BOOKER T. WASHINGTON
Principal Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute Tuskegee Institute, Alabama
TUSKEGEE AND ITS PEOPLE
TUSKEGEE & ITS PEOPLE: THEIR IDEALS AND ACHIEVEMENTS
BOOKER T. WASHINGTON
D. APPLETON AND COMPANY NEW YORK 1906
COPYRIGHT, 1905, BY D. APPLETON AND COMPANY
Published June, 1905
In a general way the reading public is fairly well acquainted with the work of the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute, but there is continued demand for definite information as to just what the graduates of that institution are doing with their education.
That inquiry is partly answered by this book. The scope of the Tuskegee Institute work is outlined by the chapters contained in Part I, while those of Part II evidence the fact that the graduates of the school are grappling at first-hand with the conditions that environ the masses of the Negro people.
At the school, in addition to the regular Normal School course of academic work, thirty-six industries are taught the young men and women. These are: Agriculture; Basketry; Blacksmithing; Bee-keeping; Brickmasonry; Plastering; Brick-making; Carpentry; Carriage Trimming; Cooking; Dairying; Architectural, Freehand, and Mechanical Drawing; Dressmaking; Electrical and Steam Engineering; Founding; Harness-making; Housekeeping; Horticulture; Canning; Plain Sewing; Laundering; Machinery; Mattress-making; Millinery; Nurse Training; Painting; Sawmilling; Shoemaking; Printing; Stock-raising; Tailoring; Tinning; and Wheelwrighting.
Since the founding of the institution, July 4, 1881, seven hundred and forty-six graduates have gone out from the institution, while more than six thousand others who were not able to remain and complete the academic course, and thereby secure a diploma, have been influenced for good by it.
The school has sought from the very beginning to make itself of practical value to the Negro people and to the South as well. It has taught those industries that are of the South, the occupations in which our men and women find most ready employment, and unflinchingly has refused to abandon its course; it has sought to influence its young men and women to live unselfish, sacrificing lives; to put into practise the lessons taught on every side that make for practical, helpful every-day living.
In the main those who go out from Tuskegee Institute, (1) follow the industry they have been taught, (2) teach in a public or private school or teach part of the year and farm or labor the rest, (3) follow housekeeping or other domestic service, or (4) enter a profession or the Government service, or become merchants. Among the teachers are many who instruct in farming or some industry; the professional men are largely physicians, and the professional women mostly trained nurses. Dr. Washington, the Principal of the school, makes the unqualified statement: "After diligent investigation, I can not find a dozen former students in idleness. They are in shop, field, schoolroom, home, or the church. They are busy because they have placed themselves in demand by learning to do that which the world wants done, and because they have learned the disgrace of idleness and the sweetness of labor."
No attempt has here been made to represent all of the industries; no attempt has especially been made to confine representation to those who are working at manual labor. The public, or at least a part of it, somewhat gratuitously, has reached the conclusion that Tuskegee Institute is a "servant training school," or an employment agency. That is a mistaken idea.
The object of the school is to train men and women who will go out and repeat the work done here, to teach what they have learned to others, and to leaven the whole mass of the Negro people in the South with a desire for the knowledge and profitable operation of those industries in which they have in so large a measure the right of way. Tuskegee students and graduates are never urged not to take such service, especially not to refuse in preference to idleness, but it all involves a simple, ordinary, economic principle. Capable men and women, skilled in the industrial arts, are like those of all races—they seek the most profitable employment. A blacksmith, a tailor, a brickmason, a harness-maker, or other artisan, who can find work in shops and factories, or independently, and make thirty to seventy-five dollars a month, and even more, will not, simply because he is black, leave those chances to accept service in private employment for fifteen dollars per month, and less, and board himself. No school could covenant to train servants for an indefinite tenure; it can at best only promise to train leaders who shall go among the masses and lift them up; to train men and women who shall in turn reach hundreds of others.
Those who write the following chapters represent, in the main, this class. They have written simply, with perfect frankness, have dealt with the significant things of their lives, and have demonstrated, the writer believes, that from humble origin black men and women may confidently be counted upon, with proper encouragement, to win success. The chapters are autobiographical, significantly optimistic, with just pride in what has been done, and outlining, as did "Up from Slavery"—which was commended as a proper model—experiences from childhood, the school-life of the writer, and the results achieved in the direction of putting into practise what was learned in school. Through this symposium it is hoped that the public may learn, in the best possible way, some of the finer results already accomplished by the Tuskegee Institute.
E. J. S.
TUSKEGEE INSTITUTE, ALABAMA, April 1, 1905.
GENERAL INTRODUCTION 1
By Booker T. Washington.
THE SCHOOL AND ITS PURPOSES
I.—PRESENT ACHIEVEMENTS AND GOVERNING IDEALS 19
By Emmett J. Scott, Mr. Washington's Executive Secretary.
II.—RESOURCES AND MATERIAL EQUIPMENT 35
By Warren Logan, Treasurer of the School.
III.—THE ACADEMIC AIMS 56
By Roscoe C. Bruce, Director of the Academic Department.
IV.—WHAT GIRLS ARE TAUGHT, AND HOW 68
By Mrs. Booker T. Washington, Director of Industries for Girls.
V.—HAMPTON INSTITUTE'S RELATION TO TUSKEGEE 87
By Robert R. Moton.
AUTOBIOGRAPHIES BY GRADUATES OF THE SCHOOL
I.—A COLLEGE PRESIDENT'S STORY 101
By Isaac Fisher, of Pine Bluff, Arkansas.
II.—A SCHOOL PRINCIPAL'S STORY 111
By William H. Holtzclaw, of Utica, Mississippi.
III.—A LAWYER'S STORY 141
By George W. Lovejoy, of Mobile, Alabama.
IV.—A SCHOOL TREASURER'S STORY 152
By Martin A. Menafee, of Denmark, South Carolina.
V.—THE STORY OF A FARMER 164
By Frank Reid, of Dawkins, Alabama.
VI.—THE STORY OF A CARPENTER 173
By Gabriel B. Miller, of Fort Valley, Georgia.
VII.—COTTON-GROWING IN AFRICA 184
By John W. Robinson, of Lome, Togo, West Africa.
VIII.—THE STORY OF A TEACHER OF COOKING 200
By Mary L. Dotson, of Tuskegee Institute, Alabama.
IX.—A WOMAN'S WORK 211
By Cornelia Bowen, of Waugh (Mt. Meigs), Alabama.
X.—UPLIFTING OF THE SUBMERGED MASSES 224
By W. J. Edwards, of Snow Hill, Alabama.
XI.—A DAIRYMAN'S STORY 253
By Lewis A. Smith, of Rockford, Illinois.
XII.—THE STORY OF A WHEELWRIGHT 264
By Edward Lomax, of Tuskegee Institute, Alabama.
XIII.—THE STORY OF A BLACKSMITH 276
By Jubie B. Bragg, of Tallahassee, Florida.
XIV.—A DRUGGIST'S STORY 285
By David L. Johnston, of Birmingham, Alabama.
XV.—THE STORY OF A SUPERVISOR OF MECHANICAL INDUSTRIES 299
By James M. Canty, of Institute P. O., West Virginia.
XVI.—A NEGRO COMMUNITY BUILDER 317
By Russell C. Calhoun, of Eatonville, Florida.
XVII.—THE EVOLUTION OF A SHOEMAKER 338
By Charles L. Marshall, of Cambria, Virginia.
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
BOOKER T. WASHINGTON Frontispiece
EMMETT J. SCOTT 20
Mr. Washington's Executive Secretary.
THE COLLIS P. HUNTINGTON MEMORIAL BUILDING 26
WARREN LOGAN 36
Treasurer of the School
THE OFFICE BUILDING IN PROCESS OF ERECTION 50
Student carpenters shown at work.
ROSCOE C. BRUCE 56
Director of the Academic Department.
A PORTION OF THE SCHOOL GROUNDS 64
ANOTHER PORTION OF THE SCHOOL GROUNDS 66
MRS. BOOKER T. WASHINGTON 68
Director of Industries for Girls.
A CLASS IN MILLINERY 76
THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL 94
Standing, left to right: P. C. Parks, Superintendent of Farm; George W. Carver, Director, Agricultural Department; J. N. Calloway, Land Extension; John H. Palmer, Registrar; Charles H. Gibson, Resident Auditor; Edgar J. Penney, Chaplain.
Seated, left to right: Lloyd G. Wheeler, Business Agent; Robert R. Taylor, Director of Mechanical Industries; John H. Washington, General Superintendent of Industries; Warren Logan, Treasurer; Booker T. Washington, Principal; Miss Jane E. Clark, Dean of Woman's Department; Mrs. Booker T. Washington, Director of Industries for Girls; and Emmett J. Scott, Secretary to the Principal.
