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1. The accomplishing of the primary education of the negro by the States themselves, and the further development of means and methods to this end, till all negroes are creditably trained in primary schools.
2. The largely increased support of schools aided by private benevolence, which shall supply teachers and preachers for the negro race.
3. The grounding of the vast majority of these teachers and preachers in common English studies and in the English Bible, with the further opportunity for any of them to carry on their studies as far as they may desire.
4. The great extension of industrial education for both men and women. 5. The encouragement of secondary schools established, maintained, and conducted by negroes.
6. The purchase of homesteads by as many negro households as possible, with an increased number of decent houses to replace the old one-room cabin.
7. The establishment by the Government of postal savings-banks, in which negroes can be encouraged to save their earnings until they can purchase homes. 8. The aid of public education by the National Government for the special benefit of those sections in which illiteracy most prevails.
9. The removal of all disabilities under which negroes labor by the sure forces of education, thrift, and religion.
HAMPTON NORMAL AND AGRICULTURAL INSTITUTE.
A pamphlet has been published giving a sketch of the twenty-two years' work of the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, Hampton, Va., a full and extended account of which is soon to be issued. As this institution has a very important part in the work of educating the colored race, having been one of the pioneer colored schools, and having at the present time nearly 1,000 students in attendance, 650 of whom are boarding pupils, it may be well to learn from this pamphlet something of the character which was so active in its establishment and also of the early history of the enterprise.
Dr. S. C. Armstrong, who has had charge of the institute from its foundation, was born in the Hawaiian Islands in 1839. His parents had been missionaries there for eight years at the time of his birth, and his father was the minister of public instruction from 1847 till the time of his death, in 1860. Dr. S. C. Armstrong, then a young man, left the islands and went to Williams College, Massachusetts, to complete his education, and he attributes whatever measure of success he has attained to the instruction there received from Dr. Mark Hopkins. When he undertook the work at Hampton his purpose was to put in operation there the same plan and system of education that he had become acquainted with in the Hawaiian Islands under his father's superintendence. His statement of the disordered condition of the country at that time shows that he had many serious difficulties to contend with.
"In March, 1866, I was placed by Gen. O. O. Howard, Commissioner of the Freedmen's Bureau, in charge of ten counties in eastern Virginia, with headquarters at Hampton, the great contraband camp, to manage negro affairs and to adjust, if possible, the relations of the races.
"Colored squatters by thousands and Gen. Lee's disbanded soldiers returning to their families, came together in my district on hundreds of abandoned farms which Government had seized and allowed the freedmen to occupy. There was irritation, but both classes were ready to do the fair thing. It was about a two years' task to settle matters by making terms with the landowners, who employed many laborers on their restored homes. Swarms went back on passes to the 'old plantation' with thirty days' rations, and nearly a thousand were placed in families in Massachusetts as servants through the agency of a 'home' in Cambridgeport, under charge of a committee of Boston ladies.
'Hardest of all was to settle the ration question; about 2,000, having been fed for years, were demoralized and seemed hopeless. Notice was given that in three months, on October 1, 1866, all rations would be stopped, except to those in hospital, for whom full provision was made. Trouble was expected, but there was not a ripple of itor a complaint that day. Their resource was surprising. The negro in a tight place is a genius.
"It was my duty every three months to personally visit and report on the condition of the ten counties; to inspect the bureau office in each in charge of an army officer; to investigate troubles and to study the relations of the races. The better class of whites were well disposed, but inactive in suppressing any misconduct of the lower class. Friendliness between the races was general, broken
only by political excitement, and was due, I think, to the fact that they had been brought up together, often in the most intimate way, from childhood; a surprise to me, for on missionary ground parents, with the spirit of martyrs, take every pains to prevent contact of their children with the natives around them.
"Martial law prevailed; there were no civil courts, and for many months the bureau officer in each county acted on all kinds of cases, gaining generally the confidence of both races. When martial law was over and the rest were everywhere discontinued, the military court at Hampton was kept up by common consent for about six months.
"Scattered families were reunited. From even Louisiana-for the whole South was mapped out, each county officered, and as a rule wisely administered-would come inquiries about the relatives and friends of one who had been sold to traders years before; and great justice and humanity were done in bringing together broken households.
"Gen. Howard and the Freedmen's Bureau did for the ex-slaves from 1865 to 1870 a marvelous work, for which due credit has not been given; among other things, giving to their education an impulse and a foundation, by granting three and a half millions of dollars for schoolhouses, salaries, etc., promoting the education of about a million colored children. The principal negro educational institutions of to-day, then starting, were liberally aided at a time of vital need. Hampton received over $50,000 through Gen. Howard for building and improve
"On relieving my predecessor, Capt. C. B. Wilder, of Boston, at the Hampton headquarters, I found an active, excellent educational work going on under the American Missionary Association of New York, which, in 1862, had opened, in the vicinity the first school for freedmen in the South, in charge of an ex-slave, Mrs. Mary Peake. Over 1,500 children were gathering daily; some in old hospital barracks-for here was Camp Hamilton, the base hospital of the Army of the James, where, during the war, thousands of sick and wounded soldiers had been cared for, and where now over 6,000 lie buried in a beautiful national cemetery. The largest class was in the Butler School Building, since replaced by the fine John G. Whittier Schoolhouse.
