DID THE AMERICAN NEGRO MAKE, IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY, ACHIEVEMENTS ALONG THE LINES OF WEALTH, MORALITY, EDUCATION, ETC., COMMENSURATE WITH HIS OPPORTUNITIES? IF SO, WHAT ACHIEVEMENTS DID HE MAKE?
BY REV. M. C. B. MASON.
REV. M. C. B. MASON, PH. D.
Rev. Dr. M. C. B. Mason, senior corresponding secretary of the Freedmen's Aid and Southern Education Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, was born of slave parents near Houma, La., March 27, 1859. In 1857, two years before young Mason was born, his father purchased his own freedom, paying $1,350. The papers were never legally made out and his father had to wait with other members of the family for the Emancipation Proclamation to secure their freedom.
Young Mason was twelve years of age before he had ever seen a school-house, having entered school in July, 1871, and mastered the alphabet the first day. Subsequently he attended a school of higher grade and in 1888 graduated from the New Orleans University from the regular classical course. Two years afterward he entered the Gammon Theological Seminary at Atlanta. Ga., graduating therefrom in 1891. Immediately after his graduation he matriculated in the Syracuse University, at Syracuse, N. Y., taking the "non-resident course" leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
In July of the same year he was elected Field Agent of the Freedmen's Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, being the first colored man ever called to such a position. So successfully did he prosecute his work that at the General Committee meeting, which met in New York in 1893, he was elected Assistant Corresponding Secretary, and in May, 1896, at the General Conference in Cleveland, composed of 537 representatives, only 69 of whom were colored, he was elected Corresponding Secretary, with a majority of 104 votes against 11 competitors, all of whom were white. Four years later at the General Conference which assembled in Chicago, Dr. Mason was re-elected and made Senior Corresponding Secretary, receiving the largest vote ever given to any General Conference Secretary in the history of the Methodist Episcopal Church. This is all the more remarkable when it is remembered that there were 14 candidates in a body composed of 701 representatives, of whom only 73 were colored. It will be remembered also that the salary paid a General Conference Officer of the Methodist Episcopal Church is the same as that paid to the Bishops, and Dr. Mason is no exception to the rule.
The Doctor is quite a success as a money raiser and has secured hundreds of thousands of dollars during the ten years he has been connected with this great educational institution of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The Freedmen's Aid and Southern Educational Society has educated hundreds and thousands of men and women of our race, and has an average attendance of over seven thousand young men and women of color in its schools every year. Dr. Mason is thus brought in contact with more young men and women of the race than any other Negro in America. And the whole race is very largely indebted to him for the work which, through this institution, he is accomplishing.
As an orator the Doctor has no superiors, and few equals. He is in great demand all over the country, especially in the North. We are told that he has been offered $6,000 per year with a guarantee for ten years, if he would resign his present position and take the lecture platform. This offer he has constantly refused preferring to remain in the work where he can be more useful to his own people.
During a recent trip to Europe he was in constant demand for lectures in London, Glasgow, Belfast and among the English colony in France.
The progress made by the Negro since emancipation has challenged the admiration and wonder of the world. In all the annals of the world's history, there is no parallel to it, and this progress, remarkable as it is, has been in all lines, and in all departments of his life and activity. Indeed, it would be quite a problem to be able to declare in what particular line he has made the most progress. To secure some adequate conception of what he is to-day, we must compare him with what he was yesterday. In no other way can we come to any comprehensive idea of the progress which he has made and the work which he has accomplished.
A generation ago, he had practically nothing. He started out with scarcely a name—poor, ignorant, degraded, demoralized, as slavery left him. Without a home, without a foot of land, without the true sense of real manhood, ragged, destitute, so freedom found him. He stood at one end of the cotton row with his master at the other and as he stepped out into the new and inexperienced life before him his master still claimed him and the very clothes upon his back. Under these peculiar circumstances and amid these peculiar difficulties he began life for himself. He had, however, learned how to work; so much he brought out of slavery with him; and right royal service it has rendered him. What is he to-day? From this humble beginning of a generation ago when he had absolutely nothing he has begun to acquire something of this world's goods. He has been getting for himself a home, some land, some money in bank, and some interest in stocks and bonds. His industry, thrift and economy are everywhere in evidence and he is bravely and consciously struggling toward the plane where his vindication as a man and a citizen is what he is and what he has acquired. In Louisiana he pays taxes on twelve millions, in Georgia on fourteen millions and in South Carolina on thirteen millions. A recent statistician, writing for the New York Sun, estimates his wealth North and South at four hundred millions. During the last few years much of this accumulation of property is in farm land which everywhere is rapidly increasing in value. In this matter of securing a home and some land, the Negro's achievements are certainly commensurate with his opportunities.
In education his progress is even more clearly manifest. There are to-day 2,912,912 Negro children of school age in the United States. Of these 1,511,618 are enrolled in the public schools and the average attendance is sixty-seven per cent of the enrollment. In addition to the 1,511,618 who are enrolled in the public schools 50,000 more are attending schools under the care and maintenance of the church. In this work all the leading denominations of the country are represented. The Freedmen's Aid and Southern Educational Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church among the first, if not the very first to engage in this work, has under its care forty-seven institutions of Christian learning, twenty of which are mainly for the education of the colored people. These institutions are scattered all over the sixteen former slave states and have possibly sent out more graduates as teachers, preachers, physicians, dentists, pharmacists and industrial workers than any other institution or set of institutions doing work in the South. In addition to the work of the Freedmen's Aid and Southern Educational Society there are the American Missionary Association, under Congregational auspices, the Baptist Home Missionary Society, the Presbyterian Home Missionary Society, the Lutheran Evangelical Society—all of which support institutions for Christian learning for the education of the colored people throughout the South. These schools are mainly for the higher and secondary education of the Negro and have accomplished untold good. There are to-day nearly 30,000 Negro teachers in the United States and a careful estimate will show that these church schools have sent out over 20,000 of them. And these teachers, prepared by these church schools, commonly so called, were the first to take their places in the public schools as rapidly as they were opened and these, in the very nature of the case, represent a very large per cent of the teaching force even at the present time.
Again distinctively Negro bodies of churchmen, especially Baptists and Methodists, are also carrying forward a commendable work of Christian education among their own people. Some schools of excellent standing in the African Methodist Episcopal, the African Methodist Episcopal Zion and the Colored Methodist Episcopal Churches are doing most effective work and the results are being felt in all directions.
The work of industrial education is steadily growing in all sections of the South, and is destined more and more to occupy a prominent place in the education of our people. The emphasis placed upon this line of education at Hampton Institute, Hampton, Va., Claflin University at Orangeburg, S. C., and Tuskegee Institute at Tuskegee, Ala., is having its effect in many other places. New Orleans, Louisiana, Wilmington, Delaware, Nashville, Tennessee, and several other cities have adopted some lines of industrial education in their public schools, and in some places it is compulsory. Consequently, industrial education, which, a few years ago, was mainly confined to a few institutions, has been, in some form or other, adopted in a large number of cities both in the North and in the South. The results of this line of work are already seen. Hundreds of industrial artisans and trained mechanics are scattered here and there all over the South, and are practically and effectively solving the problem.
In addition to the work of general education, Negroes have entered all the learned professions, and are succeeding beyond the most sanguine expectations of their friends. This is especially true in medicine, pharmacy and dentistry. The Negro lawyer has done well. He has had a difficult field, and the fact that some have acquired sufficient ability and influence to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States, speaks well for the race in this difficult field. But, the success of the Negro physician is perhaps the most remarkable in any line of professional work to which he has aspired. From the results of careful study made by an eminent statistician, it was found that the average salary of white physicians in the United States is about $700, and the average salary of Negro physicians is $1,444 per annum. The encouraging feature about this whole matter is that as physicians among us increase, the greater is the increase in the average salary. While dentists and pharmacists have not succeeded quite so well, yet the success of the physician has directly opened an avenue for the pharmacists, and has indirectly helped the dentist. Consequently, in nearly every town of any considerable size in the South to-day, there are four or five prosperous Negro physicians, with two or three drug stores, where Negro pharmacists carefully compound their prescriptions, and have the confidence and respect of the entire community.
The Negro is progressing morally. From whatever standpoint you view him he is getting away from the past and wiping the reproach of Egypt from him. Any careful observer will see at once that in the field of ethics and morals a veritable revolution has taken place among the Negroes during the present generation. There is still, however, much room for improvement, and to this perhaps, more than to any one thing, the race must now turn its attention. Some questions regarding his inability to learn have all been settled by the remarkable achievements which he has made in all lines of intellectual endeavor, but it must still be confessed that in the field of morals and manners, the charge is still made, and that not without some semblance of truth, that evidences of the essential qualities of sturdy and manly character are not as clearly manifest among us as they should be.