The Director of the Academic Department, Roscoe C. Bruce, and the Commandant of Cadets, Major J. B. Ramsey, also members of the Executive Council, were absent when photograph was taken.
THE CARNEGIE LIBRARY BUILDING 108
MORNING AT THE BARNS ON THE SCHOOL FARM 122
Teams of horses and cattle ready to start for the day's work.
STUDENTS PRUNING PEACH-TREES 146
A SILO ON THE FARM 166
Students filling it with fodder corn, steam-power being used.
A MODEL DINING-ROOM 208
From the department where table-service is taught.
THE CULTURE OF BEES 220
Students at work in the apiary.
IN THE DAIRY 254
Students using separators.
STUDENTS AT WORK IN THE HARNESS SHOP 270
AT THE HOSPITAL 294
A corner in the boys' ward.
IN THE TIN SHOP 300
STUDENTS CANNING FRUIT 308
STARTING A NEW BUILDING 314
Student masons laying the foundation in brick.
GIRLS GARDENING 344
TUSKEGEE AND ITS PEOPLE
BY BOOKER T. WASHINGTON
Institutions, like individuals, are properly judged by their ideals, their methods, and their achievements in the production of men and women who are to do the world's work.
One school is better than another in proportion as its system touches the more pressing needs of the people it aims to serve, and provides the more speedily and satisfactorily the elements that bring to them honorable and enduring success in the struggle of life. Education of some kind is the first essential of the young man, or young woman, who would lay the foundation of a career. The choice of the school to which one will go and the calling he will adopt must be influenced in a very large measure by his environments, trend of ambition, natural capacity, possible opportunities in the proposed calling, and the means at his command.
In the past twenty-four years thousands of the youth of this and other lands have elected to come to the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute to secure what they deem the training that would offer them the widest range of usefulness in the activities open to the masses of the Negro people. Their hopes, fears, strength, weaknesses, struggles, and triumphs can not fail to be of absorbing interest to the great body of American people, more particularly to the student of educational theories and their attendant results.
When an institution has, like Tuskegee Institute, reached that stage in its development that its system of instruction has aroused very general discussion, and has given to the world of varied industry an army of workers, numbering not less than 6,000, there is a natural curiosity on the part of the public to learn all that is possible of such an institution, and of the personality and methods of those administering its affairs. They wish to ascertain the actual truth concerning its resources and equipment; they want figures detailing the degree of pecuniary productiveness and moral efficiency attained by those who have received the prescribed training; and they are eager to hear the whole story from the lips of both the instructors and the instructed as to how the recorded results have been accomplished.
In several volumes already published, bearing upon Tuskegee Institute and what it stands for, an endeavor has been made to present a truthful account of the Principal's early strivings and life-work; an honest attempt has been made to analyze and impress the basic principles upon which Tuskegee Institute was founded. It has been the aim to write a history of individual yearnings for the light of knowledge that would stir the inner consciousness of the humblest of the race and arouse him to the vast possibilities that lie in the wake of solid character, intelligent industry, and material acquisition. He has tried, with all earnestness, to hold up the future of the American Negro in its most attractive aspect, and to emphasize the virile philosophy that there is a positive dignity in working with the hands, when that labor is fortified by a developed brain and a consecrated heart.
Though much has been said of the spirit and purpose of this center of social and economic uplift in the famed Black Belt of the South, there is still a wide-spread demand for a more specific recital of what is being done here, by whom, under what conditions, and the concrete evidences of the benefits that are growing out of the thrift, industry, right thinking, and right living taught by our faculty.
In response to this insistent call, Mr. Emmett J. Scott, Executive Secretary of the Tuskegee Institute, presents to the public a further contribution, Tuskegee and Its People: Their Ideals and Achievements, with authentic accompanying autobiographies of a number of typical students of the school.
To this work Mr. Scott brings a peculiar fitness, unequaled by any other person who might have been chosen to perform it. He is closely knit to the Southland and her great masses by the common sympathy of nativity and the mutuality of hopes. The South has always been his home, but he has traveled so extensively and mingled so freely that he has acquired most ample breadth of vision as regards men and things.
For many years now Mr. Scott has served the school with rare fidelity and zeal, and has been to the Principal not only a loyal assistant in every phase of his manifold and frequently trying duties, but has proved a valuable personal friend and counselor in matters of the most delicate nature, exhibiting in emergencies a quality of judgment and diplomatic calmness seldom found in men of even riper maturity and more extended experience.
As I stated in one of my books published several years ago, as far as one individual can fill the place of another, Mr. Scott has acted in the Principal's stead, seeing with the Principal's eyes and hearing with the Principal's ears, counting no sacrifice too great to be made for Tuskegee's well-being. He is in perfect accord with the fundamental principles and practical policies through the persistent adherence to which Tuskegee Institute has won its conspicuous place in the educational world.
The volume here presented has been edited by Mr. Scott with the utmost care, he preferring to have the contributors understate rather than overstate the results that have come from the labors of Tuskegee and its people. It has been the Principal's pleasure and privilege to examine and critically review the manuscript after its completion, and the volume is so praiseworthy that it is given his cordial approval. The task of editing he had expected to perform has been so well done that it has only been necessary to review the manuscript after its preparation for the publishers, and to forego the strict editorial revisioning planned. The book is an accurate portrait of the Tuskegee of to-day, and reasonably forecasts the hopes for the institution of to-morrow. It tells with forceful directness and graphic precision the formative work that is being done for this generation, and supplies a fulcrum upon which there may justly rest a prophecy of greater things for the generations that are to follow.
A Tuskegee book, whatever its primary motive, is invariably expected to deal broadly with the entire problem of the Negro and his relationships of every kind. It must be more than a mere flesh-and-blood narrative, descriptive of the material progress of the men and women the Institute has produced and is producing. It must be a book free from ostentatious pretension, breathing the atmosphere of the life of the earnest people it describes. It must, of course, exhibit not only the achievements, but also the ideals, the possibilities of the Tuskegee trained man and woman. This, I feel, is adequately done in this volume.
Tuskegee and Its People possesses ideals in thought, morals, and action—and they are lofty. In these respects the symposium will not prove a disappointment. This instinct for the ideal, however, lies not in idly sighing for it, but is born of an abiding belief that worth is intrinsic, and that applied common sense, practical knowledge, constancy of effort, and mechanical skill will make a place for the patient striver far more secure than the artificial niche into which some one may thrust him. The masses who are most helpfully reached by the Tuskegee Institute are coming to realize that education in its truest sense is no longer to be regarded as an emotional impulse, a fetish made up of loosely joined information, to be worshiped for its mere possession, but as a practical means to a definite end. They are being taught that mind-training is the logical helpmeet of hand-training, and that both, supplemented and sweetened by heart-training, make the high-souled, useful, productive, patriotic, law-loving, public-spirited citizen, of whom any nation might well be proud. The outcome of such education will be that, instead of the downtrodden child of ignorance, shiftlessness, and moral weakness, we shall generate the thoroughly rounded man of prudence, foresight, responsibility, and financial independence. He will cease to be the gullible victim of the sharper who plays upon vanity, credulity, and superstition, and learn to value only that which is real and substantial. It is of the highest importance to the Negro, who must make his way amid disadvantages and embarrassments of the severest character, that he be made aware of the vast difference between working and being worked. In carrying this inspiring message and impressing these fundamental truths, the new Tuskegee book renders a splendid service.
Industrial training will be more potent for good to the race when its relation to the other phases of essential education is more clearly understood. There is afloat no end of discussion as to what is the "proper kind of education for the Negro," and much of it is hurtful to the cause it is designed to promote. The danger, at present, that most seriously threatens the success of industrial training, is the ill-advised insistence in certain quarters that this form of education should be offered to the exclusion of all other branches of knowledge. If the idea becomes fixed in the minds of the people that industrial education means class education, that it should be offered the Negro because he is a Negro, and that the Negro should be confined to this sort of education, then I fear serious injury will be done the cause of hand-training. It should be understood rather that at such institutions as Hampton Institute and Tuskegee Institute, industrial education is not emphasized because colored people are to receive it, but because the ripest educational thought of the world approves it; because the undeveloped material resources of the South make it peculiarly important for both races; and because it should be given in a large measure to any race, regardless of color, which is in the same stage of development as the Negro.
