The Project Gutenberg EBook of Sparkling Gems of Race Knowledge Worth
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Title: Sparkling Gems of Race Knowledge Worth Reading
       A compendium of valuable information and wise suggestions
              that will inspire noble effort at the hands of every
              race-loving man, woman, and child.

Author: Various

Release Date: August 6, 2007 [EBook #22256]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Marilynda Fraser-Cunliffe, Debbie Stoddart,
Diane Monico, and the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at









PRICE, $1.25.

"Give attendance to reading." (1 Tim. iv. 13.)

"No man has a right to bring up his children without surrounding
them with good books. A book is better than sleep for weariness.
(Henry Ward Beecher.)

Nashville, Tenn.:
J. T. Haley & Company, Publishers.


To every Son and Daughter of the Race,
whose noble aspirations are to do good and be good,
This Little Volume Is Dedicated
By the Compiler.

Copyright, 1897, by J. T. Haley & Company.

[Pg 5]


If, as Lord Bacon says, "reading makes a full man," then it behooves every one who has any aspirations to read.

The negro is just passing, as it were, through the gateway that enters upon life's great work, and the publishers of this little volume are anxious to see our "brother in black" develop, both from an intellectual and a moral standpoint, and are ready to do what they can to stimulate the race on to still greater achievements than they have ever before accomplished. In launching "Sparkling Gems" we are simply putting forth to the world what we hope may, in some measure, instruct and encourage the colored people. We have compressed a vast amount of valuable race information into a small compass. The style of the work is good, and its moral tone is excellent. It can scarcely fail to profit every member of the race who will read it, hence it should be in every family, in every office, and in every library.

It has been the earnest aim of the compiler to embody in these pages the latest conclusions of some of the most prominent Afro-American scholars on several of the mooted subjects pertaining to the race.

We owe a debt of lasting gratitude to many of our friends who have so generously furnished us valuable assistance in the collection of data for this volume, among whom we may mention W. B. Rust and T. B. Mears as among the most enthusiastic.

Believing that there is a genuine need for such a work as we have produced, we offer it to our colored friends and their white friends, praying God's blessing upon it.

The Publishers.

[Pg 6]

Residence of R. R. Church, Memphis, Tenn., the wealthiest colored man
in the state; estimated at $250,000. AS IT NOW IS—HOME OF A FREEMAN.
Residence of R. R. Church, Memphis, Tenn., the wealthiest colored man in the state; estimated at $250,000.

[Pg 7]


The Need of New Ideas and New Aims for a New Era11
The Status of the Family—The Conditions of Labor—Higher Plane of Morality.
Laying the Corner Stone23
The Tennessee Centennial31
Negro Building—History and Old Relics—Department of Arts—Mines and Minerals—Department of Dentistry—The Woman's Board.
Cotton States Industrial Exposition45
The Need of the Hour47
Negro Business Association51
Negro Banks53
Negro Wealth by States54
Negro School-Teachers55
How to Teach Obedience57
Hints for Our Girls59
What Negro Women are Doing61
What Race Newspapers Have Done62
Race Evils62
Two Cultured Races67
The New Colored Woman69
Have Courage72
The South Given the Preference74
Mrs. Georgia Gordon Taylor75
Three Great Negroes76
Pointed Paragraphs from Race Newspapers79
Madam Sissiretta Jones89
Miss Hallie Q. Brown91
Miss Henrietta Vinton Davis95
Indorsement—To Henrietta Vinton Davis.
Rich Thoughts From Great Race Thinkers98
The Colored Physician in the South113
The First Colored Specialist118
Especial Company119
The Sphere of Woman121
The Mourning Preacher124
Our Greatest Drawback127
The Race Problem128
Mother's Treasures146
Gen. Antonio Maceo149
Married Life—Its Joys and Sorrows157
Race Name—What Shall It Be?167
The Nation's Duty to the Negro176
The Negro as a Slave—The Negro as a Common Laborer—The Negro as a Soldier—The Negro as a Citizen—The Negro as a Southerner—The Negro in Politics.
Facts for Colored People185
Dr. William Key195
Jim Key196
A Soul at Auction199


Hut of a Slave2
Home of a Freeman6
Dr. Alex Crummell, Washington, D. C.10
Prof. W. H. Council, Normal, Ala.24
Negro Building, Tennessee Centennial28
Richard Hill, Chief, Nashville, Tenn.32
Executive Committee36
Chairmen of Committees38
Chairmen of Committees40
Officers of the Woman's Board42
Chairmen of Committees, Woman's Board44
Negro Building, Atlanta, Ga.46
A. Means, Memphis, Tenn.48
E. W. Jackson, Orlando, Fla.52
Emma O. Kennedy, Memphis, Tenn.56
Ida B. Wells Barnett60
L. J. Brown, Washington, D. C.68
Dr. Georgia E. L. Patton, Memphis, Tenn.71
Mrs. Georgia Gordon Taylor75
Frederick Douglass77
Rev. C. A. A. Taylor, Ocala, Fla.80
Madam Sissiretta Jones88
Hallie Q. Brown92
Henrietta Vinton Davis96
Mrs. V. W. Broughton, Memphis, Tenn.99
Cane Field in Louisiana102
Rev. M. Vann, D.D., Chattanooga, Tenn.106
F. A. Stewart, M.D., Nashville, Tenn.112
Charlie Johnson, Louisiana120
Rev. J. M. Conner, Little Rock, Ark.125
J. P. Newton, Memphis, Tenn.129
Prof. B. T. Washington, Tuskegee, Ala.132
Prof. Dennis S. Thompson, Kansas City, Mo.140
Gen. Antonio Maceo148
Mrs. M. A. McCurdy, Rome, Ga.162
Edward Seabrook, Savannah, Ga.166
John Q. Adams, Chicago, Ill.189
John G. Jones, Chicago, Ill.191
Rev. R. H. Boyd, D.D., San Antonio, Tex.193
Dr. William Key, Shelbyville, Tenn.195
Jim Key, Shelbyville, Tenn.197
Rev. John Henry Dickerson, Ocala, Fla.200

[Pg 10]


[Pg 11]




This subject divides itself into two heads: (1) The "Need" suggested; and (2) The "Aims for a New Era," which shall meet the need.

It seems to me that there is an irresistible tendency in the Negro mind in this land to dwell morbidly and absorbingly upon the servile past. The urgent needs of the present, the fast-crowding and momentous interests of the future appear to be forgotten. Duty for to-day, hope for to-morrow, are ideas which seem oblivious to even leading minds among us. Enter our schools, and the theme which too generally occupies the youthful mind is some painful memory of servitude. Listen to the voices of the pulpit, and how large a portion of its utterances are pitched in the same doleful strain! Send a Negro to Congress, and observe how seldom possible it is for him to speak upon any other topic than slavery. We are fashioning our life too much after the conduct of the children of Israel. [Pg 12]Long after the exodus from bondage, long after the destruction of Pharaoh and his host, they kept turning back, in memory and longings, after Egypt, when they should have kept both eye and aspiration bent toward the land of promise and of freedom.

Now I know, my brethren, that all this is natural to man. God gave us judgment, fancy, and memory, and we cannot free ourselves from the inheritance of these or of any other faculty of our being; but we were made to live in the future as well as in the past.

Nothing can be more hurtful for any people than to dwell upon repulsive things. To hang upon that which is dark, direful, and saddening tends to degeneracy. There are few things which tend so much to dwarf a people as the constant dwelling upon personal sorrows and interests, whether they be real or imaginary.

The Southern people of this nation have given as evident signs of genius and talent as the people of the North; but for nigh three generations they gave themselves up to morbid and fanatical anxieties upon the subject of slavery. To that one single subject they gave the whole bent and sharpness of their intellect, and history records the result.

For more than two hundred years the misfortune of the black race was the confinement of its mind in the pent-up prison of human bondage. [Pg 13]The morbid, absorbing, and abiding recollection of that condition is but the continuance of that same condition in memory and dark imagination. But some intelligent reader of our race will ask, Would you have us as a people forget that we have been an oppressed race? No. God gave us memory, and it is impossible to forget the slavery of our race. The memory of this fact may ofttimes serve as a stimulant to high endeavor. What I would have you guard against is not the memory of slavery, but the constant recollection of it, as the commanding thought of a new people, who should be marching on to the broadest freedom of thought in a new and glorious present, and a still more magnificent future. You will notice here that there is a broad distinction between memory and recollection. Memory is a passive act of the mind, while recollection is the actual seeking of the facts, the endeavor of the mind to bring them back again to consciousness.

The fact of slavery is that which cannot be faulted. What I object to is the unnecessary recollection of it. The pernicious habit I protest against as most injurious and degrading. As slavery was a degrading thing, the constant recalling of it to the mind serves by the law of association to degradation. My desire is that we shall, as far as possible, avoid the thought of slavery. As a people, we have had an exodus from it. We have been permitted by a gracious Providence to enter the new and exalted [Pg 14]pathways of freedom. We have new conditions of life and new relations in society. These changed circumstances bring to us thoughts, new ideas, new projects, new purposes, and new ambitions, of which our fathers never thought. We have need, therefore, of new adjustments in life. The law of fitness comes up before us at this point, and we are called upon, as a people, to change the currents of life and to shift them into new and broader channels. I do not ignore the intellectual evils which have fallen upon us. Neither am I indifferent to the political disasters we are still suffering. But when I take a general survey of our race in the United States I can see that there are evils which lie deeper than intellectual neglect or political injury.

We have three special points of weakness in our race: 1. The Status of the Family. 2. The Conditions of Labor. 3. The Element of Morals.

It is my firm conviction that it is our duty to address ourselves more earnestly to the duties involved in these considerations than to any and all other considerations. Let us notice first

The Status of the Family.

I shall not pause to detail the calamities which slavery has entailed upon our race in the domain of the family. Every one knows how it has pulled down every pillar and shattered every priceless fabric. But now that we have begun the life of [Pg 15]freedom we should attempt the repair of this, the noblest of all the structures of human life. The basis of all human progress and of all civilization is the family. Despoil the idea of family, assail rudely its elements, its framework, and its essential principles, and nothing but degradation and barbarism can come to any people. If you will think but for a moment of all that is included in this word "family," you will see at once that it is the root idea of all civility, of all the humanities, of all organized society. In the family are included all the loves, the cares, the sympathies, the solicitudes of parents and wives and husbands; all the active industries, the prudent economies, and the painful self-sacrifices of households; all the sweet memories, the gentle refinements, the pure speech, and the godly anxieties of womanhood; all the endurance, the courage, and the hardy toil of men; all these have their roots in the family.

Alas! how widely have these traits and qualities been lost to our race in this land! How numerous are the households where they have never been known or recognized! The beginning of all organized society is in the family. The school, the college, the professions, suffrage, civil office, are all valuable things; but what are they compared to the family? Here, then, where we have suffered the greatest, is a world-wide field for our intellectual anxieties and our most intelligent effort.

Secondly we will consider

[Pg 16]

The Conditions of Labor.

I refer to the industrial conditions of our race. No topic is exciting more interest and anxiety than the labor question. Almost an angry contest is going on upon the relations of capital to labor. Into this topic all the other kindred questions of wages, hours of labor, co-operation, distribution of wealth—all are canvassed in behalf of the labor element of the country, but all, I may say exclusively, for the white labor of this great nation. The white labor is organized labor; it is intelligent labor; it is skilled labor; it is protected labor. It is labor nourished, guarded, shielded, rooted in national institutions, propped up by the suffrage of the laboring population, and needs no extraordinary succors. But, my friends, just look at the black labor of this country, and consider its sad conditions, its disorganized and rude characteristics, its almost servile status.

What gives labor, in any land, dignity and healthiness? It is the qualities of skill and enlightenment. It is only by these qualities that men can work in the best manner, with the least waste, and for the largest remuneration. Where the laborer is uninformed and merely mechanical in his work, there he knows labor somewhat as an animal does; and he is led almost blindly to the same dull, animal-like endurance of toil, which is the characteristic of the beast of the field. His work, moreover, is not self-directed, for it has no inward spring. It [Pg 17]is not the outcome of the knowing mind and the trained and cunning hand. It is labor directed by overseeing and commanding skill and knowledge. Multitudes in every land under the sun know labor precisely in the same way that domestic animals do. They know the mere physical toil. They know the severest tasks. They know the iron routine of service. They know the soulless submission of drudgery. But alas! they have never come to know the dignity of labor; they have never been permitted to share its golden values and its lofty requitals.

Now, if I do not make the very greatest of mistakes, this is the marked peculiarity of the black labor of this country. I am not unmindful of the fact that the Negro is a laborer. I repel the imputation that our race, as a class, is lazy and slothful. I know, too, that, to a partial extent, the black man, in the Southern States, is a craftsman, especially in the cities. I am speaking now of aggregates. I am looking at the race in the mass, and I affirm that the sad peculiarity of our labor in this country is that it is rude, untutored, and debased.

Here, then, is a great problem which is to be settled before the Negro race can make the advance of a single step. Without the solution of this enormous question, neither individual nor family life can secure its proper conditions in this country. Who are the men who shall undertake to settle this momentous question? How are they [Pg 18]to bring about the settlement of it? I answer, first of all, that the rising intelligence of this race, the educated, thinking, scholarly men, who come out of our schools trained and equipped by reading culture; they are the men who are to handle this great subject. Who else can be expected to attempt it? Do you think that men of other races will encourage our cultivated men to parade themselves as mere carpet knights of politics, and they themselves assume the added duty of the moral and material restoration of our race? Never! They expect every people to bear somewhat the burdens of their own restoration and upbuilding; and rightly so. And next, as to the other question, How is this problem of labor to be settled? I reply, in all candor, that I am unable to answer so intricate a question. But this I do say: (1) That you have got to bring to the settlement of it all the brain power, all the penetration, all the historical reading, and all the generous devotedness of heart that you can command; and (2) that in the endeavor to settle this question that you are not to make the mistake that it is external forces which are chiefly to be brought to bear upon this enormity. No race of people can be lifted up by others to grand civility. The elevation of a people, their thorough civilization, comes chiefly from internal qualities. If there is no receptive and living quality in them which can be evoked for their elevation, then they must die! The emancipation [Pg 19]of the black race in this land from the injustice and grinding tyranny of their labor servitude is to be effected mainly by the development of such personal qualities, such thrift, energy, and manliness as shall, in the first place, raise them above the dependence and the penury of their present vassalage, and next shall bring forth such manliness and dignity in the race as may command the respect of their oppressors.

To bring about these results we need intelligent men and women, so filled with philanthropy that they will go down to the humblest conditions of their race, and carry to their lowly huts and cabins all the resources of science, all the suggestions of domestic, social, and political economies, all the appliances of school and industries in order to raise and elevate the most abject and needy race on American soil. If the scholarly and enlightened colored men and women care not to devote themselves to these lowly but noble duties, to these humble but sacred conditions, what is the use of their schooling and enlightenment? Why, in the course of Providence, have they had their large advantages and their superior opportunities?

I bring to your notice one other requirement of the black race in this country, and that is the need of a

Higher Plane of Morality.

I make no excuse for introducing so delicate and, perchance, so offensive, a topic; a topic which [Pg 20]necessarily implies a state of serious moral defectiveness. If the system of slavery did not do us harm in every segment and section of our being, why have we for generations complained of it? And if it did do us moral as well as intellectual harm, why, when attempting by education to rectify the injury to the mental nature, should we neglect the reparation of the moral condition of the race? We have suffered, my brethren, in the whole domain of morals. We are still suffering as a race in this regard. Take the sanctity of marriage, the facility of divorce, the chastity of woman, the shame, modesty, and bashfulness of girlhood, the abhorrence of illegitimacy, and there is no people in this land who, in these regards, have received such deadly thrusts as this race of ours. And these qualities are the grandest qualities of all superior people.

This moral elevation should be the highest ambition of our people. They make the greatest mistakes who tell you that money is the master need of our race. They equally err who would fain fasten your attention upon the acknowledged political difficulties which confront us in the lawless sections of the land. I acknowledge both of these grievances. But the one grand result of all my historic readings has brought me to this single and distinct conviction that "by the soul only the nations shall be free."

If I am not greatly at error, a mighty revolution [Pg 21]is demanded of our race in this country. The whole status of our condition is to be transformed and elevated. The change which is demanded is a deeper one than that of emancipation. That was a change of state or condition, valuable and important indeed, but affecting mainly the outer conditions of our people; and that is all that a civil status can do. But outward condition does not necessarily touch the springs of life. That requires other, nobler, more spiritual agencies. What we need is a grand moral revolution, which shall touch and vivify the inner life of a people, which shall give them dissatisfaction with ignoble motives and sensual desires, which shall bring to them a resurrection from inferior ideas and lowly ambitions; which shall shed illumination through all the chambers of their souls, which shall lift them up to lofty aspirations, which shall put them in the race for manly moral superiority. A revolution of this kind is not a gift which can be handed over by one people, and placed as a new deposit in the constitution of another. Nor is it an acquisition to be gained by storm, by excitement, or frantic and convulsive agitation, political or religious. The revolution of which I speak must find its primal elements in qualities, latent though they be, which reside in the people who need this revolution, and which can be drawn out of them, and thus secure form and reality.

The basis of this revolution must be character. [Pg 22]That is the rock on which our whole race in America is to be built up. Our leaders are to address themselves to this main and master endeavor—viz., to free them from false ideas and injurious habits, to persuade them to the adoption of correct principles, to lift them up to superior modes of living, and so bring forth, as permanent factors in their life, the qualities of thrift, order, virtue, and manliness.

But who are the agents to bring about this grand change in the Negro race? Remember, just here, that all effectual revolutions in a people must be racial in their characteristics. You can't take the essential qualities of one people and transfuse them into the blood of another people, and make them indigenous to them. The primal qualities of a family, a race, a nation are heritable qualities. They abide in their constitution. They remain, notwithstanding the conditions and the changes of rudeness, slavery, civilizations, and enlightenment. It is a law of moral elevation that you must allow the constant abidance of the essential elements of a people's character; therefore when I put the query, Who shall be the agent to raise and elevate our race to a higher plane of being? the answer will at once flash upon your intelligence. It is to be effected by the scholars and philanthropists which come forth in these days from the schools. They are the people to transform, stimulate, and uplift, because it is a work of intelligence; it is a work [Pg 23]which demands historic facts and their application to new circumstances.

But these reformers must not be mere scholars. The intellect is to be used, but mainly as the vehicle of mind and spiritual aims, and hence these men must needs be both scholars and philanthropists.

Allow me, in the conclusion of this article, to express the hope that He who holds the hearts of all men will give you the spirit to forget yourselves, and live for the good of man and the glory of God. Such a field and opportunity are graciously opened to you in the conditions and needs of our race in this country. May you and I be equal to them!



Prof. W. H. Council, Principal of the Normal Industrial School, was the principal speaker of the day. Perhaps few men possess such power over an audience. The manuscript part of his address is herewith given. But the most enthusiastic parts of his speech and the most effective with the audience were his extemporaneous effusions that accompanied the delivery.

[A] Extract from the speech of W. H. Council delivered at the laying of the corner stone of the Negro Building of the Tennessee Centennial, Nashville, Tenn., March 13, 1897.


[Pg 24]


These occasions mark the evolution of Southern thought and industry, and the result of the self-directed energy of the negro. Here on this spot the world may see the other side of Negro life than "Sam Johnson, the chicken thief." Here it may [Pg 25]see the healthful buds of Negro handicraft, Negro art, science, literature, invention. Here the world may see the hitherto giant energies of a mighty people waking into conscious activity. Here on this spot the nations may place their ears to the ground and hear the industrious tread of millions of black feet—hear the beats of millions of noble hearts beneath black skins and catch the thrill of these on coming millions to be felt in the industrial and literary world.

Here on this spot the old master who followed Lee's tattered banners over the snow-covered hills of Virginia down to Appomattox sacrifices his pro-slavery ideas, and builds a monument to Negro fidelity and industry; and here the Negro brings the product of his brain and hand in grateful testimony to the friendly feelings between us. I challenge the annals of man to present so beautiful a spectacle!

This opportunity given to us to display what we have accomplished in our three hundred years' struggle from barbarism to industrious Christian liberty, right here in the Egypt of our bondage, is one of the bravest acts of the brave and chivalrous people. And I am not slow to recognize the fact that we received much more from slavery than did the slaveholder. Only as we recede from Appomattox, and only as the echoes of Fort Sumter's bloody guns die away in gentle murmurs of the music of love around the altars of faith and hope, [Pg 26]only as memories of former hates shall have been drowned in the Red Sea of brotherly love, and the good things which we have done for each other come like angels into conscious view, will the old master and the old slave know what helps they have been to each other. We must love. We cannot afford to hate.

Negro history has solved the Negro problem from the Negro side. There still remains the Caucasian problem. In view of what the Negro has done for this country, in view of what the white man has done for the Negro, will the white man continue and enlarge the work of encouragement to this struggling race? Or will he use the shotgun instead of the Holy Bible; the bloody knife instead of the spelling book? These are problems for Caucasian brains.

I know of no element in noble human character which is not found in the Negro race. Indeed, he has been placed under greater strains of conscience and taxed more severely in honor and integrity than any other race known to history. Did it ever occur to you that the South is even wild in its praises of negro fidelity in the days when it was prostrate in civil strife and its defenseless women and children committed to the care of the black men of the South? Is there a single case of treachery or infidelity recorded against us? Did it ever occur to you that the Northern soldier could always trust his life in the hands of a black man, [Pg 27]wherever found? Is there a single case of treachery or infidelity recorded against us by the North? He would defend and feed "old mistress" committed to his charge. He would hide the cattle and food and valuables in the hollows and in the thickets, and then pilot the Northern army by these hidden goods safely through the mountains out of danger. Has ever human nature been so taxed before? No other citizens in this great country have better right to rejoice at her prosperity than the Negro.