Here the problem comes home and the Negro, as ever, is the most important factor. The pertinent question is not what shall be done with the Negro, but rather what will the Negro do with himself. This is the question, and the answer he gives to it will largely depend, in no small degree, whether he shall continue to be an insignificant element in this Nation or become more a living factor in its growth and development. Here I repeat it, is the question and this is the problem. Intellectual ability is good, but individual purity is better. Rights and privileges are in themselves good, but to make ourselves worthy of them is infinitely better. It is encouraging and gratifying to know that so many are getting a correct interpretation of life's deeper meanings and are daily coming into possession of higher and purer ideals. Who can say that the Negro has not made progress commensurate with his opportunities?
DID THE AMERICAN NEGRO MAKE, IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY, ACHIEVEMENTS ALONG THE LINES OF WEALTH, MORALITY, EDUCATION, ETC., COMMENSURATE WITH HIS OPPORTUNITIES? IF SO, WHAT ACHIEVEMENTS DID HE MAKE?
BY REV. D. WEBSTER DAVIS.
REV. DANIEL WEBSTER DAVIS.
Randall and Charlotte Davis, who were valued servants on a Caroline County farm, found themselves, March 25, 1862, the parents of a little black boy, who brought gladness and sorrow to their hearts. Gladness, because the Lord had sent them a boy, and he was their boy, bone of their bone, flesh of their flesh, blood of their blood. Sorrow, because, while he was their child, he was "Marster's" child too; he belonged to "Marster" more than he did to them.
War was raging. The Negro cabins knew little else but muffled prayers, stifled songs, unuttered sermons—all for deliverance. From the cabin to the broad fields of tobacco these emotions and utterances were carried daily. Father preached, mother prayed. Singing was but the opening of the oppressed heart. Those were troublous years, heart-aching years. Years of consecration, fixed and unceasing, to the God of Freedom. In such an atmosphere the boy was nurtured and reared.
The war was over. The boy over whom mother and father had prayed had changed from a chattel, a thing of barter, to a free child, belonging only to mother and father. What a change!
Entering the public schools of Richmond, step by step, grade by grade was passed with honor and public commendation, until June, 1878, when D. Webster Davis graduated from the Richmond High and Normal School, receiving at the same time the Essayist Medal.
In 1880 the subject of our sketch commenced to teach in the public schools of Richmond and has taught therein continuously ever since, and is to-day rated as one of the best and most progressive in the system.
September 8, 1893, Mr. Davis married Miss Lizzie Smith, a teacher in the Richmond public schools. From this happy union three children have been born.
In October, 1895, feeling that the time had come for him to be about his Father's business he was ordained to the ministry.
From a child he babbled in verse, and the poetic muse brought in 1896, "Idle Moments" and in 1898, "Weh Down Souf." These two books established the name of Rev. Mr. Davis as a poet and have given him front rank with his contemporaries in verse-making.
Guadaloupe College, Seguin, Texas, recognizing the meritorious work of Rev. Davis bestowed upon him the degree of A. M. in 1898.
Rev. Mr. Davis is at present pastor of the Second Baptist Church of Manchester, where he has an ideal growing church of young folks, which work he began in 1895.
In the winter of 1900, the Central Lyceum Bureau of Rochester, N. Y., engaged the services of Rev. Davis for a four-weeks' reading tour, reading selections from his own works. The whole tour was an ovation, showing that texture of hair and color of skin cannot destroy that aristocracy of intellect, that charmed inner circle wherein "a man is a man for a' that."
The Lord has been good to Rev. Daniel Webster Davis, blessing him with intellectual force, blessing him with poetic utterance, blessing him with oratorical ability, blessing him in domestic felicity. Not yet in his prime, yet so richly endowed in the gifts which make men strong and powerful, it is hoped that he may be spared many years to work in the Master's vineyard, and many years to labor for the uplift of his race, oppressed and downtrodden.
May he expand and grow greater, remembering that he is God's servant, endowed for the benefit of his race, blessed, so that he may bless his people made strong, so that he may reach down and lift his people up, growing brighter and better unto the present day.
To the superficial observer, it would sometimes appear that the American Negro did not make achievements commensurate with his opportunities, during the nineteenth century. Yet, on taking a more comprehensive view, the student of history and sociology must decide in the affirmative.
In deciding upon the comparative progress of a race, along the lines of a higher civilization, care must be taken as to the standard by which he is to be measured, and what has been his real opportunities. Civilization is a plant of slow growth, as evidenced by the history of all Nations that have accomplished great things in the past. There is a difference, as wide as the heavens, between the refined and cultured Englishman of to-day, and the rough, uncouth Norseman of the ninth century; but more than a thousand years were required to bring about that transformation. A difference, as wide as the poles, exists between the ancient Gauls, who were conquered by the Franks in the tenth century, and the Chesterfieldian Frenchman of to-day; yet the same time elapsed between these two periods. There is just as marked a difference, in many respects, between those twenty uncouth savages, brought to the shores of Virginia in 1620, and the best specimens of the American Negro of to-day, and yet only 287 years lie between the former and the latter.
The next question that naturally rises is, "What have been the real opportunities of the American Negro?" Brought here a savage from his native wilds, and thrown into abject, and, in many cases, cruel slavery, he yet received from this iniquitous institution something of God. As Dr. Booker T. Washington so well says: "He went into slavery, practically, without a language, and came out speaking the beautiful English, the finest language to convey thought, ever devised by the mind of man. He went in without a God, and came out with the Christian religion." These are powerful agencies for civilization, and yet, the debasing influence of slavery has done much to hinder, while it has done something to help him. Only a comparatively few Negroes came into direct contact with the best side of American civilization, during slavery. The housemaids, coachmen, body-servants and, in many cases, the cooks came in direct contact with the civilization of the "Great House," and their superiority, and, in many cases, that of their ancestry, is still apparent. The "corn field Negro" (and they outnumbered the others 200 to 1) received none of the influences of this civilization, and none of the opportunities accorded the more favored servants around the "Great House."
When we take into consideration all of these circumstances, coupled with the fact that when "cut loose" from slavery in 1865, it was a matter of "root hog or die" with him for many years; and that only thirty-six years have passed away since this happy event, his achievements have been marvelous.
Optimist, as I try to be, I am not one of those who believe that the Negro has reached the delectable mountain, and that he is as good as anybody else. He is far from perfection, far from comparison with the more favored Anglo-Saxon, in wealth and culture, yet he has made progress commensurate with his opportunities.
It is a well-known philosophical axiom, that "action is equal to reaction, and in a contrary direction." The American Negro is now meeting the reaction consequent upon his violent action in the direction of civilization and culture; but, this reaction is only temporary, and, even the realization of his condition by the leading thinkers of his race, is a sign of hope, and an evidence of substantial progress that must tell for good.
Now, what achievements did he make? First, as to wealth: According to the census of 1900 he has forty million dollars in church property, and twelve millions in school property. He has 140,000 farms, worth $750,000,000, and 170 million dollars in personal property. This is the result of thirty-six years of freedom. One noticeable feature is that the great bulk of his wealth has been accumulated in the South, where the large majority of the American Negroes live. No one fact is more startling in history, than that a people, once held as slaves, have been able to live and thrive among the very people by whom they were held. This accentuates the fact that, after all, nowhere has the Negro better friends than can be found among the white people of the Southland. His property aggregates $75 per capita for every man, woman and child in this country, which is certainly no mean showing for thirty-six years of freedom.
As to education, he has reduced his illiteracy forty-five per cent, he has written more than 500 books, publishes 300 newspapers, three of them dailies; he has produced 2,000 lawyers, a still larger number of doctors and 32,000 teachers. He supports several colleges, seventeen academies, fifty high schools, five law schools, five medical schools and twenty-five theological seminaries. It is true that all of the education he is obtaining is not practical; and also true that many so-called educated ones are shiftless and trifling; but this is no more than was to be expected under the circumstances.
He has built 29,000 churches, and this must mean something. It is true that in the past, his ministers have in many cases appealed to the passions, rather than to the intellect; and yet, under these old preachers, many of them honest, earnest and Godly men, the Negro has made gigantic strides in morality. He is yet far, very far below what we would like to see him, but he is coming. The new gospel of work is striking a responsive chord in the American Negro's heart, and he is beginning to see that he must be able to do something if he would be something.
