The American Missionary
VOL. LII. No. 3.
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ANNUAL MEETING—PEACE, 105 SHALL CUBA BE TAKEN FOR CHRIST? 106 WHITE MAN'S COUNTRY AND COLORED MAN'S COUNTRY, 107 FOURTH OF JULY, S'KOKOMISH—CAPON SPRINGS CONFERENCE, 109 CHRISTIAN ENDEAVOR CONVENTION AT NASHVILLE, 110 SOUTHERN FIELD NOTES, 112 MISSIONARY GOSPEL, 113 LIBERTY COUNTY, GA., 114 PARAGRAPHS, 115 MR. S. S. MARPLES—MISS I. W. HUME, 116
TALLADEGA COLLEGE, ALABAMA, 117 TILLOTSON COLLEGE, AUSTIN, TEXAS, 120 KING'S MOUNTAIN, N. C., 122 ENFIELD, N. C., 124 BLOWING ROCK, N. C., 125 THOMASVILLE, GA., 126 MACON, GA., 127 ATHENS, GA., 129 MEMPHIS, TENN., 130 MERIDIAN, MISS., 131 THE NEGRO'S PLACE IN AMERICAN LIFE, 132 LOUISIANA CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 135 COLORED TEACHER TO COLORED PUPILS, 138
WOMAN'S STATE ORGANIZATIONS, 151
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PUBLISHED QUARTERLY BY THE AMERICAN MISSIONARY ASSOCIATION,
THE CONGREGATIONAL ROOMS,
FOURTH AVENUE AND TWENTY-SECOND STREET, NEW YORK.
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Price, 50 Cents a Year in advance.
Entered at the Post Office at New York, N. Y., as Second-Class mail matter.
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American Missionary Association.
Fourth Avenue and Twenty-second Street,—New York City.
PRESIDENT, MERRILL E. GATES, LL.D., MASS.
Rev. F. A. NOBLE, D.D., Ill. Rev. ALEX. MCKENZIE, D.D., Mass. Rev. HENRY HOPKINS, D.D., Mo. Rev. HENRY A. STIMSON, D.D., N. Y. Rev. WASHINGTON GLADDEN, D.D., Ohio.
Rev. M. E. STRIEBY, D.D.
Rev. A. F. BEARD, D.D. Rev. F. P. WOODBURY, D.D. Rev. C. J. RYDER, D.D.
Rev. M. E. STRIEBY, D.D.
H. W. HUBBARD, Esq.
D. C. TIEBOUT. CHARLES NEWTON SCHENCK.
CHARLES L. MEAD, Chairman. CHARLES A. HULL, Secretary.
For Three Years.
WILLIAM HAYES WARD, JAMES W. COOPER, LUCIEN C. WARNER, CHARLES P. PEIRCE, LEWELLYN PRATT,
For Two Years.
CHARLES A. HULL, ALBERT J. LYMAN, NEHEMIAH BOYNTON, A. J. F. BEHRENDS, EDWARD S. TEAD,
For One Year.
SAMUEL S. MARPLES,[A] CHARLES L. MEAD, ELIJAH HORR, FRANK M. BROOKS, CHARLES S. OLCOTT.
Rev. GEO. H. GUTTERSON, 615 Cong'l House, Boston, Mass. Rev. JOS. E. ROY, D.D., 153 La Salle Street, Chicago, Ill.
Secretary of Woman's Bureau.
MISS D. E. EMERSON, New York Office.
Relating to the work of the Association may be addressed to the Corresponding Secretaries; letters for "THE AMERICAN MISSIONARY," to the Editor, at the New York Office; letters relating to the finances, to the Treasurer; letters relating to woman's work, to the Secretary of the Woman's Bureau.
DONATIONS AND SUBSCRIPTIONS
In drafts, checks, registered letters, or post-office orders, may be sent to H. W. Hubbard, Treasurer, Fourth Avenue and Twenty-second Street, New York; or, when more convenient, to either of the Branch Offices, 615 Congregational House, Boston, Mass., or 153 La Salle Street, Chicago, Ill. A payment of thirty dollars constitutes a Life Member.
NOTICE TO SUBSCRIBERS.—The date on the "address label" indicates the time to which the subscription is paid. Changes are made in date on label to the tenth of the month. If payment of subscription be made afterward the change on the label will appear on the next number. Please send early notice of change in post-office address, giving the former address and the new address, in order that our periodicals and occasional papers may be correctly mailed.
FORM OF A BEQUEST.
"I GIVE AND BEQUEATH the sum of —— dollars to the 'American Missionary Association,' incorporated by act of the Legislature of the State of New York." The will should be attested by three witnesses.
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THE AMERICAN MISSIONARY.
VOL. LII. SEPTEMBER, 1898. NO. 3.
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We look forward to the fifty-second anniversary of the American Missionary Association to be held at Concord, N. H., October 25-27, with exceptional interest. The sermon will be preached by Rev. Doctor George A. Gordon. Distinguished speakers add to the interest of the meetings. Missionaries from the field will present the varied features of their work among the Indians, mountain people and the colored people of the South.
The woman's meeting on Thursday afternoon will be particularly favored with an address by Mrs. Kate Upson Clark, and by interesting speakers from the missionary field.
We give a cordial invitation to pastors and friends of the Association to come to this beautiful and historic town of Concord at this anniversary. On the last page of the cover will be found full information for delegates and friends who anticipate attending the meetings. Fuller details as to the reception of delegates, entertainment, hotel rates and railroad reductions will be given in various religious papers.
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Now, when the war drums have ceased, we can think again of the problems which were before us when Spain added those which are to ask our attention. The greater problem before the American people is not any new one. The Christianization of nearly three millions of colored people yet in illiteracy and moral darkness is a call to Christian love and service as loud as any call can possibly be. The messages of the gospel of Peace, have the only promise of salvation to these millions in darkness at our own doors. To give this to these needy ones, who are not only near to our doors but who are ready to receive the grace of Christ at our hands is the call of Christ for our patience and fidelity. As we thank God that the smile of Heaven rests upon our country once more in peace, we may well turn our thoughts anew to our endeavor for the victories of Peace, and think as fairly of our duty to lift these poor, ignorant millions above the perils of increasing ignorance, as we have been thinking of the deliverance of Cubans from their oppressions and wrongs. What these new possessions now under our care may require of us, is another question which comes with peace.
The millions of ignorant colored people in our own country not yet reached need to be saved. They cannot save themselves. We owe them the Christianity which we have. We owe them a chance for intelligent faith. More than forty per cent. of nearly eight millions are yet in density of ignorance and mentally and morally weak. They can be saved. What has been done is the pledge of what may be done. Let us then consecrate ourselves anew to the victories of peace and make our thank offerings free and large for the glory which comes not of sieges and battles, but the glory of Christian love and faith, of Christian thinking and Christian working, for God's poor people who wait for their day of redemption.
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SHALL CUBA BE TAKEN FOR CHRIST?
The Alumni Association of Oberlin Theological Seminary recently passed the following vote:
"Voted: That the Alumni of Oberlin Theological Seminary suggest to the American Missionary Association the importance of organizing at once for an extension of its educational and evangelizing work into Cuba as soon as the deliverance of that island from the dominion of Spain will permit."
At the recent Triennial National Council of Congregational Churches held in Portland, Oregon, reference to the pressing of Christian educational work into Cuba was greeted with enthusiastic applause.
And now there come letters from those who desire to volunteer for service under the American Missionary Association to enter upon this work in Cuba and Porto Rico. This Association has not the power to issue bonds for the expense of such missionary campaign, nor to levy war taxes. The significance, however, of these new fields of work and the especial fitness of the American Missionary Association to enter them must be apparent to all our constituents. The inhabitants of both these islands are largely of a mixed race. The splendid band of young colored people in the South have been trained during the years in the American Missionary Association schools and are excellently well qualified for carrying this Christian work among the peoples of these island regions.
They are acclimated, born and reared in the southern climate. Some even are immunes. Is it not a special providence that this band of young people have been trained for just such work as this opening to our Congregational fellowship in Cuba and Porto Rico?
The volunteers for work in these islands, however, are not confined to any one race. The Oberlin Alumni suggest an "Oberlin Band" to be organized and sent into this field. From the far West and from the far East we receive letters from well-trained, earnest and godly teachers and preachers anxious to volunteer for this service.
The sinews of war for this magnificent Christian campaign are wanting. The responsibility of promptly entering these fields that God is opening to Christian conquest and an intelligent and free gospel rests upon those who can furnish these sinews of war. Shall Cuba and Porto Rico be taken for Christ and an intelligent gospel?
