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The Education Of The Negro Prior To 1861
Higher Education
by Woodson, Carter Godwin


The development of the schools and churches established for these transplanted freedmen made more necessary than ever a higher education to develop in them the power to work out their own salvation. It was again the day of thorough training for the Negroes. Their opportunities for better instruction were offered mainly by the colonizationists and abolitionists.[1] Although these workers had radically different views as to the manner of elevating the colored people, they contributed much to their mental development. The more liberal colonizationists endeavored to furnish free persons of color the facilities for higher education with the hope that their enlightenment would make them so discontented with this country that they would emigrate to Liberia. Most southern colonizationists accepted this plan but felt that those permanently attached to this country should be kept in ignorance; for if they were enlightened, they would either be freed or exterminated. During the period of reaction, when the elevation of the race was discouraged in the North and prohibited in most parts of the South, the colonizationists continued to secure to Negroes, desiring to expatriate themselves, opportunities for education which never would have been given those expecting to remain in the United States.[2]
[Footnote 1: The views of the abolitionists at that time were well expressed by Garrison in his address to the people of color in the convention assembled in Philadelphia in 1830. He encouraged them to get as much education as possible for themselves and their offspring, to toil long and hard for it as for a pearl of great price. "An ignorant people," said he, "can never occupy any other than a degraded place in society; they can never be truly free until they are intelligent. It is an old maxim that knowledge is power; and not only is it power but rank, wealth, dignity, and protection. That capital brings highest return to a city, state, or nation (as the case may be) which is invested in schools, academies, and colleges. If I had children, rather than that they should grow up in ignorance, I would feed upon bread and water: I would sell my teeth, or extract the blood from my veins." See "Minutes of the Proceedings of the Convention for the Improvement of the Free People of Color", 1830, pages 10, 11.]

[Footnote 2: "Special Report of the U.S. Com. of Ed.", 1871, pp. 213-214; and "The African Repository", under the captions of "Education in Liberia," and "African Education Societies," "passim".]
The policy of promoters of African colonization, however, did not immediately become unprogressive. Their plan of education differed from previous efforts in that the objects of their philanthropy were to be given every opportunity for mental growth. The colonizationists had learned from experience in educating Negroes that it was necessary to begin with the youth.[1] These workers observed, too, that the exigencies of the time demanded more advanced and better endowed institutions to prepare colored men to instruct others in science and religion, and to fit them for "civil offices in Liberia and Hayti."[2] To execute this scheme the leaders of the colonization movement endeavored to educate Negroes in "mechanic arts, agriculture, science, and Biblical literature."[3] Exceptionally bright youths were to be given special training as catechists, teachers, preachers, and physicians.[4] A southern planter offered a plantation for the establishment of a suitable institution of learning,[5] a few masters sent their slaves to eastern schools to be educated, and men organized "education societies" in various parts to carry out this work at shorter range. In 1817 colonizationists opened at Pasippany, New Jersey, a school to give a four-year course to "African youth" who showed "talent, discretion, and piety" and were able to read and write.[6] Twelve years later another effort was made to establish a school of this kind at Newark in that State,[7] while other promoters of that faith were endeavoring to establish a similar institution at Hartford, Connecticut,[8] all hoping to make use of the Kosciuszko fund.[9]
[Footnote 1: "African Repository", vol. i., p. 277.]

[Footnote 2: "African Repository", vol. ii., p. 223.]

[Footnote 3: "Ibid.", vol. xxviii., pp. 271, 347; Child, "An Appeal", p. 144.]

[Footnote 4: "African Repository", vol. i., p. 277.]

[Footnote 5: "Report of the Proceedings at the Organization of the African Education Society", p. 9.]

[Footnote 6: "African Repository", vol. i., p. 276, and Griffin, "A Plea for Africa", p. 65.]

[Footnote 7: "African Repository", vol. iv., pp. 186, 193, and 375; and vol. vi., pp. 47, 48, 49, and "Report of the Proceedings of the African Education Society", p. 7.]

[Footnote 8: "Ibid"., pp. 7 and 8 and "African Repository", vol. iv., p. 375.]

