In his early days he was apprenticed to a ship carpenter, and had his association with the Germans on the western shores of Maryland. Here he became familiar with the German language and spoke it not only with ease but with fluency. He was brought in contact with Edmund Kean, the great actor, in 1826, whom he accompanied in his trip through Europe. His ambition to become an actor was encouraged by Kean, and receiving his assistance in the preparation, he made his appearance first at the Royalty Theatre in London, in the character of Othello. Public applause greeted him of such an extraordinary nature, that he was billed to appear at the Covent Garden Theatre April 10, 1839, in the same character.
After many years' successful appearances in many of the metropolitan cities, he appeared in the Provinces with still greater success. In Ireland he performed Othello, with Edmund Kean as Iago. In 1852 he appeared in Germany in Shakespearean characters. He was pronounced excellent, and though a stranger and a foreigner, he undertook the very difficult task of playing in English, while his whole support was rendered in the language of the country. It is said that until this time, such an experiment was not considered susceptible of a successful end, but nevertheless, with his impersonations he succeeded admirably. It is said that the King of Prussia was so deeply moved with his appearance in the character of Othello, at Berlin, that he spent him a congratulatory letter, and conferred upon him the title of chevalier, in recognition of his dramatic genius, and informed him that the lady who took the part of Desdemona was so much affected at the manner in which he played his part that she was made ill from fright on account of the reality with which he acted his part.
Some idea of the character of his acting might be gained from the fact that the lady who played Desdemona in St. Petersburg, became very much alarmed at what appeared real passion on his part, in acting Othello; though he was never rough or indelicate in any of his acting with ladies, yet she was so frightened that she used to scream with real fear.
It is said that on another occasion in St. Petersburg, that in the midst of his acting in scene two, act five, when he was quoting these words,
"It is the cause, it is the cause, my soul; Let me not name it to you, you chaste stars! It is the cause. Yet I'll not shed her blood, Nor scar that whiter skin of hers than snow, And smooth as monumental alabaster. Yet she must die, else she'll betray more men. Put out the light, and then—put out the light! If I quench thee, thou flaming minister, I can again thy former light restore, Should I repent me: But once put out thy light, Thou cunning'st pattern of excelling nature; I know not where is that Promethean heat, That can thy light relume. When I have plucked thy rose, I cannot give it vital growth again; It needs must wither:—I'll smell it on the tree— (kissing her) O balmy breath, that dost almost persuade Justice to break her sword:—One more, one more:— Be thus when thou art dead, and I will kill thee, And love thee after:—One more—and this the last: So sweet was ne'er so fatal. I must weep. But they are cruel tears: This sorrow's heavenly: It strikes where it doth love."
the house was so carried away with the manner in which he rendered it, that a young man stood up and exclaimed with the greatest earnestness: "She is innocent, Othello, she is innocent," and yet so interested was he in the acting himself that he never moved a muscle but continued as if nothing had been said to embarrass him. The next day he learned, while dining with a Russian prince, that a young man who had been present had been so affected by the play that he had been seized with a sudden illness and died the next day.
Mr. Aldridge was a welcome guest in the ranks of the cultured and wealthy, and was often in the "salons" of the haughty aristocrats of St. Petersburg and Moscow. Titled ladies wove, knitted and stitched their pleasing emotions into various memorials of friendship. In his palatial residence at Sydenham, near London, were collected many presents of intrinsic value, rendered almost sacred by association. Prominent among these tokens of regard was an autographic letter from the King of Prussia, transmitting the first medal of art and sciences; the Cross of Leopold, from the Emperor of Russia, and a Maltese cross received at Berne.
In all his triumphs he never lost interest in the condition of his race. He always took an interest in everything touching their welfare, and though exalted to the companionship of those who ranked high in every department of life, yet he never in any way forgot the humble race with which he was identified, and was always solicitous for their welfare and promotion. He was an associate of the most prominent men of Paris, among whom was Alexander Dumas. When the great tragedian and great writer met they always kissed each other, and Dumas always greeted Aldridge with the words Mon Confrere. He died at Lodes, in Poland, August 7, 1867.
JAMES WELDON JOHNSON
O brothers mine, to-day we stand Where half a century sweeps our ken, Since God, through Lincoln's ready hand, Struck off our bonds and made us men.
Just fifty years—a winter's day— As runs the history of a race; Yet, as we look back o'er the way, How distant seems our starting place!