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A WHITE MAN'S COUNTRY AND A COLORED MAN'S COUNTRY.
The government of the United States has just issued bonds to secure a loan of $200,000,000 for the costs of war. It may be interesting to our readers to know that every one of those bonds must be signed by Mr. Judson W. Lyons, a colored man, who succeeded ex-Senator Bruce as Register of the Treasury. On the ordinary paper money his name is engraved, but on those bonds it must be written with his own hand, else the bond is invalid. This will make necessary his signing his name 40,000 times, and he is now engaged in doing this.
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Before the war began there was in the United States army only one negro commissioned officer; now, as we count them, there are more than one hundred and fifty. If we are correct in our figures there are as the war closes about one hundred and sixty-four colored Americans who bear U. S. commissions. These rank from second lieutenant up to colonel.
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In the official report of the battle of Siboney by Gen. Joseph E. Wheeler, who is an ex-Confederate general, special mention is made of the bravery of the Tenth Cavalry (colored). He says:
"I was immediately with the troops of the First and Tenth Regiments Cavalry, dismounted, and I personally noticed their brave and good conduct, which will be specially mentioned by General Young."
"I was standing near Captain Capron and Hamilton Fish," said the corporal to the Associated Press correspondent, "and saw them shot down. They were with the Rough Riders and ran into an ambush, though they had been warned of the danger. Captain Capron and Fish were shot while leading a charge. If it had not been for the negro cavalry the Rough Riders would have been exterminated. I am not a negro lover. My father fought with Mosby's Rangers, and I was born in the South, but the negroes saved that fight, and the day will come when General Shafter will give them credit for their bravery."
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The testimony of George Kennan of the Red Cross as to the courage and service of our negro soldiers is in evidence that the white man's country is also the colored man's country. He says, "I do not hesitate to call especial attention to the splendid behavior of our colored troops. It is the testimony of all who saw them under fire that they fought with the utmost coolness and determination. I can testify from my own personal observation that they displayed extraordinary fortitude and self control."
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Probably no institution in the East sent as large a percentage of students as soldiers to bear the flag of our common country to victory as did our missionary schools. Our students have not been taught that war is glory. It was conscience with them. They went as deliverers from oppression and saw their opportunity to prove their devotion and gratitude to their country for their own deliverance. They have made their record.
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Attorney-General Patterson, of Memphis, Tenn., in July last in an attempt to secure a conviction for the murder of a negro, said:
"We are to-day engaged in a war with a foreign power, and for the cause of humanity this great country is putting forth her splendid power by land and by sea that Spanish cruelty shall no longer be on Cuban soil, ... and if we can afford to interpose the strong arm of the nation and expend blood and treasure to protect them, can we not afford by the orderly methods of the law to stop cruelties at home as barbarous as were enacted in Spanish dungeons? Is it not opportune that we rise above the low level of race prejudice into the upper and purer atmosphere of respect for law and order and the sanctity of human life?"
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Within thirty days after the war was declared against Spain thirty-two Americans—colored—were lynched and put to death without trial by law, judge or jury, many of them protesting their innocence of any crime. Let us pray that Spain may not long be able to say to any part of our country, "Physician heal thyself."
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A delegate to the National Congregational Council at Portland, Oregon, in a newspaper account of his experiences of good treatment everywhere in the West, thus concludes: "After being entertained at the Brown Palace in Denver, the Knutsford in Salt Lake, the Portland in Portland, the Donnelly in Tacoma, after riding in the palace cars of the trans-continental trains and the chair cars of the Northwestern, I came to Chattanooga and took the 'James Crow' car to Atlanta.
HENRY HUGH PROCTOR,
Pastor First Congregational Church, Atlanta, Ga."
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FOURTH OF JULY AT S'KOKOMISH—WASHINGTON.
BY REV. MYRON EELLS, D.D.
Since the Indians have become largely civilized and citizens, the Fourth of July has taken the place of their old festivals, combining both. The old festivals lasted a week or more usually, and the expense was borne by a very few. The time was occupied with feasting, visiting, gambling, and closed with a distribution of gifts to the invited ones. Neighboring tribes were invited. The distribution of gifts is now omitted, and the time changed. This year the celebration took place on this reservation, and the people began to assemble a week before the Fourth. Nearly all had gathered on the second, when about eight or nine hundred had assembled. The noticeable point in connection with it was the absence of drunkenness while they were on the reservation. Although nearly all were citizens, I have not been able to learn that a single one drank any while here, even on the sly. A few days before the Fourth I suggested to the leader that it might be well to have some patriotic singing and speaking on that day, as white people do, and that if he wished I would help him to arrange about it. He replied in quite a speech, in which he thoroughly acquiesced in my suggestions, and added that while he provided the food he wanted all to have a good time, but that he had told every one time and again that they could enjoy themselves much as they wished, except that he did not wish any whiskey brought to the grounds. This item he emphasized very strongly.
Twenty-three or four years ago, soon after I came here, the Agent arranged a Fourth of July celebration. He was very particular on this same point. But this same Indian intended to do differently. He went off a few days before and procured some whiskey, drank some of it, and intended to use the rest on the Fourth, and have a jolly time with his friends. But other Indians informed the Agent about him; he was arrested and lodged in jail, where he spent the Fourth, and a few days beside. When I compare his actions then and now, is there not cause for gratitude?
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CAPON SPRINGS CONFERENCE, WESTERN VIRGINIA.
The first Capon Springs Conference which met June 29th to July 3rd, to consider the work of Christian education in the South, was a successful gathering of many prominent educators. It represented twelve states, the District of Columbia, seven religious bodies and a number of schools, seminaries, colleges and other institutions for the elevation of the ignorant, both white and black.
The Conference before its adjournment issued a message in which it declared its deep interest in all efforts for the advancement of moral and religious education in the South along Christian lines, and especially that of the more needy of both races, bespeaking for this the sympathy of all Christian people, and in particular the Southern people.
The Conference also expressed its grateful sense of the generous aid which education in the South had received from friends in the North making for the unity and harmony of our common country. It testified to a hearty belief that there should be institutions well equipped in which provision should be made for the higher education of those called to leadership, as preachers, teachers, etc. It especially called attention to the opinion that the gifts of the North in aid of educational work in the South should proceed upon lines of intelligence, equality and discriminating selection, and that great care should be taken by the people of the South in authorizing appeals for outside aid.
This message abundantly justifies such a Conference in the South to bring Northern and Southern educators together.
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CHRISTIAN ENDEAVOR CONVENTION AT NASHVILLE, TENN. AND THE COLORED PEOPLE.
BY REV. GEORGE W. MOORE.
The Christian Endeavor Convention at Nashville in July, was marked with special interest. About five thousand delegates were present. Arrangements had been made to entertain thirty thousand.
The meetings were perhaps better for being smaller than were anticipated. The American Missionary Association work was well presented and represented at the "Congregational Rally," July 8th. In round numbers, two hundred Congregational delegates were present, including forty ministers. Profs. Dunn and Spence, Rev. Mr. Bond and J. C. Napier, Esq., spoke on our work, and the Jubilee Singers sang. The Convention was in a manner on American Missionary Association territory, and it was felt that its work should have an emphatic place. Indeed, nearly all the speakers referred to our work, chief among whom was Gen. Howard. The Northern delegates visited Fisk University in large numbers and expressed their pleasure both as to the scope and character of our work.
Before the convention the colored people had a feeling that they were not wanted there. They had been told that they must conform to the "unwritten law" of the South as to taking back seats at their local meetings, but would be on an equality at the Convention itself.
In talking the matter over with the colored Congregational pastor, we agreed that it was better to remain away from the local meetings, but to attend the Convention. Consequently, the Congregational Endeavorers of color and a number of others did so, and donning the Convention badge attended. Those who attended were well treated. Indeed, the colored people and the work of the Association were brought into special prominence through the large chorus of Fisk Jubilee Singers—twenty-two in all—which proved to be the favorite singers of the Convention. Besides singing at all the sessions, they also rendered a special programme of their music for half an hour on one afternoon, when I made a brief address on our work as illustrated by the singers and Fisk University. Our Northern friends have here seen many side lights of Southern life and the colored people, such as the "Jim Crow Car" and the "Separate Colored Waiting Rooms" at the stations, etc. The colored delegates of the Pennsylvania and other Northern delegations were sent into the "Jim Crow" car as soon as they reached Southern soil. The Northern delegates also observed the isolation of our missionaries. It is difficult for the Southern people to understand why Northern friends are so much interested in colored people and in their schools. Fisk University was, for example, the Mecca of many Northern pilgrims. Not a few of them visited in our home, and a number of delegates from New York and Massachusetts dined with us, which would certainly have shocked their Southern hosts had they known of it.