"Close at hand, the pioneer settlers of America and the first slaves landed on this continent; here Powhatan reigned; here the Indian was first met; here the first Indian child was baptized; here freedom was first given the slave by Gen. Butler's famous 'contraband' order; in sight of this shore the battle of the Monitor and Merrimac saved the Union and revolutionized naval warfare; here Gen. Grant based the operations of his final campaign. The place was casily accessible by railroad and water routes to the north, and to a population of 2,000,000 of negroes; the center of prospective great commercial and maritime development-of which Newport News, soon to have the largest and finest shipyard in the world, is beginning the grand fulfilment-and, withal, a place most healthful and beautiful for situation.
"I soon felt the fitness of this historic and strategic spot for a permanent and great educational work.
The suggestion was cordially received by the American Missionary Association, which authorized the purchase, in June, 1867, of Little Scotland, an estate of 125 acres (since increased to 190), on Hampton River, looking out over Hampton Roads.
"Not expecting to have charge, but only to help, I was surprised one day by a letter from Secretary E. P. Smith, of the American Missionary Association, stating that the man selected for the place had declined, and asking me if I could take it. I replied, 'Yes.'
"Till then my own future had been blind; it had only been clear that there was a work to do for the ex-slaves, and where and how it should be done.
"The thing to be done was clear; to train selected negro youth who should go out and teach and lead their people, first by example by getting land and homes; to give them not a dollar that they could earn for themselves; to teach respect for labor, to replace stupid drudgery with skilled hands; and to these ends, to build up an industrial system for the sake not only of self-support and intelligent labor, but also for the sake of character. And it seemed equally clear that the people of the country would support a wise work for the freedmen. I think so still.
"The missionary plan in Hawaii had not, I thought, considered enough the real need and weaknesses of the people, whose ignorance alone was not half the trouble. The chief difficulty was, with them, deficient character, as it is with
the negro. He is what his past has made him; the true basis of work for him and all men is the scientific one-the facts of heredity and surrounding: all the facts of the case.
"There was no enthusiasm for the manual-labor plan. People said, 'It has been tried at Oberlin and elsewhere, and given up; it don't pay.'
"Of course,' said I, 'it can not pay in a money way, but it will pay in a moral way, especially with the freedmen. It will make them men and women as nothing else will. It is the only way to make them good Christians.'
"The school has had from the first the good fortune of liberal-minded trustees, who accepted its unformulated, practical plan when it opened, in April, 1868, with 2 teachers and 15 pupils, and adopted my formal report of 1870, the year of its incorporation under a special act of the assembly of Virginia.
'By the act of incorporation the school became independent of any association or sect and of Government. It does work for the State and General Government, for which it receives aid, but is not controlled or supported by them.
"From the first it has been true to the idea of education by self help, and I hope it will remain so. Nothing is asked for the student that he can provide by his own labor, but the system that gives him this chance is costly. The school depends on charity for $60,000 a year; the student gets nothing but an opportunity to work his way. While the workshops must be made to pay as far as possible, instruction is as important as production.
"Steadily increasing, its full growth, just reached, is 650 boarding students, from twenty-four States and Territories, averaging 18 years of age, 136 of them Indians; 80 officers, teachers, and assistants, of whom half are in the eighteen industrial departments and shops; 300 children in the Whittier (primary) department.
"The school is maintained at a total annual cost of about $155,000. Deducting the labor payments of negro students (say $55,000), $100,000, which is $154 apiece, is the net annual cost to the public. This is provided, first, by annual appropriation from Virginia of $10,000, interest on the State Agricultural College land fund (act of Congress, 1862); second, by an appropriation of $20,000 by Congress for the maintenance of 120 out of our 136 Indians at $167 apiece; third, by an income of about $10,000 from our endowment fund (of $194,000) and from rents; fourth, by about $60,000 contributed by the people, in the form of $70 scholarships, donations for general purposes and occasional unrestricted legacies. The school is never closed, but reduced nearly one-half in the summer; many colored students go out to find work, and 60 or more Indian students have 'outings' among Massachusetts farmers.
"A great stimulus to this institute and to all like work has been the 16,000 negro free schools of the South-nearly 2,000 in Virginia alone-costing the exslave States nearly $4,000,000 a year in taxation.
"Northern charity, at the rate of about $1,000,000 a year, with liberal Southern State aid in some cases, is supplying over twenty strong normal and collegiate institutes, mostly under church auspices, where not far from 5,000 adult select negro youth of both sexes are being fitted to teach and lead their people-industrial education being more and more appreciated and introduced. The Slater fund has been a great stimulus to their technical training. The negro girl has proved a great success as a teacher. The women of the race deserve as good a chance as the men.
