Monroe Nathan Work.

Negro year book : an annual encyclopedia of the Negro 1937-1938 online

. (page 54 of 89)
Online LibraryMonroe Nathan WorkNegro year book : an annual encyclopedia of the Negro 1937-1938 → online text (page 54 of 89)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

acquainted with the case, gave her
a transport with full government pro-




tection, but valid for only fifteen days,
on which she journeyed to Germany,
visited her parents, and returned to

Some years ago, Hedje Yawa, a
West African, came to Hamburg when
a young man, married a German wo-

man, and conducted a successful busi-
ness. There were two daughters, now
grown to womanhood. They cannot
contract a normal marriage while re-
maining on German soil. If they leave
the country, the family's accumulated
fortune must remain.




Negroes have been represented
since 1848 in the French National
Assembly. The first one was Louis
Matheiw. Then there was Gerveille
Reache, vice-president of the Chamber
of Deputies, 1904 to 1906.

The following Negroes were mem-
bers of the French National Assembly
in 1936:

Gratien Candace, senior deputy
from Guadeloupe, has served con-
tinuously since 1912,

Alcide Delmont, deputy from Mar-

Galondou Diouf, deputy from Sene-

M. Gasparin, deputy from Reunion,

LaGrosilliere, junior deputy repre-
senting Guadeloupe,

Henri Lemery, senator from Mar-

M. Monnerville, deputy from


1931 Blaise D i a g n e, Senegalese
deputy, became the first African to
sit in the French cabinet. He was
Under-Secretary of the colony in the
cabinet of Premier Laval.

1934 Henri Lemery, senator from
Martinique, was Minister of Justice,
Keeper of the Seals, and vice-presi-
dent of the National Council of Minis-
ters in the cabinet of Gaston Doumer-
gue. During the World War he was
under-secretary of state in the De-
partment of Merchant Marine and
Commerce in the cabinet of Georges
Clemenceau, being second in command
of transportation, a position of the
highest responsibility.

1936 Gratien Candace, after his ar-
rival in France at an early age, be-
gan his collegiate course at the Uni-
versity of Toulouse and graduated
from the Faculty of Sciences. Ajfter
research work he obtained the degree

Doctor es Sciences, one of the high-
est degrees offered by the universities
of France. From 1904-06, he was pro-
fessor of science in the University of
Pan, in southern France. On entering
the political life, he was for several
years vice-president of the Commis-
sion of Finances; vice-president of the
Commission of Colonies; general sec-
retary of the Commission of War
Prisoners; member of the Commission
of Foreign Affairs; member of the
Commission of Military Marine; vice-
president of the Commission of Mer-
chant Marine; vice-president of the
Commission of Commerce; under-sec-
retary of State in the cabinets of
Herriot and Paul Boncour, 1932.


"At least three Negro generals, two
dark and one light-coloured, played
important roles in the Napoleonic
Wars. They were Thomas A. Dumas,
father of the novelist; Magloire Pe-
lage, who commanded a division in
the Peninsular War; and Dugommier,
commander of the army of the Pyre-
nees. France's best known general be-
fore the World War was Alfred Ame-
dee D o d d s, a Sengalese mulatto.
Dodds won, or safeguarded, for
France the greater part of her West
African empire, and was inspector-
general of Marines. During the Box-
er Rebellion in 1901, he commanded
the allied forces, including Ameri-
cans, for a short time. During the
World War he was a member of the
War Council.

"A black West Indian, Colonel De
M. Mortenol, commanded the air de-
fenses of Paris during the World War,
with white American aviators under
him. The chief of staff of General
Neville, who commanded for a time
at Verdun, was another dark Negro,
Lieutenant-Colonel D'Alenson. It is
stated that there is a Negro admiral
named Amiot, now in retirement, as
well as a naval captain, Pellieres La-




(Union of Soviet-Socialist Republics)

In 1936 a new Constitution of the
Republics was adopted. "Chapter X
of the Constitution is a Bill of Rights.
Under it citizens are guaranteed the
right to work, the right to rest, the
right to material security in old age
and in the event of illness or incapa-
city, the right to education, the right
to practice any religion or none, the
right of freedom of speech, press,
and assembly, the right to inviolabi-
lity of person, home, personal prop-
erty and correspondence under due
process of law. Women are guaranteed
equal rights with men in every re-
spect, and citizens of all racial and
national stocks within the Union have
equal rights. Political and scientific
refugees from other countries have
freedom of asylum."