A Southern woman in commenting on the music of the Jubilee Singers, remarked in the hearing of one of our teachers: "Those darkies are very refined and sing well." A Southern woman inquired of me if I were white. I replied: "I pass for a colored man." Then she asked: "How much colored blood have you?" I replied: "It has never been analyzed—perhaps one-eighth." "How strange," she said, "but that one drop of Negro blood does make you belong to their side." I did not find her reason for that conclusion—which has been reached without reason—but I assured her that I was not ashamed to call them brethren.
I think that our Northern friends saw much to convince them of the necessity for our work in the South, and that even a war with Spain—while it is doing much to bring our Southern brethren under the old flag—does not and cannot at once change the habits, customs and prejudices of the Southern people. We may as well realize that it will take generations of hard, patient and self-sacrificing service on our part and patient continuance of Northern influence, such as the American Missionary Association is lovingly creating, to change their traditions and the conditions of the colored people.
On the whole I think we had an excellent convention and believe that the influence will be helpful for the colored people. A meeting at Howard Congregational Church (colored) Sunday morning was of great interest, when about two hundred Northern delegates were present. Rev. Dr. Hill preached and several delegates spoke. In explaining to the friends some things about the early life of Fisk at that place where Howard Church stood, I suggested that all present who were graduates of Fisk, former students and their parents, should rise, that the visiting friends might see them. Over one hundred arose to the surprise and delight of the visitors.
I have thought that the readers of the American Missionary Association Magazine might like to have this phase of the Convention before them as experienced by the colored people, from one who, as the Southern lady said, belongs "to their side."
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SOUTHERN FIELD NOTES.
REV. GEO. W. MOORE, FIELD MISSIONARY.
There were fifteen graduates from the Normal and ten from College and four from the Musical departments of Fisk University at its last Commencement. Rev. H. H. Proctor, pastor of the First Congregational Church of Atlanta, gave the Alumni address, and Prof. W. E. Dubois, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology in Atlanta University, delivered the Commencement address.
Mr. Proctor and Dr. Dubois are both graduates of Fisk University. Both of them are men of liberal culture and at the same time earnest toilers in the work of uplifting in the South.
The sixth anniversary of the dedication of the chapel of Plymouth Church, Louisville, Ky., was an interesting occasion. Rev. E. G. Harris, the pastor, has faithful workers in his church; some of them are physicians, teachers and artisans. The church is growing in numbers and influence. A neat lecture room, built by the people, is free from debt. They have added a cabinet organ to the Church and a piano to the Sunday School, to enhance the service of song.
A conference of Christian workers was held at Asheville, N. C., during the summer for Bible study and the consideration of the best methods of Christian work, and of the forces that affect the moral and religious life of the colored people. This was the first conference of the kind held in the South in the interest of the colored people. The prominent promoters of this conference were representatives of the American Missionary Association.
Prof. W. A. Waterman, of Fisk University, came on from Northfield to conduct a course of Methods in Bible Study and Missionary Training Service.
Mr. John Gaudy, a graduate of Fisk, and Mr. M. H. Neal, a senior of Fisk, were both present and assisted in the Conferences. Both of these young men propose to enter the ministry.
The Field Missionary spoke on "The Need of Systematic Study in our Schools of the Needs and Condition of our People," "City Missions" and "Normal Bible Study."
The Young Men's Institute, where the Conference was held, is the largest and best appointed building of the kind in the country for city mission work among the colored people. It is the gift of Mr. George Vanderbilt, and cost $30,000.
The American Missionary Association was represented in Christian Work among the colored soldiers by its field missionary, Rev. G. W. Moore, who held a ten-days' evangelistic service at Camp Russell, Fort Macon, N. C. The pastor of our church at Beaufort, N. C., Rev. W. D. Newkirk, also assisted in the Christian work at Camp Russell.
The Third North Carolina Regiment of eleven hundred and eight colored soldiers are in camp at Fort Macon, an island opposite Beaufort, N. C. All the commissioned officers are colored men. Col. James H. Young, of Raleigh, is in command of the regiment. The order of the place is exceptional. No liquor is allowed, and profanity is forbidden. The regiment presents a fine appearance on parades, and the men are making rapid progress in military training and discipline. Evangelistic services were held in a large gospel tent, and were largely attended, and many of the men enlisted as soldiers of the cross. More than three hundred men expressed their desire to become Christians at one of the services. Over one hundred and fifty men avowed their faith in Christ during these special services. The interest continues and the men are seeking the way of life.
An interesting patriotic service was held during this visit, at which Col. Young presided. The whole regiment was in formation. Rev. Geo. W. Moore spoke on the meaning of the war and the patriotism of negro soldiers. He said the revolutionary war stood for liberty, the civil war for unity, and the present war for humanity.
Colonel Young, Adjutant Smith and Captain Hargrave made patriotic speeches, the band played the "Star Spangled Banner," "Dixie" and "America," and the soldiers, both officers and privates, cheered and were filled with patriotic feelings. The Colonel and all the men of the Third North Carolina Regiment thanked the American Missionary Association for its interest in their welfare, as expressed by the visit of its field missionary.
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A MISSIONARY GOSPEL.
"The first message at the birth of Christ was a missionary message (Luke ii. 10).
"The first prayer Christ taught men was a missionary prayer (Matt vi. 10).
"The first disciple, St. Andrew, was the first missionary (John i. 41).
"The first message of the risen Lord was a missionary message (John xx. 17).
"The first command of the risen Lord to His disciples was a missionary command (John xx. 21).
"The first apostolic sermon was a missionary sermon (Acts ii. 17-39).
"Christ's great reason for Christian love was a missionary reason (John xiii. 35).
"Christ's great reason for unity was a missionary reason (John xvii. 21).
"The first coming of Christ was a missionary work (Luke iv. 18-21).
"The second coming of Christ is to be hastened by missionary work (Matt. xxiv. 14).
"Our Saviour's last wish on earth was a missionary wish (Matt. xxviii. 19).
Church Missionary Society Gleaner, Scotland.
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CHRISTIANITY AND CIVILIZATION IN LIBERTY COUNTY, GEORGIA.
Liberty County, Ga., is the county south of Savannah, on the sea. Visitors from the North en route to Florida pass directly through it after leaving Savannah. Our American Missionary Association school at McIntosh is in this county, and there are several Congregational churches also under the auspices of the American Missionary Association. Among these is one at Hagan, presided over by the Rev. J. B. Fletcher.
The religious condition of the colored people in this county of Liberty may be better understood in the light of the following incident. On Saturday morning, August 6th, Rev. J. B. Fletcher, accompanied by his wife, left Hagan for a place called Smiley, by urgent invitation, to organize a Congregational church. The work of organization was duly perfected on Sunday morning, the 7th, after which the officers and members persuaded him to stop over that evening and preach, which he readily consented to do. While in the pulpit a gun was discharged through a window of the church, the contents entering into the right side of Rev. Mr. Fletcher and wounding five others. As medical treatment could not be obtained there, he was hastily carried twenty miles to his home, where a physician was immediately summoned. His wounds proved to be very severe, but were not such as to prevent his recovery. The thigh was literally riddled with buckshot, one hundred and thirteen having already been extracted from his body. He writes us, "I am glad to have your sympathy and prayers; they are of great strength to me. It will be quite a while before I can walk as before, if ever. I feel happy to know that I am counted worthy to suffer thus for Christ's sake. I am not discouraged, and will be on the field again as soon as I can hobble around on crutches."
A letter from a neighboring pastor adds, "The detective will have all of the intended assassins arrested by the middle of the week. It is found that they are all colored people, and officers of a so-called Methodist Church, who as members of the Church Militant, took this means to prevent the introduction of a Congregational church in that vicinity."
A church whose officers propagate their faith with shotguns assuredly has no right to the Methodist name, which it dishonors, nor to any name, but it remains a significant illustration of sectarian ignorance and superstition which we often find bitterly opposing the introduction of a pure Christianity among the heathen of our own country. Heathenism, not far away from one of the most beautiful cities of the South—a city of beautiful churches and in a county which rejoices in the name of Liberty—has furnished within the past ten years many examples of such conditions and conduct as could not be found in many places in Africa. It is not time yet for those who love Christ and their country to be weary in well doing in this home land.
