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SYDNEY DODD FRISSELL
PRESS OF THE HAMPTON NORMAL
AND AGRICULTURAL INSTITUTE,
HAMPTON, VIRGINIA, 19H
c a T n««4.« Institution
BY SYDNEY DODD FRISSELL
IS a building needed at Hampton ? Masons and bricklayers
must mix sand and cement ; carpenters must make doors
and window frames ; painters, tinsmiths, plumbers, steam-
fitters — all must take their turn before the building is com-
pleted. The lessons of these Negro students stand in cement,
brick, and plaster, in woodwork, tin, and iron.
Theories learned in the classroom these tradesmen apply
at the building, and the facts gained at the building they carry
to the classroom.
From the raw material of a backward race, strong men
and women are made at Hampton. What is the process which
moulds black men and women and Indian youths into suc-
cessful leaders in the education, industry, and agriculture of
their people ?
Hampton is founded on the knowledge that the common
task and daily round are a means of grace and a source of cul-
ture and intellectual development. Training there is modeled
upon the most efifective educational institution the world has
produced — the home. Hampton, like the home, has daily
problems to solve.
At Hampton there is no prejudice in favor of the class-
room. Facts are considered as valuable as theories. Skillful
hands are ranked with books. Each student has his work in
the life of this ^reat family and every student must carry a
vocation away with him.
The bugles blow at five-thirty in the morning. lu'the day
that follows, eleven hours of work and study are crowded in-
to the lives of blacksmiths, carpenters, and other tradesmen,
five days in the week. The day which is hailed as holiday or
half-holiday in other schools, at Hampton is called "work
day." Upon this day all boys and girls are given work outside
their shops or fixed position in kitchen or laundry, to help
them further in earning their way through school.
At Hampton it is a punishment to deprive a boy or girl
of work. There all useful work is a means of support and
Samuel Chapman Armstrong began a Negro school with
two teachers and fifteen students of varying ages, in a planta-
tion house and army barracks at Hampton, nearly fifty years
Following a brilliant war record and a successful admin-
istration of large territory at the close of the war, Armstrong
chose to give his life to training leaders for a race.
"We are here not merely to make students, but men and
women ; to build up character aad fit teachers and leaders,"
OVER EIGHT HUNDRED
STUDENTS TRAINING FOR
he said. For twenty-five years he worked unsparingly and un-
ceasingly, until the old plantation house, where Hampton In-
stitute began, was surrounded by shops, by dormitories, by
recitation halls; until he saw the Hampton idea carried by his
students and teachers to Tuskegee, Calhoun, Mt. Meigs, Car-
lisle, and scores of communities near and far.
With shattered health, exhausted from years of pleading
for Hampton and enlarging its work, worn out before his time,
Armstrong literally gave his life for an idea of education and
human training, when he died in his prime, twenty-odd years
The hundred and forty buildings, the thousand acres of
land, the courses in thirteen trades, in teaching and home-
making, in business and farming ; and over eight hundred
students training for leadership are the physical growth of
Eight thousand men and women have gone out from Hamp-
ton to South, North, and West, trained for teaching, trained for
home-building, trained for the trades. In taking their places in
Negro and Indian schools of the South and West and in hun-
dreds of communities, this army of workers has helped to de-
crease illiteracy and to train Negroes and Indians for the re-
sponsiblity of owning land.
Through Hampton outposts and graduates, the method of
industrial training has become thoroughly established as the
educational solution of a race problem.
Hampton today has become the headquarters of an army
r • ^
" HAMPTON TODAY HAS BE-
COME THE HEADQUARTERS
OF AN ARMY OF UPLIFT."
of uplift. The class which graduates this year will take posi-
tions at strategic points in leading the advance to better
schools, to better farming, and to industrial training. Girls,
skillful as teachers and grounded in home arts and industries,
will go from Hampton to supervise Negro and Indian schools
In Virginia alone, there are ten women graduates of Hampton
who are supervising the industrial work in the rural schools
of ten counties, under the direction of the state supervisor of
A Hampton graduate visits the Negro schools of the entire
South, to study the field problems, as pioneer for the Hampton
men and women who go out as officers in an army of uplift.