[Footnote 9: What would become of this plan depended upon the changing fortunes of the men concerned. Kosciuszko died in 1817; and as Thomas Jefferson refused to take out letters testamentary under this will, Benjamin Lincoln Lear, a trustee of the African Education Society, who intended to apply for the whole fund, was appointed administrator of it. The fund amounted to about $16,000. Later Kosciuszko Armstrong demanded of the administrator $3704 bequeathed to him by T. Kosciuszko in a will alleged to have been executed in Paris in 1806. The bill was dismissed by the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia, and the decision of the lower Court was confirmed by the United States Supreme Court in 1827 on the grounds that the said will had not been admitted to probate anywhere. To make things still darker just about the time the trustees of the African Education Society were planning to purchase a farm and select teachers and mechanics to instruct the youth, the heirs of General Kosciuszko filed a bill against Mr. Lear in the Supreme Court of the United States on the ground of the invalidity of the will executed by Kosciuszko in 1798. The death of Mr. Lear in 1832 and that of William Wirt, the Attorney-General of the United States, soon thereafter, caused a delay in having the case decided. The author does not know exactly what use was finally made of this fund. See "African Repository", vol. it., pp. 163, 233; also 7 Peters, 130, and 8 Peters, 52.]
The schemes failed, however, on account of the unyielding opposition of the free Negroes and abolitionists. They could see no philanthropy in educating persons to prepare for doom in a deadly climate. The convention of the free people of color assembled in Philadelphia in 1830, denounced the colonization movement as an evil, and urged their fellows not to support it. Pointing out the impracticability of such schemes, the convention encouraged the race to take steps toward its elevation in this country.[1] Should the colored people be properly educated, the prejudice against them would not continue such as to necessitate their expatriation. The delegates hoped to establish a Manual Labor College at New Haven that Negroes might there acquire that "classical knowledge which promotes genius and causes man to soar up to those high intellectual enjoyments and acquirements which place him in a situation to shed upon a country and people that scientific grandeur which is imperishable by time, and drowns in oblivion's cup their moral degradation."[2]
[Footnote 1: Williams, "History of the Negro Race", p. 67.]

[Footnote 2: "Ibid.", p. 68; and "Minutes of the Proceedings of the Third Convention for the Improvement of the Free People of Color", pp. 9, 10, and 11.]
Influential abolitionists were also attacking this policy of the colonizationists. William Jay, however, delivered against them such diatribes and so wisely exposed their follies that the advocates of colonization learned to consider him as the arch enemy of their cause.[1] Jay advocated the education of the Negroes for living where they were. He could not see how a Christian could prohibit or condition the education of any individual. To do such a thing was tantamount to preventing him from having a direct revelation of God. How these "educators" could argue that on account of the hopelessness of the endeavors to civilize the blacks they should be removed to a foreign country, and at the same time undertake to provide for them there the same facilities for higher education that white men enjoyed, seemed to Jay to be facetiously inconsistent.[2] If the Africans could be elevated in their native land and not in America, it was due to the Caucasians' sinful condition, for which the colored people should not be required to suffer the penalty of expatriation.[3] The desirable thing to do was to influence churches and schools to admit students of color on terms of equality with all other races.
[Footnote 1: Reese, "Letters to Honorable William Jay."]

[Footnote 2: Jay, "Inquiry", p. 26; and "Letters", p. 21.]

[Footnote 3: "Ibid.", p. 22.]
Encountering this opposition, the institutions projected by the colonization society existed in name only. Exactly how and why the organization failed to make good with its educational policy is well brought out by the wailing cry of one of its promoters. He asserted that "every endeavor to divert the attention of the community or even a portion of the means which the present so imperatively calls for, from the colonization society to measures calculated to bind the colored population to this country and seeking to raise them to a level with the whites, whether by founding colleges or in any other way, tends directly in the proportion that it succeeds, to counteract and thwart the whole plan of colonization."[1] The colonizationists, therefore, desisted from their attempt to provide higher education for any considerable number of the belated race. Seeing that they could not count on the support of the free persons of color, they feared that those thus educated would be induced by the abolitionists to remain in the United States. This would put the colonizationists in the position of increasing the intelligent element of the colored population, which was then regarded as a menace to slavery. Consequently these timorous "educators" did practically nothing during the reactionary period to carry out their plan of establishing colleges.
[Footnote 1: Hodgkin, "Inquiry into the Merits of the Am. Col. Soc.", p. 31.]
Thereafter the colonizationists found it advisable to restrict their efforts to individual cases. Not much was said about what they were doing, but now and then appeared notices of Negroes who had been privately prepared in the South or publicly in the North for professional work in Liberia. Dr. William Taylor and Dr. Fleet were thus educated in medicine in the District of Columbia.[1] In the same way John V. DeGrasse, of New York, and Thomas J. White,[2] of Brooklyn, were allowed to complete the Medical Course at Bowdoin in 1849. Garrison Draper, who had acquired his literary education at Dartmouth, studied law in Baltimore under friends of the colonization cause, and with a view to going to Liberia passed the examination of the Maryland Bar in 1857.[3] In 1858 the Berkshire Medical School graduated two colored doctors, who were gratuitously educated by the American Colonization Society. The graduating class thinned out, however, and one of the professors resigned because of their attendance.[4]
[Footnote 1: "Special Report of the U.S. Com. of Ed.", 1871, and "African Repository", vol. x., p. 10.]

