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By E. Braxton, after painting by Meusseux, considered one of his best portraits 
(Courtesy of the Negro Society for Historical Research) 




His Evolution in Western Civilization 




Author of "Typical Negro Traits," etc., Corresponding Member of "The Negro 

Society for Historical Research " and Sometime Reader of Occasional Papers 

BEFORE The American Negro Academy and other Literary Societies 


New Haven, Conn., U. S. A. 

The Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor Press 



Copyright, 1913. by 
William H. Ferris, A.M. 

©CI,A3 5;f45 9 '^ 


PART IV.— (Continued.) 




Ripley's "Races of Europe" — The Negro an Offshoot from 
the Mediterranean Race, which in Primitive Times Popu- 
lated Europe and North Africa — The Negro Racially 
Allied to the Arab, the Egyptian, the Phoenician, the 
Homeric Greek, the Etruscan and the Iberian 523 


African Civilization and Professor Alexander Chamberlain 
on the Negro in Ancient Civilization 537 

Sergi's Theory in his own words 552 

Africa To-Day — Augustus Keane, Professor Chamberlain 
and others on Africa 565 

Hayti, the Black Republic 606 

Final Word Regarding Hayti 623 

iv The African Abroad. 



The Progress of the Colored People in America, Based on 
the Census of 1900 and Preceding Censuses — Progress of 
the Colored People Based on the Census of 19 10 631 

The Negro as an Explorer, Revolutionist and Soldier 652 

Some Colored History-Makers During the Revolution and 
Anti-Slavery Days — Introduction of American Slaves . . . 683 

Some Connecticut Abolitionists — Slavery Days in Torring- 
ton — Prudence Crandall — John Brown 714 


A Word Concerning Charles Sumner — Hon. Charles Sumner 
Bird and Francis W. Bird's Connection with Charles 
Sumner 732 

The Negro in Politics 739 

Some Colored History Makers of the Reconstruction Days 761 

Some Colored History Makers of To-Day 775 

Some Prominent and Talented Colored People of To-Day. . 805 

Some Distinguished Foreign Negroes 822 







Some Men of Color Who Are Doing Big Things and Mak- 
ing History — Thomas Walker, Judge E. M. Hewlett, 
Dr. I. N. Porter, J. E. Bruce, A. A. Schomburg, George 
Washington Forbes, Professor John Wesley Cromwell, 
Dr. W. Bishop Johnson, William Stanley Braithwaite, 
Henry M. Tanner and Professor Wm. H. H. Hart 855 


The Three Spiritual Leaders of the American Negro — Presi- 
dent William S. Scarborough of Wilberforce University, 
the Dean of Negro Scholars; Rev. Francis J. Grimke, 
D.D., of Washington, D. C, the Dean of Negro Preachers 
and Theologians, and Hon. Archibald H. Grimke, the 
Dean of Negro Orators and Writers 883 


The Negro as Leader (continued) — A Critical Examination 
of the Scientific Validity and Historical Truth of Dr. 
Washington's Optimism 898 


Dr. Wm. E. Burghardt Du Bois and the Other Colored 
Leaders: The Warring Gods on Mt. Olympus — Dr. 
DuBois's Place in History 910 

vi The African Abroad. 




Introduction to the Forty Colored Immortals — The Eminent 
Colored Men who Almost Reached the Pinnacle of Fame 
and Almost Found a Place in the Negro Hall of Fame . . 927 


The Negro as Hero-King — Thothmes I of Eg>'pt and King 
Amenhotep III of Egypt 940 


The Negro as Hero (continued) — Mohammed Askia, the 
African Charlemagne, the Ruler of the Songhays 953 


The Negro as Hero (continued) — Colonel Henry Diaz o 
Brazil — Oge — Toussaint L'Ouverture — General Ibraham 
Hannibal of Russia — Chevalier Sainte Georges — General 
Alexander Dumas — Emperor Menelik — General Alfred 
Amedee Dodds 957 


The Negro as Scholar — Juan Latino — Ahmed Baba — 
Abderrahman Sadi of Timbuctoo — Amo — Capitein — 
Francis Williams — Geoffrey L'Islet — Julien Raimond — 
Benjamin Banneker — Bishop Adjai Crowther and Sarbah 
(Prof. C. C. Cook) 974 

PART IV.— (Continued.) 







Ripley's "Races of Europe" — The Negro an OffsJioot from the 
Mediterranean Race, which in Primitive Times Populated 
Europe and North Africa — The Negro Racially Allied to the 
Arab, the Egyptian, the Phoenician, the Homeric Greek, the 
Etruscan and the Iberian. 

The New International Encyclopaedia, edited by the late Presi- 
dent D. C. Oilman of Johns Hopkins University, Professor Harry 
Thurston Peck of Columbia University, and Mr. Colby, and the 
Americana Encyclopaedia are liberal enough to declare that the 
population of Ancient Thebes, the Isle of Meroe and Abyssinia 
represented a blending- of the Hamites, Asiatics and the Negroes. 
But now we come to the most epoch-making ethnological theory 
ever advanced; a theory which goes a step further and claims 
that the Hamites, who settled in North Africa, Egypt, Nubia and 
Ethiopia, and the Negroes are offshoots from the same race 
stock — a theory which claims that the Negroes, the Egyptians, 
the Arabs, the Phoenicians, the classical Greeks, and possibly the 
Etruscans and the Iberians, are all members and branches of the 
Mediterranean race, which, in primitive times, in the stone age, 
overran Europe and the British Isles. 

How is this proved ? From the study of the skulls. The crania 
of the branches of the Mediterranean race are all dolichocephalic 
or long-headed. Where were these dolichocephalic or long-headed 
skulls found? In the lowest substrata of soil in Greece, Italy, 
France, Spain and other parts of Europe. In the layers of soil 
above the substratum the brachycephalic or broad-headed skulls 
are found. What books disclose these novel and astonishing 
theories? Sergi's "Mediterranean Race," published in the Con- 
temporary Science Series, and Ripley's "Races of Europe," 
delivered as Lowell Institute lectures and published by Appleton 
& Company in 1899. Who are Sergi and Ripley? Sergi is a 
professor in the University of Rome and William Z. Ripley is 
assistant professor of sociology in the Massachusetts Institute of 

524 The African Abroad. 

Technology and lecturer on anthropology in Columbia University. 
They are the Copernicuses of anthropology and ethnology. 
Lippurt, Quatrefages, Oscar Peschel, Taylor, Brinton and Keane 
have admirably performed their task of holding the attention of 
the audience, while the scenes were shifting and the real heroes 
of modern ethnological research were rehearsing their parts and 
getting in shape to step before the footlights and reveal those 
astonishing ethnological truths which will revolutionize the 
world's estimate of and attitude towards the Negro. 

The last quarter of the nineteenth century teemed with more 
scientific discoveries than any other twenty-five years of the 
world's history. It was in that period that the new psychology 
came to the front, which banished to the limbo of exploded theo- 
ries the idea of there being a separate bundle and group of 
faculties and showed that it is the Self that functions and acts 
in different ways. It was in that period that the science of 
sociology was born, that the biological supplanted the mechanical 
theory of the universe. It was that period which saw the rise 
of the science of embryology and the propagation of the hypothe- 
sis of Darvv'in and \\'eismann's theory of heredity. It was that 
period which gave birth to the germ theory of disease and anti- 
septic surgery and scientific agriculture. It was then that the 
X-ray was discovered, that the properties of radium were 
revealed, that Marconi prepared himself to flash his first mes- 
sage across the sea by wireless telegraphy. And it was that 
period in which the old theory of five separate and distinct races 
was discarded and relegated to the rear, and the new ethnology 
swept upon the stage. 

When I was studying history and geography in the public 
schools of New Haven, over a score of years ago, I was taught 
that there were five separate and distinct races, namely : the 
Caucasian, a white race; the IMongolian, a yellow race; the 
Malay, a brown race ; the Indian, a red race ; and the Negro, a 
black race. When I studied sociology under the celebrated Pro- 
fessor William Graham Sumner of Yale, about sixteen years 
ago, I read in Peschel's "Races of Man" and other anthropo- 
logical works that there were seven instead of five races ; that all 
members of the Caucasian were not white, for the dark Hindoo 
was of the same Aryan stock as the fair, flaxen-haired, blue- 

Ripley's "Races of Europe." 525 

eyed Anglo-Saxon ; that all Negroes were not black ; that the 
Hottentots and Papuans were not Negroes; and that the Indian 
was copper-colored. Then it was taught that the Caucasian race 
was divided into four groups — the Aryan, the Turanian, the 
Semitic and the Hamitic. The Hindoos, the Greeks, the Romans, 
the Germans, Franks and Celts were the great races or stocks, 
who had a common home and origin in the fields and pastures of 
Asia. ]\Iax jMiiller's Sanscrit theory of language, showing that 
the roots of the common words of these peoples, such as mother, 
father and brother, could be traced to the Sanscrit, demonstrated 
this fact. Max Miiller's Sanscrit theory was in the air when I 
was at Yale and Harvard. 

Then the Huns, the Hungarians, Bulgarians and Russians were 
supposed to belong to the Turanian race. The Arabs and Jews 
were branches of the Semitic race. The Phoenicians, Cartha- 
ginians. Egyptians and Ethiopians were Hamites, or a Caucasian 
race which settled in north and northeastern Africa. I remem- 
ber that Professor Sumner warned us not to accept all that we 
read in books on sociology, anthropology and ethnology. I am 
glad that his "Folk Ways," which far surpasses any sociological 
work yet published, has seen the light of publication and I 
regret that he was not spared to give to the world his two 
contemplated books. I remember, too, that Professor George 
Trumbull Ladd of Yale said, as we were reading Lotze's 
"]\Iicrocosmus," "the origin of man is shrouded in mystery." 
And I thank these two eminent scholars and thinkers for caution- 
ing and warning us against believing that the science of anthro- 
pology had had its last say. That is why my mind was open to 
welcome the theories of Sergi and Ripley. 

What have Sergi and Ripley accomplished ? They have shown 
that separate and distinct races have no existence except in the 
heated imaginations of the Bourbons of the South. They have 
shown that the nations and races of Europe are very hetero- 
geneous ; that the Jew is not a pure race ; that there are dolicho- 
cephalic or long-headed Jews, which indicates that somewhere in 
Africa there may have been a slight infusion of Ethiopian blood 
in the Jewish race. They have shown that the Etruscans and the 
Greeks of Homer's day were not Aryans but members of the 
Mediterranean race, from which the Negro race sprang. They 

526 The African Abroad. 

have shown that the Arab, supposed to be a Semite, and the 
Phoenicians and Egyptians, supposed to be Caucasian Hamites, in 
reality came from the same parent stem from which the African 
Negro was derived. In a word, they have shown that the Negro 
is racially allied to the Egyptian, the Phoenician, the Carthaginian, 
the classical Greek, the Etruscan, the Iberian and the Arab. They 
have shown that thousands of years ago the Mediterranean race 
dwelt on the north shores of Africa; that this race spread over 
Europe and Africa; that the civilization portrayed in Homer's 
"Iliad" was the civilization of the Mediterranean race; that the 
Etruscans, the great tower builders, who paved the way for the 
Roman civilization, were a blending of the Mediterranean and 
the Alpine races ; that the Greek of the age of Pericles repre- 
sented a blending of invading Aryans and the Mediterranean 
race ; that first the Mediterranean, then the Alpine, and finally the 
Aryan race overran Europe; that the invading Aryans, who 
burned their dead, adopted conquest and peaceful immigration as 
their mode of infiltration ; that the Mediterranean race was partly 
conquered and partly absorbed and assimilated. But the signifi- 
cant fact for us to know is that the despised and persecuted Negro 
came from the same parent stem as the Egyptian, Phoenician, 
Carthaginian, Arabian, the early Hellenes and the Etruscans. 

I shall let Ripley tell his wonderful story, which reads like a 
romance, in his own words. On page 265, Ripley says: 

All that we know historically of the Etruscans is that at a very early 
period they invaded the territory of the Umbrians, who certainly preceded 
them in the peninsula. Their advent was characterized by a highly 
evolved culture, from which that of the Romans developed. For the 
Etruscans were the real founders of the Eternal City. 

On page 269, Ripley asks : 

Which of these two cranial forms unearthed in their tombs, one 
Mediterranean, one Alpine, represents the Etruscans proper and which 
represents the population subjugated by them? . . . Perhaps, and it 
seems indeed most probable, Sergi is right in asserting that the Etruscans 
were really composed of two ethnic elements, one from the north, 
bringing the Hallstatt civilization of the Danube valley, the other Medi- 
terranean both by race and by culture. The sudden outburst of a notable 
civilization may have been the result of the meeting of these two streams 
of human life at this point midway of the peninsula. 

Ripley's "Races of Europe." 527 

On page 272, Ripley says : 

Beyond the Pyrenees begins Africa. Once that natural barrier is 
crossed, the Mediterranean racial type in all its purity confronts us. 
The human phenomena is entirely parallel with the sudden transition 
to the flora and fauna of the south. The Iberian population tlius isolated 
from the rest of Europe, are allied in all important anthropological 
respects with the peoples inhabiting Africa north of the Sahara, from 
the Red Sea to the Atlantic. These people are characterized, as we have 
seen, by a predominant long-headedness. 

On page 2yy, Ripley again says : 

We must describe the modern African population of Hamitic speech 
very briefly. It falls into two great divisions — the Oriental and the 
Western. In the first are included the entire population of northeastern 
Africa from the Red Sea throughout the Soudan, Abyssinia, the Nile 
valley and Tunis. The second or western group is the only one to-day 
in contact or close affinity with Europe, although both groups are a 
unit in physical characteristics. 

The physical traits of these Berbers are at once appai"ent by reason of 
their isolation from all admixture with the other ethnic types of Europe. 
In many cases the slightly concaved nose in profile is characteristic, sug- 
gesting the Negro. This frequently occurs among the Sardinians also. 
The hair of these people is the most African trait about them. Among 
all the Hamites from Abyssinia to Morocco, it varies from European 
wavy form to the crisp, curly variety. This may with certainty be 
ascribed to admixture with the Negro tribes south of the Sahara. Our 
Moor from Senegal, on the opposite portrait page, offers an illustration 
of this variety of hair. Upon the soft and wavy-haired European stock 
has surely been ingrafted a Negro cross. 

On page 387, Ripley continues: 

On the other hand, the peoples of African or Negro derivation form 
a radical contrast, their heads being quite long and narrow, with indices 
ranging from 75 to 78. This is the type of the living Arab to-day. Its 
peculiarity appears in the prominence of the occidental region in our 
Arab and other African portraits. . . . From the Semites in the Canary 
Islands, all across northern Africa, fo central Arabia itself, the cephalic 
indices of the nomadic Arabs agree closely. They denote a head form 
closely allied to that of the long-headed Iberian type, typified in modern 
Spaniards, south Italians and the Greeks. It was the head form of the 
ancient Phoenicians and Egyptians also, as has been proved recently 
beyond all question. Thus does the European Mediterranean type shade 
off in head form, as in complexion also, into the primitive anthropologi- 
cal type of the Negro. 

528 The African Abroad. 

On page 407, Ripley says : 

All authorities agree that the ancient Hellenes were decidedly long- 
headed, betraying in this respect their affinity to the Mediterranean race, 
which we have already traced throughout southern Europe and Africa. 
Whether from Attica, from Schleimann's successive cities excavated upon 
the site of Troy, or from the coast of Asia Minor ; at all times from 
400 B. C. to the third century of our era, it would seem proved that 
the Greeks were of this dolichocephalic type. 

Contintiing, Ripley says, on the top of page 408: 

As we shall see, every characteristic in their modern descendants and 
every analogy with the neighboring populations leads us to the con- 
clusion that the classical Hellenes were distinctly of the Mediterranean 
racial type, little different from the Phoenicians, the Romans or the 

On page 500, Ripley comments : 

It does not require a great credulity to admit of tliis hypothesis, that 
the Hallstatt people were of Mediterranean type. Were not the Greek, 
the Phoenicians and the Egyptians all members of this same race? 
One single difficulty presents itself. Over in Italy, throughout the 
valley of the Po, an entirely analogous civilization to that of the Eastern 
Alps occurs. ... It would seem admissible to assume that when the 
modern brachycephalic Alpine race submerged the native one, it brought 
new elements of civilization with it. 

On page 457 of his great work, he concludes that : 

Concerning race, first of all, we may hold four propositions to be 
fairly susceptible of proof. They are as follows: The European races, 
as a whole, show signs of a secondary or derived origin, certain char- 
acteristics, especially the texture of the hair, lead us to class them as 
intermediate between the extreme primary types of the Asiatics and the 
Negro races respectively. 

On page 461, he says: 

The earliest and lowest strata of population of Europe were extremely 
long-headed: probability points to the living Mediterranean race as the 
most nearly representative of it to-day. 

7^ In pages 416 to 465 of that book, Ripley shows that the Medi- 
terranean race was the primitive race in Europe. 
On page 463 he says : 

Then began the discovery of abundant prehistoric remains all over 
Europe, particularly in France. These with one accord tended to show 

Ripley's "Races of Europe." 529 

that the European aborigines of the stone age were not Mongoloid like 
the Lapps after all, but the exact opposite. In every detail they 
resembled rather the dolichocephalic Negroes of Africa. 

On pages 465 and 466 of that book, he says : 

If, therefore, as all consistent students of natural history hold to-day, 
the human races have evolved in the past from some common root 
type, this predominant dark color must be regarded as the more primitive. 
It is not permissible for an instant to suppose that ninety-nine per cent, 
of the human species has varied from a blond ancestry, while the 
flaxen-haired Teutonic type alone has remained true to its primitive 

These Berbers and their fellows, in fact, shading off as they do into the 
Negro race south of the Sahara, we must regard as having least 
departed from the aboriginal European type. 

On page 467, Ripley states his third proposition. He says : 

It is highly probable that the Teutonic race of northern Europe is 
merely a variety of this primitive long-headed type of the stone age; 
both its distinctive blondness and its remarkable stature having been 
acquired in the relative isolation of Scandinavia, through the modifying 
influences of environment and artificial selection. 

On page 670, Ripley states his fourth proposition. He says : 

^ It is certain that after the partial occupation of western Europe by 
a dolichocephalic Africanoid type in the stone age, an invasion by a 
broad-headed race of decidedly Asiatic affinities took place. This intru- 
sive element is represented to-day by the Alpine type of central Europe. . . 
We know that the broad-headed layer of population was not contem- 
porary with the earliest stratum we have described above, because its 
remains are often found directly superposed upon it geologically. From 
all over western Europe comes testimony to this effect. We have seen in 
preceding chapters how clear the distinction was in Britain, Russia and 
northern Italy. France gives us the clearest proof of it. Oftentimes 
where several layers of human remains are found in caves or other 
burial places, the long-headed type is quite unmixed in the lowest stratum, 
gradually the other type becomes more frequent until it outnumbers its 
predecessor utterly. 

On page 473, Ripley remarks : 

The Alpine type approaches all the other human millions on the Asiatic 
continent, in the head form especially, but in hair color and stature as 
well, also prejudices us in the matter; just as the increasing long- 
headedness and extreme brunetteness of our Mediterranean race led 
us previously to derive it from some type parent to that of the African 

53° The African Abroad. 

Negro. These points are then fixed ; the roots of the Alpine race run 
eastward ; those of the Mediterranean type toward the south. 

On page 479, Ripley says : 

Brinton is inclined to derive the Aryan (language) from this third 
source — the languages of the Hamitic peoples of northern Africa. 
Keane, following out this thought, is inclined to regard the Basque as 
another European relic of the same primitive stock. This theory of an 
Afro-European origin of the Aryan speech has much to recommend it, 
especially in view of the undoubtedly Negroid physical affinities of the 
most primitive substratum of European population. 

Its principal defect as yet is the extreme tenuity of the proof of any 
linguistic relation not only between Basque and Berber, but also between 
Hamito-Semitic and Aryan. 

On page 481, Ripley thus sums up : 

As a net result of the discussions above described, the present status 
of the Aryan question among philologists is somewhat as follows: 
Some, Delbriick, for example, deny that any parent language ever was; 
some, like Whitney, refuse to believe that its center of origin can 
ever be located; some, with Pick and Hoefer, still adhere to Pictet's 
old theory of Asiatic derivation; some, notably Sayce, have been con- 
verted from this to tlie European hypothesis; Max Miiller is wavering, 
while Brinton and Keane urge the claims of northern Africa; and some, 
following Latham and Schrader, have never found good cause for 
denying the honor to Europe from the first. 

What shall we say of this wonderful theory? If it be true, 
as Sergi and Ripley have conclusively demonstrated, that the 
Negro sprang from the same Mediterranean race, from the same 
parent stem from which the Homeric Greek, the Etruscan, the 
Iberian, the Phoenician, the Egyptian and the Arab descended, it 
partly accounts for his artistic, oratorical and musical gifts; it 
partly explains why the Negro has in a less developed form the 
eye for color and beauty, the creative imagination and the fluency 
of speech which characterized the Hellenes. 

We can well understand how the tropical heat and climatic 
influences, operating through centuries, darkened his complexion 
and curled his hair. But how explain that he alone of the 
Mediterranean race made no contribution to civilization, that he 
did not develop but remained a savage? The enervating and 
energy-sapping properties of the heat of the torrid zone, and 
the ease with which everything grows in the tropics, and the fact 

Ripley's "Races of Europe." 531 

that the Negro in the heart of Africa was remote from contact 
with a more advanced civilization, and away from that intercourse 
with other nations which quickens the intellect and broadens 
knowledge, explains why the African Negro has remained 
stationary intellectually. 

Then reflect also that long after the Phoenicians had invented 
the alphabet, long after the Ethiopians on the Isle of Meroe had 
constructed their wonderful tombs, buildings and monuments, 
long after Egypt had erected her pyramids, long after Athens 
had reached the acme of intellectual development in the age of 
Pericles, and Phidias had planned the Parthenon, long after Rome 
had built the Coliseum, the ancestors of the proud Anglo-Saxon 
were roaming as savages in German forests, and the ancestors 
of the gifted Celtic people were offering up human sacrifices on 
Druidic altars. If any one had told Pericles twenty-four cen- 
turies ago, or Julius Caesar two thousand years ago, that the 
descendants of those German savages and barbarians would erect 
buildings and monuments 612 feet high, throw a suspension bridge 
a mile in length across a river and send an underground tube 
forty and fifty feet below a river bed, through which cars would 
be whirled by electricity at the rate of a mile in two minutes ; if 
any one had told them that this race would construct a horseless 
carriage that would cover a mile in less than a minute, would 
reproduce the human voice through a phonograph, cast moving 
pictures upon a canvas, talk through a phone with a man fifteen 
hundred miles away, send a message by wireless telegraphy across 
the sea. discover an X-ray that could penetrate through the 
human flesh and detect a bullet lodged in the bone, send a leaden 
ball by the explosive force of gunpowder over a mile, invent a 
boat that would sail under water, and the aeroplane that could fly 
like a bird ; if any one had told these statesmen that these fierce 
savages would bridge chasms, tunnel under mountains, send a 
canal through the Isthmus of Suez, bring up coal, oil, gold, cop- 
per and silver from the depths of the earth, measure the distance 
of the stars and compute the rapidity of their movements ; would 
in Shakespeare produce a poet who surpassed Homer, in Milton 
and Goethe produce poets who rivalled Vergil ; in Carlyle would 
produce a historian who surpassed Thucydides and Tacitus in 
moral insight; in Kant and Hegel and Lotze and Ladd and 

532 The African Abroad. 

Royce would produce philosophers who would make the specula- 
tions of Plato and Aristotle look like day dreams — Pericles and 
Caesar would have regarded him as insane. So who can foretell 
what the Negro will not do in the future ? 

The fact that this race has, in Henry Daiz, the Brazilian hero, in 
the Russian Hannibal, in Menelik and Toussaint L'Ouverture, pro- 
duced brilliant generals ; in Blyden and Amo produced profound 
philosophers ; in Capitein, Francis Williams, Blyden, J. C. Ayler, 
and Scarborough, produced linguists; in Crummell produced a 
Plutarch ; in the Zulu Seme, a wonderful orator ; in Smith- 
wick of Yale, a master of Roman law ; in Oreshatukeh Faduma, 
a Hebrew scholar and theologian ; in Kelly Miller, a mathema- 
tician ; in Granville Woods, an inventor ; in Dr. I. N. Porter 
of New Haven, Conn., a wonderful physician; in Dunbar, a poet, 
and in J. C. Price, a matchless orator, shows the capacity of a 
pure or almost pure Negro. 

But some may say that these are the exceptions and the excep- 
tions but prove the rule. Yes, but bear in mind that only a small 
minority of the Egyptians, Hebrews,*Greeks, Romans, Germans, 
French, Englishmen and Americans have blazed out new paths in 
literature, art, science, business, politics and invention. The vast 
majority but trod the way that others had prepared, and enjoyed 
the fruit of the thought and genius of a few gifted individuals. 
No, the fact that the African and American and Haytien Negro 
has done little in the past but discuss, argue and criticize, does 
not argue that this race will not achieve in the future as its 
racially allied stocks have in the past. 

Then, too, we must remember that the Negroes, living for 
centuries in the heart of Africa, were removed from the centers 
of both eastern and western civilization. And contact with the 
centers of civilization is the intellectual sunshine and rainfall 
which quickens the slumbering germs of intelligence in an 
undeveloped race. 

Take the Hebrews, that gifted race which gave to the world 
the monotheistic conception of Deity. They did not evolve their 
unique moral and religious ideals entirely out of their own con- 
sciousness. They were taken captives by the Egyptians, Baby- 
lonians, Assyrians and Persians. They were conquered by the 
Greeks and Romans. They early came in contact with the Phceni- 

Ripley's "Races of Europe." 533 

cians, who brought new ideas as well as foreign goods. And they 
derived new ideas by association with these races. The relation 
between the Logos doctrine of the Gospel of John and Neo 
Platonic philosophy has been clearly shown. Dr. Xordau refers 
to the influence of the civilization of Cheto upon Israel. Then, 
too, Lolie shows that many ideas, poetic figures and characteristics 
of style in the Bible, which were supposed to be of purely Hebrew 
origin, were really derived from the Akkads and were of purely 
Akkadian origin. 

"In 1906," Nordau says, "excavations at Boghazko discovered 
Cheto, the capital of an empire of that name. Nothing is known 
of that empire, save a Theban inscription referring to a treaty 
between its Emperor and Rameses III." "But," says Dr. Nordau, 
"between 1500 and iioo B. C. this empire had in all probability 
a profound influence on Judea and Israel, hitherto unsuspected 
by historians." 

Lolie, in his comparative literature, says on page 6, regarding 
the people of Sumer and Akkad, who lived near the "confluence 
of the Euphrates and Tigris" between 4500 to 2000 B. C, when 
they were overwhelmed by a "Semitic" invasion and conquest : 

They left behind them among those who replaced them, Assyrians, 
Phcenicians, or Jews, an abundant and prolific written tradition. The 
Jews, in particular, who much later succeeded them, were greatly indebted 
to them. The expression of ideas or images and the poetical figures that 
have been regarded for centuries as purely Biblical and which extorted 
homage for the inspired word of the Hebrews, and even for the very 
characteristics of the style, such as the repetition of the identical idea 
in other words in the same sentence — these are now shown to be of 
purely Akkadian origin by the latest researches of epigraphical science. 
In the Psalms attributed to David we find the formulae of the ancient 
race of Akkad, and we hear an echo of its prayers. 

Indeed, it is true of the four great race stocks, the Hebrews, the 
Greeks, the Germans, and the Anglo-Saxons, who have con- 
tributed new ideas to civilization, that the impulse for their won- 
derful development at first came from the outside. Some other 
race or nation first dropped the seed that later in the racial soil 
attained to such surprising growth. And while Rome had her- 
self derived political and military organization, in matters of 
civilization she sat at the feet of Greece. So the failure of the 

534 The African Abroad. 

African Negro as a whole to attain a high civilization cannot be 
attributed to inherent racial inferiority. Thus we must regard 
the Negro as an undeveloped rather than an inferior or backward 
race. And I believe that the Negro's marvelous ability to absorb 
and assimilate a higher civilization will be clearly demonstrated 
in the twentieth century. 

G. Spiller, organizer of the First Universal Races Congress, in 
his "Science and Race Prejudice,"' which first appeared in ''The 
Sociological Review," October, 1912, says: 

'' Sir Harry Johnston claims that "there is an ancient Negroid strain 
underlying the populations of Southern and Western France, Italy, Sicily, 
Corsica, Sardinia, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Wales, and Scotland," and 
that "there is something of the Red Indian in the people of Scotland 
and Ireland, of Germany, Northern Russia, Tartary, and Siberia, due to 
the continued existence in these regions of a very ancient admixture 
between the proto-Caucasian and the Alongol, which assisted to people 
not only Northern Europe and Asia, but also North America." 

Add to this "that nowhere in the world exists a pure white race" 
(Johnston), and that other races are similarly situated, and it becomes 
manifest that it is as reasonable to explain Western civilization by the 
influx of "coloured" blood into Europe as to explain Eastern civilization 
by the infiltration of "white" blood. 

The greatness of ancient Eg)-pt has been attributed to the Eg}-ptians 
crossing with other races, notably with the Negroes, who were always 
held in high esteem by the Egyptians; c. g., several of the Queens of 
Egj'pt were Negresses. (Dr. H. Weisgerber, Les Blancs d'Afrique, 1910, 
pp. 206-7, p. 377-) 

The Eg}'ptian monuments at the British Museum almost invariably 
portray the Egj-ptian with decidedly Negroid lips and with features akin 
to those of the Negro, just as the Assyrian on his monuments, portrays 
himself with thin lips and hooked nose. 

First, we note the significant fact that the two great European civiliza- 
tions of ancient times — Athens and Rome — had their seat in the most 
Eastern portion of Europe, and secondly that the cradle of the white 
peoples is said to be the Caucasus or, according to some writers, Asia. 

The dark-white European on the borders of the East appears, there- 
fore, to be the pioneer of Western culture, and it would be interesting 

Ripley's "Races of Europe." 535 

to know precisely how far proximity to the civilizations of the East, 
warmth of climate, and crossing with neighbouring Eastern peoples (who 
were often themselves Negroid), offered an explanation of the greatness 
of Athens and Rome. 

*" Professor Lyde, of University College, London, held that "there is 
no doubt that difference of skin colour is one of the greatest racial 
barriers, and yet there can be little doubt that it is entirely a matter of 
climatic control." 

Professor von Luschan is as decided in this matter as Professor Lyde : 
"We now know that colour of skin and hair is only the effect of environ- 
ment, and that we are fair only because our ancestors lived for thousands, 
or probably for tens of thousands, of years in sunless and foggy countries. 
Fairness is nothing else but lack of pigment, and our ancestors lost part 
of their pigment because they did not need it. Just as the proteus 
sanguineus and certain beetles became blind in caves, where their eyes 
were useless, so we poor fair people have to wear dark glasses and 
gloves when walking on a glacier, and get our skin burned when we 
expose it unduly to the light of the sun. (Ibid., p. 14.)" 

Such a highly distinguished administrator, traveller, and author as Sir 
Harry Johnston expresses himself as follows on this subject in the 
Contemporary Review of August, 191 1: "We should indeed be living in 
a fool's paradise if we continued to assume that a Negro could never 
attain to the high mentality of a white man, or equal him as an inventor, 
an artist, a strategist, a writer." And, after giving some illustrations, he 
continues : "I should not be surprised, within the remainder of my life- 
time, to see emerging from the Negro ranks in America, West or 
South Africa, a first-class botanist, philologist, electrician, engineer, 
statesman, or novelist." 

William Archer, on page 218 of his work "Through Afro- 
America," says : 

The South, which boasts itself almost the last stronghold of pure 
A-nglo-Saxondom, is told that the pure Anglo-Saxon is a myth, not a 
superstition. As to the Negro we are assured that we were all Negroes 
once, or something very much to that effect. At any rate, it is asserted 
that the Mediterranean races, with whom Western civilization originated, 
were in great part of Negro origin. 

On May 6, 1913, E. G. H. of Doble Walls, Okla., had an inter- 
esting letter in the New York Sun, headed "Anglo-Saxons." An 
impatient Oklahoman swats a "Race" and myth that weary 
him. Among other things the writer said : 

53^ The African Abroad. 

Ethnologists are pretty well agreed that the northern "long heads" 
are of the same race as the dark Mediterranean peoples, only bleached 
out by long residence in a cool, moist climate. Both appear to be 
descendants of a nigrescent race that came into Europe from Africa. 
The culture of Europe comes largely from the ruddy brachycephalic race 
that came into Europe from Asia and passes under the name of Celts. 
Civilization, however, was given to the world by dark, southern peoples — 
Chaldeans, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. Nietzsche's "blond beasts" 
certainly "have nothing on" the Greeks in intellect nor on the Romans 
in war. 

The idea that Germans, English and Americans are "Anglo-Saxons" 
is so absurd that it is difficult to understand how any intelligent person 
can entertain it. While there seem to be three great races in Europe — • 
blonds in the north, brunettes in the south and the ruddy Celts between — 
there are probably only two, Celts and Iberians, the latter being light 
in the north and dark in the south, the Celts coming from Asia, the 
Iberians from Africa. These peoples became interfused in prehistoric 
times, so that in any period of which we have any account they are 
practically one people. This is especially true of Germanic peoples, for 
the reason that the Celtic invasion was in central Europe, and the 
Germans were as much affected by it as the French. 


African Civilization and Professor Chamberlain on the Negro 

in Ancient Civilization. 

Perhaps the reader has been perplexed and bewildered by the 
multitude of theories advanced in the recent chapters. Three of 
the positions taken are tenable; with regard to the fourth, the 
result is a drawn battle. But more can be said for than against it. 

First — It is undoubtedly true that the ancient Ethiopians 
attained a high degree of civilization. 

Secondly — It is probably true that there was a strain of Negro 
blood in the ancient Egyptian race. 

Thirdly — It is probably true that there was more Negro 
than Caucasian Hamitic and Semitic blood in the Ethiopian race, 
and it is possible that the Negro strain was predominant. 

With regard to the Mediterranean origin of civilization and 
the fact of the Negro in remote antiquity being a remote branch 
of this race, I am not enough of an ethnologist to speak with, 
what the German philosopher Kant would call, apodictic cer- 
tainty. Some eminent authorities have supported the former view 
and others both the former and the latter views. But I will not 
be the judge. I will present the evidence and permit the reader 
to render his verdict. I will let the authorities, M. D. Maclean, 
Chamberlain, Volney, Herodotus, J. Y. Myers, Angelo, Masso 
and Sergi, speak for themselves in their own language. 

Whether the reader wholly agrees with these writers, he will 
at least admit that their views are backed by immense evidence 
and are worthy of serious consideration. 

So many new theories have been advanced in science, ethnology 
and anthropology during the past ten years that they have not 
been thoroughly sifted and the chaff separated from the wheat. 
But it is well for the reader to know what the hypotheses are and 
what the evidence is upon which they are based. 

In her contribution to The Crisis, entitled "African Civiliza- 
tion," Mrs. M. D. Maclean has the following to say: 

538 The African Abroad. 

A recent press dispatch tells a curious tale of a German explorer 
who has found, in a remote region of Africa, a bronze head of fine 
workmanship. The explorer, according to the cable, has been led to 
believe that he has discovered the sight of the legendary country of 
Atlantis, represented in ancient Greek literature as an island of high 
civilization lying far to the west. 

It is to be doubted whether the explorer made any such deduction from 
his find. The Atlantis portion of the story may be the embellishment of 
an imaginative correspondent, for that long disappeared country has 
been sought and found in so many places that scientists are wary of 
talking about it. What would seem a more reasonable explanation of 
the discovery is that another evidence of an ancient African civilization 
has been brought to light. 

Whenever traces of a high civilization have been found in Africa the 
first question asked used to be: "Where was it brought from?" Nobody 
was prepared to entertain the idea that perhaps it was not borrowed 
from anybody but originated on the spot, among the native races. As 
time goes on, however, and more evidence of a very ancient development 
appears in Africa, scientists have come to the conclusion that Africa 
played a very important part in the first stages of the world's history. The 
testimony of the monuments has been too much for the other theory. 

For instance, some years ago, there was a good deal of a sensation 
over the discovery of so-called Phoenician remains in upper Rhodesia. 
They were probably, said the dispatches, the remains of dwellings that 
surrounded King Solomon's mines. Investigation has shown conclusively 
that they were nothing of the sort, but merely remnants of a native 
civilization. Mr. David Randall-Maclver of Oxford University went to 
Rhodesia full of enthusiasm for the Phoenician theory, but after a care- 
ful investigation his published work left no doubt on the subject. There 
was nothing about the ruins in the remotest fashion Phoenician or 
Oriental or anything but African. 

Even more startling result's have followed the last ten years of exca- 
vations in the upper Soudan. They are not only giving a vast amount of 
information as to the early history of the Negro but are strengthening 
the claim that the black man, not the white man, was the first to discover 
the art of working metals and gave his knowledge, which was the first 
great step forward in civilization, to Europe and nearer Asia. Dr. 
Schweinfurth, the famous German ethnologist, and Dr. von Luschan, of 
the University of Berlin, have about converted European scientists to 
this way of thinking, while in this country the theory is supported by 
our greatest anthropologist, Professor Boas, of Columbia. 

It is not an easy task to put together from the many unrelated accounts 
of excavations in Africa all that has been discovered as to the black man's 
past, but it is safe to say that every discovery has tendered to confirm 
the accounts of African civilization which have come down to us as 
legends from antiquity. 

African Civilhation. 539 

There existed, of course, until quite recent times a high civilization 
among the blacks of the upper Nile. From Arab books many of the 
details of this country's customs and government have been gathered and 
translated into French. Lady Lugard's book, "A Tropical Dependency," 
gives perhaps the best popular accounts of these records. But in addition 
to these modern records the country is full of monuments of a great 
antiquity, older than the most ancient records of the Egyptians, going 
back centuries before Pharaoh's daughter found Moses in the bulrushes. 

How far Egypt took its civilization from the black empire and how 
far the two cultures originated simultaneously, from a common source, 
will not be decided until all of the ruins have been unearthed and their 
records read, but it looks as if old theories were turning upside down, 
as if the black nations of certain regions of Africa were not races in their 
infancy but the descendants of powerful civilizations broken by the slave 
trade and by misfortune in successive wars. 

The Egyptians always said that their forefathers learned their arts 
and largely received their laws from the black people further south. And 
of course, throughout the pages of Homer the Ethiopians are spoken of 
with great respect, like the ancient Cretans as the friends of the Gods. 
The "blameless Ethiopians" is a common phrase. 

Herodotus, many centuries before the Christian Era, told tales of 
Africa which passed as the purest fiction until a few years ago. A 
famous instance is his assertion that a race of pygmies existed in the 
interior. For centuries historians shook their heads over this, as an 
example of imagination running away with fact, when suddenly it was 
discovered that Herodotus was perfectly right. Similarly his tales of the 
ancient empire south of Egypt are being verified from the monuments 
built by the very people of whom the historian wrote to celebrate their 
victories and honor their gods. 

The most ancient inscriptions along the upper Xile have not been 
deciphered. The story of the Land of the Blacks is pretty well known, 
however, as far back as the eighth centur>' before Christ. 

In view of the common origin of the two civilizations and their close 
interrelation it is natural enough to find the doings of the black kings 
chronicled after the same fashion as their Egyptian cousins. 

Their writing is like that of the Egyptian and the gods they wor- 
shipped were closely related to the gods of Egypt. We learn from the 
inscriptions that when Piankhi, the black king, conquered Egypt in 750 
B. C, he worshipped, without question, in Egyptian temples and the 
carving in the excavated ruins, which show men and women unmistakably 
Negro, give evidence of the similarity of religion. Only the idea now is 
that civilization came down the Nile instead of going up. 

The black empire appears to have been pretty well run. When the 

Nubians conquered Egypt they seem to have abolished the death penalty 

and set the prisoners to work on public improvements. Indeed, it 

would appear that among the blacks there was no custom of putting 


540 The African Abroad. 

men to death. When it seemed well that a criminal should be removed 
he was told of the fact and allowed to commit suicide. Even the King 
was obliged to commit suicide at the command of his people. 

When Cambyses, the king of Persia, conquered Egypt he was anxious 
to see for himself whether the stories of the greatness of the black 
empire were true. He sent to the king gifts of gold and palm wine and 
incense, and asked to be informed whether or not it was true that on 
a certain spot called "The Table of the Sun," the magistrates put every 
night provisions of cooked meats so that anyone who was hungry might 
come in the morning and help himself. 

The black king, Nastasenen, received the envoys peacefully, though 
without enthusiasm. He showed them the table of the sun, as described 
to Cambyses, and took them to the prison where the prisoners wore 
fetters of gold that the Persian might be properly impressed. He did 
not admit, however, that the palm wine was good. 

Cambyses made war on the blacks but did not succeed in gaining much 
ground, so he gave up the idea of winning for himself the gold that 
was so common in the Negro empire. 

Candace, the black queen, was a famous figure of the empire, tales of 
whose prowess spread to Greece. It would appear from the monuments, 
however, that the kingdom was at that time ruled by queens, each bearing 
the name of Candace. This accounts for the different descriptions of 
the lady, some showing her as very beautiful and some allowing her 
but one eye and painting her as very much of a harriden. 

These kings and queens, whose records have been deciphered, are of 
comparatively recent years — not more than 2,500 or 3,000 years old. 
Even more interesting will be the results of the excavations of the older 
ruins. "The Ethiopians," says Herodotus, "were the first men who 
ever lived," and if they were not the lirst to live it would seem fairly 
well established that they were either the first or among the first to 
found a civilization. 

Within the last ten years there has been dug out in Crete the remains 
of a civilization two thousand years more ancient than any hitherto 
known in Egypt. We have the actual buildings, the theatres, palaces, 
and temples, of Crete in 3000 B. C, and we know as facts what was 
guesswork even in Homer's time. Now, that there was communication 
between Crete and Egypt 2,000 years before Christ is certain. One of 
the frescoes found at Crete shows some religious ceremonial done very 
much in the Egyptian style. Some of the priestesses are white, while 
others are black. How far back the connection between the African 
and Cretan civilization dates is a question soon perhaps to be settled. 

At any rate there appear to have been two great civilizations at a very 
early time, that in the Nile country, begun and largely maintained by 
black men, and that in Crete. The Cretans seem to have been a dark 
race, rather small, with regular, almost Greek profiles, and full lips. 
Nothing has been found to indicate that civilization came to them or to 
Africa from Asia, whence it was once thought all knowledge originated. 

African Civilisation. 541 

Everything so far unearthed in Crete and in the Soudan seems to favor 
the theory that all around the Mediterranean there arose, in the Stone 
Age, a common race of men who, in the course of centuries, developed 
differing physical characteristics, and they peopled Europe and Africa, 
where the first civilization arose in Crete and the Soudan. 

So we see that five centuries ago there was a high civilization which 
fell before some barbarian invasion, just as Rome fell two thousand 
years ago and remained for centuries only a romance and a dream. 
Everywhere we find evidence that there was no one commanding race, 
that all developed, some faster than others, a civilization. 

In some respects we appear to have been traveling in a circle; certainly 
there have been considerable declines in civilization from time to time, 
dark ages that followed periods of greatness. There has been no steady 
evolution from the cave man to the twentieth-century person who is 
so sure he stands at the summit. Man seems to have progressed more 
or less like the famous frog who jumped three feet and fell back two — 
only sometimes man fell back four. 

Alexander Francis Chamberlain, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of 
Anthropology in Clark University, Worcester, Mass., in his 
remarkable article, entitled, "The Contribution of the Negro to 
Civilization," published in the Journal of Race Development, in 
April, 191 1, gives striking testimony to the infusion of Negro 
blood into the Ancient Egyptian race, showing that the mothers 
of Amen-hotep I and Amen-hotep III, who built the great temple 
of Ainmon at Luxor and the IMemnonian Colossi, were Negresses. 
He also shows that a Negro general led a Japanese army cen- 
turies ago. 

Professor Chamberlain says in that article: 

The contributions of the Negro to human civilization are innumerable 
and immemorial. Let us first get some glimpses of him chiefly as an 
individual, in contact with the past of other cultures than his own. 
Ancient Egypt knew him, both bond and free, and his blood flowed in 
the veins of not a few of the mighty Pharaohs. Nefertari, the famous 
Queen of Aahmes, the King of Egypt, who drove the Hyksos from the 
land and founded the Eighteenth Dynasty (ca. 1700 B. C), was a Negress 
of great beauty, strong personality, and remarkable administrative ability. 
She was for years associated in the government with her son, Amen- 
hotep I, who succeeded his father. Queen Nefertari was highly venerated 
and many monuments were erected in her honor ; she was venerated 
as "ancestress and founder of the Eighteenth Dynasty" and styled 
"the wife of the god Ammon," etc. Another strain of Negro blood came 
into the line of the Pharaohs with Mutemua, wife of Thothemes III, 

542 The African Abroad. 

whose son Amenhotep III, had a Negroid physiognomy. Amenhotep III 
was famous as a builder and his reign (ca. 1400 B. C.) is distinguished 
by a marked improvement in Egyptian art and architecture. He it was 
who built the great temple of Ammon at Luxor and the colossi of Memnon. 
Besides these marked individual instances, there is the fact that the 
Egyptian race itself in general had a considerable element of Negro blood, 
and one of the prime reasons why no civilization of the type of that of 
the Nile arose in other parts of the continent, if such a thing were at 
all possible, was that Egypt acted as a sort of channel by which the genius 
of Negroland was drafted off into the service of Mediterranean and 
Asiatic culture. In this sense Egyptian civilization may be said, in some 
respects, to be of Negro origin. Among the Semitic people, whose civili- 
zations were so numerous and so ancient on the shores of the Mediter- 
ranean and throughout western Asia, the Negro, as in Egypt, made his 
influence felt, from the lowest to the highest walks of life, sometimes 
as a slave, sometimes as the freest of citizens. As cup-bearer, or con- 
fidential adviser, he stood next to kings and princes, and as faithful 
eunuch he enhanced and extended the power of the other sex in lands 
where custom confined them to the four walls of their dwellings or 
restricted to the utmost their appearance and their actions in public. 
And women from Ethiopia, "black but comely," wives or favorite slaves 
of satraps and of kings, often were the real rulers of Oriental provinces 
and empires. Nor have the Negroes in these Asiatic countries been 
absent from the ranks of the musician and the poet, from the time of 
Solomon to that of Haroun al Raschid and beyond in the days of Emirs 
and Sultans. One must not forget the Queen of Sheba, with her dash 
of Negro blood, said, together with that of the great Solomon, to have 
been inherited by the sovereigns of Abyssinia. When under the brilliant 
dynasty of the Ommiades (661-750 A. D.), the city of Damascus was one 
of the glories of the world, its galaxy of five renowned poets included 
Nosseyeb, the Negro. And we can cross the whole of Asia and find 
the Negro again, for, when, in far-off Japan, the ancestors of the modern 
Japanese were making their way northward against the Ainu, the abo- 
rigines of that country, the leader of their armies was Sakanouye 
Tamuramaro, a famous general and a Negro. 

Gaston Camille Maspero, Hon. D.C.L. and Fellow of Queen's 
College, Oxford, Member of the Institute, etc., refers to the tribes 
surrounding Egypt in a book called the "Struggle of the 
Nations," edited by Professor A. H. Sayce of Oxford, and pub- 
lished by Appleton in 1900. He says on page 233 of that work : 

Most of the remaining tribes were of black blood and such of them 
as we see depicted on the monuments resemble closely the Negroes 
inhabiting Central Africa at the present day. 

African Civilisation, 543 

Note at the foot of the page : 

In addition to the Ethiopian race, represented in the woodcut on page 
232, the types of tributory Negro peoples shown for instance on the 
Theban tombs of the Eighteenth Dynasty and on those of Rakhraire. 
Virey LeTombeau de Rakhmara, page 6, in the Memoires de la Mission 
du Caire, Vol. V, pages 34-36. 

In Chapter XXIV, a new Egyptian tale in his work, "New 
Light on Ancient Eg}'pt," Maspero describes a transaction with 
the King of Egypt and uses the terms Ethiopian, Black and 
Negro as synonymous. 

On page 51 of J. L. Myers' "The Dawn of History," we find: 

The men of the Nile Valley belong essentially to the wide-spread 
"Berger" type, which dominates all the dry area of Northern Africa, as 
well as the Atlas range, and is probably akin to the Arab types in the 
similar region beyond the Red Sea. . . . Negroid folk from the region 
of tropical rains, who have interbred with these aborigines along the 
whole of their common frontier, have been enabled, by their jungle habit, 
to push down-stream far northward of their average extension. 


An Italian savant asserts that Europe was peopled and civilized 
from Africa, and the New York Times for April 9, 191 1, in 
reviewing "The Dawn of Mediterranean Civilization," published 
by the Baker & Taylor Co., speaks 

... of one civilization permeating Egypt, Europe and the islands of 
the Mediterranean in the neolithic age. Admitting that Minoan ships 
made such a thing possible, and that the search for metals led their 
sailors into uncharted seas, the dissemination of culture over such a 
wide area by a people just emerging from savagery seems at first to be 
almost incredible. Yet this is the large impassive idea of the book 
which will be remembered longest and pondered over most. 

The author takes up "the known remains of the stone, copper and 
bronze ages in the entire basin of the Mediterranean with special refer- 
ence to prehistory in Italy and Spain in comparison with that of Egypt, 
Cyprus and Crete. The Valley of the Nile before the Pharoahs, the 
neolithic population of Crete, the origin of art in religion, personal adorn- 
ment, native figures, pre-Homeric navigation and the age of copper in 
Sinai, Crete, Cyprus, Italy, and Spain are described in terms in an ade- 
quate translation from the Italian, and with two hundred odd illustrations." 

The narrative becomes more convincing, however, when this fabric 
of citations from many sources of tabulation, induction, mathematics 
and chemistry is used to drive home the theory mentioned in several 

544 The African Abroad. 

chapters as compelling interest. Africa is made the fountain-head of 
Mediterranean civilization and of migrations northward over Europe. 
The part played by the Asiatic people is considered negligible. The Phoe- 
nicians and Etruscans totter on their traditional pedestals and seem to 
be imitators rather than pioneers. The Indo-Germanic immigrations from 
the east are considered less important than the population and civilization 
of Europe from Africa. 

That so little is positively known of the neolithic period is a limita- 
tion recognized clearly enough, even by the author. The reader cannot 
forget either the tendency of modern scientists to ascribe resemblances 
between human remains as well as plant and animal life in widely sepa- 
rated regions, to independent growth on parallel lines rather than to 
actual relationship. The idea is nevertheless very interesting. 

On page 176 of his "Christianity, Islam and Negro Race," 
BIyden quotes Volney, the noted French traveler, thus : 

When I visited the Sphinx, 1 could not help thinking the figure of that 
monster furnished the true solution of the enigma. When I saw its fea- 
tures, precisely those of a Negro, I recollected the remarkable passage 
of Herodotus in which he says, "for my part I believe the Colchi to be 
a colony of Egyptians, because like them they have frizzled hair, that is, 
that the ancient Egyptians were real Negroes of the same species with 
all the natives of Africa." 

Gibbons gives an account of how the Nobatse, a Negro tribe, 
were persuaded by the Emperor Diocletian of Rome to guard 
the frontiers of the Roman Empire and hold in check the 
Blemnyes, an Egyptian tribe. In his "Fall and Decline of the 
Roman Empire," chapter 13, 29-A, Gibbons says: 

With a view of opposing to the Blemnyes a suitable adversary, Diocle- 
tion persuaded the Nobatae a people of Nubia to remove from their 
ancient habitations in the deserts of Libia, and resigned to them an 
extensive but unprofitable territory above Syene and the Cataracts of the 
Nile, with the stipulation that they should ever respect and guard the 
frontier of the Empire. 

Later the Nobatse and Blemnyes intermingled and intermarried. 


Rawlinson, on page 103 of Vol. II of his "History of Ancient 
Egypt," says of Pepi, who reigned about 3700 B. C. according to 
the chronology of Keane : 

African Civilisation. 543 

His first levies were made in the north among the native Egj'ptians; 
but looking upon the forces thus raised as insufficient he determined to 
obtain the strength that he deemed requisite by calling on the negro 
tribes of the south to furnish him with a contingent. The date at which 
these tribes were made subject to Egypt is uncertain, but it was clearly 
before the time of Pepi ; and his power over them was so completely 
established that he had only to demand troops and they were furnished. 

Thus, in the Sixth Egyptian Dynasty, about 5,600 years ago, 
the Negro had won such a reputation as a fighter that Pepi, 
Egypt's first warrior king, pressed black soldiers into service. 
Thus we see that in the very dawn of history the Negro was 
exhibiting his martial qualities. 


I cannot better conclude my study of Africa than by again 
quoting from Professor Alexander Francis Chamberlain's article 
upon "The Contribution of the Negro to Human Civilization," 
published in the Journal of Race Development in April, 1911. 
Professor Chamberlain brilliantly masses and marshals the 
facts of the native African's achievements in state building, com- 
merce, domesticating animals, in art, music, and his priority in 
iron-smelting. As a whole, his article is the best defense and 
vindication of the Negro that has appeared since Abbe Gregoire 
wrote his famous Enquiry a century ago. Professor Chamberlain 
says : 

Now let us turn more particularly to achievements of race en masse. 
In comparing the achievements of the African Negroes with those of 
the European and Asiatic whites, it must be remembered that the latter 
have had continuously the advantage of the best possible environment 
in the world, and the former as continuously the disadvantage of the 
worst. In other words, the whites have been notably bonused by nature 
at the start, and the number and character of historical experiences which 
they must inevitably have undergone, quite regardless of their intellectual 
or other endowments, have been entirely in their favor. 

The tremendous effect of a favorable environment is seen in the his- 
tory of the white race in the region of the Mediterranean. Europe, Asia 
and Africa have furnished there examples of culture of a high grade in 
which all varieties of the so-called Caucasian type seem to have partici- 
pated. Indeed, any people, sufficiently numerous to have established some- 
what large fixed communities, was reasonably sure of being an important 
member of the Mediterranean series of great cities, kingdoms, empires, 
etc., and of being remembered for something of value in the civilization 
which the world has inherited from the nations of the Mediterranean 

54^ The African Abroad. 

past and present. From prehistoric times to our own day and genera- 
tion, one race only, the Negro, by reason, probably, of being cut off 
by desert or sea, during a long period of its existence, and therefore 
secluded in Africa beyond the "thin line" of the white race on the north, 
seems never to have intruded into the Mediterranean area (or to have 
settled there in any locality) in sufficiently large numbers to have under- 
gone the same historical experience, and to have submitted to the same 
genial influences of environment so stimulating to the other races, which, 
in that region reached so remarkable a stage of social, political, religious 
and intellectual evolution. Out of the coming and going of peoples in 
the Mediterranean area, from the necessities of intercommunication among 
its innumerable centers of culture, arose things, which the more or less 
monotonous and secluded African land areas seemed not to suggest or to 
demand. Thus the appearance of the alphabet was as natural in the 
Mediterranean region at a comparatively early period as it was improbable 
and unexpected in prehistoric Negroland. So, too, the very same phe- 
nomena permitted an earlier disappearance from white civilization of 
many ideas and institutions, the retention of which among the African 
Negroes is more a natural result of their seclusion than an index of 
their intelligence. Such causes and factors of the retardation of Negro 
culture as slavery, polygamy, the belief in witchcraft, etc., are among 
these. Here, again, we must be just in our denunciation of these evils. 
Our own escape from the institution of slavery is still too recent to 
make us very honest boasters (and less than ten years ago we gave it a 
new lease of life under our flag in the Sulu Islands). The vagaries of 
mental healing in twentieth century America but too often suggest some- 
thing quite like the ideas of the uncivilized African. And, are we quite 
sure that the honest simultaneous polygamy of Nigeria is so much less 
moral than the dishonest successive polygamy that coruscates from Reno, 
Nevada ? 


That some of the Negro people of Africa possess actual f^enius for 
social and political organization has been demonstrated again and again, 
particularly in the Sudan (both before and after Arab influence), and 
among the Bantu peoples further to the south. An opinion long held 
in certain quarters that these developments of Negro civilization were 
entirely due to the Arab and Mohammedan influences of the period 
beginning with about 750 A. D., and to earlier Egyptian and Semitic 
contacts, can no longer be sustained. That there has been at the bottom 
of them a basis of real Negro culture is now apparent from the archeo- 
logical and ethnological researches of German, French and English 
investigators in the Sahara, the Sudan and West Africa. What a few 
travelers at the close of the Middle Ages reported they had seen has been 
confirmed by unimpeachable evidence. "Negro culture" is now no more to 
be denied than the existence of the pigmies, which once rested almost 
solely on the statements of Herodotus. The very recent investigations and 

African Civilisation. 547 

studies of Desplagnes, von Luschan, Frobenius, Weule, etc., are adding 
more and more to the culture phenomena, which the Negroes may be 
said themselves to have originated, or having borrowed from other people, 
to have skilfully adapted or improved for their own uses. Back of the 
stone figures of Sherbro, the megaliths of the Gambia, the bronzes of 
Benin, and other little-known aspects of West African art and architec- 
ture, as well as behind the organized political developments in the Sudan, 
etc., lie things that are not easily to be explained as merely waifs from 
Egj'pt or later unintentional gifts from the white race. Here, again, the 
view may open wide and far. Frobenius, who believes that a Negro cul- 
ture of a rather high type once existed in West Africa, christens it 
"Atlantic," and is inclined to think that the Egyptian and Mediterran- 
ean legends immortalized in the "Atlantis" of Plato may have had a 
very real foundation in distorted accounts or forgotten memories of this 
African culture, which some day may have its Odyssey corroborated as 
Schliemann did for Troy. And West Africa is the real Negro country 
from which so many of the slave ancestors of the Afro-Americans were 
stolen away. Liberia, too, lies in this land, and her hopes of the future 
ought to be touched by some reflection from the great past. 

