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Library  of  the 
Universify  of  North  Carolina 

Endowed  by  the  Dialectic  and  Philan- 
thropic Societies 

Y.  ^ 








E  135 
.J  86 
V.  8 














Library,  Univ.  of 
l^orth  Carolina 







'  of 

Wonb  Caroii„« 


No.  1.    January,  1923 

L.  P.  Jackson  :  The  Educational  Efforts  of  the  Freedmen's 
Bureau  and  Freedmen's  Aid  Societies  in  South  Caro- 
lina, 1862-1872  1 

G.  R.  Wilson  :  The  Religion  of  the  American  Negro  Slave:  His 

Attitude  toivard  Life  and  Death 41 

G.  Smith  Wormley  :  Prudence  Crandall 72 

Documents  :    81 

Extracts  from  Newspapers  and  Magazines. 

Anna  Murray-Douglass — My  Mother  as  I  Recall  Her. 

Frederick  Douglass  in  Ireland. 

Book  Reviews  :    108 

Bragg 's  The  History  of  the  Afro-American  Group  of  the  Epis- 
copal Church;  Haynes's  The  Trend  of  the  Baces;  Hammond's 
In  the  Vanguard  of  a  Race;  The  Chicago  Commission  ou  Eace 
Belations,  The  Negro  in  Chicago. 

Notes  :    115 

Proceedings  of  the  Annual  Meeting  of  the  Association  for 

THE  Study  of  Negro  Life  and  History 116 

No.  2.    April,  1923 

J.  W.  Bell  :  The  Teaching  of  Negro  History 123 

Paul  W.  L.  Jones  :  Negro  Biography 128 

George  W.  Brown  :  Haiti  and  the  United  States 134 

H.  N.  Sherwood  :  Paul  Cuffe 153 

Documents  :    230 

The  Will  of  Paul  Cuffe. 

Book  Reviews  :    233 

Wiener's  Africa  and  the  Discovery  of  America;  Detweiler's 
The  Negro  Press  in  the  United  States;  McGregor's  The  Dis- 
ruption of  Virginia;  Johnston's  A  Comparative  Study  of  the 
Bantu  and  Semi-Bantu  Languages. 

^  Notes  :    243 

^  No.  3.    July,  1923 

^    T.  R.  Davis  :  Negro  Servitude  in  the  United  States 247 

—    Gordon  B.  Hancock  :  Three  Elements  of  African  Culture 284 


iv  Contents  of  Volume  VIII 

J.  C,  Hartzell:  Methodism  and  the  Negro  vn  the  United  States  301 
William  Renwick  Reddell:  Notes  on  the  Slave  in  Nouvelle 

France    316 

Documents  :    331 

Banishment  of  the  Free  People  of  Color  from  Cincinnati. 
First  Protest  against  Slavery  in  the  United  States. 
A  Negro  Pioneer  in  the  West. 
Concerning  the  Origin  of  Wilberforce. 

Communications  :    338 

A  Letter  from  Mr.  J.  W.  Cromwell  hearing  on  the  Negro  in 
West  Virginia. 

A  Letter  from,  Br.  James  S.  Eussell  giving  Information  about 
Peter  George  Morgan  of  Petersburg,  Virginia. 
A  Letter  from  Captain  A.  B.  S  ping  am  about  early  Education  of 
the  Negroes  in  New  YorTc. 
Book  Reviews  :    346 

Jones's  Piney  Woods  and  its  Story;  Johnson's  American 
Negro  Poetry;  Khodes's  The  McKinley  and  Roosevelt  Adminis- 
trations; Gtjmmere's  Journal  of  John  Woolman. 

Notes  :    351 

The  Spring  Conference 353 

No.  4.     October,  1923 

Albert  Parry:  Ahram  Hannibal,  the  Favorite  of  Peter  the 

Great    359 

Alrutheus  a.  Taylor:    The  Movement  of  the  Negroes  from 

the  East  to  the  Gulf  States  from  1830  to  1850 367 

Elizabeth  Ross  Haynes:  Negroes  in  Domestic  Service  in  the 

United  States   384 

Documents  :    443 

Documents  and  Comments  on  Benefit  of  Clergy  as  applied  to 
Slaves,  by  Wm.  K.  Boyd. 

Communications  :    448 

A  Letter  from  A.  P.  Vrede  giving  an  Account  of  the  Achieve- 
ments of  the  Rev.  Cornelius  Winst  Blyd  of  Dutch  Guiana. 
A  Letter  from  Captain  T.  G.  Steward  throwing  Light  on  various 
Pliases  of  Negro  History. 

Book  Reviews  :    455 

Frobenius's  Das  Unbekannte  Africa;  Obeeholtzeb 's  History 
of  the  United  States  since  the  Civil  War;  Lucas's  Partition 
of  Africa;  Jackson's  Boy's  Life  of  Booker  T.  Washington. 

Notes  :    465 

Annual  Report  of  the  Director  for  the  Year  1922-23 ....  466 

Library,  Univ.  of 
North  Carolina 




Vol.  VIII.,  No.  1  January,  1923. 






Slavery  in  the  United  States  was  abolished  by  force  of 
circumstances.  The  appeal  to  arms  in  April,  1861,  was 
made  by  the  North  for  the  purpose  of  saving  the  Union, 
but  only  within  a  few  months  after  the  breaking  out  of 
hostilities  ''what  shall  we  do  with  the  slaves  within  our 
lines  "  was  the  cry  heard  from  all  sections  of  the  invaded 
territory.  Deserted  by  their  masters  or  endeavoring  to 
obtain  freedom,  the  Negroes  came  into  the  Union  camps 
in  such  large  numbers  that  humanitarian  as  well  as  military 
reasons  demanded  that  something  be  done  to  change  their 
status  and  alleviate  their  physical  suffering.^    In  the  ab- 

1  This  dissertation  was  submitted  in  partial  fulfilment  of  the  requirements 
for  the  degree  of  Master  of  Arts  in  the  Faculty  of  Education  of  Columbia 
University  in   1922. 

'  I.  The  sources  for  this  dissertation  are : 

1.  Public  Documents.  Senate;  S8  Cong.,  1  Scsa.,  Vol.  1,  No.  1 — Letter  from 
freedtnen'a  aid  societies,  Dec.  17,  186S.  39  Cong.,  1  Sees.,  Vol.  2,  No.  27 — Reports  of 
assistant  commissioners,  Dec.  1,  1865,  to  March  S,  1866.  S9  Cong.,  2  Sess.,  Vol,  1, 
No.  6 — Reports  of  assistant  commissioners,  Jan.  S,  1867.  House  Executive  Docu- 
ments. S9  Cong.,  1  Bess.,  Vol.  7,  No.  11;  S9  Cong.,  Z  Bess.,  Vol.  S,  No.  1;  1,0  Cong., 
2  Bess.,  Vol.  2,  No.  1;  iO  Cong.,  S  Bess.,  Vol.  S,  No.  1;  il  Cong.,  2  Bess.,  Vol.  6,  No. 
H2;  il  Cong.,  S  Bess.,  Vol.  1,     No.  1;  k2  Cong.,  2  Bess.,  Vol.  1,  No.  1 — Reports  of 


2  JouENAL  OF  Negro  History 

sence  of  a  uniform  national  policy  on  the  matter,  the  sev- 
eral commanding  generals  settled  the  question  according 
to  their  own  notions.  Butler,  at  Fortress  Monroe,  for  ex- 
ample, refused  to  return  the  group  of  fugitive  slaves  and 
cleverly  styled  them  ''contraband  of  war." 

Howard  a«  Commissioner,  Dec.  1865-Dec.  1S71.  United  States  Statutes  at  Large, 
Vols.  13-17.      (Boston). 

2.  Reports  of  General  Superintendent  and  the  Societies.  J.  W.  Alvord,  Schools 
and  Finances  of  Frecdmen  (Washington,  1866)  ;  J.  W.  Alvord,  Semi-annual  reports, 
1867-70;  J.  W.  Alvord,  Letters  from  the  South,  relating  to  the  condition  of  frecdmen 
Addressed  to  Oaieral  O.  O.  Howard  (Washington,  1870)  ;  American  Missionary  As- 
sociation, Annual  report,  186Z-1872;  EMucational  Commission  for  freedmen,  Annual 
report.  No.  1,  1862-'6S  (Boston,  1863)  ;  and  New  England  Freedmen's  Aid  Society, 
annual  report,  2S'o.  2,  186S-'6!, ;  New  York  National  Freedmen's  Relief  Association, 
Annual  report,  1865-'66  (N.  Y.,  1866).  Fbid.,  Brief  History  with  ',th  annual  report, 
1865;  Friends  Association  of  Philadelphia  for  the  Aid  and  Elevation  of  Freedmen, 
Annual  report,  1866-71;  Freedmen's  Aid  Society  of  the  Methodist  F>piscopal  Church, 
Annual  report,  1869-72;  American  Baptist  Home  Mission  Society,  Annual  report, 
1863-72;  and  Board  of  Missions  for  Freedmen  of  the  Presbyterian  Church,  Annual 
report,  1869-'70. 

3.  Newspapeks  and  Periodicals.  The  Netc  York  Times;  The  New  York  Tribune; 
The  Charleston  Daily  Courier.  The  Darlington  New  Era;  The  Columbia  Phoenix; 
The  Nation.  The  Atlantic  Monthly,  vol.  XII  (Sept.,  1863).  Edward  L.  Pierce — 
"The  Freedmen  at  Port  Royal";  Atlantic  Monthly,  vol.  XII  (May-June,  1864). 
Charlotte  S.  Forten,  Life  on  the  Sea  L<«lands,  The  North  American  Review, 
vol.  CI  (July,  1865)  ;  William  C.  Gannet.  The  Freedmen  at  Port  Royal; 
The  Southern  Workman,  vol.  XXX  (July,  1901).  Laura  M.  Towne,  Pioneer  Work 
on  the  Sea  Islands;  The  American  Missionary,  1862-'72,  organ  of  the  American 
Missionary  Association;  The  American  Frecdman,  1866-'68  (incomplete),  organ 
of  American  Freedmen's  Union  Commission;  The  National  Frecdman,  1865—66 
(incomplete),  organ  of  New  York  National  Freedman's  Relief  Association;  Penn- 
sylvania Freedmen's  Bulletin,  1866-'67  (incomplete),  organ  of  Pennsylvania  Freed- 
men's Relief  Association ;  Freedmen's  Record  and  Freedmen's  Journal,  1865— '68 
(incomplete),  organ  of  New  England  Freedmen's  Aid  Society;  The  Frecdman,  Lou- 
don, 1866  (incomplete),  organ  of  London  Freedmen's  Aid  Society;  and  The  Baptist 
Home  Mission  Monthly,  1878-'80,  organ  of  American  Baptist  Home  Mission  Society. 

4.  DiAiiY,  Reminiscences,  and  Autobiography.  Eliza  Ware  Pearson  (editor). 
Letters  from  Port  Royal,  written  at  the  time  of  the  Civil  War  (Boston,  1906)  ;  Rupert 

S.  Holland  (editor),  Letters  and  Diary  of  Laura  M.  Toicne,  written  from  the  sea 
islands  of  South  Carolina,  1862-1884  (Cambridge,  1912)  ;  Henry  N.  Sherwood 
(editor),  Journal  of  Mrs.  Susan  Walker,  March  3d  to  June  6th,  1862.  Quarterly 
publication  of  the  Historical  and  Philosophical  Society  of  Ohio,  vol.  1,  No.  1,  1912  ; 
Eliz  Hyde  Botume,  First  days  among  the  Contrabands  (Boston,  1893)  ;  Oliver  O. 
Howard,  Autobiography,  2  vols.,  vol.  2  (New  York,  1907)  ;  and  A.  Toomer  Porter. 
The  History  of  a  Work  of  Faith  and  Love  in  Charleston,  8.  C.    (New  York,   1882). 

5.  Description  and  Travel.  Charles  Nordhoff,  The  Freedmen  of  South  Caro- 
lina; some  account  of  their  appearance,  condition  and  peculiar  customs  (New  York, 
1863)  ;  Whitelaw  Reid,  After  the  War,  A  Southern  Tour,  May"!,  1865,  to  May  1, 
1866  (New  York,  1866)  ;  and  Sidney  Andrews,  The  South  Since  the  War  as  Shoica 
by  H  Weeks  Travel  in  Georgia  and  the  Carolinas,  1866. 

II.  Secondary  Sources.  Myrta  L.  Avary,  Dixie  After  the  War  (New  York,  1906)  ; 
Laura  J.  Webster,  Operation  of  the  Freedmen's  Bureau  in  South  Carolina,  Smith 
College  Studies  in  History,  vol.  1,  1915-'16  ;  Paul  S.  Pierce,  The  Freedmen's  Bureau, 
University  of  Iowa  Studies  (Iowa  City,  1904)  ;  Thomas  Jesse  Jones,  Negro  Educa- 
tion, U.  8.  Bureau  of  Education,  Bulletins,  1916,  Nos.  38  and  39;  Colyer  Meri- 
wether, History  of  Higher  Education  in  South  Carolina,  U.  S.  Bureau  of  Educa- 
tion, Circular  of  Information,  No.  3,  1888;  William  W.  Sweet,  The  Methodist 
Episcopal  Church  and  the  Civil  War  (CJincinnati,  1912)  ;  Amory  D.  Mayo,  Work  of 

Educational  Efforts  in  South  Carolina  3 

It  was  under  these  circumstances  that  voluntary  be- 
nevolent associations  or  freedmen's  aid  societies  sprang 
up  in  quick  succession  all  over  the  North  as  agencies  first 
to  relieve  physical  suffering  and  finally  to  administer  to 
the  religious  and  educational  needs  of  the  blacks  and  white 
refugees.  Missionary  efforts  were  rapidly  pushed  by  them 
to  all  Confederate  States  just  as  fast  as  the  Union  armies 
advanced  into  the  invaded  territory.  These  private  phil- 
anthropic efforts  which  began  in  1861  finally  led  toward 
the  close  of  the  war  to  the  establishment  by  the  United 
States  Government  of  the  Bureau  of  Refugees,  Fteedmen 
and  Abandoned  Lands— an  agency  which  carried  on  the 
work  already  begun  by  the  societies  and  at  the  same  time 
cooperated  with  them  until  changed  conditions  were  reached 
about  1870. 

The  military  event  in  South  Carolina  which  called  forth 
immediate  reUef  was  the  capture  of  Hilton  Head  and  the 
adjacent  sea  islands  on  November  7,  1861,  by  Commodore 
Dupont  and  General  T.  W.  Sherman.^  The  agencies 
formed  to  succor  the  blacks  on  these  islands  were  the  New 
England  Freedmen's  Aid  Society,  the  New  York  National 
Freedmen's  Relief  Association,  and  the  Pennsylvania 
Freedmen's  Relief  Association.  These  several  bodies  were 
non-sectarian  in  character.  Cooperating  with  them  were 
some  regular  church  organizations. 

At  some  time  during  the  seven  years  existence  of  the 
Freedmen's  Bureau  it  embraced  a  six-fold  program:  (1) 
distributing  rations  and  medical  supplies;  (2)  establishing 
schools  and  aiding  benevolent  associations;  (3)  regulating 
labor  contracts;  (4)  taking  charge  of  confiscated  lands; 
(5)  administering  justice  in  cases  where  blacks  were  con- 

Northem  Churches  in  the  Education  of  the  Freedmcn.  Advanced  sheets.  U.  S. 
Bureau  of  Education.  Chapter  V,  1903 ;  Bowyer  Stewart,  The  Work  of  the  Church 
in  the  South  during  the  Period  of  Reconstruction  (Episcopalian).  IJale  Memorial 
Sermon,  191S  (Chicago,  1913)  ;  J.  P.  Hollls,  Early  Period  of  Reconstruction  in  South 
Carolina.  Johns  Hopkins  University.  History  and  Political  Studies,  1905;  Negro 
Tear  Book,  1918-'19  (Tuskegee,  Alabama)  ;  Charleston  Year  Book,  1880;  and  W.  E.  B. 
DuBols,  Souls  of  Black  Folk    (Chicago,   1903). 

3  Not  to  be  confused  with  the  more  familiar  Gen.  W.  T.  Sherman  men- 
tioned later. 

4  Journal  of  Negro  History 

cerned,  and  (6)  the  payment  of  bounties  to  soldiers.  The 
societies  likewise  exercised  various  physical  functions,  but 
it  is  only  the  educational  activities  of  all  parties  concerned 
that  are  of  primary  interest  here. 

The  chosen  period  of  ten  years,  1862-1872,  represents  a 
rise  and  fall.  During  the  war  the  non-sectarian  societies 
operated  with  all  the  vigor  that  the  military  situation 
would  permit.  At  its  close  in  1865  and  lasting  through 
1866  their  greatest  efforts  were  expended.  Beginning 
about  1867,  signs  of  retrenchment  appear ;  and  in  1868  their 
operations  practically  cease.  At  the  same  time,  both  as 
a  cause  and  as  a  result  of  the  dissolution  of  the  non-sec- 
tarian societies,  the  church  organizations  took  up  the  work 
and  carried  it  not  only  until  the  end  of  this  decade  but 
down  to  the  present  time.  The  Freedmen's  Bureau,  as 
guardian  over  all,  had  no  funds  the  first  year  or  two,  but 
in  1867  and  especially  in  1868  and  1869  when  the  societies 
weakened,  it  did  its  greatest  work.  After  1870  the  Freed- 
men's  Bureau  had  but  a  nominal  existence.  By  Congres- 
sional action  the  institution  expired  in  1872.  With  this 
ending  and  one  or  two  important  developments  by  the 
church  organizations  in  1871  and  1872,  this  essay  likewise 

This  educational  campaign  is  thus  one  conducted  by  out- 
side parties.  The  several  organizations  adopted  the  policy 
of  "no  distinction  on  account  of  race  or  color";  but,  inas- 
much as  the  schools  were  conducted  primarily  for  the 
blacks,  these  ten  years  represent  an  effort  for  this  race 
with  automatically  very  little  attention  to  the  native  whites. 
The  subject,  then,  lends  itself  to  the  following  organization : 
The  Port  Royal  Experiment,  the  organization  and  relation- 
ship, the  establishment  and  work  of  schools,  the  difficulties 
and  complications,  and  self-help  and  labor  among  the  freed- 

The  Port  Royal.  Experiment 

The  sea  islands  of  South  Carolina  are  located  between 
Charleston  and  Savannah  on  the  Atlantic  seaboard.    In 

Educational  Efforts  in  South  Caeolina  5 

the  group  connected  with  the  capture  of  Hilton  Head  are 
St.  Helena,  Port  Royal,  Morgan,  Paris  and  Phillips.  Col- 
lectively, as  a  military  designation,  these  were  known  as 
Port  Royal.  On  these  islands  in  1861  there  were  about 
nine  thousand  slaves,— the  lowest  in  America.^  As  labor- 
ers on  the  cotton  and  rice  plantations  these  slaves  for  gen- 
erations had  been  removed  from  all  the  influences  that 
tended  to  elevate  the  bondmen  elsewhere.  They  were 
densely  illiterate,  superstitious  and  in  general  but  little 
removed  from  African  barbarism."  To  add  to  the  general 
low  stage  of  these  slaves  their  language  was  a  jargon 
hardly  understandable  by  those  who  came  to  teach  them.** 
For  example,  some  of  them  would  say:  **Us  aint  know 
no  thin'  an'  you  is  to  larn  we." 

Upon  the  capture  of  Hilton  Head  by  the  Federals,  the 
white  masters  fled  to  Charleston  and  the  up-country  and 
abandoned  all  of  their  property.^  The  control  of  aban- 
doned property  at  this  time  rested  with  the  Treasury 
Department.  Accordingly,  Secretary  Chase  sent  Edward 
L.  Pierce,  of  Milton,  Massachusetts,  to  Port  Royal  to  report 
on  the  amount  of  cotton  and  also  to  make  recommendations 
for  its  collection  and  sale.  The  findings  of  Pierce  together 
with  that  of  Sherman  in  command  of  the  military  forces 
introduce  us  to  our  main  story.  At  the  suggestion  of 
Chase,  Pierce  and  Sherman  sent  appeals  broadcast  to  the 
North  for  the  immediate  relief  of  the  abandoned  slaves. 
In  February,  1862,  Sherman  issued  this  General  Order  No. 
9 :  * '  The  helpless  condition  of  the  blacks  inhabiting  the  vast 
area  in  the  occupation  of  the  forces  of  this  command,  calls 
for  immediate  action  on  the  part  of  a  highly  favored  and 
philanthropic  people.  .  .  .  Hordes  of  totally  uneducated, 

4  Gannet,  North  American  Eeview,  vol.  101  (1865),  p.  2. 

5  Laura  M.  Towne,  Southern  Worlcman,  July,  1901,  "Life  on  the  Sea 
Islands ' ' ;  Journal  of  Mrs.  Susan  Walker;  Charles  Nordhoff ,  The  Freedmen  of 
South  Carolina. 

&The  Nation,  vol.  I  (1865),  p.  744.  Sidney  Andrews,  The  South  Since 
the  War,  p.  228. 

7  Charlotte  S.  Forten,  in  The  Atlantic  Monthly,  vol.  XIII  (May,  1864),  p. 
593;  Botume,  First  Days  among  the  Contrabands,  p.  11. 

6  Journal  of  Negro  History 

ignorant  and  improvident  blacks  have  been  abandoned  by 
their  constitutional  guardians,  not  only  to  all  the  future 
chances  of  anarchy  and  starvation,  but  in  such  a  state  of 
abject  ignorance  and  mental  stolidity  as  to  preclude  all 
possibility  of  self-government  and  self-maintenance  in  their 
present  condition.  ...  To  relieve  the  Government  of  a  bur- 
den that  may  hereafter  become  insupportable  ...  a  suit- 
able system  of  culture  and  instruction  must  be  combined 
with  one  pro\dding  for  their  physical  wants.  In  the  mean- 
while .  .  .  the  service  of  competent  instructors  will  be  re- 
ceived whose  duties  will  consist  in  teaching  them,  both 
young  and  old,  the  rudiments  of  civilization  and  Christian- 

In  response  to  this  appeal  there  was  organized  in  Boston, 
on  February  7,  1862,  the  Boston  Education  Commission, 
later  known  as  the  New  England  Freedmen's  Aid  Society 
or  the  New  England  Society,  and  on  the  twenty-second  of  the 
same  month,  at  a  mass  meeting  held  at  the  Cooper  Institute 
in  New  York  City,  the  New  York  National  Freedmen's  Re- 
lief Association  was  organized.  At  this  meeting  the  follow- 
ing rules  were  adopted  with  reference  to  the  abandoned 
slaves : 

1.  "They  must  be  treated  as  free  men. 

2.  "They  must  earn  their  livelihood  like  other  freemen  and 
not  be  dependent  upon  charity. 

3.  "Schools  and  churches  shall  be  established  among  them,  and 
the  sick  shall  be  cared  for. ' '  ® 

Following  in  the  wake  of  Boston  and  New  York  came  Phila- 
delphia in  March  with  the  Port  Royal  Relief  Committee, 
later  kno^vn  as  the  Pennsylvania  Freedmen's  Relief  As- 
sociation or  the  Pennsjdvania  Society.  Carrying  out  the 
resolutions  mentioned  above,  there  assembled  on  the  third 
of  March,  1862,  at  the  port  of  New  York,  a  party  of  fifty- 
three  teachers  and  superintendents  of  labor,  including 
twelve  women,  who  set  sail  on  the  same  day  for  Port 

8  New  York  National  Freedmen's  Belief  Association,  Annual  Report, 
1866,  pp.  5-6. 

^Ihid.,  pp.  8-9. 

Educational  Efforts  in  South  Carolina  7 

Koyal."  The  salaries  of  these  persons  were  to  be  paid 
by  their  respective  societies,  while  transportation  and  mili- 
tary protection  were  afforded  by  the  United  States  Gov- 
ernment. Following  this  original  party  in  March  and 
April,  came  twenty  more  representatives  from  the  New 
England  Society  and  likewise  added  increments  from  New 
York,  Philadelphia  and  elsewhere  all  through  the  year.  In 
the  Fall  the  American  Missionary  Association  of  New  York 
added  a  corps  of  thirty-one  teachers.  It  must  be  remarked 
at  this  point  that  these  individuals  represented  the  flower 
of  New  England  culture.  The  first  party, ' '  Gideonites ' '  as 
they  were  called,  was  made  up  in  part  of  recent  graduates 
of  Harvard,  Yale,  Brown  and  the  divinity  schools  of  An- 
dover  and  Cambridge."  Furthermore,  they  were  sent  for- 
ward on  their  mission  by  William  CuUen  Bryant,  William 
Lloyd  Garrison,  Francis  G.  Shaw  and  Edward  Everett 
Hale,  with  the  sanction  and  close  cooperation  of  the  Secre- 
tary of  the  Treasury,  S.  P.  Chase. 

The  voluntary  steps  taken  by  these  parties  attracted 
considerable  attention  and  concern  from  the  best  minds  of 
Europe,  as  well  as  the  United  States.  Articles  on  the  sub- 
ject appeared  in  English  and  French  periodicals.^^  The 
result  of  these  efforts  to  aid  and  elevate  the  sea  island 
Negroes  was  to  be  considered  as  an  index  as  to  their  ability 
to  learn  and  likewise  would  indicate  the  possibility  of  gen- 
eral development  of  slaves  in  other  States.  The  labors  of 
the  United  States  Government  and  the  societies  here,  there- 
fore, came  to  be  known  as  the  ''Port  Royal  Experiment." 

The  United  States  Government  and  the  regulation  of 
the  abandoned  territory  for  three  years,  until  the  close  of 
the  war,  underwent  a  number  of  changes.  Prior  to  the 
arrival  of  the  Gideonites  on  March  9th,  the  territory  was 
controlled  by  the  special  cotton  agent,  E.  L.  Pierce,  as 
directed  by  the  Treasury  Department.  In  June,  in  re- 
sponse to  Congressional  action,  control  passed  to  the  War 

10  Journal  of  Susan  Walker,  p.  11 ;  Boston  Ed.  Commission,  Annual  Report, 
1863,  p.  7;  Letters  from  Port  Royal,  pp.  2-3. 

11  Pierce,  in  The  Atlantic  Monthly,  vol.  XII,  1863,  p.  299, 

12  Hid.,  p.  292. 

8  JouBNAL  OF  Negro  History 

Department.  Pierce  was  displaced  and  Major  Kufus  Sax- 
ton  was  made  the  administrator  with  headquarters  at 
Beaufort  on  Port  Royal.  His  duties  were  to  supervise  the 
growth  and  sale  of  cotton,  to  regulate  labor,  to  direct  the 
activities  of  new  comers  and  settle  them  at  suitable  points 
over  the  several  islands.  At  the  same  time  the  military- 
forces  stationed  at  Hilton  Head  passed  successively  under 
the  command  of  Sherman  and  General  David  Hunter. 

Pursuant  to  the  Congressional  Act  of  June  7, 1862,  ''for 
the  collection  of  direct  taxes  in  insurrectionary  states"  the 
abandoned  property  was  bought  in  by  the  United  States 
Government  and  private  individuals.  In  September,  1863, 
the  Government  relinquished  its  purchases  whereby  the 
"freedmen,"  as  they  were  now  called,  could  buy  property 
in  twenty-acre  lots  and  at  the  same  time  establish  school 
farms  of  six  thousand  acres,  the  proceeds  from  which  were 
to  be  used  for  educational  purposes.  According  to  the  plan 
laid  out  by  Pierce,  the  islands  were  divided  into  four  dis- 
tricts which  contained  a  total  of  one  hundred  and  eighty- 
nine  plantations."  Over  each  district  was  placed  a  general 
superintendent  vdth  a  local  superintendent  for  each  plan- 
tation. W.  C.  Gannet  and  John  C.  Zachas  of  the  New  Eng- 
land Society  were  placed  in  charge  of  the  schools." 

School  work  had  already  begun  prior  to  the  arrival  of 
the  main  party  through  the  initiative  taken  by  Pierce  and 
his  coworkers.  On  the  eighth  of  January,  1862,  Rev. 
Solomon  Peck,  of  Roxbury,  Massachusetts,  established  a 
school  for  the  contrabands  at  Beaufort.  Another  was 
opened  at  Hilton  Head  by  Barnard  K.  Lee  of  Boston  the 
same  month."  In  February  there  was  organized  still  an- 
other at  Beaufort,  which  was  taught  for  a  short  w^hile  by 
an  agent  of  the  American  Missionary  Association."  In 
estimating  what  was  accomplished  by  these  preliminary 
disorganized  efforts  we  can  assume  that  it  was  no  more 
than  learning  the  alphabet. 

13  Nordhoff,  The  Freedmen  of  South  Carolina,  p.  12. 
^*  Journal  of  Susan  WaXker,  p.  14. 

15  Congressional  Glohe,  41  Cong.,  3  Sess.,  vol.  I,  No.  1. 

16  J.  W.  Alvord,  Fifth  Semi-annvxil  Report  (Jan.  1,   '68),  p.  4. 

Educational  Efforts  in  South  Carolina  9 

After  their  arrival  in  March  those  persons  who  had 
come  in  the  capacity  of  teachers  began  their  work  im- 
mediately. By  the  eighth  of  May  there  were  eight  schools 
in  operation."  The  improvised  school  houses  consisted  of 
cotton  barns,  sheds  or  old  kitchens  and  ''praise  houses. "^^ 
Some  had  classes  in  tents."  The  furniture  correspond- 
ingly was  equally  as  crude.  The  desks  were  mere  boards 
thro\\Ti  across  old  chairs.  A  fair  idea  of  the  general  in- 
formal state  of  affairs  both  as  to  the  time  and  place  of 
teaching  is  gained  by  this  recital  of  one  teacher 's  experience : 
'*I  leave  to^vn  about  6  o^clock  A.  M.  and  arrive  at  the  first 
plantation  about  9,  and  commence  teaching  those  too  young 
to  labor.  About  11  the  task  is  done,  and  the  field  hands 
come  in  for  their  share.  About  1  P.  M.  I  go  to  the  other 
three  plantations  one  and  a  half  miles.  They  assemble  at 
the  most  central  one  for  instruction.  This  lasts  about  two 
hours,  first  teaching  the  young  then  the  older  persons  .  .  . 
there  being  no  buildings  suitable  for  a  school  on  any  plan- 
tation, I  teach  them  under  the  shadow  of  a  tree,  where  it  is 
more  comfortable!  than  any  house  could  be  in  hot  weather. ' '  ^ 
In  only  one  or  two  instances  were  there  buildings  erected 
specifically  for  school  purposes.  One  interesting  case  is 
that  of  a  building  sent  from  the  North  in  sections  and  like- 
wise erected  piece  by  piece.  An  estimate  of  what  was  done 
as  a  whole  during  the  first  year  of  the  "experiment"  may 
be  made  from  the  fact  that  35,829  books  and  pamphlets 
were  sent  to  Port  Royal  by  northern  agencies,  and  3,000 
scholars  were  put  under  instruction.  In  addition  to  this 
purely  educational  effort  there  were  distributed  91,834  gar- 
ments, 5,895  yards  of  cloth,  and  $3,000  worth  of  farming 
implements  and  seeds. ^^ 

Further  light  on  the  general  nature  and  progress  of  the 
work  is  gained  through  a  return  visit  made  by  Pierce  to 
Port  Royal  in  March,  1863.    At  this  time  he  reported  that 

17  New  YorTc  Tribune,  Juno  17,  1862. 

18  "Cabins  of  slaves  for  religious  meetings." 

19  Botume,  First  Bays  among  the  Contrabands,  p.  42. 

20  The  American  Missionary,  vol.  VI  (Aug.,  1862),  p.  186. 

21  Kouse  Executive  Documents,  41  Cong.,  2  Sess.,  vol.  VI,  No.  142,  p.  4. 

10  Journal,  of  Negro  History 

there  were  more  than  30  schools  conducted  by  about  40  or 
45  teachers.  The  average  attendance  was  2,000  pupils  and 
the  enrollment  1,000  more.  The  ages  ranged  from  8  to  12." 
As  to  the  studies  'Hhe  advanced  classes  were  reading  simple 
stories  and  mastered  some  passages  in  such  common  school 
books,  as  Hillard's  Second  Primary  Reader,  Wilson's  Sec- 
ond Reader,  and  others  of  similar  grade."  Some  few  were 
having  elementary  lessons  in  arithmetic,  geography  and 

A  very  large  part  of  the  school  exercises  consisted  of 
utilizing  what  the  teachers  found  the  scholars  endowed 
with  by  nature— an  abundance  of  feeling  as  expressed  in 
their  folk  songs  and  crude  religion.  An  insight  into  their 
inwardly  depressed  condition  is  gained  by  the  fact  that 
these  songs  were  usually  cast  in  the  minor  mode,  although 
they  were  sung  in  a  joyful  manner.-^  "In  their  lowest 
state  singing  was  the  one  thing  they  could  always  do  well. 
At  first  they  sang  melody  alone,  but  after  having  once  been 
given  an  idea  of  harmony,  they  instantly  adopted  it. 
Their  time  and  tone  were  always  true. ' '  "*  They  took  par- 
ticular delight  in  ringing  out  ''Roll  Jordan  Roll."  Along 
with  the  singing  the  general  atmosphere  of  the  instruction 
was  religious.  Indeed,  the  New  Testament  was  used  as  a 
text-book.  After  the  pupils  had  learned  to  read  a  little 
they  were  set  to  work  learning  the  Psalms  and  the  Ten 

One  teacher  of  the  Port  Royal  group,  herself  of  African 
descent,  was  Charlotte  S.  Forten  of  Philadelphia.  She 
was  a  graduate  of  the  State  Normal  School,  Salem,  Massa- 
chusetts, and  had  taught  in  the  same  city.  Refusing  a  resi- 
dence in  Europe,  she  joined  one  of  the  parties  for  Port 
Royal  to  teach  among  her  o^\ti  people.  This  woman  en- 
joyed the  friendship  of  Whittier  and,  as  a  beautiful  singer 
herself,  the  poet  sent  her  directly  his  Hymn  written  for 
the  scholars  of  St.  Helena  Island  which  she  taught  them  to 

22  Pierce,  in  The  Atlantic  Monthly,  vol.  XII   (1863),  p.  303. 

23  The  Nation,  vol.  I   (1865),  p.  745. 

24  Laura  M.  Towne,  Southern  Workman,  July,  1901,  p.  337.  Nordhofif, 
p.  10. 

Educational  Efforts  in  South  Carolina  U 

sing  for  the  Emancipation  Proclamation  exercises  of  Jan- 
nary  1, 1863." 

The  banner  school  on  "St.  Helen's  Isle"  and  Port 
Royal  was  the  one  in  charge  of  Laura  M.  Towne,  of  Phila- 
delphia, and  supported  by  the  Philadelphia  Society.  After 
three  years '  work  this  school  had  reached  a  fair  degree  of 
organization.  The  school  was  conducted  in  the  building 
sent  in  sections  as  referred  to  above  and  was  known  as  the 
''Penn  School"  in  honor  of  the  society  which  supported  it. 
Classes  were  grouped  as  primary,  intermediate,  and  higher, 
each  in  charge  of  one  teacher  in  a  separate  room.  The 
branches  of  study,  however,  were  the  same  in  all— reading, 
spelling,  writing,  geography,  and  arithmetic.^"  The  situa- 
tion here  described  represents  in  the  embryo  the  present 
day  Penn  Normal  and  Agricultural  Institute. 

Similarly  well  housed  was  the  school  taught  by  Elizabeth 
Hyde  Botume,  of  Boston,  under  the  auspices  of  the  New 
England  Society.  It  commands  interest  for  the  reason 
that  it  was  the  beginning  in  industrial  training  on  these 
islands.    As  plantation  laborers  the  pupils  knew  little  or 

25  "Oh,  none  in  all  the  world  before 
Were  ever  glad  as  we! 
We're  free  on  Carolina's  shore, 
We're  all  at  home  and  free. 

' '  We  hear  no  more  the  driver 's  horn 

No  more  the  whip  we  fear, 
This  holy  day  that  saw  Thee  born 

Was  never  half  so  dear. 

"The  very  oaks  are  greener  clad, 

The  waters  brighter  smile; 
Oh,  never  shone  a  day  so  glad 

On  sweet  St.  Helen's  Isle. 

"Come  once  again,  O  blessed  Lord! 

Come  walking  on  the  sea! 
And  let  the  mainlands  hear  the  word 
That  sets  the  islands  free ! ' ' 
See  Pierce,  in  The  Atlantic  MontMy,  vol.  XII,  p.  305;  Letters  from  Fort 
Eoyal,  p.  133. 

20  The  Nation,  vol.  I  (1865),  p.  747. 

12  Journal  of  Negro  History 

nothing  of  sewing.  To  supply  this  need  Miss  Botume 
solicited  the  necessary  apparatus  from  her  northern  friends 
and  began  work  on  some  old  contraband  goods  stored  in 
an  arsenal.  She  reported  that  sewing  was  a  fascination 
to  all  and  that  ''they  learned  readily  and  soon  developed 
much  skill  and  ingenuity.""  This  school  has  come  down 
today  as  the  Old  Fort  Plantation  School.  The  work  of 
these  two  women  thus  took  on  a  permanent  character  and 
to  this  extent  largely  formed  an  exception  to  the  general 
informality  of  the  schooling  at  Port  Royal. 

Obviously,  the  heroic  efforts  of  the  several  societies  to 
assist  the  blacks  amounted  to  far  more  than  school-room 
procedure.  Indeed,  this  w^as  a  very  small  part  of  the  work 
of  the  teachers  and  it  was  so  regarded  by  them.  They 
visited  the  little  cabins,  counselled  and  advised  their  wards, 
attended  church,  and  taught  them  in  the  Sabbath  Schools. 
Three  years  of  this  intermingling  between  the  culture  of 
New  England  and  the  most  degraded  slaves  in  America  re- 
sulted in  some  promising  signs  for  the  latter.  There  was 
some  improvement  in  manners  and  dress  and  an  increase 
in  wants.  At  the  stores  set  up  on  the  islands  they  were 
buying  small  articles  for  the  improvement  of  their  sur- 
roundings.^* For  the  first  time  they  were  now  being  paid 
wages.  At  the  tax  sales  in  March,  1863,  when  16,479  acres 
were  up  for  auction  they  purchased  about  3,500  acres  at  the 
price  of  93|  cents  an  acre.  Shortly  afterwards  they  had 
doubled  this  amount.^®  As  free  laborers,  however,  they 
were  somewhat  disappointing  to  their  new  employers  since 
old  habits  still  persisted.  All  in  all,  with  some  three  thou- 
sand or  one-third  of  the  whole  number  having  received 
''more  or  less"  instruction  in  books  the  societies  were  well 
satisfied  with  the  experiment  and  at  the  close  of  the  war 
increased  their  efforts  at  Port  Royal  and  throughout  the 

27  Botume,  First  Days  among  the  Contrabands,  p.  64. 

28T/!e  Nation,  vol.  I   (1865),  p.  746. 

29  N.  E.  Freedman's  Aid  Society,  Annuel  Beport,  1864,  p.  15. 

Educational  Efforts  in  South  Carolina  13 

Organization  and  Relationship 

The  Freedmen's  Bureau  as  established  by  Act  of  Con- 
gress March  3,  1865,  "vdth  the  supervision  and  manage- 
ment of  all  abandoned  lands  and  the  control  of  all  subjects 
relating  to  refugees  and  freedmen  from  rebel  states,"  was 
an  outgrowth  of  the  Port  Royal  experiment  and  other 
such  enterprises  carried  on  elsewhere.  Social  conditions  in 
the  South  at  the  close  of  the  war  called  for  increased  efforts 
on  the  part  of  northern  benevolence,  but  this  was  only  pos- 
sible through  governmental  aid  and  supervision.  The  so- 
cieties already  at  work  during  the  war  made  appeals  to 
the  government  toward  this  end.  One  committee,  for  ex- 
ample, on  December  1,  1863,  stated  that  the  needs  repre- 
sented "a,  question  too  large  for  anything  short  of  govern- 
ment authority,  government  resources,  and  government 
ubiquity  to  deal  with."^° 

The  organization  of  the  Freedmen's  Bureau  as  affecting 
South  Carolina  consisted  of  a  commissioner  at  Washington, 
an  assistant  commissioner  for  the  State  at  large  with  head- 
quarters at  Charleston,  and  sub-assistant  commissioners— 
one  for  each  of  the  five  districts  into  which  the  State  was 
divided.     Furthermore,  there  was  a  subdivision  of  each  dis- 
trict with  agents  in  charge.     For  the  educational  work  of 
the  Freedmen's  Bureau  there  was  a  corps  consisting  of  a 
general  superintendent  on  the  commissioner's  staff,  a  State 
superintendent  correspondingly  on  the  assistant  commis- 
sioner's staff  at  Charleston,  and  the  various  sub-assistant 
commissioners  and  agents  who  combined  the  supervision 
of  schools  with  their  other  duties.     The  personnel  of  this 
hierarchy  consisted  of  General  0.  0.  Howard,  Commis- 
sioner, J.  W.  Alvord,  general  superintendent  of  education, 
General  Rufus  Saxton,  General  R.  K.  Scott,  Colonel  J.  R. 
Edie,  successively,  assistant  commissioners,  and  Reuben 
Tomlinson,  Major  Horace  Neide,  Major  E.  L.  Deane,  suc- 
cessively. State  superintendents  of  education.     These  of- 
ficers, beginning  mth  the  lowest,  made  to  their  respective 

30  Senate  Executive  Documents,  38  Cong.,  1  Sess.,  vol.  I,  No.  1,  pp.  2-6. 

14  Journal  of  Negro  History 

chiefs  monthly,  quarterly  or  semi-annual  reports  which 
were  finally  submitted  to  the  commissioner  at  Washington, 
who  was  required  to  make  **  before  the  commencement  of 
each  regular  session  of  Congress,  a  full  report  of  his  pro- 
ceedings. ' ' 

The  duties  of  the  general  superintendent  were  to  "col- 
lect information,  encourage  the  organization  of  new  schools, 
find  homes  for  teachers  and  super\dse  the  whole  work."" 
Similarly,  the  State  superintendent  was  to  take  cognizance 
of  all  that  was  *' being  done  to  educate  refugees  and 
f  reedmen,  secure  proper  protection  to  schools  and  teachers, 
promote  method  and  efficiency,  and  correspond  with  the 
benevolent  agencies  .  .  .  supplying  his  field. "  ^-  On  Octo- 
ber 5,  1865,  Tomlinson  sent  out  this  notice  to  the  people  of 
the  whole  State:  "I  request  all  persons  in  any  part  of  this 
state  ...  to  communicate  with  me  furnishing  me  with  all 
the  facilities  for  establishing  schools  in  their  respective 
neighborhoods. ' '  ^' 

Between  the  Freedmen's  Bureau  and  the  several  aid 
societies  there  was  perfect  understanding.  Howard  an- 
nounced: *'In  all  this  work  it  is  not  my  purpose  to  super- 
sede the  benevolent  agencies  already  engaged,  but  to 
systematize  and  facilitate  them."^*  So  close  was  the  co- 
operation between  the  efforts  of  the  Bureau  and  the  socie- 
ties that  it  is  hard  in  places  to  separate  the  work  of  the 

Prior  to  the  supplementary  Freedmen's  Bureau  Act  of 
July  16,  1866,  the  Commission  had  no  funds  appropriated 
to  it  for  educational  purposes.  It  was  able  to  help  only 
by  supervision,  transportation  of  teachers  and  occupation 
of  buildings  in  possession  of  the  Freedmen's  Bureau.  This 
action  of  the  first  year  met  the  full  approval  of  Congress, 
for  in  the  Act  of  July  16,  1866,  it  was  stated  "that  the 
commissioner  .  .  .  shall  at  all  time  cooperate  with  private 

31  Rouse  Executive  Documents,  41  Cong.,  2  Sess.,  vol.  VI,  No.  142,  p.  11. 

32  Hid.,  39  Cong.,  1  Sess.,  vol.  VII,  No.  11,  p.  49. 

33  National  Freedman,  Oct.,  1865,  p.  300. 

34  Howard,  Autobiography,  vol.  II,  p.  221. 

Education  All  Efforts  in  South  Carolina  15 

benevolent  agencies  of  citizens  in  aid  of  f reedmen  .  .  .  and 
shall  hire  or  provide  by  lease  buildings  for  purposes  of 
education  whenever  such  association  shall  without  cost  to 
the  government,  provide  suitable  teachers  and  means  of 
instruction,  and  he  shall  furnish  such  protection  as  may  be 
required  for  the  safe  conduct  of  such  schools,"  Further, 
"the  commissioner  of  this  bureau  shall  have  power  to 
seize,  hold,  use,  lease  or  sell  all  buildings  and  tenements 
.  .  .  and  to  use  the  same  or  appropriate  the  proceeds  de- 
rived therefrom  to  the  education  of  the  freed  people."^" 
In  the  following  March,  1867,  $500,000  was  appropriated 
by  Congress  for  the  Freedmen's  Bureau  "for  buildings  for 
schools  and  asylums;  including  construction,  rental  and 

The  aid  societies  which  under  these  provisions  operated 
in  South  Carolina  may  be  classified  in  three  groups : 

1.  Non-sectarian:  The  New  York  National  Freedmen's 
Eelief  Association,  the  New  England  Freedmen's  Aid  So- 
ciety and  the  Pennsylvania  Freedmen's  Relief  Association 
(as  enumerated  above). 

2.  Denominational:  (a)  The  American  Baptist  Home 
Mission  Society;  (h)  the  Freedmen's  Aid  Society  of  the 
Methodist  Episcopal  Church;  (c)  the  Presbyterian  Com- 
mittee of  Missions  for  Freedmen;  (d)  the  Friends  As- 
sociation of  Philadelphia  for  the  Aid  and  Elevation  of  the 
Freedmen;  (e)  and  the  Protestant  Episcopal  Freedman's 

3.  Semi-denominational :  The  American  Missionary  As- 

To  the  non-sectarian  societies  might  be  added  the  Lon- 
don Freedmen 's  Aid  Society  and  the  Michigan  Freedmen 's 
Relief  Association,  although  the  latter  supported  only  one 
school  and  for  a  short  time  only.  The  American  Mission- 
ary Association,  during  the  war,  served  as  the  agency  for 
the  Free  Will  Baptists,  Wesleyan  Methodists,  and  Congre- 
gationalists,  at  which  time  its  work  was  non-sectarian ;  but" 

35  Statutes  at  Large,  XIV,  p.  176. 

36  7b{(J.,  p.  486. 

16  Journal  of  Negro  History 

as  the  first  two  drew  out  at  the  close  of  the  war,  this  as- 
sociation became  very  largely  a  congregational  agency, 
establishing  churches  along  with  its  schools.  None  of  these 
several  agencies  confined  their  attention  exclusively  to 
South  Carolina,  although  two  of  them,  the  New  York  and 
New  England  societies,  did  their  best  work  in  this  State. 

The  spirit  of  good  will  that  existed  between  the  Freed- 
men's  Bureau  and  the  societies,  however,  did  not  exist 
among  the  societies  themselves,  particularly  among  the 
church  organizations.  For  the  purpose  of  bringing  about 
coordination  and  unity  of  action  from  1863  to  1866,  the 
New  York,  New  England  and  Pennsylvania  societies  joined 
hands  with  various  western  societies  operating  in  other 
States.  Each  year  and  oftener  these  bodies  underwent  re- 
organization until  in  May,  1866,  at  Cleveland,  all  non-sec- 
tarian societies  in  all  parts  of  the  country  united  and  formed 
the  American  Freedmen's  Union  Commission."  To  this 
general  body  the  local  societies  sustained  a  relationship  of 
local  autonomy.  They  were  now  known  as  the  New  York, 
New  England,  and  Pennsylvania  "Branches." 

In  addition  to  the  organization  already  mentioned,  there 
were  attached  to  each  of  the  branches  or  local  bodies  numer- 
ous auxiliaries  which  usually  made  themselves  responsible 
for  some  one  teacher  or  group  of  teachers.  In  1867  the 
New  England  Society  had  a  total  of  187  auxiliaries,  104  in 
Massachusetts,  75  in  Vermont,  6  in  New  Hampshire,  1  in 
Connecticut  and  1  in  Georgia.^*  The  strongest  New  Eng- 
land auxiliary  was  that  at  Dorchester,  while  that  of  New 
York  was  at  Yonkers.  The  London  Freedmen's  Aid  So- 
ciety with  its  many  branches  raised  one-half  a  million  of 
dollars  for  the  cause  of  the  freedmen  in  America.  England 
reasoned  that  since  America  had  given  so  freely  toward 
the  Irish  famine  that  it  was  now  her  duty  and  opportunity 
to  return  the  favor.^^    South  Carolina's  share  in  this  sum 

37  JJ.  S.  Bureau  of  Ed.  Bulletin,  1916,  No.  38,  pp.  269-271 ;  Annual  Beporta 
of  Societies,  1863-1868. 

38  The  Freedmen's  Record  (1865-1874),  quoted  in  Bulletin,  1916,  No.  38, 
p.  297. 

39  The  Freedman,  August,  1865,  p.  12. 

Educational.  Efforts  in  South  Carolina  17 

was  the  support  of  a  school  at  Grreenville  and  one  at  St. 

During  the  war  the  several  church  bodies  supported  the 
non-sectarian  societies,  but  toward  the  close  of  the  war  they 
began  by  degrees  to  withdraw  support  and  take  independ- 
ent action.*^  To  their  regular  missionary  departments 
was  now  added  this  new  ''Freedmen's  Aid  Society"  and  to 
support  it  a  '  *  Freedmen  's  Ftmd. ' '  Several  of  the  churches 
also  had  their  Woman's  Home  Missionary  Society  which 
established  and  conducted  schools  in  conjunction  with  the 
parent  organization.  The  efforts  of  the  Presbyterians, 
Friends,  and  Episcopalians  were  similarly  directed  in  that 
they  established  the  parochial  type  of  school  as  an  annex 
to  the  church.  With  some  exceptions,  this  policy  militated 
against  the  progress  of  their  schools.*^  Among  all  the  dif- 
ferent classes  of  societies  the  American  Missionary  As- 
sociation (New  York  City)  was  the  best  prepared  for  its 
work.  This  association  was  organized  in  1846  and  prior 
to  the  war  had  already  established  schools  and  missions. 

The  several  groups  of  societies  had  elements  in  com- 
mon. They  were  one  on  the  question  of  the  treatment  of 
the  Negro,  there  being  scarcely  any  difference  in  their  pur- 
poses as  stated  in  their  constitutions.  They  felt  that  the 
National  Government  was  too  silent  on  the  principles  of 
freedom  and  equality  and  that  the  State  Governments, 
North  as  well  as  South,  had  laws  inimical  to  the  Negro  that 
should  be  abolished.  The  two  groups  differed  in  person- 
nel, the  non-sectarian  consisting  largely  of  business  men, 
particularly  the  New  York  Society,  and  the  denominational 
of  clergymen.  In  the  selection  of  teachers  the  former  made 
no  requirements  as  to  church  affiliation,  whereas  the  latter 
usually  upheld  this  principle. 

The  ultimate  aim  of  the  church  bodies  was  usually  reli- 
gious. They  endeavored  to  institute  the  true  principles 
of  Christianity  among  the  blacks,  but  in  order  to  do  this, 

<o  J.  W.  Alvord,  Semi-annual  Report,  July  1,  1869,  p.  81. 

41  W.  W.  Sweet,  Methodist  Episcopal  Church  and  the  Civil  War,  p.  175. 

*2A.  D.  Mayo,  Northern  Churches  and  the  Freedmen,  p.  300. 

18  Journal  of  Negro  History 

in  order  to  raise  up  ministers  and  Christian  leaders  among 
them,  schools  were  necesasry."  The  Baptists  in  particular 
emphasized  the  training  of  ministers  and  the  reports  of 
their  agents  in  the  field  always  included  the  number  bap- 
tized along  with  the  number  of  schools  and  students. 

Establishment  and  Work  of  Schools 

The  schools  established  during  this  period  may  be 
roughly  classified  as  primary  and  higher,  under  the  aus- 
pices of  the  non-sectarian  and  denominational  bodies  re- 
spectively. They  include  day  schools,  night  schools,  and 
Sabbath  schools. 

The  term  ''higher"  includes  secondary  and  college  in- 
struction, although  mthin  this  decade  only  two  or  three 
schools  were  even  doing  secondary  work  while  another 
which  reports  "classical"  students  was  really  of  secondary 
rank.  Some  of  the  church  schools  were  graced  with  the 
name  ''college"  and  "university"  which  in  reality  merely 
represents  the  expectation  of  the  promoters.  In  later 
years  at  least  two  of  the  institutions  begun  at  this  time 
reached  college  rank." 

The  Freedmen's  Bureau  assumed  general  charge  and 
supervision  of  education  for  the  State  in  the  fall  of  1865, 
under  the  direction  of  Superintendent  Eeuben  Tomlinson. 
Schools  were  in  operation,  however,  before  this  time— 
those  at  Port  Royal  and  the  Beaufort  district,  as  mentioned 
above,  continued  in  operation  and  in  increased  numbers. 
At  Charleston  schools  were  opened  under  the  control  of 
the  military  government  on  the  fourth  of  March,  1865,  only 
a  few  weeks  after  the  surrender  of  the  city.  James  Red- 
path  was  appointed  as  superintendent  of  these  schools. 
Outside  of  these  two  places  no  regularly  organized  schools 
were  begun  until  the  Fall,  when  they  were  extended  over  all 
the  State. 

The  Charleston  and  Columbia  schools  are  of  chief  in- 
terest.    On  March  31,  1865,  after  the  schools  had  just 

43  A.  D.  Mayo,  Northern  Churches  and  the  Freedmen,  p.  291. 
«  U.  S.  Bureau  of  Education  Bulletin  (1916),  No.  39,  p.  16. 

Educational.  Efforts  in  South  Carolina  19 

opened,  Redpath  reported  the  following  in  operation  with 
the  attendance  of  each : 

Morris  Street  School  962 

Ashley   Street    School    211 

Saint  Phillip  Street  School  850 

Normal    School    511 

King  Street  School  (boys)    148 

Meeting  Street  School   211 

Saint  Michael's  School  221 

Total  3;ii4 

There  were  employed  eighty-three  teachers,  seventy-five 
of  whom,  white  and  colored,  were  natives  of  Charleston. 
The  salaries  of  these  teachers  were  paid  by  the  New  York 
and  New  England  societies  and  cooperating  with  Eedpath 
in  organizing  these  schools  were  agents  of  these  societies, 
one  of  whom  served  as  a  principal  of  one  school.  Within 
a  month  or  two  another  school  was  added  to  this  list,  and 
during  the  same  time  there  sprang  up  five  night  schools  for 
adults.  The  students  were  made  up  of  both  white  and 
Negro  children  and  were  taught  in  separate  rooms.  The 
whites,  however,  represented  a  very  small  proportion  of 
the  total  number.*^ 

In  the  fall  of  the  year,  with  the  reopening  of  the  schools, 
the  general  organization  underwent  considerable  changes 
due  to  the  restoration  of  the  regular  civil  government  in 
charge  of  the  ex-Confederates.  Most  of  the  schools  men- 
tioned above  were  now  conducted  for  white  children  and 
taught  by  the  native  whites  as  of  old.  The  Morris  Street 
School,  however,  was  kept  for  Negro  children  and  taught 
by  the  native  whites.  The  Normal  School  in  time  became 
the  Avery  Institute.  The  New  England  Society,  which  in 
the  Spring  had  supported  the  Morris  Street  School,  moved 
to  the  Military  Hall  and  subsequently  built  the  Shaw  Me- 
morial School.  This  school  was  named  in  the  honor  of 
Colonel  Robert  G.  Shaw,  who  was  killed  during  the  war  in 
the  assault  on  Fort  Wagner  (Morris  Island)  while  leading 
his  Negro  troops.     The  funds  for  the  erection  of  the  school 

*5  National  Freedman,  May  1,  1865,  p.  122;  Ibid.,  April  30,  1865,  p.  150. 
American  Freedman,  May,  1866,  p.  29. 

20  Journal  of  Negro  History 

were  contributed  by  the  family  of  Colonel  Shaw  and  they 
retained  a  permanent  interest  in  it.  In  1874,  when  the  New 
England  Society  dissolved,  the  school  was  bought  by  the 
public  school  authorities  and  used  for  Negro  children.*' 
During  the  course  of  four  or  five  years  other  schools  were 
established  here  or  in  the  vicinity  of  Charleston  by  the  sev- 
eral church  organizations. 

Charleston  thus  made  a  commendable  start  in  education 
partly  for  the  reason  that  the  city  had  a  school  system 
before  the  war  and  for  a  while  during  the  conflict.  The 
free  Negroes  of  this  city  like\\ise  had  been  instructed  under 
certain  restrictions  during  slavery  time.*^  The  schools 
which  were  controlled  or  supported  by  the  northern  agen- 
cies were  by  1868  offering  an  elementary  grade  of  instruc- 
tion corresponding  to  about  the  fourth  or  fifth  grade  with 
classes  in  geography,  English  composition  and  arithmetic. 
Just  here,  however,  it  must  be  said  that  the  personnel  of 
the  student  body  was  constantly  changing  or  at  least  during 
1865  and  1866.  Charleston  was  merely  a  sort  of  way  sta- 
tion for  the  blacks,  who,  returning  from  the  up-country 
where  they  had  fled  or  had  been  led  during  the  war,  were 
on  their  way  to  the  sea  islands  to  take  up  land  as  offered 
by  Sherman's  order.**  During  April,  1865,  Redpath  re- 
ported that  at  least  five  hundred  pupils  ''passed  through" 
the  schools,  remaining  only  long  enough  to  be  taught  a  few 
patriotic  songs,  to  keep  quiet  and  to  b^  decently  clad. 
Others  in  turn  came  and  in  turn  were  ''shipped  off."" 

Columbia,  though  behind  Charleston  in  point  of  time, 
made  an  equally  good  beginning  in  spite  of  annoying  handi- 
caps. There  was  a  fertile  field  here  for  teaching,  since  the 
blacks  were  crowding  in  from  all  the  surrounding  territory. 
Sherman  having  destroyed  about  all  the  suitable  buildings, 
T.  G.  Wright,  representative  of  the  New  York  Society,  in 
company  with  three  northern  ladies,  started  a  school  on 
November  6,  1865,  in  the  basement  of  a  Negro  church  with 

*6  Charleston  Year  Book  (1880),  p.  122. 

47  See  Carter  6.  Woodson,  Education  of  the  Negro  Prior  to  1861,  p.  129. 

48  Sidney  Andrews,  The  South  Since  the  War,  p.  98. 

49  National  Freedman,  June  1,  1865,  p.  150. 

Educational.  Efforts  in  South  Carolina  21 

243  scholars.  Soon  thereafter,  on  November  7th,  another 
was  begun  in  the  small  room  of  a  confiscated  building 
''very  unsuitable  for  a  school  room."  On  the  same  day 
two  other  schools  were  begun  at  similar  places,  one  of  them 
at  General  Ely 's  headquarters  and  taught  by  his  daughters. 
On  the  ninth  another  school  started  on  Arsenal  Hill  in  an 
old  building  rented  for  a  church  by  the  freedmen  and  on 
the  thirteenth  still  another  was  opened  in  one  of  the  gov- 
ernment buildings.  These  schools  were  numerically  desig- 
nated as  ' '  No.  1, "  "  No.  2, ' '  etc.,  being  nine  in  all.  In  addi- 
tion to  these  there  were  two  night  schools  begun  about  the 
same  time,  one  of  them  enrolling  fifty  adult  males  and  the 
other  121.°°  The  Columbia  schools  were  taught  wholly  un- 
der the  control  of  the  New  York  Society  by  northern  ladies 
with  the  assistance  of  a  few  Negro  instructors  who  were 
competent  to  assist  them.  They  had  a  large  attendance  and 
consequently  there  were  many  changes  made  in  the  location 
of  schools  in  the  course  even  of  the  first  few  months. 

Fortunately  these  temporary  congested  quarters  gave 
way  in  the  fall  of  1867  when  the  Howard  School  was  com- 
pleted. This  school  was  erected  by  the  New  York  Society 
and  the  Freedmen 's  Bureau  at  a  cost  of  about  $10,000.  It 
contained  ten  large  class  rooms.  At  the  close  of  the  school 
year  (1868)  it  had  an  attendance  of  600.  The  closing  ex- 
ercises of  the  year  seemed  to  have  attracted  considerable 
attention  inasmuch  as  the  officers  of  the  city,  Tomlinson, 
and  newspaper  men  all  attended.  The  examinations  at  the 
close  embraced  reading,  spelling,  arithmetic,  geography, 
history  and  astronomy.  The  Columbia  Phoenix  (a  local 
paper)  said  of  the  exercises:  "We  were  pleased  with  the 
neat  appearance  and  becoming  bearing  of  the  scholars  .  .  . 
and  the  proficiency  exhibited  in  the  elementary  branches 
was  respectable."" 

The  New  York  Society  did  its  best  work  in  Columbia. 
At  Beaufort  this  same  organization  had  schools  which  oc- 

60  National  Freedman,  Nov.  15,  1865,  p.  314;  Hid.,  May,  1866,  pp. 

61  J.  W.  Alvord,  Beport,  Jan.  1,  1868,  p.  27.  American  Freedman,  July- 
August,  1868,  p.  442. 


Journal  of  Negro  History 

cupied  the  large  buildings  formerly  used  by  the  whites. 
The  New  England  Society  was  best  represented  at  Charles- 
ton and  Camden.  The  Philadelphia  Society  was  best  rep- 
resented at  St.  Helena.  Some  notion  of  the  exact  location 
of  the  schools  fostered  by  these  societies  (May,  1866)  may 
be  gained  from  the  folio -wing  table : " 

Number  of 
Town  teacbera  Support 

AshdaJe    1  New  York  Branch 

Combahee    1  New  York  Branch 

Columbia    10  New  York  Branch 

Edgerly    1  New  York  Branch 

Greenville 6  New  York  Branch 

Gadsden  2  New  York  Branch 

Hopkins   1  New  York  Branch 

James  Island 5  New  York  Branch 

Mitchellville    2  New  York  Branch 

Lexington    2  New  York  Branch 

Pineville 1  New  York  Branch 

Perryclear 1  New  York  Branch 

Pleasant  Retreat   2  New  York  Branch 

Eed  House 1  New  York  Branch 

Ehett   Place    2  New  York  Branch 

Eiver  View   1  New  York  Branch 

Woodlawn    2  Michigan  Branch 

Camden  53    2  New  England  Branch. 

Darlington     2  New  England  Branch 

Edisto  Island   2  New  England  Branch 

Hilton  Head   6  New  England  Branch 

Jehosse  's   Island    2  New  England  Branch 

Johns  Island 1  New  England  Branch 

Marion    2  New  England  Branch 

Orangeburg   3  New  England  Branch 

Summerville    3  New  England  Branch 

Port  Royal   Island    2  Pennsylvania  Branch 

RockviUe    2  Pennsylvania  Branch 

St.  Helena  5  Pennsylvania  Branch 

Beaufort 9  New  York  Branch  7 

New  England  Branch  2 

Charleston   36  New  York  Branch  13 

New  England  Branch  23 

Georgetown     4  New  York  Branch  1 

New  England  Branch  3 

63  The  school  at  Camden  increased  in  size  the  next  year. 

5-2  The  American  Freedman,  May,  1866,  p.  261.     This  does  not,  however, 
indicate  in  all  cases  the  number  of  schools  at  each  town. 

Educational  Efforts  in  South  Carolina 


With  some  exceptions  the  schools  enumerated  here  and 
elsewhere  unfortunately  had  only  a  short  existence  for  the 
reason  that  the  societies  which  supported  them  gradually 
became  short  of  funds.  The  New  York  Society,  for  ex- 
ample, in  1868,  found  itself  hardly  able  to  bring  its  teachers 
home.  The  efficiency  of  other  societies  likewise  began  to 
wane.  By  January  1,  1870,  or  within  a  few  months  after- 
wards, the  Freedmen's  Bureau  passed  out  of  existence. 
Alvord  and  his  whole  staff  thereby  were  discharged  from 
duty.  The  non-sectarian  societies  ceased  to  exist  because 
the  aid  societies  of  the  several  northern  churches  claimed 
the  allegiance  of  their  members.  A  stronger  reason,  as 
given  by  them,  was  that  the  freedmen  were  now  (1868)  in 
a  position  to  help  themselves  politically  through  the  provi- 
sion of  Negro  Suffrage  for  the  new  State  government,  un- 
der the  Congressional  plan  of  reconstruction.  The  Freed- 
men's Bureau  was  discontinued  for  similar  reasons. 

A  few  of  the  schools  so  well  begun  either  passed  into 
the  hands  of  the  State  under  regular  State  or  municipal 
control  of  schools,  as,  for  example,  the  Shaw  Memorial  at 
Charleston,  or  they  became  private  institutions  with  other 
means  of  northern  support.  Before  expiration,  however, 
during  1869,  the  Freedmen's  Bureau  used  its  remaining 
funds  to  establish  new  schools  and  repair  buildings  through- 
out the  State.  A  graphic  picture  of  the  Bureau's  acti\Tlty 
during  the  latter  part  of  1869  is  thus  shown :  " 

School  Houses  Erected 





Value  of 

of  lot 








2  stories! 
26x60    / 
25  x30 
25  x40 
25  x30 
















64  J.  W.  Alvord,  Beport,  Jan.  1,  1870,  p.  25. 

24  Journal  op  Negro  History 

School  Houses  Repaieed  and  Rented 

Locality                                                            Ownership  Amount  expended 

Conkem    Freedmen  $    500 

Beaufort Freedmen  1,000 

Columbia Bureau  100 

Charleston  (Orphan  Asylum)    . . .  Protestant  Episcopal               2,400 

Charleston  (Shaw  School) Bureau  100 

Charleston     (Meeting     St.     Post 

Office)    Rented  40 

Charleston  Protestant  Episcopal              8,000 

Chester    Rented  30 

Darlington Bureau  100 

Eustis  Place  Bureau  800 

Florence    Freedmen  35.75 

Marion    Bureau  150 

Mt.  Pleasant Bureau  40 

Sumter    Freedmen  500 

Shiloh    Freedmen  100 

Winnsboro    Bureau  50 

Orangeburg    Methodist  Episcopal  Church    2,500 

Total    $16,445775 

After  all,  the  real  significance  of  this  educational  move- 
ment was  the  policy  adopted  by  the  denominational  bodies 
that  they  should  establish  permanent  institutions— colleges 
and  normal  schools  to  train  teachers  for  the  common 
schools  and  also  in  time  that  the  Negroes  themselves  should 
run  these  institutions."  South  Carolina  under  the  Negro- 
Carpet-Bag  rule  in  1868,  then,  for  the  first  time  ventured 
to  establish  a  school  system  supported  by  public  taxation. 
For  this  object  there  were  practically  no  competent  teach- 
ers to  serve  the  Negroes.  The  only  sources  of  supply 
were  the  persons  trained  in  the  schools  herein  described 
and  a  few  of  the  northern  teachers  who  remained  behind. ^^ 
Very  small  and  crude  it  was  in  the  beginning,  but  the  policy 
adopted  here  at  least  furnishes  the  idea  upon  which  ever 
since  the  public  schools  of  the  State  have  been  mainly  justi- 
fied. By  1870  the  Penn  School  at  St.  Helena  was  sending 
out  teachers  in  response  to  calls  from  the  State."    In  the 

65  Freedmen 's  Aid  Society  of  the  M.  E.  Church,  Annual  Beport,  1871,  pp. 

66  Mayo,  Northern  Churches  and  the  Freedmen,  p,  300. 
«7  Letters  and  Diary  of  Laura  M.  Towne,  p.  221. 

Educational  Efforts  in  South  Carolina  25 

same  year  the  principal  of  the  Avery  Institute  reported 
that  he  was  asked  by  the  State  to  furnish  fifty  teachers.^' 
This  school  was  perhaps  the  best  fitted  to  perform  this 

The  American  Missionary  Association  supported,  at 
Port  Royal  and  other  points  in  the  State,  schools  which, 
along  with  many  others,  had  only  a  temporary  existence. 
The  lasting  and  best  contribution  of  this  association  to  this 
movement  was  the  Avery  Institute,  its  second  best  was  the 
Brewer  Normal.  Avery  was  established  at  Charleston  on 
October  1, 1865,  in  the  State  Normal  School  building,  which 
was  offered  by  General  Saxton.  The  school  commenced 
with  twenty  teachers  and  one  thousand  scholars  with  every 
available  space  taken,  one  hundred  being  crowded  in  the 
dome.  The  next  year,  having  been  turned  out  of  this 
building,  the  school  was  held  for  two  years  in  the  Military 
Hall  in  Wentworth  Street.  On  May  1,  1869,  the  school  en- 
tered its  present  new  large  building  on  Bull  Street  when  it 
dropped  the  name  of  the  Saxton  School  for  Avery  in  honor 
of  the  philanthropist  from  a  portion  of  whose  bequest 
$10,000  was  spent  by  the  American  Missionary  Association 
for  the  grounds  and  a  mission  home.  The  building  proper 
was  erected  by  the  Fteedmen's  Bureau  at  a  cost  of  $17,000.^^ 

Avery  very  soon  dropped  its  primary  department  and 
concentrated  its  efforts  on  the  normal  or  secondary  depart- 
ment where  it  had  from  the  beginning  a  comfortable  num- 
ber of  students.  These  students  came  largely  from  the 
free  Negro  class.  Under  the  guidance  of  their  well-trained 
Negro  principal  the  boys  and  girls  here  were  reading  Mil- 
ton's *'L'Allegro,"  translating  Caesar,  and  solving  quad- 
ratic equations.""  From  the  standpoint  of  grade  of  instruc- 
tion, Avery  was  the  banner  school  of  the  State.  With  a 
less  pretentious  beginning  Brewer  was  established  by  the 
American  Missionary  Association  at  Greenwood  in  1872 
on  school  property  valued  at  $4,000. 

56  American  Missionary  Ass'n  Annual  Report,  1870,  p.  221. 
5^  History  of  the  A.  M.  A.,  p.  36;  Annual  Report,  1868,  p.  47;  Mayo,  p. 

60  The  Nation,  vol.  I  (1865),  p.  778. 

26  Journal  of  Negro  History 

The  Baptist  Home  Mission  Society,  following  in  the 
wake  of  the  American  ^lissionary  Association,  made  a 
beginning  at  Port  Royal  with  the  labor  of  Rev.  Solomon 
Peck,  at  Beaufort.  This  society  in  1871  established  Bene- 
dict at  Columbia.  The  school  property  consisted  of  eighty 
acres  of  land  with  one  main  building— "a  spacious  frame 
residence, ' '  two  stories,  65  x  65.  This  property  cost  $16,000 
with  the  funds  given  by  Mrs.  Benedict,  a  Baptist  lady  of 
New  England.  During  the  first  year  the  school  had  sixty- 
one  students,  most  of  whom  were  preparing  for  the  min- 
istry."^ In  1868,  Mrs.  Rachel  C.  Mather  established  the 
Industrial  School  at  Beaufort  which  now  bears  her  name. 
This  school  came  under  the  auspices  of  the  "Women's  Amer- 
ican Baptist  Home  Mission  Society. 

The  Freedmen's  Aid  Society  of  the  Methodist  Episcopal 
Church  conducted  primary  schools  at  Charleston,  Darling- 
ton, Sumter,  John's  Island,  Camden,  St.  Stephens,  Gour- 
dins '  Station,  Midway  and  Anderson ;  but,  like  the  Baptists, 
its  substantial  contribution  was  Claflin  University.  This 
institution  was  established  in  1869  in  the  building  formerly 
used  by  the  Orangeburg  Female  Academy.  The  property 
was  purchased  through  the  personal  efforts  of  its  first 
president.  Dr.  A.  Webster.  The  University  was  granted  a 
charter  by  the  State  and  named  in  honor  of  Hon.  Lee  Claf- 
lin of  Massachusetts,  by  whose  liberality  it  came  into  exist- 
ence. The  attendance  the  first  year  was  309  and  by  1872 
the  institution  had  a  college  department,  a  normal  depart- 
ment, a  theological  department,  and  a  preparatory  depart- 
ment.**^  The  Women's  Home  Missionary  Society  of  this 
same  church  had  the  excellent  policy  of  establishing  homes 
for  girls  where,  in  addition  to  purely  classroom  work,  they 
would  be  taught  the  principles  of  home  making  and  Chris- 
tian womanhood.  In  pursuance  of  this  object  in  1864  Mrs. 
Mather  of  Boston  established  a  school  at  Camden  which  in 
later  years  became  known  as  the  Browning  Industrial 

61  American  Baptist  Home  Mission  Society,  Anmial  Beport,  1872,  p.  26. 
fi2  Merriwether,  History  of  Higher  Education  in  South  Carolina,  p.  125; 
Annual  Beport  (1872)  F.  A.  S.,  p.  17. 

Educational.  Efforts  in  South  Carolina  27 

The  Presbyterian  Church,  through  its  Committee  of 
Missions  for  Freedmen,  in  1865  established  the  Wallingford 
Academy  in  Charleston  at  a  cost  of  $13,500,  the  Freedmen 's 
Bureau  paying  about  one-half  of  this  amount.  In  1870 
the  number  of  pupils  was  335.  In  later  years  this  school, 
like  others  planted  by  the  churches,  was  doing  creditable 
secondary  work  and  training  teachers  for  the  city  and  dif- 
ferent parts  of  the  State."'  At  Chester  in  1868  this  Com- 
mittee established  the  Brainerd  Institute  and  in  the  same 
year  the  Goodwill  Parochial  School  at  Mayesville. 

The  Protestant  Episcopal  Freedmen 's  Commission  in 
cooperation  with  its  South  Carolina  Board  of  Missions  to 
Negroes  established  a  school  at  Charleston  (1866)  in  the 
Marine  Hospital  through  the  effort  of  Rev.  A.  Toomer 
Porter,  a  native  white  man  of  Charleston.  Two  years  later 
this  institution  had  a  corps  of  thirteen  teachers  and  about 
six  hundred  pupils.'*  Smaller  efforts  were  likewise  made 
by  this  commission  at  Winnsboro  and  other  parts  of  the 

The  Friends  (Pennsylvania  Quakers)  made  a  most  valu- 
able contribution  to  this  general  educational  movement  in 
1868  through  the  efforts  of  Martha  Schofield  in  establishing 
at  Aiken  the  Schofield  Normal  and  Industrial  School. 
This  institution  in  time  became  one  of  the  most  influential, 
not  only  in  South  Carolina  but  in  the  entire  South.  The 
Friends '  Association  of  Philadelphia  for  the  Aid  and  Ele- 
vation of  the  Freedmen,  established,  in  1865,  at  Mt.  Pleas- 
ant (Charleston)  the  school  which  later  became  kno^Ti  as 
the  Laing  Normal  and  Industrial  School. '=  Miss  Abbey  D. 
Munro,  in  1869,  became  its  principal. 

Difficulties  and  Complications. 

As  a  result  of  these  efforts  an  observer  said:  *'In  South 
Carolina  where,  thirty  years   ago,   the  first  portentious 

63  Charleston  Year  Boole  (1880),  pp.  126-127;  Annual  Beport  (1870)  Pres- 
byterian Committee,  p.  12. 

w  Porter,  Work  of  Faith  and  Love,  p.  6;  Stewart,  Work  of  the  Church 
during   Eeconstruction,   p.    63. 

^<i Annual  Beport  (1866)  Friends  Ass'n,  p.  8. 

28  Journal  of  Negro  History 

rumblings  of  the  coming  earthquake  were  heard  and  where 
more  recently  the  volcanic  fires  of  rebellion  burst  forth 
.  .  .  our  missionaries  and  teachers  have  entered  to  spread 
their  peaceful  and  healing  influence.  .  .  .  The  Sea  Islands 
have  been  taken  possession  of  in  the  name  of  God  and  hu- 
manity. .  .  .  I^ng  Cotton  has  been  dethroned  and  is  now 
made  humbly  to  serve  for  the  enriching  and  elevating  of 
the  late  children  of  oppression.""®  Another  said:  *'New 
England  can  furnish  teachers  enough  to  make  a  New  Eng- 
land out  of  the  whole  South,  and,  God  helping,  we  will  not 
pause  in  our  work  until  the  free  school  system  .  .  .  has 
been  established  from  Maryland  to  Florida  and  all  along 
the  shores  of  the  Gulf.  ""^  They  came  to  the  South  with 
the  firm  belief  in  the  capacity  of  the  Negro  for  mental  de- 
velopment and  on  a  scale  comparable  to  the  white  man. 
The  letters  written  by  teachers  to  northern  friends  abound 
in  reports  to  this  effect.  Such  was  the  spirit  in  which  the 
northern  societies  entered  the  South. 

The  northern  societies,  however,  failed  ''to  make  a  New 
England  out  of  the  South";  but  due  credit  must  be  given 
them  for  their  earnestness  and  enthusiasm.  They  entered 
the  State  while  the  war  was  in  progress  and  thus  imperiled 
their  lives.  The  planters  at  Port  Royal  who  had  aban- 
doned their  property  certainly  looked  forw^ard  to  the  resto- 
ration of  the  same  and  to  this  end  they  struggled  by  force  of 
arms.  The  freedmen  themselves,  as  well  as  their  northern 
benefactors  under  these  conditions,  lived  in  fear  lest  the 
restored  planters  should  successfully  reestablish  the  old 
regime.  One  teacher  at  Mitchelville  on  Hilton  Head  re- 
ported one  week's  work  as  ''eventful."  A  battle  only 
twelve  miles  away  at  Byrd's  Point  was  raging  while  her 
school  was  in  session.  The  cannonading  could  be  heard 
and  the  smoke  of  the  burning  fields  was  visible.®* 

There  were  other  difficulties.  In  view  of  the  fact  that  the 
missionaries  associated  with  the  freedmen  in  a  way  totally 

66  J.  M.  A.  Annuel  Report  (1864),  p.  16. 
f^T  Freedmen' 8  Journal,  Jan.  1,  1865,  p.  3. 
68  Ihid.,  p.  7. 

Educational  Efforts  in  South  Carolina  29 

iinknowTi  to  southern  tradition,  they  were  met  with  social 
ostracism.  It  was  impossible  to  obtain  boarding  accommo- 
dations in  a  native  white  family  and  in  line  with  the  same 
attitude  the  lady  teachers  were  frequently  greeted  with 
sneers  and  insults  and  a  general  disregard  for  the  courte- 
sies of  polite  society.  One  teacher  said :  ' '  Gentlemen  some- 
times lift  their  hats  to  us,  but  the  ladies  always  lift  their 
noses.  "®^ 

Social  contact  with  the  Negroes,  however,  was  a  neces- 
sity.'" The  letter  of  instruction  to  teachers  from  the  Penn- 
sylvania Branch  contained  this  rule:  ''All  teachers,  in 
addition  to  their  regular  work,  are  encouraged  to  interest 
themselves  in  the  moral,  religious  and  social  improvement 
of  the  families  of  their  pupils ;.  to  visit  them  in  their  homes ; 
to  instruct  the  women  and  girls  in  sewing  and  domestic 
economy ;  to  encourage  and  take  part  in  religious  meetings 
and  Sunday  schools. ' ' "  Thus  it  was  that  a  very  large  part 
of  the  activities  of  the  teachers  were  what  we  call  **  extra- 
curricular." They  were  not  confined  to  the  school  room 
but  went  from  house  to  house.^^ 

The  spirit  of  informality  which  seemed  to  pervade  the 
whole  work,  along  with  that  of  the  Freedmen's  Bureau, 
moreover,  serves  to  explain  in  part  their  misfortune  result- 
ing from  poor  business  methods.  The  reports  which  How- 
ard and  Alvord  have  left  us  reveal  unusually  important 
facts.  Their  funds  were  limited  and  what  monies  they  did 
raise  were  not  always  judiciously  expended.  The  salaries 
of  the  teachers  usually  ranged  from  $25  to  $50  a  month. 
One  society  paid  $35  a  month  without  board  and  $20  with 
board.  These  salaries,  the  personal  danger,  the  social 
ostracism  and  unhealthy  climate,  all  lead  one  to  feel,  how- 
ever, that  the  motive  behind  these  pioneering  efforts  was 
strictly  missionary.  Some  of  the  teachers  worked  without 
a  salary  and  a  few  even  contributed  of  their  means  to 
further  the  work. 

89  National  Freedman,  Feb.,  1866,  p.  49. 

''^Letters  from  Port  Boyal;  Letters  and  Diary  of  Laura  M.  Towne. 

11  Pennsylvania  Freedmen's  Bulletin,  Oct.,  1866,  p.  1. 

1^  Baptist  Home  Mission  Monthly  (1879),  p.  6. 

30  Journal  of  Negro  History 

The  campaign  of  education  for  the  elevation  of  the 
freedmen  was  a  product  of  war  time  and  as  such  was  con- 
ducted in  the  spirit  engendered  by  war  conditions.  In  ad- 
dition to  the  purely  school  exercises  of  the  three  R's  was 
the  political  tenor  of  the  instruction.  As  staunch  Repub- 
licans no  little  allusion  was  made  to  * '  Old  Jeff  Davis ' '  and 
the  ''Rebels."  Besides  the  native  songs  with  which  the 
scholars  were  so  gifted  there  was  frequent  singing  of  JoJin 
Brown  and  Marching  through  Georgia.  The  Fourth  of 
July  and  the  first  of  January  were  carefully  observed  as 
holidays.  Several  of  the  teachers  in  the  schools  and  of- 
ficers of  the  Freedmen 's  Bureau— Tomlinson,  Cardoza,  Jill- 
son,  Mansfield,  French,  and  Scott— became  ofiBce  holders  in 
the  Negro-carpetbagger  government  of  1868. 

There  was  another  handicap.  The  Civil  War  left  South 
Carolina  ''Shermanized."  The  story  of  this  invader's 
wreck  of  the  State  is  a  familiar  one.  Barnwell,  Buford's 
Bridge,  Blackville,  Graham's  Station  (Sato),  Midway, 
Bamberg,  and  Orangeburg  were  all  more  or  less  destroyed. 
Three-fifths  of  the  capital  was  committed  to  the  flames  and 
Charleston,  although  this  city  escaped  the  invader,  had 
been  partially  burned  already  in  1861.^'  With  millions  of 
dollars  in  slave  property  lost,  added  to  the  above,  the  native 
whites  were  in  no  frame  of  mind  to  approve  this  philan- 
thropic effort  of  the  northern  teachers.  Furthermore,  on 
the  question  of  education  the  State  had  no  substantial  back- 
ground by  which  it  could  encourage  any  efforts  at  this  time. 
Free  schools  had  been  established  prior  to  the  war,  but 
owing  to  the  eleemosynary  stigma  attached  to  them  and  the 
permissive  character  of  the  legislative  acts  very  little  had 
been  accomplished  for  the  whites  even,  in  the  sense  that  we 
understand  public  education  today.'^* 

There  ran  very  high  the  feeling  that  the  Yankees  were 
fostering  social  equality  and  that  if  they  were  allowed  to 
educate  the  freedmen  the  next  thing  would  be  to  let  them 
vote."     Some  reasoned  that  since  the  North  had  liberated 

73  Colwiribia  Phoenix,  March  21,  1865. 

74  Merriwether,  History  of  Higher  Education  in  South  Carolina,  p.  115. 

75  Hohse  Executive  Documents,  39  Cong.,  1  Sess.,  vol.  VII,  No.  11,  p.  13. 

Educational.  Efforts  in  South  Carolina  31 

the  slaves,  it  was  now  its  business  to  care  for  them.  It  is 
safe  to  say  that  without  the  protection  of  the  United  States 
military  forces  during  the  first  year  at  least  the  efforts  to 
enlighten  the  ex-slaves  would  have  been  impossible.  The 
native  white  attitude,  however,  appears  to  have  undergone 
a  change  from  year  to  year  and  from  locality  to  locality. 

At  Orangeburg,  the  superintendent  of  education  re- 
ported that  a  night  school  was  fired  into  on  one  or  two  oc- 
casions, and  the  attempt  to  discover  the  perpetrators  of 
this  outrage  was  without  success.''^  A.  M.  Bigelow,  a 
teacher  of  a  colored  school  at  Aiken,  was  compelled  by 
curses  and  threats  to  leave  the  town  in  order  to  save  his 
life."  In  the  town  of  Walhalla  a  school  conducted  by  the 
Methodist  church  was  taught  by  a  lady  from  Vermont.  A 
number  of  white  men  tried  to  break  it  up  by  hiring  a 
drunken  vagabond  Negro  to  attend  its  sessions  and  accom- 
pany the  young  lady  through  the  village  street.  The  at- 
tempted outrage  was  frustrated  only  by  the  intercession 
of  a  northern  gentleman.  At  Newberry,  about  the  same 
time,  a  man  who  was  building  a  school  for  the  freedmen 
was  driven  by  armed  men  from  the  hotel  where  he  was  stay- 
ing and  his  life  threatened.  These  occurrences  the  super- 
intendent reported  as  *' specimen"  cases.'^^ 

In  other  sections  of  the  State  where  the  planters  sus- 
tained amicable  relations  to  all  the  functions  of  the  Freed- 
men's  Bureau,  there  was  little  opposition  to  the  elevation 
of  the  freedmen.  In  the  districts  of  Darlington,  Marion, 
and  WilUamsburg  there  was  a  fair  spirit  of  cordiality.  At 
Darlington  the  Yankee  editor  of  The  New  Era  in  its  first 
edition  probably  thus  expressed  the  feeling  of  the  commu- 
nity:  ''Let  the  excellent  work  be  sustained  wherever  it  shall 
be  introduced  and  the  happiest  results  will  be  witnessed." ^* 

Charleston  and  Columbia,  despite  the  wreck  of  these 
cities,  as  already  shown,  proved  to  be  an  open  field  for 

76  J.  W.  Alvord,  Semi-annual  Report  (July  1,  1867),  p.  25. 

7T  The  Nation,  vol.  Ill,  Oct.  25,  1866. 

78  Alvord,  Semi-annual  Report  (Jan.  1,  1870),  p.  26. 

T9  The  New  Era,  July  28,  1865. 


educational  endeavor.  In  the  former  city  where  it  was  no 
new  thing  to  see  the  blacks  stri\ing  for  education,  the  op- 
position expressed  itself  in  the  occupation  of  the  buildings 
formerly  used  for  the  whites.*"  A  correspondent  of  The 
New  York  Times  reported  that  in  Columbia  ''the  whites 
extend  every  possible  facility  and  encouragement  in  this 
matter  of  education. ' '  *^  There  is  one  instance  of  actual  ini- 
tiative in  the  education  of  the  freedmen  in  the  case  of  Rev. 
A.  Toomer  Porter  of  the  Episcopal  Church  in  Charleston 
as  already  mentioned.  This  gentleman  went  North  to 
solicit  the  necessary  funds  and  while  there  visited  Howard 
and  President  Johnson.  For  his  purpose  the  president 
himself  contributed  one  thousand  dollars.*^  For  this  deed 
The  Charleston  Courier  remarked  that  it  was  ''a  much  more 
substantial  and  lasting  token  of  friendship  to  the  colored 
race  than  all  the  violent  harangues  of  mad  fanatics." 
Finally  in  enumerating  here  and  there  cases  of  a  favorable 
attitude,  Governor  Orr's  remarks  cannot  be  overlooked. 
To  the  colored  people  at  Charleston  he  said:  ''I  am  pre- 
pared to  stand  by  the  colored  man  who  is  able  to  read  the 
Declaration  of  Independence  and  the  Constitution  of  the 
United  States.  I  am  prepared  to  give  the  colored  man  the 
privilege  of  going  to  the  ballot-box  and  vote. ' '  *' 

The  length  of  service  for  most  of  the  teachers  was  one 
year.  In  the  original  Port  Royal  party  of  March  3,  1862, 
several  of  the  party  returned  home  before  summer.  The 
American  Missionary  Association  which  sent  thirty-five 
teachers  to  Port  Royal  reported  ''eight  for  a  short  time 
only."  From  these  facts  it  is  to  be  inferred,  despite  the 
glowing  reports  of  success,  that  the  teachers  met  \\ith  dis- 
couragement and  disappointment.  Some  of  them  were  un- 
fit for  their  duties  and  some  no  doubt  committed  acts  of 
indiscretion  with  reference  to  the  relationship  of  the  races. 

80  Alvord,  Report,  Aug.  6,  1866,  p.  5. 

81  New  York  Times,  Aug.  14,  1866. 

82  Porter,  Worlc  of  Faith  and  Love,  p.  6;  The  Nation,  vol.  II  (1866); 
p.  770. 

63  Charleston  Courier,  Feb.  15,  1867;  American  Freedman,  April,  1867, 
p.  204. 

Educational  Efforts  in  South  Carolina  33 

The  difficulties  and  complications  of  this  movement  were 
a  part  of  the  war  itself.  Calmer  moments  of  reflection 
which  it  is  ours  now  to  enjoy,  however,  reveal  the  great 
value  of  the  educational  efforts  of  the  northern  missionaries. 
Unfortunately,  the  efforts  to  uplift  were  directed  to  only 
one  race,  but  in  a  larger  sense  the  work  done  has  been  for 
the  welfare  of  all.  South  Carolinians  to-day  will  all  pay 
tribute  to  the  work  of  Abbey  D.  Munro,  Martha  Schofield 
and  Laura  M.  Towne.  These  women,  with  others,  gave 
their  lives  for  the  elevation  of  the  Negro  race  and  what 
they  did  is  merely  a  representation  of  that  common  battle 
against  ignorance  and  race  prejudice.  ''She  (Miss  Towne) 
came  to  a  land  of  doubt  and  trouble  and  led  the  children 
to  fresh  horizons  and  a  clearer  sky.  The  school  she  built 
is  but  the  symbol  of  a  great  influence ;  there  it  stands,  mak- 
ing the  desert  blossom  and  bidding  coming  generations 
look  up  and  welcome  ever-widening  opportunities.  Through 
it  she  brought  hope  to  a  people  and  gave  them  the  one  gift 
that  is  beyond  all  price  to  men. ' '  ^* 

Self-Help  and  Labor  Among  the  Freedmen 

Were  the  Negroes  there  in  such  numbers  and  condition 
as  to  help  themselves  ?  South  Carolina  in  1860  had  a  white 
population  of  291,300,  a  slave  population  of  402,406  and  a 
free  colored  population  of  9,914.^°  Having  this  large  num- 
ber of  slaves,  the  dominant  race  in  its  efforts  to  maintain 
control  passed  its  police  laws  by  which  the  evils  of  slavery 
existed  there  in  their  worst  form.  One  of  these  laws  was 
that  of  1834  which  made  it  a  punishable  offense  to  teach 
any  slave  to  read  and  write.®°  This  law,  however,  was  of- 
ten violated  and  free  Negroes  and  even  slaves  attended 
school  long  enough  to  develop  unusual  power. 

8*  The  school  referred  to  here  is  the  one  already  mentioned,  the  Penn 
Normal  and  Agricultural  School.  It  is  an  excellent  community  school  and  one 
especially  fitted  for  St.  Helena,  the  population  of  which  is  still  largely  colored. 
See  United  States  Bureau  of  Education  Bulletin  (1916),  No.  39,  p.  483.  Miss 
Towne  remained  in  service  39  years,  Miss  Schofield  4&  years,  and  Miss  Munro 
at  Mt.  Pleasant  45  years. 

85  United  States  Census,  1860. 

80  Hurd,  Law  of  Freedom  and  Bondage,  II,  p.  98. 

34  JouBNAL  OF  Negro  History 

After  generations  of  oppression  the  dawn  of  freedom 
brought  with  it  a  social  upheaval.  The  freedmen  now  pro- 
ceeded to  taste  the  forbidden  fruit  and  the  people  who 
brought  learning  to  them  they  received  with  open  arms." 
The  Yankee  school  master  was  not  only  to  the  freedmen 
a  teacher  but  his  deliverer  from  bondage.  Happily  in  the 
enthusiasm  of  the  ''late  children  of  oppression"  for  learn- 
ing they  proved  themselves  to  be  not  objects  of  charity  but 
actual  supporters  and  promoters  of  the  educational  move- 

It  was  a  principle  of  some  of  the  societies  to  open  no 
new  school  unless  a  fair  proportion  of  its  expenses  could 
be  met  by  the  parents  of  the  pupils.®^  There  were  made 
various  arrangements  by  which  the  freedmen  could  help 
sustain  the  schools.  In  some  instances  they  boarded  the 
teachers  and  met  the  incidental  expenses  of  the  school 
while  the  societies  paid  the  salaries  and  traveling  expenses. 
In  this  way  nearly  one-half  of  the  cost  was  sustained  by 
them  and  in  some  instances  nearly  two-thirds  of  it.^^  As 
the  foregoing  tables  have  helped  to  show  in  part,  in  some 
cases  the  freedmen  met  the  entire  expenses,  bought  the  lot, 
erected  the  school  house,  and  paid  the  salary  of  the  teacher. 

During  1866,  Tomlinson  reported  five  houses  had  been 
built  by  them  and  others  were  under  the  course  of  erection. 
These  were  located  at  the  following  places : 

Kingstree     size  20  x  37  ft. 

Darlington   size  30  y.  72  ft. 

Florence   size  35  x  45  ft. 

Timmonsville  size  14  x  24  ft. 

Marion    size  20  x  50  ft. 

During  1867  twenty-three  school  houses  were  reported  to 
have  been  built  by  the  freedmen  aided  by  the  Freedmen 's 
Bureau  and  northern  societies.  For  the  support  of  school 
teachers  this  year  they  contributed  $12,200.  This  with 
$5,000  for  school  houses  made  an  aggregate  of  $17,200 

87  Baptist  Home  Mission  Monthly,  June,  1879,  p.  182. 
66  Freedmen 's  Becord,  April,  1868,  p.  50. 
89  Freedmen 's  Aid  Society,  Annual  Eeport  (1871),  p.  13. 
80  H.  Ex.  Docs.,  40  Cong.,  2  Sess.,  vol.  II,  No,  1,  p.  8. 


Educational  Efforts  in  South  Carolina  35 

The  school  houses  were  placed  in  the  hands  of  trustees 
selected  from  among  themselves  and  were  to  be  held  per- 
manently for  school  purposes.®^ 

The  means  by  which  the  freedmen  offered  their  support 
was  not  always  in  cash  but  in  kind.  During  the  early  years 
foUoAving  the  war  there  was  a  scarcity  of  money  in  circula- 
tion. The  employers  of  the  blacks,  the  planters,  were 
themselves  unable  always  to  pay  in  cash,  and  as  a  substitute 
a  system  of  barter  grew  up."^  Directing  attention  to  this 
situation  and  the  general  question  of  self-help,  Governor 
Andrews  of  Massachusetts,  president  of  the  New  England 
Society,  sent  out  the  following  circular  to  the  freedmen  of 
the  South :  ''The  North  must  furnish  money  and  teachers— 
the  noblest  of  her  sons  and  daughters  to  teach  your  sons 
and  daughters.  We  ask  you  to  provide  for  them,  wherever 
possible,  school  houses  and  subsistence.  Every  dollar  you 
thus  save  us  will  help  to  send  you  another  teacher  .  .  .  you 
can  supply  the  teachers'  homes  with  corn,  eggs,  chickens, 
milk  and  many  other  necessary  articles.  .  .  .  Work  an  ex- 
tra hour  to  sustain  and  promote  your  schools.  "^^  The 
value  of  such  labor  averaged  only  about  eight  dollars  a 
month,  but  Governor  Andrews'  recommendation  was  car- 
ried out  in  so  many  cases  that  much  good  was  thereby  ac- 

The  campaign  of  education  for  the  freedmen  was  tem- 
porary in  character  and  was  so  regarded  by  the  Freedmen 's 
Bureau  and  the  societies.  It  was  merely  an  effort  to  place 
the  ex-slaves  on  their  own  feet  and  afterwards  it  was  their 
task.  In  line  mth  this  policy  the  Freedmen 's  Bureau  and 
the  military  authorities  seized  every  opportunity  of  insti- 
tuting self-government  among  them,  especially  where  they 
were  congregated  in  large  numbers.  Such  a  case  was 

Sherman's  field  order  15  called  for  the  laying  aside  of 

81  J.  W,  Alvord,  Report  on  Schools  and  Finances  of  Freedmen,  July,  1866, 
p.  6. 

92  Jmencan  Freedman,  July,  1868,  p.  446. 

93  National  Freedman,  Oct.,  1865,  p.  299. 

36  Journal  of  Negro  History 

a  vast  stretch  of  territory  exclusively  for  the  freedmen. 
In  the  same  manner  in  1864  the  military  officers  at  Hilton 
Head  laid  out  a  village  for  them  near  the  officers '  camps  and 
introduced  measures  of  self-government.  The  village  was 
called  Mitchelville  in  honor  of  General  Ormsby  Mitchell 
who  had  been  like  a  father  to  the  multitude  of  fifteen  hun- 
dred or  more  occupying  the  village.  The  place  was  regu- 
larly organized  with  a  Mayor  and  Common  Council,  Mar- 
shal, Recorder  and  Treasurer,  all  black,  and  all  elected  by 
Negroes,  except  the  Mayor  and  Treasurer.  Among  the 
powers  of  the  Common  Council,  w^hich  concern  us  here,  was 
the  compulsory  provision  that  ''every  child  between  the 
ages  of  six  and  fifteen  years  .  .  .  shall  attend  school  daily, 
while  they  are  in  session,  excepting  only  in  cases  of  sick- 
ness .  .  .  and  the  parents  and  guardians  will  be  held  re- 
sponsible that  said  children  so  attend  school,  under  the 
penalty  of  being  punished  at  the  discretion  of  the  Council 
of  Administration. ' '  "*  We  may  or  may  not  call  this  South 
Carolina's  first  compulsory  school  law. 

With  a  \aew  to  training  teachers  from  among  themselves 
the  northern  teachers  seized  every  opportunity  to  pick  out 
a  bright  student  who  would  ultimately  assume  full  respon- 
sibility. Accordingly,  the  schools  were  taught  by  persons 
of  both  races.  In  addition  those  Negroes  who  already  had 
some  learning  were  pressed  into  service.  This  arrange- 
ment had  its  obvious  disadvantages  as  well  as  advantages. 
The  Negro  teacher  understood  the  en\aronment  and  the 
character  and  nature  of  the  pupils  to  a  far  greater  extent 
than  the  northern  coworker ;  but,  as  could  be  expected,  the 
native  teacher  was  lacking  in  preparation.  As  one  of  the 
northern  journals  expressed  the  situation,  the  ''men  and 
women  from  the  North  carry  much  more  than  their  educa- 
tion. They  carry  their  race,  moral  training,  their  faculty, 
their  character,  influence  of  ci\dlization,  their  ideas,  senti- 
ments and  principles  that  characterize  northern  society. ' '  ®' 
Occasionally  native  white  teachers  were  employed,  but  not 

84  WMtelaw  Eeid,  After  the  War,  pp.  89-91. 
»«  National  Freedman,  June,  1866,  p.  169. 

Educational.  Efforts  in  South  Carouna  37 

always  to  the  satisfaction  of  either  the  Yankee  teachers  or 
their  pupils. 

Besides  the  regular  organized  schools  that  came  under 
the  control  of  the  Freedmen's  Bureau  and  the  societies, 
the  freedmen  in  their  eagerness  to  learn  opened  what  Al- 
vord  styles  '* native  schools"  where  some  man  or  woman 
who  had  just  learned  to  read  and  write  a  very  little  set 
about  for  the  smallest  pittance  to  teach  his  neighbors '  chil- 
dren. Such  teaching,  though  possibly  arising  from  a  com- 
mendable spirit,  was  a  travesty  on  education.  The  white 
teachers  characterized  these  native  schools  '*so  far  as  any 
intelligent  result  goes"  as  ^' worse  than  useless."  They 
would  rather  receive  ''their  pupils  totally  ignorant  than 
with  the  bad  habits  of  reading,  pronunciation  and  spelling 
of  these  schools.  "°^  However,  there  were  among  the 
Negro  teachers  a  few  who  deserve  special  mention  as  show- 
ing signs  of  an  endeavor  to  help  the  movement  and  at  the 
same  time  may  serve  as  a  test  of  the  value  of  the  missionary 
movement  by  their  northern  friends. 

Some  of  the  Negro  teachers  were  from  the  North,  as 
in  the  case  of  Charlotte  S.  Forten  already  mentioned. 
There  was  also  Mrs.  C.  M.  Hicks  who  was  sent  South  by  the 
New  York  Society  and  supported  by  an  auxiliary  associa- 
tion in  Albany.  Her  school  was  located  at  Anderson  and 
contained  nearly  two  hundred  pupils.  After  mentioning 
the  good  order  and  decorum  of  the  school.  The  Anderson 
Intelligencer,  a  local  white  paper,  says :  '*  We  w^ere  gratified 
with  the  proficiency  and  success  attained  and  trust  that 
they  will  persevere  in  their  efforts  to  make  better  citizens 
and  become  more  worthy  of  the  high  privileges  now  granted 
to  the  race.  This  school  is  presided  over  by  a  colored  fe- 
male (Mrs.  Hicks)  .  .  .  she  is  intelligent  and  capable  and 
devotes  all  her  energies  to  the  school."" 

At  Greenville  there  was  Charles  Hopkins  who  taught  a 
school  for  the  support  of  which  his  white  neighbors  con- 

98  Freedmen's  Record,  April,  1868,  p.  52. 

^T  Anderson  Intelligencer,  July,  1867,  quoted  in  The  American  Freedmam, 
Aug.,  1867,  p.  264. 

38  Journal,  of  Negro  History 

tributed  $230.  He  bought  at  his  own  risk  the  building 
from  the  State  arsenal  and  moved  it  two  miles  on  a  piece 
of  ground  which  he  had  leased  for  one  year.  The  school 
opened  with  about  two  hundred  scholars  among  whom  were 
' '  boys  and  girls  with  rosy  cheeks,  blue  eyes  and  flaxen  hair, 
though  lately  slaves,  mingled  with  the  black  and  brown 
faces. "  »8  ^  visitor  characterized  the  school  as  having ' '  good 
order,  rapid  progress  in  learning  and  a  great  deal  more." 
After  supporting  the  school  as  long  as  possible  Hopkins 
was  relieved  by  the  Freedmen  's  Bureau  which  assumed  the 
responsibility  he  had  incurred,  and  he  was  further  aided 
by  the  accession  of  three  additional  teachers.  His  salary 
was  contributed  by  the  New  York  Branch.  Frank  Carter 
at  Camden  was  making  similar  efforts  during  this  period. 

Down  on  Hilton  Head  at  Mitchelville  in  connection  with 
the  Port  Eoyal  experiment  there  was  Lymus  Anders,  a 
full-blooded  African,  who,  prior  to  the  coming  of  the  north- 
ern teachers,  was  unable  to  read  and  w^rite.  Although  fifty 
years  old  and  having  a  family,  he  managed  to  learn  to  read 
by  having  one  of  the  teachers  give  him  lessons  at  night 
and  at  odd  intervals.  He  was  enterprising  and  after  only 
a  year  or  two  had  managed  to  save  four  or  five  hundred 
dollars.  He  bought  land  at  the  tax  sales ;  and,  in  the  efforts 
of  his  people  at  Mitchelville  to  have  churches  and  schools, 
he  succeeded  in  erecting  a  church  and  a  school  house  with 
help  from  the  whites  and  Negroes.  The  building  cost 
nearly  $350  and  in  time  there  was  added  a  teachers '  home. 
The  school  was  taught  by  ladies  from  Northampton,  Mas- 
sachusetts, who  always  had  the  cooperation  and  assistance 
of  Anders.  They  characterized  him  as  a  ''black  Yankee," 
not  very  moral  or  scrupulous,  but  a  man  who  led  all  the 
others  of  his  race  in  enterprise  and  ambition.^* 

Ned  Lloyd  White,  who  had  picked  up  clandestinely  a 
knowledge  of  reading  while  still  a  slave,  was  an  assistant 
to  two  ladies  at  St.  Helena,  who  had  a  school  of  ninety-two 

9»  American  Freedman,  Feb.,  1867,  p.  168. 

9^  Letters  from  Fort  Royal,  p.  37;  The  Freedmen's  Journal,  Jan.  1,  1865, 
pp.  13-15;  W.  C.  Gannet,  North  American  Review,  vol.  CI   (1865),  p.  24. 

Educational  Activities  in  South  Carolina  39 

pupils  made  up  largely  of  refugees  from  a  neighboring  is- 
land. Likewise  engaged  was  ''Uncle  Cyrus,"  a  man  of 
seventy,  who,  in  company  with  one  Ned,  assembled  one  hun- 
dred and  fifty  children  in  two  schools  and  taught  them  the 
best  they  could  until  teachers  were  provided  by  the  relief 

The  brightest  light  among  the  Negro  teachers  was  F. 
L.  Cardoza.  He  was  a  native  of  Charleston  and  received 
his  primary  and  common  school  education  there  under  the 
instruction  of  the  free  Negroes  of  that  city.  Being  unable 
at  his  own  expense  to  pursue  his  studies  at  home  as  far 
as  he  desired,  he  attended  the  University  of  Glasgow. 
He  returned  to  Charleston  and  became  a  leader  in  the  edu- 
cational affairs  of  the  city  immediately  at  the  close  of  the 
war.  He  was  employed  by  the  American  Missionary  As- 
sociation and  became  principal  of  the  Saxton  School,  later 
known  as  Avery  Institute.  In  conformity  with  his  classical 
training,  he  offered  his  advanced  pupils  languages  and  in 
time  they  were  ready  for  Howard  University  in  Washing- 
ton. There  were  some  four  thousand  children  in  the  city 
of  school  age.  ^Seeing  the  need  of  a  permanent  graded 
school  system  supported  by  public  taxation,  he  used  his 
influence  to  bring  about  this  result.  With  regard  to  this 
project  Governor  Orr  said:  ''I  heartily  approve  of  the 
scheme  of  Mr.  Cardoza  to  educate  thoroughly  the  colored 
children  of  Charleston.  ...  I  am  satisfied  he  will  devote 
himself  to  the  work  earnestly  and  faithfully,  and  merits, 
and  should  receive  the  confidence  of  the  public  in  his  laud- 
able undertaking. ' '  Other  public  officials  spoke  in  the  same 
vein.  One  of  the  northern  teachers  said  of  him:  ''He  is 
the  right  man  in  the  right  place  and  I  am  very  thankful 
that  it  has  fallen  my  lot  to  be  placed  under  him. ' '  "^ 


Most  of  the  work  of  the  Bureau  and  the  societies  as 
already  shown  was  temporary  in  character  and  perhaps 

100 Pierce,  in  Atlantic  Monthly,  vol.  12   (1863),  p.  305. 
101^.  M.  A.  Annual  Beport,  1866,  p.  27;  1867,  pp.  32-33;  National  Freed- 
man,  May,  1866,  p.  142. 

40  JouENAL.  OF  Negro  History 

rightly  so.  In  Howard's  own  words,  '*it  was  but  a  begin- 
ning—a nucleus— an  object  lesson."  Not  more  than  one- 
sixth  of  the  total  black  population  of  school  age  was 
reached.  The  movement  only  inaugurated  a  system  of  edu- 
cational pioneering  in  the  benighted  South.  Scientific  data 
as  to  exactly  what  was  accomplished  unfortunately  cannot 
be  obtained  owing  to  the  inaccuracy  of  the  Freedmen's 
Bureau  reports.  For  example,  in  the  report  of  July  1, 
1868,  the  superintendent  gives  a  total  of  sixty-two  schools 
in  operation  with  an  additional  ''estimated"  number  of 
451.  Again,  the  amount  of  work  done  by  the  separate  in- 
dividual societies  does  not  always  tally  with  the  reports  of 
the  Freedmen's  Bureau. 

Notwithstanding  the  fact  that  the  efforts  put  forth 
failed  to  reach  our  modern  ideal  of  the  education  of  all  the 
people,  yet  the  movement  did  accomplish  at  least  these 
three  things:  (1)  By  penetrating  almost  every  county  or 
district  in  the  State,  the  schools  served  to  awaken  the  Ne- 
groes to  the  need  of  education  and  to  demonstrate  to  all 
persons  that  it  was  practicable  to  educate  them;  (2)  it  led 
up  to  the  establishment  of  the  public  schools  and  left  for 
this  system  material  equipment  in  the  form  of  school  build- 
ings and  furniture;  and  (3),  greatest  of  all,  the  combined 
efforts  of  the  Freedmen's  Bureau  and  the  societies  left  the 
State  with  institutions  of  higher  grade— the  principal 
source  of  teachers  for  the  common  schools. 

Luther  P.  Jackson 


I  propose  to  discuss  the  religious  behavior  of  the 
American  Negro  slave,  between  1619  and  the  close  of  the 
Civil  War,  first,  by  a  brief  discussion  of  the  religion  of 
the  tribes  in  Africa,  and  the  tendency  of  the  old  habits  and 
traditions  to  maintain  themselves  among  the  American 
slave;  second,  by  a  consideration  of  what  the  slave  found 
in  America,  and  his  contact  with  another  religious  culture 
called  Christianity ;  and  third,  by  a  description  of  the  slave 's 
reaction  to  a  Christian  environment,  or  what  the  slave's 
religious  behavior  really  was.^  My  thesis  is  that  the  reli- 
gion of  Africa  disappeared  from  the  consciousness  of  the 
American  slave;  that  the  slave  himself,  by  contact  with  a 
new  environment,  became  a  decidedly  different  person, 
having  a  new  religion,  a  primitive  Christianity,  with  the 
central  emphasis,  not  upon  this  world,  but  upon  heaven.^ 

1  This  dissertation  was  submitted  to  the  Faculty  of  the  Graduate  School  of 
Arts  and  Literature  of  the  University  of  Chicago  in  candidacy  for  the  degree 
of  Bachelor  of  Divinity,  March,  1921,  by  Gold  Eefined  Wilson. 

2  Working  toward  this  end,  I  have  examined  a  vast  amount  of  material 
on  slavery,  much  of  which  is  controversial,  having  been  -written  by  men  who 
favored  slaves,  or  by  abolitionists  and  slaves  who  were  able  to  see  only  one  side 
of  the  question  discussed.  Such  literature,  being  biased,  so  distorts  the  truth 
that  it  is  extremely  difficult  to  discover  what  is  social  fact.  As  sources,  how- 
ever, I  have  used  books  and  magazine-articles,  written  from  a  more  scientific 
point  of  view.  There  are  a  few  representative  ones.  Kingsley's  West 
African  Studies,  which,  although  expressing  the  attitude  of  the  author,  gives 
us  a  comprehensive  picture  of  what  the  life  in  Africa  is.  Washington,  in  the 
Story  of  the  Negro,  in  a  simple,  sincere  manner,  sets  forth  the  struggles  of 
the  Negro  in  his  contact  with  a  higher  civilization.  Woodson's  Education 
of  the  Negro  prior  to  1861  shows  to  what  extent  effort  was  made  by  the 
whites  to  bring  the  slaves  into  contact  with  the  white  civilization.  The  Be- 
ligious  Development  of  the  Negro  in  Virginia,  by  Earnest,  shows  how  the 
church  of  the  Negro  slave,  beginning  in  the  church  of  the  whites,  grew  to  be 
an  independent  organization.  Fragmentary  evidence  in  the  histories  of  the 
religious  denominations  shows  the  same  progressive  development.  A  few  of 
the  stories  of  fugitive  slaves,  though  written  for  other  purposes,  still  speak 
very  clearly  of  how  dependent  the  slave  was  upon  his  cultural  surroundings 


42  Journal,  of  Negro  History 

My  task  is  to  show  that  the  religion  of  the  Negro  slave 
between  1619  and  the  Ci\dl  War  did  not  originate  in  Africa, 
but  was  something  totally  different  from  the  prevailing 
religion  of  the  black  continent  in  that  it  placed  emphasis 
upon  heaven;  and  that  this  distinctive  element  in  the  reli- 
gion of  the  slave  grew  out  of  his  contact  with  Christianity 
in  America.  In  taking  this  position  I  have  tried  to  give 
due  weight  to  those  considerations  which  tend  to  support  a 
contrary  position,  such  as  the  inertia  of  African  habits  and 
traditions  in  the  life  of  the  American  slave,  and  the  hostile 
tendency  of  his  social  surroundings  to  religious  develop- 
ment.^    On  the  other  hand,  I  have  considered  the  disinte- 

for  his  religious  ideas.  The  stories  of  the  lives  of  Nat  Turner,  the  Virginia 
slave  insurrectionist,  and  of  Harriet,  the  Moses  of  Her  People,  are  filled 
with  apocalyptic  imagery.  Concerning  the  phenomena  of  cultural  contacts, 
the  most  scholarly  piece  of  work  yet  produced  is  that  by  Prof.  Park,  which 
shows  the  tendency  of  one  civilization  to  accommodate  itself  to  another,  by 
assimilation  of  concepts,  expressed  in  language  and  custom.  For  a  study  of 
the  religion  of  the  slave,  however,  the  best  of  all  the  sources  is  that  sponta- 
neous, naive  body  of  literature  consisting  of  the  slave-songs,  sometimes  called 
**  spirituals,"  which  were  sung  by  individuals  upon  various  occasions,  and 
by  shouting  groups  of  religious  enthusiasts.  Krehbiel,  who  set  many  of  these 
primitive  verses  to  printed  scales,  made  of  them  a  psychological  interpretation 
that  has  given  the  slave-mood.  Colonel  T.  W.  Higginson,  the  commander  of 
a  ' '  black  regiment ' '  in  South  Carolina,  during  the  Civil  War,  an  eyewitness  of 
many  of  the  slave  religious  meetings,  gives  the  circumstances  under  which  a 
number  of  the  "spirituals"  arose.  But  Odum,  in  Volume  III  of  the  Journal 
of  Eeligious  Psychology  and  Education,  makes  of  all  the  classes  of  slave- 
songs  a  psychological  interpretation  that  is  unsurpassed.  The  value  of  these 
collections  is  the  common  longing  found  therein,  a  burning  enthusiasm  to  live 
in  heaven. 

'  In  the  preparation  of  this  fflssertatlon  the  following  works  were  used : 
B.  H.  Nassau,  Fctichism  in  West  Africa,  1904 ;  Mary  H.  Kingsley,  West  African 
Btudies  (London,  1901)  ;  J.  B.  Earnest,  The  Religious  Development  of  the  Negro 
in  Virginia  (Charlottesville,  Va.,  1914)  ;  H.  M.  Henry,  Slavery  in  South  Carolina 
(Emory,  Va.,  1914)  ;  Ivan  E.  McDougle,  Slavery  in  Kentucky,  1792-1865  (Reprinted 
from  The  Jodenai,  of  Negro  History,  vol.  Ill,  No.  3,  July,  1918)  ;  H.  A.  Trexler, 
Slavery  in  Missouri,  180i-1865,  Being  a  Dissertation  in  Johns  Hopkins  University 
Btudies  (Baltimore,  1914)  ;  J.  C.  Ballagh,  Slavery  in  Virginia,  Johns  Hopkins  Univer- 
sity Studies,  vol.  XXIX,  1902  (Baltimore)  ;  J.  H.  Russell,  Free  Negro  in  Virginia,  1619- 
1S65,  Johns  Hopkins  University  Studies,  Series  SI,  No.  S  (Baltimore,  Johns  Hopkins 
University  Press,  1913)  ;  J.  R.  Brackett,  Negro  in  Maryland  (Baltimore,  1889)  ;  G. 
H.  Moore,  Slavery  in  Massachusetts  (New  York,  1866)  ;  R.  Q.  Mallard,  Plantation 
Life  hefore  Emancipation  (Richmond,  Virginia,  1892)  ;  Frances  Anne  Kemble,  Jour- 
nal of  a  Residence  on  a  Georgian  Plantation  in  1SS8-9  (New  York,  1863)  ;  C.  G. 
Woodson,  The  Education  of  the  Negro  Prior  to  1861  (New  York,  1915)  ;  The  Journal 
of  Negro  History,  edited  by  C.  G.  Woodson,  vols.  I-IV,  1916-1919  (The  Association 
for  the  Study  of  Negro  Ldfe  and  History,  Inc.,  Washington,  D.  C.)  ;  Alcee  Fortier, 

Religion  of  the  American  Negro  Slave  43 

grating  effects  of  the  American  slave  system  upon  black 
groups  that  originated  in  Africa,  together  with  the  Ameri- 
can slave's  new  social  contacts,  which  produced  in  him  the 
religious  attitude  found,  and  out  of  which  arose  the  early 
slave-preacher  and  church.  Finally,  I  have  attempted  to 
show  that  the  naive  imagery  and  emphasis  in  the  ' '  spiritu- 
als" are  selected  elements  that  helped  the  slave  adjust 
himself  to  his  particular  world. 

Our  beginning  is  with  the  prevailing  religion  of  Africa, 
Fetishism.  Authorities  use  the  term  ''Fetishism"  as  the 
"(a)  worship  of  inanimate  objects,  of  ten  regarded  as  purely 
African;  (b)  Negro  religion  in  general;  (c)  the  worship 
of  inanimate  objects  conceived  as  the  residence  of  spirits 
not  inseparably  bound  up  with,  nor  originally  connected 
with,  such  objects;  (d)  the  doctrine  of  spirits  embodied  in, 
or  attached  to,  or  concei\dng  influence  through  certain  mate- 
rial objects;*  (e)  the  use  of  charms,  which  are  not  wor- 

History  of  Louisiana,  4  vols.  (New  York,  1&04)  ;  Code  Noir,  I  (Published  1724)  ; 
M.  W.  Jernegan,  Slavery  and  Conversion  in  the  American  Colonies  (Reprinted  from 
The  American  Historical  Review,  vol.  XXI,  No.  3,  April,  1&16)  ;  G.  M:  West, 
Status  of  the  Negro  in  Virginia  during  the  Colonial  Period  (New  York)  ;  L.  A. 
Chamerorzow,  Slave  Life  in  Georgia;  Narrative  of  John  Brown  (London,  1865)  ; 
B.  T.  Washington,  Story  of  the  Negro,  2  vols.  (New  York,  1909)  ;  Baptist  Annual 
Register;  A.  N.  Waterman,  A  Century  of  Caste  (Chicago,  1901)  ;  Geo.  Thompson, 
Prison  Life  and  Reflections,  3d  Edition  (Hartford,  1849)  ;  Jacobs,  Incidents  in  the 
Life  of  a  Slave  Girl  (Boston,  1861)  ;  Sarah  H.  Bradford,  HarHet,  The  Moses  of  Her 
People  (New  York,  1861)  ;  Thos.  W.  Higginson,  Life  of  a  Black  Regiment  (Boston, 
1870)  ;  Jas.  B.  Avirett,  The  Old  Plantation,  Great  House  and  CaMn  before  the  War, 
1817-65  (New  York,  Chicago,  London,  1901)  ;  Jno.  S.  Abbott,  South  and  North  (New 
York,  1860).  Lucius  P.  Little,  Ben  Harding,  His  Times  and  Contemporaries  (Louisa 
vllle,  1867)  ;  De  Bow's  Commercial  Review  (New  Orleans,  1847)  ;  Life  of  Josiah 
Henson  (Boston,  1849)  ;  Baptist  Home  Missions  in  America  (New  York,  1883)  ; 
Presbyterian  Magazine,  I  (Philadelphia,  1851)  ;  Methodist  Magazine,  X  (New  York, 
1827)  ;  W.  L.  Grissom,  History  of  Methodism  in  North  Carolina,  1772-1805,  vol.  I ; 
Sermons  by  John  Wesley,  3d  EJdition,  vols.  I-II  (New  York)  ;  B.  F.  Riley,  History 
of  Baptists  in  Southern  States  East  of  Mississippi  (Philadelphia,  1888)  ;  John 
Rankin,  1793-1886,  Letters  on  Slavery  (Boston,  1833)  ;  W.  G.  Hawkins,  Lunsford  Lane 
(Boston,  1863)  ;  Frederick  Douglass,  My  Bondage  and  Freedom  (New  York,  1857)  ; 
K.  E.  R.  Pickard,  The  Kidnapped  and  the  Ransomed,  Recollections  of  Peter  Still 
and  His  Wife  Vina,  3d  Ea.  (Syracuse,  1865)  ;  Fifty  Years  in  Chains,  Life  of  an 
American  Slave  (New  York)  ;  H.  E.  Krehbiel,  Afro-American  Folk-Songs,  K.  E. 
Park,  Education,  Conflicts,  and  Fusions,  American  Sociological  Society,  vol.  XIII 
(Sept.  3,  1918)  ;  Journal  of  American  Folk-Lore,  vol.  XIV  (1901),  pp.  1-11,  vol. 
XXVII  (1914),  pp.  241-5,  vol.  XXIIl,  p.  435,  vol.  XXIV,  p.  255;  Bongs  by  Thos. 
P.  Fennes;  W.  F.  Allen,  Slave  Songs  of  the  United  States  (New  York,  1867)  ; 
Twenty-two  Years  Work  of  Hampton  Normal  and  Agricultural  Institute  (Hampton, 
1893)  ;  T.  P.  Fenner,  Hampton  and  its  Students  by  Two  of  its  Teachers,  with  50 
Cabin  and  Plantation  Songs  (New  York,  1875)  ;  American  Journal  of  Religious  Psy- 
chology and  Education,  vol.  Ill,  pp.  265-365;  Negro  Year-Book;  B.  W.  Pearson, 
Letters  from  Port  Royal  (1916)  ;  C.  H.  Jones,  Instruction  of  Negro  Slave  (1842). 
^Tylor's  Anthropology. 

44  Journal  of  Negro  History 

shipped,  but  derive  their  magical  power  from  a  god  or 
spirit;  (/)  the  use  as  charms  of  objects  regarded  as  magi- 
cally potent  in  themselves." 