Look farther back! Three centuries! To where a naked, shivering score, Snatched from their haunts across the seas, Stood wild-eyed, on Virginia's shore.
Far, far the way that we have trod, From heathen kraals and jungle dens, To freedmen, freemen, sons of God, Americans and Citizens.
A part of His unknown design, We've lived within a mighty age; And we have helped to write a line On history's most wondrous page.
A few black bondmen strewn along The borders of our eastern coast, Now grown a race, ten million strong, An upward, onward marching host.
Then let us here erect a stone, To mark the place, to mark the time; A witness to God's mercies shown, A pledge to hold this day sublime.
And let that stone an altar be, Whereon thanksgivings we may lay, Where we, in deep humility, For faith and strength renewed may pray.
With open hearts ask from above New zeal, new courage and new pow'rs, That we may grow more worthy of This country and this land of ours.
For never let the thought arise That we are here on sufferance bare; Outcasts, asylumed 'neath these skies And aliens without part or share.
This land is ours by right of birth, This land is ours by right of toil; We helped to turn its virgin earth, Our sweat is in its fruitful soil.
Where once the tangled forest stood,— Where flourished once rank weed and thorn,— Behold the path-traced, peaceful wood, The cotton white, the yellow corn.
To gain these fruits that have been earned, To hold these fields that have been won, Our arms have strained, our backs have burned, Bent bare beneath a ruthless sun.
That Banner which is now the type Of victory on field and flood— Remember, its first crimson stripe Was dyed by Attucks' willing blood.
And never yet has come the cry— When that fair flag has been assailed— For men to do, for men to die, That have we faltered or have failed.
We've helped to bear it, rent and torn, Through many a hot-breath'd battle breeze; Held in our hands, it has been borne And planted far across the seas.
And never yet—O haughty Land, Let us, at least, for this be praised— Has one black, treason-guided hand Ever against that flag been raised.
Then should we speak but servile words, Or shall we hang our heads in shame? Stand back of new-come foreign hordes, And fear our heritage to claim?
No! stand erect and without fear, And for our foes let this suffice— We've bought a rightful sonship here, And we have more than paid the price.
And yet, my brothers, well I know The tethered feet, the pinioned wings, The spirit bowed beneath the blow, The heart grown faint from wounds and stings;
The staggering force of brutish might, That strikes and leaves us stunned and dazed; The long, vain waiting through the night To hear some voice for justice raised.
Full well I know the hour when hope Sinks dead, and 'round us everywhere Hangs stifling darkness, and we grope With hands uplifted in despair.
Courage! Look out, beyond, and see The far horizon's beckoning span! Faith in your God-known destiny! We are a part of some great plan.
Because the tongues of Garrison And Phillips now are cold in death, Think you their work can be undone? Or quenched the fires lit by their breath?
Think you that John Brown's spirit stops? That Lovejoy was but idly slain? Or do you think those precious drops From Lincoln's heart were shed in vain?
That for which millions prayed and sighed, That for which tens of thousands fought, For which so many freely died, God cannot let it come to naught.
A GREAT KINGDOM IN THE CONGO
WILLIAM HENRY SHEPPARD
I had studied the new dialect of the Bakuba and had made every preparation for our expedition into the "Forbidden Land" of King Lukenga. I had met their people, a far interior tribe, and was interested in their apparent superiority in physique, manners, dress and dialect. I asked to be allowed to accompany them to their country and king, but they said it was impossible, their king would never allow a foreigner to come into the interior. Nevertheless I determined to seek them out and after some weeks had elapsed, I called our station natives together and laid plainly before them the perils of the journey. I told them, from the information which I had, that the trails which had been made by elephant, buffalo, antelope and Bakuba natives were many and they led over long, hot, sandy plains through deep dark forests, across streams without bridges, and through swamps infested with wild animals and poisonous serpents. And above all, the king had sent word throughout the land that we could not enter his country. Not a man's muscle moved, and there was not a dissenting voice.
I had picked up the Bakuba dialect from some of the king's traders and tax collectors who journeyed our way. I received from them much information of the general direction leading north toward the capital, the names of large towns on the way, of the market towns, the approximate distances apart, the streams to be crossed, and their names; of the leopard, buffalo and elephant zones, and the names of some of the chiefs of the market towns, etc.
