But lessons had to be gotten through somehow so with open books, making the final attempt to gather up loose ends in the translation, they waited for the recitation to commence. Miss Rhodes, the young Latin teacher, had observed the class during the three weeks of the new term. She had noted the fact that none of the class excelled the others, that all of them sometimes made brilliant recitations, all sometimes stumbled through passages in a way to cause the long deceased Virgil to blush with shame. The students could have explained that if she would always call upon them for the particular seven lines which had been their portion they could always be brilliant. However, they maintained a wise and discreet silence. Scientific observation and analysis is never wasted, however.
"Will the class please pass their Latin sentences to me?" Miss Rhodes requested at the beginning of the hour.
Eight pairs of eyes were instantly fixed on her in amazed consternation. Eight pairs of unwilling hands fumbled among papers and slowly gave up the one paper, which was the exact duplicate of every other paper. "Hurry, please, class. You may now write your translations of today's lesson for twenty minutes."
The clock ticked, eight industrious students concentrated and slaved over Dido's curse. Translations which sounded plausible enough when orally stumbled through did not look well when written. In the meantime Miss Rhodes looked through the sentences which they had given her. Her suspicions were confirmed. The class, unaware that they were harming only themselves, were daily copying their sentences from each other. Stolen glances at the young and pretty teacher informed the students that her mouth had tightened, her chin had suddenly become terrifyingly firm. After an eternity had passed the period came to an end.
"Class is dismissed. Please reassemble in this room this afternoon at 2.30," Miss Rhodes succinctly stated. Did they hear aright? Why, this afternoon was the afternoon of the game. It was incredible. Eight seniors and one of them the crack halfback of the senior team, not to be at their own game. It was not to be dreamed of. In vain they protested.
"If you expect to graduate, you will be here at 2.30. Cheaters deserve no consideration."
Half past two found the eight sad and wiser seniors again in the Latin room. Again they applied themselves to translating Latin into English, English into Latin, while in the distance they could hear the shouts of the football fans. The hours ticked by. The game was over, the Juniors winners in one of the closest games of years over the Seniors, who lost because of the absence of their halfback who sat translating Latin, failing his class in their need. He would never live down the shame.
Just before dismissing this extra session of the class, Miss Rhodes quietly said, "Let me tell you from experience that the ability to make a good bluff is a rare gift. Good bluffs are always founded on consistent hard work."
Slowly and sadly the Virgil class passed out of the room; realizing that the days of cooperative Virgil were relegated to the dim, suffering past.
THE BAND OF GIDEON
JOSEPH S. COTTER
The Band of Gideon roam the sky, The howling wind is their war-cry, The thunder's roll is their trump's peal, And the lightning's flash their vengeful steel. Each black cloud Is a fiery steed. And they cry aloud With each strong deed, "The sword of the Lord and Gideon."
And men below rear temples high And mock their God with reasons why, And live, in arrogance, sin and shame, And rape their souls for the world's good name. Each black cloud Is a fiery steed. And they cry aloud With each strong deed, "The sword of the Lord and Gideon."
The band of Gideon roam the sky And view the earth with baleful eye; In holy wrath they scourge the land With earthquake, storm and burning brand. Each black cloud Is a fiery steed. And they cry aloud With each strong deed, "The sword of the Lord and Gideon."
The lightnings flash and the thunders roll, And "Lord have mercy on my soul," Cry men as they fall on the stricken sod, In agony searching for their God. Each black cloud Is a fiery steed. And they cry aloud With each strong deed, "The sword of the Lord and Gideon."
And men repent and then forget That heavenly wrath they ever met, The band of Gideon yet will come And strike their tongues of blasphemy dumb. Each black cloud Is a fiery steed. And they cry aloud With each strong deed, "The sword of the Lord and Gideon."
THE HOME OF THE COLORED GIRL BEAUTIFUL
The Home of the Colored Girl Beautiful will reflect her. She will help her parents to buy a home that it may give her family more standing in the civic community. Taste and simplicity will rule, for the home will harmonize with the girl. If her parents are not particular about the trifles in the way of curtains, fences, and yards, then it must be her special task to make the home represent the beautiful in her, the God, for all that is beautiful and good comes from God.
Windows generally express the character of the occupants of a house. The day has passed when soiled or ragged lace curtains are tolerated. The cheaper simpler scrims and cheese cloths which are easily laundered are now used by the best people.
The Colored Girl Beautiful will study the possibilities of her home and will attempt to secure the restful effects for the eye. Too much furniture is bad taste. The less one has, the cleaner houses may be kept.
The ornate heavy furniture and the upholstered parlor sets are passing away because they are no longer considered good taste, besides they are too heavy for cleanliness and are harmful to the health of women who do their own work.
Furniture of less expensive model, with simple lines and of less weight is being selected. This may be paid for in cash instead of "on time," as has been the custom of many people in smaller towns and in the country districts.
The furniture sold by the payment houses always shows its source in its heaviness and shininess.
The wall paper should be selected as one would select a color for clothes, to harmonize with the color of the skin in all lights, and for service. Color schemes in decoration are being followed and we have no more stuffy parlors, often closed for days. Instead we have living rooms, with cleanable furniture, strong but light, entirely suitable for winter, and cool in summer. No one has a parlor now-a-days. The best room is generally a living room for the whole family. No more do we see enlarged pictures which good taste demands should be placed in bedrooms and private sitting rooms. The ten-cent stores have done a great deal of good in educating the poor, white and black alike. These stores have everywhere sold small brown art prints of many of the great paintings, to take the place of the gaudy dust-laden chromos and family pictures.
Pictures are hung low that they may be thoroughly dusted, as well as to give a near view of the subject.
Expensive carpets are also things of the past. Painted and stained floors with light weight rugs are more generally used. These may be cleaned and handled without giving the backache to women. Many colored girls boast of having painted their own floors and woodwork. Much of this has been learned in the boarding school.
A tawdry home expresses its mistress as do her clothes. Next to the kitchen a fully equipped bath room is now the most important room in the house. Health and sanitation are the topics of the hour and a colored girl should know how to put a washer on a faucet as well as her father or brother.
A house without books is indeed an unfurnished home. Good books are the fad now. They are everywhere in evidence in the up-to-date colored home. They are exhibited almost as hand-painted china was. In every inventory or collection one finds a Bible, a dictionary, and an atlas.
The times are changing and the colored people are changing with the times. Cleanliness and health are the watchwords, and "Order" is Heaven's first law.
THE KNIGHTING OF DONALD
LILLIAN B. WITTEN
"With spear drawn Sir Cedric rode steadily through the forest, while ever nearer and nearer came the dragon. Swift and sudden was the onslaught and great was the struggle, until finally Sir Cedric dismounted from his black charger and stood victor over the huge monster who had committed so many depredations against the country side."
Slowly and lingeringly Donald closed the book. The many-branched tree under which he lay changed into a grey stone castle with moat and drawbridge upon which through the day armored knights on prancing steeds rode from castle to village, always on missions of good to the towns and hamlets. Never did Donald tire of reading about Arthur, Galahad, Merlin and the others, but Launcelot, the Bold, was his favorite knight. As he read of their deeds his black eyes flashed, his nervous slim body quivered, the deep rich red flooded his brown cheeks. He was one of them, took part in their tournaments, rescued the lovely ladies and overcame wicked monsters for his king.
Of all the stories a never-to-be-forgotten one was of a little boy like himself who lived in a small cottage near a castle which harbored many knights. This little boy idolized them even as Donald did. One day as the knights were returning from a strenuous day's work, one, weary and worn, stopped at the cottage and asked for a drink of water. Eagerly the boy ran, filled his cup at the brimming spring, and gave it to the knight.
"Thank you, my little boy," smiled the man. "Already you are a knight for you have learned the lesson of service."
How Donald envied the boy. To serve a knight, he dreamed, even to see one. Would he had lived in the olden times when knighthood was in flower. But having been born centuries too late he tried in every way to live as the knights had lived. Daily he exercised, practiced physical feats, restrained himself from over indulgence, following out the program of those who would be knights. With shining eyes he would often repeat his motto, the motto of Arthur's knights: "Live pure, speak the truth, right the wrong, follow the Christ."
Thus dreaming Donald grew and everybody loved him. Dreamer though he was, he ever kept before him the ideal of service. Tense with interest in the exploits of the black knight, he was often tempted not to answer when his mother called him from his reading to go on errands. Only a second, however, would temptation last. Launcelot could never approve of a boy who acted dishonestly.
Working, playing, and dreaming, Donald grew into a lovable boy, adept in all of the sports of boyhood and with the manners of a prince. He had reached the last year in grammar school, the graduating class. Already the obligations of maturity were forcing themselves upon the boys and girls. They, for the first time in their school career, were an organized group. They were going to elect officers, dignified officers. Nominations had been many and enthusiasm surged around the youthful candidates, but the choice for president had narrowed itself down between Donald and a laughing-eyed girl with crinkly black hair. As usual there were more girls in the class than boys, but while the boys stood solidly as one behind the masculine candidate, there were a few girls who put their trust in manly courage rather than feminine charm and were disposed to break loose from the suffragette camp. Public opinion thus gave the election to Donald.
As the time for election drew near, the interest became more intense and the various camps campaigned vigorously, each striving to gain the majority vote. One day as the school was assembling in their usual room they were stopped by the sight of their principal questioning one of the members of the class.