On the other hand, no one understanding the real needs of the race would advocate that industrial education should be given to every Negro to the exclusion of the professions and other branches of learning. It is evident that a race so largely segregated as the Negro is, must have an increasing number of its own professional men and women. There is, then, a place and an increasing need for the Negro college as well as for the industrial institute, and the two classes of schools should, and as a matter of fact do, cooperate in the common purpose of elevating the masses. There is nothing in hand-training to suggest that it is a class-training. The best educational authorities in the world are indorsing it as an essential feature in the education of both races, and especially so when a very large proportion of the people in question are compelled by dint of circumstances to earn their living in manufactures and agricultural and mechanical pursuits in general. It so happens that the bulk of our people are permanently to remain in the South, and conditions beyond their control have attached them to the soil; for a long time the status of the majority of them is likely to be that of laborers. To make hard conditions easier, to raise common labor from drudgery to dignity, and to adopt systems of training that will meet the needs of the greatest number and prepare them for the better things that intelligent effort will surely bring, form a task to which the wisest of the race are addressing themselves with an eager enthusiasm which refuses to be chilled by adverse criticism.
Tuskegee emphasizes industrial training for the Negro, not with the thought that the Negro should be confined to industrialism, the plow, or the hoe, but because the undeveloped material resources of the South offer at this time a field peculiarly advantageous to the worker skilled in agriculture and the industries, and here are found the Negro's most inviting opportunities for taking on the rudimentary elements that ultimately make for a permanently progressive civilization.
The Tuskegee Idea is that correct education begins at the bottom, and expands naturally as the necessities of the people expand. As the race grows in knowledge, experience, culture, taste, and wealth, its wants are bound to become more and more diverse; and to satisfy these wants there will be gradually developed within our own ranks—as has already been true of the whites—a constantly increasing variety of professional and business men and women. Their places in the economic world will be assured and their prosperity guaranteed in proportion to the merit displayed by them in their several callings, for about them will have been established the solid bulwark of an industrial mass to which they may safely look for support. The esthetic demands will be met as the capacity of the race to procure them is enlarged through the processes of sane intellectual advancement. In this cumulative way there will be erected by the Negro, and for the Negro, a complete and indestructible civilization that will be respected by all whose respect is worth the having. There should be no limit placed upon the development of any individual because of color, and let it be understood that no one kind of training can safely be prescribed for any entire race. Care should be taken that racial education be not one-sided for lack of adaptation to personal fitness, nor unwieldy through sheer top-heaviness. Education, to fulfil its mission for any people anywhere, should be symmetrical and sensible.
A mastery of the industries taught at Tuskegee presupposes and requires no small degree of academic study, for competency in agriculture calls for considerable knowledge of chemistry, and no mechanical pursuit can be followed satisfactorily without some acquaintance with the "three R's." Likewise, the individual of liberal academic or college preparation possesses a stronger equipment for constructive work who has trained his hands to supplement his brain.
After all, the final test of the value of any system of education is found in the record of its actual achievements. In Tuskegee and Its People heads of the several departments have not only given a succinct account of the history, resources, and current labors of the school, but deal most happily with the governing ideals behind the institution, and vindicate its claim to the approval of the world's thinkers and moving forces. Besides treating rather elaborately the structural efficiency of the work of the teachers, the editor has not neglected to emphasize the spiritual and ethical virtues that spread over a wider range of influence here and among our people throughout the Southland than those familiar with the purely academic phases have adequately understood.
Tuskegee's germ principle is to be found in its unboasted ideals, in the things that of necessity can not be listed in catalogue or report, rather than in its buildings, shops, farms, and what not. The school dwells upon the saving power of land, and learning, and skill, and a bank-account—not as finalities in themselves, but as tangible witnesses to the Negro's capacity to compete with others.
Perhaps the newest and most refreshing feature of the book is its vivid pen-portraits of the young men and women who have gone out of Tuskegee carrying into diversified lives the principles and precepts imbibed from their parent school. The pictures are drawn by the originals themselves, and they illustrate by honorable achievement the wholesome and evangelizing influence of Tuskegee's preachments, and the far-reaching effect of placing before them as teachers the highest example of what the Negro of morals and manners may become. They tell their story at first-hand, modestly and sincerely, and the foundations of inspiring lives, laid in the Christian virtues and conscientious service of their fellow men, foster a firm belief that the school is doing a work that will live.
These types of Tuskegee's graduates, picked out at random from hundreds of equal scholarship and ability, represent distinctive channels of activity, including the president of a leading college, principals and teachers of thriving schools, a lawyer, a tinner, a school treasurer, farmers, cotton-growers, master builders and contractors, a dairyman, and a blacksmith. No element contributing to the racial uplift is overlooked. The scenes of their labors are scattered over a vast area, showing convincingly the diffusive character as well as the rich harvest garnered through the Tuskegee Idea. These rough-hewn sketches of a sturdy pioneer band in staking out a larger life and a wider horizon for later generations are worthy of the most careful perusal.
The immeasurable advancement of the Negro, manifested in character, courage, and cash, vitalized by valiant service to the republic in education, commerce, and religion, and crowned by an enlightened, vigorously efficient, sensibly ambitious, and law-abiding citizenship, is "confirmation strong as proofs of Holy Writ" that the gospel of industry, as exemplified by Tuskegee and its helpers, has exerted a leavening influence upon civilization wherever it has been brought within the reach of those who are struggling toward the heights. Under this new dispensation of mind, morals, and muscle, with the best whites and best blacks in sympathetic cooperation, and justice meaning the same to the weak as to the strong, the South will no longer be vexed by a "race problem." Peace and prosperity for all will come with the strength to rise above the baser self. Civic righteousness is the South's speediest thoroughfare to economic greatness.
A book that opens the inner chambers of a people's heart, and sheds a light that may guide the footsteps of both races along the upward way, should meet with a hearty welcome at the hands of all lovers of mankind.
THE SCHOOL AND ITS PURPOSES
PRESENT ACHIEVEMENTS AND GOVERNING IDEALS
BY EMMETT J. SCOTT
So much has been said about Tuskegee Institute as a training-school in which to prepare young colored men and women for earning a living in the world of trade and business, that the ideals and spirit behind all this training are to a very large extent lost sight of.
Tuskegee, with its hundreds of acres of farm-land under intelligent cultivation, with its ever-increasing number of well-appointed buildings and its equipment, and the many things on the grounds included in the name of handicrafts, is always in the public eye, and continually appeals to the interest of those who are deeply concerned in the well-being and progress of the Negro people.
Yet behind all of these more tangible manifestations of work, skill, and achievement, there is an unseen, persistent groping after the higher ideals of life and living. No one can remain long on the grounds as an intelligent observer of all that is to be here seen and felt, without recognizing that the things that are not written in the catalogue and not a part of the daily program of activities are real, vital, and of far-reaching importance.
Principal Booker T. Washington and the men and women who have helped him to build Tuskegee Institute are constantly looking beyond the present to a future filled with the evidences of a better living for all those who have felt the transforming spirit of the hidden forces at work.
How the perspective widens and deepens! Far, far beyond the confines of the Tuskegee Institute community the light of this new life is seen and felt and has its salutary effect. The stagnant life of centuries has awakened, and is casting off its bonds. A new term, "intelligent thrift," has come into its possession. Wherever this term has gone and taken root, there has gone with it the thought that unless the idea make for character, as well as for more cotton or corn, it is not of much value.
The Tuskegee Idea always asks one question, and that is, "What are you?" and not, "What have you?" The man who does not rise superior to his possessions does not measure up to the Tuskegee idea of manhood.
In other words, character-building is the Alpha and Omega of all that Tuskegee stands for. From the moment the new student comes on the grounds until he leaves, he is appealed to in ways innumerable to regard life as more than bread or meat, as more than mere mental equipment. Cleanliness, decorum, promptness, truthfulness—these are old-fashioned virtues, and are more properly taught in the home, but in Tuskegee they mean everything. Tuskegee not only acts as a teacher, but assumes the role of parent, and lays emphasis on the importance of these virtues every moment of the time from the entrance of the student until Commencement Day. The "cleanliness that is next to godliness" is one of the Tuskegee ideals, and a student can scarcely commit a more serious misdemeanor than to appear slovenly, either in dress or manners. The facilities and requirements for bathing are quite as complete and exacting as the equipments in the laboratories and recitation-rooms. The result is that Tuskegee has the reputation of being one of the most cleanly and sanitary institutions in the South.
As for good manners, Lord Chesterfield himself would scarcely ask more than is insisted upon by Tuskegee precision. A man must first be conscious of being a gentleman before he can be recognized as such by others, and a girl's good manners are only outward evidences of her individual worth and passport to respectful treatment. Tuskegee Institute, then, insists upon these things because they make for character, and are a part of the ideals toward which all training tends.
