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.

“Your memorialists are well aware of the delicate nature of the subject to which the attention of the Legislature is called, and of the necessity of proceeding with deliberation and caution.  They propose some radical changes in the law of slavery, demanded by our common christianity, by public morality, and by the common weal of the whole South.  At the same time they have no wish or purpose inconsistent with the best interests of the slaveholder, and suggest no reform which may impair the efficiency of slave labor.  On the contrary, they believe that the much desired modifications of our slave code will redound to the welfare of all classes, and to the honor and character of the State throughout the civilized world.”

The attention of the Legislature was then asked to the following propositions:  “1.  That it behooves us as christian people to establish the institution of matrimony among our slaves, with all its legal obligations and guarantees as to its duration between the parties. 2.  That under no circumstances should masters be permitted to disregard these natural and sacred ties of relationship among their slaves, or between slaves belonging to different masters. 3.  That the parental relation to be acknowledged by law; and that the separation of parents from their young children, say of twelve years and under, be strictly forbidden, under heavy pains and penalties. 4.  That the laws which prohibit the instruction of slaves and free colored persons, by teaching them to read the Bible and other good books, be repealed.”—­African Repository, vol. xxxi., pp. 117, 118.


On the sailing of almost every expedition we have had occasion to chronicle the departure of missionaries, teachers, or a physician, but not until the present time, that of a lawyer.  The souls and bodies of the emigrants have been well cared for; now, it is no doubt supposed, they require assistance in guarding their money, civil rights, etc.  Most professional emissaries have been educated at public expense, either by Missionary or the Colonization Societies, but the first lawyer goes out independent of any associated aid.  Mr. Garrison Draper, a colored man of high respectability, and long a resident of Old Town, early determined on educating his only son for Africa.  He kept him at some good public school in Pennsylvania till fitted for college, then sent him to Dartmouth where he remained four years and graduated, maintaining always a very respectable standing, socially, and in his class.  After much consultation with friends, he determined upon the study of law.  Mr. Charles Gilman, a retired member of the Baltimore Bar, very kindly consented to give young Draper professional instruction, and for two years he remained under his tuition.  Not having any opportunities for acquiring a knowledge of the routine of professional practice, the rules, habits, and courtesy of the Bar, in Baltimore, Mr. Draper spent some few months in the office of a distinguished lawyer in Boston.  On returning to the city to embark for Liberia, he underwent an examination by Judge Lee of the Superior Court, and obtained from him a certificate of his fitness to practice the profession of law, a copy of which we append hereto.

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