Two days later, when all was in readiness, tents loaded, cooking utensils, a bag of money (cowrie shells), some salt, etc., we left Luebo, led by the Master's hand.
The trail lay northeast by north with a gradual ascent. The country was well wooded and watered. No stones could be seen anywhere, and the soil was sandy. There were many extensive plains with magnificent palm trees, hundreds and thousands of them ranging from a foot high, which the elephants fed upon, to those fifty and sixty feet high. The forest everywhere was ever green. Trees blossomed and bloomed, sending out upon the gentle breeze their fragrance, so acceptable to the traveler. Festoons of moss and running vines made the forest look like a beautifully painted theatre or an enormous swinging garden.
In the meantime word had come to the king of Lukenga of our presence and, as we neared his kingdom, we were met by a party of fighting men. My caravan had been resting in the village of a chief named Kueta, who had repeatedly urged me to turn back, and, as the righting men of King Lukenga appeared, the chief's men fled to the forest. I sat quietly, however, in my seat in front of my tent and my people began to gather around my chair, the youngest of the caravan nestling on his knees very close to me. The king's people drew near and the leading man, spear in hand, called to Chief Kueta in a voice that rang through the village:
"Now hear the words of King Lukenga: Because you have entertained a foreigner in your village, we have come to take you to the capital for trial."
I knew things were now serious, so rising from my seat I called to the head man to meet me half way. He paid no attention. I called a second time and walked up to him and began to plead for Chief Kueta.
"I understand you are sent by your king to arrest these people."
"It is the word of the king," said he.
I continued, "The chief of this village is not guilty; he gave me warning and told me to go away, to return the way I had come, and I did not. It is my fault and not Kueta's."
The leader, leaning on his spear, replied,
"You speak our language?"
"I do," was my quick answer.
"That is strange," said he.
The leader and his men moved off some distance and talked between themselves. In a little while he came back to me saying, "I will return to the capital and report these things to the king."
I said to him, "Tell your king I am not a bad man; I do not steal or kill; I have a message for him. Wait a moment," said I. Taking from one of my boxes a very large cowrie shell, near the size of one's fist, and holding it up, I said, "This we call the father of cowries; present it to the king as a token of friendship."
The men were soon off for the capital and we settled down, hoping and praying for the best. Kueta told me that the head man was King Lukenga's son and his name was N'Toinzide.
N'Toinzide stood more than six feet, of bronze color, blind in one eye, determined set lips, and seemed a man fearless of any foe—man or beast. The villagers told me many things of the king's son, both good and bad.
After some days the messengers reached the capital and reported to King Lukenga. "We saw the foreigner; he speaks our language, he knows all the trails of the country."
The king was astonished and called a council and laid the matter before them. They deliberated over the affair and finally told the king that they knew who I was.
"The foreigner who is at Bixibing," said they, "who has come these long trails and who speaks our language is a Makuba, one of the early settlers who died, and whose spirit went to a foreign country and now he has returned."
The messengers hastened to return and accompany me to the capital.
We had been longing and praying for days for the best. With the king's special envoy were many more men who had come through mere curiosity, as was their custom.
N'Toinzide stood in the center of the town and called with his loud voice saying who I was and giving briefly my history.
The villagers were indeed happy. They flocked around as the king's son drew near and extended their hands to me.
I arose from my chair and made these remarks: "I have heard distinctly all that you have said, but I am not a Makuba; I have never been here before."
N'Toinzide insisted that they were right, and said that his father, the king, wanted me to come on at once to the capital. The people were mighty happy, Kueta, our host, the townspeople, and my people, too. Their appetites came back, and so did mine.
With a hasty good-bye, "Gala hola," to Kueta, we were off.
On the last morning our trail grew larger, the country more open, and the ascent greater, until we stood upon an extensive plain and had a beautiful view in every direction of all the land as far as we could see.
We could see in the distance thousands and thousands of banana and palm trees and our escort of Bakuba cried out, "Muxenge! muxenge!" (meaning capital! capital!). Just before entering the great town we were halted at a small guard post consisting of a few houses and some men who were the king's watchmen. They told me that on each of the four entrances to the capital these sentries were stationed. A man was dispatched to notify the king that we were near. In a short while the people came out of the town to meet and greet us, hundreds of them, and many little children, too. Some of my caravan were frightened and would run away, but I told them that the oncoming crowd meant no harm.