But how are all these things taught and enforced? The first requisite, of course, is the character of the teachers and instructors themselves, the men and women who are the embodiment of the ideals that Tuskegee Institute stands for. While it can not be claimed that the best teachers in the South are all at Tuskegee, it can be said that no other school has so large a number of colored men and women who have had the advantage of the highest industrial and intellectual, moral and religious training. The teaching force is made up largely of graduates from nearly every first-class educational institution in America. These teachers have been carefully sought out and brought to Tuskegee, not only for their teaching ability, but that the students may have the benefit of the best examples before them of what the highest culture can do for men and women of their own race. For the majority of our students the perspective of life is narrow: many of them have never lived out of the community in which they were born. That was their only world; their ideals of life were shaped by their mean and narrow environments. They have learned to believe, and act accordingly, that the best people are all of one complexion, and the worst and poorest people are all of another complexion. There is no such thing as creating a sentiment of race pride in such people unless they have set before them living examples of their own race in whom they can feel a sense of pride.
It is scarcely too much to say that one of the best things about the Tuskegee Institute is that it wins our young men and women from mean and sordid environment and brings them in contact with teachers whose minds, hearts, and lives have been enlarged and graced by the highest learning in the best educational institutions of the country. The school teaches no more important lesson than that of cultivating a sense of pride and respect for colored men and women who deserve it because of their character, education, and achievements.
Pride of race, though not so written in the courses of study, is as much a part of Tuskegee's work as agriculture, brick-making, millinery, or any other trade, and quite as important. This may be called sentiment, but it makes for race development quite as much as any of the material things taught in the class-room or shop. To borrow a line from George Eliot:
"Because our race has no great memories, I will so live, it shall remember me For deeds of such divine beneficence As rivers have, that teach men what is good By blessing them— And make their name, now but a badge of scorn, A glorious banner floating in their midst, Stirring the air they breathe with impulses Of generous pride, exalting fellowship Until it soars to magnanimity."
That self-respect demands race pride; that virtue is its own reward; that character is the greatest thing in human life, are taught and emphasized in other ways also. Dr. Washington has succeeded, to a remarkable degree, in developing the Tuskegee Institute by insisting that this institution must have nothing less than the best within and without it, everywhere. What is not best is only temporary. Those who have done most for the school have been made to feel that the character of the work done here and the ideals striven for are deserving of the best. The idea that "anything is good enough for a Negro school" has never been allowed to have any part or exert any effect in Tuskegee's expansion.
For example, when Mr. Carnegie donated the money for a library for Tuskegee, a building was erected of classic outline—a noble structure of artistic symmetry and beauty that must appeal to every one who has any appreciation of architectural beauty. The Collis P. Huntington Memorial Building, just completed, a gift of Mrs. C. P. Huntington, used for the academic classes of the school, would be a credit and delight to any municipality. There is everything about the exterior and interior that must awaken a sense of pride in every pupil who enters its portals. Its facilities are sensible and unostentatious, yet they meet every requirement of the department. What is true of the new Academic Building is likewise true of the various dormitories for girls and boys. The cleanliness and the sanitation to be found at Tuskegee are in delightful contrast to the poor environment to which many of the students have been accustomed; especially is this contrast heightened when these same students have, under competent direction, installed the plants which yield these comforts. Thus it is that in dormitory, recitation-room, shop, dining-hall, library, chapel, and landscape, the idea that only the best is worth having and striving for is emphasized as an object-lesson and principle with such insistence that it becomes an actual part of a student's training and life.
The student at Tuskegee is constantly being trained to look up and forward. He learns how the idea of beauty can be actualized in home and social life; how faithful performance of every duty means nobility of character; how the value of achievement is determined by the motive behind it. But besides these, the one aim, thought, or anxiety around which all others revolve is the high honorableness of all kinds of work intelligently done.
In a section where those who work with their hands are marked off by the inexorable line of caste from those who work with their brains or not at all, this idea of making intelligent work more honorable than intelligent idleness is of constructive value in race development. The problem that the Tuskegee Institute is helping to solve is not only that the colored people shall do their proportionate share of the work, but that they shall do it in such a way that the benefits will remain with those who do the work. Who can measure the transforming effect and influence when it can be said that the "best mechanics" and the "best agriculturists" in the South are Negroes? Certainly, if such a time ever comes, there will be no such painful thing as a race problem, as Negroes now see it and feel it.
This is one of Tuskegee's largest ideals; not that Tuskegee alone can bring about a "consummation so devoutly to be wished," but it is ambitious to be a potent factor in all the tendencies that make for such a condition of life in the heart of the South. So important is this aim and idea of Tuskegee, that it allows no criticism to affect, interfere, or obscure its vision. Tuskegee says to the world that it is determined not only to be a school, but an agent of civilization, a missionary for a better life, that shall stand for a kindlier relationship between the races.
The school enthusiastically seeks to live up to the ideal of its Principal, that education in the broadest and truest sense is designed to influence individuals to help others; is designed, first, last, and all the time, to transform and energize individuals into life-giving agencies for the uplift of their fellows. Principal Washington's whole educational creed, accepted by Tuskegee Institute teachers and students alike, was recently declared in one of his familiar Sunday-evening "talks" to the students of the institution. Said he:
"Education in the broadest and truest sense will make an individual seek to help all people, regardless of race, regardless of color, regardless of condition. And you will find that the person who is most truly educated is the one who is going to be kindest, and is going to act in the gentlest manner toward persons who are unfortunate, toward the race or the individual that is most despised. The highly educated person is the one who is most considerate of those individuals who are less fortunate. I hope when you go out from here and meet persons who are afflicted by poverty, whether of mind or body, or persons who are unfortunate in any way, that you will show your education by being just as kind and considerate toward those persons as it is possible for you to be. That is the way to test a person with education. You may see ignorant persons, who perhaps think themselves educated, going about the street, and when they meet an individual who is unfortunate—lame, or with a defect of body, mind, or speech—are inclined to laugh at and make sport of that individual. But the highly educated person, the one who is really cultivated, is gentle and sympathetic to every one. Education is meant to make us absolutely honest in dealing with our fellows. I do not care how much arithmetic we have, or how many cities we can locate; it is all useless unless we have an education that makes us absolutely honest. Education is meant to make us give satisfaction, and to get satisfaction out of giving it. It is meant to make us get happiness out of service for our fellows. And until we get to the point where we can get happiness and supreme satisfaction out of helping our fellows, we are not truly educated.... Education is meant to make us appreciate the things that are beautiful in nature. A person is never educated until he is able to go into the swamps and woods and see something that is beautiful in the trees and shrubs there—is able to see something beautiful in the grass and flowers that surround him—is, in short, able to see something beautiful, elevating, and inspiring in everything that God has created. Not only should education enable us to see beauty in these objects which God has put about us, but it is meant to influence us to bring beautiful objects about us. I hope that each one of you, after you graduate, will surround himself at home with what is beautiful, inspiring, and elevating. I do not believe that any person is educated so long as he lives in a dirty, miserable shanty. I do not believe that any person is educated until he has learned to want to live in a clean room made attractive with pictures and books, and with such surroundings as are elevating. In a word, I wish to say again that education is meant to give us that culture, that refinement, that taste, which will make us deal truthfully and sympathetically with our fellow men, and will make us see what is beautiful, elevating, and inspiring in what God has created. I want you to bear in mind that your text-books, with all their contents, are not an end, but a means to an end—a means to help us get the highest, the best, the purest, and the most beautiful things out of life."
The Tuskegee trained boy or girl has set before him every hour in the day, and every day in the year, the substantial educational ideals here set forth. Books, valuable as they are, and nowhere more thoroughly reckoned as such than here, are only a means to an end: this is the gospel preached by the Tuskegee teacher. Life is the great, the eternal thing; the serving of one's fellows, the ministering unto the needy of a groping, developing people—this is the thing not forgotten, but ever constantly enforced by precept and by example.
The many old and time-worn frame buildings are being replaced by finely built and imposing brick and stone structures; the tallow dip and antiquated oil-lamp and gas-jet, as illuminators, have paled before the more brilliant white light of electricity, installed by Tuskegee students and operated by them. Patience and faith!—these are Tuskegee's watchwords and her standard virtues. What can not be accomplished to-day will certainly be accomplished to-morrow.
So, in its larger outlook and household anxieties, Tuskegee Institute teachers are confident that the things taught and enforced by example and precept will justify their efforts in helping to make a dependent people independent, a distracted people confident, and an humble people to thrill with pride in itself and in its best men and women. Thus it is that Tuskegee Institute has never been satisfied with being merely a school, concerned wholly with its recitations and training in shop and field. Every student who carries a diploma from these grounds is urged not to hang that diploma on the wall as an ornament, as an evidence of individual superiority, but to make it mean something constructive and life-giving to every one in the community where he must live and work.