Long before the Mohammedan advent, kings and empires existed in 
Negro Africa. It seems, too, that, subsequently, when the first rush of 
Arab contact was over, the pure Negro element again came into con- 
trol in many cases and carried on indigenous culture, with the skilful 
adaptation of foreign elements, to still higher stages of development. The 
comparison of Negro Africa with contemporary Medieval Europe is most 
interesting and convincing here. The sociological and political phenom- 
ena in both regions of the globe at that time are strikingly similar. Paral- 
lels for the feudal system, the rise and development of the judiciary, 
the evolution of international law, the role of the market and the fair, 
and many other things could as well be studied in the one as in the 
other. The rise of innumerable small states and their ultimate consolida- 
tion into large kingdoms and extensive empires are equally characteristic 
of both. Negro Africa, too, at this period, and since then also, has in 
like manner produced kings and political organizers, who have been men 
of genius, possessing great personalities, and ranking in character and 
ability with the princes and sovereigns of Europe at the time. Such, 
e. g., were the men who ruled the great kingdoms and empires of the 
Sudan, some of which lasted down to the middle of the 19th century, 
when the European mass-contact with this part of the Dark Continent 
practically began. If anyone really wants to know (to use the words 
of Dr. F. Boas) "what the Negro kingdoms of Ghana and Songhai, 
the Empire of Lunda, Bornu, the Kingdom of Katsena, etc., were, let 
him read of the great cities in Negro Africa, such as Engornu (in 
Bornu) and Timbuktu, etc., with their from 30,000 to 50,000 inhabitants; 
Kana in Haussa-land, etc. Barth, the German traveler, who visited this 
part of Negro Africa in 1851-1855, has left on record his impressions of 

548 The African Abroad. 

its civilization and of the men who created and sustained it. Men like 
King Askia of Songhai and Bello, the Sultan of Katsena, who has been 
called "the Napoleon of the Sudan," deserve rank among the great 
figures of the world's history. They are the undeniable proof that the 
Negro race is thoroughly human in its ability to produce men of genius. 
In personal character, in administrative ability, in devotion to the welfare 
of his subjects, in open-mindedness towards foreign influences, and in 
wisdom in the adoption of non-Negro ideas and institutions, King Askia, 
who ruled over Songhai in the early part of the sixteenth century, was 
certainly the equal of the average European monarchs of the time, and 
the superior of many of them. Among the Bantu peof)le of South Africa, 
e. g., the Zulus, etc., great capacity for survival by means of political 
and social organization has been shown in some cases and also con- 
siderable advance toward the ultimate creation of a Christian Negro 
nation at some time in the future. One of the Bantu peoples, the Ovampo, 
has already proceeded so far along the road to self-government, after our 
own ideas, that it has got rid of its old line of hereditary kings and set 
up a sort of republic. 


At the period of early contact with the whites, the great skill and 
finesse of the African Negroes in matters of trade were constantly in 
evidence and became a thing to be described epigrammatically in proverbs, 
one of which ran to the effect that a Negro could beat a Jew or an 
Armenian. And in the chronicles of the period of European advance, we 
meet frequently the question, what will happen "if the blacks get full 
possession of our culture," seeing they can already outdo us with their 
own? It has been said epigrammatically on this point that "the African's 
weakness is not in getting wealth, but in keeping it." The institution 
of the market and the fair, e. g., among the Negro peoples of the Sudan, 
and the development out of it of the village, the town and the city, are 
one of the most interesting phenomena in all the history of human cul- 
ture. Among the questions involved in the evolution of the market 
and the fair are : the greater share of women in public and semi-public 
activities; the breaking down of the narrowness of mere tribal boundaries 
and clan-instincts, consequent upon the gathering together of so many 
people at repeated intervals; the movement toward abolition of war 
through the institution of the market-place and the prohibition of all 
hostile acts during the time of prevalence of fairs, markets, etc. ; the 
amalgamation of peoples resulting from the ultimately permanent char- 
acter of these markets and fairs, and the absorption of those conducting 
them more or less into the general population by the consolidation of 
the temporary city without the walls with the old city within them; the 
influence upon the general honesty and morality of the community of 
the increasing importance of the right of asylum, the protection of the 
stranger within and without the gates, the necessity of honest weights 

African Civilisation. 549 

and measures ; and the autonomy of the market, the market-tax with its 
corollary of protection or free-trade; the question of the laborer and 
his hire ; the market-holiday and its relations to religious and other 
festivals and ceremonial occasions, etc. Indeed, as one looks over the 
long list of questions here at issue, one sees that practically no question 
that is at present a matter of discussion among ourselves, or has been 
such in the progress of our civilization, can be mentioned, which has not 
been involved in the commercial and the economic development of Negro 


Africa is undoubtedly the home of the wild ancestors of several species 
of domestic animals and likewise the continent which saw the first 
shaping of some of them under the hands of man. And it is quite 
reasonable to suppose that in certain cases the beginnings of such domes- 
tication are to be traced to the Negro peoples, whose achievements in 
this field were added to and given wide extension by the Egyptians, 
especially, and by the races of other lineage who took part in the civiliza- 
tions of the Mediterranean and of Western Asia. Cattle-keeping and 
cattle-breeding is an art ancient and now widespread in Negro Africa. 
With some tribes cattle have entered into the economic and the ideal life 
of the people as has the horse, or the sheep with certain Semitic and 
Aryan nations, and, as with them, given a distinct color and tone to 
language and literature. The skill attained by some of the Bantu tribes 
in the maintenance and the utilization of domestic cattle is remarkable. 
Cattle-milking, an accomplishment, which is far from being universally 
human, either in the individual or in the race, is old in parts of Negro- 
land. And here it is worth noting that a civilization as ancient and as 
important as that of China has not yet been added to its common fac- 
tors of economic survival the dairy and its attendant developments. 
And the same might be said of the younger ciyilization of the Japanese, 
as it could also have been said of more than one of the ancient civiliza- 
tions of the Occident, whose range of culture did not include the employ- 
ment of the milk of the cow in human economy. The milk-using African 
would have stood in the classification of Lippert, the German culture- 
historian who maintained, though quite mistakenly, that the use of the 
milk of domestic animals was the sine qua non of qualification for the 
higher reaches of human civilization. But some of the black Africans 
have done more than drink milk fresh from the cow. The Hereros, 
e. g., who well illustrate the development of individuality from a basis 
of pastoral culture, as Deherain informs us, "live upon sour milk," 
having thus anticipated the ideas of Metchnikof, the Russian biologist 
and author of a theory of longevity. Perhaps, if they had first heard of 
its virtues from the Hereros, our patriotic American Negrophobes might 
have declined to have anything whatever to do with it. And maybe 
the Herero dietarians are justified in ascribing to their favorite food 
the strength and the skill exhibited by them in their revolt a few years 

550 The African Abroad. 

ago against the German authorities in Southwest Africa. In the field of 
the domestication of animals and their utilization in human economics the 
Negro has done enough to entitle him to both the gratitude and the 
admiration of mankind. Indeed, some have gone so far as to maintain 
with A. von Frantzius, who in 1878 discussed this topic in the Archiv 
fiir Anthropologie, that Africa was the home of the cow and the Negro 
its domesticator. Whether this be true or not, it is certain that the 
black man is well qualified to have been such. 


Far from possessing no art, the African Negroes have created some of 
the most beautiful art objects to be found in any museum in the wide 
world. We have not yet, as Dr. Boas has pointed out, in this country 
a museum to illustrate fully and adequately the art of the native Africans, 
but in several of the European museums, these are admirably, if not 
exhaustively, represented. Dr. Frobenius, in his study of African civiliza- 
tions, says : "The real African need by no means resort to the rags and 
tatters of bygone European splendor. He has precious ornaments of his 
own, of ivory and feathers, fine plaited willowware and weapons of supe- 
rior workmanship. Nothing more beautiful for instance, can be imagined 
than an iron club carefully wound round with strips of metal, the handle 
covered with snakeskin." And Dr. Boas has recently called attention 
to the "dainty basketry" of the Congo and the Nile Lakes, the "grass 
mats of most beautiful patterns" made by some of the Negro tribes, 
and "the beautiful iron weapons of Central Africa, which excel in sym- 
metry of form, and many of which bear elaborate designs inlaid in 
copper, and are of admirable workmanship." The famous bronzes of 
Benin, about which there has recently been so much discussion, have, 
perhaps, been stimulated in form and in the figures designed by Por- 
tuguese and Hindu art, but they "are far superior in technique to any 
European work (Boas)," and their existence indicates an artistic past 
for certain regions of West Africa hitherto quite unsuspected. 


While the question of our musical instruments is as yet far from being 
satisfactorily settled, it would be strange indeed if so musical a race as 
the African Negroes had had nothing to do with their origin or their 
development. Negro Africa possesses many varieties of drums, and of 
stringed instruments akin to the harp and the violin, etc. Indeed all 
stages necessary for the development of the harp from the simplest 
form to the instrument as we find it among the ancient Egyptians previ- 
ous to its dispersal over Asia and Europe are to be met with on African 
soil, and the attribution of its invention to some Negro people is quite 
reasonable on the evidence in hand. And the same thing, with some- 
what less certainty, perhaps may be said of the violin. In the character- 
istically African marimba, or xylophone, we may have the beginnings 

African Civilization. 551 

of the piano and closely related musical instruments, in which case, 
one of its names, "the Negro piano,'" assumes a significance. The "pot 
drum," so-called, and perhaps another variety or two of that instru- 
ment, originated also in Negro Africa. The goura of certain South 
Africa peoples is a curious musical instrument which still awaits adop- 
tion or modification by civilized man. 


The ars artium, however, of Negro Africa is the use of iron. The 
question of the origin of the art of iron smelting is now being treated 
in detail by ethnologists, and, while general agreement has not been 
reached, the mass of evidence so far disclosed has convinced eminent men 
of science like Boas and von Luschan that the smelting of iron was first 
discovered by the African Negroes, from whom, by way of Egypt and 
Asia Minor, this art made its way into Europe and the rest of the Old 
World. Among the arguments in favor of this view are the fact that, 
at the time of the contact of the African Negroes with white men for 
the first time, iron smelting was common and wide-spread among them, 
the work of the smith having almost everywhere reached a somewhat 
high degree of perfection; the evidence is the hieroglyphic record and 
elsewhere in ancient Egypt of the derivation of iron from the south 
at a comparatively late stage of civilization ; and the comparative late- 
ness also of its appearance in the ancient cultures of Asia, the Mediter- 
ranean region and northern and Occidental Europe. It should check 
our racial pride a little to consider the possibility, perhaps, rather, the 
certainty, that "at a time when our own ancestors still utilized stone 
implements or, at best, when bronze implements were first introduced, the 
negro had developed the art of smelting iron," and that "his race has 
contributed more than any other to the early development of the iron 
industry" (Boas). And, when we remember all that the discovery and 
utilization of iron has meant for human civilization, it should bring the 
blush of shame to our cheeks to learn from the public prints that, when 
the great iron-master of Pittsburgh, the foremost of American phil- 
anthropists, visited the city of Atlanta, Ga., to see the result of his 
labors, he was ostentatiously shown all over one library over whose 
threshold no Negro may ever pass, while his hosts in their automobile 
hurried him by the door of the other his money had erected "for black 
men only." 


Sergi's Theory in His Own Words. 

In his preface to "The Mediterranean Race," Sergi says: 

The conclusions I have sought to maintain are the following: 

(i) The primitive populations of Europe, after Homo Neanderthal en- 
sis, originated in Africa ; these constituted the entire population of 
Neolithic times. 

(2) The basin of the Mediterranean was the chief center of movement 
whence the African migrations reached the center and the north of 

(3) From the great African stock were formed three varieties, in 
accordance with the differing telluric and geographic conditions : one 
peculiarly African, remaining in the continent where it originated; 
another the Mediterranean, which occupied the basin of that sea; and a 
third, the Nordic, which reached the north of Europe. These three 
varieties are the three great branches of one species, which I call 
Eurafrican, because it occupied, and still occupies, a large portion of the 
two continents of Africa and Europe. 

(4) These three human varieties have nothing in common with the 
so-called Aryan races; it is an error to maintain that the Germans 
and the Scandinavians, blond dolichiocephals or long heads (of the 
Reihengriiber and Viking types), are Aryans; they are Eurafricans of 
the Nordic variety. 

(5) The Aryans are of Asiatic origin, and constitute a variety of the 
Eurasiatic species; the physical characters of their skeletons are differ- 
ent from those of the Eurafricans. 

(6) The primitive civilization of the Eurafricans is Afro-Mediterran- 
ean, becoming eventually Afro-European. 

(7) The Mycenaean Civilization had its origin in Asia, and was trans- 
formed by diffusion in the Mediterranean. 

(8) The two classic civilizations, Greek and Latin, were not Aryan, 
but Mediterranean. The Aryans were savages when they invaded 
Europe; they destroyed in part the superior civilization of the Neolithic 
populations, and could not have created the Greco-Latin civilization. 

(9) In the course of the Aryan invasions the languages of the Eur- 
african species in Europe were transformed in Italy, Greece and else- 
where, Celtic, German, Slavonic, etc., being genuine branches of the 
Aryan tongue; in other cases the Aryan languages underwent a trans- 
formation, preserving some elements of the conquered tongue, as in 
the Neo-Celtic of Wales. 

In his openin.c^ chapter of this work Sergi says: 

Sergi's Theory. 553 


Page I : Whenever there has been any attempt to explain the origin 
of civilization and of the races called Arj-an, whether in the Mediterran- 
ean or in Central Europe, all archaeologists, linguists, and anthropolo- 
gists have until recent years been dominated by the conviction that both 
civilization and peoples must have their unquestionable cradle in Asia. 
It is well known that this conviction has been largely determined by the 
discovery of Sanscrit, which has served as a foundation for the com- 
parative study of the languages called Aryan, Indo-European and also 
Indo-Germanic. . . . 

Page 2 : Anthropology, meanwhile, investigating the physical char- 
acters of European peoples, though without studying them deeply or 
completely, made it clear that between ancient Italians, Greeks, Celts, 
Germans and Slavs there were profound and characteristic differences 
which showed clearly that they could not all belong together to the same 
human root; that there might be linguistic relationship without blood 
relationship, and that various peoples might have a common civilization 
without having a common origin. . . . 

... I believe that I am in the right, since my opinion is founded 
on anthropological and historical data, when I affirm that at their origin 
the Germans were not a distinct people from the Celts or from the 
Slavs, with both of whom they were always united and often confused. 
The Franks of the fifth century were a northern people, less mixed in 
earlier times, and hence appearing somewhat more uniform in the graves 
of the Rhine district at a rather late epoch. 


Page 12: These brief considerations seem to me to be sufficient to 
show that since it is difficult to find the Germans in their own home we 
cannot expect to find them as an Aryan stock in Greece and Italy, sub- 
jugating the dark populations and creating the two great Mediterranean 
civilizations, Hellenic and Latin, also called Aryan; still less can 
we connect them with the more ancient Mycenaean or /Ege^n civili- 
zation, as it is to-day called. The disappearance of the Germanic 
type among the Mediterranean populations, assumed by Penka, is a neces- 
sity imposed by the fact that this type is sought in vain, where it is 
supposed to have dominated, except as a sporadic element easy to explain 
through the course of ages by the immigration of races or families or 

Page 21 : I would add that a race cannot even be said to be physically 
superior if it is unable to resist the mild climate of the Mediterranean, 
but disappears as required by Penika's theorj\ 

Page 20 : I could bring forward a wealth of facts to show that what 
I have just stated regarding the anthropological characters of the 
Homeric gods and heroes, may also be said, and with more reason, of the 

554 The African Abroad. 

types of Greek and Roman statuary which, though in the case of divinities 
they may be conventionalized, do not in the slightest degree recall the 
features of a northern race; in the delicacies of the cranial and facial 
forms, in smoothness of surface, in the absence of exaggerated frontal 
bosses and supra-orbital arches, in the harmony of the curves, in the 
facial oval, in the rather low foreheads, they recall the beautiful and 
harmonious heads of the brown Mediterranean race. 

Until recent years the Greeks and the Romans were regarded as Aryan 
and then as Aryanized peoples ; the great discoveries in the Mediter- 
ranean have overturned all these views. To-day, although a few belated 
supporters of Aryanism still remain, it is becoming clear that the most 
ancient civilization of the Mediterranean is not of Aryan origin but the 
product of a stock composed of many consanguineous peoples, which 
occupied the Mediterranean from a common center of diffusion, through 
bearing different racial names. . . . 


The Iberians gave its name to the great peninsula of the southwest 
of Europe, Spain with Portugal ; the Ligurians under various names 
occupied various parts of Italy, joining the Iberians through southern 
France; the Pelasgians occupied the peninsula and islands of Greece, 
passed into Italy at different periods, and were diffused through Asia 
Minor under the obscure names of Khatti, Hethei, Chittim, Hittites ; 
finally, the Libyans occupied northern Africa under various names, of 
which the most glorious was that of Eg>-ptians. 

Pages 35 and 36. Ever since I have been able to show that anthro- 
pological method should not be different from zoological method, I have 
chiefly turned my attention to the morphology of the skull as revealing 
those internal physical characters of human stocks which remain con- 
stant through long ages and at far remote spots. 

... I have met with a fact that is at once surprising and curious, 
and that is that there exist about a dozen cranial forms, by me termed 
varities, common alike to all the peoples called Iberian, Ligurian, the 
central Italic as well as the southern and insular Italic region, the Greek 
peoples, Asia Alinor, ancient Egj-pt, and all northern Africa now occu- 
pied by the Berbers and Kabyles. Other cranial varieties with less 
numerous characters are also found in the regions mixed with the first- 
mentioned varieties ; they appear to be foreign racial elements that have 
mingled with the other throughout the Mediterranean basin. 

The cranial morphology' of the Mediterranean family in its four chief 
branches — Iberians, Ligurians, Pelasgians, Libyans — and their minor dis- 
joined branches, possesses special characters, clearly distinct from that of 
the peoples of the center and east of Europe; my analysis and the nomen- 
clature I have adopted for cranial forms enable us to recognize them in 
whatever part of the world we may meet them, so special and early dis- 
tinguishable are their characters. . . . 

Sergi's Theory. 555 

Page 39: The ancient skulls of continental and insular Italy, and the 
persistence of their forms in the modern population, wherever it has 
been preserved, the skulls of the Iberian peninsula, of Greece, of ancient 
Egypt, then those of the rest of northern Africa and of the Canary 
Islands, all revealed by their constant uniformity, and the uninterrupted 
succession of the same forms, that they must necessarily belong to a 
single stock. 

But that original stock could not have its cradle in the basin of the 
Mediterranean, a basin more fitted for the confluence of peoples and for 
their active development ; the cradle whence they dispersed in many 
directions was more probably in Africa. 


/. Eastern Branch: — 

1. Ancient and modern Egyptians (Copts, -Fellaheen), exclud- 

ing the Arabs. 

2. Nubians, Bejas. 

3. Abyssinians. 

4. Gallas, Danakil, Somalis. 

5. Masai. 

6. Waluma or Watusi. 
//. Northern Branch: — 

1. Berbers of Mediterranean, Atlantic and Sahara. 

2. Tebus or Tubus. 

3. Fulahs or Fulbes. 

4. Guanches of the Canaries. 

Page 95 : An argument which seems decisive in favor of the opinion 
that the Egyptians were a new race of immigrants, conquering the Lib- 
yan race, regarded as that of neolithic civilization, is found in their writ- 
ing, which had no existence among the Tibyans. . . . Now it is true 
that the Libyans possessed only linear alphabetic signs, as we may see 
by Petrie's plates and the examples given by De Morgan; but it is well 
to recall also that these signs, called by their discoverers "marks," with- 
out having any alphabetical significance attributed to them, are really 
writing signs, many of which still remain in the alphabet of the Tuaregs, 
as Evans has shown. They may be brought into line with the pre-Phoe- 
nician writing of the Mediterranean and pre-neolithic of other ports of 
Europe, as I shall show later on. We cannot, therefore, affirm that the 
Libyans had no writing in the general significance of the word. 

Page 100 : If we turn to consider the Eg>'ptian language, I believe that 
everything favors an African origin. . . . While also in Arabia where 
the source of the Egyptian stock is sought, there is not the slightest 
indication of any Hamitic language or dialect, in Africa not only is 
ancient Egyptian Hamitic but so are a whole series of languages spoken 
by numerous populations to the south of Europe and the west, through 


55^ The African Abroad. 

the Sahara to the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, as I have shown when 
dealing with the Hamitic stock in Africa. 

Page 112: On these grounds the conviction has grown in my mind 
that there is no difference of race between the historical Egyptians and 
the men who preceded them, the so-called Proto-Egyptians of Evans, and 
Morgan's "old race." Both alike belong to the Mediterranean stock, 
and are of African origin. 

Page 143: I have concluded that primitive Europe received its popu- 
lation in large part from Africa; as regards the Canaries, we may con- 
clude with still greater reason that the primitive population migrated 
from Africa, and constituted the last expansion of African immigration 
towards the west. This is confirmed by the ethnology, and especially 
by the linear writing of the so-called Libyan type. The brachycephals 
constituted a foreign element of unknown origin. 

Pages 144 and 150: The Hittites constituted a pre- Phoenician and pre- 
Hellenic power in the Eastern Mediterranean. ... I am convinced 
that the primitive population of Lycia and the rest of Asia Minor, as 
also of Syria, is of the same type as the Egyptian, and derived from 
the same center of diffusion. This primitive population constituted the 
Hittite nation, which, in this case, could not have been Turanian, as 
Wright and Sayce believe, nor of brachycephalic Armenoid type, as 
Luschan argues. 

Page 156: The skulls [of the Phoenicians] do not differ from the types 
prevalent in the Mediterranean, and characteristic of the stock there 

On these grounds I believe that the Phoenicians belonged to the same 
stock in which are included the Egyptians and other Libyan peoples, 
and the Hamites of Africa and Europe generally, but that at a relatively 
late period they underwent Semitic influence, especially in language, their 
anthropological origin being thus concealed. Such a phenomenon is not 
new, the modern Egyptians themselves furnishing an evident example 
of it. 

Page 172: The element of truth in all these alleged relations between 
Hellenic, Egyptian, Phoenician, and Libyan cults is that we need not seek 
the origins of Greek religion in India, in the primitive beliefs of the 
so-called Indo-Europeans, but in the Mediterranean itself, partly in the 
valley of the Euphrates and the Tigris, by Asiatic and Egyptian interme- 
diaries. . . . 

When the new Indo-European element appeared, the primitive European 
peoples of the Mediterranean were subjected to a process of transforma- 
tion [they were amalgamated] ; Egypt, which possessed a very ancient 
and solid civilization, maintained itself for a long time; the Libyans of 
North Africa remained as they were; the Pelasgians were decomposed 
under Hellenic influence; the Ligurians and Iberians were changed by 
the Roman power. It would be an error, however, to believe that a numer- 
ous Aryan population emigrated from Asia or North Europe and occu- 

Sergi's Theory. 557 

pied the Mediterranean basin, destroying the previous populations. The 
Hellenic stock which changed Pelasgia into Greece, importing a new lan- 
guage and a new civilization, was a small nucleus which increased by- 
aggregation with the primitive inhabitants, the Pelasgians, as Herodotus 
expressly states : "the Greek stock, separated from the Pelasgic, was weak 
and small in number at first; it increased by means of many other 
barbarous and numerous stocks." Thus it is that any one to-day who 
studies the racial elements of Greece and Latin Italy necessarily finds that 
the primitive elements of the Mediterranean prevail in greatest amount, 
varying in different regions; the Indo-European or Aryan elements are 
very rare. 

The general result is that the Pelasgians had their chief seat — after the 
emigration from Africa, and probably from Egypt, before the great 
Egyptian civilization was established — in the eastern Mediterranean, 
and chiefly in the Greek peninsula, the whole of the Greek archipelago, 
and in Western Asia. . . . 

We have evident proof that the Pelasgians were a branch of the Medi- 
terranean family in the study and comparison of ancient and modern 
skulls in Greece and its islands, and also in Italy. The Asiatic invasions, 
from whatever direction they came, produced mingling of race, but no 
alteration of type in the ancient inhabitants. 

Pages 176-179: We have found that Italy was inhabited up to the 
neolithic epoch by a homogeneous population of Mediterranean stock, who 
were afterwards called the Ligurians and the Pelasgians ; that toward the 
end of the neolithic period, in a period called by the Italian archaeologists 
./Eneolithic, because we already begin to find the use of pure copper, there 
is the first indication of intrusion of a new race with physical characters 
(brachycephaly) unlike those of the Mediterranean peoples; and that 
finally there was a large invasion of this new race from the north, leading 
to the occupation of a considerable part of the Po valley, and consti- 
tuting a vast Umbrian domain, after passing the Apennines, from the 
Adriatic to the Tyrrhine Sea, as far as Latium, and from there to the 
Tiber towards its mouth and lower part. 

We have also seen that these invaders carried with them a new lan- 
guage and new customs, among others that of burning the dead. . . . 

Hence I believe that archaeologists are in error when they continue to 
regard the Italici as above all Aryans ; as also are the linguists in per- 
sisting to affirm the existence of a primitive racial Greco-Italic group, with 
pre-formed and reconstituted languages, which, after being first united, 
was divided into two portions, one invading Italy, the other Greece, bear- 
ing a higher civilization, and languages already existing in the form of 
Greek and Latin. . . . 

Thus I affirm that the Italici, of Mediterranean origin, were forced 
through violent invasion to adopt the Aryan language, as also, for some 
time as far as Central Italy, they were subjugated by Aryan dominion, 
until the development of new elements of Mediterranean civilization 

558 The African Abroad. 

changed the course of events. Then the customs which Aryan dominion 
had caused to disappear begun to flourish again ; thus cremation ceased, 
or only remained as a survival among the few. 

The language assumed its own proper physiognomy when Rome united 
beneath its power the various Italic regions; before that dominion it had 
been a series of heterogeneous forms due to the varying influence of sur- 
viving primitive dialects and the varying effects of Aryan influence. 

The physical characters of the Etruscans were thus of the Mediterran- 
ean type ; they were the true and genuine Italici ; and as others have 
also maintained, they belong to the Belasgic branch. 

Page 185 : The true and permanent Etruscan influence was that of the 
civilization taken as a whole, both as the point of departure for the future 
Latin civilization, and also as an expansion of the civilization of the 
eastern Mediterranean in Italy and towards Central and Northern Europe. 


Pages 241-246: The stock, originating in Africa, which I call Medi- 
terranean, because in the Mediterranean it develops its aptitudes and 
civilizations, contributed without doubt, from primitive times till the late 
quarternary period, to the population of the whole Mediterranean and of 
many other regions of Europe, as I have shown in the preceding pages. 
It is evident traces are found in the dolmens and caves of France, in 
the Long Barrows of Great Britain, at Casa da Moura and Mugem in 
the Iberian peninsula, in the neolithic graves of Switzerland, in many 
tumuli in Russia, and even as far as the Canaries. All these have yielded 
typical skulls, showing the same characters found in the Mediterranean 
populations, whether Iberian, Ligurian, Pelasgian, or Egyptian, and allied 
to those of East Africa. Moreover, there still exist whole Mediterran- 
ean populations which, in spite of mingling with other peoples and of 
historical vicissitudes, still preserve their primitive racial elements. 

Towards the end of the neolithic period, and after the first and pacific 
appearance of the Asiatic tribes which insinuated themselves in the midst 
of the early inhabitants, a great anthropological change took place in 
Europe, affecting even the Mediterranean, although in a slight degree. 
A new and different stock, strong and numerous, advanced from the east 
and spread through the center, west and south of Europe, overflowing the 
primitive stock, in many regions succeeding in displacing it, in others in 
subjugating it. This stock, being of Asiatic origin, I call Eurasiatic, on 
account of its diffusion in Asia, its place of origin, and in Europe where 
it succeeded in dominating the entire population. 

This new stock is, by its physical characters, visible and distinguishable 
in English burial-places, especially the Round Barrows, as has been shown 
by Thurnam and other English anthropologists; it is also seen in France, 
whence it seems to have passed over to the British Isles. In France, the 
Celts, a branch of the new stock, drove back the Iberian tribes, . . . 
while other Celtic factions penetrated Spain, and others advanced into the 

Sergi's TJieory. 559 

valley of the Rhone and mixed with the Iberians and Ligurians. In Savoy 
and in Switzerland they supplanted the primitive population, and achieved 
nearly as much in the Po valley, confining the primitive Ligurian inhabi- 
tants within the present narrow region of Liguria at the foot of the 

At the same time these Asiatic invaders, afterwards receiving the 
racial names of Germans and Slavs, spread into Germany, Bohemia, the 
valley of the Danube, extending into the Balkan peninsula, and as far 
as Asia Minor. It was at this period that Scandinavia was peopled, for 
the primitive inhabitants of the European continent were driven towards 
the north by the new invaders, reaching the Baltic Sea and thence 
the Scandinavian peninsula. Here the remains of the ancient stock of 
African origin are very numerous, even more so than in northern 
Germany. Here also they acquired a special physiognomy well known 
to-day as peculiar to the Swedish and Norwegian populations. . . . 

Italy, as I have said, except in the Po valley, remained as in primitive 
times, few new elements being introduced into its stock; the population 
of the center, the south and the islands, although containing elements 
of Asiatic origin, was not changed because the elements that prevailed 
are still primitive, a composition of the various branches — Iberian and 
Ligurian, Pelasgian and Libyan — of the African or Mediterranean stock. 
The Iberian peninsula may also boast that its old stock is preponderant. 
In Greece and Asia Minor the concourse of foreign elements was much 
greater, while Egypt, in spite of the afflux of many peoples, still preserves 
much of its old stock. The rest of Africa has undergone mixture, even 
very recently, but its new elements are mostly of Arabian and very seldom 
of Asiatic origin. 


Pages 248 and 249: In another work I have described at length those 
African populations which, by the language which many of them speak or 
have spoken, are called Hamitic; these mingle with the African Mediter- 
ranean populations, described in this work, which belong to the stock 
that for some time past I have called Mediterranean. The area of geo- 
graphical distribution of these African populations is immense, for it 
reaches from the Red Sea to the Atlantic, from the equator and even 
beyond the equator, to the Mediterranean. In this vast area we find, 
when we exclude racial mixtures, that the physical characters of the 
skeleton, as regards head and face, are uniform, but that the physical 
characters of skin and intermediate parts, that is to say the development 
and form of the soft parts, vary. This uniformity of the cranio-facial 
skeletal characters, which I consider the guiding thread in anthropological 
research, has led me to regard as a single human stock all the varieties 
distributed in the area already mentioned. In the varying cutaneous 
coloration I see an effect of temperature, of climate, of alimentation, and 
of the manner of life. 

560 The African Abroad. 

Page 252 : It is in the cranial and facial forms that lead us to accept 
the consanguinity of the African Hamites, of red-brown and black color, 
with the Mediterranean peoples; the same characters reveal the con- 
sanguinity of the primitive inhabitants of Europe, and of their remains in 
various regions and among various peoples, with the populations of the 
Mediterranean and hence also with the Hamites of Africa. . . . 

Now, as regards coloration, we may admit, as I have already admitted, 
as regards the difference between the Mediterranean people and those of 
east and equatorial Africa, that it is the result of many external condi- 
tions. Temperature is one, and perhaps the chief of these condi- 
tions; for when we consider the residence of a population during many 
thousand years — that is, from the quaternary epoch to the neolithic and 
onwards — in a climate where thermal action is weak, we must agree that 
a kind of albinism would be produced, and hence a decoloration of pig- 
ment in all parts of the body, especially in the skin and its appen- 
dages. . . . 

We may therefore conclude that as a residence under the equator has 
produced the red-brown and black coloration of the stock, and residence 
in the Mediterranean the brown color, so northern Europe has given 
origin to white skin, blond hair and blue or gray eyes. . . . 

Certainly stature is a character which cannot be passed over in the 
classification of races ; but it is not a primary character which can destroy 
the value of other characters which already possess an unquestionable 

Page 259 : The Euraf rican species thus falls into three races : the 
African with red-brown and black pigmentation; the Mediterranean, of 
brunette complexion, inhabiting the great basin including part of 
northern Africa, formerly occupying Asia Minor, the three great penin- 
sulas of Europe, the Mediterranean islands, and the Canaries, as well as 
a portion of western, central and eastern Europe, now difficult to deter- 
mine; finally, a Nordic race, of blond skin and hair, blue or grey eyes, 
most numerously represented in Scandinavia, North Germany and 


Page 263 : These invaders were savages, inferior to the neolithic Euro- 
peans, whose civilization they in large part destroyed, replunging Europe 
into barbarism, also introducing the new burial custom of cremation, 
together with other customs, which it is not necessary to investigate here, 
and transforming the existing languages into their own, which was a 
flexional language. To-day this new anthropological family, which also 
constitutes a zoological unit, bears three chief names, indicating three 
characteristic linguistic groups — that is to say, Celts, Germans and Slavs. 

Page 273: In my opinion, as already expressed elsewhere [in Asia 
Italici], these prehistoric artists who possessed such developed artistic feel- 
ings are the precursors of the historical artists who created the marvelous 
works of Egypt, Greece and Rome. And if it is true, as I have sought to 

Sergi's Theory. 561 

show, that a stock coming from Africa was diffused during quarternary 
times throughout the Mediterranean and all over Europe, and that this 
stock, by me now classified as the Eurafrican species, continued its 
existence into neolithic times, and later in the successive ages of metal, 
it is to this stock that we must attribute these artistic manifestations, 
which were afterwards to assume such marvelous forms and to reach 
their height in the classic art of the Mediterranean. This conviction has 
grown within me as I have observed the constant convergence of physical 
characters among the primitive inhabitants of these regions, and belief 
in this unity of the stock is confirmed by the persistent artistic tendency, 
which it has shown even in epochs so remote. 

In fact, the discoveries of Petrie, of Amelineau and of De Morgan show 
that prehistoric Egj^pt was not influenced by any oriental civilization, as 
many authors have been inclined to believe. . . . The historical Egyp- 
tian civilization is a continuation and a development of the prehistoric, 
so that there is no need to assume an Asiatic immigration. Certainly 
we cannot absolutely exclude all relations with Asia, on account of the 
proximity of Egypt to that region, but the prehistoric civilization of Egypt 
is purely Libyan and in comparison with contemporary European civili- 
zation very developed, as may be seen by its products and by the 
exquisitely worked flints. 

Page 279: Cyprus was the center of diffusion of copper and then of 
bronze throughout the Mediterranean and Europe generally . . . explor- 
ers like Ohnefalsch-Richter and Myres, have been able to show the 
contemporaneous existence, at least in part, of the copper age in Cyprus. 
with the late neolithic period in other regions; as likewise it seems to 
be shown that the primitive types of axes came from this island, and were 
diffused throughout the Mediterranean and Europe. 

The civilization which I have termed Afro-Mediterranean and which 
might perhaps be better called indigenous Afro-European, was succeeded 
by more or less powerful Asiatic influences, until we reach a new type 
of civilization characterized by the art and architecture of the city and the 
acropolis, the so-called Mycenaean or /Egean civilization. 

Page 282 : It is very probable, therefore, that the eastern importers of 
Mycenaean civilization were the Pelasgo-Tyrrhenians, as Montelius sup- 
poses, united with other related peoples having no important racial names. 
As we have already seen, the Asiatic immigrants, Pelasgians or Pelasgo- 
Tyrrhenians, were not anthropologically foreign to the Mediterranean 
stock, nor to the primitive inhabitants of the ^gean Islands and the 
Peloponnesus, who were likewise Pelasgians. These already possessed 
a pre-Mycenaean civilization in common with the Mediterranean or Afro- 
Mediterranean civilization, and received from the new immigrants new 
elements of Pelasgic civilization transformed and evolved under Asiatic 
influences, probably Mesopotamian and Hittite. 

We then meet with a phenomenon which it is important to note, and 
that is that this so-called Mycenaean civilization in the ^gean preserved 

562 TJie African Abroad. 

many of its oriental characters, so as to render its immediate derivation 
obvious, but when it spread towards the west and the north, in the 
Mediterranean and in Continental Europe, it began to lose many of these 
characters and to acquire others peculiar to the populations which adopted 
it; the oriental character thus diminished together with distance from 
the center of propagation. As the Mycenaean civilization spread in Italy 
and Spain its eastern character became attenuated, and still more as it 
spread through Central and Northern Europe. 


Page 296: It remains to occupy ourselves with the alphabetiform lin- 
ear writing, the first indications of which appeared at a very early time, 
anterior to the neolithic period. 

These alphabetical signs are found on French dolmeus, found incised in 
clay vessels, in ivory tablets of Prehistoric Egypt and in cubes of earth 
and clay in the fourth city of Troy and in clay vessels in the Troad, and 
in many of the Trojan cities. . . . Characters called Phoenician are 
only a derivative form of the alphabetiform signs that appeared during 
prehistoric times in Africa. . . . The use of writing signs is thus 
very ancient in the Eurafrican species. •. . This supplies additional 
evidence as to the high development of civilization among the race of the 
Mediterranean basin. ... At the time of the Asiatic invasions and 
immigrations they were at a higher level of civilization than the new 
people who submerged their civilization and plunged the primitive inhabi- 
tants into barbarism, until new germs arose in the Mediterranean and 
furnished the two great forms of Grgeco-Latin civilization. 

From the history of primitive and prehistoric writing we may draw the 
same conclusion as from the history of culture or cultures of Mediter- 
ranean Europe; that is to say that this primitive civilization was in 
part of African origin, like the species itself, in part an Asiatic importa- 
tion, the latter being later than the former, while the appearance of 
metals took place at Cyprus an island marked by its situation as the 
bridge to unite the eastern Mediterranean to western Asia, and also to 
form a connection with Egypt and the ^gan ; by its mineral wealth 
Cyprus becomes a point to which the Asiatic west and the Mediterranean 
east alike flowed, a point at which the civilization of Asia accumulates, 
as well as that of the Mediterranean from Mycenaean to classic Hellenic 
times. ... 

The primitive populations of Italy were evidently of the Mediterranean 
stock, a Eurafrican variety, and the successive arrivals from the north 
were of Asiatic origin, Celto-Slavs, as they would to-day be called, or 
Proto-Celts and Proto-Slavs, . . . the Aryans who invaded Italy 
possessed brachycephalic heads of various shapes — spheroidal, sphenoidal, 
and phatycephalic — the other Aryans who spoke German or Slavonic 
must have possessed similar physical characters, if they were genuine 
Aryans. It would then be the case also that the real Germanic Aryans 

Sergi's Theory. 563 

were not those of the Reihengraber cephalic type, but those whose type 
was identical with that of the Slavs and the Celts. 

Pages 307-309: "Italy, at the period of the Aryan invasion, must have 
possessed a language, doubtless with many dialects, having nothing in 
common with the Aryan tongues. If the stock occupying it from 
time immemorial was the Mediterranean, which, as I have shown, was 
divided into many peoples, including the Egyptians, the Libyans, the 
Iberians, the languages must have been of the same type as those 
spoken by Egyptians, Libyans and Iberians, that is to say, of what is 
called the Hamitic type, and very different in phonetic and morphological 
characters from the Aryan. 

"Hence, it is natural to believe that the Aryans, who dominated the 
Italic populations in the Po valley and central Italy not only transformed 
the customs but also the languages. . . . The Aryan language when 
spoken by a people with another vocabulary, other phonetics, other flex- 
ions, another syntax, could not be preserved in its original forms and 
sounds; it had to undergo a transformation on the basis of a language 
with different characters. The special Aryan flexion had to undergo a 
particular alteration in the mouth of him who spoke it incorrectly and 
imperfectly. Hence, may be observed a phenomenon noted by linguists, 
the fragmentary character of flexion often so complete in other lan- 
guages of Aryan type, and then a vocabulary different in great part 
from other Aryan vocabularies, whether Greek, Celtic or Germanic."' 
Hence, I concluded generally that the languages of the Aryans transformed 
but did not destroy the languages spoken in Greece and Italy, and that 
both must have contained the two linguistic elements in different com- 
position. . . . 

Now, if it is true that the Mediterranean stock is an anthropological 
variety of the Eurafrican species, if the Nordic is another variety of the 
same species, we have to admit that the languages of these two varieties 
must be of the same origin as the languages of the African varieties, 
belonging, that is to say, to the linguistic group called Hamitic. 

Page 314 and 315: Certainly, however, it cannot but be true that the 
various languages of Aryan type have been formed under the influence of 
other languages, conquered, like the peoples who spoke them. My sup- 
position is that the Latin languages show this phenomenon in a specially 
marked degree. . . . Latin is not a language which reached Italy in 
a beautiful and completed form, just as Italy was not entered by an 
Italic people speaking Latin ; but Latin was formed in Italy itself, as 
well as all the languages related to Latin, fragmentary in phonetics and 
flexion. . . . 

In the other languages called Indo-European this formation, so clear in 
the primitive Italic tongues, is perhaps less apparent; thus it may also 
be in Greek, in spite of the fulness of its forms, and in the Germanic 
tongues spoken by those populations, which, like the Italic and the Greek, 
underwent invasion and transformation in customs and languages. It 

564 The African Abroad. 

is necessary to seek for this vanished language from the Mediterranean 
to the Baltic, and we may thus also find, perhaps, the real cause of the 
phonetic transformations which now can be only accepted as facts. As 
the present populations of Europe are in varying proportions a compound 
of the old Eurafrican species and of the more recently arriving Eurasiatic 
species, which brought with it fiexional languages of Aryan or Indo- 
European type, so also the languages which seem to be altogether Aryan 
have an archaic stratum, of Eurafrican origin, corresponding to the lan- 
guages otherwise called Hamitic like Egj'ptian and Libyan. 


Africa To-day — Augustus Keane, Professor Chamberlain and 

others on Africa. 

Although I devoted six chapters of this work to Africa and 
discussed questions upon ethnology, this book does not aim to 
exhaustively treat Africa and its inhabitants or to assume to be a 
treatise on ethnology. My aim rather is to present the evidence 
of civilization, which may be found amongst the pure or mixed 
Negroes of Africa. I only quote ancient or modern authorities 
upon ethnology to remove certain popular misconceptions regard- 
ing the physical and mental character of past and present peoples 
of Africa. 

While the history of Africa is largely stationary, so far as mak- 
ing progress in the arts of civilization is concerned, we find 
powerful African nations, like the Mandingans, Songhays, Ful- 
ahs, Kanuri and Zulus, who dominated territories as large as the 
German Empire, nations like the Songhays, who extended for six 
hundred years, and nations like the Mandingans, whose suprem- 
acy lasted for over one thousand years, and then there were 
powerful chieftains and conquerors like Mansu Musa of the Man- 
dingans, who went out on a pilgrimage to Mecca, with an army 
of 60,000 men, preceded by 500 slaves, each carrying a gold stick 
v/eighing fourteen pounds and bearing a total wealth of £4,000,- 
000 ; Mohammed Askia of the Songhays, the African Charle- 
magne; Othman dan Fodiye, of the Fulahs, a religious teacher, 
who swept across Africa like a tidal wave, carrying the Koran in 
one hand and a sword in the other; Ali Gliajidani of Kanuri; 
Calemba, who brought the Ba-Luba up to a high standard of 
civilization, abolishing fetishism and cannibalism ; Dingiswago, 
Chaka and Cetawayo, who turned Zululand into a modern Sparta 
and forged the Zulus into a formidable force which swept every- 
thing before it, even defeating the British and holding them at 
bay for a while, and Khamo the brave, civilized and enlightened 
king of the Bamangwato. And then there are the Basutos, a cul- 
tured and civilized people, the Songhays with their wonderful 

566 The African Abroad. 

market at Kano and the Kingdom of Bornu with its large market 
at Kuka, and its splendid military system. 

As to the charge that the Negro tribes lose their individuality 
when they embrace Mohammedanism, Edward Blyden, the famous 
Negro philosopher and Arabic scholar, says in his "Christianity, 
Islam and the Negro Race." 

Notwithstanding the widespread progress of Mohammedanism in 
Africa, and though it has largely influenced the organic life of numerous 
tribes in the vast regions of the Soudan, yet the Arabs, who first intro- 
duced the religion, have never been allowed to obtain political ascendancy. 
None of the Nigritian tribes have ever abdicated their race individuality 
or parted with their idiosyncracies in embracing the faith of Islam. But, 
however, and wherever, it has been necessary, great Negro warriors have 
risen from the ranks of Islam, and, inspired by the teaching of the new 
faith, which merges all distinctions in one great brotherhood, have checked 
the arrogance of their foreign teachers, and have driven them, if at any 
time they affected the superiority based upon race, from their artificial 
ascendancy. In the early days of Islam, when the Moors from the north 
attempted to establish political supremacy in the Nigritian countries, 
there rose up a Negro statesman and warrior, Somi Heli Ischia and 
expelled the Moorish conquerors. He destroyed the ecclesiastical strong- 
holds, which were fast growing into secular kingdoms, and erected upon 
their ruins one indigenous empire, having conquered all from Timbuctoo 
westward to the sea and eastward to the frontier of Abyssinia, making 
about three thousand miles in length. Since then, Islam in Africa has 
been very much modified in its practices by the social peculiarities of the 
people. And within the last twenty years a distinguished native scholar 
and warrior, Omaru Al-Hajj, suppressed the undue influence of the 
Arabs in Timbuctoo — attacked that city in 1864, expelled the Arabs, and, 
with the same troops, confined the French to the western side of the 
Niger. His son Alimadu now reigns at Sego, and, both by diplomacy and 
force, is checking or controlling the renewed operations of the French in 
the valley of the Niger. 

Africa is a continent comprising 11,500,000 square miles, while 
Asia has 16,000,000 square miles. The area of Africa is equal 
to the combined areas of Europe, the United States of America, 
China, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The great dark continent 
is nearly four times as large as the United States. The Soudan, 
the home of 50,000,000 people, is 700 miles wide and 3,500 
miles long and stretches from the Sahara desert to the Guinea 
coast, from the Atlantic ocean to the upper Nile regions. 

Africa To-day. 567 

Authorities offer different opinions as to the population of 
Africa. The book, "Africa and its Exploration," puts the popu- 
lation at 135,000,000. It says that there are 18,000,000 in north 
Africa and the east coast and that there are 100,000,000 Negroes 
and 18,000,000 Bantus in Africa. 

But Wilson J. Naylor, in his "Daybreak in the Dark Conti- 
nent," states that the native population in Africa is estimated at 
150,000,000 and that the white population, which is numerous in 
south Africa on account of diamond and gold mining, has not 
reached the 2,000,000 mark yet. Naylor also says that 300,000 
natives of India and over 25,000 Chinese have already been 
imported to south and east Africa as laborers. There are 381,000 
Jews on the Mediterranean coast and the "Fellashas," a large 
colony of Jews, have lived in Abyssinia for many centuries. 

The population of Africa is largely divided between the pagans 
and Mohammedans. Pagan Africa comprises the territory south 
of the Soudan, together with parts of the Soudan, and has a 
population of 90,000,000 according to Naylor. Mohammedan 
Africa embraces parts of the Soudan, the thinly populated Sahara 
desert and the territory north of the Soudan, and has a popula- 
tion of 50,000,000 according to Naylor. But Keane, the great 
ethnologist, claims that there are 180,000,000 pure and mixed 
Negroes in Africa. 

The Guinea coast region, at the western extremity of the Sou- 
dan, where the pure Negro type is found, is the section of Africa 
from which the majority of slaves for the American slave trade 
were taken. According to Keane, there are two great divisions 
of the Negro race, the eastern or Oceanic section, which lies in the 
Malay Peninsula, Andamans, parts of the eastern archipelago, 
the Philippines, and New Guinea ; and western or African section 
of Melanesia and Australia. The eastern section is chiefly found 
in New Guinea and Melanesia and has a population of two mil- 
lion. The western or African section lives in Madagascar, north 
Africa, southern United States, West Indies and Latin America. 
Its total population is 208,000,000 and is thus divided: 180,000,- 
000 pure and mixed Negroes live in Africa, 25,000,000 in the 
United States, West Indies and Latin America. 

There are a few Negroes and some Caucasian Hamites with 
strains of Negro blood in their veins in North Africa. But the 

5^8 The African Abroad. 

three great divisions of the Negro race in Africa are the Souda- 
nese Negro, the Bantu Negro and the Abyssinian Negro. 

The Soudanese Negro is sHghtly mixed, the Bantu and Abys- 
sinian Negro are moderately mixed with the Caucasian Hamites 
and Arabs. 

From twenty to thirty stock languages are spoken in the Sou- 
dan, where Moslem and pagan populations live side by side and 
occasionally intermarry. But in Bantuland all the languages 
spoken are similar, being derived from a single stock language. 
The term Bantu Negro does not mean that all the Negroes of 
Central and South Africa belong to the same racial group, but 
it means that they all speak the same language. The most power- 
ful people among the Soudanese Negroes are the Timni, the 
Songhay Nation, the Hausas, the Fulahs and the Mandingans. 
The most powerful people in Bantuland are the Uganda, Basutus, 
and Kafirs or Zulus. 

Of the Soudanese tribes the Timni are a very brave and warlike 
people, and the Songhay, the Mandingans, Hausas and Fulahs, 
have established powerful dynasties. In Bantuland the Uganda, 
Eshi-Kongo and Zulu-Xosas, now called "Kafirs," because the 
Mohammedans apply the Arabic word, Kafir ("Infidel") to all 
the non-Moslem peoples of East Africa, have likewise established 
powerful dynasties. 

Keane, on page 331 of Vol. I of his work on Africa, pays 
tribute to the powerful kingdoms of the Soudan. He says : 

Under their Mohammedan guides the Negroid populations have founded 
large and rudely organized states, in which the tribal groups have in many 
places been merged in the nation, and which have reached a degree of 
culture little inferior to that of their Hamite and Semite neighbors. The 
barbaric splendor of the mediaeval Songhay, Ghana and Melle empires 
is still reflected in the political and social conditions prevalent in Bornu, 
Baghirmi and Woday, the last Negroid Kingdoms that have hitherto 
escaped absorption in the European systems. 

With the exception of Abyssinia, Liberia and the nomadic 
Tuaregs of the Sahara Desert, all of Africa is under the con- 
trol of some European State, one by one the powerful African 
States have succumbed to the European powers. England vir- 
tually is the dominant power in Egypt, the Soudan, a large part 
of the west coast and south central Africa. France, Germany 

Africa To-day. 5^9 

and Portugal control the rest. But the history of Africa shows 
that a half dozen black conquerors have ruled, who commanded 
thousands of men, ruling millions and exercising sway over 
territory as vast as the German Empire. 


Sierra Leone is an interesting State, for it shows what the 
African Negro who has been in contact with European civiliza- 
tion for a century can accomplish. Sierra Leone, like Liberia, 
represents an African State that has long been brought in con- 
tact with European civilization. For nearly a century it was a 
slave trading station, where sometimes 60,000 slaves were shipped 
in one year by an English Company to Spanish- American plant- 
ers. In 1787 it came into the possession of a few English phil- 
anthropists and then its history took a different course. It was 
established as a colony for free Negroes who were brought over 
from the United States and British North America. In 181 2, Paul 
Cuffee, a wealthy American Negro, brought over from the United 
States, in his own ship, over 4,000 free colored people, at his 
own expense and supported them for one year. He died while 
negotiating with the British government for establishing it as 
a colony for free American Negroes. In 1807, the slave trade 
was abolished. Sierra Leone came under the British govern- 
ment and served as a sort of cup or saucer to receive captive 
slaves from almost every tribe on the west coast of Africa, who 
were rescued by English cruisers from slave traders. Nearly 
two hundred different languages or dialects were spoken by this 
hybrid population, which represented every conceivable variety of 
the Negro type. A linguistic confusion prevailed, which matched 
that of the Tower of Babel. The adoption of English as the com- 
mon medium of linguistic exchange made social and business 
intercourse possible between the descendants of the American 
colonists and the captive slaves. At first, as Keane tells us, it 
developed into a Negro-English jargon ; but now it has evolved 
into pure English. 

So for about a century. Sierra Leone has been under the 
influence of civilization and missionary forces and the suzerainty 
of the British government. And what has been the result? 
Keane, though prejudiced against the Negro and though often 

57° The African Abroad. 

erroneous in his conclusions, because of his preconceived bias, 
is very accurate in his observations. He says : 

Nevertheless, this hybrid community has acquired a certain degree of 
culture, shown by their skill in the mechanical arts, their general profes- 
sion of some form of Protestantism, and the regular attendance of the 
children at school. The more proficient scholars even continue their 
studies in the higher educational establishments, such as the Furah Bay 
College, affiliated to the University of Durham. Some of the Sierra 
Leonese practice the liberal professions with success and they have even 
produced one or more writers who have aspired to literary honors. 

In a foot note Keane states that of a total population of 76,000 
in 1901 about 41,000 are Protestants, over 7,000 Mohammedans, 
a few hundred Catholics, the rest heathens ; school attendance, 

I will add that Oreshatukeh Faduma, a pure Negro, a native of 
Sierra Leone, received his A.B. degree from London University 
and then spent four years in the Yale Divinity School, distinguish- 
ing himself in theology and Hebrew and winning a graduate 
scholarship. For the past thirteen years he has done remarkable 
work as an educator and pastor under the auspices of the Ameri- 
can Missionary Association at Troy, N. C, in a rural community. 
He is now a professor in the Religious Training School of Dur- 
ham, N. C. 

Keane also says the colony, which is administered by a gov- 
ernor, with nominated executive and legislative councils, has a 
revenue (1904) of £240,500, being £2,600 in excess of expendi- 
tures, and a growing export trade of £485,000 (an increase of 
£160,000 in five years) consisting chiefly of palm oil and kernels, 
ground and Kola nuts, rubber, copal, benni seed and hides. 

One would naturally expect that Keane would draw an opti- 
mistic conclusion with regard to a people only a century removed 
from Africa savagery and in partial contact with civilization. 
But he does not. He says the outcome of a century's experience 
in civilization, under European guidance, tends to confirm the 
impressions that the Negro is not capable of rising to the gen- 
eral level of European culture and if left to himself will lapse 
into primeval barbarism. This shows that Keane is not so suc- 
cessful in drawing conclusions as in gathering facts. 

Africa To-day^ 571 

Of the tribes around Sierra Leone, the Timni, from whom Bos- 
ton Crummell, the father of Rev. Alexander Crummell, sprung-, 
and who, in 1885, defeated a British garrison near Freetown, are 
the most powerful. On page 82 of his "World's Peoples," 
Keane says : 

Yet some of these natives, the Timni amongst others, who were the 
dominant people before the British occupation, also hold their heads 
rather high, and not altogether perhaps without reason. Those of the 
Rokelle valley, back of Freetown, are a fine vigorous race with rather 
pleasant Negroid features and proud bearing. 

Those who have seen the tall, graceful and stately Dr. Crum- 
mell, whose grandfather was a Timni prince, walk with the tread 
and bearing of a king, have some idea of what a high-minded 
and high-spirited people the Timni are. The Timni are success- 
ful rice farmers and raise other produce, and devote more time 
to culture of the soil than to stock breeding. Keane says they 
have an oral literature rich in myths, tales and proverbs. Each 
village has its own chief. But the real authority is exercised by 
the so-called Purra, a guild or secret society, who perform their 
secret rites in the woods at midnight, whose decrees are executed 
by armed bands of masked men. Both prince and people must 
obey the mandate of the Purra and no stranger can enter the land 
of the Timni against their wish. I regard the Timni as brave and 
spirited a people as the American Indian at his best. 


And now we come to the powerful Mande or Mandingan nation, 
a dark people, who divide the honors with the Songhay nation 
of having created the most powerful empire in Negroland and 
produced Mansa-Musa, the Charlemagne of the Soudan. Keane 
says of them in the "World's Peoples": 

Dominant in the west — that is, between the Atlantic and the Niger — is 
the great Mande or Mandingan nation, an historical people with a rec- 
ord of over a thousand years as founders of mediaeval empires of Melle 
and Guine, and of the more recent kingdoms of Masina, Bambara, Kaarta, 
Kong and others, all now mere provinces of French Soudan. . . . 

In the fourteenth century the Mandingans under their famous ruler, 

Mansa-Musa of the Mali dynasty became the most powerful Soudanese 

nation of which there is any authentic record. After consolidating his 

empire, which included most of West Soudan and the western Sahara, 


572 The African Abroad. 

Mansa-Musa made a wonderful pilgrimage to Mecca at the head of 60,000 
men-at-arms, preceded by 500 slaves, each bearing a gold stick weighing 
fourteen pounds, and jointly representing a money value of about £4,000,- 
000. The people of Cairo and Mecca were dazzled by his wealth and 
munificence; but on the return a great part of his followers were seized 
by an epidemic called twat, a word which still survives in the oasis of 
Twat, where most of them perished. 

At present the Mandingans possess no political status, but are noted 
for their industrial habits, being rivalled by few as agriculturists, weav- 
ers and metal workers. 

They manufactured cotton, and furnish the Moors with ready- 
made clothing. Blyden says the ancestors of these people under- 
stood the use of cotton plant and the manufacture of cotton when 
Julius Csesar found the Britons clothing themselves in the skins 
of wild beasts. 