"So far it has been impossible to supply the demand for negro teachers. Schoolhouses and salaries, such as they are, are ready; but competent teachers are the great and pressing need, and there is no better work for the country than to supply them.
"But the short public school sessions, of from three to seven months, do not give full support, and skilled labor is the only resource of many teachers for over half the year. As farmers and mechanics they are nearly as useful as in the schoolroom. Hence the importance of industrial training.
"Hampton's 720 graduates, discounting 10 per cent as disappointing, with half that number of undergraduates, are a working force for negro and Indian civilization. To fit them for this field has cost, since April, 1868, the round sum of $1,350,000, not including endowments, of which over $500,000 is represented by the school's 'plant,' which is good for generations to come.
"Every year an account of funds received has been rendered in detail.
"It was not in the original plan of the school that any but negroes should be received, though the liberal State charter made no limit as to color; but when, in 1878, a 'Macedonian cry' came from some Indian ex-prisoners of war in Flor
ida-once the worst of savages-through Capt. R. H. Pratt, whose three years' wise management of them in Fort Marion had resulted in a wonderful change, seventeen were accepted at private expense, Bishop Whipple providing for five of them. The Hon. Carl Schurz, then Secretary of the Interior, was quick to appreciate the success of their first few months at Hampton, and sent us more Indians from the West; then Congress, on the strength of the results at Hampton, and of Capt. Pratt's proved capacity, appropriated funds to start the great work at Carlisle, where over five hundred Indian youth, under Capt. Pratt, are being taught the 'white man's way.'
"The annual Indian attendance at Hampton is now 136, of whom 120 are aided by Government, the rest by charity. The death rate, once alarming, has, for six years, been not quite one a year. Of the 345 returned Indians, but 25 are reported as unsatisfactory, but 4 of them bad; the rest are employed as farmers, catechists, preachers, teachers, mechanics, clerks, etc.; 35 seeking further education, 6 of them in Eastern normal schools and colleges, and 42 of the girls are married, in good homes.
"The old homesickness of Indians at eastern schools is nearly over. The three years' period at school, which was formerly too much like a prison term, is more and more ignored, and the idea of fitting for life, whatever time it takes, gains strength. Indians are no longer coaxed to come. Twice as many as we can take wish to come; yet the really desirable ones are not very many, and we do not care to increase our numbers. Our Indian work is illustrative rather than exhaustive.
In the twenty classes-of 1871 to 1890, inclusive-723 graduates have received diplomas, 280 young women and 443 young men. Of these, 25 are Indians-8 young women and 17 young men-the first Indians graduating in 1882.
"Of the 723 graduates, 604 report as teachers; 80, a trifle over 11 per cent, report failure to teach. Of these 80, 9 are Indians, which brings down the per cent of colored graduates failing to teach to almost exactly 10 per cent. That 16 out of the 25 Indian graduates have taught is a very good showing for them, considering the fewer opportunities to teach which have been open to them.
"Of 39 graduates (colored) we have been unable to obtain any report.
"The total number of those who report having other regular occupation than teaching is 271. Of these, 191 have taught as well. While the balance-413do not report other regular occupation than teaching, the great majority find employment as they can-at farming, trades, or service-between school terms, or cultivate their own land and keep house.
"The principal regular occupations reported besides teaching and the number reporting in each are as follows:
Of the young men:
Professions: Ministry, 16; law, 17; medicine, 6; total.
Agriculture (as an exclusive occupation).
In business for selves (merchants, etc., other than above)
In Government or civil service (U. S. Army, United States Department clerks, customhouse clerks, postal clerks and carriers, policemen, light-house keeper, county surveyor, superintendent of schools)
Bookkeepers and clerks, 13; treasurers, 3..
Trained nurse (2 colored, 1 Indian)
In business for selves (store, millinery, laundry, gardening)
Dressmaking and sewing .
Music (organist and singing).
Housekeeper (exclusively), but many more are keeping house for themselves.
At service (exclusively).....
35 16 4
"The total number of children reported as having been taught by our graduates is 129,475. This number is, of course, approximate.
"Some light on the frequent question as to the comparative mental endowment of black and 'colored' in the negro race is perhaps to be gathered from the unforeseen and rather striking result of an investigation of the distribution of the highest class honors since 1874, when they were first awarded.
"At Hampton, salutatory and valedictory are equal honors, the one for the young women, the other for the young men.
"Leaving out the Indian salutatorian of '86 and vale lictorian of '89, and one year when the programme was made up from graduates of previous years, we find that, of the fifteen colored girl salutatorians, four were black, three dark, seven light, and one apparently white.' Of the fifteen young men valedictorians, seven were black and one dark, and seven were light. In other words, of young women, seven were dark and eight light; of young men, eight were darkand seven light; which divides the honors as nearly equally as possible; fifteen to the dark and fifteen to the light. After the first decade of the school, investigation was made with a precisely similar result. That it should again appear over the whole period of seventeen years is surprising and seems significant.”