Happily for him he learned to work, during the dark days of the past, it only remained for him to learn to put brains in his work. This he is fast learning under the apostles of industrial training. Since the fiat went forth, amid the groves of Eden, when man lost his first estate, "by the sweat of thy brow shalt thou eat bread," God has never reversed his edict. Work must be his salvation, as it has been the salvation of all other races. To put into poetry the words of an old friend:
I ain't got no edikashun, But dis, kno', is true: Dat raisin' gals too good to wuch Ain't nebber gwine to do; Dese boys, dat look good nuf to eat, But too good to saw de logs, Am cay'in us, ez, fas' ez smok' To lan' us at de dogs.
These great achievements have not been accomplished alone. The great American Home Mission Society, the American Missionary Association the Freedmen's Bureau, and the various churches and societies of the North and South have contributed liberally of their time and means to aid us in an upward struggle. The South itself has contributed its millions to the aid of their former slaves; they have given for his schools, they have aided him in building his churches, and there is scarcely a single home among us, humble or palatial, that has not been erected largely by the aid of Southern capital. But for the friendly aid of these people among whom the great bulk of the American Negroes live, we could never have climbed as far as we have on the ladder of progress. The Negro is fast learning that, if he would be free he, himself, must strike the blow, and he is teaching his children the gospel of self-help.
The heights are still beyond, but he is slowly rising, and day by day hope grows brighter. May God continue this progress until he shall stand shoulder to shoulder with the highest civilization and culture of the world.
WILL IT BE POSSIBLE FOR THE NEGRO TO ATTAIN, IN THIS COUNTRY, UNTO THE AMERICAN TYPE OF CIVILIZATION?
BY BISHOP H. M. TURNER, D. D., LL. D., D. C. L.
BISHOP H. M. TURNER, D. D., LL. D.
Bishop H. M. Turner, D. D., LL. D., D. C. L., was born near Newbury Court House, South Carolina, February 1, 1833 or 1834. His mother's maiden name was Sarah Greer, the youngest daughter of David Greer, who was brought to this country when a boy and sold in Charleston, S. C. Greer was the son of an African king. His father, the African king, sent seven African slaves for the return of his son, but the captain of the slave ship dying before he returned, the son received his freedom when South Carolina was still under British rule, upon the ground that Royal blood could not be enslaved. Henry McNeal Turner was the oldest son of Hardy Turner and Sarah Greer Turner. Henry grew up on the cotton fields of South Carolina, and when eight or nine years old he dreamed he was on a high mountain and millions of people were looking up at him for instruction, white and colored. He then procured a spelling book and commenced to learn to read and write, to prepare to give that vast multitude instruction. He got a white boy to teach him his alphabet and how to spell to three syllables. By this time he was large enough to wait in a law office at Abbeville Court House, S. C. The young lawyers took great pleasure in giving him instruction in their leisure moments for pastime. He gained a respectable knowledge of history, arithmetic, geography, astronomy and some other branches, but would not study grammar, as he thought he could talk well enough without a knowledge of grammar.
He made such remarkably rapid progress that by the time he was fifteen years old he had read the Bible through five times, and by the aid of Walker's Pronouncing Dictionary and the young white lawyers he became a good reader, and read Watson's Apology for the Bible, Buck's Theological Dictionary and very largely in Dr. Adam Clark's Commentary and other books. He became acquainted with the African M. E. Church, joined the same, leaving the M. E. Church South, met the Conference in St. Louis, Mo., and was admitted after an examination. Bishop D. A. Payne, D. D., LL. D., appointed him to a mission in Baltimore city. While he served his appointment he studied English Grammar, Latin, Greek, German and the Hebrew languages, and became what was regarded as an excellent scholar. He studied the rules of elocution under Dr. Cummings of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and was regarded as quite an orator. He was appointed in charge of Israel Church, Washington, D. C., and his fame became so notable that President Lincoln appointed him Chaplain, the first colored man that was ever made a commissioned officer in the United States Army. He served his regiment so faithfully and gained such a reputation that President Johnson commissioned him a Chaplain in the regular service of the United States Army. He resigned in a short time and commenced the organization of the A. M. E. Church in Georgia, and was so abundantly successful that the General Conference elected him manager of the Publication Department in 1876. He served there four years with headquarters in Philadelphia, and in 1880 the General Conference sitting in St. Louis, Mo., elected him Bishop, and on the 20th of May he was consecrated to that holy office. Bishop Turner has worked up territory enough as an organiser of the A. M. E. Church to demand five conferences. He has organized four conferences in Africa, making eleven conferences that he is the founder of.
Dr. Turner was for many years superintendent in the church for the whole State of Georgia and was the first Bishop of Africa, which position he held for eight years, while having his regular conferences in the United States. He says he has received over forty-three thousand on probation in the African M. E. Church. He has been a member of the Georgia Legislature twice, a member of the Constitutional Convention, Postmaster, Inspector of Customs and held other minor positions, and was at one time regarded one of the greatest orators of his race in the United States.
This interrogatory appears to presuppose that the seventeen or more millions of colored people in North and South America are not a part of the American population, and do not constitute a part of its civilization. But the term "this country" evidently refers to the United States of America, for this being the largest and the most powerful government on the American continent, not unfrequently, is made to represent the entire continent. So the Negro is regarded as a foreign and segregated race. The American people, therefore, who grade the type of American civilization are made up of white people, for the Indian, Chinamen, and the few Mexicans are not taken in account any more than the Negro is, by reason of the live numbers, and not because they are regarded wanting in intellectual capacity, as the Negro is.
The above is an interrogatory that can be easily answered if the term "American" is to include the United States and the powers that enact its laws and proclaim its judicial decisions, as we have no civilization in the aggregate. Civilization contemplates that fraternity, civil and political equality between man and man, that makes his rights, privileges and immunities inviolable and sacred in the eyes and hearts of his fellows, whatever may be his nationality, language, color, hair texture, or anything else that may make an external variation.
Civility comprehends harmony, system, method, complacency, urbanity, refinement, politeness, courtesy, justice, culture, general enlightenment and protection of life and person to any man, regardless of his color or nationality. It is enough for a civilized community to know that you are a human being, to pledge surety of physical and political safety to you, and this has been the sequence in all ages among civilized people. But such is not the condition of things as they apply to this country, I mean the United States. True, we have a National Congress, State Legislature, Subordinate and Supreme Courts, and almost every form of government, necessary to regulate the affairs of a civilized country. But above these, and above law and order, which these legislative and judicial bodies have been organized to observe, and execute justice in the land, we are often confronted through the public press with reports of the most barbarous and cruel outrages, that can be perpetrated upon human beings, known in the history of the world. No savage nation can exceed the atrocities which are often heralded through the country and accepted by many as an incidental consequence. Men are hung, shot and burnt by bands of murderers who are almost invariably represented as the most influential and respectable citizens in the community, while the evidences of guilt of what is charged against the victims, who are so inhumanly outraged, are never established by proof in any court, and all we can learn about the guilt and horrible deeds charged upon the murdered victims comes from the mouth of the bloody handed wretches who perpetrate the murders, yet they are not known according to published accounts. But enough is known to get from their mouths same horrible statements as to why this and that brutal murder was done, and invariably, it is told with such oily tongues, and the whole narrative is polished over and glossed with such skillfully constructed lies, that the ruling millions lift up their hands in holy horror and exclaim "they done him right."
Why, the very judges surrounded with court officers are powerless before these bloody mobs. Prisoners are cruelly, fiendishly and inhumanly dragged from their very custody. Sheriffs are as helpless as new-born babes. I do not pretend to say that in no instance have the victims been guilty as a whole or in part of some blood-curdling crime, for men perpetrate lawless acts, revolting deeds, disgraceful and brutal crimes, regardless of nationality, language or color, at times. But civilization presurmises legal adjudication and the intervention of that judicial authority which civilized legislation produces. And when properly administered the accused is innocent till he gets a fair trial; no verdict of guilt from a drunken lawless mob should be accepted by a civilized country; and when they do accept it they become a barbarous people. And a barbarous people make a barbarous nation. Civilization knows no marauders, mobs or lynchers and any one adjudged guilty by a drunken band of freebooters is not guilty in the eyes of a civilized people. For the ruthless and violent perpetrators of lawless deeds, especially when they are incarnate, are murderers to all intents and purposes, and popular approval does not diminish the magnitude of the crime. Millions may say, "Well done," but God, reason and civilization stamp them as culprits.