And now we come to the Mohammed Askia of Kano, the most 
powerful native chieftain who ever held the reins of authority in 
West Africa, whose reign began in 1492, the year of the discovery 
of America, and who ruled a kingdom that was as large as the 
German Empire. Keane calls him "a most illustrious monarch" 
and "the renowned Mohammed Askia." The Songhay nation 
began its glorious history in 1,000 and for six centuries was the 
strongest kingdom in the Soudan, reaching the climax of its 
power under the wonderful Mohammed Askia. 

In his works on Africa, Keane pays splendid tribute to the 
Songhay nation. He says : 

In 722 A. D. the Arabs had crossed the western Sahara and reached 
the Niger basin . . . when Mosques and schools were already opened 
in the Negro Kingdom of Ghana. . . . 

By the year 1000 nearly all the Berber tribes of the Sahara had 
abandoned heathendom and Christianity and embraced Islam. P>om that 
year dates the foundation of the great Mohammedan empire of the 
Songhay Negroes, which later extended north to the Twat oasis and 
which persisted till the close of the sixteenth century, when it was over- 
thrown by Mulai Hamed, Sultan of Morocco, in 1591. Thus was broken 
the momentary political cohesion given to the scattered Saharan popu- 
lations by the renowned Haj Mohammed Askia, most illustrious monarch 
of the Songhay-Berber State, and since that time the various Berber and 
Arab peoples of the Saharan oases have known no peace, maintaining 
hereditary inter-tribal feuds with each other, and combining only to 
resist hostile movement from without. 

Africa To-day. 573 

Since the Songhay succumbed to the Sultan of Morocco in 
1591-92, they have rapidly declined and their fate has been that of 
the children of Israel. Their two million people were scattered 
and they were subject to Hausas, Tuaregs and Fulahs, until the 
French seized Timbuktu in 1894, and they now yield allegiance 
to France. 


The Hausa nation, with its seven States, founded by legendary 
heroes, Biram, Daura, Gober, Kano, Katsena and ZegZed, with 
its fifteen million people and a Negro Hamitic language that is 
spoken through the Soudan, is now the greatest trading and com- 
mercial center of Negrodom. They rose to power soon after 
the decline of the Songhays, and were the dominant people in 
central Soudan until the victorious Fulahs, under Othman dan 
Fodiye, conquered them and set up the Mohammedan empire of 
Sokoto. But since the breaking up of the empire of Sokoto 
by the English in 1903, the Hausas have rapidly forged to 
the front as the most commercial people in the Soudan, with 
great markets at Kano, Yakoba and Katsena. 

Kano, formerly the capital of a former Hausa State, is one of 
the largest centers of population in the Soudan, and the market of 
Kano, famous for its blue cotton cloth and leather goods, is the 
largest in Negroland or Bantuland, and one of the largest in 
Africa. Kano, with its quadrangular, flat-roofed houses, which 
are surrounded by gardens and fields, takes up a great deal of 
ground and is surrounded by sun-dried clay walls from twenty 
to thirty feet high and fifteen miles in circumference. 

The population is doubled from January to April, when cara- 
vans arrive from all parts, and 1,500 camel-loads of the "Kano" 
or blue cotton cloth are sent each year to Timbuktu, Ghat, Fezzan 
and Tripolis. Leather, gold-dust, ivory, salt and indigo are also 
sold in great quantities in the market. 

Yakoba or Garo-n-Bautchi, the capital of another old Hausa 
State, having a population of nearly 100,000, is even larger than 
Kano. Like the latter city, it is surrounded by walls, which 
enclose large fields and gardens and also rocky heights and ponds. 
Rahlfs. who visited Yakoba in 1866, estimated the walls as three 
and one-half hours in circuit. Yakoba by no means has a 

574 The African Abroad. 

market as large as Kano, but date, citron, pomegranate and other 
tropical and sub-tropical fruits grow there, and at the time of 
Rahlf's visit, cattle, small horses, sheep and goats and cotton 
stuliS were daily sold in the market. 

Although the Hausas are an intelligent, courteous, law-abid- 
ing agricultural and trading people, the fighting blood of their 
ancestors still stirs in their veins. They have rendered a good, 
account of themselves when fighting in Britain's cause under Eng- 
lish officers, and rough and tumble fights between professional 
boxers are as popular among the Hausas as football, wrestling 
and prize fighting are in America. 


We now come to the Fulahs, the great conquerors and preach- 
ers of Islam, who under Othman dan Fodiye in the early part of 
the nineteenth century subdued the Hausas, replaced the Hausa 
kings by Fulah emirs, and extended their sway throughout central 
and western Soudan, establishing the Mohammedan empire of 

The Fulahs, with their light chestnut or reddish-brown com- 
plexion, their crisp curly hair, straight noses, regular features 
and slender, well-knit bodies, are a fine looking and intel- 
ligent people. Undoubtedly they are not a pure Negro race ; but 
represent a blending of Negro and Hamitic stock, and are what 
are now called Negroids. 

Originally, they were despised and persecuted Mohammedan 
herdsmen, scattered from Senegambia to Darfur, in small com- 
munities, which were politically heterogeneous and subject to the 
native kings and chiefs. But they had in their midst another 
Mohammed. The hand of Othman dan Fodiye, one of their 
religious teachers, was called by Bawa, the pagan prince of the 
northern Hausa State of Gober, for his fanaticism in proclaiming 
the Moslem creed. And in 1802, this African Mohammed, smart- 
ing under his rebuke, raised aloft the Mohammedan banners and 
rallied the rude shepherds and scattered herdsmen around him. 
Their religious enthusiasm, like a tidal wave, swept over the 
barriers of defeat. It swept across the central and western Sou- 
dan, overturning the strong Hausa States and overthrowing the 
Moslem and pagan princes in the Soudan and Adamawa, until 

Africa To-day. 575 

Othman reigned supreme from the Niger to the borders of Bornu. 
But Othman's mighty kingdom was short-lived and broke to 
pieces after his death in 181 7. It was divided between his Heu- 
tenant, Ahmed Lebbo, his son Bello and his brother Abd-Allahi. 
The territory ruled by Bello and known as the empire of Sokoto 
was but part of Othman's mighty empire. And in 1903, the Eng- 
lish appeared upon the scene, broke the empire of Sokoto into 
fragments, and dethroned the last Fulah emperor. And now 
the brave, intelligent and warlike Fulahs bow to the British 


And now we come to a kingdom of almost pure Negroes, which 
from a military, political, agricultural and industrial standpoint 
demonstrate to a supreme degree the political and industrial 
capacities of the Native African. The Kanuri, almost pure 
Negroes, with a slight mixture of Tibu, are the rulers of Bornu. 
The people are Mohammedans and semi-barbaric ; but had a fully 
centralized and well-governed kingdom. 

On page 400 of Volume I of his work on Africa, Keane says : 

The Kanuri people have, at all events, developed a fully organized 
administration, a royal court and government with all its accompany- 
ing dignities and offices, a military system which for central Africa may 
be considered fairly well worked out; in a word, a people of industrious 
habits, tillers of the land, and skilled in many of the mechanical arts, a 
people that can in no sense be called "savage," although still addicted 
to many practices which must be accounted barbarous. 

The Kanuri were formerly slavers like the English, American, 
French and Spanish. 

Birni, or Qasr-eggomo, the capital of the conquering noma- 
dic, Kanuri, since the reign of their great ruler, AH Ghajideni 
(1472-1504), was captured and destroyed early in the nineteenth 
century by the victorious Fulahs, in their resistless march across 
the Soudan. It was constructed of baked bricks, had a mag- 
nificent palace and walls six miles in circumference. Kuka, the 
next capital of Bornu, has a population of over 60,000, is divided 
into two sections, the eastern or smaller section being the seat of 
government, and the larger or western section being the residence 
section, which are a mile from each other, each being enclosed 

576 The African Abroad. 

by a wall twenty feet high. Narrow streets "branch" right 
and left from the two broadways, which run through each section. 
The houses are built of reed and straw, shaped like a sugar-loaf. 

The wealthy class "occupy" three or four of these, which are 
all enclosed by a common earthen wall. 

Formerly the center of a great slave trade, Kuka, with its 
streets crowded with cattle, camels, sheep and poultry, and booths 
and stalls occupying the open spaces, where butter, milk, eggs, 
corn, fruits and other things are sold, is a market fully as pictur- 
esque and almost as large as the market at Kano. At the horse- 
fairs, outside the gates, for £4 one can buy one of the superb 
saddle horses which have made the kingdom of Bornu famous. 
The land is more fertile than the famous blue grass region of 
the State of Kentucky; and sheep, goats, asses, ivory, ostrich 
feathers, indigo, wheat, leather, and the skins of lions and leop- 
ards are here exchanged for the textile goods, cutlery, paper, 
spices, and sugar, which have been brought from Europe by trad- 
ing companies. 

During Rahlf's visit to Bornu in 1864, ^ caravan of 4,000 slaves, 
gathered from the neighboring pagan tribes, was dispatched 
from Kuka and detachments for their journey northwards 
through the desert. 

Keane says that the government was constitutional in form, but 
despotic in reality. The Mai, the emperor or king, was clothed 
v/ith papal authority and infallibility. The Digma, next in legal 
power, exercised the functions of our Cabinet and Vice-President. 
He presided at the meeting of the Council, which was composed 
of the military chiefs, the representatives of the subject tribes 
and members of the royal family. The standing army, which 
numbered nearly 30,000, was formed of the military followers of 
the small Feudal lords, each of whom reigned over his own little 
kingdom. Two thousand of these were supplied with flint mus- 
kets. The Mai had a bodyguard of mailed horsemen, whose 
suits of armor were either secured from the Egyptian Soudan 
or made in the country. Twenty metal guns had been cast at 
Kuka, and a large part of the soldiers were clad in European 
uniforms. For pay the soldiers were given plenty of land. Here 
we see a feudal system, which would have done credit to a 
European kingdom during the Middle Ages ; each petty kingdom 

Africa To-day. 57 7 

ruled by a petty chief, who was under the Supreme Ruler, King 
or Emperor. 

John Leo, a Moor, who was born in Granada and reared in 
Barbary, wrote his work entitled, "A Geographical Historic of 
Africa," in Arabic and Italian. It was published by Ramusio 
in 1550, and translated by John Pory, of Gonville and Cain's 
College, Cambridge, in 1600. He thus pictured the kingdom of 
Melle, afterwards called the kingdom of Bornu. 

In this kingdom, there is a large and ample village, containing to the 
number of six thousand or more families and called Melle, whereof 
the whole kingdom is so named. And here the king hath his place of 
residence. The region itself yieldeth great abundance of corn, flesh 
and cotton. Here are many artificers and merchants in all places; and 
yet the king honorably entertaineth all strangers. The inhabitants are 
rich and have plenty of wares. Here are great stores of temples, priests 
and professors, which professors read their lectures in the temples. The 
people of this region excel all other Negroes in wit, civility and industry. 

And about 1800, McQueen, on page 219 of his "Central 
Africa," was equally impressed with the kingdom of Bornu, for 
he says: 

Bornou is a very extensive and powerful monarchy. The capital 
thereof is so that travellers, in describing its magnitude, state that Cairo, 
which contains half a million of people, "is a trifle to it." Kashna 
which is subject to Bornou, is said to contain one thousand towns and 
villages. The country is represented as being very pleasant, beautifully 
diversified with hills and dales very fertile, well cultivated, abounding 
in flocks and herds, and very populous. 

Thus one and two hundred years ago, before the advent of 
missionaries, the kingdom of Bornu had developed wonderfully 
along agricultural, industrial, political and military lines. 

Such was the kingdom of Bornu, with its 56,000 square miles 
and its population of 5,000,000 until 1902, when it with Waday, 
Baghirmi and Kanem, the other States in the Chad basin, were 
partitioned between England and France and Germany and the 
slave trade was suppressed in this region. Bornu, with the 
Hausa States and empire of Sokoto, in fact, the whole of central 
Soudan, has now been absorbed into British Northern Nigeria 
or British Northern Soudan. 

578 . The African Abroad. 

On page 96 of his "World's Peoples," Keane thus succinctly 
sums up the fate of all the powerful empires of Negroland : 

In Central Soudan, between the Niger and Waday, most of these 
aborigines have vanished, either driven to the southern uplands or merged 
in the Moslem Arab or Berber invaders. All who accepted the Koran 
formed the sub-stratum of a common Negroid population, by which were 
developed large semi-civilized communities and powerful political states. 
Thus it is that for over a thousand years Central Soudan has been occu- 
pied by a small number of mixed Negro-Berber, or Negro-Tibu, or 
Negro-Arab nations, forming distinct political and social systems, each 
with its own language and special institutions, but all alike accepting 
Islam as the state religion, and consequently, domestic slavery as the 
basis of society. These theocratic monarchies are all gone, and now 
form provinces or protectorates in the British or French possessions. 


And Bantuland also produced powerful kingdoms, which were 
as powerful as the Soudanese kingdoms. Keane, on pages 114- 
116 of his "World's Peoples," says: 

Before the recent extension of the British Rule from the Indian Ocean 
to the Ruwenzori highlands, the Bantu people grouped round the shores 
of Lake Victoria and Albert Nyanza were constituted in a number of 
separate kingdoms, the most powerful of which was Uganda, Unyoro and 
Karagwe. But these states traditionally formed part of the vast Kit- 
wara empire, which comprised the whole of the lacustrine plateau, now 
partitioned between England and Germany. The mythical founder of 
this mighty monarchy was Kintu, the "Blameless," at once priest, patri- 
arch and potentate, who came from the north ages ago with one wife, 
one cow, one goat, one hen, one banana-root, and one sweet potato, and 
thus was the wilderness soon peopled, stocked and planted with these 
things which still form the staple food of those lands. 

Then follows other legendary matter, till authentic history is reached 
with the ferocious Suna (1836-60), father of the scarcely less ferocious 
M'tesa, whom Stanley describes as one of the most capricious potentates 
that ever ruled in Africa. After his death in 1884, Uganda and the 
neighboring lands passed rapidly through a series of astonishing political 
religions, and social vicissitudes, resulting in the present pax Britannica 
and the conversion of large numbers, some to Islam, others to one form 
or the other of Christianity. Since the establishment of harmony amongst 
the various sects, real progress has been made, and the Waganda espe- 
cially have displayed a remarkable capacity for acquiring a knowledge 
of letters and of religious doctrines, both in the Protestant and Catho- 
lic communities. Printing presses, busily worked by native hands, are 
needed to meet the increasing demand for a vernacular literature in a 

Africa To-day. 579 

region where blood had flown continually from the disappearance of 
"Kintu" till the British occupation. 


The Ba-Lolo people, occupying the horseshoe bend of the mid- 
dle Congo, near the equator, were first brought to the attention 
of the civilized world by Rev. John McKittrick, who discovered 
them in 1884. But although the various tribes have never united 
politically and founded powerful empires as did the Mandingans, 
Songhays, Hausas, Fulahs, Kanuri, they excel as farmers, build- 
ers, workers in iron and orators and have attained a high degree 
of civilization. They respect the rights of women, who have a 
voice in the public assemblies, where vital issues are debated. 
Keane says of them: 

The Ba-Lolo, that is "Men of Iron," either in reference to their 
strength in battle (compare Ironsides), or more probably to their skill 
as forgers, are both physically and mentally one of the finest Bantu 
races. The slight strain of Negro blood is betrayed chiefly in the tumid 
lower lip, but for which the features — high forehead, arched or straight 
nose, delicate under-jaw, bright eye might fairly be called Caucasic, fully 
equal to the average European in their regular outlines and intelligent 
expression. They appear to have migrated early in the century from 
the east or northeast especially Galla or Kaffaland, to their present 
homes, where they have cleared the forests, brought vast tracts under 
cultivation, and built towns like Munlongo's or Boycla's regularly laid 
out in the American style, but with the houses so wide apart that it 
takes hours to traverse them. The Ba-Lolo are extremely skillful work- 
ers in iron, producing agricultural implements such as hoes, spades and 
axes, as well as knives, spears, and ornaments, all of excellent quality 
and mostly in good taste. They also display great skill in the construc- 
tion of their canoes, and understand the division of labor, "farmers, 
gardeners, smiths, boat-builders, weavers, cabinet-makers, armourers, war- 
riors and speakers being already diff'erentiated amongst them." 

Keane, in his endeavor to take every intelligent tribe out of the 
Negro race, minimizes the strain of Negro blood in their veins, 
for they have a large strain. 


South of the Ba-Lolo dwell the strong Ba-Luba race. Wiss- 
man, who visited them in 1881, was struck by their intelligence, 
industry and skill in working iron and copper. He pronounced 
them a fine Negroid race and called them, "a. nation of the think- 

580 The African Abroad., 

ers, with the interrogative Why? constantly on their lips." 
Captain C. S. Latrobe Bateman, who lived amongst them in 1885 
and 1886, had an equally high opinion of them. On page 20 of 
"The First Ascent of the Kassai," he says : 

Thoroughly and unimpeachably honest, brave to f oolhardiness, and faith- 
ful to each other and to their superiors, in whom, especially if Europeans, 
they place the most complete reliance. They are prejudiced in favor of 
foreign customs rather than otherwise, and spontaneously copy the usages 
of civilization. They are warm-hearted and affectionate towards their 
friends, and they are the only African tribe among whom, in their primi- 
tive state, I have observed anything like a becoming conjugal affection and 
regard. To say nothing of such recommendations as their emancipation 
from fetishism, their ancient abandonment of cannibalism, their hereto- 
fore most happy experience of Europeans, and their national unity under 
the sway of a really princely prince (Calemba). I believe them to be the 
most open to the best influences of civilization of any African tribe what- 


On page 125 of his "World's People," Keane says: 

On the west coast the only historical people are the Eshi-Kongo, who 
had founded a powerful state south of the Congo estuary before the- 
advent of the Portuguese in 1491. 

The Catholic missionaries converted and baptized thousands, 
among them the Mfuma ("Emperor") himself. Keane says that 
his capital, Mbanza, was renamed San Salvador, that Christianity 
never really got a vise-like grip upon these people and that the 
Cathedral of San Salvador is in ruins. He says the memory of 
the Passion is kept alive by the Cabinda people, north of the 
Congo, who to the other atrocities inflicted on witches and wiz- 
ards have added crucifixions as described and illustrated by R. E. 
Dennet. Yet these Cabindas are really an intelligent, active, 
and even enterprising people, and such shrewd traders that they 
have been called the "Jews of West Africa." 


Keane, ever fair to the mixed Negro or Negroid people, and 
ever hostile to the pure Negro, pays a splendid tribute to the 
Ba-Suto, who are physically like the Kafirs or Zulus, except that 
they are shorter in stature, with softer features and possibly thin- 
ner lips. They live in the central portion of Bantuland south of 

Africa To-day. 58 1 

the Zambesi, while the Zulu-Xosa live in the southeastern section. 
Heretofore they have been considered as Negroes and I believe 
that south of Mason and Dixon line in America, they would be 
assigned to the Jim Crow car, without any debate or ceremony. 
But such is their intelligence and refinement, that Keane can't 
stand the idea of considering them as Negroes ; but such they are 
in fact, as much Negroes as the so-called American, Haytien and 
West Indian Negro, possibly more so. At any rate, they prove 
that a Negroid people having a large strain of Negro blood in 
their veins can ascend to the highest heights of civilization. 
On page 242 of Vol. II of his work on Africa, Keane says: 

The contact with Europeans, fatal to the vitality of so many of the 
lower races, even when, like the Maori, endowed with a fair share of 
physical energy and intelligence, has acted favorably on the Ba-Suto, who 
have not merely outwardly adopted but thoroughly assimilated Western 
culture. Under the guidance of their religious teachers, they have within 
two generations accomplished what no pure Negro community has ever 
succeeded in doing even under the most favorable conditions. They have 
transformed the rugged upland valleys of the Orange head-water into 
highly productive pastoral and agricultural lands, whence Cape Colony 
itself in good seasons draws supplies of cereals, fruits, vegetables, and 
other produce to the value of over £200,000. They have built themselves 
substantial brick and stone tenements, constructed good highways through- 
out the country, improved their breeds of live stock, and yet found means 
to support a system of national instruction more efficient than that of manj' 
European states. The greater part of the superfluous revenues is freely 
devoted to educational purposes, so that thousands already speak English 
or Dutch without neglecting their mother tongue, in which they publish 
numerous religious and educational works and even periodicals. Nor is 
their attention engrossed by material cares, for they have learned to 
interest themselves in abstract questions of philosophy and dogma, and the 
Missionary already finds that a spirit of scepticism has been awakened 
among these "Waldenses" of the South African alpine valleys. What 
the Ba-Suto have done, their Western kinsmen are equally capable of 
accomplishing, so that there is no reason to despair of seeing a great 
part of the Bechuanaland plateau occupied before many generations by 
civilized and flourishing Bantu communities. 


On page 243 of Vol. II of his Africa, Keane says : 

Of all the Bantu nations none present such a marked individuality, 
whether as regards their physical and mental qualities, political sagacity, 
warlike nature, and historical development, as the Zulu-Kafir branch, who 

582 The African Abroad. 

have been in possession of the southeastern seaboard from time 

They are tall, slender, well built and muscular and their black 
woolly hair, dark complexion, broad noses and thick lips compel 
even the biased Keane to recognize the Negro element as con- 
spicuous. Keane describes the Kafir political systems "as a patri- 
archal monarchy limited by a powerful aristocracy." The nations 
are divided into tribes which are each ruled by a hereditary inkose 
or feudal chief, who is legislator, judge, and executive rolled in 
one. The only limit to his absolute power, authority and unjust 
decisions is the protest of the nobles or foremost members of 
the tribe, who have assembled in council. The sum total of their 
decisions forms the code of the common law of the land and 
establishes precedents. 


And now we come to the powerful Zulus, who sent the terror 
of their name across Africa, and even held the British at bay for 
a while. 

The real founder of the splendid Zulu system, which turned 
Zululand into a modern Sparta, and welded the Zulus into a 
military force, which was as fierce as the Vikings and as well dis- 
ciplined as the Macedonian phalanx, was Dingiswayo, heir appar- 
ent to the Aba-Tetwa chieftainship. He was exiled and spent the 
years 1793- 1799 in Cape Colony, where he saw the ease with 
which well disciplined European soldiers defeated vast hosts of 
unorganized savages, who greatly outnumbered them. On the 
death of his father, he was recalled home, assumed the sceptre of 
authority and showed his constructive genius by perfecting the 
Zulus into one of the most formidable fighting machines that was 
ever constructed out of barbarous and semi-civilized people. 

Chaka, the heir to the Ama-Zulu chieftainship incurred the 
wrath of his father and fled for protection to Dingiswayo, his 
kinsman. He studied his splendid military system. After the 
death of Dingiswayo, Chaka seized the reins of authority and 
merged the Ama-Zulu and Aba-Tetwa into a powerful military 
State, which was divided into military districts, which were 
perfectly disciplined. 

Africa To-day. , 583 

Then, like Attila, Chaka started on his devastating march, con- 
quering, exterminating, driving out or absorbing tribe after tribe, 
until Chaka soon reigned absolute and supreme over the terri- 
tories now included in Basutoland, the whole of Natal and most 
of the Boer States of the Orange Colony and Transvaal. In 
September, 1828, Chaka lost his life at the hands of his brother 
Mhlangana, who in turn was soon killed by his brother Dingan. 

Then followed several years of war between the Zulus and 
Boers, finally Cetywayo, nephew of Chaka and son of Panda 
his younger brother, after a series of civil wars between himself 
and his brother, Umbulazi, secured the assistance of the Natal 
government and procured his formal nomination. On the death 
of his father, October, 1882, he ascended to the throne. 

He and the Boers disagreed about the "debatable frontier 
lands." England sided with the Boers. Cetywayo threw out 
threats and angered the English, who sent General Chelmsford 
into his territory in January, 1879. But on January 27, 1879, 
Cetewayo's army surprised and cut to pieces a division at Isand- 
hlwana near Rorke's Drift passage of the Tugela and later 
"cut off" the party to which Prince Napoleon, son of Emperor 
Napoleon III, was attached as volunteer. But on the fourth 
of July of the same year, the Zulus were routed and Cetywayo 
captured at Ulundi, his chief kraal or native village. 

Internecine warfare followed the partitioning of Zululand to 
thirteen petty chiefs ; and most of his territory was given back to 
Cetewayo in 1883, after his return from England. He was 
defeated by Usibebus, to whom part of his old territory in the 
northeast had been ceded, and he died at the reserve in 1884. The 
Zulus could neither bring political order out of chaos nor cope 
with Transvaal Boers. The result was that in 1887 England 
established what was left of the Zulu empire as a protectorate, 
ruled by a President Commissioner who was subject to the gover- 
nor of Natal. 


On page 13 of Volume II of his work on Africa, Keane 

advances the following theory: 

The Bantu people are fundamentally Negroes in diverse proportions, 
affected by Wa-Huma, or Galla — that is, Hamitic — elements. The Wa- 

5^4 The African Abroad. 

Huma, who, under the name of Wa-Tusi, are found as far south as the 
U-Nyamezi country, are by recent observers unanimously described as a 
very fine race, with oval face, straight nose, small mouth, and, generally 
speaking, regular Caucasic features. Such a type is found everywhere 
cropping out amid the surrounding Negroid populations throughout the 
southern half of the continent, and the conclusion seems irresistible that it 
should be referred to those Wa-Huma, or Hamitic Gallas, probably for 
ages advancing as conquerors from the northeast into the heart of the con- 
tinent. . . . The Wa-Huma are also distinguished by their intense love 
both of personal freedom and political autonomy, sentiments which are 
but feebly developed amongst the true Negro populations. Such is their 
horror of captivity and foreign yoke, that those who have failed to main- 
tain their independence are no longer regarded as true Wa-Huma. The 
very women who have the misfortune to fall into the hands of the Arab 
slave-dealers are looked upon as degraded forever, and, should they 
escape from bondage, are burnt alive by their own people. Traits of this 
sort would almost alone suffice to suspect at least a very large infusion 
of non-Negro blood in the Wa-Huma race. This element we may now 
trace with some confidence to the Hamites of northeast Africa as its 
true source. 

The Bantus may therefore be regarded as a Negroid — that is, a modi- 
fied Negro race, in which the Hamites of northeast Africa constitute 
the modifying element. The modification itself is obviously a question 
of degree, naturally greater in the east than in the west, with every 
shade of transition in the intervening central regions. 


The Ba-Mangwato are a self-governing people, subject to no 
foreign authority, submitting to no foreign yoke, who with the 
Ba-Twana rule over more than half of North Bechuanaland or 
the territory northwest of the Transvaal. 

Khama, who, in 1863, fought the Matabili cattle stealers in 
the open plains and retired with honors, is said by Keane to be 
the most distinguished native ruler anywhere south of the Zam- 
besi. Under the beneficent guidance of judicious missionaries 
and British agents, he has long governed his people wisely and 
firmly, abolishing witchcraft and other savage customs, excluding 
strong drinks by severe excise measures, personally administering 
justice with equity and moderation, encouraging agriculture, 
the industrial arts and education, and at the same time offering 
a stout resistance to the Incessant attack of the fierce Matabili 
hordes on his eastern frontier. 

Africa To-day. 585 


Matabililand and Mashonaland occupy the territory south of 
the Zambesi River, and north and northwest of the South African 
RepubHc. Mashonaland is northeast of MatabiHland, which 
was formerly ruled by Lobengula, a Zulu chief, who made his 
presence and power felt in that section of Africa. But both 
of these countries are now under the control of the chartered 
South Africa Company. 

At Zimbabye, near Fort Victoria in Matabililand, stands the 
monuments which have been the theme of much discussion. In 
1569 Francis Baretto led some adventurous Portuguese into 
the Zambesi basin and found the Manica goldfields. De Barros, 
a contemporary writer, living from 1496 to 1570, described the 
Zimbabye monuments, which are now in ruins. De Barros men- 
tions a king, Benomotap or Monomotapa, who ruled over a great 
territory around the kingdom of Sofala, which includes the gold 
mines of Manica, Mashonaland and Matabililand. Zimbabye, 
meaning "royal residence," was the capital of this kingdom, 
and here the famous monuments or ruins stand. Adam Renders 
rediscovered them in 1868. And the Chartered Company sent 
an expedition to Mashonaland in 1890. De Barros says of the 
monuments : 

They are all in a plain, in the middle of which stands a square fortress, 
all of dressed stones within and without, well wrought and of marvellous 
size, without any line showing the joinings, the walls of which are over 
twenty-five hands thick, but the height is not so great compared to the 
thickness. And above the gateway of that edifice is an inscription which 
some learned Moorish (Arab) traders who were there could not read, nor 
say what writing it was. And grouped, as it were, round this structure 
are others on the same heights, like it in the stone work, and without 
line, in which is a tower twelve bracas (72 feet) high. All these struc- 
tures the people of the country call Symbaoe (Zimbabye), which with them 
means a court, for every place where Benomatapa stays is so called ; and 
as they speak of this as being a royal building, all the other dwellings 
of the king bear the same name. . . . They lie west of Sofala in a 
straight line 170 leagues more or less under the latitude of 20° and 
21° south. ... In the opinion of the Moors who saw them they 
seem to be very ancient, and were built there to hold possession of 
those mines, which are very old, from which for years no gold has 
been taken owing to the wars. 

586 The African Abroad. 

And Keane, on page 375 of Volume II of his Africa, says : 

The ruins, which stand on the edge of the Mashonaland plateau, are j 
scattered to a great distance over a gentle slope, where a large kopje 
or knoll is crowned with a sort of fort composed of huge masses of 
granite. The main ruins on the slope below consist of massive circular 
walls, sometimes arranged in concentric rings, and a main building of 
the same form no less than 80 yards in diameter, within which a large 
solid conical tower, the most interesting feature of all, is enclosed by 
loftier and still more massive walls. The whole is built without mortar, 
in regular and neatly dressed courses, of uniform pieces of granite about 
twice the size of an ordinary brick, very hard, greenish-black in color, 
and giving a metallic ring when struck. The work of disintegration is 
being slowly carried on, by burrowing and climbing plants, but the wall 
is still 30 feet high with an average thickness of 18 feet at the base taper- 
ing to about eight feet along the irregularly broken top. On the entrance 
side the passage widens out so as to contain the great conical tower or 
keep 35 feet high and 18 feet in diameter at the base. 

This account of Keane is taken from the Pall Mall Gazette, 
October 13, 1890, and is probably the account given by Mr. 
Baumann, who accompanied the Chartered Company's expedition 
in 1890. 

Keane also says : 

Similar ruins, very old and very extensive, occur at the Benningwa hills 
about the upper waters of the Lunde river, and numerous other remains 
are now known to exist in various parts of the Matabili and Mashona 
plateau, all apparently connected with long-abandoned gold mines. 

Some attribute the monuments or Ruins to the Portuguese, 
others to the Arabs, others to the Phoenicians, others to the 
Abyssinians of Axum, others to the Persians of the Sassania 
epoch, and Mr. Theodore Bent to the pre-Mohammedan Arabs. 
But Keane says at the bottom of page 376: 

But it is evident from De-Barros that the chief monuments, both at 
Zimbabye and elsewhere, date from an epoch anterior both to Portu- 
guese and Arab times. 


In his introduction to Naylor's "Daybreak in Africa," Bishop 
J. C. Hartzell gives very hopeful testimony of the ability and 
possibilities of the African Negro. He says the native blacks 
are being tested as linguists, teachers, men of business, laborers 

Africa To-day. 587 

and Christians and are proving that they have great capabilities 
for success when properly understood and assisted. 

Wilson S. Naylor, Beach Professor of Biblical Literature of 
Lawrence University, writes in a very optimistic vein of the 
capacities of the Native African in his "Daybreak in Africa." 
Bishop Hartzell says of Professor Naylor's fitness for his task: 

The author is exceptionally well qualified to write on Africa. In 
addition to extended previous and subsequent research, he spent a year 
as my traveling companion, diligently studying at first hand, on both 
coasts and in widely separated sections, the continent and its people." 

Naylor says, on page 49 : 

The African is nature's spoiled child. Throughout much of his con- 
tinent, she is lavishly kind to him. She feeds him almost without the ask- 
ing. She clothes him with tropical sunshine. If his necessities or his 
vanity calls for more covering, she furnishes it — again with no excess 
of labor on his part — from leaf or bark or skin. Everything that has 
to do with the primitive demands of his physical wellbeing is, as it were, 
ready at his command. 

On page 69, Naylor says of the primitive African : 

The African as he appears before civilization brings either its detri- 
mental or its beneficial influences to bear on him, is exceedingly primi- 
tive. He has scarcely any aim beyond the securing of food and scanty 
clothing. Crafty towards a foe, he is exceedingly loyal towards a friend, 
especially to a loved superior. The devotion of Susi and Chuma to 
Livingstone (even after his death when they imperiled their own lives 
in taking his body to the coast) is representative of the African. 

On pages 48 and 49, Naylor even has kinder words to say of 
the primitive African : 

The primitive African is a good smith and potter when occasion 
requires ; the other referring to civilized African, is both and more. His 
industry has responded to a desire for the things of civilization. He has 
taken to manufacturing and has become a weaver of cotton cloth, a 
dyer, a tanner, a maker of brick, of bark cloth, of baskets and mats. 
Such occupations furnish him with goods for barter. Or he has become 
a laborer and receives wages in native currency — so many brass rods, so 
many iron hoes, so many beads or cowries, so much of anything else 
that answers for money — or on the coast usually in actual money. The 
primitive African in grazing sections cares for small herds that he him- 
self may occasionally fare sumptuously or may set a feast for an 


5^8 The African Abroad. 

honored guest; the other has the same use for cattle and goats and the 
advantage of trade. Everywhere, primitive or civilized, the African 
is a farmer, at least to the extent of supplying his own necessities. 

Professor A. H. Keane is not so optimistic with regard to the 
native African's capacity to absorb and assimilate civilization. 
But Naylor is very hopeful. On page 42, Naylor says : 

The Hausas, the traders of the Soudan, are among the most interesting 
and intelligent of its people. They possess characteristics which if 
brought the right sort of civilizing influences, as interior Africa is being 
opened to the world, should make them of inestimable worth in the fur- 
thering of the cause of Christianity among their countrymen. 

He says again, on page 70: 

The African is precocious when young, imitative and teachable always. 
Right example and incentive influence him as perhaps no other race of 

But the finest tribute which Naylor pays to the Negro is found 
on pages 176 and 177 of his "Daybreak in the Dark Continent." 
Naylor says: 

It is sometimes said, and more often implied, that the black man 
of Africa has no stability of character, no virile qualities that can be 
relied upon for sustained effort in the force of adversity. The history 
of African Christianity effectually discredits any such broad inference. 
It is a fact of supreme importance in estimating the probable perma- 
nence of mission work in Africa that those churches in which the 
Negro element exceeded the Caucasian outlived those in which the 
reverse was true. The churches dominated by the Greek, Roman, Jewish 
and other colonists of north Africa were all too quickly overcome by 
Islam. On the other hand, the Nubian church withstood Mohammedan 
fire and sword until the fifteenth century. The Ethiopian church finally 
became consolidated in Abyssinia, where it has since maintained its 
organization. Surrounded by Mohammedans on all sides for more than 
one thousand years those Abyssinian Christians have kept them at bay. 
So strong has been their influences in their country that it is only within 
recent years that Mohammedanism has gained any considerable footing 

Very touching is Naylor's tribute to the grand old Negro 
Bishop, Samuel Adjai Crowther, who, in 1864, received the 
degree of Doctor of Divinity from the University of Oxford, 
and who afterwards was honored by a membership in the Royal 

Africa To-day. 589 

Geographical Society, because of his contributions to the Geog- 
raphy of Africa. 

Booker T. Washington, on page 336 of his "Story of the 
Negro," Vol. II, says that Crowther helped to translate the Bible 
into the Yoruba language and his studies in the Nupe and Ibo 
languages are said to have shown unusual ability. Jesse Page 
has an excellent biography of him, entitled "Samuel Crowther." 

Naylor's splendid tribute is found on page 253 of his work. 
He says: 

Samuel Adj'ai Crowther is another conspicuous trophy of African mis- 
sions. Born of the relatively inferior Yorubas, west of the lower Niger, 
he was captured by Fulah slavers in 1821, traded for a horse, consigned 
to a Portuguese slave ship, liberated by an English man-of-war, placed 
in a mission school at Freetown, Sierra-Leone, taken to England to com- 
plete his education, sent as a missionary to his own people along the 
Niger, consecrated Bishop of the Niger in Canterbury Cathedral in 1864, 
transferred to his eternal reward December 31st, 1891. Such, in brief, 
is the biography of an African slave and Christian freeman, one of the 
great missionary characters of the nineteenth century. 

His influence among the natives of Africa is proven by the 
appeal of Molique, emir of Nupe, to Bishop Crowther to prevent 
the importation of rum into his country. Molique thus makes 
his pathetic appeal to Crowther: 

Barosa (rum or gin) has ruined our country. It has ruined our people 
very much. It has made our people mad. I agree to everything for 
trade except barosa. We beg Crowther, the great Christian minister, to 
beg the great priest to beg the English queen to prevent bringing barosa 
into this land. For God's sake he must help us in this matter. He must 
not leave us to become spoiled. 

Naylor says the appeal of Molique, king of Nupe, to Bishop 
Crowther is as full of judgment against civilization as of pathos 
for the African. 

Momolu Mossaquai, prince of the Veis, Sierra Leone, who was 
educated at Tennessee College, and was one of the speakers at the 
World's Parliament of Religions, Chicago, 1893, wrote a telling 
article to the Century Magazine, April, 1905, in which he says: 
"If we have not advanced higher in the scale of civilization, 
neither had we (I speak again for my own people) until this 
fatal liquor was forced upon us, fallen so low as many." 

59° The African Abroad. 

On page 172 of his book, Naylor again refers to the avidity of 
the Negro and part Negro peoples for accepting Christianity. 
He says : 

Impelled by the influence of such men, missionaries went out from 
Alexandria and other centers into Egypt, Libya, Ethiopia (including 
Nubia and Abyssinia) the island of Sokotra and among the fierce tribes 
of the borderland of the Sahara desert. This Missionary movement 
extended through several centuries. The response which was met from 
the Negro peoples to whom the gospel was thus carried is not definitely 
known, but aside from the permanent results in Egypt and Abyssinia, 
it is a matter of history that whole tribes were won to at least a nominal 
acceptance of Christianity. 

But the most astonishing thing about Naylor's book is his 
foot note to page 172, wherein he says: 

More than half of the twenty greatest names of the early churches 
from 150 to 400 A. D., and a like proportion of Christian writings of 
the same period, were North Africa. Athanasius, partly Negro, at least 
was one of the greatest of the church leaders. 

Stop, pause and reflect. Think of the significance of that. 


(Newport News, September 30, 1896.) 

Last evening in the Channing Memorial Church, Rev. Alexander Crum- 
mell, D.D., lectured before a good-sized audience composed of whites and 
blacks and containing many representative men, on "The Negro of West 
Africa." Rev. G. W. Cutter briefly introduced the speaker, who but for 
his dark face would pass for an elderly and scholarly Englishman. He 
was tall, rather spare, of an intellectual appearance, and his greyish hair, 
contrasting strongly with his dark features, gave him a more venerable 
appearance than the vigor of his speech indicated. 

The address, which occupied about an hour and a quarter, was 
delivered in a voice that showed the speaker's English training. His 
language, of course, was polished ; he spoke rapidly, without hesitation, 
and said more in an hour than some speakers would say in two. Though 
his love for the Negroes of the west coast, of which he is one, showed 
itself throughout his discourse, he was evidently trying to repress 
personal feeling and to give his hearers a good general idea of the vari- 
ous peoples who occupy that far-away and little known land. 

He described the physical traits of the natives, saying they are generally 
strongly built, and vary as to physical proportions and complexion just 
as do the inhabitants of Europe, some being tall and magnificent in build, 
others spare, and others still stout and short. In color they vary from 

Africa To-day. 591 

the black of a dark Havana cigar to the tint of an American Indian; 
few are jet black. Their hair is longer that that of the American Negro, 
and the women have very long hair. Communism is universal. The 
land is held in common ; when the fields are ready for planting the 
entire village turns out and prepares it. The women and children pro- 
tect the fields from the birds, and at harvest time the chiefs lay out a 
section for each family, which gathers its own harvest. This communism 
extends also to the trades and skilled work. The missionaries have not 
been able to break through the crust of this custom, and it is only where 
the English or some other European nation has obtained possession that 
individuals own land, as here. Family life is universal; there are no 
unmarried women. When the girls are from ten to twelve years of age 
they are sent to a special place, where under the instruction of old women 
they are instructed in all the duties of married life, and when they come 
from these places are ready to become wives and are at once married. 
Polygamy is practiced everywhere, and though the families appear to get 
along well the custom produces a deal of trouble in married life and 
leads to many of the wars. When a man has three or four wives the 
oldest has charge of the household and the others obey her. The people 
are very industrious, practicing agriculture and having trades. There is 
a granary and special house for strangers and travelers, which none of the 
natives touch. A more hospitable and generous people as a whole can- 
not be found on earth, and where the tribes have not been disturbed 
by slave traders or riotous travelers a stranger, observing the customs 
of the people, can travel without being molested. 

The lecturer gave a general account of the trade from the interior to 
the sea coast, where cotton, gold and other articles are manufactured 
with great skill, and whence a great commerce is carried on with Euro- 
pean ports. He also described the gradual settlement of the leading com- 
mercial towns, Freetown, Legos and other ports, by the English ; the 
conversion of the inhabitants to Christianity, their gradual growth in 
civilization, the education of the youth, both at home and in English col- 
leges, and the great growth of the people in what would be called intellec- 
tuality; of the many native schools and colleges and their bright students, 
and the great advance of the people as a whole wherever civilization has 
been introduced ; of the slave trade and its extinction, and of the travel 
of the natives along the coast in their big canoes made from trees. 

Like all tropical peoples, the natives are very polite. The country is 
very beautiful. Dr. Crummell spoke particularly of the aptitude shown 
by the Negroes in assimilating European civilization and learning as well 
as Christianity, and of their wonderful growth since doing so. Civiliza- 
tion, he said, has proved too strong for the natives of America and the 
islands of the Pacific. It is building up a new race in Africa, and from 
the wonderful growth of these people during the century the speaker 
looks for a new race to come into the history of the world, to succeed 
the civilization of the present day with new vigor and ideas. 

592 The African Abroad. 

In strong contrast with the American Negro, the African is quiet and 
undemonstrative in religious matters, and a congregation in Africa 
resembles very much one in Europe or America. The morals of the 
people are good. The youth, as is natural in a polygamous country, 
are devoted to their mothers. The people are courageous, as the English 
have found during eighty years of warfare. 


Oscar Peschel in his "Races of Man" is fair and discriminating 
in his estimation of the native African. On page 477 he says : 

It must be added that of all semi-civilized nations the Negroes have 
most thoroughly elaborated their social jurisprudence. African judicial 
proceedings attract the curious as a theatrical performance does us; and 
in the contesting parties there is no want of dramatic excitement or lavish 
expenditures of eloquence and cunning. 

The Bantu Negroes are masters in the art of perplexing an opponent 
by cross-questioning. Bishop Colenso declares that his scepticism as to 
the Mosaic history of creation was first aroused by the objections of his 
Kaffir pupils in Natal. . . . Among the Bantu Negroes a more refined 
idea of justice is shown by their considering the practice of causing 
abortion as punishable and inflicting a penalty also on the doctors by 
whose assistance the deed was accomplished. In cases of defamation of 
character compensation must be made to the injured person, for good 
reputation is wealth ! . . . Their poets and bards need never starve, 
for the Mandingo rewards them liberally for songs in honor of the deeds 
of their nation. Very many proverbs giving golden rules for life are 
used by the Soudan and Bantu Negroes. . . . 

Although some few tribes disgust us by their indolence, Otto Kersten 
cites instances of East African Negroes which show that they voluntarily 
endeavor to improve their circumstances by industry. The inhabitants 
of the Gold Coast exhibit their patience and skill in the manufacture of 
chains, and of the finest gold wire, which, as Bosman justly remarked, 
can scarcely be imitated in Europe. Schweinfurth pronounces the steel 
chains of the Mombuttu Negroes to be equal to any similar productions 
in Europe. In the Soso country, a southern district of the kingdom of 
Sokoto, the Negroes pave the inside of their courts with a sort of 
Mosaic. Lodislaus Magyar speaks of flint locks made by the natives of 
Bihe; Hamilton also saw guns among the Kissama Negroes, which had 
been made after Portuguese patterns and in Bambaro, Bambook, and 
Bornon, the Negroes make gun powder, and contrive to procure the 
necessary saltpetre in their own country. It must be added that the 
Hausa and Fulba, in Sokoto and also the Jolofers, manufacture a useful 
sort of soap from a decoction of earth nuts mixed with a lye of wood 
ashes. But the most ingenious achievement on the part of a Negro is 
the creation by a Vei of original characters, consisting partly of a 

Africa To-day. 593 

syllabic, partly of simple phonetic signs. In his youth, it is true, the 
inventor was educated by Europeans and was able to read, but he had 
to make an alphabetical analysis of his own language before he could 
invent the characters. 

The Negroes possess in high degree both the power and the inclina- 
tion to adopt the benefits of foreign civilization, but on the other hand 
they are extremely deficient in inventions of their own. . . . 

After all that has been said, it would be quite unjustifiable to pro- 
nounce the Negro incapable of rising to a higher state. 


Keane has a high opinion of the Negroid peoples, but not of 
the pure Negro. On page 331 of Vol. I of his works on Africa, 
he says: 

The best hope for the future of Soudan lies neither in the pure Hamitic 
and Semitic, nor still less in the pure Negro element, the former slaves to a 
blind religious fanaticism, the latter barred by inherent racial indolence and 
a low grade of intelligence. In the opinion of the latest observers, the 
brightest prospects of the land are bound up with the mixed Negroid 
peoples, who, with their industrious and peaceful habits, commercial spirit 
and natural intelligence, are capable, under wise European control, of indefi- 
nite material and moral progress. Here at least one great racial problem has 
been more satisfactorily solved by miscegenation, because the experiment 
has been unconsciously tried under the most favorable conditions, such as 
a climate as well suited for the intruders as for the aborigines, no exces- 
sive disparity between the fused elements, and sufficient time to allow for 
perhaps many partial failures before good average results were obtained. 
These results are by some ethnologists credited to the Negro race itself, 
and are appealed to as proof of its capacity to acquire unaided a com- 
paratively high degree of culture. But the Hausas, Kanuri or other cen- 
tral Soudanese peoples are, as above shown, of mixed origin, and their 
civilization has been entirely developed under Mohammedan influences. 
The standard attainable by pure Negro communities left to themselves 
may be measured by the social usages prevalent amongst the people of 
Ashanti, Dahomey, and the Oil Rivers, with their degraded fetishism, and 
now abolished sanguinary "customs," or amongst the Niam-Niam and 
Mang-battu populations of the Welle basin, whose anthropophagism is 
not exceeded by that of any other tribe in the cannibal Zone. 

I have all along contended that Keane was more of a scientist 
than a philosopher, more successful as a describer than an 
explainer, that he was more successful in making observations 
than in drawing conclusions from the observations, and more 
successful in unearthing facts than in drawing inferences from 

594 The African Abroad. 

facts. In a word, he is a keen observer but a poor reasoner. 
This is shown when on page 125 of Vol. II of his work on 
Africa, he quotes Colonel Ruffin, who makes wild and rambling 
statements, which any school boy can refute, as high authority. 
Keane says : 

Even under wise and equitable European control the Negro proper is 
incapable of rising except by miscegenation, which involves a correspond- 
ing degradation of the higher class element. The late Colonel F. G. 
Ruffin, perhaps the best authority on the Negro question in the Southern 
States, declared that it was impossible to educate the colored people. 
Their industrial condition, their criminal record, their social, moral and 
religious state, all show that freedom is a disadvantage to them; that 
they are worse in all these particulars than they were before the war, 
and are deteriorating every day. . . . The Negro is incapable of 
receiving what white men call religion and education, and he is worse 
after professing to have received them than he was before. 

And Keane, about to make the most absurd statement in his 
book, goes on to say : 

It may be confidently asserted that no pure Negro population, ever 
produced such a personality as Calemba, "the intelligent and noble 
minded king of the Ba-Luba," who, Bateman tells us, "would amongst 
any people be a remarkable, and indeed, in many respects, a magnificent 
man," and who some years ago of his own accord abolished fetishism 
independently of any European influences. But steel-gray eyes are 
prevalent amongst the Ba-Luba, betraying a distinct Hamitic strain, and 
the Hamites are a main branch of the Caucasic or highest division 01 

In view of the record made by colored students in Yale, Har- 
vard, Princeton, Cornell, Columbia, Dartmouth, Bowdoin, 
Amherst, Williams and Brown; in view of the record made by 
colored students in the universities of Chicago and Pennsylvania ; 
in view of the record made by colored students in English, 
Scotch, French and German universities; in view of the fact 
that thousands of colored students have graduated from state 
universities and denominational colleges in the South, it is indeed 
somewhat amusing to see Keane, the noted ethnologist, quoting 
Colonel Ruffin as authority in saying that it was impossible to 
educate the Negro. 

It was possible for Calhoun to question the Negro's ability to 
master the Greek syntax seventy years ago, before Negro 

Africa To-day. 595 

students had taken graduate degrees, won fellowships and 
scholarships ; won literary and oratorical prizes in the best Euro- 
pean and American universities, and been honored as class ora- 
tors, commencement speakers, and made debating teams in 
America's greatest universities. But how a scholar of the repu- 
tation of Keane can make that statement to-day passes human 
comprehension. It recalls the saying that sometimes even Homer 

And then, again, Keane, with the most absolute confidence 
goes on to make the most absurd statement in all his work. He 
says : "It may be confidently asserted that no purely Negro 
population ever produced such a personality as Calemba." 
Can it be possible that Keane never heard of Toussaint L'Over- 
ture, the greatest soldier and statesman that the Negro race has 
yet produced? Can it be possible that he never heard of Bishop 
Samuel Adjai Crowther, who received a D.D. degree from 
Oxford University in 1864, and spent twenty-seven years as a 
missionary bishop in Africa? Can it be possible that he never 
heard of Alexander Crummell, who received the A.M. degree 
from Cambridge University, and spent twenty years on the west 
coast of Africa as a missionary? In some respects the great 
Keane has the naivety of a crude and unsophisticated schoolboy. 

It is interesting that the lower classes of the Alasai, whom 
Keane refers to as the Wa-Kwafi, and whose noses are of the 
Negro type, are also the most civilized. For he says, on pages 
574-575 of Vol. II of his work on Africa: 

But in natural intelligence the Masai, like all other Hamites, far sur- 
pass the most gifted Bantu peoples. Hence those who, like the Wa- 
Kwafi, have exchanged the spear for the spade, show themselves excellent 
husbandmen, founding peaceful agricultural communities in several 
districts, and developing many civic virtues, which speak well for the 
prospects of the land under an orderly government. 

Thus the Wa-Kwafi, who have the largest infusion of the 
Masai tribe, are the most industrious and law-abiding and least 
predatory and lawless. 


Booker T. \\'ashington's "The Story of the Negro," published 
in two volumes by Doubleday, Page & Company, while not a work 

596 Tlie African Abroad. 

characterized by scientific accuracy and profound knowledge of 
anthropology and sociology, is on the whole one of the clearest 
and best histories of the Negro that has appeared since the 
publication of Williams' "History of the Negro Race." 

Dr. Washington devotes the first four chapters and first eighty 
pages of the first volume to "The Negro in Africa." He pre- 
sents a very interesting and readable account of the African 
Negro that is fairly accurate but not exactly scientific in details. 

On pages 18 and 19 of his book he speaks of the Negro, the 
real black man, and intimates that the yellow Bushmen were not 
Negroes, and he quotes with seeming approval from George W. 
Stow, on the "Native Races of South Africa," who says: 

It seems somewhat surprising that so many writers have continued to 
class these people (Bushmen) with the Negroes or other dark-skinned 
species of men; whereas, if we are to judge from the physical appear- 
ance, with a solitary exception of the hair, no two sections of the human 
race could be more divergent. 

On page 20 of the same book, Dr. Washington says : 

After I had learned that the original African was not a black man, 
and not a Negro in the strict scientific sense of the word, etc. 

Now, Professor A. H. Keane wrote on "The World's Peoples," 
as late as 1908, and the Publishers and Booksellers Journal says. 
Professor Keane is acknowledged to be the first ethnologist of 
the day. While sometimes hasty in drawing deductions from 
facts, Keane is unerring in his accuracy in presenting facts. 
On page 16 of the work referred to above, Professor Keane 
groups the Bushmen and Hottentots of the southwest Africa 
under the Negro or Black Race Division of mankind and under 
the sub-section, Soudanese (Negroes proper). 

On pages 19 and 20 of his "The Story of the Negro," Dr. 
Washington says: 

One who studies the books about Africa will read a great deal about 
the Negro who lives, as the books tell us, in the Soudan, a part of 
Africa that is often referred to as Negroland. . . . The true Negro, 
I learned, is only one section of what is ordinarily known as the Negro 
race ; the other is the Bantu, a mixed people, generally brown in color, 
who were the first Invaders of south Africa, driving out the original 
Bushmen, and gradually extending themselves over most of the part of 
the continent below the equator. 

Africa To-day. 597 

Dr. Washington thus refers to the Soudanese Negro Hving in 
Negroland as the "true Negro" and the Bantu as a "mixed 
people." But Professor A. H. Keane says on page iii of his 
"The World's Peoples" : 

In Bantuland, comprising nearly all the southern section of the con- 
tinent, the multitudinous Negroid populations often differ very little from 
the Soudanese Negroes. The assumption is that they are never full-blood 
but always half-caste blends of black with Caucasian Hamites or 
Semites. But we have seen that great numbers, in fact the majority, 
of the Soudanese are made up of the same elements, so that it is not 
surprising that the members of the two great divisions are not everywhere 
physically distinguishable from each other. 

Thus Keane shows that the majority of the Soudanese Negroes 
are not pure Negroes, but are mixed people, made up of the 
same elements as the Bantu Negroes, and thus he would not 
sustain Dr. Washington in speaking of the Soudanese Negroes 
as the "true Negro" in opposition to the Bantu as a "mixed 

Again, on page i6 of his work. Dr. Washington says: 

I was much surprised, therefore, to learn that the Negro, the real 
Black man, is after all one of the earliest settlers of the continent, 
coming from somewhere else, probably Asia, no one knows exactly where 
or how. 

The old theory of the science was that the cradle of the human 
race was in Asia. Now, Dr. Washington seems to share in this 
theory, for he speaks of the probability of the Negro, the real 
black man, coming from Asia. But I believe such acknowledged 
anthropologists as Peschel, Sergi and Keane would take issue 
with him. 

On page 29 of his "The Races of Man," Oscar Peschel says: 

We may, therefore, conclude that before the separation of their lan- 
guage, the whole of the Australians, the South Africans, the Aryan 
nations and the Americans possessed a common home, from whence they 
spread by migration. 

But where is this common home? On page 32 of the same 
book Peschel states that only in southern Asia or Africa or a 
submerged continent in the Indian Ocean can we hope to find 
the original home of man, the starting point of human migration. 

598 The African Abroad. 

And he also believes that the chances of localizing the cradle of 
the human race in British India are diminishing, because "many- 
precursory types of the present mammals have already been 
found." He bars out the lowlands of Siberia, because, "at a time 
geologically recent it was still covered by the sea." So the con- 
clusion of Peschel would seem to be that the cradle of the human 
race is Africa or the submerged continent in the Indian Ocean. 

Sergi partly confirms this theory in his "Mediterranean Race," 
for he states that the Mediterranean race, from which the early 
settlers in Greece, Rome, Spain and France, the Egyptians, 
Phoenicians, Arabs and Negroes sprang, dwelt on the north 
shore of Africa. 

While Keane on page 29 of "The World's Peoples," speaks of 
"the subsidence of the former Indo-African Continent" and 
agrees with Peschel that there was a submerged continent in the 
Indian Ocean, he yet differs from him as to the original home of 
mankind. On page 2 of "The World's Peoples" he says : 

As man is therefore essentially one, he cannot have had more than one 
primeval home. This human cradle, as we may call it, may now be 
located with some certainty in the Eastern Archipelago, and more par- 
ticularly in the island of Java, where in 1892 Dr. Eugene DuBois 
brought to light the earliest known remains that can be described as 
distinctly human. 

On page 5 of the same book he speaks of the human family 
originating in Malaysia. 

Thus, while the distinguished Tuskeegeean thinks the Negro 
came from Asia, Oscar Peschel thinks his original home was in 
Africa or the submerged continent in the Indian Ocean ; Sergi 
thinks his original home was on the north shore of Africa, and 
Keane thinks his original home was on the island of Java. So 
we must probably not only abandon the theory that the original 
home of the Negro was in Asia, but we may be compelled to 
abandon the theory that the cradle of the human race was in Asia. 

On pages 54, 55 and 56 of his work. Dr. Booker T. Washing- 
ton gives an interesting account of the Fulahs and Hausas and 
the wonderful market of Kano. He speaks of the remarkable 
chieftain, Mohammed Askia, who thrived in 1492. He truly 
speaks of the Fulahs, who, under Othman dan Fodiye, conquered 
the Hausas in the early section of the ninth century, as being 

Africa To-day. 599 

noted for their military spirit, and the Hausas for their com- 
mercial enterprise. But he seems to overlook that the Hausas 
are experts in the manly art of self-defense and that pugilistic 
encounters are as popular among the Hausas as prize fighting 
in America and bull fighting in Spain. 

