Forgot your password?  

Resources for students & teachers

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

[Footnote 4:  Howe, The Refugees from Slavery, pp. 70, 71, 108, and 110.]

[Footnote 5:  According to Drew a True Band was composed of colored persons of both sexes, associated for their own improvement.  “Its objects,” says he, “are manifold:  mainly these:—­the members are to take a general interest in each other’s welfare; to pursue such plans and objects as may be for their mutual advantage; to improve all schools, and to induce their race to send their children into the schools; to break down all prejudice; to bring all churches as far as possible into one body, and not let minor differences divide them; to prevent litigation by referring all disputes among themselves to a committee; to stop the begging system entirely (that is, going to the United States and thereby representing that the fugitives are starving and suffering, raising large sums of money, of which the fugitives never receive the benefit,—­misrepresenting the character of the fugitives for industry and underrating the advance of the country, which supplies abundant work for all at fair wages); to raise such funds among themselves as may be necessary for the poor, the sick, and the destitute fugitive newly arrived; and prepare themselves ultimately to bear their due weight of political power.”  See Drew, A North-side View of Slavery, p. 236.]

The good results of these schools were apparent.  In the same degree that the denial to slaves of mental development tended to brutalize them the teaching of science and religion elevated the fugitives in Canada.  In fact, the Negroes of these settlements soon had ideals differing widely from those of their brethren less favorably circumstanced.  They believed in the establishment of homes, respected the sanctity of marriage, and exhibited in their daily life a moral sense of the highest order.  Travelers found the majority of them neat, orderly, and intelligent[1].  Availing themselves of their opportunities, they quickly qualified as workers among their fellows.  An observer reported in 1855 that a few were engaged in shop keeping or were employed as clerks, while a still smaller number devoted themselves to teaching and preaching.[2] Before 1860 the culture of these settlements was attracting the colored graduates of northern institutions which had begun to give men of African blood an opportunity to study in their professional schools.

[Footnote 1:  According to the report of the Freedmen’s Inquiry Commission published by S.G.  Howe, an unusually large proportion of the colored population believed in education.  He says:  “Those from the free States had very little schooling in youth; those from the slave States, none at all.  Considering these things it is rather remarkable that so many can now read and write.  Moreover, they show their esteem for instruction by their desire to obtain it for their children.  They all wish to have their children go to school, and they send them all the time that they can be spared.

Follow Us on Facebook