I confess that the United States has the highest form of civilized institutions that any nation has had. Let us take a cursory glance at the institutions in this country. It has common schools by the tens of thousands; colleges and universities of every grade by the hundred; millions of daily newspapers are flying from the press, and weekly papers and monthly magazines on all imaginary subjects; it has a Congress and President, Governors and State Legislatures without end, judges, various courts and law officers in countless numbers. Hundreds of thousands of school teachers, professors, and college presidents, and Doctors of Divinity, thousands of lecturers and public declaimers on all subjects, railroads, telegraphs and telephones in such vast numbers as stagger imagination itself, churches and pulpits that are filled by at least a hundred and twenty-five thousand ministers of the gospel, and Bibles enough to build a pyramid that would almost reach to heaven; a land of books upon every subject scattered among the people by the billions, and in short, we have all the forms and paraphernalia of civilization. But no one can say, who has any respect for truth, that the United States is a civilized nation, especially if we will take the daily papers and inspect them for a few moments, and see the deeds of horror that the ruling powers of the nation say "well done" to.
I know that thousands, yea millions and tens of millions would not plead guilty of having a part in the violent and gory outrages which are often perpetrated in this country upon human beings, chiefly because they are of African descent, and are not numerically strong enough to contend with the powers in governmental control. But that is no virtue that calls for admiration. As long as they keep silent and fail to lift up their voices in protestation and declaim against it, their very silence is a world-wide acquiescence. It is practically saying, well done. There are millions of people in the country who could not stand to kill a brute, such is their nervous sensitiveness, and I have heard of persons who would not kill a snake or a bug. But they are guilty of everything the drunken mobs do, as long as they hold their silence. Men may be ever so free from the perpetration of bloody deeds, personally, but their failure to object to any outrageous crime makes them particeps crimines.
I forgot to say in cataloguing the crimes committed in the United States that persons for the simple color of their skin are thrust into what are called Jim Crow cars on the public highways and charged as much as those who are riding in rolling palaces with every comfort that it is possible for man to enjoy. This is simple robbery on the public highways and the nine United States judges have approved of this robbery and said, "well done," by their verdict.
Such being the barbarous condition of the United States, and the low order of civilization which controls its institutions where right and justice should sit enthroned, I see nothing for the Negro to attain unto in this country. I have already admitted that this country has books and schools, and the younger members of the Negro race, like the younger members of the white race, should attend them and profit by them. But for the Negro as a whole, I see nothing here for him to aspire after. He can return to Africa, especially to Liberia where a Negro government is already in existence, and learn the elements of civilization in fact; for human life is there sacred, and no man is deprived of it or any other thing that involves his manhood, without due process of law. So my decision is that there is nothing in the United States for the Negro to learn or try to attain to.
WILL IT BE POSSIBLE FOR THE NEGRO TO ATTAIN, IN THIS COUNTRY, UNTO THE AMERICAN TYPE OF CIVILIZATION?
BY BISHOP L. H. HOLSEY.
BISHOP L. H. HOLSEY.
Bishop Holsey was born a slave near Columbus, Ga., July 3, 1842. In 1862 he was married to Miss Harriet Turner, a young girl who belonged to Bishop Geo. F. Pierce, of the M. E. Church South, who performed the marriage ceremony in his own house. His early life was spent in Sparta, La. He was licensed to preach in 1868 in the M. E. Church South, and served the Hancock circuit for nearly two years. In 1870 he pastored the church in Savannah, Ga. Early in 1869 he became a member of the colored conference which belonged to the M. E. Church South. This conference was composed entirely of colored ministers. At this conference Bishop Holsey was ordained deacon by Bishop Pierce and a year later he was ordained elder. In the fall of 1870 his conference elected him a delegate to the first General Conference of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church, held in America. This conference was held in Jackson, Tenn., where the first C. M. E. Church in America was organized. In 1871 he was sent to Augusta, Ga., as pastor of Trinity Church and served there until in 1873 he was elected Bishop of the C. M. E. Church. In 1881 he was sent to London, England, to represent the C. M. E. Church in the first ecumenical council. In that council Bishop Holsey represented his church well. He was also sent as delegate to the same council, which met in Washington, D. C., in 1897. He is the founder of Paine College in Augusta, Ga., which is now in a flourishing condition. Bishop Holsey has always taken an active part in all that concerns the C. M. E. Church. He has written all the messages but one to the General Conferences and has suggested its entire legislation up-to-date. He also wrote the Manual of Discipline, and composed the hymnal of the church, and he is the author of a book of Drawings and Lectures, containing an autobiography. He has written much for his church and done many other good things, too numerous to mention here.
This question is one of pre-eminent importance and interesting alike to both races. Civilization means culture and refinement. The American type of civilization is somewhat different from the European and Asiatic; but, in the main features or characteristics, the world's great civilizations have always been the same in tone and design. Patriotism, religion, and a thirst for power are the most prominent features of all civilizations. All civilizations have their imperfections. One of the strong features of the American type of civilization is the widespread and terrible social prejudice, which seems to be greatly increasing.
In this country the negro is despised and rejected, simply because he has a black skin, and social traits that distinguish him from other races. We cannot see, neither do we believe, that it is possible for the Negro to attain unto the American type of civilization, while he lives in the same territory and in immediate contact with the white people. This, however, applies especially to the former slave states. Eight-tenths of the Negroes are at present in the old slave states, and if they remain there, which is very questionable, they will never be brought into the political, religious and social fabrics. They can never become full-fledged and free citizens like the white people. As a race, the Negro cannot enjoy in this country, like the Anglo-Saxon, the immunities and privileges guaranteed to him by the Constitution. The civil rights, the ample protection and the broad and liberal sentiment that protect and inspire the white people, are nowhere in America accorded to the black man. He is everywhere proscribed, because he is a Negro. No matter how much culture and refinement he may possess, he does not receive at the hands of the prejudiced whites that respectful consideration to which his culture entitles him. If we enter the field of legislative enactments by the Southern people, we find the prejudice still more pronounced.
Every enactment that has found its way to the statutory documents of the Southern States, where the rights and privileges of the two races are involved, shows race prejudice; then this thing is getting no better, but worse. As the Negro rises from the darkness of the past and approximates the American standard of civilization, the feeling against him becomes more intense, bitter and decisive, which does not speak well for the American civilization.
No Negro, however highly accomplished, can be brought into the social fabric. The lowest Greek, the dirtiest Jew, the vilest Russian, and the most treacherous Spaniard can be absorbed and assimilated into the social compact, but the Negro, because he is black, cannot enter into this compact.
Unless the Negro can enter the political and social compacts in some part of this country, there is no way for him to attain unto the American type of civilization. Can this be done? We think not, because as the Negro migrates to the North or to the Northwest, the process by which he enters the arena of full citizenship annuls and destroys his social characteristics in a greater or less degree.
There is, at present, among the majority of Negroes in the South, an unrest. Millions of them are waiting and wishing for somebody to lead them from the land of oppression and proscription to some more congenial clime, outside of the land of their nativity, but they do not want to depart, unless they can be assured that by so doing, they can better their condition. As it is, many are going to the North, East and West, and the time is fast approaching when the Black Belts of the South will be things of the past, unless the white people change their way of treating a Negro. The cotton fields and sugar farms now maintained by the Negroes will eventually be deserted by them, if the whites continue to oppress them. This, perhaps, would be beneficial to the South, as it would relieve them of the perplexing Race Problem. Now, if the Negroes were as free and as safe in their homes; if they had the same feeling of security of life and property; if they had the same treatment before the courts and had all the rights and privileges of a full citizen, as the white man, he would not be long in attaining to the American type of civilization. All Southern people, and many Northern people, for that matter, do not believe that the Negro is capable of as high a degree of civilization as the Anglo-Saxon. They believe him to be by nature inferior to the white man. But I contend that the Negro is not by nature inferior to the white man, but that he is as capable of reaching the American type of civilization as the white man. This is obvious from the phenomenal strides made by him within the past thirty-six years along material, moral and educational lines.
No one seems to take on and absorb the American civilization more readily than the American Negro, and if he has the same advantages and was allowed to enjoy the same full and free citizenship along with his white neighbor, his advancement in civilization would be as rapid as that of the white man.
There are to be found now not a few Negro men and women whose culture and refinement would not suffer by comparison with that of the best white people of this country. It is not native incapacity and the want of vital manhood that limit the Negro's progress in civilization, but it is the fight made against him on the ground of his previous condition. Remove this and give the Negro the white man's chance and he will keep pace with the white man in his march toward civilization.
WILL IT BE POSSIBLE FOR THE NEGRO TO ATTAIN, IN THIS COUNTRY, UNTO THE AMERICAN TYPE OF CIVILIZATION?
BY R. S. LOVINGGOOD, A. M.
PROF. R. S. LOVINGGOOD, A. M.