On page 98 of "The World's Peoples," Keane says : 

Although the Hausas are a courteous and, to some extent, even a 
polished people, the utmost ferocity is displayed by the professional 
boxers in their pugilistic exhibitions, which frequently result in the death 
of one of the combatants. In these encounters, which are extremely 
popular, the protagonist, that is, the last man who has "beaten the 
records," leads off by advancing nearly naked in the ring, when he 
challenges all comers by crying out defiantly, "I am a hyaena ! I am a 
lion, I can kill all that dare oppose me." Then another champion takes 
up the challenge and the tussle begins by sparring with the left hand 
open and hitting with the right, the blows being generally aimed at the 
pit of the stomach and under the ribs. When they close, one will clasp 
the other's head under his arm and pummel it with his fist, at the same 
time using the knees against his thighs and often even attempting to 
choke him or gouge out one of his eyes. The object is not to throw but 
to disable ; so that it is not a wrestling but a real boxing match, in 
which the "fight to a finish" is to be taken in the strictest sense of the 

Thus we see that the peaceful, law-abiding and commercial 
Hausas enjoy an old-fashioned bare-knuckled slugging match as 
much as the typical Anglo-Saxon or Celt, the two great fighting 
races of modern times. And we also see that the Hausa boxers 
imitate the tactics of John L. Sullivan, Sharkey, Battling Nelson 
and Frank Gotch. The whole world loves a fighter, that is 
why the American newspapers devoted more space to Jack John- 
son than to Booker T. Washington, and as much space to 
Jefifries as to ex-President Taft. That is why the defeat of 
Sullivan by Corbett attracted as much attention and created as 
much of a sensation as Dewey's victory in IManila Bay, Roent- 
gen's discovery of the X-ray, Marconi's sending a message by 
wireless telegraphy, and Cook's supposed discovery of the north 
pole. So in their admiration for the fighting man the Hausas 
are human and no different from the Greeks, Romans, Anglo- 
Saxons or Celts. Keane, however, did not write this passage 
to show that the Hausas have the innate love of a fighter, which 
all mankind has. But he wrote it to prove their brutality. I 

6oo The African Abroad. 

will say, in passing, however, that prize fighting" in America has 
been under the ban since a black man became champion. 

Finally, I cannot better close this account of Africa than by 
quoting from the preface to Robert H. Milligan's interesting 
work on "The Jungle Folks of Africa." I believe that it is the 
surest and most illuminating statement about the Africans. 
Milligan says: 

In the generations that have passed since the books of Du Chaillu 
were the delight of boys — old boys and young — the African has received 
but scant sympathy in literature. Du Chaillu had the mind of a scientist 
and the heart of a poet. He never understated the degradation of the 
African nor exaggerated his virtues, but he recognized in him the raw 
material out of which manhood is made. He realized that the African, 
like ourselves is not a finality, but a possibility, "the tadpole of an arch- 
angel," as genius has phrased it. But then, Du Chaillu lived among the 
Africans long enough to speak their language, to forget the color of their 
skin and to know them, mind and heart, as no passing traveler or casual 
observer can possibly know them. 

In more recent books, the African is usually and uniformly presented 
as physically ugly, mentally stupid, morally repulsive, and never inter- 
esting. This is by no means my opinion of the African. 

This book is an attempt to exhibit the human nature of the African, 
to the end that he may be regarded not merely as a being endowed with 
an immortal soul, and a candidate for salvation, but as a man whose 
present life is calculated to awaken our interest and sympathy; a man 
with something like our own capacity for joy and sorrow, and to whom 
pleasure and pain are very real ; who bleeds when he is pricked and 
who laughs when he is amused; a man essentially like ourselves, but 
whose beliefs and whose circumstances are so remote from any likeness 
to our own that as we enter the realm in which he lives and moves and 
has his being we seem to have been transported upon the magic carpet 
of the Arabian fable, away from reality into a world of imagination — 
a wonderland, where things happen without a cause and nature has no 
stability, where the stone that falls downwards to-day may fall upwards 
to-morrow, where a person may change himself into a leopard, and birds 
wear foliage for feathers, where rocks and trees speak with articulate 
voice, and animals moralize as men — a world running at random and 
haphazard, where everything operates except reason and where credulity 
is only equalled by incredulity. Everywhere it is the unexpected that hap- 
pens; in Africa it is the unexpected that we expect. 

But while it is interesting to note what travelers have said 
about Africa, it is still more interesting to note what those who 
have made Africa the scene of their life-work have said about 

Africa To-day. 6oi 

her. Sir Arthur E. Kennedy, Colonial Governor half a century 
ago, and Hon. James Carmichael Smith, the author of numerous 
treatises and articles upon economics of high value, until 
recently Postmaster-General of Sierra Leone, have paid striking 
tribute to Africa's achievements and to her future. 


The Sierra Leone Weekly News said at the close of an edi- 
torial, Saturday, August 24, 1912: 

In our last issue we printed an item of news, small indeed, but full 
of interest for patriotic West Africans. The news to which we refer 
ran as follows : 

"Among the successful graduates from the Birmingham University, 
England, recently, was George Debayo Agbebi of Lagos, West Coast of 
Africa, nephew of Dr. Mojola Agbebi of Lagos, who stood third in a class 
of fifty-seven, composed of Chinese, Japanese, East Indians, Scotch and 
English students. We understand Mr. Agbebi will take up civil engineer- 
ing as a profession and is on his homeward voyage." 

The heading of this piece of good news shows that Mr. Agbebi took 
his bachelor's degree in Science, and that he is also a Fellow, not of 
the Geographical, but of the Geological Society of Great Britain. 

Further, the fact that young Agbebi hails from a British University of 
acknowledged status, where, perhaps the foremost man of science in the 
English world — Sir Oliver Lodge, is Principal, leaves not the smallest 
room for literary ridicule of any kind. 

Mr. Agbebi's degree is a testimony from some of the highest authori- 
ties in the British Isles to his fitness in a branch of study which is being 
made so much of now-a-days. 

It is right, therefore, we believe, that we should congratulate ourselves 
on this new item of blessing which Providence has bestowed upon us 

When that young barrister and legal author of no mean calibre — now 
removed to a higher sphere, but to our great loss — Honorable J. Mensah 
Sarbah, C.M.G., of Accra, was decorated by His Majesty the King of 
England, we expressed the same sort of gratification which we take 
pleasure in expressing on the present occasion. Why? Because it is a 
rooted conviction in us that Lagos, the Gold Coast, Sierra Leone, Liberia, 
and the Gambia are one people — one in the deepest and truest sense; 
and not only so, but that, uhimatelj% these units may combine to form 
a West African Nation. Will geographical distance created by miles of 
intervening waters prevent this formation? Not when the hour strikes 
and the purpose of God must be fulfilled. We watch therefore with 
interest for every increasing sign of goodwill between us and our kins- 
men, and rejoice at every blessing of theirs which is also ours and vice 

6o2 The African Abroad. 

If there were people among us who would count our blessings — the 
blessings bestowed on us as a people, name them one by one, rather 
than keep croaking about what we have not yet become, they would see 
that there is indeed a Future for us. The man belonging to a race, 
which has two thousand years of civilization at its back, is absurd if 
he laughs at us anywhere. They are absurd, too, those Europeans who 
sneer at Liberia. And they are very absurd — those West Africans who 
cherish no hope for West Africa, their country. Our beginning is within 
easiest reach. We are only of yesterday. Yet have there not been some 
things remarkable about us? To a very appreciable extent we have 
profited ourselves, and profited even our rulers by the book-learning 
which the early Missionaries initiated among us. We have shown apti- 
tude of the best kind for that sort of learning. 

Just fifty years ago the testimony of a conscientious Colonial Governor, | 
Sir Arthur E. Kennedy, was as follows : 

"It would probably be thought unbecoming in me if I sat down with- 
out giving my unbiassed opinion with respect to the men whom we are 
seeking to liberate. — I have seen men of color as Ministers of the Gos- 
pel; I have had them as Servants, I have known them as Traders and 
Shopkeepers, and as Magistrates administering Justice; I have known 
them sitting in the highest seat of the Bench in the Colonies, as Advo- 
cates at the Bar ; and I never had reason to doubt, but that these men 
were as honorable, as honest, and as conscientious as we who are white. 

I go further : I could mention the name of Crowther, and others 
on the Coast of Africa to show that these men are capable of as high 
culture as most white men. I could mention many cases at this moment 
at Sierra Leone. I could point to men who have had the iron struck 
off from their limbs on board a slave ship, but who are to-day as 
civilized as I am myself, and are well to do, some of them worth thous- 
ands of pounds; and all of them loyal subjects of her Majesty. With 
these facts before us, gentlemen — and they are facts — I would beg with 
all heartiness to propose to you this resolution." 

And during these fifty years, what has Time — what has God wrought ! 
We have had graduates in Arts from almost all the British Universities 
and some in Divinity also from high-class Universities in the United 

But whereas it has come, of late, to be the fashion to speak disparag- 
ingly of us as possessing only book-learning, Providence has once more 
interposed in this gift of a Bachelor of Science for which we ought 
to be both thankful and proud. We trust we have, in this achievement 
of our countryman, the beginning, in West Africa, of a new era of 
science graduates who will cause us to 

Discern, unseen before, 
A path to higher destiny. 

We wish Mr. Agbebi long life and a very prosperous career. 

Africa To-day. 603 

Hill Station, Sierra Leone, West Africa, 

31st July, 1911. 
Arthur A. Schomburg, Esq., 

Secretary of the Negro Society for Historical Research, No. 203 
West 115th Street, New York, U. S. A. 

Dear Sir: — I have received your letter posted at Hudson Term. Sta., 
New York, on the loth instant, informing me that I have been unani- 
mously elected as a corresponding member of The Negro Society for 
Historical Research. 

Kindly convey my sincere thanks to the members of the Society for 
the honor they have thereby conferred upon me, whom you have never 
seen and whom you know only as one among the vast army of writers, 
most of whom appear, for a brief moment, upon the surface of the sea 
of literature and then disappear from sight and from memory alto- 
gether and forever. 

Will you let me know the particular phase or phases of historical 
research to which the activities of the Society is destined to be devoted? 
If your objective is research relating to the history of African nations 
and peoples, it might be helpful if your Society could become affiliated, 
in some way, with The African Society of the United Kingdom. The 
address of this Society is : Imperial Institute, South Kensington, Lon- 
don, S. W. 

This Society publishes a Journal, quarterly, and a copy of each of the 
back numbers and also of the current issues would make very substantial 
and valuable additions to the library of your Society. 

This journal contains reasonably dependable information, so far as it 
goes, from thoroughly reliable sources; it contains the best informa- 
tion so far obtainable by the West concerning Africa and Africans; but 
we are only on the coast line of another vast sociologic continent or 

Write to the Secretary at the Imperial Institute, and have a try for 
the back numbers of The Journal of the African Society. 

This Society was originally founded as a memorial of the late Miss 
Mary Kingsley, who had visited West Africa several times, and who 
eventually died in South Africa during the period of our recent war 
which ended in the absorption of the Boer Republics into the British 

Miss Kingsley had devoted several years of her life to the first-hand- 
study, on the spot, of African customs and institutions; her writings on 
these subjects, developed in a popular style of her own, are interesting 
and illuminating, and they were, to a very considerable degree, influ- 
ential in awakening the now world-wide interest in all matters relating, 
not only to the African geologic and biologic subjects, but also to the 
sociologic side of Africans as human beings, living together in organized 
societies, with the institutions of the Family, the State, the Church and 


6o4 The African Abroad. 

the School developed to a very considerable degree on well-marked, dis- 
tinctive indigenous lines. 

Sarbah's "Fanti Customary Law" (written by an African— a Fanti— 
who was a barrister-at-law, a member of the Legislative Council of the 
Gold Coast Colony, before his untimely death during the current year, 
His Majesty the King had conferred the honor of appointing him a 
Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. 
George), contains a most lucid and scientific description of the social 
institutions of the Fanti People — a confederation of tribes who, in resist- 
ing absorption by the powerful neighboring Ashanti nation, allied them- 
selves with the British nation under conditions which have so far resulted 
in the political breaking-up of the Ashanti nation, and in the establishing 
of the British nation as the paramount political power in that portion of 
West Africa. 

Our rule is humane, and the present-day policy of the British govern- 
ment is to preserve and develop indigenous institutions and customs in 
so far as these are consistent with natural justice and humane conditions 
of life. 

This beneficent and progressive policy which extends throughout the 
whole of British Africa — east, west, north and south — promises to bring 
the hitherto isolated peoples of Africa into living and constant contact 
with the European peoples, with the religious, political and intellectual 
influences of the Christian phase of the Western civilization. 

There has been for centuries, and there is now, living and constant 
contact between the African and Asiatic peoples — of the African peoples 
with the religious, political and intellectual influences of the Islamic 
phase of the Eastern civilization. 

These Western and Eastern influences modify in some degree, in 
diverse ways, almost unconsciously, the indigenous institutions and cus- 
toms of the African peoples. 

These influences are, in many ways, antagonistic to each other, and 
both are, in diff'erent ways, antagonistic to the indigenous African socio- 
logic ideas and influences ; but there are also numerous basic points of 
harmony which is the reasonable ground of the hope that the African 
peoples, who are now again entering upon the heritage of all the ages of 
man (in common with the European and Asiatic peoples), who are now 
gathering together within the human area wherein all the vitalizing 
streams of progress flow in and flow out (leaving the fertilizing deposit 
which is engendered by human contact — as steel sharpens steel — and 
which make up and sustain the present-day progressive civilization of 
both the West and the East), meet and mingle, will, from these abundant 
supplies of wisdom, and of folly also, select those things which are help- 
ful and useful, and reject those things which are hurtful and useless, 
and absorb for their own use and benefit the things which make for 
life, which appertain unto life, unto ever more and more abundant life, 
if not in quantity then in variety of harmonious manifestation, resting 

Africa To-day. 605 

upon the cooperative commonwealth (which is the economic basis of 
the African State — a State which guarantees and realizes economic 
security for each and every member of an African tribe, from cradle 
to grave), and so build up for themselves, in a good will, the African 
nations of the future, resting securely upon those things which remain 
forever and ever, upon those things which cannot be shaken — even justice, 
truth and the saving faith in the common fatherhood of the one ever- 
living God, and in the common Brotherhood of the one ever-living 
human race. 

I am leaving here for Europe on 2/8/1 1 until the end of the current 
year. My address in Europe is given at the beginning of this letter. 

Yours faithfully, 

Jas. C. Smith. 

XoTE. — The writer of this splendid letter is a colored man, who was 
born at San Salvador, Bahamas, July 30, 1852, and received his early 
education at the Nassau Grammar School. He taught in New York 
State between the years 1872 and 1876. He served as assistant post- 
master-general of Sierra Leone, British West Indies, from 1896 to 1900, 
and as postmaster-general and manager of the savings bank from 1900 
to December, 191 1, when he retired on a pension. He has written nearly 
a dozen books upon economics, one of which, "Intertemporary Values," 
or "The Distribution of the Produce in Time," was highly praised by 
the Scotsman, the Glasgow Herald and other English papers. "The 
Double Standard Money System" and "Legal Tender" are other noted 
works. Both as an administrator and writer upon economic questions, 
Hon. James Carmichael Smith has reflected credit upon the entire 
colored race. Perhaps he is the most distinguished writer upon economic 
questions that the colored race has yet produced. 


Hayti, the Black Republic. 

Situated in the Atlantic Ocean, about four times as long and 
six times as wide as Long Island, with a salubrious climate, 
with a virgin soil that is wonderfully rich and fertile, with hills 
and valleys covered with large, splendid trees and perfume-laden 
flowers, Hayti, with her colored population of two million, is 
indeed an ideal spot for a Black Republic. 

And then, when we come to her inhabitants, we find them 
the most interesting colored people in the world; brilliant in 
mind, brave and proud and haughty in spirit, generous and hos- 
pitable in disposition, mercurial and impressionable in tempera- 
ment, speaking the French language fluently, admiring and 
assimilating French ideals of chivalry, honor and freedom and 
liberty, but lacking the sanity, sobriety, steadiness and stability 
of the Anglo-Saxons. But the Haytiens are really colored 
Frenchmen, with French manners, customs, religion, dress and 
buildings. Haytien women are noble and self-sacrificing. And 
some are as beautiful and brilliant as those who have figured in 
French history. And the history of Hayti is the history of 
France in miniature. The history of France in the sixteenth, 
seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries has been reen- 
acted in Hayti in the nineteenth century. 

Hayti started her history as a republic in a blaze of glory. 
The Haytien Revolution was started by the free mulattoes 
catching the spirit of the French Revolution and clamoring for 
their political rights. Then, under Toussaint L'Ouverture, a 
herdsman and coachman, who devoted his leisure hours to study, 
the Haytiens rose en masse (the black slaves catching the spirit 
of the free mulattoes), threw off the English, French and Span- 
ish yoke, and adopted a constitution. Trapped by Napoleon, 
Toussaint was confined in a damp cell, where he died from cold 
and hunger. But the Haytiens did not despair ; under Dessal- 
ines, a black Atilla, they rallied and avenged the death of 
Toussaint by crushing and expelling the French. Over fifty 

Hayti, the Black Republic. 607 

thousand brave Frenchmen lost their lives in the vain attempt 
to subjugate Hayti. The strategy of Toussaint and the fierce 
impetuosity of Dessalines proved too formidable a combination 
for the French. 

To the superficial observer, Hayti's history has been one of 
vv'ar and bloodshed, of civil wars and dissensions. Dessalines, 
the liberator and first president of Hayti, was assassinated, his 
very companions and brothers-in-arms, Henri Christophe and 
Petion, joining in the revolt against him. Then Henri Christophe 
and Petion became formidable rivals and bitter enemies, and 
divided Hayti into two separate governments, Christophe ruling 
the State of Hayti or northern half of the island in regal pomp 
and splendor as king, while Petion ruled the Republic of Hayti 
or southern half of the island as president. 

Petion governed the Republic of Hayti, universally loved and 
admired from his election in March, 1807, to his death in March, 
181 8. So great was his popularity and so high was the esteem 
in which he was held, that on the day after his death the Senate 
met and elected Jean Pierre Boyer, his pet and favorite, as presi- 
dent for life. But Petion is the only Haytien president who died 
universally beloved and esteemed and whose career closed in a 
blaze of glory. 

King Christophe's followers deserted him for Petion and 
Boyer, the president of the Republic. Finally his own bodyguard 
deserted him and then the lion-hearted Christophe shot himself. 
Then Jean Pierre Boyer, the successor of Petion, ruled as presi- 
dent of the whole island from 1822 to 1843, when he resigned 
because of a revolt led by Major Charles Herard, surnamed 
Riviere, who then became president. But Herard's lease of 
official life was very short, for in 1844 an insurrection of the 
peasants under Jean-Jacques Acaan broke out and Herard left 
Hayti the same year. Then the aged General Guerrier, who died 
the following year, became president. Then in 1845, General 
Pierrot was elected president, but resigned in 1846 because of 
his unpopularity. Riche was proclaimed president in March, 
1846, defeated the insurgent Acaan, overworked himself and died 
in February, 1847. 

Then from 1847 to 1849 Fastin Soulouque was president. 
In 1849 he was proclaimed emperor and assumed monarchial 

6o8 The African Abroad. 

powers. Like Dessalines, Christophe and Charles Herard, he 
became a despot, an autocrat, and a dictator. General Fabre 
Geffrard led an insurrection, and, with a powerful army behind 
him, compelled Soulouque to resign and leave Hayti in 1859. 
Thus ended monarchy in Hayti. Geffrard was appointed presi- 
dent in 1859 and accepted the presidency for life but he, like so 
many of his predecessors and successors, rode roughshod over 
the democratic ideals of liberty and freedom, which had become 
dear to the Haytien heart. Dissension and dissatisfaction 
resulted. Major Sylvain Salnave led an armed insurrection. 
The commander of the British man-of-war Bulldog became 
involved in difficulties with the insurgent steamer Providence and 
fired on Cape Haytien, the headquarters of the insurgents. Then 
the Galatea and other British gun boats bombarded the place. 
Though this insurrection was crushed through foreign aid, as 
Jacques Legers put it, "the Haytiens always look askance on the 
interference of foreigners in their affairs. The balls of the 
English cannon had as it were, deeply wounded the national 
pride. They caused all the good done by Geffrard to be forgot- 
ten. He completely lost his popularity." Finally, in 1867, his 
pet regiment, the "Tirailleurs," rebelled and attacked the execu- 
tive mansion, and the broken-hearted Geffrard resigned the 
presidency in 1867 and sailed for Jamaica. 

Then, in 1867, Major Sylvain Salnave, the leader of the insur- 
gents, was elected president. He, too, erected a despotism which 
rivalled that of his predecessors. Though in his administration, 
the constitution abolished the presidency for life, he out-Roose- 
velted Roosevelt in dominating the legislature and wielding the 
big stick, and followed in the footsteps of Cromwell by driving 
the congressmen, who seemed to sympathize with General Leon 
Montes, suspected of stirring up a rebellion among the peasants, 
out of the House of Representatives and suspending the consti- 
tution and reestablishing the presidency for life. This Haytien 
Cromwell even called himself "Protector of the Republic," but 
he was not the match for Cromwell in crushing his enemies, 
although like Cromwell he relied upon his arms to crush his 
foes. Nissage Saget, Boisrond Canal and the most powerful men 
in Hayti joined in the uprising against Salnave. who was 
beseiged in Port au Prince. Then, too late, he appointed a 

Hayti, the Black Republic. 609 

legislative council, which reenacted the constitution of 1846 and 
reestablished the presidency for life. 

Then, in 1870, General Nissage Saget, the leader of the 
uprising, was elected president for four years. He served out 
his time of office, although he refused to remain in power until 
his successor could be elected. General Michel Domingue was 
appointed president in 1874 and overthrown in 1876, because of 
bad financial measures and because of the killing of Pierre and 
Brice, the leaders of the conspiracy against him. 

Then, in 1876, General Boisrond Canal, one of the leaders of 
the uprising against Salnave and Domingue, was elected presi- 
dent, but in the year 1879, of his own free will, he resigned 
because he was weary of internal dissensions, party strife and 
foreign intervention. But he still retained his hold on the esteem 
of his people, for in 1888 when President Salamon resigned and 
in 1902 when President Sam resigned, Boisrond Canal was 
appointed president of the Provisional Government, which 
restored order and maintained authority. His legal advice was 
sought in the civil war between Hyppolite and Legitime, and for 
a quarter of a century after his resignation in 1879, Boisrond 
Canal has been a Nestor in the councils of his people. 

It is said that when the European Powers wanted legal justi- 
fication of Hyppolite's course, Boisrond Canal was sought for. 
He was found in his hiding place in a barn. Without reading a 
book or pamphlet, or searching for notes, Boisrond Canal, on 
the spur of the moment, wrote down the legal justification for 
Hyppolite's course. 

The respect and veneration paid by the Haytiens to the judg- 
ment and discretion of ex-President Boisrond Canal is the one 
bright spot in her history, the one fact which indicates that 
ultimately she will attain to self-government. We in America 
have never had a president who, in his retirement from office, 
has been the power in the councils of his nation that Boisrond 
Canal has. I regard him as the greatest statesman Hayti has 
produced since Toussaint L'Ouverture and Petion. 

But to return to our story. In 1879, Lysius Salamon, ex-Hay- 
tien Minister to France, who had studied abroad, was elected 
president of Hayti for a term of seven years. Like Boisrond 
Canal, he faced the Domingue loan, difficulties with the United 

6io The African Abroad. 

States over the Pelletier and Lazore affair, but he came out all 
right, established a national bank, gave Hayti her first submarine 
telegraph, secured her admission to the Universal Postal Union, 
held a national agricultural exposition and organized a strong 
law school. So wise and able a ruler was he that the constitution 
which prohibited reelection was modified, and in i886 Salamon 
was reelected for another term of seven years. 

Then the Haytiens became alarmed at his growing power; 
it seemed that he was reestablishing the presidency for life. 
General Seide Thelemache led the insurrection and rebelled in 
1888 and made a move upon Port au Prince. Then Salomon 
resigned and sailed for France. Thus ended the rule of the 
ablest administrator Hayti has had since the immortal Tous- 
saint and wise Petion. And now follows the civil war that 
divided Hayti into two warring camps and armed bands. 

General Seide Thelemache and Tughtmore, secretary of agri- 
culture, were candidates for the presidency. The outcome was 
in doubt. General Seide Thelemache was shot and killed soon 
after he left his tent for the purpose of stopping the row which 
might assume serious proportions between his soldiers and 
Legitime's partisans. The northern and northwestern section of 
Hayti, which was loyal to Seide Thelemache, regarded Legitime 
as the moving cause of Seide Thelemache's death and demanded 
the withdrawal of his candidacy, and organized a provincial 
government, of which General Hyppolite was appointed presi- 
dent. The constituents of the southern and western sections 
then elected Legitime president in December, 1888. Legitime 
took possession of the palace. 

General Hyppolite was victorious in arms. His brother, Gen- 
eral Reno Hyppolite, was about to descend from his mountain 
stronghold and bombard Port au Prince, when Legitime left 
the palace and sailed from Port au Prince in August, 1889. 

Hyppolite ruled wisely and well — building wharves, markets, 
canals and roads and constructing telegraph lines — from 1889 
until he was stricken with apoplexy in 1896. His administration 
is memorable from the fact it was during his presidency that 
the United States in vain attempted to secure the Mole Saint 
Nicholas for a naval and coaling station ; and, holding Frederick 
Douglass rather than Rear Admiral Gherard responsible for the 
failure, replaced him by Durham. 

Hayti, the Black Republic. 6ii 

General T. Simon-Sam served as president from 1896 to 1902, 
when he resigned because of a misunderstanding as to the tenure 
of his office. And now the heroic figure of Nord Alexis first 
comes before the public gaze. He made other men presidents 
by his sword, and finally he made himself president by his sword. 
The Current Literature Magazine for June, 1908, says that he 
is the most brilliant leader Hayti has had since Toussaint 

General Nord Alexis was born about 1820. His father was 
a high official and a favorite in King Christophe's court. But 
young Nord Alexis, while still in his teens, cherished and nour- 
ished heroic dreams in the garden of Milot and around the 
palace of San-Souci and became enamored of republican ideals. 
When a youth of about seventeen years of age, he left the luxury 
of court life, fled from court and became an outcast and wanderer, 
facing bitter poverty and social ostracism. He scattered the 
seeds of revolution wherever he went and impregnated his 
countrymen with his own republican ideals and love of liberty. 
He was among the ardent spirits of the revolution of 1843. Since 
that time, he has been a foremost figure in every revolution that 
Hayti has had. He was a ringleader in the revolt of 1869 which 
overthrew Salnave and was a member of the Provisional Gov- 
ernment that was organized then. In 1872 he was in command 
of the Haytien army. He was the victorious commander-in-chief 
of Hyppolite's forces ; and was secretary of war when A. Fir- 
min, minister plenipotentiary to France, and former secretary 
of the treasury and of exterior relations, Senator Senegne M. 
Pierre and C. Fouchard, former secretary of the treasury, were 
rivals for the presidency, with the odds slightly in favor of 
Firmin. But Admiral Killick, Firmin's friend, became involved 
in difficulties with the German gunboat Panther, because he 
seized the German steamship Markomania, took the arms and 
ammunition which were sent to Nord Alexis, a member of the 
Provisional Government, to restore order at Cape Haytien. Kil- 
lick blew up himself and his ship, the Crcte-a-Pierrot, rather than 
surrender her to the Germans. Then Firmin's fortune besran to 
wane. The election was a tangled skein and Gordian knot, which 
the National Assembly unravelled and cut by electing Nord 
Alexis president in 1902, when he was eighty years old. And 
he remained president eight years, though beset with foes within 

6i2 The African Abroad. 

and without. The friends of Firmin, dissatisfied because Nord 
Alexis in reaUty turned against his chief and friend, seized the 
presidency, by virtue of having a strong army behind them. 
During the years 1907 and 1908 seeds of discontent and dissatis- 
faction began to be sown. But Nord Alexis promptly nipped the 
conspiracy in the bud by seizing and putting to death the leaders 
of the uprising. And he remained serenely in the possession of 
the palace, although the foreign ministers advised him to resign 
and abdicate. In December, 1908, the revolt became too strong. 
Nord Alexis was forced to retire from office, and General Simons 
was declared president. 

Such, in brief, is the history of Hayti as I gathered it in the 
brilliant work on "Hayti, Her History and Her Detractors," by 
Jacques Leger, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary 
of Hayti in the United States. What shall we say of it? A 
superficial glance seems to reveal Hayti's incapacity for self- 
government. Out of nineteen rulers, only two, Toussaint 
L'Ouverture, her national hero, and Petion, the father of the 
Republic, died or retired from office with as strong a hold upon 
the affections of the people as when they entered upon their 
official duties. Guerrier and Riche, like Petion, died in the har- 
ness, but they were not at the head of affairs long enough to 
prove their mettle as rulers. Dessalines was assassinated. Sal- 
nave was put to death. King Christophe shot himself when his 
bodyguard deserted him. Nine presidents, Boyer, Charles 
Herard, Pierrot, Soulouque, Geffrard, Domingue, Salamon, 
Legitime and Simon Sam were overthrown or forced to retire. 
Five of these, Boyer, Herard, Geffrard, Domingue and Salamon, 
died away from Hayti. Even the brilliant and popular Boisrond 
Canal and the successful Nissage Saget, growing tired of internal 
dissensions, after their term of office had expired, refused to 
serve as president until their successors could be appointed or 
elected. And even the strong and forceful Nord Alexis was 
compelled to crush a conspiracy by force. 

But the history of Hayti is not so confused and baffling as a 
surface impression would indicate. Three facts combine to give 
Hayti her revolutionary history. In the first place, so many of 
her popular leaders, on becoming president became despotic and 
autocratic, as did Caesar, Cromwell and Napoleon, three other 

Hayti, the Black Republic. 613 

champions of the people as against the aristocrats. Then, too, 
the Haytien people, like the French, love liberty as they love their 
lives. The love-of freedom is innate with them. They are jealous 
of their rights, and they naturally grew impatient when the sup- 
posed champions of Haytien liberty and freedom became dicta- 
tors. This would naturally explain why the people rose up 
against tyrants like Dessalines, Christophe, Herard, Salnave, 
Soulouque and Domingue, or against a Legitime who was sus- 
pected of having inspired the assassination of his rival for the 
presidency ; but it does not explain why Boyer, Pierrot, Gefifrard, 
Salamon and Simon Sam, who were not despots and autocrats, 
became unpopular and were forced out. 

A third fact is needed to explain the constant series of revo- 
lutions and insurrections in Haytien history. The human ambi- 
tion of those who are out of office to get in, the natural jealousy of 
men who see their peers or inferiors elevated above them, explains 
why aspiring and ambitious Haytien statesmen and politicians 
took advantage of every mistake of the presidents and fanned the 
smouldering embers of dissatisfaction into the blaze of a formida- 
ble revolt. All these natural facts explain why Hayti is constantly 
in the state of an active volcano; but it does not explain why 
no Haytien ruler, except Petion, completely captivated the hearts 
and minds of his countrymen ; for it is a fact of history that, 
during the past one hundred years, the Haytiens have shown less 
self-control and more of a mercurial, fickle, changeable and 
exciting temperament than any other nation in the world. 

Although Hayti has been nominally a Republic since 1806, the 
rule of the majority has not been the predominating factor in 
Haytien history. The motto, "Might makes Right," and the 
Napoleonic dictum, "God is on the side of the strongest battal- 
ion," have been the guiding stars in Haytien history. One 
Haytien statesman has not respected the theoretical and abstract 
rights of his rival for the presidency. Unless that rival is ready 
and able and willing to back up his rights by military force, he 
has little chance of winning or holding the presidency. The dis- 
pute between Hyppolite and Legitime should have been settled 
by a popular vote rather than by arms. The will of the majority 
of Haytien voters rather than the action of the National Assem- 
blv should have, decided whether Nord Alexis or Firmin should 

6i4 The African Abroad. 

be president. In a word, Hayti has been a republic in name 
only. The internal dissensions and civil wars have depleted her 
treasury and prevented the development of her rich agricultural 
and mineral resources. 

Still this does not demonstrate the inherent and innate capac- 
ity of the Negro race for self-government. And I would not 
by any means go as far as Professor William Pickens of Talla- 
dega College, Alabama, who won the Ten Eyck prize speaking 
contest at Yale in 1903, by advocating that because Hayti has 
failed to exhibit the calm, judicial mind and superb self-control 
of the Anglo-Saxon, she has failed in self-government and should 
be absorbed by the United States. She would secure a more 
stable form of government, but under the dominion of the Anglo- 
Saxon would lose her manliness and self-respect. 

We must take three things into consideration. First, French 
rather than Anglo-Saxon blood flows in the veins of the Haytien 
mulattoes, and French, rather than Anglo-Saxon ideals dominate 
Hayti. This partly explains the hot blood, the excitable nature, 
and mercurial temperament of the Haytiens. Then, too, there 
is the natural antipathy and jealousy between the blacks and the 
mulattoes. Then we must remember that the history of Hayti 
has not been unlike that of Rome in the last century of the Repub- 
lic and in the Empire. We must remember, too, that Hayti has 
only exhibited, though in a more aggravated form, the same 
symptoms and characteristics which France and the Latin repub- 
lics of South America have manifested during the nineteenth 
century. This explains why the history of Hayti, in some 
respects, has not been unlike that of Rome, Florence, Venice, 
France and the South American republics. 

But the real reason why Hayti has not had the just and 
equitable government of the United States is that for over two 
thousand years the Teutonic race has had some form of self- 
government in the German forests and British Isles, and that the 
American colonists, prior to the Revolutionary War, had one and 
a half centuries of local self-government in America, while Hayti, 
at the beginning of the nineteenth century, leaped at a bound from 
chattel slavery and barbarism to a self-governing republic. The 
mystery is not her revolutions and counter revolutions ; but that 
Hayti has done as v;ell as she has. Hayti had to step from 

Hayti, the Black Republic. 615 

barbarism to civilization, from slavery to self-government within 
the space of ten years ; while the Anglo-Saxon race has had two 
thousand years to rise from barbarism to civilization, from serf- 
dom to self-government. It would be the supreme miracle of 
history if Hayti, in a century, could gain that regard for the 
rights of others and that self-control which it has taken the 
Anglo-Saxon race two thousand years to acquire. 

The fact that the Haytiens have an innate and inborn love of 
liberty and freedom, the fact that she has always maintained the 
form of a republic, the fact that the republic is her ideal form 
of government, is a hopeful sign for the future. 

I believe that in Toussaint L'Ouverture, Dessalines, Christophe, 
Petion, Boyer, Boisrond Canal, Salamon, Seide Thelemache, 
Hyppolite and Nord Alexis, Hayti has produced ten powerful 
and masterful personalities. I have already referred to the 
statesmanship of Boyer, Boisrond Canal, Salamon and Hyppolite. 
I will now say a few words about the personal greatness of the 
other six. I believe that it is nothing short of miraculous that a 
race of slaves, just emerging from slavery, could produce four 
such remarkable characters as Toussaint L'Ouverture, Dessalines, 
j Christophe and Petion, men who were endowed by nature with 
1 the genius to organize men and marshal forces and who pos- 
sessed that heroic quality of soul which enabled them to inspire 
their own countrymen with their own dauntless spirit. Boyer, 
Boisrond Canal, Salamon and Hyppolite were possibly their 
equals as statesmen. But Nord Alexis is the only Haytien 
since their day who possessed their abilities to master and 
dominate men and command men on the field of battle. Nord 
Alexis is the only great soldier that Hayti has produced since 
the deaths of the four imperial spirits who gave Hayti her inde- 
pendence. In Boyer, Boisrond Canal, Salamon and Hyppolite, 
Hayti has produced four leaders who could demonstrate that the 
Negro race could produce constructive statesmen, but in Tous- 
saint, Dessalines, Christophe, Petion and Nord Alexis, Hayti has 
produced five characters who almost rival Csesar, Cromwell, 
Napoleon and Washington in their ability to lead and master and 
' dominate men. 

Almost every schoolboy in the land is familiar with that 
incomparable oration of Wendell Phillips in which he rates 

6i6 The African Abroad. 

Toussaint as a general over Cromwell and Napoleon, because, 
while Napoleon from a boy was trained in one of the best 
military schools of France and at the age of twenty-seven was 
placed at the head of the best troop Europe ever saw, and 
because, while Cromwell, who never saw an army until he was 
forty, manufactured his army out of sturdy, rugged English 
men with which he conquered Englishmen, their equals; yet 
this Toussaint, who never saw a soldier until he was fifty, out 
of a mass of slaves manufactured an army that defeated the 
best troops England and France and Spain could send against 
him. Then Phillips ranks Toussaint as a statesman above 
Cromwell, Napoleon and Washington, because the state Crom- 
well founded went down with his death, because Napoleon made 
his way to empire over broken oaths and through a sea of 
blood, while the great Virginian held slaves. And Phillips closed 
that sublime oration by picturing the muse of history dipping 
her pen in the sunlight and writing in the clear blue above the 
^ames of Phocian, Brutus, Hampden, Lafayette, Washington 
and John Brown, the name of the soldier, the statesman, the 
martyr, Toussaint L'Ouverture, 

Possibly in his prophetic rapture, Wendell Phillips overshot' 
the mark and was guilty of rhetorical exaggeration. But it seems 
to me, that for a man, who was born a slave, who was self-edu- 
cated, who was a herdsman and coachman for the first fifty years 
of his life, who had no military training and who never saw 
a soldier until he was fifty, to weld a lawless and chaotic mass 
of slaves into a formidable fighting machine, drive out the Span- 
ish and English and then crush the flower of the French Army, 
defeating the finest troops Napoleon could send against him, 
is one of the miracles of human history. And then, for this mod- 
ern Moses to construct a stable government out of these unstable 
elements, having broad cosmopolitan and not narrow race ideals 
for Hayti, makes truth stranger than fiction and lifts history to 
the realms of the marvelous. Though his military operations 
were on a smaller scale than those of Hannibal, Alexander, 
Csesar, Cromwell, Napoleon and Grant, though he did not face 
the complicated problems of government that Caesar, Cromwell, 
Napoleon, Washington and Lincoln faced, yet the manner in 
which he mastered the situation, marshaled his forces and con- 


Hayti, the Black Republic. 617 

trolled events stamps him as a constructive military and political 
genius of the highest order. If I would liken him to the great 
men of the past, I would call him the Moses, or Bruce, or Alfred 
of his race. 

Dessalines who, like Joshua of old, completed the work that 
Toussaint began, by completely crushing the French, could with 
difficulty sign his own name. Ignorant and illiterate, he couldn't 
compare with Toussaint as a statesman, but he blended the dash 
and intrepid courage of a marshal Ney, with the fierce, reckless 
daring of an Attila. He swept down upon the French with the 
fury of a hurricane, the resistless force of a torrent, and the 
momentum of an avalanche that sweeps everything before it. 
He took these poorly-fed and poorly-clothed slaves and peasants, 
put guns into their hands, breathed into their hearts his own 
ferocious spirit and demoniacal energy and fell upon the French 
as the tiger springs upon its prey. He was here, there, and 
everywhere. Enticed to breakfast with Father Videons, where 
French soldiers were in hiding to capture him, he was warned 
of impending danger by an ominous gesture from an old woman 
in the employ of the rector. In a moment he was out of the 
house and upon his horse, firing his pistols and rallying his men. 
And before the French soldiers had recovered their wits Dessa- 
lines was attacking Petite Riviere. Compared to the rapidity of 
his movements and the quickness of his combinations, Stonewall 
Jackson and Phil Sheridan were like cart horses. Such wild, 
reckless energy, such demoniacal fury has not been seen on the 
field of battle since the days of Attila. 

The French bought ferocious bloodhounds to help crush the 
natives. The French general, Pierre Boyer, to whet the French 
thirst for blood, tied his black servant to a post, carved and 
tore open his stomach and then dragged a bloodhound to tear 
him to pieces. But Dessalines' motto was, "an eye for an eye, 
a tooth for a tooth." At L'Acul General Rochambeau slaugh- 
tered his black prisoners. Then, with the French army looking 
on, powerless to interfere, Dessalines hung the captured French 
officers and privates on gibbets, and routed the French army. 
Dessalines communicated his own spirit to his followers and 
they fought like demons. At Charrier General Capois's horse 
was hit by a cannon ball. Horse and rider fell to the ground, 

6i8 The African Abroad. 

but in the twinkling of an eye, Capois was on his feet, leading 
his men again with waving sword. Even General Rochambeau 
complimented him upon his courage and presence of mind. 
Dessalines would not be denied, he would not let up. He fought 
as the Greek heroes fought before Troy, as the Crusaders fought 
in the Holy Land, as the knights fought in Froissart's Chronicles. 
Finally General Rochambeau gave up the contest in despair and 
Dessalines remained master of the island. But unfortunately the 
very rash and reckless qualities which made him invincible as a 
warrior, made him despotic and tyrannical as a ruler, though he 
maintained law and order in Hayti. Trained from boyhood in 
the school of war, Dessalines relied more upon force than 
suasion and, with a powerful army behind him, ruled v/ith a 
rod of iron. Finally he was assassinated. 

And now we come to the imperial and kingly Christophe, a 
general under Dessalines, and Hayti's first king. Tall and 
commanding in person, a born aristocrat, loving display and 
luxury, with the masterful spirit of a Caesar, Christophe believed 
that Hayti needed not a democratic form of government but 
the iron hand of a master and a strong centralized government. 
Just as at the close of the Revolutionary War, Washington, 
Adams, Madison, and Hamilton believed in a centralized Fed- 
eral government, while Thomas Jefferson believed in State rights 
and State sovereignty, and as Webster and Calhoun continued the 
controversy which the Civil War settled, so Hayti, from 1806 
when Christophe was elected president, until 1869 when Salnave 
was executed, was hanging in the balance between the autocratic 
and democratic form of self-government. 

The heroic Christophe stood forth as the champion of autoc- 
racy, while the tactful and lovable and scholarly Alexander 
Petion, a mulatto whose wise counsel prevailed upon the other 
generals and leaders to recognize Dessalines as commander-in- 
chief, thus welding the Haytien forces into a unity, like Abraham 
Lincoln, believed in a government of the people by the people 
and for the people. These two tendencies opposed each other. 
Each was too strong to be vanquished by the other. Finally, 
Christophe realized his ideal in the northern half of the island, 
while Petion realized his ideal in the southern half of the island. 
Christophe shot himself because his followers deserted him for 

Hayti, the Black Republic. 619 

Petion and Petion's follower, Boyer, while Petion died loved 
and honored throughout the island. 

Petion was the more farseeing statesman, because the trial 
and execution of Salnave, in 1869, proved once and for all that 
Hayti had accepted Petion's rather than Christophe's ideal of 
government. Christophe represented the eighteenth century 
ideals, while Petion was in the currents of modern thought. 

But no Feudal baron or lord ruled with greater pomp and 
magnificence, or with a more regal sway than Henry Christophe. 
He built at Milot the palace of Sans-Souci which, rising upon 
a plateau, with trees around it and with lofty mountains as a 
background, rivals in picturesque splendor and solemn grandeur 
any castle on the Rhine. Then, on the summit of Bounet- 
a-l'Eveque, at an elevation of three thousand feet, he built the 
citadel of La Ferriere, which Jacques Leger calls the best testi- 
monial of Christophe's genius, and of which Edgar-La-Selve, a 
French critic of Hayti, said, "Nowhere in France, England or 
in the United States have I seen anything so imposing. The 
citadel of La Ferriere is truly a marvelous thing." And Leger 
further says of Christophe : 

The man who conceived and caused such a work to be constructed was 
certainly wonderful. Born and bred beneath the brutalizing system of 
slavery, Henri Christophe proved himself to be tactician, legislator and 
statesman. His faults were the result of a system of government from 
which he had sufifered greatly. Fond of progress, he thought he could 
force it on his countrymen regardless of the time wanted for the evolu- 
tion. In consequence he resorted to methods which made him unpopular. 
Thus one only thinks of the violence of his temper and his harsh meas- 
ures, forgetting the results arrived at. Owing to the worthiness of his 
intentions, to the impulse given by him to agriculture and to the pros- 
perity which his kingdom enjoyed, Christophe is deserving of impartial 
appreciation. Foreigners are unfortunately too eager to ruthlessly con- 
demn him. 

Undoubtedly Christophe was a Charlemagne, a Caesar, a Wash- 
ington, or a Bismarck in the imperial greatness of his soul and 
the dignity of his nature. He was probably the most kingly 
and patrician figure that the Negro race has yet produced. His 
death was heroic. He was stricken by apoplexy while attending 
devotion in the church at Limondale. When his followers were 
rebelling, paralyzed as he was, Christophe had his attendants 
rub his paralyzed limbs with rum and pepper. Then in vain he 

620 The African Abroad. 

tried to mount and ride his horse in order to lead and inspire 
his deserting followers with the old enthusiasm. The spirit was 
willing but the flesh was weak. Though too feeble to mount 
and ride a horse, his lion heart did not yield. He was placed 
in a chair and carried to a spot in front of his palace, where 
he urged his bodyguard to crush the insurgents who were 
entrenched at Cap. But no sooner had his favorite bodyguard 
left him, when they were no longer dominated by his magnetic 
presence, than they spontaneously cried out, "Vive la liberte." 
Their loyalty to their republican ideals proved stronger than 
their loyalty to their old chief and commander. Just as Caesar's 
heart broke when he saw Brutus, whom he loved, among his 
assassins, so Christophe's lion heart broke when his own body- 
guard deserted him. With remarkable coolness and rare pres- 
ence of mind, he prepared for his death. He sent for his wife 
and children and told them of his love and devotion. Then he 
took a bath and put on a spotless white suit and placed a pistol 
at his heart. The sound of a shot was heard and Christophe's 
family hurried to his room, only to find that he had died in the 
same kingly manner in which he had lived. The fate of King 
Lear was tragic, the death of Cassar was heroic, but I know of 
nothing in history more tragic and sublime than the paralyzed 
old king, vainly endeavoring to mount and ride his horse and 
lead his army, vainly endeavoring to force his weak body to 
respond to his iron will, and then, when his old guard 
deserted him, ending his life in the dramatic manner in which he 
did. I believe that the dark spot in Hayti's history is the deser- 
tion of Christophe's bodyguard. It would have been noble for 
them to have deserted him and joined the republican cause if 
he were strong and vigorous, but for them to have deserted, 
when feeble and paralyzed, the king whose fortunes they had 
followed and who had showered honors upon them, strikes me 
as nothing short of base ingratitude and rank cowardice. 

But Christophe was not the only Haytien who faced death 
in an imperturable manner and with a Spartan courage. It is 
said that when Seide Thelemach was assassinated, he feebly 
waved his sword and cried out, "Venge ma mort, venge ma 
mort," and then expired; and that Hyppolite and Nord Alexis 
rushed to the mountains, told the story of Seide Thelemach's 

Hayti, the Black Republic. 621 

death, and thus launched from the mountains the avalanche that 
overwhelmed Legitime. Then we must remember how Haytien 
pride and Haytien spirit caused the heroic Admiral Killick, the 
champion of Firmin, to blow up himself and his ship, the Crete- 
a-Picrrot, rather than surrender her to the German gunboat 
Panther. Leger thus describes his death: 

Sending his crew ashore, he lighted a fuse connecting with the powder 
machine. Having done this he seated himself on deck, lit a cigar, and 
quietly waited the explosion which was not long in taking place. Rather, 
than give her up to the Germans, he preferred to sacrifice his life in the 
destruction of his ship. 

If any one doubts the courage of the Negro, let him go to 
Hayti and read her history. It teems with daring and heroic 

And now we come to Nord Alexis, whom the Current Litera- 
ture Magazine for June, 1908, calls the most brilliant leader 
Hayti has had since the death of Toussaint L'Ouverture. I 
think this rather overstates the truth. The fact that it took 
sixty years of struggling and striving and steady rising for 
Nord Alexis to gain the presidency, that fact that not until he 
was eighty years old and almost every one of his confederates in 
the uprising in the forties and sixties had passed away, did old 
Nord Alexis get his hands upon the throttle valves of power, 
proves that he was not an adroit politician or astute statesman, 
and that he was slow in impressing his real worth and intrinsic 
greatness upon his countrymen. But I would call him the typical 
figure in Hayti's history. For in his dreams, aspirations, hopes 
and strivings, he personifies and embodies the dreams and ideals 
of his race and people. 

His rise was not like that of a mountain stream or rivulet 
swollen by recent rains, but it was as slow, as steady and as 
irresistible as that of the tidal wave of the sea, because it was 
impelled by the universal force of gravitation. It was as impossi- 
ble to keep Nord Alexis down as it was to prevent the ocean 
from reaching to high-tide mark. He was not a cool, calculating 
statesman, not a scheming and adroit politician, not a suave and 
tactful diplomat, but, like Jackson, Zachariah Taylor, Tippe- 
canoe Harrison, and U. S. Grant, he was nothing but a plain, 
blunt soldier who forced his way upward by sheer greatness of 

62 2 The African Abroad. 

his soul and strength of character. At seventeen, a dreamer of 
heroic dreams and a lover of liberty and republican ideals; at 
twenty, a revolutionist and a radical republican; at forty-eight, 
a general in the uprising against Salnave ; at forty-nine, a mem- 
ber of the provisional government that resulted from the over- 
throw and execution of Salnave; at fifty-two, the commander 
of the Haytien army which demanded an explanation from the 
United States consul for the mounting of a howitzer on Haytien 
soil ; at sixty-eight, the victorious commander-in-chief of Hyppo- 
lite's forces; at eighty, secretary of war; at eighty-one, pres- 
ident of the Republic of Hayti; at eighty-eight, the crusher 
of a formidable conspiracy — such was the slow, steady and 
irresistible rise of President Nord Alexis. Brave, resourceful 
in war, imperturbable on the field of battle, serene and self- 
possessed as a ruler, genial and gracious as a host, Nord Alexis 
is the living embodiment of the dreams and ideals, the hopes and 
aspirations, the deeds and achievements of his people. From the 
time when, at seventeen years of age, he became enamored of 
republican ideals up to his eighty-ninth year, when he nipped 
a conspiracy in the bud by taking the bull by the horns and 
bearding the lion in his den, old Nord Alexis has manifested 
the same imperturbable courage, the same iron will, the same bull- 
dog tenacity of purpose, the same grim and dogged determination. 
Tall and erect and slender in person, with a black face, an eagle 
eye, Roman nose, and Bismarckian jaw, Nord Alexis is a man 
you will look at a second time when he passes you on the street. 
The Current Literature Magazine and Reverend Solomon Porter 
Hood, secretary to the legation in Hayti in Cleveland's first 
administration, claim that he has the Bismarckian jaw. Just as 
Bismarck welded the German States into a unity and realized his 
dream of a German Empire, with Prussia as the center, by his 
policy of blood and iron, so Nord Alexis, by his voice and sword, 
has realized his republican ideals and made Hayti a republic 
and himself the dominant factor in that republic. I have 
hopes for Hayti because she has dreamt heroic dreams and loved 
liberty and produced a few masterful personalities. And I 
believe that in the twentieth century she will acquire that self- 
control and self-mastery, that regard for the rights of others, 
and that reverence for the will of the majority, which has been 
the goal and crowning achievements of the Anglo-Saxon race. 

Final Word Regarding Hayti. 

Since the above chapter was written, in the fall of 1908, 
events in Hayti have succeeded each other with lightning-like 
rapidity. Within three years two presidents were deposed and 
a third killed by the explosion of a gunpowder magazine in the 
National Palace. Four hundred people were killed or injured 
by the explosion, the palace was wrecked, and the capital thrown 
into a state of panic. 

Nemesis, the Goddess of Retributive Justice, played a part in 
the downfall of the great Nord Alexis. It was a strange irony 
of fate that Nord Alexis, who had been the hero of half a 
dozen revolutions, should himself be dethroned by a revolution. 
Was it an illustration of poetic justice that Nord Alexis, who had 
led revolt after revolt against despotic rule, and who for over 
half a century had breathed his own love of liberty into the 
hearts and minds of his countrymen, should himself be destroyed 
politically by the same spirit of liberty and discontent and rebel- 
lion against authority which he, more than any other Haytien, 
had called into existence? 

The Literary Digest for August 24, 1912, admirably sums up 
Hayti's history during the past three years. It says : 

This bit of recent history in which Leconte figured conspicuously is 
well worth reading. Leconte was minister of the interior under President 
Nord Alexis, whose bloody reign of tyranny came to an end in exile. 
But for protection he begged from a foreign warship, Nord Alexis 
would have been torn to fragments in revenge for his savage and 
summary executions of citizens on the mere suspicion of disloyalty. 
President Leconte was the man who often carried out the orders of 
Nord Alexis. Upon the downfall of that petty tyrant, he was compelled 
to seek safety in exile. President Simon, who obtained his title to the 
presidency by the overthrow of Nord Alexis, was subsequently challenged 
by Leconte, who from his refuge in Jamaica, plotted revolutions. His 
first attempt failed, and a German consulate saved him from death. 
He promptly went about another revolution, and next time he succeeded 
in overthrowing Simon. Following the long-established precedent, he 
declared himself president pro fern, and ordered an election. The people 

624 The African Abroad. 

who took the trouble to vote at all, voted unanimously for President 
Leconte, for any other choice would have been an invitation to face the 
firing squad. 

The National Palace, in which President Cincinnatus Leconte 
resided, was blown up by a series of explosions about three o'clock 
in the morning, and within an hour was burned to the ground. 
Whether the explosion was accidental or the work of an anarch- 
ist has not been definitely learned, but it was probably acciden- 
tal, as a powder magazine and large stock of arms were in the 
National Palace. The Associated Press dispatch from Port au 
Prince reads : 

So great -was the force of the explosion that a number of small cannon, 
fragments of iron and shell nvere thrown long distances in all directions, 
and many of the palace attendants were killed. Every house in the city 
was shaken violently and the entire population, greatly alarmed, rushed 
into the street. 

The Chamber and Senate at a joint session on the afternoon of 
August 8, 19 1 2, immediately named General Tancrede Auguste, 
a senator and ex-minister of public works, as General Leconte's 
successor. General Auguste died IVIay 2, 1913, and the Haytien 
Congress elected Senator J\Iichel Oreste, president of the republic. 

General Leconte was a mulatto, and a lawyer by profession. 
Although only forty-three years old he had already won a repu- 
tation as probably the best-equipped man who had been at the 
head of affairs in Hayti since Toussaint L'Ouverture was 
decoyed on board a ship by the famous Napoleon and car- 
ried to France in fetters, where he died a miserable death in 
prison. General Leconte first attracted attention in Hayti in 
1908. He was minister of interior in the cabinet of President 
Nord Alexis, and ordered ten prominent revolutionists of Port 
au Prince to be taken from their beds at daybreak, carried to a 
cemetery and shot. It was this drastic crushing of a budding 
rebellion which caused Nord Alexis to be deposed within a few 
months, and sent Leconte into exile in Jamaica. 

The press paid quite a tribute to the character, ability and attain- 
ment of General Leconte. Collier's Weekly, August 31, 19 12, 
says of the death of Leconte : 

In the death of Cincinnatus Leconte the still experimental negro 
republic loses the most effective constructive force in its recent history. 

Final Word Regarding Hayti. O25 

He represented a type of Haytien quite distinct from his predecessor, 
Antoine Simon, the illiterate Negro who now languishes in an exile made 
very comfortable by the proceeds of his former office in Jamaica. 
Leconte was a man of liberal European education, abreast of the times, 
a great reader in several languages. It is generally admitted that in 
his brief year in office his was the ablest and the cleanest government 
Hayti has had in forty years. He seems to have realized clearly that 
the reason his island territory, naturally the most productive in the 
West Indies, remains to-day by far the most undeveloped lies in the 
instability of former administrations and their prejudice against the 
introduction of foreign capital and freer commercial intercourse with 
other nations. The explosion which leveled the Haytian president's 
palace took from his country's affairs a guiding intelligence which it 
will be difficult to replace. 

The article in the Literary Digest, from which 1 have quoted, 
in its strictures upon Hayti, does not, hke most detractors of the 
Black Republic, see in the constant strife there an indication of 
the inferiority of the Negro race. It says : 

It is not a matter of race that makes Hayti a political pustule on 
the face of the earth. It is the lack of education. The term education 
is here employed in its larger and best sense, for the primary and most 
important purpose of education is not to make scholars, but to make 
exemplary citizens, who will be educated to proper standards of morality 
and of patriotism. When the average citizen grows up with the idea 
that government is merely grafting privilege whereby the officials in 
power are licensed to levy tax and tribute, public and private, without 
authorization of any law but the law of greed, government necessarily 
becomes a travesty and the subjects of government merely slaves. 

But in the light of the courage and patriotism of the native 
Haytiens, shown in their rising again and again against despotic 
rule and authority, it is strange to hear the writer of the article 
say, "The voters of Hayti, like those in our own country who 
bow to the machine, always 'vote right.' In consequence of this 
cowardice in the face of military despotism their government is 
as corrupt and oppressive as the presidents know how to make it." 

Of all the indictments brought against Hayti, cowardice and 
lack of patriotism cannot be charged against them, for the Hay- 
tiens are preeminently a brave, liberty-loving people, full of spirit 
and enthusiasm. Their impetuosity and lack of experience in 
government has caused the constant upheaval. But it is not fair 
to expect the Haytiens, with only a century's experience in self- 

626 The African Abroad. 

government, to maintain as firm and stable a government as the 
English-speaking race, with centuries of experience in self- 

I believe that calm reflection will lead us to accept the view 
of the late Hermann Lotze, a German philosopher, who possessed 
the comprehensive grasp of mind of an Aristotle. Lotze, on page 
22)6 of Volume II of his "Microcosmus," says: 

The incapacity of the Negro state of Hayti to attain a condition of 
permanent order has certainly too many obvious causes in its hasty 
formation amid a population vitiated by slavery, to prove conclusively 
that all similar attempts of colored men must be equally resultless, 
supposing they were made under more favorable circumstances, such as 
have hitherto been lacking. 