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The long experience of colored people in the South, in the work of cultivating cotton has led to many enterprises looking to manufacturing the raw article into goods. Several movements have made good headway for a time, but most of them have failed to score a permanent success. The last enterprise of this character is located at Concord, N. C. It appears to have a substantial foundation and its success seems almost assured. Speaking of the enterprise and its supporters the "Baltimore Ledger" says:—"The Coleman Cotton Mill, at Concord, will soon be ready for operation. It is a worthy enterprise and should be substantially supported by the race in North Carolina especially; and those outside of the state should feel much interested as it is a purely negro enterprise. The white people of the state feel much interested in the factory and many of them are giving substantial aid. This is in evidence of the fact that many white people throughout the entire South are willing to extend a helping hand to the race, and thus help us rise to a higher plain of Christian manhood, if we will but help ourselves. Self-help is one of the most essential qualities in racial development. Without it no race can ever hope to achieve any great victories or become strong or powerful. Let us then help ourselves first, and before we seek outside help from our white friends."
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From a former Principal of Ballard Normal School, Macon, Ga.:
"DEIR EL KOME, LEBANON, SYRIA.
"For a long time I have been wishing to hear from the American Missionary Association both as to its work and its prosperity. For that reason please find herewith an order for $40. I would like to have the magazine sent to me here....
"The work here in Asia among the poor and ignorant is much the same that it is elsewhere, except that the habits and superstitions of centuries seem more unyielding than I ever saw them before. The opportunities for Christian work yielding immediate results seem to be tenfold greater at home than here. The need both here and there is unlimited. Our hearts have anxiously turned towards our country in this time of war."
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SAMUEL S. MARPLES.
Once more the American Missionary Association is called to mourn the loss of one of its most useful and highly esteemed officers. Mr. S. S. Marples, who died at his home in Brooklyn, June 23, 1898, in the sixty-fourth year of his age, was a most judicious business man, a devoted Christian, and useful in many walks in life. He was one of the most prominent members of the Produce Exchange, New York City; at various times a member of the Board of Managers, and holding important positions on its Committees.
Mr. Marples' sympathies and interests were wide and useful in benevolent and church work. For many years he was a member of the South Congregational Church, Brooklyn, and was Superintendent of the Sunday-school for several terms. He was closely identified with the Manhattan Brooklyn conference of churches. He was prominently connected with the New York Congregational Club and was its President for several successive years.
Mr. Marples became identified with the American Missionary Association by his election, in 1880, as a member of the Executive Committee. For sixteen years he has served on its Finance Committee; for many years as its Secretary and for the last part of the period as its Chairman. The value of these services was constantly recognized by his associates on the committee and will be appreciated more fully as the years go by. For the year past Mr. Marples' health was very frail; only for a part of the time was he able to attend to his business, but never, as we are assured, did he lose his lively interest in the affairs of the American Missionary Association, to which his attention had been given so constantly and faithfully throughout the past eighteen years.
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MISS ISABELLA W. HUME.
Miss Hume, who was from 1893 to 1896 connected with our mission work in New Orleans, died early in June. This devoted missionary was the daughter of missionaries in India, and was born in that country. Receiving her education in America her life was devoted to mission and Christian work here. Previous to her connection with our work in Louisiana, Miss Hume was laboring in the mountain regions of Vermont, and the last work of her life was as pastor of the Congregational Church in Gill, Mass. Relinquishing that on account of impaired health, the last few months before her death were spent in severe suffering. Greatly honored and esteemed in all her work, the intelligence of her death brought a sense of loss and feeling of sadness to the many whom she had labored to help to save. A singularly faithful worker and devoted servant of Christ, surely she will have many stars in her crown.
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COMMENCEMENT AT TALLADEGA COLLEGE.
BY MISS ESTHER A. BARNES.
Never can the teachers and students of Talladega College forget the Commencement of 1898, when so many brave young men left their cherished plans to engage in the war with Spain. Those laughter-loving boys, earnest in study, but full of fun, and careless sometimes, as boys will be—one hardly knew them when the war spirit rose and they stood in line with that new, steady light of resolution shining in their dark eyes. In 1860, young men of Anglo-Saxon blood left that same building to fight against the Union. One of those young men, now governor of the state, thirty-eight years later, telegraphs to the same school asking Negroes to defend that same Government, and they cheerfully respond. Is not this a revolution of the wheel of time?
The governor's telegram came Wednesday, almost two weeks before Commencement. All the volunteers were promoted, having completed satisfactorily the work of the year with the exception of the closing exercises. Thirty in all volunteered, three or four of whom were not students, but a third of this number were unable to pass the severe physical test. A farewell meeting was held in the chapel, and the young soldiers told in stirring words the motives that led them to offer their lives to their country; their resolve to fight for the freedom of bleeding Cuba, their love of the Stars and Stripes, in spite of the wrongs they themselves had suffered, their strong desire to show that Negroes could not only live and work, but die, like men. Many earnest appeals were made for prayers, that they might never turn their backs to their enemies, nor yield to the temptations of camp life. At last, a quiet little woman with an earnest face arose and told in trembling tones her determination to go as a nurse if she could find any opportunity. She was called to the platform and it was beautiful to see the reverence with which the tall, young fellows gathered about her.
Talladega College had reason to be proud of her sons as they marched to the station with a flag and a band and went off with a ringing cheer. Nor were her daughters wanting; their hearts were aching, but their faces dressed in smiles as they sent their brothers away as patriotically as those of fairer hue.
The Talladega students have not been permitted to meet any Spaniards in battle, but their record in camp at Mobile has been true to their promises. They have shown to everyone the advantage of education. Their officers prize them highly, and the rough, ignorant men who are their comrades, have felt their influence, so that the governor has publicly commended their behavior.
After losing so many of the best students, it seemed hard to go on in the ordinary routine of the school, but those who were left did their best to fill two places at once, and the exercises were quite up to the average in excellence. The written examinations were successfully passed by large classes. The public examinations, as usual, attracted much attention. A minister who attended Dr. Andrews' examination in Homiletics, says: "Thorough instruction had led the students to such a grasp of the subject as to make them independent thinkers. If these young ministers will use the knowledge they have acquired by this study, their sermons will be well prepared, well delivered, and they will be faithful pastors as well as good preachers."
The class in church history showed satisfactory knowledge of what God has been doing in His church in this country since its history began. The class in prophecy has been studying Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel and the minor prophets. This study has interested the class exceedingly and made them work hard. It has removed many doubts from the most intelligent minds and made clear the wonderful plans of God.
In the college and normal departments, good work has also been done. Classes were examined in Greek, Latin, general history and various branches of science and mathematics. Some pupils in geometry showed a clear comprehension and ability to carry on a train of reasoning creditable to any student, but especially so to those who have received their early training in country schools where incompetent teachers preside three months in the year. One of these students says that for years he worked on alone, puzzling over books by himself, occasionally trying to find some one who could help him, only to be thrown back on his own resources. A peculiarity of his is, that he will not profess to understand what he does not see clearly. This trait, in connection with his practical, unselfish plans for the benefit of his people, seems likely to make this unassuming young man of use in the world.
The examination in general history did not manifest a perfect knowledge of all past events. Indeed, one student tried to find Spain somewhere in the Congo region, when attempting to illustrate the voyages of Columbus. Still it was apparent that these young men and women had some historical facts fixed beyond the possibility of forgetting, and that they had acquired the habit of thinking about them and drawing their own conclusions which were often very practical.
The classes in physical sciences, some of them instead of answering questions, explained and exhibited the contents of the Museum. All showed the excellent results of out-door and laboratory work. They have learned to see. The visitors in the grammar room noted with especial pleasure a masterly explanation of cube root by means of blocks and figures that was positively fascinating.
But time would fail to tell of all the varied work, from the tiny tots with their kindergarten plays to the sturdy farmers and engineers. Let others decide whether it is better for the young ladies to do neat and tasteful needle work or play a selection from Chopin. They can do both.
All the exercises of Commencement were well carried out except the Concert. The loss of an unusually fine musical treat was one of the deprivations caused by the war, the singers of the Soldiers' Chorus having become soldiers in earnest. It seemed a pity that every one of the contestants for the prizes could not receive a prize, so original and thoughtful were the orations and essays, and so good the recitations. One of the best orations stated, that the way to elevate the Southern farmer is not by means of teachers and preachers alone but by the unselfish lives of scientifically trained farmers and their wives who should be willing to live among the people and teach them by example.