All  of  the  elements  embodied  in  this  definition  are 
found,  generally,  in  the  primitive  religions  of  the  African 
peoples.  Believing  that  persons  and  objects  of  this  world 
were  inhabited  by  spirits,  the  African  necessarily  accounted 
for  the  phenomena  of  the  universe  by  the  arbitrary  will  of 
spiritual  beings,  whom  he  feared,  and,  therefore,  wor- 
shipped, or  sought  to  control  by  magic.  Unable  thus  to 
find  companionship  with  these  unseen,  mysterious  person- 
alities, the  men  of  Africa  knew  no  land  of  sunshine  beyond 
the  dreadful  shadow  of  the  grave ;  but  the  American  slave, 
who  experienced  death  as  a  short  period  of  darkness  before 
a  day  of  eternal  glory,  did  not  inherit  the  fears  of  Africa. 

Now  what  did  the  slave  bring  from  Africa?  In  an- 
swering this  question  let  us  consider  what  is  commonly 
referred  to  as  the  inertia  of  African  heritage.  American 
missionaries  reported  that  it  was  harder  to  teach  the  slaves 
who  were  born  in  Africa  than  those  born  in  this  country. 
This  quotation  from  the  Calendar  of  State  Papers,  Colonial 
America  and  West  Indies,  1699,  Section  473,  supports  this 
view:  '* Negroes  born  in  this  country  were  generally  bap- 
tized, but  for  Negroes  imported,  the  gross  barbarity  and 
rudeness  of  their  manners,  the  variety  and  strangeness  of 
their  language,  and  the  weakness  and  shallowness  of  their 
minds  rendered  it  in  a  manner  impossible  to  attain  to  any 
progress  in  their  conversion. "  ° 

Two  definite  cases  bear  a  similar  testimony,  the  one 
being  that  of  Phyllis  Wheatley,  a  girl  brought  here  from 
Africa,  who  spoke  of  how  her  mother  there  worshipped  the 
rising  sun,  the  other,  this  story  related  by  a  man  concern- 
ing his  grandfather :  * '  He  was  an  old  man,  nearly  80  years 
old,"  he  said,  *'and  he  manifested  all  the  fondness  for  me 
that  I  could  expect  from  one  so  old.  .  .  .  He  always  ex- 
pressed contempt  for  his  fellow  slaves,  for  when  young  he 
was  an  African  of  rank.  .  .  .  He  had  singular  religious  no- 

B  Earnest,  p.  28. 

Religion  of  the  American  Negro  Slave  45 

tions,  never  going  to  meeting,  or  caring  for  the  preachers 
he  could,  if  he  would,  occasionally  hear.  He  retained  his 
native  traditions  respecting  the  deity  and  hereafter. ' ' " 

Other  cases,  though  few,  clearly  demonstrate  that  among 
the  American  slaves  also  there  existed  a  belief  in  ghosts 
and  a  lurking  fear  of  the  denizens  of  a  mysterious  world. 
But  what  was  religion  in  Africa  was  generally  regarded  by 
the  American  slaves  themselves  as  mere  superstition. 

The  hostility  of  masters  to  new  slave-contacts  had  some 
bearing  on  the  situation.  Whatever  superstition,  whether 
from  Africa  or  another  source,  we  find  among  the  slaves, 
had  a  tendency  to  maintain  itself  the  more  because  of  the 
attitude  of  some  masters  toward  the  religious  education  of 
their  bondmen.  Slaves  of  those  owners,  who,  through  love 
of  money,  were  indifferent  toward  education,  encouraged 
in  vice  and  superstition,  had  no  time  for  religious  training. 
Although,  ever  since  1619,  and  especially  after  the  rebellion 
of  Nat  Turner,  there  were  some  slaves  whose  eagerness  to 
learn  occasioned  State-laws  against  the  education  or  as- 
sembling of  slaves,  nevertheless,  during  the  entire  period 
there  was  a  countless  number  of  slaves  who  were  absolutely 
disinterested  in  their  own  education.  They  were  also 
handicapped  in  religious  advancement,  because  many  own- 
ers believed  that  baptism  made  the  slave  free,  which  belief 
was  prevalently  held  until  1729,  when  the  Christian  nations 
finally  reached  the  decision  that  baptism  did  not  mean 
manumission,  and  that  even  a  Christian  could  be  a  slave.^ 
Such  a  sentiment  against  the  contact  of  slaves  with  the 
Christian  religion,  beyond  doubt,  tended  to  keep  them  in 
ignorance  and  superstition,  and  to  develop  among  them 
religious  habits  and  attitudes  peculiar  to  an  isolated  group, 
but  the  point  can  be  over-emphasized,  in  view  of  all  that 
actually  happened. 

Dr.  Park  says:  '^ Coming  from  all  parts  of  Africa  and 
having  no  common  language,  and  common  tradition,  the 
memories  of  Africa  which  they  brought  vnth  them  were 

«  Fifty  Years  in  Chains,  p.  14. 
'  Jernegan,  pp.  506-7. 

46  JouENAL  OF  Negro  History 

soon  lost.  .  .  .  The  fact  that  the  Negro  brought  with  him 
from  Africa  so  little  tradition  which  he  was  able  to  transmit 
and  perpetuate  on  American  soil  makes  that  race  unique 
among  all  peoples  of  our  cosmopolitan  population."*  In 
connection  herewith,  moreover,  we  must  also  take  into  ac- 
count that  slave-groups,  upon  reaching  America,  were 
broken  up  and  the  members  thereof  sold  into  different 
parts  of  the  country,  where  new  habits  had  to  be  formed, 
because  of  a  different  environment.  Contrasting  the  life 
in  Africa  with  that  of  slaves  in  America,  Washington 
better  expresses  the  idea  in  these  words:  ''The  porters, 
carrying  their  loads  along  the  narrow  forest  paths,  sing 
of  the  loved  ones  in  their  far-away  homes.  In  the  evening 
the  people  of  the  villages  gather  around  the  fire  and  sing 
for  hours.  These  songs  refer  to  war,  to  hunting,  and  to  the 
spirits  that  dwell  in  the  deep  woods.  In  them  all  the  wild 
and  primitive  life  of  the  people  is  reflected.  .  .  . 

"There  is  a  difference,  however,  between  the  music  of 
Africa  and  that  of  her  transplanted  children.  There  is  a 
new  note  in  the  music  which  had  its  origin  in  the  Southern 
plantations,  and  in  this  new  note  the  sorrow  and  the  suf- 
ferings which  came  from  serving  in  a  strange  land  find 

Let  us  direct  attention  to  what  the  Negro  slave  found 
in  America,  a  Christian  atmosphere.  With  their  various 
groups  broken  into  fragments  and  scattered  by  the  Ameri- 
can slave-trade,  as  the  slaves  here  learned  the  English 
language,  they  were  more  able  to  assimilate  the  elements 
of  Christianity  found  in  American  life.  Sold  into  Christian 
homes,  but  gathered  with  their  masters  around  the  family 
altar,  they  became  actual  participants  in  the  singing  and 
praying  that  broke  the  morning  and  evening  silence  of  those 
eventful  days.  The  old  records  show  that  from  the  very  be- 
ginning of  American  slavery^"  slaves  experienced  Christian- 
ity through  the  conscious  help  of  some  masters,  and  later, 

8  Edn<;ation,  Conflicts,  and  Fvsion,  p.  47. 

»  Washington,  Story  of  the  Negro,  pp.  260-261. 

10  Earnest,  p.  19. 

Eeligion  op  the  American  Negro  Slave  47 

as  the  whites  saw  that  the  Christian  religion  made  the  Ne- 
groes better  slaves  and  did  not  set  them  free,  the  blacks 
secured  more  favorable  opportunities  for  religious  instruc- 
tion. In  some  States  masters  were  required  even  by  legis- 
lation to  look  after  the  religious  education  of  their  slaves." 
In  Louisiana,  for  example,  planters  were  obliged  by  the 
Code  Noir  to  have  their  Negroes  instructed  and  baptized, 
to  give  them  Sundays  and  holidays  for  rest  and  worship. 
But,  even  when  not  required  by  law,  a  few  owners  estab- 
lished schools  for  their  slaves,  and  either  taught  or  hired 
others  to  teach  them  'Hhe  way  of  eternal  life." 

So  it  is  reported  that  by  the  19th  century :  ''Few  Negroes 
escaped  some  religious  instruction  from  those  good  people. 
Usually  on  Sunday  afternoons,  but  sometimes  in  the  morn- 
ing, the  slaves  would  be  gathered  in  the  great  house  and 
lessons  in  the  catechism  had  to  be  learned.  The  Apostles' 
Creed,  the  Lord's  Prayer,  and  the  Ten  Commandments 
were  also  taught.  Hymns  were  sung  and  prayers  rose 
to  Heaven.     Many  good  masters  read  sermons  to  their 

slaves.    Other  masters  hired  ministers Others  preached 

themselves. ' ' " 

Another  source  of  contact  with  Christianity  was  that  re- 
sulting from  the  attitude  of  persons  who  worked,  not  for  the 
religious  development  of  their  own  slaves  alone,  but  who, 
with  a  larger  human  interest,  unmindful  of  the  benefits  that 
might  come  to  their  individual  households,  gave  their  lives 
to  bless  all  slaves.  One  of  the  very  purposes  of  American 
slavery  being  to  benefit  the  slaves,  one  can  readily  see  how 
missionary  work  among  them  grew  with  the  system  of  slav- 
ery itself. 

''After  1716,"  Woodson  tells  us,  "when  Jesuits  were 
taking  over  slaves  in  large  numbers,  and  especially  after 
1726,  when  Law's  Company  was  importing  many  to  meet 
the  demand  for  laborers  in  Louisiana,  we  read  of  more 
instances  of  the  instruction  of  Negroes  by  the  Catholics. 

11  Woodson,  Education  of  Negro  Prior  to  1861,  p.  23. 

12  Earnest,  p.  60, 

13  Woodson,  Education  of  Negro  Prior  to  1861,  p.  21. 

48  JouBNAL  OF  Negro  History 

.  .  .  Le  Petit  spoke  of  being  'settled  to  the  instruction  of 
the  boarders,  the  girls  who  live  mthout,  and  the  Negro 
women.'  In  1738  he  said,  'I  instruct  in  Christian  morals 
the  slaves  of  our  residence,  who  are  Negroes,  and  as  many- 
others  as  I  can  get  from  their  masters. ' ' ' 

Awakened  by  what  the  zealous  French  in  Louisiana  were 
doing,  English  missionaries  made  progressive  plans  for 
preaching  the  gospel  to  the  blacks.  During  the  18th  cen- 
tury numerous  missionaries,  catechists,  and  school-masters, 
sent  from  England  to  America,  founded  schools  for  the 
slaves,  and  distributed  many  sermons,  lectures,  and  Bibles 
among  them.  In  1705  Thomas  counted  among  his  com- 
municants in  South  Carolina  twenty  Negroes  who  could 
read  and  write.  Later,  making  a  report  of  the  work  he 
and  his  associates  were  doing,  he  said:  ''I  have  here  pre- 
sumed to  give  an  account  of  1,000  slaves  so  far  as  they  know 
of  it  and  are  desirous  of  Christian  knowledge  and  seem 
willing  to  prepare  themselves  for  it,  in  learning  to  read, 
for  which  they  redeem  the  time  from  their  labor.  Many 
of  them  can  read  the  Bible  distinctly,  and  great  numbers  of 
them  were  learning  when  I  left  the  province. ' ' " 

''After  some  opposition,"  Woodson  further  says,  "this 
work  began  to  progress  somewhat  in  Virginia.  The  first 
school  established  in  that  colony  was  for  Indians  and  Ne- 
groes. ...  On  the  binding  out  a  'bastard  or  pauper-child 
black  or  white,'  churchwardens  specifically  required  that 
he  should  be  taught '  to  read  and  write  and  calculate  as  well 
as  to  follow  some  profitable  form  of  labor. '  .  .  .  Reports  of 
an  increase  in  the  number  of  colored  communicants  came 
from  Accomac  County  where  four  or  five  hundred  families 
were  instructing  their  slaves  at  home  and  had  their  children 
catechised  on  Sunday."" 

Side  by  side  with  the  work  done  by  missionaries,  men 
of  different  denominations  vied  with  one  another  in  bring- 
ing slaves  into  the  light  of  a  Christian  atmosphere.  Some 
founded  Sunday  schools,  some  preached  of  the  "inner  light 

1-*  Woodson,  EdtirCation  of  Negro  Prior  to  1861,  p.  26. 
i«  nid.,  p.  29, 

Eeligion  of  the  American  Negro  Slave  49 

in  every  man, ' '  others  more  successfully  preached  salvation 
by  faith  in  the  power  of  a  risen  Christ,  who  died  for  the 
sins  of  men.  Soon  after  the  first  Negroes  were  placed  upon 
the  shores  of  Jamestown,  slaves  began  to  be  baptized,  and 
received  into  the  Episcopal  Church.  Earnest  says  that 
''at  least  one  Negro  was  baptized  soon  after  the  contact 
with  the  colonists  in  Virginia.""  AVashington  says  that 
only  five  years  after  slavery  was  introduced  into  Virginia 
a  Negro  child  named  William  was  baptized,  and  that  from 
that  time  on  the  names  of  Negroes  can  be  found  upon  the 
register  of  most  of  the  churches.  In  the  old  record-book 
of  Bruton  Parish,  1,122^^  Negro-baptisms  were  recorded 
between  1746  and  1797."  In  1809  there  were  about  9,000 
Negro  Baptists  in  Virginia."  The  African  Baptist  Church 
of  Richmond  alone  subsequently  increased  from  1,000  to 
3,832  in  24  years.  The  Methodist  Magazine  of  October, 
1827,  reports  that  as  early  as  1817  there  were  43,411  Negro 
members  in  the  Methodist  societies.^" 

"The  Negro  seems,  from  the  beginning,"  says  Wash- 
ington, ''to  have  been  very  closely  associated  with  the 
Methodists  in  the  United  States.  When  the  Reverend 
Thomas  Coke  was  ordained  by  John  Wesley,  as  Superin- 
tendent or  Bishop  of  the  American  Society  in  1784,  he  was 
accompanied  on  most  of  his  travels  throughout  the  United 
States  by  Harry  Hosier,  a  colored  minister  who  was  at  the 
same  time  the  Bishop's  servant  and  an  evangelist  of  the 
Church.  Harry  Hosier,  who  was  the  first  American  Negro 
preacher  of  the  Methodist  Church  in  the  United  States,  was 
one  of  the  notable  characters  of  his  day. ' '  '^^ 

Let  us  now  consider  the  effects  of  these  early  religious 
contacts  upon  the  life  of  slave-preachers,  some  of  whom 

i«  Earnest,   Religious  Development,  p.   17. 

"  Ibid.,  p.  45. 

18 /bid.,  p.  66. 

19  Ballagh,  p.  114. 

*o  In  1841,  there  wiere  500,000  slaves  who  were  church  members,  or  %  of 
total  number  of  slaves.  2,000,000  were  regular  attendants.  J.  C.  Ballagh,  p. 

51  Story  of  the  Negro,  p.  257. 

50  Journal  of  Negeo  History 

were  comparatively  well  educated.  Concerning  Jack  of 
Virginia  it  is  said  that  ''his  opinions  were  respected,  his 
advice  followed,  and  yet  he  never  betrayed  the  least  symp- 
toms of  arrogance  or  self-conceit.  His  dwelling  was  a  rude 
log-cabin,  his  apparel  was  of  the  plainest,  coarsest  mate- 
rials. .  .  .  He  refused  gifts  of  better  clothing,  saying, 
'These  clothes  are  a  great  deal  better  than  are  generally 
worn  by  people  of  my  color,  and,  besides,  if  I  wear  them  I 
find  I  shall  be  obliged  to  think  about  them  even  at  meet- 

With  an  influence  among  the  slaves  equal  to  Jack's,  two 
other  Negro  messengers  of  the  gospel,  Andrew  Bryan  and 
Samson,  his  brother,  who  earlier  had  appeared  in  Georgia, 
were  publicly  whipped  and  imprisoned  vnih  50  companions, 
but  they  joyously  declared  that  they  would  suffer  death  for 
their  faith  found  in  Christ,  whom  they  expected  to  preach 
until  death.^^  By  their  uncompromising  attitude,^*  which 
silenced  opponents  and  raised  up  friends,  they  won  for 
themselves  among  the  slaves  that  sacred  esteem  belonging 
to  saintly  martyrs  like  Polycarp,  Huss,  and  Fox. 

There  were  other  itinerant  ministers  in  these  days,  who 
were  either  given  their  freedom  or  purchased  it  by  working 
as  common  laborers  while  preaching.  Being  better  edu- 
cated, and  more  closely  in  contact  with  the  religious  life 
of  the  whites  than  the  masses  of  slaves,  they  were  carriers 
of  Christian  sentiment  from  the  whites  to  the  blacks,  in- 

22  Story  of  the  Negro,  p.  268 ;  Quoted  from  Ballagh. 

23  Washington,  Story  of  Negro,  p.  266. 

24  Quite  different  from  the  early  experiences  of  Bryan  and  Samson,  who 
made  adversity  serve  them,  the  beginning  of  Jasper's  Christian  career  was 
greatly  aided  by  his  master,  a  man  with  a  similar  conversion  and  a  similar 
faith  in  Christ.  Using  the  Bible  as  the  norma  of  all  truth,  in  his  attack  upon 
current  scientific  knowledge,  Jasper  impressed  all  men  by  his  sincere  convic- 
tion and  devout  Christian  life,  A  contemporary  said  of  him:  "Jasper  made 
an  impression  upon  his  generation,  because  he  was  sincerely  and  deeply  in 
earnest  in  all  that  he  said.  No  man  could  talk  with  him  in  private,  or  listen 
to  him  from  the  pulpit,  without  being  thoroughly  convinced  of  that  fact.  .  .  . 
He  took  the  Bible  in  its  literal  significance ;  he  accepted  it  as  the  inspired  Word 
of  God;  he  trusted  it  with  all  his  heart  and  soul  and  mind;  he  believed  nothing 
that  was  in  conflict  with  the  teachings  of  the  Bible. ' ' — See  Washington 's  Story 
of  the  Negro,  p.  264. 

Religion  of  the  American  Negro  Slave  51 

spiring  them  with  the  hope  of  life  in  an  unseen  world.  One 
day  there  arrived  in  Fayetteville,  North  Carolina,  Henry 
Evans,  a  Methodist  preacher,  a  free  Negro  from  Virginia, 
who  worked  as  a  carpenter  during  the  week  and  preached 
on  Sunday.  Forbidden  by  the  Town  Council  of  Fayette- 
ville to  preach,  he  made  his  meetings  secret,  changing  them 
from  time  to  time  until  he  was  tolerated.  Just  before  his 
death,  while  leaning  on  the  altar-rail,  he  said  to  his  follow- 

''I  have  come  to  say  my  last  word  to  you.  It  is  this: 
None  but  Christ.  Three  times  I  have  had  my  life  in 
jeopardy  for  preaching  the  gospel  to  you.  Three  times  I 
have  broken  the  ice  on  the  edge  of  the  water  and  swam 
across  the  Cape  Fear  to  preach  the  gospel  to  you,  and  if  in 
my  last  hour  I  could  trust  to  that  or  anything  but  Christ 
crucified,  for  my  salvation,  all  should  be  lost,  and  my  soul 
perish  forever."^'' 

Some  of  these  ministers  led  an  independent  movement. 
Six  years  after  Richard  Allen,  with  a  few  followers, 
withdrew  in  1790  from  the  Free  African  Society  in  Phila- 
delphia,^® and  started  an  independent  Methodist  Church  in 
a  blacksmith  shop,  Negro  members  of  the  Methodist  Epis- 
copal Church  in  New  York  began  separate  meetings. 
After  pastoring  a  white  church,"  Josiah  Bishop  started 
the  First  Colored  Baptist  Church  of  Portsmouth  in  1791. 
Finding  accommodations  in  the  white  church  of  Richmond 
inadequate,  the  Negroes  petitioned  for  separate  meetings 
in  1823.'*  Harding,  speaking  of  the  opportunity  of  reli- 
gious instruction  and  of  divine  worship  allowed  the  slaves 
in  Kentucky,  says  that  *'in  every  church-edifice,  seats  were 
set  apart  for  the  occupancy  of  colored  worshippers.  .  .  . 
Almost  every  neighborhood  had  its  Negro  preacher  whose 
credentials,  if  his  own  assertion  was  to  be  taken,  came  di- 
rectly from  the  Lord."'^ 

25  Washington,  Story  of  the  Negro,  pp.  260-1, 
ae/btd.,  pp.  254-5. 
2'' Ibid.,  pp.  255-6, 

28  Earnest,  p.  72, 

29  Ben  Harding,  His  Times  and  Contemporaries,  p,  544. 

30  Earnest,  p,  73. 

52  JouBNAL  OF  Negro  History 

What  were  the  results  of  these  contacts!  The  most  im- 
portant was  that  with  its  charming  stories  of  the  creation 
of  the  universe,  of  the  Egyptian  bondage,  and  of  the  journey- 
across  the  Red  Sea,  with  its  New  Testament  emphasis  upon 
the  power,  death,  and  resurrection  of  Christ,  with  its  apoc- 
alyptic imagery,  the  Bible  became  to  the  slave  the  most 
sacred  book  of  books.  Upon  its  pages  he  saw  the  tears  of 
men  and  women  constantly  fall,  and  from  its  truths  he  saw 
the  pious  preacher  choose  words  suitable  for  exhortation. 
The  peculiar  interest  of  the  Negro-slave  in  reading  this 
book  was  soon  apparent. 

One  old  man,  being  secretly  taught  by  a  slave-girl  to 
read  the  Bible,  said,  with  trembling  voice,  while  tears  were 
falling  from  his  penetrating  eyes :  ''Honey,  it  'pears  when  I 
can  read  dis  good  book  I  shall  be  nearer  to  God. ' ' "  Another 
slave  prayed  thus:  ''I  pray  de  good  massa  Lord  will  put 
it  into  de  niggers '  hearts  to  larn  to  read  de  good  book.  Ah, 
Lord,  make  de  letters  in  our  spelling  books  big  and  plain, 
and  make  our  eyes  bright  and  shining,  and  make  our  hearts 
big  and  strong  for  to  larn.  .  .  .  Oh,  Hebbenly  Fader,  we 
tank  De  for  makin'  our  massas  willin'  to  let  us  come  to  dis 

Upon  a  battlefield  of  the  Civil  War,  another,  a  soldier, 
said:  ''Let  me  lib  wid  dis  musket  in  one  hand  an'  de  Bible 
in  de  oder,— dat  if  I  die  at  de  muzzle  ob  de  musket,  die  in 
de  water,  die  on  de  land,  I  may  know  I  hab  de  bressed  Jesus 
in  my  hand  an'  hab  no  fear." *^ 

How  the  text  from  Hebrews  2 : 9,  "That  He,  by  the  grace 
of  God,  should  taste  of  death  for  every  man,"  became  a 
part  of  his  life,  was  told  by  Josiah  Henson  after  becoming 
free:  "This  was  the  first  text  of  the  Bible  to  which  I  had 
ever  listened,  knowing  it  to  be  such.  I  have  never  forgot- 
ten it,  and  scarce  a  day  has  passed  since,  in  which  I  have 
not  recalled  it,  and  the  sermon  that  was  preached  from  it. 
The  divine  character  of  Jesus  Christ,  his  life  and  teach- 

81  Jacobs,  Life  of  a  Slave-Girl,  p.  112. 

32  Coffin,  p.  60. 

88  Higginson,  p.  26. 

Religion  of  the  American  Negro  Slave  53 

ings,  his  sacrifice  of  himself  for  others,  his  death  and 
resurrection  were  all  alluded  to,  and  some  of  the  points 
were  dwelt  upon  with  great  power.  ...  I  was  wonderfully 
impressed,  too,  with  the  use  which  the  preacher  made  of  the 
last  words  of  the  text,  'for  every  man'  .  .  .  the  bond  as 
well  as  the  free;  and  he  dwelt  on  the  glad  tidings  of  the 
Gospel  to  the  poor,  the  persecuted  .  .  .  till  my  heart 
burned  within  me,  and  I  was  in  a  state  of  greatest  excite- 
ment .  .  .  that  such  a  being  .  .  .  should  have  died  for  me 
...  a  poor  slave.  .  .  . " " 

Contemporaries  assert  that  often  while  following  the 
plow,  gathering  up  the  frosty  corn,  or  driving  the  ox-cart 
to  the  barn,  slaves,  burning  with  enthusiasm,  talked  of  how 
much  sermons  satisfied  their  hungry  souls.  Household 
and  plantation  slaves,  gray-haired  fathers  and  mothers 
with  their  children,  crowded  eagerly  to  hear  the  gospel 
preached.  Thus  Earnest  says  of  one  man:  ''His  slaves 
came  17  miles  to  reach  Mr.  Wright's  nearest  preaching 
place. ' '  ^°  Concerning  the  spread  of  the  Christian  religion 
among  the  slaves  on  the  seaboard  of  South  Carolina,  it  is 
affirmed  that  **the  scenes  on  the  Sabbath  were  affecting. 
The  Negroes  came  in  crowds  from  two  parishes.  Often 
have  I  seen  (a  scene,  I  reckon,  not  often  witnessed)  groups 
of  them  'double-quicking'  in  the  roads,  in  order  to  reach 
the  church  in  time.  .  .  .  The  white  service  being  over,  the 
slaves  would  throng  the  seats  vacated  by  their  masters. 
.  .  ."  °'  John  Thompson,  in  the  story  of  his  life,  says  that, 
**As  soon  as  it  got  among  the  slaves,  it  spread  from  plan- 
tation to  plantation,  until  it  reached  our§,  where  there  were 
but  few  who  did  not  experience  religion."" 

From  the  blighting,  superstitious  fears  of  a  heartless 
universe,  the  heralds  of  Christianity  brought  to  the  slave 
words  of  hope  and  salvation,  a  message  of  companionship 
with  a  heavenly  father.    "You  are  poor  slaves  and  have  a 

3*  Henson,  Life  of  Josiah  Senson,  p.  12. 

80  Earnest,  p.  42. 

8«  Plantation  Life  before  Emancipation,  p.  164. 

«T  Life  of  John  Thompson,  p.  19.    See  Methodists  in  N.  C,  p.  238. 

54  Journal  of  Negro  History 

hard  time  of  it  here,"  said  they,  ''but  I  can  tell  you  the 
blessed  Savior  shed  his  blood  for  you  as  much  as  for  your 
masters.  .  .  .  Break  off  from  all  your  wicked  ways,  your 
lying,  stealing,  swearing,  drunkenness,  and  vile  lewdness ; 
give  yourselves  to  prayer  and  repentance  and  fly  to  Jesus, 
and  give  up  your  heart  to  him  in  true  earnest ;  and  flee  from 
the  wrath  to  come."*® 

Fred  Douglass  relates  that  ''the  preaching  of  a  white 
Methodist  minister,  named  Hanson,  was  the  means  of  caus- 
ing me  to  feel  that  in  God  I  had  such  a  friend.  He  thought 
that  all  men,  great  and  small,  bond  and  free,  were  sinners 
in  the  sight  of  God :  that  they  were  by  nature  rebels  against 
his  government;  and  that  they  must  repent  of  their  sins, 
and  be  reconciled  to  God  through  Christ.  ...  I  was 
wretched. ' '  ^^ 

Besides  definite  principles  of  morality  which  included 
humble  submission  to  the  divine  right  of  masters,  Negro 
slaves  were  also  taught  that  "parents  who  meet  their  chil- 
dren in  heaven  will  be  more  than  consoled  for  their  early 
death."  "You  can  not  imagine,"  said  they,  "what  happi- 
ness is  in  reserve  for  you  from  this  source.  .  .  .  When  you 
have  entered  heaven  you  will  probably  be  met  by  a  youthful 
spirit  who  will  call  you  father !  mother !  Perhaps  you  have 
a  little  family  there,  expecting  your  arrival  .  .  .  save  your 
own  soul. ' '  *° 

Exactly  what  was  this  religion  of  the  slave  ?  Thus  com- 
ing into  contact  with  this  Christian  environment,  the  slave 
consciously  lived  a  new  life,  which  definitely  began  with 
conversion,  the  phenomenon  marked  by  a  feeling  of  re- 
morse, inner  conflict,  prayer,  and  release  of  tension,  or 
what  was  felt  to  be  "freedom  from  hell."  Prior  to  con- 
version he  had  been  a  member  of  the  "disobedient  servant- 
group,"  perhaps  lying,  stealing,  drinking,  and  using  pro- 
fanity; but  after  conversion,  being  initiated  into  a  new 

38  Earnest,  Seligious  Development,  p.  54. 
so  Life  of  Douglass,  p.  82. 

40  Presiyterian  Magazine  :  1831,  p.  27;  See  vol.  6,  pp.  8-9;  Woodson,  Edu- 
cation of  Negro  Prior  to  1861,  p.  49;   Sermons  of  Wesley  and   Whitefield. 

Eeligion  of  the  American  Negro  Slave  55 

group,  he  had  to  live  a  circumspect  life.  Conversion,  then, 
meant  to  the  slave  that  experience  by  which  he  turned  his 
back  toward  hell  and  began  the  journey  toward  heaven. 
Very  often  it  signified  retiring  to  some  lonely  spot,  where 
the  slave  struggled  with  an  unseen  power,  until  freed  by 
Christ,  mth  whom,  no  longer  a  child  of  fear,  he  afterwards 
lived  in  filial  companionship,  hopefully  asking  and  joyfully 
securing  aid  in  an  unfriendly  world. 

'*I  always  had  a  natural  fear  of  God  from  my  youth," 
declared  one  slave,  describing  his  feelings  leading  up  to 
conversion,  **and  was  often  checked  in  conscience  with 
thoughts  of  death,  which  barred  me  from  my  sins  and  bad 
company.  I  knew  no  other  way  at  that  time  to  hope  for 
salvation  but  only  in  the  performance  of  my  good  works. 
...  If  it  was  the  will  of  God  to  cut  me  off  at  that  time,  I 
was  sure  I  should  be  found  in  hell,  as  sure  as  God  was  in 
heaven.  I  saw  my  condemnation  in  my  owti  heart,  and  I 
found  no  way  which  I  could  escape  the  damnation  of  hell, 
only  through  the  merits  of  my  dying  Lord  and  Savior  Jesus 
Christ ;  which  caused  me  to  make  intercession  with  Christ, 
for  the  salvation  of  my  poor  immortal  soul.  .  .  .  After  this 
I  declared  before  the  congregation  of  believers  the  work 
which  God  had  done  for  my  soul. ' '  *^ 

The  slaves  used  to  express  it  thus  in  song :  *- 

"One  day  when  I  was  walkin'  along, 

De  element  opened,  an'  de  love  came  down, 
I  never  shall  forget  dat  day, 
When  Jesus  washed  my  sins  away. ' ' 

They  also  sang  such  words  as  these:*' 

"Jesus  snatched  me  from  de  doors  of  hell, 
An'  took  me  in  with  him  to  dwell." 

*  *  Jesus  told  you  ...  go  in  peace  an '  sin  no  mo '. ' ' 

*  *  Soul  done  anchored  in  Jesus  Christ. ' ' 

With  reference  to  the  wilderness,  where,  without  food, 
they  overcame  the  spirit  of  evil  by  the  aid  of  Jesus,  and 

*i  Journal  of  Negro  History,  vol.  I,  p.  70. 

*2  Twenty-two  Years  Work  at  Hampton. 

■43  Journal  of  Religious  Psychology  and  Education,  vol.  3,  pp.  290-1. 

56  JouBNAL  OF  Negro  History 

■with  reference  to  the  life  led  after  having  this  experience, 
the  slaves  sang  with  much  feeling:** 

"All  true  children  gwine  in  de  wilderness, 

Gwine  in  de  wilderness,  gwine  in  de  wilderness, 
True  believers  gwine  in  de  wilderness, 
To  take  away  de  sins  ob  de  world." 

* '  Stay  in  the  field,  stay  in  the  field,  stay  in 
the  field,  till  de  war  is  ended. ' '  ♦» 

* '  You  say  your  Jesus  set-a  you  free ; 
View  de  land,  view  de  land, 
Why  don't  you  let-a  your  neighbor  be. 
Go  view  de  heavenly  land. 
You  say  you're  aiming  for  de  skies. 
Why  don't  you  8top-a  your  telling  liesf"*^ 

Another  ceremonial  feature  of  slave-conversion  was  the 
shout,  in  which  the  prospective  convert,  upon  the  *' mourn- 
ers' bench,"  surrounded  by  a  group  of  singing  dancers, 
prayed  continually,  until  convinced  of  perfect  relief  from 
damnation,  when  he  leaped  and  ran  to  proclaim  the  joyous 
news.  When  shouting,  whether  for  making  converts  or 
for  mere  group-response,  these  noisy,  black  singers  of  an- 
tiphonal  songs  preferred  to  be  alone  in  some  cabin  or  in  the 
praise-house,  where  they  could  express  themselves  with 
absolute  freedom. 

Just  how  they  disturbed  the  peace  is  expressed  in  the 
following  words:  ''Almost  every  night  there  is  a  meeting 
of  these  noisy,  frantic  worshippers.  .  .  .  Midnight!  Is 
that  the  season  for  religious  convocation?  ...  is  that  the 
accepted  time  ?  "  *^  Concerning  worship  by  a  light-wood 
fire  another  said:  ''But  the  benches  are  pushed  back 
to  the  wall  when  the  formal  meeting  is  over,  and  old 
and  young,  men  and  women  .  .  .  begin,  first  walking 
and  by  and  by  shuffling  around,  one  after  the  other,  in 
a  ring.  The  foot  is  hardly  taken  from  the  floor  and  the 
progression  is  mainly  due  to  a  jerking,  hitching  motion 

**  Higginson,  Life  of  a  BlacTc  Begiment,  p.  133. 
*5  Twenty-two  Years  at  Hampton. 
*6  Hampton  and  its  Students,  p.  182. 
47  Henry,  p.  141. 

Keugion  of  the  American  Negro  Slave  57 

which  agitates  the  entire  shouter  and  soon  brings  out 
streams  of  perspiration.  Sometimes  they  dance  silently; 
sometimes  as  they  shuffle  they  sing  the  course  of  the  spirit- 
ual, and  sometimes  the  song  itself  is  also  sung  by  the 
dancers.  But  more  frequently  a  band,  composed  of  some 
of  the  best  singers  and  of  tired  shouters,  stand  at  the  side 
of  the  room  to  'face'  the  others  singing  the  body  of  the 
song  and  dropping  their  hands  together  or  on  their  knees. 
Song  and  dance  are  alike  extremely  energetic  and  often, 
when  the  shout  lasts  into  the  middle  of  the  night,  the  mo- 
notonous thud,  thud  of  the  feet  prevents  sleep  within  half 
a  mile  of  the  praise-house."*® 

''And  all  night,  as  I  waked  at  intervals,  I  could  hear 
them  praying  and  'shouting'  and  chattering  with  hands  and 
heels,"  relates  Colonel  T.  W.  Higginson.  "It  seemed  to 
make  them  very  happy,  and  appeared  to  be  at  least  an  in- 
nocent Christian  dissipation  ...  the  dusky  figures  moved 
in  the  rythmical  barbaric  dance  the  Negroes  called  a 
'shout,'  chanting,  often  harshly,  but  always  in  the  most 
perfect  time,  some  monotonous  refrain. ' '  *^ 

"By  this  time  every  man  within  hearing,  from  oldest 
to  youngest,  would  be  wriggling  and  shuffling,  as  if  through 
some  piper 's  bewitchment ;  for  even  those  who  at  first  af- 
fected contemptuous  indifference  would  be  drawn  into  the 
vortex  ere  long."°° 

Whatever  may  be  said  about  the  "shout,"  the  fact  re- 
mains, that  whether  this  ceremony  was  mere  play,  or  re- 
laxation after  a  day  of  repressing  toil,  or  whether  it  served 
to  drive  away  a  hostile  spirit  by  creating  within  the  mem- 
bers of  the  group  the  feeling  of  being  possessed  with  the 
power  of  God,  it  became  an  indispensable  part  of  the  slave 
religious  worship.    In  this  Christian  dance,  the  slave  sang : 

*s  Life  of  Black  Regiment,  by  Higginson,  pp.  51-2. 

*oibid.,  pp.  35,  198. 

60  My  position  is  that  the  shout  was  a  natural  and  spontaneous  creation  of 
group-phenomena.  It  differed  from  the  whites '  behavior  in  ceremonial  empha- 
sis. Neither  the  shout  nor  the  antiphonal  song  was  brought  from  Africa.  The 
real  religious  significance  of  both,  however,  is  not  in  external  behavior,  but  in 

58  Journal  of  Negro  History 

''0  shout,  shout,  de  debbil  is  about,  0  shut  yo'  do'  an'  keep 
him  out."  Through  it  he  expected  to  destroy  the  kingdom 
of  Satan,  and  thereby  make  the  assurance  of  reaching 
heaven  more  complete.  The  feeling  gained  thereby  became 
spiritual  balm  for  the  aches  of  by-gone  and  coming  days." 

The  songs,  also,  used  by  the  slave  in  these  meetings  and 
sung  generally  by  the  individuals  thereof,  tell  in  a  very 
definite  way  what  the  religious  attitude  of  the  Ajnerican 
Negro  slave  was.  They  relate  the  sorrows  of  this  world, 
and  the  joys  felt  by  the  slave,  who  anticipated  a  home  in 
heaven.  They  describe  in  naive  imagery  the  rugged  jour- 
ney of  the  weary  traveler  and  the  land  of  his  happy  destina- 
tion. ' '  Nothing, ' '  says  Washington, ' '  tells  more  truly  what 
the  Negro's  life  in  slavery  was,  than  the  songs  in  which 
he  succeeded,  sometimes,  in  expressing  his  deepest  thoughts 
and  feelings.  T\Tiat,  for  example,  could  express  more  elo- 
quently the  feelings  of  despair  which  sometimes  overtook 
the  slave  than  these  simple  and  expressive  words :  ^^  * '  *  0 
Lord,  0  my  Lord !  0  my  good  Lord !  keep  me  from  sinking 
down. ' ' ' 

Unable  to  sing  or  pray  during  the  lifetime  of  their 
master,  after  his  death,  by  permission  of  their  mistress,  a 
crowd  of  Negro  slaves  sang  the  following  hymn : 

"Oh  walk  togedder,  children, 
Don't  yer  get  weary, 
Walk  togedder,  children, 
Don 't  yer  get  weary, 
Walk  togedder,  children, 
Don 't  yer  get  weary, 

Dere's  a  great  camp  meetin'  in  de  Promised  Land. 
Gwine  to  mourn  an'  nebber  tire  .  .  . 
Mourn  an'  nebber  tire, 
Mourn  an'  nebber  tire, 
Dere  's  a  great  camp  meetin '  in  de  Promised  Land. ' '  53 

With  longing  for  that  mother  who  used  to  carry  him 
upon  her  back  to  the  dewy  fields,  where  she,  setting  her 
babe  upon  the  springing  grass  at  the  end  of  the  row,  began 

51  Am.  J.  Eel.  Psy.  and  Ed.,  3 :  287. 

52  Story  of  the  Negro,  p.  260. 

63  Fanner,  Hampton  and  its  Students,  p.  223. 

Eeligion  of  the  American  Negro  Slave  59 

her  daily  task  with  the  hoe,  returning  now  and  then  to  give 
him  of  her  breast ;  for  her  whose  beaming  eyes  turned  back 
until  the  coming  of  the  night,  when  she  again  held  him  in 
her  arms,  the  slave  sang  in  bitter  tears.  Her  tender  help 
was  gone.    Father's  smile  was  no  more." 

"My  mother's  sick  an'  my  father's  dead, 
Got  nowhere  to  lay  my  weary  head. ' ' 

"My  mother  an'  my  father  both  are  dead  .  .  . 
Good  Lord,  I  cannot  stay  here  by  myself. 
I'm  er  pore  little  orphan  chile  in  de  worl', 
I  *m  er  pore  little  orphan  chile  in  de  worl '  .  .  . "  56 

**My  mother 'n  yo'  mother  both  daid  an'  gone, 
"My  mother 'n  yo'  mother  both  daid  an'  gone, 

Po'  sinner  man  he  so  hard  to  believe. 

My  folks  an'  yo'  folks  both  daid  an'  gone, 

Po'  sinner  man  he  so  hard  to  believe. 

My  brother  an '  yo '  brother  both  daid  an '  gone, 

Po '  sinner  man  he  so  hard  to  believe. ' '  so 

With  great  hope  the  slave  sang : 

"Gwine  to  see  my  mother  some  o'  dese  mornin's, 
See  my  mother  some  o '  dese  mornin  's. 
See  my  mother  some  o'  dese  mornin's. 
Look  away  in  de  heaven. 
Look  away  in  de  heaven,  Lord, 
Hope  I'll  jine  de  band. 
Look  away  in  de  heaven.  Lord, 
Hope  I  '11  jine  de  band. ' '  " 

To  express  his  sorrow  and  his  longing  for  relief  from 
the  burdens  of  his  condition  the  slave  sang : 

*  *  One  more  valient  soldier  here, 
One  more  valient  soldier  here. 
One  more  valient  soldier  here, 
To  help  me  bear  de  cross. ' '  ss 

64  Am.  J.  Eel.  Psy.  and  Ed.,  3 :  303. 

65  Ibid.,  340, 
^^nid.,  3:  321. 

6T  Fenner,  Hampton  and  its  Stxidents,  p.  190. 

68  Higginson,  Black  Begiment  of  South  Carolina,  200-1. 

60  Journal  of  Negro  History 

*  *  My  trouble  is  hard, 
O  yes, 

My  trouble  is  hard, 
O  yes, 
Yea  indeed  my  trouble  is  hard. ' '  so 

* '  Nobody  knows  the  trouble  I  've  seen, 
Nobody  knows  but  Jesus. 
Nobody  knows  the  trouble  I  've  seen, 
Glory  halleluyahl 

Sometimes  I'm  up,  sometimes  I'm  down! 
O  yes,  Lord! 

Sometimes  I'm  almost  to  de  groun'l 
O  yes.  Lord! 

What  makes  old  Satan  hate  me  sot 
O  yes,  Lord, 
Because  he  got  me  once,  but  he  let  me  go; 

0  yes.  Lord!  "  «o 

"Ever  since  my  Lord  done  set  me  free, 
Dis  ole  worl'  been  a  hell  to  me, 

1  am  de  light  un  de  worl'."  ei 

' '  Oh,  what  a  hard  time. 
Oh,  what  a  hard  time. 
Oh,  what  a  hard  time. 
All  God 's  children  have  a  hard  time. 

* '  Oh,  what  a  hard  time. 
Oh,  what  a  hard  time, 
Oh,  what  a  hard  time. 
My  Lord  had  a  hard  time  too. ' '  «2 

"I'm  a-trouble  in  de  mind, 

0  I'm  a-trouble  in  de  mind. 
I'm  a-trouble  in  de  mind. 
What  you  doubt  for? 

1  'm  a-trouble  in  de  mind. ' '  ^s 

"  I  'm  in  trouble.  Lord, 
I'm  in  trouble, 
I'm  in  trouble.  Lord, 
Trouble  about  my  grave, 
Trouble  about  my  grave, 
Trouble  about  my  grave. 

59  ^m.  J.  Bel.  Psy.  and  Ed.,  3:  351. 
eoKrehbiel,  p.  75. 

61  Am.  J.  Relig.  Psy.  and  Ed.,  3 :  304. 

62  Ibid.,  320. 

63  AUen,  30-1. 

Eeligion  of  the  American  Negro  Slave  61 

Sometimes  I  weep,  sometimes  I  mourn, 
I'm  in  trouble  about  my  grave; 
Sometimes  I  can't  do  neither  one, 
I  'm  in  trouble  about  my  grave. ' ' «» 

*  *  My  father,  how  long, 
My  father,  how  long. 
My  father,  how  long. 
Poor  sinner  suffer  here? 
And  it  won't  be  long. 
And  it  won't  be  long, 
And  it  won't  be  long. 
Poor  sinner  suffer  here. 
We'll  soon  be  free, 
De  Lord  will  call  us  home. 
We'll  walk  de  miry  road 
Where  pleasure  never  dies. 
We'll  walk  de  golden  streets 
Of  de  new  Jerusalem  .  .  . 
We'U  fight  for  liberty 
When  de  Lord  will  call  us  home. ' '  65 

' '  Gwine  rock  trubbel  over, 
I  b'lieve. 

Rock  trubbel  over, 
I  b'lieve, 
Dat  Sabbath  has  no  end. ' '  ee 

"My  fader's  done  wid  de  trouble  o'  de  world, 
Wid  de  trouble  o '  de  world, 
Wid  de  trouble  o'  de  world. 
My  fader's  done  wid  de  trouble  o'  de  world, 
Outshine  de  sun. ' '  67 

Although  the  songs  above  tell  the  slave's  dissatisfac- 
tion with  the  present  world,  there  are  other  songs  that 
relate  his  definite  experiences  of  joy  arising  from  a  feeling 
of  triumph  over  this  world  of  sorrow  by  assurances  of  a 
future  world  of  bliss.  Some  of  these  songs  of  joy  are  the 
following : 

*  *  I  started  home,  but  I  did  pray. 
An'  I  met  ole  Satan  on  de  way; 
Ole  Satan  made  a  one  grab  at  me. 
But  he  missed  my  soul,  an'  I  went  free. 

e*  Allen,  Slave  Songs,  113,  p.  94, 

65  7fetd.,  112,  p.  93. 

66  Am.  J.  Belig.  Psy.  and  Ed.,  3 :  304. 

67  Allen,  Slave  Songs,  124,  p.  101. 

62  Journal  of  Negro  History 

My  sins  went  a-lumberin '  down  to  hell, 

An '  my  soul  went  a-leapin '  up  Zion  's  hill. ' '  «• 

*  *  Ole  Satan  'a  church  is  here  below. 
Up  to  God's  free  church  I  hope  to  go. 
Cry  Amen,  cry  Amen,  cry  Amen  to  God  I  "  «» 

"I'm  so  glad,  so  glad; 
I'm  80  glad,  so  glad, 
Glad  I  got  religion,  so  glad, 
Glad  I  got  religion,  so  glad. 
I'm  so  glad,  so  glad; 
I'm  so  glad,  so  glad. 
Glad  I  bin'  changed,  so  glad. 
Glad  I  bin '  changed,  so  glad. ' '  to 

"My  brudder  have  a  seat  and  I  so  glad. 
Good  news  member,  good  news; 
My  brudder  have  a  seat  and  I  so  glad, 
And  I  heard  from  heav  'n  today. '  *  'i 

"Brudder,  guide  me  home,  an'  I  am  glad, 
Bright  angels  biddy  me  to  come; 
Brudder,  guide  me  home,  an'  I  am  glad, 
Bright  angels  biddy  me  to  come. 
What  a  happy  time,  chil  'n, 
"What  a  happy  time,  chil  'n, 
What  a  happy  time,  chil  'n. 
Bright  angels  biddy  me  to  come. 
Let's  go  to  God,  chil'n. 
Bright  angels  biddy  me  to  come. ' '  t8 

"I  jus'  got  home  f 'um  Jordan, 
I  jus'  got  home  f 'um  Jordan, 
I  jus'  got  home  f 'um  Jordan, 
'Ligion's  so-o-o  sweet. 
My  work  is  done  an'  I  mus'  go, 
My  work  is  done  an'  I  mus'  go, 
My  work  is  done  an'  I  mus'  go, 
'Ligion's  so-o-o  sweet."  ^3 

"Shout  an'  pray  both  night  an'  day; 
How  can  you  die,  you  in  de  Lord? 
Come  on,  chil'n,  let's  go  home; 
O  I  'm  so  glad  you  're  in  de  Lord. ' '  ''* 

68  Am.  J.  Belig.  Psy.  and  Ed.,  3:  288. 

«»  Jacobs,  p.  109. 

TO  Am.  J.  Belig.  Psy.  and  Ed.,  3 :  309. 

71  Allen,  Slave  Songs,  120,  p.  98. 

72l&i(J.,  107,  p.  86. 

78  Am.  J.  Belig.  Psy.  and  Ed.,  3 :  365. 

74  Allen,  Slave  Songs,  80,  p.   60. 

Religion  of  the  American  Negro  Slave  63 

*  *  Little  children,  then  won 't  you  be  glad, 
Little  children,  then  won't  you  be  glad, 
That  you  have  been  to  heav'n,  an'  you  gwine  to  go  again, 
For  to  try  on  the  long  white  robe,  children, 
For  to  try  on  the  long  white  robe. ' '  ^o 

Even  a  slave,  when  dying,  cried:  **I  am  going  home! 
Oh,  hov7  glad  I  am !  "  ^®  The  following  hymns  also  vividly 
set  forth  what  happy  anxiety  the  slave  felt  about  his  jour- 
ney **home." 

"Gwine  to  weep,  gwine  to  mourn, 
Gwine  to  get  up  early  in  de  morn, 
Fo'  my  soul's  goin'  to  heaven  jes'  sho's  you  bom, 
Brother  Gabriel  goin'  ter  blow  his  horn. 
Goin'  to  sing,  goin'  to  pray, 
Goin'  to  pack  all  my  things  away, 
Fo'  my  soul's  goin'  to  heaven  jes'  sho's  you  born. 
Brother  Gabriel  gwine  ter  blow  his  horn. "  '7 

* '  I  want  to  go  to  Canaan, 
I  want  to  go  to  Canaan, 
I  want  to  go  to  Canaan, 
To  meet  'em  at  de  comin '  day. ' '  ^s 

"I'm  goin'  home  fer  to  se«  my  Lord, 
Bear  yo '  burden,  sinner, 
An'  don't  you  wish  you  could  go  'long 
Bear  yo '  burden,  let  in  the  heat. ' '  '^9 

"Oh,  my  mudder'a  in  de  road, 

Most  done  trabelling; 

My  mudder  's  in  de  road. 

Most  done  trabelling. 

My  mudder 's  in  de  road. 

Most  done  trabelling, 

I  'm  bound  to  carry  my  soul  to  de  Lord. ' '  so 
"Run,  Mary,  run, 

Run,  Mary,  run, 

Oh,  run,  Mary,  run, 

I  know  de  oder  worP  'm  not  like  dis. 

Fire  in  de  east  an '  fire  in  de  west, 

I  know  de  oder  worl '  'm  not  like  dis. 

Bound  to  bum  de  wilderness, 

T8  Allen,  Slave  Songs,  108,  p.  87. 

'«  Plantation  Life  Before  Emancipation,  p.  168. 

77  Am.  J.  Belig.  Psy.  and  Ed.,  3 :  331. 

'8  Atlantic  Monthly,  19 :  687. 

■10  Am.  J.  Eelig.  Psy.  and  Ed.,  3:  317. 

80  Fenner,  Hampton  and  its  Students,  p.  215. 

64  Journal  of  Negro  History 

I  know  de  oder  worl'  'm  not  like  dia. 

Jordan 's  ribber  is  a  ribber  to  cross, 

I  know  de  oder  worl '  'm  not  like  dis, 

Stretch  your  rod  an'  come  across, 

I  know  de  oder  worl '  'm  not  like  dis. ' '  si 

* '  We  will  march  through  the  valley  in  peace, 
We  will  march  through  the  valley  in  peace; 
If  Jesus  himself  be  our  leader, 
We  will  march  through  the  valley  in  peace. ' '  82 

*  *  My  sister 's  goin '  to  heaven  f  er  to  see  my  Lord, 

To  see  my  Lord,  to  see  my  Lord ; 

Well,  my  sister's  goin'  to  heaven,  to  see  my  Lord, 

What's  de  onbelievin'  soulf'ss 

"Bend-in'  knees  a-ach-in' 
Body  racked  wid  pain, 
I  wish  I  was  a  child  of  God, 
I  'd  git  home  bim-by. 
Keep  prayin;  I  do  believe 
We  're  a  long  time  waggin  o '  de  crossin, 
Keep  prayin;  I  do  believe 
We  '11  git  home  to  heaven  bim-by. 
O  yonder 's  my  old  mudder, 
Been  a-waggin '  at  the  hill  so  long ; 
It's  about  time  she  cross  over. 
Git  home  bim-by. 

0  hear  dat  limierin'  thunder 
A-roU  from  do'  to  do', 
A-callin'  de  people  home  to  God; 
Dey  '11  git  home  bim-by. ' '  84 

*  *  When  the  roll  is  called  up  yonder, 

I'll  be  there. 

By  the  grace  of  God  up  yonder, 

I '11  be  there. 

Yes  my  home  is  way  up  yonder. 

An'  I '11  be  there. 

1  got  a  mother  way  up  yonder, 
I'll  be  there, 

I  got  a  sister  way  up  yonder, 
I'll  be  there. "85 

Although  this  world  was  a  hell  to  the  slave,  still  he  could 

81  Fenner,  Hampton  and  Its  Students,  p.  188. 

82  Allen,  Slave  Songs,  p.  73. 

83  Am.  J.  Belig.  Psy.  and  Ed.,  3 :  334. 

84  Krehbiel,  p.  99. 

85  Am.  J.  Belig.  Psy.  and  Ed.,  3 :  362. 

Religion  of  the  American  Negro  Slave  65 

wait  here  wdth  patience  until  the  time  of  death,  after  which 
he  would  see  the  real  home  of  his  inner  longing.  To  the 
slave  heaven  was  a  beautiful,  comfortable  place  beyond  the 
sky.  It  had  golden  streets  and  a  sea  of  glass,  upon  which 
angels  danced  and  sang  in  praise  to  Him  upon  the  golden 
throne.  There  was  no  sun  to  burn  one  in  that  bright  land 
of  never-ending  Sabbath,  There  kindred  and  friends  re- 
united in  the  happiest  relationships.  The  slave  was  poor, 
hampered,  and  sorrowful  in  this  world;  but  in  that  world 
above,  whose  glory  falling  stars  and  melting  elements  would 
signify  in  the  day  of  judgment,  he  would  be  rich  and  free  to 
sing,  shout,  walk,  and  fly  about  carrying  the  news.  There 
he  would  know  no  tears  or  the  sorrow  of  parting,  but  only 
rest  from  toil  and  care,  in  the  delightful  companionship  of 
the  heavenly  groups. 

"Dere's  no  rain  to  wet  you, 
O,  yes,  I  want  to  go  home. 
Dere's  no  sun  to  burn  you, 
O,  yes,  I  want  to  go  home. 
O,  push  along  believers, 
O,  yes,  I  want  to  go  home. 
Dere's  no  hard  trials, 
O,  yes,  I  want  to  go  home. 
Dere's  no  whips  a  craekin' 
O,  yes,  I  want  to  go  home. ' '  86 

"Oh  de  hebben  is  shinin ',  shinin ', 

0  Lord,  de  hebben  is  shinin'  full  ob  love. 
Oh,  Fare-you-well,  friends, 

1  'm  gwine  to  tell  you  all, 

Gwine  to  leave  you  all  amine  eyes  to  close; 
De  hebben  is  shinin '  full  ob  love. ' '  87 

"How  sweet  a  Sabbath  thus  to  spend. 
In  hope  of  one  that  ne  'er  shall  end. ' '  88 

"Yes  my  mother's  goin'  to  heaven  to  outshin  the  sun, 
An  it 's  way  beyon '  the  moon. ' '  so 

8«  Atlantic  Monthly,  XIX,   687. 

87  Fenner,  Hampton  and  Its  Students,  p.  219. 

88  Jm.  J.  Bel.  Psy.  and  Ed.,  3:  279. 
Miiid.,  337. 

66  JouBNAL  OF  Negro  History 

"Po'  man  goin'  to  heaven, 
Eich  man  goin '  to  hell, 
For  Po'  man  got  his  starry  crown, 
Eich  man  got  his  wealth. ' '  »o 

* '  Well  there  are  sinners  here  and  sinners  there. 
An'  there  are  sinners  everywhere. 
But  I  thank  God  that  God  declare, 
That  there  ain  't  no  sinners  in  heaven. ' '  »i 

O  join  on,  join  my  Lord, 

Join  de  heaven  wid  the  angels; 

O  join  on,  join  my  Lord, 

Join  de  heaven  wid  de  angels. ' '  ^^ 

"I'm  gwin  to  keep  a  elimbin*  high 
Till  I  meet  dem  angels  in  de  sky. 
Dem  pooty  angels  I  shall  see — 
Why  doan  de  debbil  let  a  me  be! 
O  when  I  git  to  heaven  goin  sit  an  *  t«ll. 
Three  archangels  gwin  er  ring  dem  bells 
Two  white  angels  come  a  walkin'  down. 
Long  white  robes  an'  starry  crown. 
What's  dat  yonder,  dat  I  see? 
Big  tall  angels  comin '  after  me. ' '  es 

The  following  spirituals  emphasize  what  the  slave  felt 
that  he  would  do  in  heaven. 

"Heaven,  heaven. 
Everybody  talkin '  bout  heaven  an '  goin '  there 
Heaven,  heaven, 
Goin '  to  shine  all  'round  God 's  heaven. ' '  »* 

'  *  Oh,  I  wish  I  was  there. 
To  hear  my  Jesus '  orders. 
Oh,  how  I  wish  I  was  there,  Lord, 
To  wear  my  starry  crown. ' '  »5 

*  *  A  golden  band  all  'round  my  waist, 
An '  de  palms  of  victory  in-a  my  hand. 
An'  de  golden  slippers  on  to  my  feet, 
Gwine  to  walk  up  and  down  o '  dem  golden  street. 

»  Am.  J.  Eel.  Psy.  and  Ed.,  336. 
01  Ibid.,  328. 
)2  Ibid.,  332. 
>3  Ibid.,  298. 
i*Ibid.,  328. 
88  Life  before  Emancipation,  p.  163. 

Eeligion  of  the  Amebican  Negbo  Slave  67 

Oh,  wait  till  I  put  on  my  robe. 

An '  a  golden  crown-a  placed  on-a  my  head, 

An'  my  long  white  robe  a-com  a  dazzlin'  down, 

Now  wait  till  I  get  on  my  gospel  shoes, 

Gwine  to  walk  about  de  heaven  an '  a-carry  de  news, 

Oh,  wait  till  I  put  on  my  robe, ' '  8o 

*  *  You  can  hinder  me  here  but  you  can 't  hinder  me  dere 

For  de  Lord  in  Heaven  gwin '  hear  my  prayer. 

De  evening's  great  but  my  Cap'n  is  strong, 

U  'm  fightin '  f  er  de  city  an '  de  time  ain  't  long. ' '  «>t 

*  *  Well,  my  mother 's  goin '  to  heaven, 

She 's  goin '  to  outshine  the  sun,  O  Lord, 

Well,  my  mother's  goin'  to  heaven, 

She 's  going  to  outshine  the  sun,  O  Lord, 

Yes,  my  mother 's  goin '  to  heaven  to  outshine  the  sun, 

An '  its  way  beyon '  the  moon. 

The  crown  that  my  Jesus  give  me, 

Goin'  outshine  the  sun. 

You  got  a  home  in  the  promise  Ian', 

Goin'  outshine  the  sun, 

Goin'  to  put  on  my  crown  in  glory. 

An'  outshine  the  sun,  O  Lord. 

'Way  beyon'  de  moon."  ss 

"Gwine  hab  happy  meetin', 
Gwine  shout  in  hebben, 
Gwine  shout  an'  nebber  tire, 

0  slap  yo '  han  's  ehilluns, 

1  feels  de  spirit  movin', 

O  now  I  'm  gittin '  happy. ' '  80 

"Gwine  to  march  a-way  in  de  gold  band, 
In  de  army  bye-and-bye; 
Gwine  to  march  a-way  in  de  gold  band, 
In  de  army  by-and-bye. 
Sinner,  what  you  gwine  to  do  dat  day? 
Sinner,  what  you  gwine  to  do  dat  day  I 
When  de  fire's  a-roUing  behind  you, 
In  de  army  bye-and-bye. 
Sister  Mary  gwine  to  hand  down  the  robe. 
In  the  army  bye-and-bye; 

Gwine  to  hand  down  the  robe  and  the  gold  band, 
In  the  army,  bye-and-bye. ' '  lOo 

»6  Hampton  and  its  Students,  p.  187. 

67  Am.  J.  Belig.  Psy.  and  Ed.,  3 :  323. 

88  Ibid.,  337. 

»8  Ibid.,  299. 

\oo  Allen,  Slave  Songs,  Song  103,  p.  83. 

68  Journal  of  Negbo  Histoey 

"You  got  a  robe,  I  got  a  robe, 
All  God '3  chDdrcn  got  a  robe, 
Goin'  try  on  my  robe  an'  if  it  fits  me, 
Goin'  to  wear  it  all  round  God's  heaven."  101 

"We'll  walk  up  an'  down  dem  golden  streets, 
We'll  walk  about  Zion. 
Gwine  sit  in  de  kingdom, 

I  really  do  believe,  where  sabbath  have  no  end. 
Look  way  in  de  heaven — hope  I'll  jine  de  band, — 
Sittin'  in  de  kingdom. 

I  done  been  to  heaven  an'  I  done  been  tried. 
Dere'a  a  long  white  robe  in  de  heaven  for  me, 
Dere's  a  golden  crown,  golden  harp,  starry  crown, 

silver  slippers, 
In  de  heaven  for  me  I  know.  "102 

"I  want  to  go  to  heaven  when  I  die, 
To  shout  salvation  as  I  fly. 
You  say  yer  aiming  fer  de  skies, 
Why  don't  yer  quit  yer  tellin'  lies. 
I  hope  I  git  dere  bye-an'  bye. 
To  jine  de  number  in  de  sky. 
When  I  git  to  heaven  gwine  to  ease,  ease, 
Me  an'  my  God  goin'  do  as  we  please, 
Sittin'  down  side  0'  de  holy  Lamb. 
When  I  git  to  heaven  goin'  set  right  down, 
Gwiner  ask  my  Lord  fer  starry  crown. 
Now  wait  till  I  gits  my  gospel  shoes, 
Gwin-er  walk  'bout  heaven  an'  carry  de  news."  io3 

A  boy  of  ten,  being  sold  from  his  mother,  said, 

"I'm  gwine  to  sit  dovni  at  the  welcome  table, 
Den  my  little  soul's  gwine  to  shine. 
I'm  gwine  to  feast  off  milk  and  honey. 
Den  my  little  soul's  gwine  to  shine. 
I  'm  gwine  to  tell  God  how-a  you  sarved  me. 
Den  my  little  soul's  gwine  to  shine. "  10* 

The  place  that  heaven  must  have  had  in  the  attitude  of 
the  slave  we  shall  now  consider,  by  an  examination  of  the 
slave's  mental  world.  To  do  so  we  must  feel  the  hand  of 
slavery  holding  him  in  subjection  to  the  will  of  the  master. 

101  ^m.  J.  Belig.  Psy.  and  Ed.,  3:  328. 

102  Hid.,  294. 
■i^osiiid.,  293. 

104  Hampton  and  its  Students,  p.  173. 

Religion  of  the  American  Negro  Slave  69 

The  inner  voices  that  called  the  black  slave  at  his  task, 
clothed  in  simple  garb,  and  living  on  homely  fare,  we  also 
must  hear  spealdng  to  us,  and  invoking  the  same  response. 
Then  we  shall  be  able  to  appreciate  the  religious  signifi- 
cance of  the  situations. 

The  bell  upon  the  white  pole  in  the  great-house  yard 
summons  the  slaves  to  their  daily  tasks  in  the  fields. 
Quickly,  the  slave-mother,  rising  from  the  cabin-floor,  and 
taking  her  babe  upon  her  back,  sets  out  to  join  the  crowd. 
With  brawny  arms  around  his  mother's  neck,  the  young 
child  glares  at  the  red  rising  of  the  sun,  until  he  is  left  at 
the  end  of  the  row.  Then  as  mother 's  hoe  cuts  grass  from 
the  tender  corn,  he  hears  her  foot-steps  blend  with  those 
of  the  plowman,  her  voice  of  love  mingle  with  the  mumble 
of  slaves,  and  the  songs  of  birds,  that  play  in  the  warm 
sunlight  of  the  morning.  With  longing  eyes  the  child 
watches  her  who,  last  night,  when  her  work  was  done,  fed 
him  from  her  breast,  as  she  sat  upon  the  cabin-floor,  mur- 
muring of  a  better  world,  where  child  and  mother  would 
know  no  weary  sun.  Sitting  upon  the  green  grass  that 
fringes  the  end  of  the  long  rows,  he  watches  her  toiling, 
disappearing  into  the  distance. 

Taken  from  his  mother  at  the  age  of  seven,  the  child  is 
transferred  to  the  great-house  yard,  where  the  harsh  voices 
of  slave-children,  conscious  of  their  lot,  fill  the  air.  Yes- 
terday he  saf  in  the  cabin-door,  upon  grandmother's  knee, 
listening  to  the  grinding  of  the  big  mill  down  by  the  pond, 
and  watching  the  squirrels  drop  acorns  from  the  old  oak 
tree.  Last  night  he  opened  the  door  for  father,  who,  worn 
from  being  away  so  long,  brought  few  potatoes  and  corn. 
Then  there  was  a  great  time.  Father,  in  overalls,  grand- 
mother with  a  "slat-bonnet"  upon  her  gray  head,  mother 
with  a  ''grass-sack"  around  her  waist,  all  knelt  upon  their 
knees  in  prayer  to  God  above,  father  leading  mournfully. 
''Get  up  in  heaven  by-and-by,"  he  said,  until  all  were  filled 
with  joy.  How  different  things  are  today.  The  old  mill 
by  the  pond  is  now  seen  lifting  its  white,  bird-like  wings 
into  heaven,  where  mother,  father  and  grandmother  may 

70  JouENAx,  OF  Negro  History 

be.  They  may  be  up  there  in  the  sunlight,  singing  and 
shouting  with  the  angels. 

The  dawn  of  another  day  comes  in  the  life  of  the  slave. 
Now  all  must  help  kill  the  '  *  fatted  hogs. ' '  The  knives  have 
been  sharpened,  the  scaffolds  built,  the  ashes  brought  up 
from  the  ash-heap.  The  slaves  are  gathered  around  the 
fire,  warming  themselves  and  waiting  for  the  water  in  the 
big  black  pots  to  boil.  They  hear  the  shrill  voice  of  the 
cock  and  the  noise  of  the  mules  heralding  the  coming  of  day, 
when  the  presence  of  old  master  will  stop  their  friendly 
discussions.  While  fading  stars  twinkle  in  the  pines  that 
cast  ghost-like  shadows  upon  the  white-washed  cabins,  the 
slaves  talk  of  their  religious  experiences,  how  they  "over- 
came the  devil  in  the  wilderness"  through  the  help  of 
Christ.  The  stars  were  shining  thus  a  year  ago,  when 
Aunt  Lucinda  died.  She  had  been  a  good  woman,  never 
receiving  a  flogging.  She  used  to  make  cakes  for  the  neigh- 
bors and  tell  them  when  to  plant  their  crops.  When  she 
died  a  bright  star,  like  an  angel,  lit  upon  the  cabin-roof, 
to  take  her  soul  away.  This  morning  she  is  in  heaven, 
wearing  golden  slippers,  long,  white  robe,  and  starry  crown, 
about  which  she  used  to  sing  in  the  camp-meetings. 

The  big  hogs  killed  and  put  into  the  '  *  smoke-house ' '  and 
the  coming  of  night  ending  the  slave's  work,  he  is  now  al- 
lowed to  attend  the  camp-meeting,  in  the  log-house,  down 
by  the  side  of  the  river,  that  lies  behind  the  big  woods.  In 
the  leaves  of  the  old  red  oak,  that  stands  upon  the  shore 
and  that  is  said  to  be  the  place  of  ghosts,  he  hears  the  noise 
of  the  wood  owl,  calling  to  him,  as  he  takes  his  boat  and 
glides  silently  away  amid  the  solemn  shadows  that  lie  upon 
the  deep,  moon-lit  waters.  Unconsciously  he  sings  the 
words  of  his  comrades  as  they  marched  last  night  to  the 
grave-yard : 

"I  know  moon-rise; 
I  know  star-rise; 
Lay  dis  body  down 
I  march  to  the  grave-yard, 

Religion  of  the  American  Negro  Slave  71 

I  march  through  the  grave-yard 

Lay  dis  body  down 

I  lay  in  de  grave-yard  and  stretch  out  my  arms, 

Lay,  dis  body  down." 

At  the  meeting-house,  not  only  does  he  sing  and  shout, 
but  each  slave  for  some  sinner-friend  or  relative  who  has 
been  sold  away,  sincerely  asks  the  prayers  of  the  other. 
There  parent  prays  for  child  and  child  for  parent.  ' '  Sister 
Martha,"  dressed  in  gingham,  is  there,  that  gray-haired 
woman,  who  goes  each  day  to  the  river,  hoping  that  some 
message  may  come  floating  from  her  '  *  Tom. '  *  She  is  there 
to  weep  and  to  rejoice  and  to  talk  with  "Brother  Robert" 
about  the  cross  of  Christ.  The  slaves,  singing  and  shout- 
ing, tearfully  kiss  each  other's  cheek,  shake  hands,  and 
part.    They  were  there  to  worship  and  not  to  play. 

Inevitable  then  is  the  conclusion  that  the  religion  of  the 
American  slaves  was  decidedly  different  from  the  prevail- 
ing religion  found  among  the  peoples  of  Africa.  We  saw 
that  fetishism  was  the  prevailing  religion  found  in  Africa ; 
that  the  few  American  slaves  who  maintained  any  of  their 
African  religious  heritage  were  considered  grossly  super- 
stitious by  the  American  slaves  generally;  that  the  slave- 
groups  brought  to  America  from  Africa  were  so  broken 
up  and  scattered  that  the  old  group-habits  did  not  continue 
to  exist.  We  found  on  the  other  hand  that  the  slaves  of 
America,  who  were  in  contact  with  Christianity,  became 
very  enthusiastic  over  the  Christian  religion;  that  they 
developed  a  sorrow  for  this  world  and  a  joyous  longing  for 
heaven,  as  they  showed  by  their  shouts  and  songs.  This 
emphasis  upon  a  place  of  rest  in  heaven,  we  conclude, 
helped  the  American  slave  adjust  himself  to  his  particular 
environment.  As  it  helped  him  to  live,  so  it  helped  him 
also  to  die. 

G.  R.  Wilson. 


Prior  to  the  Civil  War,  education  for  the  American  of 
color,  was  for  the  most  part  surreptitiously  obtained. 
There  were,  however,  a  few  fearless  men  and  women  of  the 
white  race,  who,  endowed  with  a  magnanimous  spirit  and 
indomitable  will,  rose  above  the  sordid  plane  of  self-ad- 
vancement and  comfort,  brooked  the  tide  of  social  ostracism 
and  censure  to  a  realm  of  true  altruism  in  behalf  of  the  cir- 
cumstantially weak  and  defenseless  race. 

Many  of  these  noted  benefactors  belonged  to  that  sect 
known  in  American  history  as  Friends.  True  to  their 
noble  heritage,  they  faced  the  facts  of  social  crises  with 
intrepidity  and  strong  convictions.  They  acted  with  un- 
erring judgment  and  penetrating  vision  upon  those  prin- 
ciples sacred  to  the  life  and  happiness  of  all  mankind.  In 
the  vanguard  of  this  honorable  group,  of  martyrs  to  the 
cause  of  justice,  stands  an  American  school  teacher,  born 
of  Quaker  parentage,  at  Hopkinton,  Rhode  Island,  Sep- 
tember 3,  1803— Prudence  Crandall.  The  noble  purpose 
and  sympathetic  nature  of  this  great  teacher  are  clearly 
demonstrated  in  this  extract  from  a  letter  addressed  to 
William  Lloyd  Garrison,  January  18th,  1833 :  ^ 

"Now  I  will  tell  you  why  I  write  you,  and  the  object  is  this: 
I  wish  to  know  your  opinion  respecting  changing  white  scol- 
ars  for  colored  ones.  I  have  been  for  some  months  past  deter- 
mined if  possible  during  the  remaining  part  of  my  life  to  benefit 
the  people  of  color.  I  do  not  dare  tell  any  one  of  my  neighbors 
anything  about  the  contemplated  change  in  my  school  and  I  beg 
of  you,  sir,  that  you  will  not  expose  it  to  any  one;  for  if  it  was 
known,  I  have  no  reason  to  expect  but  it  would  ruin  my  present 
school.  Will  you  be  so  kind  as  to  write  by  the  next  maU  and  give 
me  your  opinion  on  the  subject. 

**  Yours,  with  greatest  respect, 

'  *  Prudence  Crandall.  ' '  ^ 

1  Garrison's  Garrison,  1,  Chap.  X,  p.  315;  B.  C.  Steiner's  History  of 
Slavery  in  Connecticut  (Johns  Hopkins  University  Studies,  XI,  415-422). 

2  May's  Antislavery  Conflict. 


Prudence  Crandall  73 

This  letter  shows  clearly  that  Prudence  Crandall  foresaw 
that  any  undertaking  of  an  educational  nature  in  behalf  of 
Negroes  would  meet  with  opposition,  require  personal  sacri- 
fices, and  demand  unfaltering  courage  and  patience. 

That  she  was  willing  to  undergo  these  tests  was  proved 
when  a  young  Negro  girl  applied  for  admission  to  the  school 
which  she  was  then  conducting  for  white  girls  only.  This 
ambitious  pupil  of  color  was  Sarah  Harris,  seventeen  years 
old,  the  daughter  of  a  respectable  man  who  owned  a  small 
farm  near  the  village  of  Canterbury.  Sarah  had  attended 
the  same  district  school  in  which  the  majority  of  Prudence 
Crandall's  students  had  received  their  elementary  training 
and  had  proved  herself  a  bright  scholar  and  a  pious  young 
lady.  So  deeply  impressed  was  the  teacher  with  this  girl's 
plea  and  her  earnest  desire  to  get  a  broader  education  to 
teach  other  girls  of  color,  that  Prudence  Crandall  admitted 
Sarah  to  her  school. 

The  students  themselves  offered  no  opposition  nor  mani- 
fested any  objection  to  her  presence.  Parents,  however, 
began  to  complain  and  informed  Prudence  Crandall  that 
her  school  would  not  be  supported  if  she  kept  the  Negro 
girl  as  a  student.  To  this  threat  Prudence  Crandall  re- 
plied: ''It  might  sink  then  for  I  should  not  turn  her  out.'* 
Soon  the  white  girls  began  to  leave  the  school,  but  the 
philanthropic  teacher  was  determined  to  adhere  to  the  prin- 
ciples of  democratic  education.  She  finally  gave  up  the 
teaching  of  white  girls  entirely  and  brought  a  number  of 
Negro  children  into  her  school,  then  situated  in  the  most 
aristocratic  part  of  the  to^vn  of  Canterbury.  ''If  the  Can- 
terbury people,"  said  Ellen  D.  Larned,  "had  quietly  ac- 
cepted the  situation  and  left  them  in  peace  the  difficulty 
would  soon  have  ended.  Even  if  the  children  had  remained 
they  would  have  given  them  little  annoyance.  Twenty 
Indian  lads  were  received  into  Plainfield  Academy  a  few 
years  later,  and  few  outside  of  the  village  even  heard  of 

8  Johns  SopTcins  University,  Studies  in  Historical  and  Political  Sci&nce, 
XI,  p.  417.     Larned 'a  Windham  County,  p.  493. 

74  Journal,  of  Negro  History 

This  step,  however,  aroused  the  most  intense  feeling 
of  the  town  people  and  met  with  strong  and  immediate 
opposition.  A  committee  of  four  of  the  chief  men  of  the 
village,  Adams,  Frost,  Fenner  and  Harris,  visited  Prudence 
Crandall  and  attempted  to  show  her  that  such  an  under- 
taking was  decidedly  objectionable  and  seriously  detri- 
mental to  the  welfare  of  the  whites  of  the  community.  One 
Esquire  Frost  intimated  that  Prudence  Crandall 's  project 
fostered  social  equality  and  intermarriage  of  whites  and 
blacks.  To  this  insidious  insinuation,  she  bluntly  replied: 
''Moses  had  a  black  wife."  To  emphasize  their  decided 
opposition  to  this  project,  the  people  called  a  public  meeting 
and  drew  up  and  adopted  resolutions  of  a  hostile  nature. 
One  of  the  leading  politicians  of  that  day,  Andrew  T.  Jud- 
son,  was  so  incensed  at  Miss  Crandall 's  action  that  he  de- 
nounced her  in  the  most  severe  and  scathing  terms. 

The  Kev.  Mr.  May  and  Mr.  Buffum,  who  were  present 
on  behalf  of  Miss  Crandall,  made  several  attempts  to  speak 
in  her  defense  but  were  rudely  and  abruptly  prohibited. 
Denied  the  privilege  of  espousing  her  cause  in  this  meet- 
ing, Mr.  May,  upon  adjournment,  rose  from  his  seat  and 
addressed  the  people  as  they  were  leaving  the  hall :  *  *  Men 
of  Canterbury,  I  have  a  word  for  you !  Hear  me !  "  A 
few  turned  to  listen,  and  he  pleaded  with  force  and  feeling 
the  cause  of  the  noble  little  teacher  of  Canterbury.  He  told 
them  that  Prudence  Crandall  was  wilUng  to  move  her 
school  from  its  present  situation,  which  was  next  door  to 
the  residence  of  Mr.  Judson,  her  bitterest  enemy,  to  some 
more  retired  part  of  the  city. 

May's  arguments,  however,  were  of  no  avail  and  only 
drew  forth  tirades  of  invective  and  abuse ;  for  Mr.  Judson 
responded:  ''Mr.  May,  we  are  not  merely  opposed  to  the 
establishment  of  that  school  in  Canterbury ;  we  mean  there 
shall  not  be  such  a  school  set  up  anywhere  in  our  state. 
The  colored  people  can  never  rise  from  their  menial  condi- 
tion in  our  country ;  they  ought  not  to  be  permitted  to  rise 
here.  They  are  an  inferior  race  of  beings,  and  never  can 
or  ought  to  be  recognized  as  the  equals  of  the  whites. 

Prudence  Crandall  75 

Africa  is  the  place  for  them.  I  am  in  favor  of  the  coloniza- 
tion scheme.  Let  the  niggers  and  their  descendants  be 
sent  back  to  their  fatherland  and  there  improve  themselves 
as  much  as  they  can.  I  am  a  colonizationist.  You  and 
your  friend  Garrison  have  undertaken  what  you  cannot 
accomplish.  The  condition  of  the  colored  population  of  our 
country  can  never  be  essentially  improved  on  this  continent. 
You  are  fanatical  about  them.  You  are  violating  the  con- 
stitution of  our  Republic,  which  settled  forever  the  status 
of  the  black  men  in  this  land.  They  belong  to  Africa. 
Let  them  be  sent  back  there  or  kept  as  they  are  here.  The 
sooner  you  abolitionists  abandon  your  project  the  better 
for  our  country,  for  the  niggers  and  yourselves."* 

In  answer  to  this  outburst  of  feeling,  typical  of  ignorance 
and  prejudice,  though  it  came  from  the  lips  of  a  prospective 
judge  of  the  Supreme  Court,  Mr.  May  replied :  ' '  Mr.  Jud- 
son,  there  never  will  be  fewer  colored  people  in  this  country 
than  there  are  now.  Of  the  vast  majority  of  them,  this  is 
their  native  land  as  much  as  it  is  ours.  It  will  be  unjust, 
inhuman  in  us  to  drive  them  out,  or  to  make  them  willing 
to  go  by  our  cruel  treatment  of  them  .  .  .  and  the  only 
question  is  whether  we  will  recognize  the  rights  which  God 
gave  them  as  men  and  encourage  and  assist  them  to  become 
all  he  has  made  them  capable  of  being,  or  whether  we  will 
continue  wickedly  to  deny  them  the  privileges  we  enjoy, 
condemn  them  to  degradation,  enslave  and  imbrute  them; 
and  so  bring  upon  ourselves  the  condemnation  of  the  Al- 
mighty, Impartial  Father  of  all  men  and  the  terrible  visita- 
tion of  the  God  of  the  oppressed.  I  trust,  sir,  you  well  e're 
long  come  to  see  that  we  must  accord  to  these  men,  their 
rights  or  incur  justly  the  loss  of  our  own.  Education  is  one 
of  the  primal  fundamental  rights  of  all  the  children  of  men. 
Connecticut  is  the  last  place  where  this  right  should  be 

These  eloquent  remarks  truly  portrayed  the  difference 
in  the  character  of  the  two  men.  Encouraged  by  such  noble 
characters  as  May  and  Garrison,  Prudence  Crandall  was 
determined  not  to  be  deterred  in  her  purpose  by  men  like 

*May'8  Antislavery  Conflict,  p.  47. 

76  Journal,  of  Negro  History 

Judson.  Her  lofty  ideals  of  service  to  humanity  and  to 
the  humbler  lot  especially  were  e\H[denced  in  this  extract 
from  Garrison's  letter  to  Isaac  Knapp,  April  11,  1833: 

"She  is  a  wonderful  woman,  as  undaunted  as  if  she  had  the 
whole  world  on  her  side.  She  has  opened  her  school  and  is  re- 
solved to  persevere.  I  wish  brother  Johnson  to  state  this  fact 
particularly  in  the  next  Liberator  and  urge  all  those  who  intend 
to  send  their  children  thither,  to  do  so  without  delay. ' '  * 

Despite  all  vicissitudes,  Miss  Crandall  opened  her  school  for 
girls  of  color  early  in  April,  with  an  enrollment  of  fifteen 
or  twenty  students.  These  for  the  most  part  came  from 
Philadelphia,  New  York,  Providence,  and  Boston. 

The  townspeople,  greatly  incensed,  resorted  to  every 
foul  means  possible  to  destroy  the  school.  At  first,  they 
searched  for  some  obsolete  vagrancy  law  for  the  purpose 
of  intimidating  those  who  came  from  other  cities  to  attend 
school.  One  Negro  girl,  Anna  Eliza  Hammond,  seventeen 
years  of  age,  from  Providence,  was  arrested,  but  Samuel 
May  and  other  residents  of  Brooklyn  gave  bonds  for 
$10,000  and  thus  defeated  this  plan.  Frustrated  in  their 
first  efforts,  the  townspeople  held  an  indignation  meeting 
at  which  they  expressed  their  sentiment  in  the  following 
resolutions : 

"Whereas,  it  hath  been  publicly  announced  that  a  school  is  to 
be  opened  in  this  town,  on  the  first  Monday  of  April  next,  using 
the  language  of  the  advertisement,  'for  young  ladies  and  little 
misses  of  color, '  or  in  other  words  for  the  people  of  color,  the  obvi- 
ous tendency  of  which  would  be  to  collect  within  the  town  of 
Canterbury  large  numbers  of  persons  from  other  States  whose 
characters  and  habits  might  be  various  and  unknown  to  us,  thereby 
rendering  insecure  the  persons,  property,  and  reputations  of  our 
citizens.  Under  such  circumstances  our  silence  might  be  con- 
strued into  an  approbation  of  the  project :  Thereupon,  Resolved 
That  the  locality  of  a  school  for  the  people  of  color  at  any  place 
within  the  limits  of  this  town,  for  the  admission  of  persons  of 
foreign  jurisdiction,  meets  with  our  unqualified  disapprobation, 
and  it  is  to  be  understood,  that  the  inhabitants  of  Canterbury 
protest  against  it  in  the  most  earnest  manner. 

c  Garrison 's  Garrison,  I,  p.  341. 

Prudence  Crandall  77 

"Resolved,  That  a  committee  be  now  appointed  to  be  composed 
of  the  Civil  Authority  and  Selectmen,  who  shall  make  known  to 
the  persons  contemplating  the  establishment  of  said  school,  the 
sentiments  and  objections  entertained  by  this  meeting  in  refer- 
ence to  said  school — pointing  out  to  her  the  injurious  effects  and 
incalculable  evils  resulting  from  such  an  establishment  within  this 
town,  and  persuade  her  to  abandon  the  project. ' ' ' 

The  people  then  influenced  the  Legislature  to  enact  a 
disgraceful  but  well-named  ''Black  Law,"^  amid  the  ring- 
ing of  church  bells  and  great  rejoicing.  This  act  outlawed 
Miss  Crandall's  school.  The  people  closed  all  shops  and 
meeting  houses  to  the  teacher  and  her  pupils.  Stage  drivers 
refused  them  transportation  in  the  common  carriers  of  the 
town.  Physicians  would  not  attend  them.  Miss  Crandall's 
own  family  and  friends  were  forbidden  under  penalty  of 
heavy  fines  to  \4sit  her.  The  well  near  her  house  was  filled 
with  manure  and  water  was  denied  her  from  other  sources. 
The  house  itself  was  smeared  with  filth,  assailed  with  rotten 
eggs,  stormed  with  stones,  and  finally  set  afire. 

Not  only  was  Prudence  Crandall  herself  assailed  with 
threats  of  coming  vengeance  and  ejection,  but  her  father 
in  the  south  part  of  the  town  was  insulted  and  threatened. 
''When  lawyers,  courts  and  jurors  are  leagued  against 
you,"  said  one  to  him,  ''it  will  be  easy  to  raise  a  mob  and 

6  Larned  's  Windham  County,  Connecticut,  II,  490-502. 

7  This  law  was : 

Whereas,  attempts  have  been  made  to  establish  literary  institutions  in 
this  State,  for  the  instruction  of  colored  persons  belonging  to  other  States  and 
counties,  which  would  tend  to  the  great  increase  of  the  colored  population 
of  the  state,  and  thereby  to  the  injury  of  the  people:  Therefore, 

Section  1.  Be  it  enacted  by  the  Senate  and  House  of  Representatives,  in 
General  Assembly  convened,  that  no  person  shall  set  up  or  establish  in  this 
State  any  school,  academy  or  literary  institution  for  the  instruction  or  educa- 
tion of  colored  persons  who  are  not  inhabitants  of  this  State;  nor  instruct  or 
teach  in  any  school,  or  other  literary  institution  whatsoever,  in  this  State; 
nor  harbor  or  board,  for  the  purpose  of  attending  or  being  taught  or  instructed 
in  any  such  school,  academy,  or  literary  institution,  any  colored  person  who 
is  not  an  inhabitant  of  any  town  in  this  State,  without  the  consent  in  writing 
first  obtained,  of  a  majority  of  the  civU  authority,  and  also  of  the  Selectmen  of 
the  town,  in  which  such  school,  academy,  or  literary  institution  is  situated,  etc. 
See  Superior  Court,  October  Term,  1833,  and  Report  of  Arguments  of  Counsel 
in  the  Case  of  Prudence  Crandall;  also  The  Laws  of  Connecticut,  1833. 

78  JouBNAL  OF  Negro  History 

tear  down  your  house. "  "  Mr.  Crandall,  if  you  go  to  your 
daughter,"  they  said,  *'you  are  to  be  fined  $100  for  the  first 
offense,  $200  for  the  second  and  double  it  every  time ;  Mrs. 
Crandall,  if  you  go  there,  you  will  be  fined  and  your  daugh- 
ter Almira  will  be  fined,  and  Mr.  May  and  those  gentlemen 
from  Providence  (Messrs.  George  and  Henry  Benson),  if 
they  come  there,  mil  be  fined  at  the  same  rate.  And  your 
daughter,  the  one  that  established  the  school  for  colored 
females,  will  be  taken  up  the  same  way  as  for  stealing  a 
horse  or  for  burglary.  Her  property  mil  not  be  taken  but 
she  will  be  put  in  jail,  not  having  the  liberty  of  the  yard. 
There  is  no  mercy  to  be  shown  about  it !  "  ® 

Miss  Crandall  was  arrested  and  cast  into  prison,  where 
she  spent  the  night  in  a  cell  previously  occupied  by  a  mur- 
derer. She  was  twice  tried.  The  first  trial  was  held  be- 
fore the  county  court  on  August  22,  1833.  The  attorneys 
for  the  prosecution  were  Jonathan  A.  Welch,  Andrew  T. 
Judson  and  Ichabod  Bulkley,  while  those  for  the  defense 
were  Calvin  Goddard,  W.  W.  Ellsworth  and  Henry  Strong. 
The  latter  were  secured  by  Samuel  May  and  paid  by  Arthur 

The  counsel  for  the  defense  argued  that  the  ''Black 
Law"  conflicted  with  that  article  of  the  Federal  Constitu- 
tion which  granted  to  citizens  of  each  State  all  the  privi- 
leges and  immunities  of  citizens  of  the  several  States.  The 
counsel  for  the  prosecution  argued  that  people  of  color  were 
not  and  could  not  ever  be  citizens  of  any  State.  The  judge, 
Mr.  Eaton,  gave  the  decision  that  the  law  was  constitutional 
and  binding  upon  the  people  of  that  State.  The  jurors, 
however,  could  not  agree  and  so  the  case  went  over  to  the 
October  term.  It  was  then  tried  before  the  Superior  Court 
of  Windham  County  and  its  constitutionality  again  pro- 
nounced by  Judge  Daggett,  who  expressed  himself  as  fol- 
lows: ''It  would  be  a  perversion  of  terms  and  the  well- 
known  rule  of  construction  to  say  that  slaves,  free  blacks, 
or  Indians  were  citizens  within  the  meaning  of  that  term  as 

8  Garrison 's  Garrison,  I.  ch.  X,  and  Larned  's  Windham  County,  Connecti- 
cut, II,  490-502. 

Prudence  Crandall.  79 

used  in  the  constitution. ' '  The  jurors  thus  influenced  gave 
their  verdict  against  the  defendant.  Prudence  Crandall's 
counsel  then  appealed  to  the  Court  of  Errors,  where  the 
decision  was  reversed,  July  22,  1834,  upon  the  ground  of 
*' insufficiency  of  the  information,"  which  omitted  to  allege 
that  the  school  was  opened  without  necessary  license.® 

8  The  report  of  this  case  was : 

This  information  charges  Prudence  CrandaJl  with  harboring  and  boarding 
certain  colored  persons,  not  inhabitants  of  any  town  in  this  State,  for  the 
purpose  of  attending  and  being  taught  and  instructed  in  a  school,  set  up  and 
established  in  said  town  of  Canterbury,  for  the  instruction  and  education  of 
certain  colored  persons,  not  inhabitants  of  this  State. 

She  is  not  charged  with  setting  up  a  school  contrary  to  law,  not  with 
teaching  a  school  contrary  to  law;  but  with  harboring  and  boarding  colored 
persons,  not  inhabitants  of  this  State,  without  license,  for  the  purpose  of 
being  instructed  in  such  school. 

It  is,  however,  not  here  alleged  that  the  school  was  set  up  without  license, 
or  that  the  scholars  were  instructed  by  those  who  had  no  license. 

If  it  is  an  offence  within  the  statute  to  harbor  or  board  such  persons 
without  license,  under  all  circumstances,  then  this  information  is  correct. 
But  if  the  act,  in  the  description  of  the  defense  itself,  shows,  that  under  some 
circumstances,  it  is  no  offence,  then  this  information  is  defective. 

The  object  in  view  of  the  legislature,  as  disclosed  by  the  preamble,  is  to 
prevent  injurious  consequences  resulting  from  the  increase  of  the  colored 
population,  by  means  of  literary  institutions,  attempted  to  be  established  for 
the  instruction  of  that  class  of  inhabitants  of  other  States.  Such  institutions 
and  instructors  teaching  such  schools  are  prohibited,  unless  licensed,  as  are 
also  persons  from  harboring  or  boarding  scholars  of  that  description,  without 

From  the  first  reading  of  the  Act,  it  might  seem  as  if  licenses  must  be  ob- 
tained by  each  of  these  classes;  by  those  who  set  up  the  school,  those  who  in- 
struct it  and  those  who  board  the  pupUs;  but,  it  is  believed,  this  cannot  have 
been  intended.  The  object  professedly  aimed  at  is,  to  prevent  the  increase  of 
this  population,  which,  it  is  supposed,  will  take  place  by  allowing  them  free  edu- 
cation, and  instruction;  to  prevent  which  it  provides,  1st,  That  no  person  shall 
set  up  or  establish  any  school  for  that  purpose,  without  license:  2d,  That  no 
one  shall  instruct  in  any  school,  etc.  without  license:  and  3rd,  That  no  one 
shall  board  or  harbor  such  persons,  so  to  be  instructed  in  any  such  school  etc 
without  license.  The  object,  evidently  is  to  regulate  the  schools,  not  the  board- 
ing houses;  the  latter  only  is  auxiliary  to  the  former. 

This  information  charges,  that  this  school  was  set  up  in  Canterbury,  for 
the  purpose  of  educating  these  persons  of  color,  not  inhabitants  of  this  State, 
that  they  might  be  instructed  and  educated;  but  omits  to  state  that  it  was  not 
licensed.  This  omission  is  a  fatal  defect;  as  in  an  information  on  a  penal 
statute,  the  prosecutor  must  set  forth  every  fact  that  is  necessary  to  bring  the 
case  within  the  statute;  and  every  exception  within  the  enacting  clause  of  the 

80  JouBNAL,  OF  Negro  History 

While  the  decision  of  the  Court  of  Errors  was  pending, 
Prudence  Crandall  and  her  pupils  were  the  victims  of  other 
fiendish  acts  of  the  towTispeople.  Having  failed  in  their 
attempt  to  burn  down  her  school,  a  number  of  them,  with 
heavy  clubs  and  iron  bars,  crept  stealthily  upon  her  house 
at  midnight  on  the  9th  of  September,  and  simultaneously 
smashed  in  the  windows  with  such  force  and  suddenness 
that  all  the  occupants  were  terror  stricken.  Even  Pru- 
dence Crandall,  for  the  first  time,  trembled  with  fear.  Real- 
izing that  she  and  her  pupils  would  ever  be  the  object  of 
insult  and  injury,  she  decided,  upon  the  advice  of  Mr.  May 
and  other  friends,  to  give  up  the  school  and  send  her 
girls  back  to  their  homes.  Samuel  May  said  that  when  he 
stood  before  Prudence  Crandall  and  her  pupils  and  ad- 
vised them  to  leave,  the  words  blistered  his  lips  and  his 
bosom  glowed  with  indignation.  *'I  felt  ashamed  of  Con- 
necticut," said  he,  ''ashamed  of  my  state,  ashamed  of  my 
country,  ashamed  of  my  color. ' ' 

The  burden  of  these  terrible  ordeals  was  somewhat  al- 
leviated by  the  fidelity  of  her  friends,  the  love  and  faith  of 
her  pupils  and  the  devotion  of  her  sister,  father  and  hus- 
band. Having  recently  married  the  Rev.  Calvin  Philleo, 
a  Baptist  clergyman  of  Ithaca,  New  York,  Prudence  Cran- 
dall upon  solicitation  left  Windham  County  never  to  return 
again.  Tis  true  she  had  but  little  opportunity  to  teach  the 
young  women  of  color,  nevertheless  through  sacrifice  and 
service  she  taught  the  people  of  Connecticut  a  lesson  of 
philanthropy  and  sacrifice. 

G.  Smith  Wormley. 

act,  descriptive  of  the  offence,  must  be  negated.  See  Smith  v.  Mouse,  6  Green 
1,  p.  274;  and  Judson's  Remarks  to  the  Jury,  Superior  Court,  Octoher  Term, 



Magazines  and  newspapers  sometimes  unconsciously 
give  valuable  facts  not  only  as  to  sentiment  but  as  to  the 
actual  achievements  of  persons  and  agencies  through  which 
they  have  worked.    This  is  true  of  the  extracts  given  below. 

Endeavoring  to  set  forth  the  part  which  Philadelphia 
played  in  African  Colonization  before  the  Civil  War,  The 
Evening  Bulletin  of  that  city  carried  the  following,  May  9, 

PhujAdelphia's  Part  in  Founding  the  Negro  Commonwealth 

The  visit  to  Philadelphia  of  the  negro  President  of  the  Liberian 
Republic,  recalls  the  important  part  which  a  small  group  of  local 
philanthropists  played  a  century  ago  in  promoting  the  foundation 
of  the  only  free  country  in  Africa  under  republican  rule.  The 
Liberian  enterprise  owed  its  origin,  not  solely  to  pity  for  the  condi- 
tion of  the  enslaved  blacks  of  the  South  but  also  to  the  desire  of 
many  northern  friends  of  the  negroes  to  ameliorate  the  hardships 
of  the  freed  blacks  of  the  north.  Both  Pennsylvania  and  New 
Jersey,  in  common  with  several  other  northern  States,  witnessed  at 
close  range  the  evils  of  slavery.  During  the  Revolutionary  War 
steps  had  been  taken  to  liberate  the  blacks  in  Pennsylvania  and  the 
famous  Act  of  March  1st,  1780,  decreed  the  abolition  of  slavery 
throughout  the  colony.  In  this,  as  in  other  and  later  efforts  to  liber- 
ate the  negroes  the  Philadelphia  Quakers  had  an  important  part  and 
the  Pennsylvania  Abolition  Society,  founded  under  the  presidency 
of  Benjamin  Franklin,  antedated  the  Revolutionary  War  by  two 

The  plan  for  establishing  an  African  Negro  Republic,  populated 
by  emigrants  from  the  United  States,  is  credited  to  Dr.  Robert  Fin- 
ley,  one  of  the  trustees  of  Princeton,  who  was  well  acquainted  with 
the  extent  of  slavery  in  New  Jersey,  where  the  census  of  1810  re- 
vealed the  presence  of  more  than  ten  thousand  slaves,  and  who  also 


82  Journal  of  Negro  History 

had  knowledge  of  the  miserable  condition  of  the  freed  negroes  in 
Pennsylvania.  Late  in  1816  he  went  to  Washington,  where  his 
brother-in-law,  Elias  Boudinot  Caldwell  was  a  member  of  Congress, 
and  endeavored  to  obtain  national  support  for  his  project.  A 
sjTnpathetic  response  was  not  wanting,  although  Congress  was  not 
yet  prepared  for  immediate  action.  Accordingly,  Finley  turned  in 
another  direction,  secured  the  backing  of  Justice  Bushrod  Washing- 
ton of  the  Supreme  Court,  aroused  the  interest  of  Henry  Clay  and 
other  notables  and,  toward  the  end  of  1816,  succeeded  in  forming,  at 
a  public  meeting  in  Washington  presided  over  by  Henry  Clay,  the 
American  Colonization  Society  which  immediately  selected  Jus- 
tice Washington  as  its  president. 

As  yet  Dr.  Finley  had  not  hit  upon  any  definite  location  for  the 
proposed  colony,  although  years  before  he  began  his  efforts  in  behalf 
of  the  negroes.  Thomas  Jefferson  had  suggested  that  Virginia  and 
other  American  Commonwealths  might  profitably  imitate  the  ex- 
ample set  in  England  by  the  Sierra  Leone  Company  in  populating 
that  district  of  Africa.  But  the  English  plan  of  transporting  the 
indigent  negroes  from  London,  started  toward  the  close  of  the 
eighteenth  century,  was  on  an  altogether  different  basis.  Blacks 
and  whites  were  mixed  in  the  English  colony,  the  emigrants  were 
made  up  mainly  of  the  idle  and  the  dissolute,  and  the  humanita- 
rian motive,  so  strongly  marked  in  the  work  of  the  American  Colo- 
nization Society,  was  missing  almost  entirely. 

Oddly  enough,  the  free  negroes  of  the  North  protested  against 
the  plans  of  the  Colonization  Society.  In  Philadelphia  a  number 
of  negroes,  meeting  in  the  Bethel  Church,  adopted  an  indignant 
resolution  of  protest  which  Congressman  Joseph  Hopkinson  pre- 
sented in  the  House.  But  these  incidents  served  also  to  arouse 
greater  interest  in  the  society's  plan  and  led  to  the  formation  of 
several  local  auxiliaries,  one  of  which  was  established  promptly  in 
Philadelphia,  where  the  Friends  and  the  Abolitionists  were  ready 
to  give  active  support  to  any  plan  for  the  betterment  of  the  negroes. 
Philadelphia  money,  representing  the  contributions  of  many  local 
philanthropists,  aided  largely  in  strengthening  the  treasury  of  the 
national  society,  and,  as  an  opportunity  was  afforded  for  the 
purchase  of  a  number  of  smuggled  slaves,  put  on  sale  by  the  State 
of  Georgia,  in  1817,  and  George  Washington  Parke  Custis  offered 
part  of  his  lands  for  a  refuge  for  the  Colonization  Society's  pur- 
chases, an  active  effort  was  made  again  to  arouse  Congressional  sup- 

Documents  83 

port,  resulting  this  time  in  the  founding  of  the  African  Republic  by 
the  Government  of  the  United  States. 

While  the  Society  was  in  the  initial  stages  of  development,  two 
missionary  agents,  Samuel  J.  Mills  and  Ebenezer  Burgess,  had 
visited  England  and,  after  receiving  a  rebuff  from  Bathurst,  the 
Secretary  of  State  for  the  English  Colonies,  had  gone  down  the 
African  coast  as  far  as  Sherbro  Island  and  selected  a  site  for  the 
American  colony.  Interest  was  aroused  to  such  extent  that  Congress 
assented  to  the  proposal  for  purchasing  the  Georgia  blacks  gind 
shipping  them  to  Africa  and  an  appropriation  of  one  hundred 
thousand  dollars  was  granted  for  the  purpose.  A  brig  was  char- 
tered by  the  government  to  carry  away  the  negroes,  furnished  by 
the  Colonization  Soeiety,  and  the  United  States  ship  Cyane  ordered 
to  accompany  the  expedition  as  an  armed  guard.  The  vessels  de- 
parted from  New  York  in  February,  1820,  and  after  a  five  weeks 
voyage  landed  eighty-six  men,  women  and  children  on  Sherbro 
Island.  The  inclemency  of  the  elimate,  however,  proved  disastrous 
to  the  little  group,  and,  after  a  number  had  succumbed  to  malarial 
fever,  the  remainder  fled  to  Sierra  Leone.  But  the  Society  and  its 
local  auxiliaries  kept  at  work  and  the  next  year  sent  out  another 
party  of  negroes  from  Norfolk,  this  time  seeking  Cape  Montserado 
as  a  place  of  settlement. 

Success  now  attended  the  enterprise.  Lieutenant  Richard  F. 
Stockton  of  the  Navy  arrived  at  Montserado  in  the  autumn  of  1821 
and,  in  company  with  Dr.  Ayres,  the  agent  of  the  Colonization 
Society,  succeeded  in  purchasing,  for  a  few  hundred  dollars'  worth 
of  trinkets,  the  land  on  which  Liberia  was  founded.  Although  the 
promoters  had  negotiated  a  favorable  treaty  with  the  natives  the 
early  settlers  were  attacked  by  hostile  tribes  and  more  than  once 
they  were  on  the  point  of  abandoning  the  little  town  of  Monrovia 
that  had  been  named  in  honor  of  the  American  President  and 
which  is  now  the  capital  of  the  African  Republic  and  a  place 
of  about  six  thousand  inhabitants.  A  few  years  after  this  Phila- 
delphia took  up  the  work  of  colonization  on  a  larger  scale.  At  a 
meeting,  held  in  the  Franklin  Institute  in  1829,  the  Pennsylvania 
Colonization  Society  was  formed,  with  Dr.  Thomas  C.  James  as  its 
president  and  numbering  among  its  founders  many  prominent 
citizens,  including  William  White,  Roberts  Vaux,  B.  W.  Richards, 
J.  K.  Mitchell,  George  W.  Blight,  James  Bayard  and  Elliott  Cres- 
son,  the  latter  becoming  one  of  the  most  active  assistants  of  the 

84  JouBNAL.  OF  Negro  History 

enterprise,  in  which  he  was  joined  by  Mathew  C.  Carey,  Solomon 
Allen  and  Robert  Ralston,  the  last  four  contributing  liberally  to 
the  colonization  cause.  For  a  time,  too,  a  fortnightly  journal, 
known  as  the  Colonization  Herald,  was  published  in  this  city  and 
local  interest  was  aroused  by  reports  of  the  parades  of  the  State 
Fencibles,  the  Liberian  imitation  of  Philadelphia's  military  organi- 
zation, which  assembled  on  fete  days  on  Broad  Street,  the  principal 
thoroughfare  of  Monrovia. 

County  and  local  societies  to  aid  the  project  were  formed 
throughout  Pennsylvania.  Philadelphia  had  a  Young  Men's  So- 
ciety fostered  by  the  Methodists,  the  local  Presbyterians  endorsed 
the  enterprise,  the  Bible  societies  backed  it  and  the  Quakers  lent 
their  friendly  support.  Ships  were  chartered  and  slaves  trans- 
ported at  local  expense  and  under  Philadelphia  direction  a  boat 
named  the  "Liberia"  was  built  on  the  Delaware  and  employed  in 
the  work,  while  the  manumission  of  slaves  was  freely  encouraged. 
A  colony  on  the  St.  John's  River  was  assigned  particularly  to  the 
care  of  the  Pennsylvanians  and  African  place  names,  such  as 
Careysburg  and  Philadelphia,  still  commemorate  the  interest  of 
Philadelphians.  At  first  the  government  of  Liberia  was  purely 
proprietary  under  the  direction  of  the  society's  agents,  the  blacks 
being  allowed  to  select  only  minor  officials  and  it  was  not  until 
1847,  when  the  colonization  movement  was  losing  ground  before  the 
growth  of  the  abolition  sentiment  in  this  country,  that  the  Free 
and  Independent  Republic  of  Liberia  came  into  existence,  after 
drafting  a  declaration  of  independence  and  adopting  a  constitu- 
tional form  of  government.  But  the  dream  of  repatriating  the 
negro  had  failed  and  now  Liberia,  extended  in  area  by  Anglo-Libe- 
rian  and  Franco-Liberian  agreements  of  recent  years  until  it  is 
almost  as  large  as  Pennsylvania,  numbers  less  than  fifty  thousand 
of  the  transplanted  stock  among  a  population  of  a  million  and  a 

On  September  18,  1921,  The  New  Orleans  States  dis- 
played on  its  title  page  the  following  distorted  sketch  of  the 
late  Caesar  Confucius  Antoine  by  W.  0.  Hart: 

A  telegram  to  The  States  from  Shreveport  three  days  ago  told 
of  the  death  of  C.  C.  Antoine,  colored,  who  had  been  lieutenant- 
governor  of  Louisiana  and  sometimes  acted  as  governor  of  the 

Documents  85 

The  death  of  Antaine,  widely  known  in  New  Orleans,  cuts  off 
another  link  with  Reconstruction  days. 

At  the  request  of  The  States,  W.  0.  Hart,  Louisiana  historian, 
cayitrihntes  the  story  telling  how  Antoine  went  from  a  harher's 
chair  to  power  and  affluence. 

Caesar  Confucius  Antoine,  who  was  a  native  of  New  Orleans, 
was  in  many  respects  one  of  the  most  remarkable  of  the  colored 
politicians  who  thrived  in  reconstruction  days  in  Louisiana. 

He  was  a  native  of  New  Orleans,  but  appears  to  have  been  un- 
known until  he  was  elected  from  the  Parish  of  Caddo,  a  member 
of  the  Constitutional  Convention  of  1868. 

He  was  a  very  small  man  and  light  in  weight.  He  was  coal- 
black  in  color  and  always  dressed  with  the  utmost  neatness  and 

"When  the  Constitution  was  adopted  he  was  elected  to  the  State 
Senate  from  Caddo  Parish  and  held  that  office  for  four  years.  In 
1872  he  was  nominated  for  Lieutenant-Governor  on  the  ticket 
headed  by  W.  P.  Kellogg,  and  though  that  ticket  was  defeated  by 
the  Democratic  ticket  which  carried  the  names  of  John  McEnery, 
of  Ouachita,  for  Governor,  and  Davidson  B.  Penn,  of  New  Orleans, 
for  Lieutenant-Governor,  Kellogg  and  all  those  returned  as  elected 
by  the  Returning  Board,  were  recognized  by  President  Grant  and 
served  out  their  full  terms  of  four  years. 

Antoine  like  many  of  the  other  colored  Legislators  of  those  days 
acquired  an  almost  perfect  knowledge  of  parliamentary  law  and 
presided  over  the  Senate  with  dignity  and  impartiality. 

He  was  a  man  who,  in  general,  had  the  respect  of  all  parties. 
He  was  renominated  on  the  ticket  with  S.  B.  Packard  in  1876  and 
with  Packard  remained  in  the  State  House,  which  was  the  old  St. 
Louis  Hotel,  until  April,  1877,  when  President  Hayes,  having  with- 
drawn the  Federal  troops,  the  semblance  of  Government  which 
Packard  established,  disappeared  and  the  Nicholls  Government 
went  into  full  possession  of  all  the  State  Offices. 

My  recollection  is  that  he  held  some  Federal  office  after  this  but 
I  am  not  certain  what  it  was. 

In  a  suit  which  he  brought  against  D.  D.  Smith  and  the  heirs 
of  George  L.  Smith,  reported  in  the  40th  Annual  (1888),  beginning 
at  page  560,  considerable  of  the  record  of  Antoine  is  given. 

86  Journal  of  Negro  History 

How  He  Made  Money 

The  suit  was  brought  after  the  death  of  George  L.  Smith,  to 
recover  two  hundred  shares  of  the  capital  stock  of  the  Louisiana 
State  Lottery  Company,  which  at  the  time  of  the  suit,  had  a  very 
large  value.  The  allegations  of  Antoine's  petition  and  his  evidence 
in  the  case  were  to  the  effect  that  on  March  31st,  1873,  he  purchased 
from  Charles  T.  Howard  the  lottery  stock  at  sixty  cents  on  the 
dollar,  that  is  twelve  thousand  dollars  for  all,  and  that  he  was 
induced  by  George  L.  Smith,  who  also  owned  225  shares  of  the 
stock,  to  transfer  it  to  D.  D.  Smith,  a  cousin  of  George  L.  Smith, 
because  as  Smith  said  to  Antoine:  "We  are  both  engaged  in  politics, 
and  it  would  not  do  to  have  the  stock  in  our  name — ^more  especially 
myself,  as  I  was  Lieutenant-Governor,  and  President  of  the  Senate ; 
that  questions  in  regard  to  the  charter  of  the  Lottery  Company  might 
come  up,  and  that,  in  case  of  a  tie  vote,  I  would  naturally  have  to 
vote  on  it;  and,  probably,  my  vote  might  be  challenged." 

Smith  had  been  Tax  Collector  and  also  speculated  in  salary 
warrants  for  account  of  himself  and  Antoine  and  Antoine's  profits 
therefrom  were  three  or  four  thousand  dollars. 

Partner  Of  Pinchback 

When  Antoine  first  went  into  politics  he  was  the  proprietor  of 
a  barber  shop  in  the  city  of  Shreveport ;  a  few  years  afterwards,  he 
engaged  in  the  cotton  factorage  business  in  New  Orleans,  in  partner- 
ship with  P.  B.  S.  Pinchback ;  also  once  Lieutenant-Governor.  He 
acquired  an  interest  in  a  newspaper  establishment;  had  a  grocery 
store  and  purchased  and  operated  a  small  plantation  in  Caddo 
Parish.  He  also  purchased  some  city  lots  in  Shreveport  and  a 
$1300  residence  in  this  city,  this  in  addition  to  the  twelve  thousand 
dollars  he  paid  for  the  Lottery  Stock. 

The  Supreme  Court,  after  stating  the  above  facts,  commented 
thereon  as  follows : 

"We  cannot  refrain  from  expressing  some  surprise  at  the 
auspicious  good  fortune  that  seemed  to  attend  his  efforts,  whereby 
his  hitherto  slender  income  and  limited  means  had  yielded  such  a 
comfortable  little  fortune  within  so  few  years. 

"Money  matters  appeared  to  have  been  so  easy  with  him  that 
he  could  loan  a  friend  a  thousand  dollars,  payable  on  call." 

The  opinion  of  the  court  was  rendered  by  Mr.  Justice  L.  B. 

Documents  87 

Watkins,  and  the  court  concluded  that  the  acquisition  of  the  stock 
by  Antoine  was  so  tainted  with  fraud  that  he  was  entitled  to 
receive  no  redress  at  the  hands  of  the  courts  and  the  judgment 
of  the  lower  court  which  was  rendered  by  Judge  Albert  Voohries, 
presiding  in  Division  **E"  of  the  Civil  District  Court,  was  affirmed. 

Antoine  was  represented  in  the  suit  by  Rouse  and  Grant  and 
Thomas  J.  Semmes,  America's  greatest  lawyer,  while  the  defendants 
were  represented  by  the  firm  of  Leonard,  Marks  and  Brueno. 
Everyone  connected  with  the  case  is  now  dead  except  Pinchback 
who,  over  eighty  years  of  age,  is  now  living  in  "Washington. 

When  under  the  Wheeler  Compromise  after  the  election  of 
1874,  the  Democrats  secured  a  majority  in  the  State  House  of  Repre- 
sentatives, an  effort  was  made  to  impeach  Kellogg,  which,  if  success- 
ful, would  have  made  Antoine  Governor,  but  what  benefit  the  Demo- 
crats could  have  derived  therefrom,  it  is  impossible  to  say  because 
even  if  Antoine  had  then  resigned,  as  was  thought  possible,  the 
President  of  the  Senate,  who  would  become  Governor  was  or  would 
be  a  Republican  as  the  Democrats  had  but  nine  of  the  thirty-six 
members  of  that  body.  However,  the  impeachment  trial  properly 
speaking,  was  never  held. 

As  soon  as  the  Senate  which  had  adjourned,  heard  of  the  im- 
peachment resolution,  it  immediately  reconvened  and  sent  for  the 
Chief  Justice,  John  T.  Ludeling,  and  the  Court  of  Impeachment 
was  opened  without  waiting  for  the  presentation  of  the  charges 
from  the  House  of  Representatives,  and  Kellogg  was  "trium- 
phantly" acquitted. 

The  Item,  a  New  Orleans  newspaper,  featured  the  fol- 
lowing sketch  of  Isaiah  T.  Montgomery  by  Stanley  Cisby 
Arthur  in  its  Sunday  magazine  section  on  September  25, 

One  of  the  most  interesting  figures  at  the  meeting  of  the  secre- 
taries of  the  Federal  Farm  Loan  Association,  was  an  aged  negro, 
"Uncle"  Isaiah  T.  Montgomery,  of  Mound  Bayou  City,  Bolivar 
County,  Mississippi.  "Uncle"  Isaiah  is  not  only  one  of  the  wealth- 
iest farmers  in  his  district,  but  he  founded  the  town  of  Mound 
Bayou,  which  is  composed  exclusively  of  colored  people,  who  run 
the  stores,  the  banks,  the  postoffice,  the  schools  and  the  peace  offices, 
but  "Uncle"  Isaiah  was  a  former  slave  and  a  body  servant  of 
Jefferson  Davis,  president  of  the  Confederacy. 

88  Journal  of  Negro  History 

Black  of  face,  with  white  hair  and  a  white  chin  beard  "Uncle" 
Isaiah  looks  exactly  the  part  of  the  reflation  stage  "Uncle"  of 
the  old  regime.  He  looks  every  bit  of  his  74  years  but  his  mind  is 
exceedingly  bright  and  he  recounted  the  happenings  of  over  half 
a  century  with  the  utmost  clarity  of  speech  and  showed  many 
evidences  of  his  education,  which  he  says  he  gave  himself.  When 
he  took  recourse  to  a  piece  of  paper  and  a  pen  to  estimate  the 
ginnage  of  his  community,  he  set  down  words  and  figures  with 
Spencerian  exactness.  His  handwriting  was  truly  a  revelation  to 
the  interviewer. 

*  *  I  was  born  on  Hurricane  plantation,  in  Warren  county,  Missis- 
sippi, in  1847,  and  my  father  and  I  were  owned  by  Joseph  E.  Davis, 
brother  of  Jefferson  Davis.  The  plantation  owned  by  the  late  presi- 
dent of  the  Confederacy  adjoined  the  Hurricane,  and  was  called 
Brierfield  plantation,"  said  the  aged  colored  man  and  former  slave 
who  is  now  a  prosperous  banker  in  the  town  he  founded.  "I  was 
about  nine  years  old  when  I  first  remember  Jefferson  Davis  real 
well.  I  was  working  in  my  master's  office  when  his  brother  came 
back  from  Congress  and  I  was  told  to  meet  the  steamboat  Natchez 
in  a  row  boat  and  get  Mr.  Jeff. 

"When  the  Natchez  blew  her  whistle  as  she  came  around  a 
bend  of  the  river  I  rowed  out  and  Mr.  Jeff  got  in  my  boat 
with  his  grips  and  things  and  I  took  him  to  shore  and  toted  all 
his  things  into  the  'White  Room'  where  Mr.  Jeff  staid  for  a  consider- 
able spell.  While  there  I  was  his  personal  attendant,  I  blacked  his 
shoes,  kept  his  room  in  order,  held  his  horse  for  him  and  other  little 
things  that  a  servant  like  I  was  was  supposed  to  do.  On  one  of  his 
trips  down  the  river  on  the  Natchez  (Mr.  Jeff  and  Captain  Tom  P. 
Leathers,  the  historic  commander  of  that  boat,  were  close  friends), 
he  brought  his  wife  and  daughter,  who  was  afterwards  Mrs.  Hayes, 
and  they  all  were  very  kind  to  me  because  I  was  Mr.  Jeff's  personal 
servant  all  the  time   they  were  at  the  Hurricane. 

"When  the  war  between  the  states  came  I  staid  on  the  Joseph 
Davis  plantation  all  during  the  fighting.  In  '62  or  '63,  anyway, 
after  the  battle  of  Corinth,  the  Yankees  commenced  overrunning 
the  South  and  Mr.  Joe,  took  all  his  stock  and  colored  people  to 
Jackson,  and  later  on  to  Alabama.  He  had  me  return  to  the  planta- 
tion with  my  mother  and  act  as  sort  of  caretakers  and  we  were  there 
when  Admiral  Porter's  Mississippi  squadron  made  its  way  up  the 
river.    It  seems  sometime  before  a  gunboat,  the  Indianola,  had  been 

Documents  89 

sunk  in  the  river,  just  off  the  Hurricane  plantation  and  folks  in 
the  neighborhood  had  dismantled  her. 

"When  Admiral  Porter  came  up  the  river  he  stopped  at  the 
plantation  so  as  to  look  at  the  wreck  and  see  if  her  guns  could  be 
found.  But  they  had  been  thrown  overboard  and  had  gone  down  in 
the  quicksand.  The  Admiral  asked  me  if  I  wanted  to  go  with  him  as 
cabin  boy.  I  said  yes,  and  ran  to  get  my  mammy's  consent  which 
was  given.  This  was  in  April  of  '63  and  a  few  months  later  I  was 
with  the  Admiral  in  the  siege  of  Vicksburg  and  later  the  battle  at 
Grand  Gulf.  Soon  afterwards  I  got  a  sickness  from  drinking  Red 
River  water  and  when  I  was  sent  back  to  Hurricane  I  found  my 
parents  had  gone  to  Cincinnati  and  when  I  got  word  of  this  to 
Admiral  Porter  he  secured  transportation  there  for  me. 

"When  the  war  was  over  Mr.  Joe  Davis  got  in  touch  with  my 
father  and  had  him  come  back  to  Hurricane  plantation  and  after 
we  got  there  he  made  a  proposition  that  we  could  buy  the  two  plan- 
tations. Hurricane,  that  Mr.  Joe  owned,  and  Brierfield,  of  4,000 
acres,  that  Mr.  Jeff  Davis  owned.  While  he  could  not  sell  to  colored 
people  under  the  existing  laws,  through  a  court  action  by  which 
my  father,  Benjamin  T.  Montgomery,  and  my  brother  William  T. 
and  myself,  agreed  to  pay  $300,000  for  the  combined  properties, 
they  were  turned  over  to  us  and  we  were  to  pay  six  per  cent  a 
year  on  the  whole  until  it  was  paid  off. 

"Our  first  year  working  the  plantation  resulted  in  almost 
disaster  as  we  suffered  from  an  overflow  and  when  the  first  pay- 
ment came  around  we  were  only  able  to  pay  $6,000.  When  we  sent 
this  to  Mr.  Joe  Davis  with  our  excuses  he  sent  us  back  a  canceled 
note  for  the  rest  of  the  $18,000.  The  Davis  brothers,  were  gentle- 
men, sir.  Well,  we  kept  the  plantation  going  for  thirteen  years 
and  in  that  time  we  ranked  as  third  in  the  production  of  cotton  in 
Warren  county.  While  we  were  growing  cotton  I  became  very 
well  acquainted  with  Captain  John  W.  Cannon,  the  commander  of 
the  famous  steamboat  the  Robert  E.  Lee.  He  and  Captain  Tom 
Leathers,  the  commander  of  the  Natchez,  were  always  having  some 
sort  of  a  fight  or  another  and  I  saw  the  famous  race  between  the 
two  when  they  actually  settled  the  matter  for  good  and  all. 

"The  death  of  Mr.  Joe  Davis  and  taking  over  of  his  properties 
by  his  heirs  lost  us  our  holdings  and  I  became  interested  in  the  Yazoo 
Delta.  I  heard  that  the  Y.  &  M.  V.  was  asking  colored  people  to 
come  in  and  open  up  the  country  and  after  going  over  the  situation 

90  Journal  of  Negro  History 

I  decided  to  select  Mound  Bayou  for  the  seat  of  my  future  opera- 
tions. This  place  was  selected  because  between  Big  and  Little 
Mound  bayous  there  was  an  old  Indian  mound.  This  was  in  1887 
and  it  certainly  was  a  wild  territory,  it  had  rich  land  but  it  was 
thickly  grown  over  with  oak  and  ash  and  gum,  and  acres  and  acres 
of  cane.  Well,  I  plundered  around  here  and  induced  other  colored 
folks  to  settle  there.  I  founded  Mound  Bayou  Settlement — the 
railroad  folks  wanted  to  name  it  Montgomery,  a  few  years  ago  but  I 
made  the  original  name  stick. 

