful and heart-touching, sung as they were by these scholars with such naturalness of manner and sweetness of voice, would fall with delightful novelty upon Northern ears, Mr. White conceived the idea of taking a company of the students over the country, in order to obtain sufficient funds to build a college." The company left Nashville in the fall of 1871, and not only toured the Northern states but went through Great Britain and sang before the Queen and others of the nobility. They met with astounding success along all lines, and returned to Nashville in 1874 with more than ninety thousand dollars.
During the war, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy, pointed out to a visiting Englishman a Negro sleeping in broad daylight upon a bale of cotton, and said: "He will never wake up." Davis was using this Negro as a symbol of the race and most slaveholders agreed with him. "The Negro is stupid, he is dumb, he has no soul, he is a beast, he is lost to the beauties and the duties of civilization, he will never wake up." So they soothed each other and excused themselves for their treatment of the Negro. But the Negro in freedom at once woke up and began to buy the homes which his masters had owned, begin to eagerly receive education, to acceptably fill high positions and in every way to show his manliness.
His detractors were disappointed and chagrined and they agreed that "the Negro must be kept down;" they had several ways of doing this. When the great financial panic of 1873 swept over the country, the attention of the North was turned to money matters. The Southerners then determined to drive out the Republican party, and form a Democratic solid South,
so their secret societies became more active than ever. Colored property owners were falsely charged with being "delinquent in taxes;" employers refused to pay for service rendered on plantations, by what was called the credit system, the laborers were charged extortionate prices for their food and clothing, so that it was impossible for them to get out of debt; the "shot-gun policy" kept white and colored Republicans from the polls, and this period which saw the beginning of Republican rule in the South, saw also its end.
With the end of Republican power came the end of anything like justice to the Negro and in 1879 about sixty thousand colored people left the South to find refuge in the North and West. Some thousands of them scattered through the several states, but the majority made their home in Kansas. Most of them were destitute, and here again kind white friends sprang to the rescue, and organized the Kansas Freedman's Relief Association. "Money and clothing came on every train and as fast as the association could secure homes for the refugees they were distributed throughout the state" where, by their industrious and sober conduct they won the goodwill of all.
The Freedman's Savings and Trust Company was organized in 1865, and a large number of banks were opened in different cities for the accommodation of the colored people. At the end of the first year, $305,167 had been deposited and within eight years about fifty-seven millions of dollars had been deposited. In 1873, owing to bad management, the banks failed and carried down with them the hopes of thousands of poor people who had pinched and contrived in order to have a bank account. No human being can measure the far-reaching consequences of that bank failure.
Negro churches had steadily been growing in number and influence and their ministers were acknowledged leaders of the people, and well were they qualified for the task. In the Protestant Episcopal Church were Bishops Holly and Ferguson,
Dr. Alexander Crummell; among Baptists were D. W. Anderson, L. A. Grimes, Samuel W. Madden, James Poindexter, Wallace Shelton; in the A. M. E. Z. Church were Bishop Joseph J. Clinton and others; in the A. M. E. Church were Bishops Shorter, Payne, Wayman, Campbell, Brown, Ward, Turner, Dickerson and Cain; among Presbyterians were Rev. H. H. Garnet and Rev. Francis J. Grimke; in the M. E. Church were Rev. Marshall Taylor and Rev. Wm. M. Boyd. These men, and others like them, were pathfinders and made their mark upon their day, blazing the way for future generations.
THE years from 1880 onward have witnessed a marvellous development of the whole human family. During this period, which has been fitly called the Electric Age, the Negro has not been idle, and while many things have happened to discourage him, many others have made for his betterment. The repeal of the Civil Rights Bill struck the keynote for adverse legislation, and beginning with Mississippi, in 1890, nearly all of the Southern states have inserted into their Constitutions clauses by which the right of voting has been artfully withdrawn from the Negro, thus leaving his interests in the hands of his avowed enemies.
To frame laws by which colored people are not allowed in the regular coaches of the railroads of the South, and are restricted to certain portions of the street cars, was another step in the same direction; refusal to accommodate Negroes in hotels, restaurants and other places of public services; selling to them only certain seats in places of amusement or absolutely refusing them admittance to the same, are outrages of a similar character. The recent attempt to segregate, or confine, the Negro to certain sections of a city is another example of the extent to which prejudice will lead those in power.
Throughout this period, hundreds of the most barbarous lynchings of colored persons have taken place, not only in the South but sometimes North and West; race riots have broken out in several places, but the Atlanta massacre which occurred in September, 1906, was perhaps the most atrocious affair of all. The committee of business men who investigated the matter referred to the whites who had composed the mob as a set of "toughs who have crucified Atlanta in the eyes of the world." These toughs made no attempt to locate accused criminals, "instead they took those who could be the most quickly and conveniently found, and these, naturally, were
Negroes of the best sort, quietly working at respectable trades in the center of the city."
"Among the victims of the mob was not a single vagrant. The victims were earning wages in useful work up to the time of the riot. Most of the dead left small children and widows, mothers or sisters with practically no means and very small earning capacity. At least twelve Negroes were killed and about seventy wounded. Many of the latter are disfigured or permanently disabled." It has been said that one of the results of the massacre, was to bring about a better understanding between the white and colored citizens of Atlanta.
Speaking of the deep significance and awful effect of lynching, a writer says: "No one can look at one of the photographs of a lynching, without a sense of abysmal horror. It is not the horror alone of the thing itself, the ugly, inanimate center of the tragedy. It is the faces of the spectators that shock our very souls. They are always laughing faces. Good nature, even jollity, seems to be the keynote of these gatherings. Always we see the faces of little boys grinning cheerfully toward the camera. There are women sometimes in the crowd, and sometimes little girls. There is no sign in these pictures of horror of death, even of grim satisfaction over a difficult and obnoxious task performed by necessity. The man who called it 'lynching bee' appreciated the true feelings of the lynchers. Leave out the grim wreck in the center and the picture might be taken for an ordinary cheerful gathering at a country fair. Leave it in, and oh, my brothers, it is not the dead, but the living that terrifies."
As has been suggested, the conditions just spoken of and similar ones have had a discouraging effect upon the colored people, but, "nothing is settled until it is settled right." We know that for two hundred and fifty years our forefathers endured the yoke of a cruel slavery; but they hoped and prayed and trusted for the day of freedom. Thousands died
before that day dawned, but millions were here to greet it and multiplied millions are now enjoying it. We have the advantage of our foreparents; we may not only hope, pray and trust, but with all the power that is in us we must faithfully and earnestly work in whatever direction our abilities and convictions lie, for the full and perfect freedom which will one day be ours. Do not doubt, for doubt is the death-knell of hope; do not despair, for despair is the end of endeavor.
Said Frederick Douglass, "the destiny of the colored race is in their own hands, they must bear and suffer, they must toil and be patient, they must carve their own fortunes, and they will do it."
As you know, Negro churches, schools, benevolent Societies and other organizations have for years been working toward racial uplift. In 1881, Bishop Daniel A. Payne organized in Bethel (now Metropolitan) A. M. E. Church at Washington, D. C., a Literary and Historical Society, before which organization, have appeared from time to time, some of the most brilliantly intellectual men and women of the race; similar organizations now exist in many cities.
In 1881 was started at Tuskegee, Alabama, by Booker T. Washington, a graduate of Hampton, The Tuskeegee Normal and Industrial Institute. If you remember the plans of the Negro Convention of 1831, you will see that this school is similar to the one then mapped out. The story of the rise and development of Tuskegee is familiar to all as well as the fact that through it has begun a world-movement for instruction along industrial lines. A visitor to the twenty-fifth anniversary of the founding of Tuskegee, held in April, 1896, wrote: "In the largest degree the hope of the Negro race, the hope of solving the greatest of all our national problems which burdens the white race as well as the black, has been bound up in Tuskegee for twenty-five years and is bound up in it and its off-shoots today, when a future, none too auspicious, and fraught with peculiar difficulties, looms ahead."
In addition to Tuskegee and the schools named in a previous chapter, there are more than one hundred colleges and industrial schools for Negroes, besides the hundreds of primary and secondary public schools scattered over the country. Comparing this with the state of affairs in the colonies, the condition seems to be a hopeful one.
Although the "forty acres and a mule" failed him, the Negro has become a landowner on his own account and besides developing a passion for education, has developed "land hunger." "The race that owned scarcely an acre of land fifty years ago, is now possessor, as landlords, of an area larger than Belgium and Holland combined," and is rapidly buying more. "The desire to own a home is one of the most encouraging of all traits in the masses of a nation." Home is the cradle of the virtues. A man is not quite up to the standard until he can say proudly to himself "This is my own, my precious home," and if he be able to add "and all paid for," so much the better. He has given the best possible proof of his good citizenship.
In 1888 a handful of colored people, under the leadership of Mr. Isaiah T. Montgomery, settled in the Yazoo Delta, Mississippi, and beginning to clear and cultivate the ground, started what has become known as the town of Mound Bayou. A Negro town, in the heart of the South, where the mayor, the council, and all the citizens are colored. Mound Bayou and similar settlements offer proof of the Negro's ability to govern himself, and the great contrast between the former condition and the present progressive state of the surrounding country is an object lesson.
Mr. Montgomery was horn in slavery, but his owners were kind and although it was against the law, some of their slaves were allowed to learn to read, write and keep accounts. His early advantages, added to his great natural ability, made Isaiah Montgomery a natural leader of men, and when the opportunity came to colonize the section around Mound Bayou he did not lack for followers.
"Gradually in the course of twenty-four years the region around Mound Bayou has altered to an astonishing extent. There are vast cotton plantations where there was once thin forests; there are streets of well-built houses, three or four of which are really remarkable for their architecture and handsome furniture. There is a Negro bank--the 'Delta Bank;' there are one or more cotton ginneries, and a large oil mill for the manufacture of cotton-seed oil. Within the principal settlement of Mound Bayou there are four churches and as many schools. The largest of the churches serves, as do most of these edices, as church, lecture hall, theater, council hall, and center for debating society. Its interior is entirely lined with varnished pine planks, exceedingly well fitted, and giving the interior a handsome appearance, especially when it is lit up at night by oil lamps and chandeliers. Two of the handsome houses in the town were constructed by a firm of white builders, but all the rest of the houses, bank, churches and schools, were erected by Negro masons and carpenters. There are good stores in the town, selling most things except alcohol."
During the period of which we are talking our white friends have not forgotten us and of the many practical helps, the bequest of Mr. George Peabody, which was made in 1867, was the forerunner of a gift to the Negro alone, of one million of dollars from Mr. Joseph F. Slater of Norwich, Conn., in 1882. Mr. Slater requested some of the most eminent men of the country, including the President of the United States, Rutherford B. Hayes, to act on the Board of Trustees. A part of his letter to them reads as follows: "The general object which I desire to have exclusively pursued, is the uplifting of the lately emancipated population of the Southern States, and their posterity, by conferring on them the blessings of a Christian education. The disabilities formerly suffered by these people and their singular patience and fidelity in the great crisis of the nation, establish a just claim on the sympathy and good-will of humane and patriotic men, I cannot but feel the
compassion that is due in view of their prevailing ignorance which exists by no fault of their own."
"But it is not only for their sake, but also for the safety of our common country, in which they have been invested with equal political rights, that I am desirous to aid in providing them with the means of such education as shall tend to make them good men and good citizens, education in which the instruction of the mind in the comman branches of secular learning shall be associated with training in just notions of duty toward God and man, in the light of the holy Scriptures."
In 1909, Miss Anna T. Jeannes, a Quaker lady of Pennsylvania, left two millions of dollars as a fund for the education of colored people. Hon. Wm. Howard Taft, now President of the United States, is a member of the Board of Trustees, and the colored members are Dr. Booker T. Washington, Major R. R. Moten, Rev. H.T. Kealing and Hon. J. C. Napier. In 1911, the Trustees of the Slater and Jeannes Funds were assisting schools in twenty-five hundred communities. Mr. W. T. B. Williams of Hampton is traveling agent for the General Education Board.
The Spanish-American War gave another opportunity to the Negro soldier to show the spirit within him. For a hundred years Cuba had been restless under the heavy yoke of Spain and the people had many times arisen in revolt. During the revolution which broke out in 1895, the sympathy of the civilized world was with the Cubans, and when the United States battleship Maine was destroyed in the harbor of Havana in 1898, war was declared with Spain.
The Negro was, as usual, eager to take America's part in the struggle, and several volunteer companies were raised in the different states. Four companies of volunteers, known as the Seventh, Eighth, Ninth and Tenth Immunes, were formed and officered with colored men from the grade of second lieutenant down. Brevet-Major Charles E. Young, a graduate of West Point, was in command of the Ninth Ohio Battalion,
and Lieutenant John H. Alexander, also of West Point, served in Cuba. The Eighth Regiment Illinois National Guards was entirely officered by colored men, Col. J. R. Marshall commanding. While in the province of Santiago the Eighth Illinois did garrison duty for some months after the war and for a while Colonel Marshall acted as military governor of San Luis.
"About one hundred Negro second lieutenants were commissioned in the volunteer force during the Spanish-American War. There were two Negro paymasters, John R. Lynch, of Mississippi, fourth auditor of the United States Treasury, and Richard R. Wright, of Georgia, president of the State Agricultural and Mechanical College for colored persons. Two Negro chaplains were commissioned, the Rev. C. T. Walker, of Georgia, and the Rev. Richard Carroll, of South Carolina."