After the pleasant graduating exercises which sent out five more young people, one of whom sent his oration from camp to be read, the Alumni held a very delightful reunion. Many letters were read from graduates. One wrote—"Every year, since I left Talladega, I have been more and more convinced that many of the most prominent leaders of our people lay too great stress on the possibilities of wealth and trades and too little emphasis on the absolute and greater necessity of firm Christian character. Neither wealth nor trades assure to us the favor of God." Another writes from Texas of the work his wife is doing by establishing a Woman's Rescue Society. From indifference, the women in the town passed to curiosity then to sincerity, and nearly all soon became actively engaged in the work which is accomplishing much good.
One of the college graduates, J. R. Savage, writes a letter of which only the following extract can be given:
"It is hoped that the promising young manhood of the race will not be satisfied with anything lower than the highest and best that the schools have to offer. The first ten or twelve years of one's school life are of necessity so largely mechanical that very little of what is really education enters into them. Education is rather ability to produce something and to think consecutively and coherently, than capacity to receive something. Though a cultured mind may not create anything, it is distinguished by its ability to combine two or more elements in such a way as to form a new substance—to add something to the world. Man sits at the feet of nature, learns her laws, and then breathes into them his own soul, and nature becomes the living thing we call Art. In addition to developing power of original and independent thought, a liberal education prepares a man to enter into and appropriate all the wealth of the ages. Those who are really living in this grand and awful time, in this 'age on ages telling,' are persons who have, in a sense, lived through all time."
Larger means would enable Talladega to give still more industrial training than she does. But her chief mission will perhaps always be to train leaders, to stand for higher education and to uphold the supremacy of the ideal and spiritual over that which is merely utilitarian and material.
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THE PAST YEAR AT TILLOTSON, AUSTIN, TEXAS.
BY PRES. MARSHALL R. GAINES.
With the air full of vague rumors of yellow fever, and the consequent panic; with the quarantine and general confusion in the running of trains, and the withdrawal of many of them, the outlook last September for the eighteenth year of our school was not the brightest. While it is believed that not a single case of yellow fever occurred in Texas last year, almost everybody was of the opinion that it had broken out in the next town. Rumors were hard to trace and harder to refute. As a result, most felt that it was best to stay at home and await developments.
School opened on time, however, with a somewhat smaller attendance than would have been expected under other conditions. Gradually the panic subsided, quarantine was removed, and our students came in as full numbers as in the preceding year, when the attendance had been unusually large. The number of boarding students diminished considerably, owing to our inability to find food for all who applied, but this falling off was more than made up by day pupils. A little uncertainty in regard to the continuance of the work of the high school for colored students gave us a number of well advanced pupils from that institution.
Good health, with its attendant good cheer, prevailed throughout the year, and the work was earnestly and faithfully done.
A large proportion, probably four-fifths, of our students claim membership in churches at entrance. There is not room for so extensive revivals as visit some schools. The evidences of healthy religious growth were not wanting. About thirteen cases of hopeful conversion are believed to have taken place.
Active efforts in behalf of fellow students were greatly blessed. About seventy-five new names for the pledge against the use of alcoholics and narcotics were obtained. This means much. The use of intoxicating drinks at Christmas festivals is very popular, and many a young man is "the worse for liquor" at the holiday season.
The evidences of increasing interest in the school on the part of the best citizens of Austin were apparent on many occasions.
Friends in the North, old and new, gladdened the hearts of teachers and pupils by contributions in clothing, books and money for the aid of needy students. One, a contribution of books, calls for special mention. It came from Mrs. Isabella Beecher Hooker, of Hartford, Conn., and contained over one hundred volumes of standard works. Among them was a complete set of the books written by her sister, Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe. These books are greatly enjoyed by our young people. It is earnestly hoped that other contributions of a similar nature will continue to be made.
The examinations at various times, and especially the closing ones, May twenty-sixth and twenty-seventh, were highly creditable. Only a small number failed of promotion.
The programme for Commencement week was carried out successfully.
It began on Friday evening, May twenty-seventh, with a speaking contest and a prize debate, by the Philomathean Literary Society. The discussion was as to the educative value of the study of the classics compared with that of the sciences. The debate was well conducted, and both sides supported their views with interest and energy. The chairman of the judges was the president of one of the national banks of Austin. The prizes, two sets of valuable books, were awarded to the advocates of the study of the sciences.
Sunday, May twenty-ninth, was marked with interest in many ways. In the morning the baccalaureate sermon, from the text, "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ," was delivered in the college chapel. The audience was good and appreciative. In the evening came the closing meeting of the Young People's Society. This is always an occasion of interest with us. The circumstances call forth a review of the work of the year, or of the course, with those about to leave, and many are the requests for prayer, in view of the trials to come in the long vacation or the work in broader fields. The tone of earnest desire to be faithful to Christ and to be helpful in work for Him, was very strong.
Monday afternoon brought a small company of ladies and gentlemen from the city, on invitation, to examine the collections of botanical specimens presented by the pupils in that branch, and to select the two most worthy. A number of very creditable collections were offered, the competition was close, and resulted in the giving of three prizes.
Specimens of work in the sewing department and in carpentry were opened to the public for inspection, and called forth deserved commendation. Instruction in both of these departments is greatly needed, and it is gratifying to note the marks of progress in the use of the needle and in the use of carpenters' tools. The drawing by the boys in the shop work was very noticeable.
The Annual Concert is a strong feature at Tillotson. People come from miles around and fill the chapel to overflowing always, on Tuesday evening before commencement. A slight admission fee is charged, to help meet expense for music and incidentals. Early in the year, it was decided to present on this occasion something a little more serious than usual. It was anticipated that this might not be so popular, and that there would be a falling off in receipts from sale of tickets. Still it was felt that we ought to do something towards elevating the standard along these lines.
Selections from the Oratorio of Elijah were chosen for this occasion. At first the older students, upon whose hearty co-operation everything depended, expressed their fears as to the result. But courage and patience won the day with them. As they went forward with preparations enthusiasm took the place of criticism. All fell into line, working cheerfully and faithfully, drilling for the entertainment. Several of the leading musicians of Austin became interested in the work of the students, and attended the concert. They expressed great surprise and pleasure at the success of the singers. This seems a good start in a much needed improvement.
Wednesday, June first, came the graduation exercises.
The flowers of Texas are abundant and lend themselves for adorning public halls with charming effect. For each of the public entertainments of the week the chapel had been given a new array of flowers and green, with variations striking and beautiful. This morning the chapel seemed brighter than ever.
The only graduating address was upon "Literature and Authorship, with the Valedictory." The young speaker, only nineteen, has already made his mark as a writer and speaker of decided merit. A visitor of distinction said, "It would have done credit to our State University."
Everything now points to the coming year as one of prosperity. While it is true that the Sam. Houston College is expected to open in September, and is to be a near neighbor, and while it is certain that the denominational whip will be used to bring into it pupils of its own denomination, it is also true that there is work enough for them and for all, and we wish them God speed in their work. There will not be too much light upon the darkness.
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LINCOLN ACADEMY, KING'S MOUNTAIN, N. C.
BY MISS L. S. CATHCART.
Lincoln Academy closed its year's work on the last day of May. We have no building that will possibly seat over four hundred, with every foot of space occupied, and as we have to plan for a thousand, we take it for granted that the day will be fair, and prepare platform, seats and awnings in the woods. The rain drove us from our work the previous day, but the morning of commencement day was clear, and with the early dawn we were at work, and by eight o'clock the grounds were ready for our friends, who had thus early begun to gather. Within doors the beehive was preparing to swarm, packing trunks, emptying straw ticks, cleaning out rooms. By half-past ten the friends of the school are gathered in great numbers, and our pupils form on the veranda of the Home to march to the grounds and give the song of welcome.
I do not wonder that fathers and mothers look upon the school as it marches to the ground with pride, for in neat, but simple clothing (most of the dresses of the girls having been made in sewing-class), and bearing in manner of walking as well as in every feature the impress of work done during the past months, such a company of young people is an inspiration; and one can but thank God for the planting and fostering of such Christian schools all over our south-land.
Songs, recitations and dialogues are well rendered by the school, filling about three hours—and no one too tired—and a stirring address is given by Rev. O. Faduma, a native of Africa, on "Some things needed for the development of the colored race."