The young men and women who are trained for mission work in foreign countries are not more carefully trained in the spirit of consecration than are these young men and women trained at Tuskegee for the work of creating better economic and social conditions among their own people. It is not necessary to state here what has already been accomplished in many parts of the South by Tuskegee graduates. The selected examples set forth in this book are evidence enough. It is sufficient to say that the Tuskegee Institute is determined to become more and more a distinctive influence among the regenerative agencies that are gradually bringing order out of chaos, and justice, peace, and happiness out of the wretched disorders of a painful past. It is easy to trace the influence of such well-established institutions as Harvard and Yale in the progressive life of the American people. The sons of Harvard and Yale almost dominate civilization in America. In another sense, it is possible for Tuskegee to have a like influence in the many things that must be accomplished in the South, before love and justice shall supplant race prejudice and race antagonism.
This reaching out helpfully in all directions where help is needed is the distinguishing feature of Tuskegee. This race-loving spirit gives it a largeness of view and purpose that saves both its teachers and pupils from being narrow and self-centered. Take from Tuskegee all this "vision splendid," and it will at once shrink into common-place insignificance. "Set your ideals high," says the distinguished man who here is Principal as he was founder, "and in your efforts to reach them you become strong for greater things." It is but truth to say that no institution in all the land, whether for white or black education, stands for higher and more generous ideals.
Unless the young man who goes away from Tuskegee as blacksmith, carpenter, printer, or as any other mechanic, is something more than these, he has been incapable of perceiving and taking in the ideals that go with these accomplishments. He has been taught over and over again to "hitch his wagon to the stars," and if he fail to do so, the fault is in himself, and not in Tuskegee.
As between a poor doctor and a poor carpenter, there is but scant choice. They are both failures and to be avoided. Honor in one is as precious as in the other. Honor and efficiency—these, therefore, are the ideal test of every son and daughter that passes out of these grounds into the larger world of work and responsibility.
What a terrible task it has been and still is to teach the lessons of the upward spirit: "God's in His heaven, all's well with the world." Hope is strength and discouragement is weakness. Everything that is false and unjust and wrong is transitory. Those who are brave enough to solve problems shall be more honored of mankind than those who create problems which they make no effort to solve.
There can be no liberty without intelligence, no independence without industry, and no power for man, and no charm for woman, without character.
These are some of the ideals toward which all our teaching leads; without these there would be no Tuskegee; with them, as its very life and spirit and inspiration, Tuskegee shall lead into more ways of peace, happiness, and power than we of this generation have yet dreamed of, or realized.
RESOURCES AND MATERIAL EQUIPMENT
BY WARREN LOGAN
When the Alabama Legislature in 1881 passed an act to establish a Normal School for colored people at Tuskegee and appropriated for it $2,000 yearly, it made no provision whatever for land or buildings; these were left to be provided for by the people who were to be benefited by the school. Here was almost a case of being required to make bricks without straw. But as matters have turned out, this neglect was the best thing that could have happened to the school. First it gave opportunity for the employment of those splendid qualities of pluck, self-help, and perseverance which have distinguished Mr. Washington so preeminently in the building of Tuskegee. Moreover, the State has contributed nothing to the school in the way of land or buildings; it has not sought to control the property of the institution, leaving it free to be managed by the Board of Trustees.
The school was opened on the 4th of July, 1881, in an old church building in the town of Tuskegee, which lies nearly two miles from the present school-grounds. Later in the same year the growth of the school made it necessary to obtain additional room, which was found in a dilapidated shanty standing near the church and which had been used as the village schoolhouse since the war. These buildings were in such bad condition that when it rained it was necessary for the teacher and students to use umbrellas in order to protect themselves from the elements while recitations were being conducted.
Students who came from a distance boarded in families in the town, where the conditions of living were very much like those in their own homes, and these were far below proper standards. Mr. Washington, understanding the great need for colored people to be trained in correct ways of living as well as to be educated in books, determined to secure a permanent location for the school, with buildings in which the students might live under the care and influence of teachers day and night, during the whole period of their connection with the school.
It so happened at this time that there was an old farm of 100 acres in the western part of the town of Tuskegee, well suited to be the site of such a school, which could be had for $500. But where was the money to be found to pay for it? Mr. Washington himself had no money, and the people of the town, much interested as they were in the enterprise, were wholly unable to give direct financial assistance. General J. F. B. Marshall, then treasurer of the Hampton Institute in Virginia, was appealed to for a loan of $200 with which to make the first payment. This he gladly made, and the farm was secured. In a few months sufficient money was raised from entertainments and subscriptions in the North and South (one friend in Connecticut giving $300) to return the loan of General Marshall and pay the balance due on the purchase of the property.
The land thus secured, preparations were at once begun to put up a school building, toward the cost of which Mr. A. H. Porter, of Brooklyn, N. Y., gave $500, the structure being named Porter Hall in recognition of Mr. Porter's generosity. In this building, which has three stories and a basement, all the operations of the school were for a time conducted. In the basement were a kitchen, dining-room, laundry, and commissary. The first story was devoted to academic and industrial class-rooms; in the second was an assembly-room, where devotions and public exercises for the whole school were held, while the third was given up to dormitories.
From this small beginning has grown the present extensive plant at Tuskegee, comprising 2,300 acres of land, on which are located 123 buildings of all kinds devoted to the uses of the institution. Some idea of the impression which the size of the school makes upon one who sees it for the first time may be gathered from the remark of a Northern visitor, who, upon returning to his home from a trip through the South, was asked by a friend if he had seen "Booker Washington's school." "School?" he replied. "I have seen Booker Washington's city."
About 150 acres constitute the present campus, the rest of the school-lands being devoted to farms, truck-gardens, pastures, brick-yards, etc. Running through the grounds proper and extending the entire distance of the farms for two or three miles is a driveway, on either side of which, and on roads leading from it, are located the buildings of the Institute. These, for the most part, are brick structures, and have been built by the students themselves under the direction of their instructors in the various building trades. The plans for these buildings have been drawn in the architectural-drawing division of the Institute. While not as ornate as the buildings of some other institutions, they are substantial and well adapted to the uses for which they are intended. The newer buildings, constructed in the last ten years, are more artistic and imposing, showing great improvement in matters of architectural design and finish. Not only have the students performed the building operations that entered into the construction of these buildings, but they have also manufactured the brick, and have prepared much of the wooden and other materials that were used. We sometimes speak of a man as self-made, but I have never known another great educational institution that could be so described. Tuskegee, itself, is distinctively self-made.
Porter Hall was completed and occupied in the spring of 1883. The following year a brick building for girls was undertaken, and two years later completed. This building, named Alabama Hall, is rectangular in shape and four stories high. It contains a kitchen and dining-room, reception-rooms, apartments of the Dean of the Woman's Department, and sleeping-rooms. There was no special gift made for this building, the money required for its erection being taken from the general funds of the Institute as they could be spared. A wing added later gave more space for dining-rooms and provided a number of sleeping-rooms.
The money used in putting up the buildings at Tuskegee is made to do double duty. In the first place, it provides the buildings for which it was primarily given, and, in the second place, furnishes opportunities for young men to learn the trades which are employed in their construction. Following closely upon the completion of Alabama Hall, there was begun another brick structure to be used as a dormitory for young men. Olivia Davidson Hall bears the honored name of the school's first and only Assistant Principal. Miss Davidson performed a conspicuous part in establishing the school and placing its claim for support before the public. This building is a four-story structure, and the first of the school's buildings for which the plans were made by the teacher of architectural drawing. The plans for all the buildings put up by the Institute are now made in the division of architectural drawing in charge of Mr. R. R. Taylor, a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who is ably assisted by Mr. W. S. Pittman, a graduate of Tuskegee and of the Drexel Institute in Philadelphia.
The need for a building to house the mechanical industries which, until 1892, had been conducted in temporary frame buildings on different parts of the grounds, led to the erection of Cassedy Hall, a three-story brick building standing at the east entrance to the grounds. Cassedy Hall, together with a smaller building devoted to a blacksmith shop and foundry, was used for the purpose mentioned, until three years ago, when all the industries for men were moved into the Slater-Armstrong Memorial Trades Building, at the opposite end of the grounds. Through the generosity of Mr. George F. Peabody, of New York, Cassedy Hall has since been converted into a dormitory for young men, and serves admirably for this purpose.
Phelps Hall, which is the Bible Training School Building, is the gift of two New York ladies who desired to do something to improve the Negro ministry. The building is of wood and has three stories, containing a lecture-hall, recitation-rooms, library, and sleeping-rooms for young men. A broad veranda extends entirely around the building. Last year there were enrolled fifty-six students for the course in Bible Training, and among them were a number of ordained ministers who have regular charges. Phelps Hall was dedicated in 1892, Dr. Lyman Abbott preaching the dedicatory sermon and General Samuel C. Armstrong delivering an address, which was among his last public utterances.