N'Toinzide, the king's son, with spear in hand, took the lead and the interested and excited crowd after getting a peep at me fell in behind.
We marched down a broad, clean street, lined on both sides by interested spectators jostling, gesticulating, talking aloud and laughing. The young boys and girls struck up a song which sounded to me like a band of sweet music and we all kept step to it. N'Toinzide called a halt at a house which I presume was 15 x 25 feet in size. You could enter the doors front and back almost without stooping. The house was made like all the others of bamboo and had two rooms. There were a number of clay pots of various sizes for cooking and six large gourds for water. My caravan was comfortably housed. I did not put up my tent, but took my seat in a reclining chair under a large palm tree in front of my door. The crowd was immense, but we had them sit down on the ground so we could get a breath of air.
In the afternoon the king sent greetings, and fourteen goats, six sheep, a number of chickens, corn, pumpkins, large dried fish, bushels of peanuts, bunches of bananas and plantains and a calabash of palm oil and other food.
The prime minister, N'Dola, who brought the greetings, mentioned that the king would see me next day; also that the king's servants would take out of the village all goats and chickens which I did not want for immediate use.
For, said N'Dola, no sheep, goats, hogs, dogs, ducks or chickens are allowed in the king's town.
In the evening we started our song service and I delivered to them our King's message. The crowd was great. The order was good. I went to rest with the burden of these people upon my heart, and thanking God that He had led, protected and brought us through close places safely to the "Forbidden Land."
Early in the morning we heard the blast of ivory horns calling the attention of the people to put on their best robes and be in readiness for the big parade. I saw there was great activity in the town, men and women hurrying to and fro. Soon two stalwart Bakuba, with their red kilts on and feathers in their hats appeared before my house and announced their readiness to accompany me before King Lukenga.
They noticed an old brass button tied by a string around the neck of one of my men. Very politely they removed it, saying, "Only the king can wear brass or copper."
I was dressed in what had once been white linen. Coat, trousers, white canvas shoes and pith helmet. The officials on either side took me by the arm; we walked a block up the broad street, turned to the right and walked three blocks till we came to the big town square. Thousands of the villagers had already taken their position and were seated on the green grass. King Lukenga, his high officials and about 300 of his wives occupied the eastern section of the square. The players of stringed instruments and drummers were in the center, and as we appeared a great shout went up from the people. The king's servants ran and spread leopard skins along the ground leading to his majesty. I approached with some timidity. The king arose from his throne of ivory, stretched forth his hand and greeted me with these words, "Wyni" (You have come). I bowed low, clapped my hands in front of me, and answered, "Ndini, Nyimi" (I have come, king).
As the drums beat and the harps played the king's sons entered the square and danced one after the other single handed, brandishing their big knives in the air. The king's great chair, or throne, was made of carved tusks of ivory, and his feet rested upon lion skins. I judged him to have been a little more than six feet high and with his crown, which was made of eagle feathers, he towered over all. The king's dress consisted of a red loin cloth, draped neatly about his waist in many folds. He wore a broad belt decorated with cowrie shells and beads. His armlets and anklets were made of polished cowrie shells reaching quite above the wrists and ankles. These decorations were beautifully white. His feet were painted with powdered canwood, resembling morocco boots. The king weighed about 200 pounds. He wore a pleasant smile. He looked to be eighty years old, but he was as active as a middle-aged man.
* * * * *
As the sun was setting in the west the king stood up, made a slight bow to his people and to me. His slaves were ready with his cowrie-studded hammock to take him to his place, for his feet must never touch the ground. His hammock was like the body of a buggy carried on two long poles upon the shoulders of many men. Through the shouts of the people I was accompanied back to my resting place. It was the most brilliant affair I had seen in Africa, but my! I was so glad when it was all over.
The town was laid off east and west. The broad streets ran at right angles, and there were blocks just as in any town. Those in a block were always related in some way. Around each house is a court and a high fence made of heavy matting of palm leaves, and around each block there is also a high fence, so you enter these homes by the many gates. Each block has a chief called Mbambi, and he is responsible to King Lukenga for his block. When the king will deliver a message to the whole village or part of it, these chiefs are sent for and during the early evenings they ring their iron hand bells and call out in a loud voice the message in five minutes. The king desired of his own heart to give me peanuts for my people. I heard the messengers delivering the word and the next morning we had more peanuts than we could manage.
