In December, 1888, he was advanced to the priesthood by Bishop Whittle in St. Luke's Church, Norfolk, Va. In the Fall of 1891 he accepted an invitation to become the Rector of St. James' Church, Baltimore, Md. The church, although one of the oldest of the connection, had been very much run down. During a ministry there of ten years, he has wrought remarkable improvement. He has increased the communicant list from sixty-three to nearly two hundred, and advanced the church well-nigh to complete self-support. The old church, which was in a Jewish neighborhood, has been sold during the present year, and a handsome brick structure erected in another section of the city. Mr. Bragg, during his residence in Baltimore, has founded a splendid charitable institution, the Maryland Home for Friendless Colored Children, and two young men have been sent into the ministry of the church directly through his efforts. For many years the Rev. Mr. Bragg was Secretary of the Annual Conference of Episcopal Church Workers among the Colored people. And in addition to his many other arduous labors he has found time to edit the "Afro-American Ledger," a weekly of this city, the "Church Advocate," and the "Maryland Home," monthly publications.
Mr. Bragg is a well known figure in all public movements for race amelioration, and is a veteran newspaper man, having been Secretary of the National Press Convention for four years, beginning with the presidency of the late Rev. Dr. W. J. Simmons.
At first the asking of this question is a most natural one, seeing that the great body of Negroes are attached to either one of the above churches, and it would seem at a first glance that these religious organizations are pre-eminently suited to the Negro race. But, we hope to show that not only are other churches adapted to the "present Negro," but one of these other churches meets the Negro's need better than either one of those above mentioned. Of course it is hardly necessary for me to state that our showing is conceived in the very best spirit, and with the fullness of Christian love towards our Baptist and Methodist brethren. Did I not believe that the church of which I am a member is best suited for the Negro, I would at once renounce attachment thereto and embrace most lovingly the one which I thought more efficiently equipped to minister to the complexed and diversified needs of my race. On account of a multitude of reasons, not necessary to state here, Negroes naturally drifted into that form of Christianity presented by the Baptist and Methodist churches. With the innate feeling and strong tendency to warmth, fervor, animation and excitement, it is not at all surprising that people so strongly emotional should gravitate in that direction. Whatever may be my own criticisms with respect to the defects in these two systems, which render them inferior to the church of which I am a member, and therefore less suitable to the needs of the race, I much prefer stating my side of the question and leaving my readers free to draw their own conclusions. That portion of the Universal Church, known in this country as the Episcopal Church, to my mind, is better suited and equipped for the amelioration of the condition of the Negro than any other.
The Negro is specially fond of "regularity" in religious as well as political affairs. In this respect the Episcopal Church comes to him not as something new but as the living exponent of the old-time religion and the old church which has actually descended to him, through all the ages past from the very hands of Christ down to this present time. It has historic continuity and claims none less than the Blessed Master as its founder. She is not founded upon the Bible, for she gave to the world this blessed book. Her sons inspired of God wrote it. And the claim of historic continuity can be established and proven in the ordinary way that we attest other historical facts. The church, then, that Jesus Christ founded and concerning which He said the "Gates of hell should not prevail against it," must of necessity be "adapted to the present Negro."
The Negro needs the faith once delivered to the saints, not in shreds or left to pick it out for himself, but the whole faith. This the Episcopal Church offers him. A complete faith, naturally, is to be found in a comprehensive church. The Episcopal Church is most comprehensive. She believes more in turning in than in turning out. Men are not brought into the fold to be "turned out" for every little thing, but they are brought in to be built up, established and rooted and grounded in Him. The church, then, is adapted to the present Negro because she gives him not opinions and theories, but the living faith of the ages and a living Christ as potential to-day as when He trod this earth clothed in flesh. And this church is most comprehensive, taking in all sorts and conditions of men, and by grace dispensed through sacraments, ordained by Christ Himself, seeks to bring to the fullness of stature as realized in Jesus Christ.
The Episcopal Church is pre-eminently adapted to the present Negro, for the present Negro is most eager to learn, and, above all other religious bodies, she is a teaching church. More Scripture is read at one Episcopal service than is ofttimes read in a month in the services of other churches. She has a liturgy which is the sum total of all that is good and grand in the ages past, and the constant and almost imperceptible influence of her most excellent system of public worship, as indicated in the Book of Common Prayer, silently but effectively issues, in moulding and mellowing good Christian character. She teaches not only through the prayer book, but by the yearly round of feast, festival and fast, of which, like a great panorama the acts and incidents in the life of her Lord are constantly set forth before those who have ears to hear and eyes to see. More than that, she teaches through symbolism. Many persons, and a considerable number of Negroes are here included, are endowed with but little brain. But they have eyes, and what they take in with their eyes help to rivet and fasten in their memories what they seize upon with what brain they possess. Our children begin to take in the surrounding objects with their eyes long before their minds are sufficiently developed to act, and the same is true in the present matter. The Episcopal Church, therefore, is especially adapted to the present Negro because she is adequately and sufficiently equipped to touch him at that portion of his being which will respond in unison with what she has to offer for his improvement. Her service addresses itself to his natural senses, as well as to his mental powers, however strong or weak they may be.
The Episcopal Church is adapted to the Negro because her worship is hearty, beautiful, uplifting and inspiring, though simple and easy, furnishing the greatest opportunity for active participation therein by the ignorant as well as the learned. The worship of the Episcopal Church harmonizes most beautifully with the strong religious fervor of the Negro, and as a vehicle for offering up those intense longings and aspirations of his heart, is without an equal.
The Episcopal Church is adapted to the Negro because she believes so persistently and thoroughly in "a change of heart." Of all religious bodies not one lays such emphasis on the absolute necessity of "a change of heart" as does the Episcopal Church. Stamped upon every page of her divine liturgy, and permeating the beautiful prayers of her offices, and inwrought in her hymnology, is this deep and firm recognition and teaching with respect to a change of heart. All her sacraments, disciplinary offices, instructions and the like, are with the design of helping her children, through the aid of the Divine Spirit, in proving the genuineness of their change of heart by a conspicuous, powerful and beautiful change of life.
The Episcopal Church is adapted to the Negro because she offers a government that is congenial and pleasant to his sunshiny nature, and which, while it amply protects him in the enjoyment of all the blessed privileges of religious culture, saves him the disaster and confusion of a democracy, which, when realized, is but another name for anarchy and confusion.
The government of the Episcopal Church is jointly shared by her clergymen and laymen, and the stability and security of its government is firmly attested by the past ages of experience and notable achievements.
In conclusion the Episcopal Church is the church for the Negro, because she is both willing and able to supply his every need, and under her loving nurture and constant training in the end will graduate him into a well-rounded Christian man of symmetrical character and beauty.
ARE OTHER THAN BAPTIST AND METHODIST CHURCHES ADAPTED TO THE PRESENT NEGRO?
BY REV. JOHN W. WHITTAKER.
REV. JOHN W. WHITTAKER.
Rev. John W. Whittaker, A. M., a prominent Congregational pastor, was a poor boy who made his way up through many hardships. He was born at Atlanta, Ga., December 23, 1860. Of his father he knows very little. His mother was a devoted Christian whose life greatly influenced his character. When old enough, he was put to work to help support the family. While an office boy at Atlanta he met a young man, Lewis G. Watts, a thorough Christian and fond of reading, who cultivated Mr. Whittaker's friendship and took a great interest in him. Whenever with Mr. Whittaker he questioned him in arithmetic, grammar and the news of the day.
In this way a desire for an education was awakened in Mr. Whittaker. He decided to go to school. He began his education in the summer of 1876 in a country school in a suburb of Atlanta. From here he went to the Starr's Grammar School. His examination revealed the fact that he had considerable general information, but it was so unsystematic that it was very difficult to tell to what grade he belonged. He was, however, classified as a senior with conditions and was graduated with honor at the close of the school year. Then he matriculated in Atlanta University, where he studied seven years, completing the college course in 1884. He studied theology at the Hartford Seminary, graduating in 1887.
During these years of study Mr. Whittaker partly supported himself by teaching in the summer and working out of school hours, which was an immense drain upon his strength, and once he broke down under it. Through the kindness of friends he was enabled to spend two summers in the North farming. This change, he feels, was the saving of his life. June 1, 1887, at Springfield, Mass., where he held his first charge, he was ordained. In 1888 he was married to Miss Anna J. Connover, of Hartford, Conn.
Mr. Whittaker educated himself to labor for his people in the South. He was not content to remain in the North. After a very successful year at Springfield, he resigned to accept a call to the Knowles Street Congregational Church of Nashville, Tenn. For three years he was chaplain of the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute. For seven years and four months he was pastor of the First Congregational Church of New Orleans, La., and three years he had charge of the First Congregational Church of Savannah, Ga. Recently he has been recalled to Tuskegee to be the Financial Secretary of the Tuskegee Institute.