In the next year Science Hall (now called Thrasher Hall, after the lamented Max Bennett Thrasher) was built. This is a handsome three-story building, with recitation-rooms and laboratories in the first two stories, and sleeping-rooms for teachers and boys in the third story. About this time a frame cottage with two stories and attic was built by the school as a residence for Mr. Washington. This he occupied until the gift of two Brooklyn friends enabled him to erect on his own lot, just opposite the school-grounds, his present handsome brick residence, where he dispenses a generous hospitality to the school's guests and to the teachers of the Institute. The cottage which he vacated was afterward utilized for a time as a library, but now is the home of Director Bruce of the Academic Department.
Alabama Hall, already mentioned, soon proved inadequate to meet the needs of the Woman's Department. A long one-story frame building, having the shape of a letter T, was then erected just in the rear of Alabama Hall. It has been used for girls' sleeping-rooms until this year, when it was taken down to make room for a park and playground for young women. There were also successively built for the growing demands of this department, and in the vicinity of the original girls' building, Willow Cottage, Hamilton Cottage, Parker Memorial Home, Huntington Hall, and only this last year Douglass Hall. Huntington Hall is the gift of Mrs. Collis P. Huntington. In design, finish, and appointments it is one of the best buildings owned by the school.
Three years ago a wealthy but unostentatious gentleman, who would not permit his name to be used in connection with his benefaction, gave the school $25,000 for a building for girls, suggesting that the structure should bear the name of some noted Negro. Douglass Hall was erected with this money and named in honor of that great leader of the race, Frederick Douglass. It is a two-story brick building, with a basement in its central section, and contains 40 sleeping-rooms, a reception-room, bathrooms, and a large assembly-room with a seating capacity or 450. In this room the Dean of the Woman's Department holds meetings with the girls on questions of health, morals, and manners. The building is heated with steam and lighted by electricity. All in all, Douglass Hall is the best of the buildings so far built by the Institute, and is a fitting monument to the man whose name it bears.
The Slater-Armstrong Memorial Agricultural Building was completed and dedicated in 1897. Hon. James Wilson, Secretary of Agriculture of the United States, honored the school by his presence and an address on the occasion of the formal opening of this building. It is a brick structure of two-and-a-half stories, with recitation-rooms, laboratory, museums, library, and an office for the use of the Department of Agriculture. In addition to its appropriation of $3,000 for the general work of the school, the State of Alabama makes an annual appropriation of $1,500 for the maintenance of an Agricultural Experiment Station. The plots of the Station and the school-farm are in close proximity to the Agricultural Building, and on these the young men taking the course in Agriculture put in practise the theories which they learn in the class-room. Many important experiments have been undertaken by the Station, of particular interest being those relating to soil building, the hybridization of sea-island cotton with some of the common short-staple varieties, fertilizer tests with potatoes, by which it has been shown that it is possible to raise as much as 266 bushels per acre on light, sandy soil such as that comprising the school-lands, while the average yield in the same part of Alabama is not more than 40 bushels to the acre.
The next building of importance to be put up after the Agricultural Building was the Chapel. Another gift from the two New York ladies who gave the money for Phelps Hall made possible this magnificent structure, admittedly one of the most imposing church edifices in the South. It is built of brick, 1,200,000 bricks entering into its construction, all of which were laid by student masons. It has stone trimmings, and in shape is a cross, the nave with choir having a length of 154 feet, and the distance through the transept being 106 feet. There are anterooms and a study for the Chaplain of the Institute. Including the gallery the seating capacity is 2,400. Here all gatherings of the school for religious and other purposes are now held. The great Tuskegee Negro Conference that assembles in February of each year holds its meetings in the Chapel. Near the Chapel are the Barracks, two long, roughly constructed one-story frame buildings, which are used as sleeping quarters for young men until they can be better housed in permanent buildings.
Until 1900 the mechanical industries at Tuskegee were conducted in Cassedy Hall and some adjoining frame buildings. In that year they were moved into the commodious quarters which the then just completed Slater-Armstrong Memorial Trades Building furnished. This building is rectangular in shape, is built about a central court, and covers more space than any other of the school buildings. In its outside dimensions it is 283 feet by 315 feet. The front half of the building is two stories high, the rear half one story. It is constructed of brick, with a tin roof, and, like the other larger buildings at the Institute, has steam heat and electric light. The money for this building came in part from the J. W. and Belinda L. Randall Charities Fund of Boston and the steadfast friend of the school, Mr. George Foster Peabody, of New York. There is a tablet in the building bearing the following inscription: "This tablet is erected in memory of the generosity of J. W. and Belinda L. Randall, of Boston, Massachusetts, from whose estate $20,000 were received toward the erection of the building."
The various shops in this building are fairly well equipped with tools and apparatus to do the work required of them and to teach the trades pursued by the young men. Taking the Machine Division as an example, we find it supplied with one 18-inch lathe, one 14-inch lathe, one 20-inch planer, one 12-inch shaping-machine, one 20-inch drill-press, one 6-1/2-inch pipe-cutting and threading machine, one Brown and Sharpe tool-grinder, one sensitive drill-press, and, of course, the customary tools that go with these machines. The Electric-Lighting Plant is also located in this building. Not only does this Division light the buildings and grounds of the Institute, but it furnishes light to individuals in the town of Tuskegee, which is, at present, without other electric-lighting facilities.
In 1895 the school suffered the loss by fire of its well-appointed barn, together with some of its finest milch cows. This is the only serious fire that has occurred in the history of the school—a record almost unparalleled in an establishment so large. This fact has led to the school being able to get insurance at a lower rate than is generally given to educational institutions. It was not until 1900 that the school fully recovered from the loss of its barn. In this year friends in Brooklyn gave the money with which to rebuild the barn on a larger scale. It was deemed wise not to put all the money into one building, but to erect numbers of smaller ones and locate them so as to minimize the fire risk. Accordingly, plans were made to build a hennery, creamery, dairy-barn, horse-barn, carriage-house, tool-house, piggery, silos, and slaughter-house. All these buildings were at once put up, and are now giving effective service. At present the school owns 47 horses and colts, 76 mules, 495 cows and calves, 601 pigs, and 977 fowls of different kinds. These animals are all of good stock, some of them being thoroughbreds, and are cared for by the students who work in the Agricultural Department.
Dorothy Hall, the building which accommodates the Girls' Industrial Department, was built in 1901 on the side of the driveway opposite the Boys' Trades Building. This building is the gift of the two New York ladies who gave the Chapel and Phelps Hall. It serves its purpose admirably, the rooms being large, well lighted, and airy. Here are conducted all the trades taught to young women, including sewing, dressmaking, millinery, laundering, cooking, housekeeping, mattress-making, upholstering, broom-making, and basketry. As with the boys' trades, there is a very fair equipment of accessories for proper teaching.
In point of time, the next important building provided was the Carnegie Library, Mr. Carnegie giving $20,000 for the building and furnishings. The structure is two stories high, with massive Corinthian columns on the front. It contains, besides the library proper, a large assembly-room, an historical room, study-rooms, and offices for the Librarian. The building and the furniture are the product of student labor.
In 1901, with $2,000 given by Mrs. Quincy A. Shaw, of Boston, and $100 contributed by graduates of the Institute as a nucleus, the Children's House was built. This is a one-story frame building of good proportions, in which the primary school of the town is taught. It is the practise-school for students of the Institute who mean to teach. A kindergarten has also been established.
Mr. Rockefeller has given a dormitory for boys, which was completed and occupied last year. The lack of adequate sleeping quarters for young men, from which the school has suffered from the beginning, was very materially supplied in Rockefeller Hall, which is a three-story brick structure, furnishing accommodations for 150 students. This need for dormitories has been still further met through the gift of three brick cottages by Miss Julia Emery, an American now living in London. Two of these buildings were finished last year, and young men are now living in them. The third is nearing completion. All are two stories high, with a hall running through the middle, and contain 40 rooms of good size.
Until last year the offices of the Institute were scattered over the grounds wherever room could be found. A New York friend, who does not permit the use of his name, seeing the need of the school for a building in which the offices might be concentrated, thus greatly increasing the efficiency of its administrative work, gave $19,000 for this purpose. The Office Building, completed in the latter part of 1903, is the result of this benefaction. It is two-and-a-half stories high, and contains the offices of the Principal, the Principal's Secretary, Treasurer, Auditor, Business Agent, Commandant, Registrar, and the Post-Office and Savings Department.
The most pretentious building owned by the Institute is the Collis P. Huntington Memorial Building, the new home of the Academic Department, which is the gift of Mrs. Huntington as a memorial to her husband, who was one of Tuskegee's stanchest supporters. It is built near the site of the original building, Porter Hall, which it displaces as the center of the academic work of the school. The outside dimensions are 183 feet by 103 feet. It is four stories in height. Besides recitation-rooms for all the classes, it contains a gymnasium in the basement for young women, and an assembly-room on the top floor capable of seating 800 persons. The finishing is in yellow pine. The buildings of the Institute show a steady progression in quality of workmanship, materials, and architectural design and efficiency, from the rather rough, wooden Porter Hall erected by hired workmen in 1882 to the stately Huntington Hall built by students in 1904.
