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.
had a colored school, maintained by a society of benevolent clergymen of the Church of England, with a handsome fund for a mistress to teach thirty children reading and writing.  Providence did not exhibit such activity until the nineteenth century.  Having a larger black population than any other city in New England, Boston was the center of these endeavors.  In 1798 a separate school for colored children, under the charge of Elisha Sylvester, a white man, was established in that city in the house of Primus Hall, a Negro of very good standing.[1] Two years later sixty-six free blacks of that city petitioned the school committee for a separate school, but the citizens in a special town meeting called to consider the question refused to grant this request.[2] Undaunted by this refusal, the patrons of the special school established in the house of Primus Hall, employed Brown and Hall of Harvard College as instructors, until 1806.[3] The school was then moved to the African Meeting House in Belknap Street where it remained until 1835 when, with funds contributed by Abiel Smith, a building was erected.  An epoch in the history of Negro education in New England was marked in 1820, when the city of Boston opened its first primary school for the education of colored children.[4]

[Footnote 1:  Special Report of U.S.  Com. of Ed., 1871, p. 357.]

[Footnote 2:  Ibid., p. 357.]

[Footnote 3:  Next to be instructor of this institution was Prince Saunders, who was brought to Boston by Dr. Channing and Caleb Bingham in 1809.  Brought up in the family of a Vermont lawyer, and experienced as a diplomatic official of Emperor Christopher of Hayti, Prince Saunders was able to do much for the advancement of this work.  Among others who taught in this school was John B. Russworm, a graduate of Bowdoin College, and, later, Governor of the Colony of Cape Palmas in Southern Liberia.  See Special Report of the U.S.  Com. of Ed., 1871, p. 357; and African Repository, vol. ii., p. 271.]

[Footnote 4:  Special Rep. of the U.S.  Com. of Ed., 1871, p. 357.]

Generally speaking, we can say that while the movement for special colored schools met with some opposition in certain portions of New England, in other parts of the Northeastern States the religious organizations and abolition societies, which were espousing the cause of the Negro, yielded to this demand.  These schools were sometimes found in churches of the North, as in the cases of the schools in the African Church of Boston, and the Sunday-school in the African Improved Church of New Haven.  In 1828 there was in that city another such school supported by public-school money; three in Boston; one in Salem; and one in Portland, Maine.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Adams, Anti-slavery, p. 142.]

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