Mr. Whittaker is a preacher of force and power. In every place he pastored he was remarkably successful. He has often been honored by his church with positions of trust and responsibility. He was one of the Louisiana Commissioners of the Negro Department for the Atlanta and Cotton States Exposition.
It would seem from the immense following of these churches that this question would require a negative answer, but it is only in appearance and can be accounted for.
In the days of slavery the Methodist and Baptist churches predominated in the South. The great mass of the slaves attended these churches with their masters and there they were converted and became members. They were thoroughly indoctrinated in the teachings of these churches. At the same time, there were other denominations existing among the slaves: Catholic, Episcopalian, and Presbyterian. In some portions of the United States, where these denominations were in the lead, they have a very large Negro following, whose attachment to these religious sects is so strong that they could be satisfied in no other. They belong to these denominations by birth and training. All that is sacred and dear to them is wrapped up in the history of these bodies. At the present time, it is a fact that the Negro is found in every religious denomination known among men. So it can not be said with truth that no other than Baptist and Methodist churches are adapted to the Negro. The needs of the Negro, from a religious point of view, demand all sects.
How does it come about then that the Baptist and Methodist so largely predominate to-day? These denominations, just after the War of the Rebellion, required no educational qualification for the ministry; and missions were opened by them everywhere an opening was to be found, and every man, learned or ignorant, who felt himself called to preach, was licensed and sent forth to preach in his way and to build up churches. These men were for the most part ignorant and superstitious, with very vague ideas of religion. Their chief object was to draw the people and every other consideration was sacrificed to that end. They pandered to the ignorant and superstitious notions of the Negro, ridiculed intelligence, and prejudiced their followers against it. They had no thought of progress, but taught the people to be satisfied with what their fathers before them did and had; not to believe in this Bible religion which has sprung up since the war; to prefer the old-time preacher who, without any learning, gets up and opens his mouth and lets God fill it with words to utter.
Back of all this there was one ever present motive—the pastor's support, the running expenses of the church, and the keeping up of a house of worship. All this had to be collected from the congregation. Hence the preacher's position hung upon his getting and holding a congregation. In the Methodist Church, a clergyman's advancement depends chiefly upon his ability to increase his membership and to raise money. Therefore, every Baptist and Methodist pastor felt the very great necessity there was upon him of getting as great a crowd as possible and gathering all the finance he could from it. This many did, regardless of the method employed.
Thus it was that these two denominations got hold of the masses and preoccupied the field.
The other denominations went to work in an entirely different way. They did not seek in the first place the spread of their sects, but the elevation of the Negro. They realized that the Negro needed to be developed into strong, self-reliant, and independent characters; that the masses were not moved by duty and did not appreciate the obligation of duty. They are a prey to their feelings, which sway them to the right hand and to the left. They live on their feelings. So engrossed are they in their feelings that they neglect duties and ignore obligations. That is why the religion of so many is such sad rubbish. God gave man reason to rule over his actions. But it was plain that, in the great mass of the Negro, reason is yet a child, ruled over by its playmates—the feelings, passions, and appetites. This is not the kind of foundation upon which to build a true religious life.
Therefore, these denominations went to work to educate the Negro. They put the emphasis on education. Schools instead of churches were established. Their theory was that men should not only be converted, but they also should be educated and made intelligent Christians. They did not discount brains, did not consider ignorance in itself a mark of virtue, nor that learning disqualified a disciple of God for the best service of his Lord and Master. In their polity, the school and the church stood side by side. In their view, an example of higher and better things must be set. Men of intelligence, power, thought, and strong characters, filled with the spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, must be raised up from among the people to lead them and to teach them.
They were slow in establishing churches. Whatever churches they set up were pastored by men of learning and character. They were unwilling to stoop to the people, but sought to bring the people up to them. Everything was done according to the custom of the most intelligent and cultured. The preaching was of a high order, yet adapted to the needs of the people. The music was the very best. Thus a model church was set up, suited to the needs of its communicants. As fast as men were trained and prepared for the work of the gospel ministry, they were sent forth to take charge of newly-organized fields. This work went on with considerable opposition, but the influence that went out from these churches and schools was felt in the whole community. They were centers of light and wholesome Christian instruction. They were Mt. Sinais from which the laws of liberty, education, and progress were sent out to the people far and near.
These churches were, in intelligence, far removed from the masses. There was very little effort put forth to reach them. That was not the object now. That work was to come on later. The members of, and the attendance upon, these churches were mainly those who had been sufficiently taught to appreciate them.
The ignorant and prejudiced dubbed these churches high-tone. They said: "Only the educated and well-dressed can go there. The people in that church have no religion. They have only book religion. You must know how to read to go there. Why, you can't shout or say amen. I don't want anything to do with that church. It's too cold for me." Thus there grew up in the minds of the masses generally a prejudice against these denominations. And the fact that these churches were for a long time in the hands of white pastors was used to stir up opposition to them. The clergymen of the Methodists and Baptists made much of it to tear them down and to build up themselves.
Then, again, the members of these educated churches did a great deal to widen the breach by such remarks as this: "We do not want any head handkerchief people in our churches." They often spoke in a way which gave the impression that they felt themselves better than the commonality of their brethren; and whenever visitors came to these churches, the members did not extend them that cordial welcome which makes one feel at home and want to come again. This was often done unconsciously. These members had been apt students, who faithfully copied their instructors. The very atmosphere of these churches was New England, which was cold and formal as compared with our Southern ways. Thus our untrained brethren did not feel at home in their midst.
As time goes on and education becomes more general, these hindrances and difficulties to the progress of the other denominations begin to pass away. The prejudice against them wanes. The Baptist and Methodist are forced to change their tactics; their people begin to clamor for a more intelligent ministry. The churches of the other denominations fell into the hands of young colored men who had been educated and trained to take these places.
The passing of these churches into the hands of the native pastors was the beginning of a new era in our Southern church history. The North had set the standard and carried out its purpose to raise up educated men and women to take up the work. The labor of these churches heretofore was one of education and preparation. Now it becomes one of development and expansion. Up to this time, they cared for the few. Now they are to reach out for the masses. Previously these churches had been in great measure supported by Northern aid, but now they have to deal with all the problems connected with running a church, such as gathering and holding a congregation, securing pastor's support, and all the expense of keeping up and maintaining a house of worship. Hence the necessity is upon them to reach the masses if they expect to exist, not only to save souls, but also that their forces may be strengthened and made more efficient; and they stand to-day as good a chance in this race as do the Methodists or Baptists. Their past work in an educational line in behalf of the Negro in general has given them a lasting hold upon the hearts of the people, who feel that they owe these denominations a debt of gratitude which can never be paid. Most of the Methodist and Baptist leaders of to-day were trained in the schools of these denominations. So they enjoy the best wishes of the communities in which they exist, with very few exceptions. The way is open to them to grow if they will only seize it and use it for all it is worth.
[Note by the Editor.—We assume that the membership of neither the Baptist nor the Methodist churches would claim for a moment that theirs is the only church suitable to the Negro race. But we think it would be unfair to leave the discussion of this topic without correcting an erroneous impression given by the Rev. J. W. Whitaker in the paper above. Perhaps not more than one other church has done more for the education of its Negro ministers and membership than has the Methodist Episcopal Church through its Freedmen's Aid Society and by other methods. This education commenced immediately after the war. We have reason to believe that the Baptist is a close second to the Methodist Church in this matter of educating the Negro. It is possible that some of the Negro Baptist and Methodist Churches that are entirely separated from the white churches of the same denomination may come under the category of especially ignorant ministry and membership; but even these exclusively Negro churches began the work of education soon after emancipation. We suspect that the two churches under criticism as given above preferred not to wait until the freedmen became cultured before attempting to save them.]
ARE OTHER THAN BAPTIST AND METHODIST CHURCHES ADAPTED TO THE PRESENT NEGRO?
BY REV. O. M. WALLER.
REV. OWEN M. WALLER.
Rev. Owen Meredith Waller, rector of St. Luke's P. E. Church, Washington, D. C.; Associate of Arts of Oxford University, England; Graduate of the General Theological Seminary, New York, was born in Eastville, Va., in 1868. When but five years old his parents settled in Baltimore, where he was sent at an early age to the St. Mary's Academy. In 1881 he went to Oxford, England, where he entered St. John's Classical School, pursuing studies there until 1889, when he returned to New York city. He graduated from the General Episcopal Theological Seminary in 1892, and was ordained to the Deaconate by Bishop Potter, after which he accepted a call as assistant rector to St. Phillip's Church, New York.
He declined the principalship of Hoffman Hall of Fisk University, Nashville, Tenn., to accept a call to St. Thomas' Church, Philadelphia. Having passed all examinations before reaching the required age to enter the priesthood, it was only after his election to St. Thomas' that he became eligible for advancement.