"Building  up  our  community  was  slow  work.  All  the  colored 
folks  bought  their  places  on  10-year  contracts  and  it  was  hard 
work  for  some  of  them  in  the  face  of  a  few  crop  failures,  overflows, 
boll  weevil  and  other  set-backs  but  we  succeeded.  Mound  Bayou 
Settlement  is  now  a  town  of  a  little  over  1,000  population  and  there 
are  about  2,500  in  the  country  nearby.  The  town  is  of  wholly 
colored  population  and  we  have  three  big  churches,  one  costing 
$25,000,  another  costing  $15,000  and  another  $10,000.  There  are 
several  other  less  pretentious  places  of  worship,  as  well. 

"We  have  two  big  mercantile  establishments.  The  largest  being 
the  one  I  founded  and  known  as  the  Mercantile  Co-operative  Com- 
pany which  now  has  a  $20,000  stock.  We  also  have  the  Mound 
Bayou  State  Bank,  with  $10,000  capital,  a  $3,000  surplus,  with 
resources  between  $150,000  and  $200,000.  I  am  a  member  of  the 
board  of  directors  and  we  make  a  great  many  loans  to  our  colored 
people  to  see  they  get  out  their  crops,  and  being  in  the  staple  cotton 
belt,  we  make  most  of  it  on  this  crop. 

**We  have  just  completed  a  consolidated  school  house,  95  feet 
square,  three  stories  high,  with  16  large  class  rooms.  It  cost  us 
$100,000  which  was  raised  by  a  local  bond  issue.  We  have  a  seven 
to  eight  months'  term  and  employ  an  agricultural  expert,  co-operat- 
ing under  the  Smith-Lever  national  fund  and  a  very  fine  domestic 
science  class. 

"The  town  has  a  mayor  and  a  board  of  aldermen,  all  office 
holders  being  colored  folks,  and  the  present  mayor,  B.  H.  Green,  was 
the  first  man  bom  in  the  settlement.  I  was  mayor  for  over  four 
years,  being  the  first  to  hold  the  office,  resigning  it  to  hold  the  office 
of  receiver  of  public  monies  at  Jackson,  Miss. 

"We  have  four  gins  that  can  handle  over  5,000  bales  and  our 
people  now  feel  that  the  upward  trend  of  the  cotton  price  will  make 
for  further  prosperous  times. ' ' 

Documents  91 

Uncle  Isaiah  Montgomery  remembers  his  services  with  the  Jeffer- 
son family,  first  as  slave  and  afterwards  as  a  trusted  servant,  with 
the  kindliest  feelings.  He  told  of  the  periods  in  1880  and  1883  when 
Jefferson  Davis  returned  to  the  old  Brierfield  and  Hurricane  plan- 
tations, spending  several  weeks  at  the  old  home  once  or  twice  a  year. 
He  usually  had  Mrs.  Davis  with  him  and  the  aged  negro  said  that 
Mrs.  Davis  was  a  remarkable  woman. 

"She  displayed  a  wonderful  interest  in  the  future  of  the  colored 
race,"  he  said.  "It  was  the  impression  made  on  me  by  this  lovely 
woman  that  helped  confirm  my  belief  in  the  ultimate  outcome  of  my 
work  and  efforts  toward  race  betterment,  education  and  uplift  of 
the  negro.  Mrs.  Jefferson  Davis  had  a  broader  comprehension  of 
the  race's  needs  than  anyone  with  whom  I  have  ever  come  in  con- 
tact with.  With  her  death  the  negro  lost  one  of  his  greatest 

"Mr.  Jefferson  Davis  was  a  wonderful  man,  too.  My  thoughts 
frequently  go  back,  now  that  I  am  approaching  the  end  of  my  days, 
to  the  time  I  was  his  personal  servant  as  a  barefoot  boy.  I  truly 
believe,  when  he  got  his  last  sickness,  had  I  been  near  to  nurse  and 
care  for  him,  that  he  would  have  lived  many  more  years.  I  knew, 
and  so  did  my  wife,  what  he  needed  in  the  way  of  food  and  we 
could  have  done  for  him  as  no  one  else  could. 

"It  was  the  influence  of  Jefferson  Davis  and  his  sweet  life  that 
has  guided  aU  my  efforts  in  bettering  the  life  of  my  colored  brothers 
and  if  I  have  succeeded  it  was  because  of  them. " 

The  American  Magazine  in  July,  1914,  gave  the  follow- 
ing account,  an  achievement  of  *'  Comebacks  "  of  recent  date : 

Beaten  Once,  Perry  Tried  Again— and  Succeeded. 

For  years  Heman  E.  Perry,  a  negro,  traveled  over  Texas  for 
white  companies,  selling  old  line  life  insurance  to  his  people.  But 
he  had  a  vision  of  someday  founding  a  company  under  negro 
management,  to  transact  its  business  and  make  its  investments 
among  the  colored  race. 

Finally,  plans  outlined  and  prospectus  and  other  literature 
completed,  he  undertook  the  arduous  task  of  organizing  his  company. 
He  applied  for  a  charter  under  the  laws  of  Georgia,  which  require 
that  the  full  $100,000  capital  shall  be  raised  in  two  years,  or  the 
charter  be  revoked. 

92  Journal  of  Negro  History 

To  raise  $100,000  among  white  men,  or  even  $100,000,000,  is  a 
comparatively  easy  task,  for  they  are  accustomed  to  corporate  in- 
vestments. But  Mr.  Perry  was  to  raise  $100,000  among  a  people 
whose  investments  had  taken  the  form  of  horses  and  houses,  and 
who  did  not  understand  the  value  of  commercial  paper,  especially 
when  purchased  for  $150  with  a  par  value  of  $100.  In  other  words, 
he  had  to  sell  1,000  shares  of  stock,  one,  two  or  three  shares  at  a 
time,  and  he  must  do  this  among  a  people  who  had  never  before 
raised  $100,000  for  a  business  venture. 

For  two  years,  at  his  own  expense.  Perry  traveled  throughout 
the  South.  Then,  with  a  scant  thirty  days  left,  he  found  himself 
with  but  two  thirds  of  the  money  in  hand.  He  hastened  to  New 
York  hoping  to  obtain  a  loan  from  some  bankers.  They  put  him  off 
until  the  last  day  slipped  by.  Then  began  Perry's  heart-breaking 
task  of  returning  the  money  he  had  collected.  He  returned  every 
dollar  with  four  per  cent  interest — money  that  he  had  spent  all 
his  own  cash  in  collecting. 

This  was  enough  to  crush  any  ordinary  man.  But  after  three 
months  Perry  met  a  selected  assembly  of  negro  business  men  in 
Atlanta,  ready  to  begin  all  over  again. 

He  retraced  his  first  long  journey,  constantly  hearing,  "You 
failed  once,  you'll  fail  again."  But  he  continued  his  fight,  and  on 
June  14th,  1913,  after  $105,000  had  been  paid  for  Georgia  state 
bonds,  the  first  and  only  old  line  legal  reserve  life  insurance  com- 
pany in  the  world  managed  and  operated  by  negroes  formally  began 
business.  It  now  operates  in  nine  states,  and  has  over  $2,000,000 
insurance  on  the  lives  of  negroes,  because  Heman  E.  Perry  would 
not  acknowledge  defeat,  and  had  the  power  to  "come  back"  and 

George  F.  Porter 


Looking  backward  over  a  space  of  fifty  years  or  more,  I  have  in 
remembrance  two  travelers  whose  lives  were  real  in  their  activity ; 
two  lives  that  have  indelibly  impressed  themselves  upon  my  memory- 
two  lives  whose  energy  and  best  ability  was  exerted  to  make  my  life 
what  it  should  be,  and  who  gave  me  a  home  where  wisdom  and  in- 
dustry went  hand  in  hand;  where  instruction  was  given  that  a 
cultivated  brain  and  an  industrious  hand  were  the  twin  conditions 
that  lead  to  a  well  balanced  and  useful  life.  These  two  lives  were 
embodied  in  the  personalities  of  Frederick  Douglass  and  Anna  Mur- 
ray his  wife. 

They  met  at  the  base  of  a  mountain  of  wrong  and  oppression, 
victims  of  the  slave  power  as  it  existed  over  sixty  years  ago,  one 
smarting  under  the  manifold  hardships  as  a  slave,  the  other  in 
many  ways  suffering  from  the  effects  of  such  a  system. 

The  story  of  Frederick  Douglass'  hopes  and  aspirations  and 
longing  desire  for  freedom  has  been  told— you  all  know  it.  It  was 
a  story  made  possible  by  the  unswerving  loyalty  of  Anna  Murray,  to 
whose  memory  this  paper  is  written. 

Anna  Murray  was  born  in  Denton,  Caroline  County,  Maryland, 
an  adjoining  county  to  that  in  which  my  father  was  born.  The 
exact  date  of  her  birth  is  not  known.  Her  parents,  Bambarra 
Murray  and  Mary,  his  wife,  were  slaves,  their  family  consisting 
of  twelve  children,  seven  of  whom  were  born  in  slavery  and  five 
born  in  freedom.  My  mother,  the  eighth  child,  escaped  by  the  short 
period  of  one  month,  the  fate  of  her  older  brothers  and  sisters,  and 
was  the  first  free  child. 

Remaining  with  her  parents  until  she  was  seventeen,  she  felt 
it  time  that  she  should  be  entirely  self-supporting  and  with  that 
idea  she  left  her  country  home  and  went  to  Baltimore,  sought  em- 
plojTnent  in  a  French  family  by  the  name  of  Montell  whom  she 
served  two  years.  Doubtless  it  was  while  with  them  she  gained 
her  first  idea  as  to  household  management  which  served  her  so  well 

1  This  paper  and  the  one  which  follows  give  valuable  information  about 
Frederick  Douglass  and  his  wife. 


94  Journal  of  Negro  History 

in  after  years  and  which  gained  for  her  the  reputation  of  a  thorough 
and  competent  housekeeper. 

On  leaving  the  Montells',  she  served  in  a  family  by  the  name 
of  Wells  living  on  S.  Caroline  Street.  Wells  was  Post-master  at 
the  time  of  my  father's  escape  from  slavery.  It  interested  me  very 
much  in  one  of  my  recent  visits  to  Baltimore,  to  go  to  that  house 
accompanied  by  an  old  friend  of  my  parents  of  those  early  days, 
who  as  a  free  woman  was  enabled  with  others  to  make  my  father's 
life  easier  while  he  was  a  slave  in  that  city.  This  house  is  owned 
now  by  a  colored  man.  In  going  through  the  house  I  endeavored 
to  remember  its  appointments,  so  frequently  spoken  of  by  my  mother, 
for  she  had  lived  with  this  family  seven  years  and  an  attachment 
sprang  up  between  her  and  the  members  of  that  household,  the 
memory  of  which  gave  her  pleasure  to  recall. 

The  free  people  of  Baltimore  had  their  own  circles  from  which 
the  slaves  were  excluded.  The  ruling  of  them  out  of  their  society 
resulted  more  from  the  desire  of  the  slaveholder  than  from  any 
great  wish  of  the  free  people  themselves.  If  a  slave  would  dare  to 
hazard  all  danger  and  enter  among  the  free  people  he  would  be 
received.  To  such  a  little  circle  of  free  people — a  circle  a  little 
more  exclusive  than  others,  Frederick  Baily  was  welcomed.  Anna 
Murray,  to  whom  he  had  given  his  heart,  sympathized  with  him 
and  she  devoted  all  her  energies  to  assist  him.  The  three  weeks 
prior  to  the  escape  were  busy  and  anxious  weeks  for  Anna  Murray. 
She  had  lived  with  the  Wells  family  so  long  and  having  been  able 
to  save  the  greater  part  of  her  earnings  was  willing  to  share  with 
the  man  she  loved  that  he  might  gain  the  freedom  he  yearned  to 
possess.  Her  courage,  her  sympathy  at  the  start  was  the  main- 
spring that  supported  the  career  of  Frederick  Douglass.  As  is  the 
condition  of  most  wives  her  identity  became  so  merged  with  that 
of  her  husband,  that  few  of  their  earlier  friends  in  the  North  really 
knew  and  appreciated  the  full  value  of  the  woman  who  presided 
over  the  Douglass  home  for  forty-four  years.  When  the  escaped 
slave  and  future  husband  of  Anna  Murray  had  reached  New  York 
in  safety,  his  first  act  was  to  write  her  of  his  arrival  and  as  they  had 
previously  arranged  she  was  to  come  on  immediately.  Reaching 
New  York  a  week  later,  they  were  married  and  immediately  took 
their  wedding  trip  to  New  Bedford.  In  * '  My  Bondage  of  Freedom, ' ' 
by  Frederick  Douglass,  a  graphic  account  of  that  trip  is  given. 

The  little  that  they  possessed  was  the  outcome  of  the  industrial 

Documents  95 

and  economical  habits  that  were  characteristic  of  my  mother.  She 
had  brought  with  her  sufficient  goods  and  chattel  to  fit  up  com- 
fortably two  rooms  in  her  New  Bedford  home — a  feather  bed  with 
pillows,  bed  linen,  dishes,  knives,  forks,  and  spoons,  besides  a  well 
filled  trunk  of  wearing  apparel  for  herself.  A  new  plum  colored 
silk  dress  was  her  wedding  gown.  To  my  child  eyes  that  dress  was 
very  fine.  She  had  previously  sold  one  of  her  feather  beds  to  assist 
in  defraying  the  expenses  of  the  flight  from  bondage. 

The  early  days  in  New  Bedford  were  spent  in  daily  toil,  the  wife 
at  the  wash  board,  the  husband  with  saw,  buck  and  axe.  I  have  fre- 
quently listened  to  the  rehearsal  of  those  early  days  of  endeavor, 
looking  around  me  at  the  well  appointed  home  built  up  from  the 
labor  of  the  father  and  mother  under  so  much  difficulty,  and  found 
it  hard  to  realize  that  it  was  a  fact.  After  the  day  of  toil  they 
would  seek  their  little  home  of  two  rooms  and  the  meal  of  the  day 
that  was  most  enjoyable  was  the  supper  nicely  prepared  by  mother. 
Father  frequently  spoke  of  the  neatly  set  table  with  its  snowy 
white  cloth —  coarse  tho'  it  was. 

In  1890  I  was  taken  by  my  father  to  these  rooms  on  Elm  Street, 
New  Bedford,  Mass.,  overlooking  Buzzards  Bay.  This  was  my 
birth  place.  Every  detail  as  to  the  early  housekeeping  was  gone 
over,  it  was  splendidly  impressed  upon  my  mind,  even  to  the  hang- 
ing of  a  towel  on  a  particular  nail.  Many  of  the  dishes  used  by  my 
mother  at  that  time  were  in  our  Rochester  home  and  kept  as  souve- 
nirs of  those  first  days  of  housekeeping.  The  fire  that  destroyed 
that  home  in  1872,  also  destroyed  them. 

Three  of  the  family  had  their  birthplace  in  New  Bedford.  When 
after  having  written  his  first  narrative,  father  built  himself  a 
nice  little  cottage  in  Lynn,  Mass.,  and  moved  his  family  there, 
previously  to  making  his  first  trip  to  Europe.  He  was  absent 
during  the  years  '45  and  '46.  It  was  then  that  mother  with  four 
children,  the  eldest  in  her  sixth  year,  struggled  to  maintain  the 
family  amid  much  that  would  dampen  the  courage  of  many  a  young 
woman  of  to-day.  I  had  previously  been  taken  to  Albany  by  my 
father  as  a  means  of  lightening  the  burden  for  mother.  Abigail 
and  Lydia  Mott,  cousins  of  Lucretia  Mott,  desired  to  have  the  care 
of  me. 

During  the  absence  of  my  father,  mother  sustained  her  little 
family  by  binding  shoes.  Mother  had  many  friends  in  the  anti- 
slavery  circle  of  Lynn  and  Boston  who  recognized  her  sterling 

96  Journal  of  Negro  History 

qualities,  and  who  encouraged  her  during  the  long  absence  of  her 
husband.  Those  were  days  of  anxious  worry.  The  narrative  of 
Frederick  Douglass  with  its  bold  utterances  of  truth,  with  the  names 
of  the  parties  with  whom  he  had  been  associated  in  slave  life,  so 
incensed  the  slaveholders  that  it  was  doubtful  if  ever  he  would  re- 
turn to  this  country  and  also  there  was  danger  for  mother  and  those 
who  had  aided  in  his  escape,  being  pursued.  It  was  with  hesitancy 
father  consented  to  leave  the  country,  and  not  until  he  was  assured 
by  the  many  friends  that  mother  and  the  children  would  be  care- 
fully guarded,  would  he  go. 

There  were  among  the  Anti-Slavery  people  of  Massachusetts  a 
fraternal  spirit  born  of  the  noble  purpose  near  their  heart  that 
served  as  an  uplift  and  encouraged  the  best  energies  in  each  indi- 
vidual, and  mother  from  the  contact  with  the  great  and  noble 
workers  grew  and  improved  even  more  than  ever  before.  She  was 
a  recognized  co-worker  in  the  A.  S.  Societies  of  Lynn  and  Boston, 
and  no  circle  was  felt  to  be  complete  without  her  presence.  There 
was  a  weekly  gathering  of  the  women  to  prepare  articles  for  the 
Annual  A.  S.  Fair  held  in  Faneuil  Hall,  Boston.  At  that  time 
mother  would  spend  the  week  in  attendance  having  charge,  in  com- 
pany of  a  committee  of  ladies  of  which  she  was  one,  over  the  re- 
freshments. The  New  England  women  were  all  workers  and  there 
was  no  shirking  of  responsibility — all  worked.  It  became  the  custom 
of  the  ladies  of  the  Lynn  society  for  each  to  take  their  turn  in 
assisting  mother  in  her  household  duties  on  the  morning  of  the  day 
that  the  sewing  circle  met  so  as  to  be  sure  of  her  meeting  with  them. 
It  was  mother's  custom  to  put  aside  the  earnings  from  a  certain 
number  of  shoes  she  had  bound  as  her  donation  to  the  A.  S.  cause. 
Being  frugal  and  economic  she  was  able  to  put  by  a  portion  of  her 
earnings  for  a  rainy  day. 

I  have  often  heard  my  father  speak  in  admiration  of  mother's 
executive  ability.  During  his  absence  abroad,  he  sent,  as  he  could, 
support  for  his  family,  and  on  his  coming  home  he  supposed  there 
would  be  some  bills  to  settle.  One  day  while  talking  over  their 
affairs,  mother  arose  and  quietly  going  to  the  bureau  drawer  pro- 
duced a  Bank  book  with  the  sums  deposited  just  in  the  proportion 
father  had  sent,  the  book  also  containing  deposits  of  her  own  earn- 
ings— and  not  a  debt  had  been  contracted  during  his  absence. 

The  greatest  trial,  perhaps,  that  mother  was  called  upon  to  en- 
dure, after  parting  from  her  Baltimore  friends  several  years  before, 

Documents  97 

was  the  leaving  her  Massachusetts  home  for  the  Rochester  home 
where  father  established  the  "North  Star."  She  never  forgot  her 
old  friends  and  delighted  to  speak  of  them  up  to  her  last  illness. 
Wendell  Phillips,  Wm.  Lloyd  Garrison,  Sydney  Howard  Gay 
and  many  more  with  their  wives  were  particularly  kind  to  her. 
At  one  of  the  Anti-Slavery  conventions  held  in  Syracuse,  father  and 
mother  were  the  guests  of  Rev.  Samuel  J.  May,  a  Unitarian  minister 
and  an  ardent  Anti-Slavery  friend.  The  spacious  parlors  of  the 
May  mansion  were  thrown  open  for  a  reception  to  their  honor  and 
where  she  could  meet  her  old  Boston  friends.  The  refreshments 
were  served  on  trays,  one  of  which  placed  upon  an  improvised  table 
made  by  the  sitting  close  together  of  Wendell  Phillips,  Wm.  Lloyd 
Garrison  and  Sydney  Howard  Gay,  mother  was  invited  to  sit,  the 
four  making  an  interesting  tableaux. 

Mother  occasionally  traveled  with  father  on  his  short  trips,  but 
not  as  often  as  he  would  have  liked  as  she  was  a  housekeeper  who 
felt  that  her  presence  was  necessary  in  the  home,  as  she  was  wont 
to  say  "to  keep  things  straight."  Her  life  in  Rochester  was  not 
less  active  in  the  cause  of  the  slave,  if  anything  she  was  more  self- 
sacrificing,  and  it  was  a  long  time  after  her  residence  there  that 
she  was  understood.  The  atmosphere  in  which  she  was  placed 
lacked  the  genial  cordiality  that  greeted  her  in  her  Massachusetts 
home.  There  were  only  the  few  that  learned  to  know  her,  for, 
she  drew  around  herself  a  certain  reserve,  after  meeting  her  new 
acquaintances  that  forbade  any  very  near  approach  to  her.  Prej- 
udice in  the  early  40 's  in  Rochester  ran  rampant  and  mother  be- 
came more  distrustful.  There  were  a  few  loyal  co-workers  and 
she  set  herself  assiduously  to  work.  In  the  home,  with  the  aid  of 
a  laundress  only,  she  managed  her  household.  She  watched  with 
a  great  deal  of  interest  and  no  little  pride  the  growth  in  public 
life  of  my  father,  and  in  every  possible  way  that  she  was  capable 
aided  him  by  relieving  him  of  all  the  management  of  the  home  as 
it  increased  in  size  and  in  its  appointments.  It  was  her  pleasure 
to  know  that  when  he  stood  up  before  an  audience  that  his  linen 
was  immaculate  and  that  she  had  made  it  so,  for,  no  matter  how 
well  the  laundry  was  done  for  the  family,  she  must  with  her  own 
hands  smooth  the  tucks  in  father's  linen  and  when  he  was  on  a 
long  journey  she  would  forward  at  a  given  point  a  fresh  supply. 

Being  herself  one  of  the  first  agents  of  the  Underground  Rail- 
road she  was  an  untiring  worker  along  that  line.     To  be  able  to 

98  Journal,  of  Negeo  History 

accommodate  in  a  comfortable  manner  the  fugitives  that  passed 
our  way,  father  enlarged  his  home  where  a  suite  of  rooms  could 
be  made  ready  for  those  fleeing  to  Canada.  It  was  no  unusual 
occurrence  for  mother  to  be  called  up  at  all  hours  of  the  night, 
cold  or  hot  as  the  case  may  be,  to  prepare  supper  for  a  hungry 
lot  of  fleeing  humanity. 

She  was  greatly  interested  in  the  publication  of  the  "North 
Star"  or  Frederick  Douglass'  paper  as  it  was  called  later  on,  and 
publication  day  was  always  a  day  for  extra  rejoicing  as  each 
weekly  paper  was  felt  to  be  another  arrow  sent  on  its  way  to  do 
the  work  of  puncturing  the  veil  that  shrouded  a  whole  race  in 
gloom.  Mother  felt  it  her  duty  to  have  her  table  well  supplied 
with  extra  provisions  that  day,  a  custom  that  we,  childlike,  fully 
appreciated.  Our  home  was  two  miles  from  the  center  of  the  city, 
where  our  office  was  situated,  and  many  times  did  we  trudge 
through  snow  knee  deep,  as  street  cars  were  unknown. 

During  one  of  the  summer  vacations  the  question  arose  in 
father's  mind  as  to  how  his  sons  should  be  employed,  for  them  to 
run  wild  through  the  streets  was  out  of  the  question.  There  was 
much  hostile  feeling  against  the  colored  boys  and  as  he  would  be 
from  home  most  of  the  time,  he  felt  anxious  about  them.  Mother 
came  to  the  rescue  with  the  suggestion  that  they  be  taken  into  the 
office  and  taught  the  case.  They  were  little  fellows  and  the 
thought  had  not  occurred  to  father.  He  acted  upon  the  sugges- 
tion and  at  the  ages  of  eleven  and  nine  they  were  perched  upon 
blocks  and  given  their  first  lesson  in  printer's  ink,  besides  being 
employed  to  carry  papers  and  mailing  them. 

Father  was  mother's  honored  guest.  He  was  from  home  so 
often  that  his  home  comings  were  events  that  she  thought  worthy 
of  extra  notice,  and  caused  renewed  activity.  Every  thing  was 
done  that  could  be  to  add  to  his  comfort.  She  also  found  time  to 
care  for  four  other  boys  at  different  times.  As  they  became  mem- 
bers of  our  home  circle,  the  care  of  their  clothing  was  as  carefully 
seen  to  as  her  own  children's  and  they  delighted  in  calling  her 

In  her  early  life  she  was  a  member  of  the  Methodist  Church, 
as  was  father,  but  in  our  home  there  was  no  family  alter.  Our 
custom  was  to  read  a  chapter  in  the  Bible  around  the  table,  each 
reading  a  verse  in  turn  until  the  chapter  was  completed.  She  was 
a  person  who  strived  to  live  a  Christian  life  instead  of  talking  it. 

Documents  99 

She  was  a  woman  strong  in  her  likes  and  dislikes,  and  had  a  large 
discernment  as  to  the  character  of  those  who  came  around  her. 
Her  gift  in  that  direction  being  very  fortunate  in  the  protection 
of  father's  interest  especially  in  the  early  days  of  his  public  life, 
when  there  was  great  apprehension  for  his  safety.  She  was  a 
woman  firm  in  her  opposition  to  alcoholic  drinks,  a  strict  disci- 
plinarian— her  no  meant  no  and  yes,  yes,  but  more  frequently  the 
no's  had  it,  especially  when  I  was  the  petitioner.  So  far  as  I  was 
concerned,  I  found  my  father  more  yielding  than  my  mother, 
altho'  both  were  rigid  as  to  the  matter  of  obedience. 

There  was  a  certain  amount  of  grim  humor  about  mother  and 
perhaps  such  exhibitions  as  they  occurred  were  a  little  startling 
to  those  who  were  unacquainted  with  her.  The  reserve  in  which 
she  held  herself  made  whatever  she  might  attempt  of  a  jocose  na- 
ture somewhat  acrid.  She  could  not  be  known  all  at  once,  she  had 
to  be  studied.  She  abhorred  shames.  In  the  early  70  's  she  came 
to  "Washington  and  found  a  large  number  of  people  from  whom 
the  shackles  had  recently  fallen.  She  fully  realized  their  condi- 
tion and  considered  the  gaieties  that  were  then  indulged  in  as 
frivolous  in  the  extreme. 

On  one  occasion  several  young  women  called  upon  her  and 
commenting  on  her  spacious  parlors  and  the  approaching  holiday 
season,  thought  it  a  favorable  opportunity  to  suggest  the  keeping 
of  an  open  house.  Mother  replied:  "I  have  been  keeping  open 
house  for  several  weeks.  I  have  it  closed  now  and  I  expect  to  keep 
it  closed."  The  young  women  thinking  mother's  understanding 
was  at  fault,  endeavored  to  explain.  They  were  assured,  how- 
ever, that  they  were  fully  understood.  Father,  who  was  present, 
laughingly  pointed  to  the  New  Bay  Window,  which  had  been  com- 
pleted only  a  few  days  previous  to  their  call. 

Perhaps  no  other  home  received  under  its  roof  a  more  varied 
class  of  people  than  did  our  home.  From  the  highest  dignitaries 
to  the  lowliest  person,  bond  or  free,  white  or  black,  were  welcomed, 
and  mother  was  equally  gracious  to  all.  There  were  a  few  who 
presumed  on  the  hospitality  of  the  home  and  officiously  insinuated 
themselves  and  their  advice  in  a  manner  that  was  particularly 
disagreeable  to  her.  This  unwelcome  attention  on  the  part  of  the 
visitor  would  be  grievously  repelled,  in  a  manner  more  forceful 
than  the  said  party  would  deem  her  capable  of,  and  from  such  a 
person  an  erroneous  impression  of  her  temper  and  qualifications 

100  Journal  of  Negro  History 

would  be  given,  and  criticisms  sharp  and  unjust  would  be  made; 
so  that  altho  she  had  her  triumphs,  they  were  trials,  and  only 
those  who  knew  her  intimately  could  fully  understand  and  ap- 
preciate the  enduring  patience  of  the  wife  and  mother. 

During  her  wedded  life  of  forty-four  years,  whether  in  ad- 
versity or  prosperity,  she  was  the  same  faithful  ally,  guarding  as 
best  she  could  every  interest  connected  with  my  father,  his  life- 
work  and  the  home.  Unfortunately  an  opportunity  for  a  knowl- 
edge of  books  had  been  denied  her,  the  lack  of  which  she  greatly 
deplored.  Her  increasing  family  and  household  duties  prevented 
any  great  advancement,  altho'  she  was  able  to  read  a  little.  By 
contact  with  people  of  culture  and  education,  and  they  were  her 
real  friends,  her  improvement  was  marked.  She  took  a  lively 
interest  in  every  phase  of  the  Anti-Slavery  movement,  an  interest 
that  father  took  full  pains  to  foster  and  to  keep  her  intelligently 
informed.  I  was  instructed  to  read  to  her.  She  was  a  good 
listener,  making  comments  on  passing  events,  which  were  well 
worth  consideration,  altho'  the  manner  of  the  presentation  of  them 
might  provoke  a  smile.  Her  value  was  fully  appreciated  by  my 
father,  and  in  one  of  his  letters  to  Thomas  Auld,  (his  former 
master,)  he  says,  "Instead  of  finding  my  companion  a  burden  she 
is  truly  a  helpmeet." 

In  1882,  this  remarkable  woman,  for  in  many  ways  she  was  re- 
markable, was  stricken  with  paralysis  and  for  four  weeks  was  a 
great  sufferer.  Altho'  perfectly  helpless,  she  insisted  from  her 
sick  bed  to  direct  her  home  affairs.  The  orders  were  given  with 
precision  and  they  were  obeyed  with  alacrity.  Her  fortitude  and 
patience  up  to  within  ten  days  of  her  death  were  very  great.  She 
helped  us  to  bear  her  burden.  Many  letters  of  condolence  from 
those  who  had  met  her  and  upon  whom  pleasant  impressions  had 
been  made,  were  received.  Hon.  J.  M.  Dalzell  of  Ohio,  wrote 

"You  know  I  never  met  your  good  wife  but  once  and  then  her 
welcome  was  so  warm  and  sincere  and  unaffected,  her  manner  al- 
together so  motherly,  and  her  goodby  so  full  of  genuine  kindness 
and  hospitality,  as  to  impress  me  tenderly  and  fill  my  eyes  with 
tears  as  I  now  recall  it." 

Prof.  Peter  H.  Clark  of  Cincinnati,  Ohio,  wrote:  "The  kind 
treatment  given  to  us  and  our  little  one  so  many  years  ago  won 
for  her  a  place  in  our  hearts  from  which  no  lapse  of  time  could 

Documents  101 

move  her.     To  us  she  was  ever  kind  and  good  and  our  moTirning 
because  of  her  death,  is  heartfelt." 

There  is  much  room  for  reflection  in  the  review  in  the  life  of 
such  a  woman  as  Anna  Murray  Douglass.  Unlettered  tho'  she 
was,  there  was  a  strength  of  character  and  of  purpose  that  won 
for  her  the  respect  of  the  noblest  and  best.  She  was  a  woman  who 
strove  to  inculcate  in  the  minds  of  her  children  the  highest  princi- 
ples of  morality  and  virtue  both  by  precept  and  example.  She 
was  not  well  versed  in  the  polite  etiquette  of  the  drawing  room, 
the  rules  for  the  same  being  found  in  the  many  treatises  devoted 
to  that  branch  of  literature.  She  was  possessed  of  a  much  broader 
culture,  and  with  discernment  born  of  intelligent  observation,  and 
wise  discrimination  she  welcomed  all  with  the  hearty  manner  of  a 
noble  soul. 

I  have  thus  striven  to  give  you  a  glimpse  of  my  mother.  In  so 
doing  I  am  conscious  of  having  made  frequent  mention  of  my 
father.  It  is  difficult  to  say  any  thing  of  mother  without  the  men- 
tion of  father,  her  life  was  so  enveloped  in  his.  Together  they 
rest  side  by  side,  and  most  befittingly,  within  sight  of  the  dear  old 
home  of  hallowed  memories  and  from  which  the  panting  fugitive, 
the  weary  traveler,  the  lonely  emigrant  of  every  clime,  received 
food  and  shelter. 

RosETTA  Douglass  Sprague. 


Few  persons  have  any  idea  as  to  the  connection  between 
the  abolition  of  slavery  in  the  United  States  and  the  strug- 
gle of  the  Irish  for  freedom.  According  to  The  Standard 
Union,  when  in  the  decade  1830  Negro  slavery  existed  in 
the  British  West  Indies,  a  little  party  of  liberal  men  in  the 
British  Parliament  began  to  agitate  in  season  and  out  of 
season  for  emancipation,  Daniel  O'Connell,  with  a  few  Irish 
members  who  supported  him,  threw  his  strength  to  this  little 
party  on  every  division.  There  was  a  West  Indian  interest 
pledged  to  maintain  Negro  slavery,  and  this  interest  counted 
twenty-seven  votes  in  Parliament.  They  came  to  O'Connell 
and  offered  their  twenty-seven  votes  to  him  on  every  Irish 
question  if  he  would  oppose  Negro  emancipation. 

"It  was,"  said  Wendell  Phillips,  "a  terrible  temptation.  How 
many  a  so-called  statesman  would  have  yielded ! "  0  'Connell  said : 
"Gentlemen,  God  knows  I  speak  for  the  saddest  nation  the  sun 
ever  sees,  but  may  my  right  hand  forget  its  cunning  and  my  tongue 
cleave  to  the  roof  of  my  mouth,  if  to  serve  Ireland,  even  Ireland, 
I  forget  the  Negro  one  single  hour. ' ' 

The  following  account  taken  from  The  Liberator,  includ- 
ing a  letter  from  Frederick  Douglass,  shows  the  genuineness 
of  this  Irish  friendship  for  the  Negro  in  the  United  States : 

A  letter  of  extraordinary  interest  at  this  time  from  Mr.  Freder- 
ick Douglass  to  Mr.  William  Lloyd  Garrison  has  just  come  to  light 
in  the  columns  of  The  True  American,  a  little  anti-slavery  paper 
published  in  Cortland  Village,  N.  Y.,  in  1846.  The  letter,  written 
with  the  eloquence  and  depth  of  feeling  which  characterized  all 
Mr.  Douglass's  utterances  on  the  subject  of  slavery  and  the  abuse 
of  the  Negro  in  this  country.  The  letter,  which  The  True  Ameri- 
can copied  from  The  Boston  Liberator,  Mr.  Garrison's  Paper,  is 
introduced  by  the  following  editorial  comment  from  The  Albany 
Journal  under  date  of  February  11,  1846. 

"It  is  scarcely  necessary  to  direct  attention  to  the  letter  of 


Documents  103 

Frederick  Douglass  which  we  copy  from  The  Boston  Liberator.  It 
will  be  read  with  equal  pleasure  and  amazement  by  those  who 
remember  that  eight  years  ago  he  was  a  slave,  and  that  he  literally 
stole  the  elements  of  an  education  which  now  gives  him  rank  among 
the  most  gifted  and  eloquent  men  of  the  age. 

"We  shall  not  blame  those  who  refuse  to  believe  that  Frederick 
wrote  this  letter.  Without  the  personal  knowledge  we  possess  of 
his  extraordinary  attainments,  we  too  should  doubt  whether  a  fugi- 
tive slave,  who,  as  but  yesterday,  escaped  from  a  bondage  that 
doomed  him  to  ignorance  and  degradation,  now  stands  up  and  re- 
bukes oppression  with  a  dignity  and  force  scarcely  kss  glowing  than 
that  which  Paul  addressed  to  Agrippa." 

The  letter  is  as  follows : 

Victoria  Hotel,  Belfast, 
January  1st,  1846. 
My  dear  Friend  Garrison: 

I  am  now  about  to  take  leave  of  the  Emerald  Isle,  for  Glasgow, 
Scotland.  I  have  been  here  a  little  more  than  four  months.— Up  to 
this  time,  I  have  been  given  no  direct  expression  of  the  views,  feel- 
ings and  opinions  which  I  have  formed,  respecting  the  character  and 
condition  of  the  people  of  this  land.  I  have  refrained  thus  pur- 
posely. I  wish  to  speak  advisedly,  and  in  order  to  do  this,  I  have 
waited  till  I  trust  experience  has  brought  my  opinions  to  an  intelli- 
gent maturity.  I  have  been  thus  thankful,  not  because  I  think  what 
I  may  say  will  have  much  effect  in  shaping  the  opinions  of  the 
world,  but  because  whatever  of  influence  I  may  possess,  whether 
little  or  much,  I  wish  it  to  go  in  the  right  direction,  and  according 
to  truth. 

I  hardly  need  say  that  in  speaking  of  Ireland,  I  shall  be  influ- 
enced by  no  prejudices  in  favor  of  America.  I  think  my  circum- 
stances all  forbid  that.  I  have  no  end  to  serve,  no  creed  to  uphold, 
no  government  to  defend ;  and  as  to  nation,  I  belong  to  none.  I 
have  no  protection  at  home,  or  resting  place  abroad.  The  land  of 
my  birth  welcomes  me  to  her  shores  only  as  a  slave,  and  spurns 
with  contempt  the  idea  of  treating  me  differently.— So  that  I  am  an 
outcast  from  the  society  of  my  childhood,  and  an  outlaw  in  the  land 
of  my  birth.  "  I  am  a  stranger  with  thee,  and  a  sojourner  as  all  my 
fathers  were."  That  men  should  be  patriotic  is  to  me  perfectly 
natural ;  and  as  a  philosophical  fact,  I  am  able  to  give  it  an  inteliec- 

104  Journal,  of  Negro  History 

tual  recognition.  But  no  further  can  I  go.  If  ever  I  had  any 
patriotism,  or  any  capacity  for  the  feeling,  it  was  whipt  out  of  me 
long  since  by  the  lash  of  the  American  souldrivers. 

In  thinking  of  America,  I  sometimes  find  myself  admiring  her 
bright  blue  sky — her  grand  old  woods — her  fertile  fields — her  beau- 
tiful rivers — her  mighty  lakes,  and  star  crowned  mountains.  But 
my  rapture  is  soon  checked,  my  joy  is  soon  turned  to  mourning. 
When  I  remember  that  all  is  cursed  with  the  infernal  spirit  of 
slaveholding,  robbery  and  wrong, — when  I  remember  that  with  the 
waters  of  her  noblest  rivers,  the  tears  of  my  brethren  are  borne  to 
the  ocean,  disregarded  and  forgotten,  and  that  her  most  fertile 
fields  drink  daily  of  the  warm  blood  of  my  outraged  sisters,  I  am 
filled  with  unutterable  loathing,  and  led  to  reproach  myself  that 
anything  could  fall  from  my  lips  in  praise  of  such  a  land.  America 
will  not  allow  her  children  to  love  her.  She  seems  bent  on  compell- 
ing those  who  would  be  her  warmest  friends,  to  be  her  worst  enemies. 
May  God  give  her  repentance  before  it  is  too  late,  is  the  ardent 
prayer  of  my  heart.  I  will  continue  to  pray,  labor  and  wait, 
believing  that  she  cannot  always  be  insensible  to  the  dictates  of 
justice,  or  deaf  to  the  voice  of  humanity. 

My  opportunities  for  learning  the  character  and  condition  of 
the  people  of  this  land  have  been  very  great.-  I  have  travelled  al- 
most from  the  hill  of  "Howth"  to  the  "Giant's  Causeway,  and 
from  the  Giant's  Causewaj^  to  Cape  Clear.  During  these  travels,  I 
have  met  with  much  in  the  character  and  condition  of  the  people 
to  approve,  and  much  to  condemn — much  that  has  thrilled  me  with 
pleasure — and  very  much  that  has  filled  me  with  pain.  I  will  not 
in  this  letter  attempt  to  give  any  description  of  those  scenes  which 
have  given  me  i>ain.  This  I  will  do  hereafter.  I  have  enough,  and 
more  than  your  subscribers  will  be  disposed  to  read  at  one  time, 
of  the  bright  side  of  the  picture.  I  can  truly  say,  I  have  spent 
some  of  the  happiest  moments  of  my  life  since  landing  in  this 
country.  I  seem  to  have  undergone  a  transformation.  I  live  a 
new  life. 

The  warm  and  generous  co-operation  extended  to  me  by  the 
friends  of  my  despised  race— the  prompt  and  liberal  manner  with 
which  the  press  has  rendered  me  its  aid — the  glorious  enthusiasm 
with  which  thousands  have  flocked  to  hear  the  cruel  wrongs  of  my 
down-trodden  and  long  enslaved  countrymen  portrayed — the  deep 
sympathy  of  the  slave,  and  the  strong  abhorrence  of  the  slave- 

Documents  105 

holder,  everjnvhere  evinced — the  cordiality  with  which  members 
and  ministers  of  various  religious  bodies,  and  of  various  shades  of 
religious  opinion,  have  embraced  me  and  lent  me  their  aid — the 
kind  hospitality  constantly  proffered  to  me  by  persons  of  the  high- 
est rank  in  society — the  spirit  of  freedom  that  seems  to  animate  all 
with  whom  I  come  in  contact — and  the  entire  absence  of  everything 
that  looked  like  prejudice  against  me,  on  account  of  the  color  of 
my  skin — contrasting  so  strongly  with  my  long  and  bitter  experi- 
ence in  the  United  States,  that  I  look  with  wonder  and  amazement 
on  the  transition. 

In  the  Southern  part  of  the  United  States  I  was  a  slave,  thought 
of  and  spoken  of  as  property.  In  the  language  of  the  law,  "held, 
taken,  reputed  and  adjudged  to  be  chattel  in  the  hands  of  my 
owners  and  possessors,  and  their  executors,  administrators,  or  as- 
signs, to  all  intents,  constructions,  and  purposes  whatever. ' ' — Brev. 
Digest,  224.  In  the  Northern  States,  a  fugitive  slave,  liable  to  be 
hunted  at  any  moment  like  a  felon,  and  to  be  hurried  into  the  ter- 
rible jaws  of  slavery — doomed  by  an  inveterate  prejudice  against 
color  to  insult  and  outrage  in  every  hand.  (Massachusetts  out  of 
the  question) — denied  the  privileges  and  courtesies  common  to 
others  in  the  use  of  the  most  humble  of  conveyances — shut  out  from 
the  cabins  on  steamboats — refused  admission  to  respectable  hotels — 
caricatured,  scorned,  scoffed,  mocked  and  maltreated  with  impunity 
by  any  one  (no  matter  how  black  his  heart),  so  he  has  a  white  skin. 

But  now  behold  the  change !  Eleven  days  and  a  half  gone,  and 
I  have  crossed  three  thousand  miles  of  the  perilous  deep.  Instead 
of  a  democratic  government,  I  am  under  a  monarchical  government. 
Instead  of  the  bright  blue  sky  of  America,  I  am  covered  with  the 
soft  gray  fog  of  the  Emerald  Isle.  I  breathe,  and  lo !  the  chattel 
becomes  a  man.  I  gaze  around  in  vain  for  one  who  will  question 
my  equal  humanity,  claim  me  as  his  slave,  or  offer  me  an  insult.  I 
employ  a  cab — I  am  seated  beside  white  people — I  reach  the  hotel — 
I  enter  the  same  door — I  am  shown  into  the  same  parlor — I  dine  at 
the  same  table — and  no  one  is  offended.  No  delicate  nose  grows 
deformed  in  my  presence.  I  have  no  difficulty  here  in  obtaining 
admission  into  any  place  of  worship,  instruction  or  amusement,  on 
equal  terms  with  people  as  white  as  any  I  ever  saw  in  the  United 
States.  I  meet  nothing  to  remind  me  of  my  complexion.  I  find 
myself  regarded  and  treated  at  every  turn  with  the  kindness  and 
deference  paid  to  white  people.    When  I  go  to  church,  I  am  met 

106  JouKNAL  OF  Negro  History 

by  no  upturned  nose  and  scorned  lip  to  tell  me,  "We  don't  allow 
niggers  in  here ! ' ' 

I  remember  about  two  years  ago,  there  was  in  Boston,  near  the 
southwest  corner  of  Boston  Common,  a  menagerie.  I  had  long 
desired  to  see  such  a  collection  as  I  understood  were  being  ex- 
hibited there.  Never  having  had  an  opportunity  while  a  slave,  I 
resolved  to  seize  this,  my  first,  since  my  escape.  I  went,  and  as  I 
approached  the  entrance  to  gain  admission,  I  was  met  and  told  by 
the  doorkeeper  in  a  harsh  and  contemptuous  tone,  "We  don't 
allow  niggers  here!"  I  also  remember  attending  a  revival  meeting 
in  the  Rev.  Henry  Jackson's  meeting  house,  at  New  Bedford,  and 
going  up  the  broad  aisle  to  find  a  seat.  I  was  met  by  a  good 
deacon,  who  told  me  in  a  pious  tone,  "We  don't  allow  niggers 
here ! ' '  Soon  after  my  arrival  in  New  Bedford  from  the  South,  I 
had  a  strong  desire  to  attend  the  Lyceum,  but  was  told,  ' '  We  don 't 
allow  niggers  here ! ' ' 

While  passing  from  New  York  to  Boston  on  the  steamer  Mas- 
sachusetts, on  the  night  of  the  9th  Dec,  1843,  when  chilled  almost 
through  with  the  cold,  I  went  into  the  cabin  to  get  a  little  warm, 
I  was  soon  touched  upon  the  shoulder  and  told,  "We  don't  allow 
niggers  here!"  On  arriving  in  Boston  from  an  anti-slavery  tour, 
hungry  and  tired  I  went  into  an  eating  house  near  my  friend  Mr. 
Campbell's,  to  get  some  refreshments.  I  was  met  by  a  lad  in  a 
white  apron,  "We  don't  allow  niggers  here!"  A  week  or  two  be- 
fore leaving  the  United  States,  I  had  a  meeting  appointed  at  Wey- 
mouth, the  home  of  that  glorious  band  of  true  abolitionists,  the 
Weston  family  and  others.  On  attempting  to  take  a  seat  on  the 
omnibus  to  that  place,  I  was  told  by  the  driver  (and  I  never  shall 
forget  the  fiendish  haste),  "I  don't  allow  niggers  in  here!" 

Thank  heaven  for  the  respite  I  now  enjoy!  I  had  been  in 
Dublin  but  a  few  days,  when  a  gentleman  of  great  respectability 
kindly  offered  to  conduct  me  through  all  the  public  buildings  of 
that  beautiful  city ;  and  a  little  afterwards,  I  found  myself  dining 
with  the  Lord  Mayor  of  Dublin.  What  a  pity  there  was  not  some 
American  Democratic  Christian  at  the  door  of  his  splendid  man- 
sion, to  bark  out  at  my  approach,  "They  don't  allow  niggers  in 
here!"  The  truth  is,  the  people  here  know  nothing  of  the  Re- 
publican Negro  hate  prevalent  in  our  glorious  land.  They  measure 
and  esteem  men  according  to  their  moral  and  intellectual  worth, 
and  not  according  to  the  color  of  their  skin.    Whatever  may  be 

Documents  107 

said  of  the  aristocracies  here,  there  is  none  based  on  the  color  of  a 
man's  skin.  This  species  of  aristocracy  belongs  pre-eminently  to 
"the  land  of  the  free,  and  the  home  of  the  brave."  I  have  never 
found  it  abroad,  in  any  but  Americans.  It  sticks  to  them  where- 
ever  they  go.  They  find  it  almost  as  hard  to  get  rid  of  as  to  get 
rid  of  their  skins. 

The  second  day  after  my  arrival  at  Liverpool,  in  company 
with  my  friend  Buffum,  and  several  other  friends  I  went  to  Eaton 
Hall,  the  residence  of  the  Marquis  of  Westminster,  one  of  the  most 
splendid  buildings  in  England.  On  approaching  the  door,  I  found 
several  of  our  American  passengers  who  came  out  with  us  in  the 
Cambria,  waiting  at  the  door  for  admission,  as  but  one  party  was 
allowed  in  the  house  at  a  time.  We  all  had  to  wait  till  the  com- 
pany within  came  out.  And  of  all  the  faces,  expressive  of  chagrin, 
those  of  the  Americans  were  pre-eminent.  They  looked  as  sour  as 
vinegar,  and  as  bitter  as  gall,  when  they  found  I  was  to  be  ad- 
mitted on  equal  terms  with  themselves.  When  the  door  was  opened 
I  walked  in,  on  an  equal  footing  with  my  white  fellow  citizens, 
and  from  all  I  could  see  I  had  as  much  attention  paid  me  by  the 
servants  who  showed  me  through  the  house  as  any  with  a  paler 
skin.  As  I  walked  through  the  building,  the  statuary  did  not  fall 
down,  the  pictures  did  not  leap  from  their  places,  the  doors  did 
not  refuse  to  open,  and  the  servants  did  not  say,  "We  don't  allow 
niggers  in  here!" 

A  happy  new  year  to  you  and  to  all  the  friends  of  freedom. 

Excuse  this  imperfect  scrawl  and  believe  me  to  be  ever  and 
always  yours, 

Frederick  Douglass 


The  History  of  the  A  fro- American  Group  of  the  Episcopal  Church. 
By  George  F.  Bragg,  Rector  St.  James  First  African  Church, 
Baltimore.  With  an  Introduction  by  the  Rt.  Rev.  T.  DuBose 
Bratton,  D.D.,  LL.D.,  Bishop  of  Mississippi.  The  Church  Ad- 
vocate Press,  Baltimore,  1922,  pp.  319. 

This  work  is  intended  to  supply  the  need  of  a  volume  tracing 
the  connection  of  the  Negro  with  the  Protestant  Episcopal  Church 
in  America.  As  this  particular  group  of  communicants  has  not 
the  status  of  independent  organization,  its  peculiar  history  has  re- 
mained only  in  fragments.  To  embody  these  in  the  form  of  a 
handy  volume  to  show  how  this  denomination  has  influenced  the 
life  of  the  Negro  and  how  members  of  the  race  have  been  affected 
thereby,  will  be  a  distinct  service  for  which  the  public  would  feel 
thankful.  Whether  or  not  the  author  has  accomplished  this  task 
the  readers  themselves  will  decide.  He  has  undertaken  the  work 
with  so  much  enthusiasm  and  found  so  many  things  to  praise  and 
such  a  few  to  condemn  that  the  reader  may  find  the  work  some- 
what ex  parte.  The  struggle  of  the  Negro  communicants  in  this 
demonination  and  its  indifference  toward  the  strivings  of  the  race 
before  the  Civil  War  are  not  emphasized.  Approaching  the  vol- 
ume with  reservation,  however,  the  investigator  will  find  the  work 
of  some  value. 

The  volume  begins  with  the  early  baptism  of  African  children 
during  the  early  days.  He  directs  attention  to  the  work  of  mis- 
sionaries in  South  Carolina,  Maryland,  Georgia,  and  Virginia  and 
brings  his  story  down  to  the  days  of  the  independent  movement 
among  Negro  communicants  as  it  culminated  in  the  organization 
of  the  Free  African  Society  of  Philadelphia  out  of  which  emerged 
the  St.  Thomas  African  Church  under  the  leadership  of  Absalom 
Jones,  He  then  discusses  the  rise  of  such  churches  as  St.  Phillips 
in  New  York,  St.  James  in  Baltimore,  Christ  Church  in  Provi- 
dence, St.  Luke  in  New  Haven,  The  Church  of  the  Crucifixion  in 
Philadelphia,  St.  Matthews  in  Detroit,  St.  Phillips  in  New  Jersey 
and  St.  Phillips  in  Buffalo.  The  renewed  interest  of  the  Protes- 
tant Episcopal  Church  in  the  uplift  of  the  Negro  is  interwoven 
around  his  discussion  of  the  Freedman's  Commission  organized 


Book  Eeviews  109 

in  1868  to  Christianize  and  educate  the  Negroes  recently  emanci- 
pated in  the  South.  He  then  discusses  the  further  interest  shown 
by  the  General  Convention  of  1871  and  treats  with  some  detail 
the  efforts  through  mission  schools  in  the  South. 

The  remaining  portion  of  the  book  consists  of  biographical 
sketches.  It  contains  a  list  of  the  Negro  clergy  prior  to  1866, 
mentioning  such  names  as  Absalom  Jones,  Peter  Williams,  Wil- 
liam Levington,  James  C.  AVard,  Jacob  Oson,  Gustavus  V.  Caesar, 
Edward  Jones,  William  Douglass,  Isaiah  G.  DeGrasse,  Alexander 
Crummell,  Eli  Worthington  Stokes,  William  C.  Munroe,  Samuel 
Vreeland  Berry,  Harrison  Holmes  Webb,  James  Theodore  Holly, 
William  Johnson  Alston,  and  John  Peterson.  Among  these  are 
accounts  of  such  veteran  friends  as  Bishops  Atkinson,  Lyman, 
Johns,  Whittie,  Smith,  Quintard,  Whittingham,  Howe,  Stevens, 
Young,  and  Dudley,  along  with  Mr.  Joseph  Bryan,  General  Samuel 
C.  Armstrong,  and  Mrs.  Loomis  L.  White.  He  then  gives  sketches 
of  some  self-made  strong  characters  like  James  E.  Thompson,  Cas- 
sius  M.  C.  Mason,  James  Solomon  Russell,  James  Nelson  Denver, 
Henry  Mason  Joseph,  Henry  Stephen  McDuffy,  Primus  Priss  Als- 
ton, Paulus  Moort,  Henry  L.  Phillips,  August  E.  Jensen,  Joshua 
Bowden  Massiah,  William  Victor  Tunnell,  and  John  W.  Perry. 
Honorable  mention  is  given  to  Samuel  David  Ferguson,  John 
Payne,  Edward  T.  Demby,  Henry  B.  Delany,  and  T.  Momolu 

Th£  Trend  of  the  Races.  By  George  E.  Haynes,  Ph.D.  With  an 
introduction  by  James  H.  Dillard.  Published  jointly  by 
Council  of  Women  for  Home  Missions  and  Missionary  Educa- 
tion Movement  of  the  United  States  and  Canada.  New  York, 
1922,  pp.  205. 

This  volume  is  at  once  both  historical  and  sociological.  It  is 
interesting  but  might  have  been  more  readable  if  the  materials 
had  been  better  organized  so  as  to  avoid  unnecessary  repetition 
from  chapter  to  chapter.  It  marks  an  epoch  in  the  history  of  the 
Negro  in  the  United  States,  however,  in  that  it  was  written  at  the 
request  of  white  persons  constituting  the  Joint  Committee  on 
Home  Mission  Literature  representing  the  Missionary  Education 
Movement  and  the  Council  of  Women  for  Home  Missions  and  the 
Missionary  Educational  Boards.  The  aim  of  the  work  is  to  pre- 
sent to  the  white  workers  in  the  Church  the  achievements  of  the 

110  Journal  of  Negro  History 

Negro,  believing  that  if  the  Negro  becomes  known  to  the  white 
man,  he  wiU  not  be  any  longer  hated  by  him ;  or,  as  the  chairman 
of  the  committee  herself  says  in  the  foreword  to  the  volume:  "Our 
seeking  to  know  him  must  be  on  the  basis  of  the  broadest  sympa- 
thy. In  the  friendliest  and  most  helpful  spirit  we  should  sin- 
cerely desire  to  understand  him  in  the  place  where  he  is  and  to 
apprehend  something  of  the  road  by  which  he  came  and  the  direc- 
tion of  his  highest  and  best  aspirations,  that  we  may,  so  far  as 
we  can,  make  it  possible  for  him  to  attain  his  best  in  our  common 
civilization.  We  should  at  the  same  time  quite  as  earnestly  seek 
to  know  ourselves  in  respect  to  our  limitations,  achievements,  and 
goals  in  the  building  of  the  social  order." 

The  book  begins  with  a  presentation  of  the  case  of  the  Negro, 
reviewing  two  methods  of  racial  adjustment.  It  then  discusses 
the  conditions  under  which  some  choice  of  procedure  must  be 
made  in  view  of  the  white  and  Negro  public  opinion.  The  author 
then  endeavors  to  show  what  the  Negro  has  accomplished  during 
the  sixty  years  emphasizing  his  achievements  both  economic  and 
industrial.  In  this  chapter  he  deals  largely  with  the  progress  of 
Negro  farmers,  the  growth  of  business  enterprises,  improvements 
in  health,  moral  uplift,  the  development  of  homes,  achievements 
in  community  life,  education,  inventions,  scientific  discovery,  and 
religious  life.  The  author  then  treats  in  some  detail  the  mental 
capacity  of  the  Negro,  his  feelings,  his  conduct,  his  humor  and  his 
dramatic  ability.  He  shows  how  the  Negro  practices  self-abnega- 
tion, toleration  and  optimism  in  spite  of  oppression  and  yet  brings 
out  the  fact  that  there  is  a  rising  tide  of  race  consciousness,  in- 
creasing resentment  and  suspicion.  The  development  of  racial 
self-respect,  and  the  forward  looking  program  of  self-assertion 
are  also  mentioned  in  showing  how  the  Negroes  are  learning  to 
depend  upon  their  own  leaders  and  to  undertake  to  do  for  them- 
selves what  they  have  long  requested  others  to  accomplish  for 

One  of  the  important  features  of  the  book  is  its  emphasis  on 
the  part  which  the  Negro  has  played  in  the  various  wars  in  the 
United  States  beginning  with  the  American  Revolution  and  bring- 
ing the  story  through  all  of  our  national  and  international  strug- 
gles. Most  space,  however,  is  devoted  to  the  Negro's  participa- 
tion in  the  World  War  and  to  the  local  economic  situation  in  which 
the  Negroes  figured  during  the  dearth  of  labor  and  the  scarcity 
of  money  when  they  responded  to  the  call  to  render  non-comba- 

Book  Keviews  111 

tant  service  and  to  lend  the  Government  their  means  by  purchas- 
ing Liberty  Bonds.  Following  this  the  author  finds  it  opportune 
to  show  the  trend  of  the  white  world,  bringing  out  its  attitude 
and  ways  of  action  due  to  conscience.  Here  he  discusses  the  in- 
fluence of  economic  motives,  survivals  from  the  past,  attitudes  due 
to  ideals  of  race,  the  effects  of  the  principles  and  ideals  of  de- 
mocracy and  the  interracial  mind.  The  author  believes  that  the 
way  to  interracial  peace  is  through  racial  contacts,  church  co- 
operation, efficient  reorganization  in  the  division  of  labor,  and 
through  mutual  economic  and  life  interests,  group  interdependence 
between  mental  and  social  factors,  educational  institutions,  popu- 
lar government,  and  voluntary  organizations  coordinating  inter- 
racial activities. 

In  the  Vanguard  of  a  Race.  By  L.  H.  Hammond.  Published 
jointly  by  Council  of  Women  for  Home  Missions  and  Mission- 
ary Education  Movement  of  the  United  States  and  Canada. 
New  York,  1922,  pp.  176. 

This  is  a  volume  not  so  serious  as  that  of  Dr.  Haynes's  but 
written  for  the  purpose  of  presenting  to  the  American  public  a 
number  of  useful  leaders  now  shaping  the  destiny  of  the  Negro 
race.  Inasmuch  as  all  famous  workers  of  the  race  could  not  be 
mentioned,  the  author  endeavored  to  select  one  typical  of  each 
particular  thought  and  to  portray  them  as  the  representatives  of 
a  large  host  of  laborers  rebuilding  the  civilization  of  a  large  por- 
tion of  mankind.  The  persons  sketched  have  worked  as  musicians, 
painters,  sculptors,  actors,  singers,  poets,  educators,  physicians, 
farmers,  and  clergymen.  When  one  considers  several  of  the  selec- 
tions made,  however,  he  must  be  astounded  at  the  lack  of  judg- 
ment shown  as  to  who  are  the  leading  Negro  workers  doing  some- 
thing worth  while.  The  author  seems  to  have  obtained  advice 
from  such  friends  and  helpers  as  Miss  Ida  A.  Tourtellot  of  the 
Phelps-Stokes  Foundation,  Miss  Flora  Mitchell  of  the  Woman's 
Home  Missionary  Society  of  the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church, 
Mrs.  Booker  T.  Washington  of  Tuskegee,  Mr.  Jackson  Davis  of 
the  General  Education  Board,  Mr.  N.  C.  Newbold  of  the  North 
Carolina  State  Department  of  Education,  Mr.  W.  T.  B.  Williams 
of  the  Jeanes  and  Slater  Boards,  Professor  G.  L.  Imes  of  Tuske- 
gee, and  Dr.  A.  M.  Moore  of  Durham,  North  Carolina,  all  of  whom 
do  not  claim  to  be  authorities  in  matter  of  this  kind. 

112  Journal  of  Negro  History 

On  the  whole,  however,  the  book  has  a  value.  In  the  first 
chapter,  "A  Long  Ascent,"  there  is  an  interesting  sketch  of  the 
rising  race  showing  unusual  possibilities  which  must  convince  the 
world  of  the  inherent  worth  and  bright  future  of  the  Negro.  The 
sketch  of  Booker  T.  Washington  entitled  "A  Story  of  Service" 
is  decidedly  interesting  and  is  written  in  such  a  style  as  to  popu- 
larize the  achievements  of  the  great  educator.  Presented  very 
much  in  the  same  way  is  the  account  of  the  valuable  service  of 
Dr.  C.  v.  Roman  whose  efforts  have  not  been  restricted  to  medi- 
cine, inasmuch  as  he  is  an  author  and  a  lecturer  of  recognized 
standing.  Miss  Nannie  H.  Burroughs  is  properly  presented  to 
typify  that  part  of  the  story  known  as  "Saving  an  Idea."  Herein 
is  sketched  the  rise  and  the  culmination  of  the  career  of  one  of 
the  most  useful  women  of  our  day.  In  the  same  style  the  work  of 
Dr.  William  N.  DeBerry  of  Springfield,  Massachusetts,  appears. 
There  follows  the  sketch  of  the  career  of  Mrs.  Jane  Barrett,  a  be- 
liever in  happiness,  then  that  of  John  B.  Pierce,  a  builder  of  pros- 
perity, and  next  that  of  Mrs.  Maggie  L.  Walker,  a  woman  banker. 
Much  space  is  given  also  to  the  career  of  the  famous  composer, 
Harry  T.  Burleigh.  This  sketch  is  followed  by  two  others  direct- 
ing attention  to  Miss  Martha  Drummer  and  James  Dunston,  The 
book  closes  with  a  brief  biography  of  Joseph  S.  Cotter,  Jr.,  the 
young  poet  who  recently  attained  distinction  in  expressing  the 
strivings  of  an  oppressed  people. 

The  Negro  in  Chicago.  A  study  of  race  relations  and  a  race  riot. 
By  the  Chicago  Commission  on  Race  Relations.  The  Univer- 
sity of  Chicago  Press,  Chicago,  Illinois,  1922,  pp.  672. 
It  is  generally  admitted  that  this  report  of  the  Commission  on 
Race  Relations  is  the  most  important  contribution  to  this  interest- 
ing subject.  The  very  organization  of  the  commission  deepens 
this  impression.  Before  the  end  of  this  racial  conflict  in  which 
38  lives  were  lost  and  537  persons  injured  between  July  27  and 
August  6,  1919,  representatives  of  48  social,  civic,  commercial  and 
professional  organizations  of  Chicago  met  on  the  first  of  August 
and  requested  Governor  Frank  0.  Lowden,  of  Illinois,  to  appoint 
an  emergency  State  Committee  "to  study  the  psychological,  so- 
cial and  economic  causes  underlying  the  conditions  resulting  in 
the  present  race  riot  and  to  make  such  recommendations  as  will 
tend  to  prevent  a  recurrence  of  such  conditions  in  the  future." 

Book  Reviews  113 

In  response  to  this  and  other  urgent  requests,  according  to  the  re- 
port and  pursuant  to  his  personal  knowledge  of  the  situation  de- 
rived from  investigations  made  by  him  in  Chicago  during  the  riot, 
Governor  Lowden  appointed  as  a  commission,  Edgar  A.  Bancroft, 
William  Scott  Bond,  Edward  Osgood  Brown,  Harry  Eugene  Kelley, 
Victor  F.  Lawson,  and  Julius  Rosenwald  as  representatives  of  the 
white  race  and  Robert  S.  Abbott,  George  Cleveland  Hall,  George 
H.  Jackson,  Edward  H.  Morris,  Adelbert  H.  Roberts,  and  Lacey 
Kirk  "Williams  representing  the  Negroes,  all  to  serve  as  a  commis- 
sion to  undertake  the  work  suggested  by  the  memorialists.  Mr. 
Bancroft  was  designated  by  the  Governor  as  chairman  but  on  ac- 
count of  his  absence  due  to  ill  health.  Dr.  F.  W.  Shepardson,  Direc- 
tor of  the  State  Department  of  Registration  and  Education,  was 
appointed  to  serve  as  acting  chairman  and  on  the  return  of  Mr. 
Bancroft,  Dr.  Shepardson  was  added  to  the  commission  and  made 
its  Vice- Chairman.  Inasmuch  as  the  commission  had  no  funds  a 
committee  consisting  of  Messrs.  James  B.  Forgan,  chairman,  Abel 
Davis,  Treasurer,  Arthur  Meeker,  John  J.  Mitchell,  and  John  G. 
Shedd,  together  with  Messrs.  R.  B.  Beach  and  John  F.  Bowman 
of  the  staff  of  the  Chicago  Association  of  Commerce,  enabled  the 
commission  of  inquiry  to  meet  this  emergency.  The  actual  work 
was  done  under  the  direction  of  an  Executive  Secretary,  Graham 
Romeyn  Taylor  and  an  Associate  Executive  Secretary,  Charles  S. 
Johnson,  the  latter  assuming  charge  of  the  actual  inquiries  and  in- 

The  report  does  not  present  any  solution  by  which  all  racial 
troubles  may  be  avoided.  It  well  fulfills  its  mission,  however,  in 
finding  facts  which,  if  properly  studied,  will  serve  to  guide  others 
in  promoting  amicable  relations  between  racial  groups.  It  at 
once  convinces  the  general  public  that  causes  of  racial  friction 
may  be  insignificant  in  themselves  but  are  nevertheless  capable  of 
leading  to  serious  results,  although  a  little  effort  can  easily  effect 
their  removal  in  time  to  avoid  such  fatal  consequences.  It  shows, 
moreover,  that  grievances  too  often  portrayed  as  justifiable  rea- 
sons for  self-help  are  generally  exaggerated  primarily  for  the  pur- 
pose of  inflaming  the  public  mind  and  should  such  findings  be 
given  adequate  publicity  the  effects  of  such  unwise  action  may  be 
counteracted  in  time.  It  is  claimed  for  this  commission,  more- 
over, that  its  work  has  promoted  an  understanding  between  the 
two  racial  groups  in  the  city  of  Chicago  and  removed  misunder- 
standings which  have  been  such  prolific  sources  of  trouble. 

114  Journal,  of  Negro  History 

The  report  covers  in  some  detail  an  informing  account  of  the 
race  riot  itself  and  of  other  outbreaks  in  the  State  of  Illinois. 
Going  to  the  very  causes  of  things,  the  commission  studied  the 
migration  of  the  Negroes  from  the  South,  the  Negro  population  in 
Chicago,  directing  attention  to  the  housing  of  Negroes,  racial  con- 
tacts, vicious  environments,  and  lines  of  industry.  One  of  the 
most  informing  parts  of  the  work  is  a  treatment  of  public  opinion 
in  race  relations,  bringing  out  beliefs  concerning  Negroes  and  the 
background  of  such  and  public  opinion  as  expressed  by  Negroes 
themselves.  Adequate  space  is  given  to  the  instruments  of  opinion- 
making,  such  as  Chicago  newspapers  and  the  Negro  press  as  well 
as  to  rumors,  myths,  and  propaganda.  The  recommendations  of 
the  Commission  require  careful  attention.  While  the  public  will 
not  generally  accept  these  recommendations  as  final,  they  are  at 
least  suggestive  and  require  careful  consideration. 

One  defect  of  the  work,  however,  if  it  has  a  defect,  is  that  it 
fails  to  take  into  account  one  important  cause,  namely,  the  migra- 
tion of  many  poor  whites  to  the  North  during  the  period  of  scar- 
city of  labor  incident  to  the  World  War  when  these  southerners 
brought  north  their  own  opinions  about  how  to  keep  the  Negro 
down  and  helped  to  aggravate  the  situation  in  Chicago. 


Mr.  George  W.  Brown,  a  graduate  of  Howard  University  who, 
as  a  result  of  a  year  of  graduate  work  in  History  and  Political 
Science  at  Western  Reserve  University,  has  received  the  degree  of 
Master  of  Arts,  has  been  appointed  Instructor  in  History  at  the 
West  Virginia  Collegiate  Institute.  Mr.  Brown  is  the  author  of  a 
dissertation  entitled  Haiti  and  the  United  States. 

Mr.  Miles  Mark  Fisher  who  contributed  to  the  last  issue  of  The 
Journal  op  Negro  History  the  valuable  dissertation  and  docu- 
ments bearing  on  the  career  of  Lott  Gary  and  who  has  written 
two  other  valuable  works.  The  History  of  the  Olivet  Baptist 
Church  and  The  Master's  Slave,  has  been  appointed  an  instructor 
at  the  Virginia  Union  University,  Richmond,  Virginia. 

Mr.  Luther  P.  Jackson,  a  graduate  of  Fisk  University,  who 
specialized  at  Columbia  in  History  and  Education  leading  to  the 
degree  of  Master  of  Arts,  and  who  contributes  to  the  current  num- 
ber of  The  Journal  op  Negro  History  the  dissertation  entitled 
The  EdiLcatio7ial  Efforts  of  the  Freedmen's  Bureau  and  Freed- 
men's  Aid  Societies  in  South  Carolina,  1862-1872,  has  been  ap- 
pointed an  instructor  in  the  Virginia  Normal  and  Industrial  In- 
stitute, Petersburg,  Virginia. 

The  Macmillan  Company  has  published  A  Boys'  Life  of 
Booker  T.  Washington  by  W.  C.  Jackson,  Vice  President  of  the 
North  Carolina  College  for  Women,  Greensboro,  and  Professor 
of  History. 

The  A.  B.  Caldwell  Publishing  Company,  Atlanta,  Georgia, 
has  brought  out  an  autobiography.  Echoes  from  a  Pioneer  Life  by 
Jared  Maurice  Arter,  an  instructor  in  Storer  College,  Harpers 
Ferry,  West  Va. 

From  the  University  of  Chicago  Press  there  has  come  another 
interesting  volume  on  the  Negro.  This  is  entitled  The  Negro 
Press  in  the  United  States  by  Frederick  G.  Detweiler. 

Sir  Harry  H.  Johnston,  G.  C.  M.  G.,  K.  C.  B.,  Sc.D.,  has  pub- 
lished through  Oxford  at  the  Clarendon  Press  his  second  volume 
of  A  Comparative  Study  of  the  Bantu  and  Semi-Bantu  Languages. 





The  Association  met  in  annual  session  on  the  22d,  23d  and 
24th  of  November  in  Louisville,  Kentucky.  The  day  sessions  were 
held  at  the  Chestnut  Street  Branch  Library  and  the  evening  ses- 
sions at  the  Quinn  Chapel  A.  M.  E.  Church.  The  meeting  was  a 
success  from  both  the  local  and  national  points  of  view.  Persons 
from  afar  came  to  take  an  active  part  and  the  citizens  of  Louis- 
ville and  nearby  cities  of  Kentucky  attended  in  considerable  num- 

The  meeting  was  opened  at  eight  o'clock  Wednesday  evening 
at  the  Chestnut  Street  Branch  Library  with  a  stereopticon  lecture 
on  the  History  of  the  Negro  by  Dr.  A.  Eugene  Thomson,  princi- 
pal of  Lincoln  Institute,  Lincoln  Ridge,  Kentucky.  This  lecture 
covered  the  early  history  of  the  Negro  in  Egypt  and  Ethiopia 
with  illustrations  of  the  historic  monuments  exhibiting  the  prog- 
ress of  the  natives  in  architecture  and  the  fine  arts.  There  fol- 
lowed an  informing  discussion  of  the  importance  of  the  study  of 
this  particular  part  of  the  past  of  the  dark  races. 

On  Thursday  morning  at  ten  o'clock  a  conference  on  "The 
Present  State  of  the  Negro"  was  held.  Mr.  E.  E.  Reed,  principal 
of  the  Bowling  Green  High  School,  delivered  an  address  on  "The 
Social  and  Economic  Status  of  the  Negro."  This  was  the  main 
feature  of  the  conference.  The  general  discussion  was  opened  by 
Mr.  E.  A.  Carter,  secretary  of  the  Louisville  Urban  League,  who 
discussed  "The  Political  Status  of  the  Negro."  The  views  of  the 
speakers  were  such  as  to  present  both  the  optimistic  and  the  pes- 
simistic sides  of  the  question.  They  believed  that  while  there 
have  been  some  developments  which  indicate  improvement  in  the 
status  of  the  Negro,  there  have  been  also  other  changes  which  indi- 
cate a  tendency  of  things  to  become  static. 

Early  in  the  afternoon  at  1 :30  P.  M.  a  special  session  was  held 
at  the  William  J,  Simmons  University.  The  aim  here  was  to  in- 
terest the  students  in  the  importance  of  the  preservation  of  the 
records  of  the  Negro.  Several  members  of  the  Association  dis- 
cussed the  history  of  the  organization,  its  achievements  and  plans, 
and  welcomed  the  cooperation  of  all  as  coworkers  in  this  long 


Proceedings  of  the  Association  117 

neglected  field.    Dr.  W.  H.  Steward,  the  editor  of  The  American 
Baptist,  then  spoke   from  his  experience  on  "The  Value  of  a 
Written  Record,"  mentioning  several  cases  in  Kentucky  where 
important  matters  have  been  decided  by  such  documentary  evi- 
dence.    He  emphasized  the  importance  of  the  work  accomplished 
by  the  Association  and  encouraged  the  youth  to  connect  them- 
selves with  it  that  the  cause  may  be  promoted  more  successfully. 
At  three  o'clock  Thursday   afternoon  with  Professor  W.  B. 
Matthews,  principal  of  the  Central  High  School,  presiding,  there 
followed  a  session  devoted  to  "The  Teaching  of  Negro  History." 
Many  of  the  teachers  from  the  local  school  system  were  present. 
In  a  very  thoughtful  and  impressive  manner  Mr.   J.  W.  Bell, 
principal  of  the  Hopkinsville  High  School,  discussed  the  teaching 
of  Negro  history  as  a  matter  of  concern  not  only  to  the  Negro 
himself  but  to  the  white  man.     He  expressed  the  opinion  that 
through  the  dissemination  of  such  information  the  one  race  may 
become  better  acquainted  with  the  other.     He  was  then  followed 
by  Mr.  P.  W.  L.  Jones,  instructor  in  History  at  the  Kentucky 
Normal    and    Industrial    Institute,    Frankfort,    Kentucky.      Mr. 
Jones   directed   his    attention   to    "The    Value    of    Negro    Biog- 
raphy" as  a  means  of  keeping  before  the  race  the  records  of  a 
number  of  useful  citizens  who  might  otherwise  be  forgotten  and 
as  a  means  of  inspiring  the  youth  to  useful  endeavor  and  noble 
achievement.    He  took  occasion  to  present  brief  sketches  of  a  num- 
ber of  Negroes  once  prominent  in  the  past  but  now  almost  for- 
gotten because  of  the  failure  to  pass  their  story  on  to  the  coming 
generation.    Mr.  Thomas  F.  Blue,  librarian  of  the  Chestnut  Street 
Branch  Library,  then  opened  the  general  discussion  showing  from 
his  experience  the  need  for  directing  more  attention  to  these  neg- 
lected aspects  of  this  peculiar  problem  of  a  race  in  the  making. 
The  first  evening  session  was  held  at  the  Quinn  Chapel  A.  M. 
E.  Church  with  Dr.  Noah  W.  Williams  presiding.     On  this  oc- 
casion the  Honorable  C.  C.  Stoll,  representing  the  Mayor  of  Louis- 
ville, welcomed  the  Association  in  words  adequate  to  arouse  inter- 
est and  enthusiasm.    Dr.  L.  G.  Jordan,  secretary  emeritus  of  the 
National  Baptist  Foreign  Mission  Board,  responded  to  this  ad- 
dress on  behalf  of  the  Association.     He  took  occasion,  moreover, 
to  make  some  interesting  observations  out  of  his  experiences  in 
America  and  in  Africa.    Then  followed  an  address  by  Dr.  C.  G. 
Woodson  who  briefly  connected  the  achievements  of  the  Negro 
with  such  movements  in  history  as  the  commercial  revolution,  the 

118  Journal  of  Negro  History 

intellectual  re\'ival,  the  struggle  for  the  rights  of  man,  the  indus- 
trial revolution,  the  reform  movements  of  the  nineteenth  century, 
and  the  present  effort  to  attain  social  justice. 

On  Friday  morning  at  ten  o'clock  with  Dr.  James  Bond  pre- 
siding there  followed  a  conference  on  the  Negro  slave.  Mr.  W.  H. 
Fouse,  principal  of  the  Russell  High  School  of  Lexington,  read  an 
informing  paper  on  "The  Contribution  of  the  Slave  to  Civiliza- 
tion." He  emphasized  especially  the  value  of  Negro  labor  as  the 
basis  upon  which  Southern  society  was  established,  showing  that 
whatever  valuable  culture  was  developed  was  made  possible  by  the 
work  of  the  Negro  slave.  He  did  not,  however,  subscribe  to  the 
theory  that  it  is  necessary  to  enslave  one  part  of  the  population 
that  the  other  may  apply  itself  to  the  study  of  science,  philosophy 
and  politics.  Dr.  R.  S.  Cotterill,  instructor  in  History  at  the  Uni- 
versity of  Louisville,  then  read  a  valuable  dissertation  entitled 
"The  Use  of  Slaves  in  Building  Southern  Railroads."  The 
speaker  showed  that  he  had  made  an  extensive  research  into  docu- 
mentary material,  and  he  presented  an  array  of  facts  which  un- 
usually enlightened  his  audience  in  this  neglected  field.  During 
the  general  discussion  which  followed  some  other  important  facts 
were  brought  forward,  and  much  interest  in  the  researches  of 
these  two  speakers  was  generally  expressed. 

From  Friday  afternoon  at  two  o  'clock  to  5 :30  P.  M.  there  were 
exhibited  at  the  Chestnut  Street  Branch  Library  samples  of  the 
publications  of  the  Association  and  a  number  of  valuable  engrav- 
ings of  the  Antique  Works  of  Art  in  Benin,  West  Africa.  This 
offered  the  public  an  opportunity  to  judge  the  progress  made  by 
the  Association  since  its  organization  in  1915  and  to  form  an  opin- 
ion as  to  the  sort  of  work  prosecuted  and  the  manner  in  which  it 
has  been  done.  The  engravings  setting  forth  the  achievements  of 
an  important  group  of  African  peoples  of  the  16th  century  con- 
vinced a  large  number  that  the  Negro  race  has  behind  it  a  valu- 
able record  which  can  never  be  known  except  through  such  re- 
search and  expeditions  as  will  unearth  these  important  contribu- 

At  three  o'clock  there  was  held  the  business  session  of  the  As- 
sociation. The  reports  of  the  Director  and  the  Secretary-Treas- 
urer were  read  and,  after  favorable  comment,  were  accepted  and 
approved  by  vote  of  the  Association,     These  reports  follow: 

Proceedings  of  the  Association  119 

the  report  of  the  director. 

With  respect  to  the  most  difficult  task  of  the  Director,  that  of  raising 
money,  the  work  of  the  Association  has  been  eminently  successful.  Encouraged 
by  the  appropriation  of  $25,000  obtained  from  the  Carnegie  Corporation  last 
year,  the  Director  appealed  to  several  boards  for  the  same  consideration.  Last 
February  one  of  these,  the  Laura  Spelman  Rockefeller  Memorial,  appropriated 
$25,000  to  this  work,  payable  in  annual  installments  of  $5,000,  as 
in  the  case  of  that  obtained  from  the  Carnegie  Corporation.  It  is  to  be 
regretted,  however,  that  smaller  contributions,  heretofore  yielding  most  of  the 
income  of  the  Association  prior  to  obtaining  the  two  appropriations,  have 
diminished  in  number  and  amount.  Appealed  to  repeatedly,  many  of  these 
persons  give  the  heavy  income  tax  as  an  excuse,  whUe  not  a  few  make  the  mis- 
take of  thinking  that  the  other  funds  received  by  the  Association  are  sufficient 
to  take  care  of  the  general  expenses.  During  the  fiscal  year  1921-1922,  thirty- 
seven  persons,  most  of  whom  were  Negroes,  contributed  $25.00  each,  whereas 
during  the  previous  fiscal  year  the  number  was  larger. 

The  following  report  of  the  Secretary-Treasurer  shows  how  these  funds 
have  been  used: 

Financial  Statement  op  the  Seceetaey-Teeasuber 

Washington,  D.  C,  July  1,  1922 
The  Association  foe  the  Study  op 
Negro  Life  and  Histoey,  Inc., 
Washington,  D,  C. 


I  hereby  submit  to  you  a  statement  of  the  amount  of  money  received  and 
expended  by  the  Association  for  the  Study  of  Negro  Life  and  History,  In- 
corporated, from  July  1,  1921,  to  June  30,  1922,  inclusive: 

Eeceipts  Expenditures 

Subscriptions    $  1,772.63  Printing  and  Stationery  . ,   $  4,929.97 

Memberships    241.00  Petty  Cash   670.00 

Contributions   9,113.75  Stenographic   service    990.23 

Advertising     195.45  Rent  and   Light    714.67 

Rent  and  Light 180.14  Salaries   3,450.00 

Books    1.70  Traveling  Expenses    468.09 

Refunds  50.42  Miscellaneous    286.46 

Total  receipts    $11,555.09         Total  expenditures   $11,509.42 

Bal.  on  hand  July  1,  1921  43.09     Bal.  on  hand  June  30,  1922  88.76 

$11,598.18  "$11,598.18 

This  report  does  not  cover  the  $5,000  annually  received  for  research  into 
the  Free  Negro  Prior  to  1861  and  Negro  Reconstruction  History.  This  fund 
was  made  available  on  the  first  of  July,  the  beginning  of  the  fiscal  year,  and  has 
been  apportioned  so  as  to  pay  three  investigators  and  a  copyist  employed  to 
do  this  work. 

Eespectfully  submitted, 

(Signed)  S.  W.  Rutherford, 


120  JouBNAL  OF  Negro  History 

The  appropriation  of  $25,000  obtained  from  the  Laura  Spelman  Eocke- 
feller  Memorial  requires  the  employment  of  investigators  to  develop  the  studies 
of  the  Free  Negro  Prior  to  1861  and  of  Negro  Reconstruction  History.  The  an- 
nual allowance  of  $5,000  is  devoted  altogether  to  this  work,  inasmuch  as  special 
instructions  received  from  the  Trustees  of  the  Laura  Spelman  Rockefeller 
Memorial  prohibit  the  use  of  this  money  for  any  other  purpose.  The  Associa- 
tion has,  therefore,  employed  Dr.  George  Francis  Dow  to  read  the  eighteenth 
century  colonial  newspapers  of  New  England,  C.  G.  "Woodson  to  make  a  study 
of  the  Free  Negro  Prior  to  1861,  A.  A.  Taylor  to  study  the  Social  and  Eco- 
nomic Conditions  of  the  Negro  during  the  Reconstruction,  and  a  clerk  serving 
the  investigators  in  the  capacity  of  a  copyist. 

At  present  Mr.  A.  A.  Taylor  is  spending  only  one-half  of  his  time  at  this 
work,  but  after  the  first  of  next  June  he  will  have  the  opportunity  to  direct 
his  attention  altogether  to  this  task.  During  this  year  it  is  expected  that  he 
will  complete  his  studies  of  the  Social  and  Economic  Conditions  in  Virginia  and 
South  Carolina. 

In  the  study  of  the  Free  Negro  the  Director  has  spent  the  year  compiling 
a  statistical  report  giving  the  names  of  free  Negroes  who  were  heads  of 
families  in  the  South  in  1830  showing  the  number  in  each  family  and  the 
number  of  slaves  owned.  Within  a  few  months  that  part  of  the  report  dealing 
with  Louisiana,  South  Carolina  and  North  Carolina  will  be  completed. 

The  Association  is  also  directing  attention  to  the  work  of  training  men 
for  research  in  this  field.  The  program  agreed  upon  is  to  educate  in  the  best 
graduate  schools  with  libraries  containing  works  bearing  on  Negro  life  and 
history  at  least  three  young  men  a  year,  supported  by  fellowships  of  $500  from 
the  Association  and  such  additional  stipend  as  the  schools  themselves  may  grant 
for  the  support  of  the  undertaking.  One  of  these  students  wUl  take  up  the  study 
of  Negro  History,  one  will  direct  his  attention  to  Anthropometric  and 
Psychological  measurements  of  Negroes,  and  one  to  African  Anthropology  and 
Archaeology.  In  this  undertaking  the  Director  has  not  only  the  cooperation 
of  Prof.  Carl  Russell  Fish,  of  the  University  of  Wisconsin,  and  Prof.  William 
E.  Dodd,  of  the  University  of  Chicago,  who  with  him  constitute  the  Committee 
on  Fellowships,  but  also  the  assistance  of  Professors  Franz  Boas  and  E.  L. 
Thorndike  of  Columbia  University  and  of  Professor  E.  A.  Hooton  of  Harvard 

Closely  connected  with  these  plans,  moreover,  are  certain  other  projects 
to  preserve  Negro  folklore  and  the  fragments  of  Negro  music.  In  this  effort 
the  Association  has  the  cooperation  of  Mrs.  Elsie  Clews  Parsons,  the  moving 
spirit  of  the  American  Folklore  Society.  She  is  now  desirous  of  making  a 
more  systematic  effort  to  embody  this  part  of  the  Negro  civilization  and  she 
believes  that  the  work  can  be  more  successfully  done  by  cooperation  with  the 
Association.  As  soon  as  the  Director  can  obtain  a  special  fund  for  this  particu- 
lar work,  an  investigator  will  be  employed  to  undertake  it. 

The  interest  manifested  in  the  study  of  Negro  History  in  clubs  and 
schools  has  been  very  encouraging.  Most  of  the  advanced  institutions  of 
learning  of  both  North  and  South  make  use  of  The  Journal  of  Negro  History 
in  teaching  social  sciences.  The  Director's  two  recent  works.  The  History  of 
the  Negro  Church  and  The  Negro  in  Our  History  are  being  extensively  used 
as  textbooks  in  classes  studying  Sociology  and  History,     The  enthusiasm  of 

Peoceedings  of  the  Association  121 

some  of  these  groups  haa  developed  to  the  extent  that  they  now  request 
authority  to  organize  under  the  direction  of  the  Association  local  bodies  to 
be  known  as  State  Associations  for  the  Study  of  Negro  Life  and  History. 

Eespectfully  submitted, 

C.  G.  Woodson, 


Upon  taking  up  the  election  of  officers  there  prevailed  a  mo- 
tion to  cast  the  unanimous  ballot  of  the  Association  for  the  fol- 
lowing officers: 

John  R.  Hawkins,  President 

S.  W.  Rutherford,  Secretary-Treasurer 

C.  G.  Woodson,  Director 

The  following  were  elected  members  of  the  Executive  Council : 

John  R.  Hawkins  Henry  C.  King 

S.  W.  Rutherford  William  E.  Dodd 

Carter  G.  Woodson  E.  A.  Hooton 

Julius  Rosenwald  Bishop  John  Hurst 

James  H.  Dillard  Alexander   L.    Jackson 

Bishop  R.  A.  Carter  Bishop  R.  E.  Jones 

Robert  R.  Church  Clement  Richardson 

Franz  Boas  Robert  C.  Woods 
Carl  Russell  Fish 

John  ,R.  Hawkins,  S.  W.  Rutherford  and  C.  G.  Woodson  were 
chosen  as  trustees  of  the  Association.  John  R.  Hawkins,  S.  W. 
Rutherford  and  A.  L.  Jackson  were  elected  members  of  the  Busi- 
ness Committee. 

There  then  followed  a  brief  discussion  of  plans  and  ways  and 
means  for  the  expansion  of  the  work.  Most  of  this  discussion  de- 
veloped from  the  various  items  of  the  report  of  the  Director.  Mr. 
W.  H.  Fouse,  of  Lexington,  Kentucky,  proposed  that  the  Associa- 
tion should  authorize  the  organization  of  State  Associations  for 
the  Study  of  Negro  Life  and  History  to  cooperate  with  the  na- 
tional body  in  preserving  local  biographical  records  of  Negroes  in 
counties  and  cities  inaccessible  to  national  workers.  This  proposal 
was  favorably  received. 

On  Friday  evening  at  8  :30  P.  M.  there  took  place  the  second 
evening  session  at  the  Quinn  Chapel  A.  M.  E.  Church  with  Prof. 
H.  C.  Russell  presiding.  The  chief  feature  of  the  occasion  was 
the  address  of  Dr.  C.  V.  Roman  entitled  "The  American  Civiliza- 

122  Journal  of  Negro  History 

tion  and  the  Negro."  Following  the  line  of  his  researches  and 
his  opinions  already  expressed  in  various  works,  Dr.  Roman  dis- 
cussed the  meaning  of  culture  and  connected  the  achievements  of 
the  Negro  therewith.  He  took  occasion  also  to  show  how  the  his- 
tory of  the  race  has  been  neglected  and  how  many  records  worth 
while  have  been  accredited  to  the  defamers  of  the  Negro  race. 
Mr.  J.  W.  Bell,  of  Hopkinsville,  Kentucky,  then  entertained  the 
audience  with  a  very  eloquent  address,  speaking  in  general  of  the 
achievements  of  the  Association  and  emphasizing  the  importance 
of  close  cooperation  therewith.  The  meeting  was  then  closed  with 
a  few  remarks  by  the  Director  who  thanked  the  people  of  Louis- 
ville and  of  Kentucky  for  their  cooperation  in  making  the  meet- 
ing a  success. 




Vol.  VIII.,  No.  2  April,  1923. 


The  teaching  of  Negro  history  will  serve  the  two-fold 
purpose  of  informing  the  white  man  and  inspiring  the 
Negro.  The  untoward  circumstances  under  which  the 
Negro  lives  make  the  teaching  of  his  history  imperatively 
necessary.  When  the  founders  of  this  government  brought 
forth  a  new  nation  conceived  in  liberty  and  dedicated  to 
the  proposition  that  all  men  are  created  equal,  many 
thought  that  the  Negro  was  not  regarded  as  a  man. 
Thomas  Jefferson  himself,  the  writer  of  that  document,  held 
the  Negro  as  a  slave.  The  Negro  was  regarded  as  mere 
property,  as  a  mere  beast  of  burden.  It  required  four 
years  of  bloody  war  to  transform  him  from  the  position  of 
a  thing  and  place  him  in  the  ranks  of  men  with  a  mere 
chance  to  struggle  for  actual  democracy.  These  circum- 
stances have  caused  one  of  the  most  intricate  problems, 
the  race  problem.  They  have  placed  the  American  Negi'o 
in  a  category  by  himself.  They  have  brought  about  the 
peculiar  situation  of  a  nation  within  a  nation. 

The  teaching  of  Negro  history  would  contribute  much 
to  the  solution  of  this  complicated  race  problem.  The  solu- 
tion of  any  problem  depends  upon  an  adequate  understand- 

1  An  address  deliyered  before  the  Association  for  the  Study  of  Negro  Life 
and  History  at  Louisville,  November  23,  1922. 


124  Journal  of  Negro  History 

ing  of  it.  The  most  illuminating  approach  to  the  race 
problem  is  the  historical  approach.  The  white  man  of  this 
country  must  be  supplied  with  the  real  facts  pertaining  to 
the  Negro.  If  not,  all  of  his  generalizations  will  be  mere 
verbiage  based  upon  tradition  inspired  by  prejudice.  To 
prevent  a  distorted  social  perspective  and  to  develop  a 
wider  community  consciousness,  the  white  man  should  read 
history  from  the  Negro's  point  of  view. 

For  more  than  four  centuries  the  Negro  has  been 
brought  into  contact  mth  the  European  white  man.  For 
the  most  part  the  Teutonic  stocks  have  regarded  the  Negro 
as  a  negative  factor  in  history.  The  Latin  and  Slavic  races 
have  been  more  kindly  disposed  toward  him.  They  have 
been  disposed  to  give  honor  to  whom  honor  is  due  regard- 
less of  race  or  color.  To  them  color  has  been  an  incident 
of  birth,  not  a  badge  of  inferiority.  In  the  annals  of  Rus- 
sia Alexander  Pushkin  is  recognized  as  her  national  poet. 
France  considered  Toussaint  L'Ouverture,  one  of  the  most 
commanding  figures  of  any  age,  a  conspicuous  example  of 
the  possibilities  of  the  pure-blooded  Negro.  She  recog- 
nized Alexander  Dumas  as  her  most  distinguished  roman- 
cer. Today  she  places  this  mantle  upon  the  shoulders  of 
Rene  Maran. 

The  white  people  of  the  United  States  consider  their 
race  to  be  men  of  a  superior  breed  and  have  ignored  the 
Negro  in  recording  European  and  American  history.  In 
their  desire  to  substantiate  the  theory  of  the  superiority  of 
the  white  man  and  the  inferiority  of  the  Negro,  they  have 
failed  to  publish  or  suppressed  the  truth  about  the  achieve- 
ments of  the  Negro.  They  have  looked  for  nothing  praise- 
worthy in  him ;  they  have  mdely  proclaimed  his  faults  and 
failures.    Well  did  Macaulay  say: 

By  exclusive  attention  to  one  class  of  phenomena,  by  exclusive 
taste  for  one  species  of  excellence  the  human  intellect  was  stunted. 
The  best  historians  of  later  days  have  been  seduced  from  truth, 
not  by  their  imagination,  but  by  their  reason.  They  far  excel 
their  predecessors  in  the  art  of  deducing  general  principles  from 

The  Teaching  of  Negro  History  125 

facts,  but  unhappily  they  have  fallen  into  the  error  of  distorting 
the  facts  to  suit  the  general  principles.  They  arrive  at  a  theory 
from  looking  at  a  part  of  the  phenomena ;  the  remaining  phenom- 
ena they  strain  or  curtail  to  suit  the  theory.  In  every  human 
character  and  transaction  there  is  a  mixture  of  good  and  evil:  a 
little  exaggeration,  a  little  suppression,  a  judicious  use  of  epithets, 
a  watching  and  searching  skepticism  with  respect  to  the  evidence 
on  one  side,  a  convenient  credulity  with  respect  to  every  report  or 
tradition  on  the  other  side  may  easily  make  a  saint  of  Laud  or  a 
tyrant  of  Henry  IV. 

The  Negro's  most  important  contribution  to  American 
history  is  his  unparalleled  progress— his  rise  from  poverty 
to  wealth,  from  ignorance  to  knowledge,  from  backward- 
ness to  civilization.  No  other  race  has  achieved  more 
under  the  same  conditions.  No  authentic  history  of  the 
United  States,  then,  can  ignore  or  exclude  tlie  Negro.  The 
part  which  he  has  played  in  American  history  has  served 
largely  to  make  the  nation  what  it  is  today. 

The  fidelity  of  the  Negro  slave  to  his  master,  his  devo- 
tion and  loyalty  to  his  country  should  constitute  interest- 
ing historical  themes.  Under  the  regime  of  slavery  the 
Negro  was  literally  bought  and  sold  like  the  very  soil. 
His  life  was  but  one  unceasing  round  of  toil  and  misery; 
his  faith,  his  hope,  and  his  ambition,  were  fettered  down 
^Yith.  chains  which  he  had  no  power  to  rend.  Under  these 
circumstances  he  contributed  two  hundred  and  fifty  years 
of  unrequited  toil.  With  the  muscles  of  his  brawny  arms 
he  cleared  away  the  forests,  tilled  the  soil,  and  made  the 
wilderness  to  blossom  like  the  rose.  With  his  callous 
hands  he  has  built  railroads  and  cities  in  this  country  and 
has  thus  made  this  a  goodly  land  in  which  to  live. 

Every  time  a  foreign  foe  has  threatened  this  nation,  the 
Negro  with  unswerving  patriotism  and  undaunted  courage 
has  contributed  his  full  quota  of  protection.  With  pro- 
found sincerity  he  has  offered  his  services  to  his  country ; 
with  voluntary  devotion  he  has  laid  himself  upon  her  altar. 
It  was  Crispus  Attucks  who  rushed  upon  the  plains  of  Bos- 
ton, struck  the  first  blow  and  thus  became  the  first  martyr 

126  Journal  of  Negro  History 

to  the  cause  of  American  independence.  It  was  the  Negro 
soldiers  who  plunged  dauntlessly  into  the  face  of  death, 
scaled  the  heights  of  El  Caney  and  San  Juan  and  brought 
victory  to  the  American  flag.  It  was  the  black  boys  of  the 
Ninth  and  the  Tenth  Cavalry  that  led  the  van  and  spilt 
their  blood  upon  the  troublous  soil  of  Mexico  in  order 
that  the  dignity  of  the  United  States  might  be  maintained. 
Negro  soldiers  w^ere  among  the  first  to  carry  the  stars  and 
stripes  into  the  trenches  upon  the  gory  field  somewhere 
in  France.  These  Negro  soldiers  have  written  their  name^ 
high  upon  the  scroll  of  fame. 

You  cannot  erase  their  record  without  destroying  some 
of  the  most  important  pages  of  American  history.  In  the 
true  annals  of  this  nation  their  illustrious  deeds  of  valor 
and  patriotism  cannot  be  hidden.  Unobscured  by  preju- 
dice these  records  shall  shine  forth  and  point  out  to  poster- 
ity some  of  the  most  daring  exploits  and  some  of  the  most 
vicarious  sacrifices.  AVhen  the  ponderous  volumes  of  his- 
tory rich  with  the  spoils  of  time  shall  unroll  their  ample 
pages  before  the  eyes  of  generations  yet  unborn,  there  in 
letters  which  he  who  runs  may  read  should  be  inscribed  the 
names  of  Johnson,  Roberts,  Butler,  and  many  other  black 
boys  who  staked  their  lives  in  the  World  War  upon  the 
contention  that  the  world  should  be  made  safe  for  democ- 

Teaching  of  Negro  history  to  the  white  people  will  give 
them  a  broader  view.  It  w^ill  prove  to  them  that  the  Negro 
has  contributed  a  very  considerable  portion  to  the  wealth, 
population  and  resources  of  the  nation.  It  will  engender 
a  greater  sympathy  and  a  ^\^der  community  consciousness. 
It  mil  prove  that  the  Negro  is  imbued  wdth  the  white 
man's  spirit  and  strives  after  his  ideals.  To  the  white 
man  who  truly  studies  Negro  history  will  come  views  of 
tolerance  and  a  spirit  of  justice,  kindness,  and  helpfulness. 

What  benefit  will  accrue  to  the  Negro  from  the  teach- 
ing of  Negro  history?  If  the  purpose  of  history  teaching 
in  our  schools  is  to  train  for  citizenship,  w^hat  kind  of  a 

The  Teaching  of  Negro  History  127 

citizen  will  the  Negro  be,  if  the  history  he  studies  does  not 
comprehend  his  race  ?  The  education  of  any  race  is  incom- 
plete unless  it  embodies  the  ideals  of  that  race.  The  his- 
tories taught  in  Negro  schools  were  not  written  in  contem- 
plation of  the  race.  They  were  written  for  the  white  man 
and  are  the  embodiment  of  his  ideals  and  prejudices.  The 
teaching  of  Negro  history  to  the  Negro  youth  is  necessary 
to  inspire  race  pride  and  arouse  race  consciousness.  The 
study  of  wdiat  his  race  has  done  under  adverse  circum- 
stances wdll  animate  the  Negro  youth  to  greater  achieve- 
ments. By  contemplating  the  deeds  of  the  worthy  mem- 
bers of  his  owai  race  the  Negro  youth  will  have  his  aspira- 
tions raised  to  attain  the  highest  objective  of  life. 

Because  of  existing  conditions  the  inevitable  conclu- 
sion is,  that  Negro  history  should  be  taught  in  all  the 
schools  of  all  races  in  the  United  States.  The  history  out- 
line should  provide  that  Negro  history  supplement  the 
regular  text  in  United  States  history.  The  teaching  of 
Negro  history  will  bring  a  knowledge  of  those  essential 
elements  without  which  there  can  be  no  solution  of  the  race 
problem.  Standing  upon  the  vantage  ground  of  history 
retrospecting  the  past  and  prospecting  the  future,  every 
real  seeker  of  the  truth  can  catch  a  glimmer  of  the  glory  in 
the  realization  of  the  prophetic  utterance :  ' '  Princes  shall 
come  out  of  Egypt  and  Ethiopia  shall  soon  stretch  forth 
her  hand  to  God. ' ' 

J.  W.  Bell. 


Twenty  years  ago  I  became  interested  in  the  study  of 
Negro  biography.  I  was  anxious  to  know  more  about  the 
personal  histories  of  a  score  or  more  of  Negro  men  and 
women  whose  part  in  helping  to  make  the  history  of  the 
Negro  in  the  United  States  stood  out  pre-eminently.  I 
did  not  desire  detailed  accounts  of  their  lives  at  that  time, 
but  I  did  wish  to  know  when  and  where  they  were  born, 
how  they  made  their  way  to  front  rank,  how  they  suffered, 
fought,  and  sacrificed,  where  they  spent  their  declining 
years,  and  when  they  passed  away.  I  found  the  field  of 
Negro  biography  a  neglected  one.  I  set  to  work,  in  my 
weak  way,  then,  to  bring  to  light  the  main  facts  in  these 
personal  histories. 

The  early  Negro  historians  seem  to  have  placed  little 
emphasis  on  telling  the  interesting  facts  in  the  lives  of  the 
leaders  of  the  race,  and  these  persons  themselves,  with  a 
few  exceptions,  were  too  modest,  too  busy,  or  too  poor  to 
publish  their  lives  in  book  form.  Josiah  Henson,  Samuel 
Ringgold  Ward,  Frederick  Douglass,  William  Wells  Brown, 
and  a  few  others  published  their  autobiographies.  Un- 
satisfactory brief  sketches  of  Phyllis  AVheatley,  Benjamin 
Banneker,  Crispus  Attucks,  Lott  Cary,  and  a  score  of 
others  could  be  found  here  and  there.  Many  writers  have 
attempted  to  make  known  the  part  the  Negro  group  has 
played  in  helping  to  make  American  history  and  civiliza- 
tion, but  few  have  brought  to  light  the  stories  of  the  Negro 
men  and  women  of  might  and  mark  whose  impress  upon 
their  generation  gives  evidence  of  our  onward  march  of 

Looking  over  the  field  of  American  Negro  historiogra- 
phy one  sees  a  change  in  aspect  and  in  tone.     The  early 

1  An  address  delivered  before  the  Association  for  the  Study  of  Negro 
Life  and  History  at  Louisville,  November  23,  1922, 


Negro  Biography  129 

historian  told  the  chronicled  story  of  the  race  as  a  separate 
and  distinct  narrative,  an  independent,  isolated  tale  of  a 
people  apart  from  the  world.  He  endeavored  to  show  the 
part  the  Negro  had  played  in  making  possible  his  own  prog- 
ress. Today  the  Negro  historian  points  to  the  fact  that 
the  Negro's  advancement  is  a  part  of  the  forward  move- 
ment of  the  world,  and  his  progress  in  all  the  fields  where- 
in he  has  labored  is  a  part  of  the  general  progress  of  man- 
kind. The  historian  of  today  is  scientifically  bringing  to 
light  the  evidences  as  to  the  worth  of  the  Negro  and  his 
contributions  to  the  uplift  of  the  "World.  More  and  more 
the  historian  is  directing  attention  to  the  private  lives  of 
our  leaders.  More  and  more  the  leaders  themselves  are  re- 
cording their  own  deeds,  writing  their  autobiographies,  and 
uncovering  many  inside  facts  connected  with  movements 
with  which  they  were  identified  and  in  which  they  played 
conspicuous  parts.  But  the  personal  histories  of  the  old 
leaders,  ''the  Old  Guard"  of  the  race,  remain  unknown. 
The  stories  of  their  lives,  in  addition  to  making  rare  litera- 
ture, would  shed  light  on  the  past,  teach  race  loyalty  and 
pride,  and  give  inspiration  to  thousands  of  Negro  youths 
who  would  find  encouragement  in  their  trials  and  battles. 
''Biography,"  says  Lossing,  "is  history  teaching  by 
example."  Every  race  that  has  counted  for  much  in  his- 
tory has  had  its  heroes.  Every  nation  that  has  helped  to 
build  civilization  got  its  inspiration  from  within.  Every 
nation  that  has  left  a  record  of  value  had  its  ideal  men  and 
women,  its  patriots,  its  martyrs — its  examples  of  useful- 
ness within  itself.  The  white  race  seeks  its  ideals  within 
its  own  ranks.  The  Red  man's  ideal  is  his  group.  The 
Greek  youth  imbibed  the  dare-and-do  spirit  from  the  tales 
of  the  Greek  heroes.  The  Roman  fashioned  his  life  after 
those  citizens  who  fought  and  achieved  for  Rome.  Eng- 
lishmen find  their  heroes  among  their  owm,  and  though  they 
admire  and  praise  genius  and  usefulness  in  men  of  other 
nationalities,  their  greatest  men  are  those  who  played  well 
their  parts  in  helping  to  expand  the  influence  of  England 

130  JouBNAL  OF  Negro  History 

and  to  establish  the  British  Empire.  The  German  gets  his 
inspiration  from  German  historJ^  The  Japanese  worships 
at  the  shrine  of  those  of  his  country  who  have  been  factors 
in  giving  Japan  *'a  place  in  the  sun."  The  Frenchman 
sees  his  examples  of  true  greatness  in  the  men  and  women 
who  sacrificed  all  for  the  glory  of  France. 

No  race,  no  nation,  no  people  whose  ideals  of  manhood 
and  patriotism  are  without,  can  hope  to  be  accorded  full 
recognition  by  the  world.  The  Negro's  ideal  must  be  a 
Negro  if  he  is  to  appreciate  keenly  his  own  particular 
stock.  The  Negro's  examples  of  achievement  and  devo- 
tion must  be  found  within  his  group,  if  he  is  to  learn  to 
serve  the  race  faithfully  and  intelligently.  Its  sages,  its 
patriots,  its  heroes  must  all  be  persons  of  color,  men  whose 
faces  show  the  mark  of  Africa,  if  the  Negro  youth  is  to 
develop  that  essential  feeling  commonly  kno^ra  as  race 
pride.  Negro  achievements  must  be  taught  to  the  young 
men  and  women,  if  they  are  to  learn  to  labor  and  to  achieve, 
to  do  and  to  dare. 

Negro  biography  stands  out  as  the  medium  through 
which  the  youths  of  the  race  can  be  taught  to  love  the  race 
more  and  to  serve  it  better.  Negro  biography  is  the  main 
source  from  which  the  young  Negro  is  to  get  inspiration 
and  encouragement.  Negro  biography  is  the  door  through 
which  he  enters  Negro  history.  Negro  biography  unlocks 
the  past  and  explains  the  present  effectively  and  impres- 
sively. If  we  want  our  children  trained  to  love  the  race 
we  must  not  only  teach  them  what  the  world  is,  what  na- 
tions have  accomplished,  and  what  individuals  within  the 
ranks  of  these  nations  have  done  toward  helping  to  bright- 
en the  path  of  life,  but  we  must  tell  them  of  the  sturdy 
characters  of  Negro  ancestry  who  have  labored  and  strug- 
gled and  triumphed  and  by  their  contributions  enriched 
the  history  of  civilization.  The  appreciation  for  the  rec- 
ord of  our  own  group  will  stimulate  the  youth  to  greater 

The  histories  of  nations  are  but  narratives  of  what  their 
citizens  have  said  and  done.     If,  then,  we  would  teach 

Negro  Biography  131 

effectively  the  chronicles  of  the  nations,  we  must  be  an- 
swering questions,  incessantly  responding  to  inquiries 
about  the  men  and  the  women  who  blazed  the  way  and  led 
their  kinsmen  to  toil  and  suffer  to  bring  to  pass  a  happier 
and  a  brighter  day  for  themselves  and  their  posterity. 
Such  examples  of  devotion  to  the  cause  of  humanity,  ex- 
amples of  consecration  to  truth  and  righteousness,  exam- 
ples of  goodness  and  greatness  worthy  of  the  praise  of  all 
races  and  creeds,  are  found  everywhere  in  the  ranks  of  the 
Negro  race.  If  unearthed  and  popularized,  these  examples 
would  shed  light  upon  the  history  of  the  race  in  the  United 
States,  illuminate  the  general  history  of  man,  and  inculcate 
a  profound  respect  for  the  Negro. 

In  connection  with  the  Negro 's  early  efforts  at  freedom 
and  culture  mention  is  made  of  John  Chavis,  George  Moses 
Horton,  John  Sella  Martin,  George  Liele,  John  S.  Rock, 
James  Varick,  Andrew  Bryan,  Daniel  Coker,  Peter  Spen- 
cer, David  Walker,  John  T.  Hilton,  David  Ruggles,  Wil- 
liam Whipper,  James  Monroe  Whitefield,  James  McCune 
Smith,  James  Madison  Bell,  Thomas  Paul,  Mary  Shadd 
Carey,  Jupiter  Hammon,  and  Samuel  Ringgold  Ward, 
about  whose  personal  histories.  Ward  excepted,  little  is 
known.  And  even  in  the  case  of  Ward,  his  life  after  he 
left  the  United  States  is  almost  a  blank.  Few  people  know 
what  work  he  did  after  making  his  home  in  Jamaica,  and 
the  circumstances  under  which  he  passed  away  there.  Let 
it  be  remembered  that  Frederick  Douglass  called  Ward  the 
most  brilliant  Negro  orator  of  the  abolition  cause.  Would 
not  the  story  of  his  remarkable  career  be  a  valuable  ad- 
dition to  our  history?  He  was  one  of  the  chief  pillars  of 
the  anti-slavery  movement. 

Would  not  the  true  facts  concerning  the  birth,  educa- 
tion and  early  life  of  Lieutenant  Colonel  William  N.  Reed, 
First  North  Carolina  Volunteers,  or  the  Thirty-fifth  United 
States  Colored  Troops,  who  fell  mortally  wounded  in  the 
battle  of  the  Olustee  in  1864,  make  interesting  reading  to 
arouse  the  imagination  of  the  youth?    A  full  narrative  of 

132  Journal  of  Negro  History 

the  life  of  Dr.  John  V.  DeGrasse,  the  first  commissioned 
surgeon  in  the  United  States  Army,  would  give  a  new 
idea  of  the  versatility  of  the  Negro  patriot.  The  life  of 
David  Ruggles,  told  in  detail,  would  be  both  informing 
and  inspiring.  His  hatred  of  the  slaveholder  and  his  love 
of  freedom  brought  him  to  deal  sledge  hammer  blows  at 
the  institution  of  slavery  and  to  oppose  the  colonization  of 
free  Negroes  in  Africa.  His  manly  appeal  to  reason  and 
his  eloquent  and  convincing  arguments  against  deporta- 
tion did  much  to  make  friends  for  Negro  freedom.  James 
W.  C.  Pennington,  an  honor  alumnus  of  the  University  of 
Heidelberg  (Germany),  deserves  more  consideration  in 
our  history  than  will  ever  be  given  him  because  we  know 
so  little  about  his  life  and  labors.  An  eloquent  preacher 
and  a  lover  of  justice  and  truth,  he  won  the  praise  of  the 
good  and  the  great  in  both  America  and  Europe. 

How  many  American  Negroes  know  the  name  of  Joseph 
Colvis,  a  native  of  the  United  States  who  won  distinction 
during  the  Franco-Prussian  War,  who  was  decorated  by 
the  French  Government,  and  who  retained  till  his  death  his 
American  citizenship?  What  Negro  of  the  United  States 
knows  the  story  of  the  last  years  of  Edmonia  Le^^ds,  the 
sculptress,  one  of  the  truly  great  products  of  the  race? 
Her  name  should  be  made  to  live  by  telling  every  youth  of 
her  wonderful  career  as  an  artist. 

How^  many  Negro  youths  know  the  names  of  C.  H.  J. 
Taylor,  James  Monroe  Trotter,  John  H.  Jackson  and  J. 
McHenry  Jones,  four  men  of  our  own  time  who  success- 
fully labored  for  the  uplift  of  the  race?  Taylor  and  Trot- 
ter were  among  the  first  to  preach  Negro  independence  in 
politics,  and  Jackson  and  Jones  infused  new  life  into  two 
State  schools  and  made  these  institutions  mighty  instru- 
ments of  service  in  the  uplift  of  the  race.  What  do  we 
know  of  ^Vhipper,  Rock,  Martin,  Cha\^s,  Jones,  Whitefield, 
pioneers  all?  of  Bell,  Varick,  Coker,  Gary,  Bryan,  Liele, 
all  but  martyrs?  Wlaat  these  men  achieved,  in  spite  of 
handicap,  in  an  environment  unfavorable  to  progress  by 

Negro  Biography  133 

peoples  of  dark  skin,  has  won  the  admiration  of  the  ene- 
mies of  the  race.  Is  there  a  student  of  history  who  does 
not  wish  to  know  more  about  them?  Unbiased  historians 
on  both  sides  of  the  seas  will  some  day  find  delight  in  doing 
them  honor. 

Shall  these  heroes  go  unsung?  Shall  these  makers  of 
the  history  of  the  race  go  unhonored?  Should  not  their 
names  become  familiar  to  our  children  and  their  struggles 
for  truth  and  right  the  epics  of  the  fireside?  Lest  we  for- 
get, and  lest  our  children  never  know  them,  let  us  do  our 
best  to  chronicle  their  deeds  and  to  perpetuate  their  mem- 
ories. Let  us  do  our  part  towards  placing  these  heroes  be- 
fore the  world,  erecting  in  their  honor  monuments  in  song 
and  in  story  to  the  end  that  coming  generations  may  be  in- 
spired to  serve  their  day  faithfully  and  aspiring  youths 
everywhere  be  shown  the  path  to  true  worth  and  glory. 

Paul  W.  L.  Jones. 



We  do  not  generally  speak  of  American  imperialism. 
Such  words  are  incompatible.  Imperialism  in  the  United 
States,  the  land  of  the  free  and  tlie  home  of  the  brave, 
seems  ironical.  The  degenerate,  dying  one,  however,  gave 
birth  to  the  vital,  growing  other.  Imperialism  is  the  torch 
that  fired  the  souls  that  flared  and  flamed  forth  in  conquer- 
ing righteous  anger  and  tore  in  twain  the  bond  which  held 
the  British  Lion's  restless  brood  intact  and  set  one  loose 
to  roam  apart  a  land  in  which  to  breed  and  suckle  a  stock 
after  its  kind.  It  was  thus  the  United  States  had  its  be- 
ginning. Can  it  be  the  echo  of  that  severed  bond  still 
faintly  heard  shall  prematurely  die?  drown  in  the  clamor 
of  our  near  Imperialistic  programme  in  the  republics  of 
Haiti  and  Santo  Domingo?  Be  that  as  it  may,  the  sover- 
eignty of  Haiti  and  Santo  Domingo  has  been  impaired,  and 
their  independence  overthrown  by  the  United  States  of 
America.  This  is  a  fact  against  which  no  one  holds  a 

Whether  we  accept  the  interpretation  of  our  country's 
actions  in  the  island  republics  by  Earnest  H.  Gruening, 
Managing  Editor  of  The  Nation,  or  that  of  Carl  Kelsey,^ 
Professor  of  Sociology  at  the  University  of  Pennsylvania,'' 
whether  we  conclude  with,  what  may  be  termed  conveni- 
ently ''public  opinion,"  or  with  the  Investigation  Com- 
mittee of  the  Senate,^^  is  finally  a  matter  of  individual 
judicature.     To  accept  or  reject,  establish  or  refute,  either 

*  This  dissertation  was  submitted  to  the  Graduate  School  of  Western  Re- 
serve University  in  1922  in  partial  fulfilment  of  the  requirements  for  the 
degree  of  Master  of  Arts. 

1  Current  History,  Vol.  XV,  No.  6,  March,  1922. 

2  Annals  of  the  American  Academy  of  Political  and  Social  Science,  Vol.  C, 
No.  189,  March,  1922. 

3  Treaties  and  Conventions  hetween  the  United  States  and  other  Powers. 


Haiti  and  the  United  States  135 

interpretation  or  conclusion  would  require  a  thorough  study 
of  the  character  and  motives  of  the  men,  and  the  nature, 
extent,  and  the  conditions  under  which  the  facts  were  col- 
lected. Such  a  survey  would  lead  us  far  afield  in  this  dis- 

Knowing  as  we  do  the  importance  of  the  Monroe  Doc- 
trine, we  believe  the  basis  of  the  present  Haitian-Domini- 
can relation  with  the  United  States  to  be  found  in  our  prac- 
cal  interpretation  of  that  unwritten  law.  There  is  another 
factor  which,  if  possible,  is  paramount  to  the  Monroe  Doc- 
trine, our  economic  interests.  The  strength  of  a  nation  is 
its  wealth.  In  our  economic  interests  upon  which  rests  our 
political  government,  and  in  the  Monroe  Doctrine— time 
honored,  versatile  chaperon  and  guardian  of  them  both  at 
international  fetes— are  to  be  found  the  official  justification 
and  true  motives  of  the  foreign  policy  of  the  United  States 
in  Haiti  and  Santo  Domingo. 

Survey  of  Haiti 

Before  proceeding  farther,  let  us  briefly  review  Haiti 
up  to  the  American  Occupation.  The  story  of  the  Santo- 
Dominican  affair  is  singularly  similar  to  that  of  Haiti,  and 
it  needs  to  be  referred  to  only  in  the  rare  instances  of  dis- 

Hispaniola  or  Haiti  is  the  second  largest  island  in  the 
Antilles.  It  lies  between  Cuba  and  Porto  Rico.  It  was 
discovered  by  Columbus,  and  the  earliest  Caucasian  civiliza- 
tion in  this  hemisphere  took  root  there.  The  tomb  sup- 
posed to  hold  the  ashes  of  Columbus  is  in  the  Cathedral  of 
Santo  Domingo.  The  eastern  two-thirds  of  the  island  is 
occupied  by  the  Dominican  Republic,  the  western  one- 
third  by  that  of  Haiti.  The  island  was  a  French  colony 
until  1804,  although  the  French  claims  were  frequently  dis- 
puted by  the  Spaniards,  who  at  various  times  established 
themselves  in  the  eastern  part,  where  language  and  culture 
remained  Castilian.  Following  nearly  fifteen  years  of 
struggle,  which  began  when  the  Bastile  fell,  the  natives 

136  Journal,  of  Negro  History 

achieved  their  independence.''  This  revolution  was  unique 
in  that  the  revolutionaries,  who  had  formerly  been  slaves, 
secured  both  the  political  independence  of  their  country 
and  their  personal  freedom.  The  republic  of  Haiti  was 
established  on  January  1,  1804,  the  second  republic  in  the 
Western  Hemisphere.  In  1844  the  eastern  two-thirds  of 
the  island  seceded  and  set  up  the  Dominican  Republic. 

The  republic  of  Haiti  continued  free  and  independent 
until  1915.  During  that  one  hundred  and  eleven  years  it 
had  a  troublous  history.  The  constitutional  office  for  a 
president  in  Haiti  is  seven  years,  but  President  Salomon, 
who  held  office  from  1879  to  1886,  is  apparently  the  only 
such  functionary  to  fill  out  his  term  of  office.  He  was  over- 
thro\vn  within  two  years  after  his  reelection  for  a  second 
term  in  1886. 

This  drama  may  be  reduced  to  read  thus :  In  1804  Des- 
salines  was  crowned  as  emperor.  Two  years  later  he  was 
assassinated;  and  war  broke  out  between  Christophe  and 
Petion.  In  1807  Christophe  became  king  under  the  title 
of  Henry  I,  but  had  upon  his  hands  annoying  strife.  In 
1811  Petion  was  made  president  of  the  southern  part  of 

*  In  the  preparation  of  this  article  the  following  works  were  used : 
Tyranny  by  the  United  States  in  Haiti  OTid  Sa7ito  Domingo,  by  Earnest  H. 
Gruening,  Managing  Editor  of  The  Nation,  in  Ctjrrent  History,  Volume  XV, 
No.  6,  March,  1922;  Latin  America,  Clark  University  Addresses,  November, 
1913,  edited  by  George  H.  Blakeslee,  Professor  of  History,  Clark  University; 
Caribbean  Interests  of  the  United  States,  by  Chester  Lloyd  Jones,  Professor 
of  Political  Science,  University  of  Wisconsin;  The  United  States  and  Latin 
America,  by  John  Holladay  Latane,  Professor  of  History,  Johns  Hopkins  Uni- 
versity; The  American  Intervention  in  Haiti  and  the  Dominican  Republic,  in 
The  Annals  of  The  American  Academy  of  Political  and  Social  Science, 
Volume  C,  No.  189,  March,  1922,  by  Carl  Kelsey,  Ph.D.,  Professor  of  Sociology, 
University  of  Pennsylvania;  The  Monroe  Doctrine  and  Its  Application  to  Haiti, 
by  William  A.  MacCorkle,  Former  Governor  of  West  Virginia,  in  The  Annals 
of  The  American  Academy  of  Political  and  Social  Science,  Volume  LIV, 
July,  1914;  The  Haitian  Revolution,  by  T.  G.  Steward;  The  Jootnal  of  Negro 
History,  Vol.  II,  No.  4,  October,  1917;  Independence  of  South  American  Re- 
publics, by  F.  L.  Paxson;  and  Treaties  and  Conventions  between  the  United 
States  and  Other  Powers,  Government  Printing  Office,  Washington,  D.  C. 

