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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,
(title page) Colored Orphan Asylum of North Carolina, Oxford, N.C.
Colored Orphan Asylum (Oxford, N.C.)
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Call number Cp 362.7 C71 (North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
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The Colored Orphan Association of North Carolina was organized in the town of Henderson in the month of August, 1883.
Rev. A. Shepard, Sunday School Missionary of North Carolina, under the American Baptist Publication Society of Philadelphia, after traveling over the State for many years in the interest of the Sunday School Mission work, saw the pressing need of some kind of an institution in which the hundreds of destitute colored orphan children of the State might be taken from the gutters of vice and misery and the homes of helpless poverty, and with proper care might be trained to be good and useful citizens; and instead of being a dark blot upon civilization and Christianity, they might become blessings in the communities in which they live.
Rev. Shepard, therefore, consulted some of the best Christian men of the State upon the feasibility of a plan to care for these helpless children.
The Wake Baptist Association and the Shiloh Baptist Association were the first organized Christian bodies that manifest interest in the scheme; both of these bodies appointed delegates to meet in the town of Henderson, N. C., in the month of August, 1883, for the purpose of organizing an Orphan Association. Since then both of these Associations have contributed to the founding and to the annual support of the Asylum.
The Association was at first organized "The Colored Baptist Orphan Association of North Carolina," but in
a few months afterwards, in order to take in and care for all the needy colored orphan children of the State; and that regardless of church, the most needy should have the preference in being admitted, the word "Baptist" by unanimous consent of the Association, which was then all Baptist, was stricken from the name of the Association, so when the doors of the Asylum were first opened for the reception of inmates, the most needy colored orphan children were invited to come, regardless of denomination.
Many of our good men said at first that it was impossible for the colored people to successfully get up and run such an institution. Many of our good men, and as we thought wise men, would not come into the Association, and some who agreed for their names to be connected with it, afterward withdrew, because they believed it would be a sad failure.
Many of the best white people encouraged the movement, and some of them tendered substantial aid in helping us commence the work by giving of their means.
The Asylum is partly supported by private contributions, from churches, etc.
The Baptist State Sunday School Convention and many of the Baptist County Sunday School Conventions, the Baptist State Educational and Missionery Convention and some of the Baptist Associations of the State, in their organic laws, make it one of their objects to give annually something to the Asylum for its support. The Baptist Women's Home Mission State Convention gives over $75 each year. Besides the Baptists, the
Methodists and the Presbyterians are the most liberal contributors to the work. They always give something when the work is presented, and also other denominations give when the work is brought before them.
During the summer months some ladies are employed as traveling agents, each traveling with three or four children, giving concerts, holding meetings and soliciting what aid they can from churches and individuals. The Grand Lodge of Colored Free Masons gives to the Asylum from $100 te $121 annually. The Grand Lodge of Good Samaritans in their annual meetings always give something when the cause is presented to them. Mr. Washington Duke, Mr. B. N. Duke, Mr. Watts and Gen. J. S. Carr, of Durham, have been the largest regular individual contributors to the Asylum. The first time that Mr. B. N. Duke visited the Asylum, after going through some of the buildings, expressed his satisfaction by leaving his check for $100. If some more of our great-hearted philanthropists would visit our Institution and see the work that is being carried forward and the pressing needs, we know that they too would be constrained to give of their means to help further the great cause. The Legislature of North Carolina in the year 1891 granted an annual appropriation of $1,000 to the Asylum; in 1893 it was increased to $1,500; in 1895 to $3,000; and in 1897 the Legislature raised it to $5,000. In answers to appeals through newspapers and circulars issued by the Superintendent, something is realized.
The Association at first purchased twenty-three acres of land about one mile South of the town of Oxford for
$1,565. Upon this lot was a small building with three rooms and a small barn. But since then there has been erected a two-story building for boys. Attached to this is a large nice dining hall 30×60 feet, and a cook room. About 250 yards from the boys building is a two-story building for the girls. In this building is the sewing room. Near it the laundry; also the school house and barns are upon this lot. In 1898 a one-acre lot was purchased for $100 just across the road from the first lot of land, and upon this is erected a two-story building with nine rooms. This building is used for the Super-intendent's home.