The South owes her industrial significance largely to the Negro. King Cotton sits on a throne of gold held aloft by the strong black arms of the Negro and shakes his snowy locks over the commercial world. And our beloved South may yet call upon ebony sinews to beat back the enemies of her peace, prosperity, and happiness, and again stand between starvation, danger, and death, and her defenseless wives and little ones; and the Negro will again manfully, cheerfully, faithfully answer the call.

From this spot must radiate higher hopes, broader ideas, nobler aims to teach, inspire, and exalt Negro muscle, Negro brain, Negro heart—to soften asperities, to generate greater tolerance, and to make the South a "new earth" until the "Fatherhood of God" and the "brotherhood of man" shall bring the "new heaven."

[Pg 28]


No people can rise in the world and maintain [Pg 29]creditable standing alone with the saw, the hammer, and the plane; as cooks, washerwomen, and nurses; as farmers, bootblacks, hotel boys, and barbers. These are necessary, but there must be strong intellectual giants in the pulpit, at the bar, in the schoolroom, in medicine—as scientists, linguists, artists, inventors—in order that any people may be accorded a creditable standing in the society of races.

Whatever any other people need the Negro needs. We want the Negro to have higher industrial education. He must be taught to smelt iron ore, build locomotives, ships, telescopes, microscopes, steam engines of every class, all kinds of mechanical engineering, farming machinery and appliances, and do all work in glass, brass, gold, and silver. This kind of higher industrial education is the only kind that he needs now and is essential to his salvation. This kind of industrial education is the only kind that can give a people permanent strength.

Teach the Negro boy the sacredness of human life. Teach him that man must be as precious in the sight of man as he is in the sight of God. Teach obedience to law, obedience to legally constituted authority, which alone can give protection to life and property and security to society. Teach him that the human mind can form no loftier ideal than that of the triumph of right through the supremacy of law—that no one who violates the [Pg 30]humblest law of the land can be an ideal man. Teach him that the transmission of a disregard for law is the transmission of the spirit of the mob, the spirit of riot, the spirit of hate, the spirit of internecine murder, the overthrow of the state, the birth of chaos and pandemonium. Teach him that men and races grew from within; that man grows by expansion from within; that congressional enactments cannot make us a race. The race must make itself. Teach him that he belongs to a glorious race, which stands before its God with its hands unstained in human blood. Teach him to honor and revere this record, and hand it untarnished down to the remotest posterity. Teach him that it is better to be persecuted than to persecute. Teach that neither race nor color will rule future man, who will be the evolution of the wisdom of all the past ages; but that man, that race, which will furnish the most brains, the most virtue, the most honor, the most truth, the most industry, will stand highest and longest before God and the judgment bar of the future righteous intelligence of the world.

Teach him to love, not to hate. Teach him that the man who hates him on account of his color is far beneath him, but the man who hates his condition and strives to lift him up may be his superior. Teach him that any coward may insult him, may wrong him, may send a bullet crashing through a man's brain, may warm his dagger in a brother's [Pg 31]lifeblood, but it takes a strong man to take the weak and unfortunate by the hand and say: "Stand on your feet, my brother, and be a man." Teach him that that man, that race, is superior which does superior things to lift mankind to superior conditions. Teach him that that is the superior man, the superior race, which does most for its country, fights noblest for man, and lives closest to God.


Its Benefits to the Negro.

The people of Tennessee will celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of the admission of their State into the Union by holding, at Nashville, the capital, in 1897, for a period of six months from the 1st day of May, a great Centennial and International Exposition.

A structure to be known as the

Negro Building

will be one of the most attractive in the exposition, and will occupy a delightful and commanding position on the east bank of Lake Watauga.

The cut on page 28 will give the reader some idea of its magnitude. It is amply sufficient to accommodate the vast variety of exhibits which the Afro-American will have to display to the world. [Pg 32]The purpose of this department is to show the progress of our race in the United States from the old plantation days to the present.


This building was erected at a cost of over $12,000, and is the work of the management, without any solicitation or money from the Negro himself, [Pg 33]which demonstrates an earnest anxiety for our participation in the event. It is expedient that we respond to the invitation by bringing forward the very best specimens of our merit and progress—not for the sake of the temporary praise which our displays may elicit, but for the more substantial benefits which we hope will follow.

The same capabilities which are in other people exist in us, and only want ampler avenues afforded for their exercise. We have abiding faith in the ultimate amelioration of the present conditions by the best sentiments of the American people. But the influencing of that sentiment to a more favorable attitude is in ourselves, and is accomplished more and more as we cause our usefulness to be seen and appreciated.

We hope that our participation in the great event will contribute largely toward establishing a feeling of more tolerance and consideration. This is the key of the aim. If, as we believe, the best impulses of the people are on the side of struggling humanity, and, when awakened, are easily moved to its succor, then a creditable display from us is bound to lead toward this result, both at home and abroad. If the Southern States afford conditions friendly to its ex-slave element, then there could be no stronger proof of it than an exhibition of the progress of the Negro himself. Such an exhibition would not only verify the claims of our home people, and help displace the stigma [Pg 34]which perhaps attaches to them abroad on the race question, but its effect is bound to extend further. It elevates us at the same time it elevates them, and creates a current of good will in the direction of a better understanding.

History and Old Relics.

It is intended to make this department one of the most attractive features in the building. All relics of interest that are owned by colored people are wanted on exhibition. All contributions that will tend toward completing the history of the race are solicited for exhibition.

We desire to have:

1. Sketches of the faithfulness and devotion of the Negro.

2. Biographical sketches of every Tennessee nonagenarian and centenarian Negro.

3. A copy of every book, magazine, and paper published and edited by Negroes.

4. Coins of Negro governments.

5. Stamps of Negro governments.

6. Sketches of Negroes by missionaries.

7. Pottery and utensils used by Negroes everywhere.

8. Sketches and photographs of Negroes prominent in Tennessee history, or any other State.

9. Records of houses and localities connected with Negroes.

10. Bills of sales, passes, manumittance papers [Pg 35]of Negroes, and laws of cities and states before and since the war, for or against the Negro.

11. Old papers with advertisements of runaway Negroes.

12. Articles on the Negro problem.

13. Relics.

14. The loan of medals awarded by Congress to Negroes for heroism, also votes of thanks.

15. Histories of slave insurrections.

16. The number of acres of land owned by Negroes, and whether incumbered or unincumbered.

17. Catalogues of schools owned and officered by Negroes, or schools where Negroes are being instructed.

Department of Arts.

The managers have designated for this department a space sufficient to show hundreds of pictures and pieces of sculpture. The Art Committee is now receiving paintings, sculpture, and other works of the highest quality from owners and artists of the colored race. The high-class works of art in this department will mark the progress of our education.

Mines and Minerals.

We propose to display on a magnificent scale the best specimens of our workmanship. It is the intention of this department to obtain an exhibit from the mine or ore bed in which our people are at work, whether it be coal, slate, marble, fine sand and gravel, ore of iron, copper, tin, zinc, silver or gold, or any peculiar geological deposit.

[Pg 36]

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE—1. Rev. T. E. Crawley; 2. Dr. F.
A. Stewart; 3. Rev. Preston Taylor; 4. S. A. Walker; 5. W. T.
Hightower; 6. Rev. R. R. Vandervill; 7. Thomas Tyree. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE—1. Rev. T. E. Crawley; 2. Dr. F. A. Stewart; 3. Rev. Preston Taylor; 4. S. A. Walker; 5. W. T. Hightower; 6. Rev. R. B. Vandervill; 7. Thomas Tyree.

[Pg 37]

Department of Dentistry.

The Afro-American will also make an exhibit of dentistry. In this department will be seen gold plates, porcelain plates, rubber and brass plates, gold and brass crowns, gold and amalgam filled teeth, and bridges of various kinds. We expect that this department will help us to show to the civilized world that the Negro is not a failure, nor is he lagging in any of the skillful and most highly honored professions.

The Woman's Board.

Those of our race who have given their time and energy toward brightening the prospects and bettering the conditions of the Negro have all along advocated equal opportunities and advantages for male and female.

No other course would be consistent. No other line would be logical. If the Negro advocates the idea of equal opportunities and advantages for white and black, he must, to be consistent, urge equal opportunities for male and female. He says by this that every human being should be allowed the same privileges and prerogatives, which carries with it the same possibilities and promise in life for every human, all things else being equal.

Those planning the Negro Department acted wisely in establishing a Woman's Department.

[Pg 38]

Chairmen of Committees.—1. J. B. Battle, Agriculture;
2. Dr. E. B. Jefferson, Dentistry; 3. Prof. D. W. Byrd, Educational;
4. Dr. William Sevier, Medicine; 5. Robert A. Walker, Poultry. Chairmen of Committees.—1. J. B. Battle, Agriculture; 2. Dr. E. B. Jefferson, Dentistry; 3. Prof. D. W. Byrd, Educational; 4. Dr. William Sevier, Medicine; 5. Robert A. Walker, Poultry.

[Pg 39]

Besides the departments already mentioned, there will be a number of others equally interesting, such as Department of Clubs, Department of Agriculture, Department of Live Stock, Department of Marble and Stone, etc.

The members of the Negro Department of the Tennessee Centennial earnestly request the encouragement, co-operation, and assistance of the Negroes of the United States and of America. It is very essential that we show to the world what we can do. We have always been willing and ready to help to push the lever of progress, but every one does not see it in that light. This is a way by which we can make the world see, understand, and realize our importance. In the Negro Department we have the privilege of showing our work to such an advantage that it cannot fail to represent us. Therefore we appeal to every Negro man and woman, who has any real pride, to do all in his or her power to make this department a success. Before another centennial celebration others will have our place in the arena of life, and they will love and honor us for this and other examples of patriotism that we may leave on record for their inspiration.

Though the examples we leave them may have been given under adverse circumstances, they will understand it. They will know as well as we that there is no reward without labor, no prize without a struggle, no victory without a battle.

[Pg 40]

Chairmen of Committees.—1. W. L. Causler,
Horticulture; 2. H. G. Scales, Marble and Building Stone; 3. J. Ira
Watson, Minerals and Mines; 4. Dr. R. S. White, Art; 5. T. L. Jones,
Floriculture; 6. H. C. Ganaway, Clubs and Publicity. Chairmen of Committees.—1. W. L. Causler, Horticulture; 2. H. G. Scales, Marble and Building Stone; 3. J. Ira Watson, Minerals and Mines; 4. Dr. R. S. White, Art; 5. T. L. Jones, Floriculture; 6. H. C. Ganaway, Clubs and Publicity.

[Pg 41]

We as a race cannot afford to let this great undertaking fail. We will not let it fail. Do not hesitate to send your exhibits because you feel that they are not perfect. Do the best you can in getting them up, send them, and leave the result of their defects to the Great Judge, who knows the depths from which we have come, the heights to which we are aspiring, and the condition of our environment. We have the ability, the means, and the opportunity is at hand to erect a monument to the race. During the century we are about to celebrate, we acted as heroes for others. Why not play the man for ourselves now? Why not as citizens of Tennessee join in the celebration of the birth of our State? She was born into the Union June 1, 1796. She has been in one hundred years (minus the year of secession), and we, as a race, have been right along with her. Not only have we been connected with Tennessee, but we have been identified with the whole country since 1620, and have assisted in producing peace, prosperity. We have helped to clear the forests, till the soil, level the mountains, fill the valleys, bridge rivers, build railroads, factories, schoolhouses, churches, towns, and cities. We have labored assiduously to make this country bloom as a rose. This fact is admitted by multiplied thousands of the best white people in the whole South. We are not ashamed of our record in the history of our State, neither do we wish it to be ashamed of us.

[Pg 42]

Officers of the Woman's Board.—1. Mrs J. C. Thompson,
President; 2. Mrs. J. S. Lovell, Fifth Vice President; 3. Mrs. W. H.
Key, Treasurer; 4. Mrs. Lizzie E. Robinson, Seventh Vice President;
5. Miss Nannie E. Perkins, Recording Secretary; 6. Mrs J. Ira Watson,
Sixth Vice President; 7. Mrs. J. C. Tate, First Vice President; 8.
Miss Laura B. Hobson, Corresponding Secretary. Officers of the Woman's Board.—1. Mrs J. C. Thompson, President; 2. Mrs. J. S. Lovell, Fifth Vice President; 3. Mrs. W. H. Key, Treasurer; 4. Mrs. Lizzie E. Robinson, Servant's Vice President; 5. Miss Nannie E. Perkins, Recording Secretary; 6. Mrs J. Ira Watson, Sixth Vice President; 7. Mrs. J. C. Tate, First Vice President; 8. Miss Laura B. Hobson, Corresponding Secretary.

[Pg 43]

We have done well, but we can do better. A thousand years shall not erase from the pages of history the part that we have played upon the American stage of action. Do not falter now, my brethren, but rush to the help of the Negro Department with your banners floating in the breeze. We are pronounced an unsolved problem. We are quoted as a vexatious question, and the eyes of the world are upon us. We can solve this problem, we can answer this question, and we can charm the gaze of the world. When? May 1, 1897. Where? In the Negro Building. How? By filling it with suitable exhibits.

We are making history. The historian may neglect us, but there is a hand that is writing upon the wall—not our destruction, neither does it require a Daniel to read it. With the golden pen of time it dips into the crystal fluid of sympathy, and writes us as a nation, making rapid strides

Out of darkness into light,

Out of weakness into might.

It writes us as a nation upon the ocean of time, landing without anchor, oar, or sail. Thirty-three years ago, when we started out from the bonds of slavery with a legacy of poverty and ignorance, the canopy of heaven for our shelter, we were in a miserable, helpless condition. To-day we are a great nation, nearly 10,000,000 strong, with nearly $1,000,000,000 wealth. When the products of our hands are seen in the Tennessee Centennial, our [Pg 45]government may be constrained to pay not only the debt of gratitude, but the debt of money that she owes us for the two hundred and forty-four years that we served her. Peradventure, she may be persuaded to protect us better as American citizens, and love us more as her hard-working, earnest, loyal sons and daughters, not of Africa, but of beautiful America, the queen of the world.

Chairmen of Committees.—Mrs. Carter, Music; Mrs.
Mills, Domestic Science; Mrs. Davis, Assignment; Mrs. Evans,
Horticulture; Mrs. Henderson, Ways and Means; Mrs. Adams, Patents and
Inventions. Chairmen of Committees.—Mrs. Carter, Music; Mrs. Mills, Domestic Science; Mrs. Davis, Assignment; Mrs. Evans, Horticulture; Mrs. Henderson, Ways and Means; Mrs. Adams, Patents and Inventions.


Atlanta, Ga., September 19 to December 31, 1895.

This was the first opportunity that the colored people ever had to show the world what they have learned and accomplished since their emancipation, and they made the most of it. Their exhibition attracted as much attention as any other feature of the great exposition. This building was erected by Negro hands, supervised by Negro skill and brain, filled with products, evincing beyond a shadow of doubt the Negro's advancement, and all a decided proof that he is a factor in the American nation—a part of it, and an indispensable part. This building covered a floor space of more than 25,000 square feet, and was erected at a cost of $9,923. There was no charge made for entrance or rent fees. In every State in the South [Pg 47]the Negroes were thoroughly organized for the collection of their exhibit, which consisted of all farm products, needlework of all kinds, paintings, inventions, carpentering, blacksmithing, silversmithing, dentistry, surgical skill, pictures of colored men's places of business and residences, industrial products from their schools, and hundreds of other things that show the genius and thrift of the race. Registered stock, such as horses, cows, sheep, and hogs, were on exhibition. All told, there were 110 commissioners appointed, representing the various States. Prof. I. Garland Penn, of Lynchburg, Va., was chief of the department.


Every colored lady and gentleman who visited the exposition received an inspiration which has made them enterprising and progressive.


It is high time that the colored people were looking more seriously to their material interest. We have need to build more wisely in the future in this regard than we have in the past, if we would receive the attention and recognition of the dominant race, which our relation to the body politic deserves. We dress well, we look well, and talk well; but in far too many cases that is all of it—there is nothing behind it. The Negro must learn the importance of doing business for himself, [Pg 48]accumulating property, supporting race enterprises, of providing employment for our sons and daughters after they shall come forth from the schools. We all cannot be school-teachers, lawyers, and doctors. We need good stores and business houses of [Pg 49]every description; we must get money. It carries with it that power and influence which we, as a race, so much need. The demands for positions among our young girls and boys are becoming so great that the parents will soon be taught the necessity of preparing a place before they complete their schooling. It is to be regretted that we do not think of this until our sons and daughters have completed their education. Places owned and run by Negroes are the need of the hour. (Christian Banner, Philadelphia, Pa.)

The only Afro-American Hatter known in the South. A. MEANS, MEMPHIS, TENN.
The only Afro-American Hatter known in the South.


As a rule, the colored people all over this country are getting very small wages; therefore they cannot save sufficient money to enter large financial enterprises; but we must organize co-operate associations, and from this will come assistance to build grocery, shoe, dry goods, and commission houses.

We must come together. The colored people must unite, and the quicker the better. Every other race on earth is uniting. Why not the Negro?

If you should be quite a long way behind your leader, keep in line. Don't throw stumbling-blocks in the way of those behind you, or try to [Pg 50]impede the progress of those who have gone before you. We are all one family, notwithstanding some of us can almost pass for other folks. Again, lay down some of this fighting religion and take up piety. Think how far you have traveled, and yet how far you are to go. Thousands of immensely wealthy negroes, some of whom came from peanut stands, others from the corn and cotton fields, slave men one day, another free men; ignorant to-day, to-morrow educated; from one position to another the Negro has traveled until they have produced some of the best men in the country, and some of them have traveled all the way from the ditch to the State House in less than a quarter of a century. With men such as R. T. Greener, J. E. Bruce, T. Thomas Fortune, J. M. Henderson, of New York; Booker T. Washington, W. H. Council, Henry C. Smith, of Alabama; George L. Knox. G. L. Jones, Will M. Lewis, W. A. Sweeney, S. A. Elbert, of Indiana; W. H. Crogman, R. R. Wright, W. A. Pledger, of Georgia; H. C. Smith, B. W. Armett, J. P. Green, of Ohio; J. C. Napier, R. F. Boyd, J. T. Settle, of Tennessee; D. Augustus Straker, of Michigan; John C. Dancy, Isaac H. Smith, of North Carolina; O. M. Rickets, of Nebraska; John M. Langston, J. H. Smythe, John Mitchell, Jr., of Virginia; B. K. Bruce, E. E. Cooper, Robert H. Terrell, R. W. Thompson, Alex Crummell, of the District of Columbia; John R. Lynch, C. J. Jones, James Hill, of Mississippi; J. [Pg 51]Q. Adams, of Minnesota; N. W. Cuney, of Texas; John S. Durham, J. B. Raymond, of Pennsylvania; George W. Murray, of South Carolina; P. B. S. Pinchback, of Louisiana; E. H. Morris, of Illinois; Albert S. White, of Kentucky; J. Milton Turner, of Missouri; and scores of others equally worthy, we expect to be on our way very soon to the White House. Let us start now, to-day. (Boston Advance.)


An Afro-American Financial Accumulating Merchandise and Business Association was organized in Pittsburg, Pa., June 22, 1896, for the purpose of accumulating money to establish business among the race. This association promises to build three large buildings, not to cost less than $40,000 each. In these are to be carried on all kinds of merchandise, and our young men and women will be thus employed.

Its object is to accumulate $560,000, which is to be divided into shares of $52 each, and any person can purchase one or more shares for 10 cents each, for which the association gives the purchaser a membership certificate. This certificate entitles the person to any employment which the association may need; also when the holder of the certificate has paid in $52, his or her certificate will be [Pg 52]indorsed as a paid-up certificate; and the holder will cease to pay any further dues; and on this certificate he or she draws annual dividends of all money, over the current expenses, and when the husband dies the wife receives the same; when the wife dies the children take up the same certificate and [Pg 53]receive the same dividends as long as one of them is living. Single persons holding certificates receive the same privilege, and when they die, whoever they designate will take up their certificate and receive the same dividend.

First-class Photographer. E. W. JACKSON, ORLANDO, FLA.
First-class Photographer.

Already $35,000 worth of stock has been taken. The association now has two coal yards running, four teams and 14 persons employed. It will open a brickyard and stone quarry in East Liberty this spring and employ 125 men and 40 teams. It will open coal yards next fall in Allegheny, Braddock, and McKeesport, Pa. Men, women, boys, and girls are asked to take shares. You pay 10 cents for a share, then 10 cents a week. After two years you can, if you wish, draw your money out of the association. You can also borrow money out of the association. Rev. J. H. Thompson, 38 Arthur Street, Pittsburg, Pa., is the President and General Manager. The Afro-Americans will watch the workings of this association, and if it proves a success similar associations will likely be established in other sections of the country. (Star of Zion.)


The Nickel Savings Bank, of Richmond, Va., is a prosperous financial institution of which Dr. R. F. Tancis is President. It affords an excellent [Pg 54]opportunity for the saving of small earnings and is being liberally patronized.

The Alabama Penny Savings and Loan Company, of Birmingham, Ala., has a capital stock of $25,000, in shares of $5 each. Interest is paid on time deposits. The company was incorporated February 16, 1895. Officers: W. R. Pettiford, President; P. F. Clark, Vice President; B. H. Hudson, Cashier.