Haiti  and  the  United  States  137 

the  island  and  civil  war  ensued.  Boyer  was  declared 
regent  for  life  in  1820  and  after  tremendous  insurrection 
and  flow  of  blood  Christophe  committed  suicide.  In  1843 
Boyer  was  deposed  and  exiled  after  a  revolution.  In 
1844  Santo  Domingo,  the  Spanish  port  of  the  island,  be- 
came an  independent  republic  in  spite  of  the  efforts  of  the 
French  portion  to  subdue  it.  Herard,  the  next  ruler,  was 
exiled  after  a  rule  of  one  year.  Then  came  Guerrier  and 
Pierrot,  each  of  whom  could  hold  out  one  year  only.  In 
1846  Riche  was  proclaimed  president  but  he  passed  away 
within  twelve  months.  In  1849  Soulouque  was  declared 
emperor  after  many  wars  and  much  bloodshed.  He  man- 
aged to  rule  in  some  way  until  he  was  exiled  in  1859.  Gef- 
frad  then  became  president  and  ruled  until  1867  when  he 
was  exiled.  From  1856  to  1867  there  followed  a  dreadful 
revolution  when  Salnave  revolted,  taking  refugees  from 
the  British  consulates  and  killing  them.  An  English  ship 
drove  them  out  and  helped  Geffrad  who,  however,  was 
finally  banished.  Salnave  was  then  made  president  with 
a  new  constitution ;  and  the  revolt  was  suppressed  amidst 
torrents  of  blood.  From  1868  to  1870  there  was  continual 
revolution,  but  Salnave  massacred  his  enemies,  proclaimed 
himself  emperor,  and  thus  reigned  until  he  was  finally  de- 
feated and  shot.  In  1874  after  Nissage  Saget  had  com- 
pleted his  term  of  four  years,  Domingue  seized  the 
government,  but  after  bloody  revolution  he  was  exiled  in 
1876.  Then  came  another  bloody  revolution  when  Canal 
seized  power  but  after  a  stormy  reign  he  was  exiled  in 
1879,  when  Salomon  was  elected.  Salomon  was  reelected 
in  1886  but  was  deposed  and  exiled  in  1888.  Then  came 
civil  war  between  Hippolyte  and  Legitime  resulting  in  the 
temporary  success  of  Legitime,  who  held  sway  for  one 
year  only.  In  1889  Hippolyte  was  chosen  chief  executive 
and  he  died  in  office  in  1896.  Sam  who  became  president 
that  year  had  trouble  with  Germany  and  numerous  dis- 
orders in  the  country.  In  1902  Sam  took  all  the  funds  and 
left  the  country.     In  1902  General  Alexis  Nord  was  pro- 

138  Journal  of  Negro  History 

claimed  president,  and  he  was  retired  by  revolution  in  1908 
when  the  powers  sent  warships  to  stop  massacre.  Cincin- 
natus  Lecompte  was  elevated  to  the  presidency  in  1911 
and  was  killed  in  1912.  Tancrede  Aiiguste,  who  succeeded 
him,  met  the  same  fate  the  following  year.  Michall  Oreste, 
the  next  unfortunate,  served  into  the  year  1914  when  he 
was  dethroned  by  the  usual  upheaval;  and  so  suffered 
Zamor  in  1914,  and  Guillaume  who  was  killed  in  1915.  On 
July  28,  1915,  United  States  forces  landed  at  Port-au- 
Prince  and  began  the  present  Occupation.^ 

Survey  of  Santo  Domingo 

National  and  domestic  conditions  of  Haiti  are  popular 
knowledge.  It  is  unnecessary  to  go  into  that  upon  which 
all  students  of  Latin  American  countries  are  agreed.  Ac- 
cordingly we  make  no  mention  of  the  form  of  government 
and  detailed  exposition  of  its  operation  in  this  country. 

It  is  not  agreed  that  Santo  Domingo  is  as  well  known. 
The  total  area  of  the  Dominican  Eepublic  is  over  19,000 
square  miles,  or  somewhat  more  than  the  combined  areas 
of  the  States  of  Vermont  and  New  Hampshire.  The  coun- 
try is  divided  by  a  great  central  range  whose  highest  peaks 
rise  to  9,000  or  10,000  feet,  forming  valleys  like  Constanza, 
whose  elevation  is  over  3,000  feet.  The  first  census  of  the 
Dominican  Eepublic  ever  taken  was  completed  in  the  sum- 
mer of  1921.  This  showed  a  total  population  of  894,587, 
a  little  over  45  a  square  mile,  or  about  one-fourth  the 
density  of  Haiti.  The  crop  areas,  rainfall  being  heavy  in 
the  vicinity  of  the  central  range,  indicate  fairly  accurately 
the  location  of  the  mass  of  the  population.  The  people 
are  a  mixture  of  Negro,  Indian,  and  Spaniard  with  the 
Negro  strain  predominant.  Among  them,  as  in  Haiti,  the 
question  of  land  ownership  is  important.  There  is  no  sys- 
tem of  deeds  by  which  titles  are  registered.  As  the  coun- 
try has  never  been  surveyed,  titles  are  in  confusion. 

The  agricultural  methods  of  the  Dominicans  do  not 

6  These  facts  are  well  set  forth  in  Steward's  Haitian  Revolution. 

Haiti  and  the  United  States  139 

differ  materially  from  those  of  the  Haitians,  but  modern 
machinery  is  rapidly  appearing.  Conservatively  it  might 
be  said  that  the  Dominican  farmers  are  more  prosperous 
than  the  Haitian.  One  finds  here  the  culture  of  cane, 
cacao,  tobacco,  and  bananas  to  a  greater  extent  than  in 
Haiti,  but  these  crops  are  not  efficiently  handled. 

The  most  valuable  crop  of  the  country  is  sugar.  Owing 
to  the  enormous  cost  of  the  mills,  sugar  is  produced  chiefly 
on  large  plantations.  Of  these  there  are  about  a  dozen, 
most  of  which  are  today  under  American  control.  Two  of 
the  largest  are  La  Romana  in  the  east  and  Barahona  in 
the  west.  In  the  former  the  investment  is  estimated  at 
$7,000,000  with  16,000  acres  in  cane  and  a  labor  force  of 
7,000.  Barahona  is  a  new  plantation  which  was  grinding 
the  winter  of  1921  for  the  first  time.  The  investment  here 
is  said  to  be  over  $10,000,000.  A  splendid  plant  with 
adequate  provision  for  houses  for  the  employees  has  been 
built.  Besides  sugar  there  are  a  few  other  industries  in- 
cluding a  little  manufacturing.  Factories  are  not  numer- 
ous in  the  country,  but  at  Puerto  Plata,  there  are  a  match 
factory,  a  few  distilleries,  and  two  cigar  factories  turning 
out  excellent  products,  and  they  are  owned  and  operated 
by  Dominicans.  It  is  an  open  question  whether  forces  and 
influences  of  this  kind  will  do  more  to  advance  and  stabilize 
these  countries  than  all  the  resorts  to  force  of  military 
control  and  occupation. 

Some  transportation  facilities  and  a  few  other  eco- 
nomic factors  of  interest  are  observed.  There  are  two 
lines  of  railroads  doing  a  general  business,  with  a  com- 
bined mileage  of  about  150  miles.  The  Dominican  Cen- 
tral Railway  runs  from  Puerto  Plata  through  Santiago  to 
Moca,  60  miles.  This  was  built  by  foreign  interests  but 
was  taken  over  by  the  government  in  1908.  The  second 
road,  the  Samana  and  Santiago  Railway,  runs  from  Moca 
to  Samana  with  branches  to  San  Fernando  de  Macoris  and 
La  Vega.  No  railroad  runs  from  the  northern  to  the 
southern  part  of  the  country.     On  the  sugar  estates  in  the 

140  Journal  of  Negro  History 

south  there  are  225  miles  of  private  roads.  There  is  also 
a  short  line  of  some  five  miles  connecting  Azura  mth  its 
ports.  An  excellent  beginning  had  been  made  in  road 
building.  The  engineers  of  the  American  forces  since  the 
occupation  have  carried  it  farther.  There  are  docks  at 
Puerto  Plata,  La  Romana,^  San  Pedro  de  Macoris,  Santo 
Domingo  and  Barahona.  Elsewhere  lighters  are  used. 
The  Clyde  Steamship  Line  has  had  a  monopoly  much  of  the 
time  in  the  trade  with  the  United  States.  Now  at  least 
two  other  lines  send  freight  steamers  regularly.  The 
French  line  gives  direct  connection  with  Europe,  and  there 
is  also  frequent  communication  with  Porto  Rico. 

A  study  of  the  statistical  table  of  commerce  indicates 
a  very  gratifying  increase  in  the  total  foreign  trade  but  a 
considerable  part  of  the  increase  after  1914  was  due  to  war 
time  prices,  just  as  the  terrible  slump  which  came  in  1921, 
and  had  little  relation  to  production.  The  output  of 
sugar  has  been  increased  from  85,000  tons  in  1910  to  about 
185,000  in  1920.  A  large  part  of  this  commerce  is  with  the 
United  States.  For  instance,  in  1919-20  the  United  States 
trade  represented  77  per  cent  of  the  imports  and  87  per 
cent  of  the  exports.  13  per  cent  more  of  the  imports  were 
from  Porto  Rico,  and  to  that  island  went  26  per  cent  of  the 
exports.  The  rapid  increase  in  commerce  brought  great 
prosperity  to  the  country.  Then  came  the  reaction,  dis- 
astrous to  creditors,  many  of  whose  accounts  were  settled 
for  35  cents  on  the  dollar.  The  country,  however,  is  rela- 
tively undeveloped,  which  means  its  day  is  yet  ahead. 
Schvenrich  is  correct  in  speaking  of  Santo  Domingo  as  the 
country  with  a  future. 

Religion,  education,  and  politics  come  next  in  this  hur- 
ried survey.  The  Roman  Catholic  Church  is  dominant  in 
this  country.  With  the  exception  of  a  few  Franciscans  all 
the  priests  are  natives.  The  Protestant  churches  in  the 
country  are  few  and  small. 

Education  is  still  in  a  backward  state.     In  1915  the 

*  This  dock  belongs  to  a  sugax  company,  but  it  is  open  to  others. 

Haiti  and  the  United  States  141 

Dominican  Republic  did  not  own  a  single  school  building. 
Rural  schools  did  not  exceed  eighty-four  in  number.  The 
total  school  enrollment  was  about  18,000.  While  there 
were  some  public  schools  in  rented  buildings  dependence 
seems  to  have  been  placed  on  the  private  subsidized  schools, 
and  the  amount  granted  was  determined  wholly  by  political 
influence.  The  teachers  were  irregularly  and  poorly  paid. 
A  commission  appointed  by  the  government  investigated 
thoroughly  the  educational  situation  and  because  of  its  find- 
ings prepared  and  recommended  the  following  laws:  {a) 
Compulsory  school  attendance;  (b)  school  administration; 
(c)  general  studies,  literary,  law,  and  theological  courses; 
and  an  {d)  organic  law  of  public  education,  and  school 
revenues.  The  educational  institutions  now  total:  (a) 
647  rural  schools — enrollment  50,000,  the  chief  work  being 
in  agriculture;  {b)  194  primary  schools;  (c)  7  secondary 
and  normal  schools;  (d)  6  industrial  schools  for  girls;  (e) 
2  schools  of  fine  arts;  and  (/)  2  correctional  schools  and 
the  Central  University  at  the  capital.  The  total  school  at- 
tendance is  100,000,  and  the  total  number  of  teachers  is 

The  constitution  establishes  a  representative  form  of 
government — a  republic.  The  government  is  of  executive, 
legislative,  and  judicial  branches.  The  national  congress 
meets  annually  at  the  capital,  Santo  Domingo,  on  Febru- 
ary 27  for  a  period  of  90  days,  which  may  be  extended  60 
days  if  necessary.  It  is  composed  of  a  senate  of  12  mem- 
bers, one  from  each  province,  and  of  a  chamber  of  deputies 
of  24  members,  two  from  each  province.  Senators  are 
elected  by  indirect  vote  for  a  term  of  six  years,  and  the 
senate  is  renewed  by  thirds  every  two  years.  Deputies 
are  elected  by  indirect  vote  for  a  period  of  four  years,  and 
the  chamber  is  renewed  by  half  every  two  years.  Suffrage 
is  free  to  all  male  citizens  over  18  years  old.  The  Presi- 
dent is  the  executive  authority  of  the  republic.  He  is 
elected  for  six  years  by  indirect  vote.  There  is  no  Vice- 
President.     The  cabinet  is  composed  of  seven  functiona- 

142  Journal  of  Negro  History 

ries:  the  Secretary  of  Interior  and  Police,  Secretary  of 
Foreign  Affairs,  Secretary  of  Treasury  and  Commerce, 
Secretary  of  War  and  Marine,  Secretary  of  Justice  and 
Public  Instruction,  Secretary  of  Agriculture  and  Immigra- 
tion, and  Secretary  of  Promotion  and  Communications. 

The  chief  judicial  power  resides  in  the  Supreme  Court 
of  Justice,  which  consists  of  a  president  and  six  justices 
chosen  by  Congress,  and  one  Procurador  Fiscal  General 
appointed  by  the  executive  to  serve  for  a  term  of  four 
years,  and  sitting  at  Santo  Domingo.  The  territory  of 
the  republic  is  divided  into  twelve  judicial  districts,  each 
having  its  o\vn  civil  and  criminal  tribunal  and  court  of 
first  instance.  These  districts  are  subdivided  into  com- 
munes, each  with  a  local  justice.  There  are  two  courts  of 
appeal,  one  at  Santiago  de  los  Caballeros,  and  the  other  at 
Santo  Domingo  City.  For  administrative  purposes  these 
twelve  provinces  are  subdivided  into  communes.  The 
provinces  are  administered  by  governors  appointed  by  the 
President  as  are  the  chief  executive  officers  of  other  politi- 
cal divisions. 

Early  International  Eelations 

Let  us  now  direct  attention  to  the  early  international 
relations  of  Haiti  and  Santo  Domingo  \s'ith  the  United 
States.  For  many  years  recognition  of  the  little  state  by 
certain  world  powers  fearing  the  disastrous  effect  on 
their  slaves,  was  withheld.  The  French,  moreover,  imder 
the  constant  threat  of  reinvasion,  succeeded  in  exacting  a 
90,000,000  franc  indemnity  for  the  property  of  Frenchmen 
expelled  in  the  Haitian  war  of  independence.  Charles  X 
of  France  then  recognized  the  republic.  Recognition  by 
the  United  States  did  not  come  until  the  presidency  of 
Abraham  Lincoln.  Until  recently,  however,  Haiti  has  had 
only  one  significant  attraction  for  the  United  States.  The 
important  relations  of  Haiti  with  this  country  from  then 
until  1915  amounted  chiefly  to  negotiations  and  efforts  to 
secure  the  cession  of  Mole  St.  Nicholas,  a  harbor,  at  the 
northwestern   extremity   of   the  island.      It   controls   the 

Haiti  and  the  United  States  143 

Windward  Passage,  and  the  United  States  desired  it  for  a 
naval  base. 

Notwithstanding  the  insistence  of  the  United  States 
that  Plaiti  grant  her  Mole  St.  Nicholas  for  naval  use,  the 
harbor  did  not  change  hands.  The  Haitians  adhered 
firmly  to  the  constitutional  provision,  which  forbade  the 
cession  of  territory.  During  1914  and  1915  the  United 
States  began  overtures  of  a  different  character.  A  treaty 
giving  American  control  of  the  customs  and  finances  was 
proposed.  The  cession  of  Mole  St.  Nicholas  appears  also 
in  the  early  exchanges.  In  October,  1914,  William  J. 
Bryan,  Secretary  of  State,  wrote  to  President  Wilson,  urg- 
ing the  immediate  increase  of  our  naval  forces  in  Haitian 
w^aters,  ''not  only  for  the  purpose  of  protecting  foreign 
interests,  but  also  as  an  evidence  of  the  earnest  intention 
of  this  Government  to  settle  the  unsatisfactory  state  of  af- 
fairs Avhich  exists."  More  naval  vessels  were  sent,  and  at 
the  same  time  the  United  States  offered  to  assist  the  Presi- 
dent of  Haiti  to  put  do^\^l  some  threatened  revolutionary 
disturbances.  As  certain  conditions  were  attached  to  this 
assistance,  it  w^as  refused.  In  November  and  December 
modifications  of  previous  treaty  drafts  were  again  sub- 
mitted. They  proposed  the  control  and  administration  of 
the  Haitian  customs  by  the  United  States,  and  were  again 
refused  for  reasons  similar  to  those  given  above.  On  De- 
cember 13,  1914,  American  marines  from  the  United  States 
Ship  Machias  landed  in  the  Haitian  capital  and  removed 
property  of  the  country  without  the  consent  of  the  people. 

The  recent  Dominican  situation  may  be  said  to  have 
begim  on  November  19,  1915.  A  draft  giving  the  United 
States  military  and  financial  control  was  presented  to 
President  Jimenez  of  the  Dominican  Republic  one  week 
after  the  final  ratification  by  Haiti  of  its  similar  treaty. 
It  was  rejected.  In  the  following  April,  impeachment  pro- 
ceedings were  entered  upon  against  the  President  in  the 
Dominican  Congress.  On  May  4,  1916,  during  some  revo- 
lutionary disturbances,  and  without  warning  to  the  Do- 

144  Journal  of  Negro  History 

minican  Government,  American  marines  were  landed  near 
Santo  Domingo.  The  American  minister  at  that  time  gave 
assurance  that  these  forces  were  solely  for  the  purpose  of 
protecting  the  American  Legation. 

On  the  eleventh  of  May  Frederico  Henrique  Y  Carva- 
jol  was  nominated  for  president  of  the  republic  in  the 
Chamber  of  Deputies  and  confirmed  by  the  Senate  on  the 
twenty-third  of  May.  On  the  thirteenth  of  May,  the 
American  minister  formally  notified  the  Dominican  Gov- 
ernment of  the  intention  of  the  United  States  Government 
to  land  a  large  armed  force  and  to  occupy  the  capital, 
threatening  bombardment  of  the  city  and  unrestricted  fir- 
ing upon  the  natives,  if  in  any  way  they  interfered  witli 
the  landing  of  the  American  forces.  On  the  eighteenth  of 
May  the  American  minister  notified  the  Dominican  Con- 
gress that  Carvajol  was  not  acceptable  to  the  United  States 
as  President.  On  the  fifth  of  June  the  American  minister 
gave  a  formal  notice  to  the  Dominican  Government  that  the 
Receiver  General  of  Customs  would  take  charge  of  all  the 
finances  and  funds  of  the  Government.  Under  the  treaty 
of  1907  with  the  United  States  one  of  its  citizens  appointed 
by  this  country  was  in  charge  of  the  collection  of  customs 
of  the  Dominican  Republic.  It  was  his  duty  under  tliis 
treaty  to  turn  in  all  Init  the  sum  of  $100,000  monthly  to 
the  Dominican  Goverimient.  All  above  this  $100,000  was 
to  go,  one  half  to  the  Dominican  Government  for  its 
own  uses,  the  other  half  to  the  sinking  fund  of  the  loan 
contracted  under  the  treaty.  On  the  sixteenth  of  June, 
following  orders  from  Washington  the  Receiver  General  of 
Customs  took  charge  of  all  revenues, — internal  as  well  as 
customs  revenues  which  alone  were  stipulated  in  the  treaty 
of  1907 — and  set  himself  up  as  disbursing  agent  of  the  re- 
public. Then  followed  a  series  of  protests,  exchange  of 
notes  and  the  like.  On  November  26,  1916,  there  was  is- 
sued a  ** proclamation  of  occupation"  by  the  United  States, 
followed  by  martial  law,  but  the  Dominicans  refused  to 
ratify  the  acts  of  the  Military  Government.  The  occupa- 
tion here  continued  more  than  five  years. 

Haiti  and  the  United  States  145 

These  and  similar  acts  in  both  Haiti  and  Santo  Domingo 
aside  from  questions  of  expediency,  justification,  or  best 
interest  have  given  rise  to  the  present  situation.  Up  to  this 
time  the  United  States  Government  has  published  no  com- 
plete and  comprehensive  explanation  of  these  acts.  The 
answer  to  the  question  of  motives  is  not  to  be  found  in 
surface  considerations ;  not  even  the  unlimited  popular  ac- 
counts convince  us  that  this  country  is  not  adhering  to  a 
principle,  to  an  accepted  and  subscribed  policy,  no  matter 
how  secret  it  may  be. 

The  United  States  in  the  Larger  Canal  Zone 

When  the  United  States  secured  Panama  from  Colum- 
bia she  entered  upon  a  new  era.  With  the  centralization 
of  a  large  portion  of  our  wealth  in  this  section  of  Latin 
America  came  the  recognition  by  statesmen  that  our  politi- 
cal interests  would  have  to  expand  accordingly.  Then  our 
attitude  took  on  an  air  of  aggression  which,  conflicting 
with  our  ideals,  gives  rise  to  varied  conjectures  upon  our 
Latin  American  policy,  and  especially  our  policy  in  the 
Caribbean  Sea. 

There  were  steps  made  towards  securing  a  coaling  sta- 
tion or  naval  base  even  prior  to  our  ownership  of  the 
Panama  Canal  Lands.  In  1867  Admiral  Porter  and  Mr. 
F.  W.  Seward,  the  assistant-secretary  of  state,  were  sent 
to  Santo  Domingo  for  the  purpose  of  securing  the  lease  of 
Samana  Bay  as  a  naval  station.  Later  President  Grant 
sent  Colonel  Babcock  to  the  island  to  report  on  the  condi- 
tion of  affairs.  Babcock,  without  diplomatic  authority  of 
any  kind,  negotiated  a  treaty  for  the  annexation  of  the 
Dominican  Republic  and  another  for  the  lease  of  Samana 

The  Spanish  American  War  was  the  occasion  for  the 
advance  of  the  United  States  into  the  Caribbean.  From 
this  conflict  we  acquired  Porto  Rico  and  a  protectorate 
over  Cuba.  Furthermore,  too  much  importance  can  not  be 
attached  to  the  Hay-Pauncefote  treaty  of  1901  in  study- 

146  Journal  of  Negro  History 

ing  this  expansion  of  the  United  States  in  that  sphere. 
By  this  convention  Great  Britain  abjured  her  claim  to  an 
equal  voice  with  the  United  States  in  the  control  of  an 
Isthmian  Canal  and  withdrew  her  squadrons  from  the 
Caribbean  Sea,  leaving  us  the  naval  supremacy  in  this  im- 
portant strategic  area. 

Immediately  following  these  occurrences  came  the  epi- 
sode of  the  Panama  Canal.  To  review  briefly  a  long  told 
and  well  known  story,  the  United  States  Government  had 
not  been  successful  in  its  attempt  to  secure  from  Columbia 
the  treaty  it  sought  for  the  building  of  the  Isthmian  Canal. 
In  1903  a  revolution  broke  out  in  Panama,  and  Colombia 
failed  to  coerce  effectively  the  insurgents,  hindered,  it  is 
asserted,  by  the  far  reaching  influence  of  the  Roosevelt  Ad- 
ministration. As  soon  as  this  revolution  got  in  full  swing 
the  United  States  recognized  Panama,  and  negotiated  the 
long  sought  treaty.  By  the  year  1903  we  had  acquired  the 
canal  zone.  The  determination  to  build  a  canal  not  only 
rendered  inevitable  the  adoption  of  a  policy  of  naval  su- 
premacy in  the  Caribbean  Sea,  but  led  also  to  the  formula- 
tion of  new  political  policies  to  be  applied  in  the  larger 
Canal  Zone,  that  is,  the  West  Indies,  Mexico,  Central 
America,  Columbia,  and  Venezuela.  These  new  policies 
are :  {a)  The  establishment  of  protectorates,  {b)  the  super- 
vision of  finances,  (c)  the  control  of  naval  routes,  (d)  the 
acquisition  of  naval  stations,  (e)  and  the  policing  and  ad- 
ministration of  disorderly  countries.  This  program  of 
policies  has  afforded  this  country  many  opportunities  for 
expansion  in  these  areas. 

American  Seas  a  Commercial  Center 

Prior  to  the  completion  of  the  Panama  Canal  the 
American  Seas,  the  Gulf  of  Mexico  and  the  Caribbean 
Sea,  for  many  years  had  been  silent  waters.  The  Panama 
Canal  has  reversed  these  conditions.  The  important  trade 
routes  of  the  world  will  pass  about  these  islands  and  over 
these  seas,  and  they  will  be  noisy  with  the  whirl  of  the 

Haiti  and  the  United  States  147 

propeller  and  bright  with  the  sail  of  ships.  A  great  part 
of  American  commerce  and  a  larger  part  of  the  traffic  of 
the  world  will  be  through  the  American  seas  between  the 
walls  of  this  canal  and  by  the  shores  of  Haiti.  These  seas 
will  become  more  popular  with  commerce  than  any  other 
section  of  the  world.  They  will  be  a  gathering  place  and 
crossing  point  for  the  east  and  the  west,  and  their  posses- 
sion, either  forcibly  or  otherwise,  will  carry  with  it  more 
potentiality  than  the  possession  of  any  other  body  of  water 
on  the  face  of  the  earth.  It  will  be  absolutely  necessary, 
says  this  country,  so  to  speak,  that  the  outposts  of  the 
canal  shall  be  in  the  hands  of  strong  and  stable  govern- 
ments, and  it  cannot  be  thought  that  the  harbors  necessary 
for  that  commerce  and  the  islands  by  which  it  will  pass, 
and  in  whose  broad  bays  it  will  be  compelled  to  anchor, 
shall  be  ripe  with  revolution  and  dangerous  to  that  com- 
merce. This  country  which  is  practically  guardian  of  this 
commerce  must  allow  to  obtain  no  condition  which  will  be 
a  daily  menace  to  this  unusual  trade. 

In  all  of  these  communities  the  commercial  diplomacy 
of  our  time  will  have  a  growing  interest,  an  interest 
greatly  enhanced  by  the  fact  that  through  the  Caribbean, 
the  traffic  center  of  the  American  tropics,  will  pass  the 
trade  routes  developed  by  the  Panama  Canal.  Both  the 
competition  for  the  control  of  the  trade  which  lies  within 
their  borders,  and  the  fact  that  before  their  ports  passes 
the  commerce  of  distant  countries,  will  give  to  Caribbean 
communities  an  importance  in  international  affairs  they 
have  not  had  since  the  days  when  the  Spanish  Empire  in 
America  was  at  its  height  and  the  people  of  one  of  the  great 
world  powers  depended  for  its  prosperity  on  the  arrival 
of  the  gold  ships  from  its  American  colonies.  The  for- 
tunes of  the  Caribbean  are  no  matter  of  merely  local  in- 
terest. They  involve,  to  a  degree  still  unappreciated,  the 
world  at  large  and  especially  the  American  continents, 
both  North  and  South.  Upon  the  solution  of  the  prob- 
lems which  arise  there  may  depend  the  character  of  inter- 

148  Journal  of  Negro  History 

national  and  economic  development  in  America.  The  im- 
portance of  the  new  position  in  which  the  Caribbean  region 
stands  is  lironght  home  by  almost  every  development  in 
American  international  affairs. 

Caribbean  problems  take  on  another  important  aspect 
when  we  remember  the  wonderful  possibilities  of  economic 
development.  Partly  acting  as  a  cause  of  this  trade  de- 
velopment, partly  one  of  its  results,  there  is  going  on  a 
steady  and  rapid  influx  of  foreign  capital.  The  English 
financing  of  the  Argentine  is  familiar  to  students  of  Latin- 
American  history.  In  recent  years,  with  the  establish- 
ment of  order  in  Mexico,  that  country  has  attracted  large 
amounts  of  foreign  investments.  The  departure  of  Spain 
from  Cuba  and  Porto  Eico  was  the  signal  for  a  rush  of  in- 
vestors to  these  islands  to  develop  resources  which  mis- 
taken fiscal  policies  and  local  unrest  had  formerly  kept  un- 
used. Foreign  capital  exploits  the  sugar,  tobacco,  coffee, 
cocoa,  fruit,  oil,  and  asphalt.  These  investments  are  scat- 
tered among  all  the  great  commercial  nations.  They  give 
an  international  character  even  to  purely  internal  im- 
provements. Economic  interests  now  tend  to  overflow 
national  boundaries  and  to  make  the  orderly  development 
of  every  state  truly  a  matter  of  general  concern.  Under 
the  Monroe  Doctrine  we  practically  say  to  European  na- 
tions they  shall  not  for  any  cause  lay  their  hands  heavily 
upon  a  country  in  this  hemisphere,  which,  with  the  added 
responsibility  as  trustee  for  the  world  in  the  possession  of 
the  Isthmian  Canal,  makes  it  dependent  upon  the  United 
States,  it  is  said,  to  keep  order. 

Haiti's  Commercial  Position 

This  policy  of  aggression  has  only  one  explanation. 
Next  to  Cuba,  Haiti  is  the  island  of  the  greatest  stra- 
tegical influence  in  the  Caribbean  Sea  and  the  Gulf  of 
Mexico.  The  two  important  routes  to  the  mouth  of  the 
canal  from  North  America  are,  first  the  route  by  the  Wind- 

Haiti  and  the  United  States  149 

ward  Passage  between  the  island  of  Cuba  and  the  island 
of  Haiti ;  second,  the  route  by  the  Mona  Passage  between 
the  island  of  Haiti  and  the  island  of  Porto  Rico.  This 
latter  passage  will  be  that  chiefly  used  by  the  sailing  ves- 
sels to  and  from  the  canal  to  the  eastern  portion  of  North 
America.  The  other  important  passage  to  the  mouth  of 
the  canal  is  the  Annegada  Passage  by  the  islands  of  St. 
Thomas  and  Porto  Rico,  and  will  be  the  route  used  from 
the  isthmus  to  the  Mediterranean  and  Central  Europe. 
The  travel  to  the  British  Islands  and  northern  Europe  will 
also  use  the  Mona  Passage  between  Haiti  and  Porto  Rico. 
In  other  words,  every  ship  sailing  from  Canada,  New  York, 
Philadelphia,  Baltimore,  Newport  News,  Charleston  or  the 
eastern  coast  of  North  America  on  its  journey  to  the 
Latin  American  world  of  commerce  will  be  compelled  to 
pass  by  the  island  of  Haiti,  either  through  the  Windward 
or  the  Mona  Passage,  and  the  travel  to  the  greater  part  of 
Europe  will  use  the  Mona  Passage  by  the  east  coast  of 
Haiti.  This  world-wide  commerce  in  case  of  stress  and 
storm,  according  to  the  business  world,  must  utilize  this 
island  in  the  necessities  of  sea  life.  It  is  the  first  conveni- 
ent harboring  place  on  its  way  to  the  Canal,  and  on  its  re- 
turn it  is  the  last  stopping  place.  It  will  be  as  necessary 
to  the  commerce  of  this  country  as  Malta  or  Aden  or  Gi- 
braltar are  to  the  Suez  route.  It  lies  athwart  the  greatest 
commerce  that  will  cleave  the  seas.  With  the  friendly  in- 
fluence of  Cuba  and  Haiti  the  commerce  of  the  United 
States  will  have  a  tremendous  advantage  in  case  of  war  or 
unfriendliness  on  the  part  of  any  nation,  even  if  Jamaica 
is  held  by  an  unfriendly  power.  Modern  nations  with  the 
shortening  of  trade  routes,  the  touching  of  countries,  and 
their  demand  for  sure  commercial  conditions,  are  unfortu- 
nately arriving  at  the  thought  that  there  is  no  inalienable 
right  on  the  part  of  any  people  to  control  any  region  to  the 
detriment  and  injury  of  the  world  at  large. 

150  JouENAL  OF  Negro  History 


While  many  believe  that  the  United  States  has  thro\\ai 
aside  her  lofty  ideals  to  take  on  a  program  of  imperialism, 
there  is  a  growing  colonial  interest  and  expansion  which 
does  not,  probably  due  to  the  very  nature  of  conditions, 
extend  these  ideals.  Whether  the  condition  is  one  accept- 
able to  us  or  not,  says  the  business  w^orld,  we  are  no 
longer  merely  a  continental  power.  We  already  hold  an 
Asiatic  colony.  A  weak  African  state  founded  from  this 
country  has  asked  us  for  a  protectorate  and  is  already 
under  our  benevolent  supervision.  Toward  the  south  we 
hold  a  colony,  Porto  Rico,  and  are  the  protectors  of  Cuba, 
Panama,  the  Dominican  Republic,  and  Haiti.  We  have 
responsibilities  in  Nicaragua. 

That  the  end  of  this  development  has  come  is  highly 
unlikely.  Political  parties  may  differ  as  to  national  poli- 
cies, internal  and  external,  but  they  will  bend  before  the 
natural  cause  of  economic  and  political  development.  Our 
latest  three  administrations,  those  of  Roosevelt,  Taft,  and 
W^ilson,  have  represented  widely  divergent  political  views, 
but  the  general  policy  of  all  toward  the  Caribbean  countries 
has  been  fundamentally  the  same,  and  the  PTarding  ad- 
ministration has  not  yet  departed  therefrom.  All  have 
been  willing  to  "assume  increasing  responsibilities  toward 
our  weaker  neighbors"  to  secure  economic  advantage.  It 
has  been  a  development  which  is  the  response  of  the  nation 
to  its  larger  economic  and  political  interests  in  the  Larger 
Canal  Zone. 

Whilst  this  government  disclaims  anj^  desire  for  con- 
quest, yet  the  great  advantage  in  the  world  movement  and 
in  the  vital  commercial  affairs  of  the  globe,  the  commercial 
world  says,  demand  that  the  peace  and  safety  of  this 
hemisphere  shall  not  be  needlessly  and  wickedly  broken, 
and  that  the  peace,  happiness  and  safety  of  this  nation  and 
the  commerce  of  the  world  within  the  bounds  of  our  gov- 
erimaental  life  shall  not  be  imperiled  in  the  future  as  they 
have  been  in  the  past.     The  tremendous  impetus,  which 

Haiti  and  the  UisriTED  States  151 

under  the  world  movement  of  today  has  been  so  potent 
and  plain,  demands  order  in  all  the  affairs  and  details  of 
life.  The  conditions  of  the  time  and  the  dependence  of  one 
part  of  the  globe  upon  the  other,  brought  about  by  the  easy 
interchange  between  the  nations,  mean  that  no  disorder  in 
that  great  world  commerce  can  be  tolerated.  Unstable 
governments  are  unwelcome  to  a  diplomacy  which  has  as 
one  of  its  controlling  motives  the  creation  of  an  extensive 
international  exchange,  especially  when  these  governments 
are  of  races  despised  by  the  Teuton.  Weakness  of  gov- 
ernment may  lead  in  the  future,  as  it  has  in  the  past,  to 
the  rise  of  acute  international  questions.  In  recent  years 
there  have  been  many  examples  of  the  complications  which 
may  rise  out  of  such  conditions. 

The  areas  referred  to  as  the  Larger  Canal  Zone  have 
received  great  attention  from  this  country.  In  fact  our 
latest  Latin-American  diplomacy,  which  has  as  one  of  its 
controlling  motives  the  creation  of  an  extensive  interna- 
tional exchange,  is  for  these  areas.  Our  economic  inter- 
ests have  made  demands  upon  our  political  life,  the  Mon- 
roe Doctrine  has  lighted  the  way  and  we  have  come  for- 
ward with  new  policies.  Haiti,  it  has  been  said,  is  not  to 
be  set  apart  and  dealt  mth  particularly  in  this  new  diplo- 
matic program;  it  is  but  a  factor  in  our  ''American  Seas" 
interest,  a  vital  economic  and  political  part  of  our  present- 
day  iVmerican  life.  The  subsequent  questions  of  impaired 
sovereignty  and  overthrown  independence,  say  the  ag- 
gressors, should  not  obscure  the  real  policies.  Nor  is  it 
fair  to  accuse  the  United  States  of  a  lack  of  appreciation 
and  respect  for  the  governments  of  peoples  of  this  section 
of  the  world. 

Finally  we  are  told:  America  stands  at  the  dividing 
of  the  ways.  Are  we  to  pursue  the  ideals  of  "All  men  are 
created  free  and  equal"  with  the  equally  idealistic  form 
of  government,  or  are  we  to  keep  pace  with  our  commer- 
cial and  economic  expansion  and  accept  the  complementary 
program  of  economic  imperialism?     We  are  informed  that 

152  Journal  of  Negro  History 

the  trend  of  our  political  policies  is  one  of  colonization; 
that  colonization  with  respect  to  Western  European  Civili- 
zation is  contradictory  to  democracy;  and  that  a  program 
of  colonization  at  a  time  when  racial  and  national  antipathy 
exceed  even  individual  expression,  are  all  demonstrated 
by  the  refusal  of  our  government  to  acknowledge  and  com- 
mit itself  to  any  definite  political  program  in  these  island 
republics.  Our  government,  the  defenders  say,  has  oc- 
cupied these  republics  apparently  fearful  of  European 
intervention.  Entering  upon  this  policy  committed  to  no 
program,  with  a  lack  of  centralization  of  authority  into 
one  of  the  many  departments  of  the  government,  it  has 
caused  much  confusion.  Obviously  the  position  in  which 
we  find  ourselves  in  Haiti  is  one  of  embarrassment  and  one 
which  has  affected  the  prestige  of  our  country  detrimen- 
tally. American  statesmen  are  put  to  task.  Shall  our 
government  admit  and  support  its  economic  imperialistic 
poUcy  inseparably  from  the  added  political  burden  accom- 
panying our  Panama  Canal  enterprise,  profiting,  thereby, 
upon  the  commercial  importance  of  the  canal;  or  shall  it 
long  continue  the  dexterous  fete  of  keeping  eyes  and  hands 
on  democratic  ideals  mth  both  feet  in  the  path  of  imperi- 
alism? Our  new  policy  is  an  economic  imperialistic  policy. 
The  world  wishes  to  know  if  we  will  admit  it  and  announce 
our  intentions  in  these  regions,  or  whether  we  shall  con- 
tinue our  imperialistic  policy  under  the  veil  of  the  Monroe 
Doctrine  held  in  position  by  the  idealistic  principles  of 

George  W.  Brown. 

chapter  i 

Eaely  Life 

The  records  tell  us  that  on  the  sixteenth  day  of  Febru- 
ary, 1742,  in  consideration  of  the  sum  of  one  hundred  and 
fifty  pounds,  Ebenezer  Slocum  of  Dartmouth,  Bristol 
County,  Massachusetts,  sold  to  John  Slocum  of  the  same 
city  a  Negro  man.^  He  was  about  twenty-five  years  of  age 
and  a  native  African  whom,  doubtless,  a  slave  trader  had 
brought  over  some  fifteen  years  before.  This  Negro  was 
Cuffe  by  name  (also  spelled  Cuff,  Cuffee,  and  Cuffey)  and, 
in  conformity  with  the  custom  at  that  time  was  called  Cuffe 

•  Thia  biography  is  based  on  the  original  journal,  letters,  and  papers  of 
Paul  CuflPe.  They  are  preserved  in  the  Public  Library  of  New  Bedford,  Massa- 
chusetts. I  am  under  obligations  to  the  Librarian,  George  H.  Pripp,  for  many 
favors  in  connection  with  the  examination  of  these  manuscripts. 

The  petitions  referred  to  in  Chapter  II  are  with  the  Cuffe  papers.  A 
copy  of  the  one  presented  to  the  Probate  Court  of  Massachusetts  Bay  was 
furnished  by  Mr.  James  J.  Tracey,  Chief  of  the  Archives  Division,  State  House, 
Boston.  The  story  of  the  lawsuit  related  in  this  same  chapter  is  based  on  the 
original  papers  to  be  found  in  the  records  of  the  Bristol  County,  Taunton, 
Massachusetts,  Probate  Court.  They  were  examined  for  me  by  my  Harvard 
classmate,  Professor  Arthur  Buffinton  of  Williams  College. 

I  have  previously  published  two  articles  bearing  on  this  study.  Early 
Negro  Deportation  Projects  appeared  in  the  Mississippi  Valley  Historical 
Review  for  March,  1916,  the  Formation  of  the  American  Colonization  Society 
in  the  Journal  of  Negro  History  for  July,  1917.  A  third  article,  Paul  Cuffe 
AND  HIS  Contributions  to  the  American  Colonization  Society,  In  volume  six 
of  the  Proceedings  of  the  Mississippi  Valley  Historical  Society,  was  an  attempt 
to  bring  together  a  full  statement  of  his  life  and  service.  Since  the  publica- 
tion of  this  study  I  found  the  original  Cuffe  Papers  and  have  made  use  of 
them  in  this  biography.  Another  source  of  great  help  was  the  Life  of  William 
Allen  with  Selections  from  his  Correspondence,  2  vols.,  Philadelphia,  1847.  A 
full  account  of  the  services  in  connection  with  the  memorial  monument  erected 
by  Mr.  Horatio  P.  Howard  is  contained  in  the  New  Bedford  Morning  Mercury 
and  the  New  Bedford  Standard  for  June  16,  1917. 

1  Cuffe  Manuscripts,  New  Bedford,  Massachusetts,  Public  Library,  from 
the  bill  of  sale. 


154  Journal  of  Negro  History 

Slocum  to  indicate  his  master.  While  the  name  of  the 
slave  does  not  appear  in  the  bill  of  sale  yet,  since  the  bill 
is  a  part  of  the  family  papers  of  his  son,  it  must  have  been 

There  exists  among  the  Negro's  descendants  a  tradi- 
tion that  this  slave  with  the  aid  of  his  master  worked  out 
his  purchase  price  and  obtained  his  liberty.  It  may  have 
been  that  John  Slocum  purchased  the  Negro  with  this  end 
in  view.  At  any  rate  a  grand-daughter  relates  how  on  a 
rainy  morning  when  all,  including  Cuffe,  were  seated  at 
the  breakfast  table,  a  justice  of  the  peace  appeared  with 
papers  of  emancipation. ^  Having  received  his  liberty  at 
an  unexpected  moment,  Cuffe  knew  not  what  to  do.  See- 
ing his  bewilderment,  the  gracious  squire  and  the  quondam 
master  gave  him  temporary  employment  and,  when  he  was 
ready  to  leave,  advised  him  to  lead  a  steady  life,  take  good 
care  of  his  money,  and  get  him  a  home.  With  this  advice, 
two  suits  of  clothes,  and  freedom,  the  manumitted  slave 
went  happily  away. 

Now  it  happened  that  about  this  time  there  came  to 
Dartmouth  an  Indian  girl  called  Ruth  Moses.  In  due  time 
the  town  clerk  recorded:  "Intention  of  marriage  between 
Cuffe  Slocum  and  Ruth  Moses  both  of  Dartmouth,  was  en- 
tered 3  January  1745."  ^  The  rest  of  the  story  is  told  by 
the  minister  of  Dartmouth  in  these  words:  ''July  ye  7, 
1746,  Cuffe  Slocum  a  Negro  man  and  Ruth  Moses  an  Indian 
woman  both  of  Dartmouth  were  married  by  me  Philip 
Taber. ' '  *  These  two  records  tell  us  all  we  know  of  the 
courtship  and  marriage  of  Cuffe  Slocum. 

Probably  the  newly-weds  made  their  home  in  Chils- 
mark,  Dukes  County.  The  deed  to  some  land  which  they 
bought  in  1766  from  David  Brownell  of  Dartmouth  refers 
to  Cuffe  Slocum  of  Chilsmark.  The  land  was  a  farm  of 
one  hundred  and  twenty  acres  and  sold  for  six  hundred 

2  Euth  Cuffe  to  Joseph  Congdon,  February  12,  1851. 

•  Dartmouth,  Massachusetts,  Toxjcn  Book  of  Records  for  Entries  of  Inten- 
tion of  Marriage. 

*  Cuffe  Manuscripts,  Memorandum  of  family  marriages. 

Paul  Cuffe  155 

and  fifty  Spanish  milled  dollars.  As  indicated  in  the  deed, 
the  boundary  was :  "Northerly  on  the  Country  Road.  West- 
erly on  Land  belonging  to  Jonathan  Sowle,  Southerly  on 
Land  Enos  Gifford  gave  to  his  Daughter  Rachel  Wilbur, 
Easterly  partly  on  said  Gifford  and  partly  on  Philip  Allen, 
or  according  to  the  Deed  I  had  of  Solomon  Southwick. ' ' '' 

All  of  the  children,  except  the  youngest,  were  born 
previous  to  this  purchase.  There  were  six  girls  and  four 
boys.  The  youngest  boy  and  the  seventh  child  born  Janu- 
ary 17,  1759,  was  Paul.  Tradition  holds  that  he  was  born 
on  Cuttyhunk,  one  of  the  Elizabeth  Islands,  about  nine 
miles  from  the  main,  and  Cuffe  himself  says  that  he  was 
born  in  the  only  house  on  the  island. 

About  1778,  on  the  initiative  of  Paul,  it  is  said,  all  of 
the  children,  except  the  youngest,  dropped  the  slave  name 
of  Slocum.  For  their  surname  they  used  the  given  name 
of  their  father.  In  this  way  the  Cuffe  family  came  to  be, 
and  in  this  way  we  are  introduced  to  its  best  known  repre- 
sentative, Paul. 

John,  an  older  brother  of  Paul,  made  this  memorandum 
which  is  preserved  with  the  family  papers:  "My  honored 
good  old  father  Cuffe  Slocum  deceased  in  the  month  called 
March  1772 — and  our  honored  good  old  mother  Ruth  Slo- 
cum deceased  the  sixth  day  of  January  1787  at  8  o'clock  in 
the  morning."  The  father  left  the  farm  jointly  to  Paul 
and  his  brother  John.  Later  the  brothers  agreed  to  di- 
vide it  between  themselves.  It  was  unproductive  land  and, 
no  doubt,  this  fact  caused  the  brothers  to  venture  into  com- 
mercial pursuits.  The  care  of  tho  family  fell  for  the  most 
part  on  them,  for  the  older  children  had  homes  of  their 

At  thirteen  Paul  was  barely  able  to  read  and  write. 
He  kept  at  his  studies,  being  assisted  occasionally  by  a 
private  tutor,  and  gave  considerable  time  to  the  subject  of 
navigation.  On  taking  his  first  lesson  in  this  subject  he 
said  it  "was  all  black  as  midnight" ;  at  the  end  of  the  second 

•  Book  of  Bristol  County  Land  Eecords,  Vol,  50,  478,  479. 

156  Journal  of  Negro  History 

lesson  he  saw  "a  little  gleam  of  light";  after  the  third 
lesson  he  had  more  light.  Finally,  it  was  all  plain  to  him. 
He  told  a  certain  Professor  Griscom :  ' '  There  were  always 
three  things  that  I  paid  attention  to — latitude,  lead,  and 

A  Sea  Captain 

When  about  sixteen  Paul  secured  employment  as  a  com- 
mon seaman  on  a  vessel  bound  for  the  Gulf  of  Mexico  on  a 
whaling  voyage.  His  next  trip  took  him  to  the  West  In- 
dies. On  a  third  voyage,  the  Revolutionary  War  havini;: 
broken  out,  he  was  captured  by  the  British  and  held  in  New 
York  for  three  months.  On  his  release  he  repaired  to 
Westport  to  engage  in  agricultural  pursuits  until  the  times 
were  more  propitious  for  life  on  the  sea.  In  the  mean- 
time he  carried  on  the  study  of  arithmetic  and  navigation. 

Having  equipped  himself  for  a  life  at  sea  both  by 
study  and  service  as  a  common  seaman,  Paul,  aided  by  his 
brother  David,  built,  at  the  age  of  twenty,  an  open  boat  to 
trade  with  the  Connecticut  people.  But  the  hazard  of  the 
sea  and  the  refugee  pirates  were  too  much  for  David.  He 
left  his  younger  brother  and  went  to  the  farm,  where- 
upon Paul  had  for  the  time  being  to  give  up  the  venture. 
Soon,  however,  he  was  at  sea  again  but  lost  everything. 
The  undaunted  youth,  nevertheless,  would  not  give  up. 
He  made  a  boat  himself  from  keel  to  gimwale,  and  in  it  he 
started  to  consult  his  brother  concerning  future  undertak- 
ing. On  the  way  he  was  discovered  by  the  pirates  who 
seized  him  and  his  vessel.    He  was  lucky  to  reach  home. 

He  was  now  no  better  off  than  when  he  first  began. 
David,  however,  agreed  to  build  a  boat  for  him  if  he  would 
furnish  the  material.  When  the  boat  was  completed  Paul, 
with  borrowed  money,  bought  a  cargo  and  started  for  Nan- 
tucket. On  the  way  he  was  chased  by  the  pirates  and  com- 
pelled to  return  to  Westport  to  refit  his  boat  which  was 
damaged  by  striking  a  rock.  He  still  persevered,  reached 
Nantucket,  and  sold  his  cargo.  Financially  it  was  not  a 
profitable  voyage. 

Paul  Cuffe  157 

On  a  second  voyage  the  pirates  robbed  him  of  his  cargo 
and  inflicted  personal  injuries,  but  a  third  voyage  netted 
good  returns.  Soon  he  procured  a  covered  boat  and  em- 
ployed a  helper.  From  now  on  the  business  adventures  of 
Cuffe  brought  him  large  profits.  The  war  was  over  and 
the  new  Constitution  was  in  operation— two  reasons  why 
the  sea  was  safer  and  business  more  promising.  With  his 
new  eighteen  ton  boat  he  sailed  from  his  rented  home  on 
the  Westport  Kiver  for  Saint  George  for  a  cargo  of  cod- 
fish. The  voyage  was  the  foundation  for  a  profitable  fish- 
ing industry  near  his  home  for  many  years. 

At  this  time  Michael  Wainer,  his  brother-in-law,  an 
Indian,  entered  his  service.  His  brother-in-law  was  a  good 
seaman  and  mth  a  new  twenty  ton  vessel,  the  Sunfish,  the 
men  made  two  trips  to  the  Strait  of  Belle  Isle  and  New- 
foundland. With  the  profits  from  the  ventures  he  built  in 
connection  with  another  person,  the  Mary,  a  forty-two  ton 

In  the  Mary,  accompanied  by  two  small  boats,  and  with 
a  crew  of  ten,  they  went  on  a  whaling  expedition  to  the 
Strait  of  Belle  Isle.  On  reaching  the  Strait,  Cuffe  found 
four  other  vessels  fully  equipped  with  boats  and  harpoons. 
These  vessels  would  not,  as  was  customary,  cooperate  with 
Captain  Cuffe,  so  he  and  his  crew  went  at  it  alone.  Now 
fearing  they  might  get  no  whales  the  strangers  fell  in  with 
the  Mary.  Seven  whales  were  captured,  six  by  the  crew 
of  the  Mary.  Two  whales  were  the  \ictims  of  Cuffe 's  own 
hand.  Reaching  Westport  in  the  autumn  of  1793  he  pro- 
ceeded to  Philadelphia  with  his  cargo  of  oil  and  bone  and 
exchanged  it  for  bolts  and  iron  mth  which  to  build  a  new 

Accordingly  the  keel  for  a  sixty-nine  ton  vessel  was  laid 
at  Westport  and  in  1795  it  was  launched.  He  called  it  the 
Ranger.  With  a  cargo  valued  at  $2000,  he  sailed  for  Nor- 
folk on  the  Chesapeake.  From  here  he  went  to  Vienna  on 
Nanticoke  River  to  buy  corn.     On  reaching  port  it  is  said 

•  Hii  commercial  activities  are  well  told  in  Memoir*  of  Paul  Cuffe  York 

158  Journal  of  Negro  History 

the  towTispeople  'Svere  filled  with  astonishment  and  alarm. 
A  vessel  owned  and  commanded  by  a  black  man,  and 
manned  with  a  crew  of  the  same  complexion,  was  unprec- 
edented and  surprising.  Suspicions  were  raised,  and 
several  persons  associated  themselves  for  the  purpose  of 
preventing  him  from  registering  his  vessel,  or  remaining 
among  them.  On  examination,  however,  his  papers  proved 
to  be  correct  and,  therefore,  the  custom  house  oflficers 
could  not  legally  oppose  proceeding  in  a  regular  course. 
Paul  combined  prudence  with  resolution,  and  on  this  oc- 
casion conducted  himself  Avith  candor,  modesty,  and  firm- 
ness; his  crew  also  behaved  not  inoffensively  but  with 
conciliating  jDropriety.  In  a  few  days  the  inimical  associa- 
tion vanished,  and  the  inhabitants  treated  him  and  his 
crew  with  respect  and  even  kindness."^  Another  writer 
affirms  "Many  of  the  principal  people  visited  his  vessel, 
and  at  the  instance  of  one  of  them,  Paul  dined  mth  his 
family  in  the  town. ' '  ^  The  investment  in  corn  proved  so 
profitable  that  a  second  voyage  was  made  to  Vienna.  On 
the  two  trips  Captain  Cuffe  cleared  about  $2000.  The 
Ranger  also  made  a  trip  to  Passamaquoddy  to  get  a  cargo 
for  James  Brian  of  Wilmington. 

In  1800  there  was  launched  the  Hero,  a  hundred  and 
sixty -tw^o  ton  bark,  in  which  Captain  Cuffe  had  one-half  in- 
terest. This  vessel,  on  one  of  its  trips,  rounded  the  Cape 
of  Good  Hope.  In  1806  the  xilpha  was  fitted  out.  This 
was  a  ship  of  two  hundred  and  sixty-eight  tons  in  which 
the  Captain  had  three-fourths  interest.  Captain  Cuffe 
with  a  crew  of  seven  Negroes  commanded  the  Alpha  in  a 
voyage  from  Wilmington  to  Savannah,  thence  to  Gotten- 
burg,  SAveden,  and  from  there  to  Philadelphia.  Cuffe 
also  owned  one-half  of  the  one  hundred  and  nine  ton  brig, 
the  Traveller,  built  in  1806.  Of  this  ship  more  will  be  said 

Captain  Cuffe  was  now  slightly  beyond  middle  age. 
Instead  of  a  small  open  boat,  trading  \\\i\\  the  neighboring 

7  See  W.  J.  Allison  in  Non-Slaveholder,  December,  1850. 
•  Jbtd. 

Paul  Cuffe  159 

townsmen,  he  had  obtained  a  good  sized  schooner.  ''In 
this  vessel,"  to  quote  from  the  funeral  oration,  **he  en- 
larged the  scope  of  his  action,  trading  to  more  distant 
places,  and  in  articles  requiring  larger  capital,  and  thus, 
in  the  process  of  time,  he  became  owner  of  one  brig,  after- 
wards of  two,  then  he  added  a  ship,  and  so  on  until  1806, 
at  which  time  he  was  possessed  of  one  ship,  two  brigs,  and 
several  smaller  vessels,  besides  considerable  property  in 
houses  and  lands."  ^ 

Family  Affairs 

In  the  Cuffe  manuscripts  there  is  a  laconic  note  chroni- 
cling this  important  event  in  Paul's  life. 

Bristol,  Dartmouth.  February  25,  1783.  There  personally 
appeared  Paul  Cuffe  and  Alice  Pequit  both  of  Dartmouth  and 
was  joined  together  in  marriage  by  me. 

Benj.  Russel,  Justice  of  Peace. 

Other  than  that  she  was  an  Indian  girl,  little  is  known  of 
this  bride.  She,  like  the  groom's  mother,  probably  be- 
longed to  the  Wampanoag  tribe.  Paul's  sister  Mary 
married  an  Indian  and  there  is  reason  for  believing  that 
his  brother  Jonathan  also  wedded  an  Indian.  Certain  it 
is  that  it  was  not  uncommon  for  Negroes  and  Indians  of 
this  vicinity  to  intermarry. 

For  several  years  Captain  Cuffe  lived  in  a  rented  house. 
But  in  1797,  when  he  had  such  a  successful  venture  in  im- 
porting corn  from  Vienna,  he  purchased  a  $3500  farm  on 
the  shore  of  the  Westport  River,  a  few  miles  below  Hip's 
Bridge.  He  soon  built  a  wharf  and  a  store  house.  At 
Westport  Captain  and  Mrs.  Cuffe  made  their  home  and 
reared  their  family  of  two  sons  and  six  daughters. 

At  the  time  of  the  purchase  of  the  new  farm  the  neigh- 
borhood was  without  educational  facilities.  There  was 
neither  school  house  nor  tutor.  This  situation  was  dis- 
pleasing to  Cuffe.  He  called  a  meeting  of  the  neighbors 
and  proposed  that  steps  be  taken  for  adequate  educational 

•  Peter  WUliams,  Discourse  on  the  Death  of  Paul  Cuffe,  delivered  before 
the  New  York  African  Institution,  October  21,  1817. 

160  Journal  of  Negro  History 

equipment.  So  much  difference  of  opinion  resulted  that 
no  agreement  could  be  reached  at  this  initial  meeting. 
Subsequent  efforts  were  alike  unsuccessful.  At  last  Cuffe 
built  a  school  house  with  his  own  funds  on  his  own  farm 
and  offered  its  use  to  the  public.^  ^ 

One  wonders  what  books  were  read  in  his  own  home. 
Among  his  papers  a  few  items  relate  to  the  purchase  of 
books.    A  representative  one  reads : 

Taylor 's   Concordance    $1.25 

Perry 's    Dictionary    1.00 

Clerk 's  Magazine    1.25 

Bowditch  Navigators 4-00 

Paper   53 


The  religious  affiliation  of  the  family  was  with  the 
Friends.  The  parents  of  Captain  Cuffe  had  attended  the 
meetings  of  the  Quakers  and  it  was  the  natural  course 
for  the  son  to  follow  them.  According  to  the  records  of 
the  Westport  monthly  meeting  of  Friends,  Cuffe  requested 
membership  with  that  body  in  1808.  He  was  faithful  to 
his  profession  of  Christ.  He  was  considerate  of  the  little 
folks,  for  he  presented  them  with  Bibles  and  good  counsel 
and  endeavored  to  set  before  them  an  example  of  righteous 
conduct.  He  must  have  believed  that  children  should  have 
something  to  do,  for  in  a  letter  to  his  brother,  he  points 
out  that  his  nephew  Zacharis  is  lying  around  too  much. 
Moreover,  he  writes : 

I  observe  that  my  son  Paul  has  brought  home  a  gun  that  he 
borrowed  of  his  Uncle  John  which  I  dare  say  his  good  uncle  lent 
unto  him  out  of  pure  love  and  good  will  for  the  want  of  due  con- 
sideration, for  in  the  first  place  I  have  two  guns  in  order  and  make 
but  littel  use  of  them  which  is  enough  as  Christ  said  unto  Peter 
by  the  sword.  My  wife  well  knows  that  it  is  but  littel  time  since 
Paul  got  my  powder  and  loaded  a  logg  and  Charles  fired  it  and 
it  was  wonderful  that  he  had  not  been  killied  again  he  has  lately 
sold  his  trunk  to  be  abel  to  gratify  himself  in  these  unnecessary 
evils  which  we  hath  disapproved  of.    Now  to  support  him  in  that 

u  Memoirs  of  Paul  Cuffe,  14,  15. 

Paul  Cuffe  161 

we  both  disapprove  I  think  that  it  is  for  the  want  of  watchful- 

Two  nieces  were  entrusted  to  liis  care.  Although  they 
had  good  ''school  learning  for  girls"  Cuffe  wished  them 
to  continue  their  studies.  Later,  when  he  became  the 
guardian  of  two  grandchildren,  he  began  making  arrange- 
ments to  put  them  in  the  New  York  Yearly  Meeting  School. 

The  Westport  Friends  sold  their  meeting  house  in  1813 
for  $128.72  and  erected  a  new  one  costing  $1198.08.  Ma- 
terial costing  almost  $600,  including  "nine  gallons  of  cider 
when  raising  house— $1.00"  was  furnished  by  Captain 
Cuffe.  It  is  impossible  to  state  just  how  much  if  any  of 
this  material  was  furnished  gratis  but  it  is  safe  to  say  that 
he  carried  a  heavy  responsibility  in  overseeing  the  busi- 
ness end  of  the  matter. 

"Paul  Cuffe  to  John  and  Jenny  Cuff«,  September  8,  1808. 


Problems  of  Citizenship 

"Having  no  vote  or  Influence  in  the  Election  of  those 
that  Tax  us  yet  many  of  our  Colour  (as  is  well  known) 
have  Cherfully  Entered  the  field  of  Battle  in  the  defense 
of  the  Common  Cause  and  that  (as  we  conceive)  against 
a  similar  Exertion  of  Power  (in  Regard  to  taxation)  too 
well  known  to  need  a  Recital  in  this  place,"  voicing  this 
sentiment,  John  and  Paul  Cuffe  and  others  sent  a  petition 
for  relief  to  the  General  Court,  Massachusetts  Bay,  Febru- 
ary 10,  1780.  Such  requests,  however,  were  not  new.  At 
the  beginning  of  the  American  Revolution  there  were  prob- 
ably about  7,000  Negroes,  slave  and  free,  in  Massachusetts. 
About  1,500  lived  in  Boston.  A  petition,  signed  by  Prince 
Hall  and  others,  praying  for  the  abolition  of  slavery,  was 
presented  to  the  General  Court  of  Massachusetts  Bay  in 
1777.  Another  petition  dated  February  18,  1780,  embodies 
a  pathetic  and  earnest  appeal  for  relief  from  taxation.  It 
is  preserved  in  the  manuscript  collection  of  the  Common- 
wealth of  Massachusetts  and  is  signed  by  John  and  Paul 
Cuffe  and  five  others.^"  A  copy  is  with  the  Cuffe  papers. 
There  are  two  other  copies  among  these  papers,  both 
shorter  in  form,  and  dated  January  22,  1781. 

On  one  of  the  duplicate  petitions  in  the  Cuffe  papers 
there  is  a  notation  signed  by  John  Cuffe.  "This  is  the 
copy,"  it  records,  "of  the  petition  which  we  did  deliver 
unto  the  honorable  Council  and  House  for  relief  from  Tax- 
ation in  the  days  of  our  distress.     But  we  received  none." 

The  petition  recites  that  they  were  in  poor  circum- 
stances. "\Yhen  slaves  they  were  deprived  of  the  profits  of 
their  labor  and  of  the  benefits  of  inheritance.  So  dis- 
tressed were  they  at  this  time  that  only  five  or  six  owned  a 
cow.  They  could  not  meet  the  taxes  assessed  against 
them.     They  were  aggrieved  because  they  had  no  vote 

10  McLSsaohu^etia  Archives,  Vol.  186,  134-136. 


Paul  Cuffe  163 

either  in  local  or  colonial  affairs  and  nobody  had  ever 
heard  of  one  of  their  number  sitting  in  the  Court  of  the 
General  Assembly.  The  petitioners  most  humbly  requested 
the  Massachusetts  General  Court  to  grant  them  relief  from 

Interest  in  the  Cuffe  brothers  is  now  transferred  from 
the  State  capitol  to  Bristol  County/^  where  these  men 
were  indefatigable  in  their  efforts  to  obtain  relief.  Late 
in  1780  a  petition  was  made  ' '  To  the  Ilon'''^  the  Justices  of 
the  Court  of  General  Sessions  of  the  peace  begnin  and  held 
at  Taunton  within  and  for  the  County  of  Bristol."  The 
petitioners  ask  relief  from  taxation  on  the  grounds  that 
they  are  "Indian  men  and  by  law  not  the  subjects  of  Tax- 
ation for  any  Estate  Real  or  personal  and  Humbly  Pray 
your  Honors  that  as  they  are  assessed  jointly  a  Double 
Poll  Tax  and  the  said  Paul  is  a  minor  for  whom  the  Said 
John  is  not  by  law  answerable  or  chargeable  that  the  said 
Poll  Taxes  aforesaid  and  also  all  and  regular  Taxes  afore- 
said on  their  and  Each  of  their  Real  and  personal  Estate 
aforesaid,  may  be  abated  to  them  and  they  allowed  their 
Reasonable  Costs." 

The  taxes  for  which  complaint  was  made  were  for  the 
years  1777  to  1780  inclusive,  and  amounted  to  about  two 
hundred  pounds.  They  were  heaviest  for  the  years  1779 
and  1780.  The  assessors,  then,  on  December  15,  gave 
Richard  Collins,  constable  of  Dartmouth,  a  warrant  for 
the  arrest  of  the  Cuffe  brothers.  It  recites  that  their 
taxes  were  delinquent  for 

1778:  5  lbs.  17s.  6d. 

1779:  9  lbs.  2s.  8d. 
29  lbs.  16s.  lOM. 
29  lbs.  18s.  9d. 

1780:  61  lbs.  18s.  4d. 

17  lbs.    7s.  5/25d. 
Grand  total:  154  lbs.     IsTl  77l0d. 

11  The  quoted  documents  relating  to  the  question  of  taxation  are  in  the 
£ec<yrds  of  the  Court  of  General  Sessions,  Taunton,  Mass.  They  were  examined 
for  the  writer  bj  Professor  Arthur  Buffinton  of  Williams  College. 

164  Journal  of  Negro  History 

The  assessors  found  no  estate  on  which  to  levy  for  the 
taxes.  In  the  name  of  the  Commonwealth  of  Massachu- 
setts Bay,  therefore,  they  required  the  "said  Richard  Col- 
lens  to  take  into  safe  custody  the  body  of  the  said  John 
and  Paul  Cuffe  and  then  commit  to  the  common  gaol  of  the 
said  County  of  Bristol  there  to  remain  until  they,  the  said 
John  and  Paul  Cuffe  shall  pay  and  satisfy  the  above  sum 
with  all  necessary  charges  "  or  be  discharged  by  due  proc- 
ess of  law.  The  constable  followed  the  instructions  and 
reported  on  December  19  that  he  had  placed  the  Cuffe 
brothers  in  the  common  gaol  in  Taunton.  For  this  serv- 
ice, including  travel  for  twenty-five  ''milds,"  he  turned  in 
a  bill  of  twelve  shillings,  nine  pence. 

The  next  step  in  the  legal  battle  was  on  the  part  of  the 
Cuffe  brothers.  The  keeper  of  the  gaol  or  his  under- 
keeper  was  directed  on  the  nineteenth  of  December  in  the 
''Name  of  the  Commonwealth  of  Massachusetts  to  have 
the  bodies  of  John  and  Paul  Cuffe  said  to  be  Indian  men 
whom  you  have  now  in  keeping  before  the  Justices  of  our 
Inferior  Court  of  Common  Pleas  now  holden  at  Taunton 
for  said  County  together  with  the  cause  of  their  and  each 
of  their  Commitiment  and  Detention.  Hereof  fail  not  and 
make  Return  of  this  writ  with  your  doings  therein.  Wit- 
ness Walter  Spooner  Esq'."  Elijah  Dean,  underkeeper, 
produced  the  two  men  on  the  same  day  that  he  received 
the  writ  of  habeas  corpus. 

When  the  Court  of  General  Sessions  of  the  Peace  met 
on  the  nineteenth  of  December  it  ordered  on  the  petition 
of  John  and  Paul  Cuffe  that  the  assessors  of  Dartmouth 
appear  at  the  next  term  to  show  cause,  wherefore  the 
Prayer  of  said  Petition  should  not  be  granted.  The  order 
was  given  to  the  sheriff  of  Bristol  County  on  the  twenty- 
ninth  of  December.  The  assessors,  Benjamin  Russell, 
Richard  Kriby,  Christopher  Gifford,  and  John  Smith  were 
accordingly  summoned  by  Elijah  Dean.  He  served  the 
warrant  on  the  twenty-sixth  of  February  and  recorded  his 
fee  as  twenty-four  pence. 

Paul  Cuffe  165 

Meanwhile,  on  the  twentieth  of  February  the  selectmen 
of  Dartmouth  were  called  on  to  choose  an  agent  to  defend 
the  action  against  the  Cuffe  brothers.  At  their  annual 
meeting  on  the  eighth  of  March  the  Honorable  Walter 
Spooner,  a  member  of  the  Massachusetts  Constitutional 
Convention  1780,  was  chosen  in  behalf  of  the  town  to  make 
answer  to  the  petitioners  in  question.  At  the  March  meet- 
ing the  case  was  continued  and  came  up  for  action  at  the 
next  meeting  of  the  court. 

In  the  meantime,  John  and  Paul  Cuffe  made  a  request 
to  the  selectmen  of  Dartmouth.  In  the  Cuffe  papers  three 
such  requests  are  preserved.  The  one  dated  the  twenty- 
fourth  of  April  is  follow^ed  by  a  notation  attesting  it  a  true 
copy  of  the  request  delivered  to  tlie  selectmen.  It  asks 
them  to  "put  a  stroak  on  your  next  Warrant  for  calling  a 
town  meeting  so  that  it  may  legally  be  Laid  Before  said 
town  By  way  of  voat  to  know  the  mine  of  said  town 
whether  all  free  Negroes  and  molattoes  shall  have  the  same 
Privileges  in  this  said  town  of  Dartmouth  as  the  white 
People  have  Eespecting  Places  of  profit  choosing  of  of- 
ficers and  the  Like  together  with  all  other  Privileges  in  all 
cases  that  shall  or  may  happen  or  be  Brought  in  this  said 
town  of  Dartmouth  or  that  we  have  Reliefe  granted  us 
Joyntly  from  Taxation  which  under  our  present  depressed 
circumstances  and  your  poor  Petitioners  as  in  duty  Bound 
shall  ever  pay." 

The  disposition  of  the  case  as  found  in  the  records  is 
contained  in  a  few  sentences.  One  is  dated  the  eleventh 
of  June  and  is  signed  by  Richard  Collens,  constable.  It 
reads  as  follows : 

Then  received  of  John  Cuffe  eight  pounds  twelve  shillings 
silver  money  in  full  for  all  John  Cuffe  and  Paul  Cuffe  Rates  until 
this  date  and  for  all  my  court  charges  received  by  me. 

Elijah  Dean  presented  his  bill  for  summoning  the  asses- 
sors. It  was  paid,  and  the  bill  with  an  acknowledgment 
from  Edward  Pope  is  entered  in  Cuffe 's  letter  book  with 
the  tax  receipt  of  the  eleventh  of  June.     The  other  laconic 

166  Journal  of  Negro  History 

note  is  from  the  Records  of  the  Court  of  General  Sessions 
held  at  Taunton  on  June  12.  It  curtly  ''ordered  that  the 
Petition  of  Paul  C\iffe  and  John  Cuffe  and  the  proceedings 
thereon  be  dismissed." 

Several  writers  have  commented  on  the  significance  of 
the  petitions  of  the  Cuffe  brothers  and  their  resistance  to 
the  payment  of  taxes.  Practically  all  of  them  overestimate 
the  matter.  For  example,  a  representative  writer  says, 
"This  was  a  day  equally  honorable  to  the  petitioners  and 
to  the  legislature;  a  day  in  which  justice  and  humanity 
triumphed  over  prejudice  and  oppression;  a  day  which 
ought  to  be  gratefully  remembered  by  every  person  of 
color  within  the  boundaries  of  Massachusetts,  and  the 
names  of  John  and  Paul  Cuffe,  should  always  be  united 
with  its  recollection."^^ 

There  is  no  documentary  proof  for  statements  of  this 
kind.  A  property  qualification  for  voting  fixed  by  the 
William  and  Mary  Charter  with  slight  modifications 
carried  down  to  1785.  Negroes  acquired  rights  and  privi- 
leges in  Massachusetts  not  by  special  acts  of  the  General 
Assembly,  but  by  a  judicial  act  of  1783  based  on  article  one 
of  the  Declaration  of  Rights  of  the  Constitution  of  1780. 

IS  William  Armistead,  Memoir  of  Paul  Cuffe  (London,  1846),  23. 


The  Redemption  of  Africa 

Early  in  his  life  Paul  Cuffe  became  interested  in  the 
redemption  of  Africa.  ' '  The  travail  of  my  soul, ' '  said  he, 
'4s  that  Africa's  inhabitants  may  be  favored  with  refor- 
mation." The  following  letter  to  James  Pemberton  not 
only  illustrates  Cuffe 's  style  and  manifests  his  spirit  but 
shows  the  redemption  of  Africa  as  the  main  interest  of  his 

Westport  9th  mo  14th  1808 
Worthy  friend 

In  Reply  to  thine  of  the  8-6  mo. 

I  desire  ever  to  humble  myself  before  my  Maker  who  hath  I 
trust  favored  me  to  the  notice  of  my  friends.  I  desire  that  God 
will  Bless  all  Our  friends  who  hath  been  made  willing  to  Rise  to 
our  assistance.  Without  hope  of  a  providential  hand  we  must 
ever  been  miserabal. 

As  to  poor  me  I  feel  very  feebel  and  all  most  worn  out  in  hard 
service  aiid  uncapable  of  doing  much  for  my  brethren  the  African 
Race  but  blessed  be  God  I  am  what  I  am  and  all  that  I  can  con- 
ceive that  God  pleases  to  lay  upon  me  to  make  me  an  instrument 
for  that  service  I  desire  ever  to  be  submissive  that  his  will  may  be 
done  and  I  shall  not  loose  sight  of  the  above  but  endeavor  to 
Wright  thou  again  on  the  subject  if  thee  will  wright  me  if  any 
further  information  can  be  given  it  would  be  kindly  excepted  by 
one  who  wishes  well  to  all  mankind  &c, 

Paul  Cuffe. 

In  this  cause,  however,  Paul  Cuffe  was  not  struggling 
alone.  The  question  of  ameliorating  the  condition  of  the 
Negro  in  Africa  was,  at  the  opening  of  the  nineteenth 
century,  a  matter  of  general  concern.  Men  with  a  philan- 
thropic spirit  both  in  Denmark  and  Sweden  had  by  this 
time  investigated  the  problem.  In  France,  in  addition  to 
individual  activity,  the  society,  Les  Amis  des  Noirs,  was 


168  Journal  of  Negro  History 

organized.  In  England,  interest  was  more  pronounced 
than  in  any  other  European  country.  The  African  Insti- 
tution, the  Saint  George's  Bay  Company,  better  kno^\^l  as 
the  Sierra  Leone  Company,  and  the  British  African  Coloni- 
zation Society,  directed  efforts  toward  the  western  coast. 
The  foundation  of  the  Sierra  Leone  was  laid  by  these  so- 
cieties. This  same  interest  in  advancing  the  civilization 
of  Africa  was  found  among  distinguished  Americans  like 
Samuel  D.  Hopkins,  pastor  of  the  First  Congregational 
Church  in  Newport,  Rhode  Island,  Ezra  Stiles,  sometime 
president  of  Yale,  and  William  Thornton,  head  of  the 
United  States  Patent  Office.^" 

In  1808,  when  expressions  from  Cuffe  showing  his  in- 
terest in  Africa  appeared,  considerable  progress  had  been 
made  by  the  English  philanthropists.  In  the  first  place, 
they  had  carried  on  successful  propaganda.  They  were  in 
touch  with  the  Americans  and  had  the  support  of  the  Quak- 
ers. In  a  pamphlet  specifically  printed  to  call  the  atten- 
tion of  Parliament  to  the  "case  of  their  fellow  creatures" 
the  Quakers  asserted  that  ''Africa,  so  populous,  and  so 
rich  in  vegetable  and  mineral  productions,  instead  of  af- 
fording all  the  advantages  of  a  well  regulated  commerce, 
is  scarcely  kno^^^l  but  as  a  mart  for  slaves,  and  as  the 
source  of  violent  barbarities,  perpetuated  in  order  to  se- 
cure them,  by  men  professing  the  Christian  religion."  ^^ 
The  leading  men  in  the  African  Institution,  Thomas  Clark- 
son,  William  Wilberforce,  and  Granville  Sharp,  exerted 
much  influence  both  through  personal  activity  and  the 
agency  of  the  African  Institution. 

In  the  second  place,  the  Englishmen,  as  stated  above, 
had  actually  established  a  settlement  on  the  Guinea  coast 
known  as  Sierra  Leone.  Many  Negroes  from  London  and 
vicinity,  the  black  American  Loyalists,  and  the  Jamaica 

17  For  an  extended  account  of  these  movements  see  H.  N.  Sherwood,  Early 
Negro  Deportation  Projects,  in  Mississippi  Valley  Historical  Review,  II,  484 
et  eeq. 

18  The  Case  of  our  Fellow  Creatures,  the  Oppressed  Africans,  respectfully 
recommended  to  the  serious  Consideration  of  the  Legislature  of  Great  Britain, 
London,  1784. 

Paul  Cuffe  169 

Maroons,  settled  in  Novia  Scotia,  and  the  "Willyfoss" 
Negroes  were  transported  to  the  Africa  coast.  The  com- 
mendable intentions  of  the  promoters  of  this  settlement  on 
the  west  coast  of  Africa  were  conveyed  to  Cuffe  by  his 
Philadelphia  friend,  James  Pemberton,  who  was  in  touch 
with  the  activities  of  the  African  Institution.  In  Septem- 
ber, 1808,  he  wrote : 

I  perceive  they  are  earnestly  attentive  to  pursue  the  laudable 
object  of  promoting  the  civilization  of  the  Blacks  in  their  own 
country  with  a  view  to  draw  them  off  from  the  wild  habits  of  life 
to  which  they  have  been  accustomed,  by  instructing  them  in  the 
arts  of  agriculture,  mechanic  labor,  and  domestic  industry,  by 
which  means  they  hope  to  be  instrumental  in  preparing  the  minds 
of  those  uninstructed  people  gradually  to  become  qualified  to  re- 
ceive religious  instruction. 

Pemberton  also  called  attention  to  the  fact  that  the 
leaders  of  the  African  Institution  were  distinguished  men 
and  he  especially  noted  that  the  president  was  the  Duke 
of  Gloucester,  a  nephew  of  the  King.  Moreover,  he  lik- 
ened the  plan  for  benefiting  the  African  to  the  one  which 
the  Friends  were  using  to  civilize  the  American  Indian. 
In  the  concluding  paragraph  of  the  letter,  Pemberton 
sounds  a  personal  call  to  Cuffe : 

Thou  wilt  be  sensible  that  the  undertaking  is  very  important 
and  those  concerned  to  promote  it  are  anxious  to  receive  all  the 
assistance  and  encouragement  they  can  from  the  friends  of  hu- 
manity at  home  and  in  America.  Now  if  thy  concern  for  the 
good  of  the  poor  untutored  people  continues  and  finds  thy  mind 
impressed  with  a  sense  that  any  portion  of  the  work  is  allotted 
for  thee  to  perform,  I  hope  and  trust  thou  wilt  give  it  thy  most 
serious  consideration,  and  should  it  ripen  to  such  a  degree  as  to 
bring  thee  under  an  apprehension  of  religious  duty  to  perform  it 
in  such  a  way  as  that  wisdom  which  is  superior  to  human  may 
point  out,  a  consultation  with  thy  friends  on  the  occasion  may  be 
reasonably  useful,  tending  to  thy  strength  and  encouragement.^^ 

Already  assurance  had  come  from  Zachariah  Macaulay, 
Governor  of  Sierra  Leone,  that  if  Cuffe  should  make  a  voy- 

i»  In  the  Cnffe  Manuscriptg. 

170  Journal  of  Negro  History 

age  to  Africa  he  would  receive  every  encouragement  from 
him.  As  a  director  of  the  African  Institution  he  felt  that 
its  views  would  be  advanced  if  any  free  blacks  from  Amer- 
ica of  good  conduct  and  religious  principles  should  be  in- 
duced to  offer  their  personal  assistance.  In  June,  1810, 
therefore,  Cuffe,  as  an  "ever  well  wishing  Friend,"  wrote 
to  Friends  in  Philadelphia  that  he  planned  to  make  a  visit 
to  Africa  in  the  fall.  He  hoped  that  some  solid  Friend 
would  feel  called  on  to  accompany  him  as  an  adviser.  In 
September  he  laid  his  plans  for  the  voyage  before  a  large 
committee  of  Westport  Friends.  He  was  authorized  by 
this  committee  to  pursue  his  prospects  and  was  given  a 
letter  of  recommendation. 

In  this  letter  his  neighbors  stated  that  Cuffe  "had 
lately  been  received  a  member  of  their  religious  society, 
that  he  was  highly  respected  by  Friends  in  Philadelphia, 
and  that  he  felt  a  religious  concern  to  assist,  as  far  as  in 
his  power,  the  views  of  the  African  Institution.  His  in- 
tention was,  provided  he  met  with  sufficient  encourage- 
ment here,  to  sail  from  America  to  Sierra  Leone,  with  a 
cargo  likely  to  be  suitable  for  the  place,  and,  when  there, 
make  such  observations  as  would  enable  him  to  judge 
whether  he  should  do  right  to  encourage  some  sober  fami- 
lies of  black  people  in  America  to  settle  among  the  Afri- 
cans, and  if  so,  he  intended  to  convey  them  in  his  own 
vessel."  They  also  reported  Cuffe  as  the  owner  of  a  ves- 
sel and  worth  five  thousand  pounds.-*^ 

The  lively  interest  that  Cuffe  had  had  in  the  people  of 
color  at  Sierra  Leone,  his  ^^dsh  that  they  might  become 
established  in  the  truth,  and  his  desire  that  they  might 
then  do  missionary  work  among  the  African  brethren,  in- 
fluenced him  to  visit  his  friends  on  the  Guinea  coast.  He 
rented  his  farm  and  commended  his  family  to  his  brother 
John.  The  latter  wrote  his  sister  Freelove  in  New  York 
that  Paul  would  be  gone  for  a  year,  possibly  two,  and  that 

2»L{/c  of  William,  Allen  with  Selections  from  His  Correspondence.  (2 
Tols.,  Philadelphia,  1847),  I,  85,  86. 

Paul  Cuffe  171 

he  went  for  a  "religious  visit  amongst  the  inhabitants  of 
that  land,  our  own  nation."  '^^ 

When  everything  was  ready  the  Traveller  sailed  out  of 
Westport  for  Sierra  Leone  via  Philadelphia.  Nine 
Negroes  composed  the  crew.  The  story  of  the  voyage 
from  Philadelphia  is  interestingly  told  by  Cuffe  himself  in 
his  journal :  ^^ 

1810.  12mo.  4.  I  called  on  Friends  in  Philadelphia.  They 
appointed  a  time  at  Arch  Street  meeting-house,  and  after  a  feeling 
conference,  they  expressed  satisfaction  and  left  me  at  liberty. 
Hence  it  fell  under  the  head  of  my  former  advisers,  John  James 
and  Alexander  Wilson,  I  called  on  them:  John  professed  that  he 
could  not  see  any  other  way,  better,  than  to  take  a  load  of  com 
that  he  had  long  held,  and  take  it  to  Portugal  or  Cadiz.  I  then 
had  to  tell  him  the  said  John  James,  that  was  not  my  business; 
it  rather  appeared  to  me  that  it  was  not  for  the  profit  or  gain  that 
I  had  undertaken  this  voyage ;  but  I  had  about  four  thousand 
dollars  property,  and  would  wish  to  proceed  as  far  as  that  would 
carry  me ;  and  it  appeared  that  if  this  opportunity  was  neglected, 
I  might  never  expect  to  have  the  opportunity  again.  John  then 
gave  up  the  prospect  of  shipping  his  corn,  and  he  and  I  left 
Alexander,  and  he  told  me  he  believed  my  concern  was  real,  and 
that  he  would  assist  me  in  fitting  out  for  the  voyage  and  make  no 
charges.     I  told  him  It  then  felt  pleasant  to  me. 

Imo.  20th.     19  days  out  from  Philadelphia  to  Sierra  Leone. 

Our  minds  were  collected  together  to  wait  on  the  Lord  not- 
withstanding we  were  on  the  great  deep. 

2mo.  2.  At  three  A.  M.  wind  and  sea  struck  us  down  on  our 
beam  ends,  washed  John  Masters  overboard,  but  by  the  help  of 
some  loose  rigging  he  regained  the  ship  again. 

2mo.  21st.  The  dust  of  Africa  lodged  on  our  rigging.  We 
judged  that  land  to  be  about  twenty-five  leagues  off. 

2mo.  24th.  At  10  A.  M.  sounded  and  got  bottom  for  the  first 
ground  that  we  got  on  the  coast  of  Africa.     Sixty-five  fathoms. 

3mo.  1st.     We  came  to  Sierra  Leone  road. 

[As  the  directors  of  the  African  Institution  said,  "It  must 

21  In  Cuffe  Manuscripts.     Dated  January  5,  1811. 

22  The  Jourrial  is  in  the  Cuffe  Manuscripts. 

172  Journal  of  Negro  History 

have  been  a  strange  and  animating  spectacle  to  see  this  free  and 
enlightened  African  entering  as  an  independent  trader,  with  his 
black  crew  into  that  port  which  was  so  lately  the  Nidus  of  the 
slave  trade."] 

3mo.  4th,  An  invitation  was  given  me  this  day  to  dine  with 
the  Governor,  at  whose  table  an  extensive  observation  took  place 
of  the  slave  trade  and  the  unsuccessfulness  of  the  colony  of  Sierra 

3mo.  5th.  Visited  the  school  of  30  girls,  which  is  a  pleasing 
prospect  in  Sierra  Leone, 

3mo,  10th,  First  day.  Attended  a  Methodist  meeting  in  the 

3mo,  13th.  King  Thomas  came  on  board  to  see  me.  He  was 
an  old  man,  gray  headed,  appeared  to  be  sober  and  grave.  I 
treated  him  with  civility,  and  made  him  a  present  of  a  bible,  a 
history  of  Elizabeth  Webb,  a  Quaker,  and  a  book  of  essays  on 
War :  together  with  several  other  small  pamphlets  accompanied 
with  a  letter  of  advise  from  myself,  such  as  appeared  to  be  good 
to  hand  to  the  King  for  the  use  and  encouragement  of  the  nations 
of  Africa.  He  and  retinue  were  thirteen  in  number.  I  served 
him  with  victuals,  but  it  appeared  that  there  was  rum  wanting, 
but  none  was  given. 

3mo.  14.  King  George  from  Bullion  Shore  sent  his  messenger 
on  board,  with  a  present  of  three  chickens  and  invited  me  over  to 
see  him, 

3mo.  17,  This  day  being  the  first  day  of  the  week  we  went  on 
shore  to  the  church,  and  in  the  afternoon  to  the  new  Methodist, 

3mo,  18.  This  day  I  went  to  Bullion  Shore  in  order  to  visit 
the  King  George,  King  of  Bullion,  who  received  and  treated  us 
very  cordially.  I  presented  the  King  with  a  bible,  a  testament,  a 
treatise  of  Benjamin  Holmes,  a  history  of  Elizabeth  Webb,  and 
an  epistle  from  the  yearly  meeting,  and  a  history,  or  called  a  short 
history  of  a  long  travel  from  Babel  to  Bethel. 

3mo.  19.  Visiting  families  on  Sierra  Leone,  found  many  of 
them  without  bibles,  and  others  who  had  bibles  with  out  the  living 
substance  of  the  spirit. 

3mo.  28.  I  breakfasted  with  the  Governor  Columbine  and 
after  breakfast  had  conference  with  him  on  the  subject  of  the 
country,  and  settling  in  it — to  good  satisfaction. 

Paul  Cuffe  173 

3mo.  31.  Attended  the  church.  The  Mendingo  men  have  the 
Scriptures  in  their  tongue,  viz  the  old  testament,  but  deny  the  new 
testament.     They  own  Mahomet  a  prophet. 

1811,  4mo.  3.  Thomas  Wainer  is  much  put  out,  and  is  ex- 
ceeding wroth  for  giving  him  what  I  call  good  advice :  but  time 
will  make  manifest.  God  alone  knows  the  hearts  of  men.  I  de- 
sire to  have  him  be  my  preserver. 


In  England 

When  Captain  Cnffe  sailed  from  Philadelphia  on  New 
Year's  Day,  1811,  he  apparently  intended  to  visit  only 
Sierra  Leone.  After  an  examination  of  the  plans  then  in 
operation  for  the  civilization  of  the  Africans,  doubtless  he 
meant  to  return  to  America.  IIoAvever,  when  there  reached 
him  a  letter  from  William  Allen  with  an  order  in  council 
which  Allen  and  Wilberforce  had  procured  for  him,  he 
changed  his  mind  and  determined  to  visit  England.'^  He 
recorded  thus  this  part  of  the  voyage : 

1811.  7mo.  12.  Arrived  safe  all  well  (at  Liverpool)  after  a 
passage  of  sixty-two  days.^* 

Soon  after  we  got  in  the  dock,  two  of  my  men  going  out  of  the 
dock  gate,  were  met  bj'  the  press-gang  and  carried  to  the  rende- 
vous.  The  press  gang  then  came  on  board  my  vessel,  and  let  me 
know  that  they  had  two  of  my  men,  and  overhauled  the  remain- 
der of  the  crew,  among  which  they  found  Aaron  Richard,  an  Afri- 
can that  I  had  taken  as  an  apprentice  in  Africa  to  instruct  in 
navigation.  They  claimed  him  as  a  British  subject  and  took  him 
off.  At  eleven  I  went  to  the  rendezvous  and  got  the  two  men  first 
mentioned,  but  they  would  not  let  Aaron  off. 

7mo.  13.  This  morning  the  Ship  Alpha  arrived  fifty-two  days 
from  New  Orleans.  All  well.  My  friends  Richard  Rathbone  and 
Thomas  Thompson  were  very  anxious  in  assisting  me  to  regain 
Richard  .  .  .  They  wrote  immediate^  to  London  for  the  libera- 
tion of  Aaron,  with  a  petition  to  the  Board  of  Admiralty, 

7mo.  14.  I  this  day  put  up  with  Thomas  Thompson,  and  took 
a  first  day  meeting  with  them,  and  feeling  very  anxious  for 
Aaron's  liberty,  I  took  place  in  the  stage  for  London.  Arrived 
in  London  three  day  morning,  six-o-elock,  it  making  thirty-two 
hours,  distance  two  hundred  and  eight  miles, 

7mo.  15.  This  day  passed  with  the  pleasant  prospect  of  pass- 
ing through   a  well  cultivated   and   very   fertile   country.     How 

23  Life  of  William  Allen,  I,  99-105. 

'*The  diary  is  from  Paul  Cuffe't  Journal  in  the  CufJ^e  Manut(^ipti. 


Paul  Cu ffe  175 

often  did  I  feel  my  miud  enlivened  with  the  peaceful  desire  that 
this  land  and  people  might  enjoy  a  universal  and  tranquil  peace. 

7mo.  16.  At  six  this  morning  arrived  in  the  great  city  of 
London.  I  put  up  at  an  inn  and  took  breakfast.  At  ten-o-clock 
took  a  pilot  for  Plough  Court,  where  I  was  courteously  received 
by  my  friend  William  Allen,  who  was  engaged  about  the  libera- 
tion of  Aaron. 

7mo.  17.  This  day  went  to  meeting,  and  in  the  afternoon 
Cornelius  attended  me  to  see  the  great  church  of  St.  Paul  and 
many  other  curiosities  of  London,  such  as  London  Bridge,  Black- 
friars  Bridge. 

7mo.  18.  This  day  my  friend  Wm.  Allen  had  a  note  from 
Wm.  Wilberforce  desiring  that  I  should  see  him  at  —  o-clock. 

Wilberforce  called  for  pen,  ink  and  paper  and  wrote  to  the 
Board  of  Admiralty  and  sent  his  man  immediately  .  .  . 

Wm.  Allen  and  Paul  Cuffe  then  went  into  the  Parliament. 

7mo.  19.  We  went  over  London  Bridge  to  Lancaster's  school, 
where  were  taught  one  thousand  scholars  by  one  master.  But 
about  eight  hundred  were  then  in  school.  This  prospect  of  the 
school  was  the  greatest  gratification  that  I  met  with. 

7mo.  20.  This  afternoon  took  stage  for  William  Dillwyn's,  at 
whose  house  I  was  friendly  and  cordially  received,  and  took  great 

7mo.  21.  I  went  and  dined  with  George  and  Mary  Staeey, 
who  were  very  kind  and  loving,  appeared  to  live  in  the  truth. 

7mo.  22.  Spent  the  fore  part  of  this  day  in  conversing  with 
Wm.  Dillwyn  on  subjects  of  importance.  After  dinner  Wm.  gave 
me  two  volumes  of  Clarkson's  work  on  the  slave  trade.  His  wife 
and  two  daughters  accompanied  me  to  town  in  their  carriages 
about  five  miles.     At  scA'en  this  evening  Thomas  Clarkson  arrived. 

7mo.  23.  Thomas  Clarkson  sets  to  for  Aaron's  liberation. 
Makes  so  far,  as  for  certain  persons  to  go  with  him  to  the  Board 
of  Admiralty,  where  they  found  the  order  had  been  some  daj's 
gone,  for  Aaron's  discharge.  You  may  think  that  it  was  great 
consolation  to  me  to  think,  if  God  permitted,  that  I  should  have 
the  happy  opportunity  of  returning  Aaron  to  his  parents  and 
fellow  citizens  at  Sierra  Leone. 

7mo.  25.  Zachariah  Macaulay  called  at  Wm.  AUen's  and  had 
a  good  conversation.  He  then  invited  me  to  dine  with  him  on  the 
morrow,  which  was  accepted,  hoping  there  my  some  good  come 
out  of  it. 

17G  Journal  of  Negro  History 

7mo.  26.  I  this  day  went  to  Z.  Macaulay's  wliere  I  meet  with 
exceeding  kind  treatment.  He  said  Macaulay  promised  to  me  the 
continuation  of  his  friendship. 

7mo.  27.  This  morning  came  to  Wm.  Allen 's  from  Macaulay 's 
accompanied  by  Macauley.  Thomas  Clarkson  this  day  sets  off  for 
home,  who  has  been  of  service  and  consolation.  Thomas  is  a  man 
of  good  deportment.  My  friends  this  day  forwarded  a  petition 
to  the  Privy  Council  for  a  license  for  the  Traveller  to  go  to  Africa, 
commanded  by  Paul  Cuffe,  or  some  other  person. 

7mo.  28.  In  the  evening  my  friend  Allen  called  his  family 
together  and  we  were  comforted,  and  I  believe  I  may  say  the  pres- 
ence of  the  precious  comforter  was  felt  to  be  near.  In  the  eve- 
ning conversation  took  place  between  Wm.  Allen  and  P.  Cuffe  on 
the  most  advantageous  way  of  encouragement  of  the  improvement 
of  the  Colony  of  Sierra  Leone.  I  then  told  Wm.  that  it  appeared 
that  the  Colony  people  wanted  help,  or  encouragement ;  that  I  had 
my  mind  still  impressed  that  a  channel  of  intercourse  should  be 
kept  open  between  America  and  Sierra  Leone,  and  that  my  mind 
was  to  build  a  house  in  Sierra  Leone,  encouragement  might  be 
given  of  accomodation. 

7mo.  30.  This  morning  Cornelius,  William  and  Paul  went  to 
see  the  mint  and  the  works  thereof  were  great  and  wonderful.  I 
this  day  took  place  in  the  stage  for  Liverpool  at  three  guineas. 

[William  Allen  records  in  his  diary  that  he  took  leave  of 
Cuffe,  "in  much  nearness  of  spirit;  he  is  certainly  a  very  inter- 
esting man."  '^] 

7mo.  31.  At  six  we  set  forward  for  Liverpool.  The  prospect 
of  the  fertility  of  the  country  was  highly  gratifying. 

8mo.  1.  I  arrived  at  Liverpool  at  niue-o-clock  after  a  passage 
of  thirty-nine  hours;  took  my  package  to  my  friend,  Thomas 
Thompson's  where  I  was  kindly  received. 

Bmo.  2.  I  arose  much  refreshed,  and  found  all  well  on  board, 
and  Aaron  Richards  had  arrived  the  same  afternoon  as  I  did. 
Saw  and  had  much  conversation  with  many  folks,  among  whom 
was  Stephen  Crillett  a  minister  from  America.  I  took  breakfast 
with  him  at  Isaac  Hadwins,  in  whose  company,  and  conversation, 
I  was  much  comforted,  he  was  to  leave  Liverpool  the  next  day  for 
the  country.  My  mate  and  second  mate  went  to  dinner  with  Isaac 
and  he  was  anxious  for  more  to  come  along  with  them.  The  crew 
were  spoken  of  in  the  highest  terms  for  their  steadiness,  not  given 
26  Life  of  William  Allen,  I,  103. 

Paul  Cuffe  177 

to  swearing,  but  I  found  to  my  sorrow  that  Zachariah  had  behaved 
very  iinbecoming  in  keeping  unbecoming  company,  and  drinking 
to  excess  and  speaking  light  of  Jesus  Christ. 

8mo.  3.  It  felt  pleasant  to  me  to  hold  out  that  honour  with- 
out virtue,  was  not  true  honor :  and  also  from  whence  came  wars 
and  fightings.  I  also  had  to  hold  out  to  William  and  Richard 
Rathbone  that  the  flesh  was  imperfect  and  forewarned,  forearmed ; 
and  that  was  not  to  put  too  great  confidence  in  me  as  I  was  but 
flesh  and  blood.  For  those  young  men  had  taken  a  very  early  and 
active  part  in  assisting  me  in  every  way  and  manner  not  only 
making  their  house  my  home,  but  stepping  forward  to  give  me 
every  aid  even  petitioning  the  Board  of  Admiralty  for  the  relief 
of  Aaron  Richards  as  did  also  my  friend  Thomas  Thompson  afford 
me  every  aid,  with  kind  invitation  to  make  his  house  my  home  all 
which  I  felt  easy  to  accept  of.  Have  this  day  seen  William  Bootell 
the  great  slave  dealer  as  I  have  been  told,  who  invited  me  to  hii 

8mo.  4.  Attended  fore  and  afternoon  meetings — in  the  former 
I  was  favored  with  the  Spirit  of  Supplication.  Capt.  Coffin  of 
the  Ship  Alpha  and  my  crew  were  at  the  meeting,  which  was  very 
gratifying  to  me.  Letter  from  Wm.  Allen  stating  that  the  license 
would  not  be  obtained  under  four  or  five  days. 

8mo.  5.  A  man  of  color  talks  of  going  to  Sierra  Leone  in 
order  to  help  the  colonists.  In  the  afternoon  another  man  pro- 
posed going  to  help  in  any  way  that  may  be  helpful,  either  in 
printing,  school  keeping,  or  by  other  means.  I  think  here  is  rather 

8mo.  6.  I  this  day  had  further  communication  with  Wm. 
Thomas,  a  European,  a  printer  about  going  to  Sierra  Leone,  who 
seems  to  be  very  anxious  and  it  is  concluded  to  write  to  London 
in  order  to  see  if  it  may  be  encouraged. 

8mo.  7.  This  day  took  dinner  with  Wm.  and  Richard  Rath- 
bone  in  company  with  Thomas  Thompson  and  William  Roscoe,  a 
well  engaged  man,  for  the  establishing  the  slave  trade,  that  the 
ships  of  war  should  be  commissioned  to  take  all  vessels  that  were 
found  in  that  trade  belonging  to  whom  they  would.  Also  Lord 
John  Russell  dined  with  us. 

8mo.  9.  I  this  day  took  dinner  with  Captain  Bootell  and 
Captain  Pane  formerly  slave  dealers,  but  treated  me  politely. 

8mo.  11.  This  day  all  attended  meeting,  and  after  meeting 
the  men  went  home  with  the  Rathbones  and  took  dinner. 

178  JouRNAX,  OF  Negro  History 

8mo.  14.  This  day  I  dined  with  Capt.  Brown,  Captain  of  his 
Majesty's  navy  ship  who  was  a  veiy  civil,  goodly  man;  and  his 
wife  and  family  thoughtful  people,  on  the  whole  I  had  a  comfort- 
able meal. 

8mo.  18.  At  half  past  nine  in  the  evening  set  forward  for 
London  accompanied  with  three  very  agreeable  people. 

8mo.  20.  At  half  past  five  arrived  in  London,  found  Wm. 
Allen  and  family  all  well. 

8mo.  21.  At  four-o-clock  P.  M.  I  departed  from  Wm.  Allen's 
after  having  a  comfortable  sitting  in  company  of  a  woman  Friend, 
who  appeared  to  be  a  chosen  vessel  unto  the  Lord,  and  was  a 
comfort  unto  us  and  also  a  man  by  the  name  of  Morris  Burbeck. 
Cornelius  Hanbury  accompanied  me  to  "Waltham  Stone  at  Wm. 
Dillwyn's  where  we  were  cordially  received.  Wm.  was  very  un- 
well and  it  appears  that  his  glass  is  almost  run,  and  his  duty 
faithfully  discharged.  Much  of  our  time  whilst  together  was 
taken  up  for  the  good,  and  beneficial  improvement  of  the  inhabi- 
tants of  Africa:  for  that  which  might  attend  for  their  good,  and 
for  the  honor  and  glory  of  God. 

8mo.  22.  Half  past  one  this  morning  I  went  to  meeting  with 
Wm.  Dillwyn's  family  in  the  coach,  where  I  had  a  comfortable 
open  meeting,  after  meeting  went  home  with  Wm.  Fanster,  to 
dinner.  After  dinner  came  Mary  Stacey  who  had  good  advice  de- 
livered it  in  much  love  and.  tenderness. 

8mo.  23.  This  day  dined  in  company  with  Capt.  Eber  Clark 
of  and  from  New  Bedford  who  said  he  left  Peter  and  Alexander 
Howard  well,  and  heard  nothing  but  that  my  family  was  well. 
Wm.  Rotcli  mentioned  my  name  in  his  letter  to  Wm.  Allen  and 
mentioned  nothing  but  my  family  was  well.  His  letter  arrived  in 
good  time  to  do  good,  and  was  consolation  to  me  in  such  a  distant 

8mo.  25.  Came  from  Newington  in  a  carriage  with  Joseph 
Bevan.  I  went  to  the  great  meeting  where  I  had  pretty  clear  open- 
ings in  the  forenoon.  Took  dinner  with  Wm.  Allen's  mother  and 
son  Joseph,  where  we  were  very  aggreeably  entertained.  Came 
home  to  Plough  Court  where  we  had  a  good  refreshing  season  in 
the  evening. 

8mo.  26.  This  morning  very  pleasant ;  Cornelius  Hanbury  and 
I  went  to  the  London  and  West  India  Docks,  which  was  exceed- 
ing gratifying,  both  to  see  the  shipping,  and  accomodations  in  the 

Paul  Cuffe  179 

Docks,  and  also  the  shipping:  in  the  river  that  lay  in  the  tiers  as 
we  passed  for  three  miles.  They  continued  to  extend  as  far  as  I 
could  see;  the  river  is  about  one-half  mile  wide.  At  five-o-clock 
in  the  afternoon  I  dined  with  Z.  Macauley,  where  I  was  very 
agreeably  entertained. 

8mo.  27.  This  day  met  the  committee  of  the  African  Institu- 
tion who  sat  at  one  P.  M.  and  expressed  great  satisfaction  on  the 
information  I  gave  them,  and  felt  also  that  I  was  endeavoring  to 
assist  them  in  maintaining  the  good  cause;  with  blessing  that  we 
may  reasonably  hope  that  we  may  be  supported  with — to  endeavor 
that  the  subject  may  not  fall  beneath  the  level  where  we  found  it. 
I  made  the  Duke  of  Gloucester  a  present  of  an  African  robe,  a 
letter  box  and  a  dagger  to  show  that  the  Africans  were  capable  of 
mental  endowments  and  so  forth. 

8mo.  28.  This  day  attended  the  Grace  Street  Church  meeting. 
It  was  comfortable  for  me  to  sit  with  Friends  in  true  humiliation 
and  supplication.  And  may  this  be  the  continuation  of  our  lives 
through  time,  that  peace  may  be  our  lot.  [William  Allen,  writing 
of  the  meeting  with  the  Committee  of  the  African  Instruction  in 
his  diary,  says  Cuffe  "returned  very  sensible  and  satisfactory 
answers"  to  questions  by  the  Duke  of  Gloucester  and  others  and 
that  **his  simplicity  and  strong  natural  good  sense  made  a  great 
impression  upon  all  parties.  On  the  whole  it  was  a  most  gratify- 
ing meeting,  and  fully  answered,  and  even  exceeded  all  we  could 
have  asked."  Captain  Clarke  from  New  Bedford,  Massachusetts, 
says  that  he  has  "known  Cuffe  from  a  boy  and  that  a  person  of 
greater  integrity  and  honor  in  business  he  never  met  with.  I  did 
not  give  the  smallest  hint  which  might  call  forth  this  declaration. ' ' 

In  the  Seventh  report  of  the  directors  of  the  African  Institu- 
tion this  meeting  is  recorded  as  follows : 

African  Institution  had  "the  very  judicious  plan  of  profiting  by 
the  opportunity  of  inducing  Captain  Paul  Cuffe  to  settle  in  Sierra 
Leone,  and  carry  over  with  him  free  blacks  of  good  character  and 
of  some  property,  who  might  settle  in  the  colony  and  practice 
among  the  natives  the  mechanical  arts,  and  the  cultivation  of 
tropical  produce.  He  and  his  crew  in  Great  Britain  attracted  uni- 
versal respect  by  the  propriety  of  their  deportment,  as  well  as 
admiration  by  their  singular  proficiency  in  both  the  science  and 
the  practice  of  navigation.  The  African  board  held  a  meeting, 
although  in  vacation  time,  for  the  purpose  of  seeing  and  confer- 

180  Journal  of  Negro  History 

ring  with  the  captain.  His  royal  highness  the  Duke  of  Gloucester 
attended,  as  he  always  does,  at  the  Board,  and,  together  with  the 
other  Directors,  entered  fully  in  to  the  subjects  alike  interesting 
to  those  distinguished  philanthropists,  and  to  their  dark-colored 
but  civilized  ally. ' '  -"  Referring  to  Cuffe  in  his  diary  on  this  day, 
William  Allen  writes :  ' '  We  had  an  affecting  parting,  as  it  is  not 
very  probable  that  we  shall  see  him  any  more.  He  has  left  a  wife 
and  eight  children,  and  a  profitable  business  in  which  he  was  en- 
gaged, to  forward  the  views  of  the  African  Institution,  and  this, 
at  the  risk  of  his  person  and  property."*'] 

8mo.  30.     Arrived  at  Manchester  at  eight-o-clock. 

Sino.  31.  David  Docknay  and  Paul  Cuffe  spent  this  day  in 
seeing  the  factories.  They  have  got  them  to  great  perfection. 
They  light  the  darkest  room  with  gas  extracted  from  sea  coal. 
This  light  far  exceeds  the  candle  light ;  it  is  more  like  day  light. 
This  air  issues  out  of  a  small  tube  and  by  the  blaze  of  a  candle 
being  put  to  it,  it  blazes  and  burns  until  the  gas  is  stopped.  This 
is  done  by  the  turning  of  the  stop  that  reaches  through  the  pipe. 
One  woman  spins  one  hundred-fifty  threads  at  a  time.  This 
afternoon  Robert  Benson  came.  John  Thorp  dined  with  us  this 

9mo.  1.  This  day  attended  meeting,  both  fore  and  afternoon. 
Took  dinner  at  Isaac  Crenden  's,  and  then  went  to  see  Richard  and 
Martha  Routh. 

9mo.  2.  Took  stage  for  Liverpool  arrived  at  ten.  I  this  day 
wrote  to  Wm.  Allen  and  stated  the  necessity  of  establishing  com- 
merce in  Africa  and  building  a  vessel  in  Africa,  and  if  there 
should  be  any  owner  found  in  London. 

9mo.  4,  This  morning  being  a  pleasant  morning  Hannah 
Rathbone's  family  and  myself  went  to  Wm.  Roscoes,  which  was 
about  two  miles  further.  He  being  a  verj'  warm  friend  for  the 
abolishing  the  slave  trade,  many  subjects  took  place  between  us. 
He  stated  the  necessity,  and  propriety  of  condemning  all  nations, 
that  might  be  found  in  the  trade.  I  likewise  was  favored  to  state 
to  him  the  necessity  there  was  of  keeping  open  a  communication 
between  America,  Africa  and  England  in  order  to  assist  Africa 
in  its  civilization  and  that  the  two  powers  to  contenance  it,  even 
if  they  were  at  variance,  and  to  consider  it  as  a  neutral  path. 

29  The  Seventh  Eeport  of  ihe  Directors  of  the  African  InMitution  is  in 
the  Edinburgh  Review,  XXI. 

27Z,»/c  of  William  Allen,  1,  105. 

Paul  Cuffe  181 

And  I  could  not  see  wherein  the  French  Goverment  may  not  gain 
in  adopting  this  neutral  path. 

9mo.  6.  After  breakfast  went  into  the  blind  school  and  it 
was  wonderful  to  see  the  operation  of  all  kinds  of  work  they 
would  go  through  of  spinning,  weaving,  matting,  carpeting,  of 
many  colors. 

[On  this  day  Cuffe  signed  a  contract  with  Will  Midgley  by 
which  the  latter  was  to  furnish  flannels  for  shipment  on  the 
Traveller  for  Sierra  Leone. '"^j 

9mo.  17.  Took  breakfast  with  my  passengers  and  also  with 
Wm.  Rathbone  accompanied  with  a  friend  belonging  to  London, 
where  the  African  conversation  took  place  which  was  the  most  ex- 
pediant  method  of  civilization  of  Africa. 

9mo.  20.  At  ten-o-clock  weighed  anchor.  ...  A  great  many 
attended  our  departure  .  .  . 

llmo.  12.     At  four  P.  M.  we  anchored  in  Sierra  Leone. 

28  In  the  Cuffe  Manuscripts. 


The  Return  to  America 

Cuffe  remained  in  Sierra  Leone  for  three  months.  On 
Sundays  he  attended  tlie  various  churches.  He  made  the 
most  of  these  opportunities  to  caution  the  lukewarm  and 
to  reprimand  closely  the  unconcerned.  On  the  other  days 
of  the  week,  he  explored  the  country  because  he  wanted  to 
know  every  advantage  this  location  had  for  the  many 
settlers  he  hoped  would  come  from  America. 

He  noted  the  growing  pineapples  and  was  pleased  wdth 
the  Guinea  grass  so  tall  that  he  could  just  reach  the  top 
of  it  with  his  umbrella.  He  found  Indian  corn  and  buck- 
wheat growing  well.  Although  he  sought  diligently  he 
could  find  no  good  place  to  make  salt.  In  his  survey  of 
the  streams  he  found  two  that  had  fall  sufficient  for  twenty 
and  thirty  foot  undershot  wheels  respectively.  This 
pleased  him  greatly,  as  the  water  power  made  mills  pos- 
sible. On  his  rounds  he  distributed  many  kinds  of  seeds 
and  silk  worm  eggs,  but  few  knew  what  to  do  with  them. 

On  the  eleventh  of  December  he  was  called  to  the  home 
of  James  Reed  by  the  Social  Society  of  Sierra  Leone  to 
help  draAv  up  a  constitution  for  this  organization.  Subse- 
quent meetings  Avere  necessary  to  complete  the  work. 
When  it  had  been  done,  the  Friendly  Society  of  Sierra 
Leone  was  born,  beginning  to  function  immediately.  xA. 
communication  from  William  Allen  addressed  to  John 
Kizel  was  presented  to  the  Society.  It  was  duly  answered 
and  preparations  made  for  carrying  on  commercial  rela- 
tions with  the  London  African  Institution.  The  govern- 
ment prohibition  on  landing  rum  and  tobacco  displeased 
many  of  the  members  because  it  took  from  them  one  pos- 
sibility for  lucrative  revenues. 

In  addition  to  these  interests,  Cuffe  visited  the  schools 
and  greeted  the  new  missionaries.     He  was  a  first  class 


Paul  Cuffe  183 

teacher  himself  and  many  ambitious  Negroes  learned  the 
art  of  navigation  from  his  teachings.  Occasionally  he 
took  apprentices,  and  at  this  time  four  Africans  were  in- 
dentured to  him. 

Finally  he  made  arrangements  with  the  Governor  for 
the  reception  of  colonists  who  might  come  over  from 
America.  They  discussed  means  for  civilizing  the  natives, 
land  grants  to  the  new  settlers,  and  problems  of  trade  for 
all.  AVhen  every  measure  had  been  taken  looking  to  fu- 
ture relations  between  England,  Sierra  Leone,  and  America, 
he  set  sail  for  his  home  land. 

He  was  just  four  days  out  when  Captain  James  Tild- 
well  of  the  British  sloop  of  war,  Abrina,  took  the  Traveller 
back  to  Sierra  Leone.  Captain  Tildwell  did  not  under- 
stand the  arrangement  by  which  Captain  Cuffe  had  four 
indentured  servants  on  board.  The  matter  was  immedi- 
ately brought  to  the  attention  of  the  Governor  and  Cuffe 
was  permitted  to  renew  his  homeward  voyage.  Cuffe 
sailed  according  to  the  old  rhyme — 

If  the  wind  comes  before  the  rain, 
Clear  the  top  sails  and  hoist  them  again. 
If  the  rain  comes  before  the  wind, 
Lower  the  top  saUs,  and  take  them  in. 

All  went  well  on  sea.  But  when  on  April  19,  1812,  he 
reached  American  waters  a  grave  difficulty  beset  him.  The 
Traveller  was  bringing  to  the  United  States  a  British 
cargo.  This  was  contrary  to  the  existing  trade  laws. 
What  could  be  done?  A  pilot  boat,  the  Daggett,  offered 
to  take  him  to  New  Bedford  where  he  could  interview  the 
authorities.  Moreover,  it  was  an  opportunity  speedily  to 
reach  Westport  and  see  his  family.  So  he  left  the  Travel- 
ler at  sea  and  took  passage  on  the  Daggett. 

When  lie  returned,  Captain  John  Cahoone  in  a  revenue 
cutter  had  condemned  the  Traveller  for  bringing  in  a 
British  cargo.  There  was  nothing  left  for  Captain  Cuffe 
to  do  except  to  carry  his  cause  to  Washington  and  this  he 
decided  to  do.     Accordingly  letters   of  recommendation 

184  Journal  of  Negro  History 

were  prepared  to  ])resent  the  case  to  the  Federal  authori- 
ties. He  engaged  the  services  of  John  Vase,  Amasa  Rob- 
bins,  and  others  to  prepare  a  petition  to  the  Secretary  of 
War.  The  Collector  of  Customs  approved  the  petition. 
Governor  Simeon  Martin,  Judge  Constant  Taber,  former 
Congressman,  G.  C.  Champlin,  as  well  as  John  Coggeshall, 
I.  Vernon,  Thomas  G.  Pitman,  and  Walter  Channing,  en- 
dorsed his  papers. 

Armed  vdth  these  letters  of  recommendation,  he  started 
for  Washington.  On  his  way  he  stopped  at  Providence 
where  his  good  friend,  William  Botch,  Jr.,  gave  him  coun- 
sel and  aid.  He  put  CufPe  in  touch  with  Moses  Brown, 
who  brought  in  the  services  of  Thomas  Arnold.  They 
called  on  the  Judge  and  Attorney-General.  All  favored 
Captain  Cuffe,  and  Brown  and  Arnold  signed  his  general 
letters  of  recommendation.  While  in  Providence  he  made 
his  home  with  Obadiah  Brown  and  attended  fore  and  after- 
noon meetings.  He  stopped  off  at  Philadelphia  on  the 
29th  of  April,  to  tell  John  James  his  troubles.  ''In  travel- 
ling through  the  country,"  he  wrote,  ''I  perceived  that  the 
people  seemed  to  have  great  knowledge  of  me." 

Arriving  in  Washington  on  the  first  of  May,  lie  sought 
Samuel  Hutchinson,  who  accompanied  him  to  call  on  Presi- 
dent Madison,  the  Secretary  of  War,  and  others  to  whom 
he  had  letters  of  recommendation.  ''The  Secretary  ob- 
served to  me,"  wrote  the  Captain,  "that  French  brandy 
could  not  be  imported  from  a  British  port  but  observed 
whether  it  would  be  inconvenient  to  me  to  have  it  entered 
for  exportation.  I  then  told  him  my  funds  were  small, 
and  it  would  lock  up  my  funds.  All  people  appeared  very 
kindly  indeed."  The  authorities  at  Washington  thought 
his  voyage  was  innocent  and  laudable.  The  Traveller  and 
all  his  property  was  restored  to  him  without  reservation 
and  the  government  offered  its  services  to  him  in  carrying 
out  his  African  plans. 

On  the  day  follo\^'ing  this  decision,  the  Captain  started 
home.     "When  I  took  my  seat,"  he  wrote,  "being  the  first 

Paul  Cuffe  185 

in,  I  took  the  after  seat.  When  the  passengers  came,  in 
came  a  blustering  powder  headed  man  with  stern  counte- 
nance. '  Come  away  from  that  seat. '  I  was  no  starter  and 
sat  still.  He  then  bustled  along  and  said,  'I  want  to  put 
my  umbrella  in  the  box.'  I  arose,  he  then  put  his  umbrella 
in.  He  then  said,  'You  must  go  out  of  this  for  there  is  a 
lady  coming  in.'  I  entered  into  no  discourse  with  him, 
but  took  my  seat;  he  took  his  seat  beside  me  but  showed 
much  evil  contempt.  At  length  the  woman  and  a  girl  made 
their  appearance.  I  then  arose  and  invited  the  woman 
into  the  after  seat  saying  we  always  give  way  to  accomo- 
date the  women.  We  set  forward  on  our  journey.  On 
our  way  at  the  tavern  I  was  overtaken  by  Wm.  Hunter, 
member  of  Congress.  He  was  very  free  and  conversant, 
which  this  man  above  mentioned  observed.  Before  we  got 
to  Baltimore  he  became  loving  and  openly  accosted  me, 
'Captain,  take  the  after  seat,'  but  from  the  common  custom 
I  thanked  him,  and  wished  him  to  keep  his  seat. 

"When  I  arrived  in  Baltimore,  they  utterly  refused  to 
take  me  in  at  the  tavern  or  to  get  me  a  dinner  unless  I 
would  go  back  among  the  servants.  This  I  refused,  not  as 
I  thought  myself  better  than  the  servants,  but  from  the  na- 
ture of  the  case,  thought  it  not  advisable.  I  found  my 
way  to  a  tavern  where  I  got  my  dinner.  Friend  Barnard 
Gilbert  went  with  me  and  was  friendly.  Jesse  Talbot,  a 
very  worthy  friend,  had  paid  every  attention  to  me;  by 
this  time  I  seemingly  had  friends  on  every  side.  I  staid 
at  the  home  of  Elisha  Tyson,  who  offered  to  be  a  real 
friend  of  the  people  of  color. ' ' 

While  in  Baltimore  the  Captain  attended  Preparation 
Meeting.  He  called  on  a  number  of  his  friends,  among 
whom  were  Daniel  Coker  and  George  Collins,  teachers  of 
the  African  school  of  one  hundred  and  seven  children.  At 
a  tea  where  many  colored  people  were  present,  Cuffe  told 
about  his  African  visit.  Plans  were  made  to  form  a  So- 
ciety to  correspond  with  the  London  African  Institution 
and  the  Friendly  Society  of  Sierra  Leone. 

186  Journal  of  Negro  History 

Cuffe  stopped  in  Philadelphia  and  New  York  and  re- 
newed old  acquaintances,  and  also  made  plans  for  the 
organization  of  Societies  to  communicate  with  the  African 
Institution  in  London  and  the  Friendly  Society  of  Sierra 
Leone.  These  societies  with  the  one  started  in  Baltimore 
were  centers  for  the  discussion  of  questions  relating  to 
Africa  and  for  commercial  undertakings  with  their  Af- 
rican neighbors. 

When  Cuffe  was  in  New  York,  his  guide  introduced  him 
to  two  Methodist  preachers.  One  said  to  him,  **Do  you 
understand  English?"  Cuffe  replied  that  there  was  a 
part  he  did  not  understand,  namely,  "that  many  persons 
who  profess  being  enlightened  Avith  the  true  light,  yet  had 
not  seen  the  evil  of  one  brother  professor  making  merchan- 
dise of  and  holding  his  brother  in  bondage."  The  minis- 
ters did  not  clear  up  the  question,  and  in  Cuffe 's  own 
words,  "We  bid  each  other  farewell  without  any  further 
conversation. ' '  He  put  this  same  query  to  the  United  So- 
ciety assembled  for  the  Methodist  Conference  in  New  York, 
but  it  was  received  with  coldness.  While  it  shows  Cuffe 's 
zeal  in  working  for  the  emancipation  of  slavery,  it  also 
gives  an  index  to  the  state  of  the  popular  mind  on  this  sub- 
ject fifty  years  before  the  Civil  War. 

Elated  over  the  recovery  of  the  Traveller  and  permis- 
sion to  land  his  cargo,  he  reached  Westport  on  May  21). 
He  expressed  his  gratitude  to  President  Madison  in  the 
following  letter: 

I  stopped  short  of  my  duty  in  not  calling  to  acknowledge  the 
favor  that  I  received  from  the  seat  of  Government;  for  which  I 
desire  to  be  excused.  But  upon  serious  reflection,  feeling  that 
there  is  an  acknowledgment  due  unto  the  ruler  of  the  people — 
certainly  there  is  greater  acknow^ledgment  due  unto  the  Father  of 
all  our  mercies. 

May  the  blessing  of  heaven  attend  thee ;  may  the  United  States 
be  preserved  from  the  calamities  of  a  war,  and  be  favored  to  re- 
tain her  neutrality  in  peace  and  happiness. 

Another  letter  equally  important  went  out.  It  re- 
counted his  experiences  to  William  Allen  and  promised 

Paul  Cuffe  187 

continued  interest  in  all  things  relating  to  the  uplift  of  the 
Negro  race.  "Paul  Cuffe,"  he  wrote  in  closing,  ''doth 
not  at  present  go  to  Africa,  but  shall  send  such  characters 
as  confidence  may  be  placed  in.  At  present  it  is  thought 
that  I  may  be  as  serviceable  towards  the  promotion  of  the 
colony,  as  though  I  was  to  remove.  However,  as  my  wife 
is  not  willing  to  go,  I  do  not  feel  at  liberty  to  urge,  but 
feel  in  duty  bound  to  escort  myself  to  the  uttermost  of  my 
ability  for  the  good  cause  of  Africa. ' '  ^o 

a»In  the  Cufe  Manuscripts.    Dated  June  12,  1812. 