On October 7, 1908, J. M. F. Schiess wrote a letter to the 
New York Sun in which he demonstrated that Hayti was not 
as black as she was painted. The letter is as follows : 

To the Editor of the Sun: — 

Sir: — I am prompted to send this letter to the Sun because I have 
noted that it is probably the only paper in New York which gives a 
"square deal" to Hayti. 

The sensational stories published right along in some newspapers 
regarding the little republic would appear to Americans who know the 
facts about Hayti simply ridiculous, if such stories did not have the 
regrettable effect of injuring American interests in that country. 

During the last four years American influence has almost superseded 
French and German influence there. All important contracts were given 
to Americans. The Haytian Government showed a distinct preference 
for all things American, and did all in its power to promote closer 
relations with the United States. As a return for these friendly advances, 
what does our press do but publish continually unreliable news and 
mendacious stories, all tending to show Hayti to the American public 
in the worst possible light; so that the American investor and traveler, 
having thus been educated to regard Hayti as a hotbed of turmoil and 
even of barbarism, holds up his hands deprecatingly every time Hayti 
is mentioned as a possible place for investment and gives it a wide 

These newspaper articles have no less disastrous an effect on the 
Haytiens, for they tend to alienate these good people from us and to 
throw them back into the arms of the French and Germans, who are 
but too willing to embrace them again and get back all their business. 
New commercial treaties have been signed with both France and Ger- 
many. Negotiations are now on foot for the adjustment of pending 

Final Word Regarding Hayti. 627 

difficulties between the Haytien Government and the French bank for 
the return to the bank of the government treasury service taken away 
from it some years ago for breach of contract. On the other hand, 
it is significant to note that following immediately on recent press pub- 
lications the consideration of all contracts and concessions proposed to 
the last Legislature on behalf of Americans has been postponed until 
next year. 

At the time news of revolution and famine in Hayti was being pub- 
lished in an important New York newspaper, during the months of 
July and August last, about a dozen Americans, including myself, were 
traveling in Hayti. We can all affirm that none of us saw or heard 
of a single case of starvation; and journeying night and day through 
the interior we saw no signs of unrest, much less of shooting and fight- 
ing. Everything appeared to us calm and peaceful. We were received 
everywhere with the Haytien's usual hospitality, and felt a great deal 
safer in one of their mountain villages than we would feel in many a 
place in New York. 

The talk about voodooism and sacrificing of children is another sensa- 
tionalism. It can be safely said, that none of the writers of those weirdly 
illustrated stories can swear to having witnessed a human sacrifice. 
Voodooism exists in Hayti as it does in our own State of Louisiana — 
no worse. The religion of Hayti is Catholicism, and the Government 
has a concordat with the Pope, whereby it defrays the expense of the 
clergy in Hayti, which is composed of an Archbishop, three Bishops and 
about 150 priests. All the clergy come from France, and so do the nuns 
directing the convent schools. In Port-au-Prince, the capital, a French 
architect is building a cathedral which when completed will be probably 
the most beautiful church in the West Indies. The Haytien Government 
granted $400,000 American gold for building the cathedral. Churches 
and chapels, with schools attached to them for boys and girls, are to 
be found all over the country, even in the remotest mountain villages. 
More than $1,000,000 Haytien currency is spent by the Government a 
year for education. The Haytien student can graduate from the College 
of Port-au-Prince. He can become a doctor or a lawyer at the schools 
of medicine or of law, and there is many a professional Haytien turned 
out from these schools who can compare to his advantage with dis- 
tinguished Frenchmen of the same profession. 

As regards its financial condition, Hayti can stand comparison with 
the majority of Central and South American States. Its 6 per cent, 
gold bonds of the par value of 500 francs, first issued at 400, are now 
quoted on the Paris Bourse at 540. Whatever may be said to the con- 
trary, Hayti has always paid its obligations, and no foreigner in Hayti 
can honestly say that he has lost money in his dealings with the Govern- 
ment. Hayti has been a "good thing" for them all the time, and when- 
ever they speak ill of the country it is to keep others away from it, 
so as to have the cake all to themselves. 

628 The African Abroad. 

It is well known that this has been the systematic policy of the French 
bank referred to — whenever it was approached for information regarding 
Haj'ti it would invariably give out unfavorable reports. Meanwhile it 
was piling up for its stockholders a surplus of 10,000,000 francs, a sum 
equal to its capitalization, whereof only one-half has been paid in. The 
shares of this same bank of the par value of 500 francs with only 250 
francs paid in on them, cannot now be bought on the Paris Bourse even 
at an advance on their par value ! This does not speak so very badly 
for Hayti as a place for investment. 

There are just a few more things that might be said about Hayti to 
show that it is not as black as it has been painted. 

New York, October 7. 


In 1 79 1 an insurrection of blacks and mulattoes broke out in 
Hayti and Toussaint L'Ouverture became the commander-in- 
chief of the Haytien forces. In 1793 the commissioners of the 
French government recognized the freedom of the Haytiens. In 
1795 Spain ceded the eastern part of the island to France. Then 
the British invaded the island. Toussaint whipped and drove 
out the British in 1798. In 1801 Napoleon sent General Leclere 
to reconquer the island and recover the part that Spain ceded 
to France. Toussaint defeated him and angered Napoleon by 
addressing him in writing thus, "From the black to the white 

Toussaint was decoyed on board a French ship by false prom- 
ises and treacherously captured and committed by the black- 
hearted Napoleon to a dark, damp, dirty, dingy dungeon, where 
he died of improper treatment, in 1803. No act of that blood- 
thirsty monster, Napoleon, of that cruel military genius, is more 
despicable than his treatment of poor Toussaint. 

But the Haytiens did not despair. John Jacques Dessalines, 
the black Attila, rallied the brave Haytiens and drove out the 
French in 1803. In 1804, Dessalines declared Hayti independent 
and assumed the title of emperor. He was a brave, resourceful 
and vindictive soldier and a tyrannical despot. As a soldier he 
ranks with Toussaint and Maceo. He was assassinated in 1806. 
In 181 1 Chrisrtophe, a Negro, set up a government of the blacks 
in the northern part of the island, while Petion was the founder 
of a mulatto republic in the south. 

Final Word Regarding Hayti. 629 

In 1820, Boyer, the greatest Haytien since Toussaint, arose. 
He was the successor of Petion, and hence the head of the 
southern mulatto repubhc, but he reached out and secured control 
of the northern part and conquered the eastern part of the island. 
In the year 1825, while he was still president, France recognized 
the independence of the island. For twenty-three years he was 
an ideal governor of the island, until he was deposed in 1843. 
In 1844 the eastern part of the island set up an independent 
republic. San Domingo and the western part of the island of 
Hayti became the scene of the struggle for mastery of the 
blacks and the mulattoes. In 1849 Solouque, an ambitious Hay- 
tien, took the title of Emperor Faustin, became an absolute mon- 
arch and dictator, a veritable Czar. He tried to reannex San 
Domingo. But Geffrard, a mulatto, in 1859, brought back the 
republican form of government to Hayti, and ruled wisely and 
well until 1867. In 1889 Legitime and Hyppolite plunged the 
island into a civil war, and strove desperately for the mastery. 
Hyppolite conquered and remained in the saddle until his death 
in 1896. Then General Simon Sam became president and was 
deposed in May, 1902. Then Boisrond Canal, head of the pro- 
visional government, and M. Firmin, Haytien ambassador at 
Paris, clashed and strove for the mastery. Firmin was defeated 
and General Nord Alexis was proclaimed president by the army. 

The International Encyclopaedia says that in 1900, 72,000,000 
pounds of coffee were exported from Hayti. The commerce of 
Hayti fluctuates between $15,000,000 and $19,000,000, of which 
the exports amount to from $10,000,000 to $12,000,000. And 
then the Encyclopaedia says, "While the agricultural possibilities 
of Hayti are large, the backward condition of agriculture clearly 
shows that they are not fully utilized. This is due to lack of 
capital, high export duties, the roadless condition of the country — • 
frequent revolutions and the unprogressive character of the 

It is the fad now-a-days to point to the civil wars and dissen- 
sions in Hayti as evidence of the Negro's incapacity for self- 
government. But in the history of Hayti I only see a repetition 
on a smaller scale of the history of Rome during the last one 
hundred years of the republic, and the first two hundred years 
of the empire, or a counterpart of the history of the South Ameri- 

630 The African Abroad. 

can republics. When we remember that there is a large infusion 
of the passionate Spanish and French blood in the Haytien 
mulattoes; that before Hayti achieved her independence, the 
free mulattoes and slave blacks were opposed to each other, 
I see nothing unusual in the history of Hayti. Then, as to the 
"unprogressive character" of the Haytiens, their history com- 
pares favorably with that of the Russian Jewish serfs, who were 
emancipated about fifty years ago. To expect the Haytiens in 
one century to step from barbarism to civilization, to leap in 
one hundred years the distance that it has taken the Anglo-Saxon 
race over one thousand years to cover and pass over, is the 
height of absurdity. 

In Edisto and Wadmalaw, islands off the coast of Charleston, 
S. C. ; in St. Helena Island, near Beaufort in Hilton Head; 
Dafuski and Skidaway Islands, near Savannah, Georgia; in the 
Bahama Islands of Miami, one will hear Negroes talking in a 
dialect that is barely understood, and they are almost as crude 
and primitive in their notions as native Africans. Many of them 
believe in voodooism, conjuring and goopherism; while in the 
city of Nassau, in Bahama Islands, one will find a very highly 
cultivated set of colored people. Many of the Haytien mulattoes 
and blacks have put the finishing touches upon their education 
in France. 


The Progress of the Colored People in America, Based on the 
Census of ipoo and Preceding Censuses. 

Fifty years ago to-day, while the Northern Negro owned at 
least $20,000,000 worth of property, the free Southern Negroes 
of Charleston, New Orleans, Fayetteville, Wilmington, Newbern, 
N. C, and other places over $25,000,000, the masses in the South 
hardly owned the brogans upon their feet. But in 1900, Negroes 
in twelve Southern States owned about 173,375 farms, paid taxes 
upon nearly $700,000,000 worth of property, and supported 28,000 
churches. The Negroes in Georgia alone owned $30,000,000 
worth of taxable property. In 1900, Negroes in the South owned 
and controlled over fifty banks, thirty-three of them well capi- 
talized and organized, and nearly one hundred insurance com- 
panies. There were over one hundred colored drug stores in the 
United States. In 1900, colored men throughout the country edited 
about five hundred newspapers and nine magazines. The Penny 
Savings Bank in Birmingham, Alabama, and the True Reformer's 
Society of Richmond, Va., are conspicuous examples of colored 
men cooperating in business. In 1890, the Negro occupied and 
operated 594,642 farms, of which 22 per cent, were owned by 
him, and occupied 861,137 houses. In 1900, the Negro owned 
23,770 church edifices and church property valued at $26,626,000; 
and in 1909, 35,000 church edifices worth $56,000,000, with nearly 
4,000,000 members. To-day (1913) the aggregate wealth of 
ten million American Negroes approximates close to a billion 
dollars and probably exceeds it. 

Samuel E. Moffat, writing to the Saturday Evening Post, 
made this interesting statement : 

The Study of the Negro population of the United States, recently 
published by the Census Bureau (1900), discloses some facts that show 
very clearly that the colored race is steadily developing a complete social 
and industrial system of its own. A large city could be formed without 
a single white man in it, and yet lack for no trade or profession. 

632 The African Abroad. 

There are 21,268 Negro teachers and college professors in the United 
States, and 15,530 clergymen. The Negroes could finance a railroad 
through their eighty-two bankers and brokers, lay it out with their 
120 civil engineers and surveyors, condemn the right-of-way, with their 
728 lawyers, make the rails with their 12,327 iron and steel workers, 
build the road with their 345,980 laborers, construct its telegraph system 
with their 185 electricians and their 529 linemen, and operate the road 
with their 55,327 railway employees. 

Colored people complain that they have to sit in the gallery in the 
white theaters, but their 2,043 actors and showmen might give them 
theaters of their own, in which they could occupy the boxes in solitary 
grandeur. They have fifty-two architects, designers and draftsmen, 236 
artists and teachers of art, 1,734 physicians and surgeons, 212 dentists, 
210 journalists, 3,921 musicians and teachers of music, and ninety-nine 
literary and scientific persons. The colored baby can be introduced to 
the world by the Negro physicians and nurses, instructed in every accom- 
plishment by Negro teachers, supplied with every requisite of life by 
Negro merchants, housed by Negro builders, and buried by a Negro 
undertaker. There are Negro bookkeepers and accountants, clerks and 
copyists, commercial travelers, merchants, salesmen, stenographers and 
telegraph operators. Negroes are in every manual trade — carpenters, 
masons, painters, paperhangers, plasterers, plumbers, steamfitters, chemi- 
cal workers, marblecutters, glass workers, fishermen, bakers, butchers, 
confectioners, millers, shoemakers, tanners, watchmakers, goldsmiths, 
silversmiths, book-binders, engravers, printers, tailors, engineers, photog- 
raphers, glovemakers, everything that statisticians think it worth while 
to count. And the curious thing is that in whatever line a Negro man 
is at work there is also a Negro woman. The only occupations which 
the colored women have allowed their men-folk to monopolize are those 
of the architect, the banker and broker, the telegraph and telephone line- 
men, the boilermaker, the trunkmaker, and the pattern maker. You can 
hire a Negro woman civil engineer or a Negro woman electrician. There 
are 164 Negro women officiating as pastors, 262 black actresses, and ten 
Afro-American female lawyers. One Negro woman works as a roofer, 
another as a plumber, and forty-five of them are blacksmiths, iron and 
steel workers and machinists. There are 860 wholesale and retail mer- 
chants. Others are journalists, literary persons, artists, musicians, gov- 
ernment officials and practitioners of an infinite variety of skilled and 
unskilled trades. 


(From the Washington Record, December. 21, 1906.) 

The subjoined statistics, taken from the Census reports of 1900 exhibit 
a most interesting and healthy condition of the Negroes of the United 
States. The table does not include school and church property which is 
valued at approximately $100,000,000. 

Progress of the Colored People in America. 



Alabama 23,536 $71,346,000 

Arizona 85 i, 123,600 

Arkansas 16,838 30,721,200 

California 861 21,064,400 

Colorado . 462 820,800 

Connecticut 599 1,321,200 

Delaware 1,297 2,405,600 

District of Columbia 3,964 35,507,6oo 

Florida 14,121 30,286,000 

Georgia 26,636 80,501,600 

Idaho 26 32,400 

Illinois 4,479 17,696,000 

Indiana 3,515 15,102,400 

Indian Territory 3,509 12,942,000 

Iowa 900 1,166,000 

Kansas 5,489 14,791,600 

Kentucky 14,906 34,124,400 

Louisiana 20,463 56,105,600 

Maine 121 1 16,800 

Maryland 14,976 48,124,000 

Massachusetts 1,094 2,752,000 

Mississippi 28,855 77> 122,000 

Minnesota 140 1,633,600 

Missouri 9,535 23,911,600 

Michigan i,573 1,482,400 

Montana 75 157.200 

Nebraska 250 505-200 

Nevada 18 20,800 

New Hampshire 83 49,600 

New Jersey 2,588 i5,573,6oo 

New Mexico 69 142,400 

New York 2,213 48,392,800 

North Carolina 29,011 48,883,200 

North Dakota 26 48,800 

Ohio 6,927 10,896,800 

Oklahoma 2,530 1,668,400 

Oregon 49 76,400 

Pennsylvania 3,9/8 42,419,000 

Rhode Island 3I9 848,000 

South Carolina 26,870 44,208,400 

South Dakota 46 42,800 

Tennessee 21,023 38,570,800 

Texas 33,292 47,767,200 

Utah 19 47,600 

Vermont 49 61,600 


The African Abroad. 


Virginia 46,268 $51,412,000 

Washington 161 226,400 

West Virginia 1,983 3,299,200 

Wisconsin 167 246,400 

Wyoming 2- 64,000 

Total 376,036 $937,830,000 



Baptist 15,484 $12,196,130 $564,200 

A. M. E 5,816 11,044,662 535,000 

A. M. E. Zion 3,050 4,865,572 355,000 

C. M. E 1,510 2,525,600 

Presbyterian 558 350,004 500,000 

Total 26,418 $30,981,968 $1,954,200 

There were three Southern states, where the Negro's wealth 
exceeded $70,000,000, and one Southern state, where the Negro's 
wealth was estimated at over $80,000,000. 

Some claim that these figures were exaggerated; but I believe 
that they are approximately correct, for often property is assessed 
at less than its real valuation. 

The New York Independent, that staunch defender of the 
Negro, had this splendid editorial in 1906: 

An intelligent correspondent, principal of schools in a Louisiana town, 
and one who declares himself "a subscriber and great admirer" of 
the Independent, wants to know the sources of our information on the 
race problem as pertains to the South ; that is, whether it comes from 
an intelligent and unprejudiced source. He also asks us to review 
the Hon. Charles Francis Adams' article in the May Century on the 
Negro in Africa. 

Our sources of information are those open to everybody. They are 
deductive, based on principles, and inductive, based on observed facts. 

The main principle involved is that men are born free, and with the 
equal and inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. 
This does not mean that men are born with the same color or brain, or 
that superior talent does not achieve superior results, but it means that 
no mere factitious difference is to exclude a man from the unhindered 
fruits of his own exertions. Law must not put disabilities on men to 
prevent their equal access to privilege. This is a principle of Christianity 

Progress of the Colored People in America. 635 

as well as of humanity and common ethics. The principle forbids slavery, 
serfdom, Jim Crow laws and the hindrance of the ballot. It further 
requires us to deal with men as men and never as races. 

Next as to observed facts. 

We have observed that historically every advanced race has risen out of 
a condition as degraded as that of the Africans observed by Mr. Adams 
in the Sudan. There was a time when our ancestors in Britain and 
Germany and Russia were no more advanced than those Negroes. Caesar 
says that in Gaul the common people were "little better than slaves" 
to the chiefs and the druids. It is he that tells of human sacrifices, 
men burnt in wicker cages. The Germans, he says, were clothed in 
skins, lived by hunting and not agriculture, had no fixed home, and had 
no public magistrates. They lived much like our nomadic Indians, and 
were less advanced than the Negroes of Tim^buctu or Zululand. Caesar 
describes the Britons as barbarians, painted with woad, to make them 
look terrible in war, and living in companies with their wives in common. 
Tacitus says of the Sarmatians that they were in so hopelessly miserable 
a condition that they did not even need to pray. But out of such sav- 
agery, with no increase of brain power, simply by social heredity, by the 
access of imported civilization, by culture and education, has grown in 
these races the most splendid enlightenment the world knows. In those 
days such civilization was as hopeless as among the blacks of Nubia. 

We have also observed that with their present superiority the Cau- 
casians have been inclined to express a contempt for all other races. 
We have despised Hindus, Chinese and Japanese. But within fifty years 
we have seen the little yellow Japanese, whom even the Chinese called 
"monkeys," develop a complete civilization, equaling that of Europe, 
and conquer on land and sea the proud Russians. 

We see no antecedent reason why, with similar civilization brought 
within their reach, Africans should not do as much. The best ethnologists 
tell us that they are not notably inferior in bodily size or in brain 
capacity. Even if they were somewhat inferior, a very large element 
of Caucasian blood is infused in this country. Many falsely classed as 
"Negroes" are mainly Caucasian. In Africa, shut off from the world's 
civilization, they have created large states and cities, and a native industry 
which includes the smelting of iron, as Professor Boaz has told us. 
It is a condition, whether pagan or Mohammedan, that is far above 

Further, we have observed the progress made by the Negroes in this 
country since the abolition of slavery. To draw a conclusion Mr. Adams 
visits Omdurman for a few days— a town just rescued from the Mahdi, 
where teaching by missionaries has been forbidden till this last year. 
We have carefully pjjserved the results of forty years progress in our 
Southern States. 

Slavery was abolished by an act of war, against the will of the white 
residents. Immediately the white people attempted to organise State 

636 The African Abroad. 

Governments and enacted laws of peonage to take the place of slavery. 
Those laws Congress annulled, and there has followed a period of 
jealous hostility, partisan and social. With great frankness, since in the 
Hayes administration we were compelled to give up the attempt at 
national protection, it has been the avowed effort of the Southern ruling 
class to suppress both social and political equality. The conditions have 
been very difficult for the Negro. The whites have declared that the 
Negro cannot rise, that he is inherently incapable of civilization. But 
he has risen rapidly, more rapidly than could have been expected. 
Dr. Nott, of Nott and Glidden fame, the chief scientific authority in the 
South before and after the war, piteously declared that the Negro, freed 
from the protection of his master, would utterly perish from the land, 
and that, in his incapacity to earn a living, the country would mean- 
while have to feed the race as paupers. That was believed. Now the 
census tells us that the Negroes, without immigration, have by natural 
increase grown since i860 from 4,441,830 to 8,883,994 in 1900. They have 
doubled in forty years. That proves vitality and implies self-support. 
At the end of the war the Negro owned nothing but his hands. In 1900 
there were 744,471 farms owned or operated by Negroes, being 41 per 
cent, of all Negro homes. They represent a value of five hundred 
million dollars. There were 187,797 Negro owners of the farms they 
operated. Similarly in other lines of profitable work the Negroes have 
made progress which we have no space to illustrate. 

Nor have they failed in intellectual progress. With not over one dollar 
given by the Southern States for the education of a Negro child to 
three for a white child, and thus with inferior schools, they have 
already learned, by a large majority, to read and write. There is yet 
an immense mass of black ignorance, chiefly in the sections where there 
is a large, though smaller, mass of white ignorance. But the improvement 
is immense, thanks largely to outside support of higher schools supple- 
menting the lack of State support. Thousands of Negroes have grad- 
uated from colleges, have entered the learned professions, and not a few, 
in Northern universities, have shown equal proficiency with the abler 
white students, as proved by prizes in competition. 

Now it is absolutely sure that the movement of the American Negro 
is upward and not downward. The progress is remarkable and against 
serious discouragement. As yet there is no sign that it vvfill stop. There 
is no slightest evidence that there is a lower level above which the 
Negro cannot rise, for many have risen. This we have seen with our 
own eyes, in our own short lifetime. We have visited their cultured 
homes ; we have examined their schools ; we have had part in their 
education. We have taken no special concern with their ignorance, their 
vices, their laziness, their diseases, their large mortality; for these 
matters are not peculiar or significant. What is significant is the trend, 
the movement, and that is plainly upward. Accordingly we consider the 
top things not the bottom things ; the schools, not the prisons. Jails 

Progress of the Colored People in America. 637 

count nowhere ; it is the forces that lift that must always be considered, 
for they control and will prevail. 

What, then, do we think of Mr. Adams' article? It needs vision and 
revision. There is no such essential, invincible inferiority. It is true 
that most Negroes are commonplace people, satisfied where they are 
and having no initiative. So are most white people. We have to teach 
them divine discontent. Carlyle said they were "mostly fools." But 
in every race there are leaders, able to look forward, eager to climb 
upward; and for a race that has one per cent, of such, willing to lead, 
there is hope; for more than half the rest will be led, and the remainder 
are of no account for history. 

We are asked if Northern people will accept Mr. Adams' testimony. 
Doubtless many will. There is a tendency that way now. But this we 
see clearly, that they cannot think so long. By all present signs, in fifty^ 
years, by his intelligence and thrift, the Negro will, in the agricultural 
States, possess his full proportion of wealth, culture and power; and 
we believe it will be welcomed by those who now oppose, and that it 
will be wisely used. 

Professor Kelly Miller has so admirably epitomized the 
achievements of the Negro, in his reply to Dixon's "Leopard's 
Spots," that I will now quote him. Says Professor Miller : 

Within forty years of partial opportunity, while playing, as it were, 
in the back yard of civilization, the American Negro has cut down 
his illiteracy by over fifty per cent., has produced a professional class, 
some fifty thousand strong, including ministers, teachers, doctors, lawyers, 
editors, authors, architects, engineers, and all higher lines of listed pur- 
suits in which white men are engaged ; some three thousand Negroes 
have taken collegiate degrees, over three hundred being from the best 
institutions in the North and West, established for the most favored 
white youth. There is scarcely a first-class institution in America, except- 
ing some three or four in the South, that is without colored students 
who pursue their studies generally with success, and sometimes with 
distinction. Negro inventors have taken out four hundred patents as 
a contribution to the mechanical genius of America. There are scores 
of Negroes who, for conceded ability and achievements take respectable 
rank in the company of distinguished Americans. 

Professor Kelly Miller also gives the best defense of Hayti 
that I have yet seen. He says in the same pamphlet: 

The panegyric of Wendell Phillips, on Toussaint L'Ouverture, is 
more than an outburst of rhetorical fancy; it is a just measure of his 
achievements in terms of his humble environment and the limited 
instrumentalities at his command. Where else in the course of history 

638 The African Abroad. 

has a slave, with the aid of slaves, expelled a powerfully intrenched 
master class, and set up a government patterned after civilized models, 
and which, without external assistance or reinforcement from a parent 
civilization, has endured for a hundred years in face of a frowning 
world? When we consider the difficulties that confront a weak govern- 
ment, without military or naval means to cope with its more powerful 
rivals, and where commercial adventurers are ever and anon stirring 
up internal strife, thus provoking the intervention of stronger govern- 
ments, the marvel is, that the republic of Hayti still endures, the only 
self-governing State of the Antilles. To expect as effective and pro- 
ficient government to prevail in Hayti, as at Washington, would be 
expecting more of the black man in Hayti, than we find in the white 
men of South America. And yet, I suspect that the million of Negroes 
in Hayti, are as well governed as the corresponding number of blacks 
in Georgia, where only yesterday, eight men were taken from the custody 
of the law, and lynched without judge or jury. 

In 1897, Dr. W. E. B. DuBois stated that Negroes in Phila- 
delphia owned $5,000,000 worth of property. R. R. Wright, Jr., 
says that home owners in Philadelphia have increased 71 per cent, 
since 1900. In 1907, Wright says that within twenty months 
seven Negro real estate companies had been organized in Phila- 
delphia, and that one company provided homes for twenty-five 
Negroes in one year. 

In 1902, in Chicago, 111., Negroes were assessed on property 
to the amount of $1,960,105. Three colored men owned property 
valued at more than $50,000. R. R. Wright, Jr., says that 
Negroes at present own $4,000,000 w^orth of real estate in 

In 1910, the Negroes of Baltimore, Md., owned $10,000,000 
worth of taxable property. 

In 1910, the colored people of the District of Columbia paid 
taxes on $40,000,000 worth of real estate. 


(By Prof. W. E. Burghardt DuBois.) 
In 1859 there were 4,500,000 persons of Negro descent in the United 
States and of these 4,000,000 were slaves. These slaves could be bought 
and sold, could move from place to place only by permission, were for- 
bidden to learn to read and write, legally could neither hold property 
nor marry. Ninety-five per cent, of them were totally illiterate, and only 
one adult in six was a nominal Christian. 

Progress of the Colored People in America. 639 

The proportion of slaves among Negroes fifty years ago was steadily 
increasing and the South was passing laws to enslave free Negroes. 
The half million free blacks were about equally divided between North 
and South. 

Such was the situation in 1859. Fifty years later, in 1909, the 4,500,000 
Negro Americans have increased 126 per cent, to 10,000,000. Legal 
slavery has been abolished, leaving vestiges in debt peonage and the 
convict lease system. The freeman and their sons have — 

1. Earned a living as free laborers. 

2. Shared in the responsibilities of government. 

3. Developed a vast internal organization of their race. 

4. Aspired to spiritual self-expression. 

The Negro was freed and turned loose as a penniless, landless, naked, 
ignorant laborer. Ninety-nine per cent, of the race were field hands 
and servants of the lowest class. To-day 50 per cent, are farm laborers 
and servants; over half of these are working as efficient modern work- 
men under a wage contract. 

Above these have risen 750,000 farmers, 70,000 teamsters, 55,000 rail- 
way hands, 36,000 miners, 33,000 saw mill employees, 28,000 porters, 
21,000 teachers, 21,000 carpenters, 15,000 clergymen, 20,000 barbers, 20,000 
nurses, 14,000 masons, 24,000 dressmakers and seamstresses, 10,000 engi- 
neers and firemen, 10,000 blacksmiths, 2,500 physicians, and, above all, 
2,000,000 mistresses of independent homes, and 3,000,000 children in school. 

Fifty years ago these people were not only practically penniless, but 
were themselves assessed as "real estate." In 1909 they owned nearly 
500,000 homes, and among these about 250,000 farms, or more than one- 
fifth, they cultivate, with 15,000,000 acres of farm land, worth about $200,- 
000,000. As owners and renters of farms they control 40,000,000 acres, 
worth over $500,000,000, with a gross income of $250,000,000. 

Negroes to-day conduct every seventh farm in the land and raise 
every sixteenth dollar's worth of crops. They have accumulated at 
least $600,000,000 worth of property in a half-century, starting with 
almost nothing. 

Of the American government, he holds 8,325 offices in the executive 
civil service of the nation, besides furnishing four regiments in the 
army and a large number of sailors. In the state and municipal civil 
service he holds at least 10,000 other offices, and he furnishes 70,000 of 
the 900,000 votes which rule the great states of the North and West. 

In these same years the Negro has relearned the lost art of reorgani- 
zation. Slavery was the absolute denial of initiative and responsibility. 
To-day Negroes have 35,000 church edifices worth $56,000,000, and con- 
trolling nearly 4,000,000 members. They raise themselves $7,500,000 a 
year for these churches. 

There are 200 private schools and colleges managed and almost entirely 
supported by Negroes and other public and private Negro schools have 
received in forty years $45,000,000 of Negro money in taxes and dona- 

640 The African Abroad. 

tions. Five millions a year is raised by Negro secret and beneficial 
societies, which hold at least $6,000,000 in real estate. Negroes support 
wholly or in part over 60 old folks' homes and orphanages, 30 hospitals 
and 500 cemeteries. Their organized commercial life is extending 
rapidly and includes all branches of the smaller businesses and 40 banks. 

Above and beyond this material growth has gone the spiritual uplift 
of a great human race. Frorn contempt and amusement they have passed 
to the pity and perplexity of their neighbors, while within their own 
souls they have risen from apathy and timid complaint to open protest 
and more and more manly self-assertion. Where nine-tenths of them 
could not read or write in 1859, to-day two-thirds can ; they have 200 
papers and periodicals, and their voice and expression are compelling 

Already the poems of Dunbar and Braithwaite, the essays of Miller 
and Grimke, the music of Rosamond Johnson, and the painting of 
Tanner are the property of the nation and the world. Instead of 
being led and defended by others, as in the past, they are gaining their 
own leaders, their own voices, their own ideas. Self-realization is 
thus coming slowly, but surely, to another of the world's great races, 
and they are to-day girding themselves to fight in the van of progress, 
not simply for their own rights as men, but for the ideals of the greater 
world in which they live; the emancipation of women, universal peace, 
democratic government, the socialization of wealth and human 

This, then, is the transformation of the Negro in America in fifty 
years — from slavery to freedom, from 4,000,000 to 10,000,000, from 
denial of citizenship to enfranchisement, from being owned chattels to 
ownership of $600,000,000 in property, from unorganized irresponsibility 
to organized group life, from being spoken for the speaking, from con- 
temptous forgetfulness on the part of their nerghbors to uneasy fear 
and dawning respect, and from inarticulate complaint to self-expression 
and dawning consciousness of manhood. 


(From the Southern Workman.) 

During the past fifty years there has been a rapid increase in the wealth 
of the Negroes of the South. This increase has been especially marked 
in the past ten years, during which time the value of the domestic 
animals which they own increased from $85,216,337 to $177,273,785, or 
107 per cent.; poultry from $3,788,792 to $5, 113,756, or 35 per cent.; 
implements and machinery from $18,586,225 to $367,831,418, or 98 per 
cent. ; land and building from $69,636,420 to $273,501,665, or 293 per 
cent. From 1900 to 1910 the total value of property owned by the 
colored farmers of the South increased from $177,404,688 to $492,898,218, 
or 177 per cent. 

Progress of the Colored People in America. 641 

In 1863 the total wealth of the Negroes of this country was about 
$20,000,000. Now the total wealth is over $700,000,000. No other eman- 
cipated people have made so great a progress in so short a time. The 
Russian serfs were emancipated in 1861. Fifty years after it was found 
that 14,000,000 of them had accumulated about $500,000,000 worth of 
property, or about $36 per capita, an average of $200 per family. Fifty 
years after their emancipation only about thirty per cent, of the Russian 
peasants were able to read and write. After fifty years of freedom 
the 10,000,000 Negroes in the United States have accumulated over 
$700,000,000 worth of property, or about $70 per capita, which is an 
average of $350 per family. After fifty years of freedom 70 per cent, 
of them have some education in books. 

Professor Monroe N. Work, in charge of research and records 
at Tuskeegee Institute, estimated the total wealth of the Negroes 
in the United States at $700,000,000. 

In the January number of the Southern Workman, Professor 
Work tells of what the American Negro is doing for himself. 
Special emphasis is placed on the race's advancement along 
religious, educational and economic lines. 

The religious progress of the race is shown in the accumula- 
tion of church property which amounts to $57,000,000. The 
churches contribute yearly over $100,000 for home missions. 

The Negro Baptists carry on work in five foreign countries in 
which they have established 132 mission stations in charge of 
ninety-seven missionaries. The African Methodist Episcopal 
Church has mission work in eight foreign countries and has two 
bishops in Africa. The African Methodist Episcopal Zion 
Church is doing aggressive work in Africa and the West Indies. 

Thirty-five thousand Sunday schools are in operation, with an 
enrollment of one and three-fourths million pupils. 

The educational advancement of the race is indicated in Pro- 
fessor Work's article by the statement that 1,700,000 Negro chil- 
dren are enrolled in the public schools and 100,000 in the normal 
schools and colleges. Thirty-one thousand Negro teachers are 
employed in the public schools and colleges, and 3,000 teachers 
are employed in the colleges and the normal and industrial 

There are in the South at present fifty colleges, thirteen insti- 
tutions for the education of colored women, twenty-six theo- 

642 The African Abroad. 

logical schools and departments, three schools of law, five of 
medicine, two of dentistry, four of pharmacy, seventeen state 
agricultural and mechanical colleges, and over 400 normal and 
industrial schools. 

The value of the property now owned by institutions for higher 
and secondary training of the freedmen is more than $17,000,000. 
In 1912 over $4,400,000 was expended for their higher and indus- 
trial training, and $8,600,000 in their public schools, a total of 

There are 40,000 following the professions, including teachers, 
preachers, laymen, doctors, dentists, editors, etc., and there are 
some 30,000 engaged in business of some sort. 

Negroes now edit and publish 400 newspapers and periodicals. 
They own 100 insurance companies, 300 drug stores and 20,000 
grocery and other stores. There are 300,000 or more working in 
trades and other occupations requiring skill — blacksmiths, car- 
penters, cabinetmakers, masons, miners, engineers, iron and steel 
workers, factory operators, printers, lithographers, engravers, 
gold and silver workers, tool and cutlery makers, etc 

With 3,950 colored persons in the government postal service, 
there are 22,440 in the employ of the United States Government. 

Som.e 1,000 or more patents have been granted to Negroes 
during the past year. They have invented a telephone register, 
a hydraulic scrubbing brush, a weight motor for running 
machinery, aeroplanes, an automatic car switch and an auto- 
matic feed attachment for adding machines. 

They have established sixty-four banks capitalized at $1,600,- 
000, doing an annual business of some $20,000,000. I'he Penny 
Savings Bank of Birmingham, Ala., at the close of business in 
August, 1912, had resources amounting to $447,000. 

Perhaps the most significant progress has been made in agri- 
culture. Negro farm laborers and Negro farmers in the South 
cultivate approximately 100,000,000 acres of land, of which 
42,500,000 acres are under their control. Negroes now own 
20,000,000 acres of land, equivalent to 31,000 square miles. 

In 1863 the total wealth of Negroes in this country was about 
$20,000,000. Now their total wealth is $700,000,000. 

I am inclined to dissent from Professor Work's figures. The 
total wealth of the Negroes in this country in 1863 has been 

Progress of the Colored People in America. 643 

estimated at over $40,ock),ooo, and their total wealth now is 
practically $1,000,000,000. 

(From the Crisis.) 


igoo 1910 

Louisiana $38,030,298 $ 56,523-741 

Alabama 46,918,353 97,37o,748 

Florida 6,471,733 15,410,628 

Georgia 48,708,954 157-879,185 

Mississippi 86,487,434 187,561,026 

A leading real estate agent asserts that the colored people of Baltimore 
own $10,000,000 worth of real estate. 

The Hardrick Brothers, colored men of Springfield, Mo., have a 
large grocery store. Their business amounts to $75,000 a year and nine- 
tenths of their customers are white. They have ten clerks, one book- 
keeper, one cashier and four delivery men and a large auto delivery 
truck. The employees are all colored and the firm has the custom of 
the wealthiest people of the city. 

The Star of Zioii says of the North Carolina State Tax 
Commissioners : 

The commission having made no grand total, we have done so for 
the benefit of our readers, and find that the Negroes own 1,424,943 acres 
of land, not counting town lots, and pay taxes on a grand total of 
$29,982,328 of real and personal property. It should be known also 
that the rate of assessment is about 40 per cent. This will indicate that 
Negroes own $70,000,000 worth of real and personal property in North 
Carolina. . . . There are a little less than 1,000,000 Negroes in this 
State and the showing above mentioned is certainly a creditable one. 

(From the Springfield (Mass.) Republican.) 
Now that the successor of Abraham Lincoln has organized his new 
party, his counsels purified of the contaminating influence of the descend- 
ants of the men whose emancipation Abraham Lincoln the first pro- 
claimed, it is an appropriate time to glance in review at the condition of 
the Southern black man at the outbreak of the Civil War and his 
condition now, half a century later. Some highly interesting figures 
to help such a review have been marshaled by the promoters of a 
bill before Congress asking for a $250,000 appropriation for a Negro 
exposition in celebration of the semi-centennial of the emancipation 
proclamation. The black man may have to keep a-coming for some 

6 14 The African Abroad. 

time to be entirely welcome in the select company of a Bull Moose 
convention but he seems to have done pretty well. 

The Negro, it seems to be pretty well agreed, is indispensable in the 
South, at least at the present stage of its industrial development. At 
all events that he has found a livable country there is eloquently wit- 
nessed in the fact that his numbers have increased from 4,000,000 in 
i860 to 10,000,000 in 1910. Meanwhile there is not lacking evidence 
that in some outward respects at least the quality has improved, if it 
be granted that accomplishment is evidence of quality. Before the war 
practically all the Negroes were slaves and illiterate; in 1890, the figures 
show illiteracy among the descendants 30.5 per cent, less than that of 
the white population of Spain, Russia, Roumania, Hungary, and not a few 
other European countries. By way of comparison nearer home the 
still more significant fact is pointed out that in Pennsylvania the illiteracy 
of the foreign population has increased in twenty years from 15 to 
19 per cent., while that of the colored residents of the State has decreased 
during the same period from 29 to 15 per cent. This comparison had 
its disquieting phase, but it is not at the expense of the evidence regard- 
ing Negro progress potential and actual. 

Fifty years ago there were practically no American Negroes in pro- 
fessional life; now there are more than 75,000. Fifty years ago the 
slave was practically penniless; now his descendants own more than 
400,000 farms and homes, whose aggregate value is estimated at over 
a billion dollars. More than a quarter of a million Negroes own their 
own farms and more than a million farms are operated by Negroes. 
There have been more than 6,000 Negro authors of copyrighted books 
and more than a thousand patents have been granted Negro inventors. 
There are Negro graduates of all the great universities of the country. 
There are nearly 300 newspapers edited by Negroes, and the lists of 
bankers, brokers and manufacturers include many names of black men. 

It is a little leaven, perhaps, to leaven such a lump, but the essential 
fact is that the leaven is working. Certainly the showing gives reason 
for the faith that is in such people as believe that an equality of political 
rights under the Constitution need not yet be abandoned as a cornerstone 
of the republic. Self-respect and hope, twin guiding stars, are surely 
not lightly to be clouded by an organization essaying to speak for the 
whole of a great country; certainly not in the name of Abraham Lincoln. 

(From the New York Evening Post.) 
A study of the recent census by Dr. T. J. Tones of the Bureau of 
Education brings out some interesting facts about the Negro in the 
South, which are of striking value in connection with Mr. Roosevelt's 
new anti-negro policy. It appears that 40 per cent, of all the agri- 
cultural workers in the South are Negroes, numbering approximately 
two and one-third million men. Of these 890,000 are farmers, 218,000 

Progress of the Colored People in America. 645 

of whom own their own farms. They own and cultivate 15.702,579 acres, 
which they have acquired in less than fifty years. Negro farms have 
increased 20 per cent, in ten j^ears, according to the census, while the 
Negro population has added to itself 10 per cent. White men's farms 
have increased but 18 per cent., while the white population grew 24 per 

Yet it is to these two and one-half millions of Negro farm workers 
that Mr. Roosevelt says in substance : You shall not be represented in 
my party, because the white people about you won't like it, and because 
in the past you have sent delegates to Republican conventions who 
have been too easily corrupted. This enormous body of agricultural 
workers is thus to be unrepresented in the party of "social justice," 
even though they have largely, by their own efforts, reduced their 
illiteracy to 2>2-Z per cent, in 1910 from 48 per cent, in 1900. 

How helpful and stimulating this action will be to these toilers who 
contribute so largely to the wealth of the nation and are lifting them- 
selves "up from slavery," against terrible odds, and the social injustice, 
the bitter prejudice and hatred to which Mr. Roosevelt now caters. 

(From the Appeal of Colored Men to the Progressive Convention 
in Chicago, 111., August, 1912.) 

Especially does the party realize that a group of 10,000,000 people, 
who have in a generation changed from a slave to a free labor system, 
reestablished family life, accumulated $1,000,000,000 of real property, 
including 20,000,000 acres of land, and reduced their illiteracy from 80 
per cent, to 30 per cent, deserve and must have justice, opportunity and 
a voice in their own government. 

I will add that over 50,000 colored men are engaged in the 
professions and liberal arts and there are over 200,000 farms 
owned by colored men, 

(From the Penny Press of Middletown, Conn., May 16, 1912.) 

When the census figures of 1900 were published they revealed the fact 
that in the forty years since slavery the Negro population had doubled. 
It was 4,441,830 in i860 and 8,833,994 in 1900. 

Now that we are beginning to get returns from the 1910 census, writes 
Booker T. Washington, in the Independent, we learn that during the last 
ten years the race has added almost another million (994,300) to its 

According to the 13th census, the Negro population was 9,828,294, and 
if it has increased at the same rate since 1910 that it did before, namely, 
11.30 per cent, for the decade or about 100,000 a year, it is now 
considerably more than 10,000,000. 

646 The African Abroad. 

The importance of these facts is that it assures the physical existence 
of the race. The Negro is not dying out. The rate of increase among 
Negroes is not as great as it was some years ago, but that is true of 
every civilized coimtry in the world in which the population is not 
increased by immigration. 

The census of 191 1 shows, for example, that the rate of increase for 
the English people, measured by the excess of births over deaths, is 
12.4 per cent. The natural rate of increase by immigration was esti- 
mated at 20 per cent, in the period of 1880 to 1890, and is not quite 
15 per cent, for the period from 1900 to 1910. 

The census shows that the white population is increasing more rapidly 
than 'the Negro, in the Southern States. This is due in part to the 
fact that while there is a movement in the black population northward 
from the border States like Kentucky, Tennessee and Maryland, there 
is at the same time a movement of the white population southward, 
particularly in the direction of Florida, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. 

The statistics show, for example, that while the Negro population has 
actually decreased in the border States mentioned, and the increase in 
Virginia and Delaware was no more than 16 per cent., the increase of 
the Negro population in the Northern States was 18.4 per cent. 

This does not mean, as some persons have said, that the Negro popu- 
lation is shifting from the Southern to the Northern States. The fact 
is that the total increase of Negro population in the North, during the 
decade from 1900 to 1910 amounted to no more than 167,879. During 
the same period Negro population in the South has grown from 7,922,969 
to 8,749,390, an increase of 826,421. 


The table headed "Afro-Americans in the United States" is 
based upon the prehminary results of the census of 19 10, in 
comparison in general with the figures for 1900. The distribution 
of Negroes according to black and mulatto is given for 1910, in 
comparison with similar results derived from the returns of the 
censuses of 1890 and 1870. It will be seen that the mulatto 
population has increased from 12 per cent, in 1870 to 20.9 per 
cent, in 1910. There are 893,384 colored farmers, an increase of 
146,620 or 19.6 per cent, since 1900. The total Afro-American 
population of the United States according to the census of 1910 
is 9,827,763. There are 2,458,873 males twenty-one years or over. 
The increase in males of voting age has been 19.3 per cent, in 
the decade. The per cent, of illiterate has been reduced from 
44.5 in 1900 to 30.4 in 1910. 

Progress of the Colored People in America. 647 


There has been an enormous increase in the value of the farms 
(land and building's), owned by the 880,837 Afro-American farm- 
ers in the Southern states. In 1900 the value v^as $380,280,968. 
According to the census of 1910 it had increased to $900,132,334, 
or 136.7 per cent ! (The total includes the farms of 9,219 Indians, 
24 Chinese, and 61 Japanese in addition to the farms of 880,837 
Afro- Americans. ) 

Increase Percent 
igoo to of 
igio igoo igio Increase 

Total number of farms .. 890,141 740,670 I49,47i 20.2 

Farms of owners 218,467 186,676 3i.79i i7-0 

Farms of managers 1,200 1,593 — 393 — 24.7 

Farms of tenants 670,474 552,401 118,073 21.4 

Total farm acreage 42,609,117 38,612,046 3,997,o7i 10.4 

Farms of owners 15,691,536 13,358,684 2,332,852 17.5 

Farms of managers 349,779 428,518 — 78,739 — 18.4 

Farms of tenants 26,567,802 24,824,844 1.742,958 7.0 

Total value of farms (land 

and buildings) $900,132,334 $380,280,968 $519,851,366 136.7 

Farm.s of owners 272,992,238 106,619,328 166,372,910 156.0 

Farms of managers 10,371,949 5o44,3io 4,827,639 87.1 

Farms of tenants 616,768,147 268,117,330 348,650,817 130.0 

(A minus sign ( — ) denotes decrease.) 


There are eight of the larger cities in each of which there are 
more than 25,000 Afro-Americans and in three of them they con- 
stitute a considerable proportion of the total population. Of 
the cities named, Washington, with 94,446 Afro-Americans, has 
the largest proportion, 28.5 per cent. ; New Orleans, with 89,262 
Afro-Americans, the second largest, 26.3 per cent. ; and Balti- 
more, with 84,749 Afro-Americans, the third largest proportion, 
15.2 per cent. New York has 91,709 Afro- Americans, almost as 
many as in Washington and more than in New Orleans, but of its 
total population the Afro- Americans constitute only 1.9 per cent. 
Philadelphia has 84,459 Afro-Americans, or 5.5 per cent, of its 
total population ; Chicago 44,103 Afro- Americans, or 2 per cent. ; 
St. Louis 43,960 Afro-Americans, or 6.4 per cent. ; and Pitts- 
burgh 25,623 Afro-Americans, or 4.8 per cent. In Detroit there 

648 The African Abroad. 

are 5,741 Af ro- Americans ; Buffalo, 1,773; San Francisco, 1,642; 
Milwaukee, 980; Cincinnati, 19,639; Newark, 9,475; St. Louis, 
43,960; Boston, 13,564; Cleveland, 8,448; Los Angeles, 7,599; 
Minneapolis, 2,928; Jersey City, 5,960. 

(From A Half Century of Freedom, by W. E. Burghardt Du Bois. 

The Negro was freed as a penniless, landless, naked, ignorant laborer. 
There were very few that owned property in the South ; there were a 
larger number that owned property in the North ; but 99 per cent, of 
the race in the South were field hands, servants of the lowest class. 
To-day 50 per cent, are farm laborers and servants and over one-half 
of these are working as efficient modern workmen under wage contract. 
Above these, to use the figures of 1900, there are 750,000 farmers, 70,000 
teamsters, 55,000 railway hands, 36,000 miners, 33,000 sawmill employees, 
28,000 porters, 21,000 teachers, 21,000 carpenters, 20.000 barbers, 20,000 
nurses, 15,000 clergymen, 14,000 masons, 13,000 dressmakers and seam- 
stresses, 10,000 engineers and firemen, 2,500 physicians and, above all, 
200,000 mistresses of independent homes, and 2.000.000 children in school. 

Fifty years ago the overwhelming mass of these people were not only 
penniless, but were themselves assessed as real estate. By 1875 the 
Negroes probably had gotten hold of something between 2,000,000 and 
4,000,000 acres of land through their bounties as soldiers and the low 
price of land on account of the war. By 1880 this was increased to 
about 6,000,000 acres ; in 1890 to about 8,000,000 acres, and over 12,000,000 
acres in 1900. In 1910 this had increased to over 18,000,000 acres. 

In 1890 Negroes owned 120,738 farms; in 1900 they owned 187,799; 
in 1910 they owned about 220,000. Thus, over 25 per cent, of the Negro 
farmers owned their own farms, and the increase of farm owners 
between 1890 and 1910 has been over 83 per cent. The value of land 
and buildings owned by Negroes in the South was in 1910 $272,992,238. 
This is an increase of nearly 90 per cent, in a single decade. This 
does not include land owned by Negro farmers but rented out. If we 
include that, and if the increase in the whole United States has been 
as great as in the South, which seems fair to suppose, then the total 
farm property of Negroes in 1910 is $437,000,000 as compared with $230,- 
000,000 in 1900. On a basis of the value of farm property in 1900, a 
committee of the American Economic Association estimated the value 
of Negro wealth in the United States at $300,000,000. On the same 
basis we can estimate the total Negro wealth to-day at $570,000,000. 

To-day the Negro is a recognized part of the American government; 
he holds 9,000 offices in the executive service of the nation, besides 
furnishing four regiments in the army and a large number of sailors. 
In the State and municipal civil service he holds at least 10,000 other 
offices, and he furnishes 500,000 of the votes which rule the Union. 

Progress of the Colored People in America. 649 

In these same years the Negro has relearned the lost art of organiza- 
tion. Slavery was the absolute denial of initiative and responsibility. 
To-day Negroes have 3S,ooo church edifices worth $56,000,000, and con- 
trolling nearly 4,000,000 members. They raise themselves $7,500,000 a 
year for these churches. 

There are 200 private schools and colleges managed and almost entirely- 
supported by Negroes, and other public and private Negro schools have 
received in forty years $45,000,000 of Negro money in taxes and dona- 
tions. Five millions a year are raised by Negro secret and beneficial 
societies, which hold at least $6,000,000 in real estate. Negroes support 
wholly or in part over 60 old folks' homes and orphanages, 30 hospitals 
and 500 cemeteries. Their organized commercial life is extending rapidly, 
and includes all branches of the smaller retail businesses and 40 banks. 

The $570,000,000 mentioned by Dr. DuBois does not include 
bank deposits and investment in stocks and hence does not mean 
the total wealth of the American Negro, which is upwards of a 
billion dollars ; it only refers to the property he owns. 

(By Charles Stelzle.) 

The Negro problem is shifting from the South to the North. At any 
rate, the census figures indicate that the South is becoming whiter, 
largely due to the fact that there is a steady migration of the Negro 
to the North. Also, the figures show that the Negro is going to the 
city in both the North and the South. The percentage of Negroes for 
the entire country is 10.7; for the cities of 25,000 and over it is 16.5. 
Negroes constitute one-fourth or more of the total population in each 
of twenty-seven of these cities, and in four of them the proportion 
is more than half. In each of twelve cities there are more than 40,000 
Negroes, although in Washington, D. C, the Negro population is 94,446. 

The wildest guesses imaginable have been made as to the future of 
the Negro race. It has been said with equal insistence, and with prob- 
ably equal authority, both that the Negro would ultimately dominate the 
United States because of the large birth-rate among Negroes, and that 
the Negro race would some day be practically eliminated. 

As a matter of fact, while during the past sixty years the total 
population of the country has increased four-fold, the Negro popula- 
tion has increased only two and two-thirds fold. But it must not be 
forgotten that, whereas the increase of the white population was largely 
due to a considerable influx of foreigners, the increase of Negroes 
depended almost entirely upon native stock. However, the actual situa- 
tion may be arrived at by comparing the relative death and birth rates 
of the two races. 

^5° The African Abroad. 

While it is impossible to secure complete vital statistics in this coun- 
try, there are certain registration areas in which figures are kept. 
Unfortunately these areas are for the most part in the cities; there 
are almost no records for the country. In 1890 the death rate for 
Negroes in the registration areas was 29.9 per thousand, whereas for 
whites it was only 19.1 per thousand. As these figures for the Negroes 
included a few Mongolians and Indians it would be fair to say that the 
actual death rate was about 29 per thousand for the Negro. This means 
that for every thousand Negroes, 29 die annually. In the census report 
for 1900 the figures for death rates are as follows: Negroes, 30.2 per 
thousand; whites, 17.3 per thousand. It will be seen that not only is 
the^ death rate among Negroes nearly twice as great as it is among 
whites, but that the death rate among Negroes is increasing, whereas 
it is decreasing among whites. 

In the matter of birth rates, all the facts are against the Negro. Abso- 
lutely reliable data is not available, but taking the number of children 
in the United States to females between the ages of 15 to 44 years of age, 
we arrive at the following conclusions : In the United States as a whole 
there were in 1880 to every 1,000 white women 586 children; to every 
1,000 Negro women (including Indians and Mongolians) 759 children. 
In 1900 there were to every 1,000 white women 508 children, and to every 
1,000 Negro women 585 children. While the birth rate has greatly 
declined for both races in 20 years, it has declined more rapidly among 
the Negroes than among whites; namely, 78 per thousand for whites, 
and 174 per thousand for Negroes. 

These figures would seem to indicate the continued supremacy of the 
white race — if present tendencies continue. But this fact continues to 
stare us in the face; the Negro is actually increasing in numbers, not 
as fast relatively as is the white, but we may as well make up our 
minds that the Negro is here to stay. It is simply a question as to 
whether he will be a "good" Negro or a "bad" Negro. And the answer 
to this question depends as much upon the whites as it does upon the 
blacks. We should also consider it a finality that the white race and 
the Negro race will rise or fall together. It is impossible to have a 
nation part free and part slave; it is still more impossible to have at 
the same time in one country, a morally and physically decaying race, and 
a surviving race untouched by the dying race's fate. 

If we could definitely settle this it would save us from a lot of flabby 
thinking and worse scheming. The Negro will never return to Africa 
to establish a Liberian republic. He is the only man in America who 
has been brought here against his will. For 250 years there was sys- 
tematically expunged from the Negro race, the best qualities which fit 
a man for citizenship in a democracy. Considering the lack of oppor- 
tunity, the advice of fool friends, and the inherent limitations which 
are both natural and acquired, the Negro has done pretty well since the 
day that he was set free. 

Progress of the Colored People in America. 651 

The fact that the Negro is dj'ing in such large numbers of tubercu- 
losis and other still more frightful diseases is, of course, due to his 
ignorance and to other reasons for which he is largely responsible, but 
we cannot forget that it is also to be charged to the fact that he is com- 
pelled to live in the worst sections of our towns and cities, often without 
drainage or sewerage or garbage service, without water within a reason- 
able distance, and scarcely any of the sanitary conditions in house or 
yard or street, which whites consider an absolute necessity. We drive 
the worst forms of immorality into the Negro quarters and then curse 
the Negro because of his moral weakness. We subject him to the severest 
test of our city life — physical, moral and political — and then cynically 
declare that the "nigger" is no good anyway. Let's give him a square 
deal — a man's chance. Neither race hatred nor mawkish sentimentality 
will settle this very delicate question. The South cannot settle it alone, 
and the North cannot do the work for the South. The North and the 
South, the city and the country must tackle the thing together, for this 
is a national problem. 


The Negro as an Explorer, Revolutionist and Soldier. 

The halo of romance has ever surrounded the brow of the 
explorer. There has ever been a fascination to those daring 
pioneers, who blazed a path into the unknown and discovered 
new lands and continents and lakes and rivers. And the history 
of American exploration cannot be written without mentioning 
the eternal Negro. Professor Alexander Francis Chamberlain 
of Clark University, in his article on "The Contribution of the 
Negro to Human Civilization," says : 

And in their voyages and travels, the Spaniards in the New World 
had the services of the Negro. The first man to reach the land of the 
Seven Cities of Cibola, and open the Southwest of what is now the 
United States of America, was the Negro Estevancillo, and the vessel 
of Captain Arellano (1564-1565), the first to make the return voyage 
across the Pacific from the East Indies to Mexico, was steered by a 
mulatto pilot. 

The first ship built in America was said to have been con- 
structed by the slaves of Vasquez de Allon, who tried to establish 
a Spanish settlement where Jamestown, Va., was afterwards 
founded. Thirty Negroes accompanied Balboa and they aided 
him in building the first ship on the Pacific coast. Cortez brought 
300 slaves to America to assist him in his expedition. Santiago 
del Principe was founded by Negro slaves, who later rebelled 
against their Spanish masters. 