The Capital Savings Bank, of Washington, D. C., has $50,000 capital. Officers: Hon. John R. Lynch, President; James T. Bradford, Vice President; L. C. Bailey, Treasurer; Prof. James Storum, Secretary; Douglas B. McCary, Cashier. Directors: John R. Lynch, W. McKinley, Robert H. Terrell, Wyat Archer, J. A. Lewis, H. E. Baker, H. P. Montgomery, L. C. Bailey, W. S. Lofton, James Storum, John A. Pierr, A. W. Tancil, J. H. Meriwethe, J. A. Johnson, W. S. Montgomery. Deposits are received from 10 cents upward. Interest allowed on $5 and above.


The following statistics as to the diversified wealth of the New Negro in the Union have been given out as official: In Alabama, $10,120,137; Arkansas, $9,810,346; California, $4,416,939; Colorado, $3,400,527; Connecticut, $550,170; [Pg 55]Delaware, $1,320,196; Florida, $8,690,044; Georgia, $15,196,885; Idaho, $16,411; Illinois, $11,889,562; Indiana, $4,404,524; Iowa, $2,750,409; Kansas, $4,296,644; Kentucky, $10,976,411; Louisiana, $19,918,631; Maine, $196,732; Maryland, $10,392,130; Massachusetts, $9,904,524; Michigan, $5,200,122; Minnesota, $1,210,259; Mississippi, $16,742,349; Missouri, $8,366,474; Montana, $132,419; Nebraska, $2,750,000; Nevada, $276,209; New Hampshire, $331,731; New Jersey, $3,637,832; New York, $19,243,893; New Mexico, $395,244; North Carolina, $13,481,717; North Dakota, $84,101; Ohio, $8,580,000; Oregon, $93,500; Pennsylvania, $16,730,639; Rhode Island, $3,740,000; South Carolina, $16,750,121; Utah, $82,500; South Dakota, $136,787; Tennessee, $11,446,292; Texas, $32,852,995; Vermont, $1,112,731; Virginia, $10,932,009; Washington, $623,515; West Virginia, $6,164,796; Wisconsin, $156,312; Wyoming, $243,237; District of Columbia, $5,831,707; Indian Territory, $761,111; Oklahoma, $4,213,408; thus giving a total of over $400,000,000, free from all incumbrances.


The Negro school-teacher is the bright star of hope and promise for the Negro race in America. There are now 25,000 school-teachers in the United States, and 1,512,800 pupils in the public [Pg 56]schools. Besides this number, add 20,000 who are attending private schools, and 80,000 who are attending mechanical or art institutions, and as many more who are all attending normal schools and academies. There are sixty-three Presidents of Negro colleges, and yet thirty years ago not one in a thousand of us could read. In 1897 we find that [Pg 57]there are six hundred negroes who are members of the Bar Association. There are also deans in law colleges, court commissioners, and many common attorneys. There are one thousand graduates of medical colleges. We are gradually climbing up. (George Knox, Indianapolis, Ind.).

Teacher at Le Moyne Institute.


Be careful about the commands given; study, think, and pray. Be sure that it is a right command, and one that the child can obey. A mother said to her boy: "Bring in that stick of wood on the porch and put it on the fire." The stick was too large, and he came and said: "Mamma, it is too heavy." His mamma hit him a blow and told him that he was lazy; but when she came to look at the stick, it was too large. This mother should have apologized to her child, but she did not. Be sure that the child understands your command. Be patient and repeat the command, and then ask the child to tell you in his own words what you want done.

A child is not obedient if you find it necessary to tell him twice, provided he understands that you want it done immediately. Prompt obedience should be required. "John, bring me the broom," said a mother. "Yes," said the boy, and went on with his own work. "John, how often must I tell [Pg 58]you before you obey?" asked the mother impatiently. Then John went for the broom. But he had disobeyed, and his mother should have laid down her work and taken John alone and explained what obedience meant; indeed, he deserved to be punished, if this was his usual way of obeying. But the mother never explained that needing to be told twice was disobedience. Most parents are thoughtless about commands, and after they have given a wrong or unwise command they are too proud to confess it. I heard a mother say these wicked words: "If I promise my child a whipping and find afterwards that he was not to blame, I will whip him anyway to keep my word good." No sensible child can have any respect for such a parent. A bad promise is always better broken than kept. "Thomas," said a mother in my hearing the other day, "I promised to let you and Mary visit Cousin John to-morrow, but I forgot that these clothes must be taken home to-morrow evening, and I will need you both to help. It was careless in me to make the promise without thinking. I am sorry to disappoint you." "Well, mamma," said Thomas, "sometimes I promise without thinking, and then I can't keep my promise; so all right. I will stay and help." "God bless you, my dear boy; I know we both see now how important it is to think before we promise," was the mother's kind reply. You can see how this plan brought the child in sympathy with the mother. When the child is [Pg 59]old enough, you should take time to reason with him about the justice of your commands; but when very young, "Mamma says so" is reason enough. (Hope. Nashville, Tenn.)


It's not such a difficult matter to keep your room in order. After your own particular domain is in order, learn to keep it so. Learn to dispose of things as you handle them, and while dressing yourself you will at the same time unconsciously be setting your room in order.

Have a dainty little catch-all upon the bureau, or hanging near it, and whenever you see a stray thread or bit of dirt, which you can pick up, don't neglect it, but let it's place be in the catch-all. This precaution will make sweeping an easy task and save your room from ever having a littered look. There will be no days of "putting things to right," for they will be right all the time, and your room will be a continual pleasure to you, as you will not count the time it requires to keep it so any more than you do that which you give to insure personal cleanliness.

It will be easier to keep your room nice than to let it go after you once know the pleasure of an orderly, dainty room, kept so by your own hands. (The Guide, Baltimore, Md.)

[Pg 60]

Editor Conservator.

[Pg 61]



There are, according to the latest statistics, 1,280 Afro-American women secretaries and clerks.

No less than one dozen newspapers are edited by intelligent colored women.

Seventy-five Afro-American lady dentists, some of whom have a large practice among the best white people, are an honor to the profession.

Sixty Negro women proclaim the gospel to dying sinners with telling effect.

There are 4,314 colored lady musicians in the land of the "Father of his country."

There are 111 colored women who are regular practicing physicians in the United States.

In 1870 there was not a colored lady bookkeeper in this country. To-day there are 347.

There are 18 Afro-American women who are competent land surveyors.

Statistics show that there are no less than seventy stenographers among the colored women, most of whom are employed on good salaries.

The census of 1890 shows that there are 3,949 actresses in this country, more than a score of whom are women of the race.

Besides the above-named avocations, we have sculptors, painters, lawyers, architects, merchants, and, in fact, our women are filling with success and [Pg 62]ability almost every avocation and profession of to-day, and the day is in the near future when the service of thousands of others will be in still greater demand.



The history of the colored newspaper is one of pathetic but vigorous struggle. Upon the whole, with all of its drawbacks and want of proper support, it has ever been one of the most potential arms of race progress. It has been the means of throwing open to the race the columns of the great Anglo-Saxon newspapers hitherto closed against them. It has educated both races. It has been a mirror to reflect the advance made by the race from time to time. Like the Negro pulpit, it is far from being perfect. But its slow but steady progress constitutes the very best commentary on racial life, its hopes and fears.



One trouble with us as a race is that we are not enough interested in our progress, not enough interested in our standing among other races. We are too easily satisfied, and not [Pg 63]very anxious to get far away from the fleshpots of Egypt. Every race must have its leaders, defenders, and champions. If they have them not, they must produce them.

We should begin with childhood. Every criminal was once an innocent child, and when he first commenced to do wrong, he found it hard and difficult. Conscience called, alarmed, and remonstrated; and even after wrongs were committed, conscience, the interior judge, held court on the inside. He arraigned the prisoner at the bar of reason for trial; but he continues to do wrong, and in early manhood he stands a criminal. Step by step he was led away.

Take the murderer. He occupies his cell hardened by crime. Sentence has been passed; the day of execution comes. The sheriff enters the prison, reads the death warrant, pinions his hands, and the slow and steady death march begins. The scaffold is reached, steps ascended, and the prisoner takes his place on the center of the death trap; the black cap is securely tied over his face, and the rope around his neck, and as the trapdoor is sprung, the unfortunate man leaps into darkness. This criminal was once the idol of a mother's heart, who bowed over his cradle, taught him to walk and to say his prayers. She looked forward to the time when he would grow up to manhood and make himself felt among the world's great men; but alas! those hopes are blighted. The boy begins the [Pg 64]downward way keeping bad company, and staying out late at night. He associates with gamblers and drunkards, and soon becomes both. He goes to jail, to the chain gang, to the penitentiary, and finally to the gallows. Much of the dishonesty is due to the negligence of parents in early training.

I want to call your attention to that craze for fine dressing. If parents would teach their daughters that a beautiful character is the best and greatest ornament, and that a pure heart beneath the most common costume is to be prized above silk and satin at the price of virtue, we would have a better and purer race.

We have many enemies of the race who are members of the race. I will call your attention to them by classes.

We have a class of women who boast of their association with white men, and yet demand honor and respect from men of the race. Some of our churches have been so loose as to give them membership, and every now and then some fool Negro man will marry one. This class of women hinders the progress of the race, and is indeed a curse to it, and many of the white men who seek to lead astray every good-looking woman in our race frequently refer to the immorality of colored women. The race must frown upon this class of women, and make them feel their isolation at all hazards. They should be treated as the lepers were and are treated in the East to-day—put off to [Pg 65]themselves; and all who associate with them should be pronounced unclean.

The next class is the professional pimps. This class is represented by a number of men and women who make a business of leading astray every girl they can, disregarding their destruction and the sorrow brought to the hearts of parents and friends, the disgrace to the race, just since they receive some money for their hellish work. Some of these professional pimps are members of some of our churches, I am told. I would suggest that every father and mother, and every man who has a sister, resolve to make it extremely hot for this class of the devil's agents. Hand them around; blackball them; sound the alarm of mad dog. Get them out of the church; have no association with them. Keep your daughters from about them. Greet them as you would the devil, for they are devils wrapped up in human flesh. I warn you against these men and women who carry notes to girls for white men, and who lay snares for the destruction of our girls. Have nothing to do with them.

The next class among our race that is a hindrance and a barrier is represented by a number of men. These men seem to regard themselves called to win the affections of light-headed and light-hearted girls, get engaged to them, and after destroying their characters betake themselves to others for marriage. The man who destroys the [Pg 66]character of a woman has as much right to be put aside and excluded from society as the woman, and that society which recognizes such a man, and yet ignores the woman, is rotten and demoralizing. We can never purify society until we have good men as well as good women. We have too many men in our race who delight to speak disreputably of nearly every woman when they themselves have a very unsavory reputation, and should be regarded with great diffidence. There are many women in our race who are just as pure, and whose characters are just as irreproachable as the women of any race, and our men owe it to these women and to the race the duty of defending and protecting them, even to the risk of our own lives. We should always speak of them in complimentary terms, and allow no one to speak otherwise in our presence without positive resentment.

The next class I want to discuss is the idle, lazy, shiftless, vagrant class. The class I refer to are those who will not work, and yet hate every man and woman who will labor and strive to accumulate something. As a race, we are too jealous and grudgeful of each other's success and prosperity. The prophet in his vision saw the image of jealousy set up. In lifting the veil of futurity he must have seen the condition of the Negro in the closing years of the nineteenth century. Our children must be taught to work, and to love work. They must be taught that work is honorable. The working people [Pg 67]of any community are the mainstay and backbone of that community. Paul said: "If any would not work, neither should he eat." Christ, our glorious example, was a working man, the carpenter of Nazareth, a busy man, a man distinctively of the common people. Christ did not have among his disciples a single gentleman of leisure. They were all working men. In the early history of the church the great majority of believers were from among the working people. Peter, Andrew, James, and John were fishermen; Paul was a tent-maker; Moses, the greatest human legislator the world ever produced, was once a shepherd; Elisha was a farmer, and was called from the plow to succeed Elijah. Joseph and Daniel were servants before they were made prime ministers. Martin Luther was a miner's son. Cardinal Wolsey was the son of a butcher. John Bunyan was a tinker. William Carey was a shoemaker. Jeremy Taylor was a barber. Dr. Livingstone was a weaver. Every man ought to engage in some kind of work, either braincraft or handicraft.


The cultured class of white society in the South, as a rule, comes in contact only with the hewers of wood and drawers of water of the [Pg 69]Negro race, and are prone to judge the rest by what it sees. A great mistake. There is a large and growing cultured class of Negroes in the South, which can mingle only with itself. When the strength of these cultured classes—living in the same section, but separate and distinct, and ignorant of each other—become more equal, as it surely will in the future under the present specially fine educational advantages now being engaged by the Negro, what is going to be the effect? I believe that, in time, we will have in the South two almost universally cultured races. That is the trend. (Smith Clayton [white], Atlanta, Ga.)

Manager Henrietta Vinton Davis Concert and Dramatic Company L. J. BROWN, WASHINGTON, D. C.
Manager Henrietta Vinton Davis Concert and Dramatic Company



In nothing else is our progress more happily signalized than in the growing interest in the new usefulness of our women.

Ten years ago colored women were little heard of as useful members of society, except in the work of teaching, religious interests, and the domestic arts. Ten years ago the conscience of womankind among us was scarcely aroused to the opportunities presented for multiplying our activities in all the questions that concern social improvements. Ten years ago the interest of colored women in each other was personal or individual, and not racial or [Pg 70]social. The great forces that are now shaping all things toward newer and better conditions, that teach new duties and suggest new opportunities for the exercise of all the virtues of heart and mind have begun to affect our women in a wonderful way. This year has witnessed a remarkable exhibition of the spirit of unity in colored women. They have effected a truly national organization of representative women. The organization is genuine in its representative capacity, sincere in purpose, and positive and practical in its proclamation of principles.

The National Colored Women's Association possibly means more to the social order and improvement of the colored race in this country than anything yet attempted outside of the churches. It has already succeeded in making important many things that have been too long neglected. It has succeeded in calling attention to the fact that the Negro race has a good deal more intelligence and virtue than it uses for its own advancement. The controlling spirit of this new association of colored women is first of all for self-improvement. It is the most distinct voice of self-admonition and self-examination yet uttered by a national body of Afro-Americans. In other words these women coming from all parts of our country and from various conditions of the people, seem burdened with an earnestness to make pure and strong and beautiful the home life and all the social [Pg 71]relationships of the race. Perhaps it is not necessary thus to call attention to this association and its work after all that has been said and written about it. But it seems to me that it cannot be too strongly urged that the association needs for its success the enthusiasm and hearty support of all of our women. The special organ of the association [Pg 72]and all of its other functions need the co-operation of colored women everywhere. The questions outlined in its resolutions and address to the public should be themes of wide and helpful discussion wherever our women meet together. The way to make a great national movement truly national, important, and effective is to talk about it and try to realize in each community the high and important purposes of that movement. That is the secret of the enormous success of such bodies as the W. C. T. U., the Federation of Women's Clubs, the National Council of Women, and others like them. Every community where earnest women dwell is made to feel the living and active presence of these organizations. Let our women everywhere give the National Association of Colored Women power and permanency by every available means of encouragement and support.



If any race of people on this earth need to have courage, it is the Negro.

Have the courage to say "No" when you are tempted to drink.

Have the courage to wear the old suit of clothes, rather than go in debt for a new suit.

Have the courage to acknowledge your ignorance [Pg 73]when asked about something of which you do not know.

Have the courage to pay a debt when you need the money for something else.

Have the courage to be polite, though your character may be assailed.

Have the courage to speak the truth, remembering the command: "Thou shalt not lie."

Have the courage to own that you are poor, and thus disarm poverty of its sharpest sting.

Have the courage to own that you are wrong, when convinced that such is the case.

Have the courage to be good and true, and you will always find work to do.

Have the courage to say your prayers, though you may be ridiculed by man.

Have the courage to tell a man why you will not lend him money instead of whipping the devil around the stump by telling him that you haven't a cent "in the world," calling one of your pockets "the world."

Have the courage of your convictions. "According to a man's faith, so be it unto him." This is true on every plane of life, from the lowest to the highest. A man's power in everything is measured by his convictions. The statesman who has the profoundest convictions is surest of bringing others to see as he sees on any question which he discusses before the public. The minister who can most completely identify himself with his people, [Pg 74]if he has the courage of his convictions, is the one who is most likely to be successful. (Afro-American Encyclopedia.)


"It is a poor charity that closes its doors to honest labor on the one hand and opens its almshouses on the other." Such is the comment of a writer who recently compared the relations in the North and South, as regards their efforts to care for the poor, and especially the distresses of the needy among the colored people. While the North has an apparent balance in her favor in the matter of formal expenditures for charity among the colored people, yet the South has the advantage in true charity. It gives the helpless an opportunity to help themselves. Charity is wisest in her ministrations when the object of her beneficence is not deprived of the means of self-support and independence. In the North nearly all departments of labor are governed by trades unions, and the unfortunate Negroes, proscribed as they nearly always are, are forced to become paupers. The South does not bend the manacles of pauperism on his wrists, but instead opens to him many lines of industrial activity, such as other sections of our country do not afford. (American Baptist, Louisville, Ky.)

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Nashville, Tenn.

For seven successive years of almost continuous labor she was the leader of the original Fisk Jubilee Singers, of Nashville, Tenn., who traveled extensively, both in America and Europe, giving popular entertainment of a species of [Pg 76]singing which originated among the slaves of the South. She possesses a soprano voice of rare quality that is always pleasing and in demand.



The three greatest Negroes that the race has produced are dead. No three living Negroes fill so much space in books or in men's thoughts as Toussaint L'Overture, Richard Allen, and Frederick Douglass, and it will be a long while before three Negroes of equal intelligence and ability for leadership and organization will be able to take their places. There are others, but these represent the real greatness of the Negro on two continents, and each man's work stands out conspicuously for itself. Hayti, the great African Methodist Church, and Negro citizenship in the United States are the magnificent results in part or in whole of the agitations begun by each of these men in his appointed time. The monument to L'Overture's greatness, generalship, courage, and organizing ability is the black republic which he founded and consecrated with his blood.

Richard Allen's monument is the great African Methodist Church, with its hundreds of thousands of worshipers, its schools of learning, and its progressive and educated ministers, some of whom can hold a good deal more book learning.

[Pg 77]


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The monument to Frederick Douglass is the new citizen—the Negro citizen, if you please—whose cause he eloquently pleaded in the presence of the great and the powerful, in whose interests he made thousands of sympathetic friends because the Almighty had given him an eloquent tongue and a powerful voice. There are others, but these three stand at the head of the list, and are better known to the world at large than any other three Negroes on earth. What a triumvirate!

L'Overture, Allen, and Douglass—what a mighty combination! Courage, piety, and eloquence. A bronze medallion with the heads of these great Negroes worn near the heart of the young Negroes of this generation might tend to fill their souls with loftier and nobler thoughts and drive them nearer to the race which these men dignified. The immortality of infamy is ours if we fail to produce a Negro in the next generation who will not at least measure up to the standard to which any one of these three immortals not only attained, but kept unsullied and unspotted until the angel of death gathered them unto their fathers, that they might sleep the sleep of the just.

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Many of our young people might profit immensely by the careful and proper employment of their time in the reading and consulting of good books. (Woman's Messenger, Memphis, Tenn.)

Our girls and women can always render a great service to the race by their ladylike deportment upon the public highways. (The Light, Vicksburg, Miss.)

No race can rise above the morals of its women, and for that reason the women of our race should be careful, and strive to do nothing that will retard our progress. (The Informer, Louisville, Ky.)

We should endeavor to multiply the number of our white friends, in the South especially, because it is to them and to ourselves that we must look for our material advantage and practical welfare. (The Planet, Richmond, Va.)

Our children should know the history of the race. It will instill a spirit of race pride. They should know that the foundations of this republic were made secure by the blood of our fathers as well as that of the Anglo-Saxon race. (Clipper, Athens, Ga.)

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Editor Forum.

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The Negro is sadly in need of money. There can be no substitute for it. When a Negro man spends money and becomes important from a commercial point of view, the color of his skin and the fiber of his hair are all lost in the mad rush of the Caucasian to his pocket and its contents. (Texas Baptist Star.)

While man can boast of great physical strength, skill, and bulldog courage, woman carries in her weak frame a moral courage very seldom found among men. If our race is to be a great race in this great nation of races, our women must be largely instrumental in making it so. (American Baptist.)

There is a mistaken idea that "culture" means to paint a little, sing a little, dance a little, put on haughty airs, and to quote passages from popular books. It means nothing of the kind. Culture means politeness, charity, fairness, good temper, and good conduct. Culture is not a thing to make a display of; it is something to use so moderately that people do not discover all at once that you have it. (Colored American, Washington, D. C.)

One of the surest ways to make the average Anglo-Saxon respect you is to have him know that your check will be cashed at the bank or that your name is written in the tax book of the county [Pg 82]wherein you have your habitation. He has learned that money talks, so to speak, and he is always ready to give it an audience. The records of the Southern States show up wonderfully well in favor of the Afro-American, and yet not as well as they might. There are arguments and arguments in favor of recognition, and the money argument is one of them. (Southern Age, Atlanta, Ga.)

The Columbian Exposition did not give the Negro a chance to demonstrate to the nations what he could do, but at the Cotton States Exposition he was given a trial, and so well did he succeed that he comes in for another showing at the Tennessee Exposition. Let the Negroes feel that it is important and necessary to make a fine display, and, imbued with this hope, let them press forward to eclipse all former efforts. (The Enterprise, Omaha, Neb.)

We cannot go to Africa and succeed with all our ignorance and poverty. Let our big men set out to break down immorality among Negroes. Get Negroes to have more refinement and race pride, use Negro books and papers, hang Negro pictures on their walls, get up Negro industries, and give deserving colored men and women employment; break down superstition and mistrust. Get Negroes to act decently, both publicly and privately. (Clipper, Athens, Ga.)