A  Quaker  Mission 

The  visit  of  Captain  Cuffe  to  Africa  was  a  spontane- 
ous movement  on  his  part.  He  was  anxious  to  contribute 
to  the  improvement  of  his  countrymen.  His  visit  to  Fmg- 
land  was  a  great  incentive  to  the  Directors  of  the  African 
Institution.  Both  the  Duke  of  Gloucester  and  William 
Allen  were  convinced  that  the  colonists  of  Sierra  Leone 
needed  only  a  stimulus  to  their  industry  and  that  the  In- 
stitution could  give  it  without  the  slightest  inconvenience. 
They  regarded  Paul  Cuffe  as  a  medium  for  this  service — a 
medium  providentially  afforded. 

One  is  impressed  with  the  methodical  and  thorough-go- 
ing way  Cuffe  conducted  his  affairs  during  the  first  part  of 
his  visit  in  Sierra  Leone,  He  was  soon  acquainted  both 
with  the  land  and  the  people.  Just  as  soon  as  he  obtained 
information  he  began  its  dissemination.  A  letter  was  dis- 
patched to  America  in  care  of  his  brother,  John  Cuffe. 
The  Captain  wrote  "Plope  it  may  find  its  way  to  its  desti- 
nation and  obtain  its  desired  effect  which  will  be  a  consola- 
tion to  one  who  wishes  well  to  all  mankind  both  here  and 
hereafter  world  without  end."  The  follo\ving  letter  dated 
April  20,  1811,  was  ''The  Epistle  of  the  Society  of  Sierra 
Leone  in  Africa,"^''  formed  for  the  further  promotion  of 
the  Christian  religion: 

Sierra  Leone,  April  20,  1811. 
To  the  Saints  and  Faithful  Brethren  in  Christ ;  grace  be  unto  you 
and  peace  from  God  our  Father  and  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ. 

We  desire  to  humble  ourselves  with  that  thankful  acknowl- 
edgment to  the  Father  and  Fountain  of  all  our  mercies,  for  the 
liberty  and  freedom  we  enjoy.  And  our  prayer  to  God  is,  that 
our  Brethren,  who  live  in  distant  lands,  and  are  held  in  bondage, 
and  groan  under  the  galling  chain  of  Slavery,  that  they  may  be 

30  The  Cuffe  Manuscripts.    Dated  June  12,  1812. 


1'aul  Ouffe  189 

liberated  and  enjoy  the  liberty  that  God  has  granted  unto  all  his 
faithful  Saints.  Dearly  beloved  Brethren  in  the  Lord,  may  the 
power  and  peace  of  God  rule  in  all  your  hearts,  for  we  feel,  from 
an  awful  experience,  the  distresses  that  many  of  our  African 
Brethren  groan  under;  therefore  we  feel  our  minds  engaged  to 
desire  all  the  Saints  and  Professors  in  Christ,  to  diligently  con- 
sider our  cause,  and  to  put  cause  to  the  Christian  Query :  whether 
it  is  agreeable  to  the  testimony  of  Jesus  Christ,  for  one  Professor 
to  make  merchandise  of  another?  We  are  desirous,  that  this  may 
be  made  manifest  to  all  Professors  of  all  Christian  denominations, 
who  have  not  abolished  the  holding  of  slaves. 

We  salute  thee,  Beloved  Brethren,  in  the  Lord,  with  sincere  de- 
sire that  the  works  of  Regeneration  may  be  more  and  more  ex- 
perienced. It  would  be  a  consolation  to  us,  to  hear  from  the 
Saints,  in  distant  lands,  and  we  could  receive  all  who  are  disposed 
to  come  unto  us  with  open  arms. 

Our  dearly  beloved  African  Brethren,  we  also  salute  you  in  the 
love  of  God,  to  be  obedient  unto  your  masters,  with  your  prayers 
lifted  to  God,  whom  we  would  recommend  you  to  confide  in,  who 
is  just  as  able  in  these  days,  to  deliver  out  of  the  Egyptian  bond- 
age :  finally  brethern,  may  the  power  and  peace  of  God  rule  in  all 
your  hearts. 

Grace  be  unto  you,  and  peace  from  God  our  Father,  and  the 
Lord  Jesus  Christ,  Amen. 

John  X  Gorden,  preacher         Geo.  X  Clark 
Warwick  X  Francis  Peter  Francis 

James  Reed  George  Carrel 

Joseph  Brown  Eowin  X  Willoughby 

Moses  X  Wilkinson  Thos.  X  Richards,  Sen. 

S.  Jones  Eli  Aiken 

John  X  Ellis  Jno.  X  Stevenson 

Adam  X  Jones  Jas.  Wise 

Two  days  after  he  had  sent  this  epistle  to  his  friends  in 
America  he  wrote  a  personal  note  to  William  Allen  in  Lon- 
don. He  acknowledged  the  receipt  of  the  license  to  bring 
goods  to  England,  called  attention  to  a  petition  which  the 
inhabitants  had  presented  to  Governor  Columbine  with  a 
request  that  he  lay  it  before  Parliament,  and  set  forth 
many  facts  concerning  the  land  and  its  people.  He  also 
announced  his  intention  to  keep  open  a  commercial  inter- 
course between  America  and  Sierra  Leone  in  the  hope  that 

190  Journal  of  Negro  History 

through  such  a  channel  some  families  might  find  their  way 
to  Africa.^^ 

The  outline  of  the  petition  referred  to  in  his  letter  to 
William  Allen  is  inserted  as  follows : 

1st.  That  encouragement  may  be  given  to  all  our  brethern, 
who  may  come  from  the  British  Colonies  or  from  America,  in 
order  to  become  farmers,  or  to  assist  us  in  the  cultivation  of  our 

2nd.  That  encouragement  may  be  given  to  our  foreign  breth- 
ern who  have  vessels  for  the  purpose,  to  establish  commerce  in 
Sierra  Leone. 

3d.  That  those  who  may  undertake  to  establish  the  whale 
fishery  in  the  colony  may  be  encouraged  to  persevere  in  that  use- 
ful and  laudable  enterprise. 

Cufife  states  that  several  of  the  most  respectable  in- 
habitants signed  this  petition.  From  its  contents  and  its 
date  one  would  conclude  that  its  origin  can  safely  be  traced 
to  Cutfe  himself.  Attention  is  called  to  a  school  for  adults 
and  the  other  schools  which  accommodate  about  two  hun- 
dred and  thirty  children.  In  his  letter  to  Allen  he  gives 
the  names  of  seven  teachers.  Mention  is  made  of  a  So- 
ciety of  Sierra  Leone  and  of  the  places  for  public  worship. 
Four  meetings  are  held  on  Sunday  and  two  on  other  days. 
In  his  letter  to  Allen  the  churches  are  enumerated  as  fol- 
lows: two  Methodists,  one  Baptist,  and  one  without  de- 
nominational designation  but  in  charge  of  '  *  an  old  woman, 
Mila  Baxton  who  keeps  at  her  dwelling  house." 

A  brief  paragraph  describes  poor  relief:  "An  institu- 
tion," said  he,  *'was  formed  on  the  first  of  the  twelfth 
month  last  for  the  relief  of  the  poor  and  disabled.  It  is 
now  regularly  held  on  the  first  second  day  in  every  month, 
at  which  time  proper  persons  are  appointed  to  take  charge 
of  those  under  the  care  of  the  institution.    A  general  meet- 

«i  In  Cufe  Manuscripts.     Paul   Cuffe  to  William   Allen,   April  4,   1811. 

A  summary  of  his  obserrations  came  out  in  print  in  1812.  It  was  called 
"A  Brief  Account  of  the  Settlement  and  Present  Situation  of  the  Colony  of 
Sierra  Leone  in  Africa, ' '  3^  and  was  dedicated  to  * '  his  friend  in  New  York. ' ' 
It  contains  an  account  of  the  topography  of  the  country  and  states  that  th« 
population  was  2,518. 

82  Published  in  New  York,  1812. 

Paul  Cuffe  191 

ing  is  held  once  every  six  months.  Everyone  can  judge  of 
the  happy  effect  of  such  institutions  as  these  in  improving 
the  dispositions  and  softening  the  manners  of  our  native 
brethren. ' ' 

Five  courts  are  described  and  attention  is  called  to  the 
supremacy  of  British  law.  A  short  discussion  of  the  na- 
tive Africans  appears,  and  the  letter  includes  in  the  '  *  Brief 
Account"  an  address  *'to  my  scattered  brethren  and  fel- 
low countrymen  at  Sierra  Leone."  It  closes  with  these 
words : 

Grace  be  unto  you  and  peace  be  multiplied  from  God  the 
Father,  and  from  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  who  hath  begotten  a 
lively  hope  in  remembrance  of  you;  and  for  which  I  desire  ever 
to  be  humbled,  world  without  end,  amen. 

Dearly  beloved  friends  and  fellowcountrymen, 

I  earnestly  recommend  to  you  the  propriety  of  assembling  your- 
selves together  for  the  purpose  of  worshipping  the  Lord  your  God. 
God  is  a  spirit  and  they  who  worship  him  acceptably  must  wor- 
ship him  in  spirit  and  in  truth ;  in  so  doing  you  will  find  a  living 
hope  which  will  be  as  an  anchor  to  the  soul  and  a  support  under 
afflictions.  In  this  hope  may  Ethiopia  stretch  out  her  hand  unto 
God.  Come  my  African  brethren  and  fellowcountrymen,  let  us 
walk  together  in  the  light  of  the  Lord.  That  pure  light  which 
bringeth  salvation  into  the  world,  hath  appeared  unto  all  men  to 
profit  withall.  I  would  recommend  unto  all  the  saints,  and  elders 
and  sober  people  of  the  colony,  that  you  adopt  the  mode  of  meet- 
ing together  once  every  month  in  order  to  consult  with  each  other 
for  your  mutual  good.  But  above  all  things  let  your  meetings  be 
owed  of  the  Lord,  for  he  hath  told  us  that  "Where  two  or  three 
are  gathered  together  in  his  name,  there  will  he  be  in  the  midst  of 
them."  And  I  recommend  that  you  keep  a  record  of  your  pro- 
ceedings at  those  meetings  in  order  that  they  be  left  for  the  bene- 
fit of  the  young  and  rising  generation.  In  these  meetings  let  it  be 
your  care  to  promote  all  good  and  laudable  institutions,  and  by  so 
doing  you  will  increase  both  your  temporal  and  spiritual  welfare. 
That  the  Prince  of  Peace  may  be  your  preserver,  is  the  sincere  de- 
sire of  one  who  wishes  well  to  all  mankind. 

The  following  advice,  though  detached  from  the  fore- 
going address,  appears  to  be  intended  to  accompany  it : 

192  Journal  of  Negro  History 

First.  That  sobriety  and  steadfastness,  with  all  faithfulness, 
be  recommended,  that  so  professors  may  be  good  examples  in  all 
things;  doing  justly,  loving  mercy,  and  walking  humbly. 

Secondly.  That  early  care  be  extended  towards  the  youth 
whilst  their  minds  are  young  and  tender,  that  so  they  may  be  re- 
deemed from  the  corruptions  of  the  world — such  as  nature  is  prone 
to — not  swearing,  following  bad  company  and  drinking  of  spirit- 
ous  liquors.  That  they  may  be  kept  out  of  idleness,  and  encour- 
aged to  be  industrious,  for  this  is  good  to  cultivate  the  mind,  and 
may  you  be  good  examples  therein  yourselves. 

Thirdly.  May  servants  be  encouraged  to  discharge  their  duties 
v.'ith  faithfulness;  may  they  be  brought  up  to  industry;  may  their 
minds  be  cultivated  for  the  reception  of  the  good  seed,  which  is 
promised  to  all  that  Avill  seek  after  it.  I  want  that  we  should  be 
faithful  in  all  things,  that  so  we  may  become  a  people,  giving 
satisfaction  to  those,  who  have  borne  the  heat  and  burden  of  the 
day,  in  liberating  us  from  a  state  of  slavery.  I  must  leave  you 
in  the  hands  of  Him  who  is  able  to  preserve  you  through  all  time, 
and  to  crown  you  with  that  blessing  that  is  prepared  for  all  those 
who  are  faithful  unto  death. 

In  closing  he  cites,  with  approbation,  the  advice  con- 
tained in  an  address  to  free  people  of  color  given  in  1796 
at  Philadelphia  before  the  general  convention  of  abolition 
societies.  The.y  are  advised  to  attend  to  religion,  to  get  an 
elementary  education,  teach  their  children  useful  trades, 
use  no  spiritous  liquors,  avoid  frolicking  and  idleness,  have 
marriage  legally  performed,  lay  up  their  earnings,  and  to 
be  honest  and  to  behave  themselves. 

An  object  always  dear  to  Cuffe  was  the  abolition  of  the 
slave  trade.  He  thought  a  commercial  intercourse  would 
be  conducive  to  its  suppression.  For  trade  in  human  be- 
ings he  would  offer  trade  in  the  legitimate  articles  of  com- 
merce. If  such  an  intercourse  could  be  kept  open  with 
cargoes  coming  and  going  between  Sierra  Leone  and  Eng- 
land and  Sierra  Leone  and  America,  then  *'some  good 
sober  steady  characters  may  find  their  way  to  that  coun- 
try." This  would  be  a  laudable  method  for  civilizing 
Africa,  he  thought,  because  the  establishment  of  colonists 
who  would  engage  in  productive  enterprises  would  soon 

Paul  Cuffe  193 

leaven  the  lump  of  African  idleness  and  ignorance,  and 
Christians  engaged  in  legitimate  business  pursuits  would 
inoculate  a  large  area  of  the  African  continent. 

In  order  to  foster  this  plan,  Cuffe  formed  while  in 
Sierra  Leone  in  1812,  "The  Friendly  Society."  John  Ki- 
zell  was  elected  president  and  monthly  meetings  were  held. 
It  began  a  business  correspondence  with  the  African  In- 
stitution in  London.  William  Allen  ever  responsive  to 
Cuffe 's  ''earnest  breathings"  sent  a  consignment  of  goods 
worth  70  pounds  with  permission  to  return  the  amount  ia 
rice,  Indian  corn,  etc.  He  offered  to  be  their  agent  in  Lon- 
don, and  he  engaged  the  services  of  W.  and  R.  Rathbone 
of  Liverpool  in  their  behalf. 

Since  the  African  Institution  was  not  to  ''engage  in 
commercial  speculation"  some  measure  had  further  to  be 
devised  in  England  to  help  the  Friendly  Society  dispose 
of  its  produce  advantageously  and  promote  industry  among 
its  members.  Therefore,  "A  Society  for  the  Purpose  of 
Encouraging  the  Black  Settlers  at  Sierra  Leone,  and  the 
Natives  of  Africa  generally,  in  the  cultivation  of  their 
Soil,  by  the  sale  of  their  Produce"  w^as  formed.  Some 
progress  was  noted  for,  after  four  years  Cuffe  wrote  that 
the  Friendly  Society  was  worth  1200  pounds. ^^ 

Similar  movements  were  going  on  in  America.  William 
Roth  of  New  Bedford  on  October  10,  1812,  wrote  William 
Allen:  "Paul  Cuffe  still  continues  his  concern  for  his 
African  plan,  and  has  recently  petitioned  Congress  for 
liberty  to  send  his  vessel  to  Sierra  Leone,  provided  liberty 
can  be  obtained  from  your  side.  His  character  stands 
conspicuously  approved  as  far  as  it  is  known,  his  kind  con- 
cern for  the  civilization  of  Africa,  and  his  devotion  of  time 
and  money  to  that  object,  have  greatly  strengthened  the 
impression  of  his  real  worth  and  merit ;  and  from  some  in- 
tentions from  the  President  I  am  led  to  believe  his  applica- 
tion will  succeed."  ^^ 

33  On  the  Friendly  Society  see  Life  of  Waiiam  Allen,  I,  105-116;  139,  140. 
History  of  Prince  Le  Boo  (Dublin,  1822),  162,  163;  Cuffe  ManuscHpts.  Paul 
Cuffe  to  Samuel  J.  Mills,  August  6,  1816. 

i*Life  of  WUliam  AUen,  I,  133. 


Pathfinder  in  Negro  Colonization 

It  was  Cuffe's  plan  to  make  a  trip  to  Sierra  Leone  once 
every  year.  This  would  enable  him  to  keep  in  touch  with 
the  colony.  Pie  would  carry  over  whatever  goods  were 
needed,  buy  and  market  the  African  produce,  take  desir- 
able emigrants  over;  withall,  lie  would  be  a  benevolent 
father  to  Africa.  The  Captain  himself  said,  as  recorded 
in  Minutes  of  Paul  Cuffe's  Opinions,  1814:  ''The  most  ad 
vantageous  means  of  encouragement  to  be  rendered  to- 
wards civilization  of  Africa  is  that  the  popularity  of  the 
colony  of  Sierra  Leone  be  encouraged;  and  in  order  to 
render  them  aid  and  assistance  my  mind  is  that  some  fami- 
lies of  good  character  should  be  encouraged  to  remove 
from  America  and  settle  at  Sierra  Leone  in  order  to  be- 
come farmers ;  and  to  lend  them  aid  in  such  useful  utilities 
as  they  are  capable  of;  and  in  order  for  this  accomodation 
it  appears  to  me  there  should  be  an  intercourse  kept  open 
between  America  and  Sierra  Leone,  that,  through  that 
channel  some  people  might  find  their  way  to  Africa;  and 
for  their  accomodation  and  reception  when  arrived  I  think 
proper  that  a  house  be  built  that  they  have  some  place  of 
refuge  or  shelter."  He  thought  one  thousand  pounds 
might  be  needed  for  the  beginning  of  this  benevolent  pur- 

But  there  were  obstacles  in  the  way.  The  voyage  of 
the  Traveller  in  1812  was  financially  unprofitable.  The 
Alpha  had  just  returned  with  a  $3000  deficit.  A  bark  that 
had  gone  around  Cape  Horn  on  a  whaling  voyage  had  not 
returned.  It  was  without  insurance  and  subject  to  cap- 
ture by  British  cruisers.  Moreover,  the  War  of  1812  had 
begun  and  this  seemed  an  insuperable  obstacle. 

Already  Cuffe  had  informed  William  Allen  as  to  his 
troubles.     He  had  also  told  him  what  things  urged  him  to 


Paul  Cuffe  195 

overcome  the  difficulties  in  his  way.  Did  not  Sierra  Leone 
need  a  sawmill,  a  millwright,  and  a  plow?  And  instead 
of  carrying  loads  on  their  heads,  how  much  better  would 
it  be  if  the  colonists  had  a  wagon  on  which  to  haul  the 
loads.  The  native  Africans,  moreover,  had  been  schooled 
in  America  and  were  ready  to  return.  In  addition,  free 
blacks  in  the  United  States  had  made  application  for  pas- 
sage to  Sierra  Leone.  And  could  not  mercantile  relations 
be  established  between  Africa  and  America  in  such  a  way 
as  to  supplant  the  slave  trade?  There  was  a  possibility, 
too,  of  starting  the  whale  fishery  on  the  western  coast  of 

To  achieve  these  ends  was  worth  a  hard  struggle.  He 
had  overcome  difficulties  all  his  life.  Surely  he  could  do 
it  again.  He  would  petition  Congress  for  permission  to 
make  the  voyage  and  ask  William  Allen  to  seek  a  similar 
concession  from  Great  Britain.  Accordingly  a  memorial, 
dated  ''Westport,  6th  month,  1813"  was  presented  to  Con- 
gress.^^  In  it  Cuffe  asserts  that  he  ''could  but  view  the 
practice  of  his  brethren  of  the  African  race  in  selling  their 
fellow  creatures  into  a  state  of  slavery  for  life  as  very  in- 
consistent ' '  with  divine  principle  of  equity  and  justice  and 
that  he  "conceived  it  a  duty  incumbent  upon  him,  as  a 
faithful  steward  of  the  mercies  he  had  received,  to  give  a 
portion  of  his  time  and  his  property  in  visiting  that  coun- 
try, and  affording  such  means  as  might  be  in  his  power  to 
promote  the  improvement  and  civilization  of  the  Afri- 

He  further  recites  in  this  memorial  that  he  had  visited 
Sierra  Leone  to  learn  about  the  country  and  its  inhabi- 
tants, and  that  when  he  was  in  London,  he  had  the  satis- 
faction to  find  his  recommendations  approved  by  the  cele- 
brated philanthropists,  the  Duke  of  Grloucester,  William 
Wilberforce,  Thomas  Clarkson,  William  Allen,  and  others. 
Special  provision,  moreover,  had  already  been  made  by 

35  Annals  of  Congress,  13th  Congress,  2nd  session,  I,  861-1863 ;  National 
Intelligencer  for  January  11,  1814,  printed  the  memorial  at  the  request  of  itt 

196  Journal  of  Negro  History 

them  to  carry  his  plans  into  effect.  One  plan  was  to  keep 
up  an  "intercourse  with  the  free  people  of  color  in  the 
United  States  in  the  expectation  that  persons  of  reputa- 
tion would  feel  sufficiently  interested  to  visit  Africa,  and 
endeavor  to  promote  habits  of  industry,  sobriety,  and 
frugality,  among  the  natives  of  that  country. ' '  His  plans, 
he  continued,  had  been  placed  before  free  blacks  in  Balti- 
more and  Philadelphia,  New  York,  and  Boston.  As  a  re- 
sult ''several  families,  whose  characters  promise  useful- 
ness, have  come  to  a  conclusion,  if  proper  ways  could  be 
opened,  to  go  to  Africa,  in  order  to  give  their  aid  in  pro- 
moting the  objects  already  adverted  to." 

In  view  of  these  facts,  provided  Great  Britain  was  will- 
ing, Cuffe  asked  permission  to  take  a  ship  to  Sierra  Leone 
to  "transport  such  persons  and  families  .  .  .  also  some 
articles  of  provision,  together  with  implements  of  hus- 
bandry, and  machinery  for  some  mechanic  arts,  and  to 
bring  back  such  of  the  native  productions  of  that  country 
as  may  be  wanted."  The  trifling  commerce,  he  hoped, 
would  lighten  the  expense  of  the  voyage. 

Congressman  Laban  Wheaton  of  Massachusetts  pre- 
sented this  memorial  to  the  House  of  Representatives  on 
January  7,  1814.  Four  days  later  the  National  Intelli- 
gencer at  the  request  of  subscribers  published  it.  The 
memorial  was  referred  to  the  Committee  on  Commerce  and 
Manufacturing  by  the  Speaker  of  the  House. 

Interest  in  Cuffe 's  request  now  shifts  to  the  Senate 
where  a  measure  was  passed  authorizing  the  President  of 
the  United  States  to  permit  Paul  Cuffe  to  depart  from  the 
United  States  with  a  vessel  and  cargo  for  Africa  and 
similarly  to  return.  The  House  was  informed  of  this  ac- 
tion on  the  twenty-seventh  of  January  and  four  days  later 
read  the  Senate  bill  twice  and  referred  it  to  the  Committee 
on  Commerce  and  Manufacturing.  This  committee  re- 
ported that  since  the  government  had  been  compelled  to 
prohibit  the  coasting  trade,  it  w^ould  be  impolitic  to  relax 
the  provisions  on  the  "application  of  an  individual,  for  a 

Paul.  Cuffe  1^7 

purpose,  which,  how  benevolently  soever  conceived,  cannot 
be  considered  in  any  other  light  than  as  speculative— the 
efforts  heretofore  made  and  directed  by  the  zeal  and  intel- 
ligence of  the  Sierra  Leone  Company  having  failed  to  ac- 
complish the  object  designed  by  its  institution."  ^s 

This  report  was  referred  to  the  Committee  of  the 
Whole  House  and  debated  on  the  nineteenth  of  March. 
The  representatives  who  wished  to  grant  Cuffe 's  request 
agreed  that  the  Senate  bill  would  be  an  invitation  to  free 
blacks  to  emigrate  to  Africa.  This  part  of  the  population 
they  said  could  well  be  spared.  The  opponents  of  Cuffe 's 
request  doubted  the  expediency  of  permitting  to  go  out  a 
cargo  which  must  necessarily  sail  under  British  license. 
Such  a  license  would  be  granted,  they  argued,  only  if  ad- 
vantageous to  the  enemy.  The  House  by  a  vote  of  72  to 
65  rejected  the  Senate  measure  and  Cuffe 's  request  was 

He  fared  little  better  at  the  hands  of  the  British  Gov- 
ernment. Allen  carried  the  request  to  the  ministers  and 
told  them  that  it  was  the  opinion  of  many  that  the  one 
thing  most  needed  to  help  Sierra  Leone  was  to  enlist  the 
services  of  Paul  Cuffe.  If  the  Government  granted  the 
license,  it  was  hoped  that  a  vessel  could  be  purchased,  that 
Cuffe  be  made  its  proprietor,  and  that  it  be  used  to  carry 
African  produce  to  Britain.  The  ministers,  from  the 
Chancellor  of  the  Exchequer  on  down,  were  exceedingly 
kind  and  were  willing  to  grant  the  license  but  could  not, 
owing  to  the  navigation  laws,  insure  the  vessel  against  a 
seizing  officer.  Such  an  officer  might  consider  the  boat 
more  valuable  than  his  office.  Allen  thought  such  a  risk 
too  great  either  for  Cuffe  or  the  African  Institution  and 
the  request  for  a  license  was  withdrawn. 

Cuffe 's  spirit  would  not  down.  Let  Congress  turn  him 
down  and  the  British  ministers  deny  his  request.  There 
was  still  one  group  willing  to  help  him  along.  This  group 
was  the  Society  of  Friends  at  Westport.     Here  was  fuel 

z«  Annals  of  Congress,  13th  Congress,  2nd  session,  I,  1195,  1265. 

198  Journal  of  Negro  History 

for  the  fire  of  Cuffe's  zeal.  Ebenezer  Baker,  clerk  of  the 
monthly  meeting,  on  the  "16th  of  the  11th  month  1815" 
records : 

Our  friend  Paul  Cuffe  (who  is  a  member  of  our  religious  so- 
ciety) informed  this  meeting  that  he  has  a  prospect  of  making  a 
voyage  to  Africa  on  business,  and  in  a  particular  manner,  with 
the  laudable  view  of  endeavoring  to  promote  the  temporal  and 
civil  improvement  and  comfort  of  the  inhabitants  of  some  parts  of 
that  country;  which  having  had  our  solid  deliberation,  we  feel 
desirous  that  he  may  be  enabled  to  accomplish  this  object,  to  the 
peace  of  his  own  mind ;  and  leave  him  at  libert}-  to  pursue  his 
prospect,  recommending  him  to  the  friendly  notice  and  regard  of 
those  amongst  whom  his  lot  may  be  cast.'^ 

Just  as  soon  as  the  war  was  over  Cuffe  set  sail  for 
Africa.  The  papers  evidently  were  well  supplied  with  his 
plans,  for  a  Louisville  paper.  The  Western  Courier,  related 
that  '  *■  Capt.  Paul  Cuffe,  a  man  of  color  is  about  to  proceed 
to  Africa,  with  several  families  to  form  a  settlement  there. 
He  will  sail  in  the  brig  Traveller,  now  at  Philadelphia,  re- 
ceiving two  families  there,  afterwards  touch  at  New  Bed- 
ford and  receive  the  remainder  of  her  company,  and  then 
proceed  the  latter  part  of  October  on  her  voyage." 

The  Traveller  cleared  from  the  custom  house  on  the  sec- 
ond of  December.  Two  days  later  Cuffe  wrote  Allen,  ''I 
shall  sail  through  God's  permission  the  first  wind  after 
tomorrow."  The  first  wind  came  the  tenth  of  December. 
When  the  Traveller  finally  sailed  she  carried  a  cargo  of 
tobacco  and  soap,  candles,  naval  stores  and  flour.  She  had 
also  iron  with  which  to  build  a  sawmill,  a  wagon,  grind- 
stones, nails  and  glass,  and  a  plow.  There  were  thirty- 
eight  passengers,  eighteen  heads  of  families  and  twenty 

The  Captain  himself  reported  the  voyage  to  the  Ameri- 
can Colonization  Society  in  this  laconic  letter : 

Thirty-eight  in  number  went  out  with  me,  their  expenses  were 
estimated  at  one  hundred  dollars  per  head,  but  were  there  a  large 
number  they  could  be  carried  out  for  sixty  dollars.     The  expense 

«7  Cufe  Manuseripta. 

Paul  Cuffe  199 

of  thirty  of  the  above  number  was  born  by  Paul  Cuffe.  The 
others  paid  for  their  own  passages.  In  addition  to  the  above  ex- 
pense, I  furnished  them  provisions  to  the  amount  of  150  pounds 
Ss  3d  sterling ;  all  this  was  done  without  fee  or  reward — my  hope 
is  in  a  coming  day.'* 

The  passengers  were  all  common  laborers  and  they 
wished  to  cultivate  the  land.  Perry  Locke,  a  Methodist, 
was  licensed  to  preach.  He  is  an  honest  man,  wrote  Cuffe, 
but  ''has  rather  a  hard  voice  for  a  preacher."  Another 
passenger  was  Antony  Survance,  a  native  of  Senegal,  who 
had  been  sold  to  the  French  in  St.  Domingo.  During  the 
revolution  he  came  to  Philadelphia.  He  had  learned  to 
read  and  write  and  had  studied  navigation,  but  Cuffe 
thought  he  would  never  make  a  mariner  on  account  of  sea- 
sickness. He  paid  his  passage  to  Africa  and  hoped  by  and 
by  to  return  to  Senegal.  He  said  the  black  man  had  two 
eyes  and  two  ears,  the  white  man  has  no  more.  Could 
he  not  hear  with  his  ears  and  see  with  his  eyes.  All  the 
passengers  were  provided  with  certificates  of  good  char- 

The  fares  paid  by  the  passengers  and  a  contribution 
from  William  Eotch  of  New  Bedford  amounted  to  over 
$1000.  Cuffe 's  expenses  consisted  of  $480  for  insurance, 
$1000  for  portage,  $703.96  for  supplies,  and  $3000  for  pas- 
sages. His  expenses,  therefore,  exceeded  the  sources  of 
income  by  something  over  $4000. 

It  was  a  rough  passage  and  the  Captain  was  troubled 
with  a  sick  crew.  When  he  reached  Sierra  Leone  on  the 
third  of  February,  the  crew  was  well  ''for  which  as  well 
as  all  other  preservations,"  he  wrote,  "I  desire  ever  to  be 
truly  humbled  before  the  father  and  fountain  of  all  our 
mercies."  On  its  arrival  at  port,  the  Traveller  was  hailed 
from  a  canoe,   "What  brig  is  this?   where   from?  what 

38  Second  Annual  Report  of  the  American  Colonisation  Society,  122.  The 
Western  Courier  (Louisville,  Kentucky)  for  October  26,  1815,  reported  Captain 
Cuffe 's  trip. 

39  A  memorandum  in  Cuffe 's  handwriting  and  containing  the  details  con- 
cerning each  passenger  is  in  the  Cuife  Manuscripts. 

200  Journal  of  Negro  History 

cargo?"  Cuffe  asked  to  anchor  the  Traveller.  But  word 
came  from  the  custom  house  boat  "No  Americans  per- 
mitted to  anchor  in  these  waters. ' '  It  was  then  near  sun- 
set and  permission  was  given  to  anchor  until  nine  o'clock 
the  following  morning.  The  Governor  on  the  next  day  al- 
lowed Cuflfe  to  anchor  in  the  harbor  but  could  not  secure 
him  against  seizure  by  a  man-of-war.  The  Traveller  re- 
mained in  the  harbor  a  month  and  a  day  enjoying  every 
indulgence  and  encountering  no  warship. 

The  passengers  were  well  received  by  the  Governor  and 
the  Friendly  Society.  They  were  given  a  town  lot  and 
fifty  acres  of  land.  A  year's  rations  for  seven  families 
was  provided  at  a  cost  of  411  pounds  14s  5d.  This  ex- 
pense, it  seems,  was  met  by  the  London  African  Institu- 
tion. Cuffe  thanked  his  friend  William  Allen  for  the 
''Ardent  exercises  thee  must  have  had  in  order  to  for- 
ward the  plan. ' '  ^^ 

Cuffe  did  not  succeed  so  well  in  the  disposition  of  his 
cargo.  No  instructions  awaited  him  from  the  London 
African  Institution  and  no  arrangements  had  been  made 
with  the  British  Government.  He  had,  therefore,  to  pay 
import  duty  on  the  articles  he  sold ;  tobacco,  soap,  candles 
and  naval  stores  which  at  first  he  could  not  even  land. 
Later,  evidently  the  tobacco  at  least  was  landed,  because 
to  William  Allen  w^as  referred  a  matter  in  connection  with 
the  price  of  it  on  which  Cuffe  and  the  Friendly  Society 
could  not  agree.  He  sold  flour  at  $12  per  barrel  and  pur- 
chased camwood  at  $100  per  ton. 

As  to  Cuffe  himself,  he  was  well  received.  He  dined 
with  Governor  McCarthy  and  the  Chief  Justice.  Wil- 
liam Allen  offered  him  his  African  quarters  during  his 
stay  but  the  Captain  declined,  for,  said  he,  ' '  I  feel  myself 
unworthy  to  become  one  of  thy  family. ' '  *'^  He  went  with 
Governor  McCarthy  to  inspect  the  schools;  he  was  par- 
ticularly pleased  with  the  boys'  school  taught  by  Thomas 

«>  Cuffe  Manuscripts,  Paul  Cuffe  to  William  Allen,  April  1,  1816. 
41  Ibid. 

Paul  Cuffe  201 

Hurt,  a  schoolmaster  Cuffe  himself  had  brought  from  Eng- 

He  discussed  the  question  of  keeping  a  line  of  com- 
munication open  between  England  and  Sierra  Leone,  ad- 
vised that  an  additional  place  for  colonizing  be  selected, 
and  took  an  active  part  in  suppressing  the  slave  trade. 
While  he  was  in  Sierra  Leone  three  brigs  and  four 
schooners,  active  in  this  traffic,  were  captured.  Later  he 
sought  to  secure  from  Governor  McCarthy  the  names  of 
the  vessels  and  commanders  so  that  the  African  Institu- 
tion or  the  Abolition  Society  in  Philadelphia  could  initiate 
legal  proceedings  against  them. 

Every  encouragement  was  given  to  the  Friendly  So- 
ciety. He  pointed  out  to  William  Allen  its  prosperity  and 
cautioned  him  not  to  make  too  great  advances  to  it.  He 
was  greatly  pleased  to  find  it  establishing  factories  at 
places  within  the  interior.  At  these  points  the  tribes  could 
secure  their  own  produce.  When  engaged  in  enriching  the 
produce  of  their  owm  country,  Cuffe  thought  that  they 
would  be  draw^n  away  from  the  slave  trade.  Above  all 
things,  he  pointed  out  the  abuse  of  the  twenty-two  license 
houses  which  did  business  with  the  slave  traders.  By 
establishing  factories  and  opening  roads  from  one  tribe  to 
another  he  believed  he  could  render  the  native  chiefs 
friendly  to  civilization. 

Cuffe  kept  in  touch  with  everything  and  everybody. 
He  noted  sickness  and  death;  he  chronicled  the  accession 
of  thirteen  new  colonists  to  the  Baptist  church.  He  also 
heard  complaints.  Perry  Locke,  the  licensed  Methodist 
minister,  disliked  to  do  jury  duty.  On  receiving  the  fol- 
lowing summons  he  at  once  carried  it  to  the  Captain: 

Mr.  Perry  Locke.  You  are  hereby  summoned  and  required  to 
appear  at  the  ensuing  general  session  of  the  peace,  which  will  be 
held  at  the  court  hall  in  Freetown,  on  Wednesday,  the  10th  day 
of  April,  at  the  hour  of  ten  in  the  afternoon,  there  to  serve  as  a 
grand  juror;  herein  fail  not,  at  your  peril.     W.  D.  Grant,  Sheriff." 

*2  Second  Annual  Beport  of  the  American  Colonization  Society,  121,  122. 

202  Journal  of  Negro  History 

Cuffe  told  him  that  ''he  complained  in  America  because  he 
was  deprived  of  these  privileges;  and  then  he  murmured 
because  he  was  called  upon:  Go  and  fill  thy  seat,  do  as 
well  as  thou  canst."  *^ 

The  citizens  wished  him  to  begin  a  settlement  at  Sher- 
bro,  and  the  African  Institution  again  took  occasion  to 
profit  by  the  experience  of  their  "dark  colored  but  civi- 
lized ally"  who  suggested  that  a  house  be  built  on  the  farm 
of  each  settler  brought  over. 

When  Cuffe  began  preparations  for  the  return  voyage 
**it  was  like  a  father  taking  leave  of  his  children."  He 
sailed  on  April  4th,  and  after  a  voyage  of  fifty-four  days 
reached  the  United  States  again.  After  juggling  in  his 
mind  the  various  proposals  for  ameliorating  the  condition 
of  "that  part  of  the  great  family  of  Africa"  in  America 
he  concluded:  "Nothing:  Nothing  of  much  amount  can  be 
affected  by  an  individual  or  private  bodies  until  the  gov- 
ernment removes  the  obstruction  in  the  way."** 

*3  SecoTid  Annual  Eeport  of  the  American  Colonisation  Society,   121. 
**  Cuffe  Manuscripts,  Paul  Cuffe  to  T.  Brine,  January  16,  1817. 

chapter  viii 
Afro-Ameeican  Interests 

Neither  voyage  to  Africa  was  financially  profitable. 
Cuffe  did  not  make  either  visit  with  that  end  in  view. 
But  he  was  careful  to  make  use  of  every  opportunity  to 
reduce  the  expense  of  the  trip.  An  undated  item  in  his 
letters  says  property  to  the  value  of  $1837.15  was  landed 
from  the  Traveller  and  placed  in  charge  of  Thomas  Wainer. 
Blue  cloth,  cassimere  and  flannels  bought  through  William 
and  Richard  Rathbone  of  Liverpool  were  imported  when 
Cuffe  made  his  first  voyage  to  Sierra  Leone.  Peter  and 
Alexander  Howard  of  New  Bedford  shared  equally  with 
Cuffe  in  this  transaction.  The  estimated  value  of  the 
goods  was  $2300 ;  the  profit  to  each  party  was  $439.93. '*'^ 

Cuffe  imported  camwood  and  squills  when  he  returned 
in  1816,  but  neither  sold  well.  Abner  Gifford  made  a 
small  sale  of  camwood  in  Albany  but  the  bulk  of  it  was 
sold  by  Hicks  Jenkins  and  Company  of  New  York.  Peleg 
How^land  and  Sons  and  Swift  and  Barnes,  both  of  Rough  • 
keepsie,  purchased  some  of  the  camwood. 

The  Traveller,  however,  was  kept  busy.  Li  1816  and 
1817  she  carried  freight  along  the  Atlantic  coast  and  made 
several  voyages  to  the  West  Lidies.  Tuite  and  Amie,  a 
firm  in  Port  au  Prince,  was  a  correspondent  of  Cuffe. 
Tuite  at  one  time  seems  to  have  lived  at  Bridgeport  and  to 
have  established  a  line  of  Quaker  connections.  While 
Cuffe  had  business  dealings  with  a  number  of  houses  the 
ones  most  frequently  referred  to  are  Josiah  Crodler  and 
Company  of  Boston,  Hicks  Jenkins  and  Company  of  New 
York  and  William  Roth,  Jr.,  and  Company  of  New  Bed- 
ford. At  the  time  of  his  death  Cuffe  was  constructing  salt 
works  at  Westport. 

Cuffe  never  allowed  his  own  private  business  affairs  to 

46  Memorandum  made  by  Cuffe  in  Cuffe  Manuscripts. 


204  Journal  of  Negro  History 

engulf  his  interests  in  Sierra  Leone.  Pie  wrote  frequently 
to  the  colonists  that  he  took  over  and  he  kept  in  close  touch 
with  the  Friendly  Society.  He  gave  them  financial  advice, 
quoted  prices,  and  promised  another  visit  when  satisfac- 
tory arrangement  could  be  made  with  either  the  London 
African  Institution  or  the  British  Government.  He  ex- 
pressed the  wish  that  an  additional  port  might  be  selected 
for  a  settlement  because,  from  the  rumors  of  insurrection 
in  the  South,  ''many  will  be  glad  to  find  some  place  where 
they  could  send  them."^^ 

He  exhorted  the  Friendly  Society  as  a  whole  to  "stand 
fast,  grow  strong,  be  respectable,  and  be  active  to  sup- 
press the  slave  trade."  To  its  secretary,  James  Wise,  he 
gave  this  special  message : 

"As  thou  art  one  of  the  main  spokes  in  the  great  -wheel  in 
which  the  Friendly  Society  are  upheld  I  earnestly  instruct  thee  to 
stand  firm  for  her  support  for  if  she  falls  and  comes  to  naught,  it 
will  be  a  deadly  blow  to  Africa.  I  am  a  well  wisher  to  her  pros- 
perity and  could  I  be  the  means  of  her  firm  establishment  I  think 
I  should  consent  to  be  made  use  of  in  any  way  which  might  be  for 
her  advancement.  I  instruct  thee  to  endeavor  that  she,  the  Friendly 
Society,  may  not  give  up  her  commercial  pursuits,  for  that  is  the 
greatest  outlet  to  her  national  advancement. — I  forsee  this  to  be 
the  means  of  improving  both  your  country  and  nation."*^ 

The  African  Listitutions  at  Philadelphia  and  New  York 
were  as  dear  to  his  heart  as  the  Friendly  Society.  He 
kept  in  close  touch  with  both  of  them.  "I  wish  these  in- 
stitutions," he  said,  "to  be  brought  as  much  under  action 
as  possible;  by  these  means  the  colored  people  of  these 
large  cities  would  be  more  awakened  than  from  an  indi- 
vidual, and  a  stranger,  and  thereby  prevailed  upon  for 
their  own  good."  ^^ 

The  secretary  of  the  New  York  African  Institution  was 
Peter  Williams,  Jr.,  a  rector  of  the  St.  Phillip 's  Episcopal 
Church.     Cuffe  constantly  spurred  him  on  to  greater  ac- 

*6  Cuffe  Manuscripts,  Paul  CufEe  to  John  Kizell,  August  14,  1816. 
47  Ibid.,  Paul  Cuffe  to  James  Wise,  September  15,  1816. 
**  Quoted  in  WUliams,  Discourse  on  the  Death  of  Paul  Cuffe. 

Faul  Cuffb  205 

tivity  in  the  organization.  He  should  write  Governor  Mc- 
Carthy of  Sierra  Leone  expressing  interest  in  Cuffe's  mis- 
sion; he  should  cooperate  with  the  Abolition  Society  in 
New  York  in  its  efforts  to  secure  information  leading  to 
the  capture  of  slave  traders;  he  should  open  up  a  corre- 
spondence with  the  Friendly  Society. 

Cuffe  counted  on  the  help  of  the  Institution  to  break 
up  the  slave  trade.  He  expressed  to  Samuel  C.  Aikin,  of 
Andover,  the  view  that  general  manumission  could  never 
occur  until  this  trade  was  really  stopped.  He  reported  that 
in  1815  two  hundred  sail  cleared  from  Savannah  for  this 
traffic.  Six  vessels  had  been  brought  in  by  the  forces  in 
Sierra  Leone.  If  the  road  could  be  kept  open  between 
Africa  and  America,  it  would  help  the  authorities  in  Sierra 
Leone.  "I  believe,"  he  continued,  *'if  there  could  be 
mercantile  correspondence  opened  between  the  African 
race  in  America  and  Africa  it  would  have  good  tendency 
to  keep  open  this  communication  and  acquaint  them  with 
each  other.  It  would  employ  their  children;  and  if  reli- 
gious characters  wished  to  visit  that  country  they  would 
obtain  a  passage. ' '  ^^  William  Allen  had  asked  him  again 
to  come  to  England  to  help  keep  communication  open  be- 
tween London  and  Sierra  Leone.  In  harmony  with  the 
invitation  Eathbone  Hodgson  Company  of  Liverpool  wrote, 
"It  mil  give  us  much  pleasure  to  learn  that  you  are  em- 
barking for  England. ' ' 

James  Forten  seems  to  have  been  the  leading  spirit  in 
the  African  Institution  at  Philadelphia.  It  was  no  less 
eager  than  the  sister  one  in  New  York  to  diffuse  knowl- 
edge about  Africa,  to  help  civilize  its  inhabitants,  and  to 
help  substitute  a  beneficial  commerce  for  the  slave  trade. 
The  Institution  had  among  the  members  an  African  Prince, 
a  grandson  of  King  Lurker,  who  reigned  about  fifty 
leagues  south  of  Sierra  Leone.  He  was  about  eight  years 
old  and  had  been  secured  by  the  local  Abolition  Society  in 
order  to  educate  him.    James  Forten  hoped  that  his  re- 

*9  Cuffe  Manuscripts,  Paul  Cuffe  to  Samuel  C.  Aiken,  August  7,  1816. 

206  Journal  of  Negro  History 

turn  to  Africa  would  serve  to  open  up  a  correspondence 
between  King  Lurker  and  the  Friendly  Society  which 
would  be  very  advantageous  to  the  Sierra  Leone  colony. 
Forten  reported  the  Institution  greatly  concerned  over  the 
\\dll  of  Samuel  Gist  because  there  was  no  asylum  for  the 
blacks  whom  he  desired  to  free  and  whom  he  finally  colo- 
nized in  BrowTi  County,  Ohio. 

Neither  organization,  however,  was  lively  enough  to 
please  Cuffe.  He  feared  that  their  inactivity  might  cause 
the  mission  in  Africa  to  fail.  Rather  than  see  the  seed 
planted  in  Africa  perish,  he  wrote  William  Allen  that  he 
w^ould  bestow  some  further  labor;  he  would  come  to  Eng- 
land if  necessary  and  be  used  there. 

Cuffe  had  another  important  purpose  in  connection 
with  colonization.  From  the  time  that  he  built  a  school- 
house  at  Westport  to  his  death  he  was  interested  in  the 
cause  of  education  both  in  Africa  and  in  America.  He 
said:  "I  am  one  of  those  who  rejoice  to  see  good  institu- 
tions established  for  the  instruction  and  reformation  of 
our  fellow  creatures.  ...  I  approve  of  the  plan  for  edu- 
cating young  men  of  color.  I  think  such  characters  would 
be  useful  in  Africa."  Teachers  were  sought  out  for 
schools  in  Sierra  Leone  and  passage  for  them  on  the 
Traveller  was  always  ready.  He  contributed  to  teachers' 
salaries  and  w^as  interested  in  putting  children  in  private 
boarding  schools.  Prospect  for  establishing  a  school  for 
blacks  in  Cliarleston,  South  Carolina,  was  laid  before  Cuffe 
by  Samuel  R.  Fisher  of  Philadelphia.  The  information 
was  a  solicitation  for  advice  and  financial  help. 

Naturally,  as  soon  as  he  returned  from  Sierra  Leone, 
his  correspondence  increased.  He  received  many  inquir- 
ies about  that  country  and  to  all  he  gave  kind  and  con- 
siderate rei^ly.  Dr.  Jedekiah  Morse  of  Boston  wants  to 
know  what  offices  are  held  by  men  of  color.  There  are 
sheriffs,  constables,  clerks  of  court,  and  jurors ;  and  there 
is  a  colored  printer.  But  ''Africa  calls  for  men  of  char- 
acter to  fill  stations  in  the  Legislature." 

Paul  Cuffb  207 

''What  does  it  cost  to  go  to  Africa?"  asked  Thomas 
Fay,  of  Providence.  ''Does  there  exist  any  arrangement 
nnder  the  auspices  of  the  African  Institution  for  the  pay- 
ment of  passage  for  those  unable  to  meet  this  expense?" 
And  the  answer  comes  that  it  costs  about  one  hundred  dol- 
lars per  person  and  that  there  is  no  arrangement  at  pres- 
ent with  the  xVfrican  Institution.  But  if  you  go  you  must 
set  your  face  against  the  slave  trade;  prepare  as  do  the 
Irish  who  come  to  America. 

Peter  Williams,  Jr.,  of  New  York,  upon  being  reminded 
that  there  is  no  time  to  lose  if  a  mercantile  line  of  busi- 
ness is  established  between  Africa  and  the  United  States, 
makes  this  inquiry,  "Any  news  from  England  on  coloniza- 
tion? A  carpenter  here  ready  to  settle  in  Sierra  Leone 
if  his  passage  paid." 

Cuffe  wants  to  know  whether  James  Forten,  of  Phila- 
delphia, could  tell  him  the  cost  of  a  rice  mill?  Could  he 
refer  him  to  a  man  who  would  manage  a  sawmill;  to  an- 
other who  was  a  good  watch  repairer?  "What  are  the 
African  news?"  asks  James  Forten.  "And  can  you  give 
me  information  about  Cuffe  Johnson  who  claims  he  sailed 
with  you  twelve  years  ago  and  was  marked  with  a  mold 
on  his  left  breast?"  Thomas  Ash,  merchant  and  employer 
of  Forten,  inquires  if  ebony  wood  may  be  obtained  on  the 
Gaboon  River  and  reports  his  intention  to  make  an  expedi- 
tion there. 

John  James  wants  Cuffe  to  visit  Philadelphia  and  clear 
up  unfavorable  reports  about  the  Sierra  Leone  Mission. 
Several  wdsh  to  emigrate  and  they  must  be  saved  for  Af- 
rica. And  Cuffe  sends  to  Peter  Williams,  Jr.,  of  New  York 
for  the  minutes  of  Perry  Locke  and  a  communication  from 
Governor  McCarthy  so  that  he  may  have  documentary 
evidence  to  submit  to  his  colored  brethren  at  Philadelphia. 
"I  think  it  is  time,"  says  Cuffe  to  Forten,  "some  steps 
were  taken  to  prevent  insurrection."'® 

From  Wilmington,  Delaware,  William  Gibbons  sends 
the  respect  and  friendship  of  liis  wife  and  family  and  asks 

60  Cuffe  Manuscripts,  Paul  Cuffe  to  James  Forten,  August  14,  1816. 

208  Journal  of  Negro  History 

how  many  Negroes  are  in  Sierra  Leone  ?  How  far  has  the 
colony  civilized  the  natives?  What  about  the  moral,  reli- 
gious, civil  and  political  situation? 

The  colonists  who  were  taken  out  in  1815  wrote  many 
letters  to  Cuffe  and  to  their  "Dear  Friends  and  Brethren" 
in  America.  Friend  Gmnn  had  lost  a  leg;  Samuel  Hews 
and  Mrs.  Thomas  Jarvis  were  dead.  Would  Cuffe  bring 
two  Bibles  when  he  came  over  again?  Would  the  Ameri- 
can Government  purchase  a  small  tract  in  Sherbro?  It  is 
a  splendid  site  for  a  colony  and  camwood,  palm  oil  and  a 
little  ivory  are  available  there. 

And  Cuffe  writes  back :  *  *  The  camwood  is  stored  in  New 
York,  six  families  in  Boston  and  a  considerable  number  in 
New  York  want  to  go  over.  They  must  wait  and  see  how 
things  turn  out.  There  will  be  no  voyage  really  soon  for 
there  is  no  arrangement  made  with  the  London  African 
Institution  or  the  British  Government.  May  Perry  Locke 
get  on  with  his  friends  in  religion.  Let  George  Davis  and 
others  meet  their  financial  obligations  promptly." 

An  incident  which  created  no  little  concern  among 
Cuffe 's  friends  in  New  Bedford,  Philadelphia  and  New 
York  was  the  appearance  of  a  colored  man  w^ho  claimed  to 
be  a  relative  of  the  Captain.  He  made  his  appearance  in 
New  Bedford  late  in  1816,  where  he  claimed  to  be  a  minis- 
ter, and  the  son  of  Richard  Allen.  He  sat  in  the  pulpit 
with  the  local  minister  and  had  sittings  with  the  Negroes. 
Soon  he  left  for  Boston  wdth  false  letters  from  William 
Rotch  setting  forth  that  he  was  a  brother-in-law  of  Paul 
Cuffe  and  that  his  home  was  in  New  York.  He  w^as  now 
using  the  name  Samuel  Bailey.  He  bought  nine  hundred 
dollars  worth  of  goods  on  his  credentials  and  came  very 
near  making  away  with  the  purchase. 

The  imposter  next  appeared  in  New  Bedford,  where, 
on  the  initiative  of  William  Rotch,  he  was  arrested.  Un- 
fortunately, however,  he  escaped  from  prison.  From  New 
Bedford  he  made  his  way  to  New  York  w^here  he  presented 
false  letters  of  credit  to  the  extent  of  $10,000.     Here  he 

Paul  Cuffe  209 

was  brought  before  the  authorities  and  was  requested  to 
leave  the  State.  He  went  to  Albany  and  was  employed  by 
Ira  Porter  for  one  month.  To  disguise  himself  better  he 
had  made  a  plain  suit,  Quaker  style,  and  then  absconded 
on  one  of  Porter's  fine  black  horses,  worth  $200.  He  rode 
him  to  York,  introduced  himself  as  Paul  Cuffe  and  found 
hospitality  at  the  home  of  Joseph  Jessop.  Although  he 
attended  meeting  on  the  first  day,  nevertheless  suspi- 
cions were  aroused  as  to  his  real  self.  His  conduct  and 
pretentions  while  at  York  are  further  set  forth  by  a  con- 
temporary in  the  following  language : 

"An  African  pretending  to  be  the  son  of  the  Celebrated  Paul 
Cuffe,  came  here  about  eight  or  ten  days  ago.  He  was  received 
as  Paul  Cuffe,  in  this  place,  and  entertained  by  members  of  the 
Society  of  Friends.  He  said  he  was  on  his  way  to  Congress,  for 
the  purpose  of  sohciting  aid  in  a  project  he  had  on  foot,  to  colon- 
ize Sierra  Leone,  or  the  Leone  Country,  on  the  west  coast  of  Africa. 
He  said  he  had  been  the  first  man  that  put  a  yoke  on  a  pair  of 
oxen  in  Sierra  Leone. 

"He  tarried  in  this  place  several  days,  and  though  he  is  an  art- 
ful fellow,  he  told  in  the  course  of  his  conversation  upon  the 
Sierra  Leone  project  some  inconsistent  stories.  He  said,  for  in- 
stance, that  he  would  lay  a  memorial  before  Congress  embracing 
a  view  of  his  Sierra  Leone  business.  One  of  the  Friends  advised 
him  to  have  a  sufficient  number  of  copies  printed  to  supply  all  the 
members.  This,  he  said,  was  already  done  and  he  had  them  along 
with  him.  On  his  being  pressed  to  show  one  of  them  he  could  not 
make  it  appear  that  he  told  a  straight  story.  This  gave  rise  to  a 
suspicion  that  he  was  not  a  Reel  Cuffe,  of  the  Cape  Cod  breed. 
He  proceeded  from  this  place  to  Baltimore.  Letters  were  sent 
from  here  giving  intelligence  of  the  suspiciousness  of  his  charac- 

"The  letters  were  read  to  him  at  Baltimore,  upon  which  he 
came  back  to  this  place  to  clear  up  his  character.  He  appears  not 
to  have  done  it  to  the  satisfaction  of  his  friends  here,  as  they  took 
him  before  a  magistrate  and  had  him  committed  to  the  care  of 
Robert  Wilson.  On  his  examination  it  appeared  that  he  could 
neither  read  nor  write,  but  at  the  same  time  exhibited  proof  of  a 
keeness  of  intellect  seldom  met  with  in  persons  of  his  color.     The 

210  Journal  of  Negro  History 

real  celebrated  Paul  Cuffe  resides  in  the  State  of  Massachusetts  in 
the  vicinity  of  Cape  Cod  at  the  entrance  to  Boston  Bay."  " 

What  was  the  upshot  of  the  matter  is  not  known  but  the 
significance  of  the  affair  is  well  pointed  out  b^'  the  Real 
Cuffe  in  a  letter  to  the  impostor : 

"I  think  it  looks  as  though  thou  art  arrested  from  thy  labors, 
and  thy  words  do  follow  thee.  How  canst  thou,  a  sinful  impostor, 
call  me  thy  father  when  I  never  saw  thee  to  my  knowledge.  It 
appears  that  thou  art  a  scribe,  but  hath  missput  the  name  that 
thee  presumed  to  assume.  It  is  a  great  pity  that  thou  who  hath 
been  so  well  treated  should  make  such  ill  use  of  it.  This  I  speak 
to  thy  shame.  The  great  evil  that  thou  embarked  upon  is  not 
only  against  me  as  an  individual.  It  is  a  national  concern.  It  is 
a  stain  to  the  whole  community  of  the  African  race.  Wilt  thou 
consider,  thou  imposter,  the  great  number  thou  hast  lifted  thy 
head  against,  would  not  it  have  been  good  that  thou  had  never 
been  bom.  Let  me  tell  thee  that  the  manumission  of  1,500,000 
slaves  depends  on  the  faithfulness  of  the  few  who  have  obtained 
their  freedom,  yea,  it  is  not  only  those  who  are  in  bondage,  but 
the  whole  community  of  the  African  race,  which  are  according  to 
best  accounts  30,000,000.  If  nothing  better  can  be  obtained  from 
thee  than  the  fruit  that  thou  produced,  let  me  intreat  thee  to  peti- 
tion for  a  prison  for  life ;  Awake  thou  imposter  unto  righteous- 
ness and  pray  God  to  forgive  thee,  if  happily  thou  may  find  fir- 
giveness  before  the  door  of  mercy  is  closed  against  thee.  Thus 
thou  hast  the  advise  of  one  who  wishes  well  to  all  mankind. 

Paul  Cuffe." 

•I  Cuffe  Manuscripts,  James  Forten  to  Paul  Cuffe,  January  16,  1817. 
^Ibid.,  Paul  Cuffe  to  the  Impostor,  January  13,  1817. 


A  Friend  in  Need 

There  is  no  evidence  in  the  Cuffe  papers  that  he  was 
acquainted  with  the  history  of  the  Negro  deportation  proj- 
ects in  America.  It  is  altogether  likely  that  the  one 
hundred  years  of  individual  propaganda,  religious  and 
humanitarian  exertions,  were  unknown  to  him.  Means 
for  the  dissemination  of  knowledge  were  not  so  well  per- 
fected in  his  day  as  in  ours ;  the  plans  for  deportation  were 
isolated;  not  until  1816  did  private  movements  unite  with 
governmental  organizations, — facts  which  further  explain 
why  Cuffe  knew  nothing  about  the  history  of  the  move- 
ments to  colonize  the  Negro. 

Many  of  his  friends  and  many  persons  whose  lives  were 
dedicated  to  Negro  emancipation  were  connected  with  his 
plans.  But  whatever  he  did  appears  to  have  been  done 
wholly  on  his  own  initiative.  It  is  the  first  time,  appar- 
ently, in  the  history  of  colonization  that  a  Negro  becomes 
prominent  in  the  movement.  He  leads  the  way  in  an  ef- 
fort not  only  to  bless  the  free  Negroes,  but  also  to  liberate 
the  slaves.  It  is  a  constructive  effort  on  the  part  of  the 
Negro  race. 

When  Cuffe  returned  from  Africa  in  the  early  summer 
of  1816  the  cause  for  which  he  had  given  so  much  time  and 
made  so  many  sacrifices  was  more  prominent  than  it  had 
ever  been  in  its  history.  The  Union  Humane  Society, 
founded  in  Ohio  in  1815  by  Benjamin  Lundy  as  an  anti- 
slavery  organization,  had  declared  for  the  removal  of  the 
Negro  beyond  the  white  man's  pale.  The  Kentucky  Colo- 
nization Society  had  petitioned  Congress  to  settle,  at  pub- 
lic expense,  on  some  unappropriated  tract  of  public  land, 
the  Negroes  already  free  and  those  who  might  subsequently 
obtain  their  freedom.  The  Virginia  Assembly,  also,  had 
presented  a  memorial  to  Congress  praying  that  the  Na- 


212  Journal  of  Negro  History 

tional  Government  find  a  place  on  the  North  Pacific  or  Af- 
rican coast  for  colonizing  the  free  blacks  of  the  State.  Fi- 
nally, the  inhabitants  of  New  Jersey  petitioned  their  Legis- 
lature to  instruct  their  representatives  in  Congress  to  lay 
before  that  body  at  its  next  meeting  as  a  subject  for  dis- 
cussion **the  expediency  of  forming  a  colony  on  the  coast 
of  Africa,  or  elsewhere,  where  such  of  the  people  of  color 
as  are  now  free,  or  may  hereafter  be  set  free,  may,  with 
their  own  consent,  be  removed.  "^^ 

Cuffe  returned  from  Africa  about  June  1,  1816.  The 
New  Jersey  meeting  was  on  the  sixth  of  the  following  No- 
vember. Final  action  by  the  Virginia  Assembly  was  taken 
on  the  twenty-first  of  December  of  that  year.  A  graduate 
of  Princeton,  Kobert  Finley,  then  engaged  in  the  Presby- 
terian ministry  and  later  president  of  the  University  of 
Georgia,  participated  in  the  New  Jersey  meeting.  He 
now  took  a  leading  part  in  the  deliberation  of  a  body  of 
men  in  Washington,  D.C.,  where  a  national  organization 
was  launched  for  the  purpose  of  deporting  to  Africa  or 
elsewhere  the  free  blacks  of  the  United  States.  A  pre- 
liminary meeting  was  held  on  December  21,  1816;  the  con- 
stitution was  adopted  on  December  28,  1816,  and  on  New 
Year's  Day  1817,  the  officers  were  elected.  This  was  the 
beginning  of  the  American  Colonization  Society. 

At  this  meeting  the  enthusiasm  of  Reverend  Mr.  Finley 
was  boundless.  He  offered  five  hundred  dollars  from  his 
savings  to  insure  the  success  of  the  movement,  and  when 
some,  thinking  the  plan  foolhardy,  laughed,  he  declared, 
"I  know  the  scheme  is  from  God."  The  one  practical 
colonizationist,  at  this  time,  was  Paul  Cuffe,  and  to  him 
Rev.  Mr.  Finley  went  for  advice  and  help. 

Using  for  letter  paper  the  blank  space  of  the  printed 
New  Jersey  petition,  Finley  wrote  Cuffe  on  December  5 
from  Washington  City.  Cuffe  was  in  this  way  put  in 
touch  with  Finley 's  past  activities  and  vnih.  his  present 

63  For  an  extended  account  of  the  activities  mentioned  in  this  paragraph 
see  N.  H.  Sherwood,  The  Formation  of  the  American  Colonisation  Society,  in 
The  Joubnal  of  Negko  History,  July,  1917. 

Paul  Cuffe  213 

exertions.  '  *  Many  indulge, ' '  he  wrote,  ' '  a  hope  that  could 
the  more  virtuous  of  our  own  free  people  of  color  be  re- 
moved to  the  coast  of  Africa,  with  their  own  consent,  to 
carry  with  them  their  arts,  their  industry,  and  above  all, 
their  knowledge  of  Christianity  and  the  fear  of  God,  great 
and  lasting  benefits  would  arise  to  the  people  of  Africa 
itself.  Knowing  that  you  have  been  to  Sierra  Leone  and 
must  be  well  acquainted  with  the  state  and  prospects  of  the 
colony,  we  beg  of  you  such  information  as  you  may  be  able 
to  give  on  the  following  heads : 

**1.  What  is  the  present  population  of  the  settlements 
of  Sierra  Leone,  and  what  its  prospects  of  happiness  and 
growth  ? 

*'2.  What  is  the  nature  of  the  soil  and  what  the  advan- 
tage for  settlement  on  the  coast  of  Africa  from  Sierra  Le- 
one to  the  equator? 

* '  3.  Are  there  any  navigable  rivers  in  the  country  called 
Guinea,  or  any  positions  where  a  good  harbor  might  be 
formed  along  the  coast? 

''4.  In  the  region  above  alluded  to,  are  there  any  Euro- 
pean regular  settlements,  or  does  it  contain  any  slave  fac- 
tories ? 

''5.  Whether  in  your  opinion  is  there  any  other  situa- 
tion in  Africa  where  the  contemplated  settlement  or  settle- 
ments could  be  formed  with  greater  advantage  than  in  the 
district  mentioned  above? 

''The  great  desire  of  those  whose  minds  are  impressed 
with  this  subject,"  says  Finley,  ''is  to  give  an  opportunity 
to  the  free  people  of  color  to  rise  to  their  proper  level  and 
at  the  same  time  to  provide  a  powerful  means  of  putting 
an  end  to  the  slave  trade,  and  sending  civilization  and 
Christianity  to  Africa."'^'' 

Another  active  member  of  the  group  at  Washington 
was  Samuel  J.  Mills,  whose  devotion  to  missionary  activ- 
ity is  almost  unequaled  in  history.  The  origin  of  the 
American  Bible  Society,  the  United  Foreign  Missionary 
Society,  and  the  American  Board  of  Commissioners  for 

'*  Cuffe  Manuscripts,  Eobert  Finley  to  Paul  Cuffe,  December  5,  1816. 

214  Journal  of  Negro  Histoby 

Foreign  Missions,  is  attributed  to  him.  Writing  to  Cuffe, 
March  17,  1817,  Mills  said:  "Your  two  voyages  to  Africa 
have  been  of  great  service  in  preparing  the  public  mind 
for  an  attempt  to  colonize  your  colored  brethren  and  prob- 
ably much  is  depending  on  your  future  assistance  as  it  re- 
spects the  success  of  efforts  of  this  kind.  I  hope  you  will 
hold  yourself  in  a  state  of  readiness  to  aid  any  great  ef- 
forts which  may  hereafter  be  made. ' '     He  wanted  to  know : 

1.  In  what  manner  would  a  request  from  our  government  for 
liberty  to  send  free  people  of  color  to  Sierra  Leone  be  received  by 
the  English  government? 

2.  Should  the  request  be  granted,  would  the  Americans  have 
equal  privileges  to  trade  to  the  colony? 

3.  Should  an  effort  be  made  to  explore  the  west  coast  of  Africa 
to  find  a  place  for  a  colony,  how  great  a  force  ought  to  be  em- 
ployed? Would  one  vessel  be  sufficient  and  what  number  of  men 
would  be  required? 

4.  As  a  preparatory  step  to  further  exertions,  would  it  be  best 
to  have  an  agent  go  to  Africa  and  to  England  during  the  proceed- 
ing summer  and  autumn?     Or  to  either  of  these  places? 

5.  How  should  we  answer  those  who  say  that  people  of  color 
will  not  go  to  Africa  if  a  place  is  provided  ? 

6.  Would  those  persons  who  are  ready  to  go  to  Sierra  Leone 
be  ready  to  aid  in  establishing  a  new  colony,  in  another  place  ? 

7.  What  was  the  expense  of  carrying  out  those  persons  who 
went  to  Africa  with  you,  and  how  was  the  expense  defrayed  ?  Be 
so  good  as  to  add  anything  you  think  interesting.  I  hope  you 
will  write  to  me  soon.*^ 

Mills  supplied  Cuffe  with  the  news  of  the  activities  at 
Washington  and  sent  him  a  pamphlet  on  colonization. 
Mills,  also,  inquired  '^If  the  general  government  w^ere  to 
request  you  to  go  out  for  the  purpose  of  exploring  in  your 
own  vessel  would  you  engage  in  this  service  if  offered 
proper  support  ? "  If  Cuffe  did  not  go  as  an  agent  it  was 
the  wash  of  Mills  that  he  take  out  another  group  of  colo- 
ns Cufe  Manitscripts,  Samuel  J.  Mills  to  Paul  Cuffe,  March  12,  1817.  See 
alao  Richard,  Life  of  Samuel  J.  MUU  (Boston,  1906) ;  Spring,  Memoir  of  Mills 
(Boston  and  New  York,  1829) ;  Brown,  Biography  of  Eohert  Finley  (Phila- 
delphia, 1857). 

Paul  Cuffe  215 

niste.  ''Since  you  have  so  generously  commended  this 
mighty  effort,"  says  Mills,  ''do  not  value  further  sacrifices 
in  order  to  effect  it."  The  voyage  will  not  only  tone  up 
public  feeling,  it  will  also  give  the  foundation  for  an  ap- 
peal for  governmental  aid. 

To  these  questions  from  Finley  and  Mills  Cuffe  gave 
prompt  attention.  He  gave  them  what  facts  he  had  gath- 
ered from  his  two  visits  to  Africa.  He  wrote  with  feeling 
about  the  slave  trade,  and  raised  the  question  of  the  de- 
sirability of  a  government  vessel  making  explorations  on 
the  west  coast  of  Africa.  Small  beginnings,  he  said,  had 
been  made  in  Sierra  Leone,  but  in  case  there  was  a  general 
manumission  the  Cape  of  Good  Hope  offered  the  most  de- 
sirable place  for  a  colony.  Attention  was  also  called  to 
the  Congo  region.  Withal  to  draw  off  the  colored  citizens 
it  seemed  best  not  only  to  have  a  colony  in  Africa  but  one 
in  America  as  well.  In  any  event,  the  slaves  should  be 
freed  and  until  they  are  capable  of  managing  for  them- 
selves they  might  be  allowed  to  work  the  plantations  on  a 

The  work  of  the  African  Institution  is  called  to  the  at- 
tention of  Finley  and  Mills  and  both  Peter  Williams,  Jr., 
and  James  Forten  are  recommended.  On  returning  from 
his  second  voyage  he  states  that  he  received  so  many  ap- 
plications that  he  could  have  taken  over  the  greater  part 
of  Boston.  He  himself  is  ready  to  serve  in  any  capacity 
"although,"  he  continued,  "I  stand  (as  it  were)  in  a  low 
place  and  am  not  able  to  see  far ;  but  blessed  by  God  who 
hath  created  all  things  and  for  his  own  glory  they  are  and 
were  created  he  is  able  to  make  use  of  instruments  in  such 
a  way  as  he  pleases  and  may  I  be  resigned  to  his  holy 
will.  "56 

Both  Mills  and  Finley  signed  the  constitution  of  the 
American  Colonization  Society.  Finley  was  one  of  the 
Vice  Presidents,  and  Mills  was  sent  to  Africa  by  the  so- 
ciety to  make  investigations  for  it.     He  went  via  England 

'•Brown,  Finley,  83, 

216  Journal  of  Negro  History 

where  he  met  the  colaborers  of  Cuffe.  While  in  Africa  he 
consulted  with  the  members  of  the  Friendly  Society  estab- 
Hshed  by  Cuffe  in  1811.  Two  of  the  settlers  that  Cuife 
transported  in  1815,  Kizell  and  Martin,  acted  as  inter- 
preters and  guides  for  Mills.  In  one  of  Mills'  observa- 
tions he  says,  ' '  Should  a  colony  be  established  in  this  part 
of  Africa,  it  remains  a  question  whether  it  should  be  gov- 
erned by  white  men,  or  whether  the  people  will  consider 
themselves  competent  to  self  government  in  the  first  in- 
stance. ' ' 

The  arguments  for  and  against  colonization  were  con- 
sidered by  Mills  and  Cuffe.  "Whenever  the  subject  of 
colonization  shall  be  discussed  by  Congress,"  says  Mills, 
"some  will  object  that  the  free  people  of  color  mil  not  go 
to  Africa.  Again,  that  it  will  cost  too  much  to  transport 
them  and  to  afford  them  the  necessary  protection.  Again 
it  will  be  said  that  too  many  of  these  people  are  very  use- 
ful and  are  wanted  in  this  country.  We  should  be  pre- 
pared to  meet  these  objectors  as  far  as  possible  and  trust 
in  God  for  the  success  of  our  efforts.'"^' 

Mills  was  right  in  his  anticipation  of  the  argument  that 
the  free  blacks  would  not  go  to  Africa.  Hardly  had  the 
American  Colonization  Society  been  formed  when,  under 
the  auspices  of  the  African  Institution  at  Philadelphia,  a 
meeting  estimated  at  three  thousand  met  at  Reverend 
Richard  Allen's  church  to  discuss  the  question.  Many 
were  frightened,  for  they  believed  force  would  be  used, 
particularly  in  the  South,  to  compel  immigration  to  Africa. 
James  Forten  reported  none  of  them  favored  going  to  Af- 
rica and  that  they  thought  the  slaveholders  wanted  to  get 
rid  of  the  free  blacks  so  as  to  make  the  slaves  themselves 
more  secure.  Although  Forten  was  convinced  that  his 
brethren  would  never  "become  a  people  until  they  came 
out  from  amongst  the  white  people"  '^^  he  concluded  to  be 
silent  on  the  question  of  deportation  for  the  time  being. 

When  this  opposition  to  the  colonization  project  was 

*T  Cuife  Maniiscripts,  Samuel  J.  Mills  to  Paul  Cuffe,  March  12,  1817. 
58  Ihid.,  James  Forten  to  Paul  Cuffe,  January  25,  1817. 

Paul  Cuffe  217 

known  to  the  Society,  Finley  came  to  Philadelphia  to  take 
charge  of  the  situation.  He  met  the  committee  to  whom 
the  matter  was  referred  and  explained  to  them  "the  pu- 
rity of  the  motives"  which  actuated  many  of  the  leading 
spirits  in  the  Society.  He  was  so  convincing  that  the  com- 
mittee unanimously  decided  that  ''benevolence  to  them  and 
the  land  of  their  fathers  guided  the  movements  that  were 
made  at  Washington.  "^*^  But  James  Forten  showed  his 
confidence  in  the  Captain  by  writing  for  his  opinion  on 

Captain  Cuffe  had  given  advice  to  the  men  who  organ- 
ized the  American  Colonization  Society,  his  co-workers  in 
London  had  been  dra\\Ti  upon,  his  friends  in  Sierra  Leone 
had  served  the  agents  of  the  Society  in  Africa,  but  his  in- 
fluence did  not  end  with  his  death.  When  Bishop  Meade 
was  in  the  South  on  behalf  of  the  Society  he  read  Cuffe 's 
letters  to  the  free  blacks  of  Savannah.  He  made  use,  too, 
of  information  obtained  from  some  other  Negroes  who 
had  been  in  Sierra  Leone  and  conversed  with  the  emigrants 
taken  over  in  1815. 

In  fact,  the  Society  printed  letters  from  the  American 
Settlers  in  Africa  and  disseminated  them  as  propaganda. 
Perry  Locke  exhorts  his  brethren  in  America  to  come  to 
the  "land  of  Canaan,  abounding  in  honey  and  fruits,  fish 
and  oysters,  wild  fowls  and  mid  hogs.  The  only  thing 
that  Africa  wants  is  the  knowledge  of  God— fear  not  to 
come,  if  the  Lord  will.  When  you  come  I  hope  to  be  with 
you  and  more  besides  me,— let  this  be  printed  if  you 
please.  "^^ 

The  testimony  of  Samuel  Wilson  was  no  less  convinc- 
ing. He  concludes :  ' '  Sir,  when  I  set  my  foot  on  the  Afri- 
can shore,  I  had  only  seven  and  six  pence  sterling;  now, 
notwithstanding,  all  my  sickness,  I  am  master  of  a  hundred 
pounds  sterling.  I  think  if  I  had  had  something  to  have 
begun  with,  I  should  have  had  about  four  or  five  thou- 
sand. "^^ 

B»  Cuffe  Manuscripts,  Samuel  J.  Mills  to  Paul  Cuffe,  July  14,  1817. 
«o  Second  Annual  Beport  of  the  American  Colonization  Society,  151. 
81  Ibid.,  150. 

218  Journal  of  Negro  History 

Another  letter  signed  by  a  number  of  Cnffe's  passen- 
gers is  directed  to  the  American  Negroes  in  general.  It 
says : 

Be  not  fearful  to  come  to  Africa,  which  is  your  country  by 
rif?ht.  If  any  of  you  think  it  not  proper  to  come,  and  say  it  is 
well  with  you,  you  must  remember  your  brethren  who  are  yet  in 
slavery.  They  must  be  set  free  as  yourselves.  How  shall  they 
be  set  free,  if  not  by  your  good  behavior,  and  by  coming  to  get  a 
place  ready  to  receive  them?  Though  j'ou  are  free  that  is  not 
your  count^J^  Africa,  not  America,  is  your  countiy  and  your 
home.  Africa  is  a  good  country.  You  will  have  no  trouble  to 
raise  your  children  when  all  things  are  plenty :  you  will  have  no 
want  of  warm  clothing :  you  will  have  no  need  of  firewood,  for 
we  have  it  in  abundance;  and  here  you  will  be  looked  upon  like 
the  blessed  creatures  of  the  Almighty  God,  and  that  bad  opinion 
and  contempt  which  our  white  brethren  harbor,  will  be  quite  done 
away,  and  the  whole  of  us  will  become  a  large  and  wonderful  na- 
tion. "We  will  forget  all  our  former  troubles  when  we  turn  to  the 
land  from  which  our  forefathers  came.  The  whole  of  you  will 
have  your  ovm  lands  and  houses;  when  you  cultivate  the  land, 
(in  which  a  few  horses  would  be  an  assistance)  you  will  be  sup- 
plied with  yams,  cassada,  plantains,  fowls,  wild  hogs,  deer,  ducks, 
goats,  sheep,  cattle,  fish  in  abundance,  and  many  other  articles, 
good  running  water,  large  oysters.*^ 

Another  clever  device  of  the  advocates  of  deportation 
to  make  use  of  the  Captain  was  a  dialogue  between  Ab- 
salom Jones  on  one  side  and  William  Penn  and  Paul  Cuflfe 
on  the  other.  The  dialogue  was  printed  in  The  Union  for 
June  18,  1818.^^  The  scene  of  the  dialogue  is  in  Heaven 
and  the  subject  is  the  colonization  of  the  free  Negroes  in 
in  Africa.  Cuffe  narrates  his  connections  Mith  the  move- 
ment and  sets  forth  purposes  he  had  in  view.  He  had 
hoped  b)^  establishing  a  colony  in  Africa  to  draw  there 
gradually  all  the  Negroes  in  America.  In  this  way  slavery 
would  be  abolished,  Africa  would  be  explored,  civilized, 
and  Christianized. 

«2  Second  Annual  Report  of  the  American  Colonisation  Society,  152,  153. 
«3  See  also  Brown,  Finley,  note  L. 

Paul  Cuffe  219 

Absalom  Jones,  opposed  to  the  movement  in  general, 
raises  objections  to  it.  Why  not  colonize  them  on  tlie 
banks  of  the  Mississippi  or  the  Missouri,  he  asks.  Wil- 
liam Penn,  a  Quaker  too,  answers  the  objection  by  point- 
ing out  that  the  whites  are  migrating  to  that  section  and 
that  were  the  Negroes  to  settle  there  trouble  would  arise 
between  the  two  races.  The  Indians,  moreover,  would 
make  trouble  with  the  Negroes. 

Jones  next  asks  why  should  the  colored  people  leave 
America  at  all?  They  are  happy  in  America,  and  more 
and  more  is  done  for  their  uplift  all  the  time.  To  this  ob- 
jection Penn  replied  that  prejudice  will  always  keep  them 
dowTi.  "Can  one  imagine,"  asks  he,  "that  the  period  will 
ever  arrive  in  which  they  will  bear  any  sway  in  our  coun- 
try, guide  our  legislative  councils,  preside  in  our  courts 
of  judicature,  or  take  the  lead  in  the  affairs  of  the  repub- 
lic! Is  it  possible  that  the  time  will  ever  come  in  which 
intermarriages  will  be  sought  between  their  families  and 
those  of  the  most  respectable  whites?  It  would  be  the 
height  of  folly  to  indulge  in  such  an  expectation ;  and  until 
such  is  the  case,  they  will  never  occupy  the  rank  or  enjoy 
the  privileges  of  white  men ;  until  this  is  the  case,  they  will 
ever  hold  an  inferior  and  subordinate  place  in  society,  and 
be  in  some  degree  aliens  in  their  own  land."  Paul  Cuffe 
had  the  sensibility  and  discernment  to  perceive  this  state 
of  things,  the  penetration  to  discover  the  early  practicable 
means  by  which  his  race  could  be  relieved  from  their  pain- 
ful sense  of  inferiority,  and  the  activity  to  commence  the 
execution  of  a  project  to  remedy  the  evil. 

Would  not  deportation  stop  the  manumission  of  slaves, 
asks  Jones.  Penn  replies  that  many  southerners  are  now 
ready  to  emancipate  their  slaves,  and  that  their  only  handi- 
cap is  a  just  provision  for  them.  A  colony  in  Africa  w^ould 
gradually  attract  to  its  sphere  every  slave  in  America. 

At  the  end  of  the  dialogue  Penn  and  Cuffe  convince 
Jones  that  the  deportation  of  the  free  Negroes  in  America 
to  Africa  is  a  meritorious  plan.    What  the  dialogue  did 

220  Journal  of  Negro  History 

for  one  opponent  of  the  scheme  it  was  hoped  that  it  would 
do  for  others. 

The  experiences  of  Cuffe  were  a  great  asset  in  the  ven- 
tures of  the  colonizationists.  In  testimony  to  his  services 
the  Board  of  Managers  of  the  American  Colonization  So- 
ciety incorporated  the  following  paragraph  in  its  first  an- 
nual report: 

The  managers  cannot  omit  the  testimony  of  Captain  Paul  Cuffe 
so  well  known  in  Africa,  Europe,  and  America,  for  his  active  and 
large  benevolence,  and  for  his  zeal  and  devotedness  to  the  cause  of 
the  people  of  color.  The  opportunities  of  Captain  Cuffe  of  form- 
ing a  correct  opinion  were  superior  perhaps  to  those  of  any  man  in 
America.  His  judgment  was  clear  and  strong,  and  the  warm  in- 
terest he  took  in  whatever  related  to  the  happiness  of  that  class  of 
people  is  well  known.  The  testimony  of  such  a  man  is  sufficient 
to  out  weigh  all  the  unfounded  predictions  and  idle  surmises  of 
those  opposed  to  the  plan  of  this  society.  He  had  visited  twice 
the  coast  of  Africa,  and  became  well  acquainted  with  the  country 
and  its  inhabitants.  He  states  that,  upon  his  opinion  alone  he 
could  have  taken  to  Africa  at  least  two  thousand  people  of  color 
from  Boston  and  its  neighborhood.  In  the  death  of  Paul  Cuffe 
the  society  has  lost  a  most  useful  advocate,  the  people  of  color  a 
warm  and  disinterested  friend,  and  society  a  valuable  member. 
His  character  alone  ought  to  be  sufficient  to  rescue  the  people  to 
which  he  belonged  from  the  unmerited  aspersions  which  have  been 
cast  upon  them.  The  plan  of  the  society  met  with  his  entire  ap- 
probation, its  success  was  the  subject  of  his  ardent  wishes,  and  the 
prospect  of  its  usefulness  to  the  native  Africans  and  their  decen- 
dants  in  this  country  was  the  solace  of  his  declining  years,  and 
cheered  the  last  moments  of  his  existence.'* 

•*  Fir»t  Annual  Report  of  the  Amrri>}an  Colonitation  Sooiety,  5. 


The  Pale  Messenger 

The  formation  of  the  American  Colonization  Society 
stimulated  interest  in  Negro  deportation.  Both  whites 
and  blacks  put  many  inquiries  to  Cuffe.  He  was  thought 
of  as  the  prospective  first  governor  of  the  colony  but  he 
did  not  live  to  realize  this.  Near  the  end  of  his  career  his 
advice  to  his  people  was  to  be  quiet  and  trust  in  God;  be 
industrious  and  honest;  such  conduct  is  the  greatest  boon 
toward  liberation.     ' '  Experience  is  the  best  schoolmaster. ' ' 

He  took  advantage  of  this  correspondence  to  exhort 
his  brethren  to  improve  their  morals.  To  William  Harris 
he  wrote:  ''We  must  depart  from  that  Monster — I  mean 
intemperance.  Examine  your  selves,  your  families.  Are 
you  clean?  If  not  set  about  this  work  immediately.  .  .  . 
Do  not  admit  him  into  your  houses  in  any  other  shape  than 
a  mere  medicine.  I  formerly  kept  him  company  but  for 
many  years  I  have  forsaken  him  and  I  find  great  consola- 
tion thereby." 

About  a  year  before  his  death  he  gave  sound  financial 
advice  to  Edward  Cooke.  In  the  postscript  of  the  letter 
he  wrote  ' '  My  dear  Friend  Edward  Cooke,  if  I  could  know 
that  thee  had  given  up  the  use  of  strong  drink,  I  should 
feel  rejoiced,  and  would  render  thee  such  aid,  that  thee 
could  soon  become  a  man  of  property." 

About  the  same  time  that  he  gave  this  advice,  Isaac 
Gifford  received  a  "Watchword."  ''By  experience," 
wrote  the  Captain,  "I  have  ever  found  when  I  attended  to 
my  business  I  seldom  suffered  loss.  I  have  found  it  to  be 
good  to  make  choice  of  good  companions.  I  have  ever 
found  it  not  to  be  profitable  for  me  to  sit  long  after  dining 
and  make  a  tipling  habit  of  wine  and  other  liquors.  These 
very  people  who  adopt  those  practices  when  they  see  a 
sober,  steady  man  will  put  business  in  his  way.     The  sur- 


222  Journal  of  Negro  History 

est  way  to  conquer  strong  drink  is  to  make  no  use  of  it. 
We  are  born  and  we  must  die.     Amen." 

He  points  out  to  Joel  Rogers,  chosen  to  represent  the 
Gayhead  people,  the  fields  among  his  neighbors,  ''devasted 
either  by  creatures  or  weeds."  More  frugality  is  needed. 
Excessive  drink  and  idleness  are  very  destructive  to  so- 
ciet)^  These  and  similar  truths  were  recommended  to 
Rogers  to  guide  his  work  for  his  people.  When  Cuffe  and 
his  -wife  with  some  relatives  visited  there,  meeting  was 
held,  and  "many  lively  testimonies  borne  to  the  truth  of 
their  state  and  standing." 

The  admonitions  were  in  accord  with  the  life  of  Cap- 
tain Cuffe.  Another  lively  testimony  Avas  given  to  young 
men  in  a  meeting  in  Arch  Street,  Philadelphia.  He  said 
to  the  young  men  that  "he  was  afraid  to  dignify  what  he 
had  to  say,  by  calling  it  a  vision,  but  it  appeared  to  him  at 
a  time  when  he  was  very  low  in  mind  and  much  cast  down, 
and  being  very  disconsolate,  there  appeared  before  him 
the  form  of  a  man,  inquiring  w^hat  ailed  him.  He  said  he 
could  not  tell.  The  Form  told  him  the  disease  was  in  his 
heart,  and  he  could  show  it  to  him.  Upon  his  expressing 
submission,  the  Form  took  a  sharp  instrument,  separated 
his  heart  from  his  body  and  laid  it  before  him.  He  was 
greatly  terrified  in  viewing  it,  it  being  very  unclear  and 
contained  all  kinds  of  abominable  things.  The  Form  said 
he  could  never  be  healed,  till  he  submitted  to  have  his  heart 
cleansed.  Then,  said  he,  I  fear  I  never  shall  be  healed. 
But  on  the  Form  asking  him,  if  he  was  willing  to  have  it 
cleansed,  and  he  consenting,  he  took  a  sharp  instrument 
and  separated  all  that  was  vile  and  closed  up  the  heart,  re- 
placed it,  and  healed  the  wound.  Thus  he  said  he  felt  him- 
self a  changed  man  and  a  new^  creature,  and  then  recom- 
mended the  young  men  to  that  Physician  w^ho  could  heal 
them,  although  their  state  was  ever  so  deplorable. 

"In  the  course  of  his  testimony  he  also  related  that 
when  he  was  about  twelve  years  of  age  he  lived  upon  an 
island  where  there  was  no  house  but  that  of  his  father. 

Paul  Cuffe  223 

Being  one  evening  near  night  sent  on  an  errand  alone,  he 
became  afraid  that  he  should  meet  with  some  wild  beast 
that  would  attack  him.  He  crossed  to  a  fence  in  order  to 
cut  a  stick  to  defend  himself;  but  after  cutting  it,  the 
thought  occurred  that  he  was  not  on  his  father's  ground, 
and  as  he  had  no  right  to  the  stick  it  was  not  likely  it 
would  serve  to  defend  him.  On  which  he  laid  it  down,  near 
the  place  he  had  taken  it  from  and  in  recrossing  the  fence 
laid  his  hand  on  a  loose  piece  of  wood  which  was  on  their 
own  ground  resting  against  the  fence.  It  proved  to  be  a 
club,  which  he  took  up,  and  went  cheerfully  on  his  way. ' '  "• 

It  was  while  engaged  in  activity  of  this  kind  that  he 
met  ''the  pale  messenger."  His  health  began  to  fail  him 
early  in  the  spring  of  1817.  In  April,  however,  he  was  well 
enough  to  attend  Quarterly  Meeting,  but  in  June  he  was 
"on  the  bed  of  languishing."  An  eminent  Rhode  Island 
physician  was  summoned  but  he  could  not  heal  him.  He 
doubtless  then  realized  what  he  himself  expressed  in  these 
words  to  Samuel  R.  Fisher,  February  28,  1817 :  ' '  May  we 
often  call  to  remembrance  that  we  have  no  certain  contain- 
ing city  here  but  above  all  things  may  we  seek  one  to  come 
whose  builder  is  God  that  when  we  put  off  this  body  of 
mortality  we  may  be  clothed  with  the  spirit  of  immortal- 
ity that  we  may  be  prepared  and  favored  to  experience 
that  glorious  regeneration  and  friendship  of  everlasting 

On  the  morning  of  July  27  the  Captain  took  solemn 
leave  of  his  family.  The  hand  that  had  guided  the  Travel- 
ler to  so  many  ports  was  now  so  enfeebled  that  it  was 
limp  in  the  grasp  of  the  little  grandchildren.  He  shook 
hands  with  all  the  relations  and  the  immediate  members 
of  his  o\vn  household.  As  he  bade  them  farewell  it  was 
''as  broken  a  time,"  wrote  his  brother  John,  "as  wast 
ever  kno^vn  amongst  us."  "Not  many  days  hence,"  he 
said  to  his  neighbors,  "and  ye  shall  see  the  glory  of  God; 
I  know  that  my  works  are  gone  to  judgment  before  me  but 

«»  Memorandum  in  the  Cuffe  Manuscripts. 

224  Journal  of  Negro  History 

it  is  all  well,  it  is  all  well."  Day  by  day  he  kept  failing 
and  on  first  day  morning  at  two  o'clock,  September  9,  the 
Captain  was  borne  away  on  the  invisible  but  irresistible 

The  funeral  exercises  were  held  on  the  follomng  Mon- 
day afternoon.  In  marked  solemnity  a  great  concourse 
of  people  gathered.  After  waiting  in  great  silence  his 
friends  bore  testimony  to  his  work  and  merit.  He  was 
buried  in  the  Friends  cemetery  at  the  South  Meeting 
House  in  Westport,  a  place  of  worship  formerly  kno^^Tl  as 
the  Old  Meeting  House  when  the  Cuffe  family  worshipped 
there.  "Many  of  his  neighbors  and  friends,"  said  Wil- 
liam Rotch,  Jr.,  "evinced  their  respect  for  his  memory  by 
attending  his  funeral  (which  was  conducted  agreeably  to 
the  usages  of  the  Society  of  Friends,  of  which  he  was  a 
member)  and  at  which  several  lively  testimonies  were 
borne  to  the  truth,  that  the  Almighty  Parent  has  made  of 
one  blood  all  the  nations  of  men,  and  worketh  righteous- 
ness, is  accepted  with  him."  ^^ 

The  New  York  African  Institution  held  services  for  him 
in  October  following  his  death.  The  funeral  sermon  was 
preached  in  the  African  Methodist  Episcopal  Zion  Church 
by  Peter  Williams,  Jr.  That  trait  of  character  which 
rendered  Cuffe  so  eminently  useful,  said  the  speaker,  was 
"a  steady  perseverance  in  laudable  undertaking,  which 
overcomes  obstacles  apparentlj^  insurmountable  and  at- 
tains its  object,  while  others  fall  back  in  despair." 

"Shall  I  say  to  you,  my  African  brethren,"  continued 
the  Reverend  Mr.  Williams,  "go  and  do  likemsel  Subject- 
ed as  we  too  generally  are,  to  multiplied  evils  of  poverty, 
made  more  intolerant  by  the  prejudices  which  prevail 
against  us,  his  example  is  worthy  of  our  imitation.  It  is 
only  by  an  honest,  industrious,  and  prudent  husbanding  of 
all  the  means  which  are  placed  in  our  power,  that  we  can 
hope  to  rise  on  the  scale  of  society."  "^^ 

««  Cf .  Cuife  Manuscripts,  John  Cuffe  to  Freelove  Cuffe,  September  10,  1817 ; 
David  Cuffe,  Jr.,  to  Freelove  Cuffe,  July  8,  1817. 

67  Clipping  in  the  Cuffe  Manuscripts. 

68  Peter  Williams,  Discourse  on  the  Death  of  Paul  Cuffe. 

Paul  Cuffe  225 

His  death  was  chronicled  in  many  papers  with  appro- 
priate praise  of  his  life.  Niles  Register  noted  that  all 
classes  of  people  esteemed  his  morality,  truth  and  intel- 
ligence.^^ The  Columbian  Sentinel  praised  his  charity 
and  particularly  his  deep  interest  in  his  race.  **He  was 
concerned  not  only  to  set  them  a  good  example  by  his  ow^l 
correct  conduct;  to  admonish  and  counsel  them  against 
the  habits  to  which  he  found  them  most  prone;  but  more 
extensively  to  promote  their  welfare. ' '  '^  The  Coloniza- 
tion Herald  said,  ' '  Captain  Cuffe  was  a  man  of  the  strict- 
est integrity,  modest  yet  dignified  in  his  manners,  of  a 
feeling  and  liberal  heart,  public  spirited  and  well  versed 
in  the  business  of  the  world. ' '  '''^ 

"In  the  example  of  Paul  Cuffe,"  said  The  New  York 
Spectator,  ''the  free  people  of  color  in  the  United  States 
may  see  the  manner  in  which  they  may  require  competency 
and  reputation.  It  is  the  beaten  path  of  industry  and 
integrity.  Captain  Cuffe  cultivated  his  own  farm  and 
guided  his  own  ship.  He  labored  vnth  his  owoi  hands  and 
kept  his  own  book  of  accounts.  He  did  not  waste  his  time 
in  idleness,  nor  his  income  in  extravagance.  He  was  never 
charged  with  intrigue  in  his  contracts,  neglect  in  his  prom- 
ises, or  fraud  in  his  traffic.  .  .  .  His  example  therefore,  is 
capable  of  imitation  by  every  free  person  of  color."  ''^ 

One  Hundeed  Years  After 

Paul  Cuffe  had  some  descendants  of  consequence. 
Horatio  P.  Howard,  a  great-grandson  of  Captain  Cuffe, 
wrote  a  short  biography  of  his  grandsire  and  erected  a 
monument  in  his  memory.  Ruth  Cuffe  married  Alexander 
Howard  and  their  son,  Shadrack,  was  the  father  of  Hora- 
tio. He  was  born  in  New  Bedford  in  1854,  and  beginning 
in  1888  served  as  a  clerk  in  the  Custom  House  in  New  York 
City.     Howard  died  February  20,  1923,  leaving  consider- 

«»  Niles  Register,  XIII,  64. 

70  Cuffe  Manuscripts,  Clipping  from  Columbian  Centinel,  September  17, 

"1  Ibid.,  Clipping  from  The  Colonization  Herald. 

»»  Cuffe  Manuscripts,  Clipping  from  New  York  Spectator,  October,  1817. 

226  Journal  of  Negro  History 

able  wealth,  $5000  of  which  he  bequeathed  to  Hampton,  and 
the  balance  of  which  he  gave  to  Tuskegee  as  a  fund  to 
establish  Captain  Paul  Cuffe  Scholarships. 

The  monument  which  Howard  erected  is  of  Westerly 
Rhode  Island  granite  and  cost  $400.  It  bears  the  inscrip- 
tion: *'In  memory  of  Captain  Cuffe,  Patriot,  Navigator, 
Educator,  Philanthropist,  Friend."  It  stands  five  feet 
high  on  an  elevation  in  the  front  part  of  the  church  yard 
and  along  the  principal  highway. 

The  biography  is  a  booklet  containing  twenty-eight 
pages  and  is  entitled  "A  Self-Made  Man  Captain  Paul 
Cuffe. "  "  By  the  erection  of  this  lasting  Memorial, ' '  says 
Howard,  '4n  honor  of  the  courage,  achievements  and  life 
work  of  Capt.  Paul  Cuffe,  a  resident  of  Westport,  Massa- 
chusetts, for  many  years,  the  donor,  a  great  grandson, 
hopes  to  awaken  and  stimulate  energy  and  ambition  in  the 
rising  generation  of  Negro  youth,  that  they  may  profit 

On  June  15,  1913,  dedication  services  were  held  in  Cen- 
tral Village,  Westport.  Rev.  Tom  A.  Sykes,  minister  of 
the  Westport  Society  of  Friends,  presided.  The  exercises, 
which  were  attended  by  about  two  hundred  people,  were 
opened  by  a  flower  brigade  of  school  children  led  by  Hora- 
tio P.  Howard.  Flowers  were  stre^xTi  on  the  graves  of  the 
Captain  and  his  wife.  Speeches  were  made  by  Rev.  Mr. 
Sykes  and  Mr.  Samuel  T.  Rex,  the  designer  of  the  monu- 
ment. Miss  Elizabeth  C.  Carter  read  a  paper  descriptive 
of  the  career  of  Capt.  Cuffe.  Howard  distributed  his  book- 
let and  showed  a  compass  used  by  his  great-grandfather 
on  his  last  voyages. 

The  life  of  Paul  Cuffe  is  noteworthy  for  several  rea- 
sons. In  the  first  place,  it  is  a  tribute  to  American  de- 
mocracy. He  is  an  example  of  an  American  youth  handi- 
capped on  every  side,  but  overcoming  so  well  the  difficulties 
which  overshadowed  him  that  he  won  recognition  in  three 
continents.     There  is  no  place  in  the  world  where  such 

Paul  Cuffe  227 

achievement  is  less  difficult  than  America.     She  offers  op- 
portunities for  self -recognition  unprecedented  in  the  world. 

In  the  next  place  his  life  is  a  tribute  to  the  Quakers. 
No  religious  organization  has  given  itself  so  unreservedly 
to  the  uplift  of  the  Negro.  This  devotion  is  as  old  as  that 
which  won  our  political  liberties,  as  deep  as  the  scars  on 
Edith  Cavell's  heart,  and  as  wide  in  its  reach  as  the  waters 
of  the  sea.  Cuffe 's  membership  in  this  religious  body  and 
his  adherence  to  its  principles  gave  zest  to  his  zeal  for  the 
betterment  of  his  race.  His  plans  grew  so  comprehensive 
that  they  embraced  the  Negroes  of  two  continents  and 
made  calls  on  his  philanthropic  spirit  for  several  thousand 
dollars.  In  all  this  he  paid  a  tribute  to  Quaker  ideals  and 
life,  and  deserves  mention  with  Woolman  and  Benezet. 

The  remedy  that  he  believed  would  relieve  the  oppres- 
sion of  his  race  is  also  noteworthy.  To  him  the  withdrawal 
of  the  free  Negro  from  the  States  would  remove  an  obstacle 
to  the  emancipation  of  the  slave,  and  in  the  course  of  time 
wholly  stamp  out  slavery  in  America.  Negroes  would  be 
better  off  by  themselves,  and  those  who  settled  in  Africa 
could  help  civilize  and  Christianize  that  continent.  In  the 
meantime  the  slave  trade  would  disappear. 

Negro  deportation  had  been  advocated  by  some  of 
America's  most  distinguished  citizens  and  soon  after 
Cuffe 's  death  its  advocates  increased  by  leaps  and  bounds. 
In  the  early  period  it  was  not  as  futile  as  it  now  is  and 
many  believed  that  under  governmental  support  and  direc- 
tion it  was  in  the  realm  of  possibility.  When  the  measure 
took  on  its  most  colossal  program  in  1817,  Cuffe  cautioned 
his  brethren  to  watch  its  operation  for  a  year  or  two  be- 
fore taking  sides  for  or  against  it. 

Today  Negro  colonizationists  are  few  in  number.  The 
American  Colonization  Society  itself  barely  maintains  its 
organization,  and  only  occasionally  sends  a  Negro  to  Af- 
rica. When  an  individual  is  sent  he  usually  goes  in  the 
capacity  of  a  missionary  or  teacher.  Colonization  as  a 
panacea  for  the  amelioration  of  the  Negro  race  is  imprac- 

228  Journal  of  Negro  History 

ticable.  The  Negro  feels  at  home  in  America  as  much  as 
the  white  man.  Negro  uplift  must  be  sought  not  in  de- 
portation but  in  habits  of  living  exemplified  in  Captain 

There  is  his  industry  and  thrift.  It  is  a  long  step  from 
nothing  to  twenty  thousand  dollars.  And  it  is  a  hard  step 
when  there  is  practically  no  initial  footing.  But  Paul 
Cuffe  did  it,  and  did  it  because  he  believed  in  work.  He 
was  always  at  his  task.  The  dignity  of  labor  he  knew  and 
valued.  And  he  knew  how  to  save.  He  made  his  money 
work  for  him.  He  stopped  the  leaks  in  his  business  boat. 
He  spent  wdsely  and  invested  well. 

There  is  his  interest  in  education.  The  painstaking 
endeavor  and  indefatigable  effort  which  belonged  to  his 
labor  in  industry  was  equally  a  part  of  his  labor  in  educa- 
tion. It  is  difficult  for  us  today  with  our  excellent  op- 
portunities for  education  to  realize  how  meagre  they  were 
in  Paul  Cuffe 's  day.  And  if  they  were  meagre  for  whites 
a  century  and  one  half  ago  they  were  all  the  more  so  for 
Negro  children.  Despite  the  handicaps  he  not  only  mas- 
tered the  three  R's  but  the  principles  of  navigation  as  well. 

He  learned  something  more  valuable  than  this — the  fine 
art  of  diffusing  knowledge.  So  dearly  did  he  value  edu- 
cation for  the  youth  of  his  neighborhood  that  he  himself  on 
his  own  land  erected  a  school  building.  He  made  contri- 
butions to  teachers'  salaries.  And  most  of  all,  he  taught 
the  principles  of  navigation  to  every  young  man  who  of- 
fered himself  for  instruction.  Such  devotion  to  a  cause 
grows  out  of  a  recognition  of  its  great  worth. 

There  is  his  interest  in  religion.  He  stood  for  right- 
eousness. No  one  ever  charged  him  with  unfair  dealing. 
His  business  w^as  clean.  He  sought  the  fellowship  of  the 
church.  He  contributed  to  its  needs  and  gave  personal 
testimony  to  the  power  of  Christ.  Religion  was  vital  in 
his  life;  he  tried  to  foster  it  from  Westport  to  Freetown. 
He  was  both  a  home  and  a  foreign  missionary.  He  knew 
the  value  of  prayer.  He  gave  advice  that  was  tested  first 
in  his  own  experience. 

Paul  Cuffe  229 

Overshadowing  his  industry,  his  religion,  and  education 
stands  his  optimism.  He  believed  in  the  victory  of  right- 
eousness ;  therefore,  he  worked  for  it.  He  believed  in  the 
triumph  of  truth;  therefore,  he  dedicated  himself  to  it. 
He  realized  the  mastery  of  poverty;  therefore,  he  gave 
pursuit  to  wealth.  He  believed  in  the  amelioration  of  his 
race;  therefore,  he  consecrated  himself  to  it. 

Henby  Noble  Sheewood. 


The  Will  of  Paul  Cufpe 

Be  it  remembered,  that  I,  Paul  Cuffe  of  Westport  in  the  County 
of  Bristol  and  Commonwealth  of  Massachusetts,  yeoman,  being  at 
this  time  (through  mercy)  in  health  and  of  a  sound,  disposing 
mind  and  memory,  and  considering  that  it  is  appointed  for  all 
men  once  to  die,  I  do  make  and  ordain  this  my  last  will  and  testa- 
ment in  the  followering  manner  (viz.) 

Imprimis.  My  will  is,  and  I  hearin  order,  that  my  just  debts 
and  funeral  charges  together  with  the  expenses  of  setteling  my 
estate  be  paid  by  my  executors  herein  after  named,  out  of  my 

Item.  I  give  unto  my  wife  Alice  Cuffe  all  my  houshould  goods 
except  my  two  desks  and  book  case,  and  books;  I  also  give  her  in 
lieu  of  her  right  of  dower  in  my  estate,  so  long  as  she  shall  remain 
my  widow,  the  use  and  improvement  of  my  now  dwelling  house 
and  the  one  half  of  all  my  lands,  together  with  one  half  of  the 
live  stock,  and  all  the  famely  provisions  that  may  be  on  hand  at 
my  decease,  and  one  hundred  dollars  in  money,  and  all  the  prof- 
its arising  from  my  half  of  the  salt  works,  that  Joseph  Tripp  &  I 
built  together.  Should  the  salt  worl«  not  be  in  operation  before 
this  will  is  proved  or  should  not  be  built,  then  my  will  is  she 
should  have  one  hundred  dollar's  annually. 

Item.  I  give  unto  my  daughter  in  law  Lydia  Wainer  one 
hundred  dollars. 

Item.  I  give  unto  my  daughter  Mary  Phelpess  &  to  her  heirs 
and  assigns  forever,  the  house  and  lot  of  land  which  1  bought  of 
Lucy  Castino. 

Item.  I  give  unto  my  son  Paul  Cuffe,  and  to  his  oldest  male 
heir  forever,  the  farm  that  was  given  to  me  by  my  father  Cuffe 
Slocum,  and  my  maple  desk,  also  one  half  of  my  wereing  appearl, 
my  will  further  is  that  five  hundred  dollars  be  retained  out  of  my 
estate,  and  put  to  interest  in  some  safe  hands,  the  income  of  which 
I  order  to  be  used  annually  for  the  support  of  my  son  Paul  Cuffe' 
family,  forever.     I  also  order  that  oue  fourth  part  of  the  brig 


Documents  231 

Traveller  together  with  the  five  hundred  dollars,  be  placed  under 
care  and  guardianship  of  my  executors,  in  order  that  my  son  Paul 
and  his  heirs,  might  be  benefited  by  it  yearly  and  every  year  for- 
ever, also  the  one  sixth  part  of  the  residue  be  placed  under  the 
care  &  guardianship  of  my  executors  for  the  benefit  of  Paul  &  his 
heirs  as  above  mentioned,  forever. 

Item.  I  give  unto  my  son  William  Cuffe  and  to  his  oldest 
male  heir  forever,  the  lot  of  land  which  I  bought  of  Ebenezer 
Eddy  called  the  Allen  lot,  and  one  fourth  part  of  the  brig  Travel- 
ler, and  my  walnut  desk  and  book  case  standing  thereon,  and 
Johnsons  Dictionary  in  two  volums,  and  one  half  of  my  weareing 
appearel,  and  three  hundred  dollars  in  money,  to  be  laid  out  in 
building  him  a  dwelling  house  on  the  Allen  lot. 

Item.     I  give  unto  my  cousin  Ruth  Cottell  fifty  dollars. 
Ruth  Howard,  Alice  Cuffe  Jr.  and  Rhoda  Cuffe  one  half  of  the 
brig  Traveller,  that  is  to  each  one  of  them  one  eighth  part. 

Item.  I  give  unto  my  two  grand  daughters,  namely,  Almira 
Howard  and  Alice  Howard,  daughters  of  my  daughters  Naomi 
Howard  deceased,  fifty  dollars  to  each  one,  when  and  as  they 
arive  to  the  age  of  twenty  one  years. 

Item.     I  give  unto  my  cousin  Ruth  Cottell  fifty  dollars. 

Item.     I  give  unto  my  brother  David  Cuffe  ten  dollars. 

Item.     I  give  unto  my  brother  Jonathan  Cuffe  ten  dollars. 

Item.     I  give  unto  my  brother  John  Cuffe  ten  dollars. 

Item.     I  give  unto  my  sister  Freelove  Cuffe  ten  dollars. 

Item.     I  give  unto  my  sister  Fear  Phelpess  ten  dollars. 

Item.  I  give  unto  my  three  sisters  namely  Sarah  Durfee, 
Lydia  Cuffe  and  Ruth  Weeden,  six  dollars  annually  to  each  one 
dureing  their  natural  life.  Should  they  or  either  of  them  make 
bad  use  of  the  money  given  them,  in  such  a  case  I  request  my  ex- 
ecutors to  pay  them  in  provision  or  cloathing,  and  such  things  that 
may  be  for  their  comfort. 

Item.  I  give  unto  the  monthly  meeting  or  society  of  friends, 
called  Quakers  in  Westport,  fifty  dollars,  to  be  paid  over  to  their 
treasurer,  by  my  executors,  according  to  direction  of  the  monthly 

Item.  My  mind  and  will  is  that  those  daughters  that  are 
single  and  unmarried,  shall  have  privelege  to  live  in  the  house 
with  their  mother,  and,  after  their  mothers  decease,  they  to  have 
the  privelege  to  live  in  and  occupie  the  south  part  of  the  house, 

232  Journal  of  Negro  History 

with  privelege  to  the  well  and  in  the  seller  and  garden  to  raise 
saurce  in  so  long  as  they  remain  singel  and  unmaried. 

I  give  unto  my  two  said  sons  and  four  daughters  namely  Paul, 
William,  Mary,  Ruth,  Alice  and  Rhoda  all  the  rest  and  residue  of 
my  estate  not  hearin  otherwise  disposed  of  to  be  divided  between 
them  six  equally. 

And  my  will  further  is,  that  the  one  fourth  part  of  the  brig 
Traveller  and  the  one  sixth  part  of  the  residue,  that  I  have  herein 
given  to  my  son  William,  I  place  under  the  care  and  guardianship 
of  my  executors,  to  order  the  use  of  the  same  as  they  shall  think 
best  for  Williams  interest,  untill  he  arives  to  twenty  five  years  of 
age.  Then  if  his  care  and  conduct  be  good,  they  then  are  re- 
quested to  pay  the  whole  over  to  him  t(^ether  with  all  the  profits 
ariseing  from  it. 

And  my  will  further  is,  the  balance  that  may  become  due  to 
my  estate  not  hearin  otherwise  disposed  of  to  be  divided  between 
or  otherway  be  given  up  to  them. 

I  further  order  that  all  land  that  I  have  bought  belonging  to  the 
estate  of  Benjmin  Cook  late  of  Dartmouth  deceased,  be  returned 
to  the  widow  and  the  heirs,  they  paying  what  the  land  cost  and 

And  my  will  further  is  that  for  the  payments  annually  that 
my  executors  retain  enough  of  the  residue  of  my  estate  to  put  on 
interest  to  rais  the  anual  payments  mentioned  in  this  way  last 

Lastly.  I  do  constitute  and  apoint  William  Roteh  Junr.  of 
New  Bedford  and  Daniel  Wing  of  Westport  aforesaid  executort 
of  this  my  last  will  and  testament. 

In  testemony  whereof  I  do  hear  unto  set  my  hand  and  seal 
eighteenth  day  of  the  fourth  month  in  the  year  of  our  Lord  one 
thousand  eight  hundred  and  seventeen  1817. 

Paul  Cuffe     (seal) 

Signed,  sealed,  published  and  declared  by  the  said  Paul  Cuffe 
as  and  for  his  last  will  and  testament  in  the  presence  of  us 

Edward  Phillips 
LuTHAN  Tripp 
David  M.  Geffoed 
Oct.  7,  1817,  Approved. 

From  the  Records  of  the  Probate  Office,  Taunton,  Mass. 


Africa  and  the   Discovery   of  America.     Volume    11.     By   Leo 
Wiener,   Professor   of   Slavic   Languages  and   Literatures   at 
Harvard  University.     Innes  &  Sons,  Philadelphia,  Pa.     1922. 
Professor  Wiener,  in  the  second  volume  of  his  series  Africa 
and  the  Discovery  of  America,  deals  exhaustively  with  the  docu- 
mentary  information   relating  to   "the   presence   in    America  of 
cotton,  tobacco  and  shell  money,  before  the  discovery  of  America 
by  Columbus.  .  .  .  The  accumulative  evidence  is  overwhelmingly 
in  favor  of  an  introduction  of  the  articles  under  discussion  from 
Africa  by  European  or  Negro  traders,  decades  earlier  than  1492." 
(Foreword,  p.  ix.) 

The  importance,  for  the  history  of  Pre-Columbian  civilization, 
of  these  discoveries  cannot  be  overestimated.  Moreover,  their 
significance  is  not  concerned  alone  with  the  history  of  America. 
They  will  compel  a  revision  and  realignment  of  historical  frontiers 
in  Europe  and  Africa  as  well,  from  a  date  not  later  than  the  first 
quarter  of  the  fifteenth  century.  Lastly,  "Africa  and  the  Dis- 
covery of  America"  forms,  as  it  were,  a  sequel  to  Professor 
Wiener's  Contributions  toward  a  History  of  Arahico -Gothic  Cul- 
ture, enabling  the  historian  to  trace  the  influence  of  the  Arabs  as 
the  torch-bearers  of  civilization.  It  was  they  who  in  the  eighth 
century,  through  the  medium  of  the  Spanish  Mozarabs,  recreated 
European  culture,  and  at  a  later  period,  through  that  of  the 
Arabicised  Negroes,  of  whom  the  West  African  Mandingoes  were 
the  most  important,  at  least  almost  entirely  re-created,  if  they  did 
not  actually  create,  the  civilization  of  the  native  American  tribes, 
throughout  both  continents,  and  planted,  so  to  speak,  in  the  New 
World,  the  seeds  of  two  great  modern  industries,  cotton  and  to- 

Let  us  then  consider,  first,  what  is  the  bearing  of  Professor 
Wiener's  work  on  the  history  of  cotton.  Assyria  and  India  were 
centers  of  cotton  culture  at  a  very  early  date.  The  evidence  that 
the  Arabs  popularized  cotton  in  Africa,  in  connection  with  the 
ceremonial  purification  of  the  dead,  that  is,  stuffing  the  orifices  of 
the  body  with  cotton,  is  shown  by  the  fact  that  Arabic  'utb  "cot- 


234  Journal  of  Negro  History 

ton,"  a  loan  word  from  Coptic  tbhe  "to  purify,"  has  produced 
the  West  African  "cotton"  words,  exactly  as  Arabic  ivudu'  "ablu- 
tion" has  given  rise,  doubtless  through  Hausa  influence,  to  the 
"cotton"  words  of  Nigeria.  What  is  particularly  important  to 
note,  however,  is  that  Arabic  qutn  "cotton"  has  gone  everywhere 
into  the  Mandingo  dialects,  which  have,  in  turn,  influenced  the 
native  American  languages.  Thus  for  example,  in  South  America, 
the  Mandingo  kotondo,  etc.,  "cotton,"  derived  from  Arabic  qutn, 
has  left  derivatives  in  the  Indian  languages  "from  Venezuela 
south  to  Peru,  and  in  Central  Brazil"  (page  80),  beside  deriva- 
tives from  Kimbunou  mvjinha  "cotton,"  in  eastern  Brazil,  north- 
ward and  westward.  If  we  concede  the  presence  of  cotton  in 
South  America  before  Columbus,  we  can  only  conclude,  on  the 
basis  of  linguistic  evidence,  that  it  was  introduced  either  directly 
or  indirectly  from  Africa.  The  Aztec  word  ychca,  the  native 
Mexican  word  for  "cotton,"  furnishes  no  proof  that  cotton  was 
known  to  the  Mexicans  before  the  coming  of  the  Spaniards,  since 
ychca  is  not  originally  a  specific  name,  but  has  reference  to  any 
kind  of  fibre, — of  a  fluffy  character,  and  came  to  mean  "cotton" 
only  secondarily. 

Columbus,  however,  reported  that  on  Oct.  11,  1492,  the  Indians 
of  Guanahani  brought  parrots  and  cotton  thread  in  balls,  to  trade 
for  beads  and  hawks'  bills.  Either  he  told  the  truth,  or  he  did 
not.  If  he  told  the  truth,  it  is  still  remarkable  that  the  Indians 
should  not  only  have  known  of  the  traders'  demand  for  cotton  and 
parrots,  but  should  also  have  offered  the  very  articles  which  Cada 
Mosto,  nearly  fifty  years  earlier,  had  mentioned  as  coming  from 
Africa,  particularly  the  cotton,  then  offered  for  sale  in  the  Negro 
markets.  Columbus's  references  to  growing  cotton  are  specific  in 
declaring  that  the  cotton  grew  on  trees, — hence  it  is  obvious  that 
he  did  not  see  any  true  cotton  growing,  but  only  the  false  cotton, 
the  product  of  the  tree  Bombax  Ceiba,  used  for  stuffing  mats,  but 
not  capable  of  being  spun  (page  28).  A  study  of  the  early  rec- 
ords of  Mexico  is  conclusive  in  the  evidence  it  funiishes  to  show 
that  cotton  never  formed  part  of  the  tribute  due  the  Mexican 
emperor,  but  that  the  payment  of  tribute  in  cotton  was  "an  in- 
novation of  the  Spaniards,  and  did  not  have  the  sanction  of  the 
Aztec  tribute"  (page  56).  Hence  we  have  nothing  to  indicate 
that,  either  in  the  Indies  or  in  Mexico,  the  material  of  which  the 
"cotton  clothing"  of  the  natives,  mentioned  by  the  Spaniards, 

Book  Reviews  236 

was  made,  was  really  cotton.  If  it  was  cotton,  its  presence  points 
to  contact  between  America  and  Africa  before  Columbus,  and  the 
readiness  of  the  natives  to  offer  cotton  in  exchange  for  hawks' 
bills  testifies  clearly  to  the  extent  of  trade  relations  between  the 
two  countries. 

The  contention  of  archaeologists  is  that  cotton  culture  in  Peru 
may  go  back  to  a  date  as  early  as  200  A.D.  The  only  criterion  for 
such  an  assumption  rests  on  the  theoretical  rate  of  accumulation 
of  guano  deposits,  in  which  mummies,  wrapped  in  cotton,  have  been 
found, — calculated  at  two  and  one  half  feet  per  century.  This 
conclusions  is  absurd,  not  only  for  the  stress  it  lays  on  the  capri- 
cious habits  of  sea-birds,  but  also  far  the  reason  that  it  fails  to  take 
into  account  the  irregularity  of  the  guano  deposits,  as  shown  in 
the  Peruvian  Government  Survey  of  1854.  No  conclusion  whatever 
as  to  the  age  of  even  a  single  mummy-case  can  be  drawn,  owing  to 
certain  facts  concerning  Indian  burial  customs,  recorded  by  Cieza 
de  Leon  in  1553,  Ondegardo  in  1571,  and  Cobo,  nearly  a  century 
later.  These  travellers  state  that  the  Peruvian  natives  were  ac- 
customed to  open  graves,  change  the  clothes  of  the  dead  from  time 
to  time,  and  re-bury  them  (page  67  ff.).  The  proof  that  they  told 
the  truth  is  contained  in  the  report  by  Baessler,  of  the  X-ray  exami- 
nations of  Peruvian  mummy-packs  in  the  Royal  Museum  at  Berlin. 
One  such  pack  contains  "the  bones  of  four  separate  individuals, 
but  of  none  there  were  enough  to  construct  even  distantly  one 
complete  skeleton.  Besides,  there  were  some  animal  hones  present" 
(page  71).  This  disinterment  of  bodies,  and  of  course  the  same 
confusion  of  the  remains,  revealed  by  the  X-ray,  was  practised  by 
the  Indians  as  late  as  1621.  Nothing  then  remains  to  militate 
against  the  linguistic  testimony  so  strongly  in  support  of  the  con- 
clusion that  South  American  cotton  culture  is  of  African  origin. 

Professor  Wiener's  tentative  conclusion  that  tobacco  smoking 
was  of  African  origin,  outlined  in  his  first  volume  of  this  series, 
has  been  strongly  reinforced  by  a  study  of  the  Old-World  origin 
or  capnotherapy.  "Smoking  for  medicinal  purposes,"  he  says 
on  page  180, ' '  is  very  old,  and  goes  back  at  least  to  Greek  medicine. 
A  large  number  of  viscous  substances,  especially  henbane  and 
bitumen,  were  employed  in  fumigation,  and  taken  through  the 
mouth,  sometimes  through  the  nose,  for  certain  diseases,  especially 
catarrh,  toothache  and  pulmonary  troubles.  This  fumigation  took 
place  through  a  funnel  which  very  much  resembles  a  modern  pipe, 
but  by  its  knot-like  end  at  the  bottom  of  the  bowl  shows  its  deriva- 

230  Journal  of  Negro  History 

tioa  from  the  distilling  cap  of  the  alchemist's  retort."  The 
bitumen  corresponds  to  the  tuhhaq  or  tohhaq  of  the  Arab  doctors, 
a  name  applied  to  several  medicinal  plants  containing  a  pungent 
and  viscous  juice.  One  of  these  plants  was  known  in  Spain  as 

Fumigation  as  a  curative  measure  soon  degenerated  in  Europe 
into  quackery, — the  Arab  smoke  doctor  giving  place  to  the  itinerant 
charlatan  whose  Arabic  name  lingers  in  Portuguese  bufarinheiro 
' ' peddler, ' '  originally  ' ' smoke  vender. "  "In  Africa,  medical  fumi- 
gation spread  southward  through  the  Negro  country,  finding  its 
way  to  America  perhaps  a  full  century  before  the  coming  of  Colum- 
bus. The  manner  in  which  smoking  was  introduced  into  America 
is  made  clear  by  the  history  of  the  Negro  pombeiro,  the  African 
bootlegger  in  the  service  of  the  Portuguese  colonists,  who  taught  the 
natives  to  drink  pombe,  a  kind  of  intoxicating  liquor.  This  word 
pombe  is  a  corruption  of  Latin  pulpa,  which  through  the  Spanish 
pulpa  has  persisted  in  Mexico  as  pulque,  the  name  of  an  intoxicant 
used  by  the  Indians,  exactly  as  Arabic  hashish,  through  Spanish 
chicha,  has  entered  Nahuatl,  producing  the  Nahuatl  chichila  "to 
ferment,  etc."  The  method  of  preparing  the  chicha  in  Peru,  by 
masticating  grain,  is  clearly  of  African  origin,  since  in  the  Sudan, 
a  kind  of  drink  is  made  by  chewing  the  fruit  of  the  baobab.  The 
clearest  proof,  however,  that  such  pombeiros  reached  America  in 
Pre-Columbian  days  is  found  in  Columbus's  reference  to  the  report 
by  the  Indians  of  Hispaniola,  that  "black  people  had  come  thither 
from  the  south  and  south  east,  with  spearheads  of  guanin.  Now 
guanin  is  a  Mandingo  word;  the  name  of  an  alloy  of  18  parts  of 
gold,  6  of  silver  and  8  of  copper. 