[Footnote 2: "Niles Register", vol. lxxv., p. 384.]

[Footnote 3: "African Repository", vol. xxxiv., pp. 26 and 27.]

[Footnote 4: "Ibid.", p. 30.]
Not all colonizationists, however, had submitted to this policy of mere individual preparation of those emigrating to Liberia. Certain of their organizations still believed that it was only through educating the free people of color sufficiently to see their humiliation that a large number of them could be induced to leave this country. As long as they were unable to enjoy the finer things of life, they could not be expected to appreciate the value and use of liberty. It was argued that instead of remaining in this country to wage war on its institutions, the highly enlightened Negroes would be glad to go to a foreign land.[1] By this argument some colonizationists were induced to do more for the general education of the free blacks than they had considered it wise to do during the time of the bold attempts at servile insurrection.[2] In fact, many of the colored schools of the free States were supported by ardent colonizationists.
[Footnote 1: Boone, "The History of Education in Indiana", p. 237; and "African Repository", vol. xxx., p. 195.]

[Footnote 2: "Ibid.", p. 195.]
The later plan of most colonizationists, however, was to educate the emigrating Negroes after they settled in Liberia. Handsome sums were given for the establishment of schools and colleges in which professorships were endowed for men educated at the expense of churches and colonization societies.[1] The first institution of consequence in this field was the Alexander High School. To this school many of the prominent men of Liberia owed the beginning of their liberal education. The English High School at Monrovia, the Baptist Boarding School at Bexley, and the Protestant Episcopal High School at Cape Palmas also offered courses in higher branches.[2] Still better opportunities were given by the College of West Africa and Liberia College. The former was founded in 1839 as the head of a system of schools established by the Methodist Episcopal Church in every county of the Republic.[3] Liberia College was at the request of its founders, the directors of the American Colonization Society, incorporated by the legislature of the country in 1851. As it took some time to secure adequate funds, the main building was not completed, and students were not admitted before 1862.
[Footnote 1: "African Repository", under the caption of "Education in Liberia" in various volumes; and Alexander, "A History of Col.", pp. 348, 391.]

[Footnote 2: "Ibid.", p. 348.]

[Footnote 3: Monroe, "Cyclopaedia of Education", vol. iv., p. 6.]
Though the majority of the colored students scoffed at the idea of preparing for work in Liberia their education for service in the United States was not encouraged. No Negro had graduated from a college before 1828, when John B. Russworm, a classmate of Hon. John P. Hale, received his degree from Bowdoin.[1] During the thirties and forties, colored persons, however well prepared, were generally debarred from colleges despite the protests of prominent men. We have no record that as many as fifteen Negroes were admitted to higher institutions in this country before 1840. It was only after much debate that Union College agreed to accept a colored student on condition that he should swear that he had no Negro blood in his veins.[2]
[Footnote 1: Dyer, Speech in Congress on the Progress of the Negro, 1914.]

[Footnote 2: Clarke, "The Condition of the Free People of Color", 1859, p. 3, and the "Sixth Annual Report of the American Antislavery Society", p. 11.]
Having had such a little to encourage them to expect a general admission into northern institutions, free blacks and abolitionists concluded that separate colleges for colored people were necessary. The institution demanded for them was thought to have an advantage over the aristocratic college in that labor would be combined with study, making the stay at school pleasant and enabling the poorest youth to secure an education.[1] It was the kind of higher institution which had already been established in several States to meet the needs of the illiterate whites. Such higher training for the Negroes was considered necessary, also, because their intermediate schools were after the reaction in a languishing state. The children of color were able to advance but little on account of having nothing to stimulate them. The desired college was, therefore, boomed as an institution to give the common schools vigor, "to kindle the flame of emulation," "to open to beginners discerning the mysteries of arithmetic other mysteries beyond," and above all to serve them as Yale or Harvard did as the capstone of the educational system of the other race.[2]
[Footnote 1: "Proceedings of the Third Convention of Free People of Color held in Philadelphia in 1836", pp. 7 and 8; "Ibid., Fourth Annual Convention", p. 26; "Proceedings of the New England Antislavery Society", 1836, p. 40.]