"The fighting of the black troops in Cuba won the confidence of the white soldiers and their officers, and was highly commended. Colonel Roosevelt said that the conduct of the Ninth and Tenth Cavalry reflected honor on the whole American people, especially on their own race. Several colored noncommissioned officers were promoted for gallant conduct in Cuba." The Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth Infantry, together with the Ninth and Tenth Cavalry, comprise the colored soldiers in the regular army and these soldiers won for themselves "an unfading halo of glory." So again, you see, American Negroes proved themselves, as one writer has said of the native Africans, to be the greatest natural warriors of the earth.
In 1906, colored troops of the 25th Infantry stationed at Brownsville, Texas, were charged with firing upon the citizens and President Roosevelt immediately discharged them "without honor," from the army.
Among the Cuban soldiers also, were many intrepid fighters of African descent; Gen. Quentin Bandera, the famous black Chieftain, was noted for his fearlessness and bravery. Until his death, at the age of sixty years, in 1906, General
Bandera was greatly beloved by Negro Cubans with whom he had a powerful influence. Antonio and Jose Maceo, were also famous generals.
Organized Negro womanhood has played no small part in the development of the race and the hundreds of women's clubs which exist in this country cover nearly every phase of club work. Colored women have always played a prominent part in church and benevolent society activities, but beginning with the later eighties, the women began to recognize the great need for helping along lines which neither the church nor the societies touched.
The chief concern of the individual home is the comfort, peace and happiness of the men, women and children who compose it. Women began to see that the village, the township, the city, the whole country indeed, are merely enlarged homes, entirely concerned with the well-being of men, women and children--needing and claiming the enthusiasm, the tender insight and the ministering care of women as well as the strength and wisdom of men.
Almost simultaneously there sprang up in several cities clubs for the support of Orphan Homes, Homes for the Aged, Kindergarten, Day Nurseries, etc. In the beginning, the women's club did not have an easy time. The word "Club" had been associated in the minds of people with all that was gay and hilarious, and it took some time to assure people of the earnestness and seriousness of the Colored Women's Club Movement. Then there was the barrier which denominations had drawn and when a club was able to gather women of all denominations, it was quite a matter for boasting. But such conditions have passed so long ago that one only vaguely remembers them.
There began to be a feeling among club women that a national organization should be formed and when there appeared in a Missouri paper in 1895 an article in which Negro womanhood was atrociously libelled, the Woman's Era Club of Boston,
Mrs. Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin, founder and president, issued a call for a conference between representatives of the clubs which existed in several states of the Union.
"About one hundred women representing twenty-five clubs, from ten different states, composed the conference which attracted wide attention, because it was the first of its kind and highly representative of the best intelligence of the women of the colored race." An organization was formed of which the following officers were elected: Mrs. Booker T. Washington, Tuskegee, president; Mrs. U. A. Ridley, Brooklyn, secretary; Mrs. Libbie C. Anthony, Jefferson City, Mo., treasurer; Mrs. Victoria Earle Matthews, New York, chairman of executive committee.
In 1896 these women and many others met in Washington, D. C., and formed the National Association of Colored Women, of which Mrs. Mary Church Terrell was elected president. Mrs. Terrell served for three terms, and was succeeded by Mrs. J. Silone Yates, of Missouri. Mrs. Lucy Thurman was next president and she was succeeded by Miss Elizabeth Carter of New Bedford, Mass.
Among the many clubs which are doing notable work in their several communities are the Phillis Wheatley Club of New Orleans, the Loyal Union of Brooklyn, the Woman's Club of Jackson, Miss., the Women's Loyal Union of New Bedford, the Dorcas Society of Brooklyn, the Phillis Wheatley Club of Chicago, the Fresh Air and Empty Stocking Club of Baltimore, the Lincoln Home Club of Springfield, Ill., the famous Woman's Era Club of Boston and the Kindergarten Associations of Atlanta and Charleston.
The National Association of Colored Women is affiliated with the National and International Councils of women, and when some years ago Mrs. Mary Church Terrell appeared before the latter body at a meeting held in Berlin, and delivered her address in German, French and English, the incident created world-wide comment and was looked upon as reflecting great credit, not only upon the speaker, but upon the race which she represented.
Besides those who have served as presidents of the National the following named women have given loyal and constant service: Mrs. Booker T. Washington, Tuskegee; Mrs. Jeffries, Rochester; Mrs. Josephine B. Bruce, Washington; Ida Joyce Jackson, Columbus, O.; Mary Parrish, Louisville; Josephine Holmes, Atlanta; Sylvanie Williams, New Orleans.
The American Negro Academy, founded at Washington, D. C., in 1897, by Dr. Alexander Crummell, has drawn to itself from many states some of the most brilliant intellects which the race has produced. The first officers were: Dr. Crummell, president; Walter B. Hayson, Kelly Miller and John W. Cromwell, secretary. Dr. W. E. B. Dubois succeeded Dr. Crummell as president and was succeeded by Hon. Archibald Grimke.
The academy holds an annual meeting at which time matters of vital interest to the race are ably discussed. From time to time, in pamphlet form, are published articles of historical or sociological value by colored authors.
The National Negro Business League, founded by Dr. Booker T. Washington, was organized in August, 1900, at Boston, Mass. The league holds an annual session, and has been the means of bringing into personal contact business and professional men from all parts of the country. It has given a tremendous impulse to the business activities which were in existence when the league was formed and it has also inspired others, for in nearly every community there is some enterprise which owes its existence to the Business League. William Lloyd Garrison, son of the famous Abolitionist was present at the first meeting of the league, and delivered all address, a part of which follows: "The particular word I wish to leave with you is this: Aim to be your own employers as soon as poissible. If you are farmers, do not rest until you control the land on which you live. He who is compelled to till another's land is in a degree dependent and a bondsman. If you are mechanics, seek first to own a home without a mortgage, foregoing
many things until you are free of debt. Independence and debt cannot keep company. In the South as in the North, possession of honestly earned property will surely bring respect and increase personal security."
Perhaps nothing of deeper significance to our country and our race has happened since the Civil War than the organization, in 1909, of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The association has been called the New Abolition Movement and it is composed of white and colored people who have the best interests of the American republic at heart. Its work is outlined as follows: "The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is an organization composed of men and women of all races and classes who believe that the present widespread increase of prejudice against colored races and particularly the denial of rights and opportunities to ten million Americans of Negro descent is not only unjust and a menace to our free institutions, but also is a direct hindrance to world peace and the realization of human brotherhood."
"Methods,--The encouragement of education and efforts for social uplift; the dissemination of literature; the holding of mass meetings; the maintenance of a lecture bureau; the encouragement of vigilance committees; the investigation of complainants; the maintenance of a bureau of information; the publication of the Crisis; the collection of facts and publication of the truth.
"The officers of the organization are: National President, Mr. Moorfield Story, Boston, Mass.; Chairman of the Executive Committee, Mr. Oswald Garrison Villard; Treasurer, Mr. Walter R. Sachs; Director of Publicity and Research, Dr. W. E. B. Dubois; Executive Secretary, Miss Mary W. Ovington."
The Crisis is edited by Dr. Dubois and the increase in its circulation has been marvellously rapid. This has been said to be due almost entirely to the able manner in which it is edited.
DURING the period to which the last chapter refers there arose the two great schools of Negro thought, which, for want of more exact terms, have come to be known as the Conservative and the Radical. Briefly stated, the Conservative school of thinkers lays most stress upon the opportunities and privileges which Negroes enjoy in this country, while the Radicals insist upon the rights of which we are deprived. Each side is most intensely in earnest and both seek the highest good of the Negro. The difference seems to lie in opinion as to how this highest good is to be secured.
The acknowledged leader of the Conservatives is Dr. Booker T. Washington, the Sage of Tuskegee, while Dr. William E. Burghardt Dubois, is the accepted leader of the Radicals. Booker T. Washington was born a slave in 1858 or 1859, in Franklin County, Va. After the war, the family moved to West Virginia, and young Booker worked for a while in the salt furnaces and coal mines, spending his leisure time (of which he had but little) in learning his letters. But he was possessed of the passion for knowledge, which, as you know, characterizes the Negro, and having heard of Hampton Institute, he determined to go to that school. Going partly on foot, partly by coach, and partly by railroad, the lad finally reached Hampton, where, by his industry and determination he completed the course and made many friends among the teachers.
When, in 1880 the call came for some one to do the rough pioneer work of establishing a school at Tuskegee, Ala., Dr. S. C. Armstrong, founder of Hampton, recommended Mr. Washington and thus "the man and the hour" met. At Tuskegee the same ideals prevail which made Hampton a
power and no one can measure the good accomplished. Dr. Washington has had many honors conferred upon him at home and abroad. Among the most notable of the former is the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws conferred by Harvard
DR. BOOKER T. WASHINGTON.
University. During his trips to Europe he has had audiences with crowned heads and has won the personal friendship of members of the nobility. Dr. Washington is the author of several books which are being widely read.
Perhaps the speech delivered by Mr. Washington upon the
occasion of the opening of the Atlanta Exposition in September,
1895, will explain his position most clearly. It was as
follows: "One third of the population of the South is of the
Negro race. No enterprise seeking the material, civil, or moral
welfare of this section can disregard this element of our
population, and reach the highest success. I but convey to you,
Mr. President and Directors, the sentiment of the masses of
my race when I say that in no way have the value and manhood
of the American Negro been more fittingly and generously
recognized than by the managers of this magnificent Exposition
at every stage of its progress. It is a recognition that will do
more to cement the friendship of the two races than any occurrence
since the dawn of our freedom. "Not only this, but the opportunity here afforded will
awaken among us a new era of industrial progress. Ignorant
and inexperienced, it is not strange that in the first years of
our new life we began at the top instead of at the bottom; that
a seat in Congress or the State Legislature was more sought
than real estate or industrial skill; that the political convention
or stump speaking had more attractions than starting a dairy
farm or truck garden." "A ship lost at sea for many days suddenly sighted a friendly
vessel. From the mast of the unfortunate vessel was seen a
signal: 'Water, water; we die of thirst.' The answer from the
friendly vessel at once came back: 'Cast down your bucket
where you are.' A second time the signal, 'Water, water; send
us water,' ran up from the distressed vessel and was answered,
'Cast down your bucket where you are.' And a third and
fourth signal for water was answered: 'Cast down your bucket
where you are.' The captain of the distressed vessel, at last
heeding the injunction cast down his bucket and it came up full
of fresh, sparkling water from the mouth of the Amazon River.
To those of my race who depend on bettering their condition
in a foreign land, or who underestimate the importance of
cultivating friendly relations with the southern white man, who
is their next door neighbor, I would say, 'Cast down your
bucket where you are.' Cast it down in making friends in every
manly way of the people of all races by whom we are surrounded. "Cast it down in agriculture, mechanics, in commerce, in
domestic service, and in the professions. And in this connection
it is well to bear in mind that whatever other sins the
South may be called to bear, when it comes to business, pure
and simple, it is in the South that the Negro is given a man's
chance in the commercial world, and in nothing is this Exposition
more eloquent than in emphasizing this chance. Our
greatest danger is, that in the great leap from slavery to
freedom we may overlook the fact that the masses of us are
to live by the productions of our hands, and fail to keep in
mind that we shall prosper in proportion as we learn to dignify
and glorify common labor, and put brains and skill into the
common occupations of life; shall prosper in proportion as we
learn to draw the line between the superficial and the substantial,
the ornamental geegaws of life and the useful. No race
can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling
a field as in writing a poem. It is at the bottom of life we must
begin, and not at the top. Nor should we permit our grievances
to overshadow our opportunities. "To those of the white race who look to the incoming of
those of foreign birth and strange tongue and habits for the
prosperity of the South, were I permitted I would repeat what
I say to my race, ' Cast down your bucket where you are.'
Cast it down among the eight million Negroes whose habits you
know, whose fidelity and love you have tested in days when
to have proved treacherous meant the ruin of your firesides,
Cast down your bucket among these people who have, without
strikes and labor wars, tilled your fields, cleared your forests,
builded your railroads and cities, and brought forth treasures
from the bowels of the earth, and helped make possible this
magnificent representation of the progress of the South. Casting
down your bucket among my people, helping and encouraging
them as you are doing on these grounds, and to an education
of head, hand and heart, you will find that they will buy
your surplus land, make blossom the waste places in your fields,
and run your factories. While doing this you can be sure in
the future as in the past, that you and your families will be
surrounded by the most patient, faithful, law-abiding and unresentful
people that the world has seen. As we have proved
our loyalty to you in the past, in nursing your children, watching
by the sick bed of your mothers and fathers, and often
following them with tear-dimmed eyes to their graves, so in the
future, in our humble way, we shall stand by you with a devotion
that no foreigner call approach, ready to lay down our
lives, if need be, in defense of yours, interlacing our industrial,
commercial, civil, and religious life with yours in a way that
shall make the interests of both races one. In all things that
are purely social we can be as separate as the fingers, yet one
as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress. "There is no defense or security for any of us except in the
highest intelligence and development of all. If anywhere there
are efforts tending to curtail the fullest growth of the Negro, let
these efforts be turned into stimulating, encouraging and making
him the most useful and intelligent citizen. Effort or means
so invested will pay a thousand per cent interest. These efforts
will be twice blessed--blessing him that gives and him that
takes. "There is no escape through law of man or God from the
"Nearly sixteen millions of hands will aid you in pulling the load
upwards, or they will pull against you the load downwards. We shall
constitute one-third and more of the ignorance and crime of the
South, or one-third its intelligence and progress; we shall contribute
one-third to the business and industrial prosperity of the South, or
we shall prove a veritable body of death, stagnating, depressing,
retarding every effort to advance the body politic. "Gentlemen of the Exposition, as we present to you our humble
effort at an exhibition of our progress, you must not expect
overmuch. Starting thirty years ago with ownership here and there in
a few quilts and pumpkins and chickens (gathered from
miscellaneous sources), remember the path that has led from these to
the invention and production of agricultural implements, buggies,
steam engines, newspapers, books, statuary, carving, paintings, the
management of drug stores and banks, has not been trodden without
contact with thorns and thistles. While we take pride in what we
exhibit as a result of our independent efforts, we do not for a moment
forget that our part in this exhibition would fall far short of your
expectations but for the constant help that has come to our
educational life, not only from the Southern States, but especially
from Northern philanthropists, who have made their gifts a constant
stream of blessing and encouragement. "The wisest of my race understand that the agitation of
questions of social equality is the extremest folly, and that
progress in the enjoyment of all privileges that will come to us
must be the result of severe and constant struggle rather than
of artificial forcing. No race that has anything to contribute
to the markets of the world is long, in any degree, ostracized.
It is important and right that all privileges of the law be ours,
but it is vastly more important that we be prepared for the
exercise of those privileges. The opportunity to earn a dollar
in a factory just now is worth infinitely more than the opportunity
to spend a dollar in an opera house. "In conclusion, may I repeat that nothing in thirty years
has given us more hope and encouragement and drawn us so
near to you of the white race, as this opportunity offered by the
Exposition; and here, bending, as it were, over the altar that
represents the results of the struggle of your race and mine,
both starting practically empty-handed three decades ago, I
pledge that, in your effort to work out the great and intricate
problem which God has laid at the doors of the South, you
shall have at all times the patient, sympathetic help of my race.
Only let this be constantly in mind that, while from the representations
in these buildings of the product of field, of forest,
of mine, of factory, letters, and art, much good will come, yet
far above and beyond material benefits will be that higher good,
that let us pray God will come in a blotting out of sectional
differences and racial animosities and suspicions in a determination
to administer absolute justice, in a willing obedience
among all classes to the mandates of the law. This, coupled
with our material prosperity, will bring into our beloved South
a new heaven and a new earth." Dr. William E. B. Dubois was born in Massachusetts, February 23,
1868. He was educated in the public schools of his native State, at
Fisk University, Harvard University, and the University of Berlin. Dr.
Dubois is widely known as a scholar in the broadest sense of the
term--sociologist, teacher, poet,
DR. W. E. BURGHARDT DUBOIS. author, and is considered one of the greatest writers on Negro
questions. In the world of letters he has received many honors and counts
among his personal friends some of the most scholarly and cultured
personages of the world. Harvard University conferred upon him the
degree of Doctor of Philosophy, and in the great Universal Races
Congress, which convened in London, July, 1911, Dr. Dubois so ably
presented the case of the American Negro as to attract the attention
of thinkers everywhere. The Radical point of view may, perhaps, be best explained by the
address to the country at large adopted at the first conference of the
Niagara movement. It reads as follows: "The members of the
conference known as the Niagara movement assembled in annual
meeting at Buffalo, July 11, 12 and 13, 1905, congratulate the
Negro-Americans on certain undoubted evidences of progress in the last
decade, particularly the increase of intelligence, the buying of
property, the checking of crime, the uplift in home life, the advance in
literature and art, and the demonstration of constructive and
exhaustive ability in the conduct of great religious, economic and
educational institutions. "At the same time we believe that this class of American citizens
should protest emphatically and continually against the curtailment
of their political rights. We believe in manhood suffrage; we believe
that no man is so good, intelligent or wealthy as to be entrusted
wholly with the welfare of his neighbor. We believe also in protest
against the curtailment of our civil rights. All American citizens have
the right to equal treatment in places of public entertainment
according to their behavior and deserts. We especially complain
against the denial of equal opportunities to us in economic life; in the
rural districts of the South this amounts to peonage and virtual
slavery; all over the South it tends to crush labor and small business
enterprises, and everywhere American prejudice, helped often by
iniquitous laws, is making it more difficult for Negro-Americans to
earn a decent living. "Common school education should be free to all American
children and compulsory. High school training should be adequately
provided for all and college training should be the monopoly of no
class or race in any section of our common country. We believe that
in defence of its own institutions, the United States should aid
common school education, particularly in the South, and we
especially recommend concerted
agitation to this end. We urge an increase in public high school
facilities in the South, where the Negro-Americans are almost wholly
without such provisions. We favor well-equipped trade and technical
schools for the training of artisans, and the need of adequate and
liberal endowment of a few institutions of higher education must be
patent to sincere well-wishers of the race. We demand upright judges in courts, juries selected without
discrimination on account of color, and the same measure of
punishment and the same efforts at reformation for black as for white
offenders. We need orphanages and farm schools for dependent
children, juvenile reformatories for delinquents and the abolition of
the dehumanizing convict-lease system. We note with alarm the
evident retrogression in this land of sound public opinion on the
subject of manhood rights, republican government and human
brotherhood, and we pray God that this nation will not degenerate
into a mob of boasters and oppressors, but rather will return to the
faith of the fathers; that all men were created equal with certain
inalienable rights. We plead for health, for an opportunity to live in
decent houses and localities, for a chance to rear our children in
physical and moral cleanliness. We hold up for public execration, the conduct of two opposite
classes of men: The practice among employers of importing ignorant
Negro-American laborers in emergencies, and then affording them
neither protection nor permanent employment; and the practice of
labor unions of proscribing and boycotting and oppressing
thousands of their fellow toilers, simply because they are black.
These methods have accentuated and will accentuate the war of
labor and capital, and they are disgraceful to both sides. "We refuse to allow the impression that the Negro-American
assents to inferiority, is submissive under oppression and apologetic
before insults. Through helplessness we may submit, but the voice
of protest of ten million Americans must never cease to assail the
ears of their fellows, so long as America is
unjust. Any discrimination based simply on race or color is
barbarous, we care not how hallowed it be by custom, expediency
or prejudice. Differences made on account of ignorance, immorality,
poverty or disease may be legitimate methods of reform and against
them we have no word of protest; but discriminations based simply
and solely on physical peculiarities, place of birth, color of skin, are
relics of that unreasoning human savagery of which the world is and
ought to be thoroughly ashamed. We protest against the Jim Crow
car, since its effect is and must be to make us pay first-class fare for
third-class accommodations, render us open to insults and
discomfort and to crucify wantonly our manhood, womanhood and
self-respect." "We regret that this nation has never seen fit adequately to
reward the black soldiers who in its five wars have defended their
country with their blood and yet have been systematically denied
the promotions which their abilities deserve. And we regard as
unjust the exclusion of black boys from the military and naval
training schools. "We urge upon Congress the enactment of appropriate legislation
for securing the proper enforcement of those articles of freedom, the
13th, 14th and 15th amendments of the Constitution of the United
States. We repudiate the monstrous doctrine that the oppressor
shall be the sole authority as to the rights of the oppressed. "The Negro race in America, stolen, ravished and degraded,
struggling up through difficulties and oppression, needs sympathy
and receives criticism; needs help and is given hindrance; needs
protection and is given mob violence; needs justice and is given
charity; needs leadership and is given cowardice and apology; needs
bread and is given a stone. This nation will never stand justified
before God until these things
are changed. Especially are we surprised and astonished at the recent
attitude of the Church of Christ--on the increase of a desire to bow
to racial prejudice, to narrow the bounds of human brotherhood, and
to segregate black men in some
outer sanctuary. This is wrong, un-Christian and disgraceful to the
twentieth century civilization. "Of the above grievances we do not hesitate to complain, and to
complain loudly and insistently. To ignore, overlook or apologize
for these wrongs is to prove ourselves unworthy of freedom.
Persistent, manly agitation is the way to liberty, and toward this goal
the Niagara movement has started and asks the
co-operation of all men of all races. At the same time we want
to acknowledge with deep thankfulness the help of our fellow men
from the Abolitionist down to those who today stand for equal
opportunity and who have given and still give of their wealth and of
their poverty for our advancement. "And while we are demanding, and ought to demand and will
continue to demand, the rights enumerated above, God forbid that
we should ever forget to urge corresponding duties upon our
people: "The duty to vote. "The duty to respect the rights of others. "The duty to work. "The duty to obey the laws. "The duty to be clean and orderly. "The duty to send our children to school. "The duty to respect ourselves, even as we respect others. "This statement, complaint and prayer we submit to the American
people, and to Almighty God. "Representing delegates from fourteen states; assented to by
members in twenty-four states." Listening, as one often does, to a discussion between ardent
supporters of the Conservative and the Radical schools of
thought, one is reminded of the story of the encounter between two
knights of olden times. These knights, approaching each other from opposite directions,
When within speaking distance, observed suspended over the road,
a beautiul shield. Said Knight Number One, "I pray thee, friend, what
is the meaning of yonder golden shield?" Knight Number Two
replied, "Its meaning I know not, but I do know that it is a silver and
not A golden shield." Whereupon, as was the custom in those days,
they challenged each other to combat to decide which of them was
right. After a long struggle, having unwittingly exchanged positions,
they glanced upward at the shield and found that each was right, for
while on one side the shield was silver, it was golden on the other. So when they realized that "each was partly in the right and each
was partly wrong," they took down the shield, claiming it as their
common property and clasping hands across it, they swore eternal
fealty. Seeking the main road, the two knights journeyed together,
loyal comrades and the shield was their defense against all enemies. LOOKING backward nearly two hundred years, we come to the time
of the birth of Benjamin Banneker, who became a scientific farmer, mathematician, astronomer, surveyor,
writer; coming nearer we find Phillis Wheatley, student and literary
genius, and as we approach our own time we are happy to see that the
lights of intelligence, industry and culture which they held aloft have
multiplied in number and increased in brightness and that, today,
there is no sign of waning. There is scarcely a field of human
endeavor into which Negroes have not entered with (all things
considered) astonishing success. Besides the men and women
already mentioned in this book, there are thousands who have made
the most of their abilities and opportunities, some of whom are
known to their respective communities only, while others have
attained a national reputation. It will be readily understood that in so
small a volume as this only a passing reference can be made to a few
persons. During the "Electric Age," the following women, among many
others, have come into prominence: Miss Lucy Laney, founder of
Haines N. and I. Institute; Miss Jennie Dean,
founder of Manassas Industrial School; Mrs. Dinah Watts Pace,
founder of a Home for Homeless and Friendless Children at
Covington, Ga.; Mrs. Amanda Smith, founder and manager of an
Orphan Home at Chicago; Miss Amanda R. Bowen, founded and for
many years supported the Sojourner Truth Home for Working Girls
at Washington, D. C. The Home for Friendless Girls was founded in Washington, D. C.,
by a number of colored women of whom Mrs. Caroline Taylor was
the leading spirit and president of the association. Mrs. Taylor
literally gave her life for this work, for while inspecting the premises,
she met with an accident which was almost immediately fatal.
Succeeding Mrs. Taylor, her daughter, Mrs. John Pierre, was for
several years president of the association and maintained the work
through many vicissitudes. Mrs. Pierre was succeeded in 1909 by
Mrs. Rosetta E. Lawson. Miss Elizabeth C. Carter, president of the National Association of
Colored Women was the moving spirit in the establishment of the
Home for the Aged in New Bedford, Mass. Through Miss Carter's
untiring endeavors, this institution has become one of the most
flourishing of its kind in the country. Miss Nannie Borroughs, of Washington, D. C., is the founder
and president of the National Training School for Women and Girls
located at Lincoln Heights, D. C. This school is filling a long-felt
need. Mrs. Margaret Murray Washington, of Tuskegee, has for years
been an inspiration and incentive to the women of her community
and of the whole state. These women founded a Reformatory for
Boys and supported it for several years. It. was formally turned over
to the state authorities a short while ago, and the women are
planning other activities. Besides her work in women's clubs, Mrs. Mary Church Terrell is
known as an accomplished linguist and is in great demand as a
lecturer. Mrs. Eliza E. Peterson, National Superintendent of work
among colored people for the National Women's Christian
Temperance Union, is widely known as a consecrated and tireless
worker and a magnetic speaker upon temperance and kindred
subjects. Mrs. Rosetta E. Lawson is a National Organizer in the W.
C. T. U. Miss Cordelia Ray is said to be the first colored woman to receive
a diploma as graduate in law. She is also the author of a volume of
poems. Mrs. Carrie W. Clifford is a well-known elocutionist and club
woman, and has written a book of poems. Mrs. Fannie Barrier
Williams, of Chicago, is a noted club worker, writer and lecturer. Mrs.