Hampton's county industrial workers meet the people
and the teachers and win their co-operation. Patrons are or-
ganized into improvement leagues, and soon the schools im-
prove their appearance. Necessary repairs are made, win-
dows are washed, floors are scrubbed, flowers and shrubs are
planted, and walks are laid out.
Regular periods are set in the school program for sewing,
shuck-mat making, cooking, and other work with materials
at hand. In the long vacation the girls are formed into garden
clubs through which they learn, from their supervising teacher,
how to raise and can fruits and vegetables.
The country school has become a community center.
The colored homes of entire counties have improved.
The benefit of simple industries to character and community
has been clearly proved.
THE SOUTH AND WEST ARE
OPEN FIELDS FOR TRADES-
MEN TRAINED AT HAMP-
This rural-school work is carried on through ihc Negro
Rural-School Fund in 119 counties in the various Southern
Negro and Indian women, trained by practice teaching,
skilled in home industries, experienced as cooks, dressmak
ers, and housekeepers by four years' work and study in the
Hampton family, are sent to officer these campaigns of edu-
cation for their people. With them the leaders of education
in state and county co-operate. From Hampton's laundries,
kitchens, and classrooms, the girls continue to go out, carry-
ing the plan of Hampton farther afield each year.
TRADESMEN IN DEMAND
npHE South and West are open fields for the tradesmen
and farmers trained at Hampton. About seventy per cent of
the tradesmen graduated from the school are engaged in trade
work. The complete training as carpenters, bricklayers, black-
smiths, or machinists, assures Hampton men of leadership
among their people.
Many Hampton tradesmen have taken places in the in-
dustrial life of their races by directing the trade training in
other Negro and Indian schools. It is significant that more
than a hundred tradesmen and teachers have gone from the
parent school to help Booker Washington at Tuskegee. About
twenty per cent of the Negro boys from Hampton shops go
out to teach their trades.
" CARPENTERS MUST MAKE
DOORS AND WINDOW
HAMPTON S MESSAGE
The success of Negro tradesmen in the competition of
modern life at the South is no less important than the teach-
ing of trades to others. In Birmingham, Atlanta, Richmond,
Norfolk, and Danville, Negro graduates of Hampton have be-
come successful contractors. When in positions of trust and
responsibility, or as employers of other workers, graduates
give valuable aid to members of their race who lack advan-
tages but are striving for a chance.
HAMPTON'S TRAINED FARMERS
TN the building up of worn-out land the Negro and In-
dian farmers, trained in the fields and dairies of Hampton,
are filling a large place. Of the eighty-three boys who have
completed the regular agricultural course, ten are still in
school; fifty-eight are now following some branch of agricul-
tural work; thirty-seven are connected with educational in-
stitutions; and eighteen are farming their own land.
All of the nine Negro farm-demonstration agents in Vir-
ginia have been Hampton students. John B. Pierce, sent
out by Hampton and working under the direction of the
United States Department of Agriculture, began the Negro
farm-demonstration work in Nottoway County, Virginia.
Poor corn lands doubled their yield; systematic crop rota-
tion has increased fertility and profits. The gardens, yards,
and homes of Negro landowners have been made attractive.
THE BOYS WHO SEEK THE
LAND ARE GIVEN A COURSE
IN FIELD PRACTICE."
General Armstrong wisely said, " The teacher-farmer is
the man for the times; he is essentially an educator through-
out the y«ar."
The boys at Hampton who seek the land, like the workers
in brick and iron, are given a course in field practice which
places them for long periods of responsibility in the dairies,
poultry yards, orchards, and horse barns,'and upon the fields.
Fifty-one hours a week in their first year they labor at their
tasks upon the farm. They have, in addition to their reg-
ular farm work, courses in dairying, farm crops, English, ele-
mentary science, and applied mathematics. Like the boys of
the shops, the men in the field are advanced in cultural sub-
jects as they proceed in their four years of vocational train-
ing. Coaching in the classrooms upon the management of a
farm and every department of a farm is continued to the end.