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Every colored family should point with pride to the deeds of our great men. The walls of our homes should be adorned with the pictures of those of our own race who have proven that we are not deficient in men of noble and towering deeds. The tables should bear books of history and biography which would make our boys and girls acquainted with what has been wrought for and by the race. If we do not look out for these points, the next generation will not be what it should be. (Christian Clipper.)

The colored people of the United States pay taxes on $330,000,000 real property, $50,000,000 personal property, and have about $60,000,000 on deposit in savings banks. These figures are from carefully prepared statistics, and are a wonderful showing for a people the majority of whom have been out of bondage less than half a century. In Alameda County, of this state, colored people are on the assessment roll for upward of $1,000,000. Who says that the race is retrograding? If only one-tenth of this money could be put into manufacturing and commercial enterprises, what a commotion the colored man would make in the country! Talk about the Jew and the Chinaman; why, they would be at a discount! Let us all undertake to infuse a little of our business enterprise into the veins of the race. What do you say? (Elevator, San Francisco, Cal.)

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The world is full of young men who want to succeed, but who are too lazy to put forth an effort in the right direction. He is truly an unlucky mortal to whom an opportunity never comes; and remember, the humblest employment is better than none. The man at work is infinitely more likely to get something better than the idler is to fall into an easy "snap." Do not growl at fate, but bear in mind that every one is the architect of his own fortune. (The Bulletin, Balfour, N. C.)

Mrs. Annie E. Walker, a graduate of the New York Art School, who went to Paris to further perfect herself in the art of painting, has returned to her home in this city after a most successful course in one of the highest art schools in all Europe. After Mrs. Walker had studied in Paris only four months she painted a picture from life which was accepted by the French Salon, where it was put on exhibition. When it is remembered that an art student is considered fortunate and proficient if she can get a pastel into the Salon after she has studied for years, it is most remarkable that an American lady, and that, too, identified with the depraved race, should have gone to France and broken all previous records. The painting which was readily accepted by the Salon is now at the residence of Mrs. Walker, in this city, and fortunate is the lady or gentleman who shall have an opportunity to see it, for it indeed has life in it, and evinces the fact [Pg 85]that the artist is a genius of the highest order. (Colored American, Washington, D. C.)

If we are to have a literature peculiar to our necessities, then our men and women are to produce it. If they are to produce it, then our leaders are to encourage it. Kind words may go a long way, a little assistance in the amassing of data will prove invaluable, and helping to make a market for the literature will act as a stimulus. Let us encourage our men and women to write, and in a few years we shall have a literature of which we need not be ashamed. (Christian Index, Jackson, Tenn.)

When contemplating the race as a mass it is usual to judge its members by its worst representatives, a method both unjust and untrue. The colored people of the South, as a class, should not be judged by the criminals among them who become conspicuous in the newspapers from evil deeds that are often visited with swift and terrible justice. They should rather be judged from the honest, hard-working men and women who, beginning with nothing, have in the course of one generation accumulated an amount of property that forms no inconspicuous portion even of our magnificent national wealth. (St. Louis Christian Advocate.)

When we have a task to perform we should go about it with a cheerful heart, with an eye single to [Pg 86]doing our best. Then duty becomes a pleasure. Let us aim to be first in the pursuit of our life's work. We cannot reach the topmost round at once, and if we get there at all there must be something in us worthy of the upper rounds. Can we ask Him to be our guide who noticed the falling of a sparrow to the ground? Do so; then we will not choose the wrong path, we will not stumble in our darkest hours. We will not think solely of our slavery, of our closing hour, or how we will spend the evening, but will put our mind on our duties and resolve that they shall have the best that is in us; and by and by we shall enjoy the reward which is laid up for the finally faithful. (Woman's World, Rome, Ga.)

Every law-abiding, self-respecting, hard-working colored citizen of the United States should denounce in unmeasured terms those young men of the race who do not work, but loaf; who do nothing to elevate, but everything to degrade, the race; who choose the sunny side of the street corners in winter and the shady side in summer; who use all kinds of vulgar and indecent language, insulting ladies as they pass. It is this loafing, nomadic young class that drifts to crime, caused by idleness, evil associations, and the fact that this class does not know the value of a dollar or the enormity of a crime. These young men are millstones welded by chains around the necks of those of us who are trying [Pg 87]to be something and do something in the world. There are no palliating circumstances, no mitigating conditions—nothing on God's green earth—that will even to the slightest degree excuse this worthless class. (The Herald, Leavenworth, Kans.)

It is the "Item's" opinion that industrial schools for colored youths are, in a great measure, useless institutions. They can never become serviceable until there is a spirit among colored men to establish, own, and operate great industrial enterprises, and in that case youths can be given a practical training in the work, which is better than he could ever get in a school. Put forward the same amount of energy to build a factory of some kind that is put in endeavors to get industrial schools in working order, and more young men can learn trades and draw mechanics' salaries immediately after serving an apprenticeship; the owners will be making a profit and the commercial importance of the city, county, and state will be enhanced. We never hear of an industrial school for whites, and yet their youths are becoming artisans all the while. In the slavery days Negroes carried on all the skilled labor of the South, and no industrial schools existed; they applied themselves to the work, and were first-class workmen in every branch. (The Item, Fort Worth, Tex.)

The Bible upon which Maj. McKinley took his oath of office as President of the United States on [Pg 89]March 4, 1897, was donated to him for this purpose by the A. M. E. Church. It was printed in Cincinnati, O., by the Methodist Book Concern. It was bound and lined, front and back, with silk, with a suitable dedicatory inscription upon the inside. On the outside was a gold plate in the form of a shield, on which the name of the President, the date, the name of the donor, etc., were engraved. The Bible was inclosed in a box made of native Ohio wood and gold mounted. It cost eighty-six dollars. The honor of presentation was conferred upon Bishop Benjamin W. Arnett, of Wilberforce, O. (Christian Recorder, Philadelphia, Pa.)

The Black Patti of the Race. MADAM SISSIRETTA JONES.
The Black Patti of the Race.


The Black Patti of the race.

The subject of this sketch was born in Providence, R. I. When quite a wee child she proved, beyond the shadow of a doubt, her fitness for the stage as a race representative, and has, among other things, maintained her ground, never weakening and giving down, but nourishing a faith fit only for the righteous, which has led her gently into the pleasant and peaceful paths of success.

Some say that greatness is sometimes thrust upon us; others, more liberal, say it is inborn; others argue that it is acquired. We say that this is [Pg 90]an instance where classical musical ability reigned uppermost, controlling and directing the possessor as the mainspring of all her infantile life; but on becoming cognizant of this state of affairs, she was advised by good Northern friends to turn her whole attention to the pursuit for which her heart and mind thirsted. Hence, after a few weeks with the classic masters, the whole Negro race was applauded for the advent of one among us, and sufficiently black to claim our identity, that was destined to move the world to tears. Year after year our subject has won new conquests, and now she is termed the "Black Patti." Is this an instance of acquired greatness, thrust greatness, or inborn greatness? We are loath to say inborn or thrust. For every achievement made by our race that seems to attract the attention of the world we are caused to feel grateful to God. When Negroes are smart, as a rule, a characteristic spirit seems to predominate in them when very small. Her career, while brief, is nevertheless full of bright successes. (Dr. M. A. Majors.)

Mme. Sissiretta Jones sang at the residence of Judge Andrews, on Fifth Avenue, New York, before a party of thirty ladies, among whom were Mrs. Lord, Mrs. Fields, Mrs. Vanderbilt, Mrs. Stephens, and Mrs. Astor. The Chief Justice of India, who was present, presented the singer with a valentine, which, when opened, contained a check for one thousand dollars. She also received a solid silver basket filled with choice flowers.

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Hallie Quinn Brown is a native of Pittsburg, Pa. When quite small her parents moved to a farm near Chatham, West Ontario, Canada. At an early age, in the year 1868, she was sent to Wilberforce College, Ohio, to obtain an education the country schools of Canada could not give, and where her parents subsequently moved, and now reside at Homewood Cottage. She completed the classical scientific course in 1873, with the degree of B.S. in a class of six. One of her classmates is the wife of Rev. B. F. Lee, D.D., ex-President of Wilberforce. Realizing that a great field of labor lay in the South, Miss Brown, with true missionary spirit, left her pleasant home and friends to devote herself to the noble work she had chosen.

Her first school was on a plantation in South Carolina, where she endured the rough life as best she could, and taught a large number of children from neighboring plantations. She also taught a class of aged people, and by this means gave to many the blessed privilege of reading the Bible. She next took charge of a school on Sonora Plantation, in Mississippi, where she found the effort to elevate the minds of the people much hindered by the use of tobacco and whisky—twin vices.

But as she is an indefatigable worker she accomplished much, and at this place, as at all others [Pg 93]where she is known, her influence for the better is felt. Her plantation school had no windows, but it was well ventilated; too much so, in fact, for daylight could be seen from all sides, with no particular regularity, and the rain beat in fiercely. Not being successful in getting the authorities to fix the building—shed, we should have said—she secured the willing service of two of her larger boys. She mounted one mule and the two boys another, and thus they rode to the ginhouse. They got cotton seed, returned, mixed it with earth, which formed a plastic mortar, and with her own hands she pasted up the chinks, and ever after smiled at the unavailing attacks of wind and weather.


Her fame as instructor spread, and her services were secured as teacher at Yazoo City. On account of the unsettled state of affairs in 1874-75, she was compelled to return North. Thus the South lost one of its most valuable missionaries. Miss Brown then taught in Dayton, O., for four years. Owing to ill health she gave up teaching. She was persuaded to travel for her alma mater, Wilberforce, and started on a lecturing tour, concluding at Hampton School, Virginia, where she was received with a great welcome. After taking a course in elocution at this place, she traveled again, having much greater success, and received favorable criticism from the press.

For several years she has traveled with the Wilberforce Grand Concert Company, an organization for the benefit of Wilberforce College. She [Pg 94]has read before hundreds of audiences and tens of thousands of people, and has received nothing but the highest of praise from all. She possesses a voice of wonderful magnetism and great compass, and seems to have perfect control of the muscles of the throat, and can vary her voice as successfully as a mocking bird. As a public reader, Miss Brown delights and enthuses her audiences. In her humorous selections she often causes "wave after wave" of laughter. In her pathetic pieces she often moves her audience to tears. The following are a few of thousands of compliments paid to her by the public press:

Miss Brown, the elocutionist, ranks as one of the finest in the country. (Daily News, Urbana, O.)

Her style is pure and correct; her selections excellent. (News, Long Branch, N. J.)

Miss Hallie Q. Brown, the elocutionist with the company, was loudly applauded. Many credit Miss Brown with being one of the best elocutionists before the public. (Indianapolis Times.)

Miss Brown, the elocutionist, is a phenomenon, and deserves the highest praise. She is a talented lady and deserves all the encomiums that she receives. (Daily Sun, Vincennes, Ind.)

The select reading of Miss Hallie Q. Brown was very fine. From grave to gay, from tragic to comic, with a great variation of themes and humors, she seemed to succeed in all, and her renderings were the spice of the night's performance. (Monitor, Marion, Ill.)

"The select readings of Miss Brown are done to perfection. She has an excellent voice and good control of it. She makes every piece sound as if it were the author speaking, and in many of them doubtless she excels the one she imitates."

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The Famous Elocutionist.

Miss Davis is native of Maryland, the state that has produced more noted colored people than all the other states combined. Her reputation is world-wide, and she stands to-day without a peer among her people as an elocutionist. Her charming manner and modest demeanor have endeared her to the hearts of thousands. She is not only interested in the artistic development of her race, but in their industrial advancement as well, and since her debut she has inspired many of the young people to make something of their lives that shall redound to the benefit of humanity.


I have many times been called upon to bear testimony to the remarkable talents of Miss Henrietta Vinton Davis, and I always do so with pleasure. In my judgment she is one of the best dramatic readers in the country, and the best colored reader that ever came before the American people. Her personal appearance is strongly in her favor. She instantly commands attention and sympathy, and when her deep, fine voice is heard, her audience at once give themselves up to the pleasure of hearing her. I am quite sure you will make no mistake in having her read for you. (Frederick Douglass.)

This is to certify that Miss Henrietta Vinton Davis has been known to me since childhood. She is in all respects a lady of the first grade, spotless in character, polished in manners, educated and finished in her profession. As a dramatic reader she has no superiors, and should be encouraged by all who favor the elevation of our race. I commend her services to all ministers of the gospel, and to the public in general. (Bishop H. M. Turner, Atlanta, Ga.)

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Miss Davis is by far the most cultured and finished elocutionist of the race. Her combination of catchy recitations, replete with humor of an excellent quality, continues from beginning to end to bring forth shouts of laughter and rounds of applause. Her character-acting stamps her at once as an artist. She is pretty, unassuming, and full of common sense. (Star of Zion, Salisbury, N. C.)

I have heard Miss Henrietta Vinton Davis perform on various occasions, and it is my candid judgment, reached after mature deliberation, and a fair knowledge of the merits of nearly all her set who essay to excel in the histrionic art, that she has no superior in the race as a master of the profession of her choice. (John C. Dancy, Wilmington, N. C.)

Miss Davis is a living example of what all may do by improving their time and their talents. (Bishop Benjamin W. Arnett.)

Among the elocutionists that I have known Miss H. V. Davis holds the highest place in my estimation. Her personification and rendition of character is complete in whatever rôle she appears. (J. W. Hood, Bishop A.M.E. Zion Church.)

To Henrietta Vinton Davis.

As you stood in your womanly beauty,
In garments of glittering sheen,
Our hearts bowed down in gracious homage,
And we crowned you as our queen.
Although many have been before thee,
Thou beautiful dark-eyed queen,
None more worthy of allegiance
On the throne was ever seen.
For whether in joy or in sorrow
Thy magic art has been seen
We sat enslaved by thy sweet caprice,
Our fair, yes, charming queen.
We pledge thee our loyal allegiance,
We pledge thee our sympathy keen,
We pledge thee the love of a nation
And crown thee fore'er our queen!
(Katherine Davis Tillman, in New York Age.)

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Colored men should be encouraged by the outlook. Our friends are multiplying. It is only ourselves that we must learn to control. (John Mitchell, Richmond, Va.)

We are in favor of the saloons being closed twenty-four hours each day and seven days in each week. (Rev. R. W. E. Ferguson.)

Let parents do their whole duty in bringing up their children, for upon this depends the future welfare of our race. (Mrs. Virginia Broughton.)

Our lives are measured by what we accomplish, and not by paltry years of existence. (Prof. W. S. Scarborough.)

There is no such thing as black virtue, black intelligence or white intelligence, black goodness or white goodness. Virtue has no color. It is either virtue or no virtue, honesty or no honesty, and it behooves our readers always to remember this when they regulate the conduct of their lives. A bad act in a white man is not the less bad because he is white, and a good act in a colored man is not the less good because he is black. (Bishop W. B. Derrick.)

Editor of Woman's Messenger and Chairman of Educational Committee
Negro Department, Tennessee Centennial. MRS. V. W. BROUGHTON, MEMPHIS, TENN.
Editor of Woman's Messenger and Chairman of Educational Committee Negro Department, Tennessee Centennial.

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Reading is to the mind what eating is to the body. So to eat without giving nature time to assimilate is to rob her, first of health, then of life; so to read without reflecting is to cram the intellect [Pg 100]and paralyze the mind. In all cases, dear friends, reflect more than you read, in order to present what you read to your hearers. (S. A. Wesson, Lincolnville, S. C.)

If you have never thought of race pride, think now. Not only think, but act well your part. Without the ennobling power of our women we can never be a great and noble race. If young men aspire to reach the highest pinnacles of fame, they rise but to fall lower, unless the women are pure and will demand respect. Learn to resent insults, young women. Learn to respect and defend the women of our race, young men. (Mary R. Phelps.)

Let us as Negroes educate, let us survive, let us live up to our opportunities of doing good to ourselves and to others. So shall we work out a glorious destiny upon earth and contribute our share of the good and great immortals out of every nation that shall take their places among "the spirits of just men made perfect who are without fault before the throne." (Rev. William D. Johnson, D.D., Athens, Ga.)

We have learned in the hard school of adversity that we are not the wards of any political body; that the improvement of our condition in life is not the solicitude of any particular section of our country, and that the days of our political bosses are over forever; that we are the architects of our own fortunes and the arbiters of our own destinies; that [Pg 101]with the various walks of life thrown open to us we are to enter and win victories or defeats upon equal conditions with every other race or condition of people. (Hon. J. T. Settle.)

Young men, creation would be incomplete without you. From the beginning God made you ruler over every living thing. Do you properly appreciate the kingdom over which you reign? We know that these thoughts do not take hold of you in boyhood, but there is a time when they are fully realized and yet neglected. God has called you because you are strong. Then exercise that strength, both spiritually and temporally. (A. C. Davis, Rome, Ga.)

We have no great reason to be discouraged, cast down, or hopeless about our future, because of the many unfavorable happenings; we must not expect to be entirely free from the struggles necessary to be encountered to reach true greatness. It is our duty to use every possible and legitimate effort to avert dangers and troubles. We are earnestly persuaded to believe that the brightness of the future glory of the Negro of America is heightened by the darkness of the present clouds. All our sad experiences exhort us to proceed and inspire us with animating hopes of success, should we seek to "lay the foundation well." (Mrs. Julia A. Hooks, Memphis, Tenn.)

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One of the largest sugar cane growers in the state SUGAR PLANTATION OF EDWARD BUTLER, POTASH, LA.
One of the largest sugar cane growers in the state.

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There is a future before the race—a great and useful future, a future fraught with results which shall touch every phase of the world's life and bring men into sweeter harmony with each other and with God. (Rev. George C. Rowe, Charleston, S. C.)

As soon as slavery ceased to be beneficial to the Negro, as soon as slavery lifted the Negro as high as it could lift him, God came and abolished it. When he was prepared for his deliverance the yoke of bondage passed away. The race then passed into the glorious sunshine of freedom, which has been getting more glorious every day since his emancipation. (W. H. Council, Normal, Ala.)

I am exceedingly anxious that every young colored man and woman should keep a hopeful and cheerful spirit as to the future. Despite all of our disadvantages and hardships, ever since our forefathers set foot upon American soil as slaves our pathway has been marked by progress. Think of it. We went into slavery pagans; we came out Christians. We went into slavery a piece of property; we came out American citizens. We went into slavery without a language; we came out speaking the proud Anglo-Saxon tongue. We went into slavery with slave chains clanking about our wrists; we came out with the American ballot in our hands. (Prof. B. T. Washington.)

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We are scarcely willing to admit the fact that our own prejudices and lack of self-assertion are largely responsible for our separation from the women who move the world by their intelligent progressiveness. If we would join these women in good works, we should at least meet them halfway by ridding ourselves of preconceived notions of their hostility and prejudice against us. It would add much to our strength and dignity of character and to our sense of importance among women if we could understand that white women can be strengthened in their generous impulses and made more exalted in their outlook to help weak and struggling women if they knew more of our condition, capabilities, and aspirations. The cause of women in all things needs the co-operation of all women of all races and colors in order to work out the conditions that all need and devoutly wish for. (Fannie Barrier Williams.)

I most confidently affirm that no man can fail of hopefulness as to the future of our race in this land who has broadly studied the problems and the progress of human liberty and civil justice in the world during the last three or four centuries. There has been a constant warfare and many reverses, together with long seasons of gloomy doubt: but the dominant fact in the whole record is that throughout the long contest, on the forum, in the sacred pulpit, in the hall of legislation, and on countless fields of bloody carnage, the struggle has been [Pg 105]substantially the same: a struggle for larger liberty for the oppressed multitude, a better chance for the average man. And this further, that in every century—aye, in almost every generation—of this mighty conflict something has been gained for the right. This gain, once made, has never been lost. These things being so, it is foolish to say that these victories and this strifeful gain are matters of merely racial application. It is not so. (Bishop Embry.)

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I predict that the time will come and that it is not far off when we will have a negro poet from the South. He will set the magnificent splendor of the "Sunny South" to music. His muse will touch the lyre, and you will hear the sweet murmur of the stream, the rippling waters, and we shall see the beauty of that country as it was never seen before. It will come; and after him other still greater men. But it takes labor to become a great man just as it takes centuries to make a great nation. Great men are not fashioned in heaven and thrown from the hand of the Almighty to become potentates here on earth, nor are they born rich. I admit that there is, in some parts of this country, a prejudice against you on account of your color and former condition. In my opinion, the best way to overcome this is to show your capability of doing everything that a white man does, and do it just as well or better than he does. If a white man scorns you, show him that [Pg 107]you are too high-bred, too noble-hearted, to take notice of it; and the first opportunity you have do him a favor, and I warrant you that he will feel ashamed of himself, and never again will he make an exhibition of his prejudice. The future is yours, and you have it in which to rise to the heights or descend to the depths. (Senator John A. Logan.)

At one time a ship was lost at sea for many days, when it hove in sight of a friendly vessel. The signal of the distressed vessel was at once hoisted, which read: "We want water; we die of thirst." The answering signal read, "Cast down your bucket where you are;" but a second time the distressed vessel signaled, "We want water, water," and a second time the other vessel answered: "Cast down your bucket where you are." A third and fourth time the distressed vessel signaled, "We want water, water; we die of thirst," and as many times was answered: "Cast down your bucket where you are." At last the command was obeyed, the bucket was cast down where the vessel stood, and it came up full of fresh, sparkling water from the Amazon River. My friends, we are failing to cast down our buckets for the help that is right about us, and spend too much time in signaling for help that is far off. Let us cast down our buckets here in our own Sunny South, cast them down in agriculture, in truck gardening, dairying, poultry raising, hog raising, laundrying, cooking, sewing, [Pg 108]mechanical and professional life, and the help that we think is far off will come, and we will soon grow independent and useful. (Booker T. Washington.)