Harriet Gibbs Marshall is the founder and president of the
Washington Conservatory of Music and of the National
Association of Musical and Art Clubs. Mrs. Anna J. Cooper is a well-known
author and educator. Mrs. Carrie Wilder Harris is a member of
the Board of Education of the District of Columbia. Mrs. Addie W. Hunton, Mrs. Emma
Ransome, Mrs. Elizabeth Ross Haines and Miss Cecelia Holloway are
prominently identified with the National Young Women's Christian
Association. Miss Hallie Q. Brown has lectured extensively in Europe and
America. Mrs. Ida Wells Barnett toured England and America a few
years ago and aroused sentiment against the lynching evil. Mrs.
Sarah Collins Fernandis, first head resident at Washington Social
Settlement and also at Neighborhood Cottage, East Greenwich, R.
I., is the pioneer trained settlement worker of the race. Mrs. Maggie
L. Walker is President of the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank and of the
St. Luke Emporium, Richmond, Va. As school teachers and trained nurses colored women have been
notably successful. Col. George W. Williams, the great Negro historian, was born in
Pennsylvania, October 16, 1849, and was educated in private and
public schools. He entered the Union Army and served with
distinction throughout the Civil War. After the war he took a course
in West Newton Theological Seminary,
Mass., and later became the editor of the Southwestern
Review. He was at one time judge advocate of the Ohio G. A.
R. His History of the Negro, in two volumes, was published
in 1883, and is the great authority upon the subject. Colonel Williams
was the first colored man ever elected to the Ohio. Legislature. Charles W. Chestnut was born in Ohio in 1858. He was reared in
North Carolina, and while yet a youth began to teach
in the public schools of the latter state. Later he became principal of
the State Colored Norm School at Fayetteville. Mr. Chestnut left the
South in 1883 and went to New York and later to Ohio. He
contributed to newspapers and magazines, served as stenographer
and practiced law. As a novelist he is well known. Some of his most
successful works are the "Conjure Woman," "The Wife of His
Youth," "The House Behind the Cedars," "The Marrow of
Tradition." Paul Lawrence Dunbar, aptly called "the Burns of the Negro race,"
has embalmed in poetry and prose much of the pathos, the wit, the
latent music and the hitherto unexpressed
longings of the Negro for the highest things. Dunbar was born in
Ohio in 1872 and though at the time of his death he was still a young
man, he left an indelible mark upon American literature. William Stanley Braithwaite, the greatest living Negro poet, was
born in Boston in 1878. When twelve years of age, he left school and
began to learn the printer's trade, Compelled by ill health to change
his occupation, he supported himself by one employment and
another, still studying as best he could, until at the age of twenty he
began to write. In 1904 he published his first book, "Lyrics of Life
and Love." So far, the Survey of English Poetry from 1557 to 1910 is considered
Mr. Braithwaite's greatest work. Dr. William A. Sinclair, Mr. George W. Forbes, J. T. Wilson, W. H.
Thompson, Misses Pauline Hopkins, Angelina Grimke, Jesse Fauset,
E. F. G. Merritt, Messers Barnet N.
Dodson, L. M. Hershaw, Oliver Randolph, F. H. M. Murray, are well
known writers. Alaine Leroy Locke, of Pennsylvania, was the first
colored student to receive a Rhodes scholarship. He studied at
Oxford during 1907-10, and is now at the University of Berlin. Among the pioneer newspaper men is T. Thomas Fortune, a native
of Florida. Going to New York he established in 1881 the New York
Globe which later became the New York Age. This paper he edited for
a number of years. The Age is now published by Fred R. Moore. The
elevated tone of the paper, its literary style, abundant information
and mechanical excellence has for many years placed it among the
leading colored publications. Mr. Fortune has published several
books. The Washington Bee, W. Calvin Chase, editor and owner, was
first published in 1882, and has been continuously issued. It is one
of the colored publications issued from its own premises. John Mitchell of the Richmond Planet (1883) is an aggressive
editor and has done much to expose the lynching evil. William Monroe Trotter is the editor of the Boston Guardian, a
paper widely known for its radical stand for manhood rights for the
Negro. Edward E. Cooper, founder of the Indianapolis Freeman and later
of the Colored American of Washington, D. C., was one of the most
enterprising of newspaper publishers. The Afro-American of
Baltimore is one of the best known papers in the country. It is edited
by John H. Murphy who has for many years taken an active part in
the civil, fraternal and business life of Baltimore. Mr. Chris. Perry, editor of the Philadelphia Tribune (1895) is well
known as an able newspaper man. Other veteran writers are John
Wesley Cromwell, who founded the People's Advocate in 1876;
Charles Alexander of Boston, John E. Bruce, president of the Negro
Society for Historical Research. John C. Dancy was for many years
editor of the Star of Zion and subsequently Recorder of Deeds for
District of Columbia. Prominent among church papers are the Christian Recorder, the
Southwesern Christian Advocate, Star of Zion, American Baptist, A.
M. E. Church Review, Voice of Missions, Presbyterian Herald. Dr. Daniel H. Williams, now of Chicago, was born in
Pennsylvania in 1858. He stands among the great surgeons
of our country. "He came into prominence when a very young
man by performing one of the most difficult of surgical operations
on the heart and poricardium, thereby saving the life of
a man who had been stabbed in the heart." In 1894 Dr. Williams
was appointed surgeon-in-chief of Freedman's Hospital,
Washington, D. C., and remained in that position for several years. Dr. Williams was succeeded at Freedman's by Dr. A. M.
Curtis, who has a wide reputation as a successful physician and
surgeon. Dr. R. F. Boyd, of Nashville, is an authority on chemistry,
gynecology and clinical medicine. Boyd's Infirmary, with two large
surgical wards, two operating rooms and twenty rooms has been
recently opened. Dr. William A. Warfield, the present surgeon-in-chief
at Freedman's Hospital, is considered one of the most rapid and
skillful surgeons in the country and the many delicate and difficult
operations performed by him testify to his ability. Among other successful physicians are Drs. Marcus Wheatland,
Newport; Chas. E. Bentley and George Hall of Chicago; N. F. Mossell
of Philadelphia; T. E. Bailey and W. J. Thompkins , Kansas City; J. A.
Wormley, N. T. Cotton, New Jersey; Wm. F. Penn, Atlanta; L. A.
Cornish, Cincinnati; W. L. Bulkley, Johnson, Henderson, New
York; Drs. J. A. Kenney, W. S. Lofton, F. G. Elliot, A. T. Robinson,
Amanda V. Gray, Julia P. H. Coleman, C. H. Marshall, G. E. Cannon,
C. H. Shepard, W. E. Sterrs, W. T. Carr, E. A. Carter, J. J. France, R. T.
Hamilton, J. W. Ames, W. C. Smalls, H. F. Gamble, H. H. Phipps, J. A.
C. Lattimore, C. S. Wormley, J. H. N. Waring, J C. Dowling, H. W.
Ross, W. C. McNeill, J. C. Anderson, John Thompson, S. A. Furniss,
J. W. Darden, J. W. McDowell,
H. G. McKerrow, J. D. Nelson, C. L. Carter, G. N. Stoney, E. P.
Roberts, F. S. Hargrave, J. C. Norwood, A. Ridgley, J. C., Norwood,
M. O. Dumas, C. A. Tignor, A. S. Gray, E. M. Boyle, S. F. L. Carson, G.
W. Davis, C. A. Brooks, Moses Amos, W. C. Gordon, John R. Francis,
G. W. Cabiness, James R. Wilder, John W. Mitchell, S. S. Thompson,
P. W. Price, C. W. Childs, E. D. Williston, C. I. West, and a large
number of dentists and pharmacists. Drs. Courtney, Garland, Stewart,
Comfort, Boston. Henry Ossawa Tanner is rated among the foremost living artists of
the world. Mr. Tanner is a son of Bishop B. T. Tanner of the A. M. E.
Church, and was born in Pittsburg in 1859. He finished the public
school course, and having long felt a desire to study art, he entered
the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Going to Paris, he studied
under Jean Paul Laurens and Benjamin Constant. Mr. Tanner has
received several prizes and medals for excellent work and some of
his paintings hang in the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the
Carnegie Institute, the Wilstach Collection and in the Luxombourg,
Paris. Two of his paintings, "The Return of the Holy Women" and
"The Three Marys" were, in 1911, part of a special exhibit in the
Corcoran Art Galley at Washington. In 1876, "at the Philadelphia Centennial, a first prize was awarded
to a beautiful landscape painting called "The Oaks," and labeled
Bannister. The judges announced the prize, but were amazed when a
modest looking Negro stepped up in answer to the name of Bannister
and took both prize and picture. From that time till his death, some
years ago, Edmond M. Bannister of Boston was recognized as an
artist of much talent He devoted all of his time to his chosen
profession, painting many pictures which are owned by Boston and
Providence private collections, and when he died, his brother artists
of Providence erected over his grave a beautiful monument in token
of their high esteem." Of Edmonia Lewis, the sculptor, it is said that though "of lowly
birth, left an orphan when quite young, unable to obtain a liberal
education, she nevertheless determined to be somebody and do
something." When quite a young woman she went to Boston and
there, through the kindness of William Lloyd Garrison, she was
enabled to receive lessons in modeling from Mr. Brackett, the
sculptor. An excellent bust of Robert Gould Shaw, finished in 1865,
was her first piece of importance. Miss Lewis finally obtained the
desire of her heart--to study in Rome--and her work there attracted
much attention, her studio becoming one of the show places of the
student's quarter. In 1876, she brought over to the Centennial
Exposition several well executed pieces. "The only productions of her
later years now in America are contained in the four portrait busts of
Longfellow, Sumner, John Brown and Lincoln in the public library of
San Jose, Cal." The most noted colored musician is the Anglo-African, Samuel
Coleridge Taylor. He was born in London in 1875 and was educated in
that city. His genius showed itself early and he wrote several
compositions. When in his twentieth year, he wrote the wonderful
Hiawatha Triology, a setting to music of portions of Longfellow's
poem. He has also developed a number of the Negro folk-songs and
other compositions of acknowledged merit. "While the world is
admiring Coleridge Taylor, the composer, it must not be forgotten that
he is first of all a master of the violin. Like George Augustine P.
Bridgetower, that other celebrated colored violinist of London (about
1800), for whom Beethoven wrote the "Krutzer Sonata," and whose
matchless rendering of it in a Vienna concert caused the ecstatic
German to leap from his seat, throw his arms around Bridgetower,
and shout, "Once more, my dear fellow, once more." Coleridge Taylor
first gained his English reputation with his violin. It is still his favorite
instrument when not composing." Walter H. Loving, of Washington, D. C., organized in the
Philippines the world renowned Constabulary Band, which
tied for the first prize at the World's Fair in St. Louis. Captain Loving
is acknowledged one of the world's greatest hand masters. Melville Charleton, organist, and R. Augustus Lawson, pianist;
Joseph G. Douglass, grandson of Frederick Douglass, and Clarence
Cameron White, Felix Weir, Leonard Jeter, violinists; Harry T.
Burleigh, Sidney Woodward, John T. Layton, Sissisretta Jones,
Abbie Mitchell, Harry A. Williams, Dr. C. Summer Wormley, Charlotte
Wallace, Ralph W. Amos, Marie James, Ernest R. Amos, Nettie
Murray, vocalists; Walter Craig, Charles Hamilton, orchestra leaders;
W. M. Cook, J. R. Johnson, Robert Cole, composers; H. L. Grant,
Hamilton Hodges, are well known to the musical world. Isaac
Hathaway, of Washington, is a rising sculptor. The Hon. John M. Langston was born a slave in Virginia in 1829,
but in his early youth managed to acquire the foundation for an
education. Later he entered Oberlin College and graduated with
honor. He was a successful lawyer and "as college president, foreign
minister, orator and politician, he exercised a wide influence for the
good of his race. He was one of the bravest of the brave in public
matters and his influence upon young colored men was widespread
and admirable." Hon. John P. Green was born in North Carolina, but when he was a
lad his father having died his mother made a home in Cleveland,
After a short time spent in the public schools,
followed by a period in which he worked to assist his mother and
studied in spare time, young Green wrote and published a pamphlet
of essays and sold about fifteen hundred of them. He entered the
high school and completed the course in nearly one-half the required
time, graduating at the head of his class. He studied law in a private
office and at the Cleveland Law School of which he is a graduate. Mr.
Green has received many public honors, serving as justice of the
peace, member of the Ohio Legislature, and was appointed United
States Stamp Agent by President McKinley. Hon. W. H. Clifford has also served as a member of the Ohio
Legislature. Hon. T. McCants Stewart, a well-known colored American lawyer,
practiced in this country several years and was subsequently a
member of the bar of Honolulu, Hawaii. He is now a justice of the
supreme court of Liberia. His son, T. McCants Stewart, Jr., is also a
lawyer and was the first colored person to graduate from the
University of Minnesota. Hon. James Carol Napier of Nashville, graduated from the law
department of Howard University. Upon his return to Nashville, he
not only practiced his profession, but actively entered into the
business, civil and political, life of the community, and has held many
positions of honor and trust. Mr. Napier succeeded Mr. Vernon as
Register of the Treasury in 1911. Judge Robert H. Terrell is a graduate of Harvard and an able
lawyer. He holds, by Presidential appointment, the position of judge
in the Municipal Court of the District of Columbia. Hon. Richard T. Greener graduated from Harvard College with
high honors in 1870. As teacher, lawyer, orator, editor and
statesman, Mr. Greener has made his mark upon his day and
generation. He was lately U. S. Consul to Vladivostok, Russia. James A. Cobb is a well-known lawyer and by Presidential
appointment is Assistant U. S. District Attorney for the District of
Columbia. Judge Miflin W. Gibbs is a veteran lawyer of Arkansas and
was at one time U. S. Consul to Tamatave, Madagascar. In the several states there have been and are many successful
lawyers, among whom are J. Madison Vance of New Orleans; B. F.