Thus we see that Negroes crossed the Isthmus of Panama v/ith 
Balboa. They accompanied Cortez to Mexico in 1522. Little 
Stephen, another Negro, was the first discoverer of Zunis, New 
Mexico. Negroes went with De Soto in 1540, and one of their 
number was the first settler in Alabama. Negroes also accom- 
panied William Clark in Lewis and Clark's expedition, which, 
in 1840, explored the Missouri River and gained Oregon for the 
United States. A Negro, Saunders, accompanied John C. Fre- 
mont in 1848, vainly trying to cross the Rocky Mountains. 

The Negro as an Explorer and Soldier. 653 

The "Artistic Guide to Chicago and the World's Columbian 
Exposition" said : 

Early in the spring of 1779, a fugitive San Domingoan slave, named 
Baptiste Point de Sable, found his vi^ay from the French settlements of 
Louisiana to the southwestern shores of Lake Michigan, built a rude 
cabin on the north bank of the Chicago River, near its mouth, and began 
in a small way to trade in furs with the French and Indians. It is 
therefore safe to say that Point de Sable's rude log hut was the first 
dwelling erected on the present site of Chicago and that the refugee 
slave was its first permanent resident and landholder. He is described 
by one writer of that time as "a large, handsome, well-educated Negro," 
and by another as "a Negro trader, pretty wealthy, who drank freely 
and was much in the French interest." Previous to his settlement on 
the lake he had spent some time among the Peorias with a friendly 
countryman named Glamorgan, and was familiar with Indian traditions 
and customs. During his long residence at Chicago he was intimately 
associated with the Pottawatomies, and, it is said, aspired to become the 
head of the nation. This was no mean ambition, for the Pottawatomies 
were at that time a numerous and warlike people, rich in territory, great 
in council, and among the most intellectual and humane of all the savage 
tribes. It is more probable, however, that he was well content in the 
possession of untrammeled freedom, and the prominence which came with 
the growth of his business. At least he lived quietly on in his narrow 
cabin until 1796, or for seventeen years, when, broken in health, he sold 
out his business and holdings to a Frenchman named Le Mai, and 
returning to Peoria, died in the home of his friend Glamorgan. 


It is indeed a miracle of history that when Commodore Peary, 
braving the rigors of arctic cold, had the honor of being the 
first civilized human being to plant his feet on the North Pole, 
his only companion, and the man who helped to place the stars 
and stripes there, was Matt Henson, a Negro, a child of a race 
that was reared and matured in the tropics. This Negro demon- 
strates that the Negro can live anywhere from the chill arctic 
to the torrid equator. 


A race is not only judged by its intellectual acquisitions, but 
by the quality and fiber of its manhood; by its innate self-respect 
and inborn desire for freedom. The love of liberty has ever been 
the touchstone of the soul life of a people. And during the past 

654 ^/'^ African Abroad. 

three centuries the Negro has frequently manifested this desire 
for self-government and self-expression. 

From 1630 to 1700 fugitive slaves successfully maintained the 
Negro State of Palniores in Brazil against the other slave-holding 
provinces. The Negro princes ruled the states as dependencies 
of the governor of India. They were originally imported from 
East Africa to become warriors and fighting seamen for Indian 
princes. But they finally carved out states for themselves. The 
world knows the story of how the Haytiens, under Toussaint 
L'Ouverture, drove back the English and threw off the French 
and Spanish yokes. In the chapter upon "Distinguished Foreign 
Negroes," the story of the brave and fearless Maroons is told. 
But the African Negro, brought as a slave to America, and 
dominated and overawed by a superior civilization, still felt the 
longing for freedom. 


The Ury conspiracy Is the first attempt of Northern Negroes 
to attempt any revolutionary scheme ; but the master-minds, the 
leaders, and the guiding principles of the attempted conspiracy 
were white men. 

On June 25, 1741, Mary Burton, a Negro slave, accused Rev. 
John Ury, a Catholic priest and schoolmaster, with having visited 
John Hughson's tavern in New York City with some Negroes, 
to form a conspiracy to kill and rob white people and burn their 
houses in New York City. He was tried, found guilty and 
hanged on August 29, 1741. One hundred and fifty-four Negroes 
were imprisoned, of whom fourteen were burnt, eighteen hanged, 
seventy-one transported and the rest pardoned. Twenty-four 
whites were also arrested, of whom four were executed and the 
rest set free. 


Cato of Stono was the first American Negro to breath the fire 
of his own ambition, the ardor of his own spirit into his fellows, 
fill them with a quenchless and insatiable desire for freedom, and 
lead them on to battle and carnage. 

In 1740, a few Negroes assembled at the town of Stone, S. C, 
killed two young white men, who were guarding a warehouse, 

The Negro as an Explorer and Soldier. 655 

seized arms and ammunition, elected one of their number captain, 
and behind beating drums and flying banners marched off Hke 
an organized army. They broke into the house of Mr. Godfrey, 
killed him, his wife and child, and set fire to the building. Then 
they moved towards Jacksonburgh, pillaging and burning the 
houses of Sacheveral, Nash, Spry and others, killing all the white 
people they met and enrolling all the Negroes they ran across in 
their little band. 

Governor Bull met them as he was returning from Charles- 
ton, and believing that discretion was the better part of valor, 
let them pass by on the other side. They marched for twelve 
miles, spreading destruction like a devastating fire and leaving 
burning and plundered buildings and dead bodies in their wake. 
The militia was called out at Wilton, and under Captain Bee, 
attacked, killed and captured several as, intoxicated with success 
and drunk with rum, they were singing and dancing in an open 
field. The people of South Carolina were alarmed. And on 
May 7, 1763, the Legislature passed an act, imposing a fine of 
twenty shillings upon every white male, who did not carry a 
gun or a pair of horse pistols, "with at least six charges of 
gunpowder a ball," as he went to church or "other public places 
of divine worship," 

Gabriel's defeat in 1800. 

Gabriel was the second slave who planned an insurrection 
during slavery times. He, too, demonstrated the fact that the 
Negro resented enforced servitude, and had the courage to strike 
a blow for his freedom. Gabriel was the slave of a cruel young 
master, who, Colonel Higginson says, "had recently inherited a 
plantation a few miles from Richmond." Gabriel was twenty-five 
years of age and ignorant of the alphabet when he conceived his 
revolutionary scheme ; but in intelligence, courage, energy and 
force of character he was far above his fellows or his status 
as a slave. 

His insurrection is remarkable, as it was identical with John 
Brown's plan, namely, to arouse the slaves, seize arms and escape 
to the mountains of A^irginia and West \'irginia. 

Colonel George desired Sunday to be the day of execution, as 
country Negroes could travel on that day without suspicion. 

656 The African Abroad. 

But Gabriel, the moving spirit among the conspirators, decided 
on Saturday. The main facts regarding the insurrection of 
Gabriel, Demark Vesey and Nat Turner have largely been 
derived from the late Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson's 
interesting work entitled "Travelers and Outlaws." 

Colonel Higginson says, "their arms and ammunition, so 
far as reported, consisted of a peck of bullets, ten pounds of 
powder, and twelve scythe-swords, made by Gabriel's brother 
Solomon and fitted with handles by Gabriel himself." 

Colonel Higginson, on pages 197 and following, said : 

And, indeed, as was soon discovered, the effective weapon of the 
insurgents lay in the very audacity of their plan. ... It was to have 
taken effect on the first day of September. The rendezvous for the 
blacks was to be a brook six miles from Richmond. Eleven hundred 
men were to assemble there, and were to be divided into three columns, 
their officers having been designated in advance. All were to march 
on Richmond, — then a town of eight thousand inhabitants, — under cover 
of the night. The right wing was instantly to seize upon the penitentiary 
building, just converted into an arsenal; while the left wing was to take 
possession of the powderhouse. These two columns were to be armed 
chiefly with clubs, as their undertaking depended for success upon sur- 
prise, and was expected to prevail without hard fighting. But it was the 
central force, armed with muskets, cutlasses, knives and pikes, upon 
which the chief responsibility rested ; these men were to enter the town 
at both ends simultaneously and begin a general carnage, none being 
excepted save the French inhabitants who were supposed for some 
reason to be friendly with the Negroes. In a very few hours, it was 
thought, they would have entire control of the metropolis. And that this 
hope was not in the least unreasonable, was shown by the subsequent 
confessions of weakness from the whites. "They could scarcely have 
failed of success," wrote the Richmond correspondent of the Boston 
Chronicle, "for after all, we could only muster four or five hundred 
men, of whom not more than thirty had muskets." 

For the insurgents, if successful, the penitentiary held several thou- 
sand stand of arms ; the powderhouse was well stocked, the Capitol 
contained the State treasury; the mills would give them bread; the 
control of the bridge across James River would keep off enemies from 
beyond. Thus secured and provided, they planned to issue proclamations 
summoning to their standard "their fellow Negroes and the friends of 
humanity throughout the continent." In a week, it was estimated, they 
would have fifty thousand men on their side, with which force they could 
easily possess themselves of other towns, and, indeed, a slave named John 
Scott — possibly the dangerous possessor of the ten dollars — was already 
appointed to head the attack on Petersburg. But in case of final failure. 

The Negro as an Explorer and Soldier. 657 

the project included a retreat to the mountains, with their new-found 
property. John Brown was therefore anticipated by Gabriel, sixty years 
before, in believing the Virginia mountains to have been "created, from 
the foundation of the world, as a place of refuge for fugitive slaves." 

Higginson says, on pages 199-201 of his "Travelers and 
Outlaws" : 

But Gabriel's campaign failed, like that of the Federalists, and the 
appointed day brought disasters more fatal than even the sword of 
General Pinckney. The affrighted Negroes declared that "the stars in 
their courses fought against Sisera." The most furious tempest ever 
known in Virginia burst upon the land that day, instead of an insurrec- 
tion. Roads and plantations were submerged. Bridges were carried 
away. The fords, which then, as now, were the frequent substitutes 
for bridges in that region, were rendered wholly impassible. The Brood 
Swamp, one of the most important strategic points of the insurgents 
was entirely inundated, hopelessly dividing Prosser's farm from Rich- 
mond; the country Negroes could not get in, nor those from the city 
get out. The thousand men dwindled to a few hundred, and before 
they could reassemble they were betrayed. 

Early in September, 1800, two Negroes came to the counting room 
of Mr. Mosely Sheppard of Henrico County, Va., and betrayed the plot 
and one of them, Ben Woodfolk or Woolfolk, in the court on the 15th 
of the same month repeated his confession. Woolfolk was immediately 
pardoned by the court. 

Richmond and its vicinity was alarmed, and was up in arms. The night 
patrol was doubled in all of the large towns of the State. The Governor 
"appointed for himself three aides-de-camp." A troop of United States 
cavalry was ordered to Richmond. From five to fifteen Negroes were 
arrested one day, convicted in lump the next day, and hanged on the 
third day. 

Governor Monroe offered a reward of $300 for the arrest of Gabriel 
and another arch conspirator named Jack Bowler, alias Ditcher. Bowler 
surrendered himself, but Gabriel eluded his pursuers for several weeks. 

He was finally captured at Norfolk, on board a schooner just arrived 
from Richmond, in whose hold he had concealed himself for eleven 
days, having thrown overboard a bayonet and bludgeon, which were his 
only arms. Crowds of people collected to see him, including many of 
his own color. He was arrested on September 24, convicted on October 
13, and executed on October 17, and it is known of him further only 
that like almost all leaders of slave insurrections, he showed a courage 
which his enemies could not gainsay. Ten associates perished on the 
gallows with him. When he was apprehended, he manifested the greatest 
marks of firmness and confidence, showing not the least disposition to 
equivocate, or screen himself from justice — but making no confession 
that could implicate any one else. "The behavior of Gabriel under his 

658 The African Abroad. 

misfortunes," said the Norfolk Epitome of September 25, "was such 
as might be expected from a mind capable of forming the daring project 
which he had conceived." 

The United States Gazette for October 9 states, more sarcastic- 
ally, that "the general is said to have manifested the utmost 
composure, and with the true spirit of heroism seems ready to 
resig-n his high office, and even his life, rather than gratify the 
officious inquiries of the governor." 

"Gen. John Scott," another insurrection chief, a slave of Mr. 
Greenhow, lured by Mr. McCrea, was captured by his employer 
in Norfolk as he was about to escape, in "a public conveyance," 
being headed for Philadelphia. 

A song, "Gabriel's Defeat," was composed and set to music 
by a colored man. It was played at dances of white people, as 
well as in the huts of slaves. It was suspected that handbills, 
written by Callender, a Frenchman and friend of Jefferson, 
imprisoned in Richmond, and distributed by an Irish Methodist 
preacher, precipitated the plot. 

Gabriel's insurrection terrified Virginia. Richmond protected 
its state house by a permanent cordon of bayonets. None could 
enter it save by passing an armed and uniformed sentinel at the 
doorway. Secret sessions of the next Virginia Legislature were 
held and the governor of Virginia secretly corresponded with the 
president of the United States "with a view to securing a grant 
of land, whither troublesome slaves might be banished." This 
was the foundation of the American Colonization Society. 

The first formal meeting of the Colonization Society, in 1817, 
was called in aid of this Virginia movement to set apart territory 
in Louisiana for free and dangerous Negroes. 


Demark Vesey was unquestionably the ablest, the most 
resourceful and the most formidable of all the Negroes who 
planned insurrections during slavery times and demonstrated the 
fact that the Negro resented enforced servitude and had the 
courage to strike a blow for his freedom. When we consider 
how skillfully planned his insurrection was, how many thousands 
of recruits he gained, over what a wide stretch of territory his 


The Negro as an Explorer and Soldier. 659 

operations extended, the secrecy that prevailed both before and 
after the insurrection was discovered and during the trial of 
Vesey and the other leaders, and the heroic stoicism «of Vesey and 
the other leaders at the trial, we are forced to admit that Vesey 
possessed both a constructive and creative mind and a wonder- 
ful personality. He possessed both the mind to plan, the heart 
to dare and the arm to strike. Nothing but the fact that there 
was a traitor in the camp prevented Vesey's conspiracy from 
being a success, startling the world and becoming one of the 
lurid hair-raising events of the nineteenth century. As it was, 
the name of Demark Vesey was remembered for years in the 
Southland. And a vague, undefined dread of the possibility of 
another Vesey rising hung like a pall, like a dark, ominous 
cloud over the sunny South. My account of this insurrection, 
likewise, has been mainly derived from Colonel Higginson's 
entertaining volume on "Travelers and Outlaws." 

The City Gazette of Charleston, S. C, for August 21, 1822, 
says: "Demark (or Telemagia) Vesey, a free mulatto, was 
worth $8,000 in property when he died." 

In 1781, Captain Vesey of Charleston, S. C, who captained 
a ship that transported slaves between St. Thomas and Cape 
Frangais, sailed for the Cape with three hundred and ninety 
slaves. He and his officers became attached to a bright and 
attractive-looking slave boy of fourteen years, whom they made 
a pet and cabin boy of the ship, giving him a suit of new clothes 
and 'calling him Telemague, which was "corrupted into Telmak 
and Demark." They sold him at Cape Frangais and returned to 
St. Thomas. 

On another trip to Cape Frangais, Telemagia was returned 
to Captain Vesey, because he was "subject to epileptic fits." 
For twenty years Demark was a faithful slave, traveling over 
the world with his master and learning to speak various lan- 
guages. In 1800, he won fifteen hundred dollars in the East 
Ray Street lottery and bought his freedom of his master for 
six hundred dollars. Being ambitious, powerful and energetic, 
he soon became a successful and prosperous carpenter in Charles- 
ton. A South Carolina report says he was looked up to with 
awe and respect. His temper was impetuous and domineering 
in the extreme, qualifying him for the despotic rule of which he 

66o The African Abroad. 

was ambitious. All his passions were ungovernable and savage; 
and to his numerous wives and children he displayed the haughty 
and capricious cruelty of an Eastern bashaw. 

He familiarized himself with the Scriptures, from which he 
could quote freely, and went around endeavoring with scriptural 
citations to stir up the Negroes against the whites. Zechariah 
14:1-3 and Joshua 6:21, were his favorite texts. The inflam- 
matory pamphlets on slavery brought into Charleston from other 
states and from Sierra Leone, and speeches in Congress against 
the admission of Missouri into the Union, aided and abetted his 
pleas. He rebuked colored men for bowing to white men, 
preached the doctrine of equality of man and referred to the 
fable of Hercules and the Wagoner. 

He talked with white men in grog shops, when he could be 
overheard by Negroes, held conferences in his home and read 
to his friends and associates Mr. King's speech in Congress 
against slavery. Thus Vesey gained a following. But Peter 
Poyas was the military genius who could formulate plans and 
organize, mass and marshal forces. He it was who decided 
"who should or should not be enrolled," and registered candi- 
dates. He it was who planned the night attack, the enrollment 
of a mounted troop to scour the streets, and kept the "list of 
all the shops where arms and ammunition" were sold. He it 
was who was to capture the main guardhouse, the strategic point, 
advancing alone and unaided to surprise the sentinel. He pos- 
sessed a magnetic personality that dominated others, and a hyp- 
notic eye that compelled others to do his bidding. 

Then there was Jack Purcell of Angola, called Gullah Jack — 
a conjurer in his native country and South Carolina. Supposed to 
be invulnerable and teaching others how to be invulnerable, he 
possessed authority over many black Charlestonians, especially 
over the Angolese. He met his followers monthly at Bulkley's 
Farm, the black overseer of which was one of the conspirators. 
This farm could be reached by water, thus permitting the con- 
spirators to escape the patrol. Higginson says here they pre- 
pared cartridges and pikes, and had primitive banquets, which 
assumed a melodramatic character under the inspiriting guidance 
of Jack. A blind preacher, named Philip, assisted Gullah Jack 
and preyed on the superstition of the Negroes. 

The Negro as an Explorer and Soldier. 66i 

Monday Gell, a native African and harnessmaker, who could 
read and write, was the secretary of the cabal. Tom Russell 
made pikes and Polydor Faker fitted them with handles. Bacchus 
Hammett had charge of the firearms and ammunition. William 
Garner and Mingo Harth were selected to lead the horse guard. 
Lat Forrestor enrolled and Ned Bennett, the governor's servant, 
commanded the Negroes in the rural districts. 

Higginson says it was the custom then, as later, for the country 
Negroes to flock largely into Charleston on Sunday. More than 
a thousand came, on ordinary occasions, and a far larger number 
might at any time make their appearance without exciting any 
suspicion. They gathered in, especially by water, from the oppo- 
site sides of Ashley and Cooper rivers, and from the neighboring 
island; and they came in a great number of canoes of various 
sizes, many of which would carry a hundred men, which were 
ordinarily employed in bringing agricultural products to the 
Charleston market. 

The details of the plan, however, were not rashly committed 
to the mass of confederates ; they were known only to a few, 
and were finally to be announced only after the evening prayer 
meetings on the appointed Sunday. But each leader had his 
own company enlisted and his work marked out. When the 
clock struck twelve, all were to move. Peter Poyas was to lead 
a party ordered to assemble at South Bay and to be joined by 
a force from James Island. He was then to march up and 
seize the arsenal and guardhouse opposite St. Michael's Church 
and detach a sufficient number to cut off all white citizens who 
should appear at the alarm-posts. A second body of Negroes, 
from the country and the Neck, headed by Ned Bennett, was 
to assemble on the Neck and seize the arsenal there. A third was 
to meet at Governor Bennett's Alills, under command of Rollo, 
and after putting the governor and intendant to death to march 
through the city, or be posted at Cannon's Bridge, thus preventing 
the inhabitants of Cannonsborough from entering the city. A 
fourth party from the neighboring localities, and partly from the 
country, was to rendezvous on Gadsden's Wharf and attack the 
upper guardhouse. A fifth, composed of country and Neck . 
Negroes, was to assemble at Bulkley's Farm, two miles and a 
half from the city, seize the upper guard-magazine, and then 

662 The African Abroad. 

march down; and a sixth was to assemble at Demark Vesey's 
and obey his orders. A seventh detachment, under Gullah Jack, 
was to assemble in Boundary Street, at the head of King- Street, 
to capture the arms of the Neck company of militia, and to take 
an additional supply from Mr. Duquercron's shop. The naval 
stores on Mey's Wharf were also to be attacked. Meanwhile a 
horse company, consisting of many draymen, hostlers and butcher 
boys, was to meet at Lightwood's Alley, and then scour the 
streets to prevent the whites from assembling. Every white man 
coming out of his own door was to be killed ; and, if necessary, 
the city was to be fired in several places — slow-match for this 
purpose having been purloined from the public arsenal and placed 
in an accessible position. 

Beyond this, the plan of action was either unformed or undis- 
covered; some slight reliance seems to have been placed on 
English aid — more on assistance from San Domingo. At any rate, 
all the ships in the harbor were to be seized; and in these, if 
the worse came to worst, those most deeply inculcated could set 
sail, bearing with them, perhaps, the spoils of shops and of 
banks. It seems to be admitted by the official narrative that they 
might have been able, at that season of the year, and with the 
aid of the fortifications on the Neck and around the harbor, 
to retain possession of the city for some time. 

So unsuspicious were the authorities, so unprepared the citi- 
zens, so open to attack lay the city, that nothing seemed neces- 
sary to the success of the insurgents except organization and 
arms. Indeed, the plan of organization easily covered a supply 
of arms. By their own contributions, they had secured enough 
to strike the first blow, — a few hundred pikes and daggers, 
together with swords and guns for the leaders. But they had 
carefully marked every place in the city w^here weapons were 
to be obtained. 

But William Paul, a slave of John Paul, on Saturday after- 
noon, May 25, 1822, approached Devany, a house servant of Colo- 
nel Prioleau of Charleston, S. C, who was loitering around the 
wharves, and attempted to enlist him in the plot. But Devany 
was not cast in the heroic mould. He consulted Pensil or Pencell, 
a free colored man, who urged him to tell his master. He told 
the news to his mistress and her young son. His master. Colonel 

The Negro as an Explorer and Soldier. 663 

Prioleau, returned from the country five days later and was 
informed of the plot. He in turn informed Mr. Hamilton, the 
intendant or Major. He brought the matter to the attention of 
the corporation, who examined Devany and William before five 

William Paul was locked up and stated that Mingo Harth and 
Peter Poyas were his insurrectionary chiefs. They were imme- 
diately arrested, but showed such self-possession and composure 
(treating the matter as a joke) they were soon released. 
When searched, their trunks and premises showed no evidence 
of revolutionary design. Then Paul began to implicate other 
men. But many of the accused came to the intendant of their 
own accord, indignantly protested their innocence and offered 
themselves for examination. This perplexed the authorities. 
But they provided sixteen hundred rounds of ball cartridges 
and armed the sentinels and patrols with loaded bayonets. Pre- 
viously the guard went on duty without muskets, being armed 
only with sheathed bayonets and bludgeons. 

On Friday, June 14, a slave, who was a Methodist class leader, 
informed his master that RoUo, a slave of Governor Bennett, 
had told him three months before that the following Sunday 
night, June 16, was the time set for the insurrection. The 
military preparations the following night revealed to the con- 
spirators that their plot was detected. In vain they planned to 
revive it on July 24. Within a week they were prisoners. 
Thirty-five were sentenced to death, thirty-four transported, 
twenty-seven acquitted by the court and twenty-five discharged 
without trial. 

Higginson, upon page 261 of his "Travelers and Outlaws," 


It is to be remembered, that the plot failed because a man unauthor- 
ized and incompetent, William Paul, undertook to make enlistments 
on his own account. He happened on one of precisely that class of 
men, — favored house servants — whom his leaders had expressly reserved 
for more skillful manipulations. He being thus detected, one would 
have supposed that the discovery of many accomplices would at once 
have followed. The number enlisted was counted by thousands, yet for 
twenty-nine days after the first treachery, and during twenty days of 
official examination, only fifteen of the conspirators were ferreted 
out. . . . 

664 The African Abroad. 

That a conspiracy on so large a scale should have existed in embryo 
during four years, and in active form for several months, and yet have 
been so w^ell managed, that, after actual betrayal, the authorities were 
again thrown off their guard, and the plot nearly brought to a head 
again, — this certainly shows extraordinary ability in the leaders, and a 
talent for concerted action on the part of slaves generally, with which 
they have hardly been credited. And it is also to be noted that the 
range of the conspiracy extended far beyond Charleston. It was proved 
that Frank, slave of Mr. Ferguson, living nearly forty miles from the 
city, had boasted of having enlisted four plantations in his immediate 
neighborhood. It was in evidence that the insurgents "were trying all 
round the country, from Georgetown and Santee round about Combabee, 
to get people," and, after the trials, it was satisfactorily established that 
Vesey "had been in the country as far north as South Santee, and 
southwardly as far as the Euhaws, which is between seventy and eighty 
miles from the city." Some writer said, "For although success could 
not possibly have attended the conspirators, yet before their suppression, 
Charleston would probably have been wrapped in flames, many valuable 
lives would have been sacrificed, and an immense loss of property sus- 
tained by the citizens, even though no other distressing occurrences 
were experienced by them, while the plantations in the lower country 
would have been disorganized, and the agricultural interests have 
sustained an enormous loss." 

Higginson says, on pages 269 and 270: 

No doubt, there were enough special torches with which a man so 
skillful as Demark Vesey could kindle up these dusky powder-magazines, 
but, after all. the permanent peril lay in the powder. So long as that 
existed, everything was incendiary. Any torn scrap in the street might 
contain a Missouri-compromise speech, or a report of the last battle 
in San Domingo, or one of those able letters of Boyer's which were 
winning the praise of all, or one of John Randolph's stirring speeches 
in England against the slave-trade. . . . 

Of course the insurrection threw the whole slavery question open to 
the public. "We are sorry to see," said the National Intelligence of 
August 31, "that a discussion of the hateful Missouri question is likely 
to be revived in consequence of the allusions to its supposed effect in 
producing the late servile insurrection in South Carolina." 

A pamphlet, published in Charleston, under the nom de plume, 
"Achotes," argued against slave-labor in towns and suggested "that 
slaves in Charleston should be sold or transferred to the plantation, and 
their places supplied by white labor." Another pamphlet recommended 
Episcopal Church services and prohibiting Negroes from attending 
Fourth-of-July celebrations. 

Demark Vesey, Peter Poyas, Rolla, Ned and Monday, and 
the other thirty-four, behaved with stoical composure during 

The Negro as an Explorer and Soldier. 665 

the trial and at the execution. Gullah Jack, the conjurer, Hke 
the others, feigned ignorance at first. He played the fool. But 
his courage forsook him after his sentence. But Vesey showed 
the greatest ability and ingenuity during his trial. He observed 
how the fears, feelings and consciences of his betrayers were 
preyed on. Higginson says : 

Then turning to the court he skillfully availed himself of the point 
which had so much impressed the community, the intrinsic improbability 
that a man in his position of freedom and prosperity should sacrifice 
everything to free other people. If they thought it so incredible, why 
not give him the benefit of the incredibility? The act of being as they 
stated, one of infatuation, why convict him of it on the bare word of 
men, who, by their own showing had not only shared the infatuation, 
but proved traitors to it. 

Peter Poyas, the organizer, was the real hero. When one 
of his fellow conspirators, who had been chained to the floor in 
the same cell with him was about to give way to the promises, 
threats and tortures of the authorities and give the names of 
others, Peter raised himself on his elbows, looked the other fel- 
low in the eye and said, "Die like a man." Then his accomplice 
kept silent. As the six leaders were about to be executed Peter 
Poyas said, "Do not open your lips; die silent as you shall see 
me do." And the others caught the contagion of his heroical and 
stoical spirit. 

NAT turner's insurrection AUGUST 22, 183I. 

Now we come to the fourth Negro whose name struck terror 
to the South, — a religious fanatic who possessed the blood-thirsty 
ferocity of Attila, a slave whose concentration of will, deadly 
earnestness, intensity of purpose and avenging fury, made him a 
demon of destruction, and makes him loom up in the dark annals 
of American slavery as the very embodiment and incarnation of 
the spirit of vengeance, like the harpies of Greek mythology. I 
refer to Nat Turner, who, with his fellow avengers, murdered 
their master and mistress in the night, made their escape and 
started forth on a wholesale massacre, but were soon captured 
and put to death. 

While the newspapers of the country were discussing the 
question of social rivalry at the White House, General Jackson's 

666 The African Abroad. \ 

peculiarities and South Carolina's nullification, the name of Nat J 
Turner suddenly burst like a bolt from the blue upon the aston- 
ished country. And the terror of his name swept over the South- , 
land, as the terror of Attila's name swept over Rome centuries ^ 
before, for every Southerner dreaded lest there might be a Nat 
Turner in his household. 

Nat Turner was born on October 2, 1800, and was a short, 
stocky, powerful man of dark mulatto complexion, African fea- 
tures and a strong determined face. Originally owned by Ben- 
jamin Turner, he had been transferred to Putnam Boore and 
thence to Joseph Travis, who married the widow of Putnam 
Moore, whose plantation was a typical sleepy, anti-bellum plan- 
tation at "The Cross Keys" in the southeastern section of Vir- 
ginia, about twenty-five miles from the great Dismal Swamp. 

Turner was a religious fanatic who believed from childhood he 
was called by God for some great work. "White witnesses 
admitted that he had never been known to swear an oath, to drink 
a drop of spirits, or to commit a theft." He early manifested 
musical intelligence, and his youthful companions soon had, as 
Higginson says, "a superstitious faith in his gift and destiny." 
He was handy with tools and experimented in making paper, 
gunpowder, pottery and other things. Higginson says, "this 
impression of personal destiny grew with his growth ; he fasted, 
prayed, preached, read the Bible, heard voices when he walked 
behind his plough, and communicated his revelations to the awe- \ 
struck slaves. They told him in return that if they had his sense 
they would not serve any master in the world. 

Nat Turner's wife was a slave, belonging to another plantation. 
His heated imagination saw spirits in the sky, blood drops on 
the corn, and hieroglyphic marks on the dry leaves. He was 
never a Baptist preacher; but he and Brantley, a poor white man, j« 
baptized themselves. He was subject to visions and religious * 
hallucinations. Higginson says: 

He saw white and black spirits contending in the skies; the sun was 
darkened, the thunder rolled. ... He saw drops of blood on the corn; 
this was Girist's blood shed for man. He saw on the leaves in the woods 
letters and numbers and figures of men, — the same symbol which he had 
seen in the skies. On May 12, 1828, the Holy Spirit appeared to him 
and proclaimed that the yoke of Jesus must fall on him, and he must 

The Negro as an Explorer and Soldier. 667 

fight against the serpent when the sign appeared. Then came an 
eclipse of the sun in February, 183 1; this was the sign that he must 
arise and prepare himself, and slay his enemies with their own weapons; 
then also the seal was removed from his lips, and then he confided his 
plans to four associates. 

Travis, Nat's owner, was said to have been a kind and humane 
master. But Nat had a scar on one of his temples, another on 
the back of his neck, and a large knot on one of the bones of 
his right arm. How he came by these is a mystery. Tradition 
makes Turner shrewd and ingenious. Higginson says that when 
caught with lime and lampblack in hand, conning over a half- 
finished county map on the barn door. Turner was always 
"planning what to do if he were blind," or "studying how to get 
to Mr. Francis's house." 

On Sunday noon, August 21, 1831, Turner and six other 
slaves, Henry, Hark or Hercules, Nelson, Sam, Will and Jack, 
met in the woods on Joseph Travis's plantation, ostensibly for a 
barbecue. One brought a pig and another brandy. Seemingly 
it was a jovial feast. But Higginson says that for eleven hours 
they remained there in anxious consultation. One can imagine 
those dusky faces, beneath the funereal woods and amid the 
flickering of pine-knot torches, preparing that stern revenge 
whose shuddering echoes should ring through the land so long. 
Two things were at last decided : to begin their work that night 
and to begin it with a massacre so swift and irresistible as to 
create in a few days more terror than many battles, and so spare 
the need of future bloodshed. . . . 

John Brown invaded Virginia with nineteen men, and with the avowed 
resolution to take no life but in self-defence. Nat Turner attacked 
Virginia from within, with six men, and with the determination to spare 
no life until his power was established. John Brown intended to pass 
rapidly through Virginia and then retreat to the mountains. Nat Turner 
intended to "conquer Southampton County as the white men did in the 
Revolution, and then retreat, if necessary, to the Dismal Swamp. Each 
plan was deliberately matured; each was in its way practicable, but each 
was defeated by a single false step, as will soon appear. 

We must pass over the details of horror, as they occurred during the 
next twenty-four hours. Swift and stealthy as Indians, the black men 
passed from house to house, — not pausing, not hesitating, as their terrible 
work went on. In one thing they were more humane than Indians, or than 


668 The African Abroad. 

white men fighting against Indians ; there was no gratuitous outrage 
beyond the death-blow itself; no insult, no mutilation; but in every 
house they entered that blow fell on man, woman and child — nothing 
that had a white skin was spared. From every house they took arms 
and ammunition, and, from a few, money. On every plantation they 
found recruits. Those dusky slaves, so obsequious to their master the 
day before, so prompt to sing and dance before his Northern visitors, 
were all swift to transform themselves into fiends of retribution now. 
Show them sword or musket, and they grasped it, though it were an 
heirloom from Washington himself. The troop increased from house 
to house, — first to fifteen, then to forty, then to sixty. Some were armed 
with muskets, some with axes, some with scythes, some came on their 
masters' horses. As the number increased, they could be divided and 
the awful work was carried on more rapidly still. The plan then was 
for an advanced guard of horsemen to approach each house at a gallop, 
and surround it till the others came up. Meanwhile, what agonies of 
terror must have taken place within, shared alike by innocent and by 
guilty; what memories of wrongs inflicted on those dusky creatures, 
by some, — what innocent participation, by others, in the penance ! The 
outbreak lasted for forty-eight hours; but, during that period, fifty-five 
whites were slain without the loss of a single slave. . . . 

When the number of adherents had increased to fifty or sixty, Nat 
Turner judged it time to strike at the county seat, Jerusalem. Thither 
a few white fugitives had already fled and couriers might thence be 
dispatched for aid to Richmond and Petersburg, unless promptly inter- 
cepted. Besides, he could there find arms, ammunition and money; 
though they had already obtained, it is dubiously reported, from eight 
hundred to one thousand dollars. On the way it was necessary to pass J 
the plantation of Mr. Parker, three miles from Jerusalem. Some of the ^ 
men wished to stop here and enlist some of their friends. Nat Turner 
objected, as delay might prove dangerous; he yielded at last, and it J 
proved fatal. 

He remained at the gate with six or eight men ; thirty or forty went 
to the house, half a mile distant. They remained too long, and he went 
alone to hasten them. During his absence a party of eighteen white 
men came up suddenly, dispersing the small guard left at the gate; and 
when the main body of slaves emerged from the house, they encountered, 
for the first time, their armed masters. The blacks halted; the whites 
advanced cautiously within a hundred yards, and fired a volley; on its 
being returned they broke into disorder, and hurriedlj'^ retreated, leaving 
some wounded on the ground. The retreating whites were pursued, and ^ 
were saved only by falling in with another band of fresh men from jj 
Jerusalem, with whose aid they turned upon the slaves, who in their 
turn fell into confusion. Turner, Hark, and about twenty men on horse- 
back retreated in some order; the rest were scattered. The leader still 
planned to reach Jerusalem by a private way, thus evading pursuit; but 

The Negro as an Explorer and Soldier. 669 

at last decided to stop for the night in the hope of enlisting additional 

During the night the number increased again to forty and they 
encamped on Major Ridley's plantation. An alarm took place during 
the darkness, whether real or imaginary, does not appear ; and the men 
became scattered again. Proceeding to make fresh enlistments with the 
daylight, they were resisted at Dr. Blunt's house, where his slaves, under 
his orders, fired upon them, and this, with a later attack from a party 
of white men under Capt. Harris, so broke up the whole force that they 
never re-united. The few who remained together agreed to separate 
for a few hours to see if anything could be done to revive the insurrec- 
tion, and meet again that evening at their original rendezvous. But 
they never reached it. 

For two nights and two days Turner waited for his comrades 
to rejoin him in the gloomy woods where, forty-eight hours 
before, he had unfolded to them his plan. None came. He knew 
that his insurrection had failed. He dug a hole under a pile of 
fence rails in a field and lay there for six weeks, leaving his hiding 
place at midnight to get water from a nearby spring. He had 
secured his food from a nearby house. 

]\Ieanwhile a panic was created and wild rumors and exag- 
gerated tales went flying throughout the state. United States 
troops came from Fort Monroe and from the United States ships 
Warren and Natchey, to the number of eight hundred. Volun- 
teer companies came from Petersburg, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Va., 
and from North Carolina. "The militia of Norfolk, Nansemond, 
and Princess Anne counties, and the United States troops at Old 
Point Comfort were ordered to scour the Dismal Swamp, where 
it was believed that two or three thousand fugitives were prepar- 
ing to join the insurgents. It was even proposed to send two 
companies from New York and one from New London to the 
same point. When the various forces reached Southampton 
County, they found all labor paralyzed and whole plantations 
abandoned." Women and children fled from their homes and 
took to the woods, lying there at night. They crowded into 
Jerusalem from the other side of the river, and two hundred 
women gathered at Mx's. 

Then followed the wholesale and indiscriminate slaughter of 
Negroes. A North Carolina correspondent stated that one hun- 
dred and twenty had been killed in one day. Higginson says 

670 The African Abroad. 

men were tortured to death, burned, maimed, and subjected to 
nameless atrocities. The overseers were called on to point out any 
slaves whom they distrusted and if any tried to escape they 
were shot down. Horsemen from Richmond started to shoot 
down every colored person whom they encountered in South- 
ampton County. 

Fifty-five colored men were formally tried. Seventeen were 
convicted and hanged, twelve convicted and transported, twenty 
acquitted and four free colored men tried again and acquitted. 
One of those executed was Lucy, a slave of John T. Barrow. 

The terror of the insurrection spread far and wide. The 
eastern shore of Maryland, Sussex, Dover and Somerset coun- 
ties, Del., Raleigh and Fayetteville, N. C, several counties in 
North Carolina, South Carolina, Macon, Ga., Columbus and Fort 
Mitchell, Ala., Tennessee, Louisville, Frankfort, Ky., and New 
Orleans, La., were alarmed. An insurrection was feared in 
New Orleans, where handbills had been circulated, stating that 
Hannibal was a black man and that all men were equal. Five 
hundred citizens were armed and ordered to the city and over 
Southampton County. 

A reward of $500 was offered by the governor on September 
17 for Turner's capture. Later this was raised to $1,100. On 
October 15 two dogs smelled the provisions hid in the cave and 
led two Negroes there. Turner was discovered. He fled and 
nearly six hundred men started in pursuit. Then he hid ten 
days in the wheat-stacks on Mr. Francis's plantation. He was 
discovered on October 25 and fired on by Mr. Francis, the buck- 
shot going through his hat. He escaped again. He hid among 
fallen pine trees and was discovered and compelled to surrender 
by Benjamin Phipps, who leveled a gun on him. Turner was 
never further from Cross Keys than five miles. Higginson says 
the insurrection ended where it began; for this spot was only 
a mile and a half from the house of Joseph Travis. The con- 
fession occurred on November i. The trial and conviction 
occurred on November 5, and the execution on Friday, November 
II, at noon. His wife was beaten with the lash to force her to 
reveal her husband's papers. 

Now let us turn to a pleasanter episode in the Negro's history — 
his record as a soldier in his countrv's wars. 

The Negro as an Explorer and Soldier. 671 


When I first visited Boston in September, 1897, three monu- 
ments on the Boston Commons attracted my attention. One was 
the monument to Charles Sumner, with his intellectual brow, 
his noble profile and heroic figure, standing near the place where 
one takes the cars for Cambridge. Another was the monument 
dedicated to Crispus Attucks, a mulatto, the first martyr to 
fall in the Revolutionary War in the Boston riot. That monu- 
ment stands opposite Tremont Street and represents the heroic 
Negro prone on the ground, with the British soldiers firing over 
his dead body. The other was the monument dedicated to 
Colonel Shaw and his Negro regiment, the 54th Massachusetts, 
which stands opposite the State House on Beacon Hill. When 
I saw those monuments, I felt that the Negro was part of this 
great American civilization and that he had not drenched with 
his blood scores of battle fields in vain. 

When we come to the Negro's record as a soldier we find that 
it is an estimable one. He has fought in every war waged in this 
country from the French and Indian wars up to the Spanish- 
American War. He performed deeds of valor at Bunker Hill, 
Fort Wagner, Port Hudson, and in the charge up San Juan Hill. 

Over 5,000 colored soldiers fought in the Revolutionary War. 
Over 400 colored sailors served in the War of 1812. Negro 
sailors were with Admiral Perry in the Battle of Lake Erie, and 
Negro soldiers were with General Jackson at the battle of New 
Orleans. One hundred and eighty-seven thousand black soldiers 
fought and 36,847 died in the late Civil War. Colored soldiers 
participated in 213 battles in the Civil War and distinguished 
themselves at Fort Wagner, Elustie, Milliken's Bend, Fort Pil- 
low, Petersburg, Newmarket Heights and Port Hudson. Gen- 
eral Butler sent colored soldiers to lead the charges up New 
Market Heights, and Grant sent them to capture the trenches 
six miles from Petersburg. No less an authority than Colonel 
P. Hallowell, himself a commander of a Negro regiment, says 
that but for the reserve force of Negro soldiers Grant might not 
have won the battle of the Wilderness. 

A black regiment under Colonel Nelson led the assault on 
Port Hudson. They marched all night and led the' assault 

672 The African Abroad. 

at five o'clock in the morning. Plancemore, the colored standard 
bearer, said, "I will bring back the Stars and Stripes or report 
before the judgment bar of God the reason why." He was shot, 
and Heath, another colored man, caught up the flag. 

The world knows of Robert Morris as the financier of the 
American Revolution, knows how George T. Stearns of West 
Medford, Mass., financed John Brown's operations in Kansas 
and Harper's Ferry, and equipped at his own expense a Negro 
regiment in the Civil War. Colored men have also made personal 
sacrifices for their country. In the War of 181 2 James Forten, 
a Negro sailmaker of Philadelphia, Pa., raised a regiment of 
Negro soldiers to defend the city from an attack of the British. 
The free colored people of New Orleans furnished Andrew 
Jackson, at Chalmette, with a battalion of colored soldiers which 
they armed, equipped and paid for at their own expense. 

Not only have Negroes distinguished themselves collectively, 
but Negro soldiers and sailors have distinguished themselves 
individually by their genius and valor in the wars that have 
been waged by this country. 

Peter Salem fought like a Homeric hero at the battle of 
Bunker Hill. His title to fame rests on the fact that he shot 
the brave and boastful Alajor Pitcairn as he was leading a charge 
against the American breastworks, defiantly crying out, 'The 
day is ours." The Revolutionary troops had begun to lose heart, 
when Peter Salem stepped forward, shot the boastful major in 
the breast, and thus spread consternation among the British. 
But an old Salem newspaper gives a dififerent version of the 
affair; it makes Salem Poor the American David and Colonel 
Abercrombie the British Goliath who was killed leading the 
charge. This is the version as it appears in an old Salem 
newspaper : 

There is an interesting record in the Massachusetts Archives (CLXXX, 
24), which Dr. Samuel A. Green ran across during his historical 
researches, and which the Journal prints below. It relates to a colored 
man at the Battle of Bunker Hill. 

"The Subscribers beg leave, to Report to your Houble House, (Which 
Wee do in justice to the Caracter so Brave a Man), that under Our Own 
observation. Wee declare that A Negro Man Called Salem Poor of 
Col. Fryes Regiment, Capt. Ames, Company in the late Battle of Charles- 
town behaved like an Experienced Officer, as well as an Excellent Soldier, 

The Negro as an Explorer and Soldier. 673 

to Set forth Particulars of conduct Would be Tedious, Wee Would Only 

begg leave to say in the Person of this said Negro Centers a Brave and 

gallant Soldier — The Reward due to so great and Distinguished a Carac- 

ter, Wee submit to the Congress — 

Cambridge Der. 5th, 1775 

Jona. Brewer. Col. 
Thomas Nixon Lt. Col. 
Wm Prescott Colo. 

Eiphm Corey Lieut. 

Joseph Baker Lieut 
Joshua Reed lieut 

To the Honorable General Court of the Massachusetts Bay. 
Jonas Richardson Capt. 
Eliphelet Bodwell Segt. 
Josiah Forster Leutu. 
Ebenr Varnum 2d. Lut. 
Wm. Hudson Ballard Cpt. 
William Smith Capn. 
John Marten Surgt : of a Brec. 
Lieut. Richard Welsh In Council Deer. 21st. 1775 

Read and Sent down 
Perez Morton 

Dpy Secry 
This paper is indorsed : "Recommendation of Salem Poor a free Negro 
for his Bavery at ye Battle of Charlestown leave to withdraw it." 

Although histories have been written of the members and 
actions of Colonel Frye's regiment and Captain Ames's com- 
pany, of which Salem Poor was a member, the account given 
of him shows that the story of his life w^as not known. It is, how- 
ever, noted in Miss Bailey's "History of Andover" that he was a 
slave, owned by John Poor. At the battle of Bunker Hill, when 
Lieutenant-Colonel Abercrombie of the British forces sprang 
upon the redoubt, while the Americans were running in retreat, 
and exclaimed, "The day is ours," Salem Poor turned, aimed 
his gun and felled with a bullet the English leader. The deed 
was considered by the officers of the regiment to be one of great 
bravery, as their petition to the General Court of Massachusetts 

The name of a Negro is engraved upon the monument dedi- 
cated to the soldiers who fell defending Fort Griswold, New 
York, in the Revolutionary War. Parker Pillsbury wrote to 
William C. Nell : 

The names of the two brave men of color, who fell, with Ledyard, at 
the storming of Fort Griswold were Lambo Latham and Jordan Free- 
man. All the names of the slain, at that time, are inscribed on a marble 

674 TJic African Abroad. 

tablet, wrought into the monument — the names of the colored soldiers 
last. They were not last in the fight. When Major Montgomery, one 
of the leaders in the expedition against the Americans, was lifted upon 
the walls of the fort by his soldiers, flourishing his sword and calling 
on them to follow him, Jordan Freeman received him on the point 
of a pike and pinned him dead to the earth (Vide Hist. Collections of 
Connecticut) and the name of Jordan Freeman stands away down, last 
on the list of heroes, perhaps the greatest hero of them all. 

It is said, too, that the colored soldiers charged up the hill in 
Spanish-American War, singing, "There'll be a Hot Time in 
the Old Town To-night." 

At the beginning of the Civil War, many of the Northerners 
and most of the Southerners doubted the Negro's ability to 
stand fire. General Saxton, Colonel T. W. Higginson, Colonel 
R. G. Shaw and Colonel Hallowell were a few men who risked 
their lives and faced the prospects of immediate death, if cap- 
tured by the Southerners, by commanding Negro troops. How 
nobly the colored soldiers performed their part at the battle of 
Fort Wagner is illustrated by that magnificent monument on the 
Boston Commons, opposite the State House. Colonel Shaw is 
on horseback, his black soldiers have the set, dogged, determined, 
"do-or-die" look upon their countenances. An angel or dove is 
hovering over the colonel's head, holding a wreath of victory. 
Under the statue are the lines beginning : 

Right on the red rampart's slippery swell 
With heart that beat a charge he fell. 

Professor William James's (Harvard) address upon that occa- 
sion will be long remembered. For two days the black soldiers 
marched under heavy rains and with little food. They arrived 
on the field of battle tired, hungry and wet. With only a few 
minutes' rest, they charged upon the ramparts. Colonel Shaw 
was shot during the first charge ; every officer except Lieutenant 
Higginson was shot; but the gallant regiment fought on until 
it had lost more than half of its number. Sergeant Carney, the 
standard bearer, was wounded in the head and in the thigh, but 
he crawled up under the walls of the fort and for over an hour 
held the Stars and Stripes aloft over the ramparts. As long as 
those brave black soldiers saw that flag waving there, they knew 

The Negro as an Explorer and Soldier. 675 

that it was theirs to do and to die and they fought as demons. 
And as the gallant sergeant was being carried off the field of bat- 
tle by his comrades, he exclaimed, "Boys, the Old Flag never 
touched the ground." 

Captain James H. Wilson and Mr. Joseph Selsey also fought 
as heroes in the battle. The latter was wounded in the chest 
and in the stomach, but would not retire from the field. And 
from that moment the country never doubted the courage of the 

Then, too. General Robert Smalls of Beaufort, S. C, made 
himself famous by bringing the Planter out of the Charleston 
harbor, after the captain and his crew had gone ashore. He 
cleverly answered the rebel signals of Fort \\'agner and Fort 
Morris, and steered towards the Federal fleet. General Smalls 
showed to the world that the Negro soldier and sailor is not 
lacking in quickness of perception, fertility of resource, coolness 
and daring. The country was dazzled and amazed by the brave 
feat. The news flashed across the wires, "Robert Smalls, a 
Negro, has brought the Planter out of Charleston Harbor." The 
same night a mass meeting was held in New York City, by the 
colored people, to advocate the raising of Negro troops. The 
announcement of Smalls' brave deed filled the men with enthu- 
siasm. Later Smalls saved the Planter and brought her out of 
danger, when her captain became frightened, left the pilot house 
in a fierce battle and ran below. For this act of bravery. Smalls 
was made captain of the Planter. After the war, he served 
twelve years in Congress as a member of the House of Repre- 
sentatives. For many years he was collector of the port in 
Beaufort, S. C, where his daughter, Mrs. Bamfield, is the effi- 
cient postmistress. Deputy Reed was an able assistant of Col- 
lector Smalls. Recently the hero was honored by being the 
invited guest at the Phi Beta Kappa banquet at Harvard. 

The genius, resourcefulness and intrepid courage of General 
Maceo, the late Cuban leader, are too well known to call for more 
than a passing comment. King Menelek of Abyssinia, a Negro, 
leaped into fame by soundly thrashing the Italians in battle. 
A recent writer in the Independent says that Menelek possesses 
the constructive military and political genius of a Bismarck. 

Dr. Francis Hogan had a very interesting article upon 
"Negro Soldiers" in the Horizon, a magazine formerly edited by 

676 The African Abroad. 

Dr. W. E. B. DuBois, Mr. L. ]\I. Hershaw and Mr. Freeman 
Murray. Dr. Hogan said : 

The history of Negro soldiers in the United States did not begin 
with the fugitives received in Virginia as "contraband of war" during 
the great conflict between the North and the South, many of whom 
were afterwards incorporated in the army and served as Federal soldiers. 
Negroes had shed their blood for their American country long before 
the war. As early as 1716 there was a colored militia in the French 
part of San Domingo, and we are informed by M. de St. Mery that, 
in 1764, in the parish of Port au Prince, the colored militia were under 
the leadership of a Negro captain of the name of Jean Soliman. This 
need not surprise us, for we learn from another source that, as far 
back as 1637 the Portuguese possessed a clever black general, Henry 
Diaz, who served with distinction in their wars against the Dutch. 
Hannibal, Peter the Great's celebrated Negro soldier, rose from slavery 
to become a general in the Russian army and the head or director of the 
department of military engineering. He even reached the highest possible 
military rank, and at his death was Commander-in-Chief of Peter the 
Great's army. 

The military genius of Toussaint L'Ouverture was manifested in spite 
of the ignorance in which he had been brought up. He could barely 
read and write, yet we find him called, in La B'wgraplne Uiiiverselle, 
"one of the most extraordinary men of a period in which so many 
extraordinary men appeared"; and the first consul speaks of him as 
"that black whom the nation (France) counts among her most illustrious 
children, on account of the services he has rendered, the talents and the 
force of character with which nature has endowed him." He also calls him 
"one of the chief citizens of the greatest nation in the world." When 
eventually Toussaint L'Ouverture was betrayed into his hands by the 
French general Leclerc, a well-known French writer, Victor Schoelcher, 
exclaims : "Undoubtedly the White was lower than the Negro." 

And how much below the Negro who has shown that he knew how to 
be magnanimous and generous in victory, did Napoleon the Great fall 
when he forgot the first consul's eulogistic praise and ordered this 
illustrious Negro who had trusted him to be thrown into a damp dark 
dungeon and starved to death ! 

When the British routed the combined armies of France and America 
at Savannah in 1779 it was Viscount de Fontanges' legion of 800 black 
soldiers, recruited from the colored militia of San Domingo, that saved 
the situation and prevented the annihilation of the French and American 
forces. This famous charge has been called "the most brilliant feat 
of the day and the bravest ever performed by foreign troops in America's 
cause." Particulars of it were given to the United States Minister in 
Paris in 1849, and are now to be found in the collection of the Pennsyl- 
vania Historical Society. 

The Negro as an Explorer and Soldier. 6tj 

Colored soldiers, who were not cordiallj- enlisted at first, even by 
"Washington, won their spurs during the Revolutionary struggles. Ban- 
croft speaks of the colored troops who fought in the battle of Monmouth 
in 1788, in these terms: "Nor may history omit to record that, of the 
Revolutionary patriots who on that day perilled life for their country, 
more than 700 black Americans fought side by side with the whites." 
Commodore Perry's men on Lake Erie were colored, and he declared that 
he never saw better fighters. In the battle of New Orleans there were 
3,300 blacks with Jackson, and in the Civil War 187,000 were enrolled 
among the Federal troops, and fought bravely in many battles. This 
record shows that the Negro is not to be despised as a soldier, and that 
he is prepared to shed his blood freely for his country. That the Negro 
proves a good fighting man is not surprising. In Africa many native 
tribes are renowned for their courage and skill in war. The onslaught 
of the Zulus was formidable even to trained European troops, provided 
with the murderous modern engines of war, and princes, officers, and 
men fell to their deadly assegais. It is worth noting that Sir Frederick 
Lugard's force of native Nigerian soldiers, trained by himself or his 
little handful of white officials, proved admirable soldiers. It was said 
of them in 1904 that, so far, this force had proved as invincible as Clive's 
best levies. 

To fight for one's country is often lauded as the last and highest 
ofifering of patriotism; it is. in reality the first and earliest tribute 
of the man to tribal supremacy, and a tribute that is not only cheerfully 
but gladly paid, the animal instincts delighting in exercises of warlike 
skill against both man and beast to an even greater extent than one 
finds at the present day in the ardent sportsman and hunter. It seems 
rather out of date to emphasize over much in the twentieth century 
the importance of the war tribute in the history of civilization; j'et, if 
this is done, as it often is, the Negro does not fall behind in paying 
that tribute. His blood has flowed at the bidding of his country as freely 
as that of his white fellow countrymen, and of the Negro it may be 
said, in a double sense, that his blood has watered the land, as a soldier 
and as a slave bleeding under the lash of the task master (like the 
pyramid builders of old), laying the foundations of American industrial 

The philosophic mind dwells with far more satisfaction on the proofs 
that may be adduced of the Negro's faithfulness to duty than on his 
fighting qualities, undoubted though these may be. A fine instance is 
recorded in 1766 when an order was made to throw into the sea a 
certain kind of flour which was supposed to aid in the dissem.ination of a 
specially fatal tertian ague at Port au Prince. Sixty barrels were thrown 
into the sea. Of that number seven belonged to Lambert, a free Negro, 
who was the only man to come of his own accord and offer his flour 
to the authorities for destruction. 

The chivalrous devotion of the house servants to their masters* families 
and care of their property during the Civil War, when they were the 

678 The African Abroad. 

only men left on the estates for cultivation of the land and defence of 
the ladies and children, is beyond all praise, and future generations will 
not fail to appreciate it at its full worth. 

Brigadier-General Andrew S. Burt, U. S. A. (retired), deliv- 
ered a brilliant lecture upon "The Negro as a Soldier," which 
was reprinted in the Crisis. It follows: 

We have in our regular army four regiments of colored soldiers, the 
Ninth and Tenth Cavalry and the Twenty- fourth and Twenty-fifth 
Infantry. The two cavalry regiments have fine records in campaigns 
on our Western frontier, in the old days of Indian warfare. These 
troopers also have splendid records made in Cuba and the Philippines. 
To-day there are no finer horsemen who carry sabres and carbines 
than the Negro soldiers. Indeed, it is whispered abroad that the Tenth 
Regiment arrived on the field of Santiago in the nick of time to save 
a much heralded cavalry command from being wiped out or otherwise 
rough-ridden by the Spanish forces. That kindly help by the Negro 
troopers has not, to my knowledge, been bruited about with any very 
loud acclaim. Gratitude is a fickle jade. "Where self the wavering 
balance shakes 'tis rarely right adjusted," says Bobby Burns., 

The Twenty-fourth Infantry has likewise made an enviable record in 
Indian warfare, in Cuba and in the Philippines, not only for its fighting, 
but as well for its law-abiding conduct wherever it has served in this 
country and in foreign lands. In addition, this Negro Regiment has the 
privilege of painting on her battle flag, in letters of gold, a record for 
a deed of magnificent moral courage and great-hearted humanity. In 
Cuba, after the battle of Santiago, the yellow fever broke out among 
our white troops. Quarantine hospital camps were established for 
patients stricken down with the dread disease. Some weeks had elapsed 
when the colonel commanding the Twenty-fourth Regiment received an 
order to detail sixty men from his command to replace the regular 
Hospital Corps nurses who had been attacked by yellow fever, and a 
number of whom had died of this sickness. 

The colonel, recognizing the peculiar work to be performed by his 
men who would go to the yellow fever camps, ordered out his regiment 
in line, and said to them: "Soldiers of the Twenty-fourth, I want sixty 
volunteers to help nurse your white comrades who are sufifering with 
yellow fever." 

He commanded : "Volunteers, three paces to the front ! March !" 

Every man of that line stepped to the front ! 