Song is the music of the soul, the harmonious vibrations of the deep chords of the heart, and the melodies of the spirit life. It involves the elevation of the affections and the utterances of the lips, by which some theme, doctrine, or topic is proclaimed aloud and exultingly before and in the presence of others. It is the divinity in man rising to God. It is the better and higher nature of man springing forward and leaping heavenward. It is the soul plodding the deep blue sea upon its fiery pinions in search after God, its Maker, "who giveth songs in the night." (Bishop Holsey.)

If the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world, the home is a great field for woman. The Negro race needs homes, not hovels and pens. Christian character is built most largely there. Beautify the home, make it cheerful and cultured. Be economical in expenditures. Cultivate economy in all lines. Be thrifty and industrious housewives. We do not confine woman's work to the home. Her sphere is anywhere that she can do good. As women are doing most of the teaching now, here is a vast field for her activity that should be well cultivated. Next to the home the schoolroom is [Pg 109]probably the greatest factor in character building. As Daniel Webster once said: "If we work upon marble, it will perish; if we work upon brass, time will efface it; if we rear temples, they will crumble into dust; but if we work upon immortal minds, if we imbue them with principles, with a just fear of God, and love of our fellow-man, we engrave on those tablets something that will brighten to all eternity." Teachers, be faithful. Dress neatly and well, if your income will allow. One can always be neat and clean, however. It is certainly a miserable mistake that makes the majority of our people think that they must dress so as to be conspicuous for blocks away, wearing hats that are veritable flower gardens. Tight lacing should be abandoned by all sensible women. The thinking, solid women of our race ought to take some steps to save the young girls of our race, especially that vast throng in the larger cities who have no gentle home influences; thousands are being dragged down to destruction every year. Raise the fallen, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (Lillie E. Lovinggood, in Afro-American Encyclopedia.)

The time has come when physicians must be employed to prevent as well as to cure. If this is done, there will be less sickness, and epidemics will be a thing of the past. Then sanitary science, under strict hygienic observance, will reach perfection. The rude, careless, and gross habits of living will be [Pg 110]corrected, and a system of perfect drainage and pure ventilation will be inaugurated. Pure air and a good water supply will be furnished to every public and private house. Then only pure and unadulterated foods will be allowed in our markets and grocery houses. Every hotel and private and public boarding house will furnish properly prepared foods, and universal cleanliness will be the law, and the death rate among our people will reach its minimum. (Dr. R. F. Boyd.)

The one thing that should appeal most strongly to our hearts is the need of a better and purer home life among our people in many parts of the South. I scarcely need tell you that our most embarrassing heritage from slavery was a homelessness and a lack of home ties. All the sanctities of marriage, the precious instincts of motherhood, the spirit of family alliance, and the upbuilding of home as an institution of the human heart were all ruthlessly ignored and fiercely prohibited by the requirements of slavery. Colored people in bondage were only as men, women, and children, and not as fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters. Family relationships and home sentiments were thus no part of the preparation of colored people for freedom and citizenship. It is not agreeable to refer to these things, but they are mentioned merely to suggest to you how urgent and immensely important it is that we should be actively and [Pg 111]helpfully interested in those poor women of the rural South, who in darkness and without guides are struggling to build homes and rear families. When we properly appreciate the fact that there can be no real advancement of the colored race without homes that are purified by all the influences of Christian virtues, it will seem strange that no large, earnest, direct, and organized effort has been made to teach men and women the blessed meaning of home. Preachers have been too busy with their churches and collections, and teachers too much harassed by lack of facilities, and politicians too much burdened with the affairs of state and the want of offices to think about the feminine consideration of good homes. Money, thought, prayer, and men and women are all freely and nobly given in the upbuilding of schools and churches, but no expenditures to teach the lesson of home making. Colored women can scarcely escape the conclusion that this work has been left for them, and its importance and their responsibilities should arouse and stir them as nothing else can do. Let us not be confused and embarrassed by the thought that what needs to be done is too difficult or far away. There should be no limitations of time and space when man needs the helping sympathy of man. If our hearts are strong for good works, ways and means will readily appear for the exercise of our talents, our love, and our heroism. (Mrs. Fannie B. Williams.)

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When the civil war was over and the smoke of battle had cleared away, the field in the South was occupied by the red-eyed voodoo, who styled himself a "doctor." There were at that time possibly two or three exceptions to this rule, but only two or three.

Should you ask one of these voodoo doctors, better known among the illiterate as "root workers," what might be his business, the answer would quickly be given something like this: "My trade? Dat am a doctor."

"Is that so?"

"Yes, sar; I is a root doctor from way back; and when I gits done standin' at de forks ob de road at midnight pullin' up roots, twixt de hollowin' ob de owls, and gittin' a little fresh dirt frum de graveyard—honey, dar am su'thin' agwinter drop."

The above is part of a conversation held with me by one of these "herb kings" in South Carolina in 1890. Hence you can see that, like all other evils, these voodoo doctors do not die fast; and even to-day not a few still live.

This being with his weird stories went forth among a people who were rocked, as it were, in the cradle of superstition, and early became monarch of all he surveyed. He or she was known and feared throughout the country. They claimed to be able [Pg 114]to cure anything from consumption to an unruly wife or husband, and furnishing charms to make love matches and to keep the wife or husband at home was one of their specialties.

Every patient they called on they diagnosed the trouble thus: he or she was tricked; if pneumonia, they were tricked; if a fever, they were tricked; or if a case of consumption, they were tricked.

Their stock of medicines, if such we must call them, generally consisted of such things as small bags of graveyard soil, rusty nails, needles, pins, goose grease, rabbits' feet, snake skins, and many other such things.

I say that a little more than a generation ago this was the class of so-called colored doctors that predominated in the South, and which for many years was a great stumbling-block to the educated physicians of our race, because it seemed to be understood that all colored doctors were and must be root doctors. But, thanks to Him who holds the destiny of races in his hands, in the flight of years and in this electric age of progress this voodoo doctor has almost—not entirely, but almost—passed away; while his territory is being occupied by colored physicians whose qualifications in education, character, and honor are equal to similar qualifications in the physicians of any other race.

The colored physicians in the South to-day are men and women fully equipped in education, morals, and integrity for the high calling they have elected, as their noble work will show. In the United [Pg 115]States to-day there are about one thousand colored physicians, men and women, and more than seven hundred of them are located in the Southern States. While they represent the homeopathic and eclectic schools, yet the regulars are largely in the majority.

The majority of the colored physicians now operating in the South took a college course of education before taking up the study of medicine. Hence, as a general rule, they are exceedingly fine scholars. It is a sad fact, yet it is a hard fact, that less than one-third of the white physicians now practicing in the South, together with those preparing to come out, are college graduates. This cannot be said of the colored physicians. We have them from the leading medical institutions in America. They are here from the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard Medical College, Yale School of Medicine, Meharry Medical College, Howard Medical College, Ann Arbor Medical College, Lenard Medical College, and many of the medical schools of Chicago, Cleveland, and New Orleans. The examinations they pass, often before a prejudiced board, and their excellent record as physicians go to show that these schools are sending us no mean material.

These good men and women are, by their skill and God's help, reducing the death rate of the colored people to a wonderful degree. They are teaching the people the common laws of hygiene, and many other things pertaining to the health of [Pg 116]their people that they were never taught before. They are lecturing in the schools in their cities on important topics relative to the care of school buildings and school children. They are in many places school commissioners and city and county physicians. As skilled physicians the fame of some is known far and wide. The whites frequently call a colored physician now. The question now is not, What is his color? but, Can he do me any good? Right here in Atlanta, Ga., I am frequently called to see white patients. Think of it! a colored physician attending white patients here in a city where not forty years ago members of his race were sold like cattle. If thirty-five years have brought this change, what will thirty-five years more bring? Yes, it has not been three hours since two white patients left my office.

The white profession in the South, especially the better class of them, give the colored members of the profession a hearty welcome to the field. They always have a kind word for them. They will consult with them, lend them books or instruments, and do anything they can to push the colored brother forward. This, I say, is the best element. The poor, half-starved fellow will not do this; but, on the contrary, will do all that he can to pull the colored physician down. Hence we have this class to watch, and for this reason I always consult with the best in my city, and would advise all other colored physicians to do the same.

The colored physicians have fine horses, carriages, [Pg 117]and beautiful homes. Some own plantations, and others run large bank accounts.

As professors, the colored physicians of the South are holding some high positions with honor to themselves and their race. At New Orleans University Dr. Mellin is dean of the medical department of that institution. At Meharry Medical College we have Dr. R. F. Boyd, professor of the diseases of women and clinical medicine; Dr. H. T. Noel, demonstrator of anatomy; Dr. W. P. Stewart, professor of pathology, and there are other professors in the pharmaceutical and dental departments. Dr. Scruggs is a professor at Lenard Medical School. Besides these, there are several of the colored physicians delivering courses of lectures on various topics in different schools.

The colored physician in the South, for fear of being refused, has never made an application to become a member of any of the medical associations; but, knowing the great good that comes from contact, in several of the states they have organized themselves into associations, and are doing a noble work in their yearly meetings. Texas, North Carolina, and Georgia have excellent state medical associations, composed entirely of colored physicians. One of the beautiful points about the colored physicians of the South is that the majority of them are Christian men and women. This has much to do with their success.

The South is the field for well-equipped colored physicians. If they want to do good work, let [Pg 118]them come South; if they want to be felt as a leader of the people, let them come South; if they want to make money, let them come South; if they are looking for work, let them come South; and if they wish to do charity work, the South is the field.


Dr. Samuel J. Harris is a young man of eminent ability and skill, and has the mental capabilities to become one of the leading physicians of this country. He is the first colored specialist of the eye, ear, and throat in the United States. He is not only a young man who demonstrated marked ability as a student, but he is a doctor who possesses ample means to supply himself with all of the instruments and literature which are required to advance him in his professional work.

Dr. Harris is the son of Mr. Sam Harris, the well-known merchant of Williamsburg, Va., who does probably the largest business of its kind of any colored man in the United States.

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Should a young lady accept the attentions of one young man to the exclusion of all others before betrothal takes place? It is not wise to do so. A girl may be interested in a man and think that she cares for him enough to marry him, and yet there may be others whom she would love more dearly could she know them. She should not deprive herself of the opportunity to make comparisons. A young man is very foolish when he insists upon a girl receiving attentions from no one but himself, even after betrothal. A girl is equally foolish when she objects to her lover paying attentions to other girls. If either can become more interested in another, it certainly ought to be known before marriage. There would be fewer unhappy marriages and fewer divorces if young people of both sexes could be impressed with the idea that they must decide what characteristics their happiness requires in a life partner and that they must not marry until they have found some one possessing such characteristics. This can only be learned by companionship, and is seldom considered by those whose first thought is that no one else can be studied but the object of their present fancy.

Again, it places a young girl at a great disadvantage to be looked upon as the "exclusive property" of any young man. An honorable man hesitates to [Pg 120]offer attentions to a young lady under such conditions, even though he may be sure that the man is not in earnest or that such a union could not be happy or that the young lady possesses exactly the [Pg 121]qualities which he himself would find harmonious. Under present social conditions a girl may not make known her preferences unless the man first declares himself, and if she happens to make a mistake and is known as the sweetheart of the wrong young man, there is little chance that she may find the right one. Not only before, but after betrothal, both parties should feel free to associate with whomsoever they please, and no objection should be raised by the other simply on the ground that "we belong to each other now." That such freedom may be assured, I believe that the betrothal should be kept an absolute secret between the parties concerned.

The Missionary Baptist "Boy Preacher," of Louisiana, who is creating
such a sensation in the South. Age, 13 years. CHARLIE JOHNSON.
The Missionary Baptist "Boy Preacher," of Louisiana, who is creating such a sensation in the South. Age, 13 years.



The time has come when woman no longer accepts the hearthstone as the circumscribed arena of her activities. Amid the busy whirl of this nineteenth century we behold her stepping with well-shod feet boldly across the threshold where hitherto her ambitions have been smothered or held in check by social customs and prejudice, taking her place in the various avocations which bring to mankind peace and happiness, through an honest dollar for its equivalent in honest toil.

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If we will notice the index finger in the plane of human advancement and limit its progress to the strides made in civilization within the last forty years, it will be readily acknowledged that the woman movement during these years has made no insignificant ripple in the tide of human achievements. There is scarcely a profession which has not felt the impress of her presence; scarcely a moral reform, from the antislavery cause of the past to the great temperance movement of to-day, which has not received her sanction and hearty support.

Wherever she has gone forth she has acquitted herself creditably, and successfully lived down all attempts to ridicule and cast opprobrium upon her adventure. This forward march, which has been likened to a great tidal wave, has carried in its course higher education for woman, including her entrance to the medical, legal, and clerical professions, the position as trustee on school boards in various sections, the restoration to married women of a right to their own property, and various other reforms tending to broaden her sphere, increase her activities, and heighten her self-respect.

Side by side with this uniform impulse on the part of woman to know and to be known in life's arena have come to its twin sister the progress and unprecedented achievements of the Negro in America. The school may instruct and the Church may teach, but the home is an institution older than the Church and antedates the school, the place where the children should be trained for useful [Pg 123]citizenship on earth and hope of holy communion in heaven.

Our hands have ever been firm upon the rudder, guiding and governing the education of our youth for years of future usefulness.

I take it that we, as colored women, must regard ourselves as a peculiar people in these advanced movements. We cannot afford to be swept along in the current of daily happenings without thoughtfully comparing our status and conditions with all that surround us, questioning for a moment whether the experiment will prove an expensive luxury or wholesome and digestible food. Economy of time, economy of means, economy of action, must be our constant watchwords. The Negro woman, being the most potent factor in the intellectual development of the race, must be aroused to a consideration of the fact that to improve the intellect and neglect the moral and physical growth of our youth will be to impose upon society dangerous citizens.

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Why do our educated ministers "mourn" when preaching? There are honorable exceptions, but the rule is as stated. We have heard ministers whose educational qualifications were all that could be desired, whose exegeses were faultless, who in their perorations would depart from all standards. They exhume the dead, they picture the beatific splendors of the New Jerusalem, they paint the horrors of hell, they describe deathbed scenes, etc. They do this whether or not it has any connection with the subject in hand. Then it is that the "spirit" comes. I do not think that I have overdrawn. I have heard some of our best ministers, and the general statement is true. Our educated ministers are making a serious mistake. This pulpit mannerism is a relic of the days of slavery, and the minister who indulges in it is simply perpetuating a barbarism and is retarding the religious progress of the race. It is true, perhaps, that in most of our congregations large numbers of people love to hear the "tone," but when and how are the people ever to become acquainted with higher religious ideas? How can a minister elevate his congregation when he persistently clings to the practices of thirty years ago?

These ministers seem not to know that nine-tenths of the young, educated, and progressive classes are disgusted with them. This explains the [Pg 125]lethargy manifested by the above-minded classes toward the Church. The Church, like all other institutions, must be progressive. The fact that these men are keeping the Church back in the dingy past puts them out of sympathy with it. I recently [Pg 126]heard a well-known minister, after howling and ranting and mourning to his heart's content, speak of himself as the "wild presiding elder." He certainly made that impression on several of his audience.


One of the great mistakes of our religious life is our mistaking noise for religion. With many of our unthinking classes it is the "mourn" which they enjoy in the sermons. Instead of carrying home some practical thought and trying to weave it into their lives, they become infatuated with certain tones and give vent to their "feelings" by making the welkin ring. If this is religion, I have been mistaken. If this kind of preaching is an inspiration, it is peculiar to us as a people. If noise and demonstrations are necessary parts of religious worship, then other races are largely wanting in this essential.

The mourning preachers will admit in private that there is no virtue in the mourn, and that they do it simply to "touch up" the old folks. They ought to be ashamed. Such conduct is sinful. They should hate the sins that make them mourn, and drive them from their breast. The religious status of a people is a pretty good index of their civilization. If there are idiosyncrasies in our religious life—in short, if we are not up to the standard—we will be judged accordingly. Though my voice be as one crying in the wilderness, I wish to suggest this religious slogan: "Down with the mourning preacher!"

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I doubt if there has ever been an enterprise started by Afro-Americans, no matter how lofty the aim or however honest the intentions, that there were not a few envious souls that stood ready to cry it down. This is to-day the greatest barrier to Afro-American success and the chief reason why we are no further advanced in commercial spheres than we are. In this advanced age of civilization and enlightenment such a state of affairs is sadly to be deplored, for we find that not only among the illiterate class does this exist, but in a greater and more marked degree by those who claim superior intelligence and are looked upon as leaders and shining lights of the race. If one attempts to gain a certain goal, there always stands another ready to pull him back. "You must and shall not get above me" seems to be their fixed motto. Ah! brothers and sisters, you have much yet to learn. If you cannot help another up the hill, you certainly will gain nothing by trying to pull him back. Enviousness is a demon and a monster, and until you learn to live in union and love thy neighbor as thyself, you may never hope to win the respect and esteem of other races.

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Views of Several Prominent Negroes.

In a speech recently delivered before the graduating class of Meharry Medical College, at Nashville, Gov. Taylor said: "There is no Negro problem of the South. That has been settled long ago. I belong to a generation that has grown up since the war, a generation of young white men who thank God that the shackles of slavery have been stricken from the limbs of the black man." I have observed that in any community where our people respect themselves and encourage the enterprise of each other the white people not only patronize and encourage us, but they treat our women respectfully, and the lives of our men are as safe as if we were white; but where we act the brute and traitor to each other the race, both good and bad, fare hard, and nothing more is to be expected by any sensible person. It is human nature for the strong to prey upon the weak. Hence the Negro must be his own first strength by his moral life and faithfulness to each other. Unless this, we are as a race doomed either in Africa or America. (Caesar A. A. Taylor, Ocala, Fla.)

The race problem is a moral one. It is a question entirely of ideas. Its solution will come especially from the domain of principles. Like all the other great battles of humanity, it is to be fought out with the weapons of truth; it cannot be settled [Pg 129]by extinction of race; no amalgamation process can eliminate it. The social idea is to be entirely excluded from consideration. It is absolutely a personal matter, regulated by taste, condition, racial or family affinities, and there it must remain undisturbed forever. (W. H. Council)

One of the finest photographers in the South. J. P. NEWTON, MEMPHIS, TENN.
One of the finest photographers in the South.

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The colored race of this country should aim at the highest success and make themselves the best citizens and the most useful members of society. We should be guided by right principles and prove ourselves worthy of the liberty granted us by the emancipation. There should be no better schools than ours, no grander statesmen, no more shining lights in professional life, no happier homes, no more cultured women, no people more moral and upright. It is safe to say that we can do it, because many noble and worthy men and women of our race have already achieved great success. They have climbed high in their endeavors, have grasped the prize held out before them, and by their brilliant achievements have conferred honor upon their people and have written their names indelibly upon the hearts of their countrymen. Where are our rising young men and women? We call them to come forward. We bid them lift their eyes to the highest of knowledge and power. We point them to those whose names have become household words, and bid them press on to the front rank in the struggle for life. Here lies our hope for the future; and the Negro problem, which is one of the greatest problems of the present age, will have solved itself. (Harvey Johnson.)

All that we want is the unmolested enjoyment of the rights and privileges guaranteed us in the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments to the national constitution. If we are allowed the exercising of [Pg 131]these in every state in the Union, we will be satisfied, and will in an almost incredibly short period of time solve for our white brethren that ever perplexing race problem which, like Banquo's ghost, will not down. Our Southern white brethren need entertain no fears of "Negro domination" or "black supremacy" in the government of the Southern States, for the Southern Negro is rapidly leaving the low and uncertain plane of political honor or gain for a higher one of morals, education, and the amassing of wealth. During the past, with the rights guaranteed us by the constitution nullified in the states containing the larger portion of the colored population—the black belt of the South—we have made marvelous progress along the lines of securing classical and industrial education and the accumulation of wealth. With these restrictions or nullifications of our constitutional rights removed, is it either fair or reasonable to believe that a race with so grand and wonderful a record of progress along this line of prosperity as ours is at this late day going to drop into the quagmire of retrogradation? No. We have but begun, and though the wheels of Negro prosperity may continue to be checked by the brakes of race prejudice, we will nevertheless continue to climb upward to the very top of the hill of wealth, honor, and fame. (National Reflector, Wichita, Kans.)

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The key to the solution of the race problem in the South is in the commercial and industrial [Pg 133]development of the Negro, a development along this line that shall rest upon the broadest and highest culture. Under God, as bad as slavery was, it prepared the way for the solving of the problem by this method. Friction will disappear and the two races in the South will be as one in all their civil and commercial relations just in proportion as the Negro, by reason of skill and educated brains, produces something that the white man wants or respects; and when you pursue that question to its last analysis one white man cares little for another white man, except as the other has something that he wants. In all history we cannot find a race that possessed property, industry, intelligence, and character in a high degree that has long been denied its rights. If the possession of these elements does not bring to the Negro every right enjoyed by any other class of citizens, then the Bible and the teachings of the Great Jehovah are wrong. I propose that the Negro take his position on the high and undisputed ground of generosity, usefulness, forgiveness, and honesty in all things, and that he invite the white man to step up and occupy this ground with him. If the white man in every part of our country cannot accept this invitation, we will thus prove that the problem is a white man's problem rather than a Negro problem. (Booker T. Washington.)