From the shops and fields alike, men must run at the
stroke of noon, for every farmer and tradesman has a place in
his company of the school battalion. Fifteen minutes from
the close of work at noon, each boy must answer to his
name in company formation and march with the battalion to
his place at dinner. This military training is required of
every boy as long as he remains in the Hampton family.
HAMPTON'S TRAINED TEACHERS AND HOMEMAKERS
T^VERY Hampton girl graduate is a trained teacher.
Every colored or Indian girl who leaves the school
has had long practice in sewing, cooking, laundering,
FIFTY-ONE HOURS A WEEK
IN THEIR FIRST YEAR
THEY LABOR UPON THE
HAMPTON S MESSAGE
dairying, gardening, and housekeeping. The last half-year in
the course of these future teachers is given to teaching in the
Whittier School of Hampton, where classes among the five
hundred Negro children are managed by the graduating
women of two races, who work under expert supervision.
A broad range of academic study is given to these leaders
who must mould and direct the lives of many thousands of
the children of their races.
Earning their way by the continual practice and study
of household arts, the girls are giv«n at the same time such
broad training in sociology, psychology, history, literature,
and methods of teaching as shall fit them to hold firmly the
strategic positions of leadership far which they are constantly
Struggling yearly to earn their way, and earning more
each year as their work becomes more efficient, these men
and women of Hampton receive training in spending their
own money and in keeping their own accounts. They thus
gain a|knowledge of business which stands them in good stead.
THE GREATER HAMPTON
A BRIEF review of the methods and curricula of Hamp-
ton Institute can give no adequate conception of the
life which moulds the crude youth of two races into strong
leaders. Neither the outline of a system nor its results can
give a true impression of the spirit of a place.
EVERY GIRL HAS PRAC-
TICE IN DAIRYING."
HAMPTON S MESSAGE
The lives given to the school, the ideal of service which
Armstrong left, the devotion of other workers grown old in
the service, have established a tradition and atmosphere at
Hampton, creating spiritual power that no system or curricu-
lum can give.
Outside of the confines of the school in Virginia, beyond
the farthest outpost of Hampton's graduates, the benefit of
Hampton has passed. For Hampton has become a demonstra-
tion station of industrial training and racial adjustment, not
only for America, South and North, but for Africa, India, and
Macedonia. Visitors from all parts of the globe have come
with increasing frequency to this demonstration station of
The greatest national value of Hampton, in addition to
the steady constructive work among two races, is in its benefit
to America as a common platform where the white man and
black man, the Southerner and the Northerner, meet each year
for social service, with tolerance and constructive spirit.
Each year at Hampton there is a succession of conferences
for constructive work in the South. Among recent conferences
may be mentioned that of the National Association of Colored
Women; the annual Negro farmers' conference; the state super-
intendents of public instruction for the Southern states; the
representatives and secretaries of the General Education Board,
the Rockefeller Sanitary Commission, the Jeanes Board, the
United States Department of Agriculture; and the Southern
"negro and INDIAN
WOMEN SKILLED IN HOME
J --^University Commission on the Race Question — all represent-
ative of the great forces of constructive work in education,
\ sanitation, and agriculture novi active in the South.
: The officials of education in the Southern states met on
[ a common platform, with Negro farm-demonstration agents,
^ colored wromen supervisors of rural schools, and the direc-
I tors of the great systems of practical education in agriculture
' and sanitation in America.
Who can gauge the benefit of a constructive meeting upon
a common tolerant platform, where men of such power, men
of diifereut races and widely separate sections, meet for thought
and effort directed to the common good?
Hampton has cost lives and money. Armstrong died in
his prime. Other officers and workers for the cause have died
young, or have broken under the strain of raising funds to carry
on the work. It is a work worthy of life sacrifice. It is sup-
plied almost entirely by the individual gifts of public-spirited
'Americans. It has a wide constituency of loyal friends.
Hampton today, with more than one hundred thousand
dollars to raise from unassured sources for the work of the
current year, makes its plea to America.