But, wait! Mark well the sequel to such Christian heroism. It was 
only a short time before word came to the colonel that half of his men 
who had volunteered to nurse their white comrades had been taken 
down with yellow fever. A number of them had died of that terrible 
disease, and thirty more nurses were wanted to take their places. Again 

The Negro as an E.x-plorer ayid Soldier. 679 

the colonel called out his black soldiers in line. He told them what had 
happened, and again he commanded, "\'olunteers, three paces to the 
front ! Alarch !" And again every man of that line stepped to the front. 

I was captain of an infantry company in the Civil War. That ought 
to make me a good judge of a marching column, and I say I never saw 
better marchers than my Twenty-fifth United States Infantry Negro 
soldiers. I dwell on this matter, for on the legs of his men many a 
general has depended for a victorious campaign. 

The Twenty-fifth Regimental headquarters, four companies, and the 
band were stationed for more than ten j-ears at Fort Missoula, Mont., 
near the city of that name. One day I asked the Democratic Mayor 
of that city how my men behaved in his bailiwick. He replied : "Why, 
colonel, there isn't any class of citizens here more orderly and peaceful. 
The Police Court records will prove my assertion." 

When the regiment was ordered to the front in '98, the ministers of 
every denomination in Missoula joined in an open letter commending 
the men for their good behavior. 

The Twenty-fifth Infantry has made a record for fighting at El Caney, 
in Cuba, at Mt. Aryat, O'Donell, and in numerous skirmishes in the 
Philippines. Speaking of the Negro soldier generally, I can find nowhere 
in the histories of the Revolutionary War, the Indian Wars, Spanish- 
American War, or in the Philippines, a single instance where a Negro 
regiment showed the white feather or refused to charge the enemy when 
called on to do so. 

You will recall Gen. Grant's testimony before the Congressional com- 
mittee on. the conduct of the war of the rebellion. He said in part: "If 
the black troops had been properly supported by the white troops at 
the springing of the mines at Petersburg, that day we would have gone 
into Richmond." 

The Negro soldiers were the only ones to charge into and out of that 
hcU-hole. Just keep that in your minds. 

Bancroft says of Bunker Hill : "Nor should history forget that as 
in the army at Cambridge, so also in this gallant band, free Negroes 
of the colony had their representatives." You all, no doubt, are familiar 
with the names of Peter Salem and Salem Poor, and their gallant records. 

The following account is taken from Arnold's history of the Battle 
of Rhode Island : "At last the foot columns of the enemy massed and 
swept down the slopes of Anthony's Hill, with the impetuosity of a 
whirlwind, but they were received by the American troops with the 
courage and calmness of veterans. The loss on both sides was fearful. 
It was in repelling these furious onsets that the newly raised black 
regiment, under Col. Greene, distinguished itself by deeds of desperate 

Let me call your attention to a trait of the Negro soldier : his devotion 
and loyalty to his leader. On May 14, 1780, Col. Greene, the gallant 
leader of this regiment, was surprised and murdered at Point Bridges, 

68o The African Abroad. 

New York. He had a very small bodyguard with him at the time, com- 
posed of his faithful black soldiers. These men could have fled from 
an overwhelming force and saved their lives, but surrounding their 
colonel they defended him gallantly and he was not killed until the last 
man was cut to pieces. 

Baron von Clausen, a German army officer, who visited this country 
during the Revolutionary War, said, among other things, in describing 
his visit to Gen. Washington's camp, that of the 20,000 soldiers there, 
5.000 were Negroes, and that the best-drilled and disciplined regiment 
was Col. Greene's Rhode Island regiment, three-fourths of which was 
composed of Negroes. 

Time will not permit me to dwell in detail upon the Negro's military 
service in the War of 1812. Commodore Perry on Lake Erie, and Gen. 
Jackson at New Orleans have testified in signed communications to the 
War and Navy Departments of their unflinching courage. Jackson's 
victory at New Orleans, which carried him to fame and the White 
House, he owed largely to the desperate valor of the black regiments 
under him. I wonder if you grasp the significance of all that? Why, 
look at it ! Jackson, the great apostle of democracy, was boosted up the 
ladder of fame by the faithful, patriotic, fighting black man. Does not 
that seem to be the limit of the irony of fate? 

In the Civil War 187,000 Negroes were enlisted. They participated in 
213 battles and engagements, and never permitted the Union colors to 
be dishonored by cowardice or treachery. Their brilliant achievements 
at Forts Wagner and Olustee, Fort Hudson, and Milliken's Bend, made 
them welcome into the flower of the Union army — the army of the 
Potomac in the closing months of those bloody conflicts in front of 
Richmond and Petersburg. In the battles of Wilson's Wharf, Deep 
Bottom, Chapeirs Farm, and Hatchers Run, they won for themselves 
immortal glory ! 

Let me relate to you one instance in this war, equal in sublimity to 
the martial deeds of any age. It is worthy of Homer, for nothing at 
the siege of Troy surpasses it in valor. 

After the black troops had made a third unsuccessful assault to carry 
the heights of Port Hudson, and had left hundreds of their dead and 
dying comrades under the very guns of the enemy. Gen. Payne, a Union 
officer, fell, seriously wounded, about three hundred yards in front of 
the Union entrenchments. With great exertion he had managed to crawl 
to a point behind rock and bushes which concealed his body from the 
view of the Confederate rifles in the pits on the slope of the hill. How 
to get him back to the Union lines was the problem confronting the 
Union officers. To leave him there much longer without surgical aid 
was almost certain death. To send a rescuing party under orders meant 
almost certain death to every man in it, as the ground over which they 
would be compelled to pass was swept by a regiment of guns. 

In this extremity the matter was put before the Negro troops, and 
two volunteers were called for to make the attempt to get the general. 

The Negro as an Explorer and Soldier. 68 1 

Instantly two men stepped forward and started on a run for the officer, 
who lay insensible from fatigue and loss of blood. One of them fell 
shot to pieces after having gone a few paces. The other fell before 
he had covered half the distance. 

The fate of these two men was met by two others who volunteered 
without hesitation. Two more, undeterred by the fate of their com- 
rades, which they had witnessed with thousands of others on both sides 
of the lines, stepped forward and went to death, and this appalling 
sacrifice of life was kept up until the general's body was finally reached 
and brought back into the lines, while a thousand guns were thundering 
and bullets were singing their death song, carrying eighteen of the 
bravest men who ever lived into the final muster out. 

So profoundly impressed was Gen. Lee with the invincible military 
qualities of the Negro soldiers that in a letter which he wrote to Jef- 
ferson Davis, urging the passage of a bill authorizing their enlistment, 
then under debate in the Confederate Congress, he said: "If I can get 
these men, there is no telling where this campaign will end." 

As far back as the days of Alexander the Great we find black men 
exerting high military command. Clitus, a black soldier, led Alexander's 
cavalry and saved the day on more than one occasion by his forced 
marches and genius for command. Rome was made to tremble at the 
dreaded name of the great Carthaginian captain. Menelek's army, led 
entirely by black men on the plains of Addis-Abeba, annihilated an Italian 
army of 30,000 men, taking 1,000 prisoners of war. Cetewayo. the indomi- 
table Zulu chief, measured arms with the ablest English commanders, and 
although his military resources were antiquated, he was never conquered. 
In Brazil, a full-blooded Negro, Henry Diaz, wrested his country from 
the iron grip of the Dutch. Maceo in Cuba, David Thomas Dumas in 
France, division general under the First Napoleon, and Gen. Alfred 
Dodds, to-day the idol of the French army, refute the charge that 
Negroes lack military capacity to lead. 

In our own country much of the desperate fighting at Port Hudson 
was done by those Negro soldiers, under the leadership of Negro officers 
in those regim.ents recruited in Louisiana, which became popularly known 
as the Corps D'Afrique. In the Cuban campaign, many of the companies 
of Negro soldiers were led by Negro non-commissioned officers, and 
there is no doubt that, among the 300 Negro officers of volunteers com- 
missioned during the war with Spain, there were men who would have 
measured up well in an emergency. 

The story of Diaz's organization of a black regiment, officered entirely 
by men of his own race, his brilliant campaigns against the Dutch, make 
one of the important chapters in the history of the western hemisphere, 
for this man emancipated his country from the hard hand of a stubborn, 
masterful race, and his countrymen have deservedly placed him in the 
class with Bolivar, Washington, and L'Ouverture, the great liberators 
and founders of states in the western world. 

682 The African Abroad. 

In conclusion, I take pride in naming to you tlie greatest soldier, white 
or black, in ancient or modern wars — the Negro Hannibal. Field 
Marshal Von Moltke, of the German army, the eminent military critic, 
says : "Hannibal is the greatest military genius in history." I will not 
detain you by going into details of how Hannibal landed his little army 
of 37,000 Carthaginians in the heart of the Roman Empire and battled 
successfully for seventeen long years with the veteran legions of Rome. 
I will sum it all up in these words : 

"When Hannibal flashed his sword from its scabbard, the boundaries 
of the broad empire of Rome oscillated on the map. He was the 
Archangel of War." 


Two colored soldiers received the V. C. (Victoria Cross) from 
Queen Victoria. 

William Wells Brown, in his article on the "Visit of a Fugitive 
Slave to the Grave of Wilberforce," in the "Autographs of 
Freedom," tells of beholding the famous monument to Admiral 
Nelson, England's naval hero. He says : 

I perceived among the figures (which were as large as life) a full- 
blooded African, with as white a set of teeth as ever I had seen, and 
all the other peculiarities of feature that distinguish that race from 
the rest of the human family, with musket in hand, and a dejected 
countenance, which told that he had been in the heat of the battle, and 
shared with the other soldiers the pain in the loss of their com- 
mander. . . . Here was the Negro, as black a man as was ever 
imported from the coast of Africa, represented in his proper place by 
the side of Lord Nelson, on one of England's proudest monuments. 


■ a 

5 oo 








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Some Colored History-Makers During the Revolutionary and 
Anti-Slavery Days — Introduction lof American Slaves. 

Slaves were first brought into Ameritr».^ien_a Dutch trader 
steamed up the James River in Virginia in 1619. 

Slaves were first brought into New England in 1638 when a 
vessel went from Salem, Mass., to N^ew Province and brought 
back a cargo of cotton, salt, tobacco and Negro slaves. Salem 
and Newburyport were the distributing points of the slave trade 
in the North in those days, and the Rev. James A. Hill, D.D., a 
preacher, litterateur, real estate owner and philanthropist, says 
the Mayflower landed more slaves in Salem than she did Pilgrims 
in Plymouth. Portland, Boston and New York were also 
Northern cities whence cargoes of slaves v/ere sent into the 
South in the early days. 

Finot, in his "Race Prejudice," on pages 305 and 306, says : 

The historians, it is true, mention certain transportations of slaves 
brought there (in the United States) before 1650, but the number of 
these "immigrants" was very small and never exceeded from two to 
three hundred. 

The period of the forced immigration of the blacks into North America 
begins in 1672 with the activity of the African Royal Company. Accord- 
ing to Bancroft, the number of slaves rose in 1754 to 293,000. Forty 
years later it exceeded 700,000. At the time of the enfranchisement of 
the Negroes in 1863 it was already four and one-half millions. 

Between 1790 and i860 the Negro population had mounted up from 
757,000 to 4,450,000, that is to say it became six times greater in seventy 
years. Between i860 and 1900 the Negroes increased from four million 
and a half to nine million (in round numbers), in other words they 
doubled in forty years. 

About this time several authors mention scandalous captures, 
by English cruisers, of slave ships belonging to American citizens. 
"In the space of a year and a half, 1859-1860," says DuBois, 
"eighty-five slave ships were armed at New York, and these 
ships alone transported in a year from 30,000 to 60,000 slaves." 
In 1858 twenty-one Negro slave ships Vv'ere seized by English 


684 The African Abroad. 

"Moreover," says Finot, "the geographical origins of the 
American Negroes are varied, slaves were obtained from the 
Congo, the Gambia, the Niger, Zanzibar, Central Africa, as well 
as from Guinea and the Gold Coast. They arrived from every- 
where. Among them were the Nigritos of Soudan, the Bantus 
from southern equatorial Africa and the Guineans with their 
subdivisions, including the Kroo, Grebo and Bassa. etc." 

The Negroes of Jamaica were enfranchised in 1838. In 
twenty years they became industrious and in 1905 the 610,000 
Negroes of that island formed an honest, hard-working 

On page 292 of his "Raee Prejudice," Finot says: 

The first school for Negroes was founded at New York in 1704, by 
a Frenchman, Elias Dean. He brought together, with the permission of 
slave masters, at the cost of great personal efforts, about 200 children. 
Dean taught for nothing, regarding duty done to these unfortunate chil- 
dren as its own reward. The example given by this noble Frenchman 
was afterwards followed in the Northern States by many beneficent 
societies. In the South the hostile feelings directed against the education 
of the Negroes persisted up to the time of the war of secession. . . , 
It is thus that in Carolina alone there were in 1874, two hundred Negro 
judges who did not know how to read or write. The same fact applies 
to the members of the School Commission, who, illiterate as they were, 
presided over the destinies of the schools. . . . 

The instruction of the blacks only began with the war of liberation. 
Under the supervision of Northern officials, schools were founded where 
Negroes might receive primary instruction. They were military schools 
of a special kind, giving lessons in citizenship instead of superior instruc- 
tion in the art of killing one's neighbors. In the space of a year, 1863- 
1864, General Banks succeeded in establishing in Louisiana ninety-five 
schools, with 162 masters and 9,571 pupils. Gen. Howard states in his 
report of January i, 1866, that there were already in the South 740 
schools, with more than 1,300 masters and 90,500 pupils. 

It will surprise most people, says a newspaper clipping, that 
the census showed seventeen slaves in Vermont as late as i860. 
There were sixteen according to the census of 1790. This has 
been discovered to be an error in the manuscript entries which 
should have been under the head of "Free Colored." Massachu- 
setts and Maine are the only New England states in which the 
censuses show no slaves. The Supreme Court of Massachusetts 
decided that slavery had been abolished in the state by the adop- 

Some Colored History-Makers. 685 

tion of the Constitution of 1780, and Maine was then part of 
Massachusetts. The census of 1790 showed the number of 
slaves in each state to be: 


Maine None 

Vermont 16 

New Hampshire 158 

Massachusetts None 

Rhode Island 948 

Connecticut 1.764 

New York 21,324 

New Jersey 1 1,423 

Pennsylvania Z<72>7 

Delaware 8,837 

Maryland 103,036 

Virginia 292,627 

Kentucky 12,430 

North Carolina 100,572 

South Carolina 107,094 

Georgia 29,264 

Total number of slave inhabitants of the United States 

exclusive of southwestern and northern territory 693,230 

As the total population was 3,803,635, the slaves were some- 
thing over one-fifth of the whole. 

Pennsylvania provided for gradual emancipation and had 
sixty-five slaves in 1840. At the same census Rhode Island had 
five, and Connecticut seventeen. 

New York passed a general emancipation act to take efifect July 
4, 1827, ten years after passage. Nevv' Jersey had 236 slaves 
living in 1850. 


The best brief account of American slavery is found in Pro- 
fessor Albert Bushnell Hart's "National Ideals Historically 
Traced." On page 50 and the following pages of that book 
Professor Hart says : 

Several African races were represented : the intensely black Guinea 
Negro of the west coast, the brown people of the north and captives 
from the fierce Negroes of the interior, brought down to the coast in 
the fearful slave caravans (see Ripley's "Races of Europe," pages 277- 
280). . . . Tobacco made a profitable use for crude laborers. By 1700 

686 The African Abroad. 

slavery was rooted in the South and existed in all of the colonies. Later 
slaves were used for rice and cotton. . . . First carried to the Virginia 
and Carolina coast, the slaves were soon taken into the Piedmont, but 
could not be made available among the mountains. . . . Hence an 
organized propaganda against every form of slavery, first through 
abolition societies and then through State constitutions and emancipation 
laws, by which, between 1777 and 1804, the eight States north of Mary- 
land all abolished slavery, or put it in process of extinction. . . . Jef- 
ferson protested against slavery, Washington and Jefferson expected to 
see it abolished. 

Thus we see that the founders of the Republic said that chattel slavery 
was a menace to the country, and had it not been for the invention of 
the cotton gin, slavery would have died out in the South as it did in 
the North. 



Phyllis Wheatley, Benjamin Banneker, John Russvvurm, Lem- 
uel Haynes, Derham, Remond and LeGrasse were the first 
American Negroes to lift their heads above the waters of the 
doctrine of race inferiority. And I suppose that Richard Allen, 
Richard Varrick, Bishop Daniel Payne, Bishop James Walker 
Hood and Bishop Lane are the heroes in the battle for the eccle- 
siastical freedom of the Negro. Phyllis Wheatley was a colored 
poetess, whose poems were commended by George Washington, 
while Banneker was an astronomer and almanac publisher who 
won the esteem and regard of Thomas Jefferson. It is the ten- 
dency nowadays to underrate Phyllis Wheatley, but Julian W. 
Abernethy, in his "American Literature," pays this tribute to her 
poetic genius : 

The poems of the Negro girl, Phyllis Wheatley, published in London 
in 1773. afford one of the most singular cases of precocity known to 
literature. They rank with the best of the American echoes of the 
English classicists, and there can be no doubt of their genuineness, since 
the early editions contain the testimony of estimable people of Boston 
to the fact that they were written by Phyllis, a young Negro girl, who 
was but a few years since brought an uncultivated barbarian from Africa. 

Phyllis Wheatley was a slave girl, broug'ht from Africa, who 
was afterwards emancipated by her mistress, and was unhappily 
married. She read Latin fluently and translated one of Ovid's 
stories, which was published in English magazines. She read and 

Some Colored History-Makers. 687 

recited her poems in the best American homes. Here is a sample 
of her poetry: 

'Twas mercy brought me from my pagan land; 
Taught my benighted soul to understand 
That there's a God, — that there's a Saviour too. 
Once, I redemption neither sought nor knew. 

Professor Daniel B. Williams wrote of Banneker: 

Ahhough he enjoyed the meagre advantage of an obscure second-class 
school, by constant assiduity, he prepared almanacs for 1792, 3, 4, 5, 
which exhibited the dififerent aspects of the planets, a table of the motions 
of the heavenly bodies and other astronomical data. Banneker sent one 
of his almanacs to Thomas Jefferson, who was then President of the 
United States. Mr. Jefferson presented it to The Academy of Science 
at Paris. Lafayette, Erissot, Gregoire, and others again and again 
referred to Banneker, to demonstrate the intellectual equality of the 
races, and Pitt, Wilberforce, and Buxton, in the British House of Com- 
mons, often did the same thing. 

Professor Williams also says that in 1770 Banneker invented 
the first clock that was made in the United States, but did not 
get the credit for it. 

Rev. Lemuel Haynes, born in Hartford, Conn., in 1753, locat- 
ing as a preacher in West Rutland, Vt., in 1788, published a 
remarkable sermon from Genesis 3 and 4; had a controversy 
with Hosea Ballou that attracted attention, and in 1804 received 
the honorary degree of A.M. from Middlebury College. 

Dr. James Derham was almost as famous as Wheatley and 
Banneker. Born a slave in 1762, he was bought and afterwards 
emancipated by Dr. Robert Love of New Orleans. He was 
able to speak the English, French and Spanish languages fluently, 
and before he was thirty years old had a practice, as a physician, 
in New Orleans, worth at least $3,000 a year. Dr. Rush of 
Philadelphia, in the American Museum for 1789, says Derham 
then was only twenty-seven years of age. Dr. Rush says he 
conversed with him upon most of the acute and epidemic dis- 
eases of the country where he lived, and expected to suggest 
some new medicines to him. "But," says Dr. Rush, "he sug- 
gested many more to me. He is very modest and engaging in 
his manners. He speaks French fluently, and has some knowl- 
edge of the Spanish." 

688 The African Abroad. 

Thomas Fuller, the Negro mathematician, familiarly known as 
the "\'irginia Calculator,"' was a native of Africa. George 
W. Williams, in his "History of the Negro Race in America," 
on pages 399 and 400, quoting extensively from white newspaper 
accounts of him at the time of his death, says he was the 
property of Mrs. Elizabeth Cox of Alexandria. He was brought 
to this country at the age of fourteen, and sold as a slave with 
many of his unfortunate countrymen. This man was a prodigy. 
Though he could neither read nor write, he had perfectly acquired 
the use of enumeration. He could give the number of months, 
days, weeks, hours, minutes and seconds for any period of time 
that a person chose to mention, allowing in his calculations for 
all the leap years that happened in the time. He would give the 
number of poles, yards, feet, inches and barleycorns in a given 
distance — say the diameter of the earth's orbit — and in every cal- 
culation he would produce the true answer in less time than 
ninety-nine out of a hundred would take with their pens. 
Though interrupted, he would continue calculations where they 
were left off. 

George \Y . Horton was a slave poet of Chatham County, 
North Carolina. Although a field hand, his genius "soared on 
wings of ecstacy." Some of his poems were printed in the 
Raleigh Register. 

Here are some lines which were published in the Raleigh 

Come, melting pity from afar, 
And break this vast enormous bar 

Between a wretch and thee. 
Purchase a few short days of time: 
And bid a vassal soar sublime 
On wings of Liberty. 

In 1829, A. W. Gates published the poems in book form. 

Airs. Frances Ellen W'atkins, a Alaryland slave, afterwards 
became an anti-slavery lecturer in the Eastern states, and she 
wrote a book entitled "Poems and Miscellaneous Writings." I 
believe that Johnson, in his history, quotes one of her excellent 

Now we come to a story that reads like the tales of Aladdin's 
lamp. Greek slaves taught the sons of wealthy Romans, and in 

Some Colored History-Makers. 689 

North Carolina, Rev. John Chavers, a learned and scholarly 
Presbyterian divine, who came to America in 1822, preached 
and taught the children of prominent white people in Fayetteville 
and in Franklin, \\'are and Chatham counties. North Carolina. 
Some of his pupils afterwards became famous. Among them 
were Hon. Kenneth Rayner, lawyer, Congressman and solicitor- 
general of the United States Treasury during Arthur's adminis- 
tration; Thomas I. Curtis, mayor of Fayetteville, and Hon. 
Abram Renchers, an educator and eminent man in those days. 

Russworm of Dartmouth and Ira Aldridge, the tragedian, were 
also Negro pioneers in the intellectual world. 

I have spoken in an earlier chapter of my meeting Crummell 
and Downing. Downing never tired of talking of Dr. John V. 
DeGrasse, who was admitted to the Massachusetts Medical 
Society on August 24, 1854, and who, between the years 1850 
and i860, was regarded as the most cultured and accomplished 
Negro in the world. He was the first Negro physician to be 
admitted to a medical society in America. He studied in Oneida 
Institute, of which the heroic Beriah Green was principal. He 
attended lectures in Bowdoin College between 1847 ^^^^ 1849, 
and attracted attention by his brilliancy as a scholar. Then he 
traveled in England, France, Italy and Switzerland, studied for 
two years in a college in France, and spent a year in a 
hospital in Paris. The Boston Journal, in August, 1854, spoke 
in the highest terms of DeGrasse. 

Of all the colored pioneers in the intellectual world, in the post- 
Revolutionary and the ante-bellum days, I believe that DeGrasse 
was the most accomplished. Part of the prominence that was 
given to \\'heatley, Banneker, Derham, Fuller, Horton, Watkins 
and Chavers was due to the fact that they were exceptionally 
smart for colored persons. Had they been white, they would 
not have attracted an unusual amount of attention. But in 
DeGrasse we see an eminent colored physician, a polished and 
refined gentleman, whose culture had been ripened by studies in 
France and travels in Europe. Not necessarily more gifted than 
those m.entioned, he had the advantages which university training 
and foreign travels give a man. He was the prototype of Alex- 
ander Crummell and E. D. Bassett, two accomplished scholars of 
later days. 

690 The African Abroad. 

Now for those colored men who struggled for their rights and 
the freedom of their race, not by violent and revolutionary meth- 
ods, but by argument, agitation and discussion. On February 
10, 1770, and April 22, 1770, John Cuffe and Paul Cuffe, in 
Dartmouth, Mass., petitioned to be released from taxation, as 
they had no vote or influence in the election of those who taxed 
them. They desired to be released from poll tax and tax on 
estates. Thus we see colored men asking the Americans to 
put into practice their pet doctrine of no taxation without 

In the fifty years preceding the Civil War the Northern 
Negroes were discriminated against as the Southern Negroes are 
now. The Northern Negro was forced to sit on the top of the 
stage coach. There were separate street cars reserved for him, 
labeled "This car for Colored People." On the railroad the 
colored man was escorted to the Jim Crow car or smoker. Col- 
ored people were barred from the inns and hotels. !More than 
once, Douglass slept on the ground all night, or walked the 
streets, with no house or home to shelter him. Servants, how- 
ever, were granted the privilege of sleeping in the garret or 
eating in the kitchen. Colored men were excluded from the 
theatres. E. G. Walker once had to knock two or three down 
who attempted to eject him from the theatre after he had pur- 
chased his ticket. It was regarded as quite an achievement when 
Downing and his daughter, in the early seventies, occupied a box 
in a Washington theatre. The Negroes were shut out from the 
privileges of voting, of sitting on juries and serving in the state 
militia. The sentiment in the North was more inimical to the 
education of the Negro than it is in the South, to-day. The 
people in Canterbury, Conn., bombarded and broke up Miss 
Prudence Crandall's school for colored girls. The farmers in 
Canaan, N. H., hitched ninety yoke of oxen to the schoolhouse 
that Crummell and Garnett attended and dragged it to the 
middle of a swamp. Beriah Green's Oneida Institute, Oneida 
County, New York, was one of the few schools up North where 
colored youth were permitted unmolested to get an education. 
The decision of Justice Taney, in 1850, regarding the fugitive 
slave, Dred Scott, that the Negro had no rights that the white 
men were bound to respect and the passage of the fugitive slave 

Some Colored History-Makers. 691 

law, giving" the master power and authority to cross Alason and 
Dixon's Hne and recapture the fugitive slaves, aroused the col- 
ored and white abolitionists of New England, so that they 
attempted to rescue Burns, Shadrick and Simms. They bat- 
tered down the door with a joist sleeper from the building, or 
with a tree trunk, in the vain attempt to rescue Burns, vainly 
tried to rescue Simms out of a window, and succeeded in rescuing 
Shadrick out of the court room in broad daylight. 

But what did the colored people do to help themselves? They 
rescued Shadrick in broad daylight and assisted the white abo- 
litionists in all their plans. Before Garrison started his Libera- 
tor, the Massachusetts General Colored anti-Slavery Association 
was organized. James G. Barbadoes, Coffin Pitts, John E. Scar- 
lett, Hosea and Joshua Easton, William C. Nell, Thomas Cole, 
Thomas Dalton, Frederick Brinbley, Walker Lewis and John T. 
Hilton were the leading spirits. In January, 1833, they sent a 
communication to the New England anti-Slavery Society, which 
would not fellowship with them at first, and this communication 
was signed by Thomas Dalton, president; William C. Nell, vice 
president; and James C. Barbadoes, secretary. The white anti- 
slavery convention met in 1836. But Rev. Mr. Poker of Balti- 
more, Md., in 1 810 wrote an anti-slavery tract in the form of a 
dialogue. Walker issued his appeal in 1827. But Garrison did 
not publish the Liberator until 1831. Thus we see that the colored 
men were the first in the field, both as agitators and anti-slavery 
writers. The anti-slavery free women organized in 1837. The 
colored women organized an anti-slavery society in 183 1, thus 
being in the field six years before their white sisters. Then, too, 
Jacob Moore's tailor shop in Spring Lane, Boston, and Peter 
Howard's barber shop, Irving and Cambridge streets, were used 
to secrete fugitive slaves. White and colored aboHtionists visited 
these places. The Fortens of Philadelphia were a remarkable 
set of people. James Forten was a leader of the colored aboH- 
tionists of Philadelphia. Robert Forten was a poet, orator and 
mathematician. He ground and set his own lens and constructed 
a nine-foot telescope. It was approved and put on exhibition by 
the Franklin Societv of PhiladelDhia. He was a recruitingf officer 
imder General Barney and raised troops on the eastern shores of 
Maryland and \*irginia. Congressman Kelley of Pennsylvania 

692 The African Abroad. 

made a magnificent allusion to him on the floor of Congress. 
He was the father of Mrs. F. J. Grimke. Miss Sara Forten sent 
verses to the white women abolitionists, while James Forten, the 
father of Robert Forten, sent fifty dollars to Garrison, being 
among the first twenty-five who sent subscriptions to the 
Liberator, and also at another time loaned him a substantial sum 
of money when the Liberator was in pecuniary difficulties, thus 
showing that colored men had the means and willingness to back 
their ideas with cash when the emergency required it. 

In i860 a kid glove mob broke up the anniversary meeting of 
John Brown's death, which was held in Tremont Temple. Then 
it was held in Joy Street Church, J. Seller Martin, pastor; a mob 
gathered outside to attack Wendell Phillips. Mark R. DeMortie, 
Charles Lenox, George T. Downing, T. B. Taylor and other 
colored men assisted Phillips to escape by a side door to a 
three-foot alley that led to Russell Street. 

Of the colored anti-slavery orators, Charles Lenox Remond, 
William Wells Brown, William C. Nell and Frederick C. Bar- 
badoes of Boston ; David Ruggles and Phillip A. Bell of New 
York; Robert Purvis of Philadelphia, and John B. Vashan of 
western Pennsylvania were very effective in getting up meetings, 
while Frederick Douglass, Samuel Ringgold Ward, AlcCune 
Smith, James W\ C. Pennington, Henry Highland, Garnett and 
Alexander Crummell, were very eloquent on the platform. 
Remond was the most conspicuous colored orator before Doug- 
lass took the field in 1842. He was more polished but not as 
massive, majestic and magnetic as Douglass. 

Colored abolitionists were not content to merely talk. They 
wrote books also. Bishop Loguen wrote "As a Slave Freeman" ; 
Frederick Douglass, "My Bondage and My Freedom" ; Samuel 
Ringgold Ward, "The Autobiography of a Fugitive Slave" ; in 
1855, R^"^- Austin Stewart, "Twenty-two Years a Slave and 
Forty Years a Freeman." Solomon Northrop wrote a narrative 
in the early abolition days. 

Later, W. C. Nell wrote "The Colored Patriots of the Ameri- 
can Revolution." William Wells Brown wrote "The Black 
Man," "The Rising Son," and "The Negro in the Rebellion." 
William Still wrote "The LTnderground Railroad." in the early 
anti-slavery days. Williarh Wliipper edited an abolition paper, 

Some Colored History-Makers. 693 

known as the National Reformer. J. T. Shuften, in 1865, pub- 
lished the Colored American in Augusta, Ga., which was the first 
colored newspaper published in the South. Of these, Nell, 
Brown and Still were able writers, and Purvis's "Pennsylvania 
Appeals" was almost as famous as "Cuffe's Petition" and 
"Walker's Appeal." W. C. Nell was assistant accountant in the 
publication office of the Liberator, of which Robert F. Walcott 
was accountant. Nell was also responsible for the passage of the 
Equal Rights School bill. William Stock, a member of the 
legislature, is authority for this statement. 

Some people are not aware that colored abolitionists played a 
very prominent part in the anti-slavery movement. Among the 
many colored men of Boston, New Bedford, Brooklyn, New 
York and Philadelphia, who were associated with the anti-slavery 
movement, such as Charles L. Remond, Charles Reason, McCune 
Smith, Lewis Hay den, John J. Smith, M. R. DeMortie, James 
Barbadoes, William Wells Brown, William C. Nell and William 
Burr of Norwich, three impressed the North as being remarka- 
ble colored men. 

I refer to Robert Purvis, president of the Underground Rail- 
road Society, president of the Pennsylvania anti-Slavery Society, 
and vice president of the anti-Slavery Society, who was as hand- 
some in person, as gracious in his bearing, as courteous in his 
manners, and as noble in spirit as the chivalric George William 
Curtis; to George T. Downing, whose physical strength and 
splendid courage, whose gift for business and aristocratic spirit 
endeared him to Charles Sumner, and to Samuel Ringgold Ward, 
author of "An Autobiography of a Fugitive Slave," a giant in 
ebony, whose logical mind, gift of speech and titanic personality 
would have made him a dangerous rival for Frederick Douglass 
had he not left this country in 1851. 

Professor Charles H. Reason and Dr. James McCune Smith 
were among the first colored men in America to grapple with 
philosophical problems and delve into the mysteries and subtleties 
of metaphysics. Professor Reason was probably the first col- 
ored man in America to demonstrate that the Negro intellect 
can move at ease in the realm of philosophy. He was also a 
talented poet. Dr. McCune Smith and Dr. Martin R. Delaney, 
author of "Principia of Ethnology, the Origins of Races and 

694 The African Abroad. 

Color," showed in the ante-bellum days that the Negro could 
excel as a physician. Dr. McCune Smith of New York or 
Philadelphia was an especially gifted man. DeLaney served in 
the Civil War and came out of the war with the rank of major. 
There was another New Yorker quite prominent in those days, 
and that was Thomas B. Downing, the father of George T. 
Downing of Newport, who was a famous oyster digger and 
gatherer seventy years ago, and who shipped oysters occasionally 
to Queen Victoria and titled Englishmen. He was proprietor of 
a first-class restaurant on Wall Street. He was a brave, brainy 
and brawny Negro, a born autocrat. His son, George T. Down- 
ing, afterwards had charge of the House Restaurant in Washing- 
ton. Rev. Leonard A. Grimes of Boston, Hartford and New 
Haven was a bold colored abolitionist. Lewis B. Hayden and 
John J. Smith of Boston assisted in rescuing fugitive slaves who 
were to be returned to the South. The father of Hon. John F. 
Cook of Washington, D. C, was very promient in those early 
abolition days, seventy years ago. 


William T. Alexander, in his "History of the Colored Race 
in America," on page 212, says: 

The surrender of Anthony Burns, probably excited more feeling than 
any alleged fugitive, in that it attained unusual publicit}^ and took place 
in New England, after the North had begun to feel the first throbs of 
the profound agitation excited by the repudiation of the Missouri Com- 
promise, in the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill. On the 2d of 
June, 1854, the repudiation of the Missouri Compact, having been con- 
summated in the passage and Presidential approval of the Kansas-Nebraska 
Bill, Anthony Burns, having been adjudged a fugitive at Boston, President 
Pierce ordered the United States Cutter, MorriSj to take him from that 
cit}', to life-long bondage. 

Thomas Sims and Anthony Burns were returned South by 
the state and city authorities. In Syracuse, N. Y., Jerry Logren, 
an alleged fugitive, was taken from the hands of the authorities 
and forwarded to Canada. In the year 1851, Dred Scott, an Afri- 
can, began suit in a local court in St. Louis to recover his and his 
family's freedom from slavery. The ground of his claim was 
that his master carried him and his family to live in Wisconsin, 

Some Colored History-Makers. 695 

Rock Island and Fort Snelling-, III, free states, and hence he 
clamied that he and his family were entitled to freedom. The 
local court of ^Missouri declared Dred Scott and his family free; 
but the Supreme Court of the United States on March 6, 1857, 
declared him a slave. It was then that Chief Justice Taney 
made the infamous declaration that the Negro had no rights 
which a wdiite man was bound to respect. 

I regard John Brown as the most heroic figure the world has 
(Seen since the days of the Apostle Paul. He had a constructive 
mind, but was rather rash and impetuous, and brought on the 
Civil War by inflaming the South by his raid upon Harpers 
Ferry. In him was incarnated the aggressive courage and 
humanitarian instinct of the Anglo-Saxons. He was a man 
of action rather than a man of thought. He was not a great 
talker; but a mighty doer of deeds. There was method in his 
plan, but he made the mistake of tarrying in Harpers Ferry too 
long, explaining to the people his plans and purposes. He should 
have immediately moved to the mountains with the weapons and 
prisoners he had seized. 

]\Iany amusing incidents are told of these times. Once Rev. 
Leonard Grimes while walking down the street met three bullies. 
They said with a sneer, "We do not get out of the way for 
niggers." He stepped gracefully to one side, bowed politely and 
said with a pleasant smile and bland voice, "I do." This same 
Grimes hunted a fugitive slave catcher with a club. Lewis Hay- 
den and John J. Smith were driving away through the country' 
with Shadrick, who had been rescued by Andrew J. Burton, Cor- 
nelius Sparrow, Mrs. Emery, Mrs. Hatten, Airs. Turner and other 
colored abolitionists from the court room in broad daylight. One 
of them held the reins and the other was on the lookout for foes 
from the front, with a gun. They placed the fugitive slave with 
a gun in the rear of the wagon to be on the lookout, but when 
they looked around they found him fast asleep, seemingly 
oblivious of the fact that a price was upon his head. Once the 
mob hissed Douglass and would not listen to him, claiming that 
he was half vrhite and only half a nigger. Suddenly the big, 
burly, brawny black orator Ward sprang to the platform, struck 
a defiant attitude and said, "Am I black enough ?" The audience 
saw the humour of the situation, was convulsed with laughter, 
and permitted Douglass to proceed. 

696 The African Abroad. 

In 1854 the Columbia Guards, under Captain Cass, dispersed 
the abolitionists who held an indignation meeting in Faneuil 
Hall to protest against the return of Anthony Burns to slavery. 

It is well known that at the beginning of the war many of the 
abolitionists doubted whether the Negro would stand fire. The 
South said the Negro was too cowardly to fight. General Saxton 
and Colonel T. W. Higginson, however, believed in the courage 
of the Negro. General Saxton observed the courage of the col- 
ored soldiers who fought under him in the Indian wars in 
Florida. Colonel Higginson tells the story of how he and other 
abolitionists charged up the steps of the court house, burst open 
the door with a sleeper or joist from a building or the trunk 
of a tree, to rescue Anthony Burns. The soldiers on guard, one 
of whom was killed, opened fire and poured in a volley. But 
Higginson and an unknown Negro rushed into the court room. 
One soldier rushed at Higginson and attempted to cut him 
down. But the powerful Negro, whose name was Pennington, 
rushed in between Higginson and the soldier and turned the 
slash that was aimed at Higginson aside. Higginson says that 
from that moment he never doubted the courage of the Negro. 
Mark R. DeMortie and J. Nathaniel Butler, two colored men 
now living, were in the abolition mob that secured the sleeper 
or joist and used it as a rammer to batter down the south door 
of the court house. 

One story of the elder Dumas is related that shows his keen 
wit. He was a quadroon and was sensitive about being ques- 
tioned regarding his Negro blood. One inquisitive Frenchman 
asked him what he was. "A quadroon," Dumas replied. "Your 
father?" "A mulatto," said Dumas. "Your grandfather?" "A 
Negro," said Dumas, in his rising anger forgetting that his 
grandfather was a Frenchman and his grandmother a Negress. 
"Your great-grandfather?" "An ape, sir, an ape, sir!" cried, now beside himself with anger. "My ancestry began 
where yours ended." As people didn't relish being called an ape 
few persons after that twitted Dumas about his Negro blood. 

But we must not suppose that the colored men in those days 
were only talkers. George W. Williams says that in 1837, out 
of 18,767 free colored people in Philadelphia, 250 paid for their 
freedom $79,612, and owned in real and personal property 

Some Colored History-Makers. 697 

$1,500,000. There were ten colored churches with 4,000 members, 
and the colored people also had chartered benevolent societies. 
The free colored people of Charleston also had a mutual aid 
society. Colored people in Boston, New Haven, Brooklyn, New 
York and in Washington owned their own homes, too. And the 
Ohio anti-slavery convention which met at Putnam, Ohio, spoke 
in high terms of the free colored people. George W. Williams 
gives the list of prominent colored men in Boston, New York 
and Philadelphia. This is part of the list : the scholarly Thomas 
Paul, a teacher in Boston; Leonard A. Grimes and John T, 
Raymond, clergymen in Boston ; J. R. Smith and Coffin Pitts, 
business men in Boston; John R. Rock and John V. DeGrasse, 
physicians in Boston; Remond and Hilton, Boston, orators. In 
New York there were Dr. Charles B. Ray, Peter Williams and 
Henry Highland Garnett, as ministers ; Charles L. Reason and 
William Peterson, as teachers ; James AlcCune Smith and Phillip 
A. White, as physicians, and James Williams and Jacob 
Day as business men. In Philadelphia there were William 
Whipper, Stephen Smith, Robert Purvis, William Still, Fred 
A. Hinton, Joseph Cassey, John Peck, John B. Vashon, George 
Gardner, Charles Forten and James Forten. John Liverpool 
and John I. Gaines of Cincinnati, Ohio, were very prominent. 

Of the above men. Rev. Peter H. Williams, a rector of St. 
Phillip's Episcopal Church, is entitled to fame in that he was 
the teacher of the distinguished Alexander Crummell. William 
Still, the author, afterwards became a wealthy coal dealer in 
Philadelphia and a member of the Philadelphia Board of Trade. 

There were two other colored men who were pioneers in their 
lines, although they were not so prominent as DeGrasse. One 
was Robert Morris, who was admitted to the bar in Boston at 
a meeting of the Suffolk County Bar on June 27, 1850, and 
immediately drew a large number of Irish clients to himself. He 
was the first colored lawyer in America to break across the color 
line, and he was sought for legal advice by white men. The 
other was William Howard Day, who was librarian of the 
Cleveland Library from 1850 to i860, which was quite an 
achievement for a colored man. 

There were four noted educators in those days. Henry 
Smothers In 1822 or 1823 started the Smothers' School at the 

698 The African Abroad. 

corner of 14th and H streets, Washington, D. C. Then John F. 
Cook, the father of Hon. John F. Cook, and George F. T. Cook 
of Washington, leaped to the front as an educator. He was first 
a shoemaker, then an assistant messenger in the Land Office. 
He took charge of the Sunday or Smothers' School in August, 
1834. In 1835 he left Washington after a riot caused by a 
talkative colored man. In August, 1836, he returned to Wash- 
ington and opened the school as Union Seminary and taught from 
100 to 150 colored youths every year. He was also the founder 
of the Presbyterian Church in Washington, and was a stalwart 

Miss Maria Beycroft, born in 1805, had charge of the first 
seminary in the District of Columbia for colored girls. It was 
established in Georgetown in 1827 by Father Vauhamen, a 
Catholic priest. She taught from fifty to a hundred pupils every 
year. Louis DeMortie, a beautiful, brilliant and brainy elocu- 
tionist, born in Norfolk, Va., and educated in Boston, built in 
1867 an asylum for colored orphans in New Orleans. Miss 
jMyrtilla Miner also established a seminary for girls in Wash- 
ington. Other Washington schools were the Mary Wormley 
School, Dr. John H. Fleet's School, Eliza Ann Cook's School 
and Annie E. Washington's School. 

There were in those days three very wealthy colored men of 
the West — Henry Boyd, Samuel T. Wilcox and Alexander S. 
Thomas. Henry Boyd came to Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1826, as a 
master mechanic. From 1836 to 1859 he carried on a business 
as builder and manufacturer of bedsteads. Sometimes he 
employed as many as fifty men. He was burned out three times. 
At first white mechanics wouldn't work with him. Then he 
worked as a house builder and formed partnership with a white 
man as builder. He invented a machine to turn the rails of a 
bed. Samuel T. Wilcox, in 1850, embarked in business in Cin- 
cinnati as a grocer. He began with $25,000 in cash, accumulated 
a fortune of $60,000 in real estate, transacted $140,000 of busi- 
ness a year and finally failed because of carelessness and 
extravagance. In vain his sober and sane partner, Charles Rox- 
boro, Sr., tried to avert impending doom. Alexander S. Thomas 
came to Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1852 and with J. P. Ball soon 
embarked in the daguerreotype business, and was soon floating 

Some Colored History-Makers. 699 

upon the flood tides of prosperity, but their gallery was com- 
pletely wrecked by a cyclone that swept over Cincinnati in May, 
i860, and the two brilliant young colored men were financially 
wrecked. Their white friends, who recognized their talent, fitted 
up a handsome gallery for them. Williams, the Negro historian, 
says that it was known as "the finest photograph gallery west 
of the Alleghany Mountains." For nearly a score of years they 
did a flourishing business, having as patrons the richest people 
in the city, and frequently taking in over $100 a day. Compe- 
tition and the death of Thomas Carroll Ball caused the business 
to decline after 1875. Between the years i860 and 1875 they did 
a rushing business. 

The colored people of Connecticut were by no means back- 
ward in the point of material progress. Rev. A. G. Beamon, the 
pastor of what was then known as the Temple Street Congrega- 
tional Church, at the colored men's convention in Hartford, in 
October, 1854, spoke of the remarkable progress made by the 
colored people of New Haven. He said that the colored people 
of New Haven, v/ho numbered nearly 2,000, owned $200,000 
worth of real estate, bank and railroad stock ; that they had four 
Methodist churches, one Congregational church, one Episcopal 
church, and one Baptist church ; that they had a literary society 
with a circulating library, and that there were four colored 
schoolhouses there. This is really a remarkable record : it shov/s 
that forty-one years before Dr. Booker T. Washington delivered 
his famous Atlanta speech the colored people of New Haven 
appreciated the value of industry, thrift and economy. 

But Rev. Beamon was not the only prominent citizen of Con- 
necticut in those early days. DuBois, the grandfather of Dr. 
W. E. B. DuBois, the celebrated sociologist and litterateur, was 
the founder of and first vestryman in St. Luke's Episcopal 
Church. Deacon Lathrop, the father of that brilliant militiaman, 
Captain Daniel Lathrop of Company A, Fifth Battalion, was a 
pillar of the Congregational Church. 

Mr. Parks, the father-in-law of the late E. D. Bassett, United 
States minister to Hayti, was a mathematician and an astronomer. 
Caterer Creed, the father of Dr. Creed, was Yale's popular 
caterer. A few years before the Civil War a group of remarkable 
colored mechanics came from Newbern and Washington, N. C. 


700 The African Abroad. 

They were Charles L. McLynn, William Hancock, John Harvey, 
Anthony Skinner, John Groves, Willis Bonner and Mr. Keys, 
carpenters; John Lane and John Godette, blacksmiths. Just 
after the Civil War, John Norcom, another successful carpenter, 
came to New Haven from Norfolk, Va. Of these. Skinner, Lane, 
Groves, McLynn and Norcom accumulated considerable real 
estate; Skinner, Godette, Groves and Israel Butler served as 
deacons in the Congregational Church; McLynn and Norcom 
served as trustees, while Willis Bonner was a tower of strength 
in the Bethel A. M. E. Church, a political leader, a special con- 
stable and the president of the Colored Republican Club, which 
had a mammoth meeting in honor of Frederick Douglass in the 
fall of 1888. For over a quarter of a century Charles McLynn 
was a carpenter in Yale University and served as chairman of the 
trustee board of the Temple Street Congregational Church, later 
known as the Dixwell Avenue Congregational Church. He repre- 
sented the Tenth Ward, an aristocratic white ward, in the com- 
mon Council. At his death, in the winter of 1907, President 
Arthur T. Hadley of Yale University and many of Yale's famous 
professors attended his funeral. 

Then there was Father Manning, a shipbuilder and a respected 
citizen of Fair Haven, a pillar of the Bethel A. M. E. Church. 
One of his sons, John Manning, graduated from Yale University 
and became principal of a normal school in Knoxville, Tenn. ; 
another, Edward Manning, graduated from the Yale Art School 
and became an artistic sign painter; while still another, William 
Manning, became a master carpenter and a prominent political 
leader. The careers of the men mentioned in this paragraph 
largely cover the post-bellum period ; but I refer to them in this 
chapter because they, with one or two exceptions, came to New 
Haven in the ante-bellum days. 

The colored people of Charleston, S. C, amassed considerable 
property before the war. In i860, 360 colored people owned 
property in Charleston which was valued for taxation at $724,570. 
Of these 360 taxpayers, 130 owned, in toto, 390 slaves, and one 
colored person owned fourteen slaves. 

In Louisiana, many Negro Creoles were slaveholders and 
owned large tracts of land. One of the Negro Creoles of 
Louisiana spent $40,000 on a law suit before the war. 

Some Colored History-Makers. 701 

(From The New York Sun.) 

As result of the Louisiana Supreme Court's definition of the term 
"Negro" we do not look for such a social upheaval and readjustment 
as seems to be expected in these latitudes. Louisiana got along very 
well for nearly 200 years without any legislation to protect the white 
race from contamination. New Orleans was full of colored people before 
the Civil War, many of them wealthy and cultivated and self-respecting. 

There and in other parts of the state they were property holders, 
owning plantations and slaves, conducting great commercial enterprises, 
pursuing professions, operating banking concerns, etc. 

They were merchants, doctors and musicians. They maintained a 
volunteer fire department and they furnished to Andrew Jackson at 
Chalmette a battalion of colored soldiers armed, equipped and paid at 
their own expense. Moreover, nearly all the carpenters, bricklayers, 
blacksmiths, coopers, sugar boilers, and so on, in the state were Negroes 
or colored persons conditionally manumitted by their proprietors and 
living a life of almost perfect freedom and independence. 

(George W. Forbes in the A. M. E. Church Review, January, 1913.) 
Throughout the fifty years which spanned the abolishing of Negro 
slavery in America the inhumanity of that institution was so constantly 
accentuated that not even its most bitter foe felt safe in venturing a 
word that might even remotely be construable in its favor. During the 
first half of that period, slavery, for its own salvation, studiously sup- 
pressed whatever in any form might bear evidence of the Negro's 
humanity in common with the others. Like fungi, it flourished best in 
hidden places, and from out its dark domain nothing touching the 
Negro was allowed to escape, except as would further add to the belief 
that no good could come out of that Nazareth. And then at length 
came the blighting cataclysm of all in the war of secession, which finally 
engulfed slavery and with it the teachings of slavery, so completely 
that, like the Noachian flood, nothing but the evil memories of it 
remained. Thus, amid the wreckage of 

"things that were 
There hidden — far beneath and long ago — " 

the achievements of the ante-bellum Negro during those years of yearning 
have lain a book with seven seals, with none who felt it worthy to be 
opened till now the ardent zeal of modern research along kindred lines 
is beginning to throw some side-light on this subject. But hopeless 
and dispiriting as slavery everywhere was for everything connected with 
Negro aspiration, there had, nevertheless, been, even in the slave States, 
some evidence of progress among colored people wherever the argus-eyed 
minions of self-interest allowed the repressive codes to slumber. This 

702 The African Abroad. 

progress was more or less confined to the cities or large towns of such 
States, though there were not wanting examples of colored men who 
achieved success as planters. 

For new light on this subject, the fruit of recent inquiry, we are 
especially indebted to the labors of the Rev. Calvin Dill Wilson, himself 
a Southerner by birth, but now an adopted son of Ohio. Rev. Wilson's 
line of investigation has singularly enough covered, or, at least paralleled, 
a similar work of our own, or rather, in the words of Rome's last 
master singer : 

"hoc potius lil>eat decurrere campo, 
Perquem magnus equos Auruncae flexit alumnus." 

DeMaistre's saying that "history is a conspiracy against truth," seems 
destined to find full verification in America, else we should not just 
now be learning through IMr. Wilson of the large array of Negro slave- 
holders in the old days. It has remained for this Glendale Ohio divine 
to explore this neglected corner of American history, and to bring to 
us two excellent articles as the result of long and painstaking investiga- 
tions. Rev. Wilson gave us the first of these articles through the pages 
of the North American Review in 1905. In the first article the writer 
adduced some substantial, though not numerous, examples of "Biack 
Masters," as he then called them; but probably created more surprise 
by raising this, for the most part, unheard-of subject than anything else. 
He nevertheless found that there had been a large number in most of 
the slave States. Though no amount of labor enabled him to get much 
information from libraries and books on his subject at first. Rev. Wilson 
did finally strike a vein which has led to a rich mine of facts and data 
for history. Old country records, deeds of sale and manumission have 
yielded valuable information where history was otherwise wholly dumb 
and indifferent. 

Louisiana, by reason of its Spanish and French origin, furnished some 
of the most conspicuous examples of Negro slave-holders. To Mr. 
Wilson, Mr. D. C. Scarborough, of Natchitoches, La., wrote: "There 
are many data to be had by examining the old records of this Parish 
on the subject of the purchase, ownership and sale of slaves by free 
blacks. The truth of the matter is that free blacks owned, bought and 
sold slaves, as did the whites. The succession of C. N. Roques in this 
parish in a case in which a free black owned some hundred or so slaves, 
all of v.hom were freed by the Proclamation of Emancipation. We do 
not recollect any special legislation authorizing the ownership of Negroes 
by free blacks. When a slave became free, he bought and sold fully 
under the law, just as any other citizen did. There was no longer any 
distinction. In many of the old deeds it recited that A. B. 'being 
a free person of color,' etc. History will show that the free blacks 
who owned slaves rarely, if ever, emancipated them. Slaves who were 
emancipated v/ere, as a rule, emancipated by white owners; and this 

Some Colored History-Makers. 703 

emancipation by white owners is the manner in which free blacks came 
into existence. There was a very large number of these in this parish, 
some of the richest people in the parish being free persons of color. On 
tracing back the history of these families, it is generally found that they 
were emancipated by former white owners. There are four or five such 
families that married and intermarried, until they were all related. In 
some instances, there were to be found as many as one hundred and 
fifty voters in one ward of these free persons of color; their descendants 
live here yet. As a rule, these families took the name of their former 
master who freed them. A large per cent, of those in this parish are 
named Metoyer, one of the old rich Metoyers having freed some of his 
slaves. The same is true of the Dupre family and of the Tachal family; 
there being as many free colored Rachals as there were white at the 
close of the war. This general outline can be very generally verified by 
copies of the old records here.'' 

The Hon. B. F. Jonas of Xew Orleans, replied : "A great many slaves 
were owned by the free blacks before the war, not only in this State, 
but throughout the South. In this State there were quite a large number 
of colored slave-owners, most of them were of the class known as 'quad- 
roons,' but some of them were mulattoes and full-blood Negroes, who, 
as a rule, inherited property and afterward added to it, probably by pur- 
chase. Free colored people had a right to the ownership and possession 
of slave property, as well as movable property. 

Then there was the case of Xori (LeNoir), a pure-blooded Negro, 
who owned not only a large plantation, but 100 slaves besides in Mis- 
sissippi. Noir was well known for the kindly care he took of his slaves, 
though he was at the same time very exact with them. But most remark- 
able of all the careers of these Negroes of yore in Mississippi is that 
of Dr. Gowen, at Port Gibson, in Claiborne County, early in the first 
half of the nineteenth century. The personal incidents in the life of 
this unique figure in medicine are hardly less interesting than his career." 

Mr. Wilson followed his magazine article with an inquiry thrown into 
the daily press, which made the rounds generally, at least, of the larger 
newspapers. This brought him a fund of information on his subject, 
the most interesting of which was that "the list of tax-payers of the 
City of Charleston, S. C, for i860 names 132 colored people who paid 
taxes on 390 slaves in Charleston," and the names of many other colored 
people who were compensated for slaves when that institution was abol- 
ished in the District of Columbia in 1862. These facts, together with 
many other individual cases, were given bj^ the writer in the second 
installment of his article, which he prepared this time for the November 
Popular Science Monthly. Rev. Wilson was also able to draw on Fred 
Law Olmstead's "Journey in the Seaboard Slave States" (1856). 

Rev. James Freeman Clarke's condition of the free colored people in 
the United States was published first in the Christian Examiner in 1859, 
and later on in his volume of "Antislavery Recollections." The two 

704 The African Abroad. 

Carolinas, Maryland and Louisiana were the States where black slave- 
owners were the most numerous. 

Our Ohio author has shown great industry by the amount of information 
brought together on this subject, but has, nevertheless, labored at much 
disadvantage by not having complied with the Injunction of dear old 
Plutarch, who warns every historian that : "As he has materials to collect 
from a variety of books dispersed in different libraries, his first care 
should be to take up his residence in some popular town, which has an 
ambition for literature." By such a residence his labors would have been 
immeasurably facilitated and enlarged through access to such other works 
as Thornton's "History of Slavery," Bassett's "History of Slavery," or, 
rather, the chapter on free blacks in North Carolina, Wayman's and 
Payne's "Recollections," and the latter's "History of the A. M. E. 
Denomination," and, in fact, I know not how many other such works. 

The last third of Olmstead's "Seaboard Slave States," which is 
devoted to Louisiana, is one of the best outlines of the social condition 
there we have ever seen in print, and Mr. Wilson could have added 
many other incidents about the old-time free blacks in that section. He 
could have bridged somewhat the hiatus between pages 622 and 641, which 
he has inadvertently linked without asterisks, had he chosen to add, with 
one of two others equally strong, the following paragraph : 

"Between Washington and Opelousas, a distance of about six miles, if 
I recollect rightly, three handsome houses, attached to first-rate planta- 
tions, were pointed out to me as belonging to free colored men." 

Rev. Wilson finds that there were about 6,200 colored slave-holders in 
the days of yore, and that these "Black Masters" owned some 18,000 
slaves. But, apart from chattel property, there was much other wealth. 
In Louisiana alone, at the end of the war, it was found that the colored 
people owned $13,000,000 (thirteen million) worth of property. In fact, 
that the colored man's eflforts to accumulate had been much wider and 
more successful than was, or is, generally known, the following para- 
graph from the first semi-annual report (1866) of J. W. Alvord, inspector 
of schools and finances of the Freedmen's Bureau, made after a visit 
into every part of the States here considered, will further bear evidence : 

"Poor and dependent as most of the freedmen are, I found that a 
considerable number had money. Among the former free people many 
had reached a condition above want, and, in the large towns and cities, 
there are individuals who might be called rich. These men, in some 
cases, purchased themselves from slavery, and are mechanics, keepers 
of groceries and wood yards, butchers, marketmen and women, owning 
their dwellings in town, or its suburbs, and some with small plantations." 