The Negro problem, if there is any in the country, from an industrial standpoint may be resolved [Pg 134]into two phases. In the South the race is allowed unfettered opportunity in almost all trades and occupations. Whatever other crimes she may be guilty of, she allows the colored people to work. There we find colored men who take large contracts for the erection of public buildings. Most of the finest hotels, private residences, and business blocks represent the work of colored labor from foundation to roof. In a recent visit to the black belt of Alabama I was told that in a certain town colored mechanics had constructed the courthouse and every other important building within the corporate limits. A Southern white man, pointing out this fact, remarked that such a thing would be impossible in the North. So strong is the prejudice against the employment of Negro labor that the presence of the Negro workmen on a brick wall would cause every white man to throw down his trowel and quit work. This thing is true in all the remunerative avenues of life in the North. In respect to the South, it is there that the Negro will work out his industrial destiny. He has been and will be the laborer. Such schools as Tuskegee and Hampton will prepare him to compete with other people in all trades. We speak so often of the "New South." It is time that we had a "New North." The Northern people, as generous as they have been in founding schools for the freedmen, seem to love them best at a distance. The North will educate us, but will not allow us to work. We need education, but we also need opportunity for industrial [Pg 135]progress. We want a fair chance in the race of life. How can we ever make any headway if we are all shut up to one or two lines of service? A citizen of the town some time ago said to me that years ago the Negro and the Irishman came to Princeton with nothing. The Irishman has accumulated real estate, but the Negro still has nothing. One of the reasons is simply this: the Irishman has ten chances to the colored man's one. What is true of this community is practically true of the whole North. (Rev. J. Q. Johnson, in the Christian Recorder, Philadelphia, Pa.)

The Negro question is but another name for the labor problem in the South; and it is not so serious as the labor problem of the North. The Negro is the Southern laborer. His color preserves his class distinction. As a workman, he is fitted for the warm climate and agricultural pursuits of that region. He is shiftless and improvident because so long trained to live dependent upon a master. He is doing better work as an employee than he did as a slave. He is happy, peaceable, and content. There are no socialistic or anarchistic traits in his blood. His wants are few, and he is able to cover a life of hardship and penury with the flowers of melody and the foam of unceasing mirth. The troubles of the South do not arise in the Negro, but in the white men. There is a class of "white trash" who have all the fierce and unruly instincts of that [Pg 136]robber race, the Saxons, at whose door the lynchings and political uproars may be faithfully laid. The better element of Southern people have no part in these. Thus it is the same class that raises disturbance in Alabama that does the same in Chicago. The Negro and the better whites have no part in either case. What the final outcome of the race question will be is impossible, of course, to surmise. The probabilities are that the African will remain a hewer of wood and a drawer of water until his face shall pale—and it is paling rapidly—and he shall cease to be a social factor. No two races ever lived antagonistic, yet in contact, without the stronger either annihilating or absorbing the other. (Chicago Conservator.)

The United States and not the Negro is responsible for the Negro's identity with this country and also for his past and present condition in America; and, having of her own accord made us citizens and participants of this government (because we have merited both as slaves in the forest and as armed soldiers and patriots on the field of battle, protecting a flag which up to that time had never offered us protection—by these means we have merited a citizenship) God and the civilized world will hold the United States and the several states responsible as our guardians to the heights of true civilization. As for adaptation to and responsibility of civilization, the Negro is receiving the highest [Pg 137]mental and social culture. I call your attention to the thousands of colored professional men and women who are rare models of social culture and intellectual worth—men of learning and distinguished for intelligence, men known and honored by the civilized world for their mental merits. Blind Tom is the greatest musical prodigy the world has ever seen. Regardless of his race and identity, I believe that Rev. J. C. Price, D.D., was as fine an orator as America ever produced, and Douglass the peer of any statesman. There has been something very peculiar about the history of American issues for the last one hundred years. Though the Negro himself has kept silent, yet there has scarcely been in that length of time a decisive issue before the American Congress that would have affected the entire nation that was not either the outcome of our presence in this country or a corollary thereto in some phase. The nation, not the Negro, is responsible for the so-called Negro problem. Therefore it is the nation's problem, and the nation must solve it. America bought the whistle, and she must pay for it. The Negro has been and will ever be the Pharaoh's plague to America, until the nation recognizes the declaration of the fathers and the design of God in bequeathing to all men justice in equity and the fullest recognition of citizenship to all who are made a part of this government by constituency and responsibility. This done, we will have but one problem, and that will be how to better advance [Pg 138]the glory of one common union. To-day we stand beneath the American eagle, which bears in his talons the stars and stripes, for which more than two hundred thousand of our fathers and brothers have fallen on yonder battlefields. We stand here begging for peace, protection, and a just recognition of manhood. We stand here under the flag for which our fathers fought in common with the white man, and plead for civil rights. Yea, in the name of God and the blood of our dead we ask a shelter beneath thy wing. Shall the stars of the American flag, our only hope as guides to higher manhood, the reflective rays of American civilization and liberty, hide their shameful faces behind the clouds of American prejudice and bring to us night at noon? Shall your red stripes, O flag! a worthy token of our fathers' blood, which has mingled with the white in all American conflicts, now be used as a signal of welcome and protection to non-Americans, anarchists, and socialists, while the sons of American slaves, soldiers, and citizens are left standing without protection and rightful recognition, reaching forth the brawny hands for labor in vain? O may the goddess of liberty hear us to-day, and may the true American pulse be found forcing life, liberty, and protection through every artery of American sentiment! (Bishop Petty, A. M. E. Zion Church.)

The most important topic that should engage the attention of every Negro throughout the land [Pg 139]is, What method can we employ to bring the race problem more practically before the country, and how should we go at it? There must evidently, in all instances, be some way or means of placing all questions before the public in such a manner that all parties may plainly see both sides. As to the race problem, it has never been brought before the public so as to command any serious thought. We shall, of course, have to lay our foundation before we can proceed, as everything must have something to support it. We will say right here that the press is the foundation or starting place in all such cases. A general view of the Negro press will convince one that the race problem has not been handled as it should have been, but it is not too late to make the much needed amends, and now is the time to brace up and come to the front. The newspaper at this time and age of modern predisposition is looked upon as a mighty weapon, but the weak point in Negro journalism is the predominance of petty matters over the more momentous questions that obtain at this time. The race problem has never been appealed to the proper source, and we have never employed the proper methods to touch the pulse of the right class of people. The pulpit has never declared itself on this question, or else the Negro would have been much farther advanced than he is. My idea, or rather the thought that comes to me now, is that the Christian Church should be sounded on the subject of race equality, and there should be some movement instituted [Pg 140]among the Negroes of the most populous cities and towns asking the ministers of the white Churches to set aside a special Sabbath to give their views thereon. We are of the opinion that the best step to take would be to organize a club in each [Pg 141]city, which shall be invested with the power to appoint a committee to wait on the various ministers. We shall find out then from their pulpits whether the white man considers the colored brother as good as he is. To get the views of the ministers throughout the country on the same day would have a tendency to bring the question squarely and fairly before the nation. These questions may seem a canard to many, but this is the proper step to take and the proper appeal. If we cannot reach the people in this way, why, there are other courses to pursue. We should not despair. If we fail in accomplishing our ends in one manner, we must try other plans, and finally we may be able to touch the right chord. (Dennis S. Thompson, Kansas City, Mo.)

General newspaper correspondent for many of the leading race
General newspaper correspondent for many of the leading race journals.

The Negro problem, like Banquo's ghost, will not down. Like the poor, it is always with us. True, some there are who declare that there is no problem at all, only such as exists in the imagination; but he who will take the trouble to investigate will find that there is plenty of the problem lying around loose, and it will not require a Diogenes to find it. The most live phases of the problem are those which relate to the Negro's moral standard, educational progress, and his physical condition. Some of the views in this connection are grossly exaggerated, but in the main they represent observations which cannot be dismissed too lightly. It is [Pg 142]now a matter too plain for conjecture that the Negro must look to his physical interests, that he must make certain alterations along moral and intellectual lines if he would preserve himself. Scientists have gone so far as to hazard the prediction that ultimate extinction is the forecast for the race. The race itself is apt to receive this declaration with derision, but it must not count its position too sure. We have yet to see an intelligent refutation of the statements which the scientists are making in this regard. The Negro press promptly sat down upon Prof. Hoffman when he touched upon its moral standard, but it was rather by ridicule than argument. Only the properly qualified should speak on a question of this character. By that we mean those reasonably informed and who have given the proper time to an impartial investigation of the subject. Howls of protest and indignation cannot take the place of scientific reasoning, and before the press of the country takes Mr. Hoffman and his kind to task it should be prepared to know whereof it speaks. But, aside from this, popular interest is very much aroused as to the present educational needs of the Negro. Prof. Washington, the great apostle of industrial education, thinks it the Negro's greatest want just now. President Mitchell, of Leland University, thinks the higher education of the race the proper thing. The "Advance" is inclined to the former view. The Negro may not be top-heavy; his higher education has hardly gone far enough for that in a general sense, [Pg 143]but he has given altogether too much time to the intellectual side of his development. He should become skilled in manual arts; he should learn something that he has left unlearned: how to labor correctly and profitably. His intellectual offspring each succeeding year realize more and more difficulty in finding places, so that the so-called higher avenues are becoming crowded to an uncomfortable extent. The colored man will find it not a whit to his disgrace to be a tiller of the soil; when he is an educated tiller he will find that he can produce better crops, make more money, and rear his children usefully. If he keeps up his present lick, he will find that he has all teachers and no scholars, all preachers and no congregations, all doctors and no patients, all lawyers and no clients. Several vital questions should now receive the race's closest attention—viz., (1) the investigation of its moral condition; (2) a system of education adapted to its needs; (3) the improvement of its physical status. (Alamo City Advance, San Antonio, Tex.)

A few years since we thought the Negro problem incapable of solution. We looked at it from various standpoints. Many suggestions as to an estimation in solving this intricate problem have been offered by many of our leaders. Booker T. Washington emphasizes the importance of industrial education as a means to an end of race antagonism, bitterness, and friction. It is a mistaken idea that [Pg 144]Prof. Washington's critics have when they affirm that Mr. Washington believes in industrial education to the exclusion of a college or university education. He believes in both; but he especially emphasizes industrial education as a means to an end, and not as ultimatum in solving the race problem. It would pay Mr. Washington's opposers to come here and visit his school. We guarantee that he will receive and treat them kindly. We have no doubt that they will go away from here convinced that Mr. Washington is right. We just wish that you could see what our eyes now behold as we sit in the principal's magnificent residence. There is here an activity not suspected by the outside world. Draw upon your imaginations a moment and see if you can bring to your perceptions the scene: Eight hundred and fifty students at work, like busy bees in a hive, training in twenty-six different industries, and everybody at work; not an idle moment allowed. Here the shrill whistle of the sawmill and brickyard, bringing them in from the farm of six hundred and fifty acres, nearly all of which is under cultivation. How can any sane person say that this kind of education does not benefit the race? We will warrant that very few, if any, of Mr. Washington's students will ever be found in jail, the workhouse, the penitentiary, or on the chain gang. All this industry and activity is controlled by Mr. Washington and his eighty-one assistants, which makes him and his school an aggressive and conquering force in this the black belt of the Southland. [Pg 145]It is impossible to estimate the good that this school is doing, and it is equally as difficult to attempt a description thereof. We do not envy the man who deems himself sufficiently enlightened to be able to frown down Booker T. Washington and his great work. We simply turn our heads and smile a great big smile and say in muffled tones: "The fool hath said in his heart that there is no hope for the Negro race in this country." There is hope. Get up and be doing; get religion, education, a trade, and a profession; buy property; "put money in thy purse," and you will be recognized as a full-fledged citizen of this country. Let us say what we believe to be a fact: The disciplined thought that the Negro is receiving at this school will give a freshness, a manliness, a hopefulness, and a faith which will deliver him from the tyranny of his surroundings, widen his views of his own capabilities, make him conscious of belonging to a race that has rich things in store for the world, and glorify his heart with a thousand strange and fruitful sympathies and with endless heroic aspirations. It is something so unique in the history of Christian civilization that wherever the existence of such an institution as that of Tuskegee is heard of there will be curiosity as to its character, its work, and its prospects. An institution suited to the exigencies of this race cannot come into existence all at once. It must be the result of years of experience, of trial, and of experiment. In order that you may form a correct idea as to the magnitude of this school, let us cull the [Pg 146]following statement from a speech of Mr. Washington, who, among other things, said: "We have eight hundred and fifty students at Tuskegee from twenty-two states, eighty-one instructors, and a colony of one thousand people, together with literary training. We train in twenty-six different industries. Of the thirty-seven buildings, all except three were erected by the students. They have sawed the lumber, made the brick, done the masonry, carpentering, plastering, painting, and tin spouting. The property is now valued at $280,000, and is the work of students in the past fifteen years." All sound-thinking and unprejudiced-minded persons will agree that this institution is a very able instrument to assist in carrying forward the work so necessary to be done for the race. (J. Francis Robinson, Cambridge, Mass.)



Two little children sit by my side,
I call them Lily and Daffodil;
I gaze on them with a mother's pride,
One is Edna and the other is Will.
Both have eyes of starry light
And laughing lips over teeth of pearl.
I would not change for a diadem
My noble boy and darling girl.
[Pg 147]
To-night my heart o'erflows with joy;
I hold them as a sacred trust.
I fain would hide them in my heart,
Safe from tarnish of moth and rust.
What should I ask for my dear boy?
The richest gift of wealth or fame?
What for my girl? A loving heart
And a fair and spotless name?
What for my boy? That he should stand
A pillar of strength to the state.
What for my girl? That she should be
The friend of the poor and desolate.
I do not ask that they shall never tread
With weary feet the paths of pain;
I ask that in the darkest hour
They may faithful and true remain.
I only ask their lives may be
Pure as gems in the gates of pearl,
Lives to brighten and bless the world—
This I ask for my boy and girl.
I ask to clasp their hands again
'Mid the holy hosts of heaven;
Enraptured, say: "I am here, O God!
And the children thou hast given."

[Pg 148]

The great Cuban Negro warrior. GEN. ANTONIO MACEO.
The great Cuban Negro warrior.

[Pg 149]


The Great Cuban Negro Warrior.

Gen. Maceo was a born warrior. He came of a race of warriors. Of ten brothers, he was the last survivor who had escaped the bullets of the Spaniards in the ten-years' war, begun in 1868, and the present war. They were all soldiers and patriots, following in the footsteps of their father, and they all died fighting for Cuba.

The distinguishing characteristics of Antonio Maceo were intense love of Cuba, courage that knew no fear, and a natural genius for war. He was of Spanish and African blood, and his enemies often accused him of waging a race war, but this he always denied, and his friends believed him. He fought only for Cuban independence.

Gen. Maceo was the terror of the Spaniards. They feared him as they feared no other Cuban. They put a price of twenty-five thousand dollars on his head, dead or alive. The Spaniards could not capture or defeat him in open warfare, and the work of destroying him fell to the part of an infamous traitor in his camp: his physician, who betrayed him into the hands of the enemy.

Maceo was great in his life, and in the manner of his death he has raised up friends for his beloved Cuba all over the world.

His parents were both "pardos"—that is, light-colored mulattoes—and they were quite well off. [Pg 150]Marcos owned and operated a cattle ranch and a pony express between the town and near-by estates. He was worth about forty thousand dollars. Antonio was well trained in contra-Spanish ideas. His father had been quietly interested in the small revolutionary disturbances that took place up to 1868, and Ascenio, his godfather, a prominent lawyer of Santiago City, was one of the most active promoters of the ten-years' struggle that began in 1868.

After a boyhood spent in the best schools of Santiago de Cuba, Antonio's seventeenth year found him engaged in business for his father. The preparations for the war were then secretly going on, and young Maceo, being thought to possess a discretion beyond his years, was initiated into the movement. He labored hard for the cause then, and when the time came for action he promptly took the field, at eighteen years of age, with a few men whom he had organized and armed.

Maceo was really idolized by his men. For one thing, his magnificent personal appearance and the halo of many glorious exploits had great effect; but the real reason for his popularity was the care he took of his men. No soldier was too poorly or too thinly clad to come right in and talk to the General at any time. Maceo talked familiarly with his stalwart men, listened patiently to all complaints, great and small, and settled them in a quick, decisive manner. Particularly was he an object of affection to his men because he was always the first rider [Pg 151]in a machete charge. He was always the closest to the enemy in a mountain fight, and was never to be found in a pitched battle anywhere else but in the first trench when there was any firing going on.

Dispatches were received in this country on Saturday, January 16, 1897, confirming the report of the death of Gen. Antonio Maceo, the valiant Cuban leader, who, with the rest of his staff, was reported to have been brutally murdered through Spanish treachery. Having been invited by the Spaniards to a conference, with a view of bringing the terrific struggle for Cuban liberty to an end, he started for the place of meeting. When nearly there he found himself surrounded by Spanish forces, and received the command to surrender. Instantly realizing that he had been drawn into a trap, he and his followers made a terrible struggle for their freedom, but were outnumbered. As they were fighting, Maceo received his death wound, and shed his life's blood in the defense of his country, which he loved too well to desert by surrender. Thus died brave Antonio Maceo, one of the greatest generals of African extraction that ever lived.

Jose Antonio Maceo was born in the eastern province of Santiago, near the city of Santiago de Cuba, in 1850, being the oldest of eleven brothers. When yet a young man he fought for "Cuba Libre" in the late ten years' war, seeking to throw off the yoke of Spanish tyranny. His service in that war, as well as in the present struggle, showed him to be [Pg 152]a born fighter, and earned for him the titles of Second General in Chief of the Forces of Liberty and General in Chief of the Army of Invasion. He had full charge of the civil and military jurisdictions of the western and most important portion of the island of Cuba, the place where the present struggle will either be won or lost to the brave Cubans.

As long as Maceo lived there was no prospect of the blacks and whites of Cuba participating in a race war. He loved his country too well to allow it, and could have easily prevented such a clash, as he had the implicit confidence and respect of the Negroes. He was very reticent in speaking of his wounds, of which he bore twenty-three. With one exception, these wounds were received in the ten years' war.

In the death of Gen. Maceo Cuba loses a man who was without fear, a man of rare intellect, an honest man, and a genuine patriot, whose death will doubtless be avenged by his faithful followers. By Maceo's death Cuba loses one of the most valiant defenders she ever had. After his participation in the ten years' war and his exile to Jamaica, at its unsuccessful termination, his subsequent career has been told in the following interesting sketch:

"Early in 1879 a brown-skinned, weather-beaten man arrived in New York on one of the Jamaica steamers. For a month or more he lived alone, without other companionship than that of books. It was Maceo, and the fire of liberty, still smoldering in his breast, was only seeking a favorable [Pg 153]opportunity to burst into flame. In a few months he made his way to West Point, where he obtained employment as a hostler. Nobody in the academy dreamed for a moment that the broad-shouldered, dark-browed man who handled the horses so easily had ever smelled the smoke of battle or heard the song of rifle bullets. Day after day on the parade grounds the taciturn man watched the evolutions of the cadets, listened to the commands of the officers, studied the discipline of the place, pored over volumes of military tactics that he had managed to borrow, and added to his natural genius the knowledge of other great generals. Then the dark-skinned hostler, who was regarded as book mad, gave up his position and returned to New York. From New York he went to Costa Rica, taking a hundred or more weighty volumes with him. Some wealthy Cubans had settled in Costa Rica during the war, and they now offered Maceo a tract of land on which to colonize his brave followers. Here for ten years the exiled Cuban worked and studied and dreamed and instructed his fellow-veterans in the modern theories of war. At times he would lecture them; at other times he would give them practical lessons in drilling and in cavalry evolutions. With each day, each week, month, and year his dream of the freedom of Cuba was brighter than before. Never for a moment did he seem to forget the points of his purpose.

"In 1888, ten years after the close of the war, he began to scheme for another uprising in Cuba. He [Pg 154]took the former officers into his confidence, and the little band of revolutionists spent almost a year in making plans for the overthrow of Spain. Finally Maceo sailed for Jamaica, and from Jamaica to Santiago de Cuba, disguised as a laborer. Not for a moment, however, during the entire ten years that had elapsed since the war had the Spanish Government lost sight of Maceo. The Spaniards knew him too well. Consequently when he disappeared from Costa Rica there was a hue and cry. 'Maceo has gone,' was telegraphed to Madrid; 'Look out for Maceo,' was the word sent to Havana. Search was made throughout the island. Finally the government got word of him around Santiago. Under torture, a Cuban confessed that he had seen Maceo in El Christo, disguised as a muleteer. In the meantime Maceo had become aware that his whereabouts had been discovered. His schemes were consequently frustrated. A fisherman who had fought under him during the long war sailed with Maceo for Kingston one dark night in his fishing boat. For many weeks thereafter the Spaniards searched in vain for the Cuban leader.

"Maceo returned to Costa Rica disappointed, but not discouraged. He saw plainly that the revolutionary ball must be set rolling by other hands than his. He entered into correspondence with prominent Cuban sympathizers in American cities, and with Gen. Gomez in San Domingo. This was kept up until local juntas were formed in almost every prominent city in the United States. Then [Pg 155]Maceo and his little band of patriots in Costa Rica had nothing to do but possess their souls in patience and wait for events. The years between 1890 and 1895 were passed in hard work and in studying the possibilities of Cuba from a military standpoint. One day in February, 1895, word came that the Cubans had risen. Blood had been shed, and Julio Sanguilly had been arrested and imprisoned. At last, after many years, here was an opportunity to strike once more for Cuba. Freedom, the dream of a lifetime, would come later on. On the following day an emissary of the Spanish Government asked Maceo if he intended to join the movement. 'Join it?' he replied, 'I shall join nothing.' He did not think it necessary to say that he had joined it years ago. This is why the papers of the next morning all over the world published a statement that Maceo was not identified with the revolutionary movement in Cuba.

