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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 341 pages of information about The Education of the Negro Prior to 1861.

[Footnote 1:  Mott, Biographical Sketches, p. 87.]

[Footnote 2:  Redpath, Roving Editor, etc., p. 161.]

[Footnote 3:  Parsons, Inside View, etc., p. 248.]

[Footnote 4:  Burke, Reminiscences of Georgia, p. 85.]

[Footnote 5:  Simmons, Men of Mark, p. 126.]

[Footnote 6:  Drew, Refugee, p. 152.]

Probably the best example of this class was Harrison Ellis of Alabama.  At the age of thirty-five he had acquired a liberal education by his own exertions.  Upon examination he proved himself a good Latin and Hebrew scholar and showed still greater proficiency in Greek.  His attainments in theology were highly satisfactory. The Eufaula Shield, a newspaper of that State, praised him as a man courteous in manners, polite in conversation, and manly in demeanor.  Knowing how useful Ellis would be in a free country, the Presbyterian Synod of Alabama purchased him and his family in 1847 at a cost of $2500 that he might use his talents in elevating his own people in Liberia.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Niles Register, vol. lxxi., p. 296.]

Intelligent Negroes secretly communicated to their fellow men what they knew.  Henry Banks of Stafford County, Virginia, was taught by his brother-in-law to read, but not write.[1] The father of Benedict Duncan, a slave in Maryland, taught his son the alphabet.[2] M.W.  Taylor of Kentucky received his first instruction from his mother.  H.O.  Wagoner learned from his parents the first principles of the common branches.[3] A mulatto of Richmond taught John H. Smythe when he was between the ages of five and seven.[4] The mother of Dr. C.H.  Payne of West Virginia taught him to read at such an early age that he does not remember when he first developed that power.[5] Dr. E.C.  Morris, President of the National Baptist Convention, belonged to a Georgia family, all of whom were well instructed by his father.[6]

[Footnote 1:  Drew, Refugee, etc., p. 72.]

[Footnote 2:  Ibid., p. 110.]

[Footnote 3:  Simmons, Men of Mark, p. 679.]

[Footnote 4:  Ibid., p. 873.]

[Footnote 5:  Ibid., p. 368.]

[Footnote 6:  This is his own statement.]

The white parents of Negroes often secured to them the educational facilities then afforded the superior race.  The indulgent teacher of J. Morris of North Carolina was his white father, his master.[1] W.J.  White acquired his education from his mother, who was a white woman.[2] Martha Martin, a daughter of her master, a Scotch-Irishman of Georgia, was permitted to go to Cincinnati to be educated, while her sister was sent to a southern town to learn the milliner’s trade.[3] Then there were cases like that of Josiah Settle’s white father.  After the passage of the law forbidding free Negroes to remain in the State of Tennessee, he took his children to Hamilton, Ohio, to be educated and there married his actual wife, their colored mother.[4]

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