Prof. R. S. Lovinggood was born in Walhalla, S. C., in 1864. He came to Clark University, Atlanta, Ga., in 1881, and remained in school nine years, completing the college course and taking a course in carpentry. Immediately after graduating, he began to publish the "Atlanta Times," a weekly paper, which he continued for two years. He sold out his interest in the paper, and was elected principal of a city school in Birmingham, Ala., where he taught with great success for three years. Here he was married to Miss Lillie G. England, in 1894. In the fall of 1895, he was elected to the chair of Greek and Latin at Wiley University, Marshall, Texas, and entered upon his work with enthusiasm. His wife died in January, 1896, leaving him a boy only ten days old. He continued his work at Wiley University for five consecutive years. His success was notable in this position. He wrote a work which has received favorable mention in several papers of high grade. The title of the work is "Why Hic, Halc, Hoc for the Negro?"
He was married a second time on April 25, 1900, to Miss Mattie A. Townsend of Birmingham, Ala. In the fall of 1900, he was elected to the presidency of Samuel Houston College, Austin, Texas. His success here has been notable. Though this is a new school, he enrolled 205 the first year. This is its second year, and the enrollment will doubtless reach 300.
Prof. Lovinggood is a good scholar, a fluent speaker, and an earnest Christian. He was a delegate to the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Chicago in 1900. He is quite popular with the preachers and the people wherever he goes. A bright future is before him and the young school of which he is president.
I presume it is not necessary to show in detail what the American type of civilization is, or will be. Whatever that type is, or may be; will the Negro attain unto it in this country? Of the American type of civilization this much may be said, that this is a "government of the people, for the people and by the people; that all men are created with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness;" that governments derive "their just power from the consent of the governed;" that in such governments each individual is entitled to all the rights vouchsafed to any other individual in that government; that every one is entitled to stand on his merits as a citizen of the government.
Taking this view of the American type of civilization, will it be possible for the Negro to attain unto it? Will the time ever come when the Negro will stand on his merits in our government? Will it ever be that the Negro will stand the same chance to be Mayor, Congressman, Senator, Governor, President? That he will be tried for crimes as other men are tried? No one who believes in the innate capacity of the Negro to achieve as high a type of civilization as any other race, will question that it will be possible for him to achieve the American type of civilization along the lines of invention, commerce, philanthropy, scholarship, etc. The Negro can be industrious, patriotic, courageous. He can be useful in the community in which he lives. He can be as good as anybody else. No one doubts that he can be as meritorious as any other. Geographical lines cannot prevent the Negro from being meritorious. Now, if he is meritorious, will he be treated according to his merits in both church and state? Is it possible in this country that he will be treated according to his deserts? I take this to be the gist of the question, and it is a hard one to answer. The prejudice against the Negro is more severe than that against any other people, and the prejudice grows stronger. Even the Christian churches are yielding to it. I remember that the Plebeians in the Roman Empire, though of the same blood as the Patricians, were excluded from the Comitia, the Senate and all civil and priestly offices of the state for several hundred years. Though of the same color, the statute of Kilkenny prohibited the Irish and English from intermarrying in the fourteenth century. Prejudice ran high, and has not ended yet. The wail of sorrowful Ireland continues to go up before England for justice. I remember the sad story of Kosciusko and the Poles. The Poles were white.
Here we are of a different color, ex-slaves, poor, beaten back by prejudice. Who can tell our future? We can only hope and give the reason for the hope that is in us.
I believe it is possible for us to succeed in America. I should despair if I did not believe this. Why do I believe it? Here is my ground for hope: First, the Negro is the only race that has ever looked into the face of the blue-eyed Anglo-Saxon without being swept from the face of the earth. There is that docility, that perseverance, that endurance, long-suffering patience and that kindness in the Negro which rob the pangs of the hatred of the white man of much of their deadly poison. The Negro thrives on persecution. He never loses faith. Individuals may lose hope, but the race will never. The Negro does not run against the buzz-saw of destruction, and this fact should be put down to his credit. The saw will not whirl forever.
Second: The success of the last thirty-seven years gives hope of ultimate triumph. The Negro has increased in intelligence, in wealth, in moral worth, in population, etc. It is useless to give figures. All right-thinking men admit this.
I take no part in that view of a few pessimists, that the Negro race grows worse; that the "old time Negro" is better than the young "new Negro." The old Negro was submissive because he was not allowed to be otherwise. There is no character in slavish goodness. Character must be developed in freedom of action. Under freedom, a few young Negroes have gone to excess, but, thank God, under freedom, hundreds of thousands of young Negroes, in schools and out of schools, are struggling up the hill of virtue, of industry, of learning, not goaded on by the lash of the master, but impelled by a holy ambition that does not halt at temporary defeats.
Third: So I believe the Negro will be as good as any. He will produce his poets, historians, philosophers, inventors, his men of commerce, his humanitarians. His present disenfranchisement will keep him along these lines. The best people in America are helping him. Besides the Negro's own efforts in such organizations as the A. M. E. Church, the American Missionary Association of the Congregational Church, the Freedmen's Aid and Southern Educational Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, the Home Mission Society of the Baptist Church, and many other organizations are behind him with millions of dollars, with prayers and with the souls and the flesh and blood of the best men and women of the world. There are good men North and South—white men—who desire the Negro's success. Their number will grow. With these helps the Negro can become noble in character. He can merit the best at the hands of the American people. If he is as good and useful as any other class of people, will he be treated as any other class?
Fourth: Now, I will go a little further and say I know it is "possible" for the Negro to attain unto the American type of civilization; but, is it "probable"? I even believe it is probable.
The Negro is included in the "all men are created with certain inalienable rights." He is included in the "Our Father." He is included in the "Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do you even so unto them." Now, if the nation adopts some separate and unjust manner of treatment of the Negro, it must repudiate the Declaration of Independence. It must repudiate the Lord's Prayer. It must repudiate the Golden Rule. Can it do that and survive? Can it practice injustice upon the Negro and survive? Sin recoils upon the sinner. Injustice to the Negro will destroy the Nation. For that reason good white men and women are striving to bring the Nation up to that high plane of righteousness where justice is meted out to all alike. These good white men and women ought to conquer. I believe they will. Not to-day, but to-morrow. Thus the Negro, striving to be the best in the community, the white men, striving to reduce to practice the Golden Rule, may it not come to pass that "They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks," and that the country of Lincoln shall thus become the "land of the free and the home of the brave," where all men of all races shall be treated in all departments of life according to their worth?
WILL IT BE POSSIBLE FOR THE NEGRO TO ATTAIN, IN THIS COUNTRY, UNTO THE AMERICAN TYPE OF CIVILIZATION?
BY BISHOP J. W. HOOD, D. D., LL. D.
BISHOP J. W. HOOD, D. D., LL. D.
The subject of this sketch was born in Kennett Township, Chester County, Pa., May 30, 1831. His father's house being near the line between freedom and slavery was a station of the Underground Railroad. Hence, the boy was very early impressed with the evils of slavery and imbibed an intense hatred toward that institution, and an intense love for his afflicted race. This sentiment has been a great factor in shaping his conduct through life. His moral and religious convictions were fixed in early life. He was sensible of a call to the ministry, but hesitated a long time because he felt a lack of necessary qualification. He was licensed to preach in 1856; ordained a deacon in 1860; elder in 1862, and bishop in 1872. He entered upon a course of studies soon after he was licensed, and has been a hard student ever since.
His first appointment was to a mission in Nova Scotia. In December, 1861, he was appointed to missionary work in the South. Following the army, he reached New Berne, N. C., January 20, 1864. As a traveling minister he always had encouraging success, especially in North Carolina, in which State his denomination has a larger following than in any other. Two of its most important institutions are located there, namely, the Publication House at Charlotte and Livingstone College at Salisbury. Bishop Hood is one of the founders of the college, and has been President of the Board of Trustees during its entire history.
He has been married three times, and has six living children, all of whom have been mainly educated at this institution. The Bishop is an untiring worker, and has traveled as much as 20,000 miles a year. He once preached forty-five sermons in thirty-one days, driving from five to twenty-five miles a day. He is a natural presiding officer and governs his conferences with an ease and quietness that is astonishing.
He is an author. His first work was a book of twenty-five sermons. The second a pamphlet, "Know, Do, and Be Happy." The third, a history of the A. M. E. Zion Church (625 pages).
The fourth a pamphlet, "The True Church, the Real Sacrifice, the Genuine Membership." His fifth, and most important, is, "The Plan of the Apocalypse." He has in manuscript, a work on the Millennium; also the material for a second book of sermons, and is now writing an Autobiography.
Bishop Haygood of the M. E. Church South, who wrote the introduction to the Book of Sermons, says: "Bishop Hood has traveled the continent to and fro. His ability, his eloquence, his zeal and usefulness, have commanded the respect and confidence of the best people of both races."
As one of the members of the Ecumenical Conference that met in London in 1881, Bishop Hood made a lasting impression.
These sermons speak for themselves. Their naturalness, their clearness, their force and their general soundness of doctrine, and wholesomeness of sentiment, commend them to sensible and pious people. I have found them as useful as interesting.
Those who still question whether the Negro in this country is capable of education and "uplifting," will modify their opinions when they read these sermons, or else will conclude that their author is a very striking exception to what they assume to be a general rule.
The subject of this article is one upon which much thought has been spent, and yet, excepting the color of the skin and the texture of the hair, the Negro has more the appearance of the white American than any other race. A cultured colored woman, with gloves on her hands and a veil on her face, is hard to distinguish from a cultured white woman a little way off.
And the same is true of men when the complexion is not seen. We shall take the position that the inherent possibility of the Negro is equal to that of any race. Notwithstanding his environments are against him, yet he has the inherent power to break through them, and will break through them and reach the highest plane of Christian civilization.
This is indicated by the progress he has made in the few years in which he has had any chance for development as an American citizen. Almost everything has been against him. Every possible effort has been employed by his enemies to keep him down; but in spite of all he rises. Like Israel of old, the more he is oppressed the more he prospers.
His possibility is indicated by the stock from which he comes.
It is the impression of many that the Negro has no history to which he can point. There could be no greater mistake than this. If it had been in the power of modern historians of the Caucasian race to rob him of his history it would have been done. But the Holy Bible has stood as an everlasting rock in the black man's defense. God himself has determined that the black man shall not be robbed of his record which he has made during the ages past.
The first and most illustrious of earth's historians has left on record statements which set forth the fact beyond reasonable doubt that an ancestor of the Negro race was the first of the earth's great monarchs; and that that race ruled the world for a long period; and the statements of Moses are confirmed by the testimonies of the earliest secular historians, whose writings have come down to our time. Ethiopia and Egypt were first among the early monarchies, and these countries were peopled by the descendants of Ham, through Cush and Mizraim.
Palestine was peopled by Canaan, the younger son of Ham, upon whom the curse was pronounced; and, notwithstanding the curse, his posterity ruled that land for hundreds of years. They were in it when the promise of it was made to Abraham; and four hundred years later, when Israel came out of Egypt, they were still in full possession of it. And, although the land was promised to Israel, yet two tribes, the Jebusites and Sidonians, resisted the attacks of Israel for more than four hundred years after they entered upon their promised possessions. Neither Joshua, nor the Judges of Israel, could drive them out. Not until David became King were the Jebusites driven out from the stronghold of Zion. (Even David failed to drive out the Sidonians.) It was from the ancient seat of the Jebusites, Jerusalem, also called Salem, the seat of royalty and power, that Melchizedek, the most illustrious king, priest and prophet of that race, came forth to bless Abraham, as seen in Gen. XIV., 18:19. There have been many wild notions respecting this personage, for which there is no good reason. Dr. Barnes, a standard author, whose commentaries have been adopted by the Presbyterian Board, takes the position that there can be no question but that Melchizedek was a Canaanite.
That the Phoenicians, who were the founders of Carthage in connection with the original Africans, were the descendants of Canaan there ought to be no question; but, since everything honorable to the Negro race is questioned, we will simply give the testimony of Rollin. He says: "The Canaanites are certainly the same people who are called almost always Phoenicians by the Greeks, for which name no reason can be given, any more than the oblivion of the true one." Thus it is seen, that up to Rollin's time there was no question as to the fact that the Phoenicians were Canaanites. Rollin did not know why this, instead of the true name, was given; neither do we know; but we may easily conjecture that, since it was the Greeks that gave this name instead of the true one, it may have been their purpose to hide the fact that the people to whom they were so greatly indebted were the descendants of the accursed son of Ham. This would be in perfect accord with the conduct of Caucasian authors now. We have also the testimony of Dr. Barnes that the Phoenicians were descended from the Canaanites. In his notes on Matt. XV., 22, of the woman of Canaan who met Jesus on the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he says: "This woman is also called a Greek, a Syro-Phoenician by birth" (Mark VII., 26).
Anciently the whole land, including Tyre and Sidon, was in the possession of the Canaanites, and called Canaan. The Phoenicians were descended from the Canaanites. The country, including Tyre and Sidon, was called Phoenicia or Syro-Phoenicia. That country was taken by the Greeks under Alexander the Great, and these cities, in the time of Christ, were Greek cities. This woman was therefore a Gentile, living under the Greek government, and probably speaking that language. She was by birth a Syro-Phoenician, born in that country, and descended therefore from the ancient Canaanites. On the same text Dr. Abbott says: "The term Canaan was the older title of the country and the inhabitants were successively termed Canaanites and Phoenicians; as the inhabitants of England were successively called Britons or Englishmen."
Of Carthage we may remark that through all the hundreds of years of its existence as an independent government, it remained a republic. Rollin, speaking of the government, says: "The government of Carthage was founded upon principles of most consummate wisdom; and it is with reason that Aristotle ranks this republic in the number of those that were held in the greatest esteem by the ancients, and which were fit to serve as a model for others. He grounds his opinion on a reflection which does great honor to Carthage, by remarking that from the foundation to his time (that is, upward of five hundred years) no considerable sedition had disturbed the peace, nor any tyrant oppressed the liberty of the state. Indeed, mixed governments such as that of Carthage, where the power was divided betwixt the nobles and the people, are subject to the inconveniences either of degenerating into an abuse of liberty by the seditions of the populace, as frequently happened in Athens, and in all the Grecian republics, or in the oppression of the public liberty by the tyranny of the nobles; as in Athens, Syracuse, Corinth, Thebes, and Rome itself, under Sylla and Caesar. It is, therefore, giving Carthage the highest praise to observe that it had found out the art by the wisdom of its laws, and the harmony of the different parts of its government, to shun during so long a series of years, two rocks that are so dangerous, and on which others so often split. It were to be wished that some ancient author had left us an accurate and regular description of the customs and laws of the famous republic."
While we agree with Rollin in his lament of the want of a more complete history of that ancient Negro republic, yet, if those Caucasians who are wont to arrogate to themselves all the excellencies of the world, and deny that the Negro ever has been great, or ever can be, would take time to read what has been written with sufficient care to understand it, they would lose some of their self-conceit and add much to their store of knowledge.
That the ancient Egyptians were black, both the Holy Scriptures and the discoveries of science, as also the most ancient histories, most fully attest. But as some profess to have doubts on this point, we shall take some testimony, which, we think, no fair minded man will attempt to dispute.
The Psalmist calls to memory the wonders which God wrought for his people, and celebrates in song his dealings with Israel in Egypt, and frequently calls Egypt the land of Ham. How can this be accounted for if Egypt was not peopled by the posterity of Ham? But he goes further than this; he calls their dwellings the tabernacles of Ham. "He smote the firstborn in Egypt; the chief of their strength in the tabernacles of Ham." Psalm lxvii, 51: "Israel also came into Egypt; and Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham." Psalm cv, 23: "He sent Moses, his servant and Aaron whom he had chosen. They set among them his signs and wonders in the land of Ham." Psalm cv, 26:27: "They forget their God their Savior which had done great things in Egypt; wondrous things in the land of Ham." (Psalm xvi, 21:22.)
The man who, after reading these passages, can doubt that the Egyptians to whom Israel was in bondage were the descendants of Ham, is beyond the reach of reason. The repetition seems designed to settle this fact beyond question. We might add, if it were necessary, that the Book of Canticles is an allegory, based upon Solomon's affection for his beautiful black wife, the daughter of Pharaoh, King of Egypt.
In the sixty-eighth Psalm we have a prophecy which connects Egypt with Ethiopia, as follows: "Princes shall come out of Egypt. Ethiopia shall soon stretch forth her hands unto God."
Rollin, in speaking of the fact, that all callings in Egypt were honorable, gives this as a probable reason: "That as they all descended from Ham, their common father, the memory of their still recent origin, occurring to the minds of all in those first ages, established among them a kind of equality, and stamped in their opinion a nobility on every person descended from the common stock."
Again, treating of the history of the Kings of Egypt, Rollin says: "The ancient history of Egypt comprises two thousand one hundred and fifty-eight years; and is naturally divided into three periods. The first begins with the establishment of the Egyptian monarchy by Menes or Mizraim the son of Ham, in the year of the world 1816." On the next page he says of Ham: "He had four children, Cush, Mizraim, Phut and Canaan." After speaking of the settlements of the other sons he returns to Mizraim and says: "He is allowed to be the same as Menes, whom all historians declare to be the first king of Egypt."