"A week later Maceo, his brother Jose, Flor Crombet, Cabreco, and sixteen other veterans sailed from Costa Rica for San Domingo. From this point, a week or so later, they slipped away for Cuba. They landed on the morning of March 30 at a point near Baracoa, where many times in years gone by Maceo had seen the flash of machete and bayonet. True to the traditions of the place, hardly had he touched his foot on Cuban soil before Spanish rifles were cracking and bullets were singing all about him. The force of Spaniards numbered about fifty. Maceo had with him only nineteen [Pg 156]men in addition to his brother Jose, Crombet, and Cabreco. There was a running fight along the road in the direction of an old log house, where the Cubans finally took refuge. In this skirmish Crombet was killed. In the log house, surrounded by Spaniards, the Cubans fought for days. In the meantime word had been sent out that Antonio Maceo had been captured immediately upon landing on the island, and that Flor Crombet had been killed. This was Maceo's first death during the present war. On the night of the third day Maceo called the men together and told them that their only hope was in making a rush for the woods. The door had hardly been opened before the Spaniards discovered the movement. Then ensued a fierce running fight, in which several of the Cubans were killed, and Maceo received a bullet through his hat. Separating from the rest of his companions, Maceo wandered through the pathless forest for two weeks alone, living on plantains, guavas, and other fruits. One day he stumbled upon the band of insurgents led by Rabi. He was taken to the hut occupied by the leader.

"'Who are you?' he was asked.

"'One who will fight to the death for Cuba Libre,' was the reply.

"'Your name?'

"'Antonio Maceo.'

"At first Rabi was incredulous. When he finally recognized in the haggard and hungry man the dashing leader of the ten years' war the joy of the [Pg 157]insurgent was boundless. In a few days all his old-time vigor returned. He was more of a leader than ever. His ten years of exile had only served to make him more cautious and calculating. He knew that he was a better soldier than when he was banished. In a fortnight he made his way to Guantanamo, to the spot where he had disbanded his men years before. The big tree was still standing, taller and grayer with age, rotted in spots, but quite as sturdy as ever. Under this tree he had sheathed his sword. Under its branches he once more drew it from its scabbard against the Spanish oppressor. In a few weeks he had recruited almost a thousand men. Starting out with this nucleus of a future army, he swept everything before him."



A good wife is the greatest earthly blessing. A wife never makes a greater mistake than when she endeavors to coerce her husband with other weapons than those of love and affection. Those weapons are a sure "pull," if he has anything human left in him. Forbear mutual upbraidings. In writing letters during temporary separation let nothing contrary to love and sincere affection be expressed; such letters from a wife have [Pg 158]a most powerful emotional effect, sometimes little understood by those who write them. It is the mother who molds the character and destiny of the child as to the exteriors; therefore let calmness, peace, affection, and firmness rule her conduct toward her children. Children are great imitators; whether they have scolding or peaceful mothers, they are generally sure to learn from the example set before them, and thus the consequent joy or sorrow is transferred to other families. Therefore let mothers take heed to their conduct. It is not possible to exercise judgment and prudence too much before entering on the married life. Be sure that the affections on both sides are so perfectly intertwined around each other that the two, as it were, form one mind. This requires time and a thorough mutual knowledge on both sides. Marry into your religion and into a blood and temperament different from your own. Bend your whole form, and especially avoid everlastingly dishing up any unsuccessful past action that was done from a good motive and with the best intentions at the time. Let nothing foreign to the spirit of love and mutual affections intervene to cause distance between husband and wife. To this end let self-denial and reciprocal unselfishness rule over each. Avoid habitual fault-finding, scolding, etc., as you would perdition itself. Many men tremble as they cross their threshold into the presence of scolding wives. Let husband and wife cultivate habits of sobriety, and specially avoid drunkenness in every form. What a dreadful [Pg 159]spectacle it is to see a husband transformed into a demon, tottering homeward to a broken-hearted wife, whose noble, self-sacrificing devotion to him seems to partake more of the nature of heaven than of earth! Never part, even for a journey, without kind and endearing words; and as a kiss symbolizes union from interior affection, do not dispense with it on such occasions, repeating it when you return. In one word, let love rule supreme.

In all your dealings with women take a lesson from the cooing dove. Speak softly, deal gently, kindly, and considerately with her in every way. Let every husband and every wife cherish for each other the heavenly flame of affection, and let no rude, harsh, or embittered expression on either side chill the sacred fire. If every adoration of the creature may hope for pardon, surely the worship rendered by man to a kind, pure, affectionate, and loving wife—Heaven's best gift—may invoke forgiveness. What countless millions of women have sacrificed health, strength, and life in attendance on sick and dying husbands, children, and strangers! How many have perished by rushing through fire and water to save their children, and starve themselves that they might live! In how many hospitals has she proven herself an angel of mercy, and her sweet voice uttered words of comfort and cheer! Therefore let woman have her full rights, even that of voting, if she desires it, for a good woman's influence will ever be used for a good purpose; but let woman act toward man as indicated in the above [Pg 160]advice for man to act toward woman, and she would be all but omnipotent; for man, in a manner, would move heaven and earth to serve her, and would do unspeakably more for her than can ever be done by all the fussy croakers, old maids, and woman's rights associations and lectures in creation. Love in the family is the one thing needful to regenerate the earth and cause the wilderness to become as Eden and the desert to blossom as the rose. Reversed, love and discord have broken more hearts, caused more sorrow, estrangement, and downright death than war, pestilence, and all other causes combined. It palsies energy and ambition, engenders gloom and despair, and transforms manhood into an icicle. Statistics prove that the married live longer, on the average, by several years than the unmarried, a most satisfactory proof that the married state is pre-eminently the life designed for man. Therefore let all interested do their utmost to make it the happiest. (The Budget.)



Intemperance has so rapidly grown to be the crowning curse of all nations and has taken so deep root in the heart of many influential countrymen as to cause the impediments that are thrown in the pathway of those who try to promote [Pg 161]the cause of "God, home, and native land" to appear to be legions.

The horrors of intemperance have never been fully portrayed. No pencil is black enough to paint the picture and do it full justice. No tongue is eloquent enough to tell the sad, sad story in all its details. It has so spread itself as to compel us to style it a wide and verily a withering curse. It is the parent of many physical disorders, that begin with bleared eyes, a blistered tongue, general derangement of the stomach, paralysis of the nerves, and hardening of the liver; and to so great an extent it poisons the blood as to cause coagulation of the brain. All of which, as a natural consequence, induce and aggravate many diseases, ending with causing to be dug a myriad of premature graves.

Intemperance is a mental curse, and it clouds the judgment, dethrones reason, promotes ignorance to the extent that to approach the unenlightened upon the subject of temperance is the means of incurring the displeasure of many, and in numerous instances causes vile epithets to be applied to those who are advocates of the cause of temperance.

[Pg 162]


Another great and startling reason why all persons should abstain from the use of intoxicating liquors is that it is a mental curse, because it produces imbecility and transforms its unhappy victims into maniacs and fools. Intemperance or the use of alcoholic liquors brings a curse upon the morals of all nations, and thereby proves to be a moral curse. It weakens the will and so influences the [Pg 163]passions as to hush the voice of conscience and prepare the way for every vice and crime. Then, with all that, let us briefly review a few of the attendant miseries of intemperance that are about us like a swarm of locusts coming as a plague: In the slimy trail of this alcoholic serpent can be found everything that is dark and dreadful—yea, everything that is ruinous. In it can be found men without manhood, women without womanhood, infancy without hope, want and woe, rage and wretchedness, disease and death; and, furthermore, in the trail of this venomous serpent can be found broken vows and broken hearts, bad manners and bad morals, bad words and bad actions, bad parents and bad children, a bad beginning and a bad end. Then surely intemperance is the crowning curse of American society; and as such the traffic is, as has been often said, a gigantic crime. It came and continues to be an unwelcome intruder. It erects in our midst distilleries or dramshops. Everywhere we need the church and schoolhouse, these being uplifting and elevating forces, while the distilleries and dramshops are mediums through which distress and want, sorrow and death, are brought into our midst in an inconceivably short time, carrying to untimely graves and everlasting woe hundreds—yea, thousands—who otherwise might be saved.

The traffic is a temptation and a snare, a man trap and a woman trap, luring ever its victims to death and damnation. No wonder that Lord Chesterfield, in words as eloquent as they were burning, [Pg 164]should say of rumsellers: "Let us crush out these artists in human slaughter who have reconciled their countrymen to sickness and ruin and spread over the pitfalls of debauchery such baits as men cannot resist." And his suggestions continue to be repeated, serving as a nucleus to which many cling and receive strength for present and future action. Yet there is room for more, as the battle is fierce and will possibly be long.

The traffic is a monster of cruelty. It has ever been one of tears and groans and blood, in vice, crime, and misery; ever conscienceless, unprincipled, and as cruel as the grave, while the trafficker is rarely ever moved by widows' woes, though they swell into rivers of tears. His heart seems to be incased in stone, while he applies his infamous trade and hoards his unhallowed wealth, regardless alike of the claims of God and the cries of his murdered victims.

For heartless cruelty and desolating results, the highway robber is not to be compared with the vender of alcoholic beverages, because the robber simply demands your money or your life, while the liquor seller demands your money and your life; and there being more than half a million of them, they seem to be determined to rule the remaining faction of sixty millions with worse than a rod of iron, even proving insolent and defiant to the last degree. Sitting supreme in our national Congress and walking with a swing of conscious triumph up and down our legislative halls, monarchs of all they [Pg 165]survey, succeeding in every effort made to muzzle ministers, bribe lawmakers, control officers and business men of our country, and place the nation in great peril. The traffic is an intolerable burden to the state, a burden on every back, a blight on every industry, sapping the heartblood out of all concerned. Think of $900,000,000 as a direct annual drink bill, and an equal sum to cover the sad consequence. Two-thirds of this amount is expended by laboring men at the sacrifice of personal comforts and family necessities. Then why, O why, will not a greater number of our male relatives assist in striking every saloon until they are all crushed into hopeless flinders? and why will not a greater number of our women unite with those who are making efforts to raise up many who have fallen through and by the use of intoxicating liquors, and in many ways assist our husbands, brothers, and fathers in laying plans that will in the near future annihilate the demon rum? Last, but not least, the liquor traffic is a deadly foe to the Church. Well and truly did Charles Buxton say that "the struggle of the Church, school, and the library all united against the beer shop and the gin place is but one development of the war between Heaven and Hades." The traffic paralyzes the pulpit, hardens human hearts, alienates men and women from the Church of God, and in so doing rises like a mountain in the path of Christian civilization, and we agree with Rev. A. A. Phelps in saying: "It is a terrible fact, sad enough to make angels weep, that the [Pg 166]two hundred thousand grogshops of this nation are doing more to damn the people than all the Churches are doing to save them." Then, in conclusion, let us rally to the cause of temperance and apply the prohibition as to the deadly upas tree of intemperance, taking God and his word for our [Pg 167]guide, adopting our Creator's philosophy, imitating his example, and thereby build on those basic principles that underline the eternal throne, ever remembering that there is work for all to do, and that in God's universal system

None fall back or slip aside;
Each of all the mighty forces
Serves with dignity and pride.
There are evils we must strangle,
There are enemies we must fight,
Cruel foes most fierce and active
Keeping back the good and right.
We must all be up and at them
Meet them here and meet them there;
Brothers, fathers ever active,
Women diligent in prayer.

Steamship pilot, Atlantic Coast EDWARD SEABROOK, SAVANNAH, GA.
Steamship pilot, Atlantic Coast



The controversy going on regarding the particular term by which to designate the race is important and of general interest. After reading all that has been said upon the subject up to date, I must conclude that the logic and the facts are with the "Colored American."

The word "Afro-American" is simply an individual fad of recent construction, which has been generally used by some to designate the race without [Pg 168]stopping to think that it is really out of place and can have no significance at all as far as the race is concerned in this country. The word "African" or "Negro" may be applied in a general way to the native-born African and his descendants or to the Negro of Africa, because of the intense blackness of color, but the "Afro-American" race does not now nor ever did exist. It is argued that the German-American, the Irish-American, and the Anglo-American are distinctly racial lines, and for that reason the "Afro-American" must be applied to the race of African descent in America.

The conditions are not the same and the facts are against the argument. Let us analyze the different thousands of German, Irish, French, Dutch, and Italian nationalities who come to our shores annually. They form a distinct nationality within themselves, and as long as they retain their nationality they are German, French, and so on; but as soon as they become naturalized they become German-American, French-American, and so on; but their descendants born here are not German-Americans or French-Americans or Dutch-Americans; they are simply Americans, and nothing more. This is not the condition of the colored race in this country. I am of the opinion that it would be difficult to find a hundred native-born Africans in the United States; hence nationality is extinct. The ten millions of colored people in this country are native-born Americans, who never have had any other nationality, and cannot, therefore, be classed as [Pg 169]anything else but Americans. If you wish to designate them because of their color, you cannot use a false term. They are not Africans nor Negroes, and there is no such a race as the Afro-American race known in the world. The particular race cannot be known otherwise than the "colored race," or, if you apply the nationality, the "Colored American." I don't think that the matter admits of argument, and the intelligent gathering of colored women who assembled in Washington knew exactly what they were doing and applied the correct term to themselves.

The editor of the "Colored American" is correct in the stand taken, and is supported by the well-thinking colored people of the entire country. The word "Afro-American" grew out of a freak at Chicago, and is only generally used by the "Age" and a few others; and as far as its application is concerned, it can never be acceptable, and will die a natural death, without even a struggle to smother. I am sure that this will elicit a storm of ridicule; but be this as it may, the word "Afro" and the word "Negro" can never be forced upon an American, regardless of his color, without his consent, and I stand ready to maintain my position in the premises based upon sound reason and common sense.


I invariably use the term "Afro-American" to designate our race residing in the United States. [Pg 170]No stronger article has come under my eyes than the one which recently appeared from the pen of Prof. DuBois, showing that our term "Afro-American" can only be adhered to as an ark of refuge from the term "Negro," which is too apt to be written with a small "n" and too frequently with two "g's."

We are seeking by our term to designate a race, not a locality, and therein lies the difficulty. If a person should refer to Lobengula's son as an African, he would be correct, so far as fixing his habitat; but if an inquirer should be as great an interrogation point as Li Hung Chang, and should desire to know more about Lobengula, he would properly ask: "But to which one of the African races does he belong?" And the answer would be: "He is a Negro." Now if Lobengula should come to reside in the United States, he could be properly called an "Afro-American" (but this is a very indefinite designation), meaning a native of Africa residing in America. To be strictly accurate, we would call him a Negro Afro-American. We have Italo-American, Franco-American, German-American, Russo-American, Spanish-American, but each of the terms covers an individual who is of foreign birth. These terms are not applied to the children of immigrants; at any rate, these children do not so describe themselves. Even where there is amalgamation between any two of these race varieties, no name is sought to cover the mixture of blood. These children call themselves Americans, and if [Pg 171]you press for a blood analysis, you will be told that they are Americans of English and French descent, or some other descent, and if you ask for the name of their race, they will say: "We are Caucasians."

There goes an Italo-American. He is an Italian (born in Italy) who now resides in America. That is the limit of this term. If two or more distinct races were inhabiting Italy, that would be a very indefinite term; but as only one race covers that land, the term is definite. There goes an Afro-American. When such a man is pointed out he should be a native of Africa residing in America; but the term as applied to him does not convey conclusive information to the scientist. He desires to know something more definite; and if the person is of black complexion and woolly hair, we say that he is a Negro Afro-American. No escape from this logic. But if one should say, "I am not a Negro; I have the blood of both races in my veins. What will you call me?" I answer: "Why, you are an American." If you push me for a scientific term to fix your blood relationship to other American race varieties, and if you spring from the blood of a black and the blood of a white person, I would call you a "Negro-American," since your blood is a mixture of that of those Africans called Negroes and that of the white Americans; but if, like the great Bishop Payne, the blood of three races (including the Indian) courses through your veins, then you are a Negro Indo-American.

It is difficult for us to get a scientific name. We [Pg 172]are a mixed-blooded animal; we have no distinct race, no race name. The only people who have any right to establish race names and define them are the ethnologists. They have the human race divided into several distinct classes. If there is no houseroom in any class for the man of several different bloods, then we must get a new name. But certain principles must guide us. We cannot escape them without incurring the censure of such scientific minds as Prof. DuBois.

While I agree with Prof. DuBois that our term "Afro-American" lacks precision and is somewhat high sounding, yet I prefer it, because it rids us of the word "nigger," and it has within itself an element of dignity and solidity which helps to promote aspiration in ourselves and to command respectful mention from others. And I think that the name is growing in use. I find it in a late standard dictionary and I notice that public speakers and writers in our best American publications are using it. But, although I rejoice in the fact, I cannot stand against the logic of the scholar who argues that the term cannot be defended upon scientific principles.


In the last edition of the "Age" Prof. DuBois argues at considerable length why we should be called "Negroes," and not [Pg 173]"Afro-Americans." I read his article with much interest, because the Professor advanced the best reasons why we should be called "Afro-Americans." He admits that the term "colored" is a misnomer, and therefore meaningless.

The term "Negro" was not broad enough even to include all the inhabitants of Africa. All three of the great races were, from days immemorial, represented in Africa; but these were not then, nor are they now, known as "Negroes," but "Africans," subdivided into families and tribes. Those families that were known as true Negroes dwell between the Tropic of Cancer on the north and the equator on the south, and between the Nile (extremely north) and the Atlantic Ocean. These were divided into three classes—viz., true "Negroes," "Negroids," and the "Negrillos." What say we of that other part of the great Hamitic family not known as "Negroes?" Were all of the slaves deported to America from that particular territory? If not, can we say that they were all Negroes? Nay, but they were all Africans.

The Professor next hastens into the middle of his subject. "Where does 'Afro-American' come in?" he asks; and then replies: "Awkwardly." In reply, let me say that nothing is "awkward" that is right; the user may be awkward. Says he: "It may not be so objectionable when applied to some national gathering." We have in America one great national gathering of Afro-Americans numbering some ten million or more. The Professor knows very well that it is not fair to argue from the general to the particular. The "Old Auntie in Hackensack" is not the subject. She is a member of the [Pg 174]Afro-American family. Children generally take the name of their parents by birth or by adoption. Don't refuse to call a thing by its right name because it is "awkward," for the name is not "awkward," but the tongue that handles it. We have a similar case in God's Word. The Gileadites took the passage of Jordan and adopted a distinct watchword by which everyone of their number could be known. The Ephraimites, who desired to pass over the river, were required to say the word "Shibboleth," which, if said properly, would signify that they were Gileadites. The Ephraimites could not pronounce it correctly, so they could not pass over, but were slain. This word "Shibboleth" was "awkward" to the Ephraimites; but not to the Gileadites, because they had trained themselves to say it. So must we train ourselves to say the right name, "Afro-American."

In the second place, the Professor objects to the appellation "Afro-American" because, says he: "The adjectives 'Irish' or 'German' or 'Swedish,' which are sometimes used to designate certain classes, refer always to race rather than to country, and never to either of the great world divisions." This may be true in a sense, but we beg to offer an alternative. There were many of us brought from those families or tribes in Africa which were not known as "Negroes," for the Negroes, as we have shown, were only a remnant of the great African, or Hamitic, race.

In the third place the Professor objects to the [Pg 175]term "Afro-American" because, says he: "This name would seek to separate us from our kindred in the land of our fathers." This kind of reasoning is what we call reductio ad absurdum, for just the reverse of what he says is true. To say "Afro-American" is to reunite us to our forefathers, both by blood and language. It tells, whence we came and where we are. There is no other term in language, thought, or reason that fits in and at the same time covers the ground so completely as "Afro-American." "Let us be Negroes, let us be one in blood," says he. We can't be what we are not. How can we be one in blood when our blood has been crossed a thousand times?

But we all can be Afro-Americans, because we all were of Africa and now are of America. In other words, our forefathers were Africans by birth and became Americans by adoption. We are Africans by descent and Americans both by birth and adoption. This addition, Africans plus Americans, equals Afro-Americans. We conclude, therefore, that the term "Negro," although honorable and significant, is too narrow to be adopted as a national appellation. We need a name that will include every man that came from Africa, regardless of the section or territory from which he came, and that name is "African." We want a name that will include every American citizen who has a drop of Negro blood in his or her veins, let them be as white as snow or as black as soot, and that name is "Afro-American."

[Pg 176]



The Negro as a Slave.

In order to define the duty of the nation to the Negro we must first notice the relationship existing between the Negro and the nation. For two hundred and seventy-six years we have inhabited this country, and, whether as slaves or as freemen, I say here, without fear of successful contradiction, that we have done more to enhance the wealth of this country, in proportion to our numbers, than any other race in America. The Negro as a slave was docile and obedient. He was harmless to his master—yea, one white woman was not afraid to live alone on her farm with a hundred Negro men as her servants. They frequently did so, and were never harmed, notwithstanding the number of Negroes who have been lynched since under the accusation of unbecoming conduct. In other words, he made a good slave, if such a thing as a good slave be possible.

The Negro as a Common Laborer.