There was not a visible light anywhere in the whole town. "A chunk or two" is always kept smouldering in the center of the house on the clay floor. The housewife is always careful to have a handful of split dry bamboo near, and when anyone is stung by a scorpion or snake (which often happens) they start up a blaze and hunt for the intruder and medicine.
When there is neither moon nor stars it is truly a land of awful darkness, and is made more dismal by the yelping of the jackal on the plain. The moon shines more brightly and beautifully than on Lukenga's plain. And the beauty is enhanced by the thousands of majestic palms, and the singing of birds with voices like the mocking bird and the nightingale. I have sat in front of my house moonlight nights until 12 and 1 o'clock.
Every morning the "courts" and streets were swept. Men who had committed some offense were compelled to pull weeds and sweep the streets clean.
There is a rule in all Bakuba villages that every man every day sweep before his own door. The only littered places I observed were at the four public entrances of the town where markets were held daily at 6 A.M., 12 noon and 5 P.M.—sugar cane, pulp, banana and plantain peelings, and peanut shells.
When the king's drum taps the signal about 9 P.M. at the conclusion of the sleep song there is not a sound again in the whole village.
All the natives we have met in the Kasal are, on the whole, honest. Our private dwellings have never been locked day or night. Your pocketbook is a sack of cowries or salt tied at the mouth with a string. But now and then something happens. N'susa, one of the boys of my caravan, misappropriated some cowries. I called him (in the presence of two witnesses) in question about the matter. He acknowledged removing the shells and innocently remarked, "You are the same as my father, and what is his is mine."
From the great Lukenga plateau as far as the eye can look you see villages dotted everywhere. You never find a family living alone isolated from the village. The people live together for mutual protection from enemies and animals. And usually everybody in a village is related in some near or distant way; but it does not keep them from fighting occasionally.
The Bakuba are monogamists. A young man sees a girl whom he likes; he has met her in his own town or at some other, or perhaps at a market place or a dance. He sends her tokens of love, bananas, plantains, peanuts, dried fish or grasshoppers. She in turn sends him similar presents.
They often meet, sit down on the green, laugh and talk together. I have seen the girls often blush and really put on airs. He asks her to have him, if she has no one else on her heart, and tells her that he wants no one to eat the crop that is in the field but her. The girl and the parents both agree.
On a set day when the market is in full blast, with hundreds of people from everywhere, the young man and girl, with their young friends, all dressed in their best robes, meet and march Indian file through the open market and receive congratulations from everybody.
The new bride and groom continue their march to the already prepared house of the young man. A feast of goat, sheep, monkey, chicken or fish, with plenty of palm wine is served and all is ended with a big dance.
The women of the king's household select their own husbands, and no man dare decline; and no man would ever be so rude or presumptuous as to ask for the hand and heart of royalty.
The husband knows that he must cut down the forest and assist in planting corn, millet, beans, pease, sweet potatoes and tobacco, hunt for game, bring the palm wine, palm nuts, make his wife's garments and repair the house. He is never to be out after 8 o'clock at night unless sitting up at a wake or taking part in a public town dance.
The young man before marriage sends a certain number of well-woven mats and so many thousands of cowries to the parents of the girl as a dowry. If they cease to love and must part, even twenty rainy seasons from marriage, the dowry or its equivalent is returned to the man.
The wife is expected to shave and anoint the husband's body with palm oil, keep his toenails and fingernails manicured, bring water and wood, help in the field, cook his food, and take care of the children.
I have had many a man come and ask to buy love medicine. They think charms and medicine can do anything. I always told them, of course, that it was a matter of the girl's heart, and charms or medicine could not help out in their "love affairs."
The Bakuba are morally a splendid people. I have asked a number of Bakuba what was their real ideal of life, and they invariably answered to have a big corn field, marry a good wife, and have many children.
We were astounded when we saw the first new-born baby. It was so very light. But in a few weeks the youngster rallied to his colors and we were assured that he would never change again.
No baby is born in the regularly occupied house. A small house is built in the back yard and is surrounded by a fence of palm fronds. No one is admitted into the enclosure but a few women. The new youngster receives a bath of palm oil, then the notice is given and all the friends of the family with jugs of cold water vie with each other in giving mother and baby a shower bath. The drums beat and the dance in water and mud continues for hours.