Located at different points on the grounds and on lots detached are cottages occupied as residences by teachers and officers of the Institute.
The furnishings for all the buildings, as well as the buildings themselves, have been made by the students in the various shops, who at the same time were learning trades and creating articles of use.
The annual cost of conducting the institution is, in round numbers, $150,000. This may seem high, but when certain facts in regard to the work are borne in mind it will not appear exorbitant. In the first place, there are really three schools at Tuskegee—a day-school, a night-school, and a trade-school. Such a system makes necessary the employment of a larger number of teachers than would be needed in a purely academic institution holding only one session a day. Teachers in the trade-school, with special technical training, can be obtained only by paying them higher salaries than are paid to those who simply teach in the class-rooms.
Secondly, and principally, it is expensive to employ student labor to do the work of the school. By the time students become fairly proficient in their trades and reach the point where their services begin to be profitable, their time at the institution has expired, and a new, untrained set take their places, so that the school is constantly working on new material or raw recruits. Then, too, Tuskegee is still in the formative period of its growth as to buildings, laying-out and improvement of grounds, and equipment of its various departments. When the school's needs in these directions shall have been met, and the Negro parent shall become able to pay a larger share of the cost of educating his children, the expenses to the public of running the school may be materially reduced.
Money for the support of the school is derived principally from the following sources, viz.: The State of Alabama, $4,500; the John F. Slater Fund, $10,000; the General Education Board, $10,000; the Peabody Fund, $1,500; the Institute's Endowment Fund, $40,000; contributions of persons and charitable organizations, $84,000; a total of $150,000. The individual contributions are, for the most part, small, and come from persons of moderate means. Yet the institution annually receives some large gifts toward its expenses from those who are blessed with wealth.
Especial appeals are made by the institution for scholarships of $50 each, in order to pay the tuition of students who provide for their other expenses themselves largely by their work for the school, but who are unable to contribute anything toward the item of teaching. These scholarships are not turned over to the students, but are held by the institution and assigned for their benefit, the aim being to do nothing for students which they can do for themselves, and thus help to develop in them a spirit of manly and womanly self-reliance.
The majority of the large donations, aside from those for endowment, have been for buildings and the purchase of additional farm-lands made necessary by the enlargement of the school's agricultural work.
What may be regarded as the greatest need of the institution is an adequate endowment which will put it upon a permanent basis and make its future certain.
A gratifying beginning in the building up of an endowment has already been made. It is a fact, still well remembered by the public, that Mr. Andrew Carnegie has given to the endowment fund the princely sum of $600,000. Before that time $400,000 had been collected from other sources for the same purpose, the largest single contribution toward this amount being $50,000 from the late Collis P. Huntington.
As already stated, the income from the present endowment is $40,000, out of which several annuities are paid. This is only a little more than one-fourth of the amount that must be had each year to pay the expenses of the school. It will require an endowment of at least $3,000,000 to yield an income adequate to the present needs of the institution alone.
THE ACADEMIC AIMS
BY ROSCOE CONKLING BRUCE
The Negro needs industrial training in eminent degree, because the capacity for continuous labor is a requisite of civilized living; because, indeed, the very first step in social advance must be economic; because the industrial monopoly with which slavery encompassed black men has fallen shattered before the trumpet-blast of white labor and eager competition; and, finally, because no instrument of moral education is more effective upon the mass of mankind than cheerful and intelligent work. These ideas powerfully voiced, together with an unusually magnanimous attitude toward the white South, have set the man who toiled doggedly up from slavery, upon a hill apart. These things are distinctive of this man; they suggest his temper, his spirit, his point of view; but they do not exhaust his interests. Similarly, the distinctive feature of Tuskegee—adequate provision for industrial training—sets it upon a hill apart, but by a whimsical perversity this major feature is in some quarters assumed to be the whole school. A moment's reflection shows such a view to be mistaken.
The very industries at Tuskegee presuppose a considerable range of academic study. Tuskegee does not graduate hoe-hands or plowboys. Agriculture is, of course, fundamental—fundamental in recognition of the fact that the Negro population is mainly a farming population, and of the truth that something must be done to stem the swelling tide which each year sweeps thousands of black men and women and children from the sunlit monotony of the plantation to the sunless iniquity of the slums, from a drudgery that is not quite cheerless to a competition that is altogether merciless. But the teaching of agriculture, even in its elementary stages, presupposes a considerable amount of academic preparation. To be sure, a flourishing garden may be made and managed by bright-eyed tots just out of the kindergarten, but how can commercial fertilizers be carefully analyzed by a boy who has made no study of general chemistry? and how can a balanced ration be adjusted by an illiterate person? Similarly, the girl in the laundry does not make soap by rote, but by principle; and the girl in the dressmaking-shop does not cut out her pattern by luck, or guess, or instinct, or rule of thumb, but by geometry. And so the successful teaching of the industries demands no mean amount of academic preparation. In this lies the technical utility of Tuskegee's Academic Department.
Then, too, a public service has been rendered by Hampton and Tuskegee in showing that industrial training—the system in which the student learns by doing and is paid for the commodities he produces—may be so managed as to educate. Among the excellencies of industrial training, I would state that the severe commercial test in which sentiment plays no part is applied as consistently to the student's labor as is the force of gravitation to a falling body. Here we must keep in mind the unavoidably concrete nature of the product, whether satisfactory or not; the discipline such training affords in organized endeavor; the stimulus it offers to all the virtues of a drudgery which, though it repel an unusually ardent and sensitive temperament, yet wears a precious jewel in its head; and an exceptionally keen sense of responsibility, since on occasion large amounts of money and the esteem of the school at large and the lives of a student's fellows depend upon his circumspection and skill. Such training educates.
But that would indeed be a sorry program of education which blinked the fact that the student must be rendered responsive to the nobler ideals of the human race, that his eyes must be opened to the immanent values of life. If a clear title to forty acres and a mule represents the extreme upper limit of a black man's ambition, why call him a man? If a bank-account represents the sum of his happiness, that happiness lacks humanity. If you would educate for life, you must arouse spiritual interests. "The life is more than meat, and the body than raiment." Through history and literature the Tuskegee student is brought to develop a criticism, an appreciation of life and the worthier ends of human striving. To such a discipline, however elementary, the critic will not, I take it, begrudge the name "education."
And if the reader wavers in contemplating the problems of trudging Negroes, remember that the type of Negro who is a menace to the community is he who, in moments of leisure, responds to somewhat grosser incentives than the poetry of Longfellow, the romance of Hawthorne, and the philosophy of Emerson. I would reassure your idealism with this counsel of prudence.
Another question presses: Does the value of Tuskegee lie in the fact that the school equips for happy lives merely as many persons as are subjected to the immediate play of its influences; that its circle of efficiency includes only as many as are enrolled in its various courses? To that question every teacher in the school and the mass of graduates and students would give an emphatic, a decisive, No! The real value of the school lies in the service rendered to the people of the communities where our young folks go to live and labor. Now, work in wood and iron, however assiduously prosecuted, never erected in any human being's heart a passion for social service; a finer material must be used, a material finer than gold. And so the plan and deeper intent of Tuskegee Institute are incapable of realization without the incentives supplied by history and literature.
Finally, there is a trade for which the academic studies, supplemented by specific normal instruction, are the direct preparation—teaching school. In the census year there were over 21,000 Negro school-teachers in the United States, and in the decade 1890-1900 the ratio of increase was more than twice as rapid as that of the Negro population; but, nevertheless, there were in 1900 more than twice as many teachers in the South per 10,000 white children as per 10,000 colored. But such data can not even approximately indicate the relative amounts of teaching enjoyed by these two classes of children, for the statistical method can not express the incalculable disparity in teaching-efficiency.
A friend of mine—a graduate of Brown University—was for several years a member of a board which corrected the examination-papers of Negro candidates for teachers' certificates in a certain Southern State where the school facilities for the Negro population are exceptionally good; but he confessed to me that repeatedly not a paper submitted deserved a passing mark, but the board was "simply compelled to grant certificates in order to provide teachers enough to go around." Nor is such a dearth of black pedagogues in the least extraordinary. The mission of Tuskegee Institute is largely to supply measurably well-equipped teachers for the schools—teachers able and eager to teach gardening and carpentry as well as grammar and arithmetic, teachers who seek to organize the social life of their communities upon wholesome principles, tactfully restraining grossness and unobtrusively proffering new and nobler sources of enjoyment. And so the academic studies are wrought into the essential scheme of Tuskegee's work.