In 1879 the Association purchased a 144-acre farm, running within a few hundred yards of the Asylum, for $1,440. Upon this farm the children are trained to work, raising corn, wheat, oats, peas, beans, sorghum, potatoes and cotton. They own four head of very good horses, two mules and six cows. They raise a goodly portion of the pork used in the Asylum.
The girls are taught to cook, sew, wash and iron, and general house-keeping.
. . . . .N. C., . . . . . 190 .
This is to certify that . . . . . orphan., . . . . . years of age, without estate, and sound in body and mind. . . . . . father died in 19. .; . . . . . mother in 19. .: I being . . . . . hereby make application for . . . . . admission into the Orphan Asylum at Oxford. I also relinquish and convey to the officers of the Asylum the management and control of said orphan. , in order that . . . . . may be trained according to the regulations of the Asylum. I also promise not to annoy the Asylum, and not to encourage the said orphan. to leave without the approval of the Superintendent.
(Signed) . . . . . . . . . .
Almost daily there are applications for the admission of children. These applications are made with the most heart-touching tales of wretchedness in behalf of little boys and girls who suffer with hunger and cold with no
one to give unto them; worse still they are left in the depths of moral degradation, which is far worse than hunger and cold. Many are turned away because there is no room for them. Every effort is being made in the way of making more room, and in getting bedding, food and clothing.
Pastors of different churches are invited to preach to the children. At least twenty minutes is spent every morning in reading the scripture and prayer. Have Sunday-school every Sabbath; prayer meeting every Thursday evening.
The children are taught to be kind and to respect each other, and to be truthful and honest.
Neatness in person is one of the laws of the institution.
The present Superintendent, Rev. R. Shepard, is one of the most consecrated Christian men in the State. Every one who knows him has the utmost confidence in his Christian integrity. Any one wishing to send him money for the Asylum, may be referred to the Bank of Granville, Oxford, N. C.; the Mayor of Oxford; the Post Master of Oxford; Clerk of Granville Superior Court; the Sheriff of Granville county, or any other prominent person in this State or any newspaper editor of this State.
We need more bed room and bedding. We need buildings fitted up for black-smith shop, shoe-shop and shop for wood-work.
For the purpose of caring for the colored orphan children of this State we do ordain this the Constitution for the Colored Orphan Association of North Carolina.
ART. 1. This Body shall be composed of a Board of Directors who shall be a body politic and corporate, under the name and style of the Colored Orphan Association of North Carolina.
ART. 2. The officers of this Ussociation shall consist of a President, Vice-President, Recording Secretary and Corresponding and Financial Secretary and a Treasurer, who shall hold office until their successors are eldcted and installed.
ART. 3. The Board of Directors shall hold annual meetings to elect all officers, necessary committees, trustees and transact other business. A meeting of the Board may be called by the President, at any time that he may see fit, by giving due notice to each member of the Board.
The Board of Directors shall elect a Superintendent who shall have general control of the affairs of the Asylum, subject to the Board of Directors whose term of office shall be during good behavior.
All the officers of this Board shall perform such duties and give such bonds as the Board of Directors may require of them.
The Board of Directors shall at each annual meeting
elect a Board of Trustees whose duty it shall be to hold in trust the real property of the Association for the sole benefit of the Asylum. They shall perform such other duties as the Board of Directors may assign to them; and they shall be subject to removal at the pleasure of the Board of Directors.
ART. 4. Such children may be received and cared for in the Asylum as the Association may see fit to adopt and for such length of time as the Association may think proper for them to stay in the Asylum.
ART. 5. The Board of Directors may increase or decrease their number at pleasure. They shall have power to create annual members, life members and members for any term of years as honorary members of the Association.
ART. 6. This Constitution may be changed at any meeting of the Board, provided always that when an amendment or amendments shall have been offered at some previous meeting, and that all the members of the Association shall have been duly notified of the meeting in which such amendment or amendments shall be voted upon, and provided further two-thirds of all the members present shall have voted in the affirmative for such amendment or amendments if carried.
