The Education of the Negro Prior to 1861 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 341 pages of information about The Education of the Negro Prior to 1861.
knowledge is power; and not only is it power but rank, wealth, dignity, and protection.  That capital brings highest return to a city, state, or nation (as the case may be) which is invested in schools, academies, and colleges.  If I had children, rather than that they should grow up in ignorance, I would feed upon bread and water:  I would sell my teeth, or extract the blood from my veins.”  See Minutes of the Proceedings of the Convention for the Improvement of the Free People of Color, 1830, pages 10, 11.]

[Footnote 2:  Special Report of the U.S.  Com. of Ed., 1871, pp. 213-214; and The African Repository, under the captions of “Education in Liberia,” and “African Education Societies,” passim.]

The policy of promoters of African colonization, however, did not immediately become unprogressive.  Their plan of education differed from previous efforts in that the objects of their philanthropy were to be given every opportunity for mental growth.  The colonizationists had learned from experience in educating Negroes that it was necessary to begin with the youth.[1] These workers observed, too, that the exigencies of the time demanded more advanced and better endowed institutions to prepare colored men to instruct others in science and religion, and to fit them for “civil offices in Liberia and Hayti."[2] To execute this scheme the leaders of the colonization movement endeavored to educate Negroes in “mechanic arts, agriculture, science, and Biblical literature."[3] Exceptionally bright youths were to be given special training as catechists, teachers, preachers, and physicians.[4] A southern planter offered a plantation for the establishment of a suitable institution of learning,[5] a few masters sent their slaves to eastern schools to be educated, and men organized “education societies” in various parts to carry out this work at shorter range.  In 1817 colonizationists opened at Pasippany, New Jersey, a school to give a four-year course to “African youth” who showed “talent, discretion, and piety” and were able to read and write.[6] Twelve years later another effort was made to establish a school of this kind at Newark in that State,[7] while other promoters of that faith were endeavoring to establish a similar institution at Hartford, Connecticut,[8] all hoping to make use of the Kosciuszko fund.[9]

[Footnote 1:  African Repository, vol. i., p. 277.]

[Footnote 2:  African Repository, vol. ii., p. 223.]

[Footnote 3:  Ibid., vol. xxviii., pp. 271, 347; Child, An Appeal, p. 144.]

[Footnote 4:  African Repository, vol. i., p. 277.]

[Footnote 5:  Report of the Proceedings at the Organization of the African Education Society, p. 9.]

[Footnote 6:  African Repository, vol. i., p. 276, and Griffin, A Plea for Africa, p. 65.]

[Footnote 7:  African Repository, vol. iv., pp. 186, 193, and 375; and vol. vi., pp. 47, 48, 49, and Report of the Proceedings of the African Education Society, p. 7.]

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