Negroes are welcomed in Russia.
They are found in all walks of life,
as; actors, artists, musicians, writers,
and industrial workers. Miss Vivienne
France, a graduate of Columbia Uni-
versity, one time Dean of Women at
North Carolina State College and for-
mer head of the History Department
in LeMoyne College, Memphis, Ten-
nessee, has for the past two years
been consultant in the anthropophysi-
cal laboratory, Moscow, University.
Eugene Gordon for many years on
the editorial staff of the Boston Post,
is now employed on the staff of the
Moscow Daily News, and has been
voted membership in the Moscow
Writers' Club, an outstanding literary
club in the country.

A number of Negro skilled indus-
trial workers and agricultural special-
ists have gone from the United States
to Russia. Richard Williams, a gradu-
ate of Columbia University, where
he studied under Steinmetz, the fa-
mous electrical wizard, was made
chief electrical engineer of the main-
tenance department of the giant Magi-
totogorsk Metallurgical Plant, said to
be the largest and the most modern
in Europe. Before going to Russia,

Williams was for ten years chief
electrical mechanical engineer for the
Schlick Razor Company and the Dai-
ton Manufacturing Company of Old
Greenwich, Connecticut. 'It is said
that Williams while working for the
Continental Fire Insurance Company
in New York City, through a series
of apparently minor incidents, was
first to make the important discovery
that tall buildings sway in the wind,
a fact which was later affirmed by,
and has since become the common
knowledge of architects and engineers.

In 1933, eleven Negroes went to
help improve the cotton culture in the
South of Russia. Their work was di-
vided into two parts. One of which
had to do with the mechanization of
planting, cultivating and harvesting
machinery. The 'other half of the
group was assigned to the central
plant-breeding station in Tashkent.
Each member of the group was given
a definite cotton culture problem to
solve for the betterment of Soviet ag-
riculture. Included in the group was
Charles Young, Jr., son of the late
Colonel Charles Young. At a later
date, one unit of the group was
brought to the Moscow district to
supervise chicken raising and truck

George Tynes, a Negro poultry ex-
pert, enabled a poultry station farm
No. 39 Middle-Volga Territory to suc-
cessfully fill its quota of eggs and
meat. Tynes specializes in the breed-
ing of ducks and geese. He has de-
veloped a method which produces
fowls capable of high productivity.

Robert Robinson, formerly employed
by the Ford Motor Company, Detroit,
Michigan, is a specialist working in
the Kgonovich ball bearing works at
Moscow. He has to his credit twenty
inventions for which he received spe-
cial commendations and awards from
the Soviet government. As a result
of the many innovations which this
Negro specialist introduced the sav-
ings of thousands of rubles have been
effected by the plant. In 1934 Robin-
son was elected with Stalin to the
City Council of Moscow.







(The Only Independent Government in Negro Africa)

Liberia owes its origin to the ef-
forts of the American Colonization
Society of America, which was or-
ganized December 16, 1817, to set-
tle free Negroes in Africa. In 1820,
an unsuccessful attempt was made to
locate the colony. In 1821, the at-
tempt succeeded. In spite of many dif-
ficulties, dissension and discourage-
ments, the colony was enlarged and
firmly established. On July 26, 1847,
the state was constituted as the Free
and Independent Republic of Liberia.
The colony then became more pros-
perous, churches and schools were es-
tablished, a postal system was intro-
duced, newspapers were established,
and slavery was abolished in the
neighboring native states.


Liberia has about 350 miles of coast
line, extending from the British colo-
nv of Sierra Leone, on the west, to
the French colony of the Ivory Coast
on the East, and it stretches inland
to a distance, in some places, of about
200 miles. The boundaries were de-
termined by the Anglo-Liberian agree-
ment of 1885 and the Franco-Liberian
agreements of 1892 and 1907-10. Early
in 1911 an agreement was concluded
between the British and Liberian
Governments transferring the terri-
tory of Kanre-Lahun to Sierra Leone
in exchange for a strip of undevelop-
ed territory of about the same area
on the south side of Morro River,
which now becomes the boundary.

The total area is about 43,000
square miles. The total population is
estimated at 1 000,000, all of the Afri-
can race. Since the organization of the
frontier force the government has
obtained complete control of North-
ern Liberia and of the Kroo countries
in Southern Liberia. The indigenous
natives beloner in the main to six
principal stocks: (1) the Mandingos
(Muhammadan), (2) the Gissi; (3)
the Gola; (4) the Kpwesi; (5) the
Kru Negroes and their allies, and (6)
the Greboes. The other principal
tribes in the Republic are: Vai, Mendi,


Belle, Dey, Manoh, Geo, Bassa, Buzzi,
Gbandi, Krahn, and Gen.

The Kru tribes are mostly pagan.
The number of Americo-Liberians is
estimated at about 12,000. About
60,000 of the coast Negroes may be
considered civilised. There is a Brit-
ish Negro colony of about 500, and
there are about 150 Europeans and
Americans. The coast region is divid-
ed into counties, Bassa, Sino, Mary-
land, and Grand Cape Mount, each
under a government superintendent,
and Montserrado, subdivided into two
districts, each under a superintendent.
Monrovia, the capital, has, including
Krutown, an estimated population of
10.000, and is administered as a fed-
eral district by a municipal board ap-
pointed by the President. It is one of
the eleven ports of entry along the
350 miles of coast, the others being
Liberian Jene (river port), Roberts-
port (Cape Mount), Marshall (Junk),
Buchanan, River Cess, Greenville, (Si-
noe), Sasstown, Grand Cess, Harper
(Cape Palmas), and Kablaki (river
port). Other towns are Royesville,
Arthington, Careysburg, Millsburg,
Whiteplains, Bopora (native), Rock-
town (native), Garraway, Upper Bu-
chanan. Edina, Kakata, Paynesville,
Clay Ashland.

The executive power is vested in
a president, a vice-president, and a
cabinet of six ministers, and the le-
eislative power in Congress consist-
ing of a Senate and a House of Repre-
sentatives. Formerly the President
and the House of Representatives
were elected for four years and the
Senate for two years. In 1907, an
amendment to the constitution ex-
tended these terms to six and four
years, respectively. The president
must be thirty-five years of age and
must have unencumbered real estate
property to the value of $2,500. Vot-
ers must be of Negro blood and be
owners of real estate. But few na-
tives avail themselves of the suf-
frage. Foreigners cannot own land
without the consent of the govern-



Religion, Education and Justice

The A m e r i c o-Liberians are all
Protestant (Angelican, Presbyterian,
Baptist, or Methodist). There are sev-
eral American missions at work and
one French Roman Catholic. The Gov-
ernment educational system is sup-
plemented by mission schools, instruc-
tion being given both to American and
to native Negroes. In the year 1932
there were 372 schools, of which 51
were government schools and 121
were maintained by .missions. The
total number of pupils receiving in-
struction amounted to about 7,000.
The Methodist Episcopalians have a
college at 'Monrovia and an agricultu-
ral and industrial institute at Ka-
kata; the government has a college
with (1932) eight professors and 88

A criminal code was enacted in
1900; the customs laws were codified
in 1907.


In 1909, at the request of Liberia,
the United States Government sent
three commissioners to Liberia to re-
port upon boundary disputes between
that country and Great Britain and
France, and to inquire thoroughly
into the nation's conditions and needs
and to make suitable suggestions for
ad-justment and improvement. The
commissioners were : Roland P. Faulk-
ner, of the Immigration Committee of
the United States Senate; George
Sale, superintendent of education for
the American Baptist Home Mission
Society, and Emmett J. Scott, secre-
tary of Tuskegee Institute. The Com-
mission made to Congress an exhaus-
tive report of the boundary troubles
and the general condition of the

In 1910, the United States Govern-
ment expressed to the other powers
its willingness to assist Liberia by
taking charge of her finances, mili-
tary organization, and boundary ques-
tions. The details of the scheme were
approved in October, 1911, by the

United States, Great Britain, -France,
and Germany. An international loan
of about $1,700,000 secured by the
customs, rubber tas, and native head
tax was made. Until the World War,
it was administered by an American
controller and British, French, and
German subcontr oilers. The American
controller acted as financial advisor
for the government. For the securi-
ty of the revenue a frontier police
force sufficient for maintaining peace
in Liberia was established. Liberia
was one of the allied nations in the
World War. ,By the terms of the
peace treaty Germany renounced all
claims against Liberia. In Septem-
ber, 1921, the United States arranged
to loan Liberia $5,000,000 to assist
in rehabilitating her finances which
had almost been ruined by the war
and the cessation of trade. Congress
however, failed to approve the loan
and it was not made.

On July 1, 1927, the Liberian Gov-
ernment entered into a contract with
the Firestone Rubber Company of Ak-
ron, Ohio, for a loan of $5,000,000.
The terms of the loan known as the
"Three Planting Agreements," the
first of which gives to the company
the Mount Barclay Rubber Plantation
of 2,000 acres for experimental pur-
poses. The second gives the company
the right to lease a million acres of
rubber land. The third of the agree-
ments obligates the company to con-
struct a harbor at Monrovia with its
own funds and engineers, subject to
re-imbursement by the Liberian Gov-
ernment at an interest rate of seven
per cent.

In the negotiations between the
government of Liberia and the Fi-
nance Corporation of America, there
was no participation by the Depart-
ment of State, and the only refer-
ence in the agreement to the govern-
ment of the United States is the pro-
vision for the designation by the
President of the United States as a
Financial Adviser.


1928-29 1929-30 1930-31 1932 1933

Revenue $1.028,123 $980,156 $482,808 $476;358 $465,573

Expenditures 1,098,152 985,554 702,194 635,080 382,814

The customs duties were for 1928-
29, 604,226 dollars; for 1929-30, 461,-
099 dollars; for 3930-31, 250,549 dol-
lars; for 1932, 236,138 dollars.

In 1927 arrangements were made
with the Finance Corporation of
America for a loan of 5,000,000 dol-
lars, of which 2,027,700 dollars has



been issued. The previous 1912 loan
in which British financial interests
preponderated, was paid off from the
proceeds of the new loan, which is
secured by a first lien on customs
revenues and head moneys. The loan
agreement also provides for financial
supervision by American officials. The
external bonded debt at the close of
the year 1932 was 2,192,000 dollars,
on which payments on account of
amortization were in arrears to an
amount of 94,367 dollars, and on ac-
count of interest 133,061 dollars.

Production, Commerce

The agricultural, mining, and indus-
trial development of Liberia has
scarcely begun. There are forests un-
worked; but the working of one para
rubber plantation has begun, and rub-
ber is being produced. The soil is
productive, but cultivation is neg-
lected; cocoa and cotton are produced
in small quantities only, and indigen-
ous coffee is the staple product. Pias-
sava fibre, prepared from the raphia
palm, palm oil and palm kernels, kola
nuts, chillies, beni seed, coffee, an-
atto seed and rice are also produced.
Bees wax is collected, and gum copal
is found but is not collected. Tortoise-
shell, improperly prepared, is sold in
small quantities. In the forests there
are rubber vines and trees of 22 spe-
cies. No survey of the mineral re-
sources of the country has been made
by an expert mineralogist, and al-
though iron exists and is worked by
the natives, no mineral deposits of
sufficient importance to warrant ex-
ploitation have yet been found.

The legislature of Liberia, on Jan-
uary 14, 1925, passed the following
Act, inviting American and West In-
dian Negroes to settle in that repub-

"An Act, Establishing the Bureau
of Immigration in Liberia.

"Whereas, by both agreement with
the American Colonization Society
in 1847 and by a clause in the Con-
stitution of the Republic of Liberia,
immigration of persons of Negro de-
scent into the Republic of Liberia from
the United States, the West Indies,
and other foreign countries was fore-
seen and safeguarded, and whereas,
no official machinery is now in opera-
tion for dealing with immigration and
assisting persons desirous of settling
in this state, therefore,

"It is enacted by the Senate and
House of Representatives of the Re-
public of Liberia, in Legislature as-

"Section 1. That from and after the
passage of this Act, there shall be es-
tablished by the President in the De-
partment of Interior, a Bureau of
Immigration supervised by the Sec-
retary of Interior to deal with en-
trance into and the settlement of all
immigrants in the Republic. Said Bu-
reau shall have charge of all corre-
spondence on the subject of persons
desiring to settle in the country and
give permits for handling of their
effects, (duty free) to supervise all
allotments and surveys of lands grant-
ed them under existing statutes. And
the Secretary of the Interior approv-
ing shall promulgate all necessary ad-
ministrative regulations.

"Section 2. The Secretary of the In-
terior shall see to it that immigrants
be preferentially directed to the coun-
ties of Grand Bassa, Since, Maryland
and Cape Mount.

"Section 3. The President of the Re-
public of Liberia, approving shall set
up or cause to be set up the said Bu-
reau during the year 1925. And said

Bureau shall be placed in charge of
the Commissioner of Agriculture
without increase of salary."

List of Presidents of Liberia

Joseph Jenkins Roberts, January 1, 1848, to

January 1, 1856.
Stephen Allen Benson, January 1, 1856, to

January 1, 1864.
Daniel Bashiel Warner, January 1, 1864, to

January 1, 1868.
James Spriggs Payne, January 1, 1868, to

January 1, 1870.
Edward James Roye, January 1, 1870, to

October 19, 1871 (deposed).
(Vice-president) James S. Smith, October 19,

1871, to January 1, 1872.
Joseph Jenkins Roberts, January 1, 1872, to

January 1, 1876.
James Spriggs Payne, January 1, 1876, to

January 20, 1878.
Anthony William Gardner, January 1, 1878,

to January 20, 1883.
(Vice-president) Alfred F. Russell, January

20, 1883, to January 1, 1884.
Hilary Richard Wright Johnson, January 1,

1884, to January 1, 1892.
Joseph James Cheeseman, January 1, 1892,

to November 12, 1896.