As we look back upon the year of work we feel that we have been abundantly blessed. We enrolled two hundred and nineteen pupils, not more than some previous years—we cannot for want of room; but they came earlier and stayed longer. Almost without exception good work was done by the entire school. About twenty confessed Christ as their Saviour. During the year we had not one case of serious sickness. These are among the great blessings of the year whose work is now closed. I do not think I should say the work is closed. A common expression among farmers here is, "when the crops are laid by," between hoeing and harvesting, while they are growing: That is much the way with our work, it is "laid by" to grow. Our pupils are teaching, working in Sabbath Schools, "speaking for temperance," and proving themselves in other ways. "They are growing," and we rejoice.
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BY REV. O. FADUMA.
It was my privilege the last of May to spend three days at Lincoln Academy. The closing exercises drew together the friends of the students from different parts of the country.
The school grounds had more than a thousand visitors, and as there was no building large enough to seat them, the canopy of heaven afforded ample roof in the groves. The exercises of the day were creditable both to the instructors and pupils. The appearance of the students showed much intelligence and a training of the best kind. The Academy has been much crowded during the year, having had over two hundred scholars.
A boarding-school has always an advantage among our colored people. It moulds the morals of the students, and through them the morals of their homes. There is a more direct influence of the teachers upon the scholars than in the day schools.
That the institution is highly prized, is shown from the fact that during the past years more students than can be accommodated have yearly applied for admission; as fast as they could obtain added room it has been filled.
Under the principalship of Miss Cathcart, whose name is now a household word in North Carolina, and with the assistance of her consecrated staff of teachers, the Academy has taken a prominent part among the best educational institutions of the State. There is now a golden opportunity for the moral, religious and industrial development of the negro through Lincoln Academy.
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We copy from a recent number of the Charleston, S. C. Enquirer, edited by Rev. Geo. C. Rowe, a description of the New Agricultural, Industrial and Normal School at Enfield, N. C.:
This school is known as the Joseph K. Brick Agricultural, Industrial and Normal School. It was founded by Mrs. Joseph K. Brick of Brooklyn, N. Y., in memory of her deceased husband, Joseph K. Brick. The lands include 1129 acres, most of which is under cultivation. It was originally an old slave farm. One of the old slaves, a man now about 80, is still living, and we had the pleasure of hearing a speech from him on the occasion of dedicating the boys' dormitory. The beautiful shade trees standing in front of the college building were planted by him before the war.
This school is located in Edgecombe County, N. C., midway between the towns of Enfield and Whitaker, a distance of three miles each way. The Roanoke River, well stocked with fish, bounds it on the north.
The school farm is plentifully supplied with birds, wild ducks, turkeys and deer. While driving over this immense farm on Friday last, two deer jumped up less than 50 yards from us. The land is very productive and the timber is of the best quality. Water is abundant and of the best one can desire; it is obtained at a depth of from 12 to 20 feet. The climate is delightful and healthful. The school farm is amply supplied with a good quality of fruit trees.
The aim is to give due attention to the improvement of the mind, morals and muscles. In order to do this, farming, blacksmithing, carpentry, laundering, sewing, housekeeping and cooking are diligently taught. Great attention is given to the raising of stock, such as horses, mules, cows, hogs and fowl, and to the improving of the breed of these animals. A good curriculum is fully provided in the literary departments. The course runs from the primary up to and including the normal course.
The school just closed the third year. Everywhere, in the buildings, the general bearing of the pupils, the class-room work, all say there is a marvelous advancement shown. Everything here is in its infancy, but from the appearance of things, the stranger would think it had required ten years to do what has been done here in just three years.
The workers to do this work number six teachers. They are cultured, competent, Christian men and women.
Pupils who are anxious to secure an education here, but too poor to pay in cash, have an opportunity to help themselves; such pupils contract to work one year. They are allowed $10.00 per month for such labor; a night school is provided free for them. The money so earned is placed to their credit for the second year; every advantage of the school is opened to them. Many avail themselves of this opportunity.
On the closing day large crowds, colored and white, came from far and near. There were three sessions, morning, afternoon and evening. The morning was given up to the dedicatory services, which consisted of a sermon by Rev. G. V. Clark of Charleston, S. C., with singing and other exercises. The sermon, which was practical and full of food for thought, was enjoyed by an appreciative audience.
The afternoon session was a long one but varied, the three departments being presented in papers by Profs. Martin, Watkins and Mrs. Davis. Volunteer speeches were made by friends and patrons of the school.
At the evening session the over-crowded house listened attentively to excellent recitations, dialogues, and an exercise in calisthenics which was admirably rendered; the singing showed skillful preparation and reflected great credit upon the teachers and pupils.
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SKYLAND INSTITUTE (MOUNTAIN WHITE), BLOWING ROCK, N. C.
BY MRS. ELLEN R. DORSETT, PRINCIPAL.
The closing exercises of Skyland Institute, at Blowing Rock, N. C., have each year to be carefully planned with regard to our small audience room, and so we have not one great day, but three days of interest.
The first of these was Wednesday, May 25th, when public examinations took place. We were gratified to have among our visitors, parents who had never before visited our school, also summer visitors, interested in educational matters, who gave us words of cheer.
The following day our pupils gave an industrial exhibition. This was a new feature in our school history, and it was one difficult to inaugurate among the pupils—but it will not be difficult to continue, because of its success. There were five classes of entries; sewing, bread making, pastry and desserts, laundry work and boys' hand work. There were three premiums in each class, and these were in money given by interested friends. The first premium in each case was seventy-five cents. After the judges had made awards, the dining room doors were thrown open to the public, a surging crowd, and small samples of the cooked food were given.
Upon May 27 our school room was beautified with azalias and ferns, and in the corner stood our piano, which came to us during the year from Connecticut friends, ready to do its part. People came from a distance, and the woods across the street from us made a fine North Carolina picture with the covered wagons, the topped buggies, surreys and saddle horses. The audience without was as great in numbers, as that within. The address was most acceptable. One of the old citizens who waited to grasp the speaker's hand, told him how he wished that he were young again, that he might make his own life successful. "It is not too late now!" were the words of the preacher in reply.
Some tributes came to us in these last days regarding our work. One man with a broken voice, told us that he was a better man because of our Sunday-school and Christian Endeavor Society. He had been a drinking man, but "for fifteen months had not tasted liquor." Parents told us of the feeling of safety they had when they committed their girls to our care, and gave us words of appreciation.
Already the applicants for admission to our boarding department for the coming year far exceed our accommodations, while every Sunday our school house is not large enough to accommodate the people who do come. Many more would come but there is no room.
The spirit and progress of the work far surpass the equipment, and it is with hearts of gratitude that we lift our eyes and behold "what God hath wrought."
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ALLEN NORMAL INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL, THOMASVILLE, GA.—LAST DAYS OF THE SCHOOL YEAR.
BY MISS A. MERRIAM, PRINCIPAL.
Though there may be little to interest the general reader in a "Closing Exercises" account of an American Missionary Association Normal School, these occasions stand for much to both teachers and scholars. To the former they mean satisfaction not unmixed with solicitude as to how the knowledge acquired and the mental strength developed by years of discipline will be used. To the graduate comes the joy of achievement tempered by the recurring question, "What shall I do now?"
There is another class to whom "Commencement" is a great day—the fathers and mothers who have toiled long and hard to keep their children in school. It is a picture one does not soon forget—those dark faces gazing, with the pride and joy that dims the eye and makes the lip quiver, upon their children, standing with the graduates. There, too, is the old grandmother, who nods her turbaned head with unwonted emphasis as she listens to the essay of her grandchild, whose name she cannot read!
Prof. Jas. L. Murray, principal of the Albany Normal School, who delivered the annual address, told his audience, in plain, forceful words, what kind of an education was needed. Rev. T. M. Nixon, pastor of the Congregational Church in Thomasville, gave an excellent sermon on Sunday along a somewhat similar line of thought.
The majority of our graduates answer the question, "What shall I do now?" by securing positions in the "government schools," as those maintained in part, at least, by appropriations from the State are called. It is gratifying to see the steadily growing tendency towards improvement in public school buildings and appliances. One of our graduates, who has taught two years in a poor little building used as a church, has finally succeeded in getting together the lumber for a little school-house, and, by dint of hard labor, has prevailed upon the people of the neighborhood to put up the building. She hopes in the fall to be able to get sash and glass for the four small windows. The blackboards have been furnished by a Northern friend.
"Lighted to light" is the motto of the graduating class.
In order that those who are furnishing the oil for the lamp which has guided so many into the right life may know how their work is regarded by those among whom it is being done, a few sentences are quoted from the leading newspaper of Thomasville, Ga.