"But this is your knife, isn't it?" sternly inquired the principal.
"Yes, sir," responded John, a trustworthy boy, the son of a widowed mother whom he helped by working after school hours.
"Mr. Starks found this knife underneath his broken window last night. It had evidently been dropped by the boy who, in climbing out of his cherry tree, accidentally smashed the window. You know that I announced last week that the next boy who was caught trespassing upon Mr. Starks' property would be suspended from school for the rest of the year. I am disappointed in you, John. This does not sound like you. Did you drop this knife last night?"
"No, sir," responded John.
"No? Well, speak up. Who had the knife?"
"I can't say, sir."
"But you must. This is a serious matter. One of the rules of the school has been broken." Then looking nervously around the room of girls and boys, the principal commanded: "Will the boy who dropped this knife last night speak, or shall I be forced to find out the culprit for myself?"
There was no answer. Every boy stood taut, his eyes steadfastly before him in the thick silence that followed.
"Very well," snapped the principal. "John, who had the knife yesterday?"
"I cannot say, sir," responded John unwillingly.
"You may do one of two things, either you will tell the name of the boy to whom you lent the knife or you may be suspended from school for the rest of the year."
The silence was more intense. One, two, three minutes passed.
"You are dismissed," said the principal.
Slowly John left the room. Three days passed. John's mother, much disturbed, bewailed the fact that he would lose this year out of his school life and, perhaps, would not have the opportunity of going again. John thought of the responsibility toward his mother and then of that toward the boy whose fault he was concealing. Was he doing right or was he doing the easiest thing in not telling?
On the fourth day John sought the principal. "If it is necessary to tell the name of the boy who had my knife before I can return to school, I will tell," he anxiously said.
"It certainly is necessary."
And John told.
There was great excitement in the graduating class. The traditions of centuries had been broken. One of their number had become a tattler. John resumed his school work, systematically and obviously shunned by the other boys.
But Donald reflected over the incident. "After all," he thought, "John did the bravest thing. It would have been easier to appear heroic and to sacrifice his mother for the sake of a boy who needed to be punished."
The next day Donald sought John, accompanied him to school, and showed the class that he regarded John as a hero instead of a tell-tale.
The boys divided into two camps, some following Donald's example, and others loudly denouncing him.
Donald's sponsorship of John cost him the presidential election just as he had foreseen, but he knew that he had lived up to the best within him and he was satisfied.
As he climbed into bed at the end of the day upon which he had been defeated and yet had gained a great victory, his mother tucked the covers closely around him, kissed him good-night, and lowered the light. Then she bent over him again and kissed him once more and whispered,
"My brave little knight."
A NEGRO EXPLORER AT THE NORTH POLE
MATTHEW A. HENSON
"Matthew A. Henson, my Negro assistant, has been with me in one capacity or another since my second trip to Nicaragua in 1887. I have taken him on each and all of my expeditions, except the first, and also without exception on each of my farthest sledge trips. This position I have given him primarily because of his adaptability and fitness for the work and secondly on account of his loyalty. He is a better dog driver and can handle a sledge better than any man living, except some of the best Esquimo hunters themselves.
"Robert E. Peary, Rear Admiral, U. S. N."
Exactly 40 deg. below zero when we pushed the sledges up to the curled-up dogs and started them off over rough ice covered with deep soft snow. It was like walking in loose granulated sugar. Indeed I might compare the snow of the Arctic to the granules of sugar, without their saccharine sweetness, but with freezing cold instead; you cannot make snowballs of it, for it is too thoroughly congealed, and when it is packed by the wind it is almost as solid as ice. It is from the packed snow that the blocks used to form the igloo-walls are cut.
At the end of four hours, we came to the igloo where the Captain and his boys were sleeping the sleep of utter exhaustion. In order not to interrupt the Captain's rest, we built another igloo and unloaded his sledge, and distributed the greater part of the load among the sledges of the party. The Captain, on awakening, told us that the journey we had completed on that day had been made by him under the most trying conditions, and that it had taken him fourteen hours to do it. We were able to make better time because we had his trail to follow, and, therefore, the necessity of finding the easiest way was avoided. That was the object of the scout or pioneer party and Captain Bartlett had done practically all of it up to the time he turned back at 87 deg. 48' north.
March 29, 1909: You have undoubtedly taken into consideration the pangs of hunger and of cold that you know assailed us, going Poleward; but have you ever considered that we were thirsty for water to drink or hungry for fat? To eat snow to quench our thirsts would have been the height of folly, and as well as being thirsty, we were continually assailed by the pangs of a hunger that called for the fat, good, rich, oily, juicy fat that our systems craved and demanded.
Had we succumbed to the temptations of the thirst and eaten the snow, we would not be able to tell the tale of the conquest of the Pole; for the result of eating snow is death. True, the dogs licked up enough moisture to quench their thirsts, but we were not made of such stern stuff as they. Snow would have reduced our temperatures and we would quickly have fallen by the way. We had to wait until camp was made and the fire of alcohol started before we had a chance, and it was with hot tea that we quenched our thirsts. The hunger for fat was not appeased; a dog or two was killed, but his carcass went to the Esquimos and the entrails were fed to the rest of the pack.
April 1, the Farthest North of Bartlett: I knew at this time that he was to go back, and that I was to continue, so I had no misgivings and neither had he. He was ready and anxious to take the back-trail. His five marches were up and he was glad of it, and he was told that in the morning he must turn back and knit the trail together, so that the main column could return over a beaten path.
He swept his little party together and at three P. M., with a cheery "Good-by! Good Luck!" he was off. His Esquimo boys, attempting English, too, gave us their "Good-bys."
The Captain had gone. Commander Peary and I were alone (save for the four Esquimos), the same we had been with so often in the past years, and as we looked at each other we realized our position and we knew without speaking that the time had come for us to demonstrate that we were the men who it had been ordained, should unlock the door which held the mystery of the Arctic. Without an instant's hesitation, the order to push on was given, and we started off in the trail made by the Captain to cover the Farthest North he had made and to push on over one hundred and thirty miles to our final destination.
Day and night were the same. My thoughts were on the going and getting forward, and on nothing else. The wind was from the southeast, and seemed to push on, and the sun was at our backs, a ball of livid fire, rolling his way above the horizon in never-ending day.
With my proven ability in gauging distances, Commander Peary was ready to take the reckoning as I made it and he did not resort to solar observations until we were within a hand's grasp of the Pole.
The memory of those last five marches, from the Farthest North of Captain Bartlett to the arrival of our party at the Pole, is a memory of toil, fatigue, and exhaustion, but we were urged on and encouraged by our relentless commander, who was himself being scourged by the final lashings of the dominating influence that had controlled his life. From the land to 87 deg. 48' north, Commander Peary had had the best of the going, for he had brought up the rear and had utilized the trail made by the preceding parties, and thus he had kept himself in the best of condition for the time when he made the spurt that brought him to the end of the race. From 87 deg. 48' north, he kept in the lead and did his work in such a way as to convince me that he was still as good a man as he had ever been. We marched and marched, falling down in our tracks repeatedly, until it was impossible to go on. We were forced to camp, in spite of the impatience of the Commander, who found himself unable to rest, and who only waited long enough for us to relax into sound sleep, when he would wake us up and start us off again. I do not believe that he slept for one hour from April 2 until after he had loaded us up and ordered us to go back over our old trail, and I often think that from the instant when the order to return was given until the land was again sighted, he was in a continual daze.
Onward we forced our weary way. Commander Peary took his sights from the time our chronometer-watches gave, and I, knowing that we had kept on going in practically a straight line, was sure that we had more than covered the necessary distance to insure our arrival at the top of the earth.
It was during the march of the 3d of April that I endured an instant of hideous horror. We were crossing a lane of moving ice. Commander Peary was in the lead setting the pace, and a half hour later the four boys and myself followed in single file. They had all gone before, and I was standing and pushing at the upstanders of my sledge, when the block of ice I was using as a support slipped from underneath my feet, and before I knew it the sledge was out of my grasp, and I was floundering in the water of the lead. I did the best I could. I tore my hood from off my head and struggled frantically. My hands were gloved and I could not take hold of the ice, but before I could give the "Grand Hailing Sigh of Distress," faithful old Ootah had grabbed me by the nape of the neck, the same as he would have grabbed a dog, and with one hand he pulled me out of the water, and with the other hurried the team across.
He had saved my life, but I did not tell him so, for such occurrences are taken as part of the day's work, and the sledge he safeguarded was of much more importance, for it held, as part of its load, the Commander's sextant, the mercury, and the coils of piano-wire that were the essential portion of the scientific part of the expedition. My kamiks (boots of sealskin) were stripped off, and the congealed water was beaten out of my bearskin trousers, and with a dry pair of kamiks, we hurried on to overtake the column. When we caught up, we found the boys gathered around the Commander, doing their best to relieve him of his discomfort, for he had fallen into the water, also, and while he was not complaining, I was sure that his bath had not been any more voluntary than mine had been.
It was about ten or ten-thirty A. M., on the 7th of April, 1909, that the Commander gave the order to build a snow-shield to protect him from the flying drift of the surface-snow. I knew that he was about to take an observation, and while we worked I was nervously apprehensive, for I felt that the end of our journey had come. When we handed him the pan of mercury the hour was within a very few minutes of noon. Lying flat on his stomach, he took the elevation and made the notes on a piece of tissue-paper at his head. With sun-blinded eyes, he snapped shut the vernier (a graduated scale that subdivides the smallest divisions on the sector of the circular scale of the sextant) and with the resolute squaring of his jaws, I was sure that he was satisfied, and I was confident that the journey had ended.