Bishop Potter arranged for the ordination to take place in the Colonial Church of St. John, Washington, D. C. Here in the presence of the Chief Justice, Cabinet Officers, Senators and other men of national note, Mr. Waller was formally elevated to the priesthood. After a rectorship of three years' successful work in this historic parish, during which its centennial was celebrated, Mr. Waller was elected rector of St. Luke's Church, Washington, D. C., in succession to the Rev. Dr. Crumwell.
In size he is above the medium and of athletic build. He is a perfect type of the physical manhood of his race, graceful in manner and address and is clear and eloquent in his style of oratory.
Success has crowned his work from the beginning. Mr. Waller combines all the essentials necessary of a leader of men along religious lines. He understands humanity. His methods inspire the confidence of men, and they reverence his gospel. He appeals to the intelligence and reason, never to passion and prejudice. He has the faculty of saying much in little, and saying it with directness and force.
Mr. Waller was married in 1893 to Miss Lillian M. Ray, of Brooklyn, N. Y. Three bright boys have blessed this union by their advent into the home.
I have no hesitancy in saying that not only are there other churches adapted to the training of the Negro than the Methodist and Baptist churches, but, in my opinion, some are better suited to the present needs of the Negro, and chief, if not indeed the first, among these is that branch of the Apostolic Catholic Church known as the Protestant Episcopal Church. I advance the following arguments to sustain this statement:
First, the Negro is under a spell of religiosity; a conception of religion that freely recognizes and imbibes its sentiment, but just as frankly rejects its stern practical duties and obligations. The Negro's religion is a poem—a sentiment—indeed, a velvet-lined yoke. He, therefore, stands sadly in need of an influence that will regulate his super-emotional nature, and not one that adds fuel to an existing conflagration that threatens to forever consume the only power in the human being that can ultimately work out his salvation, viz., the human will.
His religiosity needs to be directed to the deep channels of true religion, and there harnessed as a mighty Niagara to produce practical righteousness in daily living. No church is better adapted to this end than the Protestant Episcopal. (a) She seeks after the example of her Master's method to develop the permanent power of the will, rather than the unstable prop of emotionalism. This is evidenced in her majestic liturgies and dignified but helpful services. (b) In doctrine, discipline and worship the Protestant Episcopal Church is the school of mental, moral and spiritual training, that a people but now coming to the light from the darkness and degradation of bondage so terribly need. (c) Again, her ministry, bishops, priests and deacons are her people's leaders; secure in the tenure of their office from factional machinations, they are fearless in the advocacy of righteousness; not with their ears to the ground, but with eyes looking upward, their pulpits speak plainly "Things pertaining to the Kingdom of God." Nothing at this stage does the Negro stand in greater need of than fearless and positive guidance in the "ways of righteousness."
Second: The present Negro needs opportunity and latitude for self-development in a church where he must measure himself with the highest standard of Anglo-evolution. As long as the Negro is content to compare himself, in Negro associations, with himself, he must be satisfied to know only that things equal to the same thing are equal to one another. But, both in the lay membership and in the ministry of the Protestant Episcopal Church, the Negro coming into contact with the best results of modern forces, not only rises up to higher standards, but is saved from the insidious evils of conceitedness by ever seeing the vistas beyond him. Withal, the doors are open to the Negro, here more truly so than in any church of like prestige and heritage. Two Negroes are on the bench of the Protestant Episcopal Church. Nearly a hundred have been elevated to the diaconate and priesthood, meeting all requirements and thereby teaching the same level as other men. Such a showing cannot be made by any church of like history.
Third: We have been told of late to teach the Negro history, and I add that no lesson will be so potent as identification with a historic church that has come down the centuries to us, in unbroken integrity, from the hands of Christ through the spiritual loins of the Apostles. I advance the following argument to show that the Protestant Episcopal Church will meet this need of the Negro: At Acts 11:42, we read as follows: "And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship and in the breaking of bread and in prayers."
It may be readily seen from these words, drawn as they are directly from the scholarly Greek of St. Luke, that the Apostolic Church was distinctly marked by four observances or characteristics:
(a) Their steadfastness in the Apostles' doctrine.
(b) Their steadfastness in the Apostles' fellowship, dealings, doings, ministry or form of government.
(c) Their steadfastness in the breaking of the bread, or the Holy Communion; Holy Baptism being included in the Apostolic doctrine.
(d) Their steadfastness in the Apostles' manner of praying or in the set forms of prayer, at first, for twenty-five years in the Temple and the synagogues of the Jews.
These being the four marks of the church at that time, is there now in existence any church having these selfsame marks? Without any doubt, Christ was the founder of that visible body of Christians, the church in Acts II. Does that church exist to-day? It must, because Christ said: "The gates of hell shall not prevail against it."—Matt. 16:18.
THEN WHICH IS IT, AND WHERE IS IT?
The church is certainly a visible body of Christians, not founded by a man or men, but by Jesus Christ. Having a divine founder it is then a divine society, seeking men to save them from the degrading power of sin and everlasting punishment in hell. It is not then, as is so commonly and popularly thought, a human society founded by Luther, 1530; Calvin, 1541; Knox, 1560; Robert Brown, 1582; Roger Williams, 1639; John Wesley, 1739; or Swedenborg, 1783. In brief, the church founded by Jesus Christ is the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth, as Christ so often described it (Matthew 13:47, 5:19, 13:44); endowed with power from on high transmitted through her unbroken line of the Apostolic ministry, but obedient to her Divine Founder, who is at the right hand of God in heaven.
This church of four distinct marks in the Acts existed before the completion of the New Testament at least some sixty years, and it was the church that by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit pronounced the New Testament inspired, and rejected other books claiming to set forth the life of Christ, three hundred years after it was founded. The Old Testament is the document of the Jewish Church, that church having been in existence for a thousand years before its document was completed. Therefore, this church of the Acts cannot be set aside for one claimed to be founded upon the Bible.
For three hundred years then, this Apostolic Church existed with Apostolic doctrine, ministry, sacraments, and prayers before she gave the New Testament to the world with her certificate that it was the Inspired Word of God.
The Protestant Episcopal Church of America as the daughter of the Church of England, has ever possessed, and does now possess and hold more sacred, these four marks that identify her unmistakably with the primitive and Apostolic Church, as a true branch of the same.
First, as to doctrine this church holds and defends the pure teaching of the early church, without taking from or adding to the same. There are few, indeed, who would question this.
The Holy Trinity (John 14:16, 26; Acts 2:33; Gal. 4:6).
The Incarnation of God's Son (Luke 1:35; John 1:14; Matt. 1:23).
The Redemption of Man by Christ Jesus (Matt. 1:21, 20:28; Gal. 1:4).
Regeneration and Holy Baptism (Titus 3:5; Rom. 6:4; Gal. 3:27).
The Holy Communion (Matt. 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19-20).
Confirmation (Acts 8; Heb. 6:2).
The Resurrection of the Dead (Luke 14:14; John 11:23).
The Judgment (Acts 17:31; Heb. 9:27).
Belief in these statements and other fundamental teaching of Holy Scripture is in accord with the mind of the Apostolic Church.
Secondly, as to the unbroken line of bishops, priests and deacons, who have succeeded for more than eighteen centuries other ministers Apostolically ordained, that has been most jealously guarded and maintained by the Episcopal Church.
There may be some who have never given any study to the Apostolic succession of ministers in the church founded by Christ. No one could well doubt the fact or deny the doctrine who had patiently investigated the matter. The New Testament is itself witness to the fact that the Apostles appointed others to do Apostolic work and to be their successors; at least thirty Apostles are mentioned in the New Testament. Among them were Paul, Matthew, Barnabas, Andronicus, Silas, Luke, Titus, whom St. Paul appointed Bishop of Crete, and Timothy, whom he appointed Bishop of Ephesus. There were also at least ten others whose names are recorded, space does not permit us to mention.
Now, if the original twelve could have eighteen successors, certainly they could, and have had a continual line of successors down the centuries. The titles of the three orders of the ministry may, at first, mislead the unlearned.
(1) In the New Testament the highest order was Apostles. The second, "ordained in every city," were Presbyters (Presters or Priests), also called Bishops and the lowest order Deacons.
As the Apostles began to die off, the title "Apostle" was limited to them and to their successors who had probably seen Christ, at the same time the title "Bishop" was set apart to denote the highest order which succeeded the original Apostles. This is stated by Clement of Alexandria in the second, and Jerome in the fourth century. While Theodoret, writing in 440, says: "The same persons were in ancient times called either presbyters or bishops, at which time, those who are now called bishops were called Apostles. In process of time, the name of Apostles was left to those who were sent directly by Christ, and the name of Bishop was confined to those who were anciently called 'Apostles.'" From Palestine the church spread to Asia Minor, Greece, Rome, Gaul, Spain and England, carrying with her the Apostles' doctrine, ministry, sacraments and prayer.
In 597, when Gregory the Great, Bishop of Rome, sent Augustine to England, he found there the church with the four marks. After awhile the Bishop of Rome, by political methods, gained great influence over the English Church in so much that he was receiving from England greater revenues than the king. When the tremendous revolt against the papacy came about in Europe in the sixteenth century the English people simply ejected the pope's emissaries and with them, Italian influence and corruption from England and the English Church, the church remained essentially the same she had been for centuries.
The word "Reformation" signifies the footing of something into a new shape. It is therefore not the destruction of the old and the substituting of the new, but rather the reshaping, cleansing and revivifying of the old. The melting down of the family silver and the reshaping it on new models is not to acquire new silver. Perhaps it was so distorted by abuse that it required new shaping. This was very much the case with the Church of England.
The reformation in England was effected on very different lines from that on the continent of Europe. Luther, Calvin, Melancthon, and others were individuals attracting to themselves multitudes of other individuals and together they establish societies of Christians. The Apostolical churches on the continent did not, as such, participate in the reformation movement. In England the reformation, i. e., the reshaping, restoring and cleansing, was more wisely conducted. The church there had existed since the days of the Apostles. For six hundred years it remained independent of the Roman world power, and it was only after the Norman Conquest that the papal authority became well established in England. When a reformation seemed necessary, it was conducted, not by individuals leaving the national church, but by the whole Church of England. In A. D. 1532 the quarrel of Henry the Eighth with the pope led to the overthrow of the Roman power in England. Henry is not to be credited as a reformer, much less as the founder of any church. He never made any attempt to found a church. When he was born, in 1491, he found the church existing in England, and when he died, in 1547, he left the same church, but cleansed and independent. The ancient church was not changed, and the old religion did not give place to the new. The papacy was opposed to the independence of the national churches for which the Church of England had always contended.
Accordingly, when the power of the pope was broken and thrust out of England, the church was at liberty to restore Apostolic purity and freedom to the nation and the individual.
Parliament prohibited the payment of money to the pope and appealing from English to papal courts. In 1539 the Bible was given to the people to read in their native tongue. The services were read in English instead of Latin. The chalice was given to the laity. The worship of the Blessed Virgin Mary was abolished and praying to departed saints forbidden. These reforms were conducted by the archbishops, bishops, priests, and deacons and laity, i. e., by the whole church. The pope was not without his adherents during this period, who opposed these changes most vehemently. But these traitors to the Church of England found they could not stem the tide for an open Bible and pure religion. In 1569 Pope Pius Fifth created the great sin of schism by commanding all in favor of papal power in England to withdraw from the English Church and form an Italian party. In 1685 the Italian Church supplied this party with a bishop. To-day the Italian mission in England is doing all in its power to make headway against the Church of England, but in vain.
We can now come briefly to the Episcopal Church in America. She was established in the American Colonies under the oversight of the Bishop of London. In 1609 the Church of England planted her first church on American shores at Jamestown, Virginia. After the Revolution, the church in this country became the American Episcopal Church, receiving the Apostolic ministry from the ancient Apostolic Church of England. Samuel Seabury of Connecticut, was consecrated at Aberdeen in 1784 and William White of Philadelphia, and Samuel Provoost of New York were consecrated at Lambeth Palace in 1787. These were the first three bishops with jurisdiction, and thus was the Apostolic Succession maintained in the Episcopal Church in unbroken line from the days of the Apostles.
In conclusion, the Protestant Episcopal Church has ever continued steadfast in the sacraments of prayers, and by these four undeniable and unmistakable marks shows that she is a true branch of the same church described in Acts 2.
The question for the Negro now becomes, not which church do I like or prefer, not to which church did my parents belong, but which church did Christ found for me to be trained in.
THE NEGRO AS A BUSINESS MAN.
An Address Before the National Negro Business League.
BY T. W. JONES.
HON. THEODORE W. JONES.
The Hon. Theodore W. Jones was born during the temporary residence of his parents in the beautiful city of Hamilton, Ontario, September 19, 1853. His parents soon returned to New York, their native State, and there remained until he was twelve years old. In 1865 this family decided to make Illinois their home and settled in Chicago.
Mr. Jones was one of a very large family; his parents were poor and unable to give him even a common school education. Compelled to support himself, at the age of fifteen years he was driving an express wagon. He was an industrious boy, full of pluck and energy. Without money and by his own unaided efforts, step by step, he pressed on and soon built up a most successful express and moving business.
Discouraged by no difficulty, the ambitious young expressman turned his attention toward acquiring an education. He was a diligent student. Through the aid of private tutors and the "midnight oil," he was able, when twenty-five years of age, to enter Wheaton College, Wheaton, Ill., where he remained three years. Leaving college, he returned to his business in Chicago and has been exceedingly prosperous.
Mr. Jones is the owner of a large brick storage warehouse, Twenty-ninth Street and Shields Avenue, and other valuable property in this city. In his employ are three lady clerks and about fifty men, all colored.
In 1894, Theodore W. Jones was elected on the Republican ticket to the responsible position of County Commissioner of Cook County, Ill. He ably and well performed the duties of this office.
That he labored earnestly and unselfishly to advance the interests of the colored people we need relate only the following fact: During Mr. Jones' term of office the colored people of Cook County drew $50,000 yearly salary. This was about seven times the amount paid into the county treasury by our race.
He is a valued member of the National Negro Business League. He was present in Boston at the organisation and has organised a branch league in Chicago, known as the Business Men's League of Cook County. This league entertained the National League in Chicago, August 21, 22, 23, 1901.
There has been so much controversy concerning the Negro, so much said and written about his alleged inferiority, such an attempt made to establish relationship between him and the monkey, that even in this new century there exists, in some quarters, grave doubts as to his origin, and a general misapprehension as to his nature, capabilities and purposes. But research into the primeval history of man evinces the fact, beyond the possibility of skepticism, that mankind had only one common origin. We are taught that in the beginning God created man in His own image, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and that man became a living soul. The closest and most thorough analysis of the blood of different races fails to detect the slightest difference in the color, size, shape or quality of its corpuscles. The fact that one people are white, another yellow, another red, another brown, and yet another black has its cause in the workings of a law of nature which we do not fully understand. Sacred history plainly teaches that the Negro is a man like other men and that of one blood God created all nations; hence there can be no racial barrier to a successful business career, in the general constitution of a black man.
What was the business of the Negro in the land of his nativity, or at the time of his emancipation in this country, does not so much interest us now, except as it may help us to appreciate his capacity for business at present.
Life for our forefathers in Africa was very plain and very simple. The multitude was engaged with problems little more difficult than the acquirement of food and drink and rest, raiment not being a necessity; hence their only business, aside from frequent wars with kindred tribes, was to explore a way to the fruit tree, the water brook and the shade, and so their years were principally filled up with the business of merely satisfying those three physical wants—hunger, thirst, and rest.
When human slavery was established in the colonies, those of our race, either fortunate or unfortunate enough to be brought to these shores were instructed mainly in the care of cotton, tobacco and rice crops; and from these few Southern industries we could not turn aside. Slavery deprived the Negro of the little responsibility devolving upon him in his savage state—that of providing food and drink and finding rest. No responsibility was allowed to devolve upon him, other than to perform allotted work, not even the selection of his wife; and when children were born to him, he was not confronted with the problem of how he should provide food and shelter for them, nor wherewith they should be clothed. He and his issue being the property of his master, like swine or cattle, their issue were alike stalled and fed by the owner. With but few exceptions, this was the condition of the Negro when the Proclamation of Emancipation was issued, thirty-eight years ago.
From that eventful day onward, the mighty aspiration of the ex-slave for education and material development has written a new page in the history of the world's progress. Let us now examine the record made, and call to our assistance the statistics of the Government that we may truthfully answer the question, can the Negro succeed as a business man? We are indebted to ex-Congressman George H. White for the information that since the dawn of our freedom the race has reduced its illiteracy at least 45 per cent; that we have written and published nearly 500 books; have edited fully 300 newspapers; have 2,000 lawyers at the bar, a corresponding number of practicing physicians, and 32,000 school teachers. We own 140,000 homes and have real and personal property valued at $920,000,000. The census of 1890 shows that 20,020 persons of African descent were engaged in business, and there were more than 17,000 barbers not included in those figures; and be it remembered that this showing was made more than ten years ago.
It is true that we have produced no skilled master mechanics or great speculators; no commercial princes or merchant kings. These are beyond our immediate reach and reserved for later growth. But we have today, on the floor of this convention, colored men who represent nearly every business enumerated in the census reports—wagon-makers, watch-makers, grocers, druggists, bankers, brokers, bakers, barbers, hotel keepers, caterers, undertakers, builders, contractors, printers, publishers, decorators, manufacturers, tailors, insurance agents, coal dealers, real estate agents, collectors, the proprietor of a brick yard, the owners of a cotton factory, and the president of a coal mine. The number engaged, and the capital invested, may not reach very pretentious figures, but the beginning has been made. Aside from the above, we have produced soldiers whose valor has reached world-wide reputation, poets, artists, teachers and professional men and women of recognized ability. There are hordes of others pursuing the humbler walks of life eager to acquire by education a higher ideal of manliness and womanliness, and to learn the ways of advanced civilization and approved citizenship. These achievements have been wrought by us under the most adverse conditions. We have wearily toiled by day and by night; have made bricks without straw; helped ourselves and taken advantage of small opportunities; though these are days of increasing combinations of capital, growing corporations and gigantic trusts, which greatly lessen the possibilities of individual success. Surely there is in the black man the same capacity for business, the self-same spirit, purpose and aspiration that there is to be found in the white man, and he is as much entitled to the blessings of life, and to share its honors and rewards, as the descendants of other races, notwithstanding Senator Tillman's recent plea for lynching Negroes, and the plaudits and acclaim of a Wisconsin audience.
Despite the fact that the door of nearly every large factory, shop and department store is closed against us, despite the fact that prejudice stalks our business streets with unblushing tread and dominates in all the commercial centers of our common country—yet we are not here today pleading for special legislation in our behalf; we are not here whining to be given a chance; we are not here, even to complain of our hard lot, or to find fault with conditions which we cannot change. This, we conceive, would be a very poor programme to attract the attention of the business world, but we are here, representing hundreds of thousands of dollars, thus demonstrating that we have achieved, at least in a small measure, one of the things which, by common consent, is taken as evidence of progress, ability and worth. We have made money, have saved money, and are succeeding in many profitable business enterprises which require the possession of skill and executive ability to direct and control.
The Jew traces the industrial strides of his people from the first footsore peddler to their present position of affluence in the financial world, and so without reciting further the early struggles and hindrances experienced by our pioneers in business, sufficient is it to say that we have men who should be placed in the class with Nelson Morris, A. M. Rothschild and Mandel Bros. Not that they can compare with these men in the sum total of their wealth; no one expects this. But that they began life without a dollar, have accumulated property and acquired influence, and are today men of public affairs, able to stand, persevere and prevail in the fierce struggles and competitions of business life. These mercantile strides the members of our race are taking in the face of proscription and oppression, in the face of the administration of unjust laws and in the face of disfranchisement and barbarous lynchings, such as no other men ever had to face. In fact we are prospering under conditions which would not only fill other business men with hopelessness and despair, but would surely drive them into bankruptcy.
It is not true that the business patronage of the Negro is confined to his own race, nor is it true that he is a cringer, and solicits patronage among the whites because of the fact that he is a colored man. We have long since learned that we are entitled to no more consideration because we are black than other men are who chance to have red hair, big mouths, or mis-shapen feet. If you will pardon personal mention, I would say that in my business as a furniture mover, few customers, indeed, have I among my own people; nor do I ask to remove any man's goods because of the color of my complexion or the texture of my hair; but because I have put brains into my humble calling and made the business of moving furniture a science. What is true in this instance is true in all others, where progress is made. We are grasping opportunities and compelling adverse circumstances and forces to work together for our profit. Under the wise leadership of Booker T. Washington, we are finding our bearings and casting anchor in the dark and muddy waters of industrial conditions in which we were sent adrift without rudder, compass or means of existence less than thirty-eight years ago.
It is not strange that, as business men, we have made some failures. It is a long way from the depth of the valley to the summit of the mountain; from a barbarian to a master mechanic; from the jungles of Africa to a successful business career, and from the slave cabin to the professor's chair. We have not all outgrown the feeling of dependence instilled in us by more than 250 years of chattel bondage; many of us yet shrink from responsibility, and lack the requisite amount of ambition. We recognize our shortcomings, our peculiar environments and the limitations of our experience and powers. We are beginning to learn that if the Negro is to become more and more a factor in the business world he must take a more active part in all of the trades, competitions, industries and occupations of life. Again, he is learning, slowly perhaps, but surely, that he must outgrow the weakness and confusion resulting from distracted purposes; that he must have one aim, and be one thing all the time. He must stop doing things in a slipshod and half-way manner and become more thorough. He must put the force of a strong character and a determined will power into whatever he undertakes, and he must stop stumbling and falling over impediments, especially of his own placing.
The Negro is, however, affected by nothing now which education and personal endeavor will not in time remove. For example, we take the liberty to refer to our honored President, Booker T. Washington, who about forty-two years ago was born a slave in Virginia. At an early age he began the battle for himself untutored and untrained in all the ways of life. What he has since accomplished is a sufficient answer to those who claim that the Negro is void of any capacity for doing business, and that his offspring has no chance to rise in the world. For twenty years Booker T. Washington has not only been president of a great industrial institution, but has had very largely the acquisition, management, investment and expenditure of its finances. In recent years there has scarcely been a month in which he has not been offered positions in important and influential business enterprises, as well as in the affairs of government. His career is evidence that there is plenty of room at the top for Negro boys who have sense enough to rise to the level of their opportunities. The lack is not so much of opportunities as of men. It is a fact which cannot be gainsaid that success still is, and most likely always will be, a question determined very largely by the individual. For the man or woman who has made thorough preparation and is willing to do hard work a place will always be waiting, irrespective of race or color.
The tone of this convention clearly indicates that the Negro will succeed as a business man in proportion as he learns that manhood and womanhood are qualities of his own making, and that no external force can either give or take them away. It demonstrates that intelligence, punctuality, industry and integrity are the conquering forces in the business and commercial world, as well as in all the affairs of human life. Permit me, in closing, to quote the language of President McKinley addressed to the students at the Tuskegee Institute, "Integrity and industry," he said, "are the best possessions which any man can have, and every man can have them. No man who has them ever gets into the police court or before the grand jury or in the work-house or the chain gang. They are indispensable to success. The merchant requires the clerk whom he employs to have them; the railroad corporation inquires whether the man seeking employment possesses them. Every avenue of human endeavor welcomes them. They are the only keys to open with certainty the door of opportunity to struggling manhood. If you do not already have them, get them."
For our encouragement, reference has been made to a portion of the history of the distinguished President of this convention, and also, for the same purpose, quotation has been made from a speech of the honored President of his country. We thus have before us the example of the former and the precept of the latter—each a leader in his own sphere, the one black and the other white. By following the example of the one and the advice of the other, the Negro will not only succeed as a business man, but the early dawn of the present century will yet witness the best achievements and the loftiest conceptions of a once enslaved race.
THE NEGRO AS A BUSINESS MAN.
BY ANDREW F. HILYER.
ANDREW FRANKLIN HILYER.
The subject of this sketch was born in slavery near Monroe, Walton county, Georgia, August 14, 1858. In the early fifties his maternal grandfather, Overton Johnson, was set free, given some money and sent North. He went to Cincinnati and began a free man's life as a cook and steward in a hotel. In a short time, by strict economy, he had saved some money from his earnings. This, with the money brought from the South, enabled him to open "The Dumas House," well known to the older residents of Cincinnati. In 1862 he sold this business, moved to St. Louis and opened a hotel in that city, where he was at the close of the war. In 1866 he sent for the remainder of his family in the South, consisting of his youngest son and a daughter and her four children, the eldest of whom was Andrew Franklin Hilyer.
About the time of their arrival in St. Louis business reverses threw the now enlarged family upon their own resources, and young Andrew, though but eight years old, was "hired out." He early developed a burning desire for an education, and took advantage of every opportunity that he could find to study and to learn. He soon learned to read. With this key he opened up to his enquiring mind a wide vista of knowledge and saw through many things which before had seemed dark. The family remained in St. Louis two years, but in very poor circumstances. During this period Andrew was able to attend school but little, yet he was so anxious to learn several persons gladly gave him instruction. It was during these struggles that he formed his purposes in life. He solemnly resolved to make a man of himself and to graduate from college.
In 1868 the entire family moved to Omaha, Neb., where their circumstances gradually improved and Andrew was enabled to attend school a part of each year. His mother died in 1871, and the next year he went to Minneapolis, Minn. Here was located the State University, and his opportunity to go to college had now come. To make this possible he learned the trade of a barber and pursued his studies, graduating from the Minneapolis High School in 1878 and from the University of Minnesota in 1882.
He soon came to Washington, entered the service of the Government and took up the study of law and in 1885 graduated from the Howard Law School.
Mr. Hilyer takes an active interest in the progress of his race along all lines, but he has especially urged upon their attention skilled labor and business as very important factors in the progress of the race.
In 1886 he married Miss Mamie E. Nichols, a descendant of one of the older Washington families, who graces a happy home. They have been blessed with two boys, whom they are trying to rear and educate to become good men.
The resistance of the white people to the progress of the colored people is least along the line of business. The colored people themselves have only to develop a larger spirit of race help in business and a magnificent future is just ahead for them.