(Vice-president) William David Coleman,
November 12, 1896, to January 1, 1898.

William David Coleman, January 1, 1898, to
December 11, 1900.

(Secretary of State) Garretson Wilmot Gib-
son, December 11, 1900, to January 1, 1902.

Garretson Wilmot Gibson, January 1, 1902,
to January 1, 1904.

Arthur Barclay, January 1, 1904, to January
1, 1912.

Daniel Howard, January 1, 1912, to January
1, 1920.

C. D. B. King, January 1, 1920, to January
1, 1932.

Edwin Barclay, January 1, 1932



The empire of Abyssinia, or Ethio-
pia was made up of the kingdoms
of Tigre and Lasta, in the northeast;
Amhara and Gojjam in the west and
center; Shoa in the South; territories
and dependencies as far as Kaffa in
the South; and Harar in the south-
east. The area is 350,000 square miles.
The population estimated to be 10,-
000,000, consists of Abyssinians, Gal-
las, Somalis, Negroes, and Falashas,
with considerable number of non-na-
tives, Indians, Arabs, Greeks, Armen-
ians, and a few Europeans. The capi-
tal, Addis Ababa, has a population of
about 80,000.

Abyssinia is a very ancient country.
There is much evidence of early inter-
course with the Jews. When the first
European explorers came into the
country they found the inhabitants
chanting the Psalms of David. Tradi-
tion is that here was the kingdom of
the Queen of Sheba and that the rulers
of the country could trace their de-
scent from Menelik, son of King Sol-
omon and the Queen of Sheba.

Christianity was introduced into the
country about the middle of the fourth
century by Frumentius. The Abysin-
sinian Church, while having relations
with the Coptic Church, is practically
independent. The head of the Church,
the "A buna" (our father) corre-
sponds in a way to the Pope of the
Roman Catholic Church. The Roman
Catholics and the Protestant denomi-
nations have never been permanently
successful in their missionary efforts
among these Christians.

The adherents of the Abyssinian
Church number about 3,000,000.

In 1889, Menelik, King of Shoa, be-
came emperor. He died in December,
1913, and was succeeded by the son
of one of his daughters, Lij Yasu, born
in 1896. September 27, 1916, he was
deposed and Waizeru Zauditu, another
daughter of Menelik was made em-
press. She was crowned February 11,
1917. On October 7, 1928, Ras Tafara,
CHaile Selassie) a grand nephew of
Menelik, was crowned as king and
joint ruler with the Empress Zauditu.
She died April 3, 1930. Haile Selassie,
on November 2, 1930, was crowned

emperor and sole ruler of Abyssinia.
An agreement was signed December
13, 1906, whereby Great Britain,
France and Italy undertook to respect
and endeavor to preserve the integri-
ty of Abyssinia. Neither power was
to be granted an industrial conces-
sion that would work an injury to
the other two powers. They were to
abstain from intervention in Abys-
sinian internal affairs, to concert to-
gether for the safeguarding of their
respective interests and territory bor-
dering on Abyssinia, to make agree-
ments concerning railroad construction
in Abyssinia. Another convention of
the same date provided for the pro-
hibition or regulation of the impor-
tation of arms and ammunition into

On September 28, 1923, Abyssinia
was formally admitted to membership
in the League of Nations, with an
agreement that she 'would \abolish
slavery. The United States, after a
lapse of 20 years, re-established diplo-
matic relations with Ethiopia in 1928.
Addison E. Southward was sent to
Addis Ababa as Minister and Counsel

On December 5, 1934, there was a
clash between Italian soldiers and
Abyssinian tribesmen at Ualual on
the border between Abyssinia and
Somaliland. Each side claimed the
other precipitated the clash. In Janu-
ary. 1935, Italian troops began to
sail for East Africa to conquer Abys-
sinia. At Rome, on May 25, 1935, Pre-
mier Mussolini delivered an address
on foreign policy to the Chamber of
Deputies. After discussing phases of
the foreign policy as it related to Eu-
ropean nations, he declared that Abys-
sinia was a real menace to the fron-
tier of the Italian East African pos-
sessions, Eritrea and Somaliland.

Online LibraryMonroe Nathan WorkNegro year book : an annual encyclopedia of the Negro 1937-1938 → online text (page 54 of 89)