state to devise some way of increasing the means to educate their people. The
outcome of the convention was the organization of the School Fund Society,
whose object was the establishment and maintenance of colored schools.
Under the auspices of this society schools were opened in Cincinnati, Colum
bus, Springfield and Cleveland, and were maintained for two years. *
In the southern section of the state the increasing colored population se
cured an increasing growth in the number and efficiency of the colored
schools, which were supported largely by themselves, though the outside help
was far greater in the cities than in country districts. In 1835 Cincinnati ex- j
pended $1,000 in sustaining colored schools, of which the colored people gave ,
$150, the rest being contributed by their friends. In 1839 the colored people
paid $889.03, and the self-sacrifice was not as great as in 1835, which showed a
marked economic as well as intellectual advancement. We must bear in mind
that few employments but day labor were. open to the colored people in the
cities at that time, and while in the rural sections the men were mostly small
"Hlckok, pp. 81-89.
76 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans
farmers, and as a consequence there was a greater degree of independence and
thrift. Wherever there was a settlement of 100 or more, there we rind a school
for their children. In a small settlement in Gallia county a school of twenty-
five scholars was maintained by colored people, who paid the teacher $50 per
quarter. In 1840 we find colored schools in nearly all the large towns in the
southern part of the state. *
A separate school for colored children was established in Boston, in
was held in the house of a reputable colored man named Primus Hall. The
teacher was one Elisha Sylvester, whose salary was paid by the parents of the
children whom he taught. In 1800 sixty-six colored citizens presented a peti
tion to the school committee of Boston, praying that a school might be estab
lished for their benefit. A sub-committee to whom the petition had been re
ferred, reported in favor of granting the prayer, but it was veted down at the
next town meeting. However the school taught by Mr. Sylvester did not per
ish. Two young gentlemen from Harvard University, Messrs. Brown and
Williams, continued the school until 180(3. During this year the colored Bap
tists built a church edifice in Belknap street, and fitted up the lower room for
a school for colored children. From the house of Primus Hall the little school
was moved to its new quarters in the Belknap Street Church. Here it was
continued until 1835, when a school house was erected and paid for out of a
fund left for the purpose by Abiel Smith, and was subsequently called " Smith
School House." The authorities of Boston were induced to give $200 as an
annual appropriation, and the parents of the children in attendance paid 12%
cents per week. The school house was dedicated with appropriate exercises,
Hon. William Minot delivering the dedicatory address.
The African school in Belknap street was under the control of the school
committee from 1812 to 1821, and from 1821 was under the charge of a special sub
committee. Among the teachers was John B. Russworm, from 1821 to 1824,
who entered Bowdoin College in the latter year and afterward became gov
ernor of the colony of Cape Palmas in southern Liberia, t
Some few schools for Negroes existed here and there in the South before the
war. In the District of Columbia, as already mentioned, no less than fifteen
different schools were conducted here mainly at the expense of the colored
people between 1800 and 1861. In Maryland, St. Frances Academy for colored
girls was founded by the Roman Catholics in 1829. The convent originated
with the French Dominican refugees, who came to Baltimore during the up
rising in the West Indies. The sisters were colored. Another school, estab
lished in 1835, gave instruction to free colored children. In North Carolina
there were before 1835 several schools maintained by the free Negroes. They
had usually w r hite teachers. After 1835 the few clandestine schools were
taught by Negroes. In Charleston, S. C., there was a school for Negroes
opened in 1744, which lasted some ten years. It was taught by a Negro and
was for free Negroes only, although some slaves who hired their time man
aged to send their children there.
Free Negroes in Georgia used to send children to Charleston for education.
They returned and opened clandestine schools in Georgia. In Savannah a
French Negro, Julian Froumontaine, from San Domingo, conducted a free
Negro school openly from 1819 to 1829, and secretly for sometime after. Schools
were stopped nearly everywhere.after 1830 and as slavery became more and
more a commercial venture all attempts at Negro education was given up. I
* Hlckok, pp. 88-90. f Williams, Vol. II, p, 162. J Negro Common School, p. 21.
To the Negro slave, freedom meant schools first of all. Consequently
schools immediately sprang up a.fter emancipation:
GEORGIA : In December, 1865, the colored people of Savannah, within a few
days after the entrance of Sherman s army, opened a number of schools, hav
ing an enrollment of 500 pupils and contributed $1,000 for the support of teach
ers. Two of the largest of these were in Bryant s Slave Mart.