In addition to little capital and much inexperience the colored merchant has to contend against a hostile public opinion, which seems to resent his efforts to improve his own condition and that of his own race, when he assumes to tear himself away from the mass of his fellow laborers and attempts to keep store like a white man.
Strange enough this hostile feeling is shared in, more by the colored than by the white people, especially along certain lines of business not of a semi-social nature. It is a matter of common complaint by colored business men in those classes of business in which they must compete with white merchants that they do not get their share of the trade of their own race and that their patronage comes very largely from the white race. At present the pathway of the colored man to success in business is very much handicapped by this unfriendly public opinion. His problem is to win the confidence of the public in his ability and purpose to serve them as well as or better than his competitors.
Individuals, here and there, have won this public confidence to a surprising degree and are demonstrating day by day the ability of men and women to do business according to approved business methods. The hostility of the whites is but another manifestation of the general feeling of race prejudice; but the hostility of the masses of their own race can only be attributed to envy and ignorance. For every colored man, woman and child should rejoice in the success or upward step of any colored person, because it is an inspiration and a hope to thousands of others to follow his example. Only the strongest and most progressive few of any race can be successful pioneers. The masses of all races are LED to attempt only what they see persons of their own kind doing. Every community of colored people needs, as a powerful uplifting force, a few captains of industry who will lead his people along the pathway of home-getting and the undertaking of business enterprises. For business will develop their sense of independence and personal responsibility and give strength and symmetry to character. No better service can be performed for the race at this time than to turn the light upon those successful business men and women of the colored race in every community, so that our youth may see them, know them, and take inspiration and courage from their example.
The real leaders of the race are those who lead in doing. It has been said that ninety per cent of all business enterprises among the highly favored white race finally fail in the lifetime of their promoters. The conditions of success in business for the white race are so exacting, uncertain, changeable and inscrutable that only ten per cent retire from the contest victorious. When we recall the fact that the colored people have come so recently from savagery, through the barbarism and debasing effects of American slavery, into the light of the present-day civilization, we should expect them to be slow in getting a footing in the shifting and ever-changing sands of the business world, while in slavery they were deprived of every opportunity to learn anything about the art of business or even to drink in its spirit. It was one of the essential conditions of the slave system that they should be taught to distrust each other; and they learned this lesson well. We must expect that it will take some time to unlearn it. Along with this blighting feeling of distrust the seeds of envy and jealousy were carefully sown. These seeds must have fallen in good soil, for they sprang up and increased wonderfully, and now constitute the thorns and weeds in the pathway of the colored man's success in business.
In view of their economic, educational and political history, we should naturally expect the colored race to make in the first generation of their freedom more progress in education and general culture, more progress in the building of churches and in the acquisition of homes and lands than in the exacting arena of business. At any rate such has been the fact. The entire race is passing through a hard and severe economic struggle. The whole nation is in the throes of a great social distress, on account of the presence of this colored race with physical aspects so different from the main body of the people. The colored people are being put to a severe test. They are being tried as it were by fire. They are face to face and in competition with the most efficient, the most exacting people the world has ever seen. The dross is being driven off. The race is being purified and strengthened for the contests which are to follow. The colored man or woman who would succeed in business must meet not only the competition of his white neighbor with his superior capital and training, but also the blight of distrust and the jealousy and envy of many of his own race. His course is by no means plain sailing. He has foes within his race as well as foes without; enemies in front and enemies in the rear. And yet, in spite of all these adverse conditions a very creditable beginning has already been made in the business world—a beginning that promises well for the future. The business movement among the colored people has not as yet attained great volume, but its foundations have been laid broad and deep. The number of persons engaged in business is quite large, and the classes already invaded by individuals of the colored race cover almost every class of business in which persons of the white race are engaged.
THE CAPITAL OWNED BY NEGROES.
The colored people are rapidly acquiring property. This is a matter of common, every-day observation. The value of property owned by them is no less than five hundred millions of dollars. In Georgia alone, where separate records are kept, their assessed valuation exceeds fifteen millions, one million of which was added in the past year. The assessed valuation is only about forty per cent of the actual value. From all over the country equally encouraging reports are sent out of the steady progress of this people in the acquisition of landed property. Although tens of thousands are shiftless, thousands are saving money. It is being stored up slowly but surely for future use. Much of it is already invested in business. A larger part of this property and money will be turned into business channels as fast as the race, by its patronage and support, evidences its desire to advance this business movement.
THE EXTENT OF THE BUSINESS MOVEMENT AMONG THE NEGROES.
In order to obtain reliable data for a study of the progress of the colored people in the skilled trades, in business, in getting homes and in building churches and other institutions, the United States Commission to the Paris Exposition of 1900 sent out the writer in February of that year as an expert agent to visit the chief industrial centers of the South and secure the data for the purpose of making the facts collected, a feature of the Negro exhibit. In every city or town visited the colored people took great pride in showing their successful business establishments; and they all had some to show. In every place a beginning had been made. The writer personally visited, inspected and collected data from one hundred and forty-three business establishments of considerable importance owned and conducted by colored men and women. They range from a grocery store, with stock and fixtures of the value of five hundred dollars, to a bank, which, on the day of my visit, had a cash balance in its vault of $82,000. Only the best business places were visited. There were hundreds of small shops in the cities and towns visited, all of which evidenced the breadth of the business movement of the people.
THE ATLANTA UNIVERSITY CONFERENCE.
The results of this hurried trip corroborates in a remarkable degree the report of the Atlanta University Conference. "The Report of the Negro in Business" was made in 1899. In that year the conference made an investigation of this subject under the direction of Prof. W. E. B. DuBois, professor of sociology in that university. This report is a most valuable contribution to the study of the race problem. Prof. DuBois has shown commendable zeal in studying the race problem, while so many others are content to discuss it. The data for his study were collected principally by the alumni of Atlanta University and are thus entitled to a high degree of credibility.
Reports were received from one thousand nine hundred and six colored men and women in business, showing the kind of business, time in business, and the amount of capital invested. Almost every kind of business carried on by white people was represented, thus evidencing a desire and a reaching out on the part of the Negro that will produce great results in years to come. Only establishments of considerable importance were solicited and reported.
Time in business: Four-fifths had been established five years or more; one-fifth more than twenty years. Sixty-seven more than thirty years. This shows a remarkable longevity in business that is highly gratifying.
Capital invested: Complete returns were not received from all; only 1,736 establishments reported capital. Their aggregate capital was $5,631,137. Prof. DuBois estimated that the total amount invested by American Negroes in business managed by themselves in 1899 was $8,784,000. Compared with the immense sum of money invested in business in the United States, this seems meager enough; but when we consider the poverty of the colored people at the beginning of their freedom, the saving and investment of nearly $9,000,000 in business enterprises conducted by themselves in one generation is a most creditable showing.
By far the larger part of the capital of the colored people is as yet invested in enterprises conducted by white persons. In the city of Washington, where the idea of the advantage to the race in having a number of successful business enterprises has been very much agitated, only about one-fifth of its wealthy colored people have any investments in enterprises conducted by colored men, as shown in the report of the Hampton Conference for 1898. A like proportion will doubtless be found in other cities.
THE CENSUS OF 1890 ON NEGRO BUSINESS.
According to the census of 1890 (the returns from the census of 1900 on this subject not being available at this writing), taken twenty-five years after the war, the colored people had representatives engaged in every business listed in the census schedules. It is true that the number of persons engaged and the capital engaged in some branches of business were not imposing, yet an effort had been made—a start, a beginning had been made in every branch of business carried on in this country. The census of 1890 does not in all cases make a distinction between "proprietor" and occupation. Hence, it is not always easy to pick out the "proprietors." The tables have been gone over very carefully. Only those occupations have been selected about which there can be no doubt that the persons listed are "proprietors." The total number of persons of Negro descent engaged in business in 1890 was 20,020.
It is obvious to any one who has paid even a little attention to it that there has been a considerable increase since 1890, in the number of such business ventures and in the capital employed.
THE NATIONAL NEGRO BUSINESS LEAGUE.
As an evidence that the race is rapidly advancing along business lines, a conference or convention of colored business men was called by Mr. Booker T. Washington to meet in Boston August 23-24, 1900, for the purpose of making a showing of the progress of the race in business and to give encouragement and impetus to the business movement. The success of this convention was a pleasant surprise to many persons. Over two hundred delegates reported in person, and nearly two hundred additional reported by letter. The tone of the reports they brought from their several localities was uniformly hopeful. Most of the delegates present lived outside of New England, some coming from as far south as Florida and Texas, and as far west as Nebraska. A permanent organization was formed, called The National Negro Business League, the purpose of which is to keep its members in touch with one another. Their "Proceedings" were published by Mr. J. R. Hamm of No. 46 Howard street, Boston, in a handsome volume of two hundred and eighty pages, and constitutes one of the most valuable contributions to the study of the progress of the colored people.
