The Education of the Negro Prior to 1861 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 402 pages of information about The Education of the Negro Prior to 1861.

“Canada West has adopted a good system of public instruction, which is well administered.  The common schools, though inferior to those of several of the States of the United States, are good.  Colored children are admitted to them in most places; and where a separate school is open for them, it is as well provided by the government with teachers and apparatus as the other schools are.  Notwithstanding the growing prejudice against blacks, the authorities evidently mean to deal justly by them in regard to instruction; and even those who advocate separate schools, promise that they shall be equal to white schools.

“The colored children in the mixed schools do not differ in their general appearance and behavior from their white comrades.  They are usually clean and decently clad.  They look quite as the whites; and are perhaps a little more mirthful and roguish.  The association is manifestly beneficial to the colored children.”  See Howe, The Refugees, etc., p. 77.]

[Footnote 2:  Siebert, The Underground Railroad, p. 226.]



The development of the schools and churches established for these transplanted freedmen made more necessary than ever a higher education to develop in them the power to work out their own salvation.  It was again the day of thorough training for the Negroes.  Their opportunities for better instruction were offered mainly by the colonizationists and abolitionists.[1] Although these workers had radically different views as to the manner of elevating the colored people, they contributed much to their mental development.  The more liberal colonizationists endeavored to furnish free persons of color the facilities for higher education with the hope that their enlightenment would make them so discontented with this country that they would emigrate to Liberia.  Most southern colonizationists accepted this plan but felt that those permanently attached to this country should be kept in ignorance; for if they were enlightened, they would either be freed or exterminated.  During the period of reaction, when the elevation of the race was discouraged in the North and prohibited in most parts of the South, the colonizationists continued to secure to Negroes, desiring to expatriate themselves, opportunities for education which never would have been given those expecting to remain in the United States.[2]

[Footnote 1:  The views of the abolitionists at that time were well expressed by Garrison in his address to the people of color in the convention assembled in Philadelphia in 1830.  He encouraged them to get as much education as possible for themselves and their offspring, to toil long and hard for it as for a pearl of great price.  “An ignorant people,” said he, “can never occupy any other than a degraded place in society; they can never be truly free until they are intelligent.  It is an old maxim that

Project Gutenberg
The Education of the Negro Prior to 1861 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook