identified with the Masons, Odd Fellows, Eastern Star and
Household of Ruth. He believes tht the most pressing
problems of the race today are religious and economic.
Gilbert Haven Caldwell
The subject of this sketch is one of those progressive
and energetic men who are making their impress upon the
thought and purpose of the new era upon which these times
of war and world-reconstruction have precipitated us. The
variety of activities in which he has been engaged and the
wide outlook on life which these have given him combine
to make a typical leader of the new era.
Rev. Gilbert Haven Caldwell was born in Guilford Co.,
Oct. 10, 1886. His parents were John Edward Caldwell and
Phoebe Frances (Harrington) Caldwell. John Edward Cald-
well, his father, was a business man and owner of several
electric shoe shops. Dr. Caldwell's grandfather on the
mother's side, Mike Harrington, was a local preacher and a
leader in his community.
The graded schools of Greensboro furnished Mr. Cald-
well with the foundation of his education. Later he went
to Bennett College, graduating in 1908 with the degree of
A. B. In 1911 he was graduated from Gammon Theological
Seminary, with the degree of B. D. Determined to obtain
the best educational advantages in his reach, he followed
this with a course on History and Sociology in Syracuse
University, from which he obtained, in 1918, th- degree of
Master of Arts.
It was not without severe struggle and rigid self-denial
that these advantages were secured. His parents were poor
and he had to earn, by his own efforts, the money for his
schooling. By securing a fellowship he met part of his ex-
penses at Syracuse University,' but the rrcord all the way
was one of determined effort. To his mother's consecrated
GILBERT HAVEN CALDWELL
NORTH CAROLINA EDITION 691
life and earnest prayers he attributes the highest impulses
that have come into his life. Feeling thus, it is not strange
that the work of the Christian ministry should have made
a strong appeal to him. He was converted when about four-
teen years of age and about four years later definitely com-
mitted himself to the preaching of the Gospel. He joined
the Conference in 1914 at Maxton under Bishop Henderson.
He began his ministerial work as pastor of the Trinity Meth-
odist Church at Wilmington, which he served for only a few
months. He was sent from there to Asheville where he
preached two years and repaired the house of worship. His
next appointment was Statesville, where he preached one
year. From Statesville he want to Raleigh for three years
and while there built a parsonage. On the outbreak of the
war he entered the Y. M. C. A. work as executive secretary
for the State of N. C. and remained in the service until the
close of the war. He has served for two years as dean of
Bennett College, Greensboro, at the same time filling the
chair of philosophy and education. For four years he was
secretary of the N. C. M. E. Conference and was a delegate
to the last General Conference of his denomination.
Thus it will be seen that the work of Dr. Caldwell has
been broad in its character and comprehensive in its scope.
He has read widely not only in the Bible but in the works of
such poets as Browning and Tennyson and in the history of
his and other countries. While at Syracuse University he
was a member of the Cosmopolitan Club. His interests
and his points of contact with the life about him are numer-
ous and varied. His training and his war activities have
led him to believe that denominationalism in religion should
take a place in the background and the larger interests of
the race should be the first consideration.
He has been a frequent contributor to the Southwestern
Christian Advocate and is the author of a "History of the
Separation in 1844 of the Methodist Episcopal Church."
Dallas Waddell Chesnutt
Dr. Dallas Waddell Chesnutt, who for a number of years
has been carrying on a successful general practice of medi-
cine at Wilmington, is a native of Fayetteville, though he
has resided at Wilmington since he was about a year old.
He was born January 10, 1878, his parents being Dallas and
Growing up at Wilmington, he attended the Gregory
Normal Institute and also learned the printer's trade, at
which he worked for a number of years. He passed from
Gregory to Howard University, at Washington, D. C, where
he pursued his collegiate education for three years and when
prepared for his medical work matriculated at Leonard Med-
ical College, Raleigh. He won the M. D. degree in 1903. In
the early part of his college work, he made his trade as
printer help him in the way of earning expenses, but later
on, and while in medical college, got into hotel work during
the summer vacations and was thus able to complete his
course without a break.
His father, who was ambious for the boy and set him a
good example, passed away nine years ago, but not until he
had seen his son successful and with bright promise for
Dr. Chesnutt has always shown a courageous, independ-
ent spirit and was a fine baseball player while in college.
In his reading he takes to the sciences, though he has lit-
tle time for general reading apart from his professional
books and the current news. In politics he is a Republican.
He is a member of the Episcopal Church and affiliates
with the Masons, Pythians, Gideons and Elks. He is Grand
Medical Director of the State for the Pythians and is also
identified with the colored State and National Medical So-
cieties and the New Hanover Medical Society. During the
war he joined the Volunteer Medical Corps. His invest-
ments are in and around Wilmington. He looks to educa-
DALLAS WADDELL CHESNUTT
694 HISTORY AMERICAN NEGRO
tion as the greatest factor in the progress of his people
and would like to see a better feeling cultivated between
On Sept. 25, 1907, Dr. Chesnutt married Miss Mary E.
Collins, also of Wilmington.
Carrous William Robinson
Mr. Carrous William Robinson, a prosperous business
man of the thriving city of High Point, was born in the lit-
tle mountain town of Waynesville, N. C, on May 14, 1877.
His father, Rev. Ben Robinson, was a minister of the A. M.
E. Zion church and his mother, before her marriage, was
Miss Eliza Leatherwood.
Young Robinson laid the foundation of his education
in the graded schools of Asheville. Not content with this,
he later entered Tuskegee Institute for four years. Speak-
ing of this period he says, "I worked during the day and
studied hard to make my classes for four years and suc-
ceeded without repeating." He has since put into his work
that zeal and energy for which Tuskegee students are every-
where noted. He has attacked his problems and overcome
his difficulties with a perseverance characteristic of a moun-
tain boy. Fortunately his home training was sound. His
Christian parents trained him to habits of industry and
economy and directed his mind to those things which make
for character. He early identified himself with the church
and has been an active layman since boyhood. His mem-
bership is in the Presbyterian church.
During the Spanish American war he was in the Army
Y. M. C. A. service for eighteen months. For the last
twelve years he has been identified with the N. C. Mutual
Insurance Co. as general agent or district supt. Where the
business methods of that great concern are known, its rep-
resentatives need no other recommendation. They stand
for what is best in the life of the communities in which they
NORTH CAROLINA EDITION 695
work and as business men have no superiors in the business
life of the race.
In 1907 Mr. Robinson located at High Point. He is sec-
retaryand business editor of the Colored American, pub-
lished at High Point.
On June 6, 1901, he was married to Miss Jessie F.
Gaines, of Due West, S. C. She was educated at Scotia Semi-
nary and Harbison College. They have two children, Min-
etta and Pauline Robinson.
Mr. Robinson is one of the active, prominent members
of the secret and benevolent societies, in several of which
he stands high. He belongs to the Masons, Pythians, East-
ern Star and Royal Knights of K. D. During the war he
took a leading part in all the local campaigns and drives.
He believes in organization separately for each line of
business and collectively to bring about that spirit of co-
operation and better understanding so essential to progress.
He owns a home at High Point.
Cornelius Carson Clark
Of all those who have written about education, none
have stated the case better than Daniel Webster. He says,
"Knowledge does not comprise all whicn is contained in the
large term of education. The feelings are to be disciplined,
the passions are to be restrained ; true and worthy motives
are to be inspired; a profound religious feeling is to be in-
stilled, and pure morality to be inculcated under all circum-
stances. All this is comprised in education." We call it
Christian education, and it is the thing for which the denom-
inational school stands pre-eminently. Among the Baptist
men of North Carolina who are devoting themselves to this
ideal, must be mentioned Prof. Cornelius Carson Clark, now
(1919) head of the Tar River Collegiate and Industrial In-
stitute at Greenville. He is a native of Halifax Co., which
has contributed so many men of both races to the religious
and educational leadership of the State. He was born on
CORNELIUS CARSON CLARK
NORTH CAROLINA EDITION 697
Aug. 20, 1885. His parents were Council and Abbie Clark.
His paternal grandparents were Neptune and Julia Clark,
while his maternal grandparents were Coaf and Louisa
Young Clark grew up on the farm and attended the
local school. He early gave evidence of a good mind and
after the public school went to the Tar River Institute
for one term. From there he passed to the celebrated
Hampton School, where his first year was a work year.
After that he entered upon the teacher's course and in the
manual training department learned the trade of wheel
wright. At the end of his second year at Hampton he re-
turned to his native county and began teaching and has
since been a factor in the educational life of that part of
the State. He won his diploma in 1910 and later in the same
year began teaching at Hobgood. The following year he
was called to the Tar River Institute at Greenville and re-
mained until 1915. The Institute greatly prospered under
his administration. In 1915 he was called back to Hobgood,
where he again taught for two years. Then once more, in
1917, came the urgent call for his services again at the Tar
River Institute. Under his leadership the school has
reached its largest enrollment and highest point of effi-
Just as he was merging into manhood, at twenty years
of age, he experienced the new birth and when about twen-
ty-six years of age felt called to preach.
He was licensed by the Kehukie Baptist Church and
in 1916 was ordained to the full work of the ministry by
the Old Eastern Missionary Baptist Association. His
teaching work has so fully occupied his time that he has not
yet gone into the active pastorate, though frequently called .
to preach for his brethren. He holds membership in the
Masons. Looking back over his boyhood Mr. Clark consid-
ers the influence which his father exerted on him the most
powerful for good that came into his life. His father was
a devout Christian and a deacon in the Baptist church.
Mr. Clark's property interests are at Scotland Neck.
William Arthur Cooper
The subject of this biography, Rev. William Arthur
Cooper, B. Th., of Burlington, is one of the progressive
young leaders of the Baptist denomination in the State.
He was born at the historic old town of Hillsboro on June
6, 1895, so it will be seen that he is now (1919) still in his.
early twenties. His father, Young G. Cooper, was a farmer,
and was the son of Starlin and Martha Cooper. Rev. Coop-
er's mother was, before her marriage, Miss Annie Martin
Browder. She was a daughter of Wm. Browder, a shoe-
maker, and his wife, Annie (Whitted) Browder, still living
at the age of ninety.
Our subject was married on Jane 30, 1915, to Miss Mar-
garette Elizabeth Goss, a daughter of Alfred and Emma
Goss of Durham. She was educated at Mary Potter, Ox-
ford, and was a teacher in the rural schools before her mar-
When he came of school age, Mr. Coopsr attended the
local school at Hillsboro and after finishing at the A. M. A.
School there, went to the Normal and Industrial School
at High Point. From there he passed to the National
Training School at Durham, where he won his B. Th. degree
His mind early turned to religion and he was converted
at twelve years of age. He began preaching at the early
age of seventeen.
After deciding to take up the work of the ministry he
realized more fully than ever the necessity for properly
preparing himself for his work. All his life he has been a
vigorous worker. He was at one time engaged in insurance
work while located at Wilson in 1914. He was licensed to-
preach in April, 1913.
He was ordained to the full work of the ministry by
the Mt. Bright Baptist church of Hillsboro, July 6, 1913.
His first pastorate was near Wilson, where he organized sl
WILLIAM ARTHUR COOPER
700 HISTORY AMERICAN NEGRO
church and preached for a year. He pastored the Mace-
donia Church, Greenwood, S. C, for one year and the Rocky
Ridge Church at Concord for two years. Since Feb., 1919,
he has been pastor of the Baptist church at Burlington and
another at Graham.
In politics he is a Republican. He belongs to the
Masons and the Odd Fellows and was accepted as Chaplain
m the U. S. Army. He has also served as Pres. of his
local S. S. Convention.
Me owns a comfortable home and other property. When
asked how he thought the best interests of the race might
oe promoted he replied, "By a more effective organization
of business, closer church co-operation, a more extensive
educational program and a more consecrated unselfish lead-
Mr. Cooper also has charge of the Richmond Hill Public
School at Burlington, the largest colored school in the county
Judge Pickett Stanly
No state in the Union has greater reason to be proud
of the excellent men sprung from her soil than North Caro-
lina. For a long time this exclusively applied to white
men, but when 1865 brought in freedom for the slaves a
new era opened up for the colored men.
They have not been slack to grasp opportunity, as
can readily be ascertained by any one who will make even
a casual investigation, and the time is near at hand when
the Old North State will be proud of the quality of its negro
A splendid exponent of these capable men is Dr. J. P.