The  history  of  shell  and  bead  money,  familiar  as  the  wampum 
of  the  northern  Indians,  forms  the  third  part  of  the  present  volume, 
and  is  perhaps  the  source  of  the  strongest  arguments  to  show  the 
Pre-Columbian  relation  of  Africa  and  America.  Ultimately,  the 
use  of  cowrv"  shells  for  money  comes  from  China,  where  such  shells, 
called  pei,  tze-pei,  pei-tze,  had  been  used  from  time  immemorial. 
The  Chinese  name  of  the  cowry,  ho-pei,  probably  anciently  pro- 
nounced something  like  ka-par,  is  evidently  the  origin  of  Sanskrit 
kaparda,  Hindustani  kauri  (whence  English  cowry),  Dravidian 
kavadi  "cowry."  "From  the  ninth  century  on,  we  have  many 
references  in  the  Arabic  authors  to  the  cowries  in  Asia  and  Africa" 
(page  208).  It  is  quite  to  be  expected,  then,  that  in  the  Negro 
languages,  we  should  find  derivatives  of  this  ultimately  Chinese 

Book  Reviews  237 

word,  descended  through  the  medium  of  successive  borrowings,  via 
Hindustani  and  Arabic,— that  is,  Hausa  al-katvara,  kawara,  etc., 
Zanzibar  kauri,  Wolof  korre,  Bambara  kori,  etc.,  side  by  side  with 
a  group  descended  from  Dravidian  woda  "shell,"— that  is  Hausa 
xvori,  Malinke  wuri,  Bambara  wari. 

The  substitution  of  beads  for  shells,  as  the  development  of  this 
primitive  form  of  currency  went  on,  has  left  its  mark  likewise  in 
linguistic  records.  That  is  to  say,  we  have  in  Africa  a  group  of 
words  descended  ultimately  from  Chinese  par,  pel,  originally  mean- 
ing "cowry,"  and  secondarily  "bead,"  together  with  a  new  group, 
traceable  through  an  Arabic  intermediary  stage  to  Persian  sang 
"onyx,"  the  bead-stone  par  excellence.  From  the  cowry- words 
have  come  Benin  cori,  kori,  koli,  "blue  bead,"  whence  akori,  the 
''aggry"  bead  of  the  white  traders,  Neule  gri  "beads,"  and  Baule 
ivory e  "blue  bead,"  a  loan-word  from  Mandingo  wori.  In  Bantu 
zimbo,  we  have  either  a  Bantu  plural  of  ahuy,  itself  a  derivative  of 
Maldive  boli,  holli,  which  is  the  Chinese  pei  "cowry,"  or  a  direct 
loan-word,  through  Arabic  or  Portuguese  influence,  of  Chinese  tsze- 
pei  "purple  shell,"  The  transference  in  meaning  from  "cowry" 
to  "bead"  is  illustrated  in  KaflBr  in-tsimhi  "beads."  Similarly, 
the  original  "bead"  words,  from  Persian  sang  "onyx,"  have  given 
Zanzibar,  Swahili  ushanga  "bead,"  Kongo  nsanga  "string  of  blue 
beads,"  with  a  recession  of  meaning  in  Kongo  nsungu,  "cowry 

The  transference  of  African  currency  to  America  is  shown  by 
two  significant  facts.  First,  we  have  the  name.  In  the  Brazilian 
caa7ig  "to  prove,  try,"  caangaha  "mould,  picture,  etc.,"  is  to  be 
seen  a  form  of  some  African  derivative  of  Pei-sian  sang,  as  seen 
in  Zanzibar  ushanga  "bead,"  Kongo  nsanga  "blue  beads,"  etc., 
the  change  of  meaning  leading  to  the  connotation  "mould"  being 
due  to  the  substitution  of  the  European  idea  of  money  as  a  piece 
of  stamped  metal,  in  place  of  that  of  bead  or  shell  money.  Exactly 
as  the  petun  words  for  tobacco  spread  from  South  to  North  America 
along  the  trade  routes,  so  the  words  for  "money"  followed  the  same 
course.  Jacques  Cartier's  word  esnogny,  given  as  the  Indian  name 
of  shell  money, — the  shells  actually  gathered  by  an  African  method 
of  fishing  for  shell-fish  with  a  dead  body, — is  traceable  only  to 
some  form  of  the  Brazillian  gaang,  which  has  also  given  Gree  soni- 
waw  "silver,"  Long  Island  sewan  "money."  The  Chino-African 
cowry-word,  seen  in  African  ahuy,  is  preserved  in  the  North  Ameri- 
can hi,  pi  (plural  peag,  peak)  "wampum,"  side  by  side  with  the 

238  JouBNAL  OF  Negro  Histort 

Guarani  mhoi,  poi,  "shell  bead."  Lest  the  reader  still  harbor  a 
lingering  doubt  of  the  fact  of  early  trade  relations  between  Brazil 
and  Caaada,  Professor  Wiener  shows  how  Spanish  agvja  "needle" 
has  left  derivatives  in  a  large  number  of  Indian  languages  distant 
by  many  hundreds  of  miles  from  any  Spanish  settlement. 

Secondly,  we  have  the  standard  of  value.  From  the  earliest 
times,  in  China,  the  purple  cowry  was  more  valuable  than  the  white. 
The  same  standard  prevailed  in  Africa,  and  was  transferred  to  the 
beads  when  beads  were  substituted  for  cowries.  Among  the  Indians, 
the  blue,  or  dark  colored  currency,  whether  shells  or  beads,  was 
consistently  reckoned  as  superior  in  worth  to  the  white.  Shell- 
money  was  first  popularized  on  Long  Island  by  the  Dutch,  who, 
as  we  are  informed,  imported  cowries  and  aggry  beads  from  the  East 
to  sell  them  to  the  Guinea-merchants.  Moreover,  Gov.  Bradford  has 
stated  that  it  took  the  Massachusetts  colonists  two  years  to  teach 
the  Indians  to  use  shell  or  bead  money.  Finally,  Professor  Wiener 
concludes  that  "in  the  Norman  country,  .  .  .  the  wampum  belt,  as 
a  precious  ornament  for  European  women,  had  its  origin,  and  was 
by  the  Frenchmen  transferred  to  Brazil  and  Canada"  (page  258). 

The  fifteen  full-page  illustrations  serve  well  to  bring  home  much 
of  the  force  of  the  arguments,  even  to  a  casual  reader. 

Phillips  Barry,  A.M.,  S.T.B. 

Geoton,  Massachusetts. 

The  Negro  Press  in  the  United  States.  By  Frederick  G.  Det- 
WEiLER.  The  University  of  Chicago  Press,  Chicago,  1922.  Pp. 

Struck  by  the  number  and  distribution  of  Negro  magazines  and 
newspapers,  many  investigators  in  the  social  sciences  have  recently 
directed  their  attention  to  the  study  of  the  Negro  press.  This  in- 
creased interest  resulted  largely  from  the  unusual  impetus  given 
the  Negro  press  during  the  World  War  when  it  played  the  part  of 
proclaiming  the  oppression  of  the  Negroes  to  the  nations  pretend- 
ing to  be  fighting  for  democracy  when  they  were  actually  oppressing 
their  brethren  of  color  at  home.  And  why  should  not  the  public  be 
startled  when  the  average  Negro  periodical,  formerly  eking  out 
an  existence,  became  extensively  circulated  almost  suddenly  and 
began  to  wield  unusual  influence  in  shaping  the  policy  of  an  op- 
pressed group  ambitious  to  right  its  wrongs?  These  investigators, 
therefore,  desire  to  know  the  influences  at  work  in  advancing  the 
circulation  of  these  periodicals,  the  cause  of  the  change  of  the  at- 

Book  Reviews  239 

titude  of  the  Negroes  toward  their  publications,  their  literary  ability 
to  appreciate  them,  the  areas  of  their  greatest  circulation,  and  the 
attitude  of  the  white  people  toward  the  opinion  of  this  race. 

While  it  is  intended  as  a  sort  of  scientific  work  treating  this 
field  more  seriously  than  Professor  Robert  T.  Kerlin's  The  Voice  of 
the  Negro,  it  leaves  the  impression  that  the  ground  has  not  been 
thoroughly  covered.  In  the  first  place,  the  author  does  not  sho-vf 
sufficient  appreciation  of  the  historic  background  of  the  Negro  press 
prior  to  emancipation.  He  seems  acquainted  with  such  distinguished 
characters  as  Samuel  Cornish,  John  B.  Russwurm,  and  the  like  but 
inadequately  treats  or  casually  passes  over  the  achievements  of 
many  others  who  attained  considerable  fame  in  the  editorial  world. 
In  any  work  purporting  to  be  a  scientific  treatment  of  the  Negro 
press  in  the  United  States  the  field  cannot  be  covered  by  a  chapter 
of  twenty  pages  as  the  author  in  question  has  undertaken  to  do. 
Furthermore,  many  of  the  underlying  movements  such  as  abolition, 
colonization,  and  temperance,  which  determined  the  rise  and  the 
fall  of  the  Negro  editor  prior  to  the  Civil  War,  are  not  sufficiently 
discussed  and  scientifically  connected  in  this  work.  The  book,  then, 
so  far  as  the  period  prior  to  the  Civil  War  is  concerned,  is  not  a 
valuable  contribution. 

The  author  seemed  to  know  more  about  the  Negro  press  in  free- 
dom. Living  nearer  to  these  developments  he  was  doubtless  able  to 
obtain  many  of  these  facts  at  first-hand  and  was  able  to  present 
them  more  effectively.  He  well  sets  forth  the  favorite  themes  of 
the  Negro  press  and  the  general  make-up  of  the  Negro  paper,  but 
does  not  sufficiently  establish  causes  for  this  particular  trend  in 
this  sort  of  journalism.  Taking  up  the  question  of  the  demand  for 
rights,  the  author  explains  very  clearly  what  the  Negro  press  has 
stood  for.  Then  he  seemingly  goes  astray  in  the  discussion  of  the 
solution  of  the  race  problem,  Negro  life,  Negro  poetry,  and  Negro 
criticism,  which  do  not  peculiarly  concern  the  Negro  editor  more 
than  others  in  the  various  walks  of  life.  Looking  at  the  problem 
from  the  outside  and  through  a  glass  darkly,  as  almost  any  white 
man  who  has  spent  little  time  among  Negroes  must  do,  the  work 
is  about  as  thorough  as  most  of  such  investigators  can  make  it  and 
it  should  be  read  by  all  persons  directing  attention  to  the  Negro 
The  Disruption  of  Virginia.    By  James  C.  McGregor.    The  Mac- 

millan  Company,  New  York,  1922.    Pp.  328,  price  $2.00. 

240  JouENAL  OF  Negro  History 

This  book  was  written,  according  to  the  author,  as  an  attempt 
to  present  an  unbiased  account  of  the  strange  course  of  events  in 
the  historj'  of  Virginia  from  the  time  of  Lincoln's  election  to  the 
presidency  to  the  time  of  the  admission  of  West  Virginia  into  the 
Union.  It  is,  however,  more  of  a  polemic  than  an  historical  contri- 
bution. The  author  raises  this  very  question  himself  by  his  declara- 
tion that  he  has  no  grudges  to  satisfy  and  no  patrons  to  please. 
"If  he  seems  harsh  in  his  opinions  and  conclusions  regarding  the 
irregular  and  inexpedient  methods  employed  in  cutting  off  the 
western  counties  of  Virginia  and  forming  them  into  a  new 
State,"  says  he,  "it  is  due  to  the  conviction  that  an  unnecessary 
wrong  was  committed,  a  wrong  that  helped  not  at  all  in  Lincoln's 
prosecution  of  the  Civil  War."  The  author  is  convinced  that  not 
only  was  the  act  unconstitutional  but  that  it  was  not  desired  by 
more  than  a  small  minority  of  the  people  of  the  new  State.  He 
believes  that  the  President  and  Congress,  being  grateful  to  the 
Union  men  in  northwestern  Virginia  for  their  loyalty  to  the  Union, 
rewarded  them  by  giving  their  consent  to  the  organization  of  a 
new  State  which,  nevertheless,  was  in  violation  of  the  principles  of 
the  Constitution. 

Unlike  Professor  C.  H.  Ambler  who,  in  his  Sectionalism  in 
Virginia,  has  set  forth  in  detail  the  differing  political  interests  of 
the  sections  of  Virginia,  this  author  reduces  it  to  a  mere  exploit  on 
the  basis  that  the  end  justified  the  means.  Furthermore,  the  author 
differs  widely  from  C.  G.  Woodson  who  in  an  unpublished  thesis 
similarly  entitled  The  Disruption  of  Virginia,  presented  in  1911  to 
the  Graduate  School  of  Harvard  University  in  partial  fulfilment 
of  the  requirement  for  the  degree  of  Doctor  of  Philosophy,  empha- 
sized the  economic  differences  as  the  underlying  causes.  Dr.  Mc- 
Gregor minimizes  such  causes  by  reducing  his  treatment  of  the 
economic  situation  to  a  single  chapter  of  ten  pages.  He  then 
briefly  discusses  the  opening  of  the  breach,  the  Constitutional  Con- 
vention of  1829-30  and  the  growth  of  sectionalism  between  that 
Convention  and  the  Civil  War.  Approaching  the  main  feature  of 
the  work,  the  author  takes  up  the  preliminaries  of  the  Convention  of 
1861,  the  various  conventions  of  the  northwestern  counties  out  of 
which  evolved  the  organization  of  the  new  State  of  West  Virginia, 
and  finally  the  question  of  admission  before  Congress. 

Why  such  a  work  could  be  considered  necessary  and  accepted 
as  a  contribution  in  this  particular  field  when  valuable  works  have 

Book  Reviews  241 

already  been  written  upon  this  subject,  is  justified  by  the  author 
on  the  ground  that  he  has  discovered  considerable  new  material 
which  convinces  him  that  the  new  State  movement  in  West  Virginia 
was  unrepresentative  of  the  majority  of  the  people  of  the  north- 
western counties  but  was  put  through  in  dictatorial  fashion  by  a 
militant  minority.  It  is  true  that  some  new  material  has  been  added 
to  this  work,  but  it  hardly  convinces  well  informed  historians  that 
the  far-reaching  and  sweeping  conclusion  of  the  author  are  justified 
by  the  few  additional  facts  which  he  has  been  able  to  find.  Almost 
a  causal  study  of  the  history  of  Virginia  shows  that  the  western 
part  of  the  State  became  estranged  from  the  eastern  because  their 
economic  interests  were  different  and  the  authorities  failed  to  make 
the  improvements  necessary  to  connect  these  sections  and  thus  unify 
such  interests.  By  the  time  of  the  Civil  War  the  northwestern 
counties  were  commercially  connected  with  the  North  and  West 
and  accordingly  followed  these  in  that  upheaval. 

A  Comparative  Study  of  the  Bantu  and  Semi-Bantu  Langiuiges, 
VoUime  II.  By  Sir  Harry  H.  Johnston,  G.C.M.G.,  K.C.B., 
Sc.D.  (Cambridge).  The  Clarendon  Press,  Oxford,  1922.  Pp. 

This  work  is  the  result  of  a  study  of  the  Bantu  languages  com- 
menced by  the  author  in  1881  in  the  Library  of  the  British  Museum, 
and  instigated  by  the  project  of  accompanying  the  Earl  of  Mayo 
on  an  exploratory  expedition  in  South  West  Africa,  Angola  and 
the  countries  south  and  east  of  the  Kunene  River.  The  expedition, 
according  to  the  author,  was  extended  by  him  to  the  upper  Congo 
thanks  to  the  assistance  offered  by  H.  M.  Stanley.  With  this  large 
view  of  Africa  his  studies  were  continued  with  little  intermission 
during  the  forty  years  which  followed  his  first  introduction  into 
that  continent.  Even  the  World  War  itself  was  not  exactly  an 
interruption  but  permitted  the  author  to  extend  the  scope  of  his 
research  by  bringing  him  into  closer  acquaintance  with  certain 
of  the  western  Semi-Bantu  languages  through  the  presence  in 
France  of  contingents  of  Senegambian  troops.  The  Colonial  office, 
moreover,  assisted  the  work  by  requesting  its  officials  in  British  West 
Africa  to  examine  the  Semi-Bantu  languages  of  British  Nigeria, 
South-west  Togoland,  Sierra  Leone  and  the  Gambia.  Furthermore, 
an  important  discovery  of  two  Bantu  languages  was  made  in  the 
southern  part  of  the  Anglo-Egyptian  province  of  Bahr-al-ghazal. 
He  is  indebted  to  Mr.  Northcote  W.  Thomas's  researches  which 

242  Journal,  of  Negro  History 

revealed  new  and  interesting  forms  of  Semi-Bantu  speech  in  the 
Cross  River  districts  of  Southern  Nigeria.  In  the  comparison  of 
roots,  moreover,  the  author  had  considerably  more  material  to 
draw  on  than  in  the  case  of  the  first  volume.  He  found  also  much 
more  information  concerning  Homa  and  Bangminda  through 
Major  Paul  Larkin  and  Captain  White.  These  are  the  chief  features 
which,  he  believes,  make  the  second  volume  a  valuable  contribution. 

In  spite  of  the  extensive  investigation,  however,  the  author  still 
finds  a  good  deal  about  which  he  is  not  certain.  About  many  of 
these  languages  he  knows  little  regarding  their  structure  and  gram- 
mar. In  other  words  they  have  been  studied  merely  from  the  out- 
side. In  spite  of  his  extensive  travels,  moreover,  he  had  so  much  to 
do  and  apparently  such  a  short  time  in  which  to  accomplish  his  task 
that  this  work,  as  valuable  as  it  is,  can  be  considered  no  more  than 
an  introductory  treatise  going  a  little  further  into  a  field  inade- 
quately explored.  Already  he  says  he  finds  that  he  has  been  re- 
proached for  not  bringing  within  the  scope  of  these  two  volumes 
a  group  of  languages  in  the  North-east  Togoland  and  Kisi  and  the 
Limba  tongues  of  Sierra  Leone.  Yet  although  he  finds  that  these 
have  some  Bantu  features,  they  were  too  mixed  to  justify  their 
treatment  here.  He  found  resemblances  of  the  Bantu  and  Semi- 
Bantu  families  elsewhere  but  not  closely  enough  akin  to  require 
their  treatment  in  connection  with  this  work. 

Beginning  with  a  treatment  of  the  enumeration  and  classifica- 
tion of  the  Bantu  and  Semi-Bantu  languages,  the  work  reviews  the 
languages  illustrated  in  Volume  I.  Attention  is  directed  to  the 
Bantu  in  various  regions  of  the  continent.  The  author  then  dis- 
cusses the  phonetics  and  phonology  of  the  Bantu  and  Semi-Bantu 
languages,  prefixes,  suffixes,  and  concords  connected  with  the  noun 
in  Bantu  and  Semi-Bantu,  adjectives,  pronouns,  numerals,  adverbs, 
conjunctions,  prepositions,  the  verbs  and  verb  roots.  The  maps 
graphically  show  the  probable  origins  and  lines  of  migration  of  the 
Bantu  and  Semi-Bantu  languages  and  their  distribution  in  Central 
and  South  Africa. 

On  the  whole,  the  world  is  indebted  to  Sir  Harry  H.  Johnston 
for  his  enumeration  and  classification  of  these  tongues,  although  the 
work  merely  marks  the  beginning  of  a  neglected  task.  Until  some 
scholar  with  better  opportunities  to  carry  forward  this  research 
has  produced  a  more  scientific  treatise,  the  works  of  the  author 
will  be  referred  to  as  interesting  and  valuable  volumes. 


On  February  20,  1923,  there  passed  away  in  New  York  City  a 
Negro  of  no  little  distinction  in  his  particular  group.  This  was 
Horatio  P.  Howard,  the  great  grandson  of  Captain  Paul  Cuffe  of 
African  colonization  fame.  Howard  was  the  grandson  of  the 
Captain's  daughter  Ruth,  who  married  Alexander  Howard,  and 
the  child  of  their  son  Shadrach.  Howard  was  born  in  New  Bed- 
ford in  1854  and  beginning  in  1888  served  as  a  clerk  in  the  Custom 
House  in  New  York  City  where  he  accumulated  considerable 
wealth  which,  inasmuch  as  he  lived  and  died  a  bachelor,  he  dis- 
posed of  for  philanthropic  purposes.  He  bequeathed  $5000  to 
Hampton  and  the  balance  of  his  estate  he  gave  to  Tuskegee  as  a 
fund  to  establish  Captain  Paul  Cuffe  scholarships. 

Hoping  to  inculcate  an  appreciation  of  the  achievements  of  his 
great  grandfather,  he  erected  to  his  memory  a  monument  at  a  cost 
of  $400  dedicated  in  1917  with  appropriate  exercises  by  the  people 
of  both  races  and  made  still  more  impressive  by  a  parade  which 
Howard  himself  led.  On  that  occasion,  moreover,  he  distributed  his 
interesting  biography  of  the  great  pioneer  in  the  form  of  a  booklet 
entitled  A  Self -Made  Man,  Captain  Paul  Cuffe. 

Henry  Allen  Wallace,  one  of  the  colaborers  in  unearthing  and 
preserving  the  records  of  the  Negro,  died  on  the  12th  of  February. 
He  was  the  son  of  Andrew  and  Martha  Wallace  and  was  born  in 
Columbia,  South  Carolina,  about  sixty-seven  years  ago.  He  was 
educated  in  the  public  schools  of  Toronto,  Canada,  the  University 
of  Toronto,  and  Howard  University.  He  began  his  public  life  as 
a  clerk  in  the  post  office  at  Columbia,  and  in  the  early  days  of  civil 
service  secured,  by  success  in  a  competitive  examination,  an  appoint- 
ment as  clerk  in  the  War  Department  in  Washington.  There  he 
served  with  an  unbroken  record  for  over  thirty  years,  after  which  he 
was  transferred  to  the  New  York  office  with  which  he  was  connected 
until  about  eighteen  months  ago  when  on  account  of  ill  health  he 
was  compelled  to  retire.  He  afterward  made  his  home  with  his 
sister  in  Chester,  Pennsylvania,  where  he  died. 

Mr.  Wallace  was  well  informed  on  matters  pertaining  to  the 
race  during  the  Reconstruction  and  freely  contributed  to  magazines 


244  Journal  of  Negro  History 

publishing  such  material.  Furthermore,  his  assistance  was  often 
solicited  to  correct  manuscripts  prepared  by  others  who  knew  less 
of  this  drama  in  our  history.  His  service  in  connection  with  finding 
the  names  of  Negroes  who  served  in  southern  legislatures  and  his 
letters,  both  of  which  have  appeared  from  time  to  time  in  The 
Journal  of  Negro  History,  constitute  valuable  contributions  in  this 

Spring  Conference 

On  the  5th  and  6th  of  April  there  will  be  held  in  Baltimore  the 
Spring  Conference  of  the  Association  for  the  Study  of  Negro  Life 
and  History.  Members  of  the  administrative  staff  including  Pro- 
fessor John  R.  Hawkins,  the  Chairman,  Mr.  S.  W.  Rutherford, 
Secretary-Treasurer,  and  others  of  the  Executive  Council,  are  mak- 
ing extensive  preparation  for  this  Conference.  The  aim  will  be 
to  bring  together  teachers  and  public-spirited  citizens  with  an 
appreciation  of  the  value  of  the  written  record  and  of 
research  as  a  factor  in  correcting  error  and  promoting  the 
truth.  The  heads  of  all  accredited  institutions  of  learning  have 
been  invited  to  take  an  active  part  in  this  convocation.  As  it  is 
to  be  held  in  Baltimore,  near  which  are  located  so  many  of  our 
colleges  and  universities,  it  is  believed  that  this  Conference  will 
prove  to  be  one  of  the  most  successful  in  the  history  of  the  As- 

The  program  will  cover  two  days  and  will  offer  an  opportunity 
for  the  discussion  of  everj'^  phase  of  Negro  life  and  history.  On 
Thursday  there  will  be  a  morning  session  at  11 :00  at  Morgan  Col- 
lege and  an  afternoon  session  there  at  3  :00  P.  M.  On  the  follow- 
ing day  the  morning  session  will  be  held  at  the  Douglass  Theatre 
at  12 :00  M.  and  the  afternoon  session  at  the  Druid  Hill  Avenue 
Y.  M.  C.  A.  at  3  :00  P.  M.  The  two  evening  sessions  will  go  to  the 
Bethel  A.  M.  E.  Church.  In  addition  to  these,  special  groups  of 
persons  cooperating  with  the  Association  will  hold  conferences  in  the 
interest  of  matters  peculiar  to  their  needs.  Among  the  speakers 
will  be  Professor  Kelly  Miller,  Mr.  L,  E.  James,  Mr.  Leslie  Pinckney 
Hill,  Dr.  William  Pickens,  and  Dr.  J.  0.  Spencer. 

An  effort  will  be  made  to  arouse  interest  and  to  arrange  for 
conducting  throughout  the  country  a  campaign  for  collecting  facts 
bearing  on  the  Negro  prior  to  the  Civil  "War  and  during  the  R€- 

Notes  245 

construction  period.  The  field  is  now  being  exploited  by  a  staff  of 
investigators  of  the  Association.  It  is  earnestly  desired  that  all 
persons  having  documentary  knowledge  of  these  phases  of  Negro 
History  will  not  only  give  the  Association  the  advantage  of  such 
information,  but  will  attend  this  Conference  to  devise  plans  for  a 
more  successful  prosecution  of  this  particular  work. 

Another  concern  of  the  Conference  will  be  to  stimulate  interest 
in  the  collection  of  Negro  folklore  for  which  there  is  offered  a 
prize  of  $200  for  the  best  collection  of  tales,  riddles,  proverbs, 
sayings  and  songs,  which  have  been  heard  in  Negro  homes.  The 
aim  is  to  study  the  Negro  mind  in  relation  to  its  environment  at 
various  periods  in  the  history  of  the  race  and  in  different  parts  of 
the  country.  The  students  of  a  number  of  institutions  of  learning 
are  already  at  work  preparing  their  collections  to  compete  for  this 
prize,  and  it  is  hoped  that  a  still  larger  number  will  do  likewise. 
This  special  work  is  under  the  supervision  of  a  committee  com- 
posed of  Dr.  Elsie  Clews  Parsons,  Assistant  Editor  of  the  Journal 
of  American  Folklore,  Dr.  Franz  Boas,  Professor  of  Anthropology 
in  Columbia  University  and  a  member  of  the  Executive  Council  of 
the  Association,  and  Dr.  Carter  G.  Woodson,  Editor  of  The 
Journal  of  Negro  History. 




Vol.  VIII. ,  No.  3  July,  1923. 

Servitude  Distinguished  from  Slavery 

The  first  Negroes  in  the  American  colonies  were  called 
Africans,  Blackamores,  Moores,  Negars,  Negers,  Negros, 

*  In  the  preparation  of  dissertation  the  following  works  were  consulted : 
Ballagh,  James  Curtis,  White  Servitude  in  the  Colony  of  Virginia  (J,  H.  U. 
Studies,  Thirty-first  Series,  1913),  and  History  of  Slavery  in  Virginia 
(J.  H.  U.  Studies,  Twenty-fourth  Series,  1902) ;  Bassett,  John  Spencer, 
History  of  Slavery  in  North  Carolina  (J.  H.  U.  Studies,  Seventeenth  Series, 
1899),  and  Slavery  and  Servitude  in  the  Colony  of  North  Carolina  (J.  H.  U. 
Studies,  Fourteenth  Series,  1896) ;  Beatty,  William  Jennings,  The  Free 
Negroes  in  the  Carolinas  before  1860  (1920) ;  Brackett,  J.  K.,  The  Negro  in 
Maryland  (J.  H.  U.  Studies,  Seventh  Series,  Extra  Volume,  1889)  j  Brown, 
Alexander,  The  Genesis  of  the  United  States,  1605-1616,  Two  Volumes  (1890), 
and  The  First  Sepublic  in  America  (1898);  Bruce,  Philip  Alexander, 
Economic  History  of  Virginia  in  the  Seventeenth  Century,  Two  Volumes 
(1896);  Buckingham,  J.  S.,  The  Slave  States  of  America  (1842);  Calendar 
of  Virginia  State  Papers  and  Other  Manuscripts,  1652-179S,  Edited  by  Wm. 
P.  Palmer,  Six  Volume.?  (1875-86);  Carroll,  Bartholomew  Eivers,  Historical 
Collections  of  South  Carolina  (1836);  Daniels,  John,  In  Freedom's  Birth 
Place,  A  Study  of  Boston  Negroes  (1914);  Doyle,  J.  A.,  English  Colonies 
in  America,  Five  Volumes  (1889);  DuBois,  W.  E.  Burghardt,  The  Sup- 
pression of  the  African  Slave-Trade  to  the  United  States  of  America 
(1896);  Eddis,  Wm.,  Letters  from  America,  1769-77;  Hazard,  WilUs  P., 
Annals  of  Philadelphia  and  Pennsylvania  in  the  Olden  Time  (1879) ;  Henry, 
Howell  Meadows,  The  Police  Control  of  the  Slave  in  South  Carolina  (1914) ; 
Henning,  William  Waller,  Statutes  at  Large  of  Virginia,  1623-1792,  Thirteen 
Volumes  (1812);  Hotten,  J.  C,  Original  Lists  of  Emigrants,  1600-1700 
(1874) ;   Hurd,  John  C,  The  Law  of  Freedom  and  Bondage  in  the  United 


248  Journal  of  Negro  History 

Negroes,  and  the  like.^  It  is  highly  probable  that  Negroes 
were  brought  to  Ainerica  by  some  of  the  early  colonists 
before  1619,  for  Negroes  had  been  in  England  since  1553.= 

states,  Two  Volumes  (1858-62) ;  Jonee,  Hugh,  The  Present  State  of  Virginia 
(1865);  Journal  of  Negro  History,  edited  by  Carter  Q.  Woodson  (The  Asso- 
ciation for  the  Study  of  Negro  Life  and  History) ;  Lauber,  Almon  Wheeler, 
Indian  Slavery  in  Colonial  Times  Within  Present  Limits  of  the  United  States 
(Columbia  University  Studies,  Volume  LIV  (1913));  Washburn,  Emory, 
Massachusetts  and  Its  Early  nistorij:  Slavery  as  it  once  prevailed  in  ilas- 
sachv^etts;  McCormac,  E.  I.,  White  Servitude  in  Maryland  16S4-18S0 
(J.  H.  U.  Studies,  Twenty-second  Series,  1904) ;  Moore,  George  H.,  Notes 
on  the  History  of  Slavery  in  Massachusetts  (1866)  ;  Work,  Monroe  N.,  Negro 
Year  Booh,  An  Annual  Encyclopedia  of  the  Negro;  Neill,  E.  D.,  History  of 
the  Virginia  Company  of  London,  IGOi-Si  (1869)  and  Virginia  Carolorum, 
1625-85 ;  Nell,  Wm,  C,  Colored  Patriots  of  the  American  Revolution  (1855)  ; 
Nieboor,  Herman  Jeremias,  Slavery  as  an  Industrial  Institution  (1900) ; 
Palfrey,  John  Gorhani,  History  of  New  England,  Five  Volumes  (1892) ;  Phil- 
lips, Ulrich  Bonncllj  American  Negro  Slavery  (1918)  ;  Eceorcls  of  the  Colony  of 
Rhode  Island  and  Providence  Plantations  in  New  England,  edited  by  John 
Russell  Bartlett  (1856-65) ;  Rivers,  William  James,  A  Sketch  of  the  History 
of  South  Caroli)ia  to  the  Close  of  the  Proprietary  Government  by  the  Revolu- 
tion of  1719  (1856);  Russell,  John  H.,  The  Free  Negro  in  Virginia  1619- 
1865  (J.  H.  U.  Studies,  Thirty-first  Series,  1913);  Steiner,  (Bernard  C, 
History  of  Slavery  in  Connecticut  (J.  H.  TJ.  Studies,  Series  Eleven,  1893) ; 
Stevens,  William  Bacon,  A  History  of  Georgia  from  its  First  Discovery  by 
Europeans  to  the  Adoption  of  the  Present  Constitution  in  1798  (1848); 
Stroud,  George  M.,  A  Sketch  of  the  Laws  Relating  to  Slavery  in  the  Several 
States  of  America  (1827);  Thwaites,  Ruben  Gold,  The  Colonies,  1492-1750; 
Turner,  Edward  Raymond,  The  Negro  in  Pennsylvania  169S-1861  (1910) ; 
Winthrop's  Journal:  "History  of  New  England"  1630-1649,  Three  Volumes. 
Edited  by  James  Kendall  Hosmer, 

^  Many  historians  have  substituted  "slave"  for  "Negro."  Russell, 
Free  Negroes  in  Virginia,  p.  16.  White  servants  arc  also  called  slaves. 
Doyle,  History  of  English  Colonies  in  America,  II,  p.  387;  Stevens,  History 
of  Georgia,  pp.  289,  294. 

•Several  years  before  1619,  Negroes  in  England  were  sentenced  to  work 
in  the  colonies;  ' '  Two  Moorish  thieves  [negroes]  in  London  were  sentenced 
to  work  in  the  American  colonies.  And  they  said  no,  they  would  rather  die 
at  once. ' '  Brovm  adds :  "  I  do  not  know  whether  they  were  tent  to  Virginia 
or  not."  (The  First  Republic  in  America,  p.  219.  See  also  postnote  14.) 
Again,  "  I  do  not  know  that  these  negroes  were  the  first  brought  to  the  colony 
of  Virginia.  I  do  not  remember  to  have  seen  any  contemporary  account  which 
says  so.  The  accounts  which  we  have  even  of  the  voyages  of  the  company's 
ships  are  very  incomplete,  and  we  have  scarcely  an  idea  of  the  private  trad- 
ing voyages  which  would  have  been  most  apt  to  bring  such  'purchas'  to 
Virginia."  Pory  wrote  in  September,  1619:  "  'In  these  five  months  of  my 
continuance  here,  there  have  come  at  one  time  or  another  eleven  sail  of  ships 

Negro  Servitude  in  the  United  States  249 

James  Otis  said:  ''Our  colonial  charters  made  no  difference 
between  black  and  white.  "^  Some  of  such  early  Negro 
settlers  might  have  been  brought  over  from  Barbadoes  or 
other  islands.  The  English  colonists  often  went  to  and 
from  the  mainland  for  settlement  and  trade,  and  by  1674 
Barbadoes  was  a  ''flourishing  state"  with  a  white  popu- 
lation of  50,000  and  100,000  ' '  Negroes  and  colored. "  ^  Ne- 
groes, along  with  Spanish  explorers,  are  known  to  have 
been  in  North  and  South  Carolina,  Florida,  Alabama,  New 
Mexico,  and  California  as  early  as  1526,  1527,  1540,  1542, 
and  1537,  respectively.^  However,  the  first  Negroes,  thus 
far  known,  in  the  American  colonies,  were  the  ' '  twenty  ne- 
gars"  introduced  at  Jamestown,  in  1619,  by  the  Dlitch 

The  first  status  of  these  Negroes  early  imported  is  of 
some  importance.  Although  the  historians  do  not  always 
mention  the  fact,  there  is  nevertheless  ample  proof  of  the 
existence  of  Negro  servitude  in  most  of  the  American 
colonies.  The  servitude  did  not  always  precede  slavery 
in  every  case,  nor  was  it  ever  firmly  established  as  slavery 
eventually  became.  Still  it  is  an  interesting  fact  that 
Negro  servitude  frequently  preceded  and  sometimes  fol- 
lowed Negro  slavery.  In  colonies  where  servitude  followed 
slavery,  it  was  due  to  the  fact  that  these  colonies  were 
founded  after  the  change  of  Negro  servitude  into  slavery 
was  well  advanced.    Even  here,   servitude   accompanied 

into  this  river. '    If  he  meant  that  these  eleven  ships  came  in  after  he  did,  at 

least  three  of  them  are  not  accounted  for  in  our  annals. ' '    Washburn,  Slavery 

as  it  once  prevailed  in  Massachusetts,  pp.  198,  327. 

•Nell,    Colored    Patriots    of    the    American   Revolution,   p.    59, 

*  Rivers,  History  of  South  Carolina,  p.  113;  Buckingham,  Slave  States  of 

America,  I,  p.  19. 

5  The  Journal  of  Negro  Eittory,  III,  p.  33 ;  Work,  Negro  Year  Boole,  p. 
152.    "The  aecond  settler  in  Alabama  was  a  Negro." 

8  Ballagh  gives  an  interesting  and  the  most  reliable  account  of  this  ship 
and  these  Negroes.  {History  of  Slavery  in  Virginia,  p.  8.)  A  heated  con- 
troversy took  place  over  what  should  be  done  with  the  Negroes.  ' '  And  so  the 
people  of  her  were  all  disposed  of  for  the  year  to  the  use  of  the  company  till 
it  could  be  truly  known  to  whom  the  right  lyeth. ' '  Brown,  The  First  BepuUic 
in  America,  pp.  359,  368,  391,  325-27. 

250  Journal,  of  Negro  History 

slavery.  In  some  of  the  colonies,  the  question  of  priority 
resolves  itself  into  the  question  of  the  priority  of  customary 
servitude  to  customary  slavery.  In  this  case,  however,  it 
is  probable  that  servitude  was  first,  even  though  slavery 
was  first  recognized  in  law.  In  certain  instances,  the  rec- 
ords make  it  certain  that  servitude  preceded  slavery.  This 
was  the  case  in  Virginia. 

Several  authorities  have  showii  the  extent  to  which  the 
priority  of  Negro  servitude  has  been  recognized.  ''At 
first  the  African  slave  was  looked  upon  as  but  an  improved 
variety  of  indented  servant  whose  term  of  labor  was  for 
life  instead  of  a  few  years."'  ''As  has  been  mentioned, 
some  Negroes  were  bound  as  slaves  for  a  term  of  years 
only."'  The  Negroes  of  1619  and  "others  brought  by 
early  privateers  were  not  reduced  to  slavery,  but  to  limited 
servitude,  a  legalized  status  of  Indian,  white,  and  negro 
servants,  preceding  slavery  in  most,  if  not  all,  of  the  Eng- 
lish mainland  colonies."*  "Negro  and  Indian  servitude 
thus  preceded  negro  and  Indian  slavery,  and  together  with 
white  servitude  in  instances  continued  even  after  the  insti- 
tution of  slavery  was  fully  developed."^" 

Furthermore,  there  is  not  the  slightest  evidence  that  the 
colonists  were  disposed  to  treat  as  slaves  the  first  Negroes 
who  landed  in  the  colonies.  They  had  no  tradition  of 
slavery  in  England  at  that  time.  "Whatever  may  have 
been  the  intent  and  hope  of  the  persons  in  possession  of  the 
negroes  as  regards  their  ultimate  enslavement,  no  attempt 

to  do  so  legally  seems  for  a  long  time  to  have  been  made 

for  some  reasons  the  notion  of  enslavement  gained  ground 
but  slowly,  and  although  conditions  surrounding  a  negro 
or  Indian  in  possession  could  easily  make  him  a  defacto 
slave,  the  colonist  seems  to  have  preferred  to  retain  him 
only  as  a  servant.  .  .  .  ""  Ser\dtude,  on  the  other  hand, 
was  familiar  enough,  although  not  in  the  form  w^hich  it 

''  Thwaites,  The  Colonies,  p.  98. 
sDaaiels,  In  Freedom's  Birthplace,  p.  7. 
^New  International  Encyclopedia,  p.  168. 
^"Eallagh,  Hist,  of  Slavery  in  Va.,  p.  32. 
"  Ballagh,  Hist,  of  Slavery  in  Va.,  p.  31. 

Negro  Servitude  in  the  United  States  251 

eventually  assumed  in  the  colonies.  The  attitude  of  the 
colonists,  when  they  first  became  confronted  with  the  Ne- 
gro question,  was  the  attitude  of  Queen  Elizabeth  and  Haw- 
kins when  it  was  proposed  to  go  to  Africa  to  barter  for 
African  servants.^^ 

It  was  just  as  true  in  the  colonial  days  as  now  that  the 
attitude  which  the  community  takes  towards  the  Negro  pop- 
ulation is  largely  determined  by  their  relative  numbers.  If 
the  Negroes  had  been  numerous  in  the  colonies  immediately 
after  1619,  it  is  reasonable  to  suppose  that  their  status 
would  have  been  defined  earlier  and  more  sharply  than  it 
was.  But  the  numbers  were  not  there."  Six  years  after 
the  introduction  of  the  first  Negroes  in  Virginia,  there  were 
but  twenty-three  in  the  colony.  Meanwhile  the  white  popu- 
lation was  about  2500.  All  through  the  first  half  of  the 
century  importation  of  Negroes  was  of  an  '*  occasional  na- 
ture. ' ' "  Forty  years  after  the  first  introduction  there  were 
but  three  hundred  Negroes  in  the  colony.^^  It  was  during 
the  last  quarter  of  the  seventeenth  century  that  the  number 
of  Negroes  in  Virginia  showed  a  noticeable  increase.  By 
1683  there  were  three  thousand;  between  1700  and  1750, 
the  increase  was  even  more  noticeable. ^^  In  Maryland,  Ne- 
groes were  not  extensively  introduced  until  the  eighteenth 
century."    In  1665  a  few  slaves  were  brought  to  North 

12  Washburn  holds  that  the  moral  stamina  of  sturdy  people  seeking  free- 
dom argued  against  enslavement.     Slavery  as  it  once  prevailed  in  Mass.,  p.  194. 

13  "If  twenty  negroes  came  in  1619,  as  alleged,  their  increase  was  very 
slow,  for  according  to  a  census  of  16th  of  February,  1624,  there  were  but 
twenty-two  then  in  the  colony. ' '    Neill,  Eist.  of  the  Va.  Co.,  p.  72, 

"When  the  census  was  taken  in  January,  1625,  there  were  only  twenty 
persons  of  the  African  race  in  Virginia.  ..."  Virginia  Carolorum,  pp.  15, 
16,  22,  33,  40,  59,  225;  Brown,  The  Genesis  of  Am.,  II,  p.  987. 

^*  Ballagh,  History  of  Slavery  in  Virginia,  pp.  9-10. 

15  The  group  brought  over  in  1638  by  Menefie  was  an  unusually  large 
number:  "Menefie  was  now  the  leading  merchant.  On  April  19,  1638,  he 
entered  3,000  acres  of  land  on  account  of  60  transports,  of  whom  23  were, 
as  he  asserts,  'negroes,  I  brought  out  of  England.'  "  Virginia  Carolorum,  p. 
187   note;    Ballagh,   White  Servitude  in  the  Colony  of   Virginia,  p.   91   note. 

18  "Intended  insurrections  of  negroes  in  1710,  1722,  1730,  bear  witness 
to  their  alarming  increase.  ..."  White  Servitude  in  the  Colony  of  Virginia, 
p.  92  note. 

1"  Brackett,  The  Negro  in  Md.,  p.  38. 

252  Journal  of  Negro  History 

Carolina  and  it  was  not  until  1700  and  after  that  their 
number  reached  eight  hundred.^^  After  their  introduction 
by  Sir  John  Yeamans  in  1671  it  was  not  until  1708  that  the 
number  of  Negroes  in  South  Carolina  became  a  consider- 
able part  of  the  population.^"  In  Pennsylvania,  as  early  as 
1639,  a  number  of  Negroes  served  a  Swedish  company. 
How  many  there  were  is  not  known.^"  In  1644,  1657,  1664 
and  1677  several  Negroes  singly  and  in  groups  are  known 
to  have  been  in  the  region  which  afterwards  became  Penn- 
sylvania. In  this  colony  they  were  spoken  of  as  '  *  numerous ' ' 
in  1702,  but  numerous  then  did  not  mean  so  many.  Later 
their  number  is  noticeable."  In  Massachusetts,  from  1638, 
when  the  Salem  ship,  Desire,  returned  from  the  West  Indies 
with  cotton,  tobacco,  and  Negroes,  to  the  close  of  the  seven- 
teenth century  the  number  of  Negroes  was  comparatively 
small.^"  Josselyn  saw  Negroes  in  the  colony  when  he  vis- 
ited ft  in  1638-39."  In  1678,  there  were  200  in  the  colony 
and  in  1678  Governor  Andros  reported  that  there  were  but  a 
few.  In  1680,  Governor  Bradstreet  said  no  blacks  or  slaves 
had  been  brought  in  the  colony  in  the  space  of  fifty 
years  except  between  forty  and  fifty  one  time  and  two  or 
three  now  and  then.  In  the  nine  years  from  1698  to  1707, 
two  hundred  arrived  and  in  1735  there  were  2,600  in  the 
Province."  Immediately  after  1619,  then,  the  number  of 
Negroes  scattered  throughout  the  colonies  was  compara- 
tively small.  It  seems  likely  that  their  condition  may  be  de- 
scribed as  that  of  servitude,  which  at  that  time  universally 
prevailed,  rather  than  slavery. 

18  Bassett,  Slavery  and  Servitude  in  the  Col.  of  N.  C,  pp.  18-20. 
IB  Henry,  Police  Control  of  the  Slave  in  8.  C,  p.  3. 
-'f  Post,  p.  262,  note  10. 

21  Turner,  The  Negro  in  Penn.,  pp.  1-3. 

22  Moore,  Notes  on  the  History  of  Slavery  in  Mass.,  pp.  5,  48;  Palfrey, 
Hist,  of  N.  E.,  p.  30. 

23 ' '  They  have  store  of  children,  and  are  well  aftcommodated  with  Serv- 
ants;    of  these  some  are  English,  others  Negroes:    of  the  English  there 

are  can  eat  till  they  sweat,  and  work  till  they  freeze;  and  of  the  females  they 
are  like  Mrs.  Wintus  paddocks,  very  tinder  fingered  in  cold  weather."  Ac- 
count of  Two  Voyages  to  N.  E.,  pp.  28,  139-140. 

"  Moore,  Notes  on  the  Hist,  of  Slavery  in  Mass.,  pp.  48-49. 

Negro  Servitude  in  the  United  States  253 

We  are  likely  to  think  of  the  status  of  the  early  Negroes 
in  Ajnerica  as  having  been  inherited  or  transplanted.  Far 
from  this,  the  status  of  the  Negro  in  the  early  period,  like 
slavery  itself,  was  purely  a  local  development."  The  status 
of  the  early  Negroes  shows  unmistakably  that  it  developed 
in  lines  parallel  to  that  of  white  servitude.^'  The  motives 
which  determined  the  growth  of  white  servitude  and  Negro 
slavery  are  peculiar  to  the  social  and  economic  conditions 
of  the  colony  of  Virginia  and  its  neighbors,  whose  inhabi- 
tants were  primarily  imported  settlers  and  laborers. 
White  servitude  and  black  servitude  were  but  different 
aspects  of  the  same  institution.  As  white  servitude  disap- 
peared, Negro  slavery  succeeded  it." 

The  reason  the  early  Negroes  were  not  given  at  once 
the  status  of  slaves  is  that  there  was  at  this  time  no  legal 
basis  for  slavery.  The  Dutch  who  settled  in  New  York 
seem  to  have  defined  the  status  of  the  Negro  slave  on  the 
civil  law  of  Holland.  In  the  English  colonies  it  was  a 
local  development.^®  Clearly,  the  ownership  in  the  Negroes 
was  widely  recognized  and  practiced  in  custom  and  in  law. 
It  is  equally  clear,  however,  that  white  servitude  and  some 
form  of  black  servitude  existed  for  a  long  time  side  by  side 
with  Negro  slavery.  This  recognition  of  slavery  in  cus- 
tom and  practice,  moreover,  makes  its  appearance  near 
the  date  of  the  statutory  recognition  of  slavery  by  the 
colonies.^^    Hence,  the  dates  of  this  statutory  recognition 

^^  Ballagh,  Hist,  of  Slavery  in  Virginia,  pp.  2,  3,  34. 

*• ' '  The  main  ideas  on  which  servitude  was  based  originated  in  the  early 
history  of  Virginia  as  a  purely  English  colonial  development  before  the  other 
colonies  were  formed.  The  sj'stem  was  adopted  in  them  with  its  outline 
already  defined,  requiring  only  local  legislation  to  give  it  specific  character, 
..."  (Ballagh,  White  Servitude  in  the  Colony  of  Virginia,  p.  9.)  The  status 
of  servitude,  customary  and  legal,  similar  to  that  given  the  Negroes  in  Virginia 
is  as  a  rule  met  with  in  several  of  the  colonies. 

^"  Post,  p.  254,  note  33. 

=■  Ballagh,  Hist,  of  Slavery  in  Va.,  pp.  28,  29,  34. 

"  White  servitude  had  recognition  in  statute  law  by  1C30-36  in  Massa- 
chusetts, by  1643  in  Connecticut,  by  1647  in  Rhode  Island,  by  1619  in  Virginia, 
by  1637  in  Maryland,  by  1665  in  North  Carolina,  by  1682  in  Pennsylvania, 
and  by  1732  in  Georgia.  Ballagh,  Hist,  of  Slavery  in  Va.,  pp.  36,  37.  Eussell, 
The  Free  Negro  in  Va.,  pp.  18,  19,  22,  29. 

254  Journal  of  Negro  History 

fix  the  "upper  limit  to  the  period"  in  which  slavery  may  be 
said  to  have  had  a  beginning.^"  In  a  number  of  the  colonies, 
not  only  is  absolute  ownership  in  Negroes,  hence  slavery, 
conspicuous,  by  the  absence  of  any  records  of  it,  but  the 
priority  of  Negro  servitude  and  of  a  free  Negro  class  is  es- 
tablished. 0\\^lership  in  the  services  but  not  of  the  person 
was  characteristic  of  both  whites  and  Negroes  in  this  early 

''Prior  to  1619  every  inhabitant  of  Virginia  was 
practically  a  'servant  manipulated  in  the  interest  of  the 
company,  held  in  servitude  beyond  a  stipulated  term. ' ' ' 
"It  was  not  an  uncommon  practice  in  the  early  period  for 
shipmasters  to  sell  white  servants  to  the  planters."  By 
1619  servitude  was  already  recognized  in  the  law  of  Vir- 

In  this  early  period  the  Company,  as  represented  lo- 
cally by  its  officials,  was  the  sole  controlling  and  directing 
power  of  the  colony.^*  The  Company  was  at  the  outset 
doubtful  about  the  advantages  of  bringing  in  slaves,  partly 
because  they  were  not  sure  of  the  value  of  slave  labor,  and 
partly  because  they  feared  the  Negro  would  not  become  a 
permanent  settler  and  so  contribute  to  the  building  up  and 
defending  the  colony.  The  opposition  of  the  trustees  of 
Georgia  to  the  importation  of  Negroes  was  rested  on  these 

'"  statutory  recognition  of  slavery  by  the  American  colonies  occurred  as 
follows:  Ma3sa<?liusetts,  1641;  Connecticut,  1650;  Virginia,  1661;  Maryland, 
1663;  New  York  and  Xew  Jersey,  1664;  South  Carolina,  1682;  Pennsylvania 
and  Rhode  Island,  1700;  North  Carolina,  1715;  and  Georgia,  1755.  Prior 
to  theso  dates  the  legal  status  of  all  subject  Negroes  was  that  of  servants,  and 
their  rights,  duties,  and  disabilities  were  regulated  by  legislation  the  same 
as,  or  similar  to,  that  applied  to  white  servants.  Ballagh,  Hist,  of  Servitude 
in  Va.,  pp.  34,  35. 

'^  Eussell,  Th^  Free  Negroes  in  Va.,  p.  29. 

''Turner,  The  Negro  in  Peun.,  p.  25;  Ballagh,  Eist.  of  S'avery  in  Va., 
pp.  30,  31. 

''Ante,  note  30:  "It  was  but  natural  then  that  they  should  be  absorbed 
in  a  growing  system  which  spread  to  all  the  colonies  and  for  nearly  a  century 
furnished  the  chief  supply  for  colonial  labor."  Ballagh,  White  Servitude  in 
the  Colony  of  Va.,  pp.  14,  27,  49.     Ballagh,  Hist,  of  Slavery  in  Va.,  pp.  32. 

**  The  Company  secured  servants  for  the  colony.  Stevens,  History  of  Ga., 
p.  290;  Ballagh,  White  Servitude  in  the  Col.  of  Va.,  p.  15. 

Negro  Servitude  in  the  United  States  255 

grounds."  Early  legislation  in  order  to  proliibit  the 
trade  in  the  colonies  imposed  duties  on  slaves  imported/® 
Moreover,  it  appears  that  the  Company  generally  held  and 
worked  the  Negroes,  who  were  purchased,  in  the  interest 
of  the  government,  frequently  distributing  them  among 
the  officers  and  planters.  This  was  done,  for  example,  in 
the  island  colony,  the  Bermudas,  in  Virginia,  and  in  Provi- 
dence Island." 

Established  and  universal  as  white  servitude  was  it  not 
only  became  the  model  of  Negro  servitude  but  also  de- 
cidedly influenced  its  transition  to  slavery.  When  Negro 
servitude  passed  into  slavery,  it  was  white  servitude  that 
lent  that  slavery  the  mild  character  which  it  possessed 
until  the  early  part  of  the  nineteenth  century.^^ 

The  earliest  authorized  effort  of  England  for  Negro 
servants  further  elucidates  this  point.  In  1562,  Sir  John 
Hawkins  proposed  to  take  Negroes  from  Africa  and  sell 
them.  Queen  Elizabeth  did  not  at  first  approve  Hawkins' 
plan  but  questioned  the  justice  of  it.  Hawkins  argued 
that    bringing    the    Africans    from    a    wild    and    barren 

33  The  Trustees  of  Georgia  held  out  on  account  of  philanthropic  motives. 
See  Du  Bois,  Suppression  of  the  Slave  Trade,  pp.  7,  8,  26;  Declaration  of  oue 
of  the  trustees,  Stevens,  Hist,  of  Ga.,  p.  287. 

*"  Moore,  Notes  on  the  History  of  Slavery  in  Mass.,  p.  50.  Du  Boi';, 
S^uppression  of  African  Slave  Trade,  p.  15. 

^' In  Providence  in  1633,  "it  was  recommended  that  twenty  or  thirty 
negroes  be  introduced  for  public  work,  and  that  they  be  separated  among 
various  families  of  officers  and  industrious  planters  to  prevent  the  formation 
of  plots.  Some  of  these  negroes  received  wages  and  purchased  their  freedom, 
and  the  length  of  servitude  seems  to  bave  been  dependent  on  the  time  of 
conversion  to  Christianity."  Lefroy,  The  History,  of  the  Bermudaes,  p.  219. 
Ballagh,  Hist,  of  Slavei-y  in  Va.,  pp  29,  30,  notes. 

The  Dutch  dealt  with  the  early  Negroes  in  a  similar  way.  ' '  In  practice  the 
heavy  duty  imposed  by  the  Company  seems  to  have  discouraged  any  large 
importation.  As  a  natural  consequence,  too,  most  of  those  imported  seem  to 
have  been  in  the  employment  of  the  Company.  Thus  we  learn  that  the  fort 
at  New  Amsterdam  was  mainly  built  by  negro  labor.  The  Company  seems 
wisely  to  have  made  arrangements  whereby  its  slaves  should  be  gradually 
absorbed  in  the  free  population.  In  1644  an  ordinance  was  passed  emancipat- 
ing the  slaves  of  the  Company  after  a  fixed  period  of  service."  Doyle,  Eng. 
Cols,  in  Am.,  TV,  p.  49. 

"Ballagh,  Hist,  of  Slavery  in  Va.,  p.  33. 

256  Journal,  of  Negro  History 

country  would  be  eminently  just  and  beneficial  to  the 
Africans  and  to  the  world.  He  seemed  not  to  have  had 
the  purpose  of  selling  the  Africans  into  perpetual  servi- 
tude: ''Hawkins  told  her,  that  he  considered  it  as  an 
act  of  humanity  to  carry  men  from  a  worse  condition  to 
a  better  .  .  .  from  a  state  of  wild  barbarism  to  another 
where  they  might  share  the  blessings  of  civil  society  and 
Christianity;  from  poverty,  nakedness  and  want  to 
plenty  and  felicity.  He  assured  her  that  in  no  expedi- 
tion where  he  had  command  should  any  Africans  be  car- 
ried away  without  their  own  free  will  and  consent,  ex- 
cept such  captives  as  were  taken  in  war  and  doomed  to 
death;  ....  Indeed  it  would  appear  that  Hawkins  had 
no  idea  of  perpetual  slavery,  but  expected  that  they  would 
be  treated  as  free  servants  after  they  had  by  their  labor 
brought  their  masters  an  equivalent  for  the  expenses  of 
their  purchase."^®  After  this,  Hawkins  received  ap- 
proval and  support  from  the  Queen,  and  with  three  ships 
and  crews  he  went  on  his  trip  to  Africa. 

Upon  his  arrival  he  began  traffic  with  the  natives.  He 
sought  at  first  to  persuade  the  blacks  to  go  with  him, 
offering  them  glittering  rewards.  When  the  natives  did 
not  respond  so  readily  to  his  entreaty,  members  of  his 
crew,  under  the  influence  of  rum,  undertook  to  coerce 
the  Africans.**'  Hawkins  sought  to  dissuade  them  and 
reminded  the  men  of  his  promise  to  the  Queen.  They 
finally  succeeded  in  getting  on  board  a  number  of  Africans 
and  set  sail  for  the  Spanish  islands  where  the  Africans 
were  to  be  sold  as  servants." 

The  early  Negroes  of  Virginia,  moreover,  were  servants. 
On  the  status  of  ''  the  1619  Negroes  "  historians  are  un- 
certain, but  the  popular  conception  of  the  situation  is  un- 
doubtedly erroneous.  The  Dutch  frigate  sold  the  Negroes 
to  the  Company  which  controlled  and  distributed  them. 
Some  of  them  were  clearly  retained  by  the  officers  while 

•»  Carroll,  Hist.  Coll.,  I,  p.  27. 
"^  Ibid.,  p.  29. 
"  Ibid.,  p.  29. 

Negro  Servitude  in  the  United  States  257 

others  '  *  were  put  to  work  upon  public  lands  to  support 
the  governor  and  other  officers  of  the  government." 
There  is  no  evidence  tha^  any  of  these  Negroes  were 
made  slaves,  while  evidence  that  they  were  servants  is 
abundant. " 

The  statutes  of  Virginia  up  to  1661  indicate  the  ex- 
istence of  Negro  servitude  rather  than  that  of  slavery."*^ 
In  1630,  whites  were  whipped  for  fornication  with  the 
blacks  ''before  an  assembly  of  negroes.''^  In  1639  and 
1640,  all  persons  except  Negroes  were  to  be  provided 
with  arms  and  ammunition  or  be  fined.**  Up  to  that 
time  the  acts  do  not  indicate  slavery.  The  act  of  1655 
refers  to  Indian  slavery.  *^  The  act  of  1659  does  not  show 
that  Negro  slavery  existed  in  the  colony,  but  apparently 
aims  to  prevent  it. "  No  other  acts,  in  the  statutes,  throw 
any  light  on  the  status  of  the  Negro  before  the  act  of 
1661.  This  acts  reads,  '*In  case  any  English  servant 
shall  run  away  in  company  with  any  negroes  who  are  in- 
capable of  making  satisfaction  by  addition  of  time,  be  it 
enacted  that  the  English  so  running  away  in  company 
with  them  shall  serve  for  the  time  of  the  said  negroes 
absence  as  they  are  to  do  for  their  own  by  a  former 
act."*^     The  inferences  from  this  act  are  three:  some  of 

"  Eussell,  The  Free  Negro  in  Va.,  pp.  16,  23 ;  Ballagh,  Hist,  of  Slavery  in 
Va.,  p.  29  notes;  Brown,  The  First  Republic  in  Am.,  p.  326. 

Thomas  Jefferson  said,  "the  right  to  these  negroes  was  common,  or, 
perhaps  they  lived  on  a  footing  with  the  whites,  who,  as  well  as  themselves, 
were  under  absolute  direction  of  the  president."  Eussell,  The  Free  Negro  in 
Va.,  p.  24. 

«7bt<!.,  23,  24;  Ballagh,  History  of  Slavery  in  Va.,  28,  31;  Phillips,  Am. 
Negro  Slavery,  p.  75. 

"Henning,  I,  pp.   146,   226. 

"The  first  time  the  term  "slave"  is  used  in  the  statutes  was  in  these 
words:  "If  the  Indians  shall  bring  in  any  children  as  gages  of  their  good 
and  quiet  intentions  to  us,  .  .  .  that  we  will  not  use  them  as  slaves."  Hen- 
ning,  I,  p.  296. 

**In  Henning,  Statutes  I,  p.  540,  it  is  said:  "That  if  the  said  Dutch  or 
other  foreigners  shall  import  any  negroes,  they  the  said  Dutch  or  others 
shall,  for  the  tobacco  really  produced  by  the  sale  of  the  said  negro,  pay 
only  the  impost  of  two  shillings  per  hogshead,  the  like  being  paid  by  our 
own  nation. ' ' 

"Henning,  II,  p.  26, 

258  Journal  of  Negro  History 

the  Negroes  in  the  colony  were  slaves,  others  free,  and 
still  others  servants.  The  repetition  of  this  act  the  follow- 
ing year  made  provision  for  runaway  Negro  servants  also 
by  a  change  of  statement.** 

Notwithstanding  the  statutes,  Russel  found  that  in  the 
records  of  county  courts  dating  from  1632  to  1661  negroes 
are  designated  as  *  servants,'  '  negro  servants,'  or  simply 
as  'negroes,'  but  never  in  the  records  were  the  Negroes 
termed  '  slaves  '."  From  the  context  of  the  records,  more- 
over, **  servant"  was  distinctly  meant  and  not  ''slave." 
Again,  according  to  the  census  taken  in  1624-1625,  there 
were  twenty-three  persons  of  the  African  race  in  Vir- 
ginia and  they  are  listed  as  "servants.""  In  several 
musters  of  settlements  the  names  of  Negroes  appear 
under  the  heading,  "  Servants  " ;  sometimes  only  "  Negro  " 
appears.  ^°    The  General  Court  in  October,  1625,  had  be- 

"  KusseU,  The  Free  Negro  in  Va.,  p.  20,  note  13. 

*^  Ibid.,  pp.   23,   24;    Hotten,  List   of  Immigrants   to   Am.,  pp.   202,   etc. 

The  "Lists  of  the  Living  and  Dead  in  Virginia,  Feb.  IGth,  1623,"  shows 
that  there  were  twenty  or  more  Negroes  in  the  Colony;  these  Negroes  are 
referred  to  as  servants  not  slaves.     Col.  Eecords  of  Va.,  p.  37,  etc. 

•*  "Captain  Francis  West,  His   Muster. 


John  Pedro,  A  Neger,  aged  30,  in  the  Swan,  1633." 

Va.  Carolorum,  p.  15. 
' '  Muster  of  Sir  George  Yeardley,  Kt. 



Thomas  Barnett,  16,  in  the  Elsabeth,  1620 
Theophilus  Bereston,  in  the  Treasuror,  1614 
Negro  Men,  3. 
Negro  Women,  5. 

Susan  Hall,  in  the  William  and  Thomas,  160S 

Ibid.,  p.   16. 
"Muster  of  Capt.  William  Tucker,  Elizabeth  City. 


Antoney,   Negro 

Isabell,   Negro 

William,  theire  child,  baptised" 

Ibid.,  p.  40;  see  a  muster 
also  on  page  22. 

Negro  Servitude  in  the  United  States  259 

fore  it  for  the  first  time  a  question  involving  the  legal 
status  of  the  Negro  in  America.  A  Negro  named  Brass 
had  been  brought  to  the  colony  by  the  captain  of  a  ship. 
Upon  handing  down  the  decision  as  to  what  should  be 
done  with  Brass,  since  his  master  had  died,  the  Court 
**  ordered  that  he  should  belong  to  Sir  Francis  Wyatt, 
Governor,"  evidently  as  servant."  Anthony  Johnson  and 
Mary,  his  wife,  whose  names  appeared  as  servants  in  the 
census  mentioned  above,  were,  at  sometime  before  1652, 
given  their  freedom  from  servitude,  for  in  that  year  they 
were  exempted  from  payment  of  taxes  by  the  county 
court  on  account  of  the  burning  of  their  home.  The  order 
of  the  court  in  reference  to  Johnson  and  his  wife  men- 
tioned that  *'  they  have  been  inhabitants  in  Virginia  above 
thirty  years."  According  to  this,  they  had  been  in  the 
colony  at  least  from  1621  which  approaches  1619.  It 
appears  that  they  were  among  the  first  Negroes  sold  at 
Jamestown.  And  this,  with  the  understanding  that  they 
were  not  free  at  first  establishes  quite  well  their  original 
status  as  servants  as  well  as  that  of  the  1619  Negroes  and 
other  Negroes  in  the  colony. 

The  free  Negro,  Anthony  Johnson,  in  1653  owned  John 
Castor,  another  Negro  of  Northampton  County,  as  his 
indented  servant.  In  1655,  a  Negro  was  bound  to  serve 
George  Light  for  a  period  of  five  years. ^^  The  court 
record  of  the  discharge  of  Francis  Pryne  in  1656  is  an  ex- 
ample of  the  discharge  certificate  of  Negro  servants: 

'*  I  Mrs.  Jane  Elkonhead  .  .  .  have  hereunto  sett  my 
hand  yt  ye  aforesd  Pryne  [a  negro]  shall  bee  discharged 
from  all  hindrance  of  servitude  (his  child)  or  any  [thing] 
yt  doth  belong  to  ye  sd  Pryne  his  estate. 

Jane  Elkonhead  ' ' " 

"On  the  25  of  January,  1624-5,  a  muster  of  Mr.  Edward  Bennett's 
servants  at  Wariscoyak  was  taken,  and  the  number  was  twelve,  two  of  whom 
were  negroes."  Va.  Carolorum,  225  note.  See  also  Brown,  The  Genesis  of 
Am.,  II,  987. 

^^  Virginia  Carolorum,  pp.  33,  34  j  Ballagh,  Hist,  of  Slavery  in  Virginia, 
p.  30. 

"Russell,  The  Free  Negro  in  Virginia,  pp.  24,  26,  32. 

"/bid.,  pp.  26,  29. 

260  Journal  of  Negro  History 

In  some  cases,  as  it  was  with  the  white  servants,  Ne- 
groes were  given  written  indentures,  of  which  Russell  gives 
several  examples.  It  was  an  early  practice  of  the  colony 
to  allow  ' '  head  rights, ' '  a  certain  number  of  acres  of  land 
for  every  servant  imported.  In  1651  ''head  rights"  were 
allowed  on  the  importation  of  a  Negro  whose  name  was 
Richard  Johnson.  ''Only  three  years  later  a  patent  call- 
ing for  one  hundred  acres  of  land  was  issued  to  this  negro 
for  importing  two  other  persons.  Hence,  it  appears  that 
Richard  Johnson  came  in  as  a  free  negro  or  remained  in 
a  condition  of  servitude  for  not  more  than  three  years."" 
It  was  a  practice  also  of  those  who  held  servants  to  allow 
them  the  privilege  of  raising  hogs  and  poultry  and  of  tilling 
a  small  plot  of  ground.  The  court  records  show  that  by  this 
means  John  Geaween,  Emanuel  Dregis,  and  Bashasar 
Farando,  as  Negro  servants,  between  1649  and  1652,  ac- 
cumulated property.  Again,  there  are  cases  illustrating 
that  the  Negro  servant  received  "freedom  dues"  as  the 
white  servants  at  the  close  of  the  term  of  service." 
Thus  the  first  and  early  Negroes  of  Virginia  were  servants, 
not  slaves.  They  were  not  only  servants  at  first,  but  also 
servants  in  general  for  a  period  of  years. 

Negro  Servitude  and  its  Priority  in  other  Colonies 

Slavery  received  statutory  recognition  in  the  colony 
of  Maryland  in  1663,  and  in  North  Carolina  in  1715.  White 
servitude  had  long  existed  in  these  colonies,  receiving  stat- 
utory recognition  in  Maryland  as  early  as  1637,  and  in 
North  Carolina  in  1665.  Servitude,  therefore,  had  ample 
time  for  local  definition  "before  slavery  entered  upon 
either  its  customary  or  legal  devlopment. " '  Ballagh 
holds  that  in  these  colonies,  also,  Negro  servitude  histori- 
cally preceded  slavery.'  In  Maryland,  particularly,  along 
with  Virginia  and  Massachusetts,  the  "circumstances  sur- 

^Ibid.,  pp.  25,  26. 

**Ibid.,  pp.  22,  28,  34;   Bruce,  Econ.  Hist,  of   Virginia.  II,  pp.   52,  53. 

'Ballagh,  pp.  36-37. 

2  Ibid.,  32. 

Negro  Servitude  in  the  United  States  261 

rounding  the  enactments  defining  slavery"  indicate  a  nat- 
ural transition  from  Negro  servitude  to  slavery.  Since 
servitude  existed  in  these  states,  it  seems  probable,  from 
analogy  with  conditions  in  other  parts  of  the  country, 
that  the  early  Negroes  in  these  colonies  were  servants.^ 

Negro  servitude  preceded  Negro  slavery  in  Massachu- 
setts. This  servitude  existed  legally  and  underwent  a 
period  of  development.  After  the  recognition  of  slavery 
in  1641,  Negro  servitude  continued  along  with  slavery  and 
in  a  more  pronounced  manner.*  The  early  inhabitants  of 
Massachusetts  were  hostile  to  the  introduction  of  slavery. 
This  attitude  was,  perhaps,  responsible  for  the  milder  form 
which  Negro  bondage  first  assumed,  for  ''the  facts  of  his- 
tory .  .  .  seem  to  establish  this  conclusion,  that  slavery 
never  was  in  harmony  with  the  public  sentiment  of  the 
colony. "°  The  Salem  ship,  the  Desire,  brought  to  the 
Colony,  February  26,  1638,  ''some  cotton,  tobacco,  and 
negroes."  This  cargo  had  been  taken  on  by  Mr.  Pierce 
of  the  Desire^  at  Providence  Island,  evidently  in  exchange 
for  fifteen  Indian  boys  and  two  women,  taken  as  prisoners 
in  the  Pequod  War.®  At  this  time,  it  was  common  to  pur- 
chase servants  from  shipmasters  and  merchants,  and  so  it 
is  not  certain  that  the  Negroes  brought  back  by  Mr.  Pierce 
were  slaves.  At  Providence,  moreover,  Negroes  had  the 
status  of  servants.''  When  Jossel>Ti  visited  New  England 
in  1638-39,  he  saw  in  Boston  servants,  English  and  Ne- 

*  Ibid.,  37;  Beatty,  The  Free  Negroes  in  the  Carolinas  before  1860,  p.  3. 
The  children,  resulting  from  the  intermiiture  and  intermarriage  of  the 

races  were  likewise  servants  in  these  two  colonies.  Stroud,  Laws  Belating  to 
Slavery,  pp.  8-9. 

*  Servitude  was  recognized  in  statute  law  in  this  colony  by  1630-36. 
Ballagh,  Hist,  of  Slavery  in  Va.,  pp.  32,  33,  36. 

•Washburn,  Slavery  as  It  Once  Prevailed  in  Mass.,  p.  193. 

•Providence  Isle  was  "an  island  in  the  Caribbean,  off  the  Nicaraguan 
coast.  In  1630  Charles  I  granted  it,  by  a  patent  similar  to  that  of  Massa- 
chusetts, to  a  company  of  Englishmen,  mostly  Puritans,  who  held  it  till  1641, 
when  the  Spaniards  captured  it."  Winthrop's  Journal,  II,  pp.  227,  228,  260; 
Moore,  Notes  on  the  Hist,  of  Slavery  in  Mass.,  p.  5. 

'  BaUagh,  Hist,  of  Slavery  in  Va.,  note  2,  quoted  from  Calendar 
State  Papers,  pp.  160,  168,  229. 

262  Journal  of  Negro  History 

groes/  In  1641,  after  the  adoption  of  the  Body  of  Liber- 
ties, a  master  of  a  ship  brought  two  Negroes  for  sale  into 
slavery,  but  was  compelled  by  the  court  to  give  them  up. 
These  Negroes  were  then  sent  back  to  their  native  country. 
In  1646,  the  General  Court  passed  an  act  ''against  the 
heinous  and  crying  sin  of  man-stealing."  In  this  colony 
"slaves"  testified  against  white  men  in  court  and,  for  a 
long  time  after  1652,  served  in  the  militia."  Again,  begin- 
ning with  1700,  Judge  Sewall  and  the  Quakers  started  their 
memorable  work  against  slavery.  Charles  Sumner  said 
concerning  slavery  in  Massachusetts:  "Her  few  slaves 
were  merely  for  a  term  of  years,  or  for  life."  ^° 

The  Bond  of  Liberty,  adopted  in  1641,  evidently  made 
provision  for  servitude."  Negroes  were  held  as  servants 
under  this  provision.  During  the  entire  colonial  period 
until  1791,  they  were  rated  as  polls,  as,  for  example,  in  the 
tax  laws,  in  1718,  which  provided  that  "all  Indian,  negro 
and  mulatto  servants  for  a  term  of  years  were  to  be  num- 
bered and  rated  as  Polls,  and  not  as  Personal  Estate.  "^^ 

Prior  to  1700,  moreover,  Negroes  had  the  status  of  serv- 
ants in  Pennsylvania.  In  the  region  of  the  Delaware 
River,  which  became  a  part  of  Pennsylvania,  the  Dutch 
had  a  few  Negroes  with  them  in  1636.  In  1639,  also,  a 
number  of  Negroes  worked  under  the  New  Netherlands 
Company  on  the  South  River."     It  is  not  definitely  known 

8  Ante,  p.  252,  note  23. 

"  Washburn,  Slavery  as  It  Once  Prevailed  in  Mass.,  pp.  208,  215. 

*°  Nell,  Colored  Patriots  in  Am.  Eev.,  p.  37. 

""There  shall  never  be  any  Bond  Slavery,  Villinage,  or  Captivity  among 
us,  unless  it  be  lawful  Captives  taken  in  just  Wars,  and  such  strangers  as 
willingly  sell  themselves,  or  are  sold  to  us.  And  these  shall  have  all  the  liberties 
and  Christian  usages  which  the  law  of  God,  established  in  Israel  concerning 
such  persons,  doth  morally  require.  This  exempts  none  from  servitude,  who 
shall  be  judged  thereto  by  authority."  Massachusetts  Hist.  Coll.,  28,  p.  231; 
Palfrey,  Hist,  of  New  England,  II,  p.  30. 

"  Moore,  Notes  on  Slavery  in  Mass.,  pp.  62,  63-64,  248. 

^*"A  judgment  is  obtained,  before  the  authorities  at  Manhattan,  against 
one  Coinclisse,  for  wounding  a  soldier  at  Fort  Amsterdam.  He  is  condemned 
to  cerve  the  company  along  with  the  blacks,  to  be  sent  by  the  first  ship  to 
South  Eiver,  pay  a  fine  to  the  fiscal,  and  damages  to  the  wounded  soldier. 
This  seems  to  be  the  first  intimation  of  blacks  being  in  this  part  of  the 

Negro  Servitude  in  the  United  States  263 

that  these  Negroes  were  servants,  although  the  circum- 
stances indicate  that  they  were.  The  same  is  true  of  the 
Negroes  in  the  employment  of  the  Dutch  during  this  very 
early  period.  Provision  was  apparently  made  for  their 
gradual  absorption  by  the  free  population.  As  late  as 
1663,  there  existed  laws  which  ''granted  them  a  qualified 
form  of  freedom,  working  alternate  weeks,  one  for  them- 
selves, one  for  the  Company."  ^*  Among  the  Swedes,  also, 
in  the  region  of  the  Delaware,  were  a  number  of  Negroes. 
Just  after  Rising  had  come  to  the  region  as  head  of  the 
Swedish  Company,  in  1654,  he  issued  an  ordinance  that 
''after  a  certain  period  Negroes  should  be  absolutely  free." 
In  Penn's  charter  to  the  Free  Society  of  Traders,  in  1682, 
there  was  a  provision  that  if  the  inhabitants  "held  blacks 
they  should  make  them  free  at  the  end  of  fourteen 
years.  ..."  Benjamin  Furley,  also,  vigorously  opposed 
holding  Negroes  longer  than  eight  years.'^  The  Friends 
of  Germantown  in  1688,  made  strong  protests  against 
slavery;  and  in  1693,  George  Keith  declared  that  the  mas- 
ters should  let  the  Negroes  go  free  after  a  reasonable  term 
of  service.'®  Later  on,  children  of  white  mothers  and 
slave  fathers  became  servants  for  a  term  of  years,  and  the 
same  was  true  of  the  children  of  free  Negro  mothers  and 
slave  fathers." 

After  1700,  Negro  servants  were  a  common  and  well- 
recognized  class  in  Pennsylvania.    Negroes  who  were  "un- 

country.  .  .  .  Director  Van  Twiller  having  been  charged,  after  Kiet's 
arrival,  with  mismanagement.  .  .  .  Another  witness  asserts  he  had  in  his 
custody  for  Van  Twiller,  at  Fort  Hope  and  Nassau,  twenty-four  to  thirty 
goats,  and  that  three  negroes  bought  by  the  director  in  1636  were  since 
employed  in  his  private  service."  Hazard,  Aniials  of  Perm.,  pp.  49-50; 
Turner,  The  Free  Negro  in  Penn.,  p.  1. 

It  is  noteworthy  that  the  Negroes  among  the  Dutch  were  generrlly  under 
the  supervision  of  the  Company  or  worked  for  officers  of  the  Company, 

14  Ante,  p.  255,  note  37. 

'* ' '  Let  no  blacks  be  brought  in  directly,  and  if  any  come  out  oi  Virginia, 
Maryld.  (or  elsewhere  erased)  in  families  that  have  formerly  brought  them 
elsewhere  Let  them  be  declared  (as  in  the  west  jersey  constitutions)  free 
at  8  years  end."     Turner,  The  Negro  in  Penn.,  p.  21,  notes  13.  14. 

i^Ibid.,  p.  66. 

"Ibid.,  pp.  24,  25;  Stroud,  Laws  Jidating  to  Slavery,  pp.  9-10.  j 


264  Journal  of  Negro  Historv 

able  or  unfiling  to  support  themselves"  were  bound  by 
the  court  for  the  terra  of  one  year.^®  All  children  of  free 
Negroes  were  bound  out  until  twenty-one  or  twenty-four 
5'ears.  Mulatto  children  ''who  were  not  slaves  for  life" 
were  bound  out  "until  they  were  twenty-eight  years  of 
age."  The  abolition  act  of  1780  provided  among  other 
things  that ' '  all  future  children  of  registered  slaves  should 
become  servants  until  they  were  twenty-eight.""  And 
again,  Negroes  manumitted  could  indenture  themselves 
until  twenty-eight. 

Negro  servants  were  generally  subject  to  the  laws  which 
governed  the  white  servitude;  but  they  were  subject  fur- 
ther to  other  laws  which  gave  to  the  Negro  servants  a 
status  between  that  of  the  white  servants  and  Negro  slaves. 
Negro  servants  were  apprenticed  for  a  longer  period  than 
wliite  servants;  and  such  servants  were  object  of  a  con- 
siderable interstate  traffic,  people  from  other  states  selling 
them  into  Pennsylvania.  They  were  often  apprenticed  and 
generally  given  some  form  of  freedom  dues.  So  en- 
trenched was  Negro  servitude  here  that  in  1780  there  were 
probably  a  greater  number  of  servants  in  Pennsylvania 
than  slaves.-" 

In  Rhode  Island  Negro  servitude  preceded  and  passed 
into  slavery.^^  Although  as  early  as  1652  the  practice  of 
buying  Negroes  for  service  or  slaves  for  life  existed  in 
this  colony,  this  was  not  sanctioned  by  law.  On  the  other 
hand,  white  servitude  was  clearly  recognized  in  statute 
law  of  1647."    In  1652  the  legally  established  servitude, 

''Hurd,  The  Law  of  Freedom  and  Bondage,  I,  290;  Turner,  The  Free 
Negro  in  Penn.,  p.  92, 

"•"On  the  1st  of  March,  1780,  before  the  war  of  the  Kevolution  was 
closed,  the  Assembly  of  Pensylvania  passed  an  act  declaring  that  negro  and 
mulatto  children  whose  mothers  were  slaves,  and  who  were  born  after  the 
passage  of  the  act,  should  be  free,  and  that  slavery  as  to  them  should  be  forever 
abolished.  But  it  was  declared  that  such  children  should  be  held  as  servants, 
under  the  same  terms  as  indentured  servants,  until  the  age  of  twenty-eight, 
when  they  should  be  free.  ..."  Watson,  Annals  of  Philadelphia  and  Penn. 
in  Olden  Times,  pp.  468-469. 

""Ibid.,  pp.  93,  94,  98,  101. 

=^  Ballagh,  Hist,  of  Slavery  in  Fa.,  p.  32. 

-Ibid.,  p.  36. 

Negro  Servitude  in  the  United  States 


as  well  as  the  attitude  of  the  colonists,  undoubtedly  influ- 
enced the  passing  of  a  law  to  prohibit  slavery  and  provide 
for  servitude.     This  law  said:  ''Whereas,  there  is  a  com- 
mon course  practiced  amongst  English  men  to  buy  negers, 
to  that  end  they  may  have  them  for  service  or  slaves  for- 
ever; for  the  preventinge  of  such  practices  among  us    let 
It  be  ordered,  that  no  blacke  mankind  or  white  being  forced 
by  covenant  bond,  or  otherwise,  to  serve  any  man  or  his 
assighness  longer  than  ten  yeares,  or  until  they  come  to 
bee  twentie  four  yeares  of  age,  if  they  bee  taken  in  under 
lourteen,  for  the  time  of  their  cominge  within  the  liberties 
of  this  Colhnie.    And  at  the  end  or  terme  of  ten  yeares  to 
sett  them  free,  as  the  manner  is  with  the  English  servants 
And  that  man  that  will  not  let  them  goe  free,  or  shall  sell 
them  away  elsewhere,  to  that  end  that  they  may  bee  en- 
slaved to  others  for  a  long  time,  he  or  they  shall  forfeit 
to  the  Collonie  forty  pounds.""    Although  this  law  was 
enforced  for  a  time,  it  soon  became  a  dead  letter,  for  after 
ir  '  "^xf  ^^^"'^''^  received  sanction  by  statute,  buying  and 
selling  Negroes  was  practiced  generally.^* 

The  first  few  Negroes  in  Connecticut  were  servants 
along  with  a  few  Indian  and  white  servants.  It  was  due,  no 
doubt,  to  the  paucity  of  the  Negroes -there  were  in  1680 
not  above  thirty  in  the  colony -that  they  became  servants. 
However,  as  this  number  increased,  their  status  became 
gradually  that  of  slaves  by  custom.  Because  of  the  fear 
of  treachery  from  the  Negro  and  Indian  servants,  the 
General  Court,  in  1680.  ordered  that  -neither  Indian  nor 
negar  servants  shall  be  required  to  train,  watch  or  ward  in 
the  Colony. ' ' "  Evidently  some  of  the  servants  very  early 
had  served  out  their  time  and  had  been  freed,  for  by  a  law 
m  1690,  ''Negro,  mulatto,  or  Indian  servants,"  "suspected 
persons"  and  free  Negroes  who  were  found  wandering 
could  be  taken  up  and  brought  before  a  magistrate.^«    An 

''R.  I.,  Col  Bee,  I,  p.  243. 

'*Du  Bois,  Suppression  of  the  Slave  Trade,  p.  34. 

"  Kurd,  Law  of  Freedom  and  Bondage,  I,  p.  270  j  Steiner,  Hist,  of  Slavery 
tn  Conn.,  p,  12.  '  '  ^ 

*'Conn.,  Col.  Eec,  XV,  p.  40. 

266  Journal  of  Negro  History 

act  in  1711  made  provision  for  the  care  of  Negro  servants 
and  others  who  came  to  want  after  they  had  served  out 
their  time.  **An  act  relating  to  slaves,  and  such  in  par- 
ticular as  shall  happen  to  become  servants  for  life,  enacts 
that  all  slaves  set  at  liberty  by  their  owners,  and  all  negro, 
mulatto,  and  Spanish  Indians,  who  are  servants  to  masters 
for  time,  in  case  they  shall  come  to  want  after  they  shall 
be  so  set  at  liberty  or  the  time  of  their  service  be  expired, 
they  shall  be  relieved  at  the  cost  of  their  masters. ' '  In  fact, 
slavery  of  the  "absolute,  rigid  kind"  never  existed  to  any 
extent  in  Connecticut." 

The  Transition  from  White  Servitude  to  Slavery 

Let  us  now  direct  our  attention  to  the  change  from 
servitude  to  slavery.  It  is  well  to  note  here,  however,  that 
white  servitude  did  not  embrace  the  chief  features  of 
slavery.  Nieboer  defines  a  slave  as  '*a  man  who  is  the 
property  or  possession  of  another  man,  and  forced  to 
work  for  him."  Again,  ** slavery  is  the  fact  that  one 
man  is  the  property  or  possession  of  another."^  White 
servitude  lacked  the  final  and  formal  feature  of  "property," 
namely  complete  "possession,"  and  consequently  never  in- 
cluded either  perpetual  service  or  the  transmission  of  ser- 
vile condition  to  offspring,  although  during  the  first  half 
of  its  development  in  the  colonies,  servitude  tended  to  as- 
sume the  character  of  slaverj'.^-^ 

The  servitude  that  existed  up  to  1619  underwent  change 
until  it  finally  crystallized  into  indented  servitude.  The 
conditions  were  not  as  bad  as  the  testimony  of  colony 
servants  and  observers  of  the  period  would  indicate,  and 
yet  where  there  were  so  many  references  to  it  the  condi- 
tion evidently  obtained.*  In  enlisting  new  settlers  for  the 
colonies,  the  Company  "issued  broadsides  and  pamphlets, 

^^  Stroud,  Laws  Belating  to  Slavery,  p.  11,  note;  Hurd,  Law  of  Freedom 
and  Bondage,  p.  271. 

*  Nieboer,  Slavery  as  an  Industrial  Institution,  p.  42. 
"  Doyle,  Hist,  of  Eng.  Col.  in  Am.,  p.  385. 
'Ballagh,  Hist,  of  Slavery  in  Va.,  p.  42. 

*  McCormac,  White  Servitude  in  Md.,  pp.  9,  60,  61,  63. 

Negro  Servitude  in  the  United  States  267 

with  specious  promises,  which,  however  honest  its  purpose, 
were  certainly  never  fulfilled.'"^  In  Virginia  in  1613,  col- 
onists of  1607  who  had  served  out  the  term  of  their  original 
five-year  contract  were  either  retained  in  servitude  or 
granted  a  tenancy  burdened  with  oppressive  and  unfair  ob- 
ligations. The  changed  land  policy  of  1616  brought  upon 
the  colony  servants  further  disadvantages.  Before  March, 
1617,  when  the  men  of  the  Charles  City  Hundred  demanded 
and  were  granted  their  ''long  desired  freedome  from  that 
general  and  common  servitude,"  no  freedom  had  been 
granted  to  the  colonists.  After  this  until  1619,  it  was  only 
through  ''extraordinary  payment"  that  freedom  was  ob- 
tained.' Many  of  these  colonists  of  Virginia,  moreover, 
were  retained  in  servitude  until  1624  when  the  Company 

Other  incidents,  growing  out  of  the  servant's  role, 
tended  to  make  the  condition  of  servitude  more  rigid.  In 
order  to  make  the  system  of  labor  under  the  Company  suc- 
cessful, Lord  Delaware,  in  1610,  organized  the  colony  into 
a  "labor  force  under  commanders  and  overseers";  and 
close  watch  over  the  men  and  their  work  was  accordingly 
maintained.  "The  colonists  were  marched  to  their  daily 
work  in  squads  and  companies  under  officers,  and  the  se- 
verest penalties  were  prescribed  for  a  breach  of  discipline 
or  neglect  of  duty.  A  persistent  neglect  of  labor  was  to  be 
punished  by  galley  service  from  one  to  two  years.  Penal 
servitude  was  also  instituted;  for  'petty  oifences'  they 
worked  'as  slaves  in  irons  for  a  term  of  years'  " ;  and  there 

"  Ballagh,  White  Servitude  in  the  Col.  of  Va.,  p.  15. 

"Ibid.,  pp.  19,  31,  24. 

•  ' '  We  see,  then,  that  the  colonist,  while  in  theory  only  a  Virginia  member 
of  the  London  Company,  and  entitled  to  equal  rights  and  privileges  with 
other  members  or  adventurers,  was,  from  the  nature  of  the  case,  practically 
debarred  from  exercising  these  rights.  ...  He  was  kept  by  force  in  the 
colony,  and  could  have  no  communication  with  his  friends  in  England. 
Under  the  arbitrary  administration  of  the  Company  and  of  its  deputy 
governors  he  was  as  absolutely  at  its  disposal  as  a  servant  at  his  master's. 
His  conduct  was  regulated  by  corporal  punishment  or  more  extreme  measures. 
He  could  be  hired  out  by  the  Company  to  private  persons,  or  by  the  Governor 
for  his  personal  advantage."  Ibid.,  p.  26. 

268  Journal  of  Negro  History 

were  whipping,  **  hangings,  shooting,  breaking  on  the 
wheel,  and  even  burning  alive. ' '  * 

It  may  be  observed  from  references  made  to  this  early 
servitude  that,  generally,  it  was  harsh.  We  read : '  *  Having 
most  of  them  served  the  colony  six  or  seven  years  in  that 
'general  slavery'  ";  *'  'three  years  slavery'  to  the  colony"; 
"noe  wave  better  than  slavery";  "rather  than  be  reduced 
to  live  under  like  government  we  desire  his  Magestie  that 
Commissioners  may  be  sent  over  with  authority  to  hang 

us";  and  "Sold  as  a  d slave.""    Undoubtedly,  these 

references  are  not  all  true;  yet,  they  are  not  altogether 
false.  At  least  they  indicate  that  the  conditions  of  this 
servitude  approached  slavery.^*^  Out  of  these,  informal 
"slavery"  and  unsettled  conditions  of  early  servitude,  in- 
dented servitude  developed. 

As  a  general  rule,  every  advantage  was  taken  of  the 
servant  by  the  servant-dealers  and  masters.  Opportunity 
to  hold  the  servant  longer  than  the  period  allowed  by  law 
or  to  extend  his  service  was  not  infrequently  seized  upon, 
for  the  laxity  of  the  system  and  the  need  of  labor  in  the 
colonies  made  this  a  natural  consequence.  During  the  first 
period  of  servitude,  the  term  of  service  in  many  cases  was 
not  prescribed  in  the  indentures;  and  sometimes  servants 
were  brought  over  without  indentures,  or  with  only  verbal 
contracts."  Thus  trouble  about  the  length  of  their  term  of 
service  arose,  especially  in  connection  with  the  servants 
who  did  not  have  indentures.  Circumstances  indicate  that 
in  the  interpretation  of  law  and  the  facts,  the  master  gen- 
erally triumphed.'-  It  was  in  1638-39  that  Maryland  took 
the  first  definite  step  to  prevent  unfair  treatment  of  ser- 
vants by  their  masters.     In  165-i  it  became  necessarj'-  again 

Ubid.,  p.  23. 

"  Ballagh,  White  Servitude  in  the  Col.  of  Va.,  pp.  23,  24,  25,  43  uote. 

"  McCormac,  White  Servitude  in  Md.,  pp.  48,  49. 

^^  Ibid.,  pp.  38,  43;  Ballagh,  White  Servitude  in  the  Col.  of  Va.,  pp. 
40,    49. 

""Where  no  contract  but  a  verbal  one  existed  there  was  always  room 
for  controversy  between  master  and  servant,  each  trying  to  prove  an  agreement 
that  would  be  to  his  advantage."     Ibid.,  p.  50, 

Negro  Servitude  in  the  United  States  269 

to  pass  a  law  determming  the  servant's  age  and  length  of 
service.  Virginia  enacted  similar  measures  in  1643  and 
1657.  Still,  when  the  servants  were  ignorant,  ''which  was 
usually  the  case,"  or  could  not  speak  the  English  language, 
the  master  took  advantage  of  their  shortcomings.^^  Not- 
withstanding the  repeated  efforts  of  the  courts  and  assembly 
to  protect  the  servant  in  his  relation  to  the  master,  the  lu- 
crative practice  of  extending  a  servant's  term,  which  be- 
came customary  in  the  case  of  Indian  and  Negro  servants, 
proved  a  significant  factor  in  the  degradation  of  white 

Under  the  system  of  servitude,  the  conduct  of  the  serv- 
ant necessarily  bore  a  close  relation  to  the  interests  of  the 
master.  "When  the  servant  stole,  ran  away,  ''unlawfully 
assembled"  or  "plotted,"  indulged  in  fornication,  spent 
unusual  time  in  social  intercourse,  or  was  secretly  married, 
the  master  as  a  rule  suffered  some  loss.  And  for  protec- 
tion of  the  master,  methods  of  punishment  were  resorted 
to,  the  character,  definiteness,  and  attendant  circumstances 
of  which  tended  to  reduce  the  servant  to  the  status  of  a 

As  the  servant  had  no  money  with  which  to  pay  fines, 
some  other  method  of  punishment  had  to  be  used.  Cor- 
poral punishment  of  a  harsh  character  appears  to  have  been 
established.  Practiced  at  first  by  individuals,  it  soon  be- 
came a  general  custom,  and  finally  found  its  way  into  the 
laws  of  the  colonies.  During  the  period  prior  to  indented 
servitude,  instances  of  severe  whipping  of  servants  are 
numerous."  The  first  colony  law  which  gave  the  master 
the  privilege  of  regulating  the  servant's  conduct  in  this 

'^"  Where  the  servants  were  ignorant,  which  was  usually  the  case,  it  was 
to  the  advantage  of  the  master  that  there  should  be  no  written  contract,  as 
there  was  then  a  chance  of  extending  the  term  of  service."  McCormac, 
White  Servitude  in  Md.,  p.  44, 

* '  The  Palatines  and  other  German  races,  who,  in  the  later  years  formed 
nearly  all  of  the  servant  population,  knew  little  of  the  laws  and  language  and 
were  an  easy  prey  to  the  abuses  of  traders  and  harsh  masters.  They  had 
been  used  to  very  little  liberty  at  home  and  were  slow  to  assert  their  rights 
in  America."     Ibid.,  p.  61. 

1*  Ante,  p.  268. 

270  Journal  of  Negro  History 

manner,  however,  appeared  in  1619.^^  Corporal  punish- 
ment then  gradually  gained  ground  and  won  sanction  by 
the  colonial  courts.  A  law  in  Virginia  provided  in  1662 
''for  the  erecting  of  a  whipping  post  in  every  county"  and 
the  General  Assembly  of  this  colony,  in  1688,  reassured  the 
master  of  his  right  to  whip  the  servant.  All  along  this 
right  was  so  much  abused^*  that  it  was  restrained  in  Vir- 
ginia. In  1705  an  act  ordered  the  master  not  to  whip  the 
servant  "immoderately";  and  to  whip  a  Christian  white 
servant  naked,  an  order  from  a  justice  of  peace  had  to  be 
obtained."  Several  other  colonies  similarly  restrained 
the  right  to  whip." 

Another  method  of  punishment  that  gradually  hardened 
the  conditions  of  servitude  was  the  addition  of  time  to  the 
term  of  the  servant.  This  evidently  originated  in  the 
custom  of  the  Company  to  prescribe  as  penalty  for  offense 
"service  to  the  colony  in  public  work."^'  This  method  of 
punishment  was  extensively  used  throughout  the  colonies. 
Sometimes  the  length  of  additional  service  was  left  to  the 
discretion  of  the  master,  but  this  was  so  abused  that  the 
government  saw  fit  to  make  regulations,  which,  however, 
themselves  were  not  free  from  harshness.-- 

At  first  the  servants  undoubtedly  enjoyed  the  right  of 
marriage,  but  as  this  proved  a  source  of  much  inconvenience 
and  loss  to  the  master,  since  the  men  servants  lost  time^ 
stole  food  and  other  provisions,  and  the  women  servants 
lost  time  during  pregnancy  and  in  rearing  children,  laws 
restricting  marriage  of  servants  were  enacted  in  the  col- 

"Henning,  Statutes  at  Large,  I,  pp.  127,  130,  192;  Ballagh,  White 
Servitude  in  the  Col.  of  Va.,  p.  45. 

'"Ibid.,  p.  77. 

"Ibid.,  pp.  58,  59. 

"  Bassett,  Slavery  and  Servitude  in  the  Col.  of  N.  C,  p.  81. 

*• "  In  this  we  have  the  germ  of  addition  of  time,  a  practice  which  later 
became  the  occasion  of  a  very  serious  abuse  of  the  servants  rights  by  the  addi- 
tion of  terms  altogether  incommensurate  with  the  offenses  for  which  they  were 
imposed."     Ballagh,  White  Servitude  in  the  Col.  of  Va.,  p.  45. 

""Hcnning,  Statutes  at  Large,  I,  p.  438,  II,  p.  114,  III.  jip.  87,  140,  450; 
Ballagh,  White  Servitude  in  the  Col.  of  Va.,  p.  57. 

Negro  Servitude  in  the  United  States  271 

onies.  In  Virginia,  in  1643,  this  right  was  legally  restricted. 
When  the  servants  were  secretly  married,  in  some  cases  the 
man  had  to  "serve  out  his  or  their  tyme  or  tymes  with  his 
or  their  masters  —  after  serve  his  master  a  complete  year 
more  for  such  offense  committed"  while  the  woman-serv- 
ant had  to  double  her  time  of  service.^^  In  other  cases,  as  in 
North  Carolina,  the  servants  were  required  to  serve  one 
year."  Further  restriction  of  the  right  of  marriage  ap- 
peared in  Virginia  in  1662.  When  a  woman-servant  and  a 
Negro  slave  were  married  in  Maryland,  the  woman  was,  in 
some  instances,  reduced  to  slavery,  as  she  was  required  to 
serve  her  master  during  the  life  of  her  husband.'^  j  The  ef- 
fect of  this  law  was,  in  certain  instances,  to  complete  prac- 
tically the  transition  from  servitude  to  slavery.  Children 
resulting  from  such  marriages  were  either  made  slaves  for 
life,  or  required  to  serve  until  they  were  thirty  years  of  age. 
Fornication  also  was  made  punishable  by  an  addition  of 
time.  The  woman-servant,  who  gave  birth  to  illegitimate 
offspring,  received  an  addition  of  time  of  one  and  a  half 
to  two  and  a  half  years."*  When  the  offspring  was  by  a 
Negro,  mulatto,  or  Indian,  she  was  required  to  serve  the 
colony  or  the  master  for  an  additional  time  of  four,  five, 
or  seven  years.  The  children  in  these  cases  were  bound 
out  for  thirty-one  years. ^^  With  marriage  restricted  as  it 
was,  the  family  life  of  the  servants  was  likely  to  be  dis- 

"  Henning,  Statutes  at  Large,  p.  257 ;  Ballagh,  White  Servitude  in  the 
Col.  of  Va.,  pp.  50-51. 

"  Bassett,  Slavery  and  Servitude  in  the  Col.  of  N.  C,  p.  3-4. 

^ ' '  Instead  of  preventing  such  marriages,  this  law  enabled  avaricious 
and  unprincipled  masters  to  convert  many  of  their  servants  to  slaves.  While 
this  act  continued  in  force,  it  did  more  to  lower  the  standard  of  servitude 
than  any  other  law  passed  during  the  whole  period."  McCormac,  White 
Servitude  in  Md.,  pp.  68-69.J 

"Turner,  The  Negro  m  Fenn.,  p.  30;  Bassett,  Slavery  and  Servitude  in 
the  Col.  of  N.  C,  p.  83;  Ballagh,  White  Servitude  in  the  Col.  of  Va.,  p.  57. 

"  Ihid.,  57 ;  Bassett,  Slavery  and  Servitude  in  the  Col.  of  N.  C,  pp.  83- 
84;  Turner,  The  Negro  in  Penn.,  p.  30;  McCormac,  White  Servitude  in  Md., 
p.  70. 

272  Journal  of  Negro  History 

orderly.  Morals  of  servants  were  notably  loose,  and 
masters  sometimes  took  advantage  of  their  position  to  cor- 
rupt their  servants  still  further.^'  1, 

The  servants  were  also  restricted  in  political  affairs. 
In  the  earliest  period  of  servitude  in  the  colonies,  servants, 
as  **  inhabitants,"  enjoyed  with  the  other  "inhabitants" 
whatever  suffrage  there  was.''  Later  on,  however,  this 
rare  pri\dlege  dwindled  to  nil.  For  the  "first  sixteen 
years  of  the  settlement"  in  Massachusetts  the  servants 
exercised  the  franchise.^'  In  Virginia  they  voted  until 
1646  and  the  freedservant  until  1670.^"  In  Maryland  in 
1636,  in  the  first  assembly  of  the  colony,  only  "  freemen  " 
seemed  to  hold  sway."*"  Disfranchisement  became  the 
rule,  however,  after  the  middle  of  the  seventeenth  cen- 
tury."^  The  very  noticeable  scarcity  of  information  on 
the  servant's  exercise  of  the  suffrage  seems  to  suggest 
that  as  a  matter  of  understanding  he  did  not  enjoy  the 
franchise.  Evidently  there  prevailed  a  certain  suspicion 
concerning  not  only  the  servant's  ability  to  use  the  suf- 
frage, but  also  his  proper  use  of  it;  and  this  attitude  was 

-" "  If  she  should  be  delivered  of  a  child  by  her  master  during  this  period 
she  should  be  sold  by  the  church  wardens  for  the  benefit  of  the  church  for  one 
year  after  the  term  of  service.  .  .  .  Here  again  there  was  no  punishment  for  the 
seducing  master.  It  is  also  evident  that  the  sin  of  the  servant  would  be  an 
advantage  of  the  master,  since  he  would  thereby  secure  her  service  for  a 
longer  period.  We  have  not  the  least  evidence  that  such  a  thing  did  happen, 
yet  it  is  possible  that  a  master  might  for  this  reason  have  compassed  the  sin 
of  his  serving-woman."  Bassett,  S'avery  and  Servitude  in  the  Col.  of  N.  C, 
pp.  83-81.' 

"By'ihe  acts  giving  the  master  additions  of  time  for  the  birth  of  a 
bastard  child  to  his  servant  a  premium  was  actually  put  upon  immorality,  and 
there  appear  to  have  been  masters  base  enough  to  take  advantage  of  it." 
Ballagh,  White  Servitude  in  the  Col.  of  Va.,  p.  79. 

The  master  also  encouraged  marriage  between  servants  and  Negroes. 
iTcCormae,  White  Servitude  in  Md.,  p.  68. 

-'  Hurd,  Lmv  of  Freedom  and  Bondage,  I,  p.  228  note. 

'■*  Ibid.,  p.  255. 

"^Ibid.,  pp.  232,  254;  Ballagh,  White  Servitude  in  the  Col.  of  Va.,  p.  03. 

^  Hurd,  Law  of  Freedom  and  Bondage,  I,  p.  248. 

'^  Ballagh,  White  Servitude  in  the  Col.  of  Va.,  p.  90. 

Negro  Servitude  in  the  United  States 


also  always  fairly  pronounced  toward  the  recently  freed- 

The  final  remedy  of  the  servant,  then,  was  flight.  From 
the  beginning  of  indented  servitude,  the  servants  invari- 
ably deserted  their  master's  service.  While  in  all  cases 
they  did  not  run  away  on  account  of  abuses,  the  practice 
brought  on  abuses  and  other  incidents  which,  during  the 
first  part  of  servitude,  became  more  and  more  intolerable. 

The  number  of  runaways  increased  as  the  servants 
continued  coming  in.  It  was  comparatively  easy  for  them 
to  escape  to  the  more  northern  colonies,  since  the  country 
about  them  was  convenient  for  hiding  and  clandestine 
traveling;  and  the  fugitives  themselves,  on  account  of 
having  no  physical  characteristics  distinguishable  from 
those  of  the  other  colonists,  could  not  easily  be  identified.^^ 
Thus  North  Carolina  became  popularly  known  as  the 
'  *  Eef uge  of  Runaways  ' '  and  that  colony,  Maryland,  and 
the  Dutch  plantations  were  to  fugitive  servants  what 
Massachusetts,  Ohio,  and  Canada  were  later  to  runaway 
slaves.^*  The  '' under-ground  railroad,"  too,  had  a  fore- 
runner in  the  early  period  of  indentured  servitude. ^^ 
Methods  of  dealing  with  the  runaways  necessarily  grew 
more  strict,  and  precautions  similar  to  those  of  slavery 
inevitably  appeared.  "Unlawful  assembling,"  "plot- 
ting," and  tentative  insurrections  became  a  source  of 
apprehension.^**     Then  came  methods  of  pursuit,  return, 

^ ' '  Thus  the  liberated  servant  became  an  idler,  ? ccially  corrupt,  and 
often  politically  dangerous."     Doyle,  Eng,  Cols,  in  Am.,  1,  p.  387. 

"By  the  temporary  disfranchisement  of  the  servant  during  his  term, 
common  after  the  middle  of  the  17th  century,  a  serious  public  danger  was 
avoided.  There  could  be  no  guarantee,  of  the  judicious  exercise  of  the 
suffrage  with  this  class  who,  for  the  most  part,  had  never  enjoyed  the 
privilege  before.  Their  servitude  may  be  regarded  as  preparing  them  for  a 
proper  appreciation  of  suffrage  when  obtained,  and  the  duties  of  citizenship. 
..."     Ballagh,  White  Servitude  in  the  Col.  of  Va.,  p.  90  note. 

^"To  facilitate  discovery,  habitual  runaways  had  their  hair  cut  'close 
around  their  ears'  and  'were  branded  on  the  cheek  with  the  letter  R. '  " 
Ballagh,  White  Servitude  in  the  Col.  of  Va.,  p.  55  note. 

^  Ibid.,  pp.  53-54, 

'■'  McCormac,  White  Servitude  in  Md.,  p.  53. 

'"Ballagh,  White  Servitude  in  the  Col.  of  Va.,  pp.  53,  60. 

274  JouKNAL  OF  Negro  History 

and  punishment  of  the  fugitives.  Sometimes  the  master 
made  the  pursuit;  at  other  times  the  sheriff  and  his  posse 
did  it;,  and  often  the  constable  with  a  search  warrant 
went  in  quest  of  the  fugitive.  Everyone  who  traveled  was 
required  to  have  a  pass  or  a  certificate  of  freedom  to  show 
his  status;"  and  this  no  doubt  afforded  the  servants  a 
means  of  using  forgery  to  facilitate  their  escape  to  free- 
dom.^* Again,  whenever  it  was  possible,  advertisements 
for  runaways  were  put  in  the  newspapers. ^^  During  this 
time,  too,  there  were  enacted  colonial  statutes  providing 
for  the  return  of  fugitives  by  one  colony  to  the  other.  Co- 
lonial governments  often  accused  each  other  of  unduly 
holding  and  protecting  the  runaways.*" 

The  greatest  abuses  in  servitude  occurred  in  the  pun- 
ishment of  fugitive  servants.  These  abuses,  moreover, 
gradually  increased  in  number  and  intensified  in  charac- 
ter." The  expense  of  the  servant's  capture,  return,  and 
loss  of  time  from  work,  and  the  desire  to  prevent  running 
away  led  to  stringent  punishment  and  evident  abuses.*^ 
In  Virginia  before  1643,  some  runaways  were  punished 
with  **  additional  terms  from  two  to  seven  years,  served 
in  irons,  to  the  public."*^  The  act  of  1643  in  Virginia 
provided  that  runaways  from  their  * '  master 's  service 
shall  be  lyable  to  make  satisfaction  by  service  at  the  end 
of  their  tymes  by  indenture  (vizt.)  double  the  tjnne  of 
service  soe  neglected,  and  in  some  cases  more  if  the  com- 
missioners .  .  .  find  it  requisite  and  convenient.""    The 

^''  Ibid.,  p.  54;  MeCormac,  White  Servitude  in  Md.,  p.  54. 

"/bid.,  p.  55. 

^'Ibid.,  p.  50. 

*^  Ibid.,  pp.  52-53;  Bassett,  Slavery  and  White  Servitude  in  the  Col.  of 
N.  C,  p.  79;  Ballagh,  White  Servitude  in  the  Col.  of  Fa.,  p.  54. 

*^  MeCormac,  White  Servitude  in  Md.,  p.  54. 

*- ' '  Statute  after  statute  was  passed  regulating  the  punishment  and 
providing  for  the  pursuit  and  recapture  of  runaways;  but  although  laws 
became  severer  and  finally  made  no  distinction  in  treatment  of  runaway 
servants  and  slaves,  it  was  impossible  to  entirely  put  a  stop  to  the  habit  so 
long  as  the  system  itself  lasted."  Ibid.,  p.  56;  Ballagh^  White  Servitude  in 
the  Col.  of  Va.,  pp.  52,  57. 

«i&td.,  p.  57. 

**  Ibid.,  pp.  57-58;   Henning,  Statutes  at  Large,  II,  p.  458. 

Negro  Servitude  in  the  United  States  275 

laws  of  1639  and  of  1641-42  made  running  away  in  Mary- 
land punishable  with  death,  but  the  proprietor  or  gover- 
nor could  commute  this  penalty  to  servitude  of  seven 
years  or  less/'  Corporal  punishment,  too,  scathed  the 

Plainly,  then,  the  fugitive  servant  tended  to  assim- 
ilate the  status  of  the  servant  to  that  of  the  slave  and 
tended  to  become  mere  property.  The  servant  could  be 
transferred  as  property  from  one  person  to  another,  for 
from  the  beginning  his  services  were  bought  and  sold. 
The  custom  of  purchasing  and  disposing  of  apprentices 
and  servants  was  early  practiced  in  Virginia  and  out  of 
this  practice  grew  the  more  definite  and  far-reaching  cus- 
tom of  signing  the  servant's  contract.  Begun  in  1623,  it 
was  resented  by  servants  and  deprecated  by  England ;  and 
yet  with  no  question  of  its  legality,  the  selling  of  serv- 
ants' time  became  a  common  practice.*^  Later  on,  upon 
securing  the  servant  in  England,  the  indenture  was  often 
made  out  to  the  shipmaster  or  his  assigns,  and  the  serv- 
ant was  sold  by  him  to  the  planters  in  America,  To  sell 
the  servants,  merchants  were  sometimes  invited  on  board 
the  ship,  where  they  could  look  over  the  human  cargo  and 
select  those  who  were  desirable.  Often  it  happened  that 
the  servants  were  brought  over  without  indentures.  They 
were  made  to  believe  that  their  lot  would  be  made  easy 
by  the  master  who  would  buy  them.*^  These,  too,  were 
sold  by  the  captain  to   the  highest  bidder.*^     That   the 

*'  McCormac,  White  Servitude  in  Md.,  pp.  51-52. 

*•  Ballagh,  White  Servitude  in  the  Col.  of  Va.,  p.  59. 

•■"'As  a  result,  (my  comma)  the  idea  of  the  contract  and  of  the  legal 
personality  of  the  sen-ant  was  gradually  lost  sight  of  in  the  disposition  to 
regard  him  as  a  chattel  and  a  part  of  the  personal  estate  of  his  master,  which 
might  be  treated  and  disposed  of  very  much  in  the  same  way  as  the  rest  of 
the  estate.  He  became  thus  rated  in  inventories  of  estate,  and  was  disposed 
of  both  by  will  and  by  deed  along  -with,  the  rest  of  the  property."  Ballagh, 
White  Servitude  in  the  Col.  of  Va.,  pp.  43,  44. 

"  Eddis,  Letters  from  Am.,  p.  72. 

"Example  of  the  advertisement  of  the  arrival  of  a  servantship:  "Just 
Arrived  in  the  Sophia,  Alexander  Verdeen,  Master,  from  Dublin,  Twenty  stout, 
healthy   Indented   Men    Servents   Whose    Indentures   will    be   disposed   of    on 

276  Journal  of  Negro  History 

servants  were  dealt  with  in  this  way  eventually  made  the 
indentures  as  a  rule  negotiable,  and  this  led  to  further 
degradation  of  the  servants'  status.  The  theory  that  the 
servant's  time  was  property  was  tenable  as  late  as  1756 
in  Virginia,  Maryland,  and  Pennsylvania,  for  during  the 
war  with  the  French  and  Indians,  when  the  governments 
and  officers  were  recruiting  the  servants  of  the  masters, 
the  masters  protested,  resisted,  and  won.'" 

The  servant,  then,  gradually  became  property,  not 
principally  because  of  a  tendency  to  consider  the  Negro 
servant  as  such,  but  because  of  the  incidents  necessarily 
arising  from  the  methods  which  had  to  be  used  to  make 
white  servitude  possible  in  the  colonies.  These  methods, 
then,  the  custom  of  using  them,  and  finally  the  tentative 
legal  sanction  of  them,  were  fairly  well  practiced  before 
the  Negro's  arrival  and  long  before  he  was  considered  as 

The  Gradual  Transition  of  Negro  Servitude  into 
Negro  Slavery 

The  status  of  the  Negro  in  British  America  was  at 
first  that  of  a  servant.  He  was  not  held  for  life,  but  set 
at  liberty  after  a  term  of  service.  It  was  his  service, 
not  himself,  that  was  the  property  or  chattel  of  another, 
and  his  offspring  was  not  subject  to  servitude.  Again, 
he  had  privileges  similar  to  and  in  some  cases  identical 
with  those  of  the  other  servants ;  in  many  cases  the  rules 
which  governed  other  servants  governed  him  as  well.  In 
short,  the  Negro  was  not  the  "absolute  possession"  of 
another.^  Moreover,  it  was  some  years  before  he  be- 
came a  slave.    Distinctly  during  this  time,  his  status  went 

reasonable  Terms,  by  the  Captain  on  board,  or  the  subscribers  .  .  .,  etc." 
McCormac,  White  Servitude  in  Md.,  p.  42. 

'^Ibid.,  pp.  39,  40,  42,  52,  85-89. 

'^Ballagh,  White  Servitude  in  the  CoJ.  of  Va.,  pp.  31,  33,  68;  Ballagh, 
Hist,  of  Slavery  in  Va.,  pp.  39-40;  Russell,  The  Free  Negro  in  Va.,  pp.  46-47. 

1  Ante,  p.  266. 

Negro  Servitude  in  the  United  States  277 

through  a  gradual  process  of  transition  inevitable  in  the 
development  of  subjection  in  the  colonies.- 

*' Servant"  becomes  ''servant  for  life"  and  "per- 
petual servant"  in  colonial  laws.  The  progress  of  ex- 
tending the  Negro  servant's  term  is  generally  observed 
in  the  language  of  the  laws  of  the  colonies.  It  appears 
that  as  the  servants  went  into  slavery,  ' '  what  is  termed 
perpetual  was  substituted  for  limited  service,  while  all 
the  predetermined  incidents  of  servitude,  except  such  as 
referred  to  ultimate  freedom,  continued  intact."  Later 
the  terms  ' '  servant  for  life, "  ' '  perpetual  servant ' '  and 
'*  bond  servant  "  were  used  interchangeably  with  *'  slave  " 
and  the  words  "  servant  "  and  "  slave  "  and  their  liabil- 
ities w^ere  joined  in  the  same  enactments.^  It  was  some 
time  before  the  word  * '  slave  ' '  was  clearly  and  definitely 
used,  and  the  servant  who  became  slave  lost  all  the  ear- 
marks of  a  servant.* 

The  practice  of  holding  the  servant  after  the  expi- 
ration of  his  term  was  more  characteristic  of  black  servi- 
tude than  white.  As  the  Negroes  increased  in  numbers, 
this  practice  increased.  As  white  servitude  declined,  the 
assurance  of  labor  waned.  The  extension  of  the  Negro's 
term,  then,  for  a  few  years  longer  and  eventually  to  life 
service  appeared  a  logical  as  well  as  a  necessary  step  for 
the  masters   to   take.^     Moreover,   since   the   public   was 

-  Local  conditions  and  circumstances  dictated  and  directed  the  form  of 
subjection.  For  this  same  reason,  both  servitude  and  slavery  differed  in  dif- 
ferent sections  of  the  country.  Nieboer  brings  out  the  local  character  of  subjec- 
tion when  he  holds  that  slavery  does  not  exist  as  formally  among  fishing  and 
hunting  peoples  as  among  agricultural  and  that  subjection  is  milder  in  an 
open  country  than  in  a  closed.  Nieboer,  Slavery  as  an  Industrial  Institution, 
p.  55. 

*  Ballagh,  Hist,  of  Slavery  tji   Va.,  p.  37. 

*  It  is  not  meant  that  all  Negroes  became  servants  and  then  slaves.  Many 
Negroes  became  servants  and  followed  the  course  of  servants  while  others 
became  slaves  and  remained  slaves.  At  any  period,  however,  during  hia 
first  three-quarter  century  at  least  in  the  colonies,  the  most  pronounced  status  of 
the  Negro  consisted  of  a  cross-section  of  a  transition  from  servitude  to  slavery. 

'  On  the  significance  of  the  expiration  of  the  white  servant 's  term,  Bruce 
has  this  to  say:  "Unless  the  planter  had  been  careful  to  make  provision 
against  their  departure  by  the  importation  of  other  laborers,  he  was  left  in  a 

278  Journal  of  Negro  History 

often  led  to  believe  that  when  at  liberty  the  Negroes  were 
an  uncontrollable  and  probably  dangerous  element  of  the 
population,  extension  of  their  terms  in  servitude  grad- 
ually gained  public  approval.®  Hence,  the  Negro  serv- 
ant was  held  whenever  the  occasion  demanded  and  the  op- 
portunity presented  itself. 

In  illustrating  the  gradual  transition  into  slavery 
through  repeated  holding  and  attempts  at  holding  the  Ne- 
gro servants  for  life,  court  cases  of  Virginia  may  be 
taken  as  typical.  Brass,  a  Negro,  whose  master,  a  ship 
captain,  had  died,  was,  upon  being  threatened  with  enslave- 
ment, assigned  by  the  General  Court  in  1625  as  servant 
to  the  governor  of  the  colony  instead  of  as  slave  to  the 
company  of  his  late  master's  ship."  John  Punch,  who 
ran  away  in  company  with  three  white  servants,  was  ad- 
judged by  the  court,  in  1640,  to  serve  his  master  the  '  *  time 
of  his  natural  life  "  while  the  white  servants  were  given 
four  additional  years  to  serve.  Anthony  Johnson,  a  Ne- 
gro to  whom  attention  has  already  been  called,  owned  a 
large  tract  of  land  on  the  Eastern  Shore.  In  1640  he  be- 
came involved  in  a  suit  for  holding  John  Castor,  another 
Negro,  seven  years  overtime.  It  appears  that  Castor  was 
set  free.  Later,  however,  Johnson  brought  suit  against 
Robert  Parker,  a  white  man,  for  harboring  Castor  as  if 
he  were  a  free  man;  and  the  court  decided  that  Castor 
return  to  his  master,  Johnson,  evidently  for  service  for 

helpless  position  without  men  to  reap  his  crops  or  to  widen  the  area  of  his 
new  grounds.  .  .  .  Perhaps  in  a  majority  of  cases,  his  object  was  to  obtain 
laborers  whom  he  might  substitute  for  those  whose  term  were  on  the  point  of 
expiring.  It  was  this  constantly  recurring  necessity  which  must  have  been 
the  source  of  much  anxiety  and  annoyance  as  well  as  heavy  pecuniary  outlay, 
that  led  the  planters  to  prefer  youths  to  adults  among  the  imported  English 
agricultural  servants,  for  while  their  physical  strength  might  have  been  less, 
yet  the  periods  for  which  they  were  bound  extended  over  a  longer  time. ' ' 
Bruce,  Econ.  Hist,  of  Va.,  II,  pp.  58-59. 

•Ballagh,  Hist,  of  Slavery  in  Va.,  pp.  37-38.  "Negro  servants  were 
sometimes  compelled  by  threats  and  browbeating  to  sign  indentures  for  longer 
terms  after  they  had  served  out  their  original  terms."  (Kussell,  The  Free 
Negro  in  Va.,  p.  33.)  Indian  servants,  too,  were  held  and  reduced  to  slaves 
whenever  possible.     Lauber,  Indian  Slavery  tn  Colonial  Times,  pp.  196-201. 

'Ballagh,  Eist.  of  Slavery  in  Va.,  pp.  29,  30,  31. 