In January, 1866, the Negroes of Georgia organized the Georgia Educational
Association, whose object was to induce the freedmen to establish and sup
port schools in their own counties and neighborhoods.
In 1867, 191 day schools and 45 night schools were reported as existing. Of
these, 96 were reported either wholly or in part supported by the freedmen,
who also owned 57 of the school buildings.
ARKANSAS : After 1865 they established the first free schools that ever were
in Arkansas. This they did at Little Rock, where, after paying tuition for a
short time, they formed themselves into an educational association, paid by
subscription the salaries of teachers, and made the schools free.
FLORIDA: Among the various agencies engaged in the work of educating
the freedmen of the South are two, consisting of colored people in the south
ern states, and known respectively as the African Civilization Society, and
the Home Missionary Society of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. . .
Several schools were opened at Tallahassee and other places in Florida short
ly after the close of the war.
In 1866 the freedmen erected school houses at their own expense, besides con
tributing from their scanty means towards the support of teachers. They
formed "school societies" and co-operated with the Bureau in furnishing school
lots and erecting buildings.
KENTUCKY: After the war, the thirty schools which were established, in
spite of great obstacles, were mainly supported by the freed people themselves.
NORTH CAROLINA: In 1867 the State Superintendent of Education reported
that many instances had come under his notice where the teachers of a self-
supporting school had been sustained until the last cent the freedmen could
command was exhausted, and where these last had even taxed their credit in
the coming crop to pay the bills necessary to keep up the school.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA : The first school in this district, built expressly for
the education of colored children, was erected by three men who had been
born and reared as slaves in Maryland and Virginia, George Bell, Nicholas
Franklin and Moses Liverpool, about the year 1807.
In 1818 the Bell school house was again taken for educational purposes to
accommodate an association organized by the leading colored men of the city
and for the specific purpose of promoting the education of their race. This
school was established upon the principle of receiving all colored children
who should come, tuition being exacted only from such as were able to pay.
It was more nearly a free school than anything hitherto known.in the city.
This association of free people of color was called the "Resolute Beneficial
Society." Provisions were made for an evening school on the premises and
managers of Sunday schools were informed that on Sabbath days the school
house belonging to this society, if required for the instruction of colored
youth, would be at their service.
There was another free school which was called the Columbian Institute,
which continued for two or three years; established about 1831; it relied
mainly for support upon subscription, 12^ cents a month only being expected
from each pupil, and this amount was not compulsory. Mr. Prout was at the
head of this school.
78 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans
It was in the Smother s school house that they formed their first Sunday
school, and here they continued their very large Sunday school for several
years, the Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church springing ultimately from
the organization. John F. Cook succeeded Prout in 1834.
In 1858 the Smother s house, after the Cook school was removed, was occupied,
two years by a free Catholic school, supported by the St. Vincent de Paul So
ciety, a benevolent organization of colored people. The school was broken up
in 1862 by incendiaries.
Immediately after the war of 1812 a free colored school was founded by an
association of free colored people ; it averaged nearly 300 scholars. The asso
ciation was composed of the most substantial colored people of the city, and
was maintained with great determination and success for a considerable
The most elaborate system, perhaps, was that under General Banks in LOU
ISIANA. It was established in 1863, and soon had a regular Board of Education,
which laid and collected taxes and supported eventually nearly a hundred
schools with 10,000 pupils under 162 teachers, t
In General Howard s first Freedmen s Bureau report, he says:
Schools were taken in charge by the Bureau, and in some states carried on
wholly in connection with local efforts by use of a refugees and freed-
men s fund, which had been collected from various sources. Teachers came
under the general direction of the assistant commissioners r and protection
through the department commanders was given to all engaged in the work. %
The inspector of schools testified :
PETITION FOR SCHOOLS. As showing the desire for education among the
freedmen, we give the following fact: When the collection of a general tax
for colored schools was suspended in Louisiana by military order, the conster
nation of the colored population was intense. Petitions began to pour in. I
saw one from the plantations across the river, at least thirty feet in length,
representing 10,000 Negroes. It was affecting to examine it and note the
names and marks (X) of such a long list of parents, ignorant themselves, but
begging that their children might be educated ; promising that from beneath
their present burdens and out of their extreme poverty, they would pay for it.
The report of 1868 had these figures : ||
The school report for the last six months in 1868 was as follows :
Day schools 1,198
Night schools 228
Tuition paid by freedmen $ 65,819 75
Expended by Bureau 67,208 48
Total cost $180,247 44
Schools sustained wholly by freedmen 469
Scho ols sustained in part by freedmen 531
School buildings owned by freedmen 364
School buildings furnished by Bureau 417
White teachers 1,031
Colored teachers 713
Total enrollment 81,878
Average attendance 58,790
Pupils paying tuition 26,139
* Public Schools in the District of Columbia, Barnard, 1868-70; Schools of the Colored
Population, 1801-1861. M. B. Goodwin.
i Negro Common School, p. 22. \ Ibid., p. 23. Ibid., p. 25. [[ Ibid., pp. 28-29.
The report of the Bureau for 1869 which summed up the work, said :
The foregoing report shows that not more than one-tenth of the children of
freedmen are attending school. Their parents are not yet able to defray the
expenses of education. They are already doing something, probably more in
proportion to their means, than any other class. During the last year it is
estimated that they have raised, and expended for the construction of school
houses and the support of the teachers not less than two hundred thousand
dollars ($200,000). They have shown a willingness to help, and as they prosper
and acquire property, they will assume a larger share of the burden, either
by voluntary contributions or by the payment of taxes for the support of
The freedmen assist in the support of their schools to the extent of their
ability. As their condition is improved, their willingness to contribute for
education, as they always have for religious interests, exhibits itself in the
largely augmented amount paid for the support of schools. Forty-four thous
and three hundred and eighty-six pupils paid $106,866.19 for tuition. This is by
far the largest aggregate sum we have yet had the privilege of reporting;
while many thousands of dollars were expended for board and salaries of
teachers, and for construction of school houses, of which we received no re
port, the actual amount of which would greatly increase the above sum.
The total schools, attendance and disbursements of the Freedmen s
Bureau were as follows:*
Increase of Education
1867 . . .
Expenditures for Schools
$ 123,655 39
$ 82,200 00
$ 18,500 00
200,000 00 i
$ 224,359 39
8 785,700 00
$ 5,879,924 00
Finally the Negro carpet bag governments established the public
Although recent researches have shown in the South some germs of a public
school system before the war, there can be no reasonable doubt but what com
mon school instruction in the South, in the modern sense of the term, was
founded by the Freedmen s Bureau and missionary societies, and that the
state public school systems were formed mainly by Negro reconstruction
Negro Common School, pp. 30-32.
f Estimated by the Bureau officials.
80 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans
governments. The earlier state constitutions of Mississippi "from 1817 to 1865
contained a declaration that Religion, morality and knowledge being neces
sary to good governments, the preservation of liberty and the happiness of
mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged. 7
It was not, however, until 1868 that encouragement was given to any general
system of public schools meant to embrace the whole youthful population.
In Alabama the Reconstruction Constitution of 1868 provided that "It shall be
the duty of the Board of Education to establish throughout the state, in each
township or other school district which it may have created, one or more
schools at which all the children of the state between the ages of 5 and 21
years may attend free of charge." In Mississippi the constitution of 1868
makes it the duty of the legislature to establish " a uniform system of free
public schools, by taxation or otherwise, for all children between the ages of 5
and 21 years." Arkansas in 1868, Florida in 1869, Louisiana in 1868, North Caro
lina in 1869, South Carolina in 1868 and Virginia in 1870 established school sys
tems. The constitution of 1868 in Louisiana required the General Assembly to
establish "at least one free public school in every parish," and that these
schools should make no "distinction of race, color, or previous condition."
Georgia s system was not fully established until 1873. *
As Albion Tourgee said : tc They instituted a public school system in
a region where public schools had been unknown."
Today the efforts of Negroes to encourage education take three forms :
Aid to private schools.
Aid to public schools.
(a) Church Schools.
The African Methdodist Episcopal Church has the following school
The African Methodist Episcopal Church began in 1844 to start schools for
Negroes. A committee was appointed and founded Union Seminary. Later
this institution was united with Wilberforce University, which was bought
by the church from the white Methodist Church. Thus Wilberforce, dating
from 1856, is the oldest Negro institution in the land. The church has now
about twenty-five schools in all. They are supported from three sources : 1.