In speaking of the sons of Ham, Rollin says: "Cush settled in Ethiopia, Mizraim in Egypt, which generally is called in Scripture after his name, and by that of Cham (Ham) his father."
That ancient Egypt was the seat of the arts and sciences, there can be no doubt; the evidences of this still remain. The cities built by the early kings of Egypt have been the wonder of all succeeding ages.
Sesostris stands at the head of the list of the great Egyptian warriors. Rollin says: "His father, whether by inspiration, caprice, or, as the Egyptians say, by the authority of an oracle, formed the design of making his son a conqueror. * * * " (See Rollin, Vol. I, p. 161.)
The record given by Rollin indicates that Sesostris was among the wisest, as well as among the most powerful monarchs of the earth. Napoleon was a great warrior, but he died in exile, a prisoner of war. Alexander was a great general, but he made a foolish march across a desert country almost to the destruction of his army, for the foolish purpose of worshipping at the shrine, and being called the son of Jupiter Ammon. This so discouraged his forces that he never accomplished the object of his ambition.
Sesostris made no such blunders in his campaigns. He went forth conquering until he met a providential interposition; his climax of wisdom was displayed in his turning back when he discovered that not merely mortal beings, but the Great Immortal, opposed his further conquest.
He returned to his own country to enjoy in peace and prosperity the fruits of his unparalleled victories. His conduct toward those cities which resisted in attacks most stubbornly was in striking contrast to that of Alexander. As Alexander advanced to invade Egypt, he found at Gaza a garrison so strong that he was obliged to besiege it. It held out a long time, during which he received two wounds; this provoked him to such a degree that when he had captured the place he treated the soldiers and inhabitants most cruelly.
Sesostris, on the other hand, was pleased with those who defended their possessions most bravely; the degree of resistance which he had to overcome was denoted by him in hieroglyphical figures on monuments. The more stubborn the resistance, the greater the achievement; and the more worthy the people to become his subjects.
If the descendants of the accursed son of Ham could establish and maintain for five hundred years a republic which was never disturbed by sedition nor tyranny, and enjoyed a civilization in some respects better than the boasted American civilization, there is no reason why any other branch of Ham's family may not attain to the highest and best civilization.
Our opinion is, that within two hundred and fifty years the American Negro will reach that Christian civilization taught by the Son of God to a degree equal to any race on the face of the globe. He has in him the elements for such a civilization to a degree not possessed by some other races.
But the limit allowed this article has been reached.
HOW CAN THE FRIENDLY RELATIONS NOW EXISTING BETWEEN THE TWO RACES IN THE SOUTH BE STRENGTHENED AND MAINTAINED?
BY HON. H. P. CHEATHAM.
HENRY PLUMMER CHEATHAM.
Men who attain to real leadership and those who lift as they climb; broad in mental resource, generous, and strong in manly impulse, they forget self and become the embodiment of principles that make genuine progress and win the hearts of their comrades by the compelling force of character and personal magnetism. Promoting the well-being of a race, multiplying the happiness of the individual, these captains of moral thought practically accept the duty marked out by the Great Teacher and "cause two blades of grass to grow where but one grew before."
Such a man as pictured above is Henry Plummer Cheatham, one of the most successful forces in the public life of the twentieth century Negro. His career has been visited by success because he has richly deserved it. Mr. Cheatham was born in Henderson, N. C., some forty-odd years ago. He was educated in the public schools of his county and at Shaw University, of his native state. He was a promising lad, and with prophetic spirit laid deep the foundation upon which a brilliant character was to be built. His first public office was that of registrar of deeds in his native county. So conspicuous was his work and so worthily did he impress himself upon the judgment of the people, Mr. Cheatham was nominated and elected to the Fifty-first Congress, and was again chosen to sit in the Fifty-second Congress. When President McKinley reached the White House, one of his earliest appointments was that of Mr. Cheatham to be Recorder of Deeds for the District of Columbia, a post which has come to be regarded as carrying the insignia of leadership in the political councils of the race. That he has performed his duties capably and zealously, goes without saying. He is an ardent adherent of the merit system, and in both appointments and promotions the merit system has been his invariable guide, declining to be influenced by considerations of person, politics, religion or color. He has been instrumental in enrolling more Afro-Americans upon the governmental roster than any other Negro living.
Mr. Cheatham is a positive race man and is a foremost champion of the idea that the Negro's best development must come along natural lines, and that material progress is as much the result of sensible and persistent individual effort as of legislation and adventitious aid. He believes in practical education for the masses, technical education for the captains of professional thought and industrial leadership. He is unusually effective upon the "stump," and has been heard with pleasure and profit in many states during national campaigns.
Prosperity to a nation is most secure when all elements and classes of that nation are at peace, one with the other. Christianity reaches the height of its sacred mission when the spirit of co-operation and brotherly love is most conspicuously in evidence. National prestige and the influence of a people in the councils of the world are invincible when the contributing forces of the land are happy and united. The problems of civilization are solved when wars are silenced and "rumors of wars" are heard no more.
America, as we have come to call the land of our birth, has not grown to her present proud proportions upon "flowery beds of ease." Her strong place among the powers of the earth has not been gained without resort to martial strife. But, it is a gratifying fact, that up to this hour every struggle against outside foes has made American people stronger from within, and every victory, in our long, unbroken line of successful campaigns, has bred a warmer spirit of homogeneity and knit us together in closer bonds as a national unit. Foreign foes offer our country no danger to-day. Our army and navy are without peers upon the globe, and, despite our marvelous sketch of coast line, we have nothing to fear from foreign invasion.
The disease that threatens us most is from within. If salvation be needed, we must pray to be "saved from ourselves." To "make clean our hearts"—to face in proper spirit the duty that lies before us—should be the earnest supplication of every true American citizen. A spirit of unity is our urgent need at the opening of the 20th century.
Thanks to the wise economic policies of those intrusted with the reins of legislation and government, our country is enjoying a period of unexampled commercial prosperity. Business is booming, money is easy, crops are abundant and labor is receiving a fair return for energy expended. But, in our mad rush for the material things of life are we not forgetting the spiritual wants of the citizen, are we not neglecting the moral qualities that make nations enduring and the principles that must live when cities decay and dynasties cease to be? In fine are we not veering too far from the altruism of our fathers, in the apparent subordination of human rights to the acquisition of power and of wealth? This dangerous ambition breeds in our midst socialism and industrial unrest, exemplified in strikes and lockouts. It fosters anarchy—a spirit of lawlessness, from which but a few weeks ago the nation suffered the loss of a beloved chief magistrate. It stirs up racial antagonisms, and defies the ameliorating influences of Christian brotherhood. All difficulties surrounding our labor problems, however, are easy of solution, for while capital and mechanical industry may be frequently at war for one reason or another, the outbreaks are merely sporadic and short lived. They are invariably adjusted, from time to time, either through arbitration or equitable concessions. Capital and industry are of one color, and the complications are purely superficial. The one contention, that "passeth all understanding" and which defies the skill of the ethnologist, the psychologist, and all who deal with the ancestral or philosophical aspects of mankind, is the "race-problem."
I say "race problem" advisedly, because sociologists, in analyzing the issues growing out of the relations between the white American and the colored American, have eliminated from the discussion all difficulties surrounding their settlement—save the impossible effacement of race or color. All have admitted that the bronzed American may have character, intellect, capacity, wealth, industry and comeliness—yet he is a social "Pariah" because of his social identification. A problem that otherwise would be simple is thus converted into a perpetual issue by reason of race, and hence we have a "race problem." The race issue is particularly acute at the South—not because the Southern Negro differs materially from his Northern brother in character or attainments—but because in the Southern states the Negro abounds in the greatest numbers, and because upon her fertile soil he was once held in bondage. As a slave, the Negro came to be regarded as one whose inferiority must continue from generation to generation. The Civil War brought freedom in its wake, and one of its results was to clothe the emancipated servitor with the full vestments of citizenship. By proclamation and legislation, the ex-slave was made the political equal of his white master, and if numbers are to be counted the slave class became the superior force in the reconstructed Southland. That the new Negro citizen was honest and well-meaning, no one doubts. It must be confessed, however, that the masses were ignorant of the high responsibilities charged to them, and it is but natural that many mistakes were unwittingly made. Indeed, the wonder is not that many errors could be laid at the door of the amateur "statesman," lawmakers and suffragists, but that more grievous blunders were not made. The result, all things considered, is highly creditable to the heads and hearts of the leaders of that trying epoch. The masters did not take kindly to the seeming domination of their former bondmen. The anomalous situation was made infinitely worse by the gross frauds and maladministration of Northern white carpet-baggers, who misled the trusting Negro into false channels and bred in the minds of the landowners and former slave-magnates a bitter hatred for all that savored of the Negro and the party that they held responsible for their humiliation. Readers of history are familiar with the stirring scenes that went abreast with the efforts of the whites to free themselves from the consequences of the war. With the accession of President Hayes came the restoration of the democracy to local control in the Southern states. All are acquainted with the "reign of terror" and the depredations of red-shirted adventurers and night-riders. The instinct of white supremacy solidified that section, and later came the era of lynchings. General disorder prevailed wherever the racial problem was brought actively to the fore.