The Commander gave the word, "We will plant the Stars and Stripes—at the North Pole!" and it was done; on the peak of a huge paleocrystic floeberg the glorious banner was unfurled to the breeze, and as it snapped and crackled with the wind, I felt a savage joy and exultation. Another world's accomplishment was done and finished, and as in the past, from the beginning of history, wherever the world's work was done by a white man, he had been accompanied by a colored man. From the building of the pyramids and the journey to the Cross, to the discovery of the North Pole, the Negro had been the faithful and constant companion of the Caucasian, and I felt all that it was possible for me to feel, that it was I, a lowly member of my race, who had been chosen by fate to represent it, at this, almost the last of the world's great work.
WILLIAM WELLS BROWN
Benjamin Banneker was born in the State of Maryland, in the year 1732, of pure African parentage; their blood never having been corrupted by the introduction of a drop of Anglo-Saxon. His father was a slave, and of course could do nothing towards the education of the child. The mother, however, being free, succeeded in purchasing the freedom of her husband, and they, with their son, settled on a few acres of land, where Benjamin remained during the lifetime of his parents. His entire schooling was gained from an obscure country school, established for the education of the children of free negroes; and these advantages were poor, for the boy appears to have finished studying before he arrived at his fifteenth year.
Although out of school, Banneker was still a student, and read with great care and attention such books as he could get. Mr. George Ellicott, a gentlemen of fortune and considerable literary taste, and who resided near to Benjamin, became interested in him, and lent him books from his large library. Among these books were three on Astronomy. A few old and imperfect astronomical instruments also found their way into the boy's hands, all of which he used with great benefit to his own mind.
Banneker took delight in the study of the languages, and soon mastered the Latin, Greek and German. He was also proficient in the French. The classics were not neglected by him, and the general literary knowledge which he possessed caused Mr. Ellicott to regard him as the most learned man in the town, and he never failed to introduce Banneker to his most distinguished guests.
About this time Benjamin turned his attention particularly to astronomy, and determined on making calculations for an almanac, and completed a set for the whole year. Encouraged by this attempt, he entered upon calculations for subsequent years, which, as well as the former, he began and finished without the least assistance from any person or books than those already mentioned; so that whatever merit is attached to his performance is exclusively his own.
He published an almanac in Philadelphia for the years 1792, '93, '94, and '95, which contained his calculations, exhibiting the different aspects of the planets, a table of the motions of the sun and moon, their risings and settings, and the courses of the bodies of the planetary system. By this time Banneker's acquirements had become generally known, and the best scholars in the country opened correspondence with him. Goddard & Angell, the well-known Baltimore publishers, engaged his pen for their establishment, and became the publishers of his almanacs.
He knew every branch of history, both natural and civil; he had read all the original historians of England, France, and was a great antiquarian. With such a fund of knowledge his conversation was equally interesting, instructive, and entertaining. Banneker was so favorably appreciated by the first families in Virginia, that in 1803 he was invited by Mr. Jefferson, then President of the United States, to visit him at Monticello, where the statesman had gone for recreation. But he was too infirm to undertake the journey. He died the following year, aged seventy-two. Like the golden sun that has sunk beneath the western horizon, but still throws upon the world, which he sustained and enlightened in his career, the reflected beams of his departed genius, his name can only perish with his language.
THE NEGRO RACE
CHARLES W. ANDERSON
As a race, we have done much, but we must not forget how much more there is still to do. To some extent we have been given opportunity, but we must not cease to remember that no race can be given relative rank—it must win equality of rating for itself. Hence, we must not only acquire education, but character as well. It is not only necessary that we should speak well, but it is more necessary that we should speak the truth.
JOHN W. CROMWELL
Paul Cuffe was born in 1759 on the island of Cuttyhunk, near New Bedford, Massachusetts. There were four sons and six daughters of John Cuffe who had been stolen from Africa, and Ruth, a woman of Indian extraction. Paul, the youngest son, lacked the advantage of an early education, but he supplied the deficiency by his personal efforts and learned not only to read and write with facility, but made such proficiency in the art of navigation as to become a skillful seaman and the instructor of both whites and blacks in the same art.
His father, who had obtained his freedom and bought a farm of one hundred acres, died when Paul was about fourteen. When he was sixteen, Paul began the life of a sailor. On his third voyage he was captured by a British brig and was for three months a prisoner of war. On his release he planned to go into business on his own account. With the aid of an elder brother, David Cuffe, an open boat was built in which they went to sea; but this brother on the first intimation of danger gave up the venture and Paul was forced to undertake the work single-handed and alone, which was a sore disappointment. On his second attempt he lost all he had.
Before the close of the Revolutionary War, Paul refused to pay a personal tax, on the ground that free colored people did not enjoy the rights and privileges of citizenship. After considerable delay, and an appeal to the courts, he paid the tax under protest. He then petitioned to the legislature which finally agreed to his contention. His efforts are the first of which there is any record of a citizen of African descent making a successful appeal in behalf of his civil rights. On reaching the age of twenty-five he married a woman of the same tribe as his mother, and for a while gave up life on the ocean wave; but the growth of his family led him back to his fond pursuit on the briny deep. As he was unable to purchase a boat, with the aid of his brother he built one from keel to gunwale and launched into the enterprise.
While on the way to a nearby island to consult his brother whom he had induced once more to venture forth with him, he was overtaken by pirates who robbed him of all he possessed. Again Paul returned home disappointed, though not discouraged. Once more he applied for assistance to his brother David and another boat was built. After securing a cargo, he met again with pirates, but he eluded them though he was compelled to return and repair his boat. These having been made, he began a successful career along the coast as far north as Newfoundland, to the south as far as Savannah and as distant as Gottenburg.
In carrying on this business, starting in the small way indicated, he owned at different times besides smaller boats, "The Ranger," a schooner of sixty or seventy tons, a half interest in a brig of 162 tons, the brig "Traveller," of 109 tons, the ship "Alpha," of 268 tons and three-fourths interest in a larger vessel.
A few noble incidents may illustrate his resourcefulness, difficulties and success over all obstacles. When engaged in the whaling business he was found with less than the customary outfit for effectually carrying on this work. The practice in such cases was for the other ships to loan the number of men needed. They denied this at first to Cuffe, but fair play prevailed and they gave him what was customary, with the result that of the seven whales captured, Paul's men secured five, and two of them fell by his own hand!
In 1795 he took a cargo to Norfolk, Virginia, and learning that corn could be bought at a decided advantage, he made a trip to the Nanticoke River, on the eastern shore of Maryland. Here his appearance as a black man commanding his own boat and with a crew of seven men all of his own complexion, alarmed the whites, who seemed to dread his presence there as the signal for a revolt on the part of their slaves. They opposed his landing, but the examination of his papers removed all doubts as to the regularity of his business, while his quiet dignity secured the respect of the leading white citizens. He had no difficulty after this in taking a cargo of three thousand bushels of corn, from which he realized a profit of $1000. On a second voyage he was equally successful.
Although without the privilege of attending a school when a boy, he endeavored to have his friends and neighbors open and maintain one for the colored and Indian children of the vicinity. Failing to secure their active cooperation, he built in 1797 a schoolhouse without their aid.
Because of his independent means and his skill as a mariner, he visited with little or no difficulty most of the larger cities of the country, held frequent conferences with the representative men of his race, and recommended the formation of societies for their mutual relief and physical betterment. Such societies he formed in Philadelphia and New York, and then having made ample preparation he sailed in 1811 for Africa in his brig "The Traveller," reaching Sierra Leone on the West Coast after a voyage of about two months.
Here he organized the Friendly Society of Sierra Leone and then went to Liverpool. Even here one of his characteristic traits manifested itself in taking with him to England for education a native of Sierra Leone.
While in England, Cuffe visited London twice and consulted such friends of the Negro as Granville Sharp, Thomas Clarkson and William Wilberforce! These men were all interested in a proposition to promote the settlement on the West Coast of Africa of the free people of color in America, many of whom had come into the domains of Great Britain as an outcome of the Revolutionary War. This opinion was at this period the prevailing sentiment of England respecting what was best for the Negro. Sir J. J. Crooks, a former governor of Sierra Leone, in alluding to its origin, says: "There is no doubt that the influence of their opinion was felt in America and that it led to emigration thence to Africa before Liberia was settled. Paul Cuffe, a man of color ... who was much interested in the promotion of the civil and religious liberty of his colored brethren in their native land, had been familiar with the ideas of these philanthropists, as well as with the movement in the same direction in England."
 History of Sierra Leone, Dublin, 1903, p. 97
This explains Cuffe's visit to England and to Africa—a daring venture in those perilous days—and the formation of the Friendly Societies in Africa and in his own country, the United States.
When his special mission to England was concluded, he took out a cargo from Liverpool for Sierra Leone, after which he returned to America.
Before he made his next move, Cuffe consulted with the British Government in London and President Madison at Washington. But the strained relations between the two nations, as well as the financial condition of the United States at the time, made governmental cooperation impracticable if not impossible.