Booth and J. T. Little of Memphis, Tenn.; D. Augustus Straker of
Detroit; H. G. Parker, Lloyd G. Wheeler, Ferdinand L. Barnett, S. Laing
Williams, Edward H. Morris
of Chicago; S. A. Jones, Little Rock; S. A. McElwee, Alfred
Menefee, Nashville; W. H. H. Hart, W. H. Richards,
Royal A. Hughes, Fountain Peyton, E. M. Hewlett, Wm. L.
Pollard, W. C. Chase, L. M. King, A. W. Scott, R. L. Waring,
Washington, D. C.; B. S. Smith, Wm. R. Morris, Minneapolis;
P. J. Randall, Oakland, Cal.; H. F. Bowles, Natchez;
J. E. Burgee, Chattanooga; O. F. Garrett, Grenville, Miss.;
Geo. W. Mitchell, Philadelphia; Rufus L. Perry, Brooklyn;
L. H. Codwan, Columbus, Ohio; Cornelius McDougal, E. A.
Johnson, J. L. Curtis, New York; J. L. Mitchell, Providence;
Clement Morgan, Butler Wilson, Boston; I. H. Nutter, member
city council, Atlantic City; F. L. McGee, St. Paul; T. J.
Calloway, was in charge of the Negro exhibits at the Paris
Exposition of 1900 and at the Jamestown Exposition; of the
latter, Mr. A. F. Hilyer was assistant. Prof. W. S. Scarborough, president of Wilberforce University,
is the author of Greek and Latin text-books; Prof.
Kelly Miller, a noted writer on Negro questions, is dean of
the College Department, Howard University; Prof. W. H.
Crogman, of Clark University, is a well-known linguist, writer
and educator; Prof. Geo. W. Cook, secretary of Howard University,
was for many years dean of the Commercial Department; Prof. J. C.
Price, was a renowned orator, and at the
time of his death, was president of Livingston College; Dr. L.
B. Moore is dean of the Teacher's College, Howard University. Prof. W. H. Councill founded and for many years was president
of Normal Agricultural and Mechanical College; he also
founded and was editor of the Huntsville (Ala.) Herald.
Prof. R. C. Bruce, son of the late Senator Bruce, is a graduate
of Harvard College and is a gifted orator. He is Assistant
Superintendent of Public Schools at Washington, D. C.
Prof. Richard Robert Wright helped to organize the Georgia
State Industrial College and became its president; his son, R.
R. Wright, Jr., is an authority upon sociological questions
and is managing editor of the A. M. E. publication. Prof.
E. C. Williams is principal of the M Street High School, and
Dr. W. B. Evans is principal of the Armstrong Technical High
School, Washington, D. C. Prof. W. H. Hotzclaw is principal
of Utica N. and I. Institute, Mississippi. Dr. Lucy E.
Moten, principal of Normal School, Washington, D. C. Dr.
W. S. Montgomery and John C. Nalle, are well known educators. The colored members of Congress, during the period under
consideration, were James C. O'Hara, 48th and 49th Congresses;
John M. Langston, Va., 51st Congress; Thos. H.
Miller and H. P. Cheatam, 52nd and 53rd Congresses; George
W. Murray, 53rd and 54th Congresses; George H. White, 55th
Congress. In the Diplomatic Service at present are William
D. Crum, of South Carolina, Minister Resident and Consul-General
to Liberia; Richard C. Bundy, of Ohio, Secretary of
Legation, Monrovia; Henry W. Furniss, of Indiana, Envoy
Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Haiti. Consuls;
L. W. Livingston, Florida, Consul at Cape Haitien,
Haiti; G. W. Jackson, Connecticut, Consul at Cognac, France;
W. H. Hunt, New York, Consul at St. Etienne, France; H.
R. Wright, Iowa, Consul at Puerto Cabelle, Venezuela; J. W.
Johnson, New York, Consul at Corinte, Nicarauga; W. J.
Yerby, of Tennessee, Consul at Sierra Leone, West Africa;
J. G. Carter, Georgia, Consul at Tamatave, Madagascar; C.
H. Payne, West Virginia, Consul at St. Thomas, Danish West
Indies. Besides Federal office holders already named are Chas. A.
Cottrell, Collector of the Port of Honolulu; W. H. Lewis, Assistant
Attorney General of the United States; Chas. W. Anderson,
Collector of Internal Revenue, New York; Ralph W.
Tyler, Auditor of the Navy; Whitfield McKinley, Collector of
Customs, Georgetown, D. C.; H. A. Rucker, Collector of Internal
Revenue, Atlanta, Ga.; Jos. E. Lee, Collector of Internal
Revenue, Jacksonville, Fla.; Jas. H. Deveaux, Collector
of Customs, Savannah, Ga.; J. Lincoln Johnson, Recorder of
Deeds, District of Columbia; S. Laing Williams, Assistant
District Attorney, Chicago; James M. Alexander, Deputy
Collector. at Los Angeles, Cal.; ex-Gov. P. B. S. Pinchback,
Internal Revenue Agent, New York; W. T. Vernon, Supervisor
of Indian and Negro Schools, Oklahoma; Cyrus Field
Adams, Assistant Register of the Treasury; Nathan Alexander,
Register of Land Office, Montgomery, Alabama. The following have been Registers of the Treasury: Hon. B. K.
Bruce, Judson W. Lyons, W. T. Vernon. and J. C. Napier, the present
Register. When it is remembered that the signature of the occupant of
this position turns worthless paper into valuable currency, the
dignity and responsibility of the office is appreciated. Since the time in the eighteenth century when Prince Hall presided
over the first lodge of Negro Masons, that fraternity has steadily
increased in power and importance. It is estimated that there are one
hundred thousand colored Free Masons in this country, working in
all the departments of the Order, from the first degree through the
thirty-third. The President of the International Conference of Knights
Templar is William F. Mayo, of Frankfort, Ky. The Sovereign Grand
Commander of the Scottish Rite (33) for the Northern jurisdiction is J.
Frank Rickard, of Detroit, and the Sovereign Grand Commander of the
Southern jurisdiction is Robert L. Pendleton, of Washington. D. C.
Prof. Nelson E. Weatherless is Grand Master of the District of
Columbia. The Grand United Order of Odd Fellows founded by Peter Ogden,
is a tremendous organization, with lodges in every state in the Union.
Hon. Edward H. Morris, of Chicago, is Grand Master, and H. Lincoln
Johnson is Deputy Grand Master. The Knights of Pythias and the Order of Elks each have
thousands of members. The Young Men's Christian Association is
doing a great work under the supervision of the following
international secretaries: J. E. Moorland, W. A. Hunton, J. B.
Watson, D. D. Jones, C. H. Tobias, R. P. Hamlin. You remember that Negroes came with Columbus when he
discovered America; following out the tradition, a Negro, Matthew
Henson, accompanied Peary, when in 1909, he discovered the North
Pole. The assassin of President McKinley was captured by J. B.
Parker, a colored man, immediately after the shooting. There are several colored officers in the United States army.
Those on the retired list are Lieutenant-Colonel Allen Allensworth,
Major John R. Lynch, Major Wm. T. Anderson, Captain
Theophilus G. Steward; in active service are Captain
Geo. W. Prioleau, First Lieutenant Benjamin Oliver Davis,
who was the first U. S. military attaché at Monrovia, Liberia;
First Lieutenant John E. Green, First Lieutenant W. W. E.
Gladden, First Lieutenant Oscar J. W. Scott, First Lieutenant
Louis A. Carter, and Captain Charles Young, who graduated
from West Point Military Academy in 1889, and who will
succeed Lieut. Davis as military attaché in Liberia. Col. Allensworth
has founded a colony in California, after the model
of Mound Bayou, and bearing the founder's name. The bishops of the several branches of the Methodist Church
have ever been in the forefront of all movements for racial uplift and
each has had his share in race development. Prominent in the A. M.
E. Church are Bishops Alexander Walters and Geo. W. Clinton; in the
C. M. E. Church are Bishops Holsey, Cottrell, Williams and Phillips; in
the A. M. E. Church, Bishop Daniel Payne was aptly called "The
Apostle of Education," for throughout his whole life by precept and
example, he taught the advantages of learning. You will remember that
he was largely instrumental in buying Wilberforce University in 1863,
and that he established in this connection a number of literary
societies. At the time of his death he was President of Payne
Theological Seminary at Wilberforce. Dr. B. W. Arnett, afterwards
two years in the Ohio State Legislature. Bishop Albert Johnson of the
A. M. E. Church is carrying on a notable work in South Africa;
Bishop Heard, A. M. E. and Bishop A. B.
Scott of the M. E. Church, are superintending missions in West Africa. Rev. Francis J. Grimke has been for many years the pastor of the Fifteenth
Street Presbyterian Church, Washington, and is well-known as an
example of Christian culture and scholarly attainment. Dr. J. W. E.
Blowen, a prominent member of the M. E. Church, has served as a member
of the faculties of Central Tennessee College and of Gammon
Theological Seminary, Atlanta, is a writer upon race and church
questions and an authority upon the Semitic languages. Among other prominent ministers are Revs. E. L. Henderson, Jas.
C. Russell, George A. McGuire, Hutchins Bishop, W. V. Tunnell,
T. J. Brown, John Johnson, O. A. Mitchell,
G. F. Bragg, F. I. A. Bennett, J. C. VanLoo of the P. E. Church,
Revs. R. C. Ransom, H. C. Kealing, E. C. Morris, S. N.
Brown, W. H. Day, I. N. Ross, John Hurst, B. F. Watson, H.
H. Proctor, M. W. Clair, A. C. Garner, W. H. Brooks, G. R.
Waller, J. M. Waldron, S. J. Comfort, S. D. Rivers, T. W.
Henderson, W. A. Creditt, W. D. Norman, W. J. Howard,
E. B. Gordon, Wm. H. Brooks, R. R. Ball, G. W. Moore, W.
H. Weaver, S. N. Vass, W. M. Alexander, M. C. B. Mason,
S. L. Corrothers, J. T. Jenifer, W. W. McCary. Prof. Jesse
Lawson, Prof. Ira Bryant, Prof. J. R. Hawkins and I. G.
Penn are prominent lay workers. In the Roman Catholic
Church, Father Augustus Tolton, who was ordained abroad,
became famous in this country for his eloquent sermons. He
died in 1891. Other colored priests are Rev. J. Henry Dorsey,
Rev. C. R. Uncles, Rev. J. J. Plantevigne, Rev. Theobald
and Rev. J. H. Burgess. Every minister who feels the responsibility of his office is
a mighty lever for the race, but unless the ministry is encouraged
and supported by the lay members of the church, their efforts
will be greatly hampered. It has become quite a common thing among a certain class
of colored people to deride and belittle the church and the
ministry as though Religion were invented yesterday, by Negroes,
for each other's beguiling. It is true, indeed, that infidelity
and agnosticism are by no means confined to the Negro.
But let all the kindreds and tongues and peoples of the earth
conspire together against Jehovah; let them sneer at His wisdom,
His Justice and His might; let them forsake His covenant
and throw down His altars, let them slay His prophets
with the sword; let them make of His house a den of thieves;
even so, may He, who holds Creation in the hollow of His
hand, and yet marks the sparrow's fall, behold, and see the
Negro, though persecuted and afflicted, though cast down and
almost destroyed, still clinging to the Faith once delivered to
the saints, still looking up, even though through blood and
tears, to the ETERNAL GOD.
DR. WASHINGTON'S ATLANTA EXPOSITION SPEECH.
"The laws of changeless justice bind
Oppressor with oppressed;
And close as sin and suffering joined
We march to fate abreast.
MANIFESTO OF THE NIAGARA MOVEMENT.
"(Signed by) W. E. B. Dubois, Georgia.
Wm. H. Richards, District of Columbia.
B. S. Smith, Kansas.
Wm. Monroe Trotter, Massachusetts.
Wm. H. H. Hart, District of Columbia.
THE LIGHT DIFFUSED.
Perhaps the speech delivered by Mr. Washington upon the occasion of the opening of the Atlanta Exposition in September, 1895, will explain his position most clearly. It was as follows: "One third of the population of the South is of the Negro race. No enterprise seeking the material, civil, or moral welfare of this section can disregard this element of our population, and reach the highest success. I but convey to you, Mr. President and Directors, the sentiment of the masses of my race when I say that in no way have the value and manhood of the American Negro been more fittingly and generously recognized than by the managers of this magnificent Exposition at every stage of its progress. It is a recognition that will do more to cement the friendship of the two races than any occurrence since the dawn of our freedom.
"Not only this, but the opportunity here afforded will awaken among us a new era of industrial progress. Ignorant and inexperienced, it is not strange that in the first years of our new life we began at the top instead of at the bottom; that a seat in Congress or the State Legislature was more sought than real estate or industrial skill; that the political convention or stump speaking had more attractions than starting a dairy farm or truck garden."