"The exercises throughout were most creditable, and demonstrate that the Allen Normal and Industrial School is keeping its place among the foremost institutions of the kind. The course of instruction as carried out by the principal and her efficient corps of teachers is most thorough. Hand and heart are both educated. A pupil leaving this institution with a diploma of this school, has something to be proud of; more, has something—a good education—which cannot be taken away. There is no telling the amount of good these graduates may do if they will practice what they have been taught."
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BALLARD NORMAL SCHOOL, MACON, GA.
BY PROF. GEO. C. BURRAGE.
At "Ballard" about a month before the close of school, an evening entertainment for the parents and friends of the pupils is given which is designed to show what the pupils of the school can do in the way of kindergarten exercises, dialogue, recitation and music, both vocal and instrumental. This is called the "Junior Exhibition." The members of the senior class do not take part in these exercises, as their turn comes later.
A week before our graduates go from the school an informal reception to the class and their friends is held in the "Teachers' Home," each member of the class being allowed to bring one friend. In this way new teachers make the acquaintance of those who are about to be graduated and the old teachers have an opportunity to talk over past experiences with their former pupils.
On the last Sunday of the school year we have the annual sermon to the graduating class. Invariably the church is crowded. Wednesday of the last week is Visitors' Day, when parents who visit the school at no other time come in large numbers. The work of the industrial departments is on exhibition, and the kindergarten work of the primary department, also the work in drawing and the written exercises in the different subjects taught in the school. An opportunity is afforded also to attend recitations in all the rooms. At noon the class in cooking serves a lunch which demonstrates in a practical manner the proficiency attained in this important branch of domestic education. The different dishes are sold at a nominal price towards defraying the expense of this part of the exhibition. The same evening "The Alumni Association" holds its literary exercises.
The graduating exercises on Thursday afternoon consist of essays and recitations by the members of the class and music by members of the school, followed by an address by as able a speaker as we can secure. This year we had a most suggestive and helpful address from Rev. Dr. Haynes of our American Missionary Association church at Athens, Ga. The graduating class consisted of six young ladies, who in character and scholarship are especially well fitted for teaching, which most of them intend to follow. Our graduates are always in demand as teachers, and the demand is greater than the supply.
The attendance at the graduating exercises has increased each year until it has become too great for the capacity of our church, which is not small. This year many were unable to gain admittance at all.
Immediately after the exercises at the church, a reception is given the alumni of the school, which is a most enjoyable and useful occasion. After an hour has been spent in social intercourse, refreshments are served, when the members representing the different classes are called upon for short addresses. It is most encouraging to hear them testify as to the help and stimulus they have received from the school.
The next day after the graduating exercises, the pupils assemble in the school rooms in the mornings to hear the "promotion lists" read and to have seats assigned them in the grades to which they have been promoted; and the school year is ended, but not ended are the influences and the prayers that have gone on with the fidelities of the earnest teachers who day by day have put their lives into this work.
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CLOSING EXERCISES OF KNOX INSTITUTE, ATHENS, GA.
Only a few years ago, the colored people of Athens took very little interest in the closing work of our schools; but there has been a great educational awakening among the colored people since, and I doubt whether in the whole State of Georgia a city can be found in which the colored people manifest interest in the closing work of our schools more than they do in Athens.
Commencement week at Knox began with the anniversary sermon, preached at the Congregational Church, to the students, Sunday morning, May 22d.
Monday and Tuesday following were devoted to examinations, and the inspection of our industrial exhibit in carpentry and sewing, which was in many respects the best of this kind ever made by any school in Athens. We have never had as many visitors at any one time as we have had since our industrial shop has been opened for work, and while visitors have manifested an interest in every department of the work, their greatest interest has been in this department.
Many short addresses were made by our visitors at this time, with words of cheer and encouragement; but all recognized the fact of a needed enlargement and increased facilities.
One patron, on emerging from the industrial shop, said to me, "The half that you are doing has not been told."
A lady visitor, who is 81 years old and has 31 grandchildren, and who made clothes for the soldiers of both the Mexican War and the Civil War, told us how happy she was to be at Knox Institute that day. Among other things, she said, "I seen so much cruelty and meanness on these grounds (meaning the grounds on which the Knox Institute stands) in dark slavery days, I's come now to see the great good you are doing here for our children. It fills me with joy to see these young people risin'." She assured us that she felt "more like shouting than speaking."
Wednesday night, at the County Court House, our musical and literary entertainment was held. The high appreciation of Knox Institute was shown by the fact that we were greeted by an audience of not less than 900 people, from Athens and the surrounding country. People came from towns 50 or 60 miles away from Athens to witness our exercises. It was estimated that not less than 600 people had gathered about the doors before they were opened.
Thursday night, at the County Court House, were our graduating exercises. Again this spacious house was taxed to its utmost to hold the crowd that had gathered to witness these exercises. Four bright students—three young women and one young man—using as their motto, "Not for self, but for others," were graduated from our College Preparatory Course. The annual address was delivered by Rev. W. D. Johnson, D.D., formerly Secretary of the Educational Work of the A. M. E. Church. Dr. Johnson's address was logical, and full of wholesome advice to those whose courses were just completed. Thus ended another school year.
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LE MOYNE INSTITUTE, MEMPHIS, TENN.
BY PROF. A. J. STEELE, A.M., PRINCIPAL.
A graduating class of thirteen, averaging over twenty years of age, recording an average attendance at Le Moyne Institute of six and a half years per member, before an audience of three thousand people on the evening of June 2d, attested the interest felt in the school and the work it has done in West Tennessee.
A varied program of essays, orations, recitations and personations, with musical selections of choruses from composers of high rank, all occupying fully two and a half solid hours—these made the crowning event of the twenty-seven years' work of Le Moyne Normal Institute.
The proud and eager interest of the masses of the colored people in those of their young men and women who persevere in the face of great difficulties and many discouragements to complete a course of study, presents a very attractive and hopeful indication to a student of the rising race.
One who has carefully and for years noted the position and influence of these graduates among their own people, the stand they generally take for order and system, and the force and intelligence they naturally bring to bear on the many questions of social and moral well-being constantly arising to be dealt with by the masses of their people—one who has noted the complex working of the moral and intellectual forces largely represented by the graduates of such schools, will not wonder at the interest manifested by all classes in the conferring even of a Normal School Diploma.
The year's work has been one of exceptional earnestness and value. A total enrollment of 750 in all grades, places the attendance for the year at the extreme high-water mark, and the extensive use students are coming more and more to make of the valuable library and other auxiliary appliances and helps of the school, attests a growth in breadth of view and of scholarship which is very hopeful and encouraging.
The religious work and tone of the school have, as always, been among the prominent and foremost forces, dominating and directing every other thought and resulting in a steady growth of character among the pupils of all grades and in the conscious and open choice of a goodly number of pupils of the life of faith; among others this choice was made, late in the term by a student of the senior class, the last one not a professing Christian.
Nearly every young man in the school and many of the young women are working their way through the course by serving, usually in white families, mornings and evenings, and so, while sustaining themselves in school, incidentally giving a very effective object lesson to many who have professed great doubt as to the value of education for the colored people.
Few things have done more in Memphis than this sort of association to convince those who would not listen to any other sort of argument, that the "old time negro servant" is not so altogether lovely and desirable under the new conditions, even as a servant, as he is often rated by those who think regretfully of the ministrations of slave labor under the old conditions.
In a survey of the whole field of labor among the colored people, while there are very many disheartening conditions and situations, especially to one who is looking for the worst, yet a fair application of the rule of science known as the survival of the fittest, must inevitably and surely work out the conclusion that these efforts of school and of church for the upbuilding and evolution of a race are to have their final reward in the accomplishment of the great work, whereunto in the manifest providence of God they have been called.
By this unwavering confidence has the American Missionary Association, with its teachers and missionaries, been sustained through all these years of perplexing and difficult labors. In this faith thousands of young colored men and women have stepped into the front line of the advance movement of a race, and by this hope all that is promising in the race looks out and forward to the rising dawn of equal opportunity which American fairness, not to say civilization and Christianity, is certain finally to concede.
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LINCOLN SCHOOL, MERIDIAN, MISS.
BY MRS. H. I. MILLER, PRINCIPAL.
Another mile stone in the path of Lincoln School, and one more very pleasant Commencement period. On May 22d our annual sermon was preached to the students. A large and appreciative audience listened to an excellent discourse by the pastor. May 23d found us busy with our examinations. Good, faithful work was done "to find out what we don't know," as one young man said; but the results proved that those examined knew many things.