In 1815 he carried out the ideas long in his mind. In this year he sailed from Boston for Sierra Leone with thirty-eight free Negroes as settlers on the Black Continent. Only eight of these could pay their own expenses, but Cuffe, nevertheless, took out the entire party, landed them safe on the soil of their forefathers after a journey of fifty-five days and paid the expense for the outfit, transportation and maintenance of the remaining thirty, amounting to no less than twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000), out of his own pocket. The colonists were cordially welcomed by the people of Sierra Leone, and each family received from thirty to forty acres from the Crown Government. He remained with the settlers two months and then returned home with the purpose of taking out another colony. Before, however, he could do so, and while preparations were being made for the second colony, he was taken ill. After a protracted illness he died September 7, 1817, in the fifty-ninth year of his age. At the time of his death he had no less than two thousand names of intending emigrants on his list awaiting transportation to Africa.
As to his personal characteristics: Paul Cuffe was "tall, well-formed and athletic, his deportment conciliating yet dignified and prepossessing. He was a member of the Society of Friends (Quakers) and became a minister among them.... He believed it to be his duty to sacrifice private interest, rather than engage in any enterprise, however lawful ... or however profitable, that had the slightest tendency to injure his fellow man. He would not deal in intoxicating liquors or in slaves."
THE BLACK FAIRY
Little Annabelle was lying on the lawn, a volume of Grimm before her. Annabelle was nine years of age, the daughter of a colored lawyer, and the prettiest dark child in the village. She had long played in the fairyland of knowledge, and was far advanced for one of her years. A vivid imagination was her chief endowment, and her story creatures often became real flesh-and-blood creatures.
"I wonder," she said to herself that afternoon, "if there is any such thing as a colored fairy? Surely there must be, but in this book they're all white."
Closing the book, her eyes rested upon the landscape that rolled itself out lazily before her. The stalks in the cornfield bent and swayed, their tassels bowing to the breeze, until Annabelle could have easily sworn that those were Indian fairies. And beyond lay the woods, dark and mossy and cool, and there many a something mysterious could have sprung into being, for in the recess was a silvery pool where the children played barefooted. A summer mist like a thin veil hung over the scene, and the breeze whispered tales of far-away lands.
Hist! Something stirred in the hazel bush near her. Can I describe little Annabelle's amazement at finding in the bush a palace and a tall and dark-faced fairy before it?
"I am Amunophis, the Lily of Ethiopia," said the strange creature. "And I come to the children of the Seventh Veil."
She was black and regal, and her voice was soft and low and gentle like the Niger on a summer evening. Her dress was the wing of the sacred beetle, and whenever the wind stirred it played the dreamiest of music. Her feet were bound with golden sandals, and on her head was a crown of lotus leaves.
"And you're a fairy?" gasped Annabelle.
"Yes, I am a fairy, just as you wished me to be. I live in the tall grass many, many miles away, where a beautiful river called the Niger sleeps." And stretching herself beside Annabelle, on the lawn, the fairy began to whisper:
"I have lived there for over five thousand years. In the long ago a city rested there, and from that spot black men and women ruled the world. Great ships laden with spice and oil and wheat would come to its port, and would leave with wines and weapons of war and fine linens. Proud and great were the black kings of this land, their palaces were built of gold, and I was the Guardian of the City. But one night when I was visiting an Indian grove the barbarians from the North came down and destroyed our shrines and palaces and took our people up to Egypt. Oh, it was desolate, and I shed many tears, for I missed the busy hum of the market and the merry voices of the children.
"But come with me, little Annabelle, I will show you all this, the rich past of the Ethiopian."
She bade the little girl take hold of her hand and close her eyes, and wish herself in the wood behind the cornfield. Annabelle obeyed, and ere they knew it they were sitting beside the clear water in the pond.
"You should see the Niger," said the fairy. "It is still beautiful, but not as happy as in the old days. The white man's foot has been cooled by its water, and the white man's blossom is choking out the native flower." And she dropped a tear so beautiful the costliest pearl would seem worthless beside it.
"Ah! I did not come to weep," she continued, "but to show you the past."
So in a voice sweet and sad she sang an old African lullaby and dropped into the water a lotus leaf. A strange mist formed, and when it had disappeared she bade the little girl to look into the pool. Creeping up Annabelle peered into the glassy surface, and beheld a series of vividly colored pictures.
First she saw dark blacksmiths hammering in the primeval forests and giving fire and iron to all the world. Then she saw the gold of old Ghana and the bronzes of Benin. Then the black Ethiopians poured down upon Egypt and the lands and cities bowed and flamed. Next she saw a great city with pyramids and stately temples. It was night, and a crimson moon was in the sky. Red wine was flowing freely, and beautiful dusky maidens were dancing in a grove of palms. Old and young were intoxicated with the joy of living, and a sense of superiority could be easily traced in their faces and attitude. Presently red flame hissed everywhere, and the magnificence of remote ages soon crumbled into ash and dust. Persian soldiers ran to and fro conquering the band of defenders and severing the woman and children. Then came the Mohammedans and kingdom on kingdom arose, and with the splendor came ever more slavery.
The next picture was that of a group of fugitive slaves, forming the nucleus of three tribes, hurrying back to the wilderness of their fathers.
In houses built as protection against the heat the blacks dwelt, communing with the beauty of water and sky and open air. It was just between twilight and evening and their minstrels were chanting impromptu hymns to their gods of nature. And as she listened closely, Annabelle thought she caught traces of the sorrow songs in the weird pathetic strains of the African music mongers. From the East the warriors of the tribe came, bringing prisoners, whom they sold to white strangers from the West.
"It is the beginning," whispered the fairy, as a large Dutch vessel sailed westward. Twenty boys and girls bound with strong ropes were given to a miserable existence in the hatchway of the boat. Their captors were strange creatures, pale and yellow haired, who were destined to sell them as slaves in a country cold and wild, where the palm trees and the cocoanut never grew and men spoke a language without music. A light, airy creature, like an ancient goddess, flew before the craft guiding it in its course.
"That is I," said the fairy. "In that picture I am bringing your ancestors to America. It was my hope that in the new civilization I could build a race that would be strong enough to redeem their brothers. They have gone through great tribulations and trials, and have mingled with the blood of the fairer race; yet though not entirely Ethiopian they have not lost their identity. Prejudice is a furnace through which molten gold is poured. Heaven be merciful unto all races! There is one more picture—the greatest of all, but—farewell, little one, I am going."
"Going?" cried Annabelle. "Going? I want to see the last picture—and when will you return, fairy?"
"When the race has been redeemed. When the brotherhood of man has come into the world; and there is no longer a white civilization or a black civilization, but the civilization of all men. I belong to the world council of the fairies, and we are all colors and kinds. Why should not men be as charitable unto one another? When that glorious time comes I shall walk among you and be one of you, performing my deeds of magic and playing with the children of every nation, race and tribe. Then, Annabelle, you shall see the last picture—and the best."
Slowly she disappeared like a summer mist, leaving Annabelle amazed.
IT'S A LONG WAY
WILLIAM STANLEY BRAITHWAITE
It's a long way the sea-winds blow Over the sea-plains blue,— But longer far has my heart to go Before its dreams come true.
It's work we must, and love we must, And do the best we may, And take the hope of dreams in trust To keep us day by day.
It's a long way the sea-winds blow— But somewhere lies a shore— Thus down the tide of Time shall flow My dreams forevermore.
NEGRO MUSIC THAT STIRRED FRANCE
EMMETT J. SCOTT
"You cannot defeat a singing nation," a keen-witted observer has said, in noting the victory spirit engendered by the martial music, the patriotic songs and the stirring melodies of hearth and home that have moved the souls of men to action on all the battlefields of history.
"Send me more singing regiments," cabled General Pershing, and Admiral Mayo sent frequent requests that a song leader organize singing on every battleship of the Atlantic Fleet.
Since "the morning stars sang together" in Scriptural narrative, music has exerted a profound influence upon mankind, be it in peace or in war, in gladness or in sorrow, or in the tender sentiment that makes for love of country, affection for kindred or the divine passion for "ye ladye fair." Music knows no land or clime, no season or circumstance, and no race, creed or clan. It speaks the language universal, and appeals to all peoples with a force irresistible and no training in ethics or science is necessary to reach the common ground that its philosophy instinctively creates in the human understanding.
The War Department was conscious of this and gave practical application to its theory that music makes a soldier "fit to fight" when it instituted, through the Commission on Training Camp Activities, a systematic program of musical instruction throughout the American Army at the home cantonments and followed up the work overseas. It was the belief that every man became a better warrior for freedom when his mind could be diverted from the dull routine of camp life by arousing his higher nature by song, and that he fared forth to battle with a stouter heart when his steps were attuned to the march by bands that drove out all fear of bodily danger and robbed "grim-visaged war" of its terrors. Skilled song leaders were detailed to the various camps and cantonments here and abroad, and bands galore were brought into service for inspiration and cheer.
The emotional nature of the Negro fitted him for this musical program. The colored American was a "close up" in every picture from the start to the finish and was a conspicuous figure in every scenario, playing with credit and distinction alike in melody or with the musket.
No instrumentality was more potent than music in off-setting the propaganda of the wily German agents, who sought to break down the loyalty of the Negro. The music he knew was intensely American—in sentiment and rhythm. It saturated his being—and all the blandishments of the enemy were powerless to sway him from the flag he loved. His grievances were overshadowed by the realization that the welfare of the nation was menaced and that his help was needed. American music harmonized with the innate patriotism of the race, and the majestic sweep of "The Star-Spangled Banner" or the sympathetic appeal of "My Country, 'Tis of Thee," were sufficient to counteract the sinister efforts of the missionaries of the Hohenzollerns to move him from his moorings.
No labor is ever so onerous that it can bar music from the soul of black folk. This race sings at work, at play and in every mood. Visitors to any army camp found the Negro doing musical "stunts" of some kind from reveille to taps—every hour, every minute of the day. All the time the trumpeters were not blowing out actual routine bugle calls, they were somewhere practicing them. Mouth-organs were going, concertinas were being drawn back and forth, and guitars, banjos, mandolins and whatnot were in use—playing all varieties of music, from the classic, like "Lucia," "Poet and Peasant," and "Il Trovatore" to the folksongs and the rollicking "Jazz." Music is indeed the chiefest outlet of the Negro's emotions, and the state of his soul can best be determined by the type of melody he pours forth.
Some writer has said that a handful of pipers at the head of a Scotch regiment could lead that regiment down the mouth of a cannon. It is not doubted that a Negro regiment could be made to duplicate the "Charge of the Light Brigade" at Balaklava—"into the mouth of hell," as Tennyson puts it—if one of their regimental bands should play—as none but a colored band can play—the vivacious strains of "There'll Be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight."
The Negro's love of home is an integral part of his nature, and is exemplified in the themes he plaintively crooned in camp on both sides of the ocean. Such melodies as "Carry Me Back to Old Virginia," "My Old Kentucky Home," "In the Evening by de Moonlight," and "Swanee River" recalled memories of the "old folks at home," and kept his patriotism alive, for he hoped to return to them some day and swell their hearts with pride by reason of the glorious record he made at the front.
The Negro is essentially religious, and his deep spiritual temperament is vividly illustrated by the joy he finds in "harmonizing" such ballads of ancient days as "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," "Steal Away to Jesus," "Standin' in the Need of Prayer," "Every Time I Feel the Spirit," "I Wan' to be Ready," and "Roll, Jordan, Roll." The Negro is also an optimist, whether he styles himself by that high-sounding title or not, and the sincerity of his "make the best of it" disposition is noted in the fervor he puts into those uplifting gems, "Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag and Smile, Smile, Smile," "There's a Long, Long Trail," "Keep the Home Fires Burning," and "Good-bye Broadway, Hello France."
Just as the Negro folk-songs—or songs of war, interpreted with the characteristic Negro flavor—stirred all France and gave poilu and populace a taste of the real American music, the marvelous "jazz bands" kept their feet patting and their shoulders "eagle-rocking" to its infectious motion. High officials are said to have been literally "carried away" with the "jazz" music furnished by the colored bands "over there" during the war. General Petain is said to have paid a visit, at the height of the hostilities, to a sector in which there were American troops and had "the time of his life" listening to a colored band playing the entrancing "jazz" music, with some Negro dance stunts in keeping with the spirit of the melodies. He warmly congratulated the colored leader upon the excellence of the work of his organization, and thanked him for the enjoyable entertainment that had been given him.
The stolid Briton is scarcely less susceptible to the "jazz" than his volatile French brother, for when another colored band from "The States" went to London to head a parade of American and English soldiers, and halted at Buckingham Palace, it is said that King George V and Queen Mary heard the lively airs with undisguised enthusiasm and were loath to have the players depart for the park where they were scheduled for a concert, with a dance engagement, under British military control, to follow. The colored bands scored heavily with the three great Allied Powers of Europe by rendering with a brilliant touch and matchless finish their national anthems, "God Save the Queen," "La Marseillaise" and the "Marcia Reale."
NOVEMBER 11, 1918
(This letter was written by a young first lieutenant (colored) in the 366th Infantry, Company L, 92nd Division, Cleveland, Ohio.)
My dearest Mother and Dad:
Well, folks, it's all over but the flowers. Yesterday it was war, hard, gruelling, hideous. Today it is peace.
This morning I formed my platoon in line in the woods behind the line. They didn't know why. They were just a bunch of tired, hard-bitten, mud-spattered, rough-and-tumble soldiers standing stoically at attention, equally ready to go over the top, rebuild a shell-torn road, or march to a rest billet. At 10:45 I gave the command: "Unload rifles!" They didn't know why and didn't particularly care. Then—"Unload pistols." And while they still stood rigid and motionless as graven images, I read the order declaring armistice and cessation of hostilities effective at 11 o'clock. The perfect discipline of these veteran soldiers held them still motionless, but I could see their eyes begin to shine and their muscles to quiver as the import of this miraculous message began to dawn on them.
The tension was fast straining their nerves to the breaking-point, so I dismissed them. You should have seen them! They yelled till they were hoarse. Some sang. Others, war-hardened veterans, who had faced the death hail of a machine-gun with a laugh, men who had gone through the horrors of artillery bombardments and had seen their fellows mangled and torn without a flinch, broke down and cried like babies.
Tonight something is wrong. The silence is almost uncanny. Not a shot—not even a single shell. Very faintly we can hear the mellow tones of the church bell in the little French town on the hill far to our rear. All day long it has been singing its song of joy and thanksgiving. It seems symbolical of the heart of France, which, today, is ringing.
I don't know when I'm coming home, but when I do, I want a big roast turkey, golden brown, new spuds swimming in butter and cranberry sauce.
WILLIAM STANLEY BRAITHWAITE
Over the seas to-night, love, Over the darksome deeps, Over the seas to-night, love, Slowly my vessel creeps.
Over the seas to-night, love, Waking the sleeping foam— Sailing away from thee, love, Sailing from thee and home.
Over the seas to-night, love, Dreaming beneath the spars— Till in my dreams you shine, love, Bright as the listening stars.
A NEGRO WOMAN'S HOSPITALITY
LEILA A. PENDLETON
Mungo Park, a native of Scotland, was one of the first of noble, brave men who devoted the best years of their lives to Africa. In 1795, when he was only twenty-four years old, he went to West Africa to find the source of the River Niger. One of the drawbacks of the west coast is its deadly climate, and shortly after arriving at Kano young Park fell ill of fever and remained an invalid for five months. While recovering, he learned the language of the Mandingoes, a native tribe, and this was a great help to him.
He finally started with only six natives on his journey. Had he been older and wiser he would have taken a larger company. At one time they were captured by Moors and a wild boar was turned loose upon them, but instead of attacking Park the beast turned upon its owners, and this aroused their superstitious fears. The king then ordered him to be put into a hut where the boar was tied while he and his chief officers discussed whether Park should lose his right hand, his eyes or his life. But he escaped from them, and after nearly two years of wandering in search of the Niger's source, during which time he suffered many hardships and had many narrow escapes, he returned to Kano, the place where he had been ill.
At one time during his journey Mr. Park arrived in the neighborhood of Sego, and as a white man had never been seen in that region before, the natives looked upon him with fear and astonishment. He asked to see the king, but no one would take him across the river, and the king sent word that he would by no means receive the strange traveler until he knew what the latter wanted.
Park was tired, hungry, and discouraged and was preparing to spend the night in the branches of a tree when a native woman pitied him. She invited him into her hut, and with the hospitality for which the natives are noted, shared with him her food. By signs she made him understand that he might occupy the sleeping mat and as she and her daughter sat spinning they sang their native songs, among them the following, which was impromptu and composed in honor of the stranger:
The wind roared and the rain fell. The poor white man, faint and weary, came and sat under our tree. He has no mother to bring him milk; no wife to grind his corn.
Let us pity the white man; No mother has he to bring him milk; No wife to grind his corn.
Speaking of this incident, Park says: "Trifling as this recital may appear to the reader, to a person in my situation the circumstance was affecting in the highest degree. I was oppressed by such unexpected kindness and sleep fled from my eyes." And another writer says: "The name of the woman and the alabaster box of precious ointment, the nameless widow, who, giving only two mites, had given more than all the rich, and this nameless woman of Sego, form a trio of feminine beauty and grandeur of which the sex in all ages may be proud."
RECORD OF "THE OLD FIFTEENTH" IN FRANCE
EMMETT J. SCOTT
Early in September, 1918, the men of the 369th Infantry were transferred from the 15th French Division, in which they had been serving, and made an integral part of the 161st French Division. And then, on the morning of September 26th, they joined with the Moroccans on the left and native French on the right in the offensive which won for the entire regiment the French Croix de Guerre and the citation of 171 individual officers and enlisted men for the Croix de Guerre and the Legion of Honor, for exceptional gallantry in action. The action began at Maisons-en-Champagne; it finished seven kilometers northward and eastward, and over the intervening territory the Germans had retreated before the ferocious attacks of the Fifteenth and its French comrades.
A month later a new honor came to the regiment—the honor of being the first unit of all the Allied armies to reach the River Rhine. The regiment had left its trenches at Thann, Sunday, November 17, and, marching as the advance guard of the 161st Division, Second French Army, reached the left bank of the Rhine, Monday, November 18. The 369th is proud of this achievement. It believes also that it was under fire for a greater number of days than any other American regiment. Its historian will record:
That the regiment never lost a man captured, a trench, or a foot of ground; that it was the only unit in the American Expeditionary Force which bore a State name and carried a State flag; that it was never in an American brigade or division; that it saw the first and the longest service of any American regiment as part of a foreign army; and that it had less training than any American unit before going into action.
ROSCOE C. JAMISON
These truly are the Brave These men who cast aside Old memories, to walk the blood-stained pave Of Sacrifice, joining the solemn tide That moves away, to suffer and to die For Freedom—when their own is yet denied! O Pride! O Prejudice! When they pass by, Hail them, the Brave, for you now crucified!
These truly are the Free, These souls that grandly rise Above base dreams of vengeance for their wrongs, Who march to war with visions in their eyes Of Peace through Brotherhood, lifting glad songs Aforetime, while they front the firing-line. Stand and behold! They take the field today, Shedding their blood like Him now held divine, That those who mock might find a better way!
THE "DEVIL BUSH" AND THE "GREEGREE BUSH"
GEORGE W. ELLIS
The "Devil Bush" is one of the most important social institutions of the Vais,—in fact, of most of the tribes in Liberia. It is a secret organization, and its operations are carried on in an unknown place. The penalty for divulging its secrets is said to be death. I know that it is very difficult to ascertain much information regarding it.
The aim of this society is to train young boys for African life. The boys are taught the industrial trades, native warfare, religious duties, tribal laws and customs, and the social arts.
The bow and arrow may be called the Vai alphabet. Every morning the small boys are taught first to use skilfully this weapon. In addition they are taught to throw the spear and to wield the sword. In the afternoon they are taken on a hunt for small game, and later are given practice in target shooting and throwing the spear. After supper the boys take up singing and dancing. At this period they are taught also their duties to the gods, to whom a certain portion of their meals is said to be offered. Each boy is taught the sacrificial ceremony; they all clap, dance, and sing their song of praise.
When the boys have attained a certain advancement among other things they have sham battles, with 200 or 150 boys on a side. A district is given to one side to be captured by the other. Each side has a captain, and at this stage of their development emphasis is placed upon the display of bravery. And sometimes the contests assume aspects of reality. When one side repulses another six times it is said to be victorious.
In addition to being taught the methods of warfare, the boys are taught the civil and military laws governing the Vai people. Every Vai man must know the law. And as the penalties for violating the laws covering military expeditions are so severe, the customs and laws relating thereto are of paramount importance to every Vai man.
The members of the "Devil Bush" are not only taught everything pertaining to practical war, but they are taught hunting as well. They are first taught to capture small game and later the larger and dangerous animals like the leopard, elephant, and buffalo. What the Africans call a real hunt requires about a month's work in preparation. The boys dig a large pit and surround the ends and sides with the trunks of large trees. With the pit of the apex, in triangular form, two fences are built about a mile long, and with a mile between the two extremities. The surrounding country is encircled by the hunters and the animals are driven into the pit. The smaller animals are eaten and the larger ones are sent to the king. As the valuable skins are preserved, the boys are taught to skin animals neatly. The ivories belong to the king, and various small horns are kept for amulets, and so on. These hunts are usually accompanied with much singing and dancing, after the cooking and eating of the game.
The "Greegree Bush" is a society for the training of girls for future life, just as the "Devil Bush" is for boys. It is death for a man to be found within the limits of the "Greegree Bush," no matter what his purpose may be. The sessions of the society are held near some town, yet few in that town know the exact place. No one is permitted to approach the scene.
Usually girls are admitted at seven or eight years of age, although women may be admitted.
The "Greegree Bush" has both an industrial and an educational purpose. The girls are taught to embroider with gold and silver thread the tunics and togas of kings and chiefs. Some of them become very artistic in working palm-trees, golden elephants, moons, half-moons, running vines, and other objects and scenes of nature in various articles of apparel.
The girls are taught hair-dressing in order that they may plait, beside their own, the hair of the richer Vais, some of whom have their hair oiled and plaited two or three times a week.
Instruction is given in cutting inscriptions on shields, breastplates, and the like, and in housekeeping, singing, dancing, farming, sewing, weaving cotton, dyeing, making nets and mats and many other articles of domestic utility, decoration, and dress. I have seen Vai women making some of the most beautiful fancy baskets of various kinds to be found along the coast.
H. CORDELIA RAY
Father of Love! We leave our souls with Thee! Oh! may Thy Holy Spirit to us be A peaceful Dove!
Now when day's strife And bitterness are o'er, Oh! in our hearts all bruised gently pour The dew of life.
So as the rose— Though fading on the stem— Awakes to blush when morning's lustrous gem Upon it glows;—
May we awake, Soothed by Thy priceless balm, To chant with grateful hearts our morning psalm, And blessings take.
Or let it be, That where the palm trees rise, And crystal streams flow, we uplift our eyes To Thee!—to Thee!
THE STRENUOUS LIFE
SILAS X. FLOYD
They were having a rough-and-tumble time of it and Pansy was getting some pretty hard blows. She took them all good-naturedly, nevertheless, and tried to give as good as she received, much to the delight of her little boy friends. A lady who was standing near, afraid for the little girl, chided the boys and said:
"You shouldn't handle Pansy so roughly—you might hurt her."
And then Pansy looked up in sweet surprise and said with amusing seriousness:
"No; they won't hurt me. I don't break easy."
It was a thoroughly childlike expression, but it had more wisdom in it than Pansy knew. She spoke of a little girl's experience with dolls, some of which, as she had learned, broke very easily. Pansy knew how delightful it was to have a doll that didn't break so easily. Though she was not a homely girl by any means, yet she wanted it understood that she was not like a piece of china. That was why the other children liked her so much—because she knew how to rough it without crying or complaining at every turn. Pansy was not a cry-baby.
There is all the time, my dear boys and girls, a great demand everywhere all through life for people who don't break easily—people who know how to take hard knocks without going all to pieces. The game of life is sometimes rough, even among those who mean to play fair. It is very trying when we have to deal with people who break easily, and are always getting hurt and spoiling the game with their tears and complaints. It is so much better when we have to deal with people who, like little Pansy, do not break easily. Some of them will laugh off the hardest words without wincing at all. You can jostle them as you will, but they don't fall down every time you shove them, and they don't cry every time they are pushed aside. You can't but like them, they take life so heartily and so sensibly. You don't have to hold yourself in with them all the time. You can let yourself out freely without being on pins as to the result. Young people of this class make good playmates or good work-fellows, as the case may be.
So, boys and girls, you must learn to rough it a little. Don't be a china doll, going to smash at every hard knock. If you get hard blows take them cheerily and as easily as you can. Even if some blow comes when you least expect it, and knocks you off your feet for a minute, don't let it floor you long. Everybody likes the fellow who can get up when he is knocked down and blink the tears away and pitch in again. Learning to get yourself accustomed to a little hard treatment will be good for you. Hard words and hard fortune often make us—if we don't let them break us. Stand up to your work or play courageously, and when you hear words that hurt, when you are hit hard with the blunders or misdeeds of others, when life goes roughly with you, keep right on in a happy, companionable, courageous, helpful spirit, and let the world know that you don't break easily.
O LITTLE DAVID, PLAY ON YOUR HARP
JOSEPH S. COTTER, JR.
O Little David, play on your harp, That ivory harp with the golden strings; And sing as you did in Jewry land, Of the Prince of Peace and the God of Love And the Coming Christ Immanuel. O Little David, play on your harp.
O Little David, play on your harp, That ivory harp with the golden strings; And psalm anew your songs of Peace, Of the soothing calm of a Brotherly Love, And the saving grace of a Mighty God. O Little David, play on your harp.
A DAY AT KALK BAY, SOUTH AFRICA
L. J. COPPIN
Summer in Cape Town begins with November and lasts until March. This may seem strange to those living in North America, but a moment's reflection will suffice to remind them that during these months the sun is south of the equator, hence this natural result. The strong southeast winds, which are prevalent during the summer months, often make it very unpleasant in Cape Town on account of the dust, and one finds it most desirable occasionally to run out to one of the suburbs where "Cape Doctor" does not make such frequent and violent visits.
Of the chain of beautiful and pleasant suburban towns following the railway north, the most important as a summer resort, is Kalk Bay. One who has visited the beach at Newport, R. I., in the United States, will, upon visiting Kalk Bay, see a resemblance. Unlike the long sweep of ocean at Atlantic City, the beach is narrow, being rather a bay than an open ocean front. Instead of the cliffs as at Newport, we have the massive mountains standing almost perpendicularly on the east side, at the foot of which the town is situated.
The principal vocation among the laboring men there is fishing. In this respect it is very much like Bermuda. They go to sea and return according to the tide. Some days they are out by two and three o'clock in the morning. When they go this early they may be expected to return by noon or even before noon.
I was told that of the sixty-five fishing boats on the Bay fifty-six are owned by colored men. There are six men to a crew, five beside the captain, who is the owner of the boat. They sail out to sea, drop anchor, and fish with hook and line. Half of what is caught belongs to the captain, and the other half is equally divided among the other five men. They can scarcely supply the market, so great is the demand for fish at the Bay and in Cape Town. We were informed that a captain has been known to make as much as eight pounds in a single day; that is nearly forty dollars. Of course, there are days when they have poorer luck. Some days the wind blows such a gale that they are unable to go to sea at all.
It is a beautiful sight to see the little fleet return. Hundreds of people will gather about the landing and await their coming.
Farther up the bay, a drag net is used. On the day of our visit we were fortunate in being just in time to see a net land "full of great fishes." As the net is hauled near the shore, the fishermen all get around it, holding the lower portion of it down to keep the fish from escaping under it and holding the upper portion above the water to keep them from jumping over it. As the fish are drawn into shallow water they become very active, and notwithstanding the vigilance of the crew, some will make their escape. The captain would shout impulsively to the men; I could not understand him as he expressed himself in "Cape Dutch," but from the contortions of his face and the frightened look of the men, I guess he must have been using language that would not have been suitable in a church service. "A good haul," some one remarked when the net was finally landed.
BISHOP ATTICUS G. HAYGOOD
W. H. CROGMAN
It is indeed the peculiar glory of the truly great man, that he cannot be restricted within the State lines or race lines. Wide as the sweep of his sympathies is the empire of hearts over which he rules. To those of us, therefore, whose good fortune it was to be personally acquainted with Bishop Haygood, it was never a surprise that his influence in both sections of country and among all classes of people was so large and so commanding. He was a man of large sympathy, that royal quality in the human breast which invariably distinguishes the generous person from the mean, that divine quality which, despite our prejudices and antipathies, "makes the whole world kin," and is at the bottom of all Christian and philanthropic endeavor.
A thousand instances of kindness on the part of the good bishop to persons of all sorts and colors might, I suppose, be cited here in support of the statement made with reference to his sympathetic disposition. Many of these little acts of pure benevolence, never intended for the light, are fast coming to light under the shadow cast by his death. For as dark nights best reveal the stars, so the gloom that at times envelopes a human life discovers to us its hidden virtues.
This much, however, the world knows in common of Bishop Haygood: He was not a man who passed through life inquiring, "Who is my neighbor?" His neighbor was the ignorant that needed to be instructed, the vicious that needed to be reclaimed, the despondent that needed to be encouraged. Wherever honest effort was being made for a noble purpose, there he found his neighbor, and his neighbor found a helper. Like "The Man of Galilee," he was abroad in the land, studying the needs of the people and striving to reach and influence individual lives.
HOW TWO COLORED CAPTAINS FELL
RALPH W. TYLER
A colored unit was ordered to charge, and take, if possible, a very difficult objective held by the Germans. Captains Fairfax and Green, two colored officers, were in command of the detachments. They made the charge, running into several miles of barb-wire entanglements, and hampered by a murderous fire from nests of German machine guns which were camouflaged.
Just before charging, one of the colored sergeants, running up to Captain Fairfax, said: "Do you know there is a nest of German machine guns ahead?"
The Captain replied: "I only know we have been ordered to go forward, and we are going."
Those were the last words he said, before giving the command to charge, "into the jaws of death." The colored troops followed their intrepid leader with all the enthusiasm and dash characteristic of patriots and courageous fighters. They went forward, they obeyed the order, and as a result sixty-two men and two officers were listed in the casualties reported.
Captain Fairfax's last words, "I only know we have been ordered to go forward, and we are going," are words that will forever live in the memory of his race; they are words that match those of Sergeant Carney, the color sergeant of the 54th Massachusetts during the Civil War, who, although badly wounded, held the tattered, shot-pierced Stars and Stripes aloft and exclaimed, "The old flag never touched the ground!"
Men who have served under Captains Fairfax and Green say two braver officers never fought and fell.
THE YOUNG WARRIOR
JAMES WELDON JOHNSON
Mother, shed no mournful tears, But gird me on my sword; And give no utterance to thy fears, But bless me with thy word.
The lines are drawn! The fight is on! A cause is to be won! Mother, look not so white and wan; Give Godspeed to thy son.
Now let thine eyes my way pursue Where'er my footsteps fare; And when they lead beyond thy view, Send after me a prayer.
But pray not to defend from harm, Nor danger to dispel; Pray, rather that with steadfast arm I fight the battle well.
Pray, mother of mine, that I always keep My heart and purpose strong, My sword unsullied and ready to leap Unsheathed against the wrong.
WHOLE REGIMENTS DECORATED
EMMETT J. SCOTT
Four Negro regiments won the signal honor of being awarded the Croix de Guerre as a regiment. These were the 365th, the 369th, the 371st and the 372d. The 369th (old 15th New York National Guard) was especially honored for its record of 191 days on the firing line, exceeding by five days the term of service at the front of any other American regiment.
ON PLANTING ARTICHOKES
FROM THE LIFE OF SCOTT BOND
DANIEL A. RUDD AND THEODORE BOND
I was living at one time on a farm, which I had bought near Forrest City, known as the Neely farm. It was also known as a fine fruit farm. The land being upland was of a poor nature. I bought the farm mainly on account of the health of my wife and children. I paid old man Neely $900 for 120 acres. This farm was two and a half miles from my main bottom farm. After moving on the Neely place and getting straight, I looked over the farm and finding that the land was far from fertile, I decided to sow the whole farm in peas, knowing peas were a legume and hence fine to put life into the soil. I excepted several small spots that I planted in corn.
I got a fine stand of peas, and looked as if I would make worlds of pea hay. When the peas were ripe I took my mower and rake to harvest my hay crop. This was the first time I had undertaken to cultivate this class of land. I prepared to house the hay and after the hay was cut and raked, I only got one-tenth of the amount of hay I counted on. I prepared the land that fall and sowed it down in clover. I got a fine stand. The clover grew and did well. The next year I took two four-horse wagons and hauled from the Allen farm large loads of defective cotton seed. I turned all this under and planted the land the next year in corn. I made and gathered a large corn crop that year.
I was at that time taking a farm paper and I would usually sit at night and entertain my wife, while she was sewing. I read an article, where a party in Illinois had claimed that he had gathered 900 bushels of artichokes from one acre of land. That did not look reasonable to me at that time. I said to my wife: "Listen to what a mistake this fellow has made. He claims to have gathered 900 bushels of artichokes from one acre of land." This seemed impossible to me.
In the next issue of this paper I read where another man claimed to have raised 1,100 bushels to the acre. This put me at a further wonder as to the artichoke crop. I decided to try a crop of artichokes. I had a very nice spot of land that I thought would suit me for this purpose. I prepared it as I would prepare land for Irish potatoes, knowing that artichokes were, like the Irish potato, a tuber. I took a four-horse wagon and hauled one and a half tons of rotten cotton seed, and of this I put a double handful every 18 inches apart in the drill; I then dropped the artichokes between the hills. I cultivated first as I would Irish potatoes. The plants grew luxuriantly and were all the way from 8 to 12 feet tall.
About the 10th of August I noticed the plants were blooming and it occurred to me that there must be artichokes on the roots. I got my spade and began to dig. I could not find a single artichoke. I took my spade back home and decided within myself that both parties were mistaken when they claimed to have grown so many hundreds of bushels to the acre. After a few days I went to my lower farm and started picking cotton, and was as busy as busy could be all that fall gathering and housing my cotton crop as usual.
Just before Christmas I promised my wife that I would be at home on Christmas Eve in order to accompany her to our church conference. I was on time according to my promise, helped her to get her household affairs straight and the children settled. I had bought my wife a beautiful cape. She took the cape, I took my overcoat and off we went. In order to take a near route we decided to climb the fence and go through the artichoke patch. As we had none of the children along I, helping her over the fence, recalled our old days when we were courting. I remarked to her:
"Gee whiz, wife, you certainly look good under that cape!"
She said, "Do you think so?"
"Yes, I have always thought that you looked good."
By this time we had gotten to the middle of the artichoke patch. I grabbed an artichoke stalk and tried to pull it up. I made one or two surges and it failed to come, but in bending it over I found a great number of artichokes attached to the tap root. I asked my wife to wait a few minutes. She asked me what I was going to do. I told her I would run back and get the grubbing hoe and see what is under these artichokes. She said, "Doesn't this beat the band? Stop on your way to church to go to digging artichokes."
"All right, I will be back in a few minutes."
I came with my grubbing hoe and went to work. I dug on all sides of the stalk, then raised it up. I believe I am safe in saying there was a half bushel of artichokes on the roots of this stalk. I then noticed that the dirt in the drills, the sides of the rows, and the middles were all puffed up. One could not stick the end of his finger in the ground without touching an artichoke. I found that the whole earth was matted with artichokes. I really believe that had I had a full acre in and could have gathered all the artichokes, I would have gotten at least 1,500 bushels.
I told my wife that now I could see that those people had told the truth when they said they had gathered 900 bushels and 1,100 bushels to the acre.
When I returned from church, I at once turned my hogs into the artichoke patch. I then climbed up on the fence and took a seat to watch the hogs root and crush artichokes. I looked around and saw my clover had made a success, the little artichoke patch had turned out wonderfully. I said to myself: "Just think of millions and millions of dollars deposited in all these lands, both rich and poor soils. And just to think how easy this money could be obtained if one would think right and hustle."
A SONG OF THANKS
EDWARD SMYTH JONES
For the sun that shone at the dawn of spring, For the flowers which bloom and the birds that sing, For the verdant robe of the grey old earth, For her coffers filled with their countless worth, For the flocks which feed on a thousand hills, For the rippling streams which turn the mills, For the lowing herds in the lovely vale, For the songs of gladness on the gale,— From the Gulf and the Lakes to the Oceans' banks,— Lord God of Hosts, we give Thee thanks!
For the farmer reaping his whitened fields, For the bounty which the rich soil yields, For the cooling dews and refreshing rains, For the sun which ripens the golden grains, For the bearded wheat and the fattened swine, For the stalled ox and the fruitful vine, For the tubers large and cotton white, For the kid and the lambkin, frisk and blithe, For the swan which floats near the river-banks,— Lord God of Hosts, we give Thee thanks!
For the pumpkin sweet and the yellow yam, For the corn and beans and the sugared ham, For the plum and the peach and the apple red, For the clustering nut trees overhead. For the cock which crows at the breaking dawn, And the proud old "turk" of the farmer's barn, For the fish which swim in the babbling brooks, For the game which hides in the shady nooks,— From the Gulf and the Lakes to the Oceans' banks,— Lord God of Hosts, we give Thee thanks!
For the sturdy oaks and the stately pines, For the lead and the coal from the deep, dark mines, For the silver ores of a thousand fold, For the diamond bright and the yellow gold, For the river boat and the flying train, For the fleecy sail of the rolling main, For the velvet sponge and the glossy pearl, For the flag of peace which we now unfurl,— From the Gulf and the Lakes to the Oceans' Banks,— Lord God of Hosts, we give Thee thanks!
For the lowly cot and the mansion fair, For the peace and plenty together share, For the Hand which guides us from above, For Thy tender mercies, abiding love, For the blessed home with its children gay, For returnings of Thanksgiving Day, For the bearing toils and the sharing cares, We lift up our hearts in our songs and our prayers,— From the Gulf and the Lakes to the Oceans' banks,— Lord God of Hosts, we give Thee thanks!
OUR DUMB ANIMALS
SILAS X. FLOYD
Domestic animals—like horses, cats and dogs—seem to be almost as dependent upon kind treatment and affection as human beings. Horses and dogs especially are the most keenly intelligent of our dumb friends, and are alike sensitive to cruelty in any form. They are influenced to an equal degree by kind and affectionate treatment.
If there is any form of cruelty that is more blameworthy than another, it is abuse of a faithful horse who gives his life to the service of the owner. When a horse is pulling a heavy load with all his might, doing the best he can to move under it, to strike him, spur him, or swear at him is barbarous. To kick a dog around or strike him with sticks just for the fun of hearing him yelp or seeing him run, is equally barbarous. No high-minded man, no high-minded boy or girl, would do such a thing.
We should never forget how helpless, in a large sense, dumb animals are—and how absolutely dependent upon the humanity and kindness of their owners. They are really the slaves of man, having no language by which to express their feelings or needs.
The poet Cowper said:
"I would not enter on my list of friends, Though graced with polished manners and fine sense, Yet wanting sensibility, the man Who needlessly sets foot upon a worm."
Boys and girls should be willing to pledge themselves to be kind to all harmless living creatures, and every boy and girl should strive to protect such creatures from cruel usage on the part of others. It is noble, boys and girls, for us to speak for those that cannot speak for themselves, and it is noble, also, for us to protect those that cannot protect themselves.
A LEGEND OF THE BLUE JAY
RUTH ANNA FISHER
It was a hot, sultry day in May and the children in the little school in Virginia were wearily waiting for the gong to free them from lessons for the day. Furtive glances were directed towards the clock. The call of the birds and fields was becoming more and more insistent. Would the hour never strike!
"The Planting of the Apple-tree" had no interest for them. Little attention was given the boy as he read in a sing-song, spiritless manner:
"What plant we in this apple-tree? Buds, which the breath of summer days Shall lengthen into leafy sprays; Boughs where the thrush, with crimson breast, Shall haunt and sing and hide her nest."
The teacher, who had long since stopped trying to make the lesson interesting, found herself saying mechanically, "What other birds have their nests in the apple-tree?"
The boy shifted lazily from one foot to the other as he began, "The sparrow, the robin, and wrens, and—the snow-birds and blue-jays—"
"No, they don't, blue-jays don't have nests," came the excited outburst from some of the children, much to the surprise of the teacher.
When order was restored some of these brown-skinned children, who came from the heart of the Virginian mountains, told this legend of the blue-jay.
Long, long years ago, the devil came to buy the blue-jay's soul, for which he first offered a beautiful golden ear of corn. This the blue-jay liked and wanted badly, but said, "No, I cannot take it in exchange for my soul." Then the devil came again, this time with a bright red ear of corn which was even more lovely than the golden one.
This, too, the blue-jay refused. At last the devil came to offer him a wonderful blue ear. This one the blue-jay liked best of all, but still was unwilling to part with his soul. Then the devil hung it up in the nest, and the blue-jay found that it exactly matched his own brilliant feathers, and knew at once that he must have it. The bargain was quickly made. And now in payment for that one blue ear of corn each Friday the blue-jay must carry one grain of sand to the devil, and sometimes he gets back on Sunday, but oftener not until Monday.
Very seriously the children added, "And all the bad people are going to burn until the blue-jays have carried all the grains of sand in the ocean to the devil."
The teacher must have smiled a little at the legend, for the children cried out again, "It is so. 'Deed it is, for doesn't the black spot on the blue-jay come because he gets his wings scorched, and he doesn't have a nest like other birds."
Then, to dispel any further doubts the teacher might have, they asked triumphantly, "You never saw a blue-jay on Friday, did you?"
There was no need to answer, for just then the gong sounded and the children trooped happily out to play.
When Livingstone began his work of exploration in 1849, practically all of Africa between the Sahara and the Dutch settlements in the extreme South was unknown territory. By the time of his death in 1873 he had brought this entire region within the view of civilization. On his first journey, or series of journeys (1849-1856,) starting from Cape Town, he made his way northward for a thousand miles to Lake Ngami; then pushing on to Linyanti, he undertook one of the most perilous excursions of his entire career, his objective for more than a thousand miles being Loanda on the West Coast, which point he reached after six months in the wilderness.
Coming back to Linyanti, he turned his face eastward, discovered Victoria Falls on the Zambesi, and finally arrived at Cuilimane on the coast. On his second series of journeys (1858-1864) he explored the Zambesi, the Shire, and the Rovuma rivers in the East, and discovered Lake Nyasa. On his final expedition (1866-1873), in hunting for the upper courses of the Nile, he discovered Lakes Tanganyika, Mweru, and Bangweolo, and the Lualaba River. His achievement as an explorer was as distinct as it was unparalleled. His work as a missionary and his worth as a man it is not quite so easy to express concretely; but in these capacities he was no less distinguished and his accomplishment no less signal.
There had been missionaries, and great ones, in Africa before Livingstone. The difference between Livingstone and consecrated men was not so much in devotion as in the conception of the task. He himself felt that a missionary in the Africa of his day was to be more than a mere preacher of the word—that he would have also to be a Christian statesman, and even a director of exploration and commerce if need be. This was his title to greatness; to him "the end of the geographical feat was only the beginning of the enterprise." Knowing, however, that many honest persons did not sympathize with him in this conception of his mission, after 1856 he declined longer to accept salary from the missionary society that originally sent him out, working afterwards under the patronage of the British Government and the Royal Geographical Society.
His sympathy and his courtesy were unfailing, even when he himself was placed in the greatest danger. Said Henry Drummond of him: "Wherever David Livingstone's footsteps are crossed in Africa the fragrance of his memory seems to remain." On one occasion a hunter was impaled on the horn of a rhinoceros, and a messenger ran eight miles for the physician. Although he himself had been wounded for life by a lion and his friends insisted that he should not ride at night through a wood infested with wild beasts, Livingstone insisted on his Christian duty to go, only to find that the man had died and to have to retrace his footsteps.
Again and again his party would have been destroyed by some savage chieftain if it had not been for his own unbounded tact and courage. To the devoted men who helped him he gave the assurance that he would die before he would permit them to be taken; and after his death at Chitambo's village Susi and Chuma journeyed for nine months and over eight hundred miles of dangerous country to take his body to the coast.
Livingstone was a man of tremendous faith, in his mission, in his country, in humanity, in God. He wrote on one occasion: "This age presents one great fact in the Providence of God; missions are sent forth to all quarters of the world,—missions not of one section of the Church, but from all sections, and from nearly all Christian nations. It seems very unfair to judge of the success of these by the number of the conversions that have followed. These are rather proofs of the missions being of the right sort. The fact which ought to stimulate us above all others is, not that we have contributed to the conversion of a few souls, however valuable these may be, but that we are diffusing a knowledge of Christianity throughout the world. Future missionaries will see conversions follow every sermon. We prepare the way for them. We work for a glorious future which we are not destined to see—the golden age which has not been, but will yet be. We are only morning-stars shining in the dark, but the glorious morn will break, the good time coming yet. For this time we work; may God accept our imperfect service."
Of such quality was David Livingstone—Missionary, Explorer, Philanthropist. "For thirty years his life was spent in an unwearied effort to evangelize the native races, to explore the undiscovered secrets, and abolish the desolating slave trade of Central Africa." To what extent after sixty years have we advanced toward his ideals? With what justice are we the inheritors of his renown?
WILLIAM J. SIMMONS
The name of Aldridge has always been placed at the head of the list of Negro actors. He has indeed become the most noted of them, and his name is cited as standing first in his calling among all colored persons who have ever appeared on the stage. He was born at Belaire, near Baltimore, in 1804. In complexion he was dark brown, and with heavy whiskers; standing six feet in height, with heavy frame, African features, and yet with due proportions; he was graceful in his attitudes, highly polished in manners.