This business league held its second annual convention in Chicago in August, 1901. This meeting also was a great success in every way, and received, if possible, more attention and space from the public press than the previous meeting in Boston.
A recent study of the colored business enterprises of Washington, published by the writer, shows that there are in the National capital 1,302 colored "proprietors" in all kinds of business and professions. Their capital exceeds seven hundred thousand dollars, and they transact more than two million dollars worth of business annually, affording employment to 3,030 persons.
Among the more conspicuous examples of successful enterprises conducted by colored men in the United States may be mentioned the following: Thirteen building and loan associations, seven banks, about one hundred life insurance and benefit companies, several mining companies, one street railway company, one iron foundry, one cotton mill, one silk mill, three book and tract publication houses, one of them having a plant valued at $45,000; over two hundred newspapers and three magazines. One of these newspapers has 5,000 subscribers and a plant costing $10,000. One firm of truck gardeners, near Charleston, South Carolina, over 500 acres under cultivation, has been in the business over 30 years and ships several carloads of garden truck to Northern markets every week. The railroad company considers its trade of such importance that it has built a siding to their farm and the cars are loaded directly from their warehouses. This is probably the most extensive individual or partnership business carried on by colored men anywhere in the United States. Noisette Bros. is the name of the firm. Near Kansas City, Kansas, there is a colored man, Mr. J. K. Graves, who owns and cultivates over 400 acres of land. He has been engaged principally in raising potatoes. His crop last year was over 75,000 bushels, which, with the other things raised and sold, was worth about $25,000. Within a radius of thirty-five miles of his farm, he says that there are 312 Negro farmers, horticulturists, gardeners, truckers, potato growers and dealers, most of whom are up to date and have all modern appliances necessary to carry on their business.
Mr. C. C. Leslie, a dealer in fish in Charleston, South Carolina, has $30,000 invested in the business, in nets, boats, ice-houses, real estate, etc., and ships to Northern markets from three to five carloads of fish per week during the busy season.
In Charleston the most prosperous butchers are colored men. In Columbus, Mississippi, there is a colored butcher who owns his abattoir and supplies the best trade of his town with meat. Some of the most prosperous fish, produce and poultry dealers in the markets of Washington are colored men. One firm has been in business continuously over thirty years, the sons succeeding the father in the business. Several have maintained their stands over twenty years.
A pawnbroker in Augusta, Georgia, has $5,000 capital. The largest and best equipped drug store in Anniston, Alabama, is owned by a colored physician. He has a considerable wholesale trade in patent medicines and druggists' sundries.
One of the best equipped ready-made clothing stores in Columbia, South Carolina, is owned by a colored man. He carries a stock of ten thousand dollars.
A stock breeder in Knoxville, Tennessee, is worth $100,000, and has $50,000 invested in blooded horses.
A photographer in St. Paul, Minnesota, does a business of $20,000 a year. Another in New Bedford, Massachusetts, began as an errand boy, learned the photographic art thoroughly, saved his money, bought out the white proprietor, and now conducts the leading studio in that old and aristocratic city.
The caterers of Philadelphia and Baltimore have long been noted for their success in business, although they have lost some ground from white competition during the last few years. There are yet several with capital above $5,000.
The caterer at the great naval banquet at Newport in honor of Admiral Sampson and our navy upon its return from the victories in the war with Spain, where the very unusual task was accomplished of serving one thousand men in a very satisfactory manner, was a colored man.
The foregoing are only a few of the many examples of success that individuals of the colored people have achieved in business. They are cited by way of "a bill of specifications." They show conclusively that, in spite of many adverse conditions, it is possible for a colored person, by perseverance and honesty, to succeed in business.
THE NEGRO AS A BUSINESS MAN.
BY REV. J. H. MORGAN.
REV. J. H. MORGAN.
Rev. J. H. Morgan was born in Philadelphia, Pa., November 15, 1843. His father was Rev. John R. V. Morgan. His mother's maiden name was Mary Ann Harmon. At his mother's death, which occurred when he was fourteen years old, he was adopted into the family of James T. Robinson of Philadelphia. Becoming dissatisfied at some fancied slight, he left without authority, determined to provide for himself, and be his own man. He soon found that the job was not so easily done, as thought about, nevertheless he was determined to win out, so he kept at it, and being of a jovial disposition he soon made friends, and had the happy faculty of keeping them. He started in the business of selling home-made pies and cakes along the wharves. After a short time he gave up this business for that of cabin boy on a passenger boat plying between Philadelphia and Bristol, Pa., making Bristol his home. At the breaking out of the Civil War he was very anxious to enlist as a soldier, but they informed him at Trenton, that it was a white man's war and they were not taking colored men, as their ankles set so near the middle of their feet, that when they said forward march, they would be as likely to go backward as forward, so he hired as a cook in an officers' mess and went to the front with Company C First Regiment N. J. V. six months' men. He was not down there long before he lost all his desire to become a soldier, when the opportunity came for him to enlist. While in Alexandria, Va., he started in to learn the barber trade, and on his return home worked as a journeyman at his trade until he set up in business for himself.
In 1876 he organized a mission at Poughkeepsie, N. Y., and being young and enthusiastic, he requested at the next conference to be sent to the mission to build it up. Bishop Payne demurred, but after his persistence in the matter, he consented, saying, "Well I will let you make your own appointment this time, but will be expecting to hear from you before the year is out, asking for a change." So after ordaining him an Elder in Sullivan Street Church, May 12, 1878, he was stationed at Poughkeepsie. There he had some misunderstanding with the people, which caused them to promise to "cut his bread and butter short," which promise he says was the only one that they made, that they faithfully carried out. One day they fed his family on wind pudding, air sauce and balloon trimmings, and right here Bishop D. A. Payne became a prophet, because he heard from him, and his time was short, as in a few days after he received an appointment to Albany, N. Y., and was returned the following year on account of effective service done. At the following conference he was elected as delegate to the General Conference at St. Louis with Rev. W. F. Dickerson, John F. Thomas and C. T. Shaffer. On his return from the conference he was transferred to N. J. Conference and stationed at Princeton, N. J., and with the exception of four years spent in the N. E. Conference, one in the N. Y. Conference, he has remained in the N. J. Conference. Rev. Morgan is the recognized historian of the conference, and was its secretary for a number of years, and was the Vice-President of the first Board of Church Extension. The Reverend is known in his conference under the cognomen of "The Only Morgan"—his description of things and events gaining for him this title. He was made Presiding Elder by Bishop H. M. Turner, and he thus describes his return from the Presiding Eldership to one of the weakest appointments in another conference: "Milton, or some one, says that the devil was nine days falling from heaven to hell; I made the trip in less than twenty minutes." Bishop H. M. Turner's second wife and the subject of this sketch were converted in and became members of the same church at Bristol, Pa. He was considered an exceptionally good superintendent of the Sabbath school before he was a member of the church. It was during the time that he was a local preacher at this church that he learned the lesson of his life. "I had a fair smattering of an education and, being in business, I was always consulted in the affairs of the church."
It becomes more and more evident every day of our existence, as individuals, and as a race, that a grave mistake has been made by those who have heretofore, or may be now, making claim to leadership of making higher education the main and only route to the full development of the race. The higher education is in the order of specials. It is true that we need the artistic structure, but we need first a foundation upon which to rest it. We seem to have started with the idea that the structure has already been laid, which is true as concerns the other man. But we have not laid one foot ourselves, but are endeavoring to build upon another's, and as often as we build and finish the structure, the other man, by virtue of owning the foundation and that upon which it rests, claims and takes all (under the fixed rule that the people who own the land will rule it), and the last state is worse than the first, unless this happens at a time of life when the experience will become a lesson, well learned, and time allotted for a new start along the proper lines. It is, therefore, very evident that the essential thing in the line of individual and race development, is business. Business, we discover, when properly defined, leads in its various ramifications to all roads to success.
Business defined.—"The state of being anxious; anxiety; care. The act of engaging industriously in certain occupations. The act of forming mercantile or financial bargains, more generally an abundance of such acts done by separate individuals."
Crabb thus distinguishes between business, occupation, employment, engagement, and avocation: "Business occupies all of a person's thoughts, as well as his time and powers; occupation and employment occupy only his time and strength; the first is most regular—it is the object of his choice; the second is causal—it depends on the will of another. Engagement is a partial employment; avocation a particular engagement; an engagement prevents us from doing anything else; an avocation calls off or prevents us from doing what we wish. A person who is busy has much to attend to, and attends to it closely; a person who is occupied has a full share of business without any pressure; he is opposed to one who is idle; a person who is employed has the present moment filled up; he is not in a state of inaction; the person who is engaged is not at liberty to be otherwise employed—his time is not his own—he is opposed to one at leisure."
