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.
such genuine Indications of Sincerity, that it is impossible to suspect their Professions, especially when attended with a truly Christian Life and exemplary Conduct.—­My worthy Friend, Mr. Tod, Minister of the next Congregation, has near the same Number under his Instructions, who, he tells me, discover the same serious Turn of Mind.  In short, Sir, there are Multitudes of them in different Places, who are willing, and eagerly desirous to be instructed, and embrace every Opportunity of acquainting themselves with the Doctrines of the Gospel; and tho’ they have generally very little Help to learn to read, yet, to my agreeable Surprise, many of them, by the Dint of Application in their Leisure-Hours, have made such a Progress, that they can intelligibly read a plain Author, and especially their Bibles; and Pity it is that many of them should be without them.  Before I had the Pleasure of being admitted a Member of your Society [Mr. Davies here means the Society for promoting religious Knowledge among the Poor, which was first begun in London in August, 1750] the Negroes were wont frequently to come to me, with such moving Accounts of their Necessities in this Respect, that I could not help supplying them with Books to the utmost of my small Ability; and when I distributed those among them, which my Friends with you sent over, I had Reason to think that I never did an Action in all my Life, that met with so much Gratitude from the Receivers.  I have already distributed all the Books I brought over, which were proper for them.  Yet still, on Saturday Evenings, the only Time they can spare [they are allowed some short Time, viz., Saturday afternoon, and Sunday, says Dr. Douglass in his Summary.  See the Monthly Review for October, 1755, page 274] my House is crowded with Numbers of them, whose very Countenances still carry the air of importunate Petitioners for the same Favors with those who came before them.  But, alas! my Stock is exhausted, and I must send them away grieved and disappointed.—­Permit me, Sir, to be an Advocate with you, and, by your Means, with your generous Friends in their Behalf.  The Books I principally want for them are, Watts’ Psalms and Hymns, and Bibles.  The two first they cannot be supplied with any other Way than by a Collection, as they are not among the Books which your Society give away.  I am the rather importunate for a good Number of these, and I cannot but observe, that the Negroes, above all the Human Species that I ever knew, have an Ear for Musick, and a kind of extatic Delight in Psalmody; and there are no Books they learn so soon, or take so much Pleasure in as those used in that heavenly Part of divine Worship.  Some Gentlemen in London were pleased to make me a private Present of these Books for their Use, and from the Reception they met with, and their Eagerness for more, I can easily foresee, how acceptable and useful a larger Number would be among them.  Indeed, Nothing would be a greater Inducement to their Industry to learn to read, than the Hope of such a Present; which they would consider, both as a Help, and a Reward for their Diligence"....—­Fawcett’s Address to the Christian Negroes in Virginia, etc., pp. 33. 34. 35. 36, 37. 38.

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The Education of the Negro Prior to 1861 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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