Until you get accustomed to it you would be horrified to see the mothers stuff their young babies. The mother nurses the baby just as any mother, but she doesn't think that sufficient. So she has by her side a small pot of soft corn pone and a pot of water or palm oil. She makes a large pill from the pone, dips it in the water or oil, and while the baby is lying on his back in her lap these pills are dropped in its mouth. Then the mother uses the forefinger to force the collection of pills down its throat. As the baby resists and kicks, water is poured down its throat to facilitate the process. If the baby strangles, the mother will shake him up and down a few times. When the feeding is over, he certainly looks "stuffed."
The Bakuba children have many games and but few toys. The girls have wooden dolls made by their fathers, and the boys make from bamboo bows and arrows. They shoot mice, lizards, grasshoppers, crickets, caterpillars, butterflies, lightning bugs, etc.
They make mud pies and play market, and tie the legs of May and June bugs to see them fly around and buzz. They love to play housekeeping. They are also trained to do some work, as bringing wood, sweeping or looking after the younger ones. There are no knives, forks or dishes to wash.
"Baby talk" is not used and the parents speak to the babies just as though they were speaking to grown-ups.
I have seen the children in the streets drawing with a pointed stick or their finger on the smooth sand, men, leopards, monkeys, crocodiles, birds, snakes and other animals.
The boys make a heap of clay and sod it, and with great speed run upon it and turn a somersault, lighting on their feet. A string of them together will play "leap frog," and hide-and-seek is great sport with them. In all these amusements they keep up a song.
There is one thing you will certainly see them doing, both boys and girls, and that is beating their clenched fists into the hard clay just as hard as they can drive. A year later you will see them driving their knuckles against a log or a tree. In this way they become hardened and are used as a weapon in fights when they are grown. And, too, they can butt like a goat, so in their family fights they not only use their fists but their heads.
I spent hours at King Lukenga's and other villages playing with the little folks and trying to find out what they were thinking about. They had a name for the sun and moon, names for very brilliant and prominent stars and ordinary ones. The sun was the father of the heavens, the moon was his wife, and the stars were their children. The sun after going down was paddled around in a very large canoe on the great water by men who were more than human and started in the skies again. They knew that a year was divided into two general seasons, the rainy (eight moons), the dry (four moons); though even in the rainy season it doesn't rain every day and very seldom all day at any time; and in the dry season there is an occasional refreshing shower.
They knew the names of all the lakes, rivers and small streams. Roots that were good for medicine or to eat they knew. Flowers and ferns were called by name. The names of all the many varieties of trees, birds and animals they knew.
I was surprised to know from Maxamalinge, the king's son, that every month the king had all the little children of the town before him and he in turn would talk to them, as a great and good father to his own children.
The king would have his servants give to each boy and girl a handful of peanuts. When they were out of the king's quarters there was many a scrap over these peanuts.
I grew very fond of Bakuba and it was reciprocated. They were the finest looking race I had seen in Africa, dignified, graceful, courageous, honest, with an open, smiling countenance and really hospitable. Their knowledge of weaving, embroidering, wood carving and smelting was the highest in equatorial Africa.
PILLARS OF THE STATE
WILLIAM C. JASON
Young people are the life-blood of the nation, the pillars of the state. The future of the world is wrapped up in the lives of its youth. As these unfold, the pages of history will tell the story of deeds noble and base. Characters resplendent with jewels and ornaments of virtue will be held up for the admiration of the world and the emulation of generations not yet born. Others, thoughtlessly or wilfully ignoring the plain path of duty, dwarfed, blighted, rejected of God and man, will be the sign-posts marking the road to ruin.
OATH OF AFRO-AMERICAN YOUTH
I will never bring disgrace upon my race by any unworthy deed or dishonorable act. I will live a clean, decent, manly life; and will ever respect and defend the virtue and honor of womanhood; I will uphold and obey the just laws of my country and of the community in which I live, and will encourage others to do likewise; I will not allow prejudice, injustice, insult or outrage to cower my spirit or sour my soul; but will ever preserve the inner freedom of heart and conscience; I will not allow myself to be overcome of evil, but will strive to overcome evil with good; I will endeavor to develop and exert the best powers within me for my own personal improvement, and will strive unceasingly to quicken the sense of racial duty and responsibility; I will in all these ways aim to uplift my race so that, to everyone bound to it by ties of blood, it shall become a bond of ennoblement and not a byword of reproach.
BIRD, AUGUSTA—Born in Tennessee. On the clerical force of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Contributor to the Brownies Book.