Negro  Servitude  in  the  United  States  279 

life.  Sometime  before  1644,  a  mulatto  boy  named  Eman- 
uel, a  servant,  was  sold  "  as  a  slave  forever  ' '  but  later 
was  adjudged  by  the  Assembly  *  *  no  slave  and  but  to 
serve  as  other  Christian  servants  do."  In  1673,  a  serv- 
ant, who  had  been  unlawfully  detained  beyond  his  five- 
year  period,  won  judgment  against  his  master,  George 
Light;  the  Negro  servant  was  set  free  and  received  his 
freedom  dues  from  the  master.^  In  1674  Philip  Cowan 
petitioned  the  governor  for  freedom  on  the  ground  that 
Charles  Lucas  kept  him  three  years  overtime  and  then 
compelled  him  by  threats  to  sign  an  indenture  for  twenty 

Other  indications  of  holding  the  Negro  servant  may 
be  shown.  In  Pennsylvania,  Negro  servants  were  invari- 
ably given  a  longer  term  of  service  than  the  white  serv- 
ants and  often  held  after  the  expiration  of  the  term ; "  so 
extensive  was  the  practice  of  holding  these  servants  that, 
in  1682  and  1693,  laws  were  enacted  against  it."  In 
Georgia  a  road  to  slavery  was  paved  by  extending  the 
servants'  terms.  Negroes  were  brought  out  of  North  Car- 
olina into  Georgia  by  white  servants  who,  becoming  tired 
of  servitude,  had  these  blacks  serve  out  their  unexpired 
terms  wdth  the  Georgia  masters.    As  this  worked  well  the 

'Eussell,  The  Free  Negro  in  Va.,  pp.  32,  31,  32,  33,  34,  38-39. 

"'Petition  of  a  negro  for  redress  To  the  Rt.  Hon'ble  Sir  William 
Berkeley,  Knt,  Goverr  and  Cap.  Genl  of  Virga,  with  the  Hon.  Couneell  of 
State.  The  Petiti'on  of  Phillip  Corven,  a  negro,  in  all  humility  showeth: 
That  yor  petr  being  a  servant  to  Mrs.  Annye  Beazley,  late  of  James,  City 
County,  widow,  deed.  The  said  Mrs.  Beazley  made  her  last  will  and  testament 
in  writing,  under  her  hand  and  seal,  bearing  date  of  April,  An  Dom.  1664, 
.  .  .  that  yor  petr  by  the  then  name  of  negro  boy  Philip,  should  serve  her 
cousin,  .  .  .  the  terme  of  eight  yeares  .  .  .  and  then  should  enjoy  his  freedom 
and  be  paid  three  barrels  of  come  and  a  sute  of  clothes."  Cowcn  was  sold, 
it  appears,  to  Lucas  who  kept  him  and  forced  him  to  sign  the  long  indenture. 
Palmer,  Calendar  of  State  Papers,  I,  p.  10. 

Russell  corrects  "Corven"  to  "Cowan,"  The  Free  Negro  in  Fa.,  p.  34. 

10  < '  This  practice  of  holding  negroes  for  a  longer  term  than  white  persons, 
which  lasted  for  a  longer  time  than  had  originally  been  contemplated,  since 
it  was  allowed  to  apply  to  negroes  brought  into  Pennsylvania  from  other 
states,  bade  fair  to  perpetuate  itself  and  last  longer  still."  Turner,  The 
Negro  in  Penn.,  pp.  93,  95,  99-100. 

"76td.,  95. 


280  Journal  of  Negro  History 

masters  lengthened  the  term  of  the  Negro  servants  to  life.'' 
In  fact,  on  account  of  the  reciprocal  influence  of  white  servi- 
tude and  Negro  servitude,  wherever  white  servants  were 
taken  advantage  of  and  held  longer,  Negro  servants  were 
subjected  to  harsher  treatment  and  longer  extension  of 

The  mulatto  class  in  the  colonies  constituted  an  ele- 
ment through  which  transition  of  Negro  servitude  into 
slavery  is  apparent.  As  the  mulattoes  were  looked  upon 
as  the  result  of  an  * '  abominable  mixture  ' '  of  the  races 
and  as  representing  a  troublesome  element  in  society, 
local  laws  and  colonial  statutes  were  gradually  enacted 
to  check  and  control  them."  The  statutes  first  aimed  at 
serving  as  a  deterrent  upon  the  women,  and  hence  arose 
the  doctrine  of  partus  sequitur  ventrem,  which  imposed 
the  mother 's  status  upon  the  offspring.  However,  the  first 
statute  to  this  effect,  the  act  of  1662  in  Virginia,  was 
largely  enacted  because  of  fornication  of  Englishmen  and 
Negro  women.'*  Statutes  enunciating  this  doctrine  were 
enacted  in  the  other  colonies  as  follows:  Maryland,  1663; 
Massachusetts,  1698;  Connecticut  and  New  Jersey,  1704; 
Pennsylvania  and  New  York,  1706;  South  Carolina,  1712; 
Rhode  Island,  1728;  and  North  CaroHna,  1741.'"  Thus 
not  only  Negro  mulattoes,  that  is,  the  offspring  of  white 
men  and  Negro  women,  were  prevented  from  becoming 
servants,  but  those  who  were  already  either  freemen  or 
servants  were  gradually  reduced  to  slavery.  To  check  the 
growth  of  the  mulatto  class,  particularly  through  the  inter- 
mixture and  intermarriage  of  Negro  men  and  white  women, 
a  Virginia  law  in  1691  provided  that  the  woman  be  fined, 
or  sold  into  service  for  five  years,  or  given  five  years  of 

"  S-tevens,  Hist,  of  Ga.,  I,  p.  306. 

"Henning,  Statutes  at  Large,  pp.  145,  146,  252,  433,  551,  552;  Ibid., 
II,  115;  Ibid..  Ill,  87,  453;  Ballagh,  Hist,  of  Slavery  in  Va.,  p.  57;  Turner, 
The  Negro  in  Penn.,  pp.  112-113;  McCormac,  White  Servitude  in  Md.,  pp. 

"Ballagh,  Hist,  of  Slavery  in  Va.,  p.  57;  McCormac,  White  Servitude 
in  Md.,  p.  67. 

"  Ballagh,  Hist,  of  Slavery  in  Va.,  p.  39. 

Negro  Servitude  in  the  United  States  281 

added  time,  and  the  mulatto  be  bound  out  for  thirty 
years. ^^  In  Maryland,  Pennsylvania,  and  North  Caro- 
lina, similar  laws  were  passed."  The  mulatto,  then,  in 
one  case  was  reduced  from  freeman  and  servant  to  slave, 
and  in  the  other  case  made  a  servant  for  thirty  or  more 
years. ^®  Thus  the  debasing  of  tlie  status  of  the  mulatto 
helped  the  transition  to  slavery. 

Just  as  the  fugitive  white  servant  repeatedly  gave 
occasion,  through  incidents  growing  out  of  his  capture, 
return,  and  deterrence,  to  lower  the  status  of  the  servant 
until  it  assumed  the  character  of  slavery,  so  the  fugitive 
Negro  servant  made  his  lot  harder  and  influenced  the  ex- 
tension of  his  term  to  perpetuity.  The  Negro  servant,  un- 
like either  the  Indian  or  white  servant,  obviously  had  little 
to  tempt  him  to  run  away  from  his  master;  his  physical 
characteristics  made  detection  easy,  there  was  no  free  Ne- 
gro population  to  which  he  could  escape,  the  unfamiliar 
country  around  him  held  but  poor  prospects  for  his  making 
a  livelihood  more  easily  than  under  his  master,  and  the 
strangeness  of  his  situation  undoubtedly  had  much  to  do 
with  his  acceptance  of  it.  Yet  the  Negro  as  a  servant  did 
run  away.     It  is  very  probable  that  the  practice  of  run- 

"  Ibid.,  pp.  57-58. 

"Stroud,  Laws  Relating  to  Slavery,  pp.  8-9;  Turner,  The  Negro  in  Penn., 
pp.  24^25,  92;  Moore,  Notes  on  the  Hist,  of  Slavery  in  Mass.,  p.  54. 

"  The  transition  is  exhibited  in  another  case  still  more  completely. 
' '  This  position  rendered  them  especially  eligible  for  gross  purposes,  both  in 
their  intimate  contact  with  the  negroes  and  in  their  relations  to  their  em- 
ployers. The  law  had  unwittingly  set  a  premium  upon  immorality,  as  the 
female  mulatto  not  only  added  an  additional  term  to  her  period  of  service,  but 
her  offspring  was  by  a  law  of  1723  in  its  turn  forced  to  serve  the  master 
until  the  age  of  thirty-one  years.  Such  mulatto  servants,  then,  were  scarcely 
better  off  as  to  prospective  freedom  than  the  negro  slave.  Custom  tended 
to  reduce  them  to  a  state  of  slavery.  About  the  middle  of  the  eighteenth 
century  (circa  1765)  the  practice  arose  of  actually  disposing  of  their  persons 
by  sale,  both  in  the  colony  and  without,  as  slaves.  So  flagrant  was  the 
practice  that  further  legislation  was  demanded  to  ch'^ck  the  illegal  proceeding 
by  appropriate  penalties.  It  would  appear  that  the  offenders  were  those  who 
were  entitled  to  the  mulattoes  only  as  servants,  but  used  the  power  of  in- 
timidation or  deceit,  which  could  be  easily  practiced  in  the  case  of  minor 
bastards  born  in  their  service."     Ballagh,  Hist,  of  Slavery  in  Va.,  pp.  59-60. 

282  Journal  of  Negro  History 

ning  away  to  the  Indians  began  when  he  was  a  servant.^' 
Again,  it  appears  that  he  ran  away  not  infrequently  in 
company  with  white  servants.  In  Virginia,  in  1640,  John 
Punch,  a  Negro  servant,  ran  away  in  company  with  two 
white  servants.  The  three  were  overtaken  in  Maryland 
and  brought  back  to  Virginia  for  trial.  The  court  ordered 
that  the  white  servants'  terms  be  lengthened  four  years, 
and  that  Punch,  the  Negro  servant,  "  shall  serve  his  mas- 
ter or  his  assigns  for  the  time  of  his  natural  life. ' '  -'* 

The  transition  of  servitude  to  slavery,  moreover,  is 
distinctly  noticed  in  the  change  in  the  conception  of  prop- 
erty in  the  service  of  the  Negro  to  that  of  property  in  his 
person."  Like  that  of  the  white  and  Indian  servants, 
the  Negro's  service  through  contract,  implied  and  ex- 
pressed, was  owned  by  the  master.  This  o\vnership,  how- 
ever, consisted  of  only  the  right  of  the  master  to  the 
ser\dce  of  the  servant.  Gradually,  as  this  service  neces- 
sarily became  involved  in  wills,  estates,  taxation,  and 
business  transactions,  the  person  of  the  servant  instead 
of  his  service  came  more  and  more  to  be  regarded,  both  in 
custom  and  in  law,  as  property,  so  that  eventually  the  serv- 
ant, himself,  was  considered  personal  estate.  Thus  he  was 
"rated  in  inventories  of  estates,  was  transferable  both 
inter  vivos  and  by  will,  descended  to  the  executors  and  ad- 
ministrators, and  was  taxable."  While  he  was  now  a 
"contractual  person,"  he  still  retained  such  incidents  of 

"  From  the  very  first,  the  Indians  and  Negroes  as  servants  came  in  contact. 
Also,  there  seems  to  have  been  a  "common  bond  of  union"  between  Indians 
and  Negroes.  Again  the  colony  laws  concerning  runaway  servants  generally 
took  care  of  the  Negro  and  Indian  servants  in  the  same  act.  Kussell,  The 
Free  Negro  in  Va.,  pp.  128-129;  Lauber,  Indian  Slavery  in  Colonial  Times, 
pp.  218,  220-221. 

*"  Eussell,  Tlie  Free  Negro  in  Va.,  pp.  29-30. 

""With  the  change  of  the  status  of  servitude  to  the  status  of  slavery, 
certain  of  the  attributes  of  the  former  condition  were  continued  and  con- 
nected with  the  latter  chief  of  these,  and  the  fundamental  idea  on  which 
the  change  was  effected,  was  the  conception  of  property  right  which,  from 
the  idea  of  the  ownership  of  an  individual's  service  resting  upon  contract 
implied  or  expressed,  came  to  be  that  of  ownership  of  an  individual's  person." 
Lauber,  Indian  Slavery  in  Colonial  Times,  p.  215. 

Negro  Servitude  in  the  United  States  283 

personality  as  rights  of  limited  protection,  personal  free- 
dom, and  possession  of  property."  As  the  service  of  the 
servant  became  more  and  more  regarded  and  treated  as  a 
form  of  property,  his  personality  was  completely  lost  sight 
of,  and  his  term  was  extended  to  the  time  of  his  natural 
life."  Easily,  then,  the  Negro  servant  regarded  at  first 
a  part  of  the  personal  estate  came  at  length  to  be  re- 
garded as  a  chattel  real. 

T.  R.  Davis 
Waldex  College, 

Nashville,  Tenn. 

"Ballagh,  Hist,  of  Slavery  in  Va.,  pp.  39-40. 

^^Lauber,  Indian  Slavery  in  Co'.onial  Times,  pp.  226,  227,  230;  Turner, 
The  Negro  in  Penn-.,  p.  25.  "With  the  loss  of  the  ultimate  right  to  freedom, 
the  contractual  element  and  the  incidents  essential  to  it  were  swept  away, 
and  as  the  idea  of  personality  was  obscured,  the  conception  of  property 
gained  force,  so  that  it  became  an  easy  matter  to  add  incidents  more  strictly 
defining  the  property  right  and  insuring  its  protection."'^ 


The  passion  for  self  expression  is  one  of  the  most 
potent  factors  in  social  development.  No  problem  of 
social  philosophy  yields  to  a  satisfactory  solution  where 
the  passion  for  expression  is  not  regarded  as  a  requisite 
factor.  This  principle  is  operative  in  the  life  of  the 
individual,  the  race,  and  the  nation.  All  human  achieve- 
ments are  directly  traceable  to  some  inward  urge,  and 
evolution,  as  a  theory,  is  but  the  universalization  of  this 
principle.  Civilization,  whether  in  its  more  perfected 
stages  or  whether  in  its  manifestations  that  are  crude  and 
rudimentary,  is  essentially  a  measure  of  human  expression. 
The  inward  urge  that  drives  mankind  onward  has  a  variety 
of  manifestations  and  the  diiference  in  the  number  of  these 
manifestations  is  the  measure  of  differences  between  vari- 
ous civilizations,  and  between  civilization  and  barbarism 
or  savager}^  The  impulse  that  moves  the  saintly  wor- 
shipper in  St.  Peter's  to  kiss  the  rosary  as  he  kneels  low- 
bowed  and  earnest  before  the  liigh  altar  is  the  same  that 
moves  the  aborigine  in  Zululand  to  dance  in  frenzied  ec- 
stacies  around  his  devil-bush.  That  there  are  various  de- 
grees of  self-expression,  with  a  maximum  in  this  nation  and 
age,  and  a  minimum  in  that,  is  a  fact  that  is  as  undeniable  as 
it  is  obvious ;  but  that  there  are  impulses  of  cultural  possi- 
bilities which  are  lavished  upon  some  races  while  totally 
withheld  from  others  is  a  thesis  which  finds  no  sanction  in 
history  or  archaeology. 

Archaeology"  is  the  guiding  light  in  which  we  grope  in 
our  attempt  to  explore  the  life  of  ancient  man.  In  Europe 
and  in  Asia  we  have  unearthed  numerous  evidences  of  pre- 
historic cultures.  There  may  have  been  surprise  at  the 
antiquity  and  variety  but  certainly  not  at  the  location,  for 
it  was  highly  probable  that  the  present  high  civilization  of 
Europe  and  Asia  had  risen  from  the  ruins  of  older  ones; 

28  i 

Three  Elements  of  African  Culture  285 

yet  it  cannot  be  longer  don])ted  that  when  archaeology  as  a 
searchlight  was  turned  upon  Africa  there  was  occasion  of 
surprise  when  that  Dark  Land  yielded  evidences  of  a  civili- 
zation that  antedated  the  arrival  of  the  European.  It 
would  be  just  as  hard  to  designate  the  African  cultures  as 
purely  Negro  as  to  designate  the  European  cultures  as 
purely  Teuton.  However,  a  study  of  African  culture 
promises  richer  results  when  it  can  be  identified  with  certain 
Negro  tribes  or  such  Negroid  tribes  as  have  a  large  ex- 
traction of  Negro  blood.  The  findings  of  archaeology  have 
not  only  a  backward  look  but  also  a  meaning  for  the  future 
and  especially  is  this  true  of  African  cultures,  which  not 
only  throw^  light  upon  the  past  of  the  black  man  but  may 
also  become  prophetic  of  his  future.  It  shall  be  the  purpose 
of  this  treatise  to  analyze  the  African  cultures  so  as  to  dis- 
close their  essential  elements  and  to  compare  these  elements 
with  their  counterparts  in  European  cultures. 

Once  attention  had  been  directed  towards  Africa,  there 
arose  numerous  archaeological  expeditions  and  especially 
noteworthy  were  the  findings  of  those  from  Germany  and 
England,  the  two  European  countries  w^hich  had  the  most 
ambitious  schemes  of  colonization.  In  details  there  is  not 
always  agreement  among  the  various  archaeological  ex- 
plorers; but,  in  the  main,  there  is  a  unanimity  that  is 
marvelous  and  especially  is  this  true  when  there  is  evi- 
denced such  keen  rivalry  that  is  at  bottom  doubtless 

What  are  the  essential  elements  of  civilization?  What 
are  the  cultural  manifestations  which  constitute  the  sine  qua 
noil  of  human  progress?  What  is  the  'irreducible  mini- 
mum" of  civilization?  A  studied  answer  must  include 
ethics,  art  and  government,  for  without  any  one  of  these 
no  social  order  can  claim  for  itself  an  approach  to  civi- 
lization. The  cultures  of  nations  and  races  must  be  ex- 
pressive of  these  cardinal  elements  of  social  expression. 
In  investigating  African  cultures  and  their  essential  ele- 
ments it  is  deemed  best  to  dw^ell  at  greatest  length  on  the 

286  Journal  of  Negro  History 

positive  aspects  of  these  cultural  manifestations.  To  at- 
tempt a  negative  exposition  of  the  primitive  cultures  of  any 
people  will  not  reveal  any  worthwhile  criterion  of  its  worth 
especially  when  the  scope  of  investigation  is  limited  to 
three  essential  elements  of  culture.  If  ethics,  art  and 
government  constitute  the  irreducible  minimum  of  civili- 
zation which  is  manifested  in  certain  cultural  aspects,  it 
is  clear  at  the  outset  that  specialization  in  ethics,  art  and 
government  is  the  measure  of  a  people's  advancement. 

I.    Ethics 

Of  the  African  peoples  let  us  consider  first  their  ethics. 
It  can  hardly  be  doubted  that  it  was  an  important  step  in 
man's  upward  journey  when  he  reached  what  anthropolo- 
gists have  called  "the  dawn  of  mind"  but  it  was  no  less 
momentous  an  event  when  there  was  within  him  the  dawn 
of  morality.  Morality  is  the  highest  defensive  weapon 
which  mankind  can  meld.  So  important  has  it  become  in 
the  struggle  for  existence  that,  to  man,  the  highest  form  of 
greatness  is  a  moral  greatness.  That  the  highest  civili- 
zations of  history  have  been  grounded  in  moral  strength 
has  become  an  historical  postulate,  but  what  of  the  races 
and  nations  that  live  beyond  their  pale?  Were  the  Afri- 
cans in  their  crude  and  primitive  surroundings  moral 
beings'?  Tillinghast  and  Beauvais  would  doubtless  an- 
swer in  the  negative.  The  former  in  his  The  Negro  in 
Africa  and  America  is  loud  in  his  criticism  of  the  ethical 
standards  of  the  African,  in  fact  he  seriously  doubts  the 
advisability  of  saying  that  the  tribes  of  Africa  have  an 
awakened  moral  sense.  Frobenius,  however,  comes  for- 
ward with  an  assertion  to  the  contrary,  asserting :  "  I  can- 
not do  otherwise  than  say,  that  these  human  creatures  are 
the  chastest  and  most  ethically  disposed  of  all  the  national 
groups  in  the  world  which  have  become  known  to  me."* 
In  justice  to  the  other  ''national  groups"  we  may  say 
that  Frobenius  here  doubtless  overdraws  the  virtues  of 

^  Frobenius,  The  Voice  of  Africa,  673. 

Three  Elements  of  African  Cxjlture  287 

the  Yoruban  tribes,  yet  his  assertions  when  taken  with 
ever  so  much  reserve  would  lead  to  the  conclusion  that 
the  Africans  have  considerable  moral  sense.     Frobenius 
leaves  no  doubt  that  the  Yorubans  are  a  mixed  people,  al- 
though certain  degrees  of  mixtures  of  people  are  found 
everywhere;  and  the  fact  that  they  are  mixed  alone  will 
not  vitiate  the  validity  of  Yoruban  civilization  as  a  phase 
of  African  culture.     Roscoe  in  writing  of  the  Baganda 
tribes  has  been  as  careful  to  impress  us  with  their  black- 
ness as  Frobenius  has  been  to  indicate  the  Yoruban  mix- 
ture.    He  says :  * '  Sex  profligacy  is  open  and  thought  to 
be  no  wrong.     They  thought  it  no  moral  wrong  to  indulge 
the  sex  desire.'"    Yet  Roscoe  further  says:  "The  most 
stringent  care  was  exercised  by  the  king  and  chiefs,  but 
it  proved  inefficient  to  keep  the  sexes  apart,  while  horrible 
punishment  meted   out   to   the   delinquents   when   caught 
seemed  to  lend  zest  to  the  danger  incurred."  ^     The  signifi- 
cant thing  in  Roscoe 's  account  is  not  the  open  sex  profligacy 
but  the  ''stringent  care  exercised  by  kings  and  chiefs"  and 
the  "horrible  punishment  meted  out  to  offenders."    After 
all,  there  is  abundant  evidence  that  even  in  Baganda  there 
is  some  ethical  standard. 

Roscoe  continues:  "Theft  is  not  common  among  the 
people  for  they  were  deterred  from  stealing  by  fear  of 
punishment  which  was  certain  to  follow. ' '  *  The  very  fact 
that  there  was  fear  of  punishment  is  indicative  of  some  con- 
ception of  social  morality.  Fear  as  a  preventive  of  crime 
is  not  the  most  commendable  incentive  to  morality,  but  it 
is  one  that  must  be  employed  in  all  civilizations;  for  man 
is  first  an  animal  then  a  moral  being.  The  fear  re- 
ferred to  does  not  prove  that  the  Baganda  has  the  highest 
tj-pe  of  morality,  but  it  proves  that  they  have  a  type  and 
this  is  significant  for  primitive  peoples.  The  low  standard 
in  anything  may  be  prophetic  of  higher  ones  which  are 
approachable  only  by  means  of  the  lower  ones  as  stepping 

'  Baganda,  Their  Customs  and  Beliefs,  10. 


*  Roscoe,  Baganda,  12. 

288  Journal  of  Negbo  History 

stones.  This  is  true  in  art,  science  and  religion.  The  fact 
that  the  Bagandas  were  ''hospitable  and  liberal  and  that 
real  poverty  did  not  exist"  ^  shows  the  presence  of  a  social 
consciousness  which  in  many  ways  evidences  a  standard 
of  ethics.  According  to  Koscoe  the  thief  was  killed  on  the 
spot,  death  for  adultery  was  certain;*  yet  he  attempts  to 
maintain  his  thesis  as  to  their  lack  of  morality  in  these 
words:  ''The  moral  ideas  of  the  people  are  crude,  it  was 
not  wrongdoing  but  detection  that  they  feared;  men  were 
restrained  from  committing  crimes  through  fear  of  the 
power  of  the  gods."  ^  It  is  obvious  that  "detection"  is  to 
be  feared  only  where  there  are  detectives  and  these  are 
present  only  when  they  have  been  called  forth  in  response 
to  some  social  demands. 

There  is  still  other  light  to  be  turned  on  the  ethical 
status  of  the  African  tribes.  Bent,  more  sympathetic  to- 
wards the  natives  of  Mashonaland,  delivers  himself  thus: 
"Not  only  has  Khama  established  his  reputation  for 
honesty;  but  he  is  supposed  to  have  inoculated  his  people 
with  the  same  virtue.  I  must  say  that  I  looked  forward 
vdth  great  interest  to  seeing  a  man  with  so  wide  a  repu- 
tation for  integrity  and  enlightenment  as  Khama  in  South 
Africa.  Somehow  one's  spirit  of  skepticism  is  on  the  alert 
on  such  occasions  and  especially  when  a  Negro  is  the  case 
in  point;  and  I  candidly  admit  that  I  advanced  towards 
Palapwe  fully  prepared  to  find  Ba  Mangwato  a  rascal  and 
hypocrite  and  I  left  liis  capital  after  a  week's  stay  there 
one  of  his  fervent  admirers. ' '  *  But  Dent  adds : ' '  Doubtless 
on  the  traversed  roads  and  large  centers  where  they  are 
brought  into  contact  with  traders  and  would-be  civilizers 
of  the  race,  these  people  become  thieves  and  vagabonds, 
but  in  their  primitive  state  the  Makalangas  are  naturally 
honest,  exceedingly  courteous  in  manner."^ 

'Ibid.,  120. 

'Ibid.,  263. 

'  Ibid.,  267. 

8  Bent,  Mashonaland,  22. 

'Ibid.,  53. 

Three  Elements  of  African  Culture  289 

It  is  plain  to  the  impartial  critic  that  judged  by  our 
ethical  standards  the  peoples  commended  above  would  fall 
far  short ;  but  this  is  no  less  true  with  the  earliest  civilization 
of  historic  times.  Standards  not  only  vary  from  age  to 
age  but  from  people  to  people.  In  arguing  to  support  the 
thesis  that  in  Africa  the  lowliest  tribes  had  some  ethical 
standard,  it  is  not  necessary  to  prove  that  these  standards 
compare  favorably  or  unfavorably  with  those  of  modern 
times.  Such  is  beside  the  question  and  with  the  testimony 
of  the  English  and  German  archaeologists  before  us  we 
are  safe  in  saying  that  the  African  tribes  had  an  ethical 
standard  and  thus  the  potentials  of  a  civilization  based 
upon  morality.  Neither  can  it  be  proved  that  the  ethical 
standards  of  the  tribes  of  Baganda,  Mashonaland  and 
Yoruba  are  without  worth  because  they  differ  in  so  many 
particulars  from  our  own.  Later  we  shall  attempt  to  show 
just  why  there  is  such  disparity  between  their  ethics  and 
ours.  Furthermore,  it  is  not  necessary  to  prove  that  ethi- 
cal contacts  with  Europeans  affords  no  basis  for  the  tribes- 
men but  it  is  reasonable  to  suppose  that  the  ethics  of  the 
African  tribes  had  possibilities  the  same  as  the  earliest 
nations  of  Europe  and  Asia;  and  if  contacts  with  Eu- 
ropeans be  argued  against  the  proposition  that  the  Afri- 
cans evolved  an  ethical  standard,  the  same  argument  may 
be  used  to  bedim  the  glory  of  our  own  civilization. 

We,  therefore,  contend  that  whatever  possibilities  lie 
with  the  people  who  can  evolve  an  ethical  standard  surely 
must  lie  with  the  African.  It  is  true  that  the  happy  faculty 
of  coordinating  ethics  with  ideals  has  made  nations  great 
and  civilizations  splendid,  and  that  such  faculty  evidenced 
itself  in  the  long-dark  continent  of  Africa.  The  principle 
of  evolution  is  just  as  operative  in  the  world  of  ethics  as 
in  the  world  of  physical  sciences.  Ethics  must  grow  and 
outgrown  ethics  is  ethics  notwithstanding.  The  most  rabid 
critic  does  not  deny  to  Africa  ethical  origins,  but  such 
authorities  as  Tillinghast  and  Beauvais  would  deny  their 
practical  worth.     These  men  criticize  the  standard  rather 

290  Journal  of  Negro  History 

than  deny  that  there  are  ethical  manifestations  of  culture. 
Elhvood  in  his  Sociology  and  Social  Problems  contends 
that  the  regulation  of  sex  relations  has  been  the  greatest 
achievement  of  man.  Granting  the  truth  of  this  statement, 
we  have  evidences  that  the  African  made  desperate  efforts 
to  regulate  sex  relations  both  by  a  kind  of  public  opinion 
and  by  punishment ;  for  Roscoe  says :  "  It  was  looked  upon 
as  a  great  disgrace  to  a  family  if  a  girl  was  ^^dth  child 
prior  to  marriage."^"  We  are  certain  that  there  was 
''marriage"  and  this  itself  is  an  indication  that  an  attempt 
had  been  made  to  regulate  the  all-important  matter  of  sex. 
Roscoe  further  held  that  "the  marriage  vow  was  binding."  ^^ 
Both  those  writers  who  commended  the  ethics  of  the  Afri- 
cans and  those  who  belittled  their  standard,  then,  are  es- 
sentially agreed  to  the  fact  of  their  ethics.  Although  there 
were  wide  variations  in  the  standards  of  different  tribes, 
we  are  abundantly  justified  in  assuming  that  the  ethics 
of  the  Africans  was  as  susceptible  to  improvement  as  our 
own.  The  more  advanced  standards  were  prophetic  of 
still  more  advanced  ones. 

II.  Art 

What  a  man  admires  is  an  infallible  index  to  his  inner- 
most soul.  Whether  in  the  adornment  of  some  temple  or 
the  crude  markings  upon  primitive  pottery,  man  is  ever 
striving  to  express  himself  in  his  labors.  Strange  to  say 
that  though  the  passion  for  self-expression  is  dominant  in 
human  activities,  the  art  of  expression  is  still  in  its  in- 
fancy. We  may  divide  human  artifacts  into  two  classes, 
namely,  those  of  utility  and  those  of  aestheticism.  That 
the  latter  has  a  form  of  utility  we  should  in  no  case  deny 
but  as  to  the  utility  of  aesthetics  we  deem  it  beside  the 
point  here  to  discuss.  When  we  use  the  term  "art"  in 
this  treatise  it  will  have  the  specific  meaning  of  the  at- 
tempt on  the  part  of  man  to  express  his  emotions ;  or  his 
attempt  to  satisfy  the  aesthetic  cravings  in  the  soul.     That 

'"  Eoscoe,  The  Baganda,  79. 

Three  Elements  of  Afeican  Culture  291 

there  are  such  cravings  is  a  fact  which  is  universally  con- 
ceded. That  there  are  many  evidences  of  such  attempts 
among  all  civilized  lands  none  mil  deny.  That  man's  at- 
tempts at  artistic  expression  is  a  criterion  of  his  civili- 
zation is  an  historic  fact.  There  can  be  no  civilization 
without  its  concomitants  of  aesthetics.  Man  seeks  beauty 
for  beauty's  sake,  and  he  alone  of  the  animals  gives  evi- 
dence of  such  propensity  to  a  pronounced  degree.  In  song, 
upon  canvas,  and  in  marble,  humanity  has  poured  forth 
its  innermost  soul  of  sentiments  inexpressibly  sublime. 
There  is  no  passion,  no  object  that  has  not  at  some  time 
inflamed  the  soul  and  moved  some  mortal  to  the  abode  of 
the  gods. 

What  have  the  explorers  in  Darkest  Africa  found  to 
indicate  that  the  Africans  loved  the  beautiful?  What 
have  the  Africans  to  show  as  specimens  of  fine  art?  The 
music  of  Negro  peoples  has  become  proverbial.  In  so  far 
as  song  is  an  expression  of  aesthetic  propensities  the  Afri- 
can abundantly  qualifies  as  a  lover  of  art.  Whether  the 
strength  of  a  Wagner  or  the  melody  of  a  Beethoven; 
whether  the  melody  of  a  southern  plantation  or  a  concert 
in  Symphony  Hall,  the  principle  of  the  music  is  the  same. 
The  crude  instruments  of  which  the  explorer  tells  us  are 
mute  testimonials  of  the  African's  attempts  to  express 
himself  in  song  and  music.  There  were  to  be  found  in  the 
Bagandaland,  according  to  Roscoe,  drums  for  dancing  and 
the  ''royal"  drum  was  elaborately  decorated,  thus  showing 
a  combination  of  sight  and  soul  appreciation  for  beauty. 
He  said  that  the  harp  and  stringed  fife  were  also  found 
in  this  same  tribe.  The  pottery  found  in  this  region  was 
glazed  and  figures  painted  thereon  indicated  beyond  doubt 
artistic  design  of  no  mean  order.  The  basketry  had  vari- 
ous figures  worked  through  the  skillful  manipulation  of 
the  bark  fibres.  Roscoe  asserts  that  polychrome  paintings 
were  much  in  evidence  among  the  Baganda  tribes  and  their 
work  in  ivorv^  corresponded  favorably  with  the  same 
kind  of  work  found  in  Europe  during  the  Neolithic  Age. 

292  Journal,  of  Negro  History 

Whether  fine  art  was  indigenous  is  not  a  pertinent  question 
but  the  significant  thing  is  that  Roscoe  found  these  tribes 
actually  giving  expression  to  what  seemed  to  be  a  well-  de- 
veloped sense  of  the  beautiful. 

When  Bent  reached  the  ruined  city  of  Zimbabwe,  he 
found  the  natives  playing  upon  one-stringed  instruments 
with  gourds  as  resonators  and  he  avers  that  ''the  sound 
was  plaintive  if  not  sweet. ' '  ^^  That  a  mode  of  dress  is 
primitive  is  no  proof  that  it  lacks  taste  and  a  subtle  refine- 
ment. This  is  amply  illustrated  by  the  striking  beauty  of 
Eg}'ptian  costumes  which  now  again  grace  the  modern 
stage.  Though  four  thousand  years  have  elapsed  since 
EgJTt  basked  in  the  pristine  glory  that  was  hers,  we  have 
many  evidences  that  what  was  pretty  then  is  not  ugly  now. 
This  is  no  less  true  of  the  remnants  of  those  who  saw  the 
sun  of  glory  shine  upon  Mashonaland.  In  remarking 
about  their  apparel  Roscoe  is  positive  in  the  assertion 
that  ''their  dress  evidences  taste  when  not  contaminated 
with  a  hybrid  civilization."^^  Like  the  Cretans,  they  dis- 
played artistic  tendencies  to  the  extent  the  simplest  tool 
bore  evidences  of  ornamentation.  If  such  tendency  in  the 
Cretans  was  indicative  of  the  artistic  temperament,  a  simi- 
lar tendency  in  the  Africans  must  be  similarly  interpreted. 

According  to  Roscoe,  definite  stages  are  well  defined  and 
can  be  definitely  traced  in  their  paintings.  At  first  the 
themes  were  things  and  later  they  were  men  and  the  human 
body  as  a  design  for  the  artist  is  clearly  portrayed.  There 
was  a  "breast  and  furrow"  type  of  painting  that  marked 
almost  every  object  with  which  they  had  to  do.  The  piano 
with  iron  keys  w^as  very  much  like  such  instruments  found 
in  Egypt.  The  Jews'  harp  was  found  in  many  quarters. 
There  can  be  no  doubt  that  music  had  its  place  in  the  life  of 
the  Mashonaland.  But  music  is  a  fine  art  and  its  value  lies 
largely  if  not  wholly  in  its  appeal  to  our  aesthetic  natures. 
What  can  be  the  meaning  of  such  evidences  of  love  of  music 

"  Bent,  Buined  Cities  of  Mashonaland,  18. 
"IMd.,  37. 

Three  Elements  of  African  Culture  293 

among  the  African  tribes?     Can  it  not  be  interpreted  as 
their  response  to  the  appeal  of  the  beautiful? 

Of  the  great  defensive  walls  of  Zimbabwe  Bent  says: 
' '  The  fort  is  a  marvel  with  its  tortuous  and  well-guarded 
approaches;  its  walls  bristling  with  monoliths  and  round 
towers,  its  temple  decorated  with  tall  weird-looking  birds, 
its  huge  decorated  bowls.     The  only  parallel  that  I  have 
seen  were  the  long  avenues  of  menhirs  near  Carnac  in 
Brittany.     One  cannot  fail  to  recognize  the  vastness  and 
power  of  this  ancient  race,  their  greatness  of  constructive 
ingenuity  and  their  strategic  skill."'*    Of  course,  there 
is  evidence  that  the  present  inhabitants  of  those  ruined 
cities  were  not  the  tribes  that  once  ruled  mightily  in  these 
regions.    Bent  himself  holds  that  such  high  culture  must 
have  come  from  another  people.     The  very  fact  that  the 
present  population  seems  so  far  below  the  level  of  culture 
that  once  prevailed  there  is  the  only  evidence  upon  which 
Bent  predicates  his  argument  that  another  race  than  the 
Negroes  were  the  bearers   of  this   great  culture.     How- 
ever, it  is  hardly  probable  that  the  level  of  culture  was 
foreign  to  the  Negroes  who  lived  in  the  palmy  days  of  Zim- 
babwe.    There  must  have  been  an  overlapping  of  cultures 
even  if  we  grant  that  another  race  produced  the  culture  of 
this  region.    It  is  hardly  probable  that  a  dominant  race 
would  have  wholly  abdicated  in  favor  of  the  natives  and  it 
is  still  less  probable  that  the  natives  could  have  dislodged 
a  race  so  strongly  fortified.     It  is  highly  probable  that  the 
same  race  of  people  could  have  produced  the  peoples  who 
occupied  the  level  of  these  two  very  different  cultures. 
No  one  supposes  that  the  inhabitants  of  Athens  today  are 
equal  to  the  Greeks  of  the  days  of  Pericles.     Yet  they  are 
connected  with  the  same  great  race. 

Aside  from  the  ancient  walls  and  temples  reputed  to  be 
the  products  of  a  genius  foreign  to  the  tribes  of  today, 
Bent  comments  favorably  upon  the  art  such  as  is  the  prod- 
uct of  the  modern  inhabitant.    With  regard  to  a  beautiful 

"Bent,  Euined  Cities  of  Mashonaland ,  113. 

294  Journal  of  Negro  History 

bowl  he  says:  "The  work  displayed  in  executing  these 
bowls,  the  careful  rounding  of  edges,  the  exact  execution 
of  the  circle,  the  fine  pointed  tool  marks  and  the  subjects 
they  chose  to  depict  point  to  a  race  having  been  far  ad- 
vanced in  artistic  skill."  Hunting  scenes  are  numerous 
and  in  the  processions  of  men,  animals  are  often  put  in 
to  make  for  relief,  sometimes  a  bird  is  introduced  for  the 
same  effect.  It  is  quite  singular  that  in  one  of  the  hunting 
scenes  the  sportsman  is  a  Hottentot.  Sculptoring  was 
usually  done  in  soapstone  and  the  bird  upon  the  post  is 
a  subject  which  is  frequently  depicted.  The  dra^\dngs 
found  by  Bent  in  the  Mazoe  Valley  were  simple  yet  beauti- 
fully executed.  The  magnificent  hand-made  pottery  is 
decorated  in  patterns  of  red  and  black  which  colors  are 
obtained  from  hemolite  and  plumbogo.  If  we  turn  with 
Bent  to  Mtokoland  and  see  in  the  Mtoko's  kraal  the  draw- 
ings of  the  Bushmen,  "we  can  trace  distinctly  three  dif- 
ferent periods  of  execution.  The  first  is  crude  and  now 
faint  representation  of  unknowTi  life ;  the  second  is  deeper 
in  color  and  admirably  executed  and  partly  on  top  of  this 
latter  are  animals  of  the  best  period  of  this  art  in  red  and 
yellow.  The  third  is  an  inartistic  representation  of  human 
beings  which  evidently  belongs  to  a  period  of  decadence 
and  in  the  execution  of  this  work  the  colors  invariably  are 
red,  yellow  and  black. ' '  ^^ 

What  significance  has  this  manifestation  of  art?  What 
coloring  does  it  give  to  the  cultural  development  of  Africa! 
It  simply  means  that  the  African  like  other  peoples  enjoys 
the  finer  sentiments  that  make  life  worth  living.  Among 
the  writers  there  is  as  much  unanimity  on  the  question  of 
African  art  as  there  is  on  African  ethics.  All  told,  it  goes 
to  show  that  in  the  essentials  of  culture  the  tribes  of  Africa 
are  not  entirely  wanting  and  there  are  many  close  parallels 
between  the  cultural  development  in  Africa  and  that  in 
Neolithic  Europe.  What  difference  there  is  is  one  of  de- 
gree and  not  of  kind.    While  Lady  Lugard's  work  savored 

''Ibid.,  292. 

Three  Elements  of  African  Culture  295 

more  of  politics  than  of  archaeology,  it  cannot  be  doubted 
that  her  vote  may  be  cast  on  the  side  of  those  who  contend 
that  the  cultural  manifestations  of  the  African  are  pro- 
nounced when  their  background  is  considered.  Though 
crude  and  rudimentary,  though  often  hidden  beneath  brutal 
superstitions,  there  is  always  a  cultural  norm  with  brilliant 
possibilities  for  social  betterment.  At  best  we  can  be  no 
more  than  fundamentally  right  or  fimdamentally  good, 
and  this  lends  color  to  the  claim  of  the  African  to  real 


III.  Government 

Much  has  been  said  about  the  feeble  government  which 
the  African  sets  up.  More  has  been  said  of  his  innate 
inability  in  matters  of  civic  importance.  The  matter  of 
government  is  important,  for  it  is  doubtful  if  there  can  be 
any  approach  to  any  civilization  worthy  of  the  name  with- 
out some  stable  form  of  government.  It  is  generally  con- 
ceded that  the  democratic  form  of  government  is  the  best 
developed  stage  of  the  body  politic ;  but  this  form  even  at 
present  is  far  from  realization.  While  it  is  a  great  and  in- 
spiring ideal,  its  presupposition  is  that  people  are  capable 
of  self-government  and  in  many  cases  this  is  a  supposition 
that  is  not  based  on  fact  and  cannot  be  corroborated  in 
practice.  If  democracy  is  the  highest  form,  absolute 
monarchy  may  be  the  lowest  form.  Yet  monarchy  is  a 
form  of  government  and  despite  the  low  esteem  in  which  it 
is  held  within  recent  years,  it  must  be  admitted  that  for 
ages  monarchical  government  was  the  guardian  and  cus- 
todian of  civilization.  It  is  more  necessary  to  have  some 
government  than  it  is  to  have  good  government. 

Africa  is  no  exception  to  this  rule.  Frobenius  goes  so 
far  as  to  say  that  the  goverimient  in  the  Yorubaland  was 
fashioned  after  a  republic.'^  With  superior  and  subordi- 
nate officials  the  Yorubans  had  the  semblance  of  an  orderly 
government.  There  was  the  king  with  a  senate  which  filled 
the  function  of  cabinet  as  well.    At  the  court  were  coun- 

»•  Frobenius,  Voice  of  Africa,  180. 

296  Journal  of  Negro  History 

sellors-at-law  and  attorneys  for  the  state.  Says  Frobenius : 
''Before  the  advent  of  Mohammedanism,  forms  of  civili- 
zation of  equal  value  and  significance  must  have  been 
operative  in  the  Soudan. "  ^^  "In  fact, ' '  he  continues,  ' ' the 
government  was  excellent  and  I  was  delighted  with  the 
simple  administration  of  the  law  and  official  summary 
punishment  in  Makwa."  ^-  Of  the  Great  Benin  tribes  Roth 
says :  "  If  theft  is  seldom  heard  of  here,  of  murder  we  hear 
still  less."  When  the  Arabs  first  visited  Negroland  by  the 
western  route  in  the  eighth  and  ninth  centuries  of  our  era, 
they  found  the  black  kings  of  Ghana  in  the  height  of  their 
prosperity.  But  the  black  kings  of  Ghana  had  long  passed 
into  oblivion  when  Edris,  one  of  the  greatest  kings  of  Bornu, 
was  making  gunpowder  for  the  musketeers  of  his  army 
contemporary  with  Queen  Elizabeth."  ^^ 

El  Bekri,  a  Spanish  Arab  and  author  of  Tarikh-es- 
Soudan  says  of  Mansa  Musa  one  of  the  nobles  of  Ghana: 
' '  He  was  distinguished  by  his  ability  and  holiness  of  life. 
The  justice  of  his  administration  was  such  that  it  still 
lives.  ""^  Three  hundred  years  later  a  Songhay  said  of 
him:  ''  As  a  pious  and  equitable  prince,  he  was  unequalled 
for  \'irtue  and  uprightness."" 

The  duration  of  the  Soudanese  empires,  moreover,  will 
bear  comparison  with  that  of  others  which  are  better  knoAvn 
to  fame.  Ghana  enjoyed  an  independent  existence  of 
about  eleven  hundred  years— that  is,  a  period  nearly 
equivalent  to  the  period  of  existence  of  the  British  Em- 
pire from  the  abolition  of  the  Saxon  Heptarchy  to  the  pres- 
ent day.  Melle  which  succeeded  Ghana  had  a  shorter 
national  life  of  about  two  hundred  and  fifty  years.  Song- 
hay  counted  its  kings  in  regular  succession  from  700  to 
1591— a  period  which  almost  equals  the  life  of  the  Roman 

^' Ibid.,  360. 

'Ubid.,  388. 

"  Roth,  Great  Benin,  86. 

^Ibid.,  82. 

"Roth,  Great  Benin,  128. 

'-Ibid.,  129. 

Three  Elements  of  African  Culture  297 

Empire  from  the  foundation  of  the  republic  before  the 
Christian  era  to  the  downfall  of  the  empire  in  the  second 
half  of  the  fifth  century.  The  duration  of  Bornu  was  less 

The  civilization  represented  bj^  these  empires  was  no 
doubt,  if  judged  by  modern  standards,  exceedingly  imper- 
fect. "  The  principle  of  freedom,  as  we  understand  it, 
was  probablj^  unknown;  authority  rested  upon  force  of 
arms;  industrial  life  was  based  upon  slavery;  social  life 
was  founded  on  polygamy.  Side  by  side  with  barbaric 
splendor  there  was  primeval  simplicity.  Luxury  for  the 
few  took  the  place  of  comforts  for  the  many.  Study  was 
devoted  to  what  seems  to  us  unprofitable  ends.  Yet  the 
fact  that  civilization,  far  in  excess  of  anything  which  the 
nations  of  northern  Europe  possessed  at  the  earlier  period 
of  Soudanese  history,  existed  with  stability  enough  to  main- 
tain empire  after  empire  through  a  knowm  period  of  about 
1500  years  in  a  portion  of  the  world  which  mysteriously 
disappeared  in  the  sixteenth  century  from  the  comity  of 
modern  nations.  "^^ 

Bent  holds  that  **  three  hundred  years  before  the  Portu- 
guese came  to  this  country  the  natives  were  ruled  over  by 
a  chief  with  the  dynastic  name  of  Nonomapata.  From  the 
evidence  brought  forward  we  are  well  within  the  range  of 
probability  when  we  say  that  in  various  parts  of  Africa 
there  has  been  a  very  close  approach  to  well-ordered  gov- 
ernment dating  from  ancient  days.  That  these  govern- 
ments are  non-existent  today  can  not  be  laid  to  their  dis- 
credit nor  to  their  faulty  organization.  It  is  a  fact  that 
the  earth  has  not  produced  the  government  that  could 
very  long  defy  the  ravages  of  time.  A  journey  dowTi  the 
wreckstrewn  highway  of  the  ages  will  reveal  the  dry  bones 
of  a  thousand  empires  and  it  is  not  surprising  that  the 
humbler  states  of  Africa  can  be  numbered  among  them. 
The  fact  that  there  are  evidences  of  decadent  states  in 
tribal  Africa  has  its  parallel  in  various  parts  of  Europe 

'^Ibid.,  217. 

298  Journal,  of  Negro  History 

We  have  shown  that  archaeological  research  has  re- 
vealed that  the  darkness  in  Africa  has  not  been  from  time 
immemorial.  We  have  found  that  the  "  quod  novi  ex  Af- 
rica" is  obsolete  in  an  archaeological  sense.  We  have 
brought  forward  testimony  deduced  from  reliable  sources 
that  Africa  is  not  without  an  historic  past.  We  have  fur- 
ther shown  that  in  eastern,  central  and  western  Africa  the 
natives  not  only  exhibit  now  these  cultural  manifestations, 
but  also  there  is  revealed  aboundant  evidence  of  a  pre- 
historic culture  that  compares  favorably  with  the  earlier 
cultures  of  Europe.  We  are  candid  enough  to  admit  that 
in  standard  the  cultures  of  Africa  are  inferior  to  our  own, 
but  we  must  also  admit  that  the  present  high  standards  in 
our  own  ethics,  art  and  government  have  not  always  pre- 
vailed and  that  there  is  a  past  to  these  standards  which  is 
not  always  assuring. 

There  is  one  question  that  demands  an  answer  before 
we  have  concluded.  It  is  a  question  that  is  as  reasonable 
as  it  is  vexatious.  Why  have  not  the  nations  of  Africa 
kept  pace  with  other  mightier  countries?  WTiy  is  Africa 
at  present  suffering  political  dissection  which  would 
have  been  impossible  had  she  fully  developed  the  cardinal 
elements  of  ethics,  art  and  govermnent?  Why  is  there  no 
help  for  her  dismemberment  which  constitutes  the  pity  of 
the  age?  The  answer  to  these  questions  is  ob\4ous  when 
we  shall  have  considered,  first,  one  of  the  fundamental 
propositions  in  human  psychology.  The  rise  of  one  nation 
may  hinder  the  rise  of  the  other.  It  is  not  improbable  that 
an  accentuated  civilization  in  Europe  might  have  retarded 
civilization  in  Africa.  AVe  do  know  that  the  slave  trade 
had  a  tremendous  effect  on  their  fortunes.  When  once  a 
group  makes  unusual  progress  and  by  its  ambition  de- 
stroys the  bridge  over  which  it  passed,  it  cannot  be  doubted 
that  its  ambitions  considerably  alter  the  fortunes  of  others 
at  its  mercy.  Lady  Lugard  cannot  be  gainsaid  when  she 
asserts  thus  with  regard  to  the  slave  trade :  '  *  Through  the 
chaos  of  these  conflicting  interests,  the  practice  of  slave- 

Three  Elements  of  African  Culture  299 

raiding,  carried  on  alike  by  the  highest  and  lowest,  ran  like 
the  poison  of  a  destructive  sore,  destroying  every  possibil- 
ity of  peaceful  and  prosperous  development."" 

There  may  be  further  asked  the  question  why  did  not 
Africa  rise  as  did  the  other  peoples  and  make  her  ex- 
ploitation impossible.  We  are  forced  to  turn  from  social 
to  natural  factors.  The  geography  of  Europe  is  quite  dif- 
ferent from  that  of  Africa.  When  wave  after  wave  of 
migrants  left  the  Iranian  plains  and  turned  west  and  east 
and  south,  it  is  clear  that  those  who  turned  into  Africa  had 
an  endless  journey  before  them  ere  they  had  to  the  margin 
come.  Of  great  mountain  ranges  there  were  none.  On 
the  monotonous  plains  of  Africa  the  cultural  extensions 
must  have  been  horizontal.  The  races  that  went  into  Eu- 
rope were  more  quickly  stayed  in  their  onward  march  by 
the  coldness  of  the  north.  Not  only  this  but  they  were  in 
the  midst  of  a  mountainous  country  where  tribes  and 
peoples  could  drift  into  human  eddies  and  there  remain 
out  of  the  current  of  human  activities  for  ages.  Not 
only  might  they  remain  aloof  from  the  busy  thoroughfare 
of  migrating  myriads  but  within  each  eddy  there  was  the 
possibility  of  a  growth  in  culture  in  its  simpler  aspects. 
By  and  by,  the  culture  of  one  eddy  was  crossed  with  the 
culture  of  other  eddies  that  had  developed  in  other  cul- 
tural directions  or  farther  in  the  same  direction.  In  time 
there  was  by  reason  of  the  northern  limit  of  Europe  a  re- 
bound of  the  population  and  this  was  also  a  rebound  of 
cultures.  The  various  crosses  and  modification  of  cul- 
tures made  it  more  probable  that  civilized  progress  would 
be  accelerated.  The  culture  of  Europe  was,  by  reason  of 
the  physical  geography,  a  heterogeneous  culture,  while 
that  of  Africa  was  necessarily  homogeneous  in  view  of 
the  geography  of  that  continent. 

In  support  of  my  contention  I  refer  to  Ripley  who  says : 
*'  The  remarkable  prehistoric  civilization  of  Italy  is  due 
to  the  union  of  cultures,  one  from  Hallstatt  region  having 

"  Lugard,  A  Tropical  Dependency. 

300  Journal  of  Negro  History 

entered  from  the  west  via  the  Danube,  the  other  coming 
from  the  southeast  by  sea  being  distinctly  Mediterranean. 
From  the  fusion  of  these  cultures  came  the  Umbrian  and 
Etruscan  civilizations."  Ripley  further  contends  that  the 
ancient  high  civilization  of  Mesopotamia  was  possible  be- 
cause it  was  a  point  of  convergence  of  immigration  and  in- 
vasion. Civilization  has  always  been  accentuated  at  points 
where  cultures  could  cross."  There  are  few  or  none  such 
points  in  Africa;  hence  the  retardation  of  cultures  there. 
As  Lady  Lugard  said,  the  slave  trade  aggravated  the  cul- 
tural disadvantages  which  grew  out  of  the  physical 
geography  of  Africa,  and  because  of  its  monotony  of  en- 
vironment there  has  been  little  or  no  cross  fertilization  of 
cultures,  the  indispensable  requisite  to  cultural  develop- 

Gordon  Blaine  Hancock 

"  Ripley,  Faces  of  Europe. 

"  Lugard,  A  Tropical  Dependency. 


The  first  converted  Negro  Methodist  was  baptized  by 
John  Wesley.  November  29,  1758,  he  wrote  in  his  diary: 
*  *  I  rode  to  Wandsworth,  and  baptized  two  Negroes  belong- 
ing to  Mr.  Gilbert,  a  gentleman  lately  from  Antigua.  One 
of  these  was  deeply  convinced  of  sin;  the  other  is  rejoic- 
ing in  God,  her  savior,  and  is  the  first  African  Christian  I 
have  known.  But  shall  not  God,  in  his  own  time,  have  these 
heathen  also  for  his  inheritance!"'  Eight  years  later 
(1766)  the  first  Methodist  congregation  of  five  met  in  the 
private  house  of  Philip  Embury,  in  New  York.  One  of 
that  number  was  Betty,  a  Negro  servant  girl. 

In  1816,  fifty  years  after  that  first  service  in  New  York, 
the  Methodists  in  the  United  States  numbered  214,235 
communicants.  Of  these  171,931  were  white  and  42,304, 
or  nearly  one-fourth,  were  Negroes.  Two  interesting 
facts  are,  that  of  these  42,304  Negi'o  members,  30,000  or 
nearly  three-fourths  were  in  the  South,  and  gathered  prin- 
cipally from  the  slave  population.^ 

These  figures  indicate  the  faithfulness  of  early  Meth- 
odism to  the  Negro,  whether  bond  or  free.  These  words 
and  spirit  of  Freeborn  Garrettson  only  illustrate  those 
of  Coke,  Asbury,  and  their  associates.  Under  divine 
guidance,  Garrettson  had  freed  his  slaves.  He  says:  ''I 
often  set  apart  times  to  preach  to  the  blacks,  .  .  .  and 
precious  moments  have  I  had,  while  many  of  their  sable 
faces  were  bedewed  with  tears,  their  withered  hands  of 
faith  stretched  out,  and  their  precious  souls  made  white 
in  the  blood  of  the  Lamb."' 

'  The  fact  that  John  Wesley  organized  a  Sunday-school  in  Savannah,  Ga.,  in 
1736,  is  recorded  on  a  bronze  tablet  seen  near  the  entrance  of  the  Protestant 
Episcopal  Cathedral  in  Savannah. 

2  Minutes  of  the  Methodist  Conference. 

•Matlack,  Slavery  and  Metlwdism,  29.  Coke's  Journal,  12,  13-14. 


302  Journal  of  Negro  History 

In  1786  Asbury  organized  the  first  Sunday  School  in 
the  United  States  in  the  house  of  David  Crenshaw,  Mary- 
land.* Both  Negro  and  white  youth  attended.  One  of  the 
first  converts  in  that  school  was  a  Negro,  John  Charles- 
ton, who  afterwards  became  a  noted  preacher. °  Four 
years  later  the  Conference  provided  for  Sunday  Schools 
for  white  and  black  children,  with  text  books  and  volun- 
teer teachers;  and  all  ministers  were  directed  to  use  dili- 
gence in  gathering  the  sons  and  daughters  of  Ham  into 
societies,  and  administer  among  them  full  discipline  of  the 
church.  In  1800  the  ordination  of  Negroes  was  author- 
ized. Where  the  colored  membership  was  large,  and  it 
was  desired,  especially  in  the  cities  and  larger  towns,  sep- 
arate services  and  churches  were  provided.  The  policy 
of  the  church,  as  to  the  association  of  the  races  in  wor- 
ship, is  indicated  by  the  following  from  the  report  of  the 
Board  of  Missions  in  South  Carolina,  in  1832:  ''  As  a  gen- 
eral rule  for  our  circuits  and  stations,  we  deem  it  best 
to  include  the  colored  people  in  the  same  pastoral  charge 
with  the  whites,  and  to  preach  to  both  classes  in  one  con- 
gregation, as  our  practice  has  been.  The  gospel  is  the 
same  to  all  men,  and  to  enjoy  its  privileges  in  common 
promotes  good-will."*  There  were  many  eminently  suc- 
cessful Negro  local  preachers,  whose  ser\dces  were  very 
acceptable  to  white  congregations.  During  these  first 
fifty  years  all  tHe  Negro  societies  or  classes  were  under 
the  direct  care  of  white  churches  and  pastors. 

At  the  close  of  the  first  half  century  of  Methodism  in 
America  what  is  known  as  African  Methodism  had  its 
beginning.  Difficulties  arose  as  to  church  seating  and 
pastoral  service,  and  in  New  York  there  was  dissatisfac- 
tion concerning  proposed  legislation  on  church  property. 
The  outcome  was  a  distinct  and  successful  movement  in 

*One  celebrated  Negro,  known  as  "Bla«k  Harry,"  was  Bishop  Asbury 's 
travelling  companion.  When  for  any  reason  the  Bishop  could  not  fill  au 
appointment  the  people  were  pleased  to  hear  him.     Matlaek,  Methodism,  29. 

'  Minutes  of  the  Methodist  Conference,  1832. 

*Ibid.        ^_-^~-~ 

Methodism  and  the  Negro  303 

favor  of  separate  Negro  Methodist  denominations.  At 
Wilmington,  Delaware,  in  1813,  the  Union  American  Meth- 
odist Episcopal  Church  was  organized.  In  1815  the  Af- 
rican Methodist  Episcopal  Church  had  its  beginning  in 
Philadelphia  and  five  years  later  the  African  Methodist 
Episcopal  Zion  Church  was  organized  in  New  York.  The 
conviction  underlying  these  separate  Negro  denomina- 
tions is,  that  there  is  less  opportunity  for  friction  on  ac- 
count of  race  prejudice,  whether  among  whites  or  blacks, 
and  freer  and  better  opportunities  for  the  development 
of  self-help  and  racial  capabilities.' 

The  organization  of  African  Methodism,  independent 
of  white  control  or  association,  in  the  North,  was  the  most 
striking  event  previous  to  1844,  when  the  white  Metho- 
dist hosts,  North  and  South,  were  to  be  divided.  In  the 
South  the  chief  event  of  interest,  outside  of  faithful  work 
of  itinerants  in  preaching  to  the  slave  population  in  con- 
nection with  regular  pastorates,  was  the  successful  found- 
ing of  plantation  missions.  Thus  far  the  converts  had 
been  chiefly  among  the  more  favored  or  house-servant 
class.  Beyond  these  were  vast  multitudes,  probably  four- 
fifths  of  the  two  million  slaves  of  that  day,  where  intel- 
lectual and  moral  paganism  reigned.  Philanthropists, 
both  in  and  outside  of  the  various  churches,  saw  and  rec- 
ognized the  necessity  of  some  movement  beyond  the  reg- 
ular church  work,  to  carry  the  blessings  of  Christian  civ- 
ilization into  the  gloom  of  this  darker  Africa  in  America. 
Methodists  led  in  this  important  work. 

The  plan  adopted  was  to  send  missionaries  to  the  plan- 
tations, to  be  supported  by  the  planters  themselves,  who 
were  friendly  to  the  work.  Doctor  (afterwards  Bishop) 
Capers  was  the  apostle  of  this  forward  movement.  The 
importance  of  these  efforts  of  this  churchman  are  attested 
on  a  modest  stone  over  the  grave  of  the  Bishop,  at  Colum- 
bia, South  Carolina,  by  these  words, '  *  Founder  of  Missions 
to   the   Slaves."     Under   his   guidance   heroic   itinerants 

'Arnett,  Budget;  Woodson,   History  of  the  Negro   Church,   chapter   IV. 

304  Journal  of  Negro  History 

were  found  to  brave  the  dangers  of  disease  and  bodily 
discomfort,  and  go  into  the  swamps  and  plantation  cabins 
on  a  mission  as  holy  as  that  which  sent  Cox  to  Africa  and 
Carey  to  India.  Not  a  few  of  them  died  as  martyrs,  but 
the  places  of  those  who  fell  were  quickly  filled.  Volun- 
teers would  arise  in  the  annual  conferences  and  say  to 
the  Bishops,  '*  Here  are  we,  send  us."  This  language  is 
one  of  a  sample  of  all :  * '  We  court  no  publicity ;  we  seek 
no  gain;  we  dread  no  sickness  in  going  after  the  souls  of 
these  blacks  for  whom  Christ  died.  If  we  may  save  some 
of  them  from  going  down  to  the  pit,  and  succeed  in  point- 
ing their  steps  to  the  heavenly  city,  all  will  be  well. ' '  * 

The  greatest  success  was  in  South  Carolina,  where,  in 
1839,  at  the  end  of  ten  years,  seventeen  missionaries  were 
employed.  There  were  97  appointments,  embracing  234 
plantations  and  6,556  church  members,  to  whom  preaching 
and  the  sacraments  were  regularly  given.  They  had  also 
under  regular  catechetical  instruction  25,025  Negro  chil- 

In  1844,  when  the  division  of  American  Methodism 
became  inevitable,  these  plantation  missions  were  in  the  full 
tide  of  success.  They  were  maintained  and  rejoiced  in  by 
the  whole  Methodist  Episcopal  Church.  Their  chief  sup- 
port, however,  came  from  Methodists  and  other  friends  in 
the  South.  In  the  year  mentioned  there  were  68  missions 
in  nine  of  the  Southern  States,  with  80  missionaries  and 
22,063  members.  In  that  year,  white  southern  confer- 
ences paid  $22,379.25  to  this  work.  It  is  estimated  that 
the  conferences  in  the  South  gave  for  this  cause  $200,000 
during  fifteen  years,  up  to  1844.^ 

The  "  Brother  in  Black,"  however,  brought  the  repub- 
lic an  irrepressible  conflict,  ending  in  frightful  ci\^l  war. 
So,  too,  it  must  be  said,  that  in  Methodism,  for  nearly  a 
century  Negro  slavery  was  the  occasion  of  discussion  and 
legislation,  and  at  last  of  division,  which  Calhoun  con- 
sidered the  beginning  of  the  dismemberment  of  the  Union. 

"  Wightman,  Life  of  JViUiam  Capers,  295-296. 
'  Minutes  of  the  Methodist  Conference,  1844. 

Methodism  and  the  Negko  305 

Methodism  grew  with  the  colonies,  and  at  the  close  of 
the  American  Revolution  had  84  preachers  and  15,000  mem- 
bers in  its  societies.  It  was  the  first  organized  American 
church  that  officially  gave  its  benediction,  through  Wash- 
ington, to  the  young  republic.  Its  spirit  and  itinerant 
system  kept  its  organizations  on  the  front  wave  of  every 
movement  of  population.  Its  mission  was  salvation  to 
rich  and  poor  alike,  regardless  of  race.  Its  only  test  of 
membership  was  * '  a  sincere  desire  to  flee  from  the  wrath 
to  come."  Peoples  of  every  station  in  life,  bond  and  free, 
educated  and  illiterate,  rich  and  poor,  political  friends 
and  antagonists,  were  alike  attracted  by  the  impassioned 
appeals  of  her  apostolic  missionaries.  Her  form  of  gov- 
ernment brought  into  annual  and  quadrennial  conferences 
all  questions  of  polity  or  principle  involved  in  adminis- 
tration. Other  churches  might  relegate  important  ques- 
tions of  discipline  to  individual  societies ;  Methodism  could 
not.  Every  important  matter  must  be  settled  by  a  major- 
ity vote  of  representatives  of  the  whole  church. 

On  doctrines  there  were  no  divisions.  Not  so  as  to 
questions  relating  to  African  slavery.  As  to  the  abstract 
right  and  wrong  of  that  institution,  for  many  years  there 
was  but  little  division  among  Methodists.  Later  some 
in  the  South  talked  of  the  ''divine  institution,"  and  oc- 
casionally a  Northern  man  claimed  that  a  Christian  might 
buy  and  sell  slaves  without  sin.  The  legislation  of  the 
church,  however,  was  clear  and  explicit  to  this  effect: 
**  Slavery  is  contrary  to  the  laws  of  God  and  man,  and 
wrong  and  hurtful  to  society."  All  buying  and  selling 
of  slaves,  then,  was  forbidden.^*'  Gradually  the  irrepres- 
sible conflict  began  in  the  church.  The  Northern  section 
more  and  more  taught  that  slavery  was  wrong,  and  could 
in  no  way  be  excused  or  tolerated  by  the  church  of  Christ, 
without  partaking  of  its  sin.  The  South  held  that  slavery 
was  a  civil  institution,  approved  by  the  word  of  God,  and 
that  the  church  was  not  responsible  for  its  existence  or 

^"Minutes    of    the    Methodist    Confertiice,    1784;    McTyeire,    History    of 
Methodism,  28. 

306  Journal  of  Negro  History 

its  abuses.  The  duty  of  the  church  in  its  relation  to 
slavery  was  taught  to  be  loyalty  to  civil  government,  as 
represented  by  national  and  State  laws,  and  to  give  the 
gospel  as  far  as  possible  to  both  master  and  slave. 

For  more  than  half  a  century  the  largest  growth  of  the 
church  had  been  in  the  Southern  States,  and  Southern 
views  as  to  slavery  modified  legislation  in  relation  to  that 
institution.  On  the  other  hand,  with  the  development  of 
the  West  and  Northwest,  the  balance  of  legislative  in- 
fluence shifted  northw^ard  until  in  the  historic  General  Con- 
ference of  1844,  Bishop  Andrews  of  Georgia,  having  be- 
come related  to  slavery  by  marriage,  was  requested  by  a 
vote  of  111  to  69  ''  to  desist  from  the  exercise  of  his  epis- 
copal office  so  long  as  this  impediment  remained. "  ^^  Then 
followed  the  inevitable  division,  and  the  organization  of 
the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church,  South.  Only  seventeen 
years  later  the  Civil  War  began  and  Southern  Methodist 
hosts  gave  their  sympathies,  prayers,  votes,  money  and 
sons  to  the  Army  of  Gray ;  w^hile  Methodists  in  the  North, 
to  quote  the  w^ords  of  Lincoln,  *'  sent  more  prayers  to 
heaven  and  soldiers  to  the  field"  for  the  Army  in  Blue, 
than  any  other  Christian  church.  Thus  may  people  of  God 
of  like  faith  have  diverse  consciences  and  differ,  first,  in 
sentiment  and  policies,  then  in  conviction  and  duty,  and 
at  last  prayerfully  face  each  other  at  the  cannon's  mouth 
in  deadly  combat. 

The  years  from  1844  to  1846  were  indeed  momentous 
in  the  history  of  the  American  Methodism  in  its  relation 
to  the  Negro.  That  little  company  of  five  in  New  York  in 
seventy-eight  years  had  in  1845  come  to  be  a  multitude  of 
1,139,583  communicants,  whose  presence  and  spiritual  en- 
ergy were  felt  in  every  community  of  the  republic.  North, 
South,  East  and  West.  Of  that  membership,  150,120  were 
Negroes,  chiefly  in  the  South,  and  mostly  gathered  from 
among  the  slave  population.  But  now  there  was  to  be 
division,  the  North  to  be  more  and  more  anti-slavery  and 
the  South  to  be  more  and  more  pro-slavery. 

"  Miimtes  of  the  Methodist  Conference,  1844. 

Methodism  and  the  Negbo  307 

Then  followed  three  Methodist  divisions  as  related  to 
the  Negro:  First,  the  African  organizations  already  men- 
tioned, with  their  chief  strength  in  the  Eastern  States ;  and 
second,  the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church,  South,  with  a 
total  membership  of  447,961  in  1846.  Of  these  118,904  were 
Negro  slaves  with  few  exceptions  This  church  occupied 
all  the  territory  of  the  Southern  States  exclusively,  except 
along  the  border.  Methodists  in  Maryland,  Virginia,  Dela- 
ware and  the  District  of  Columbia,  including  the  Baltimore 
and  part  of  the  Philadelphia  Annual  Conferences,  and  also 
many  members  along  the  border  farther  west,  did  not  join 
in  the  Southern  movement.  In  the  third  place,  then,  there 
remained  in  the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church  still  (1846)  a 
total  membership  of  644,558.  Of  these  30,516  were  Ne- 
groes, of  whom  about  20,000  were  slaves. 

The  following  twenty  years  were  crowded  with  far- 
reaching  events  in  church  and  state,  as  affecting  the  Ne- 
gro. Each  of  the  three  divisions  of  Methodism  had  its 
place  according  to  its  convictions  during  that  twenty  years 
of  agitation  and  war.  The  distinctly  Negro  organizations 
in  the  North,  while  having  slaves  in  their  own  communions, 
were,  of  course,  anti-slavery  in  principle,  and  sought  in 
every  way  to  advance  the  cause  of  abolitionism.  Outside 
of  Maryland  and  Delaware  they  had  no  churches  in  the 
South,  except  one  in  New  Orleans  and  one  in  Louisville. 
A  church  organized  in  Charleston  was  driven  out,  after 
an  attempted  Negro  insurrection.  Permission  was  given 
by  the  mayor  of  St.  Louis  to  one  of  its  ministers  to  preach 
in  that  city,  but  the  permit  was  afterwards  recalled  on 
learning  the  sentiments  of  his  church." 

During  this  period  of  twenty  years  the  Methodist  Epis- 
copal Church  had  wonderful  growth  throughout  the  North 
and  West  in  membership,  church  buildings,  publishing  in- 
terests, educational  institutions,  and  in  social  and  moral 
power.  Her  entire  membership  rose  from  644,294  to 
1,032,184.    Her  Negro  membership,  however,  steadily  de- 

"  Tanner,  African  Methodism,   72. 

308  Journal  of  Negro  History 

clined.  In  1846  it  numbered,  as  we  have  seen,  30,516,  while 
in  1865  at  the  close  of  the  Civil  War  there  were  only 
18,139.  Shut  away  from  the  large  Negro  populations  of 
the  South,  and  confronted  with  aggressive  African  Meth- 
odism among  the  smaller  Negro  population  in  the  North 
calling  for  separation  from  the  whites  in  ecclesiastical  or- 
ganization and  government,  the  field  of  operation  of  the 
Methodist  Episcopal  Church  was  necessarily  proscribed 
among  Africa's  sons  and  daughters.  She  was,  however, 
faithful  to  her  trust  and  retained  her  Negro  membership 
in  church  and  conference  relations,  and,  as  the  years  went 
by,  became  more  and  more  permeated  with  sentiments  of 
antagonism  to  slavery,  both  as  related  to  the  church  and 
the  nation. 

To  this  branch  of  Methodism,  moreover,  belongs  the 
honor  of  establishing  the  first  Methodist  institution  of 
higher  learning  for  the  education  of  colored  people.  In 
1855  the  Cincinnati  Annual  Conference  appointed  the  Rev. 
John  F.  Wright  as  agent  ''  to  take  incipient  steps  for  a 
college  for  colored  people."  In  two  years  Wilberforce 
University,  near  Xenia,  Ohio,  was  established,  with  fifty- 
two  acres  of  land  and  large  and  conmiodious  buildings. 
The  next  year  the  Visiting  Committee  of  the  Conference 
reported  the  school  in  a  flourishing  condition,  and  said: 
"  The  examinations  showed  conclusively  that  the  minds  of 
the  present  class  of  students  are  capable  of  a  very  high 
degree  of  cultivation."  Under  the  presidency  of  Eev. 
B.  S.  Rust  the  school  was  successful  until  financial  em- 
barrassment compelled  suspension  in  1863.  One  reason 
given  was  the  War,  and  the  consequent  difficulty  of  ob- 
taining funds  from  the  South.  From  the  beginning,  the 
friendly  co-operation  of  the  African  Methodist  Episcopal 
Church  was  encouraged  and  received.  Fortunately  the 
leaders  of  that  denomination  were  able  to  assume  the  in- 
debtedness which  was  a  nominal  sum  as  compared  with 
the  value  of  the  property.  The  lands  and  buildings  were 
transferred  with  the  good  wishes  and  prayers  of  the  Meth- 

Methodism  and  the  Negro  309 

odist  Episcopal  Church,  ministry,  and  people,  and  Wilber- 
force  University  became,  and  continues  to  be,  the  chief 
educational  center  of  African  Methodism  in  the  United 

Freed  from  all  embarrassments  from  connectional  re- 
lations with  abolition  sentiment  the  Methodist  Episcopal 
Church,  South,  prospered  in  its  way.  Her  territory  was 
rapidly  extending  westward  and  southwestward,  popula- 
tion and  wealth  were  increasing,  and  slavery  being  em- 
bedded in  the  national  and  state  constitutions,  pro- 
slavery  sentiment  prevailed  without  question.  Her  total 
membership  from  1846  to  1861  advanced  from  449,654  to 
703,295.  This  w^as,  in  fifteen  years,  an  increase  of  162,749. 
Dividing  this  increase  by  races,  we  find  that  among  white 
people  the  growth  was  from  330,710  in  1846  to  493,459  in 
1861,  being  an  increase  of  162,749.  During  the  same  period 
the  Negro  membership  went  from  118,904  to  209,836,  being 
an  increase  of  90,932.  Efforts  to  increase  the  slave  mem- 
bership in  connection  wdth  the  regular  charges  were  con- 
tinued with  encouraging  results,  and  the  plantation  mis- 
sion work  among  the  slaves  was  prosecuted  with  gratify- 
ing success.  The  largest  figures  w^ere  reached  in  1861, 
when  there  were  329  Negro  missions  throughout  the  South, 
with  327  missionaries  and  66,559  members.  It  is  estimated 
that  the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church,  South,  from  1844 
to  1864,  when  freedom  came,  expended  $1,800,000  in  plan- 
tation work  among  the  slaves.^* 

The  sudden  emancipation  of  almost  4,000,000  Negro 
slaves  meant  new  and  tremendous  responsibilities  for  the 
loyal  and  philanthropic  people  of  the  Northern  States. 
The  churches  and  benevolent  organizations  of  the  South 
had  all  shared  largely  in  the  demoralization  caused  by  the 
Civil  War,  and  were  without  financial  resources.  Neither 
was  it  reasonable  to  expect  that  the  Southern  people  would 
do  for  free  Negroes  what  they  had  done  for  them  when 

"^  Special  Report  of  the  U.  S.  Commissioner  of  Education,  1871,  pp.  372- 

^*  Minutes  of  the  Methodist  Conference. 

310  JouBNAL  OF  Negro  History 

slaves,  much  less  enter  upon  the  absolutely  necessary  mis- 
sionary movement,  to  prepare  the  newly  enfranchised  for 
the  responsibilities  incident  to  freedom. 

For  more  than  half  a  century,  outside  of  what  the  gen- 
eral and  State  governments  have  done  or  attempted  to  do, 
the  tide  of  philanthropic  and  Christian  aid  for  the  Negro 
has  gone  Southward,  and  will  continue  as  long  as  needed. 
How  many  million  dollars  have  been  expended  by  churches, 
educational  boards  and  individual  philanthropists  has  not 
been  computed.  Neither  has  anyone  attempted  to  measure 
the  results  of  the  work  of  the  many  consecrated  men  and 
w^omen,  who  have  given  and  are  still  giving  their  lives  for 
the  uplift  of  the  Negro  race  since  emancipation.  The  re- 
sults are  manifest.  Already  the  advance  of  this  people 
since  freedom  in  morality,  intellectual  development  and 
economic  success  has  no  parallel,  in  the  same  time,  in 
the  history  of  any  other  race. 

The  Methodist  Episcopal  Church  and  the  two  large 
branches  of  African  Methodism  were  in  the  fore-front  of 
this  movement  from  the  beginning.  The  African  Meth- 
odist Episcopal  Church  had  at  first  its  chief  increase  in 
the  South  along  the  Atlantic  Coast,  especially  in  South 
Carolina  and  Florida.  Bishop  Arnett,  the  statistician  of 
that  denomination,  estimates  that  75,000  of  the  Negro  mem- 
bership of  the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church,  South,  trans- 
ferred ther  church  relations  to  that  denomination.  The 
African  Zion  Church  as  a  factor  in  the  South  had  its  be- 
ginning in  North  Carolina  and  Alabama.  It  is  estimated 
that  at  least  25,000  of  the  Southern  Negro  members  united 
with  this  branch.  Both  of  these  sections  of  African  Meth- 
odism have  continued  to  prosecute  their  work  of  evangel- 
ization and  education  throughout  the  South,  as  well  as 
the  North,  and  continue  powerful  factors  in  the  evangelis- 
tic forces  of  American  Methodism  as  related  to  the  Negro. 
In  1921-22  the  membership  of  the  African  Methodist  Epis- 
copal Church  was  550,776;  and  that  of  the  African  M.  E. 
Zion  Church  was  412,328.^' 

"  The  A.  M.  E.  Church  has  Wilberforee  University,  Xenia,  Ohio,  with 

Methodism  and  the  Negro  311 

The  policy  of  the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church,  South, 
toward  the  Negro  Freedmen  took  definite  form  in  1866. 
At  the  General  Conference  held  that  year  at  New  Orleans, 
provision  was  made  for  the  organization  of  its  remain- 
ing Negro  membership  into  ' '  separate  congregations  and 
districts,  and  annual  conferences."  If  the  colored  people 
should  desire,  and  two  or  more  Negro  annual  conferences 
be  formed,  a  separate  ecclesiastical  autonomy  would  be 
granted.  The  reasons  for  the  organization  of  this  new 
separate  Negro  Methodism  are  given  in  its  Book  of  Dis- 
cipline over  the  signature  of  its  first  four  Bishops.  They 
say  that  the  Southern  Methodist  Conference  ''  found  that, 
by  revolution  and  the  fortunes  of  war,  a  change  had  taken 
place  in  our  political  and  social  relations,  which  made  it 
necessary  that  a  like  change  should  also  be  made  in  our 
ecclesiastical  relations."  The  result  was  that,  in  1871, 
the  Colored  Methodist  Episcopal  Church  of  America  was 
organized  to  be  composed  exclusively  of  Negroes,  and 
officered  entirely  by  members  of  this  race.  Here  we  have 
the  beginning  of  a  third  large  section  of  African  Metho- 
dism. The  new  organization  started  with  80,000  members 
made  up  of  nearly  all  who  still  remained  in  the  Methodist 
Episcopal  Church,  South. 

It  would  be  very  interesting  to  speculate  as  to  the  prob- 
able results,  could  the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church,  South, 
have  continued  its  work  among  the  Freedmen,  which  it  had 
for  years  carried  forward  with  such  excellent  results  among 
the  slaves.  But  it  is  no  part  of  this  paper  to  criticize  or 
philosophize.  This  branch  of  Methodism,  second  in  num- 
bers and  influence  in  the  nation,  with  all  but  30,000  of  its 

enrollment  of  1^070  and  an  annual  income  of  $145,000.  This  church  has  ten 
other  schools  with  an  enrollment  of  4,448,  several  of  which  have  college 
elaases.  The  total  annual  income  of  all  these  schools  is  $309,820,00.  There 
are  also  theological  classes  at  several  centers  with  total  enrollment  of  156. 

The  A.  M.  E.  Z.  Church  has  seven  schools  with  an  attendance  of  2,128 
and  an  annual  income  of  $43,331.00.  The  leading  school  of  this  church  is 
Livingstone  College  in  North  Carolina,  with  an  attendance  of  504  students 
and  an  annual  income  of  $13,633. 


312  Journal  of  Negro  History 

members  in  the  South,  now  has  2,239,151  members,  a  few  of 
whom  are  Negroes. 

Commencing  with  1883,  the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church, 
South,  took  definite  and  forward  steps  for  the  education 
of  the  Negro.  A'  Board  of  Trustees  was  appointed  in  co- 
operation with  the  Colored  Methodist  Episcopal  Church. 
In  1884,  Paine  Institute  was  founded  at  Augusta,  Georgia, 
and  contributions  of  over  $90,000  have  been  contributed 
to  that  school.  Lane  College,  Jackson,  Tennessee,  has  also 
been  aided.  The  Colored  Methodist  Episcopal  Church  has 
seven  schools  with  an  enrollment  of  2,509  and  an  annual 
income  of  $113,830.  Fifty-seven  students  of  theology  are 
taught  in  two  schools  and  college  courses  are  offered  in 
several  of  their  institutions. 

We  have  yet  to  speak  of  the  work  of  the  Methodist 
Episcopal  Church.  When  freedom  came,  as  we  have  seen, 
this  church  had  (1864)  18,139  Negro  members  principally 
in  Maryland,  Delaware  and  adjacent  territory.  The  Negro 
membership  in  this  branch  of  Methodism  now  (1923)  in  the 
United  States  is  385,444. 

As  the  way  opened  during  and  following  the  Ci^al  War 
to  reach  the  masses  of  the  South  both  white  and  Negro,  the 
Methodist  Episcopal  Church  extended  its  work  of  reorgan- 
ization southward  among  both  races.  Her  Bishops  and 
other  church  officials  organized  missions  and  conferences 
and  opened  up  schools.  Each  benevolent  society  of  the 
church  aided  financially.  The  support  of  pastors  was  sup- 
plemented by  the  Missionary  Society ;  the  Board  of  Church 
Extension  aided  in  building  houses  of  worship ;  the  Sunday 
School  Union  and  Tract  Society  gave  their  co-operation, 
and  the  Freedmen's  Aid  and  the  Southern  Educational 
Society,  now  the  Board  of  Education  for  Negroes,  and  the 
Woman's  Home  Missionary  Society  developed  the  educa- 
tional work.  In  1864,  the  Negro  work  in  Maryland,  Dela- 
ware and  adjacent  territories  was  organized  into  the 
Washington  and  Delaware  Annual  Conferences.  In  the 
other  border  States  where  the  Negro  membership  was  small, 

Methodism  and  the  Negro  313 

the  preachers  with  their  congregations  were  admitted  into 
white  conferences.  With  unwavering  and  magnificent 
purpose  for  over  half  a  century,  with  fraternity  and  co-op- 
eration for  all  other  churches  in  the  same  field,  and  impelled 
by  a  conviction  of  duty  to  needy  millions  irrespective  of 
race,  this  branch  of  Methodism  has  gone  forward  with  its 
work  of  education  and  evangelization  irrespective  of  race. 
The  results  have  been  very  remarkable.  The  white  mem- 
bership has  grown  on  what  was  slave  territory  from  87,804 
in  1860  to  475,641  in  1922;  while  the  Negro  membership  in 
the  same  territory  has  increased  from  18,139  in  1864  to 

370,477  in  1922. 

Following  the  wishes  of  both  races  the  policy  of  sepa- 
rate conferences,  churches  and  schools  has  been  carried 
out  in  the  South.  There  are  several  strong  Negro  churches 
in  white  conferences  in  the  North.  The  New  Conference 
elected  Dr.  W.  H.  Brooks,  one  of  its  Negro  pastors,  a  dele- 
gate to  the  General  Conference  in  1920.  The  Methodist 
Episcopal  Church  has  thirty-seven  annual  conferences  in 
the  Southern  States  ^vith  properties  in  parsonages,  churches, 
schools  of  different  grades,  hospitals,  and  the  like  valued 
at  $63,495,130.00.  In  1856  the  property  of  this  church  of 
all  kinds  in  the  same  territory  was  less  than  $2,000,000. 
Seventeen  of  these  conferences  include  the  work  among 
white  people,  and  nineteen,  the  work  among  Negroes;  and 
each  group  of  conferences  covers  the  Southern  States  from 
Delaware  to  Texas. 

The  twenty  annual  conferences  in  the  South  among  Ne- 
groes have  properties  in  parsonages  and  churches  valued  at 
$19,767,430.  There  are  also  thirty-two  Negro  institutions 
of  learning  in  these  twenty  conferences  with  enrollment  of 
8,868  and  lands  with  buiidings  and  equipment  valued  at 
$6,522,642.  The  outstanding  professional  and  collegiate 
institutions  for  Negroes  are  Gammon  Theological  Seminary, 
Atlanta,  Meharry  Medical  College,  Nashville,  and  colleges 
in  several  of  the  principal  cities  of  the  South.  The  total 
church  properties  named  above,  in  Negro  Methodist  Con- 

314  Journal  of  Negro  History 

ferences  of  the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church  on  former 
slave  territory  ,  is  $25,218,230.00.  These  conferences  raised 
$1,500,000  during  three  years  from  1870  to  1872  for  general 
church  work  at  home  and  in  foreign  fields  outside  of 
pastoral  and  other  local  church  expenses. '"^ 

There  is  no  separation  on  account  of  race  in  annual 
conferences,  churches  or  schools  in  the  Methodist  Epis- 
copal Church,  except  as  desired  and  requested  by  those 
interested.  As  the  result  of  many  petitions  and  extended 
discussions  the  General  Conference,  which  met  in  1876,  in 
Baltimore,  passed  a  law  that  the  annual  conferences  in  the 
Southern  States  which  had  both  Negro  and  white  members 
could  separate,  provided  each  group  voted  in  favor  of  it. 
Under  this  action  with  few  exceptions  the  division  was 
made,  where  desired.  The  same  law  prevails  in  reference 
to  churches  and  schools.  The  nineteen  Negro  conferences 
have  ninety-two  delegates  in  the  General  Conference,  the 
law-making  body  for  the  whole  church.  These  delegates 
have  representation  in  all  legislation.  One  or  more  Negro 
ministers  or  laymen  are  on  each  of  the  general  boards  of 
the  church  —  jDublication,  education,  missions  —  home  and 
foreign,  Epworth  League,  and  the  like.  Nearly  a  score 
of  able  and  effective  Negro  men  and  women  are  official  rep- 
resentatives of  the  general  church  boards  in  their  work 
among  the  Negro  conferences. 

Six  Negroes  have  been  elected  bishops  in  the  Metho- 
dist Episcopal  Church.  Four  were  missionary  bishops, 
with  full  episcopal  authority  on  the  continent  of  Africa. 
Of  these  Bishop  Scott  remains  and  is  on  the  retired  list. 
In  their  fields  these  bishops  were  not  subordinate  but  co- 

"  Gammon  Theological  Seminary,  Atlanta,  Ga.,  has  seven  professors,  142 
students,  buildings  and  equipment  $145,000  and  an  endowment  of  $500,000. 
Meharry  Medical  College,  Nashville,  Tenn.,  ranks  A  among  medical  colleges  in 
the  United  States,  has  43  teachers,  646  students,  $350,000  in  grounds  and  equip- 
ment and  $560,000  in  endowments  and  has  graduated  two  thirds  or  more  of 
the  Negro  physicians,  dentists  and  pharmacists  in  the  United  States. 
Eleven  colleges  under  the  Board  of  Education  for  Negroes  has  248  teachers; 
an  enrollment  of  4,326.  Only  a  small  proportion  are  below  the  eighth  grade  in 

Methodism  and  the  Negro  315 

ordinate  with  general  superintendents.  Their  episcopal 
work  was  of  the  same  type  as  that  of  William  Taylor, 
James  Thoburn,  Oldham,  Warne,  and  Ilartzell,  white  mis- 
sionary bishops  in  Africa  and  India. 

The  General  Conference  in  1920  elected  Robert  E. 
Jones  and  Matthew  W.  Clair  general  superintendents. 
The  former  has  his  episcopal  residence  in  New  Orleans  and 
the  latter  in  Liberia.  They  preside  in  turn  at  the  semi- 
annual conferences  of  the  Board  of  Bishops  and  will  pre- 
side at  the  General  Conference  in  1924. 

The  great  mass  of  Negro  Christians  in  the  United 
States  wall  continue  to  prefer  churches  made  up  of  their 
own  race.  This  is  natural  and  on  the  whole  the  best  for 
many  reasons.  On  the  other  hand,  the  door  of  every 
church  of  Christ  should  be  open  for  all.  At  present  in 
twenty-nine  white  Protestant  churches  in  the  United  States 
with  a  total  membership  of  over  4,000,000,  there  are  579,690 
Negro  members.  Nearly  three-fourths  of  that  member- 
ship are  in  the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church. 

The  total  Negro  Methodist  Church  membership  in  the 
United  States  is  1,756,714.  Of  that  number  1,330,409  are 
in  the  African  Methodist  Episcopal,  the  African  Methodist 
Episcopal  Zion  and  the  Colored  Methodist  Episcopal 
Churches ;  385,444  in  the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church  and 
41,961  in  seven  smaller  African  bodies.  If  w^e  multiply 
the  total  membership  by  2^  we  have  4,557,117,  which  repre- 
sents, approximately,  the  enrolled  membership  and  con- 
stituency of  Negro  Methodism  in  the  United  States. 

Joseph  C.  Hartzell. 


The  French  Canadian  historian,  Frangois-Xavier  Gar- 
neau,  in  his  Histoire  du  Canada,  says:  "Nous  croyons 
devoir  eiter  ici  une  resolution  qui  honore  le  gouvernement 
fran§ais:  c'est  celle  qu'il  avait  prise  de  ne  pas  encourager 
] 'introduction  des  esclaves  en  Canada,  cette  colonie  que 
Louis  XIV  preferait  a  toutes  les  autres  a  cause  du  carac- 
tere  belliqueux  de  ses  habitants;  cette  colonie  qu'il  voulait 
former  a  1 'image  de  la  France,  couvrir  d'une  brave  noblesse 
et  d'une  population  vraiment  nationale,  catholique, 
fran§aise  sans  melange  de  races.  En  1688,  il  fut  propose 
d'y  avoir  des  negres  pour  faire  la  culture.  Le  ministere 
repondit  qu'il  craignait  qu'ils  n'y  perissent  par  le  change- 
ment  de  climat  et  que  le  projet  ne  fut  inutile.  Cela  an- 
eantit  pour  ainsi  dire  une  entreprise  qui  aurait  frappe 
notre  societe  d'une  grande  et  terrible  plaie.  II  est  vrai 
que  dans  le  siecle  suivant,  on  etendit  a  la  Louisiane  le 
code  noir  des  Antilles;  il  est  vrai  qu'il  y  eut  ici  des  ordon- 
nances  sur  la  servitude:  neanmoins  I'esclavage  ne  regnait 
point  en  Canada:  a  peine  y  voyait-on  quelques  esclaves 
lors  de  la  conquete.  Cet  evenement  en  accrut  un  peu  le 
nombre  un  instant;  ils  disparurent  ensuite  tout  a  fait. "^ 

In  another  place  speaking  of  the  proposal  of  Denon- 
ville,  the  Governor,  and  De  Champiguy,  the  Intendant,  at 
Quebec,  in  1688  to  introduce  Negro  slaves  by  reason  of  the 
scarcity  and  dearness  of  domestic  and  agricultural  labor, 
and  the  refusal  in  1689  of  the  minister  to  permit,  Garneau 
says:  "  C'etait  assez  pour  faire  echouer  une  entreprise, 
qu 'aurait  greffe  sur  notre  societe  grande  et  terrible  plaie 
paralyse  la  force  d'une  portion  considerable  de  I'llnion 

'  Quoted  by  the  Archivist  of  Quebec  in  the  work  cited  (infra)  at  p.  109, 
from  F.  X.  Garneau,  Histoire  du  Canada,  4th  Ed.^  A^'ol.  II,  p.  167.  See  note 
2  for  translation. 


The  Slave  in  Nouvelle-France  317 

Americaine,  I'esclavage,  cette  plaie  inconnue  sous  notre 

ciel  du  Nord."' 

This  language  has  been  considered  by  some— rather 
heedlessly  be  it  said— to  indicate  that  Garneau  thought  that 
Negro  slavery  did  not  exist  in  French  Canada,  but  a  care- 
ful examination  of  his  actual  words  will  show  that  he  de- 
nied only  the  prevalence  "  I'esclavage  ne  regnait  point  en 
Canada,"  not  the  existence.  Slavery  was  not  so  wide- 
spread in  Canada  as  to  become  a  curse,  ''  a  great  and  ter- 
rible plague,"  ''paralyzing  energy." 

=  F.  X.  Garneau,  Histoire  du  Caiwda,  1st  Ed.,  Vol.  II,  p.  447.  Andrew 
Bell,  History  of  Camda,  Montreal,  1862  (translated  from  Garneau 's  work). 
Vol.  I,  p.  440,  treats  the  statement  of  Garneau  somewhat  sUghtingly.  His 
translation  reads:  "In  1689,  it  was  proposed  to  introduce  Negroes  to  the 
colony.  The  French  ministry  thought  the  climate  unsuitable  for  such  an 
immigration  and  the  project  was  given  up.  Thus  did  Canada  happily  escape 
the  terrible  curse  of  Negro  Slavery."  Bell's  note,  pp.  440,  441,  shows  that 
he  understood  what  the  facts  actually  were. 

The  translation  of  the  two  passages  follows: 

"We  think  we  should  mention  here  a  determination  which  is  honorable 
to  the  French  Government.  It  is  the  resolve  not  to  encourage  the  introduction 
of  slaves  into  Canada,  the  colony  which  Louis  XIV  preferred  to  all  the  others 
by  reason  of  the  warlike  character  of  its  inhabitants — the  colony  which 
he  wished  to  make  in  the  image  of  France,  to  fill  with  a  brave  noblesse  and  a 
population  truly  national.  Catholic,  French,  without  an  admixture  of  foreign 
races.  In  1688,  it  was  proposed  to  have  Negroes  there  as  farm  laborers: 
the  minister  replied  that  he  feared  that  they  would  die  there  by  the  change 
of  climate,  and  that  the  project  would  be  futile.  That,  so  to  speak,  destroyed 
forever  an  enterprise  which  would  have  struck  our  society  with  a  great  and 
terrible  plague.  It  is  true  that  in  the  succeeding  century,  the  Code  Noir 
of  the  Antilles  was  extended  into  Louisiana,  it  is  true  that  there  were 
ordinances  as  to  slavery  there;  but,  nevertheless,  slavery  did  not  prevail  in 
Canada.  There  were  scarcely  any  slaves  at  the  time  of  the  conquest.  That 
event  increased  the  number  of  them  a  little ;  they  later  disappeared  entirely. ' ' 

' '  That  was  sufficient  to  wreck  a  scheme  which  would  have  engrafted  in 
our  society  that  great  and  terrible  plague  which  paralyzes  the  energies  of  so 
considerable  a  part  of  the  American  Union,  slavery,  that  plague  unknown 
under  our  northern  sky." 

It  will  be  seen  that  Garneau  does  not  say  or  suggest  that  slavery  was 
entirely  unknown  in  French  Canada,  but  only  that  it  did  not  "reign" 
(ne  regnait  point),  i.e.,  was  not  prevalent;  that  while  there  were  a  few 
sporadic  cases,  the  disease  was  not  endemic,  and  it  did  not  become  a  plague. 

For  the  proposal  of  1688-9,  see  my  The  Slave  in  Canada,  pp.  1,  2  and 
notes  (Journal  of  Negro  Histoet,  Vol.  V,  No,  3,  July  1920,  and  published 
separately  by  The  Association  for  the  Study  of  Negro  Life  and  History, 
Washington,  1920). 

318  Journal,  of  Negro  History 

If  there  were  any  doubt  as  to  the  existence  of  Negro 
(and  other)  slavery  in  Canada  before  the  British  Con- 
quest, it  would  be  dispelled  by  the  document  printed  in  the 
latest  Report  of  the  Archivist  of  the  Province  of  Quebec* 
These  are  Notarial  Acts  (Actes  notaries)  preserved 
in  the  Archives  at  Quebec  and  are  of  undoubted  authen- 
ticity; they  range  from  September  13,  1737  to  August  15, 
1795,  the  first  14  being  before  the  capture  of  Quebec  in 
1759,  the  last  3  after  that  event. 

The  first  document  is  the  sale  of  a  Negro*  called  Nic- 
olas by  Joseph  de  la  Tesserie,  S.  de  la  Chevrotiere,  ship- 
captain,  to  Francois  Vederique  of  Quebec,  ship-captain, 
for  300  livres/'  The  Negro  was  about  30  years  of  age  and 
the  Act  was  passed  before  midday,  September  13,   1757. 

The  fourth,  September  25,  1743,  evidences  a  sale  of  five 

*  Rapport  de  L'Archiviste  de  la  Province  de  Quebec  pour  1921-1922  .  .  . 
Ls — A.  Proulx  Imprimcur  de  Sa  Majeste  le  Eoi  /1922:  large  8  vo.,  pp.  452, 
This  Eeport  is  "well  printed  on  good  paper,  with  excellent  arrangement  and 
faultless  proof  reading;  both  in  form  and  in  matter  it  is  a  credit  to  the  able 
and  learned  Archivist,  M.  Pierre-Georges  Roy,  Litt.D.,  F.  R.  S.  Can.,  and 
to  the  Government  of  Quebec.  To  anyone  with  a  knowledge  of  French,  the 
publications  of  this  Department  are  of  inestimable  value  on  the  early  history 
of  that  part  of  Canada. 

*"Le  nomnie  Nicolas,  neigre  de  nation"  waa  present  with  vendor  and 
purchaser  before  the  Notaries,  Boisseau  and  Barolet,  in  the  cflSce  of  the 
latter  at  Quebec.  The  Vendor  says  that  he  had  acquired  the  Negro  from 
Sieur  de  St.  Ignace  de  Vincelotte. 

'  From  the  official  Report  of  General  James  Murray,  Governor  of  Quebec, 
to  the  Home  Government  June  5,  1762,  it  appears  that  he  considered  the 
livre  worth  2  shillings  sterling,  about  48  cents. 

General  Murray's  Report  will  be  found  in  Drs.  Shortt  and  Doughty 's 
Documents  relating  to  the  Constitutional  History  of  Canada,  1759-1791, 
Ottawa,  1918  (2d.  Edit.),  pp.  47-81.  It  is,  however,  quite  clear  that  the 
evaluation  is  too  high.  The  livre  was  the  old  French  monetary  unit  which 
was  displaced  by  the  franc.  In  the  first  ordinance  passed  by  the  civil 
government  at  Quebec,  the  ordinance  of  September  14,  1764,  the  value 
of  a  French  crown  or  six  li\Te  piece  was  fixed  at  6/8,  making  the  livre  13  1/3 
pence  sterling  (about  26  cents).  The  Ordinance  of  March  29,  1777,  17 
George  3,  c.  IX,  made  the  "french  crown  or  piece  of  six  livres  tounwis" 
worth  5/6 ;  and  the  same  value  was  assigned  to  it  in  Upper  Canada  by  the  Act 
(1796)  36  George  3,  c.  I,  s.  1  (U,  0.)— the  livre  was  worth  not  far  from 
20  cents  of  our  present  money.  This  was  the  livre  tournois.  The  livre 
of  Paris  was  also  in  use  until  1667  and  was  worth  a  quarter  more  than 
the  livre  tournois. 

The  Slave  in  Nouvelle-Fbance  319 

Negro  slaves,  two  men  and  three  women  and  girls"  then 
in  the  house  of  **  la  dame  Cachelievre,"  the  vendor  being 
Charles  Reaume,  merchant  of  I'lsle  Jesus  near  Montreal, 
the  purchaser  Louis  Cureux  dit  Saint-Germain,  for  3000 


The  seventh,  January  27,  1748,  is  the  sale  of  a  Negro ' 
slave  called  Robert,  26  to  27  years  of  age,  by  Damelle  Marie- 
Anne  Guerin,  widow  of  Nicolas  Jacquin  Philibert,  merchant 
of  Quebec,  to  Pierre  Gautier,  sieur  de  la  Veranderie,  for 
400  livres  in  cash  or  bills  payable  by  the  Treasurer  of  the 
Navy  having  currency  in  the  country  as  money— the  Ne- 
gro to  be  delivered  on  the  first  demand  ''  avec  seulement 
les  hardes  qu'il  se  trouvera  avoir  lors  de  la  livraison  et 
trois  chemises."^ 

The  eighth,  June  6,  1749,  evidences  the  sale  by  Amable- 
Jean-Joseph  Came,  Esquire,  sieur  de  St.  Aigne,  officer  in 
the  troops  in  Quebec  (a  detachment  from  the  troops  of 
L'Isle  Royale),  to  Claude  Pecaudy,  Esquire,  sieur  de  Con- 
trecoeur.  Captain  of  the  troops  (a  detachment  of  the  Navy) 
in  garrison  at  Montreal,  of  a  Negro  woman,  Loulson,  about 
17  years  old,  for  1000  livres. 

The  tenth,  May  26,  1751,  gives  us  the  sale  by  Jacques 
Damien  of  Quebec  to  Louis  Duniere,  Jr.,  of  a  Negro,  Jean 
Monsaige  ''pour  le  servir  en  qualite  d'esclave,"  for  500 
livres.  But  as  '' le  dit  negre  paraissant  absent  du  jour 
d'hier  soir,  pour  par  le  dit  .  .  .  Deniere  disposer  du  dit 
negre    comme    chose    a    luy    appartenant    le    prenant   le 

• ' '  Cinq  neigres  esclaves  dont  deux  homines  et  trois  f  emmes  et  filles '  '— 
names  and  ages  not  given;  but  the  slaves  are  identified  by  the  statement  that  the 
purchaser  had  seen  them  "chez  la  dame  Cachelievre. "  The  witnesses  were 
Louis  Lambert  and  Nicolas  Bellevue  of  Quebec  and  the  Notary  was  Pinguct. 
The  vendor,  Keaume,  signed  but  the  purchaser  St.  Germain  did  not,  "ayant 
decJarfi  ne  s^avoir  ecrire  ni  signer." 

'  ' '  Negro  esclave  '  '—the  spelling  vacillates  between  ' '  neigre, "  "  negre, ' ' 
and  "nSgrc."  I  have  not  found  the  first  form  in  French  literature;  the 
word  comes  from  the  mediaeval  ' '  Niger. ' '  See  Du  Cange,  mb  voc.  The  word 
no  doubt  had  the  usual  variations;  modern  French  has  only  the  last  form, 
i.e.  n^gre.  My  French  Canadian  friends  cannot  help  me  as  to  the  spelling; 
but  they  tell  me  of  a  French  Canadian  saying  ' '  Un  plan  de  negre ' '  meaning 
"Un  plan  qui  n'a  ni  queue  ni  tete,"  but  this  is  probably  only  jealousy. 

»"With  only  the  clothes  he  stands  in  at  the  time  of  delivery  and  three 
shirts."     "Shirt"  has  no  gender  in  French. 

320  Journal  of  Negro  History 

dit  .  .  .  Duniere  sur  ses  risques,  perils  et  fortune,  sans 
que  le  dit  .  .  .  Duniere  puisse  tenir  a  aucune  "  and  it  is 
expressly  provided  '  *  le  dit  .  .  .  Damiens  sic  cede,  quitte 
et  transporte  au  dit  .  .  .  Duniere  sans  aucune  garantie 
le  dit  negre  pour  par  le  dit  .  .  .  Duniere  en  disposer 
ainsy  qu'il  avisera."  What  a  tragedy  lies  underneath 
these  words!® 

The  thirteenth,  May  4,  1757,  is  a  sale  by  Estienne  Das- 
sier,  formerly  Captain  in  the  Na\^,  then  living  '*  en  sa 
maison,  rue  de  Buade,"  Quebec,  to  Ignace-Frangois  Del- 
zenne,  merchant-goldsmith,  living  "  en  sa  maison,  rue  de 
la  Montague,"  of  a  Negro,  Pierre,  about  18  years  of  age, 
whom  the  purchaser  had  had  in  his  house  since  the  previous 
November.  The  Negro  is  sold  for  1192  livres,  600  in  cash, 
592  in  a  fortnight,  whatever  happens  to  the  Negro  who  is 
now  to  be  at  the  risk  of  Delzenne,  the  purchaser.  The 
purchaser  as  security  hypothecates  all  his  property  mov- 
able and  immovable.  He  also  expresses  his  knowledge  of 
and  satisfaction  with  the  condition  of  the  Negro.^"  On 
July  1,  1757,  Dassier  acknowledges  payment  of  the  592 

These  are  all  sales  of  Negros  during  the  French  regime ; 
there  are  two  instances  of  sales  of  Mulattoes  in  this  period, 
but  there  are  five  of  the  sale  of  Indian  slaves,  Panis  (fem. 

•Duniere  receives  the  right  to  dispose  of  the  Negro,  Jean  Monsaige,  ae 
his  own  property,  but  Damien  does  not  undertake  delivery:  The  slave  being 
absent  since  the  previous  evening  (perhaps  like  Eliza  knowing  of  a  proposed 
sale),  Duniere  takes  all  the  risk  of  obtaining  him  without  recourse  to  any- 
one in  case  of  failure;  and  Damien  sells  him  without  any  warranty.  This 
and  the  fifth  are  the  only  instances,  until  the  seventeenth,  of  a  Negro  having 
a  family  name.     The  notaries  are  Barolet  and  Panet. 

^^  The  purchaser  undertakes  all  risks,  the  price  remains  payable  in  any 
event.  "Laquelle  somme  demeure  acquise  au  d.  s.  Dassier  par  convention 
eipresse  quelque  evenement  qui  puisse  arriver  au  d.  neigre  d'en  cy-devant 
aux  risques  et  perils  du  d.  s.  Delzenne." 

"  As  to  Panis,  Panise,  see  The  Slave  in  Canada,  p.  2  and  note  4.  The 
name  Pani  or  Panis,  anglicized  into  Pawnee,  was  used  generally  in  Canada 
as  synonj-mous  with  ' '  Indian  Slave ' '  because  the  slaves  were  usually  taken 
from  the  Pawnee  tribe.  It  is  held  by  some  that  the  Panis  were  a  tribe  wholly 
distinct  from  the  tribe  known  among  the  English  as  Pawnees,  e.g.,  Drake's 
History  of  the  Indians  of  North  America. 

The  Slave  in  Nouvelle-France  321 

The  second  act,  September  14,  1737,  is  the  sale  by 
Hugues  Jacques  Pean,  Seigneur  of  Livaudiere,  Chevalier 
of  the  Military  Order  of  St.  Louis,  Town  Major  of  Quebec, 
to  Joseph  Chavigny  de  la  Chevrotiere,  captain  and  pro- 
prietor of  the  ship  Marie- Anne  then  in  the  roads  of  Quebec, 
of  an  Indian  girl  Therese  of  the  Renarde  Nation,  about 
thirteen  or  fourteen,  and  not  baptized.^'  The  purchaser 
had  seen  her,  admitted  her  soundness  in  life  and  limb  (le 
connait  pour  etre  saine  et  n'etre  estropiee  en  aucune  fa^on) 
and  paid  350  livres  for  her.  The  vendor  was  to  keep  the 
"sauvagesse"  until  the  departure  of  the  purchaser,  not 
later  than  the  end  of  the  coming  month,  but  not  to  guarantee 
against  accident,  sickness  or  death,  binding  himself  only 
to  treat  her  humanely  and  as  he  had  been  doing. 

The  third,  October  1,  1737,  gives  the  sale  by  Aligustin 
Bailly,  Cadet  in  the  troops  of  the  marine  residing  ordinarily 
at  Saint-Michel  in  the  Parish  of  Saint-Anne  de  Varennes, 
to  Joseph  de  Chavigny  de  la  Chevrotietre,  Sieur  de  la 
Tesserie,"  Captain  in  the  Navy,  of  an  Indian  (male)  of  the 
Patoqua  Nation,  age  not  given,  bought  by  Bailly  on  the 
ninth  of  May  preceding  from  Jean-Baptiste  Normandin 
dit  Beausoleil  according  to  a  contract  passed  before  Loy- 
seau.  Notary  at  Montreal.    The  price  was  350  livres,  250 

"We  are  told,  Littre,  Dictionnaire  de  la  Langue  Frangaise,  4to,  Paris, 
1869,  Sub  voc.  N6gre:  "Louis  XIII  se  fit  une  peine  extreme  de  la  loi  qui 
rendait  eselaves  les  negres  de  ses  colonies;  mais  quand  on  lui  eut  bien  mis 
dans  I'esprit  que  c'etait  la  voie  la  plus  sure  pour  les  convertir,  il  y  eonsentit." 
(Montesquieu  Esp.  des  Lois,  XV,  4)  "Louis  XIII  was  much  troubled  concern- 
ing the  law  which  made  slaves  of  the  Negroes  in  his  Colonies ;  but  when  he  had 
become  impressed  with  the  view  that  that  was  the  surest  way  to  convert  them, 
he  consented  to  the  law,"— the  ever  recurring  excuse  for  the  violation  of 
natural  right. 

There  was  much  discussion  whether  it  was  lawful  to  hold  a  fellow 
Christian  in  slavery,  and  it  was  a  distinct  advantage  that  a  slave  was  not 
baptized.  In  1781,  the  Legislature  of  the  Province  of  Prince  Edward  Island 
passed  an  Act,  21  George  3,  c.  15,  expressly  declaring  that  baptism  of 
slaves  should  not  exempt  them  from  bondage.  The  notaries  in  the  present 
case  were  Pinguet  and  Boisseau  and  the  act  was  passed  in  the  latter 's  office. 
^  The  purchaser  here  is  the  vendor  Joseph  de  la  Tesserie,  Sieur  de  la 
Chevrotifere,  of  the  first  transaction— he  is  also  the  purchaser  in  No.  9  post. 

322  Journal  of  Negro  History 

in  money  and  100  paid  with  two  barrels  (barriques)  of 

The  ninth  is  the  sale,  September  27,  1749,  by  Jean- 
Baptiste  Auger,  merchant  of  Montreal  but  then  in  Quebec, 
to  Joseph  Chavigny,  Sieur  de  la  Tesserie,  of  an  Indian  girl 
(une  panise)  of  about  22  years  of  age  named  and  called 
Joseph  for  baptism,  price  400  livres.  Island  money,"  which 
the  purchaser  promises  and  agrees  to  send  to  be  invested 
in  pepper  ( ?)  and  coffee  for  the  account  and  at  the  risk  of 
the  vendor,  Auger,  by  the  first  ship  leaving  Martinique 
for  Canada,  the  pepper  (?)  and  coffee  to  be  addressed  by 
the  purchaser,  de  la  Tesserie,  to  Voyer,  a  merchant  at 
Quebec  for  the  account  of  Auger.  De  la  Tesserie  hypothe- 
cates all  his  goods  as  security.  The  eleventh,  November  4, 
1751,  is  the  sale  by  Jacques-Fran-Qois  Daguille,  merchant, 
of  Montreal  but  then  in  Quebec,  to  Mathieu-Theodoze  de 
Vitre,  Captain  in  the  Navy,  of  an  Indian  girl  (une  panise) 
about  ten  or  eleven,  called  Fanchon  but  not  yet  baptized,^® 
price  400  livres  cash. 

The  twelfth,  September  8,  1753,  sale  by  Marie-Josephe 
Morisseaux,  wife  and  agent  of  Gilles  Strouds  of  Quebec, 
then  at  Nontagamion,  to  Louis  Philippe  Boutton,  Captain 
of  the  Snow,^'  Picard,  of  an  Indian  girl  (une  sauvagesse 
panise  de  nation  nommee  Catiche)  of  about  twenty  years 
of  age,  price  700  livres  payable  on  delivery,  ''with  her 
clothes  and  linen  as  they  all  are." 

The  fifth,  December  27,  1744,  is  a  contract  by  Jean- 
Baptiste  Vallee  of  Quebec,  rue  de  Sault-au-Matelot,  the 
owner  of  a  Negro,  commonly  called  Louis  Lepage,  whom 

1^  The  notaries  were  Pinguet  and  Boisseau  and  the  act  was  passed  in 
the  latter 's  office. 

""Argent  des  lies,"  West-Indian  currency  to  be  invested  in  Martinique. 
The  notaries  were  Barolet  and  Panet  and  the  act  was  passed  in  the  latter 's 

1"  See  note  12  supra:  The  notaries  were  Barolet  and  Panet  and  the  act 
was  passed  in  the  latter 's  office. 

"French  "senaut,"  English  "snow,"  a  sort  of  vessel  with  two  masts. 
The  notaries  were  Sanguinet  and  Du  Laurent;  the  act  was  passed  in  the 
latter 's  office. 

The  Slave  in  Nouvelle-France  323 

Vallee  certifies  as  belonging  to  liim,  and  to  be  faithful  and 
Avell-bebaved.  Valloe  liires  him  to  Fran^gois  de  Chalet, 
Inspector  General  of  the  Compagnie  des  Indes  to  serve 
him  as  a  sailor  for  the  whole  remaining  term  of  de  Chalet's 
tenure  of  the  Ports  of  Cataraqui  (Katarakouye,  i.e.,  now 
Kingston,  Ontario)  and  Niagara  (on  the  east  side  of  the 
river).  The  Negro  is  to  serve  as  a  sailor  on  the  boats  of 
the  ports.  Vallee  undertakes  to  send  him  from  Quebec  on 
the  first  demand  of  de  Chalet  to  serve  him  and  his  repre- 
sentative in  all  legitimate  and  proper  ways,  not  to  depart 
without  written  leave,  etc.  The  amount  to  be  paid  to  Vallee 
was  25  livres  per  month,  de  Chalet  in  addition  to  furnish 
the  sailor  a  jug  (pot)  of  brandy  and  a  pound  of  tobacco  a 
month,  and  for  his  food,  two  pounds  of  bread  and  half  a 
pound  of  pork  a  day.^* 

The  sixth  act  is  a  petition,  April  27,  1747,  to  the 
Lieutenant  Civil  and  Criminal  of  Quebec  by  Louis  Parent, 
merchant  of  Quebec,  asking  him  to  direct  Lamorille,  Sr., 
and  Jugon  who  had  by  judgment,  April  25,  1747,  been 
named  as  arbitrators,  for  the  valuation  of  a  Negro,  named 
Neptune,  part  of  the  estate  of  the  late  Sieur  de  Beauvais, 
that  they  should  proceed  with  their  valuation  —  Chaussegros 
de  Lery  to  be  present  if  he  wished,  but  if  not,  the  two  to 
proceed  without  him.  A  direction  was  given  by  Boucault 
to  meet  at  his  place  the  next  day  at  2  P.  M.  and  a  certificate 
by  Vallet,  the  bailiff  (huissier)  to  the  Superior  Council  at 
Quebec,  is  filed  that  he  had  served  Chaussegros  de  Lery,  La 
Morille,  Sr.,  and  Jugon. 

The  first  instance  here  recorded  of  sale  of  a  slave  after 
the  Conquest  by  the  British  was  November  14,  1778.  This, 
the  fourteenth  document  copied,  evidences  a  sale  by  George 
Hipps,  merchant  butcher,  living  in  his  house,  rue  Sainte- 
Anne  in  Upper  Town,  Quebec,  to  the  Honorable  Hector- 
Theophile  Cramahe,  Lieutenant-Governor  of  Quebec,  of  a 
mulatto  slave  called  Isabella  or  Bell  about  fifteen  years 

18  The  notary  was  Barolet  who  signed  the  act  as  did  Vallee,  De  Chalet, 
and  two  witnesses,  Charles  Prieur,  Perruquier,  and  Jean  Liquart,  merchant. 

324  Journal,  of  Negro  History 

old."  She  had  been  already  received  in  Crahame's  house, 
and  he  declared  himself  satisfied  ^^ith  her.  She  had  been 
the  property  of  Captain  Thomas  Venture  who  had  sold  her 
at  auction  to  Ilipps.  The  price  paid  by  Cramahe  was  £50 
Quebec  money,  equal  to  200  Spanish  piastres;  and  Hipps 
acknowledged  payment  in  gold  and  silver.  Cramahe  under- 
takes to  feed,  lodge,  entertain,  and  treat  the  slave  humanely. 

The  next,  the  fifteenth,  April  20,  1779,  is  the  sale  of 
the  same  mulatto  girl,  Isabella  or  Bell,  by  Cramahe  to 
Peter  Napier,  Captain  in  the  Na\^,  then  living  at  Quebec, 
with  her  clothes  and  linen  for  45  livres,  Quebec  or  Halifax 
money.     Napier  undertakes  to  treat  the  slave  humanely.^* 

The  sixteenth,  August  15,  1795,  is  the  first  written  in 
English,  all  the  preceding  being  in  French.  It  is  dated 
August  15,  1795  and  is  sale  by  Mr.  Dennis  Dayly  of  Que- 
bec, tavern-keeper,  to  John  Young,  Esquire,  of  the  same 
place,  merchant,  of  "  a  certain  Negroe  boy  or  lad  called 
Rubin  ' '  for  £70  Halifax  currency.     Dayly  had  bought  the 

i9"L'eselave  et  mulatre  nomm^e  Isabella  ou  Bell,  fiUe,  agee  d 'environ 
quinze  ans,  avee  les  hardes  et  linges  a  son  usage."  She  is  to  obey  her  new 
master  and  render  him  faithful  service.  The  price  is  expressed  as  "cinquante 
livres  monnaye  du  cours  actuel  de  Quebec,  egale  a  deux  cents  piastres 
d'Espagne" — Fifty  pounds  Quebec  currency  equal  to  two  hundred  Spanish 
dollars.  The  word  "livre"  was  in  English  times  used  for  "pound."  The 
pound  in  Quebec  or  Halifax  currency  was  in  practice  about  nine-tenths  the 
value  of  the  pound  sterling. 

The  Ordinance  of  September  14,  1764,  made  one  British  shilling  equal 
to  1b.  4d.  Quebec  currency,  i.e.,  the  Quebec  shilling  was  i  of  an  English  shilling ; 
the  Ordinance  of  May  15,  1765,  confirmed  their  valuation,  making  18  British 
half -pence  and  36  British  farthings  one  Quebec  shilling,  but  the  Ordinance  of 
March  29,  1777,  made  the  British  shilling  only  1/1  aad  the  British  crown  5/6. 

"The  Seville,  Mexico  and  Pillar  Dollar"  was  by  the  Quebec  Ordinance 
of  December  14,  1764,  made  equal  to  6/  of  Quebec  currency  or  4/6  sterling; 
the  Ordinance  of  March  29,  1777,  equates  "the  Spanish  Dollar"  to  5/ 
Quebec  currency  (which  was  then  substantially  nine-tenths  the  value  of 
sterling),  i.e.,  4/6  sterling;  the  Upper  Canadian  Act  of  1796  equated  "the 
Spanish  milled  dollar"  to  5/  Provincial  currency  or  4/8  sterling. 

The  notaries  in  the  case  were  Berthelot  Dartigny  and  A.  Panet,  Jr.; 
the  act  was  passed  in  Cramah^  's  house,  rue  St-Louis. ' ' 

20  The  same  notaries  appeared  and  the  act  was  passed  in  the  same 

The  Slave  in  Nouvelle-France  325 

boy  from  John  Cobham,  of  Quebec,  September  6,  1786." 
The  last,  the  seventeenth,  is  the  most  pleasant  of  all 
to  record.  John  Young  appeared,  June  8,  1797,  before 
Charles  Stewart  and  A.  Dumas,  Notaries  Public,  in  the 
former's  office  with  the  lad  Rubin,  and  declared  that  he 
bought  him  from  Mr.  Dennis  Dayly,  August  15,  1795.  He, 
as  an  encouragement  to  honesty  and  assiduity  in  Rubin, 
declared  in  the  presence  of  the  Notary,  Charles  Stewart, 
that  if  Rubin  would  faithfully  serve  him  for  seven  years, 
he  would  give  him  his  full  and  free  liberty,  and  in  the 
meantime  would  maintain  and  clothe  him  suitably  and 
give  him  two  and  sixpence  a  month  pocket  money,  but  if 
he  got  drunk  or  absented  himself  from  his  service  or  neg- 
lected his  master's  business,  he  would  forfeit  all  right  to 
freedom.  This  was  explained  to  Rubin,  *'  who  accepted 
with  gratitude  the  generous  offer. ' '  All  parties,  including 
the  Notaries,  signed  the  act,  Rubin  Young  by  his  mark, 
so  that  the  slave  by  good  conduct  and  refraining  from 
drunkenness  would  achieve  his  freedom,  June  8,  1804. 

I  have  discovered  certain  Court  proceedings  copied  in 
the  Canadian  Archives  at  Ottawa,"  which  have  not  been 
made  public  in  any  way  and  which  are  of  great  interest 
in  this  connection.  A  short  historical  note  will  enable  my 
readers  to  understand  the  proceedings  more  clearly. 

After  the  Conquest  of  Canada,  1759-60,  for  a  few  years 
the  country  was  under  military  rule.  The  three  Districts 
of  French  times,  Quebec,  Montreal,  and  Three  Rivers,  were 
retained,  each  with  its  Governor  or  Lieutenant  Governor. 
To  administer  justice,  the  officers  of  militia  in  each  Parish, 
generally  speaking,  were  constituted  courts  of  first  in- 
stance with  an  appeal  to  a  council  of  the  superior  officers 

21  The  notaries  are  A.  Dumas  and  Charles  Stewart ;  the  act  was  passed 
in  the  latter 's  office. 

"  See  the  latest  Report  of  the  Archives  of  Canada. 

The  Ordinance  of  General  James  Murray  establishing  Military  Courts 
in  Quebec  and  its  vicinity  will  be  found  printed  in  Shortt  and  Doughty 's 
Documents  relating  to  the  Constitution  of  Canada,  pp.  42,  44.  General 
Gage's  Ordinance  established  them  in  the  District  of  Montreal  will  bo  found 
in  the  publication  of  the  Archives  of  Canada.    Le  Eegne  Militaire. 

326  Journal  of  Negro  History 

in  the  British  Army  in  the  city,  this  court  having  also 
original  jurisdiction. 