Let us inspect with some closeness the organization of the institution. The student-body is fundamentally divided into day-students and night-students. The night-students work in the industries, largely at common labor, all day and every day, and go to school at night, thus paying their current board bills, and accumulating such credits at the Treasurer's office as will later defray their expenses in the day-school. The day-school students are divided perpendicularly through the classes into two sections, section No. 1 working in the industries every other day for three days a week and attending academic classes the remaining three days, while this situation is exactly reversed for section No. 2. Thus every week-day half of each day-school class is in the Academic Department, while the other half is in the Industrial. This arrangement induces a wholesome rivalry between the students of the two sections, and effects an equal distribution of the working force and skill over every week-day.
The day-school students consist, then, of two classes of persons: those who, as night-students, have accumulated credits sufficient to pay their way in the day-school, and those whose families are able to pay a considerable part of their expenses. The earnings of a student in the day-school can not be large enough to pay his current board bill, but such a student is ordinarily enjoying the valuable advantage of working at one of the more skilled trades.
The night-school student, perhaps, because of greater maturity in years and experience, may be relied upon to apply himself with the utmost diligence to his academic studies; so, in much less than half the time-allotment, he advances in his academic studies about half as fast as the day-school student. This schedule did not spring full-fledged from the seething brain of any theorist; it is no fatuous imitation of the educational practise of some remote and presumptively dissimilar institution; it has, so to say, elaborated itself in adjustment to the actual needs of the particular situation. This provision boasts not of novelty, but of utility; though not ideal, it is practicable. But the central fact is that this Tuskegee Plan, while clearly securing ample time for the teaching of the industries, makes possible no mean amount of academic study.
In order more clearly to exhibit the grounds of this proposition, I shall refer in some slight detail to the course of study in English and in Mathematics.
Mathematics represents the group of academic studies which possess direct technical value for the industries; moreover, it is a pretty good index of the grades comprehended in the Academic Department. In the lowest class in the day-school—there is one lower in the night-school—the arithmetical tables are mastered, and fractions introduced and developed with the use of liquid, dry, surface, and time measures; whereas in the Senior class algebra is studied through quadratics and plane geometry through the "area of polygons." That is to say, the lowest day-school class is about equivalent to a fourth grade in the North, and the Senior to the first or the second year (barring the foreign languages) in a Northern high school.
Despite a much smaller time-allotment, our students, roughly speaking, keep pace with Northern students because they are older and somewhat more serious, because the course is shortened by the elimination of uselessly perplexing topics in arithmetic like compound proportion and cube root, but chiefly because the utility of mathematics is made vivid, and vigorous interest aroused by its immediate application in class-room and shop to problems arising in the industries. Our students are not stuffed like sausages with rules and definitions, mathematical or other; they ascend to general principles through the analysis of concrete cases.
English serves to represent the group of studies that exert a liberalizing influence upon the student, that possess a cultural rather than a technical value. From oral lessons in language in the lower classes, the students advance to a modicum of technical grammar in the middle of the course, and hence to the rhetoric of the Senior year. Moreover, an unusually large amount of written composition is insisted upon, the compositions being used not merely to discipline the student in chaste feeling, consecutive thinking, and efficient expression, but also to sharpen his powers of observation and to stimulate him to pick out of his daily experience the elements that are significant. School readers are used in the lower classes because the readers present economically and compactly a whole gamut of literary styles and forms. These readers are importantly supplemented and gradually superseded by certain classics appropriate to the grades. The classic, whether Robinson Crusoe, or Ivanhoe, Rip Van Winkle, the House of Seven Gables, or The Merchant of Venice, presents an artistic whole, and permits the students to acquire some sense of literary structure. The dominant motive in literary instruction is, perhaps, esthetic, but I am convinced that the ethical influence of this instruction at Tuskegee is profound and abiding.
However liberal the provisions of the academic curriculum, the value of the department is finally determined by the devotion and ability of the teachers. Universities and normal schools, and the seasoned staffs of public-school systems—from these sources, whether in Massachusetts, California, or Tennessee, Principal Washington has gathered a force of academic teachers of rare ability and devotion. Eminent for personality rather than for method, these teachers are no tyros in method. In such hands the excellent features of the curriculum are raised to the N-th power.
Finally, academic and industrial teachers are animated with a sentiment of solidarity, with an esprit de corps, which solves many a problem of conflicting duty and jurisdiction, and which must impress the student with the essential unity of Tuskegee's endeavor to equip men and women for life. The crude, stumbling, sightless plantation-boy who lives in the environment of Tuskegee for three or four years, departs with an address, an alertness, a resourcefulness, and above all a spirit of service, that announce the educated man.
WHAT GIRLS ARE TAUGHT, AND HOW
BY MRS. BOOKER T. WASHINGTON
"We wants our baby gal, Mary Lou, to come up to Tuskegee to git eddicated and learn seamstress; kase we doesn't want her to work lak we is," says the farmer. "I wish to help you plant this new industry, broom-making," writes Miss Susan B. Anthony, "because you are trying so earnestly to teach your girls other means of livelihood besides sewing, housework, and cooking." This is the problem we have been trying to solve at Tuskegee for over twenty years: What handiwork can we give our girls with their academic training that will better fit them to meet the demand for skilled teachers in the various avenues of the industrial and academic world now opening so rapidly to women?
Learning to sew, with the ultimate end of becoming a full-fledged dressmaker, has been the height of ambition with the major part of our girls when brought to the institution by their horny-handed fathers and mothers fresh from the soil of Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, or Florida. After the last gripless hand-shake, with the tremulous, "Take care of yourself, honey," the hard-working father and mother have turned their faces homeward, visibly affected by the separation, but resolved to shoulder the sacrifice of the daughter's much-needed help on the plantation, which oftentimes is all that they are able to contribute toward her education.
Not infrequently the girl has begun in the lowest class in night-school. Her parents send her articles of clothing now and then on Christmas; but the largest contributions to her wardrobe come from the boxes and barrels sent to the institution by Northern friends. She has remained in school during the summer vacation, and within two years has entered day-school with enough to her credit to finish her education. When the happy parents return to see their daughter graduated, after six or seven long years, their faces are radiant because of their realized hopes. When they see their white-robed daughter transformed from the girl they brought here clad in the homespun of the old days, and receiving her certificate, the tears come unchecked, and the moving lips no doubt form a whispered prayer.
In a recent class there was graduated a young woman of twenty-five. She came to the school in her eighteenth year from the "piney woods" of Alabama. She entered the lowest preparatory class in night-school and was assigned to work in the laundry. She was earnest and faithful in work and study. She passed on from class to class, remaining at school to work during the vacation. After two years in the laundry she was given an opportunity to learn plain sewing in that division. She was promoted to the Dressmaking Division at the end of the year, and received her certificate at the close of two years, after working every day and attending night-school. She spent the last two years of her school life in the Millinery Division, and received her certificate from that division with one from the Academic Department on her graduation. During these two years she taught the sewing-classes in the night-school of the town of Tuskegee. At the outset she bought the materials used with $1, left over from the sales of the previous year. From this small nest-egg as a starter, seventeen girls were supplied with work. But so efficient and frugal was the young teacher that she sold articles, bought supplies for her class, and ended the year with $3.45 in the treasury.
This is just a leaf from the history of one girl. Of the 520 girls entering the institution during this year (1903-'04), 458 have remained for the full scholastic year. About 50 per cent came from country districts all over the United States. A large majority of them asked to enter the Dressmaking Division to learn that trade; but, after the field of industries was opened to their view, they were scattered about in the different divisions, a very large per cent still leaning to the side of dressmaking and millinery.
Taking into account the number of girls working their way through at their trades by day and attending night-school, they were distributed as follows: Horticulture, 4; training-kitchen, 13; housekeeping, 38; dining-room, 29; hospital, 20; kitchen-gardening, 8; poultry-raising, 7; tailoring, 14; dairying, 10; printing, 6; broom-making, 26; mattress-making, 18; upholstering, 18; laundering, 54; plain sewing, 72; millinery, 51; dressmaking, 69. All the girls were required to take cooking twice a week and 209 of the girls in the normal classes took basketry.
As the trades were the great attraction in the school curriculum, it was deemed necessary to separate the school into two divisions, that students might have an opportunity to receive instruction equally in the Academic and Industrial Departments. This year this scheme worked successfully by an arrangement that placed one division in the Academic Department on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, while the other was at work, and the other division in the Trades Department on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, while the other was in school, and so on regularly.
Girl life at Tuskegee is strenuous. Though study and work are constantly to the fore, character is effectively developed with brain and muscle, and the well-earned recreation-hour comes just frequently enough to lend the highest source of pleasure. Though the girl usually comes with a hazy conception of what the days in school will really mean for the ripening of those powers that she earnestly intends to use for the best development of herself, there is always a spirit of learning, that she may be of service to others. That is what counts in the school-days of the average girl in her struggle for more light.