Of late we have heard much of "constitutional conventions," and the press has been filled with arguments pro and con as to the necessity for eliminating the Negro from politics or abridging his right to vote. There has been going on for years a seething cauldron, with the Negro as the burning impulse; but evidence is gradually accumulating to warrant the belief that a healthier atmosphere is coming out of the storm. Passions cool after full vent is given, and the sober second thought of races and nations invariably makes for peace, for law and for justice. Upon this established principle of metaphysics the Negro must base his hope for happier results in the near future. The South has awakened to its vast opportunities, and there seems to be a well-defined and determined effort on the part of the intelligence, the culture, and the wealth of that section to make the most of its bountiful resources. The commercial era opening in the South, gradually bringing into control the conservers of Christianity, of peace and of civil equity, will develop better conditions for the Negro; for among the aristocracy—among the landowners and moneyed classes—the black man has always found his best friends and most ardent sympathizers. They understand the Negro more thoroughly than many Negroes understand themselves, and the facts will bear me out in saying that when our people have needed advice, or have appealed for aid for churches, schools and for industrial opportunities, the high-grade white classes of the South have never turned a deaf ear. They have never been wanting in their approval of the self-respecting, thrifty and law-abiding Negro, and have always been ready to encourage him in the acquirement of a home, a farm or other real property—frequently lending the money for the first large payment. Many times they have exerted their influence to guarantee fair play for such Negroes in the courts—even when their causes were laid against a white man, or where white men had accused them of crime. It cannot be denied that injustice has been practiced against us in all sections of the South, and it is also true that the Negro's ignorance and credulity have made him an easy prey to the unscrupulous; but ignorant whites have suffered likewise, for he that knoweth little, no matter what his race, is the natural victim of the sharper. With the keenest of sleuths in our detective departments of the North, and with courts and juries of unimpeachable integrity, crime stalks boldly in its greatest cities, and arrogant corruption goes unwhipt of justice. So, in the Southland, there are crimes and criminals and the law will be powerless to bring them to book until a nobler sentiment is created by the supremacy of the better classes, and the relegation of the riotous element, through the vigorous and constant efforts of the rightful rulers of the South—the educated and peace-loving citizenry. In no case has any outrage against Negroes been given the approval of any responsible officer of the law. Violations of the letter and spirit of the statutes are committed over the protest of the authorities, and those who desire the aggressive execution of all the laws in the future must exercise more care in the selection of men intrusted with the power of administration. More attention must be paid to the character and personal fitness of candidates standing for office. The Negro can and will help to do this. The regeneration of existing conditions among the whites must come from an enlightened public spirit and a broader culture, such as are being bred through the public schools and through the introduction of improved methods in business and social life. First-class white men must take hold of the reins of government throughout the Southland. The Negro is an imitative creature, and he takes on the color of his environment. If it be charged that he is frequently immoral, dishonest and shiftless, the dissolute whites with whom he has been closely identified have furnished a model that he has copied only too faithfully. Let the Christian element become a more prominent factor in state affairs, and the Negro will at once grow in character and address by virtue of the inspiring example thus set for him.
This phase of the "Negro problem" carried to its logical conclusion becomes the "white man's problem." Will the Southern American rise in his majesty, dismiss his prejudice and prove equal to the lofty duty allotted to him? Will he give the Negro a man's chance in the battle of life, and depend upon his own natural gifts of mind and heart for his supremacy?
The political phase of the race problem I shall touch but briefly. There is no call for the Negro "to get out of politics;" as the term is popularly used. The fact is the Negro should begin "to get into politics" in the truest sense of the word—that is, to begin at the a b c of political power and come up by the usual processes of individual development. The suffrage is a privilege conferred by the state. States make certain restrictions for their own protection as sovereign commonwealths. Although it is unfortunately a fact that the restrictions are enforced more rigidly against black illiterates and black non-property-holders than against the whites, of similar deficiencies, the conditions are there and can only be fought down by intelligently meeting the requirements, whatever they may be. No educated Negro is refused the right of suffrage by any constitutional enactment. No property-owner is made to feel himself outlawed by virtue of suffrage restrictions.
The moral is plain. Get education. Be thrifty and economical. Get lands and money. Get character and personal culture. These qualities, united, pass as good coin in any state North or South. They go far to minimize the disadvantages of color everywhere. Without them no race is strong anywhere. They are potent in allaying the race feeling aggravated by too many of us, through voting under the leadership of scheming politicians who are opposed to the best interests of the masters of the Southern soil, and who have no use for black men except on election day. In the matter of suffrage, I would suggest that the black voter place himself in touch with his white neighbors. The interests of each are identical. It is of far greater importance to the Negro to have the friendship, respect and confidence of his next-door neighbor than who shall be President of the United States. It is of more moment to him who shall be sheriff or member of the state legislature and city council than who shall go to Congress. This suggests that the Negro use clear judgment in casting his ballot, and that he use that instrument to identify himself with the law-abiding and progressive forces about him. The Negro's natural home will ever be in the South. The careful exercise of suffrage in promoting the interests of that section, eliminating partisan bitterness and vengeful spirit, will be one of the most powerful agencies in maintaining and strengthening friendly relations between the races there.
Further, let the Negro make for himself a place in the business world. Let him develop hotels, groceries, stores and shops of all kinds, thus affording employment to our competent young men and women. Let him perfect himself in the useful arts; till the soil, and become an indispensable factor in the uplift of the community which he calls home. The farmer, the artisan, and industrious wage-earner form the backbone of racial progress, for they support the church, are patrons of the schools, and are steady conservers of public morals. From this firm center, a lever is furnished which holds up the house of the minister, the editor, the teacher, physician, the artist, the lawyer, and all of the so-called "polite" professions. Let the Negro build up his own social circle, and strive to perfect it through an exemplary home life. While a part of the general social system the Negro people can be to the Whites, as Booker T. Washington so well puts it, "separate as the fingers" in social contact, but "one as the hand" in all that tends to sustain and improve the State and Nation.
In short, let the white man be just, if he cannot be generous. Let him give the Negro what is due him. Weigh him honestly as to character and manly worth. Let the Negro be patient, persevering, philosophical, thrifty, self-respecting and far-seeing. Brains and energy will eventually win their legitimate place in the equation of civic virtue, and the forces of right will gravitate, the one towards the other, just as the flowering plant turns to the sunlight. In peaceful conditions, nurtured by mutual sympathy, mutual suffering and mutual triumphs, will be forged a bond that shall in due season draw the best in each of the great races of the South in closer and more friendly communion. Our beloved America shall throw off the shameful shackles of racial prejudice. Progress towards a sweeter civilization will be the watchword for all. Then, there shall be, indeed and in truth, for every class, color, condition and section in this land, "One God, one country, and one flag." There is hope ahead.
HOW CAN THE FRIENDLY RELATIONS NOW EXISTING BETWEEN THE TWO RACES IN THE SOUTH BE STRENGTHENED AND MAINTAINED?
BY REV. W. D. CHAPPELLE, D. D.
WILLIAM D. CHAPPELLE.
Rev. William D. Chappelle was born in Fairfield County, South Carolina, November 16, 1857. At twelve years of age, he was sent to the common schools of Winnsboro, S. C., to Northern teachers. So eager was he to learn that he cut light wood up at night and carried it to town on his head, using the money thus obtained to buy his first book. After finishing the common schools, he entered Fairfield Normal Institute, and there prepared himself for a teacher, which vocation he pursued for several years. After his conversion he felt called to the ministry. Accordingly, he joined the Columbia Annual Conference in 1881, and feeling his inability to effectually preach the Gospel of Christ, he entered Allen University, there taking a collegiate course, at the same time serving missions near Columbia.
With a wife and one child, he found that the mission work was inadequate for his support, having very often to cease his studies in school and go out and teach for two or three months to relieve the wants of his family. This was very discouraging to him, but he courageously worked on until Bishop Dickerson relieved him of some of his responsibilities by giving him a room in his back yard. This he gladly accepted that he might earn some money with which to buy books and thus sustain himself in his struggle for an education.