Tuition, etc., paid by students ; 2. Donations and bequests; 3. Appropriations
from the general fund of the church. From these sources about $275,000 was
raised in the four years, 1896-1900; and since 1884, when the General Educa
tional Department was organized, there has been raised $1,250,000 for education.
The figures are :
Average attendance, four years 3,tt93
Acres of land 1,482
Value of property $ 535.000.00
Raised and appropriated, 1S9H-1900 . . 270,988.54
Raised and appropriated, 1884-11(00. . . . 1,140,013.81
Negro Common School, p. 37.
African Methodist Episcopal Schools Receipts 1896-1900 <
Payne Theological Seminary, Wilberforce, O. . .
Wilberforce University, Wilberforce, O
$ 15,5360 48
Morris Brown College. Atlanta, Ga
Kittrell College Kittrell N. C
Paul Quinn College, Waco, Tex
Allen University, Columbia, S. C
Western University, Quindan, Kan
Edward Waters College, Jacksonville, Fla
Shorter University, North Little Rock, Ark....
Payne University, Selma, Ala
Campbell-Stringer College, Jackson, Mo
Wayman Institute, Harrodsburg, Ky
Turner Normal Institute, Shelbyville, Tenn
Flagler High School, Marion, S. C
Delhi Institute, Delhi, La
Sisson s High School, South McAlister, I. T. . . .
Blue Creek and Muscogee High School, I. T
Morsell Institute, Hayti
Bermuda Institute, Bermuda
Zion Institute Sierra Leone, Africa
Eliza Turner School, Monrovia, Africa
Cape Town Institute, Cape Town, Africa . .
The Colored Methodist Episcopal Church has five schools:
Payne College of Augusta, Ga.
Texas College of Tyler, Texas.
Lane College of Jackson, Tenn.
Homer Seminary of Homer, La.
Haygood Seminary of Washington, Ark.
The white Methodist Church, South, helps in the support of Payne
The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church had these institutions
in 1901. (Several schools had not reported when this report was read) :t
NAME OF SCHOOL
Hannon and Lomax
$ 57,193 05
Money raised by Secretary
$ 71,585 21
There were the following additional schools :
Atkinson College, Madisonville, Ky.
Palmetto Institute, Union, S. C.
Edenton Industrial High School, Edenton, X. C.
Negro Church, pp. 129-30.
f Ibid., pp. 132-33.
Economic Co=operation Among Negro Americans
Lloyd Academy, Elizabeth town, N. C.
Hemphill High School, Crockett, Ga.
Pettey Academy, Newburn, N. C.
Lomax and Rutler Academy, Tampa, Fla.
Carr Academy, North Carolina.
Lee Institute, Amite City, La.
Pettey Institute, Calvert, Texas.
African Methodist Episcopal Zion High School, Norfolk, Va.
Perhaps the most extensive educational work is done by the Negro
Baptists: The Negro Baptists support 107 schools, as follows:*
List of Institutions by States
Opelika High School
Wynne Normal and Industrial Institute . .
Southeast Baptist Academy
Florida Baptist College
West Florida Baptist Academy
Institutional Church School
Fernandina Bible College
Central City College
Southern Illinois Polytechnic Institute
New Livingstone Institute
Indiana Colored Baptist Institute
Sango Baptist College
Topeka Industrial Institute
Cadiz Theological Institute
Female High School
Glasgow Normal Institute
Eckstein Norton University
London District College
Baton Rouge Academy
Houma Academy :
Morgan City Academy
Ope lousas Academy
Central Louisiana Academy
The National Baptist Year Book, 1907.
List of Institutions by States Continued
Monroe High School
North Louisiana Industrial High School .
Thirteenth Dist. Nor. and Col. Institute . .
Clayton Williams Institute
Gloster High School
Meridian High School
Nettletoii High School
Greenville High School
New Albany High School
Kosciuskp Industrial College
Baptist Normal and Industrial School
Shiloh Industrial Institute
Thomson s Institute
Addle Norris Institute
Albemarle Training School.
New Berne Institute
Burgaw Normal Institute
Colon Training and Industrial School
Peace Haven Institute
Charleston Normal and Indus. Institute. . .
Nelson Merrv College .
Lexington Normal School .....