BOND, SCOTT—Born in slavery in Mississippi. Now a wealthy farmer in Madison, Arkansas.
BRAITHWAITE, WILLIAM BEAUMONT STANLEY (1878-)—Author and critic; born in Boston. Editor of "Anthology of Magazine Verse," published annually, "The Book of Georgian Verse," "The Book of Restoration Verse," contributor of literary criticisms to the Boston Transcript and magazines.
BRAWLEY, BENJAMIN GRIFFITH (1882-)—Born at Columbia, S.C. A.B., Atlanta Baptist College, 1901; A.B., University of Chicago, 1906; A.M., Harvard, 1908. Member American Historical Association, American Geographical Society; author, "Negro in Literature and Art," "Short History of American Negro" and booklets of verse. Dean of Morehouse College, Atlanta, Ga.
BROWN, WILLIAM WELLS (1816-?)—Born in slavery in Kentucky. Escaped in youth to the North. Prominent lecturer in America and England. Author of "The Black Man," "Clotelle," "The Negro in the Rebellion," "The Rising Sun," etc.
BURLEIGH, ALSTON W., son of H. T. Burleigh, the well-known composer of music.
CHESNUTT, CHARLES W. (1858-)—Born in Cleveland, Ohio. Admitted to the Ohio Bar, 1887. One of the foremost American novelists. Author of "The House behind the Cedars," "The Wife of his Youth," "The Marrow of Tradition," etc. Contributor to the Atlantic Monthly and Century Magazine.
COPPIN, LEVI J. (1848-)—Born at Frederickstown, Md. Bishop of African Methodist Episcopal Church. In South Africa 1900-1904. Author of "Observations of Persons and Things in South Africa" and a number of religious books. D. D., Wilberforce University, 1889. Ordained to ministry, 1877.
COTTER, JOSEPH S. (1861-).—Educator, author of "Negro Tales," etc.
COTTER, JOSEPH S., JR. (1897-1920)—A youth of great promise who wrote on a sick bed. Author of "The Band of Gideon," "The White Folks' Nigger," "Out of the Shadows."
CROGMAN, WILLIAM H. (1841-)—Born on St. Martin Island, West Indies, A.B., A.M., Atlanta University, 1876, 1879; Litt. D., LL.D., Clark University, 1901. For many years associated with Clark University, Atlanta, Ga., as president and professor. Member of the American Philosophical Association.
CROMWELL, JAMES W. (1846-)—Born Portsmouth, Va. LL.B., Harvard 1874; hon. A.M. Wilberforce University, 1914. Admitted to Bar, District of Columbia, 1874. First colored lawyer to appear before Interstate Commerce Commission. Principal Crummell School, Washington, D.C.; Secretary, American Negro Academy. Author of "The Negro in American History," etc.
DOUGLASS, FREDERICK (1817-1895)—Escaped from Maryland as a slave when a young man. Lectured on abolition in England and America. A noble orator, a clear thinker, and an untiring advocate of the rights of man. Published an autobiography in many editions.
DU BOIS, W. E. BURGHARDT (1868-)—Born in Great Barrington, Mass. A.B., Fisk University; A.B. and Ph.D., Harvard. Scholar; editor of "The Crisis"; author of "The Suppression of the Slave Trade," "The Souls of Black Folk," "Darkwater," etc.
DUNBAR, PAUL LAURENCE (1872-1906)—Born in Dayton, Ohio. Poet; author of "Oak and Ivy," "Majors and Minors," "Lyrics of Lowly Life," "The Uncalled," "The Sport of the Gods," etc. Dunbar stands in the forefront among American poets.
EDWARDS, WILLIAM J.—A Tuskegee graduate who founded the Snow Hill School, one of most important industrial schools of the country. Author of "Twenty-Five Years in the Black Belt," etc.
ELLIS, GEORGE W. (1875-1920)—Lawyer and author. While serving on the American Legation to Liberia, he studied the languages and customs of the tribes of West Africa, and wrote his books on this subject.
FAUSET, JESSIE R.—A. B., Cornell, A.M., Pennsylvania. Associate editor of "The Crisis" and the "Brownies' Book." Author of short stories and verses.
FISHER, RUTH ANNA—A. B., Oberlin College. Has engaged in teaching and social service work.
FLIPPER, HENRY OSSIAN—Served as lieutenant in American Army. Student and translator of Spanish.