As for this great Southland, the largest portion of her wealth is but the product of the black man's labor. Cotton is the chief staple of America, and when to this we add sugar and iron we have the heft of Southern wealth—and the brawny hand of the Negro produces at least three-fourths of these [Pg 177]commodities. It was his hand chiefly that felled the mighty forest of this Southland; it was his hand that dug out and laid these railroads, taking away the old stagecoach and making pleasant and rapid transit possible; it was his shoulder that carried the mortar hod to erect these palatial cities; it was the sweat from the Negro's brow that has made Georgia the Empire State of the South; it was Negro labor that made it possible for the Exposition to be held in Atlanta. Go where you will, from Washington to the gulf, and from the Atlantic to the Ohio River, and almost every acre of land and object of interest you behold bears the impress of Negro labor, industry, and skill. Looking from your car window on either side most of the beautiful farms that you see were cleared and are tilled by the Negro; and most of the beautiful residences you have passed were built, painted, and kept in order by Negroes. All of those beautiful, flowered lawns show Negro industry. The glittering iron rails which led you on lightning express to this city were laid by Negro hands after he had tunneled the mountains, leveled the hills, and filled the hollows. And if those iron rails were made South and the Negro did not forge them, it was because the boss had an acute attack of colorphobia and gave the job to some nondecitizenized, ready-to-work emigrant. Some people used to say that the Negro was lazy, and that if freed he would perish. I have traveled all over this country and through many others, and I have seen thousands of tramps, but I have as yet [Pg 178]met but one first-class Negro tramp, and he was in London; therefore I concluded that he had strayed from his race, and had learned the trade from the white people. I have also learned that at the great national tramp convention recently held in New York not a single Negro was present. True it is that we find too many idle Negroes in the towns and cities "holding up the corners." Well, Dr. Price once said that the Negro had to work so hard in the hot sun during slavery that a great many of them promised themselves that if ever they got free they would take a good rest. The Doctor concluded that this idle class were making good their promise. But the true cause of this apparent idleness lies far back of this. It arises partially out of the very distressing condition of the cotton planters of the South. The Negroes have been so industrious for the last decade that they have overflooded the cotton markets of the world, and consequently so reduced the price of this staple that the landlords are not disposed to feed hirelings through the winter, and the colored people, who have been fed from the stores under the mortgage system, getting all their food on time at two prices, and paying for the same in cotton in the fall at half price, find themselves in the end in debt and greatly discouraged. Hence thousands of would-be industrious young men float into the cities and towns looking for jobs, in order to clothe themselves for the winter. They find every position occupied, and float on as apparent idlers.

[Pg 179]

One other cause of the seeming laziness on the part of the Negro is that, as a rule, the cruel sentiment of the country has closed the doors of every machine shop, cotton mill, and similar factories to all persons of color. Again, almost every class of labor which once was done by hand is now being turned off by the crank of invention. The old-fashioned washboard has been turned into a steam laundry and the old spinning wheel has given place to the American cotton mills. The same is true along all lines of common labor. The Negro, however, either by contact or in the schools of theory, has learned something about applied science, and as his old trades have been elevated and dignified by machinery, he would like to be elevated with them. The washerwoman would like now to enter the steam laundry, since it has captured her business; the blacksmith would like to enter the foundry, where they are now molding the plowshares he once made with his hammer; and where the Negro is capable of following his old trade to a more elevated station we believe it the duty of the nation to allow him to do so. While we entertain no feelings against foreigners, we believe these to be the birth-right of American citizens, and therefore appeal to the sentiment of this nation and ask that every door to foundries, factories, and machine shops of every kind be opened alike to Negroes and whites. We ask that you give us a bench, an anvil, or a loom by the side of our white brother, with equal wages; then, if we do not prove to be as skillful workmen [Pg 180]as they, after a fair trial, turn us away. This is the duty of the nation to the Negro. I have always been a protectionist, but if every cotton mill is to be run by immigrants from across the sea, while our sons and daughters, who are black and poor, but to the manner born—true and patriotic American citizens—are to be refused employment in the factories of this country, I would advise the Negroes to vote for whatever party may represent low tariff or free trade for all fabricated material.

The Negro as a Soldier.

From the days of Washington to the days of Grant there was scarcely a decisive battle fought upon American soil in which the Negro did not participate in the defense of the stars and stripes. Though much of his heroism has been forgotten because it was not published and commented upon in American history, yet a few great men, such as Gens. Lee, Jackson, Sherman, and Grant, have been generous enough to hand down to us in their private diaries the valuable service rendered the government by these black soldiers on the bloody field of battle. Especially in the late war did the government learn to recognize the Spartanlike heroism of the Negro. He was always ready to charge and the last man to retreat. He was the first to lift his hand and shed his blood when the colonies were attacked by the British in Boston; and Gen. Sherman, in his "History of the War," says that the last man wounded in the late rebellion was [Pg 181]a Negro, and the last man who fired a gun to close the unfortunate war was a Negro, upon the banks of the Rio Grande. Hence the Negro has a record that any race might envy.

The Negro as a Citizen.

As a citizen, the Negro is peaceable, unassuming, and friendly toward all races. He has studied to know his duty as a constituent of the government, and does all in his power to perform the same. He is always looking and praying for better times, but he never organizes a labor union and goes out on a strike to make times better.

He is rapidly gaining wealth and intelligence. He is making every effort to keep pace with the advancing tide of Christian civilization, and the census of this country shows that he is making progress on every line. Remember, too, that the most of these men were born slaves and started out with nothing, not even good advice, but with all odds—even their color, their previous condition, and public sentiment—against them. Remember also that only one Negro out of a thousand has had as yet an equal chance in the race of life, for freedom of body, with every avenue leading toward the heights of unqualified freedom of will and of purpose closed, and he left standing uncovered and exposed to the worst elements of a superior race, is worse (if anything can be worse) than slavery. And yet, with all that, the Negro has proven to be equal to all occasions as a citizen, and, with superior [Pg 182]zeal to any race, he has seized every opportunity and entered every door of usefulness that opened to him. Come walk with me through these halls and let us see his higher life and aims. See the walls bedecked with pictures of Negro homes and other real estate that would compare very favorably with a majority of the homes of the white men of this country; and this is not a fair exhibit of the progress of the race, for not one-thousandth part of the Negro wealth is on exhibition here. You find him an inventor, a painter, a sculptor, and no mean artist. He can make tools, invent machinery, and knows how to use them. He understands the sciences, and can apply them in the daily vocations of life. He has made an earnest effort to prepare himself for the responsibilities of citizenship. Having been on probation for thirty years and proved our worthiness, we now feel that we ought to be permitted to enjoy to the fullest extent all of the rights guaranteed American citizens. Since we assume the attitude of petitioners, I am sure that I speak the sentiment of the American Negro when I say that we do not ask to be made white, for had it pleased God, we would have been white. We do, not ask the liberty of any man's power; but we would ask the liberty to have and to occupy our own in peace and safety. I am sure the Hon. Hoke Smith voiced the sentiment of every intelligent colored man in America when he said that the Negro had no desire to mix with the whites—that is, to impose himself upon them. The Negro never [Pg 183]wanted social rights in the sense of the common interpretation, but has and will ever contend for civil and religious rights. I am not sorry that the white people have been clannish enough and have had race pride enough to protect their own society. The Negro has formed his own society, and now there is but one favor on this line that we would ask of our white brethren, and that is that any white man who is so unworthy of his ancestry and unconscious of race pride as to attempt to corrupt Negro society be punished as Negroes are (save the lynching) by the just laws of our country. This we believe to be another duty of the nation to the Negro. As citizens, we would not ask any state or the Federal government for a single legislative act for our special benefit, but we do ask that no special acts be passed by either to impede our progress. All that we ask as citizens is that the several states and general government legislate for the common good of all citizens, regardless of races, and we are willing to take our chances. What more can we ask and what less can be given by an honest Christian nation? And may God have mercy upon any nation or people that would not grant this! The white people of this country proudly boast of their superiority as a race, and I grant it when considered en masse. Their opportunities have made them thus. Then why should the stronger refuse the weaker an equal chance in the race of life? Can it be possible that the stronger fears the weaker?

[Pg 184]

The Negro as a Southerner.

The question has often been asked: "What must we do with the Negro?" If you will allow, I would say: "Do nothing with him, but respect him as a citizen at his home in the South." For the Negro is at home in this Southland. He knows and loves no other country. He was born here. Our fathers died here. We helped to make this Sunny South glorious, and we desire to enjoy the fruit of our labors. The Negro understands his white neighbors and they understand him. We are all Southerners together, and whatever is of interest to one is a blessing to the other. The greatest enemy to either race is he who would break our peace and generate strife. The Negro is an indispensable factor of the South. No race could fill his place. We know of no other clime where the Negro, if transplanted, could better his condition. The interest of the South is common to both races alike. We are inseparable in all that concerns this Southland. One race cannot suffer without the other proportionately being affected in the end. The sooner we all learn this lesson the better for all concerned.

The Negro in Politics.

I have never discussed politics publicly in my life. When called upon to represent the sentiment of my Church I feel it to be pardonable for daring to speak my sentiments touching the vital issues of to-day. If low tariff or free trade on certain commodities is to the best interest of the white South, it certainly [Pg 185]is to the best interest of the black South, who produce the raw material, manufacture nothing, but are all-round consumers; and if free silver, as it is now termed, is to the best interest of the laboring classes of this country, especially of the South and West, it must be doubly so to the Negro. I have thought for twenty years whether or no the Negro is doing right in voting solidly for any one national party. I would advise the race to be slaves to no political party because of public sentiment or misguiding politicians, but would call upon every man of the race to be a freeman at the polls and vote his individual sentiments, looking well to the best interest not only for the common country, but to the best local and sectional interest as well, and for the best men to represent that interest. And it also becomes the duty of the white citizens of the South not only to protect the life and property of the colored man, but to see that the Negro obtains a proportionate patronage of the offices of the local and Federal government.


What is the black population of the world?

The black people of the human race are estimated at 250,000,000 souls.

What is the African population of the United States?

[Pg 186]

The census of 1890 places the colored population at 7,470,040, and it is believed that they have increased to nearly 10,000,000.

How many states in the United States have a majority of Negroes?

Three—South Carolina, Mississippi, and Louisiana.

How many more Negroes than whites in each of these states?

The latest census gives the Negroes of Louisiana a majority of 798; Mississippi a majority of 197,708; and South Carolina a majority of 226,926.

What state is having the greatest increase of population?


What state has the greatest wealth among colored people?


How many Negroes on the island of Cuba?

There are 480,000 Negroes on the island of Cuba.

What does Dr. Palmore, editor of the St. Louis Christian Advocate, say of the Negro as a race?

He says: "Possibly no race that God has created has made such rapid progress in the same length of time as the Negro. As a rule, they should not be judged by the criminals among them who have become conspicuous in the newspapers for their evil deeds, but they should be judged from the honest, hard-working men and women, who, beginning with nothing, have in the course of one generation [Pg 187]accumulated over $650,000,000 worth of real and personal property."

How many Negroes in the 55th Congress of the United States?

Only one—Hon. George H. White, of North Carolina.

How many colored people own their own homes in this country?

According to the census of 1890, there were 234,747 homes and farms, free from all incumbrance, owned by Negroes; and since that time the number has probably doubled.

How many books have been written by Afro-Americans?

More than 300 books written by Negro men and women have been published, while probably not more than fifty have had an extensive circulation. The "Afro-American Encyclopedia" has had the largest sale.

How many newspapers are edited and published by Afro-Americans?

Over 400.

Name one of the leading papers in each of the several states.

The "Colored American," Washington, D. C.; the "Age," New York, N. Y.; the "Freeman," Indianapolis, Ind.; the "Gazette," Cleveland, O.; the "Courant," Boston, Mass.; the "Planet," Richmond, Va.; the "Gazette," Huntsville, Ala.; the "Southern Age," Atlanta, Ga.; the "Progress," Helena, Ark.; the "Elevator," San Francisco, Cal.; [Pg 188]the "Statesman," Denver, Colo.; the "Sentinel," Pensacola, Fla.; the "Appeal," Chicago, Ill.; the "Herald," Leavenworth, Kans.; the "Standard," Lexington, Ky.; the "Afro-American," Baltimore, Md.; the "Enquirer," Charleston, S. C.; the "Woman's Messenger," Memphis, Tenn.; the "Republican," New Orleans, La.; the "American Citizen," Kansas City, Mo.; the "Progress," Omaha, Neb.; the "Gazette," Raleigh, N. C.; the "Tribune," Philadelphia, Pa.; the "Freeman," Houston, Tex.; the "People's Defender," Jackson, Miss.

By whom were Negroes first called contrabands?

By Gen. B. F. Butler, on the 22d of May, 1861, at Newport News, Va.

When did Hon. Frederick Douglass die?

On the 20th of February, 1895, at seven o'clock p.m., at his home in Washington, D. C.

Who is the greatest poet of the race?

Paul Lawrence Dunbar.

Whose blood was the first spilled in revolution?

Crispus Attucks, a Negro, was the first to lay down his life in the defense of his country.

What does the Washington Post say of G. W. Bryant, editor of the Race Standard, of Baltimore, Md.?

"He is one of the most gifted orators of natural compass, white or black, in the United States. He has a voice that reminds men of Henry Grady, and controls an almost inexhaustible vocabulary."

How many building and loan associations are conducted by Negroes?

[Pg 189]

At least forty building, loan, and co-operative associations are doing business on a substantial basis, having conformed to the laws of the various states in which they are operated.

John Q. Adams, Chicago Ill. JOHN Q. ADAMS, CHICAGO ILL.

Who was [Pg 190]the first President of the Afro-American Press Association?

John Quincy Adams, editor of the "Appeal," was the first President of the Afro-American Press Association.

When did the Negro exodus take place?

In 1879-80, when about 7,000 colored people left the Southern States and settled in Kansas.

When did the last sale of slaves lake place?

In October, 1859, Pierce Butler, of Philadelphia, sold 988 slaves at the race track, Savannah, Ga., for $303,850.

How many Negro colleges in Mississippi?

There are ten colleges in Mississippi for the education of Negro youths, and they are all well filled with bright, progressive students, who are fitting themselves for intelligent, worthy leadership of the race.

When was the Freedman's Bank established?

In March, 1865. It was established in Washington, D. C., and had thirty-four branch banks in different parts of the United States.

How long did this bank live?

Nine years, during which time it handled no less than $56,000,000.

How many colored Catholics in the United States?

Colored Catholics have two priests and over 200,000 communicants.

Who are among the leading poetesses of the race?

Mrs. Francis E. W. Harper, Mrs. Charlotte F. Grimke, Mrs. M. E. Lee, and Mrs. Josie Heard.

Who is the highest colored Mason in the United States?

[Pg 191]

John G. Jones, who was recently elected Third Vice President of the Cook County Lawyers' Association, a new but strong organization composed of those admitted to practice by the Supreme Court of Illinois. He is a thirty-third degree Mason, the highest in the United States.


How many colored lawyers in Chicago?

[Pg 192]

There are thirty colored lawyers in Chicago, Lloyd G. Wheeler being the first, and was admitted in 1869. Miss Ida Platt is the only colored lady lawyer in Chicago. She was admitted to the bar about two years ago, and sought to make herself a first-class lawyer in every respect.

How many colored councilmen has Philadelphia?


Who is the richest negro bootblack in the United States?

Thomas Gleason, of Baltimore, Md., is said to have accumulated $15,000 polishing boots and shoes.

Who is considered the best colored mathematician?

Prof. Kelly Miller, of Howard University, Washington, is the finest mathematician of which the race can boast. He is the author of a text-book on geometry, which is taught at Howard University.

How many colored public schools in Washington?

In his annual report of the colored public schools of Washington, D. C., Superintendent G. F. Cook accounts for 242 schools; 297 teachers, of whom 252 are females and 45 males; 12,876 pupils, with an average daily attendance of 9,767.

How many Negroes on the police force in Chicago?


Can you tell how many colored troops there are in the United States Army?

The Negro soldiers in the United States Army number 2,400.

[Pg 193]

When was the National Baptist Publishing Board organized?

This institution was organized at St. Louis, Mo., on the 16th of September, 1896, and the Publishing House established in Nashville, Tenn., January 1, 1897, with Rev. R. H. Boyd, D.D., as Secretary.


Of what is this organization composed?

This organization is composed entirely of Negro [Pg 194]Baptists, and is said to be the largest Baptist organization in the world.

How many colored men and women are employed by the city of Pittsburg, Pa.?

The city government of Pittsburg, Pa., gives employment to 233 colored persons, 23 of whom are in the police department as clerks, patrolmen, turnkeys, etc., and 9 are clerks in the courthouse.

Who was the first colored man elected judge in Florida?

Hon. Joseph E. Lee, of Jacksonville, Fla., enjoys the distinction of being the first Negro to be elected to a judicial office in that state. He is a lawyer of high repute, and has served in the Legislature of his state for many years. He was elected city judge of Jacksonville in 1887, and has been collector of customs there for some time. He will doubtless serve in that capacity under the incoming administration.

[Pg 195]


Shelbyville, Tenn. DR. WILLIAM KEY.
Shelbyville, Tenn.

No colored man in all the South is more highly esteemed for his integrity by all who know him than Dr. William Key. He is the very soul of honour, and is a living example of what every colored boy should strive to be. His word is his bond among all classes wherever he is known. He is the inventor of Key's Liniment, so widely known and used all over the Southern States.

[Pg 196]


In many respects this is beyond all question the most wonderfully trained horse in the world. He was foaled near Shelbyville, Bedford County, Tenn., May 1, 1888, and was reared and educated by Dr. William Key. Seven years of close attention were given to his education. He is a graduate, and is said to be the finest scholar of the equestrian race, or possibly in the animal kingdom.

He gives all the symptoms of the common diseases to which the horse is heir, prescribes the remedy for same, gets and delivers the medicine, collects the money, makes the correct change (when needed), and puts it in the cash drawer as correctly as any clerk.

He takes a silver dollar out of a full bucket of water without upsetting the bucket or drinking a drop of the water.

He delivers mail correctly, allowing any person to call for it by number.

He can play a number of pieces on an organ as correctly as an Italian.

He knows every piece of money from a one-cent copper coin to a one-hundred-dollar bill, and can change any bill as correctly as the average clerk.

He knows the deck of cards perfectly, and will get any suit or size called for.

Jim is also a mind reader, and after reading the mind of a man, woman, or child he will go to his wheel of fortune, turn it, and get the true character of the person as well as any clairvoyant in the country.

[Pg 197]

Jim Key, Shelbyville, Tenn. JIM KEY, SHELBYVILLE, TENN.

[Pg 198]

Every coin from one cent to one dollar can be laid on a table promiscuously, when any one in the audience may name the coin he wants removed, telling Jim to give it to his owner or place it in the cash drawer, and he will comply with the request promptly and correctly.

Kerchiefs of different colors may be tied on each hind foot, and this intelligent horse will remove the one desired by any one simply by naming the color.

If Dr. Key should say, "Jim, I am going to sell you, provided you are a sound horse," Jim will immediately get so lame that he can hardly move; but on being assured that he shall not be sold he is miraculously cured of his lameness.

The above are only a few of the wonderful things this horse performs. Dr. Key, his owner, has his horse now on exhibition at the Tennessee Centennial, and he challenges any or all the horsemen of the world for a wager of $10,000 to show on these grounds his equal, the winner to donate $5,000 to the Centennial Committee.

Seven thousand dollars has been offered for the horse since the exhibition commenced, but was promptly refused. We have learned that $10,000 will buy him.

[Pg 199]



There is a very good story told of Rowland Hill and Lady Ann Erskine. You have seen it in print perhaps, but I would like to tell it to you. While he was preaching in a park in London to a large assemblage, she was passing in her carriage. She said to her footman, when she saw Rowland Hill in the midst of the people: "Who is that man?"

"That is Rowland Hill, my lady."

She had heard a good deal of him, and, desiring to see him, directed her coachman to drive near.

When the carriage came near Rowland Hill saw the insignia of nobility, and he asked who that noble lady was. Upon being told, he said: "Stop, my friends, I have something to sell." The idea of the preacher suddenly becoming an auctioneer made the people wonder, and in the midst of a dead silence he said:

"I have more than a title to sell, I have more than the crown of Europe to sell—it is the soul of Lady Ann Erskine. Is there any one here who bids for it? Yes, I hear a bid. Satan, Satan, what will you give?

"'I will give pleasure, honor, riches—yea, I will give the whole world for her soul.'

"Do you hear another bid? Is there another one? Do I hear another bid? Ah! I thought so; I hear another bid: the Lord Jesus Christ—what will you give for this soul?

[Pg 200]

"'I will give peace, joy, comfort, that the world knows not of—yea, I will eternal life.'

"Lady Ann Erskine, you have heard the two bidders for your soul; which will you accept?"

Rev. John Henry Dickerson, Ocala, Fla.
Deputy Grand Master of Florida Free and Accepted Masons. REV. JOHN HENRY DICKERSON, OCALA, FLA.
Deputy Grand Master of Florida Free and Accepted Masons.

And she ordered the door of her carriage to be opened, and came weeping and accepted the Lord Jesus Christ. Dear reader, will you do the same?

Transcriber's Notes

Illustrations have been moved from their original locations to prevent splitting paragraphs. The page numbers in the List of Illustrations are for the original printed book.

Table of Contents page numbers put in order: Moved Mrs. Georgia Gordon Taylor (page 75); originally listed after page 57 in book.

Pgs. 36-45: The five images of the various committees may be clicked to see an enlarged, clearer version.

Pg. 53: Changed section to sections (other sections of the country.)

Pg. 78: Changed citzen to citizen (Douglass is the new citizen—).

Pg. 131: Changed our to ours (prosperity as ours is at this late day)

Pg. 176: Changed nothwithstanding to notwithstanding (never harmed, notwithstanding the number)

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