[Footnote 2: "Minutes and Proceedings of the Third Annual Convention of the Free People of Color", 1836; Garrison's Address.]
In the course of time these workers succeeded in various communities. The movement for the higher education of the Negroes of the District of Columbia centered largely around the academy established by Miss Myrtilla Miner, a worthy young woman of New York. After various discouragements in seeking a special preparation for life's work, she finally concluded that she should devote her time to the moral and intellectual improvement of Negroes.[1] She entered upon her career in Washington in 1851 assisted by Miss Anna Inman, a native of New York, and a member of the Society of Friends. After teaching the girls French one year Miss Inman returned to her home in Southfield, Rhode Island.[2] Finding it difficult to get a permanent location, Miss Miner had to move from place to place among colored people who were generally persecuted and threatened with conflagration for having a white woman working among them. Driven to the extremity of building a schoolhouse for her purpose, she purchased a lot with money raised largely by Quakers of New York, Philadelphia, and New England, and by Harriet Beecher Stowe.[3] Miss Miner had also the support of Mrs. Means, an aunt of the wife of President Franklin Pierce, and of United States Senator W.H. Seward.[4] Effective opposition, however, was not long in developing. Articles appeared in the newspapers protesting against this policy of affording Negroes "a degree of instruction so far above their social and political condition which must continue in this and every other slaveholding community."[5] Girls were insulted, teachers were abused along the streets, and for lack of police surveillance the house was set afire in 1860. It was sighted, however, in time to be saved.[6]
[Footnote 1: O'Connor, "Myrtilla Miner", pp. 11, 12.]

[Footnote 2: "Special Report of the U.S. Com. of Ed.", 1871, p. 207.]

[Footnote 3: "Ibid.", 1871, p. 208.]

[Footnote 4: "Ibid.", pp. 208, 209, and 210.]

[Footnote 5: "The National Intelligencer."]

[Footnote 6: "Special Report of the U.S. Com. of Ed.", 1871, p. 209.]
Undisturbed by these efforts to destroy the institution, Miss Miner persisted in carrying out her plan for the higher education of colored girls of the District of Columbia. She worked during the winter, and traveled during the summer to solicit friends and contributions to keep the institution on that higher plane where she planned it should be. She had the building well equipped with all kinds of apparatus, utilized the ample ground for the teaching of horticulture, collected a large library, and secured a number of paintings and engravings with which she enlightened her pupils on the finer arts. In addition to the conventional teaching of seminaries of that day, Miss Miner provided lectures on scientific and literary subjects by the leading men of that time, and trained her students to teach.[1] She hoped some day to make the seminary a first-class teachers' college. During the Civil War, however, it was difficult for her to find funds, and health having failed her in 1858 she died in 1866 without realizing this dream.[2]
[Footnote 1: "Special Report of the U.S. Com. of Ed.", 1871, p. 210.]

[Footnote 2: Those who assisted her were Helen Moore, Margaret Clapp, Anna H. Searing, Amanda Weaver, Anna Jones, Matilda Jones, and Lydia Mann, the sister of Horace Mann, who helped Miss Miner considerably in 1856 at the time of her failing health. Emily Holland was her firm supporter when the institution was passing through the crisis, and stood by her until she breathed her last. See "Special Report of the U.S. Com. of Ed.", 1871, p. 210.]
Earlier in the nineteenth century the philanthropists of Pennsylvania had planned to establish for Negroes several higher institutions. Chief among these was the Institute for Colored Youth. The founding of an institution of this kind had been made possible by Richard Humphreys, a Quaker, who, on his death in 1832, devised to a Board of Trustees the sum of $10,000 to be used for the education of the descendants of the African race.[1] As the instruction of Negroes was then unpopular, no steps were taken to carry out this plan until 1839. The Quakers then appointed a Board and undertook to execute this provision of Humphreys's will. In conformity with the directions of the donor, the Board of Trustees endeavored to give the colored youth the opportunity to obtain a good education and acquire useful knowledge of trades and commercial occupations. Humphreys desired that "they might be enabled to obtain a comfortable livelihood by their own industry, and fulfill the duties of domestic and social life with reputation and fidelity as good citizens and pious men."[2] Accordingly they purchased a tract of land in Philadelphia County and taught a number of boys the principles of farming, shoemaking, and other useful occupations.
[Footnote 1: Wickersham, "History of Education in Pa.", p. 249.]