Stanly of New Bern, N. C, who was born in that city June
23, 1886. His parents were Judge P. and Lavinia Bryan
Stanly. His paternal grandparents were Anthony and An-
nie Stanly, and on the maternal side were William and Vio-
NORTH CAROLINA EDITION 701
The elder J. P. Stanly was a real estate dealer, and
the younger had the advantage of growing up in a business
Young Stanly attended the New Ben; graded school
and the Eastern North Carolina Industrial Academy. His
college training was obtained at Shaw University and his
medical education from Leonard Medical College from
which he was graduated in 1912 with the degree of M. D.
After taking special courses in Northern hospitals m sur-
gery and diseases of women and children Dr. Stanly
began practice in his native town. He has combined the
real estate business with his professional work, not allow-
ing either to suffer. He is a prosperous and successful mar
in the worldly sense, but that he has the altruistic spirit
is shown by his statement that the greatest factor in snap-
ing his life was "the desire to be of great service to numan-
itv and especially suffering humanity."
Dr Stanly has been quite a traveler, having covered
the larger part of our own country, Canada and France. He
is ver/active in church and fraternal circles, being a mem-
ber of St. Peters A. M. E. Zion church, the motier of Zion
Methodism in the South, and is Superintendent of the Sun-
day School, one of the largest in the South. H-: is Medical
Director of the Odd Fellows, Masons, Knights of Pythias,
Knights of Gideon, Eastern Star, and Elks, of all of which.
societies he is a member.
Dr Stanly has clear ideas as to how best to promote
the interests of the race. He believes that more money
should be appropriated to the schools-that more and bet-
ter sanitation should be secured in Negro settlements— that
better traveling conditions, i. e., equal accommodations,
should be- given to negroes and that they should have recog-
nition at the polls.
Dr J P. Stanly is a good and useful citizen doing his
nart day by day to relieve suffering humanity and to better
general conditions. He has the respect of his community
and is letting his light shine before men.
Ernest Leonard Davis
Jesus once told his followers that if they only had
faith they could remove mountains. Once in a while a boy
has dared to trust God and try in the presence of mountains
of difficulty and has seen them removed and cast into the
sea. One could scarcely think of a more hopeless situation
than that which confronted young Ernest Leonard Davis a
few years ago. An orphan with only one leg and one arm,
homeless and neglected, the outlook was enough to over-
whelm him. But it did not, and he accounts for it simply
enough. God, a Christian woman, who gave him a vision,
religion and the courage to go forward.
He was born at Ridgeway, S. C., on Jan. 3, 1885. His
father was Ansel Davis, and his mother, before her mar-
riage, was Georgianna Stevens. She was a daughter of
While young Davis was still a mere lad the family
moved to Charlotte, N. C, where by an unfortunate R. R.
accident he lost an arm and a leg. When he was about
ten years of age his mother died and the boy was sent to
an Orphans' Home at Lynchburg, Va. The story of that
period is best told in his own words. "I refused to be a
public charge and after a few years threw myself upon
the world homeless but free! This was in 1900. After
suffering every species of sorrow, woe and want for three
years I turned my face toward God and education. For ten
years I fought daily every opposition, discouragement, skep^
ticism and indifference from every quarter. The years were
cruel, unsympathetic and in many places positively hostile to
my advancement. In 1904 I became a Christian and I
won notwithstanding the handicap of one leg and one arm.
All this was made possible by the sympathetic heart of a
motherly woman who allowed me to see a vision, and who
led me to this little height. She (Mrs. Josephine Anderson
of Lynchburg, Va.) was the only friend I can acknowledge
who saw a possibility in me."
ERNEST LEONARD DAVIS
704 HISTORY AMERICAN NEGRO
Mr. Davis was educated at Lynchburg and at Lincoln
University. In 1913 he won his A. B. degree at Lynchburg
and passed from there to Lincoln University, where on ac-
counted of his previous attainments he was permitted to
carry his seminary and graduate work along together so
that in 1916 he won from Lincoln both the A. M. and the
S. T. B. degrees. In 1917 he was ordained to the full work
of the ministry and is now (1919) teaching in Albion Acad-
emy, Franklinton, and pastoring two churches. His first
pastorate and school work were at Elizabeth City.
Next after the Bible his favorite reading is philosophy,
history and psychology. In politics he is a Progressive.
He has thought seriously about the progress of the race, and
believes the demand is for "tolerant sympathy from the
white race, safe and sane information from the best papers
and periodicals in our homes, keeping our fingers on the
pulse of current history, highly cultured spiritual but prac-
tical ministry and teachers that can 'deliver the goods' with
a heart to work.
On Nov. 25, 1915, Mr. Davis was married to Miss Flor-
ence Myers, of Oxford. She was educated at the Oxford
High School and at Berean College. They have three chil-
dren: Ernest L., Jr., John S. and Daisy D. Davis.
Nicholas Voliver Davis
Rev. Nicholas Voliver Davis is a popular and success-
ful pastor of upper North Carolina and is Moderator of the
Ready Creek Baptist Association and resides at Weldon.
He is a native of Franklin Co., where he was born just be-
fore the outbreak of the war between the States on March
31, 1857. He remembers the closing scenes of the war
which brought emancipation to his race and recalls the
passing of some of the Federal armies near where he lived.
His parents were George and Jennie Davis and before the
days of freedom were farm hand slaves. After they had
NICHOLAS VOLIVER DAVIS
706 HISTORY AMERICAN NEGRO
been set free they continued to make their living on the
farm, and their son was brought up and trained to do all
sorts of farm work. His mother, Jennie Davis, was a
daughter of Priscilla Davis and his grandmother on his fa-
ther's side was Eliza Davis.
Mr. Davis evidently believes in the Biblical injunction
to "multiply and replenish the earth" for he has been mar-
ried three times. His first marriage was on February 16,
1889, to Miss Sarah Harris, of Franklin Co. Of the five
children born to them, three are living. They are Bettie
(Mrs. Jones), Mattie (Mrs. Ingram) and Levinia (Mrs.
Clark). Mrs. Davis passad away in 1902. In the last part
of the same year Mr. Davis was married to Miss Anna
Lucas, of Nash Co. She bore him two children, both of
whom passed away. She also died in 1904. Since that
time he was married the third time to Miss Louvinia Long,
of Halifax Co. Two children have been born to this mar-
riage, Beatrice and Louise Davis.
Our subject was eight years old at the close of the
war and, of course, he had no chance to go to school before
that. As soon as the public schools were organized, how-
ever, he entered the Franklin Co. schools, but was denied
the opportunity of going to college. He was a hard work-
ing, reliable young man and was converted at about the age
of twenty-one, a year or two before his first marriage.
Soon after his marriage, he felt the call to preach the Gos-
pel and was ordained to the full work of the ministry by
the Walnut Grove Baptist church in 1894. After entering
upon the work of the ministry, he took up various courses
in correspondence schools in Theology and has made a suc-
cess of his work as pastor. He has repaired, remodeled or
built a new house of worship at almost every point at which
he has preached. His first pastorate was at Spring Hope,
where he preached for two years. He pastored Bethlehem
church four years and the Second Church at Weldon nine
years and remodeled the church at an expense of more
than $2,000. He preached at Macon for nine years and
erected a new house of worship. He served Springfield in
NORTH CAROLINA EDITION 707
Halifax Co. for four years and built a new church. Jackson
church in Northampton Co. held him for eight years and
during his administration there the church was remodeled.
He accepted a call to Roanoke Chapel and served that
church for nine years and before leaving had raised $1,000
toward a new building. He preached at Crowell's Cross
Roads four years and remodeled the church and paid the
debt. He recently accepted the call of Mt. Zion Church in
Warren Co. and began the building of a new house of wor-
ship before he had been on the work a year. He has
preached at Lovely Hill in Warren Co. for five years and
has remodeled the church. In 1919 he accepted a call from
the Ashley Grove church at Vaughn's and is making ex-
tensive repairs there. In 1913 he was called to the pastor-
ate of his old home church, Walnut Grove, which he has
served for the last six years and is now making extensive
repairs so that when the building is done it will be worth
at least $3,000. Mr. Davis has done a good deal of evangel-
istic work among the brethren and in 1908 was elected Mod-
erator of the Reedy Creek Assoc:"ation, which position he
has held continuously since. He is a member of the execu-
tive board of the State convention and is regarded as one
of the substantial men of the denomination in his part of
the State. After leaving the farm as a boy he learned the
carpenter's trade, which he followed for more than twenty
years and his knowledge and capability along this line have
served him in good stead in connection with his extensive