"A ship lost at sea for many days suddenly sighted a friendly vessel. From the mast of the unfortunate vessel was seen a signal: 'Water, water; we die of thirst.' The answer from the friendly vessel at once came back: 'Cast down your bucket where you are.' A second time the signal, 'Water, water; send us water,' ran up from the distressed vessel and was answered, 'Cast down your bucket where you are.' And a third and fourth signal for water was answered: 'Cast down your bucket
where you are.' The captain of the distressed vessel, at last heeding the injunction cast down his bucket and it came up full of fresh, sparkling water from the mouth of the Amazon River. To those of my race who depend on bettering their condition in a foreign land, or who underestimate the importance of cultivating friendly relations with the southern white man, who is their next door neighbor, I would say, 'Cast down your bucket where you are.' Cast it down in making friends in every manly way of the people of all races by whom we are surrounded.
"Cast it down in agriculture, mechanics, in commerce, in domestic service, and in the professions. And in this connection it is well to bear in mind that whatever other sins the South may be called to bear, when it comes to business, pure and simple, it is in the South that the Negro is given a man's chance in the commercial world, and in nothing is this Exposition more eloquent than in emphasizing this chance. Our greatest danger is, that in the great leap from slavery to freedom we may overlook the fact that the masses of us are to live by the productions of our hands, and fail to keep in mind that we shall prosper in proportion as we learn to dignify and glorify common labor, and put brains and skill into the common occupations of life; shall prosper in proportion as we learn to draw the line between the superficial and the substantial, the ornamental geegaws of life and the useful. No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem. It is at the bottom of life we must begin, and not at the top. Nor should we permit our grievances to overshadow our opportunities.
"To those of the white race who look to the incoming of those of foreign birth and strange tongue and habits for the prosperity of the South, were I permitted I would repeat what I say to my race, ' Cast down your bucket where you are.' Cast it down among the eight million Negroes whose habits you know, whose fidelity and love you have tested in days when to have proved treacherous meant the ruin of your firesides,
Cast down your bucket among these people who have, without strikes and labor wars, tilled your fields, cleared your forests, builded your railroads and cities, and brought forth treasures from the bowels of the earth, and helped make possible this magnificent representation of the progress of the South. Casting down your bucket among my people, helping and encouraging them as you are doing on these grounds, and to an education of head, hand and heart, you will find that they will buy your surplus land, make blossom the waste places in your fields, and run your factories. While doing this you can be sure in the future as in the past, that you and your families will be surrounded by the most patient, faithful, law-abiding and unresentful people that the world has seen. As we have proved our loyalty to you in the past, in nursing your children, watching by the sick bed of your mothers and fathers, and often following them with tear-dimmed eyes to their graves, so in the future, in our humble way, we shall stand by you with a devotion that no foreigner call approach, ready to lay down our lives, if need be, in defense of yours, interlacing our industrial, commercial, civil, and religious life with yours in a way that shall make the interests of both races one. In all things that are purely social we can be as separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress.
"There is no defense or security for any of us except in the highest intelligence and development of all. If anywhere there are efforts tending to curtail the fullest growth of the Negro, let these efforts be turned into stimulating, encouraging and making him the most useful and intelligent citizen. Effort or means so invested will pay a thousand per cent interest. These efforts will be twice blessed--blessing him that gives and him that takes.
"There is no escape through law of man or God from the inevitable.
"Nearly sixteen millions of hands will aid you in pulling the load upwards, or they will pull against you the load downwards. We shall constitute one-third and more of the ignorance and crime of the South, or one-third its intelligence and progress; we shall contribute one-third to the business and industrial prosperity of the South, or we shall prove a veritable body of death, stagnating, depressing, retarding every effort to advance the body politic.
"Gentlemen of the Exposition, as we present to you our humble effort at an exhibition of our progress, you must not expect overmuch. Starting thirty years ago with ownership here and there in a few quilts and pumpkins and chickens (gathered from miscellaneous sources), remember the path that has led from these to the invention and production of agricultural implements, buggies, steam engines, newspapers, books, statuary, carving, paintings, the management of drug stores and banks, has not been trodden without contact with thorns and thistles. While we take pride in what we exhibit as a result of our independent efforts, we do not for a moment forget that our part in this exhibition would fall far short of your expectations but for the constant help that has come to our educational life, not only from the Southern States, but especially from Northern philanthropists, who have made their gifts a constant stream of blessing and encouragement.
"The wisest of my race understand that the agitation of questions of social equality is the extremest folly, and that progress in the enjoyment of all privileges that will come to us must be the result of severe and constant struggle rather than of artificial forcing. No race that has anything to contribute to the markets of the world is long, in any degree, ostracized. It is important and right that all privileges of the law be ours, but it is vastly more important that we be prepared for the exercise of those privileges. The opportunity to earn a dollar in a factory just now is worth infinitely more than the opportunity to spend a dollar in an opera house.
"In conclusion, may I repeat that nothing in thirty years
has given us more hope and encouragement and drawn us so near to you of the white race, as this opportunity offered by the Exposition; and here, bending, as it were, over the altar that represents the results of the struggle of your race and mine, both starting practically empty-handed three decades ago, I pledge that, in your effort to work out the great and intricate problem which God has laid at the doors of the South, you shall have at all times the patient, sympathetic help of my race. Only let this be constantly in mind that, while from the representations in these buildings of the product of field, of forest, of mine, of factory, letters, and art, much good will come, yet far above and beyond material benefits will be that higher good, that let us pray God will come in a blotting out of sectional differences and racial animosities and suspicions in a determination to administer absolute justice, in a willing obedience among all classes to the mandates of the law. This, coupled with our material prosperity, will bring into our beloved South a new heaven and a new earth."
Dr. William E. B. Dubois was born in Massachusetts, February 23, 1868. He was educated in the public schools of his native State, at Fisk University, Harvard University, and the University of Berlin. Dr. Dubois is widely known as a scholar in the broadest sense of the term--sociologist, teacher, poet,
DR. W. E. BURGHARDT DUBOIS.
author, and is considered one of the greatest writers on Negro questions.
In the world of letters he has received many honors and counts among his personal friends some of the most scholarly and cultured personages of the world. Harvard University conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, and in the great Universal Races Congress, which convened in London, July, 1911, Dr. Dubois so ably presented the case of the American Negro as to attract the attention of thinkers everywhere.
The Radical point of view may, perhaps, be best explained by the address to the country at large adopted at the first conference of the Niagara movement. It reads as follows: "The members of the conference known as the Niagara movement assembled in annual meeting at Buffalo, July 11, 12 and 13, 1905, congratulate the Negro-Americans on certain undoubted evidences of progress in the last decade, particularly the increase of intelligence, the buying of property, the checking of crime, the uplift in home life, the advance in literature and art, and the demonstration of constructive and exhaustive ability in the conduct of great religious, economic and educational institutions.
"At the same time we believe that this class of American citizens should protest emphatically and continually against the curtailment of their political rights. We believe in manhood suffrage; we believe that no man is so good, intelligent or wealthy as to be entrusted wholly with the welfare of his neighbor. We believe also in protest against the curtailment of our civil rights. All American citizens have the right to equal treatment in places of public entertainment according to their behavior and deserts. We especially complain against the denial of equal opportunities to us in economic life; in the rural districts of the South this amounts to peonage and virtual slavery; all over the South it tends to crush labor and small business enterprises, and everywhere American prejudice, helped often by iniquitous laws, is making it more difficult for Negro-Americans to earn a decent living.
"Common school education should be free to all American children and compulsory. High school training should be adequately provided for all and college training should be the monopoly of no class or race in any section of our common country. We believe that in defence of its own institutions, the United States should aid common school education, particularly in the South, and we especially recommend concerted
agitation to this end. We urge an increase in public high school facilities in the South, where the Negro-Americans are almost wholly without such provisions. We favor well-equipped trade and technical schools for the training of artisans, and the need of adequate and liberal endowment of a few institutions of higher education must be patent to sincere well-wishers of the race.
We demand upright judges in courts, juries selected without discrimination on account of color, and the same measure of punishment and the same efforts at reformation for black as for white offenders. We need orphanages and farm schools for dependent children, juvenile reformatories for delinquents and the abolition of the dehumanizing convict-lease system. We note with alarm the evident retrogression in this land of sound public opinion on the subject of manhood rights, republican government and human brotherhood, and we pray God that this nation will not degenerate into a mob of boasters and oppressors, but rather will return to the faith of the fathers; that all men were created equal with certain inalienable rights. We plead for health, for an opportunity to live in decent houses and localities, for a chance to rear our children in physical and moral cleanliness.
We hold up for public execration, the conduct of two opposite classes of men: The practice among employers of importing ignorant Negro-American laborers in emergencies, and then affording them neither protection nor permanent employment; and the practice of labor unions of proscribing and boycotting and oppressing thousands of their fellow toilers, simply because they are black. These methods have accentuated and will accentuate the war of labor and capital, and they are disgraceful to both sides.
"We refuse to allow the impression that the Negro-American assents to inferiority, is submissive under oppression and apologetic before insults. Through helplessness we may submit, but the voice of protest of ten million Americans must never cease to assail the ears of their fellows, so long as America is
unjust. Any discrimination based simply on race or color is barbarous, we care not how hallowed it be by custom, expediency or prejudice. Differences made on account of ignorance, immorality, poverty or disease may be legitimate methods of reform and against them we have no word of protest; but discriminations based simply and solely on physical peculiarities, place of birth, color of skin, are relics of that unreasoning human savagery of which the world is and ought to be thoroughly ashamed. We protest against the Jim Crow car, since its effect is and must be to make us pay first-class fare for third-class accommodations, render us open to insults and discomfort and to crucify wantonly our manhood, womanhood and self-respect."
"We regret that this nation has never seen fit adequately to reward the black soldiers who in its five wars have defended their country with their blood and yet have been systematically denied the promotions which their abilities deserve. And we regard as unjust the exclusion of black boys from the military and naval training schools.
"We urge upon Congress the enactment of appropriate legislation for securing the proper enforcement of those articles of freedom, the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments of the Constitution of the United States. We repudiate the monstrous doctrine that the oppressor shall be the sole authority as to the rights of the oppressed.
"The Negro race in America, stolen, ravished and degraded, struggling up through difficulties and oppression, needs sympathy and receives criticism; needs help and is given hindrance; needs protection and is given mob violence; needs justice and is given charity; needs leadership and is given cowardice and apology; needs bread and is given a stone. This nation will never stand justified before God until these things are changed. Especially are we surprised and astonished at the recent attitude of the Church of Christ--on the increase of a desire to bow to racial prejudice, to narrow the bounds of human brotherhood, and to segregate black men in some
outer sanctuary. This is wrong, un-Christian and disgraceful to the twentieth century civilization.
"Of the above grievances we do not hesitate to complain, and to complain loudly and insistently. To ignore, overlook or apologize for these wrongs is to prove ourselves unworthy of freedom. Persistent, manly agitation is the way to liberty, and toward this goal the Niagara movement has started and asks the co-operation of all men of all races. At the same time we want to acknowledge with deep thankfulness the help of our fellow men from the Abolitionist down to those who today stand for equal opportunity and who have given and still give of their wealth and of their poverty for our advancement.
"And while we are demanding, and ought to demand and will continue to demand, the rights enumerated above, God forbid that we should ever forget to urge corresponding duties upon our people:
"The duty to vote.
"The duty to respect the rights of others.
"The duty to work.
"The duty to obey the laws.
"The duty to be clean and orderly.
"The duty to send our children to school.
"The duty to respect ourselves, even as we respect others.
"This statement, complaint and prayer we submit to the American people, and to Almighty God.
"Representing delegates from fourteen states; assented to by members in twenty-four states."
Listening, as one often does, to a discussion between ardent supporters of the Conservative and the Radical schools of
thought, one is reminded of the story of the encounter between two knights of olden times.
These knights, approaching each other from opposite directions, When within speaking distance, observed suspended over the road, a beautiul shield. Said Knight Number One, "I pray thee, friend, what is the meaning of yonder golden shield?" Knight Number Two replied, "Its meaning I know not, but I do know that it is a silver and not A golden shield." Whereupon, as was the custom in those days, they challenged each other to combat to decide which of them was right.
After a long struggle, having unwittingly exchanged positions, they glanced upward at the shield and found that each was right, for while on one side the shield was silver, it was golden on the other.
So when they realized that "each was partly in the right and each was partly wrong," they took down the shield, claiming it as their common property and clasping hands across it, they swore eternal fealty. Seeking the main road, the two knights journeyed together, loyal comrades and the shield was their defense against all enemies.
LOOKING backward nearly two hundred years, we come to the time of the birth of Benjamin Banneker, who became a scientific farmer, mathematician, astronomer, surveyor, writer; coming nearer we find Phillis Wheatley, student and literary genius, and as we approach our own time we are happy to see that the lights of intelligence, industry and culture which they held aloft have multiplied in number and increased in brightness and that, today, there is no sign of waning. There is scarcely a field of human endeavor into which Negroes have not entered with (all things considered) astonishing success. Besides the men and women already mentioned in this book, there are thousands who have made the most of their abilities and opportunities, some of whom are known to their respective communities only, while others have attained a national reputation. It will be readily understood that in so small a volume as this only a passing reference can be made to a few persons.
During the "Electric Age," the following women, among many others, have come into prominence: Miss Lucy Laney, founder of Haines N. and I. Institute; Miss Jennie Dean,
founder of Manassas Industrial School; Mrs. Dinah Watts Pace, founder of a Home for Homeless and Friendless Children at Covington, Ga.; Mrs. Amanda Smith, founder and manager of an Orphan Home at Chicago; Miss Amanda R. Bowen, founded and for many years supported the Sojourner Truth Home for Working Girls at Washington, D. C.
The Home for Friendless Girls was founded in Washington, D. C., by a number of colored women of whom Mrs. Caroline Taylor was the leading spirit and president of the association. Mrs. Taylor literally gave her life for this work, for while inspecting the premises, she met with an accident which was almost immediately fatal. Succeeding Mrs. Taylor, her daughter, Mrs. John Pierre, was for several years president of the association and maintained the work through many vicissitudes. Mrs. Pierre was succeeded in 1909 by Mrs. Rosetta E. Lawson.
Miss Elizabeth C. Carter, president of the National Association of Colored Women was the moving spirit in the establishment of the Home for the Aged in New Bedford, Mass. Through Miss Carter's untiring endeavors, this institution has become one of the most flourishing of its kind in the country.
Miss Nannie Borroughs, of Washington, D. C., is the founder and president of the National Training School for Women and Girls located at Lincoln Heights, D. C. This school is filling a long-felt need.
Mrs. Margaret Murray Washington, of Tuskegee, has for years been an inspiration and incentive to the women of her community and of the whole state. These women founded a Reformatory for Boys and supported it for several years. It. was formally turned over to the state authorities a short while ago, and the women are planning other activities.
Besides her work in women's clubs, Mrs. Mary Church Terrell is known as an accomplished linguist and is in great demand as a lecturer.
Mrs. Eliza E. Peterson, National Superintendent of work
among colored people for the National Women's Christian Temperance Union, is widely known as a consecrated and tireless worker and a magnetic speaker upon temperance and kindred subjects. Mrs. Rosetta E. Lawson is a National Organizer in the W. C. T. U.
Miss Cordelia Ray is said to be the first colored woman to receive a diploma as graduate in law. She is also the author of a volume of poems.
Mrs. Carrie W. Clifford is a well-known elocutionist and club woman, and has written a book of poems. Mrs. Fannie Barrier Williams, of Chicago, is a noted club worker, writer and lecturer. Mrs. Harriet Gibbs Marshall is the founder and president of the Washington Conservatory of Music and of the National Association of Musical and Art Clubs. Mrs. Anna J. Cooper is a well-known author and educator. Mrs. Carrie Wilder Harris is a member of the Board of Education of the District of Columbia. Mrs. Addie W. Hunton, Mrs. Emma Ransome, Mrs. Elizabeth Ross Haines and Miss Cecelia Holloway are prominently identified with the National Young Women's Christian Association.
Miss Hallie Q. Brown has lectured extensively in Europe and America. Mrs. Ida Wells Barnett toured England and America a few years ago and aroused sentiment against the lynching evil. Mrs. Sarah Collins Fernandis, first head resident at Washington Social Settlement and also at Neighborhood Cottage, East Greenwich, R. I., is the pioneer trained settlement worker of the race. Mrs. Maggie L. Walker is President of the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank and of the St. Luke Emporium, Richmond, Va.
As school teachers and trained nurses colored women have been notably successful.
Col. George W. Williams, the great Negro historian, was born in Pennsylvania, October 16, 1849, and was educated in private and public schools. He entered the Union Army and served with distinction throughout the Civil War. After the war he took a course in West Newton Theological Seminary,
Mass., and later became the editor of the Southwestern Review. He was at one time judge advocate of the Ohio G. A. R. His History of the Negro, in two volumes, was published in 1883, and is the great authority upon the subject. Colonel Williams was the first colored man ever elected to the Ohio. Legislature.
Charles W. Chestnut was born in Ohio in 1858. He was reared in North Carolina, and while yet a youth began to teach in the public schools of the latter state. Later he became principal of the State Colored Norm School at Fayetteville. Mr. Chestnut left the South in 1883 and went to New York and later to Ohio. He contributed to newspapers and magazines, served as stenographer and practiced law. As a novelist he is well known. Some of his most successful works are the "Conjure Woman," "The Wife of His Youth," "The House Behind the Cedars," "The Marrow of Tradition."
Paul Lawrence Dunbar, aptly called "the Burns of the Negro race," has embalmed in poetry and prose much of the pathos, the wit, the latent music and the hitherto unexpressed longings of the Negro for the highest things. Dunbar was born in Ohio in 1872 and though at the time of his death he was still a young man, he left an indelible mark upon American literature.
William Stanley Braithwaite, the greatest living Negro poet, was born in Boston in 1878. When twelve years of age, he left school and began to learn the printer's trade, Compelled by ill health to change his occupation, he supported himself by one employment and another, still studying as best he could, until at the age of twenty he began to write. In 1904 he published his first book, "Lyrics of Life and Love." So far, the Survey of English Poetry from 1557 to 1910 is considered Mr. Braithwaite's greatest work.
Dr. William A. Sinclair, Mr. George W. Forbes, J. T. Wilson, W. H. Thompson, Misses Pauline Hopkins, Angelina Grimke, Jesse Fauset, E. F. G. Merritt, Messers Barnet N.
Dodson, L. M. Hershaw, Oliver Randolph, F. H. M. Murray, are well known writers. Alaine Leroy Locke, of Pennsylvania, was the first colored student to receive a Rhodes scholarship. He studied at Oxford during 1907-10, and is now at the University of Berlin.
Among the pioneer newspaper men is T. Thomas Fortune, a native of Florida. Going to New York he established in 1881 the New York Globe which later became the New York Age. This paper he edited for a number of years. The Age is now published by Fred R. Moore. The elevated tone of the paper, its literary style, abundant information and mechanical excellence has for many years placed it among the leading colored publications. Mr. Fortune has published several books.
The Washington Bee, W. Calvin Chase, editor and owner, was first published in 1882, and has been continuously issued. It is one of the colored publications issued from its own premises.
John Mitchell of the Richmond Planet (1883) is an aggressive editor and has done much to expose the lynching evil.
William Monroe Trotter is the editor of the Boston Guardian, a paper widely known for its radical stand for manhood rights for the Negro.
Edward E. Cooper, founder of the Indianapolis Freeman and later of the Colored American of Washington, D. C., was one of the most enterprising of newspaper publishers. The Afro-American of Baltimore is one of the best known papers in the country. It is edited by John H. Murphy who has for many years taken an active part in the civil, fraternal and business life of Baltimore.
Mr. Chris. Perry, editor of the Philadelphia Tribune (1895) is well known as an able newspaper man. Other veteran writers are John Wesley Cromwell, who founded the People's Advocate in 1876; Charles Alexander of Boston, John E. Bruce, president of the Negro Society for Historical Research. John C. Dancy was for many years editor of the Star of Zion and subsequently Recorder of Deeds for District of Columbia.
Prominent among church papers are the Christian Recorder, the Southwesern Christian Advocate, Star of Zion, American Baptist, A. M. E. Church Review, Voice of Missions, Presbyterian Herald.
Dr. Daniel H. Williams, now of Chicago, was born in Pennsylvania in 1858. He stands among the great surgeons of our country. "He came into prominence when a very young man by performing one of the most difficult of surgical operations on the heart and poricardium, thereby saving the life of a man who had been stabbed in the heart." In 1894 Dr. Williams was appointed surgeon-in-chief of Freedman's Hospital, Washington, D. C., and remained in that position for several years.
Dr. Williams was succeeded at Freedman's by Dr. A. M. Curtis, who has a wide reputation as a successful physician and surgeon. Dr. R. F. Boyd, of Nashville, is an authority on chemistry, gynecology and clinical medicine. Boyd's Infirmary, with two large surgical wards, two operating rooms and twenty rooms has been recently opened. Dr. William A. Warfield, the present surgeon-in-chief at Freedman's Hospital, is considered one of the most rapid and skillful surgeons in the country and the many delicate and difficult operations performed by him testify to his ability.
Among other successful physicians are Drs. Marcus Wheatland, Newport; Chas. E. Bentley and George Hall of Chicago; N. F. Mossell of Philadelphia; T. E. Bailey and W. J. Thompkins , Kansas City; J. A. Wormley, N. T. Cotton, New Jersey; Wm. F. Penn, Atlanta; L. A. Cornish, Cincinnati; W. L. Bulkley, Johnson, Henderson, New York; Drs. J. A. Kenney, W. S. Lofton, F. G. Elliot, A. T. Robinson, Amanda V. Gray, Julia P. H. Coleman, C. H. Marshall, G. E. Cannon, C. H. Shepard, W. E. Sterrs, W. T. Carr, E. A. Carter, J. J. France, R. T. Hamilton, J. W. Ames, W. C. Smalls, H. F. Gamble, H. H. Phipps, J. A. C. Lattimore, C. S. Wormley, J. H. N. Waring, J C. Dowling, H. W. Ross, W. C. McNeill, J. C. Anderson, John Thompson, S. A. Furniss, J. W. Darden, J. W. McDowell,
H. G. McKerrow, J. D. Nelson, C. L. Carter, G. N. Stoney, E. P. Roberts, F. S. Hargrave, J. C. Norwood, A. Ridgley, J. C., Norwood, M. O. Dumas, C. A. Tignor, A. S. Gray, E. M. Boyle, S. F. L. Carson, G. W. Davis, C. A. Brooks, Moses Amos, W. C. Gordon, John R. Francis, G. W. Cabiness, James R. Wilder, John W. Mitchell, S. S. Thompson, P. W. Price, C. W. Childs, E. D. Williston, C. I. West, and a large number of dentists and pharmacists. Drs. Courtney, Garland, Stewart, Comfort, Boston.
Henry Ossawa Tanner is rated among the foremost living artists of the world. Mr. Tanner is a son of Bishop B. T. Tanner of the A. M. E. Church, and was born in Pittsburg in 1859. He finished the public school course, and having long felt a desire to study art, he entered the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Going to Paris, he studied under Jean Paul Laurens and Benjamin Constant. Mr. Tanner has received several prizes and medals for excellent work and some of his paintings hang in the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Carnegie Institute, the Wilstach Collection and in the Luxombourg, Paris. Two of his paintings, "The Return of the Holy Women" and "The Three Marys" were, in 1911, part of a special exhibit in the Corcoran Art Galley at Washington.
In 1876, "at the Philadelphia Centennial, a first prize was awarded to a beautiful landscape painting called "The Oaks," and labeled Bannister. The judges announced the prize, but were amazed when a modest looking Negro stepped up in answer to the name of Bannister and took both prize and picture. From that time till his death, some years ago, Edmond M. Bannister of Boston was recognized as an artist of much talent He devoted all of his time to his chosen profession, painting many pictures which are owned by Boston and Providence private collections, and when he died, his brother artists of Providence erected over his grave a beautiful monument in token of their high esteem."
Of Edmonia Lewis, the sculptor, it is said that though "of lowly birth, left an orphan when quite young, unable to obtain a liberal education, she nevertheless determined to be somebody and do something." When quite a young woman she went to Boston and there, through the kindness of William Lloyd Garrison, she was enabled to receive lessons in modeling from Mr. Brackett, the sculptor. An excellent bust of Robert Gould Shaw, finished in 1865, was her first piece of importance. Miss Lewis finally obtained the desire of her heart--to study in Rome--and her work there attracted much attention, her studio becoming one of the show places of the student's quarter. In 1876, she brought over to the Centennial Exposition several well executed pieces. "The only productions of her later years now in America are contained in the four portrait busts of Longfellow, Sumner, John Brown and Lincoln in the public library of San Jose, Cal."
The most noted colored musician is the Anglo-African, Samuel Coleridge Taylor. He was born in London in 1875 and was educated in that city. His genius showed itself early and he wrote several compositions. When in his twentieth year, he wrote the wonderful Hiawatha Triology, a setting to music of portions of Longfellow's poem. He has also developed a number of the Negro folk-songs and other compositions of acknowledged merit. "While the world is admiring Coleridge Taylor, the composer, it must not be forgotten that he is first of all a master of the violin. Like George Augustine P. Bridgetower, that other celebrated colored violinist of London (about 1800), for whom Beethoven wrote the "Krutzer Sonata," and whose matchless rendering of it in a Vienna concert caused the ecstatic German to leap from his seat, throw his arms around Bridgetower, and shout, "Once more, my dear fellow, once more." Coleridge Taylor first gained his English reputation with his violin. It is still his favorite instrument when not composing."
Walter H. Loving, of Washington, D. C., organized in the Philippines the world renowned Constabulary Band, which
tied for the first prize at the World's Fair in St. Louis. Captain Loving is acknowledged one of the world's greatest hand masters.
Melville Charleton, organist, and R. Augustus Lawson, pianist; Joseph G. Douglass, grandson of Frederick Douglass, and Clarence Cameron White, Felix Weir, Leonard Jeter, violinists; Harry T. Burleigh, Sidney Woodward, John T. Layton, Sissisretta Jones, Abbie Mitchell, Harry A. Williams, Dr. C. Summer Wormley, Charlotte Wallace, Ralph W. Amos, Marie James, Ernest R. Amos, Nettie Murray, vocalists; Walter Craig, Charles Hamilton, orchestra leaders; W. M. Cook, J. R. Johnson, Robert Cole, composers; H. L. Grant, Hamilton Hodges, are well known to the musical world. Isaac Hathaway, of Washington, is a rising sculptor.