[Footnote 2: "Special Report of the U.S. Com. of Ed.", 1871, p. 379.]
Another stage in the development of this institution was reached in 1842, the year of its incorporation. It then received several small contributions and the handsome sum of $18,000 from another Quaker, Jonathan Zane. As it seemed by 1846 that the attempt to combine the literary with the industrial work had not been successful, it was decided to dispose of the industrial equipment and devote the funds of the institution to the maintenance of an evening school. An effort at the establishment of a day school was made in 1850, but it was not effected before 1852. A building was then erected in Lombard Street and the school known thereafter as the Institute for Colored Youth was opened with Charles L. Reason of New York in charge. Under him the institution was at once a success in preparing advanced pupils of both sexes for the higher vocations of teaching and preaching. The attendance soon necessitated increased accommodations for which Joseph Dawson and other Quakers liberally provided in later years.[1]
[Footnote 1: "Special Report of the United States Com. of Ed.", 1871, p. 380.]
This favorable tendency in Pennsylvania led to the establishment of Avery College at Alleghany City. The necessary fund was bequeathed by Rev. Charles Avery, a rich man of that section, who left an estate of about $300,000 to be applied to the education and Christianization of the African race.[1] Some of this fund was devoted to missionary work in Africa, large donations were made to colored institutions of learning, and another portion was appropriated to the establishment of Avery College. This institution was incorporated in 1849. Soon thereafter it advertised for students, expressing willingness to make every provision without regard to religious proclivities. The school had a three-story brick building, up-to-date apparatus for teaching various branches of natural science, a library of all kinds of literature, and an endowment of $25,000 to provide for its maintenance. Rev. Philotas Dean, the only white teacher connected with this institution, was its first principal. He served until 1856 when he was succeeded by his assistant, M.H. Freeman, who in 1863 was succeeded by George B. Vashon. Miss Emma J. Woodson was an assistant in the institution from 1856 to 1867. After the din of the Civil War had ceased the institution took on new life, electing a new corps of teachers, who placed the work on a higher plane. Among these were Rev. H.H. Garnett, president, B.K. Sampson, Harriet C. Johnson, and Clara G. Toop.[2]
[Footnote 1: "African Repository", vol. xxxiv., p. 156.]

[Footnote 2: "Special Report of the U.S. Com. of Ed.", 1871, p. 381.]
It was due also to the successful forces at work in Pennsylvania that the Ashmun Institute, now Lincoln University, was established in that State. The need of higher education having come to the attention of the Presbytery of New Castle, that body decided to establish within its limits an institution for the "scientific, classical, and theological education of the colored youth of the male sex." In 1853 the Synod approved the plans of the founders and provided that the institution should be under the supervision and control of the Presbytery or Synod within whose bounds it might be located. A committee to solicit funds, find a site, and secure a charter for the school was appointed. They selected for the location Hensonville, Chester County, Pennsylvania.[1] The legislature incorporated the institution in 1854 with John M. Dickey, Alfred Hamilton, Robert P. DuBois, James Latta, John B. Spottswood, James Crowell, Samuel J. Dickey, Alfred Hamilton, John M. Kelton, and William Wilson as trustees. Sufficient buildings and equipment having been provided by 1856, the doors of this institution were opened to young colored men seeking preparation for work in this country and Liberia.[2]
[Footnote 1: Baird, "A Collection", etc., p. 819.]