Business, trade, profession, and art are thus discriminated: "The words are synonymous in the sense of a calling, for the purpose of a livelihood; business is general; business, trade and profession are particular; all trade is business, but all business is not trade. Buying and selling of merchandise is inseparable from trade; but the exercise of one's knowledge and experience, for the purpose of gain, constitutes a business; when particular skill is required, it is a profession; and when there is a particular exercise of art, it is an art; every shopkeeper and retail dealer carries on a trade; brokers, manufacturers, bankers, and others, carry on a business; clergymen, medical or military men follow a profession; musicians and painters follow an art."
The distinction between business, office, and duty: "Business is what one prescribes to one's self; office is prescribed by another; duty is prescribed or enjoined by a fixed rule of propriety; mercantile concerns are the business which a man takes upon himself; the management of parish concerns is an office imposed upon him, often much against his inclination; the maintenance of his family is a duty which his conscience enjoins upon him to perform. Business and duty are public or private; office is mostly of a public nature; a minister of state, by virtue of office, has always public business to perform; but men in general have only private business to transact; a minister of religion has always public duties to perform in his ministerial capacity; every other man has personal or relative duties which he is called upon to discharge according to his station."—Crabb: Eng. Synon.
There has been a vast number of theories advanced as regards the solving of the Negro problem. But the idea of business seems to have only a minor place, which, to our mind, should be one of the leading factors. It seems that the race has been educated away from itself. It is not an uncommon thing to see young men who have splendid educational abilities, versed in the languages, with check aprons on, scrubbing marble steps, and doing other menial labor. Their plea is, when questioned along this line, "I cannot get anything else to do." To what advantage then, has the hard earned money of their parents and friends been expended to educate them? Their fathers did as well as, if not better, than they without it, and cannot this man, with the advantage of education, "turn up something"? There is something radically wrong with the plan of education. The old man could plod over the farm in his antiquated way, and earn money enough to keep things going, and educate his son, but when that son's education has been completed, he has not the ability, or business tact, with modern improvements, to build upon the foundation laid by his less cultured father. Let this cultured boy get down to business. For him, here is the route laid down.
Secretary of Agriculture, Hon. Mr. Wilson, in discussing the productive possibilities of the South and the problem of Negro labor, makes the following observations: "The pressing question is, what is the laborer down South who has been growing cotton, and is not getting enough for his product, to do in the future to enable him to live comfortably, not to speak of the improvement of his condition, education, and all that?"
The cotton crop leaves very little that is valuable for domestic animals after the picking is done, thus differing from the corn crop of the Northwestern states. There is a by-product, the cotton seed, that is exceedingly valuable, and much good work is being done by scientists at experiment stations to show how valuable cotton seed is for feeding purposes.
The nitrogen element in cotton-seed is greater than that of any of the grains; it is richer in nitrogenous matter than peas or beans; richer than gluten, meat or oil cake. The Northern feeder and the European feeder have been using this by-product of the cottonfields with great advantage, while the loss of its fertilizing qualities to the South has been very great.
The South has more marked advantages over the North with regard to production. It has heat and moisture, the two great factors of production, and if the cotton grower is to diversify his crops, he must use those natural advantages. The dairy cow and mutton sheep would succeed admirably in the South, but something for them to eat must be provided first. The winters in the South are mild, grasses, grains, legumen can be sown in the fall and grow abundantly in the winter, upon which the dairy cow and mutton sheep may thrive and prosper. From one-fifth to one-fourth of all the fat of the milk on the farms of the United States is lost because people do not thoroughly understand when to churn cream. The churning process is an art, having much science underlying it. But the cotton grower of the South only needs to learn the way, while the man who teaches him can understand the science. Much yet remains to be discovered in the art of breeding animals, but enough is known to indicate to the instructor of the colored cotton grower of the South, who is to be diverted into work of this kind, to enable him to breed his herd intelligently. The South can prepare the spring lamb much earlier than the North can. The Southern land owner understands horse raising. There is always a greater demand for saddle horses than is supplied. The world wants carriage and draft horses, and good roadsters. Early spring chickens—the broilers—can be produced down there because of the milder winters, and milder springs than we have, and the Northern market can be supplied. Should the market be over supplied we can send this product abroad in the refrigerating compartments of steamships.
The colored man is learning the trades at Tuskegee; he is mining coal, and working the manufacture of iron at Birmingham. We quote this gentleman, who is without doubt authority on this special line, and therefore worthy of serious and careful consideration, to support the point we make, that this problem must be worked out along lines, especially along business lines.
Hawaii, Porto Rico, and the Philippines are absolutely ours. The Philippines are said to be as large as the New England States, including New York and New Jersey; Hawaii about the size of New England; Porto Rico the size of Connecticut. Hawaii, with a population of 109,000; Porto Rico, 900,000; Philippines, 8,000,000, and very few whites; a climate in which the Anglo Saxon, it is said, cannot stay for any great length of time. And it is rich in all those thing which are desirable by the white man. These acquisitions must be developed by American genius and capital, and as the white American cannot stay there the year round to develop the same, what better agent to do this work than the Afro-American who has been schooled in American ideas and customs and usages. Is not this an opportunity given by Providence to commence business building? The race should cease pleading to be "The Wards of the Nation;" cease waiting for something to turn up, or have somebody to do something for them, but should unite their forces and turn up something for themselves. The people who own the country, if intelligent and thrifty, will rule and run it. What Coleman has done in North Carolina in a business way, could be done in a majority of the states to a greater or less extent. Small factories could be arranged for, where our people could be employed in producing the commodities of life. Some time ago it was said that a large tract of land had been arranged for, backed by a number of Tammany Hall capitalists; factories were to be built to give employment to the settlers, deeds for lots were to be given at a nominal cost. The project was opposed by some of our so-called leaders, because it was backed by Tammany; but it is the very thing needed, no matter who backs it up; it is the business men who run the country; it is they who put the millions to work and keep the mighty dollar in circulation; we must enter the business world and by pluck, tact and thrift, live while we are living, and die when we cannot do otherwise. The man who thanks Almighty God when the news of disaster comes from land or sea that no loss comes to him is not so wise in the sight of God, or man, as he who can thank God that the interest on accrued stock had advanced an hundred fold before the crash came.
THE NEGRO AS A FARMER
BY PROF. GEORGE W. CARVER.
PROF. GEORGE W. CARVER, M. AG.
A few years ago there was graduated at the Iowa Agricultural College a young colored man of unusual promise. His name was G. W. Carver, and his specialty the care and production of plants. Not long after graduation he was engaged by Booker T. Washington as a teacher and assistant in his famous industrial school, and to-day the young man is Mr. Washington's most trusted adviser, while his reputation has gone abroad as a scientist and an original investigator of no mean order.
Born during the period of the Civil War, he was separated from his parents when but six weeks old, they having been sold to some distant slaveholders. The infant was puny and ailing, and his master regarded him as worthless. A family named Carver took the babe and his brother, a little older. It was with them the child had a home for nine years. About that time the little black boy developed a remarkable love for plants, and so much knowledge of their structure and life, that he was given the name of "the plant doctor." Mr. and Mrs. Carver were proud of the boy's talents and made much of him, and it was their evident satisfaction in him that aroused the jealousy of their own children, who at last drove the two colored boys away from home. Northward they turned their faces, to the land where white and black have equal chances in life, as they fondly believed. The little "plant doctor," who had picked up the elements of an education, wanted, above all else, to enter some good school. The boys were driven from pillar to post, but, being devotedly attached to each other they held together, until in Kansas they thought best to separate.
During these years, young Carver had tried many kinds of work. At length he found himself at Winterset, Iowa. It was there the wife of a physician encouraged him to go to Indianola where she thought he could enter college and earn his way by doing laundry work. He went there, but didn't get the work, and it was while there that a young lady, a well known Iowa artist, became interested in him. Under the pretext of securing his help in correcting some drawings, she went to the mean quarters he occupied and found him starving to death. There was no work for him, no money. For weeks, he had subsisted upon corn bread and tallow. She then arranged for him to go to the Iowa Agricultural College, where she had influential friends and where she believed he would have a chance.
But, even at the Agricultural College of Iowa the color line was sharply drawn by the students. Persecution and ill-treatment were resorted to. But young Carver said, "I will bear it. I must get an education. Here I can get work and I will suffer anything rather than give up the one chance of my life to obtain a schooling." His old and intimate knowledge of plants stood him in hand, and he was given charge of the greenhouses. True, he was shunned by many, his place at table was with the servants, but he had warm friends and he was, by force of character, winning the good will of all. One day an Indianola lady, who had come to know him before he left that place, went to visit him at his college. Dressed in her best, she accompanied him, though against his protestation, to dinner, taking a seat at the servants' table.
The next time this lady visited the college the colored student sat at the table with the faculty. In the military drill he had taken the highest honors. When he was graduated it was with distinction. He wrote the class poem. He had succeeded in winning and holding friends.