FLOYD, SILAS X. (1869—)—A.B., A.M., Atlanta University, 1891, 1894; D.D. Morris Brown College, 1903. Principal of a school in Augusta, Ga. Author of "Floyd's Flowers," etc. Member, American Association Political and Social Science and American Historical Association.
GRIMKE, ANGELINA—Teacher in the public schools of Washington, D.C.; author of "Rachel," etc.
HACKLEY, AZALIA—Musician, pupil of Jean de Reszke. Very successful teacher and conductor of choruses.
HENSON, MATTHEW A.—Began life as a cabin boy. Twenty-three years Peary's companion. He was with him at the North Pole. Thoroughly acquainted with life customs and languages of the Eskimos.
HOLTZCLAW, WILLIAM H.—A Tuskegee graduate who founded the Utica Normal and Industrial Institute in Mississippi; author of "The Black Man's Burden," etc.
JAMIESON, R. C. (1888-1918)—Born, Winchester, Tenn. Educated at Fisk University. Author, contributor to "The Crisis."
JOHNSON, JAMES WELDON—Poet and diplomat. At one time American Consul at Puerto Cabello, Venezuela and Nicaragua. Author of "Fifty Years and Other Poems," "An Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man." Field Secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
JONES, E. S.—Author of "The Sylvan Cabin and Other Poems."
MILLER, KELLY (1863—)—Born at Winnsboro, S.C. A.M., LL.D., Howard University, 1901, 1903. Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Howard University. Lecturer on race problem. Member Academy Political and Social Science, American Social Science Association, American Association for the Advancement of Science. Author "Race Adjustment," "Out of the House of Bondage"; wrote chapter on "Education of the Negro" in report of U.S. Bureau of Education, 1901. Contributor to magazines and newspapers.
PENDELTON, LEILA A.—Teacher in Washington Public Schools for many years. Author of "A Narrative of the Negro," "An Alphabet for Negro Children," etc.
PICKENS, WILLIAM (1881-)—Born in Anderson Co., S.C. A.B., Talledaga College, 1902; A.B., Yale, 1904; A.M., Fisk, 1908. Won the Ten Eyck prize for oratory, Yale, 1913. Educator and lecturer. Formerly Dean of Morgan College, Baltimore. Associate Field Secretary for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Author of "The New Negro," "The Spirit of Freedom," etc.
SCOTT, EMMETT J. (1873-)—Born at Houston, Texas. Wiley University, 1905. Secretary of Howard University. Appointed a member of American Commission to Liberia, 1919, by President Taft. Assistant to Secretary of War, 1914-18. Author, "The American Negro in the World War," etc.
SHEPARD, JAMES E. (1875-)—Born, Lehigh, N.C. Author, lecturer, founder of Religious Training School at Durham, N.C. Has traveled in Europe, Africa and Asia.
SHEPPARD, WILLIAM HENRY (1865-)—Born at Waynesboro, Va. Sent by Southern Presbyterian church as missionary to Africa, 1890. Exposed to the Congo atrocities. Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
SIMMONS, WILLIAM J. (1849-?)—Born in Charleston, S.C. Boyhood of severe poverty. AB., Howard University, 1873. Educator, editor, minister, author "His Men of Mark" which contains biographies of 177 colored men.
STAFFORD, O. O.—Principal of Lincoln Public School, Washington, D.C. Author of "Animal Fables."
WASHINGTON, BOOKER T. (1858-1915)—Born in slavery. Graduated at Hampton Institute. Founded Tuskegee Institute. One of the foremost educators America has produced. Author of "Up from Slavery," "Working with the Hands," etc.
WHEATLEY, PHYLLIS (1753-1784)—Brought to Boston as a slave in her childhood. Kindly treated and educated; became one of America's well known poets of the early period.
WHITE, WALTER, F.—Graduate of Atlanta University. Assistant Secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
WITTEN, LILLIAN B.—Graduate Smith College. Teacher in the St. Louis High School.
* * * * *
The transcriber made these changes to the text to correct obvious errors:
1. p. 63 H CORDELIA RAY —> H. CORDELIA RAY 2. p. 76 Tousaint —> Toussaint 3. p. 143 correspondingly —> correspondingly: 4. p. 197 Greegee —> Greegree 5. p. 206 on all sorts —> of all sorts
End of Transcriber's Notes]