Wednesday attested the interest of the Alumni by the letters from absent ones, and the presence of thirty of the old graduates, some from every class since 1890, which was the first class. Five former graduates, now teachers in the public school of the city, gave us pleasant words of hope and faith, and others from distant places told of work for the Master, and efforts at uplifting the whole race.
Friday evening witnessed the graduation of sixteen young people; eight from the Latin and eight from the English course. The essay, orations and recitals were pronounced good by those not immediately concerned. The house was crowded, scores were obliged to stand during the entire period, yet there was the utmost attention and perfect quiet. This is what most impresses the workers who have longest been here, the increased good conduct and attention of the audience. Ten years ago an attempt at a night entertainment was almost perilous, because of the tumult and disorder of the audience, but now no more decorous listeners could be asked for anywhere.
There was sadness also with the joy on this, our last night, for it marked the close of the work of our loved and efficient colleague, Miss Sarah Stimpson, who leaves America for Central Africa, to work far in the interior in a new field, under the American Board. She has given many beautiful lessons to her young pupils. May God ever keep her instructions green and fresh in their minds and hearts!
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THE NEGRO'S PLACE IN AMERICAN LIFE.
BY M. H. NEAL (STUDENT.)
The Students of Fisk University arranged a meeting for last Emancipation day in which they should discuss among themselves their condition and their hopes. Among the speeches was an address, some parts of which are given below. The Secretary of the Association, who happened to be present, was greatly interested both in the sentiments and in the way in which they were put, and he thinks our readers will be likewise interested.
We have assembled to-day to commemorate that event in American history which brought freedom to the slave; to celebrate a day upon which the negro was lifted from the darkest depths of human servitude to a sphere of liberty and life. How dark must have been the times when no Bibles were read around our family fireside, when few words comforted the sick and no befitting funeral services were observed for the dead. We cannot look to the heights which we as a race represent nor can we rightly consider our place in American life and thought without reflecting upon the depths from which we have come and upon those who assisted in making possible for us such large opportunities. We gladly bow in homage to those noble hearted men and women who sympathized with us and so lavishly poured out their earnings and sacrificed their lives for the dawn of a day whose sun will never set. Blessed be the memory of those who persevered amid prejudice in presenting testimony against prevailing wrongs and in giving us of their deepest convictions....
Paramount to all questions extending almost throughout our extensive domain, is the so-called "negro question." This question has been much discussed and poorly settled. Because in a few years the negro as a whole has not become learned, does not possess streets of magnificent and commodious buildings, has not presidents of railroad corporations and banking interests, because he has not worked his way to the highest office in the gift of his people, it is often said that he cannot embrace American civilization and is entitled to no share in his country's greatness and protection. Some of our own people have been made to believe such contention and have begun to consider our cause a hopeless one.
We know that the place demanded is the place to be earned only by diligent application and persistent effort.
That we have been true to our country and loyal to its interests is indisputable. We may point with pride to Attucks, a full blooded negro, who stepped upon Boston Common and became one of the first martyrs to die to maintain against British tyranny the patriotic attitude of the American colonies. In the second war with Great Britain the colored people were no less loyal; we figured conspicuously in the bloody struggles of New Orleans. When the majority of the American people denounced slavery as petty and tyrannical, when through secession the Confederacy of the Southern States was formed, when the South took up arms to overthrow the Union, the Negro was again ready to answer his country's call. He was present with Sherman when he made his famous march "from Atlanta to the Sea." And even these fields which overlook our lovely city upon which he dropped his sweat, were sprinkled with his blood when the time was ripe for military action. He fought well at Gettysburg. Out of old Nashville, too, with her slave system has come new Nashville with her splendid schools. Thus in every contest of our country for existence and independence, none have labored more incessantly and given their lives more freely for the maintenance and perpetuity of our institutions.
Moreover, in our record never have we joined with other classes, who, with a rebellious spirit have excited civic revolt and disturbed public peace. While it is true that many of the base and corrupt walk the streets in idleness, the better element at the humble trades and more exalted professions have set out to live by the sweat of their own brow and with their powers to work out their own destiny.
We may not, indeed, boast of achievements which other races have accomplished in hundreds of years. Nay, we confess that ignorance and immorality and vice of every description exist among us. To eradicate totally the curse of slavery in thirty years would be miraculous indeed. There are among us some who steal, but not all of us are rogues by any means. When a decision of our accomplishments is given, some judge us by the number of prisoners among us. But there are among us many good men and women, who uphold the right, who in competition with other men and women have held their places with credit.
A comparison of the negro of to-day with the negro of thirty years ago shows a contrast. A new negro has sprung upon the stage of action, one who has had the advantages derived from the seminaries, colleges and universities founded and fostered by philanthropic people. The incredulous have been made to confess that we are susceptible of higher education and refinement. Through books we have realized intellectual growth. The wisdom of the past has enriched our souls, kindled our imagination, and deepened our thoughts. We have begun to look upon the world with new eyes. Our minds have been turned upon ourselves. We compare ourselves with other races, not as black men, but as men, and we thirst for knowledge and for individual perfection. We have learned to reflect and to form conception of right and to determine our vocation in life. We have learned not to depend entirely upon public opinion, but also to help make it. We have learned that self must be overcome. We are studying self and we know by evolution great improvements have been made mentally, morally and materially. We believe that man fashioned in God's image and endowed with mental faculties which are capable of development was not sent into the world to serve, in order that other men may revel in luxuries and wasteful living.
History teaches that every victorious race has had its struggles, and certainly we are no exception. There are great hindrances in our pathway and unjust prejudice against us. But prejudice is not as great as it has been, and in the face of opposition we know there is a place for us. We would dethrone Judge Lynch who stains the ermine of the bench and invades the halls of justice, but after all, his slaughters pale into insignificance when compared with those committed by ignorance and intemperance. Industry and frugality and self-control have been partly diffused among us, and these irresistible forces will revolutionize the wrong, destroy the evils and bring the consummation of our hopes for which we seriously plead. We are learning to think and by the power of thought we are to take the place in American life vouchsafed to every American citizen without regard to "race, color or previous condition of servitude."
Our development has been and must be gradual in order to be permanent. There has been no spasmodic growth in the oak of the forest. A few years ago it was only a tiny twig, but silently, imperceptibly, and daily, it has increased in strength and greatness, until now it stands forth the giant of the forest with its large and manifold parts extending far and wide, sheltering the cattle of the hills and the fowl of the air. We do not demand the commanding position which the Anglo Saxon occupies by reason of centuries of struggle, but as humble citizens bringing to the government, which we love and honor, our tribute we ask that our country may give us the assurance of equal opportunity and protection. When a responsible duty in state is assigned us, we ask the privilege of discharging the same unharmed.
The rail-splitter upon the sparsely settled lands of Kentucky was fired with a purpose and a recognition of his place among men. He toiled on against hindrances and adversities until he had cut his way to the Capitol of the nation and had become the President of the nation and the emancipator of four millions of slaves. The colored lad upon Colonel Lloyd's plantation who heard the barking of the blood hounds and felt the lash of the task master, likewise he realized that such was not his place. He sought his place, and to-day America holds in sacred memory that eloquent and matchless orator Frederick Douglass.
Fellow-students, despair not, there is hope for us. Our pathway has been rough, but our privileges have been likewise great. Our souls have been touched, our thoughts directed and our visions enlarged. We are standing here upon the base swell of the mount of prosperity, viewing its lofty summit which towers above prejudice and contempt into the atmosphere of recognition and respectability. Enemies may assail us on our ascent, but will climb on: men have reached the top and we can reach it. Though our ideal is high, if we have the patience of our fathers and the courage demanded; if with unselfish devotion we act well our part upon the stage of life, everywhere promoting to the best of our ability those virtues indispensable in the welfare of a people, our banner of intellectual and moral power will wave upon the mountain heights, and its glory will bless our homes, our race, and our nation.
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LOUISIANA CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION.
BY PROF. GEORGE W. HENDERSON, D.D., STRAIGHT UNIVERSITY, NEW ORLEANS.
A new and highly significant chapter has been written during the past year in the history of Louisiana. The state now has a new constitution and the convention, exhausted by the labors of three months, has adjourned. According to the law which called the convention, the result is final, this unusual procedure of denying the people the privilege of voting upon their organic law, being based upon the example of Mississippi.
The convention just adjourned is the third of its kind in the history of the South, or of the world, the first being the Mississippi convention of 1890, the second, the South Carolina convention of 1895. These facts illustrate the tendency of the South, especially the Gulf States, to move in unison in all legislation affecting their colored citizens.