SEC. 1. The annual meeting of the Association shall be on the last Wednesday in July of each year.
They shall elect annually a board of nine Trustees whose duty it shall be to hold in trust the real property of the Asylum for the sole benefit of the Asylum.
The Superintendent of the Asylum shall make annual reports to the Board of Directors of his work and the general condition of the Asylum. He may solicit money or anything to aid the Asylum in any way that he may in his judgment see proper.
SEC. 2. He may take such children into to Asylum as the Board of Directors may direct and keep them under his control. He shall take the written consent of those of nearest kin to them or those having control of the said child or by petition for said control when necessary to the Superior Court Clerk of the county in which said child may be domiciled.
With the advice of the officers of the Board he may dismiss such a child or as many as he may think proper, provided, that in all cases of grievances a hearing may be had before the Board of Directors. The decision of the Board of Directors shall in all cases be final.
The Superintendent may recommend such help to be employed at the Asylum as he may see fit. He may have power to dismiss all unnecessary employees as in his judgment that he may see fit to dismiss.
Children taken from homes of ill-repute shall not be allowed to visit them while in the Asylum nor shall
the Superintendent be permitted to return them to the same homes nor homes of like fame.
Relatives of children in the Asylum, living immoral lives, shall not be permitted to visit them nor to communicate with them by letter nor otherwise. All letters nest to any child or children must be read by the Superintendent, Matron or one of the teachers, before any child or children shall know the contents; and if the Superintendent, Matron or teacher thinks that any letter or any communication to any child or children to be improper then shall he withhold it and not in any way allow it to be communicated to such child or children.
SEC. 3. The Superintendent may in his judgment get suitable homes for children with the consent of the President, binding the parties in writing who take them.
The Superintendent may by consent of the President and Secretary in writing employ such agents as he may see fit to employ for the purpose of raising aid for the Asylum; provided that he make no contracts with any any agent to pay them out of any money but the money they (the agents) may raise themselves.
All orders on the Treasurer must be drawn by the Financial Secretary and signed by the President before being paid off.
All books of the Superintendent, Treasurer and Financial Secretary must always be kept open for inspection. They must make annual reports to the Association and such othar reports as the Association may call upon them to make from time to time.
The Treasurer shall give a bond double the amount which he shall have in hand at any one time.
OFFICE OF THE CLERK OF THE SUPERIOR COURT,
GRANVILLE COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA,
OXFORD, N. C., Dec. 11, 1899.
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
I have known for several years Rev. R. Shepard, Superintendent of the Colored Orphan Asylum of this place, and during all these years he has borne a good character, being respected by both races for his upright Christian walk.
J. G. HUNT,
Clerk Superior Court.
The Colored Orphan Asylum of North Carolina is located at Oxford, and has been in existence since 1887. It seems to do for the colored children of the State what is done for the white children in the various orphan homes of North Carolina. At present there are one hundred and thirty children in its care. There ought to be at least one thousand, judging by the number of white children cared for in the different Asylums.
Rev. Robert Shepard has had charge of this work for years. He has the confidence of the people, and is well suited to his work. We commend him and this deserving charity to the people generally.
JNO. S. HARDAWAY,
Pastor White Baptist Church,
Oxford, N. C.
OXFORD, N. C., Dec. 11, 1899.
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
I will state that I have known Rev. R. Shepard for eight or nine years as manager of the Colored Orphan Asylum of North Carolina, and it gives me pleasure to
state that I believe him to be a good man, honest and upright, a man who has made a most excellent Superintendent of the Asylum for colored orphan children at this place. He has been economical in his management and has about 125 to 150 children now at the Asylum. Any one who sees fit to aid him in any way I am confident the money will be most judiciously expended.
J. G. HALL, Druggist.
We know Rev. R. Shepard, Superintendent Colored Orphan Asylum, and know of his work here for the destitute of his race, and believe any aid given him will be rightly expended.
EDWARDS & WINSTON.