[Footnote 2: "Special Report of the United States Com. of Ed.", 1871, p. 382.]
An equally successful plan of workers in the West resulted in the founding of the first higher institution to be controlled by Negroes. Having for some years believed that the colored people needed a college for the preparation of teachers and preachers, the Cincinnati Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church in session in 1855 appointed Rev. John F. Wright as general agent to execute this design. Addressing themselves immediately to this task Rev. Mr. Wright and his associates solicited from philanthropic persons by 1856 the amount of $13,000. The agents then made the purchase payment on the beautiful site of Tawawa Springs, long known as the healthy summer resort near Xenia, Ohio.[1] That same year the institution was incorporated as Wilberforce University. From 1856 to 1862 the school had a fair student body, consisting of the mulatto children of southern slaveholders.[2] When these were kept away, however, by the operations of the Civil War, the institution declined so rapidly that it had to be closed for a season. Thereafter the trustees appealed again to the African Methodist Episcopal Church which in 1856 had declined the invitation to co÷perate with the founders. The colored Methodists had adhered to their decision to operate Union Seminary, a manual labor school, which they had started near Columbus, Ohio.[3] The proposition was accepted, however, in 1862. For the amount of the debt of $10,000 which the institution had incurred while passing through the crisis, Rev. Daniel A. Payne and his associates secured the transfer of the property to the African Methodist Episcopal Church. These new directors hoped to develop a first-class university, offering courses in law, medicine, literature, and theology. The debt being speedily removed the school showed evidences of new vigor, but was checked in its progress by an incendiary, who burned the main building while the teachers and pupils were attending an emancipation celebration at Xenia, April 14, 1865. With the amount of insurance received and donations from friends, the trustees were able to construct a more commodious building which still marks the site of these early labors.[4]
[Footnote 1: "The Non-Slaveholder", vol. ii., p. 113.]

[Footnote 2: "Special Report of the U.S. Com. of Ed.", 1871, pp. 372-373.]

[Footnote 3: "History of Greene County, Ohio", chapter on Wilberforce; and "Special Report of the U.S. Com. of Ed.", 1871, p. 373.]

[Footnote 4: "The Non-Slaveholder", vol. ii., p. 113.]
A brighter day for the higher education of the colored people at home, however, had begun to dawn during the forties. The abolitionists were then aggressively demanding consideration for the Negroes. Men "condescended" to reason together about slavery and the treatment of the colored people. The northern people ceased to think that they had nothing to do with these problems. When these questions were openly discussed in the schools of the North, students and teachers gradually became converted to the doctrine of equality in education. This revolution was instituted by President C.B. Storrs, of Western Reserve College, then at Hudson, Ohio. His doctrine in regard to the training of the mind "was that men are able to be made only by putting youth under the responsibilities of men." He, therefore, encouraged the free discussion of all important subjects, among which was the appeal of the Negroes for enlightenment. This policy gave rise to a spirit of inquiry which permeated the whole school. The victory, however, was not easy. After a long struggle the mind of the college was carried by irresistible argument in favor of fair play for colored youth. This institution had two colored students as early as 1834.[1]
[Footnote 1: "First Annual Report of the American Anti-Slavery Society", p. 42.]
Northern institutions of learning were then reaching the third stage in their participation in the solution of the Negro problem. At first they had to be converted even to allow a free discussion of the question; next the students on being convinced that slavery was a sin, sought to elevate the blacks thus degraded; and finally these workers, who had been accustomed to instructing the neighboring colored people, reached the conclusion that they should be admitted to their schools on equal footing with the whites. Geneva College, then at Northfield, Ohio, now at Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, was being moved in this manner.[1]
[Footnote 1: "First Annual Report of the American Anti-slavery Society", 1834. p. 43.]
Lane Seminary, however, is the best example of a school which passed through the three stages of this revolution. This institution was peculiar in that the idea of establishing it originated with a southerner, a merchant of New Orleans. It was founded largely by funds of southern Presbyterians, was located in Cincinnati about a mile from slave territory, and was attended by students from that section.[1] When the right of free discussion swept the country many of the proslavery students were converted to abolition. To southerners it seemed that the seminary had resolved itself into a society for the elevation of the free blacks. Students established Sabbath-schools, organized Bible classes, and provided lectures for Negroes ambitious to do advanced work. Measures were taken to establish an academy for colored girls, and a teacher was engaged. But these noble efforts put forth so near the border States soon provoked firm opposition from the proslavery element. Some of the students had gone so far in the manifestation of their zeal that the institution was embarrassed by the charge of promoting the social equality of the races.[2] Rather than remain in Cincinnati under restrictions, the reform element of the institution moved to the more congenial Western Reserve where a nucleus of youth and their instructors had assumed the name of Oberlin College. This school did so much for the education of Negroes before the Civil War that it was often spoken of as an institution for the education of the people of color.
[Footnote 1: "Ibid"., p. 43.]