The Hon. John M. Langston was born a slave in Virginia in 1829, but in his early youth managed to acquire the foundation for an education. Later he entered Oberlin College and graduated with honor. He was a successful lawyer and "as college president, foreign minister, orator and politician, he exercised a wide influence for the good of his race. He was one of the bravest of the brave in public matters and his influence upon young colored men was widespread and admirable."
Hon. John P. Green was born in North Carolina, but when he was a lad his father having died his mother made a home in Cleveland, After a short time spent in the public schools, followed by a period in which he worked to assist his mother and studied in spare time, young Green wrote and published a pamphlet of essays and sold about fifteen hundred of them. He entered the high school and completed the course in nearly one-half the required time, graduating at the head of his class. He studied law in a private office and at the Cleveland Law School of which he is a graduate. Mr. Green has received many public honors, serving as justice of the peace, member of the Ohio Legislature, and was appointed United States Stamp Agent by President McKinley.
Hon. W. H. Clifford has also served as a member of the Ohio Legislature.
Hon. T. McCants Stewart, a well-known colored American lawyer, practiced in this country several years and was subsequently a member of the bar of Honolulu, Hawaii. He is now a justice of the supreme court of Liberia. His son, T. McCants Stewart, Jr., is also a lawyer and was the first colored person to graduate from the University of Minnesota.
Hon. James Carol Napier of Nashville, graduated from the law department of Howard University. Upon his return to Nashville, he not only practiced his profession, but actively entered into the business, civil and political, life of the community, and has held many positions of honor and trust. Mr. Napier succeeded Mr. Vernon as Register of the Treasury in 1911.
Judge Robert H. Terrell is a graduate of Harvard and an able lawyer. He holds, by Presidential appointment, the position of judge in the Municipal Court of the District of Columbia.
Hon. Richard T. Greener graduated from Harvard College with high honors in 1870. As teacher, lawyer, orator, editor and statesman, Mr. Greener has made his mark upon his day and generation. He was lately U. S. Consul to Vladivostok, Russia.
James A. Cobb is a well-known lawyer and by Presidential appointment is Assistant U. S. District Attorney for the District of Columbia. Judge Miflin W. Gibbs is a veteran lawyer of Arkansas and was at one time U. S. Consul to Tamatave, Madagascar.
In the several states there have been and are many successful lawyers, among whom are J. Madison Vance of New Orleans; B. F. Booth and J. T. Little of Memphis, Tenn.; D. Augustus Straker of Detroit; H. G. Parker, Lloyd G. Wheeler, Ferdinand L. Barnett, S. Laing Williams, Edward H. Morris
of Chicago; S. A. Jones, Little Rock; S. A. McElwee, Alfred Menefee, Nashville; W. H. H. Hart, W. H. Richards, Royal A. Hughes, Fountain Peyton, E. M. Hewlett, Wm. L. Pollard, W. C. Chase, L. M. King, A. W. Scott, R. L. Waring, Washington, D. C.; B. S. Smith, Wm. R. Morris, Minneapolis; P. J. Randall, Oakland, Cal.; H. F. Bowles, Natchez; J. E. Burgee, Chattanooga; O. F. Garrett, Grenville, Miss.; Geo. W. Mitchell, Philadelphia; Rufus L. Perry, Brooklyn; L. H. Codwan, Columbus, Ohio; Cornelius McDougal, E. A. Johnson, J. L. Curtis, New York; J. L. Mitchell, Providence; Clement Morgan, Butler Wilson, Boston; I. H. Nutter, member city council, Atlantic City; F. L. McGee, St. Paul; T. J. Calloway, was in charge of the Negro exhibits at the Paris Exposition of 1900 and at the Jamestown Exposition; of the latter, Mr. A. F. Hilyer was assistant.
Prof. W. S. Scarborough, president of Wilberforce University, is the author of Greek and Latin text-books; Prof. Kelly Miller, a noted writer on Negro questions, is dean of the College Department, Howard University; Prof. W. H. Crogman, of Clark University, is a well-known linguist, writer and educator; Prof. Geo. W. Cook, secretary of Howard University, was for many years dean of the Commercial Department; Prof. J. C. Price, was a renowned orator, and at the time of his death, was president of Livingston College; Dr. L. B. Moore is dean of the Teacher's College, Howard University.
Prof. W. H. Councill founded and for many years was president of Normal Agricultural and Mechanical College; he also founded and was editor of the Huntsville (Ala.) Herald. Prof. R. C. Bruce, son of the late Senator Bruce, is a graduate of Harvard College and is a gifted orator. He is Assistant Superintendent of Public Schools at Washington, D. C. Prof. Richard Robert Wright helped to organize the Georgia State Industrial College and became its president; his son, R. R. Wright, Jr., is an authority upon sociological questions and is managing editor of the A. M. E. publication. Prof.
E. C. Williams is principal of the M Street High School, and Dr. W. B. Evans is principal of the Armstrong Technical High School, Washington, D. C. Prof. W. H. Hotzclaw is principal of Utica N. and I. Institute, Mississippi. Dr. Lucy E. Moten, principal of Normal School, Washington, D. C. Dr. W. S. Montgomery and John C. Nalle, are well known educators.
The colored members of Congress, during the period under consideration, were James C. O'Hara, 48th and 49th Congresses; John M. Langston, Va., 51st Congress; Thos. H. Miller and H. P. Cheatam, 52nd and 53rd Congresses; George W. Murray, 53rd and 54th Congresses; George H. White, 55th Congress. In the Diplomatic Service at present are William D. Crum, of South Carolina, Minister Resident and Consul-General to Liberia; Richard C. Bundy, of Ohio, Secretary of Legation, Monrovia; Henry W. Furniss, of Indiana, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Haiti. Consuls; L. W. Livingston, Florida, Consul at Cape Haitien, Haiti; G. W. Jackson, Connecticut, Consul at Cognac, France; W. H. Hunt, New York, Consul at St. Etienne, France; H. R. Wright, Iowa, Consul at Puerto Cabelle, Venezuela; J. W. Johnson, New York, Consul at Corinte, Nicarauga; W. J. Yerby, of Tennessee, Consul at Sierra Leone, West Africa; J. G. Carter, Georgia, Consul at Tamatave, Madagascar; C. H. Payne, West Virginia, Consul at St. Thomas, Danish West Indies.
Besides Federal office holders already named are Chas. A. Cottrell, Collector of the Port of Honolulu; W. H. Lewis, Assistant Attorney General of the United States; Chas. W. Anderson, Collector of Internal Revenue, New York; Ralph W. Tyler, Auditor of the Navy; Whitfield McKinley, Collector of Customs, Georgetown, D. C.; H. A. Rucker, Collector of Internal Revenue, Atlanta, Ga.; Jos. E. Lee, Collector of Internal Revenue, Jacksonville, Fla.; Jas. H. Deveaux, Collector
of Customs, Savannah, Ga.; J. Lincoln Johnson, Recorder of Deeds, District of Columbia; S. Laing Williams, Assistant District Attorney, Chicago; James M. Alexander, Deputy Collector. at Los Angeles, Cal.; ex-Gov. P. B. S. Pinchback, Internal Revenue Agent, New York; W. T. Vernon, Supervisor of Indian and Negro Schools, Oklahoma; Cyrus Field Adams, Assistant Register of the Treasury; Nathan Alexander, Register of Land Office, Montgomery, Alabama.
The following have been Registers of the Treasury: Hon. B. K. Bruce, Judson W. Lyons, W. T. Vernon. and J. C. Napier, the present Register. When it is remembered that the signature of the occupant of this position turns worthless paper into valuable currency, the dignity and responsibility of the office is appreciated.
Since the time in the eighteenth century when Prince Hall presided over the first lodge of Negro Masons, that fraternity has steadily increased in power and importance. It is estimated that there are one hundred thousand colored Free Masons in this country, working in all the departments of the Order, from the first degree through the thirty-third. The President of the International Conference of Knights Templar is William F. Mayo, of Frankfort, Ky. The Sovereign Grand Commander of the Scottish Rite (33) for the Northern jurisdiction is J. Frank Rickard, of Detroit, and the Sovereign Grand Commander of the Southern jurisdiction is Robert L. Pendleton, of Washington. D. C. Prof. Nelson E. Weatherless is Grand Master of the District of Columbia.
The Grand United Order of Odd Fellows founded by Peter Ogden, is a tremendous organization, with lodges in every state in the Union. Hon. Edward H. Morris, of Chicago, is Grand Master, and H. Lincoln Johnson is Deputy Grand Master.
The Knights of Pythias and the Order of Elks each have thousands of members. The Young Men's Christian Association is doing a great work under the supervision of the following
international secretaries: J. E. Moorland, W. A. Hunton, J. B. Watson, D. D. Jones, C. H. Tobias, R. P. Hamlin.
You remember that Negroes came with Columbus when he discovered America; following out the tradition, a Negro, Matthew Henson, accompanied Peary, when in 1909, he discovered the North Pole. The assassin of President McKinley was captured by J. B. Parker, a colored man, immediately after the shooting.
There are several colored officers in the United States army. Those on the retired list are Lieutenant-Colonel Allen Allensworth, Major John R. Lynch, Major Wm. T. Anderson, Captain Theophilus G. Steward; in active service are Captain Geo. W. Prioleau, First Lieutenant Benjamin Oliver Davis, who was the first U. S. military attaché at Monrovia, Liberia; First Lieutenant John E. Green, First Lieutenant W. W. E. Gladden, First Lieutenant Oscar J. W. Scott, First Lieutenant Louis A. Carter, and Captain Charles Young, who graduated from West Point Military Academy in 1889, and who will succeed Lieut. Davis as military attaché in Liberia. Col. Allensworth has founded a colony in California, after the model of Mound Bayou, and bearing the founder's name.
The bishops of the several branches of the Methodist Church have ever been in the forefront of all movements for racial uplift and each has had his share in race development. Prominent in the A. M. E. Church are Bishops Alexander Walters and Geo. W. Clinton; in the C. M. E. Church are Bishops Holsey, Cottrell, Williams and Phillips; in the A. M. E. Church, Bishop Daniel Payne was aptly called "The Apostle of Education," for throughout his whole life by precept and example, he taught the advantages of learning. You will remember that he was largely instrumental in buying Wilberforce University in 1863, and that he established in this connection a number of literary societies. At the time of his death he was President of Payne Theological Seminary at Wilberforce. Dr. B. W. Arnett, afterwards bishop, served
two years in the Ohio State Legislature. Bishop Albert Johnson of the A. M. E. Church is carrying on a notable work in South Africa; Bishop Heard, A. M. E. and Bishop A. B. Scott of the M. E. Church, are superintending missions in West Africa.
Rev. Francis J. Grimke has been for many years the pastor of the Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church, Washington, and is well-known as an example of Christian culture and scholarly attainment. Dr. J. W. E. Blowen, a prominent member of the M. E. Church, has served as a member of the faculties of Central Tennessee College and of Gammon Theological Seminary, Atlanta, is a writer upon race and church questions and an authority upon the Semitic languages.
Among other prominent ministers are Revs. E. L. Henderson, Jas. C. Russell, George A. McGuire, Hutchins Bishop, W. V. Tunnell, T. J. Brown, John Johnson, O. A. Mitchell, G. F. Bragg, F. I. A. Bennett, J. C. VanLoo of the P. E. Church, Revs. R. C. Ransom, H. C. Kealing, E. C. Morris, S. N. Brown, W. H. Day, I. N. Ross, John Hurst, B. F. Watson, H. H. Proctor, M. W. Clair, A. C. Garner, W. H. Brooks, G. R. Waller, J. M. Waldron, S. J. Comfort, S. D. Rivers, T. W. Henderson, W. A. Creditt, W. D. Norman, W. J. Howard, E. B. Gordon, Wm. H. Brooks, R. R. Ball, G. W. Moore, W. H. Weaver, S. N. Vass, W. M. Alexander, M. C. B. Mason, S. L. Corrothers, J. T. Jenifer, W. W. McCary. Prof. Jesse Lawson, Prof. Ira Bryant, Prof. J. R. Hawkins and I. G. Penn are prominent lay workers. In the Roman Catholic Church, Father Augustus Tolton, who was ordained abroad, became famous in this country for his eloquent sermons. He died in 1891. Other colored priests are Rev. J. Henry Dorsey, Rev. C. R. Uncles, Rev. J. J. Plantevigne, Rev. Theobald and Rev. J. H. Burgess.
Every minister who feels the responsibility of his office is a mighty lever for the race, but unless the ministry is encouraged and supported by the lay members of the church, their efforts will be greatly hampered.
It has become quite a common thing among a certain class of colored people to deride and belittle the church and the ministry as though Religion were invented yesterday, by Negroes, for each other's beguiling. It is true, indeed, that infidelity and agnosticism are by no means confined to the Negro. But let all the kindreds and tongues and peoples of the earth conspire together against Jehovah; let them sneer at His wisdom, His Justice and His might; let them forsake His covenant and throw down His altars, let them slay His prophets with the sword; let them make of His house a den of thieves; even so, may He, who holds Creation in the hollow of His hand, and yet marks the sparrow's fall, behold, and see the Negro, though persecuted and afflicted, though cast down and almost destroyed, still clinging to the Faith once delivered to the saints, still looking up, even though through blood and tears, to the ETERNAL GOD.