On  July  20,  1762,  a  council  sat,  as  of  original  juris- 
diction, composed  of  Lieut.  Col.  Beckwith,  Captains  Fal- 
coner, Suby,  Dunbar  and  Osbourne,  to  hear  the  plea  of  a 
poor  Negro  called  Andre  against  a  prominent  merchant 
of  Montreal,  Gershon  Levy.  The  proceedings,  recorded  in 
French,  are  somewhat  hard  to  decipher  after  a  hundred 
and  sixty  years  have  elapsed  but  well  repay  the  labor  of 

Andre  asked  to  be  accorded  his  liberty,  claiming  that 
Levy  had  bought  him  of  one  Best,  but  that  Best  had  the 
right  to  his  services  for  only  four  years  which  had  now 
expired.  Levy  appeared  and  claimed  that  Andre  could 
not  prove  his  allegation,  but  that  he  (Levy)  had  bought 
him  from  Best  in  good  faith  and  without  any  knowledge  of 
the  alleged  limitation  of  the  right  to  his  services.  Of 
course,  Best  could  sell  only  the  right  he  had  and  it  be- 
came a  simple  question  of  fact.  The  court  heard  the 
parties,  ordered  Andre  to  remain  with  his  alleged  master 
until  he  had  proved  by  witnesses  or  by  certificate  that  he 
"  had  been  bound  to  the  said  Best  for  four  years  only,  after 
the  expiry  of  which  time  he  was  to  have  his  liberty." 

The  follo^^dng  year,  April  20,  1763,  the  council  sat 
again  to  hear  the  case.  Lieut.  Col.  Beckwith  again  pre- 
sided, and  Captains  Fraser,  Dunbar,  Suby  and  Davius  sat 
with  him.  The  parties  were  again  heard  and  witnesses 
were  called  by  Andre;  but  they  were  ''not  sufficient"— 
and  ' '  the  Council  ordered  that  the  Decree  of  July  20,  last, 
shall  be  executed  according  to  its  tenor;  and  in  conse- 
quence, that  the  said  Negro  Andre  remain  in  the  posses- 
sion of  the  said  Levy  until  he  has  produced  other  evidence 
or  has  proved  by  baptismal  extract  or  the  ofiScial  certificate 
of  a  magistrate  of  the  place  where  he  was  born  that  he 
was  free  at  the  moment  of  his  birth.""    Although  these 

23  It  is  to  be  observed  that  it  was  considered  that  prima  facie  the  Negro 
was  a  slave.  The  same  rule  was  applied  in  many  states  (Cobb,  Laip  of  Negro 
Slavery,  pp.  253  sqq.),  unless  the  alleged  slave  had  been  in  the  enjoyment  of 

The  Slave  in  Nouvelle-Fkance  327 

courts  continued  until  the  coming  into  force  of  purely  civil 
administration  of  justice,  September  17,  1764,  I  do  not  find 
that  Andre  made  another  attempt  to  secure  his  liberation 
from  the  service  of  Le  Sieur  Gershon  Levy,  negotiant. 

I  am  indebted  to  my  friend,  Mr.  R.  W.  McLachlan, 
F.  R.  S.  C,  of  the  Archives  of  the  District  of  Montreal, 
for  a  memorandum  of  the  following  sales  of  which  a  record 
exists  in  Montreal: 

1784,  December  16,  James  McGill  of  Montreal  for  and 
in  the  name  of  Thomas  Curry  of  L'Assomption  in  the 
Province  of  Quebec,  sold  to  Solomon  Levy  of  Montreal, 
merchant,  for  £100  Quebec  currency,  a  Negro  man  Caesar 
and  a  Negro  woman,  Flora. 

1785,  February  20,  Hugh  McAdam  of  Saratoga  sends 
by  his  friend  John  Bro^Ti  to  James  Morrison  of  Montreal, 
merchant,  '*  a  Negro  woman  named  Sarah  "  to  sell.  "  She 
^ill  not  drink  and  so  far  as  I  have  seen,  she  is  honest."" 

1785,  March  9,  Morrison  sells  Sarah  to  Charles  Le  Pail- 
leur.  Clerk  of  the  Court  of  Common  Pleas,  for  £36. 

1785,  January  11,  John  Hammond  of  Saratoga,  farmer, 

freedom;  but  Chief  Justice  Strange  of  Nova  Scotia  and  his  successor  Salter 
Sampson  Blowers  by  throwing  the  onus  upon  the  master  did  much  toward 
the  abolition  of  slavery  in  that  province.     See  The  Slave  in  Canada,  pp.  lOo- 

108.  „    , 

"  I  here  copy  the  letter,  verbatim  et  Hteratum.  a  delightful  literary  ettort. 

Saratoga  20  Feby  1785. 

Dr  Sir, 

I  send  by  John  Brown  a  Negro  woman  Named  Sarah  my 

Right  &  Lawful  property— which  you  will  Pleas  Dispose  of  with  the  advis 
of  your  friends. — I  have  Wrote  Mr  Thomson  on  the  same  subjet— she  has 
no  fault  to  my  knolage  She  will  not  Drink  and  so  fare  as  I  have  seen 
she  is  honest — many  many  upertunitys  she  has  had  to  have  shown  her 
Dishonesty  had  she  been  so  in  Clined  ...  I  am  sory  to  give  you  the 
trobie — gshe  cost  me  sixty  five  pounds  should  not  Lick  to  sell  her  under. — 
Should  you  not  be  able  to  get  Cash  you  may  sell  her  for  furrs  of  any 
Kind  you  think  will  sutt  our  market  and  send  them  down  by  the 
Return  sladges;  any  trobl  you  my  be  at  shall  Pay  for  these. 

I   am  Dr.   Sir.   Your 
as  hurede  frind  &c: 

Hugh  McAdam 
Mr.  Morrison 

mercht.  Montreal. 
As  to  a  subsequent  disposition  of  Sarah,  see  sale  of  June  6,  1789. 

328  Journal  of  Negro  History 

sold  to  Paul  I'Archeveque  dit  La  Promenade,  gentleman, 
a  mulatto  boy  called  Dick,  6  years  old,  for  £30  Quebec  cur- 

1785,  April  26,  sale  by  William  Ward  of  Newfane, 
County  of  Windham,  State  of  Vermont,  to  P.  William 
Campbell  in  open  market  at  Montreal  of  three  Negroes, 
Tobi  (aged  26),  Sarah  (aged  21)  and  child  for  $4-25.  These 
had  been  bought  with  another  Negro,  Joseph,  a  year  older 
than  Sarah,  from  Elijah  Cady  of  Kinderhook,  County  of 
Albany,  State  of  New  York,  for  £250.==' 

1789,  June  6,  James  Morrison  who  had  sold  Sarah  for 

*=  It  is  possibly  the  same  mulatto  boy,  Dick,  the  subject  of  the  following 
Bill  of  Sale: 

Thusbekry  octrs  19.  1785. 

Know  all  men  By  these  presents  that  I  William  Gillchres  in  the  County 
of  Eutland  and  State  of  Vermount,  Yoeman  for  and  in  consideration  of 
twenty  pound  Law  Money  to  you  in  hand  paid  by  Joseph  Barrey  of 
Richmond  in  the  County  of  Cheshier  in  State  of  New  Hampshier  yco 
man  whereof  I  acknoledg  the  receipt  and  barggained  and  sold  one  molate 
Boy  sis  years  old  naimed  Dick  to  him  the  said  Joseph  Barney  and  his 
heirs  for  ever,  to  have  and  to  hold  the  said  molater  boy,  I  said  William 
Gillchres  who  for  myself  and  my  heirs  promise  for  ever  to  warrant 
socure  and  defend  said  promise  against  the  lawful  claims  or  demand  of 
any  person  or  persons  in  which  I  have  set  my  hand,  hereunto,  and  seal 
this  nineteenth  day  of  October  one  thousand  seven  hundred  and  eighty- 
six,  in  the  eleventh  year  of  endipendency. 

(Signed)  William  Gillchres 
Signed,  sealed 
in  the  presence  of  us 

(SSgned)   Elisha  Fullan 
Lucy  Yeoman  s 
On  the  back  of  this  document  were  written  thus  the  following  words: 
Novemer   ye    15,    1786 

Recevd    the    contents    of 
the  within  bill  by  me 

Joseph  Barrey 
29  Never  1786.  . 

Witness)     Martin  McEvoy 
John   Carven 


Bill  of  Morlato 
Boy  nd.  Dick  Gun 
28 1  assume  New  York  Currency,  in  which  ease  the  pound  was  20  Y''ork 
shillings  or  $2.50. 

The  Slave  in  Nouvelle-France  329 

McAdam  to  Charles  Le  Pailleur,  bought  her  for  himself 
and  sold  her  to  Joseph  Anderson  of  Montreal,  gentleman, 
for  £40.''  The  purchase  from  Le  Pailleur  is  evidenced  in 
French ;  it  was  for  £36. 

1790,  December  23,  Guillaume  Labart,  Seigneur,  living 
at  Terrebonne,  sold  to  Andrew  Todd,  merchant  of  Montreal, 
a  young  panis  called  Jack,  about  14  years  of  age,  for  £25. 

1792,  August  10,  ''Joshuah  Stiles,  late  of  Litsfield  in 
the  county  of  Birkshire,  Massachusetts,  at  present  in 
Montreal,"  sold  to  Daniel  Carberry  of  Montreal,  hair- 
dresser, a  Negro  boy  named  Kitts,  aged  15  years,  for  the 
sum  of  one  hundred  and  fifty  dollars  each  of  the  value  of 
five  shillings  Halifax  currency. 

1793,  July  11,  Jean  Rigot,  master  hair-dresser,  living 
on  Boulevard  St.  Antoine,  sold  a  mulatto  slave  boy,  Pierre, 
aged  16,  to  Sir  Charles  Chaboille,  merchant  of  the  Upper 
Country  {i.e.,  Niagara,  Detroit,  Michillimackinac),  for  $200 
Spanish,  each  worth  s.5  Halifax  currency.  Rigot  had 
raised  the  boy  from  infancy  (I'ayant  eleve  de  bas  age). 

1793,  July  27,  William  Byrne,  formerly  captain  in  the 
King's  Royal  Regiment  of  New  York,  in  a  letter  of  May  29, 
1793,  having  promised  his  adopted  son,  Phillip  Byrne,  on 
his  marriage  to  Mary  Josephine  Chene,  daughter  of  Charles 
Chene  of  Detroit,  to  give  him  a  Negro  boy,  Tanno,  aged  16, 
and  a  Negro  woman.  Rose,  aged  28,  carried  out  his  promise 
by  Deed  of  Gift,  July  27,  1793,  but  he  stipulates  for  ''  half 
the  young  ones  "  !! 

1795,  December  15,  Frangois  Dumoulin,  merchant  of  the 
Parish  of  Ste.  Anne,  Island  of  Montreal,  sells  to  Meyer 
Michaels,  merchant  of  Montreal,  a  mulatto  named  Prince, 
aged  about  18,  for  £50. 

1796,  November  22,  John  Turner,  Sr.,  merchant,  sold  to 
John  Brooks,  a  Negro  man  named  Joegho,  aged  36,  for  £100, 
Quebec  currency,  and  a  Negro  woman.  Rose,  aged  25,  for 

1797,  August  25,  Thomas  Blaney  (attorney  for  Jervis 

"1787,  January  10,  George  Brown  and  Sarah  a  Negresa  were  married 
by  Cave — it  was  probably  the  same  Sarah. 

330  Journal,  of  Negro  History 

George  Turner,  a  soldier  in  the  2d  Batt.  Royal  Canadian 
Volunteers)  and  Mary  Blaney,  his  wdfe,  sold  to  Thomas 
John  Sullivan,  tavernkeeper,  a  Negro  man  named  Manuel, 
aged  about  33,  for  £36." 

1781,  August  9,  sale  per  inventory  of  the  estate  of  the 
late  Naethan  Hume,  ''one  pany  boy,  Patrick,  sold  to  Mc- 
Cormickfor  £32." 

Perhaps  this  paper  may  well  close  with  the  follo^^'ing : 
1781,  October  31,  a  Negro,  named  York  Thomas,  a  free- 
man, indentured  himself  for  three  years  to  Phillip  Peter 
Nassingh,  a  Lieutenant  in  his  Majesty's  2d  Battalion,  New 
York,  for  and  in  consideration,  the  said  Nassingh  to  provide 
the  said  servant  with  meat,  drink,  washing,  lodging,  and 
apparel,  both  linen  and  woolens,  and  all  other  necessaries, 
in  sickness  and  in  health,  mete  and  convenient  for  such  a 
servant,  during  the  term  of  three  years  and  at  the  expiration 
of  the  said  term,  shall  give  the  said  York  Thomas,  one  new 
suit  of  apparel,  above  his  then  clothing,  and  £6  Halifax 
currency.  William  Eenwick  Riddell 

OsGOODE  Hall, 

Toronto,  Dec.  23,  1922 

**  While  this  was  in  fact  and  in  law  a  sale,  the  transaction  was  far  more 
than  a  mere  transfer  of  property :  The  Notary  John  Abraham  Gray  has  the 
Notarial  Act  No.  74  which  shows  that  Manuel,  the  negro  man  voluntarily  en- 
gaged as  servant,  to  Thomas  Sullivan,  under  the  usual  conditions  of  servitude, 
for  five  years,  at  the  end  of  which  term,  the  said  Manuel,  if  he  should  faith- 
fully carry  out  his  said  engagement  was  to  be  emancipated  and  set  at  liberty 
according  to  due  form  of  law,  otherwise  he  was  to  remain  the  property  of  th« 
said  Sullivan. 

A  Notarial  Act  now  in  the  possession  of  the  Historical  Society,  Chicago, 
dated  at  Montreal,  August  15,  1731,  passed  before  the  Notary  Charles 
Benoit  et  St.  Desiez.  evidences  the  sale  by  Louis  Chappeau  to  Sieur  Pierre 
Guy,  merchant,  both  of  Montreal,  of  an  Indian  lad  of  the  Patoka  nation,  aged 
about  10  or  12  years,  for  200  livres  paid  in  beaver  and  other  skins.  See 
Eeport  of  Canadian  Archives,  1905,  vol.  1,  Ixix. 

It  may  be  of  interest  to  note  that  on  pp.  476,  477  of  the  same  report 
is  copied  a  memorial  (October  29,  1768)  of  the  inhabitants  and  merchants  of 
Louisiana  in  which  they  complain,  inter  alia,  of  D  'Ulloa  the  Spanish  Governor 
of  Louisiana  (1766-8)  forbidding  "the  importation  of  negroes  to  the  colony 
under  the  pretext  that  this  competition  would  hurt  an  English  merchant 
of  Jamaica  who  had  sent  a  vessel  to  D'UUoa  to  confirm  the  contract  for 
the  importation  of  slaves.  In  creating  this  monopoly,  he  had  robbed  his 
new  subjects  of  the  means  of  procuring  slaves  cheaply.  ..." 


Banishment  of  the  People  of  Colour  from  Cincinnati 

Prof.  T.  Gr.  Steward  of  Wilberforce  University  directs  at- 
tention to  the  following  from  The  Friend  which  carries  an 
important  document  bearing  on  the  Free  Negroes  of  Ohio : 

In  the  course  of  the  present  year,  a  law  of  this  state  has  been 
brought  into  view,  by  the  trustees  of  Cincinnati  township,  requir- 
ing people  of  colour  to  give  bond  and  security  not  to  become 
chargeable  to  the  public,  and  for  their  good  behaviour — also  im- 
posing a  fine  on  those  who  may  employ  them.  This  law  was  passed 
upwards  of  twenty  years  ago,  and  I  believe  has  remained  inopera- 
tive, or  nearly  so,  to  the  present  year.  In  order  that  the  effects 
and  bearing  of  the  law  may  be  correctly  understood,  I  subjoin  the 
proclamation  or  notice  by  the  trustees. 

To  the  PuhliG 

The  undersigned,  trustees  and  overseers  of  the  poor,  of  the 
township  of  Cincinnati  hereby  give  notice,  that  the  duties  required 
of  them,  by  the  act  of  the  general  assembly  of  Ohio,  entitled  An 
Act  to  Regulate  Black  and  Mulatto  Persons,  and  the  act  amendatory 
thereto,  will  be  rigidly  enforced,  and  all  black  and  mulatto  persons, 
now  residents  of  said  Cincinnati  township,  and  who  emigrated  to, 
and  settled  within  the  township  of  Cincinnati,  without  com- 
plying with  the  requisitions  of  the  first  section  of  the  amended  act, 
aforesaid,  are  informed,  that  unless  they  enter  into  bonds  as  the 
said  act  directs,  within  thirty  days  from  this  date,  thej^  may  expect 
at  the  expiration  of  that  time,  the  law  to  be  rigidly  enforced. 

And  the  undersigned  would  further  insert  herein,  for  the  in- 
formation of  the  citizens  of  Cincinnati  township,  tlie  third  section 
of  the  amendatory  act  aforesaid,  as  follows:  That  if  any  person 
being  a  resident  of  this  state,  shall  employ,  harbour,  or  conceal 
any  such  negro  or  mulatto  person  aforesaid,  contraiy  to  the  provi- 
sion of  the  first  section  of  this  act,  any  person  so  offending,  shall 
forfeit  and  pay  for  such  an  offence,  any  sum  not  exceeding  one 
hundred  dollars,  one  half  to  the  informer,  and  the  other  half  for 
the  use  of  the  poor  of  the  township,  in  which  such  person  may 


332  Journal  of  Negro  History 

reside,  to  be  recovered  by  action  of  debt  before  any  court  having 
competent  jurisdiction,  and  moreover  to  be  liable  for  the  main- 
tenance and  support  of  such  negro  or  mulatto,  provided  he,  she,  or 
they  shall  become  unable  to  support  themselves.  The  co-operation 
of  the  public  is  expected  in  carrying  these  laws  into  full  effect. 

William  Mills, 
Benjamin  Hopkins, 
George  Lee, 
Trustees  of  Cincinnati  Township. 


When  this  proclamation  was  issued,  there  were  upwards  of 
2,000  people  of  colour,  residing  in  this  city,  and  nearly  all  obnoxious 
to  the  operations  of  the  law;  many  of  them  had  resided  here  for 
a  considerable  time,  and  were  comfortably  situated — they  became 
unsettled  and  deprived  of  employment  by  this  act  of  banishment 
and  proscription,  and  much  suffering  and  distress  ensued.  They 
deputed  two  of  their  number  to  select  and  provide  a  place  for 
them  to  remove  to,  who  procured  a  tract  of  land  in  Canada.  In 
the  meantime  some  of  them  commenced  making  preparations  to 
leave  the  country,  and  as  the  time  was  very  short  which  the 
trustees  allowed  them,  they  had  to  incur  great  losses  in  disposing 
of  their  property,  selling  for  twentj^  dollars,  what  cost  one  hundred 
dollars.  When  the  thirty  days  expired,  and  it  was  ascertained  all 
did  not,  or  could  not  comply  with  the  requisitions  of  the  trustees, 
mobs  assailed  them  at  different  times,  stoning  their  houses  and 
destroying  their  property;  in  the  progress  of  these  disgraceful 
transactions  one  white  man  was  killed  and  others  wounded. 

It  is  thought  about  five  hundred  have  gone  to  Canada,  many 
of  these  with  means  exceedingly  limited  to  provide  necessaries  in 
a  wilderness  country,  and  encounter  the  rigours  of  a  northern 
winter;  one  of  their  agents,  a  coloured  man,  informed  me  of  an 
instance  where  twenty-eight  persons  had  set  out  with  a  sum  not 
exceeding  twenty-five  dollars.  I  confess  my  mind  has  been  im- 
pressed with  fearful  apprehensions  that  they  will  greatly  suffer 
or  perish  with  hunger  and  cold!  Some  of  them  view  this  act  of 
banishment  with  so  much  horror,  they  have  told  me  the  white 
people  had  better  take  them  out  in  the  commons  and  shoot  them 
down,  than  send  them  to  Canada  to  perish  with  hunger  and  cold ! 

The  Friend,  Nov.  28,  1829. 

Documents  333 

First  Protest  against  Slavery  in  the  United  States 

Prof.  Steward  invites  attention  also  to  the  following 
extract  from  The  Friend  published  in  Philadelphia  April 
1831,  said  to  be  the  first  document  against  slavery  pub- 
lished in  this  country: 

"At  a  General  Court  held  at  Wai-wick  the  16th.  of  May  1657. 

"Whereas  there  is  a  common  course  practiced  among  English- 
men, to  buy  negroes  to  that  end  that  they  may  have  them  for  service 
or  as  slaves  forever ;  for  the  the  preventing  of  such  practices  among 
us,  let  it  be  ordered,  that  no  black  mankind  or  white  being,  shall  be 
forced  by  covenant,  bond  or  otherwise,  to  serve  any  man  or  his 
assigns  longer  than  ten  years,  or  until  they  come  to  be  twenty-four 
years  of  age,  if  they  be  taken  in  under  fourteen,  from  the  time  of 
their  coming  within  the  liberties  of  this  Colony — at  the  end  or 
term  of  ten  years  to  set  them  free  as  the  manner  is  with  the 
English  servants.  And  that  man  that  will  not  let  them  go  free,  or 
shall  sell  them  away  elsewhere,  to  that  end  they  may  be  enslaved  to 
others  for  a  longer  time,  he  or  they  shall  forfeit  to  the  Colony  forty 
pounds. ' ' 

The  court  that  enacted  this  law  was  composed  as  follows: 
John  Smith,  President;  Thomas  Olney,  General  Assistant,  from 
Providence;  Samuel  Gorton  from  Warwick;  John  Green,  General 
Recorder;  Randal  Holden,  Treasurer;  Hugh  Bewett,  General 

The  Friend,  April,  1831. 

A  Negro  Pioneer  in  the  West 

Mr.  Monroe  N.  Work  invites  attention  to  the  fact  that 
in  an  issue  of  December  23d,  1920,  the  Advertiser  Journal 
of  Kent,  Washington,  ran  the  following  story: 

"The  best  and  largest  yield  of  wheat  ever  exhibited,"  grown 
in  western  Washington.  It  sounds  like  a  real  estate  folder.  And 
yet  at  the  World's  Centennial  Exposition  held  in  Philadelphia  in 
1876,  W.  0.  Bush,  son  of  George  Bush,  one  of  the  first  settlers  on 
Puget  Sound,  won  the  gold  premium  for  wheat  he  grew  on  Bush 
Prairie,  just  sonth  of  Oh-mpia ;  to  this  day  the  wheat  is  preserved 
in  the  Smithsonian  Institute. 

This  record  of  great  wheat  yield  is  a  part  of  the  history  of  one 

334  Journal  of  Negro  History 

of  the  families  that  came  to  the  Northwest  and  had  that  quality 
that  made  them  successful  here.  George  Bush  was  the  first 
colored  man  to  come  to  this  part  of  the  country,  the  forerunner  of 
the  large  number  of  useful  citizens  of  his  race  who  have  followed 
with  the  increasing  population.  He  was  born  in  Pennsylvania  in 
1814,  and  with  hLs  wife  from  Tennessee  started  west  in  1844. 

Before  coming  west  with  his  family.  Bush  had  made  a  trip  to 
this  country  with  a  number  of  companions,  coming  north  along  the 
coast  from  the  Mexican  border  and  suffering  from  the  innumerable 
hardships  of  the  trail,  hunger  and  Indians.  He  must  have  liked 
the  prospects,  for  it  was  only  a  short  time  later  that  we  find  him 
again  headed  in  this  direction  in  company  with  a  number  of  other 
hardy  pioneers. 

The  character  that  made  him  face  the  privations  of  immigra- 
tion ingratiated  him  with  his  companions.  There  was  an  unwritten 
law  in  Oregon  at  that  time  that  no  colored  people  should  be 
allowed  to  settle  in  that  territory.  When  the  group  of  which  Bush 
was  a  member  approached  the  Columbia  river  country  and  learned 
of  the  rule  it  was  decided  that  if  any  one  attempted  to  molest  Bush 
all  of  the  members  of  the  company  would  fight  to  protect  him. 

The  practice  in  Oregon  was  to  whip  the  colored  man  and  if  he  left 
after  the  whipping  it  was  all  right  and  nothing  further  was  done, 
but  if  he  did  not  take  advantage  of  the  opportunity  to  escape  he 
was  whipped  again  and  again  until  he  either  left  or  died. 

There  is  not  any  record  of  an  attempt  being  made  to  molest  Bush, 
who,  with  his  companions,  stayed  at  the  Dalles  for  several  months 
and  later  at  Washougal  at  the  mouth  of  the  Cowlitz.  The  following 
year — 1845 — they  came  on  to  Puget  Sound  and  settled  at  the  head 
of  Budds  Inlet  at  the  falls  of  the  DesChutes  and  founded  the  town 
of  New  Market,  now  Tumwater. 

Those  who  made  up  this  party  were  Michael  T.  Simmons,  James 
McAllister,  David  Kindred,  Gabriel  Jones  and  Bush.  The  latter 
decided  not  to  settle  right  in  Tumwater  and  went  back  onto  the 
prairie  land  about  four  miles  and  took  up  a  donation  claim  of  640 
acres.  It  was  on  that  claim  that  the  prize  wheat  was  grown  by  his 
oldest  son  thirty-two  years  later.  There  on  that  claim  Bush  died 
in  1863,  while  the  great  war  for  the  freedom  of  his  race  was  being 
waged.    His  widow  followed  him  two  years  later. 

Of  their  six  sons,  the  state  has  heard  a  great  deal.  The  eldest, 
W.  0.  Bush,  was  born  before  the  couple  left  Missouri  on  their  way 
west,  and  got  the  hard  training  of  the  pioneer.    He  took  to  farm- 

Documents  335 

ing  and  that  he  worked  the  prairie  land  where  his  father  had 
settled  for  all  it  was  worth  is  shown  by  the  crop  he  took  to 
Philadelphia.  The  soil  of  that  section  is  a  black  sandy  loam  on 
a  gravel  base.  The  soil  is  not  too  thick  in  some  parts  and  has  a 
tendency  to  drain,  particularly  during  the  hot,  dry  summer. 

Shorly  after  the  formation  of  the  state  Bush  was  elected  a 
member  of  the  legislature  and  served  two  terms  during  1890  and 
1892.  His  record  in  the  law-making  body  was  an  honorable  one 
and  that  he  was  highly  respected  by  the  people  of  Thurston  county 
was  shown  when  they  sent  him  to  the  Chicago  World's  Fair  in 
1893  to  look  after  the  county's  agricultural  exhibit. 

Concerning  the   Origin   of  Wilberforcb 

While  at  Tuskegee  Institute  in  1914  Mrs.  Emma  Castle- 
man  Bowles,  who  has  since  died,  related  this  account  of  the 
origin  of  Wilberforce.  This  story  does  not  agree  with  the 
account  given  in  Bishop  D.  A.  Payne's  African  Methodist 
Episcopal  Church  (423  ff.).  The  value  of  the  document  lies 
mainly  in  the  light  which  it  throws  upon  the  relations  be- 
tween wealthy  slaveholders  and  their  children  of  slave  wo- 
men. There  must  be  much  truth  in  the  narrative,  for 
Payne's  sketch  says  that  in  1859-60  a  majority  of  the  207 
students  enrolled  '*  are  the  natural  children  of  Southern  and 
Southwestern  planters."  The  Special  Report  of  the 
United  States  Commissioner  of  Education,  published  in 
1871  (372-373),  supports  this  statement.  Mrs.  Bowles' 
story  follows: 

Mrs.  Emma  Castleman  Bowles  said  her  father  was  Stephen 
S.  Castleman,  a  slave  holder  who  lived  on  the  Yazoo  River, 
about  150  miles  from  Vicksburg.  He  owned  the  Ashland  planta- 
tion. She  was  born  June  3,  1845.  Her  mother  was  a  half  sister 
of  her  father's  wife.  When  Castleman  married,  her  mother  was 
sent  to  wait  on  her  mistress.  Castleman  lived  with  both  women. 
Castleman  had  two  children  by  his  wife  and  five  by  his  concubine. 
He  hired  a  white  woman  to  teach  Emma.  This  woman  was  paid 
$500  a  year.  Mrs.  Bowles  said  she  was  not  taught  anything,  not 
even  to  read.  She  spent  her  time  playing  with  her  half-brother 
and  riding  a  pony  which  her  father  had  bought  for  her. 

336  Journal,  of  Negro  History 

In  March  1858,  Castleman  sent  his  daughter  Emma  to  Cincin- 
nati by  his  brother-in-law,  her  half  uncle,  0.  Leroy  Ross.  Here, 
she  was  emancipated  and  acknowledged  as  Castleman 's  daughter. 
Ross  then  brought  her  to  Wilberforce  and  placed  her  in  school. 

Tawawa  Springs  was  a  summer  resort  for  Southern  slave  hold- 
ers. The  Springs  were  medicinal.  The  Hotel  Tawawa  had  350 
rooms,  extensive  grounds,  elaborate  water  works  for  fountains,  etc. 
There  were  several  cottages  on  either  side  of  the  hotel.  Slave 
holders  would  bring  their  families  and  slaves  and  live  either  in 
the  hotel  or  in  the  cottages.  A  law  was  passed  in  Ohio  forbidding 
the  bringing  of  slaves  into  the  State.  Then  white  help  and  free 
Negro  servants  were  used.  The  place  declined  financially  and 
was  finally  sold  for  debt.  Several  planters  banded  together  bought 
the  place  and  turned  it  into  a  school  for  their  illegitimate  children 
by  Negro  women.  Stephen  S.  Castleman  was  one  of  these  men. 
Mrs.  Bowles  said  this  was  done  about  1856  or  1857.^ 

There  were  about  nine  teachers,  all  Yankees.  The  first  principal 
was  Rev.  M.  P.  Gaddis.  Richard  Rust  was  the  first  President. 
The  students,  with  a  few  exceptions,  were  children  of  slave  holders. 

Money  was  deposited  in  Cincinnati  banks  for  the  use  of  the 
children.  President  Rust  was  given  power  to  draw  on  banks  as 
the  children  needed  money. 

The  following  were  named  as  among  the  slave  owners  who 
brought  their  children  to  the  school.  A  planter  named  Mosley 
from  Warren,  Miss.,  brought  seven  children  by  three  different 
mothers  and  freed  them.  Senator  Hemphill  of  Virginia  brought 
two  daughters  and  emancipated  them.  A  planter  by  the  name  of 
Smith  brought  eight  children  from  Mississippi  with  their  mother 
about  1859.  He  had  a  slave  man  and  woman  to  wait  on  them.  He 
was  arrested  and  made  to  emancipate  them.  He  bought  a  large 
tract  of  land  for  them.  A  brick  house  he  built  was  later  owned 
by  Colonel  Charles  Young.  The  woman  had  lived  with  Smith 
under  compulsion,  and  as  soon  as  she  was  emancipated  would  have 
nothing  more  to  do  with  him.  Mrs.  Bowles  said  that  she  went  to 
school  with  these  children  and  often  visited  the  family.  She  had 
seen  the  mother  strip  herself  to  the  waist  and  show  how  her  back 
had  been  mutilated  to  make  her  submit  to  her  master's  wishes. 
A  man  named  Piper  came  and  brought  10  children  and  their 
mother.  She  was  jet  black.  After  the  war  he  married  her  and 
settled  in  Darke  County,  Ohio. 

^  The  school  began  in  1855. 

Documents  337 

General  T.  C.  McMaekin,  a  hotel  owner  of  Vicksburg,  Missis- 
sippi, was  appointed  by  Castleman  as  his  daughter's  guardian. 
She  said  that  she  got  in  a  fight  with  another  school  girl  and  was 
put  on  bread  and  water.  She  wrote  her  father.  He  had  Mc- 
Maekin come  to  Wilberforce  and  adjust  the  matter.  Her  father, 
and  she  said  the  fathers  generally,  lavished  money  on  their  chil- 
dren. She  had  a  box  that  held  fifty  silver  dollars.  This  her  father 
kept  full  of  silver  dollars  for  her  to  buy  candy  with. 

Abolition  was  preached  constantly  in  the  school.  She  came 
to  hate  slavery.  She  had  seen  great  cruelties  inflicted  on  her 
mother  and  other  slaves.  Her  mother  took  up  with  a  slave  man. 
Emma  was  a  child,  sleeping  in  the  room.  Many  a  night  her  father 
would  come  and  curse  the  slave  and  compel  him  to  leave  the 
cabin.  Then  he  would  whip  him  and  her  mother.  Whipping  was 
on  bare  back  from  39  to  300  lashes.  Slave  stripped  naked  and 
hands  and  feet  tied  to  stakes  driven  into  the  ground.  Stocks  were 
also  used.  The  lash  and  the  stocks  were  both  used  on  her  mother's 
slave  husband.  They  were  put  in  the  stocks  at  night  and  whipped 
night  and  morning. 

Mrs.  Bowles  was  courted  in  school  by  a  class-mate,  named 
George  W.  Harding,  whose  father  was  a  large  slave  holder  in 
Tennessee.  President  Rust  tried  to  break  it  up.  He  wrote  her 
father.  Castleman  wrote  his  daughter  that  he  did  not  send  her 
North  to  waste  her  time  with  a  nigger.  If  she  did  not  stop  he 
would  come  and  get  her,  cow  hide  her  and  bring  her  home  and 
put  her  in  the  cotton  field.  She  replied  that  "if  her  mother  was 
good  enough  for  him  to  sleep  with,  that  a  nigger  was  good  enough 
for  her  to  marry. ' '  She  married  Harding  March  5,  1862.  He  had 
received  considerable  wealth  from  his  father.  When  they  married 
he  had  $55,000,^  and  later  inherited  $80,000  from  his  mother. 

The  war  stopped  communications  with  the  South.  As  soon  as 
the  war  closed,  Castleman  wrote  to  find  out  about  his  daughter 
and  learned  that  she  was  married  and  the  mother  of  two  children. 
He  wrote  to  her  to  come  home  and  leave  her  niggers.  If  she 
didn  't  she  would  not  get  any  of  his  property.  She  wrote  him  that 
he  had  beaten  her  mother  and  made  her  bear  five  children  out  of 
wedlock  and  that  she  would  not  forsake  her  husband  and  her 
lawfully  born  children. 

*  Harding  squandered  his  property  and  died  a  pauper.  Mrs,  Harding 
then  married  another  student  of  Wilberforce,  A.  J.  Bowles. 


Mr.  John  W.  Cromwell  has  addressed  the  Editor  the 
following  letter  which  may  interest  persons  directing  their 
attention  to  the  record  of  the  Negro  in  West  Virginia : 

Dear  Sir: 

"While  reading  your  Negro  Education  in  West  Virginia  I  was 
reminded  of  my  acquaintances  in  that  State,  and  I  thought  of  the 
striking  contrast  between  the  West  Virginia  of  1877  and  that  of 

On  invitation  of  Prof.  Brackett,  President  of  Storer  College,  I 
attended  a  Teachers'  Institute  and  Educational  Convention,  held 
at  Harper's  Ferry,  in  1877.  There  I  first  saw  a  gathering  of 
young  teachers,  vigorous  and  alert,  none  more  chivalric  in  bearing 
than  the  central  figure  in  the  person  of  John  R.  Clifford,  at  that 
time  Principal  of  the  Grammar  School  at  Martinsburg.  To  me  it 
was  quite  a  contrast  from  dealing  with  the  civil  service  of  the 
Treasury  Department  at  Washington  on  the  one  hand,  and  my 
experience  with  the  young  men  there  a  few  years  before  as  I  had 
beheld  them  in  central  Pennsylvania. 

The  bearing  of  the  men  was  more  than  matched  by  the  ex- 
cellence of  the  women.  Outstanding  at  the  time  was  a  young 
woman  whom  I  could  not  at  first  determine  whether  I  should  rate 
her  as  a  young  pupil  in  one  of  the  classes  or  one  of  the  faculty. 
I  soon  found  that  she  was  a  student  teacher,  also  an  elocutionist  of 
grace,  skill  and  power.  So  impressed  was  I  that  Storer  College 
thenceforth  was  a  regular  place  of  visit  during  commencement 
season,  and  I  soon  found  myself  on  its  trustee  board. 

During  one  of  these  commencements,  Frederick  Douglass  was 
booked  to  speak  on  John  Brown ;  but  Andrew  Hunter,  the  prosecut- 
ing attorney  who  convicted  John  Brown,  came  to  Harper's  Ferry, 
and  declared  that  Frederick  Douglass  should  not  speak  in  Jefferson 
county,  where  Brown  was  convicted  and  hung.  He  also  said : 
"If  Douglass  dares  to  come  here,  I'll  meet  him,  denounce  him, 
and  crush  him ! ' '  Douglass  came  ;  so  did  Hunter.  At  the  proper 
time,  Douglass  was  escorted  to  the  rostrum,  and  without  invitation 


Communications  339 

Himter  followed  and  took  a  seat  close  to  Douglass,  the  master  of 
American  orators,  who  spoke  as  I  never  heard  him  before;  and 
when  through  started  to  his  seat.  Hunter  interrupted  him,  arose, 
and  advanced  toward  Douglass  with  outstretched  hand  and  ex- 
claimed :  ' '  Let  us  shake  hands, ' '  and  while  so  doing,  said :  ' '  Were 
Robert  E.  Lee  here,  he  would  shake  the  other,"  and  pausing  a  few 
seconds,  with  all  the  power  of  his  nature  he  said:  "Let  us  go  on!" 
to  which  Douglass  replied  :  "  In  union  together  ! ' '  And  every- 
body on  the  campus  shouted — making  the  occasion  one  of  dramatic 
as  well  as  historic  interest. 

As  editor  of  The  People's  Advocate,  of  AVashington,  D.  C,  the 
incident  was  sketched  in  bold  and  striking  outlines  for  the  country, 
and  was  read  eagerly.  It  also  forms  an  incident  of  one  of  the 
chapters  of  The  "Life  and  Times''  of  Frederick  Douglass. 

In  1882,  the  Knights  of  Wise  Men,  with  headquarters  at  Nash- 
ville, Tennessee,  held  their  convention  at  Atlanta,  Georgia.  Thither 
went  such  representatives  of  the  day  as  William  J.  Simmons,  of 
Kentucky;  Frances  L.  Cardozo,  of  Washington,  D.  C. ;  Bishop 
Henry  M.  Turner,  of  Georgia ;  Richard  Gleaves,  of  South  Carolina ; 
John  R.  Lynch,  of  Mississippi;  Robert  Peel  Brooks,  of  Virginia; 
Prof.  J.  C.  Corbin,  of  Arkansas,  and  many  other  distinguished 
men  interested  in  the  order. 

John  R.  Clifford,  of  Martinsburg,  West  Virginia,  was  one  of 
the  party  and  a  most  distinguished  orator  was  he,  whose  masterly 
oration  delivered  in  the  State  Capital  of  Georgia,  with  Governor 
Colquitt,  and  other  state  officials,  was  a  fitting  setting  for  the 
presentation  of  a  beautiful  gold-headed  cane,  with  the  convention 's 
and  his  initials  carved  on  it.  Robert  Peel  Brooks  was  chosen  by  the 
delegates  to  present  the  gift. 

The  career  of  Mr.  Clifford  for  twenty  years'  work  as  a  teacher, 
brought  him  to  the  forefront,  and  he  was  appointed  by  three  dif- 
ferent W.  Va.  State  Superintendents  to  hold  and  conduct  Teach- 
ers' Institutes.  Mr.  Clifford  holds  a  life-time  teacher's  certificate 
in  honor  of  this  distinguished  service.  He  was  the  first  colored 
man  in  West  Virginia  to  be  admitted  to  the  bar  in  the  early 
eighties.  He  became  editor  of  the  Pioneeer  Press  in  1882  at 
Martinsburg,  and  ran  it  regularly  for  thirty-six  years,  being 
honored  with  the  deanship  of  Negro  journalism  a  short  time  before 
the  Pioneer  Press  ceased  to  exist. 

Mr,  Clifford,  single-handed  and  alone,  filed  charges  against  Prof. 
N.   C.   Brackett,  head  of   Storer  College,  killed  and  wiped   out 

340  Journal  of  Negro  History 

Brackett  's  drawn  color  line,  that  barred  colored  people  from  going 
there  as  had  been  their  privilege.  He  was  the  only  colored  editor 
in  West  Virginia  who  was  a  member  of  the  State  Editorial  Associa- 
tion for  twenty  years,  and  was  chosen  the  last  year  as  its  historian. 

While  defending  a  client  sometime  ago,  a  United  States  Com- 
missioner and  Mr.  Clifford  got  into  a  controversy  over  some 
Witnesses  he  wanted  summoned,  and  it  was  kept  up  until  the 
Commissioner  demanded  that  he  stop  and  go  on,  or  he  would  put 
Clifford  in  jail.  Undaunted  he  continued  and  gave  the  Commis- 
sioner to  understand  that  just  as  long  as  he  refused  to  summon 
the  witnesses,  he  would  contend  for  it;  whereupon  the  Commis- 
sioner had  him  put  in  jail,  where  he  remained  for  an  hour  and 
twenty-two  minutes.  Getting  out  he  asked  for  his  client,  who  had 
been  tried  and  jailed.  He  was  brought  back.  Clifford  went  his 
bond,  sent  him  home,  preferred  charges  against  T.  T.  Lemen,  United 
States  Commissioner,  and  W.  D.  Brown,  United  States  Marshal. 
Clifford  went  to  the  Department  of  Justice  in  Washington,  D.  C. 
proved  his  charges  and  had  both  put  out  of  office  and  his  client 
was  set  free. 

He  was  appointed,  by  Senator  B.  K.  Bruce  and  Frederick 
Douglass,  Commissioner  for  the  state  of  West  Virginia  to  the  New 
Orleans  Exposition.  He  was  elected  three  times  President  of  the 
National  Independent  Political  League,  was  chosen  Principal  of 
the  Manassas  Industrial  School,  where  he  and  Frederick  Douglass 
spoke  on  the  occasion  of  his  inauguration.  He  resigned  because 
of  his  contention  for  better  water. 

He  was  the  first  man  to  impanel  a  colored  jury  in  the  state  of 
West  Virginia,  and  for  so  doing,  was  knocked  down  in  the  court 
room  three  times  with  deadly  weights,  causing  the  blood  to  run 
down  into  his  shoes.  When  knocked  down  the  third  time,  U.  S.  G. 
Pitzer,  a  Republican  (?)  prosecuting  attoney,  sprang  on  him,  but 
with  apparent  superhuman  skill  and  force,  Clifford  turned  him  at 
a  time  when  there  was  not  a  soul  in  the  court  room  (everybody 
having  run  out)  but  Pitzer  &  Clifford,  with  the  latter  on  top,  and 
had  not  Stephen  Elam  rushed  in  and  pulled  Clifford  off  of  Pitzer 
and  carried  him  out,  death  might  have  been  the  result, — Elam  is 
still  living.  Later  Pitzer  was  nominated  for  the  Legislature,  and 
Clifford  canvassed  Berkeley  County  on  his  bicycle  exhibiting  his 
bloody  shirt  (which  he  still  has)  and  the  day  before  the  election 
Clifford  spoke  in  the  band-stand  in  the  Public  Square  for  an  hour 

Communications  341 

and  thirty  minutes,  waving  his  bloody  shirt  and  the  following 
day  Pitzer  was  defeated  by  1336  votes. 

He  is  a  33°  Mason  and  a  Past  Grand  Master  of  W.  Va. ;  member 
of  the  American  Negro  Academy,  and  helped  to  shoot  off  the 
shackles  from  four  million  slaves  and  cement  this  Union  on  the 
bloody  battle  fields  during  the  war  of  the  sixties  and  holds  an 
honorable  discharge  in  proof  of  it. 

He  gives  credit  to  the  late  Hon.  John  J.  Healy  of  Chicago,  111., 
for  his  early  education  thru  the  public  schools  of  Chicago.  He 
attended  and  graduated  from  Storer  College  1875,  and  holds  an 
honorary  diploma  from  Shaw  University. 

John  W.  Cromwell. 

Mr.  Monroe  N.  "Work,  who  has  spent  some  time  estab- 
lishing the  official  roster  of  Negroes  who  served  in  State 
conventions  and  legislatures,  has  turned  over  for  publi- 
cation the  following  letters  giving  the  record  of  Peter  G. 
Morgan,  a  prominent  citizen  of  Virginia: 

Mr.  Monroe  N.  Work, 

Editor  Negro  Year  Book, 
Tuskegee  Institute,  Ala. 

My  dear  Mr.  Work: 

I  am  extremely  sorry  that  many  pressing  duties  have  prevented 
me  from  letting  you  have  the  information  asked  for  in  your  letter 
under  date  of  September  1st,  bearing  upon  the  late  Peter  George 
Morgan  of  Petersburg,  Virginia. 

I  gathered  from  the  information  in  possession  of  his  sons,  that 
he,  (Peter  G.  Morgan)  was  in  his  day  one  of  the  most  prominent 
colored  men  in  the  city  of  Petersburg.  He  was  a  carpenter  by 
trade  and  followed  said  trade  for  a  number  of  years.  Later  he 
acquired  the  knowledge  of  shoe  making  and  became  a  first  class 
shoemaker,  which  trade  he  also  followed  for  a  number  of  years 
before  the  Civil  War.  He  was  twice  sold  as  a  slave,  and  he  pur- 
chased himself  at  $1,500  and  completed  the  payment  on  the  fourth 
of  July,  1854  at  the  White  Sulphur  Springs,  his  master  being  part 
owner  of  the  Springs  at  that  time.  Later  on  he  purchased  his 
wife,  paying  $1,500  for  her  and  two  small  children  in  1858,  thereby 
himself  becoming  a  slave  holder.     He  removed  to  Petersburg  in 

342  Journal  of  Negro  History 

1863  and  continued  to  work  at  his  trade  as  shoemaker.  Meanwhile 
he  made  use  of  every  possible  opportunity  to  increase  his  knowl- 
edge of  books,  although  he  had  no  opportunity  to  attend  any 
school.  In  this  way  he  became  a  fairly  well  educated  man,  cer- 
tainly ahead  of  many  at  that  time,  and  at  the  close  of  the  Civil 
War  was  able  to  train  his  own  children  and  the  children  of  his 
neighbors.  He  served  in  the  Constitutional  Convention  of  the 
State  of  Virginia  in  1867,  this  latter  date  was  given  me  this  week 
by  a  gentleman  in  Richmond,  who  served  as  page  in  the  Legislature 
of  Virginia  fifty  years  ago.  I  am  enclosing  a  clipping  which  was 
passed  into  my  hands  a  few  weeks  ago,  which  contains  some  of  the 
names  of  those  who  served  in  this  particular  convention.^ 

It  has  occurred  to  me  that  the  Rev.  Dr.  Bragg,  of  Baltimore, 
Maryland  also  ser\'ed  as  page  some  time,  later  and  perhaps  he 
would  be  able  to  assist  me  in  supplying  correct  data,  provided 
errors  are  made  in  the  dates  in  this  correspondence. 

Mr.  Morgan  served  in  the  Legislature  of  Virginia  two  terms, 
1869-1871,  and  1871-1872. 

Now,  my  dear  Mr.  Work  if  additional  information  is  desired, 
bearing  upon  the  late  Peter  George  Morgan,  please  do  not  hesitatt 
to  command  my  services,  and  I  shall  be  very  glad  to  do  my  best 
to  assist  you. 

With  kind  regards  and  best  wishes,  believe  me. 

Very  sincerely  yours, 

Signed :  James  S.  Russell, 



The  Radical  State  Convention,  which  was  in  session  in  Richmond  on 
Thursday,  elected  the  following  State  Executive  Committee,  with  Ei-Governor 
H.  H.  Wells  as  chairman:  First  district — Rufus  S.  Jones,  Isaac  Morton  and 
Robert  Norton.  Second  district — R.  S.  Greene,  Peter  G.  Morgan  and  H.  H. 
Bowden.  Third  district — Wm.  C.  Wickham,  J.  M.  Humphreys  and  Langdon 
Boyd.  Fourth  district — Geo.  W.  Finney,  John  T.  Hamletter  and  Ross  Hamilton. 
Fifth  district — Thos.  J.  Jackson,  Alexander  Rives  and  I.  F,  Wilson.  Sixth 
district — John  F.  Lewis,  Thos.  H.  Hargest  and  John  R.  Popham.  Eighth 
district — W.  B.  Downey,  John  M.  Thatcher  and  J.  B.  Sener.  Ninth  district — 
R.  W.  Hughes,  G,  G.  Goodell  and  John  W.  Woest. 

Communications  343 

St.  Paul  Normal  and  Industrial  School 

Lawrenceville,  Virginia, 

October  23,  1920. 
Mr.  Monroe  N.  Work, 
Tuskegee  Institute, 

My  dear  Mr.  Work: 

Your  very  kind  letter  of  the  18th  instant  has  been  received 
and  contents  carefully  noted.  I  have  delayed  replying  to  your 
letter  that  I  might  secure  definite  information  from  the  Register 
of  the  General  Assembly  of  Virginia.  My  letter  to  you  contained 
information  from  the  memory  of  my  brother-in-law  and  another 
aged  gentleman,  with  whom  I  conferred  regarding  the  information 
you  had  asked  me  to  supply.  I  have  just  secured  first  hand  infor- 
mation which  contains  practically  the  same  information  as  given 
in  my  letter,  still  it  comes  with  authority.  You  will  note  please  the 
slight  correction  to  be  made  in  reference  to  the  years  he  served  in 
the  Legislature  of  Virginia. 

You  have  my  full  permission  to  use  the  matter  in  any  way  you 
see  fit,  making  the  slight  correction  in  the  dates  the  Hon.  Peter  G. 
Morgan  served  in  the  Legislature. 

With  kind  regards  and  best  wishes,  believe  me. 

Sincerely  yours. 

Signed:  James  S.  Russell, 


Commonwealth  op  Virginia 

Governor's  Office 


October  22,  1920. 

Dr.  James  S.  Russell,  Archdeacon, 

St.  Paul  Normal  and  Industrial  School, 
Lawrenceville,  Virginia. 

My  dear  Br.  Russell: 

The  Register  of  the  General  Assembly  of  Virginia,  on  p.  409, 
carries  the  information  that  Peter  G.  Morgan  of  Petersburg,  was  a 
member  of  the  Convention  of  1867-1868;  was  a  member  of  the 


344  Journal  of  Negbo  History 

House  of  Delegates  of  Virginia  at  the  session  of  1869-70,  and  in 

I  hope  that  this  is  the  information  you  desire. 

Yours  very  truly, 

Signed :  LeRoy  Hodges, 
Aide  to  the  Governor. 

The  Education  of  the  Negro 

Captain  A.  B.  Spingarn  has  supplied  the  following  valu- 
able information  given  in  these  extracts  from  the  laws  of 
the  State  of  New  York : 

May  10th,  1923. 
Dr.  Carter  G.  Woodson, 

Journal  of  Negro  History, 
1216  You  Street,  N.  W., 
Washington,  D.  C. 

My  dear  Dr.  Woodson: 

The  following  extracts  from  the  Session  Laws  of  the  State  of 
New  York  for  1826  and  1832  may  be  of  interest.  I  did  not  see 
mention  of  the  latter  one  in  your  invaluable.  The  Educatmi  of 
the  Negro  Prior  to  1861. 

"Chap.  145  of  Laws  of  1826. 

An  Act  to  provide  for  the  colored  Persons  who  are  occupants 
of  Lots  in  New  Stockhridge.  Passed  April  11,  1826. 

1.  Be  it  enacted  hy  the  People  of  the  State  of  New  York, 
represented  in  Senate  and  Assembly,  That  it  shall  and  may  be 
lawful  for  the  commissioners  of  the  land-office  to  cause  letters 
patent  to  be  issued  to  the  persons  respectivelj'',  who  have  been 
reported  by  the  appraisers  of  lands  in  New  Stockbridge,  as 
colored  persons,  for  the  lots  set  to  their  names  as  occupants, 
in  the  same  manner  as  grants  of  land  are  authorized  to  be 
made  to  those  who  have  been  so  reported,  as  white  persons 
persons  settled  on  said  land:  Provided  ..." 

Communications  345 

"Chap.  136  of  Laws  of  1832. 

An  Act  to  constitute  the  coloured  children  of  Rochester  a 
separate  school.  Passes  April  14,  1832. 

The  People  of  the  State  of  New  York,  represented  in  Senate 
and  Assembly,  do  enact  as  follows: 

1.  The  commissioners  of  common  schools  of  the  towns  of  Gates 
and  Brighton,  in  the  county  of  Monroe,  or  a  majority  of  them, 
may  in  their  discretion  cause  the  children  of  colour  of  the 
village  of  Rochester  to  be  taught  in  one  or  more  separate 

2.  The  commissioners  of  common  schools  of  the  towns  of  Gates 
and  Brighton,  shall  discharge  the  duties  of  trustees  of  such 
school,  and  shall  apportion  thereto  a  distributive  share  of  the 
moneys  for  the  support  of  common  schools." 

Very  sincerely  yours, 
Arthur  B.  Spingarn. 


Piney  Woods  and  Its  Story.  By  Laurence  C.  Jones,  Principal  of 
the  Piney  Woods  Country  Life  School,  with  an  introduction  by 
S.  S.  McClure.  (New  York  and  Chicago:  Fleming  H.  Revell 
Company.    Pp.  154.    Price  $1.50  net.) 

This  is  a  story  of  a  Negro  brought  up  and  educated  in  a  more 
favorable  environment  than  most  of  the  members  of  his  race  but, 
nevertheless,  imbued  with  the  spirit  of  social  uplift  of  those  of  his 
group  unfavorably  circumstanced.  "With  this  vision  he  cast  his  lot 
in  Mississippi,  where  he  toiled  against  odds  in  the  establishment 
and  development  of  a  school  which  is  today  an  important  factor 
in  the  progress  of  the  Negroes  of  Mississippi. 

This  volume  had  a  forerunner  in  a  shorter  story  Up  Through 
Difficulties.  As  the  influence  of  the  school  extended,  however,  and 
a  larger  number  of  friends  became  interested  in  his  efforts,  there 
arose  such  a  demand  for  a  brief  statement  of  the  history  of  this 
institution  that  it  was  necessary  to  meet  this  with  a  publication 
in  this  handy  form.  Coming  then  from  the  heart  of  a  man  who  has 
given  his  life  as  a  sacrifice  for  the  advancement  of  his  oppressed 
people,  the  story  has  been  well  received  by  the  friends  of  education 
in  general,  and  especially  by  those  who  appreciate  the  arduous 
labors  of  that  class  of  pioneers  so  nobly  represented  by  the  author. 

And  well  might  such  a  story  be  extensively  read;  for,  as  S.  S. 
McClure  has  said  in  the  introduction,  it  is  a  story  "of  Negro 
education,  intelligence  and  sensitiveness,  who  turned  his  back 
upon  everything  that  usually  makes  life  worth  living  for  people 
of  his  kind  and  went,  without  money  or  influence,  or  even  an 
invitation,  among  the  poorest  and  most  ignorant  of  his  race,  for 
the  sole  purpose  of  helping  them  in  every  way  within  his  power. ' ' 
As  it  has  been  said,  it  is  persuasively  and  sincerely  told.  It  is 
therefore,  to  quote  further  from  Mr.  McClure,  "a  valuable  human 
document;  a  paragraph  in  a  vital  chapter  of  American  history." 

Briefly  told,  the  story  describes  in  detail  the  beginnings  of  the 
educator,  his  early  school  days,  the  developnaent  of  his  school  in 
the  midst  of  "Pine  Knots"  under  the  "Blue  Sky,"  its  "Log 
Cabin"  stage,  the  more  hopeful  circumstances  later  attained,  and 


Book  Reviews  347 

its  widening  influence.  In  the  chapter  entitled  the  "Message  of 
Hope ' '  there  is  an  unusually  interesting  account  of  how  once  dur- 
ing the  World  War  the  author  was  misunderstood  by  certain  white 
persons  who,  from  the  outside,  heard  him  at  a  revival  urging 
the  Negroes  to  battle  against  sin,  ignorance,  superstition,  and 
poverty.  Understanding  some  but  not  all  of  the  words  used  by 
the  speaker,  the  eavesdroppers  reported  him  as  stirring  up  the 
Negroes  in  the  South  to  fight  the  whites.  A  mob  was  easily  formed 
in  keeping  with  the  custom  of  the  country,  and  the  author  was 
speedily  picked  up  and  thrown  upon  a  pile  of  wood,  when  guns 
were  cocked  and  primed  to  shoot  him  down  before  he  was  to  be 
offered  up.  Thereupon,  however,  one  of  the  mob  demanded  that 
he  make  a  speech,  by  which  he  so  convincingly  disabused  their 
minds  of  any  such  sinister  intention  of  stirring  up  an  insurrection 
among  the  Negroes  that  he  was  finally  released  and  befriended 
rather  than  lynched. 

The  Book  of  American  Negro  Poetry.   By  James  Weldon  Johnson. 

(New  York :  Harcourt,  Brace  and  Company.    1922.    Pp.217.) 

A  review  of  a  book  of  poetry  is  out  of  place  in  an  historical 
magazine  unless,  like  the  volume  before  us,  it  has  an  historical 
significance.  It  cannot  be  gainsaid  that  the  poetry  of  a  race 
passing  through  the  ordeal  of  slavery,  and  later  struggling  for 
social  and  political  recognition,  must  constitute  a  long  chapter  in 
its  history.  In  fact,  one  can  easily  study  the  development  of 
the  mind  of  a  thinking  class  from  epoch  to  epoch  by  reading  and 
appreciating  its  verse.  It  is  fortunate  that  Mr.  James  Weldon 
Johnson  has  thus  given  the  public  this  opportunity  to  study  a 
representative  number  of  the  talented  tenth  of  the  Negro  race. 

The  poems  themselves  do  not  concern  us  here  to  the  extent  of 
showing  in  detail  their  bearing  on  the  history  of  the  Negro.  The 
student  of  history,  however,  will  find  much  valuable  information 
in  the  interesting  preface  of  the  author  covering  the  first  forty- 
seven  pages  of  the  volume.  The  biographical  index  of  autkors  in 
the  appendix,  moreover,  presents  in  a  condensed  form  sketche§  of 
the  lives  of  thirty-one  useful  and  all  but  famous  members  of  tkc 
Negro  race.  Much  of  this  information  about  those  who  have  not 
been  in  the  public  eye  a  long  time  is  entirely  new,  appearing  here 
in  print  for  the  first  time. 

The  aim  of  the  author  is  to  show  the  greatness  of  the  Negro 

348  Journal  of  Negro  History 

as  measured  by  his  literature  and  art.  He  believes  that  the  status 
of  the  Negro  in  the  United  States  is  more  a  question  of  national 
mental  attitude  toward  the  race  than  of  actual  conditions.  "And 
nothing,"  says  he,  "will  do  more  to  change  that  mental  attitude 
and  raise  his  status  than  a  demonstration  of  intellectual  parity  by 
the  Negro  through  the  production  of  literature  and  art." 

In  the  effort  to  show  "the  emotional  endowment,  the  origi- 
nality and  artistic  conception  and  power  of  creating"  pos- 
sessed by  the  Negro,  the  author  has  begun  with  the  Uncle  Remus 
stories,  the  spirituals,  the  dance,  the  folks  songs  and  syncopated 
music.  He  then  presents  the  achievements  of  the  Negro  in  pure 
literature,  mentioning  the  works  of  Jupiter  Ilammon,  George  M. 
Horton,  Frances  E.  Harper,  James  M.  Bell  and  Albery  A. 
Whitman.  A  large  portion  of  this  introduction  given  to  the  early 
writers  is  devoted  to  a  discussion  of  Dunbar.  He  then  introduces 
a  number  of  poets  of  our  own  day,  whose  works  constitute  the 
verse  herein  presented.  Among  these  are  William  Stanley  Braith- 
waite,  Claude  McKay,  Fenton  Johnson,  Jessie  Fauset,  Georgia 
Douglass  Johnson,  Annie  Spencer,  John  W.  Holloway,  James 
Edwin  Campbell,  Daniel  Webster  Davis,  R.  C.  Jamison,  James  S. 
Cotter,  Jr.,  Alex  Rogers,  James  D.  Carrothers,  Leslie  Pinckney 
Hill,  and  W.  E.  B.  DuBois. 

The  McKinley  and  Roosevelt  Administrations,  1897-1909.  By 
James  Ford  Rhodes,  LL.D.,  D.Litt.  (New  York:  The  Mac- 
millan  Company,  1922.     Pp.  418.) 

Fortunately  Mr.  Rhodes  does  not  make  the  mistake  of  designat- 
ing this  as  a  volume  continuing  his  history  of  the  United  States 
from  1850  to  1877.  Like  the  volume  recently  written  to  treat  the 
period  from  Hayes  to  McKinley,  this  one  does  not  show  the  serious 
treatment  characteristic  of  the  earlier  work  of  Mr.  Rhodes.  The 
author  makes  no  introduction  but  enters  upon  the  discussion  of  the 
political  events  which  he  considers  as  having  constituted  the  most 
important  facts  of  history  during  this  period.  In  this  volume  Mr. 
Rhodes  is  largely  concerned  with  the  rise  and  fall  of  political 
chieftains,  who  have  attained  high  offices  in  the  services  of  the 
nation  or  with  the  record  of  those  who  have  championed  principles 
which  have  not  been  acceptable  to  the  American  people.  The  most 
valuable  facts  of  the  book  are  the  bits  of  first-hand  information 
which  he  obtained  by  personal  contact  with  the  statesmen  of  the 

Book  Reviews  349 

time.  From  this  volume,  however,  one  gets  very  little  more 
general  information  than  he  would  from  an  obsei*ver  who  has 
closely  followed  the  various  presidential  campaigns.  Furthermore, 
there  is  not  much  discussion  of  the  social  and  economic  questions 
which  have  engaged  the  attention  of  the  American  people  because 
of  their  bearing  on  shaping  the  destinies  of  the  nation.  As  a 
narrative  for  ready  information  of  men  and  measures  of  this 
period  it  is  interesting,  but  judged  from  the  point  of  view  of 
modern  historiography,  the  book  cannot  be  seriously  considered  as 
a  very  valuable  work  on  American  history.  When  one  has 
finished  reading  the  volume  he  will  find  his  mind  filled  with  what 
men  have  done  and  what  they  have  failed  to  accomplish,  but 
he  will  not  easily  grasp  the  meaning  of  the  forces  which  during  the 
last  generation  have  given  trend  to  present-day  developments  in 
the  United  States. 

Students  of  Negro  history  will  wonder  what  mention  the 
author  has  made  of  the  role  which  the  race  played  during  this 
period.  In  any  expectation  of  this  sort  they  will  find  themselves 
disappointed.  With  the  exception  of  references  to  the  Booker 
Washington  dinner  at  the  White  House,  the  Brownsville  Affair, 
and  the  Roosevelt  attitude  on  Negro  suffrage,  the  race  does  not 
figure  in  this  history.  It  is  interesting  to  note  Rhodes 's  statement 
to  the  effect  (230)  that  Roosevelt  said  to  him  that  he  made  a 
mistake  in  inviting  Booker  T.  Washington  to  dine  at  the  White 
House.  With  the  usual  bias  of  the  author,  it  is  not  surprising  that 
he  justifies  the  dismissal  of  the  Negro  soldiers  charged  with  partic- 
ipating in  the  riot  at  Brownsville  (340).  After  reading  this 
volume,  one  who  has  not  lived  in  this  country  would  be  surprised 
to  come  here  and  learn  that  we  have  such  a  large  group  of  citizens 
about  wliom  so  much  was  said  and  to  whom  so  much  was  meted 
out  during  this  stormy  period. 

The  Journal  of  John  Woolman.    Edited  from  the  Original  Manu- 
scripts, with  a  Biographical  Introduction,  by  Amelia   Mott 
GuMMERE.     (New  York:  The  Macmillan  Company.    1922     Pp 

From  the  time  of  the  first  publication  of  the  Journal  of  this 
unusual  man  in  1774,  he  has  been  known  to  the  world  as  one  of  its 
greatest  characters  because  of  his  wonderful  spirituality  and  deep 
interest  in  all  members  of  the  human  family  regardless  of  race  or 
condition.     It  is  decidedly  fitting  then  that  this  valuable  record 

350  JouBNAL  OF  Neoeo  Histoby 

should  be  reprinted  and  be  made  accessible  to  a  larger  number 
who  will  find  it  an  inspiration  to  those  engaged  in  reform  and 
valuable  in  throwing  light  on  heroism  in  the  past. 

The  author,  however,  has  another  reason  for  the  new  edition 
of  this  Journal,  inasmuch  as  there  are  many  editions  of  the  Journal 
proper,  and  a  multitude  of  publications  in  which  Woolman's  Essays 
and  appreciations  of  him  appear.  The  reason  is  that  the  descend- 
ants of  Woolman  "have  recently  made  accessible  by  presenting  to 
learned  institutions,  which  are  glad  to  guard  them,  the  manuscripts 
of  the  Journal  and  of  most  of  his  Essays  as  well  as  letters,  marriage 
certificates  of  the  family  and  other  documents." 

The  work  is  arranged  in  chapters  presenting  his  immigrant 
ancestry,  his  youth  and  education,  his  marriage,  his  participation 
in  the  slavery  discussion,  his  Indian  journey,  his  experiences  as 
schoolmaster,  his  final  tours,  and  his  death.  The  book  is  well 
printed  and  neatly  bound.  It  contains  thirty-three  interesting 
illustrations  which  decidedly  enhance  the  value  of  the  book. 
Among  these  should  be  noted  the  portrait  of  John  Woolman,  his 
birthplace,  his  home,  important  pages  from  his  manuscripts,  and 
his  grave. 

Chapter  IV,  which  deals  with  the  endeavors  of  John  "Woolman 
to  emancipate  and  elevate  the  Negro  race,  will  be  of  unusual  help  to 
students  of  Negro  history.  Around  Woolman  and  his  coworkers, 
beginning  in  1760,  centered  the  effort  toward  the  liberation  of 
the  race,  which  engaged  the  attention  of  the  Friends,  especially 
during  the  struggle  for  the  rights  of  man.  Carrying  the  doctrine 
of  natural  rights  to  its  logical  conclusion,  Woolman  was  among 
the  first  to  insist  that  Negroes  had  a  natural  right  to  be  free  both 
in  body  and  mind.  To  this  end,  therefore,  he  bore  testimony 
against  slavery  wherever  he  traveled  in  this  country  and  abroad; 
and  down  to  the  close  of  his  career  he  lived  up  to  the  conviction 
that  aU  men  are  bom  equal  before  God  "Who  hath  made  of 
one  blood  all  nations  that  dwell  upon  the  face  of  the  earth." 


Miss  A.  H,  Smith,  who  during  the  last  seven  years  has  served 
the  Association  as  Office  Manager  and  Assistant  to  the  Secretary- 
treasurer,  has  recently  retired  from  the  service.  The  Association 
is  immeasurably  indebted  to  Miss  Smith  for  the  faithful  service 
which  she  has  rendered  the  cause,  and  it  will  be  difficult  to  fill  her 
position.  Although  offered  opportunities  for  earning  a  larger 
stipend  elsewhere,  she  remained  with  the  Association  because  of 
her  interest  in  the  work  which  it  has  been  prosecuting.  The  As- 
sociation wishes  her  well  and  earnestly  hopes  that  she  may  be 
welcomed  in  some  other  field  of  usefulness. 

The  American  Catholic  Historical  Society  has  announced  a  prize 
of  $100  offered  by  this  society  for  the  best  historical  essay  on  the 
subject  "Catholic  Missionary  Work  Among  the  Colored  People  of 
the  United  States  (1776-1866)."  The  prize  money  has  been 
donated  by  the  Most  Rev.  Sebastian  Messmer,  Archbishop  of  Mil- 

All  persons  who  are  interested  in  the  welfare  and  progress  of 
the  Negroes  of  the  United  States  are  eligible  to  compete  for  the 
prize  under  the  conditions  specified  by  the  Society.  The  condi- 
tions are : 

The  subject  must  be  treated  within  the  years  specified  (1776- 
1866).  Although  the  history  of  Catholic  missionary  activity 
among  the  colored  people  of  this  country  during  the  colonial  period 
is  not  barred,  the  essays  shall  be  judged  upon  their  value  for  the 
years  1776-1866. 

The  essays  shall  be  typewritten  on  one  side  of  the  page  only, 
end  shall  not  be  less  than  4,000  words  and  may  not  exceed  8,000 

All  essays  entered  for  the  prize  must  be  received  by  the  Secre- 
tary of  the  American  Catholic  Historical  Society,  715  Spruce 
Street,  Philadelphia,  not  later  than  December  1,  1923. 

Each  essay  shall  be  signed  with  a  motto  and  accompanied  with 
a  sealed  envelope  marked  on  the  outside  with  the  same  motto  and 
enclosing  the  writer's  name  and  address. 

The  committee  appointed  to  act  as  judges  for  the  competition 


352  Journal  of  Negro  History 

is  composed  of :  the  Rev.  Peter  Guilday  of  the  Catholic  University 
of  America,  Washington,  D.  C,  Chairman ;  Dr.  Lawrence  Flick,  of 
Philadelphia;  Thomas  F,  Meehan,  associate-editor  of  "America," 
New  York ;  Dr.  T.  W.  Turner,  of  Howard  University,  Washington, 
D.  C. ;  and  the  Rev.  Joseph  Butsch,  S.  S.  J.,  of  St.  Joseph's  Semi- 
nary, Baltimore. 

An  arrangement  has  been  made  whereby  contestants  seeking 
guidance  in  research  work  in  the  preparation  of  the  essay  can 
obtain  aid  by  writing  to  the  chairman  of  the  committee  of  judges. 

The  Oxford  University  Press  has  published  a  history  of  The 
Partition  and  Colonization  of  Africa,  by  Sir  Charles  Lucas.  This 
work  includes  the  territorial  rearrangement  resulting  from  the 
recent  war. 

Through  East  and  ^Yest,  London,  S.  B.  de  Burgh  Edwardes  has 
published  The  History  of  Mauritius,  1507-1914.  A  Mauritian 
himself,  he  has  had  every  opportunity  to  write  a  readable  and 
interesting  volume. 

The  History  of  the  Conquest  of  Egypt,  North  Africa,  and 
Spain,  by  Ibn  Abd  Al-Hakam,  is  now  being  published  through  the 
Yale  University  Press  in  its  Oriental  Series.  This  work  is  the 
earliest  account  of  Mohammedan  conquests  extant.  It  is  edited 
from  manuscripts  in  London,  Paris  and  Leyden,  by  Professor 
Charles  C.  Torrey. 

Herbert  Jenkins,  London,  has  brought  out  The  Mad  Mullah  of 
Somaliland,  by  Douglas  J.  Jardine,  an  officer  of  the  British  ad- 
ministration in  Somaliland  from  1916  to  1921. 

The  Royal  Chronicle  of  Ahyssinia,  an  extract  translated  from 
the  Ethiopic  Chronicle  in  the  British  Museum  by  H.  Weld  Blun- 
dell,  has  been  published  by  the  Cambridge  University  Press. 




5TH  AND  6TH,   1923 

The  conference  enjoyed  the  welcome  and  hospitality  of  Morgan 
College  where  the  morning  and  afternoon  sessions  were  held  on  the 
5th,  and  of  the  Baltimore  Public  School  System,  the  Druid  Hill 
Avenue  Branch  of  the  Young  Men's  Christian  Association,  and  the 
Bethel  A.  M.  E.  Church,  which  provided  for  the  day  sessions  of 
the  second  day  and  for  both  evening  sessions.  The  success  of 
the  meeting  was  due  in  a  large  measure  to  the  cordial  reception 
given  the  Association  by  Dr.  J.  0.  Spencer,  the  president  of 
Morgan  College,  and  by  Dr.  Pezavia  0 'Council  and  Dean  L,  M. 
McCoy.  Mr.  Mason  A.  Hawkins,  Dr.  Frederick  Douglass,  Dr.  A. 
L.  Gaines,  and  Mr.  S.  S.  Booker  willingly  cooperated  in  the  same 
way  with  respect  to  the  meetings  in  the  city. 

The  first  session  was  held  at  Morgan  College  on  Thursday  at 
11  A.  M.  Dr.  Pezavia  0  'Connell,  who  presided,  delivered  an  able 
address  impressing  upon  the  students  of  the  institution  the  im- 
portance of  the  work  undertaken  by  the  Association.  He  was  then 
followed  by  the  officers  of  the  Association,  who  outlined  in  detail 
the  history,  the  purposes,  and  the  achievements  of  the  organization. 
Other  remarks  were  later  made  by  Miss  Georgine  Kelly  Smith,  who 
proved  to  be  a  very  effective  speaker  in  directing  attention  to 
certain  neglected  aspects  of  Negro  life. 

At  3  o'clock  in  the  afternoon,  the  officers  of  the  Association 
assembled  with  the  faculty  of  Morgan  College  in  a  joint  meeting 
to  acquaint  the  instructors  with  the  plans  and  procedure  of  the 
Association  and  to  secure  their  cooperation  in  the  extension  of 
this  work  through  some  local  organization  which  may  direct  its 
attention  to  the  collection  of  Negro  folklore  and  to  the  preserva- 
tion of  the  records  of  the  Negroes  in  Maryland.  Much  interest 
was  aroused  and  steps  were  taken  to  effect  such  an  organization. 

The  first  evening  session  was  held  at  8  o'clock  on  the  same  day 
at  Bethel  A.  M.  E.  Church  in  the  city  of  Baltimore.  On  this 
occasion  the  Spring  Conference  was  welcomed  to  the  city  by  Mr. 
Mason  A.  Hawkins,  the  principal  of  the  Colored  High  School,  who 


354  JouENAL.  OF  Negro  History 

briefly  discussed  the  importance  of  the  work  and  the  opportunity 
which  it  afforded  Baltimore  for  becoming  better  informed  as  to 
■what  is  being  done  for  the  uplift  of  the  race  through  this  scientific 
effort.  The  response  to  this  address  was  made  by  President  G.  A. 
Edwards  of  Kittrell  College.  He  made  a  favorable  impression 
upon  the  audience  by  directing  attention  to  the  importance  of 
securing  the  cooperation  of  a  large  number  of  persons  with  an 
intelligent  interest  in  the  race.  He  emphasized  the  fact  that  such 
a  significant  task  should  not  be  neglected  and  left  to  the  sacrifices 
of  the  few  persons  of  vision  who,  without  adequate  support,  may 
unduly  toil  in  the  prosecution  of  this  task  and  thus  fail  to  succeed 
because  of  bearing  a  burden  which  should  be  shared  by  all. 

The  principal  addresses  of  the  evening  were  delivered  by  Dr. 
J.  0.  Spencer,  Dr.  C.  G.  Woodson  and  Dean  Kelly  Miller.  Dr. 
Spencer  discussed  the  subject  "Thinking  Straight  on  the  Color 
Line."  He  deprecated  the  lack  of  information  on  the  Negro  and 
showed  how,  in  the  midst  of  ignorance  as  to  the  actual  achieve- 
ments of  the  race,  persons  have  learned  to  hate  men  of  color  because 
they  are  not  acquainted  with  them.  To  remedy  the  situation,  then, 
there  must  be  a  universal  interest  in  the  study  of  Negro  life  and 
history.  Dr.  Woodson  sketched  in  brief  the  record  of  the  Negro 
from  time  immemorial,  mentioning  the  important  contributions 
of  the  race  to  civilization  and  the  necessity  for  the  study  of 
this  record  to  inspire  the  race  with  a  hope  of  greater  achievement 
and  to  disabuse  the  mind  of  the  white  man  of  the  idea  of  racial 
superiority.  Dean  Kelly  Miller  spoke  on  the  worthwhile  qualities 
of  the  Negro.  His  aim  was  to  show  that  every  race  has  in  it 
certain  elements  which  are  peculiar  to  that  group,  thus  giving  it 
in  this  respect  a  chance  to  make  a  contribution  which  can  come 
from  no  other  source.  He,  therefore,  emphasized  the  importance 
of  encouraging  the  best  in  all  races  and  giving  to  each  every 
possible  opportunity  for  development.  Among  the  exceptional 
qualities  which  he  ascribed  to  the  Negro  are  patience,  meekness, 
the  gift  of  music,  the  sense  of  art,  response  to  religion,  and 
brotherly  love. 

The  first  session  of  the  second  day  was  held  at  1  o'clock  P.  M., 
at  the  Douglass  Theatre.  This  occasion  was  that  of  an  assembly  of 
the  members  of  the  Association,  together  with  the  students  and  fac- 
ulty of  the  Baltimore  Colored  High  School  and  other  members  of  the 
local  teaching  corps.  The  important  address  was  delivered  by 
Professor  John  R.  Hawkins,  president  of  the  organization.     The 

Proceedings  of  the  Spring  Conference  355 

purpose  of  this  discourse  was  to  outline  in  the  simplest  and  most 
effective  way  possible  the  necessity  for  children  knowing  more 
about  themselves  and  about  their  ancestors.  The  speaker  en- 
deavored to  show  how  the  achievements  of  the  Negro  have  been 
omitted  from  the  textbooks  studied  by  the  youth  in  the  public 
schools  80  as  to  impress  the  Negro  with  the  superiority  of  other 
races  and  the  so-called  inferiority  of  their  own.  These  students 
were  urged,  therefore,  to  avail  themselves  of  the  opportunity  to 
become  acquainted  with  this  neglected  aspect  of  history  through 
supplementary  reading  in  the  home,  in  clubs,  and  in  literary 
circles.  How  this  would  stimulate  the  mind  of  the  youth  and 
inspire  them  to  greater  achievement  through,  knowledge  of  the 
distinguished  service  of  others  of  their  race  in  the  past,  was 
eloquently  emphasized  by  the  speaker.  Some  remarks  were  made 
by  President  G.  A.  Edwards  of  Kittrell  College  and  Dr.  C.  G. 

At  3  o'clock  P.  M.  the  Spring  Conference  assembled  at  the 
Druid  Hill  Avenue  Branch  of  the  Y.  M.  C.  A.  The  purpose  of 
this  meeting  was  to  discuss  Negro  history  from  the  various  points 
view  of  the  teacher,  the  minister,  the  editor,  and  the  professional 
man.  The  discussion  was  opened  by  Mr.  L.  S.  James,  principal  of 
the  Maryland  Normal  and  Industrial  School,  with  a  brief  survey  of 
the  situation  in  ]\Iaryland  with  respect  to  the  development  of 
the  Negro  schools  and  especially  in  the  matter  of  teaching  Negro 
history.  His  very  informing  address  was  well  received.  Then, 
appeared  Mr.  G.  Smith  Wormley  of  the  Myrtilla  Miner  Normal 
School,  "Washington,  D.  C.  He  presented  Negro  history  from  the 
point  of  view  of  the  teacher.  He  treated  the  matter  pedagogically, 
setting  forth  the  purpose  of  the  teaching  of  history  and  at  the  same 
time  urging  upon  his  hearers  the  necessity  for  teaching  the  lead- 
ing facts  of  Negro  history  by  correlating  them  with  the  topics  of 
history  as  it  is  now  offered  in  the  schools.  His  illuminating  dis- 
course made  a  favorable  impression  and  evoked  discussions  from 
various  persons. 

Among  those  prompted  to  speak  were  Mrs.  N.  F.  Mossell  of 
Philadelphia,  who  spoke  of  history  from  the  point  of  view  of  the 
child,  showing  how  necessary  it  is  to  supply  the  young  people  with 
elementary  reading  matter,  serving  as  a  stepping  stone  to  the 
teaching  of  the  more  difficult  phases  of  the  record  of  the  Negro. 
Dr.  George  F.  Bragg  explained  how  the  minister  is  concerned 
with  the  history  of  the  Negro  and  briefly  summarized  the  important 

356  Journal  of  Negro  History 

contributions  of  Negro  ministers  not  only  to  the  history  of  the 
race,  but  to  the  preservation  of  its  records.  Mrs.  Ella  Spencer 
Murray  expressed  her  interest  in  the  work  and  outlined  how  each 
one  might  aid  the  movement  by  soliciting  members  and  subscribers 
throughout  the  country,  especially  among  white  persons  who  may 
be  neutral  or  indifferent  as  to  what  the  Negro  has  achieved. 

Mr.  S.  W.  Rutherford,  the  Secretary-Treasurer  of  the  Associa- 
tion, delivered  a  short  address  to  point  out  how  by  organized  effort, 
with  courage  and  concentration,  the  movement  may  be  further 
promoted  and  the  work  expanded  throughout  the  country  by  co- 
operating with  the  Director  who  should  and  must  have  the  support 
of  all  interested  in  the  Negro.  Bishop  John  Hurst  then  mentioned 
briefly  the  necessity  for  more  publicity,  and  expressed  his  interest 
in  securing  a  fund  adequate  to  the  employment  of  a  staff  to 
popularize  the  work  and  increase  the  income  of  the  Association. 
Dr.  Thomas  E.  Brown,  of  Morgan  College,  delivered  a  short  ad- 
dress emphasizing  the  necessity  for  a  more  scientific  study  of  the 
records  and  directing  attention  to  the  undeveloped  possibilities  of 
the  race  which  cry  for  the  attention  of  those  scholars  with  the 
necessary  training  to  treat  the  records  of  this  group  scientifically. 

The  session  closed  with  an  address  by  Ex-Congressman  Thomas 
E.  Miller  of  South  Carolina.  He  proved  to  be  an  attractive  figure 
at  the  sessions  of  the  Association,  being  a  man  well  advanced  in 
years,  one  who  served  in  local  offices  during  the  Reconstruction  and 
finally  reached  Congress.  He  restricted  his  remarks  to  the  discus- 
sion of  the  free  Negro  prior  to  the  Civil  War,  the  class  to  which 
he  himself  belonged.  He  asserted  that  many  free  Negroes  were 
never  known.  Because  of  the  fear  of  disclosing  their  status,  many 
of  them  were  recorded  as  slaves.  In  the  same  way,  some  of  their 
important  achievements  were  kept  in  secret  for  the  reason  that 
freedom  of  conduct  in  their  case  was  proscribed  by  public  opinion. 
Furthermore,  he  stated  that  they  were  often  misunderstood  be- 
cause they  are  reported  as  having  hated  the  slaves.  He  then 
explained  the  relations  of  the  free  Negro  to  the  whites  and  to  the 
slaves,  bringing  out  how  they  were  subjected  to  punishment  for 
associating  with  the  bondmen,  and,  therefore,  became  estranged 
from  them  by  the  processes  of  safeguarded  instruction  in  the  caste 
system  of  the  South. 

At  the  second  evening  session  at  the  Bethel  A.  M.  E.  Church, 
two  important  addresses  were  delivered.  The  first  one,  ' '  Hints  on 
Race  History  from  an  Old  Book"  by  Prof.  Leslie  P.  Hill,  proved 

Peoceedings  of  the  Spring  Conference  357 

to  be  unusually  instructive.  This  discourse  was  based  upon  Abbe 
Gregoire  s  Litterature  des  Ncgres,  intended  to  emphasize  the  un- 
usual achievements  of  the  Negroes  as  a  proof  that  because  of  their 
superior  intellect  they  were  entitled  to  freedom.  Mr.  Hill  directed 
very  little  attention  to  the  characters  well  known  in  this  country, 
restricting  his  remarks  largely  to  those  who  rose  to  prominence  in 
European  countries  where  their  records  have  never  been  studied 
to  the  extent  of  impressing  the  historians  of  this  country. 

Then  appeared  Dr.  William  Pickens,  the  Field  Secretary  for 
the  National  Association  for  the  Advancement  of  Colored  People, 
who  delivered  a  very  enthusiastic  address  on  "  Negro  History  in 
the  Public  Schools."  Dr.  Pickens  showed  not  only  how  unin- 
formed the  white  people  are  as  to  the  record  of  the  Negro,  but  that 
the  race  itself  knows  very  little  of  what  it  has  achieved.  He  briefly 
mentioned  a  number  of  instances  connected  with  the  local  history 
of  Maryland,  of  which  the  people  themselves  living  on  the  very 
soil  on  which  these  events  took  place,  knew  nothing.  He  then 
adversely  criticized  the  attitude  of  the  public  school  systems  toward 
the  teaching  of  Negro  history  and  urged  his  hearers  to  take 
seriously  the  question  of  memorializing  and  influencing  educational 
authorities  to  incorporate  into  their  courees  of  study  textbooks  on 
Negro  history  setting  forth  the  truth  as  it  is.  He  urged,  moreover, 
that  in  the  meantime  while  such  a  battle  is  being  waged  to  reach 
this  end,  the  Negroes  themselves  should  through  clubs  and  literary 
circles  make  a  systematic  study  of  such  works. 




Vol.  VIII.,  No.  4  October,  1923. 


Abram  Hannibal,  more  commonly  known  as  the  ''Negro 
of  Peter  the  Great,"  or  ''Peter's  Negro"  was  one  of  the 
quaintest  figures  in  the  Russian  history  of  eighteenth  cen- 
tury. From  slavery  to  mastership  and  riches  his  peculiar 
fate  led  him.  He  began  his  life  under  yoke  in  Africa  but 
died  a  general  and  wealthy  landlord  of  the  frozen  North, 
leaving  his  children  and  grandchildren  to  be  prominent  in 
the  politics  and  literature  of  Russia. 

The  name  of  "Peter's  Negro,"  no  doubt,  belongs  to  his- 
tory; but  comparatively  little  is  known  of  him,  many  im- 
portant details  of  his  biography  being  still  incomplete  and 
unascertained.  Outside  of  the  Russian  sources  there  were 
Hannibal's  o^\ti  memoirs,  written  in  French,  but  not  long 
before  his  death  Abram  burned  them.  About  the  begin- 
ning of  nineteenth  century  there  appeared  Hannibal's  biog- 
raphy in  German,  written  by  a  certain  Helbig  {Russische 
Gunstlinge),  but  hardly  anything  trustworthy  could  be 
learned  from  this  work.  As  far  as  we  know,  nothing  was 
ever  published  of  "Peter's  Negro"  in  English.  Even  the 
Russian  sources  are  mainly  official  records  and  dry  docu- 
ments, not  of  a  great  historical  value,  if  of  any.  The  best 
information  about  Hannibal  may  be  obtained  from  the  un- 



360  Journal  of  Negro  History 

finished  novel  The  Negro  of  Peter  the  Great  (1827)  and 
other  works  by  Pushkin,  Hannibal's  great-grandson,  the 
famous  writer  and  founder  of  the  modern  school  of  nine- 
teenth century  literature  in  Russia. 

Some  of  later  historians  doubt  many  of  the  assertions 
of  Pushkin,  holding  that,  great  as  the  poet  was,  he  neverthe- 
less was  subject  to  the  common  human  weakness  of  exag- 
gerating one's  forefathers'  merits.  The  important  facts  of 
his  career,  however,  have  been  learned.  In  the  year  1705, 
as  for  many  years  before  and  after,  thousands  of  Negroes 
were  made  prisoners  and  brought  from  the  interior  to  the 
coasts  of  the  dark  continent  to  be  shipped  to  the  slave  mar- 
kets of  America  and  Asia.  Among  others  there  was  a  little 
boy,  barely  eight  years  of  age,  whom  Arabs,  his  masters, 
called  Ibrahim.  He  was  sold  to  the  Turks  and,  the  same 
year,  brought  to  Constantinople.  His  fate  could  be  easily 
guessed.  He  w^as  wanted  for  a  slave  in  a  rich  Turkish 
home,  or  perhaps  an  overseer  in  a  harem.  He  became  the 
latter  after  being  brutally  handled. 

But  at  that  time  Savva  Ragusinsky,  a  Russian  noble- 
man, after  a  short  stay  in  Turkey  was  preparing  to  leave 
for  his  home  country.  He  wanted  to  bring  a  present  of 
some  kind  to  his  Czar  Peter,  the  stern  reformer  of  Russia, 
afterwards  called  **the  Great."  Ragusinsky  knew  the 
Czar's  love  for  curious  objects  and  thought  nothing  better 
than  two  live  black  boys  could  win  him  Peter's  favor.  The 
Czar  had  at  his  court  many  servants  of  different  races, 
brought  to  St.  Petersburg  from  all  over  the  world,  but 
only  a  few  Negroes  were  among  them. 

Ragusinsky  bought  or,  according  to  some  documents, 
simply  stole  several  Negro  boys,  who  only  a  few  months 
before  were  brought  to  the  slave-shacks  of  Sultan  Selim 
II.  One  of  these,  who  started  on  a  long  trip  to  their  new 
Northern  home,  was  the  little  Ibrahim.  The  Czar  liked  the 
rare  present  and  almost  from  the  beginning  distinguished 
Ibrahim  from  other  slaves.  The  boy  was  unusually  bright 
for  his  age.     He  quickly  picked  up  the  Russian  language 

Abram  Hannibal  361 

and  alphabet,  and  before  long  began  to  feel  that  the  court 
of  St.  Petersburg  was  his  home.  Peter  kept  Ibrahim  in 
his  apartments,  and  Ibrahim  accompanied  the  Czar  in  lat- 
ter's  journeys  through  Russia  and  foreign  countries,  not  as 
a  servant  but  rather  as  one  of  the  family.  When  because 
of  the  war  of  Russia  with  Sweden,  Peter  had  to  be  con- 
stantly with  his  army,  Ibrahim  shared  with  his  friend- 
master  all  the  dangers  and  privations  of  bivouac-life. 

In  1707,  while  in  Vilno,  Ibrahim  was  christened  in  Ortho- 
dox faith.  His  father-in-Christ  was  the  Czar  himself,  who 
was  assisted  in  this  task  by  the  Polish  queen,  the  wife  of 
King  Augustus.  The  little  Negro  was  given  a  new  name  of 
Peter,  but  he  cried  and  refused  to  answer  it,  preferring  his 
old  Arab  name.  The  Russians,  however,  could  not  get  used 
to  the  strange  Oriental  sound  and  called  him  Abram  instead 
of  Ibrahim.  His  surname — Hannibal — was  given  to  him 
by  the  Czar  in  memory  of  the  famous  Carthaginian. 

In  1716  Peter  went  on  his  second  tour  of  Western  Eu- 
rope with  Hannibal  as  usual  accompanying  him.  Among 
other  countries  they  visited  France,  and  here  Hannibal  was 
left  to  begin  his  studies  more  seriously.  Hannibal,  then 
19  years  old,  showed  fair  capacity  for  mathematics  and 
physics.  Supplied  by  the  Czar  with  money  and  other 
means  of  assistance,  he  entered  a  military  engineering 
academy  in  Paris,  where  he  remained  for  about  2  years. 
He  joined  the  French  army  afterwards,  which  was  then 
engaged  in  the  war  against  Spain,  and  participated  in  many 
battles.  He  proved  to  be  an  able  engineer  and  a  good  com- 
mander. In  one  of  the  battles — ' '  an  underground  combat, ' ' 
as  it  is  related  in  an  eighteenth  century  document — Han- 
nibal was  wounded  in  the  head,  but  not  dangerously,  and 
was  brought  back  to  Paris. 

Hannibal  stayed  in  Paris  till  1723,  communicating  with 
the  Czar  by  letters  which  are  preserved  in  St.  Petersburg 
state  archives.  Hannibal  complained  in  them  that  the 
Russian  treasury  and  Peter  himself  almost  completely  for- 
got about  him,  compelling  him  to  live  in  great  poverty  on 

362  Journal  of  Negro  History 

the  verge  of  starvation.  If  he  could  obtain  no  allowance, 
Hannibal  wrote,  he  would  have  to  walk  from  Paris  to  Mos- 
cow, begging  alms  on  the  way. 

Pushkin,  however,  asserts  that  his  great-grandfather 
while  in  Paris  was  well  provided  for  by  Peter  with  money 
and  had  an  unlimited  opportunity  to  mingle  in  the  French 
society  circles.  His  appearance  aroused  curiosity;  his 
A\its,  education  and  war  record  respect.  His  black  curls 
with  a  bandage  over  them — his  wound  did  not  heal  com- 
pletely for  a  long  time — could  be  frequently  seen  amid 
white  vdgs  of  the  French  aristocrats.  He  was  well  received 
in  the  best  salons  of  Paris,  being  everywhere  known  as  ''le 
negre  du  Czar."  The  Duke  of  Orleans,  who  as  a  regent 
ruled  over  France  at  that  time,  favored  Hannibal  with  his 
attention  and  when  in  1723  Peter  asked  Abram  to  come  back 
to  Russia,  the  regent  tried  to  persuade  Hannibal  to  remain 
in  France,  promising  him  a  brilliant  military  and  court 
career.  Although  the  Czar  permitted  Hannibal  to  take  his 
own  choice  between  France  and  Russia,  the  young  man  de- 
cided to  return  to  St.  Petersburg. 

Thus,  contradicting  Hannibal's  complaining  letters, 
Pushkin  describes  his  great-grandfather's  sojourn  in  Paris. 
He  evidently  based  his  testimony  on  the  family  accounts, 
which  as  almost  any  such  narratives  contain  perhaps  more 
fiction  than  history.  But,  on  the  other  hand,  the  historians, 
who  contradict  Pushkin,  have  no  other  proof  of  their  infal- 
libility than  these  Paris  letters  of  Hannibal. 

Reliable  information  concerning  Hannibal  after  his  re- 
turn to  Russia,  however,  is  not  so  scarce.  Immediately 
upon  his  arrival  in  St.  Petersburg,  Hannibal  was  appointed 
an  officer  in  the  Preobrajensky  Guard-regiment.  He  be- 
came an  "engineer-lieutenant"  in  the  "Bombardir-com- 
pany,"  of  which  the  Czar  himself  Avas  the  captain.  But 
another  crisis  w^as  reached  when,  according  to  Pushkin,  it 
appeared  about  that  time  that  Hannibal  was  a  son  of  a 
Negro  king,  and  his  elder  brother  came  from  Africa  to  St. 
Petersburg  vnih.  an  offer  of  a  rich  ransom  for  Hannibal. 

Abeam  Hannibal  363 

He  met  with  no  success,  as  Hannibal  himself  did  not  want 
to  return  to  the  village  on  the  banks  of  Niger. 

The  situation  did  not  seem  so  favorable  for  Hannibal, 
moreover,  when  in  1725  Peter  the  Great  died.  Menshikov, 
former  pie-peddler  and  life-long  favorite  of  the  late  Czar, 
elevated  himself  to  the  position  of  sole  adviser  to  Peter's 
widow,  Catherine  I.  He  alone  virtually  ruled  Russia  for 
several  years.  When  Catherine  I  died  and  young  Peter  II 
sat  on  the  throne,  Menshikov  wanted  the  boy  Emperor  to 
marry  his  younger  daughter.  He  feared,  however,  his  nu- 
merous enemies  at  the  court,  among  whom  he  counted  Hanni- 
bal, the  young  Czar's  instructor  in  mathematics.  Conse- 
quently Hannibal  was  exiled  to  Siberia  in  1727.  Officially 
he  was  neither  arrested  nor  deprived  of  his  rank  and  prop- 
erty. He  w^as  sent  to  the  borders  of  China  with  orders  to 
"transfer  from  the  towTi  of  Selenginsk  into  another  loca- 
tion" and  to  "take  an  exact  measure  of  the  Great  Chinese 
Wall."  Menshikov  evidently  thought  that  the  severe  Si- 
berian frosts  would  sooner  or  later  kill  the  young  African. 
But  Hannibal  being  strong  and  healthy  and  accustomed 
from  childhood  to  cold  climate  withstood  the  hardships  of 
the  Siberian  wilderness. 

In  1729  he  fled  from  Selenginsk  but  was  arrested  before 
he  could  reach  Europe.  His  papers  and  valuables  taken 
from  him,  Hannibal  was  brought  to  Tomsk,  a  city  in  West- 
ern Siberia.  There  for  some  time  he  was  kept  as  a  pris- 
oner, although  his  salary  as  an  officer  was  still  paid.  In 
January  of  1730  he  was  freed  but  not  permitted  to  leave 
Siberia.  He  was  appointed  to  serve  in  the  Tomsk  garrison 
as  a  major. 

Soon  afterwards  St.  Petersburg  was  the  scene  of  a  new 
coup-d'etat.  Anna,  a  niece  of  Peter  the  Great,  was  sum- 
moned to  the  Russian  throne.  Counts  Dolgorukov  became 
the  most  powerful  persons  at  the  court.  New  hopes  were 
aroused  in  Hannibal,  as  the  Dolgorukovs  were  his  friends, 
since  the  time  he  and  they  lived  in  France.  Hannibal  with- 
out asking  or  waiting  for  permission  left  Tomsk,  but  when 

364  Journal  of  Negro  History 

some  time  after  he  arrived  in  St.  Petersburg  he  learned 
that  Dolgorukovs  lost  their  influence  as  suddenly  as  they 
won  it,  that  they  were  arrested,  and  after  all  their  estates 
had  been  confiscated,  were  exiled  to  Siberia.  Great  dan- 
gers threatened  Hannibal  as  a  Dolgorukovs'  friend.  Biron, 
erstwhile  a  stable  man  but  now  adviser  and  lover  of  Anna, 
sought  HannibaPs  life.  Field-marshal  Minich,  commander- 
in-chief  of  the  Russian  army,  however,  saved  Hannibal  by 
granting  him  a  commission  to  inspect  fortifications  in  Lif- 
land.  In  a  little  village  near  Reval,  then,  Hannibal  lived 
in  obscurity  for  10  years,  fearing  every  day  the  arrival  of 
a  messenger  from  St.  Petersburg  with  an  order  for  his 

Before  his  coming  to  Lifland,  Hannibal  married  the 
beautiful  daughter  of  a  Greek  captain  by  the  name  of 
Dioper.  Almost  from  the  first  day  of  their  marriage  he 
began  to  suspect  her  infidelity.  The  birth  of  a  white  baby- 
girl  proved  his  suspicions  and  justified  their  divorce.  The 
Russian  court  sent  Hannibal's  wife  to  a  convent,  and  Han- 
nibal married  Christina-Regina  Von-Sheberg,  a  Lifland  Ger- 
man woman.  She  gave  birth  to  five  sons,  all  of  whom  were 
mulattoes.  His  first  wife's  white  daughter  he  kept  in  his 
home,  gave  her  a  good  education  and  a  considerable  dowry, 
but  never  permitted  her  to  come  before  his  eyes. 

In  November  of  1741  Elisabeth,  a  daughter  of  Peter 
the  Great,  was  proclaimed  the  Empress  of  Russia.  She  im- 
mediately returned  from  exile  all  former  favorites  of  her 
father.  Among  these  was  Hannibal,  on  whom  she  showered 
various  honours.  He  was  given  the  post  of  commandant 
of  city  of  Reval.  About  ten  villages  Avith  several  thousands 
of  white  slaves  were  presented  to  him  as  his  personal  prop- 
erty. He  was  decorated  \\  medals  and  ribbons  and 
asked  to  come  to  St.  Petersburg.  He  preferred,  however, 
to  stay  on  his  newly  acquired  estates. 

Other  important  tasks  awaited  him.  In  1752  he  was 
commissioned  to  fix  the  Russo-Swedish  boundary  line.  In 
1756  he  was  one  of  the  members  of  the  Ladoga  Canal  Com- 

Abram  Hannibal  365 

mission  and  also  of  the  Commission  for  the  Inspection  of 
the  Russian  Forts.  In  1762,  with  a  rank  of  general  in  chief, 
he  retired  from  public  service,  being  then  an  old  man. 
His  services  were  remembered  at  the  court  for  a  long  time 
after,  however,  for  once  Catherine  II  asked  him  to  com- 
pose a  plan  of  St.  Petersburg-Moscow  Canal. 

During  his  last  years  he  was  frequented  by  spells  of 
sudden  fear,  the  consequence  of  his  old  sufferings.  He  was 
especially  afraid  of  the  sound  of  a  bell,  imagining  that  his 
persecutors  were  coming  again.  Under  one  of  these  spells, 
as  we  mentioned  above,  he  destroyed  his  memoirs  not  long 
before  he  died  in  1782  in  his  eighty-fifth  year. 

He  did  not  want  his  sons  to  join  the  army  or  be  at  the 
court,  fearing  they  might  be  involved  there  in  dangerous 
intrigue.  Ivan,  his  elder  son,  joined  the  army  against  his 
will,  and  only  after  he  won  fame  as  a  brilliant  victor  over 
the  Turks  could  he  on  his  knees  receive  his  aged  father's 
forgiveness.  Ivan  Hannibal  distinguished  himself  not  only 
as  a  strategist  but  as  a  man  of  a  great  personal  valor  as 
well.  He  participated  in  the  Russian  naval  expedition  to 
G-reece  and  captured  Navarin,  a  Turkish  fort,  in  1770.  He 
was  the  hero  of  the  Chesma  battle.  Returning  to  Russia 
in  1779  he  founded  the  city  of  Kherson  in  the  Ukraine,  of 
which  he  was  appointed  a  governor.  Later  Ivan  Hannibal 
quarreled  with  Count  Potemkin,  lover  of  Catherine  the  Great 
and  ruler  of  Southern  Russia.  The  Empress  defended 
Hannibal  and  decorated  him,  but  he  left  the  service  and 
went  to  live  in  one  of  his  numerous  estates.  There  in  1801 
he  died. 

His  brother  Ossip  (Joseph)  was  a  naval  officer  in  the 
Black  Sea  Fleet  and  for  several  years  navigated  the  Medi- 
terranean. Of  other  sons  of  Abram  Hannibal  very  little  is 
known.  Ossip 's  daughter  Nadejda,  a  Creole  of  striking 
beauty,  married  Pushkin,  of  an  ancient  Russian  noble  fam- 
ily. In  1799  a  son  was  born  to  them  and  named  Alexander, 
who  later  won  fame  as  the  greatest  poet  of  Russia.  He 
was  killed  in  1837,  while  duelling  with  a  diplomat  over 

366  Journal,  of  Negro  History 

the  honor  of  Pushkin's  wife,  who  was  not  worth  her  great 
husband's  noble  love. 

WTiile  all  the  works  of  Pushkin  could  be  bound  together 
in  one  volume,  thousands  of  books  have  been  written  on  him 
and  on  what  he  created.  Numerous  monuments  are  erected  in 
his  honor  all  over  Russia ;  special  magazines  entirely  dedi- 
cated to  him  are  published;  and  in  famous  paintings  by 
distinguished  Russian  artists  are  pictured  different  periods 
of  Pushkin's  short  life.  When  you  look  at  these  paintings, 
black  curls,  olive  skin  and  thick  lips  speak  to  you  of  Push- 
kin's race.  He  himself  was  proud  of  it,  all  but  worshipping 
his  great-grandfather  in  many  of  his  verses. 

Albert  Parry 

TO  THE  GULF  STATES  FROM  1830  TO  1850 

The  migration  of  Negroes  to  the  Gulf  States,  during  the 
years  1830  to  1850,  was  from  the  point  of  view  of  the  Ne- 
groes themselves  wholly  involuntary.  The  blacks,  being 
at  that  time  preponderately  slave,  accompanied  their  mas- 
ters to  new  homes  in  the  South  and  Southwest  or  constituted 
the  traffic  of  the  domestic  slave  trade.  Explanation  of 
their  migration  must  be  sought,  therefore,  not  in  any  un- 
rest that  may  have  been  manifested  by  the  Negroes,  but 
rather  in  the  causes  that  underlay  the  movement  of  the 
masters  to  new  homes,  and  that  enabled  the  domestic  slave 
trade  to  become  a  profitable  enterprise. 

This  migration,  which  in  some  ways  assumed  a  peculiar 
aspect,  bears  a  definite  relation  to  three  general  circum- 
stances. In  the  first  place,  there  was  a  comparative  de- 
cline in  the  productiveness  of  the  seaboard  border  slave 
States.  In  the  second,  the  accessibility  to  the  new  lands 
and  practically  virgin  soils  of  Alabama,  Mississippi,  and 
Louisiana  invited  the  migration  of  innumerable  planters  / 
from  the  border  States  to  this  new  region.  Finally,  the 
rapidly  increasing  demand  of  the  planters  of  the  Gulf 
region  for  slave  labor  with  which  to  cultivate  cotton  and 
other  native  products  tremendously  stimulated  the  domes- 
tic slave  trade. 

Although  the  seaboard  border  States,  led  by  Virginia, 
sent  south  the  bulk  of  the  slaves,  it  must  not  be  thought  that 
the  migration  was  alone  from  these  States.  In  fact,  as 
early  as  1840,^  not  only  Virginia,  Maryland,  the  District 
of  Columbia,  and  Delaware,  but  also  North  Carolina  be- 
came slave-exporting  areas.  Later,  too,  when  the  impover- 
ishment of  her  lands  made  impossible  the  further  extension 

1  Hammond,  The  Cotton  Industry,  I,  53  (cited  from  Slavery  and  the  In- 
ternal Slave  Trade,  12). 


368  Journal  of  Negro  History 

of  cotton  culture,  South  Carolina  joined  with  these  other 
States  and  Georgia  in  exporting  slaves  to  Alabama,  Missis- 
sippi, Louisiana,  and,  after  1845,  to  Texas. 

The  decline  in  the  productiveness  of  some  of  the  sea- 
board border  slave  States  has  been  ascribed  to  various 
causes.  The  failure  to  rotate  crops  and  the  lack  of  proper 
and  sufficient  fertilizer  necessary  to  prevent  an  impoverish- 
ment of  the  soil  some  hold  to  be  primary  causes.  The  al- 
most complete  dependence  upon  unskilled,  unintelligent 
slave  labor,  the  conviction  prevalent  everywhere  in  slave 
territory  that  such  labor  made  that  of  white  men  dishonor- 
able, together  with  the  failure  to  develop  fully  the  manu- 
facturing facilities  at  hand,  have  been  also  generally  ad- 
vanced to  explain  the  decline,  particularly,  of  Maryland 
and  Virginia. 

The  chief  agricultural  staple  of  these  States  was  to- 
bacco. The  characteristic  soil  of  the  region — a  sandy 
loam — while  warm  and  stimulating  was  easily  exhausted,^ 
especially  when  the  planters  had  improper  and  inefficient 
fertilizer,  traceable  in  some  measure  to  a  numerical  defi- 
ciency of  live  stock,  and  the  incessant  culture  of  tobacco, 
without  crop  rotation.  The  price  of  tobacco,  moreover, 
was  throughout  the  years  from  1818  to  1840  exceedingly 
low  and,  at  the  same  time,  the  newer  States  of  Kentucky, 
Tennessee,  and  Missouri,  as  well  as  the  Carolinas  and 
Georgia,  were  producing  large  quantities  of  tobacco.  The 
net  result  in  Virginia  and  Maryland,  therefore,  was  to 
make  the  culture  of  the  plant  exceedingly  unprofitable.^ 
It  is  held  that  the  soil-exhausting  character  of  tobacco  cul- 
ture, together  with  the  falling  prices  of  the  plant,  consti- 
tuted the  dominant  factors  in  the  decrease  in  value  of  agri- 
cultural lands  of  Virginia  from  $206,000,000  in  1816  to 
$80,000,000  in  1829." 

2  Emerson,  Geographical  Influences  in  American  Slavery,  18  (Bulletin, 
Amer.  Geographical  Society,  xliii). 

3  Collins,  The  Domestic  Slave  Trade,  23  (cited  from  Hunt  'a  Merchants ' 
Magazine,  vi,  473). 

*  Ibid.,  26. 

Movement  of  Negroes  to  the  Gulf  States  369 

If  the  impoverishment  of  the  land  through  tobacco  cul- 
ture was  one  factor  in  the  declining  productivity  of  Vir- 
ginia and  Maryland,  the  almost  complete  use  of  unskilled 
Negro  slave  labor,  particularly  in  the  former  State,  was 
decidedly  another.  Not  only  was  slave  labor  costly,  in  that 
the  non-producers,  as  well  as  the  constant  workers,  had 
to  be  provided  for,  but  also  because  of  the  overwhelming 
ignorance  and  inertia  of  such  labor.  '  *  The  grand  secret  of 
the  difference  between  free  labor  and  slave  labor,"  wrote 
a  former  Virginia  resident  to  the  New  York  Times,  **is 
that  the  latter  is  without  intelligence  and  without  motive. ' ' " 
A  large  tobacco  planter  of  Virginia  adds  to  this  his  testi- 
mony that  the  slave 's  incapacity  to  perform  duties  complex 
in  nature,  or  requiring  the  least  intelligence,  precluded  the 
cultivation  there  of  the  finer  grades  of  tobacco.^  While, 
therefore,  the  Negro  slave  was  tractable  and  capable  of 
hard  work,  he  was,  without  strict  supervision,  a  most  un- 
productive worker.  The  universal  employment  of  the  slave 
despite  his  ignorance  and  inertia  doubtless  furnishes  one 
clue  to  the  failure  of  Virginia  to  exploit,  in  a  reasonable 
degree,  her  manufacturing  resources.'^ 

This  costly  failure  has  been  ascribed  also  to  the  reluc- 
tance of  white  labor  to  perform  any  duties  to  which  slaves 
might  be  assigned.  Slave  owTiers  and  white  laborers  held 
in  mutual  repugnance  the  employment  of  white  men  at  such 
tasks.  According  to  Olmsted,'  slave  owners  have  held  that 
the  poor  whites  would  refuse  to  do  such  work  if  possible, 
and,  if  compelled  to  submit,  would  do  only  so  much  as  they 
found  absolutely  necessary.  Under  all  circumstances  they 
do  such  work  reluctantly  and  ''will  not  bear  driving.'' 
' '  They  cannot  be  worked  to  advantage  with  the  slaves,  and 
it  is  inconvenient  to  look  after  them,  if  you  work  them 
separately. ' ' 

The  natural  consequence  of  the  policy  thus  pursued  by 

5  Olmsted,  Cotton  Kingdom,  II ;  App.  C,  382. 

«76id.,  89. 

''Ibid.,  365  (cited  from  the  Lynchburg  Virginian,  date  not  given). 

8  Ibid. 

370  Journal,  of  Negro  History 

Virginia  was,  despite  the  fact  of  her  early  commaud  over 
greater  wealth  and  a  larger  population  than  the  other 
States,  to  force  her  to  descend,  in  part,  from  her  former 
high  estate."  A  comparison  of  values  of  the  agricultural 
lands  of  Virginia  and  Pennsylvania,  in  1850,  shows  those  of 
the  latter,  although  of  smaller  acreage,  to  have  a  larger  sale 
value  an  acre  and  a  larger  total  value.  A  similar  compari- 
son between  Virginia  and  New  Jersey  gives  the  same  result. 

That  the  conditions  stated  as  obtaining  in  1850  had  long 
existed  there  seems  to  be  no  lack  of  evidence.  Thomas 
Marshall  made,  in  the  Virginia  legislature  of  1831- '32, 
searching  and  detailed  statements  of  the  declining  wealth 
and  productivity  of  the  State.^°  Such  conditions  as  he  pic- 
tured made  iDlain  that  the  planters  of  Virginia  must  either 
improve  their  lands  by  rehabilitating  the  soil,  acquiring 
better  farming  implements,  and  improving  their  plow  ani- 
mals,^^  or  migrate  to  the  more  promising  lands  elsewhere, 
or  sell  their  slaves.  The  records  show  that  by  some  plant- 
ers one  or  another  of  these  methods  was  adopted.  More- 
over, Maryland,  a  sister  State  of  Virginia,  because  of  the 
exhaustion  of  her  soil  by  tobacco  culture,  found  essential 
to  her  relief  the  same  procedure.'^-  With  reference  to 
Maryland,  the  census  of  1840  shows  an  actual  decrease  over 
that  of  1830  in  the  slave  population  ^^  of  the  commonwealth. 

To  what  parts,  then,  did  these  slaves  go?  The  theatre 
of  the  largest  expansion  of  slavery^*  was  the  "Western 
Cotton  Belt,"  the  section  which  shall  be  herein  considered, 
comprehending  parts  of  Alabama,  Mississippi,  Louisiana, 
and  Eastern  Texas.  The  chief  distinction  between  the 
soils  of  these  States  constituting  the  Atlantic  Coastal  Plain 
from  Virginia  to  South  Carolina  and  those  of  the  ''Western 
Cotton  Belt"  is  the  occurrence  of  extensive  limestone  belts 

9  Ibid.,  II,  364-5,  367,  369,  303-4;  I,  11,  35.  See  also  App.  A2,  Cen- 
sus of  1850. 

10  Ambler,  Sectionalism  in  Virginia,  193. 

11  Phillips,  American  Negro  Slavery,  185. 

12  De  Bow 's  Review,  x,  654. 

13  Compendium,  Seventh  Census,  1850,  84. 

14  Emerson,  op.  cit.,  118. 

Movement  of  Negroes  to  the  Gulp  States         371 

in  the  latter.  ''The  soils  in  these  limestone  belts  are 
largely  residual,  calcareous  and  usually  have  a  humus  con- 
tent, which  gives  the  soil  its  black  color "  "—hence  the 
name  ''Black  Belt."  The  soils  of  these  belts  contain  much 
clay  and  require  careful  preparation,  but  they  are  durable 
and  extremely  fertile.  Moreover,  an  excellent  water  navi- 
gation '^  extending  well  into  the  region  constituted  an  ad- 
ditional factor  in  the  extension  of  the  cotton  culture  and  of 
Negro  slavery  into  this  territory. 

According  to  Phillips,"  the  lands  of  the  "Western  Cot- 
ton Belt,"  most  preferred  in  the  early  period,  lay  in  two 
main  areas,  the  soils  of  both  of  which  were  more  lasting 
and  fertile  than  those  in  the  interior  of  the  Atlantic  States. 
' '  One  of  these  areas  formed  a  crescent  across  south-central 
Alabama,  "vsith  its  western  horn  reaching  up  the  Tombigbee 
Eiver  into  northeastern  Mississippi."  The  soil  of  this 
area  was  of  black  loose  loam.  Everyivhere  it  was  thickly 
matted  with  grass  and  weeds,  except  where  there  was  vis- 
ible "limestone  on  the  hill  crests  and  prodigious  cane  brakes 
in  the  valleys."  This  tract  known  locally  as  the  prairies 
or  "Black  Belt"  was  smaller  than  the  other  which  extended 
along  the  Mississippi,  on  both  sides,  from  northern  Ten- 
nessee and  Arkansas  to  the  mouth  of  the  Red  Eiver.  This 
tract  contained  broad  alluvial  bottoms,  as  well  as  occasional 
hill  districts  of  rich  loam,  the  latter  being  especially  notice- 
able around  Natchez  and  Vicksburg.  The  broadest  expanse 
of  these  bottoms,  the  Yazoo-Mississippi  Delta,  received  but 
few  migrants  prior  to  the  middle  "thirties."  The  planters 
seem  to  have  settled  first  in  the  bottoms,  w-hile  the  other 
choice  lands  were  competed  for  by  the  large  and  smaller 
planters,  as  well  as  the  poor  farmers. 

These  lands  were  not  only,  by  soil  and  climate,  ideally 
suited  to  the  production  of  cotton,  but  they  were  reasonably 
cheap  in  price.  As  late  as  1849  there  was  much  unculti- 
vated, though  fertile  agricultural  land  in  each  of  the  cotton- 

16  76id.,  171. 
le/fck?.,  118. 

17  Phillips,  op.  cit.,  173. 

372  Journal  of  Negro  History 

growing  States.  At  that  time  the  total  acreage  and  the 
area  in  use  in  several  of  the  Gulf  States  were  listed  as 
follows :  ^* 

gtate                                                      Total  No.  of  Acres  Acrea  Owned 

Alabama     32,462,080  15,911,520 

Louisiana     29,715,840  6,263,822 

Mississippi     30,174,080  15,811,650 

There  was  under  these  circumstances  small  wonder  that 
there  migrated  planters  from  the  worn-out  lands  of  the  sea- 
board slave  States,  including  the  less  fertile  districts  of 
Georgia,"  and  parts  of  Kentucky  and  Tennessee.  In  the 
absence  of  statistics  giving  the  exact  number  of  slaves  mi- 
grating thus  with  their  o^vners,  the  estimates  of  contempo- 
raries and  of  later  writers  may  be  serviceable.  The  Vir- 
ginia (Wheeling)  Times  said^°  that  intelligent  men  of  that 
day  estimated  the  number  of  slaves  exported  from  Vir- 
ginia, during  the  year  1836,  to  .be^ 'K0,000,  of  whom  two- 
thirds  (80,000)  were^rried  south  by  their  masters.  The 
Quarterly  Anti-Slavery  Magazine  (vol.  ii,  411,  July,  1837) 
gives  the  Natchez  Courier  as  the  authority  for  the  estimate 
that  during  1836  as  many  as  250,000  slaves,  some  of  whom 
were  accompanied  by  their  masters,  were  transported  from 
the  older  slave  States  to  Alabama,  Mississippi,  Louisiana, 
and  Arkansas.^^  P.  A.  Morse,  of  Louisiana,  writing  in 
1857,  says  that  'Hhe  augmentation  of  slaves  within  the  cot- 
ton States  was  caused  mostly  by  the  migration  of  slave 
owners."  On  the  basis  of  sources  accessible  to  him,  Morse 
estimated  that  three-fifths  of  the  slaves  removed  from  the 
border  States  to  the  farther  South,  from  1820  to  1850,  mi- 
grated mth  their  masters."  Accepting  the  "three-fifths 
estimate ' '  of  Morse,  Collins  has  made  deductions  which  in- 
dicate that  approximately  15,900  slaves  went  south  annu- 
ally mth  their  masters  during  the  decade  from  1830  to 

18  De  Bow,  op.  cit.,  vii,  166. 

19  Hammond,  op.  cit.,  I,  53. 

20  Collins,  op.  cit.,  52. 

21  Ibid.,  52. 

22  Ibid.,  62. 

Movement  of  Negroes  to  the  Gulf  States  373 

1840;  while  during  the  next  decade  the  annual  migration 
was  about  9,000." 

One  of  these  migrant  planters,^*  who,  in  1835,  left  his 
tidewater  estale  in  Gloucester  County,  Virginia,  was  Col- 
onel Thomas  S.  Dabney.  Prompted  by  the  necessities  of 
his  family  to  seek  more  favorable  soil,  he  sought  land  in 
Alabama,  Louisiana,  and  Mississippi,  finally  settling  in  the 
one  last  mentioned.  Colonel  Dabney  carried  with  him  more 
than  two  hundred  slaves,  established  himself  on  a  planta- 
tion of  four  thousand  acres,  and  each  year  contrived,  by 
clearances,  to  put  under  cultivation  an  additional  hundred 
acres.  Planters  of  this  type,  with  large  numbers  of  slaves 
and  sufficient  funds  to  extend  their  holdings,  tended  to  con- 
centrate both  slaves  and  lands  in  a  few  hands. 

If  the  demand  for  new  lands  brought  great  numbers  of 
slaves  southward  during  the  years  from  1830  to  1850,  there 
were  also  at  work  forces  which  caused  many  other  slaves  to 
be  exported  in  the  domestic  slave  traffic.  The  extension 
of  the  cotton  culture  in  the  more  southern  States,  the  in- 
creased exportation  of  cotton,  the  advancing  profits  there- 
from, the  development  of  large  sugar  plantations  in  Louisi- 
ana, and  the  decreased  average  working  life  of  the  slave 
created  among  the  planters  of  this  region  an  extraordinary 
demand  for  slave  labor.  At  the  same  time  such  seaboard 
States  as  raised  tobacco  were  suffering  from  a  depression 
in  the  tobacco  markets.  The  African  slave  trade,  more- 
over, had  been  legally  suppressed,  thus  rendering  the  sea- 
board and  other  border  slave  States  the  sole  legal  source 
of  supply  for  the  slave  labor  required  by  the  lower  South. 

The  income  of  some  of  the  plantations  on  these  fresh 
lands  was  immense."  It  was  considered  not  uncommon 
for  a  planter  in  Mississippi  or  Louisiana  to  receive  an  in- 
come of  thirty  thousand  dollars  annually.  Extremely  pros- 
perous planters,  it  is  said,  took  in  from  $80,000  to  $120,000 
in  a  single  year.     The  enormous  profits  arising  from  such 

83  Ibid.,  64,  65. 

2«  Phillips,  op.  cit.,  179,  180. 

28  Collins,  op.  cit.,  27. 

374  Journal  of  Negro  History 

investments  in  the  face  of  the  unusual  demand  for  slaves 
enabled  prices  of  bondmen  to  rise  inordinately  high.  Thus 
it  was  that  a  prime  field  hand,  a  Negro  between  the  ages 
of  twenty  and  thirty  years,  could  command  a  price  varying 
from  five  hundred  to  twelve  hundred  dollars,""  and,  in  some 
cases,  fourteen  hundred  dollars  or  more.  In  fact,  slave 
traders  rapidly  grew  rich  from  the  traflSc.  One  is  reported 
as  having  earned  thirty  thousand  dollars  in  a  few  months, 
while  Franklin  and  Armfield,  members  of  a  firm  with  head- 
quarters in  Alexandria,  are  said  to  have  earned  more  than 
thirty-three  thousand  dollars  in  a  single  year.^" 

The  effect  of  the  grooving  demand  for  labor,  reflected  in 
the  high  prices  being  offered  for  slaves,  tended  to  concen- 
trate the  interest  of  the  Virginia  planter  on  his  slaves,  as 
it  had  been  hitherto  concentrated  on  tobacco.^®  Prompt 
and  efficient  methods  were  devised  whereby  Negroes  were 
made  ready  for  the  market.^®  Olmsted  was  informed  by  a 
slave-holder  that  in  the  States  of  Maryland,  Virginia,  North 
Carolina,  Kentucky,  Tennessee,  and  Missouri,  as  much  at- 
tention was  paid  to  the  breeding  and  growth  of  Negroes  as 
had  been  hitherto  given  to  the  breeding  of  horses  and 
mules. ^° 

As  to  the  precise  number  of  slaves  exported  in  response 
to  the  high  prices  paid  for  them,  there  seems  to  be  no  con- 
clusive evidence.  Kesort  must  be  had,  therefore,  to  esti- 
mates of  contemporaries  and  later  writers.  The  New  Or- 
leans Advertiser  of  January  21,  1830