[Footnote 2: "First Annual Report of the American Anti-Slavery Society", p. 43.]
Interest in the higher education of the neglected race, however, was not confined to a particular commonwealth. Institutions of other States were directing their attention to this task. Among others were a school in New York City founded by a clergyman to offer Negroes an opportunity to study the classics,[1] New York Central College at McGrawville, Oneida Institute conducted by Beriah Green at Whitesboro, Thetford Academy of Vermont, and Union Literary Institute in the center of the communities of freedmen transplanted to Indiana. Many other of our best institutions were opening their doors to students of African descent. By 1852 colored students had attended the Institute at Easton, Pennsylvania; the Normal School of Albany, New York; Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine; Rutland College, Vermont; Jefferson College, Pennsylvania; Athens College, Athens, Ohio; Franklin College, New Athens, Ohio; and Hanover College near Madison, Indiana. Negroes had taken courses at the Medical School of the University of New York; the Castleton Medical School in Vermont; the Berkshire Medical School, Pittsfield, Massachusetts; the Rush Medical School in Chicago; the Eclectic Medical School of Philadelphia; the Homeopathic College of Cleveland; and the Medical School of Harvard University. Colored preachers had been educated in the Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; the Dartmouth Theological School; and the Theological Seminary of Charleston, South Carolina.[2]
[Footnote 1: Simmons, "Men of Mark", p. 530.]

[Footnote 2: These facts are taken from M.R. Delany's "The Condition, Elevation, Emigration, and Destiny of the Colored People of the United States Practically Considered", published in 1852; the "Reports of the Antislavery and Colonization Societies", and "The African Repository".]
Prominent among those who brought about this change in the attitude toward the education of the free blacks was Gerrit Smith, one of the greatest philanthropists of his time. He secured privileges for Negroes in higher institutions by extending aid to such as would open their doors to persons of color. In this way he became a patron of Oneida Institute, giving it from $3,000 to $4,000 in cash and 3,000 acres of land in Vermont. Because of the hospitality of Oberlin to colored students he gave the institution large sums of money and 20,000 acres of land in Virginia valued at $50,000. New York Central College which opened its doors alike to both races obtained from him several donations.[1] This gentleman proceeded on the presumption that it is the duty of the white people to elevate the colored and that the education of large numbers of them is indispensable to the uplift of the degraded classes.[2] He wanted them to have the opportunity for obtaining either a common or classical education; and hoped that they would go out from our institutions well educated for any work to which they might be called in this country or abroad.[3] He himself established a colored school at Peterboro, New York. As this institution offered both industrial and literary courses we shall have occasion to mention it again. Both a cause and result of the increasing interest in the higher education of Negroes was that these unfortunates had made good with what little training they had. Many had by their creative power shown what they could do in business,[4] some had convinced the world of the inventive genius of the man of color,[5] others had begun to rank as successful lawyers,[6] not a few had become distinguished physicians,[7] and scores of intelligent Negro preachers were ministering to the spiritual needs of their people.[8] S.R. Ward, a scholar of some note, was for a few years the pastor of a white church at Courtlandville, New York. Robert Morris had been honored by the appointment as Magistrate by the Governor of Massachusetts, and in New Hampshire another man of African blood had been elected to the legislature.[9]
[Footnote 1: "Special Report of the U.S. Com. of Ed"., 1871, p. 367.]

[Footnote 2: "African Repository", vol. x., p. 312.]

[Footnote 3: "Ibid"., p. 312.]

[Footnote 4: Among these were John B. Smith, Coffin Pitts, Robert Douglas, John P. Bell, Augustus Washington, Alexander S. Thomas, Henry Boyd, P.H. Ray, and L.T. Wilcox.]

[Footnote 5: A North Carolina Negro had discovered a cure for snakebite; Henry Blair, a slave of Maryland, had invented a corn-planter; and Roberts of Philadelphia had made a machine for lifting railway cars from the tracks.]

[Footnote 6: The most noted of these lawyers were Robert Morris, Malcolm B. Allen, G.B. Vashon, and E.G. Walker.]

[Footnote 7: The leading Negroes of this class were T. Joiner White, Peter Ray, John DeGrasse, David P. Jones, J. Gould Bias, James Ulett, Martin Delany, and John R. Peck. James McCrummill, Joseph Wilson, Thos. Kennard, and Wm. Nickless were noted colored dentists of Philadelphia.]

[Footnote 8: The prominent colored preachers of that day were Titus Basfield, B.F. Templeton, W.T. Catto, Benjamin Coker, John B. Vashon, Robert Purvis, David Ruggles, Philip A. Bell, Charles L. Reason, William Wells Brown, Samuel L. Ward, James McCune Smith, Highland Garnett, Daniel A. Payne, James C. Pennington, M. Haines, and John F. Cook.]

[Footnote 9: Baldwin, "Observations", etc., p. 44.]
Thanks to the open doors of liberal schools, the race could boast of a number of efficient educators.[1] There were Martin H. Freeman, John Newton Templeton, Mary E. Miles, Lucy Stratton, Lewis Woodson, John F. Cook, Mary Ann Shadd, W.H. Allen, and B.W. Arnett. Professor C.L. Reason, a veteran teacher of New York City, was then so well educated that in 1844 he was called to the professorship of Belles-Lettres and the French Language in New York Central College. Many intelligent Negroes who followed other occupations had teaching for their avocation. In fact almost every colored person who could read and write was a missionary teacher among his people.
[Footnote 1: James B. Russworm, an alumnus of Bowdoin, was the first Negro to receive a degree from a college in this country.]
In music, literature, and journalism the Negroes were also doing well. Eliza Greenfield, William Jackson, John G. Anderson, and William Appo made their way in the musical world. Lemuel Haynes, a successful preacher to a white congregation, took up theology about 1815. Paul Cuffee wrote an interesting account of Sierra Leone. Rev. Daniel Coker published a book on slavery in 1810. Seven years later came the publication of the "Law and Doctrine of the African Methodist Episcopal Church" and the "Standard Hymnal" written by Richard Allen. In 1836 Rev. George Hogarth published an addition to this volume and in 1841 brought forward the first magazine of the sect. Edward W. Moore, a colored teacher of white children in Tennessee, wrote an arithmetic. C.L. Remond of Massachusetts was then a successful lecturer and controversialist. James M. Whitefield, George Horton, and Frances E.W. Harper were publishing poems. H.H. Garnett and J.C. Pennington, known to fame as preachers, attained success also as pamphleteers. R.B. Lewis, M.R. Delany, William Nell, and Catto embellished Negro history; William Wells Brown wrote his "Three Years in Europe"; and Frederick Douglass, the orator, gave the world his creditable autobiography. More effective still were the journalistic efforts of the Negro intellect pleading its own cause. [1] Colored newspapers varying from the type of weeklies like "The North Star" to that of the modern magazine like "The Anglo-African" were published in most large towns and cities of the North.
[Footnote 1: In 1827 John B. Russworm and Samuel B. Cornish began the publication of "The Freedom's Journal", appearing afterward as "Rights to All". Ten years later P.A. Bell was publishing "The Weekly Advocate". From 1837 to 1842 Bell and Cornish edited "The Colored Man's Journal", while Samuel Ruggles sent from his press "The Mirror of Liberty". In 1847, one year after the appearance of Thomas Van Rensselaer's "Ram's Horn", Frederick Douglass started "The North Star" at Rochester, while G. Allen and Highland Garnett were appealing to the country through "The National Watchman" of Troy, New York. That same year Martin R. Delany brought out "The Pittsburg Mystery", and others "The Elevator" at Albany, New York. At Syracuse appeared The "Impartial Citizen" established by Samuel R. Ward in 1848, three years after which L.H. Putnam came before the public in New York City with "The Colored Man's Journal". Then came "The Philadelphia Freeman", "The Philadelphia Citizen", "The New York Phalanx", "The Baltimore Elevator", and "The Cincinnati Central Star". Of a higher order was "he Anglo-African", a magazine published in New York in 1859 by Thomas Hamilton, who was succeeded in editorship by Robert Hamilton and Highland Garnett. In 1852 there were in existence "The Colored American", "The Struggler", "The Watchman", "The Ram's Horn", "The Demosthenian Shield", "The National Reformer", "The Pittsburg Mystery", "The Palladium of Liberty", "The Disfranchised American", "The Colored Citizen", "The National Watchman", "The Excelsior", "The Christian Herald", "The Farmer", "The Impartial Citizen", "The Northern Star" of Albany, and The "North Star" of Rochester.]


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