Now we come to the celebrated Rynders meeting, where Fred- 
erick Douglass and Samuel Ringgold Ward covered themselves 
with glory by overwhelming with their logic and eloquence a mob 

Some Colored History-Makers. 705 

that had assembled in New York at an anti-slavery meeting. Mr. 
George Washington Forbes, in his article in the Springfield 
Republican for Sunday, February 23, 1913, says: 

But Douglass and Ward were glad to make common cause against their 
common enemy, slavery, whenever the opportunity offered. Such an 
opportunity, in fact, their greatest opportunity, came in 1850, during the 
annual session of the National Anti-Slavery Society, in the old Broadway 
Tabernacle, situated at the north corner of Broadway and what is now 
Worth Street, New York City. This building had been planned by Rev. 
Charles G. Finney, the noted revivalist, and, later on, an Oberlin professor, 
as an American Exeter hall for just such anniversary occasions. 

This meeting was probably the most exciting ever experienced by even 
the anti-slavery people and has come to be known in history as the 
Rynders meeeting, by reason of the activity of one Isaiah Rynders, the 
leader of the mob. Rynders was somewhat notorious for getting up 
riots ; he was at this time a small-bore political heeler for Tammany 
and had been dropped from his place in the custom house in New York 
by the Whig administration, then in power. The mob had been planned 
and gathered beforehand by this leader, and leading papers in the city 
had been demanding for a week in advance that the anti-slavery people 
be prevented from holding their meeting in New York, at all hazards. 
When, therefore, the anti-slavery leaders threw open the door of the 
old Tabernacle, on that 7th of May morning, to the public, Rynders and 
his mob already coached, rushed to the places previously agreed upon. 

The main account of the meeting is taken from Garrison's life 
by his children : 

Up rose, as per agreement, one "Professor" Grant, a seedy-looking 
personage, having one hand tied round with a dirty cotton cloth. Mr. 
Garrison recognized him as a former pressman in the Liberator office. 
His thesis was that the blacks were not men, but belonged to the monkey 
tribe. His speech proved dull and tiresome, and was made sport of 
by his own set, whom Mr. Garrison had to call to order. There were 
now loud cries for Frederick Douglass, who came forward to where 
Rynders stood in the conspicuous position he had taken when he thought 
the meeting was his, and remained in it, too mortified even to creep away, 
when he found it was somebody else's. "Now you can speak," said 
he to Douglass; "but mind what I say; if you speak disrespectfully of 
the South, or Washington, or Patrick Henry I'll knock you off the stage." 
Nothing daunted, the ex-fugitive from greater terrors began : 

"The gentleman who has just spoken has undertaken to prove that the 
blacks are not human beings. He has examined our whole conformation, 
from top to toe. I cannot follow him in his argument. I will assist 
him in it, however. I offer myself for your examination. Am I a man?" 

7o6 The African Abroad. 

The audience responded with a thunderous affirmative, which Captain 
Rynders sought to break by exclaiming: "You are not a black man; 
you are only half a nigger." "Then," replied Mr. Douglass, turning upon 
him with the blandest of smiles and an almost affective obeisance, "I 
am half-brother to Captain Rynders !" He would not deny that he was 
the son of a slave-holder, born of Southern "amalgamation"; a fugitive, 
too, like Kossuth — "another half-brother of mine" (to Rynders). He 
spoke of the difficulties thrown in the way of industrious colored people 
at the North, as he had himself experienced — this by way of answer to 
Horace Greeley, who had recently complained of their inefficiency and 
dependance. Criticism of the editor of the Tribune being grateful to 
Rynders, a political adversary, he added a word to Douglass's against 
Greeley. "I am happy," said Douglass, "to have the assent of my half- 
brother here," pointing to Rynders, and convulsing the audience with 
laughter. After this, Rynders, finding how he was played with, took 
care to hold his peace; but some one of Rynder's company in the 
gallery undertook to interrupt the speaker. "It's of no use," said Mr. 
Douglass, "I've Captain Rynders here to back me." "We were born 
here," he said finally, "we are not dying out, and we mean to stay here. 
We made the clothes you have on, the sugar you put into your tea. 
We could do more if allowed." "Yes,'" said a voice in the crowd, "you 
would cut our throats for us." "No," was the quick response, "but we 
would cut your hair for you." 

Douglass concluded his triumphant remarks by calling upon the Rev. 
Samuel R. Ward, editor of the Impartial Citizen, to succeed him. "All 
eyes," says Dr. Furness, "were instantly turned to the back of the 
platform, or stage rather, so dramatic was the scene; and there, amidst 
a group, stood a large man, so black that, as Wendell Phillips said, 
when he shut his eyes you could not see him. ... As he approached, 
Rynders exclaimed : "Well, this is the original nigger !" "I've heard of 
the magnanimity of Captain Rynders," said Ward, "but the half has 
not been told me !" And then he went on with a noble voice, and his 
speech was such a strain of eloquence as I never heard excelled before 
or since. The mob had to applaud him, too, and it is the highest praise 
to record that his unpremeditated utterance maintained the level of Doug- 
lass's, and ended the meeting with a sense of climax — demonstrating 
alike the humanity and the capacity (Bennett's "ideal intellect") of 
the full-blooded negro. 

When he ceased speaking, the time had expired for which the Taber- 
nacle was engaged, and we had to adjourn. "Never" continues Dr. 
Furness, "was there a grander triumph of intelligence of mind over 
brute force." Two colored men, whose claim to be considered human was 
denied, had, by mere force of intellect, overwhelmed their maligners 
with confusion. As the audience was thinning out, I went down on the 
floor to see some friends there. Rynders came by. I could not help 
saying to him : "How shall we thank you for what you have done for 
us to-day?" "Well," said he, "I do not like to hear my country abused, 

Sor,ic Colored History-Makers. 707 

but that last thing was, I believe, a simple assertion of tiie right of the 
people to think and speak freely." 

Ward went to Canada in October, 1851, to escape arrest for 
the part he took in the rescue of Gerry, a fugitive slave, from the 
Syracuse jail, ^^'ard's speech to a crowd gathered around the 
jail inspired them to rush the jail and rescue Gerry, who was 
sent to Canada. 

For nearly two years Ward was active in behalf of fugitive 
slaves there. Ke went to England, addressed the May Anniver- 
saries in 1853, and attracted considerable attention there as an 
orator. While in England he published his work, "The Auto- 
biography of a Fugitive Xegro." 

Towards the close of his article in the Republican, Mr. Forbes 
says of Ward's appearance in London : 

The noted British clergyman, Dr. John Campbell, wrote in the British 
Banner: "Mr. Ward since his arrival in England has been most severely 
tested — tested beyond every other man of color that ever came to these 
shores. He has been called to speak in all sorts of meetings, upon all 
sorts of subjects, under every variety of circumstance, side by side with 
the first men of the time, and in no case has he failed to acquit himself 
with honor. With intellectual power and rhetorical ability of a very 
high order, he has not merely sustained the first impressions he repro- 
duced, but materially added to them.'' 

One of Ward's English friends deeded him a farm on the Island 
of Jamaica, and \\'ard went there in 1855, living in retirement 
until his death, which occurred in 1867. 

(From the American Review, August, 1912) 

No one knows exactly when Harriet Ross was born, but it was on the 
eastern shore of Mar3'Iand and not much less than a hundred years ago. 
She knows that her mother's mother was brought in a slave-ship from 
Africa, that her mother was the daughter of a white man, an American, 
and her father a full-blooded negro. 

Harriet was not large but she was very strong. The most strenuous 
slave labor was demanded of her — summer and winter she drove oxcarts — 
she plowed — with her father she cut timber and drew heavy logs like 
a patient mule. About the year 1844 she was married to a freedman 
named Tubman. He proved unworthy and deserted her. She determined 
to try and escape from slavery and induced her two brothers to go 
with her. The three started together, but the brothers soon became 

7o8 The African Abroad. 

frightened and turned back. Harriet went on, alone. All through the 
night she walked and ran — alone. When she reached a place of safety- 
it was morning. She says : "I looked at my hands to see if I was the 
same person, now I was free — there was such a glory over everything, 
the sun came like gold through the trees and over the fields and I felt 
like I was in heaven!" Not one to enjoy heaven alone was that generous 
heart. Nineteen times did she return to the land of slavery; and each 
time brought away to Canada groups of men, women and children, 
her parents and brothers among them, about three hundred in all. A 
prize of $40,000 was offered for her capture, but Harriet was never caught. 
She delights to recall the fact that on all those long and perilous journeys 
on the "Underground Railroad," she never lost a passenger! Her 
belief that she was and is sustained and guided by "de sperit of de 
Lord" — is absolute. Governor Andrews of Massachusetts appointed her 
scout and nurse during the war. She is now receiving a pension. 

One of the most important episodes in which Harriet took a leading 
part and proved the saving factor was Colonel Montgomerie's exploit 
on the Combahee River. General Hunter secured 'Harriet's assistance 
for the great undertaking. The plan was to send several gunboats and 
a few men up the river, in an attempt to collect the slaves living near 
the shores — and carry them down to Beaufort within the Union lines. 
It is worth a day's journey to hear Harriet herself describe the vivid 
scene — throngs of hesitating refugees, a motley crowd, men, women, 
children, babies — ("Peers like I nebber see so many twins in my life'") — 
and pigs and chickens and such domestic necessities as could be "toted" 
along. The slave-drivers had used their whips in vain to get the poor 
refugees back to their quarters ; and yet the blacks were almost as 
much in dread of the stranger soldiers. How to deal with this turbulent 
mass of humanity? The colonel realized the danger of delay, and calling 
Harriet to the upper deck, in a voice of command said : "Moses, you'll 
have to give 'em a song!" Then the power of the woman poured forth — 
Harriet lifted up a voice full of emotional fervor in verse after verse 
of prophetic promise. She improvised both words and melody: 

Of all the whole creation in the East or in the West 
The glorious Yankee nation is the greatest and the best! 

Come along! Come along! Don't be alarm. 
Uncle Sam's rich enough to give us all a farm! 

Come along! Come along! Don't be a fool. 

Uncle Sam's rich enough to send us all to school! etc., etc. 

As she chanted the refrain "Come along! Come along!" she raised 
her long arms with an imperious gesture impossible to resist. The 
crowd responded with shouts of "Glory! Glory!" The victory was 
won — about eight hundred souls eagerly scrambled on board the gunboats 
and were transported to freedom. 

Some Colored History-Makers. 709 

Among the many men of note who trusted and encouraged the 
intrepid little woman were Wendell Phillips, William Lloyd Garrison, 
Thomas Garrett, William H. Seward, Emerson, Alcott, Dr. Howe and 
Gerrit Smith. Frederick Douglass wrote of her, "Excepting John 
Brown, I know no one who has encountered more perils and hardships 
to serve our enslaved people." John Brown said, "Mr. Phillips, I bring 
you one of the best and bravest persons of this continent, 'General 
Tubman,' as we call her." He also said, "She is the most of a man, 
naturally, that I ever met with." This war-time general now speaks with 
tender reverence — "John Brown, my dearest friend" — and she whom he 
called "the most of a man" is also more of a mother than most women. 
She founded and maintained a home for colored men and women. She 
"dwells in the midst of them, singing." 


She died in March, 1913, in Auburn, N. Y. 


The following- autobiographic sketch gives some of the inci- 
dents of the public life of Mark R. De Mortie, the son-in-law of 
George T. Downing, who was a friend of Charles Sumner. 

I was born at Norfolk, Va., May 8, 1829. At the age of eighteen I 
became acquainted with a man known as "Dr." Harry Lundy who was an 
imlearned man, he took me into his confidence and told me he was 
accustomed to conceal slaves in his house prior to their being run away 
from slavery. (He, Lundy, being a free born man) he would have me 
write letters to parties with whom he cooperated. From that time until 
the age of twenty-two, I had assisted and caused the escape of about 
twenty-two slaves to Dr. Tobias at Philadelphia and others to New Bed- 
ford. At Philadelphia Dr. Tobias would forward them to Mass. or 
Canada. Men I would have stored away, one or two at a time in a 
vessel bound North paying the captain or steward $25.00 for each man. 
A woman I had to pay $50,000 because she had to be dressed in man's 
attire and they would only take one woman at a time ; the slaves fur- 
nished their own money with one exception, namely in 1851 I came to 
Boston and I met Mr. Lewis Hayden and in conversation with him in 
reference to slaves running away from the South, I said that many 
of them would come if they had the means. I named one man to him 
that had been trying Co save $25.00 for about a year but could not do so. 
In a few weeks w-hen I was about to return to Norfolk, Va., Lev/is 
Hayden gave me $25.00 to pay for that man's freedom. When I returned 
to Virginia I got a captain named Hunt of New Bedford to take him 
on his vessel to New Bedford; the man was known in slavery as Tom 
Spratley but changed his name after his arrival in New Bedford. 
He was a locksmith but in New Bedford got a situation as lamp lighter 

7IO The African Abroad. 

for the city. All I required of him to do was to report his arrival 
North to Lewis Hayden. After his escape through Dr. Lundy and myself 
we caused the escape to freedom of many others including }viaria 
Agusta, who made her home in Boston. When about to return to Boston 
permanently I attempted to have a young woman who was known South 
as Sally Waller to escape to Boston tp her brother William Dunn, she 
was afterwards known as Sally Jackson residing in New Bedford; this 
last attempt to assist in freeing human beings from bondage came very 
near giving me a long imprisonment through a letter that was written 
by her brother to me which was intercepted by her so-called master, 
and I had to resort to the same means to make my own escape as 
I had sent the poor slaves. I then came to Boston opened a shoe 
store at partnership with her brother, William Dunn, at 127 Cambridge 
Street, Boston. There was an effort made to Governor Clifford of 
Massachusetts to have me returned South as a fugitive from justice, my 
crime being that of running away slaves, their property, but Governor 
Clifford would not acknowledge property in slaves. I consulted Lawyer 
Benjamin F. Hallett, John A. Andrew and Benjamin F. Butler (later 
general) the latter told me to arm myself with a pistol, go to my stor.', 
attend to my business, keep near my money drawer, where I would have 
my pistol, if any one came to my store that looked suspicious, and I 
suspected them as coming to arrest me that it would be better to be 
tried in Massachusetts for murder than to be tried in Virginia for running 
away slaves. In 1853 I took an active part in politics, I joined the Free- 
soil party, then in 1854 I allied myself with the No-Nothing party 
together with Rev. L. A. Grimes, Lewis Hayden, Dr. John S. Rock 
and Dr. J. B. Smith, we five being recognized as the leading colored 
men of that time in politics. The colored voters recognized us as such. 
The No-Nothing party wanted cur support feeling they would thereby 
get the colored vote. They, the No-Nothing party was successful i;i 
wiping out all other parties including the Democrats, Whigs and Free 
Soiiers. Most of the Free Soilers in the state joined the No-Nothing 
party with the view of making it anti-slavery. The No-Nothing party 
was a secret political party. After the election their executive committee 
appointed a committee consisting of three members of the Legislature, 
Dr. James M. Stone, Charles W. Slack and John L. Swift, to wait upon 
us five previously named colored men, to ask us what we desired in 
behalf of the colored people; our reply was mixed schools; then the 
committee said they would do all in their power to have our request 
granted. Boston was then the only city in the State that proscribed us 
in their schools. There was then only one schoolhouse in Boston where 
all the colored children from all over the city including East Boston 
had to attend and that one was corner of Smith Court and Belknap 
Street (now known as Joy Street). William C. Nell, Benjamin F. 
Roberts and others had been agitating equal school rights for years 
previous. In January, 1855, when the Legislature met, according to 
the promise made to Rev. L. A. Grimes, Lewis Hayden, Dr. J. B. 

Some Colored History-Makers. 711 

Smith, John S. Rock and myself, by Stone, Slack and Swift (who was 
known in the Legislature as the three S's), a bill was introduced 
requiring all children to attend the schools in the Wards in which they 
lived. The bill was passed during that Session and in the Fall of that 
year colored children were admitted to all the Schools. 

In 1854 when Anthony Burns was arrested in Boston to be returned 
to slavery a number of men including Lewis Hayden, George T. Downing, 
Deacon James Scott, Nathaniel Butler, T. W. Higginson and numerous 
others besides myself, stormed the southwest door of the court house 
on Court Square in an attempt to rescue Anthony Burns. We failed 
in the attempt owing to a deputy marshal by the name of Batchelador 
being killed in resisting us. This together with others crushed in the 
court house, was one of the causes that flustrated our intention. 

In 1856 and '57 Benjamin F. Roberts (a printer) and myself got 
colored men employed for the first time as laborers in the City of 

Lewis Hayden, B. F. Roberts, myself and others secured the removal 
of the word col. (which implied colored) from colored men's names on 
the voting list. 

When Charles Sumner was brutally assaulted by Congressman Preston 
Brooks of South Carolina in the United States Senate chamber, Anson 
Burlingame, a Congressman from Boston, denounced Brooks in such 
severe language for the cowardly act that Preston Brooks challenged 
Burlingame to hght a duel, an effort was made in the Boston district by 
the sympathizers of the South to defeat Burlingame for reelection. 
Judge Thomas Russell, Mark R. De Mortie and others gave six weeks 
daily canvass (without compensation) of the district to secure Anson 
Burlingame's reelection, and he was reelected. In i860 after the 
nomination of Abraham Lincoln, Lewis Hayden and M. R. De Mortie 
organized what was known as the West Boston Colored Wide Awakes, 
a political organization consisting of 144 uniformed and equipped men 
(of which John P. Coburn was the commander) to parade and arouse 
an enthusiasm among all voters to assist in securing the election of 
our much beloved Abraham Lincoln. We paraded in Boston and different 
parts of the State with similar white organizations of which there was 
a large number. In 1S63 when the 54th colored regiment was organized 
at the solicitation of Governor John A. Andrew, Ezra Lincoln (sub 
treasurer of the United States), Hon. Samuel Hooper, Rev. L. A. Grimes, 
Lewis Hayden and others, I was asked to accept the appointment of 
subtler of the 54th Regiment, they basing it on the ground that I would 
study the soldiers' interests. Upon my consenting, in April of that 
year Colonel Robert G. Shaw appointed me to that position which I 
accepted and fulfilled to the credit of myself and best interest of the 
regiment. The 54th sailed from Boston the 28th day of May, 1863, and 
was without pay for eighteen months, owing to a law that had been 
passed by Congress giving L'nited States colored troops $7.00 per month 
each; the 54th Regiment enlisted as part of the state's quota and did 

712 The African Abroad. 

not come under the bill passed by Congress, but had been promised 
$13.00 per month when they enlisted (the same amount that white 
soldiers received). When the paymaster of the United States Army 
refused to pay them more than $7.00 per month I told the men in my 
regiment to refuse the $7.00 a month, and I would credit them to $2.00 
each per month as long as they would stand firm for the amount they 
enlisted for, which they did and at the end of the eighteen months 
when they were paid the $13.00 per month that they enlisted for. They 
owed me about fourteen thousand dollars and they paid me their indebted- 
ness like men, and I never had to stop a man's pay for what he owed 
me. My regiment never had but three pay days during the war. They 
were mustered out in 1865. In 1866 De Mortie and Watson opened a 
tailoring establishment at No. i Cambridge Street near the Revere House. 
January, 1868, the white laborers at the Boston & Albany Railroad 
demanded more pay than they were receiving and struck on a Saturday. 
Sunday morning Judge Russell (one of the directors of that road) called 
Lewis Hayden and myself in consultation to see if we could furnish 
enough able-bodied colored men to fill the places of the strikers. About 
120 were required ; we told him we thought we could ; up to that time 
no colored laborers had been employed on that road. Lewis Hayden and 
I wrote notices and had them read in all the colored churches requesting 
all able-bodied colored men that wanted permanent work to meet us at 
the Union Progressive Association rooms corner of Cambridge and 
Chamber Streets at five o'clock that Sunday afternoon. We there 
enrolled 120 names of men that promised to meet me at the rear of 
the United States Hotel at 7 o'clock Monday morning. I reported at 
6 o'clock Sunday evening to Judge Russell that I would be at the Bos- 
ton & Albany Depot (opposite United States Hotel) Monday morning, 
at which time I marched 120 men upstairs at the depot. 

I contended with the superintendent before the men were put to work 
that they should receive the same pay of those that had struck, and 
that they should retain their situations as long as they did their work 
creditably. The superintendent could not make me the promise until the 
vice president, Mr. Chapin, could arrive from Worcester and confirm 
it. He returned about noon and agreed to give the men permanent 
work and same wages. The same year I went to Chicago to the Soldiers' 
National Convention as a delegate, at which convention General U. S. 
Grant was nominated for President of the United States. The day after 
Gen. Grant was also nominated by the National Republican party. 

Becoming infatuated with Chicago, I returned to Boston, sold my 
interest out in the tailoring business and returned to Chicago and went 
in partnership in the real estate and brokerage business with John Jones 
of that city. Becoming interested in the oil sassafras business, I spent 
the winter months in Virginia. After marrying Cordelia Downing, the 
daughter of Hon. Geo. T. Downing, I located in Virginia, and took 
much interest in the schools and politics, having become an unsuccessful 
candidate for Congress (from the fourth Congressional district) through 

Some Colored History-Makers. 7^3 

fraud. I was deputy collector of internal revenue, while there, and was 

sent as an alternate to the Chicago National Convention in 1880 where I 

served as the delegate for William L. Fernald from the fourth district 

of Virginia. When I went to Nottaway County there were only seven 

colored schools, all taught by white teachers. When I moved away there 

was fourteen colored schools all taught by colored teachers with one 

exception. After my oil factory and saw mill valued at six thousand 

dollars w^as burned down, having no insurance, I sold part of the land 

I owned there and returned home to Boston in 1887 and resumed my 

tailoring business." 

M. R. De Mortie, 

Per Cordelia. 

Mr. De Mortie's daughter, ^Miss Irene, married Br. }^Iarcus B. 
W'heatland, the X-ray expert of Newport, R. I., who has three 
rooms fitted up Hke a laboratory and who, with his X-ray 
machines, has successfully treated some of Newport's wealthy 


Rev. Lott Carey, the first American ]\Iissionary to Africa, 
was bom in Virginia about 1780. His first occupation was that 
of tobacco packer in a warehouse in Richmond, \'a. In 1807 
he began to master the art of reading. A New Testament was 
his first reader. 

He saved his money and bought his freedom. On January 
23, 1820, when he and Rev. Collin Teague set sail for Sierra 
Leone, Africa, he had accumulated over $1,500 worth of real 
estate. He reached Sierra Leone after forty-four days sail- 
ing. In 1824 he was appointed as physician for the settlers 
in Africa, and in 1828 was appointed acting governor of Liberia. 
He could fight as well as preach and died November 10, 1828, 
as the result of an explosion while he was making cartridges. 

The three celebrated Paul brothers, Thomas, Benjamin and 
Nathaniel, sons of a Revolutionary soldier, received their limited 
education at their home in Exeter. They started out like the 
Apostles, planting the first colored Baptist Churches in Boston, 
New York and Albany. IMr. G. W. Forbes in the A. M. E. 
Church RevieiK' for April says: "The New York w^ing of the 
family settled finally in Canada, establishing a church there. 
^^'ith its five generations behind it, the Paul family, with three 
founder preachers, two able poets, and more than a dozen 
teachers, is the most remarkable colored family in America." 


Some Connecticut Abolitionists — Slavery Days in Torrington — 
Prtidcnce Crandall — J a Jin Brown. 

Massachusetts' part in the aboHtion movement has been told 
and retold so often that it has passed into the common stock of 
everyday-knowledge. How William Lloyd Garrison, the editor 
of the Liberator, was dragged through the streets of Boston, 
with a rope around his neck in broad daylight, by a mob of 
"gentlemen" ; how Lovejoy the printer was cowardly murdered 
by a mob in Alton, 111. ; how Charles Sumner was cowardly struck 
down in the United States Senate by Brooks of South Carolina ; 
how nobly Moorfield Story told the story of his heroic life ; how 
bravely John Brown, the heroic martyr, w^ent to the scaffold 
because he had seized the arsenal at Harpers Ferry and incited 
the slaves to insurrection ; how the heroic soul of the gifted 
Wendell Phillips was fired as he, from his office window, wit- 
nessed the outrage upon William Lloyd Garrison ; how his elo- 
quence blazed forth in Faneuil Hall when the recreant Attorney 
General James T. Austin attempted to compare the murderers of 
Lovejoy with Hancock, Otis and Warren ; how calmly he faced 
mobs and immortalized Toussaint L'Ouverture in his matchless 
oration; how Charles Sumner died whispering "Don't let my 
Civil Rights bill fail"; how brave, brown, broad-shouldered Parker 
Pillsbury, the uncle of Hon. A. E. Pillsbury, scaled pulpits; 
how Theodore Parker, the thundering Unitarian preacher, housed 
a fugitive slave in his house and stood gun in his hand at his door ; 
how he, when Massachusetts returned a fugitive slave, preached 
a sermon in Music Hall that woke the puritan fire of Massa- 
chusetts; how Harriet Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin" 
roused the conscience of the North ; how Julia Ward Hov/e's 
"Battle Hymn of the Republic" cheered and nerved the Union 
soldiers ; how Llenry Ward Beecher sold slaves on a Sunday in 
his pulpit as an object lesson; how Gerrit Smith, in 1849, gave 
large tracts of land to colored men in the Adirondack Mountains ; 
how surveyors robbed them of the land; how Gerrit Smith and 



• ^ 



































































tr 7q 





' 'i 

















Some Connecticut Abolitionists. 715 

George H. Stearns befriended John Brown when preparing for 
his Harpers Ferry raid ; how George H. Stearns backed him 
financially when he went to Kansas; how Brown gained the 
title of Osawatomie Brown, how he strung in a row the men 
who murdered his son and shot them down at Pottawatomie, 
JCans., May 24, 1856; how War Governor Andrews organized a 
colored regiment; how Stearns, at his own expense, clothed and 
provided a Negro regiment with arms ; how Robert Gould Shaw, 
Colonel N. P. Hallowell and Thomas Wentworth Higginson com- 
manded Negro regiments ; how Ben Butler cut the Gordian knot 
by calling escaped slaves who ran into the Union army "Contra- 
bands of war" ; and how Edna D. Cheney, Julia Ward Howe, 
Lucretia Mott, Mary Livermore, Lidia Maria Childs, Maria 
White, Lowell's first wife, and Wendell Phillips' invalid wife 
labored for the slave — all these facts are as familiar to every 
schoolboy in the land as Paul Revere's ride and the battle of 
Bunker Hill. And the country has heard of the generosity of 
the Cranes of Massachusetts, the Hazards and Wetmores of 
Rhode Island and the Stokes of New York, but that Rev. Leon- 
ard Bacon of New Haven, Conn., who had a controversy with 
William Lloyd Garrison, was a tower of strength to the anti- 
slavery cause; that Rev. Leonard Bacon of Norwich, Conn., 
prevailed upon Slater to give a million dollars for Negro edu- 
cation; that Rev. Simeon Smith Jocelyn, the engraver of New 
Haven, Conn., was the first white man to propose a college for 
colored youth and pastor a colored church, are facts which are 
not so generally well known. 

The author of this work first received his youthful inspiration 
at English Hall Sunday School, now known as the City Mission 
Sunday School, in New Haven. That school is attended by 
boys and girls of all classes, races and colors, and was founded by 
Rev. John C. Collins, a Yale graduate and former secretary of 
the Christian Workers. Over that school, as superintendent, for 
twenty-one years, has presided Livingston W. Cleaveland, who 
for six terms was judge of probate at New Haven. He is a 
grandson of the late Nathaniel Jocelyn and a grand nephew of 
Rev. Simeon Smith Jocelyn. When Judge Cleaveland, in 1903, 
appointed George W. Crawford, a brilliant young colored man, 
to a clerkship in the Probate Court, subsequently promoting him 

7i6 The African Abroad. 

to the chief clerkship, it was regarded as an innovation, in spite 
of the fact that Mr. Crawford had graduated at Tuskeegee 
Institute, had taken his B.A. at Talladega College, had taken a 
prize every year of his law course at Yale University, and had 
at graduation won the most coveted honor in the Yale Law 
School — the Townsend oration prize. 

Rev. Alexander F. Irvine, in a letter to the New Haven Union, 
graphically discussed Judge Cleaveland's action, the letter reading 
in part as follows : 

To get at the inwardness of the thing one must go away back and 
begin at the maternal grandfathers on the one side and the father on 
the other. Nathaniel Jocelyn, the portrait painter, and friend of the 
famous Cinquez, the Amistad captive, was not only the friend of the 
colored man but was a champion of equal rights, which is something 
more. Jocelyn was Cleaveland's grandfather, and his house in York Street 
was a station of the underground railway. 

Jocelyn had a brother named Simeon Smith Jocelyn, the noted engraver, 
who was brave enough to also serve as white pastor of the old Temple 
Street colored church — at a time when to do so cost a great deal more 
than the appointment to-day of a colored man to a clerkship. He was 
the intimate friend of and co-laborer with William Lloyd Garrison and 
Arthur Tappan. 

It was the Rev. S. S. Jocelyn, who, in Philadelphia, in 1831, at a great 
convention of colored people, proposed a scheme for a college for colored 
students at New Haven. The college was to include instruction in the 
mechanical arts, agriculture and horticulture. In the minutes of that con- 
vention the following are the reasons for locating the proposed college 
in New Haven : 

1. The site is healthy and beautiful. 

2. Its inhabitants are friendly, pious, generous and humane. 

3. Its laws are salutary and protecting to all, without regard to com- 

plexion, etc., etc. 

Arthur Tappan purchased a site here and offered $1,000 (of the $20,000 
to be raised). But alas! on September 10, 1831, at a meeting called by 
the mayor and aldermen, notice was given that the manual labor college 
would not be tolerated ; the pretext being that "it was auxiliary to 
the agitation against the municipal institution of slavery and incompatible 
with the prosperity, if not the existence of Yale college." 

The fact of the matter is that the friends of the movement killed it 
by calling it a "college." At the town meeting only five men voted for 
it; Jocelyn, his brother and three others. So much for one side. 

Judge Cleaveland's father, the Rev. James Bradford Cleaveland, a 
direct descendant of Gov. William Bradford, was the pastor of the 
South Egremont (Mass.) Congregational Church during the stormy days 

Some Connecticut Abolitionists. 717 

of the Civil War. Here we find him thundering against the devilish 
institution of slavery, to a congregation, some of whom sat and read 
pro-slavery papers in their pews while he was doing it. Some of them 
unable to stand the fire got up and went out slamming the pew doors 
behind them. 

Pastor Cleaveland was young and fearless and his wife ably backed 
him up. It was under the inspiration of those days that Mrs. Cleaveland 
first touched her lyre in the cause of human freedom. Here in this 
Berkshire village, contemporaneous with the rebirth of a nation, and of 
human freedom, was born Livingston W. Cleaveland. There are some 
things that a man cannot be responsible for. He cannot choose his parents 
nor the time nor the place of his birth. 

For this man ... to draw distinctions because of complexion he 
would have to change his blood, and be recreant to the trust of a noble 
heritage. His father with the insight of a prophet, wrote to x\braham 
Lincoln the following letter : 

"Sir — Equal to, the exigency of the times, your name will hereafter 
be as conspicuous in the history of this nation, as is that of Moses 
in the sacred history of this nation. Moses is honored as a Liberator; 
that such may be your renowned title on the future page of the republic 
now so ably presided over by you is the prayer of millions." 

The date of Pastor Cleaveland's letter is November 22, 1861. The date 
of the letter of emancipation, which gave Lincoln this very title, and 
fixed his place in history, is September 22, 1862. 

The spirit which animated the father animated the son — equality of 
men before the law. There is a vacancy — who shall fill it? The man 
best able, all things else considered. It made no difference to him whether 
he was a Hebrew, an American, an Irishman, a colored man or to what 
nationality he belonged. 

The incident under discussion is an application of a larger thought — 
an inherited belief that all men are created equal. If this particular 
application of an almost forgotten truth costs Judge Cleaveland anything, 
he may console himself with the knowledge that he pays infinitely less 
than the Jocelyns and Cleavelands paid for the same principle a 
generation ago. . . . 

Dated this 22d day of September, 1903, the forty-first anniversary of 
the signing of the Proclamation of Emancipation. 

Alex. F. Irvine. 

In Samuel J. May's "Recollections of the Anti-Slavery Con- 
flict," he stated that at the Philadelphia Convention, held 
in December, 1833, which instituted the American Anti-Slavery 
Society, Rev. Simeon Smith Jocelyn with Garrison and Whittier 
were appointed on the committee of ten to draft a declaration of 
the principles of the American Anti-Slavery Society. 

7i8 The African Abroad. 

Oliver Johnson, in his "Garrison and His Times," refers to 
the Rev. Simeon S. Jocelyn as the first white man in this country 
to conceive the idea of a college for colored men. He was also 
a friend and sympathizer with Prudence Crandall, whose efforts 
to allow colored girls to attend her young ladies' academy resulted 
in fierce opposition, in the passage of the so-called "Black Law" 
by the Connecticut Legislature in 1833, and in the destruction of 
her school. 

At the memorial service held in the New England Congrega- 
tional Church, Brooklyn, N. Y., Sunday, October 19, 1879, ^^ 
memory of Rev. Mr. Jocelyn, Henry Ward Beecher said: 
"Father Jocelyn was a prototype of Moses. Both were burden- 
bearers and both were friends of the poor and oppressed, and 
their friends because they were slaves." 

John H. Stearns said of him : "Few men could look abroad on 
the field of nature and appreciate, with such refined taste and 
delicate discrimination, its beauty, its grandeur, its living wonders 
and sublime phenomenon as Father Jocelyn did. Few men could 
see God in nature, in all the manifest glories of his attributes and 
being as he did. He, indeed, saw God in clouds and heard him 
in the winds, and saw in the gardens and landscapes of each a 
foreshadowing of heaven's flowery land and the pure river from 
the fountains of life." 

The following regarding Nathaniel Jocelyn, the brother of 
Simeon Smith Jocelyn, also appears in a biographical pamphlet. 
"Mr. Jocelyn was a quiet yet cordial sympathizer with the slaves. 
The story of the Amistad Africans who were captured by the 
Spaniards for slaves and brought into the port of New Haven 
is a matter of history and familiar to all. Mr. Jocelyn was 
much interested in their behalf and painted the picture of the 
African leader, Cinquez, which now hangs in the rooms of the 
Historical Society in New Haven, where is also a fine painting 
of the artist himself, by Harry L Thompson." 

Upon his death, January 13, 1881, in New Haven, Conn., at 
the age of eighty-four, the New York Journal of Commerce 
said of him: "Fifty years ago the name of Jocelyn was better 
known on the face of a bank note than the name of the bank 
itself. His portraits were among the cleverest works of the 
kind produced in this country. He was the founder of the most 

Some Connecticut Abolitionists. 7^9 

celebrated of the bank note companies and was a leader in the 
highest style of art for more than two generations." 


(From the Evening Register, Torrington, Conn., February 15, 1913.) 

Lincoln's birthday fittingly calls for thoughtful review of the dark 
page of national history which formed the preface of those blood-stained 
pages of civil strife. 

In Torrington the people glory in the fact that John Brown, the martyr 
in the cause of liberty, was born on their own hills. They point with 
pride to the sacrifice he made for the sake of the slave, — a sacrifice, which 
in spite of the rashness of the undertaking was instrumental in arousing 
the North to a sense of its duty. 

It may be news to many, although it is a part of local history, that an 
emancipation proclamation was proclaim.ed in Torrington 75 years before 
that which bore the signature of Abraham Lincoln. 

The records of the first church in Torrington show that Phoebe, a 
colored woman, probably a slave, in the employ of Joel Thrall, united 
with that religious body in 1756. Deacon John Whiting and William 
and Matthew Grant owned another female slave, a sister of the other. 
This one became so old and unfit for service that instead of "turning 
her out to pasture," as was talked of, they hired a colored man by the 
name of Jude Freeman to take care of her, paying him a yearly 

In 1787 Abijah Holbrook came to Torrington from Massachusetts and 
started a grist mill. He brought with him two slaves, Jacob Prince and 
Ginne, his wife. The air he breathed here was so pure and free that it 
affected his conscience, and of his own free will, he gave them their 
freedom by his emancipation proclamation which is a matter of record and 
which reads as follows : 

"Know all men by these presents that I, Abijah Holbrook, of Torrington, 
in the county of Litchfield and state of Connecticut, being influenced by 
motives of hum.anity and benevolence, believing that all mankind by nature 
are entitled to equal liberty and freedom ; and whereas I the said Hol- 
brook agreeable to the laws and customs of this state and the owner and 
possessor of two certain negroes which are of that class that are called 
slaves for life : namely, Jacob Prince, a male negro, and Ginne, a female, 
wife of said Jacob; and whereas the said negroes to this time have served 
me with faithfulness and fidelity, and they being now in the prime and 
vigor of life, and appear to be well qualified as to understanding and 
economy to maintain and support themselves by their own industry, and 
they manifesting a great desire to be delivered from slavery and 
bondage : 

"I therefore the said Abijah Holbrook, do by these presents freely 
and absolutely emancipate the said Jacob and Ginne, and they are hereby 
discharged from all authority, title, claim, control and demand that I 
the said Holbrook now have or ever had in or unto the persons or 

720 The African Abroad. 

services of them the said Jacob and Ginne, and they from and after 
the date hereof shall be entitled to their liberty and freedom, and to 
transact business for themselves, in their own names and for their own 
benefit and use. 

"To witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this i8th 
day of August A. D. 1798." 

The attitude of the people in Litchfield County towards the colored 
people who lived among them was very much like that of the people 
of the South to-day. They were expected to attend church as all good 
people in those days were, but the church fathers had the forethought 
to provide in the churches at Goshen and Torringford what the worldly 
folks called "nigger pews," which were built in the rear gallery and 
were boarded up on the sides and back so that the dark-skinned occupants 
could neither see nor be seen by the rest of the congregation. Jacob 
Prince having "experienced religion," was admitted to membership 
in the Goshen Congregational Church, but found that even that display 
of Christian endeavor failed to qualify him for a seat among the 
white folks, and it grieved him sorely. Finally he refused to come to 
church and submit to that treatment, but kept the spiritual fire burning 
on his own hearth by inviting the other colored folk to hold prayer 
meetings at his own home. Whereupon the authorities of the Goshen 
church actually excommunicated him. 

At the Torringford church the same provision was made for colored 
folks in the rear gallery, but Rev. Samuel J. Mills showed his own 
broad-mindedness by seating the dark-skinned members of his flock in his 
own pew. 

Anti-slavery sentiment was rife in Litchfield County following the 
admission of Missouri, a slave state, into the Union. This was in 1812-20. 
The first anti-slavery society was organized in Boston, Jan. i, 1832, and 
was followed by the organization of a similar organization in Philadelphia 
m December, 1833. In January, 1837, invitations were sent all over 
Litchfield County for an anti-slavery meeting to be held in Wolcottville 
for the organization of a county society. Slavery sentiment was so strong 
that the members of the committee in charge found all churches and halls 
both public and private, closed against them. As a last resort they met 
in a barn which was filled from top to bottom. Men were piled on the 
hay mows, standing in the stables and feed bins, roosting on the rafters 
and filling every available foot of space. 

Roger S. Mills, of New Hartford, was the chairman of the meeting 
which was opened with prayer by Rev. Daniel Coe, of Winsted. The 
officers nominated were as follows :— president, Roger S. Mills, New 
Hartford; vice presidents, Erastus Lyman, Goshen; General Daniel D. 
Brinsmade, Washington ; General Uriel Tuttle, Torringford, and Jonathan 
Coe, Winsted; secretary, R. M. Chipman, Harwinton; treasurer, Dr. 
E. D. Hudson, Torringford. 

While the audience was listening to an address by Rev. Nathaniel Colon, 
unsuspicious of danger, a mob which had been organizing in the center 

Some Connecticut Abolitionists. I^i 

of the village, led by a gang of toughs which in these early days had 
gathered around the grog shops and had earned a reputation for lawless- 
ness, made a descent upon the barn, which they surrounded and then let 
loose a pandemonium of yells, catcalls and threats, mingled with the beat- 
ing of tin pans, blowing of horns and ringing of cow bells. The fire 
alarm bell in the tower of the Congregational Church was also started and 
this combination broke up the abolitionist meeting. The men as they came 
out were treated with all sorts of indignities and some were threatened with 
bodily harm. 

As a refuge, and by invitation of the representatives from Torringford, 
the body separated itself from the crowd and went to the church in Tor- 
ringford which was thrown open for their use. Deacon Ebenezer Rood, 
of Torringford, was at the meeting, and as he was driving out of the vil- 
lage, the mob set upon him and attempted to overturn his sleigh. 

The deacon admitted that he never came so near swearing in his life. 
His righteous indignation overcame his fears for his personal safety, and 
rising in his sleigh he yelled in the face of his persecutors, "Rattle your 
pans, hoot and toot, ring your bells, consarn ye, you pesky fools, if it does 
you any good." With that he hit the old mare a cut with the whip that 
started her on the run, knocked down the men who had grabbed his horse 
and who were trying to upset the sleigh, and Deacon Rood was last seen 
flying up the Torringford hills with the ends of his long red tippet waving 
defiance to the mob in the distance. 

The story of the deacon's adventure and his address to the drunken 
rioters was the slogan for a new stand by the attendants at the anti- 
slavery meeting. Fear ruled no longer, but a resolution to work and labor 
for the cause at whatever cost was adopted. The session lasted two days 
and the Litchfield County anti-slavery society became from that time one 
of the forces which had much to do with the shaping of a strong abolition 
sentiment, which found its climax in the gallant response to the call of 
Abraham Lincoln for volunteers. 


Now we come to one of the tragic and dramatic episodes of 
the anti-slavery history. A beautiful, attractive and accomplished 
woman of thirty-one was persecuted in a Connecticut town and 
forced to give up a school for colored girls. Heart-broken and 
broken in spirit, she left the state and dropped completely out of 
sight. Nearly fifty years later she was discovered a lone old 
woman on the Kansas prairie. And then the state which crushed 
her young womanhood, cheered her old age by a pension, That 
is the tragedy of human life. The v/orld recognizes us only after 
we have or are about to cross the Great Divide. 

722 The African Abroad. 

Connecticut need not be ashamed of her part in the anti-slavery 
conflict. One western county was the birthplace of John Brown 
and the rearing place of Harriet Beecher Stowe and Henry Ward 
Beecher. And a western county was the stage on which one of 
America's heroines nobly played her part in the drama of life. 

John Brown was born in Litchfield County; Lyman Beecher 
raised his family in Litchfield ; and Canterbury, the scene of 
Prudence Crandall's heroism, was a Sleepy Hollow sort of a 
town, three miles from Plainfield. Born in Hopkinton, R. L, in 
1803, Prudence Crandall was educated in the Friends School in 
Providence, R. L She came of a sturdy Quaker stock, and made 
a brilliant record as a teacher in Plainfield, Conn. In 183 1 she 
was requested to open a boarding and finishing school for wealthy 
young ladies in Canterbury. It drew a constituency representing 
the best families, not only from the town, but also from the 
country round about and from remote sections of New England. 
It flourished like the traditional green bay tree. Clergymen and 
prominent citizens of Canterbury comprised its board of visitors. 
But she admitted Miss Sarah Harris, the seventeen-year-old 
daughter of a prosperous colored farmer, who lived near Canter- 
bury. Her sister was Miss Crandall's domestic. Miss Harris 
was a good scholar, pious and virtuous and a member of the 
Canterbury Church. I presume that the Quaker teacher saw the 
possibilities of the ambitious colored girl and thought that she 
should have the chance and opportunity to develop her woman- 
hood the same as other American girls. At first, she just desired 
to give one colored girl the same chance and opportunity that the 
white girls had ; but the trend of events precipitated a crisis that 
aroused her Quaker conscience and caused her to stand forth as 
a champion of human rights. 

A protest arose. Mrs. Harris, the wife of the white Episco- 
pal minister, informed Miss Crandall that if she admitted colored 
girls her school could not be sustained. Mrs. Harris (white) had 
two brunette daughters, while Miss Harris (colored) was exceed- 
ingly light in complexion. Miss Crandall asked Mrs. Harris 
whether she dreaded lest Miss Harris be mistaken for one of her 
daughters. Protests kept pouring in. Finally Miss Crandall 
decided to transform her school into a seminary for colored girls 
and announced in the Liberator on March 2, 1833, that on the 

Some Connecticut Abolitionists. 723 

first Monday in April she would open a school for "young ladies 
and little misses of color." This added fuel to the fire. A town 
meeting was called Alarch 9, in a church. Rev. Samuel May 
of Brooklyn, Conn., the father of Louise May Alcott, and Friend 
Arnold Buffum, a lecturing agent of the New England Anti- 
Slavery Society, came over to take her part. Rev. Mr. May and 
Friend Buffum could hardly squeeze their way through the 
jammed aisles of the church. Some of the townsmen shook their 
fists in the faces of these champions of Miss Crandall. 

The Boston Literary Letter for the Springfield Republican on 
March 19, 1913, says "a certain Judge Adams offered a resolu- 
tion, which was almost unanimously voted, informing the world 
at large, which till then knew little of Canterbury, that the 
'obvious tendency' of her school would be to collect within the 
town of Canterbury large numbers of persons, from other states, 
whose characters and habits might be various and unknown to us ; 
thereby rendering insecure the persons, property and reputations 
of our citizens." 

A few colored school girls learning arithmetic and geography 
in their town could have had no more injurious effect on their 
persons, property and reputation than the presence in Canter- 
bury of so many guinea hens or pouter pigeons. 

Five days after the meeting, the town officers called to see the 
Quaker teacher. She saucily replied to their remonstrances, 
"Moses had a black wife." 

On the first Monday in April, 1833, she opened her school in 
a less prominent place. Nearly twenty colored girls came from 
Boston, Providence, Philadelphia and New York. Boycott was 
declared on her by storekeepers, peddlers and stage drivers. 
Grocers refused to sell her eggs and salt fish. Ruffians poisoned 
her well. Neighbors refused to permit her to use their wells. 
Boys occasionally pelted her house with stones. Her father, a 
timid and inoffensive Quaker, was threatened and terrified. He 
and an old Quaker brought her fresh water every day. A colored 
stage driver from Norwich brought colored students and aboli- 
tionists to visit the school. During this trying ordeal Miss 
Crandall was always firm, tranquil and imperturbable. 

Finally, on May 24, 1833, the Connecticut legislature passed 
the "Black Law," which read in part : "No person shall set up 

724 The African Abroad. 

or establish in this State any school, academy or literary institu- 
tion for the instruction or education of colored persons who are 
not inhabitants of this State, nor instruct or teach in any school 
or literary institution whatsoever in this State, nor harbor or 
board, for the purpose of attending or being taught or instructed 
in any such school, academy, or literary institution, any colored 
person who is not an inhabitant of any town in this State, without 
the consent in writing, first obtained, of a majority of the civil 
authorities, and also of the Selectmen of the town, in which such 
school, academy or literary institution is situated, etc." Bells 
were rung and a cannon was fired. Bonfires and jubilations such 
as follow a college football victory or boat race followed in 

Miss Crandall was arrested and brought before the Common 
Justice Court of the town. She refused to allow May and 
Buffum to stand bail and spent a night in jail, in the former cell 
of Watkins, a wife murderer. The tale went far and wide. Rev. 
Mr. May and Mr. George W. Benson gave the required bond 
the next day. 

The constitutionality of the act was tested in the Superior 
Court, August 23 ; the jury disagreed. A few months later, 
October 3, 1833, she was tried again. Chief Justice Daggett 
harangued the jury, declared the free Negro was a person and 
not a citizen, and she was found guilty. Then the law was 
brought before the Court of Errors in Hartford on July 22, 1834. 
The Hon. W. W. Ellsworth and Hon. Calvin Goddard argued 
against the constitutionality of the Black Law. The court 
could not brave the storm of unpopularity by deciding in her 
favor and could not go on record as declaring an unconstitutional 
law as constitutional. So the case was dropped as there was a 
flaw in the indictment. It didn't state that she had been refused 
permission by the town selectmen; in fact she didn't ask for it. 
Then the case went back to the town justice. She maintained a 
sublime indifference, and used the keen blade of sarcasm. 

The Hon. Henry Strong assisted May with legal suggestions, 
and Arthur Tappan of New York supplied funds for the Rev. 
Mr. May to maintain a newspaper in behalf of Miss Crandall 
and the anti-slavery cause. Mr. Charles C. Burleigh of Plain- 
field assisted in the editing of the paper and his brother, William 

Some Connecticut Abolitionists. 725 

H. Burleigh, taught in the school. The outer building was set 
on fire a year and a half after the starting of the school, but the 
fire was discovered in time and quenched. 

The crisis came on September 9, 1834, when angry citizens 
beat in the windows of Miss Crandall's house with heavy clubs 
and iron bars ; five window sashes were demolished and ninety 
panes of glass were completely broken. For the first time she 
lost her nerve. Rev. Mr. May was called in consultation and it 
was decided to abandon the school. 

A short time before this incident she had married Calvin 
Philleo, a Baptist minister, and later she was lost sight of for 
nearly fifty years. Bravely, sweetly and serenely, for two years 
she stood up under the continual fusillade of criticism and per- 
secution, which must have been a physical and mental strain for 
her. It must have somewhat broken her spirit and crushed her 
youthful idealism when her cherished life work was nipped in 
the bud. Rev. Sherrod Soule's lecture on Prudence Crandall 
pictures her as a modern heroine. 

Finally, in 1880, an old woman was discovered living in poverty 
in a box house on the prairie at Elk Falls, Kans. She was 
Prudence Crandall. The selectmen of her town granted her a 
pension of five or six hundred dollars a year. Mark Twain, Dr. 
Joseph Twichell and other prominent Connecticut citizens wrote 
her cheering letters. She passed away at her home in Elk Falls 
on January 28, 1890. President Woodrow Wilson has paid a 
tribute to her, and in September, 19 12, in the New Haven Day 
parade, a float representing Prudence Crandall and her colored 
pupils was roundly applauded. She has passed into history. 


John Brown's career has been so well covered in Frank San- 
born's "Recollections of Seventy Years," and in "The Life and 
Public Services of George Luther Stearns," by Frank Preston 
Stearns, in the writings of Colonel Higginson and Frederick 
Douglass, and in the biographies of Mr. Sanborn, Mr. O. G. 
Villard and Dr. DuBois, that I shall not give a detailed account 
of his life. 

I have had conversation with the late Mrs. George Luther 
Steams, the late Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson and Mr. 

726 The African Abroad. 

Frank B. Sanborn, who knew Brown personally. I remember the 
October afternoon in 1898 when Mr. Dean of the Harvard 
Divinity School and I walked over to Tuft's College, Medford, 
and listened spellbound, as Mrs. Stearns, with radiant counte- 
nance, for two hours told us of John Brown and anti-slavery 
days and showed us the bust of John Brown, taken by Mr. 
Edward A. Brackett, the sculptor, who was sent by Mrs. Stearns 
to Virginia to reproduce the likeness of the Harpers Ferry hero 
in marble. And she closed her conversation by exclaiming 
"Those were heroic days !" I desire, however, to correct a few 
false impressions regarding John Brown. 

Some have regarded Brown as an impracticable fanatic, but 
I think that Mr. Frank Preston Stearns sized him up on page 
129 of his work when he said, "John Brown was a Cromwellian 
Ironsides introduced in the nineteenth century for a special 
purpose. He looked at the world with the eyes of a Puritan of 
the Long Parliament, and judged it accordingly. His ideas of 
morality, private and public, were not relative, but absolute." 

Then we must remember that Brown was essentially a man of 
action ; that he was living in an age when the anti-slavery and 
pro-slavery forces were arrayed in a bitter strife; that the New 
England conscience was engaged in a struggle with the personal 
interests of the slave holders ; that the passions of men were 
stirred; that five free-state men were killed in Kansas, and that 
the conflict in Kansas was inevitable and unavoidable. 

Brown's victories at Black Jack and Ossawatomie prevented 
the Missourians from invading that section of Kansas again. 
Brown's share in the Pottawatomie afifair has been passed upon 
pro and con. The burning of Lawrence, and other acts of the 
border ruffians, convinced Brown that it was time to take drastic 
action against the Doyles and Shermans. Some claim that no 
messenger had been sent to John Brown, but Mr. Frank Sanborn 
says that while there was no unanimity of agreement in Kansas 
as to who the particular messenger was, that nevertheless nearly 
every one in Kansas who had been questioned agreed that a 
messenger had been sent. 

Others have regarded him as a wanderer upon the face of the 
earth. Though he traveled considerably over the North, East 
and West, he followed one occupation, that of sheep raising and 

Some Connecticut Abolitionists. 727 

wool growing, for thirty years. That indicates some fixedness 
of purpose. He was a very successful sheep farmer and traveled 
naturally where he could best raise and market his goods. The 
fact that the wool growers of Ohio selected him as their agent in 
the Springfield experiment shows their confidence in him. 

George Luther Stearns gave him nearly $10,000 to maintain 
liberty in Kansas, supplying him with $5,000 worth of rifles, etc. 
Stearns later supplied Brown with pistols for his Virginia raid 
and told Brown to draw on him for $8,000 more, when he 
needed it, which Brown never did, thus showing his integrity as 
a man. Brown was never avaricious. Mr. Stearns did not know 
that Brown intended to attack Harpers Ferry, and Sanborn, 
Gerrit Smith and Frederick Douglass, with whom he talked the 
matter over, questioned the wisdom of his plans. 

That there was a method in Brown's plan is shown by the fact 
that Gabriel, the slave insurrectionist, conceived of a similar plan 
over half a century before, namely, to arm the slaves and rush 
to the mountains of Virginia, using them as citadels and vantage 
points for striking. But the slaves did not rush to Brown's 
assistance. He tarried too long at Harpers Ferry, was captured 
after a desperate fight, in which he displayed remarkable coolness 
under fire, was calm and serene during his trial, calmly and 
heroically walked to his execution — kissing a colored child on the 
way to the scaffold. But the world knows how his raid precipi- 
tated the Civil War, and how the song of "John Brown's body 
lies a mouldering in the grave, but his soul goes marching on," 
inspired and nerved the Union soldiers. 

We finite mortals will never know how far Brown was an 
instrument in the hands of Providence. Some men doubt the 
guiding hand of Providence in the affairs of men; but the 
Hebrew seers, the Greek and Roman poets and philosophers 
believed in some overruling power which balked and interfered 
with the best laid plans of men. And even modern students of 
history are forced to recognize that "There's a divinity that 
shapes our ends, rough-hew them how we will." 

In studying the phenomena of human history, we recognize 
that insignificant causes work miraculous effects. Take the 
greatest miracle of human history — the rise of Christianity. 
How a despised sect of a despised race, whose leader died an 

728 The African Abroad. 

ignominious death on the cross and whose followers were largely 
untutored fishermen and artisans, could effect a religious revolu- 
tion in the Roman Empire and finally dominate the religious life 
of the civilized world for seventeen successive centuries, tran- 
scends the power of human analysis and defies human calculation. 
The trend of human history tends to the belief that there is a 
Master Mind behind the curtains shifting the scenes. 

I will close this discussion by quoting the words of one who 
knew John Brown intimately, who for threescore years has been 
identified with the literary life of America, who was an intrepid 
anti-slavery leader and one of the founders of the Concord 
School of Philosophy. I refer to Mr. Frank B. Sanborn of 
Concord, Mass., a man of unusual insight into men and motives. 

John Brown, though born in New England, and strongly marked with 
the New England seriousness of mood, had spent most of his half-century 
in new and wild regions, intimate with nature, and directing other men 
rather than guided or trained by them. He was profound in his thinking, 
and had formed his opinions rather by observation than by reading, though 
well versed in a few books, chief among which was the Bible. He was, 
in truth, a Calvinistic Puritan, born a century or two after the fashion 
had changed; but as ready as those of Bradford's or Cromwell's times 
had been to engage in any work of the Lord to which he felt himself 
called. He saw with unusual clearness the mischievous relation to republi- 
can institutions of Negro slavery, and made up his fixed mind that it must 
be abolished; not merely, or even mostly, for the relief of the slaves, but 
for the restoration of the Republic to its original ideal — freedom under 
law for all, white, black, yellow or red. He regarded the Indian and the 
Negro simply as men; and though he did not expect of them what he 
expected of his own race and faith, he believed that all their rights should 
be respected. He had seen the country coming more and more into the 
belief that slavery was a permanent institution — not as Jefferson and V/ash- 
ington had looked on it, something that must gradually yield to the spirit 
of freedom embodied in the American ideal. 

He had formed various plans for attacking slavery where it was appar- 
ently strongest, but really weakest — in the midst of the large plantations. 
The effort to give the evil institution renewed vitality by annexing new 
territory for colonization by slaveholders, alarmed him in the Mexican 
war, and aroused him to decisive action when Kansas was opened by the 
slave-masters, then in control of the national government, to the blight- 
ing introduction and spread of negro slavery. He saw the proper 
remedy of this mischief — the colonization of the territory by free 
laborers — as soon as any man had seen it; and his four sons were among 
the early settlers in Kansas. He had joined them there, in October, 

Some Connecticut Abolitionists. 729 

1855, with arms and supplies intended for the defense of them and of 
other pioneers against the invaders from the south. 

Regarding the Pottawatomie execution, Sanborn says : 

I have seen no reason to doubt that this execution was one of the sad 
necessities of the times, fully justified in Brown's mind and that of 
most of the residents in Kansas. But it was made the occasion for much 
vilification of Brown and his friends by the men whom the fame of 
Brown had eclipsed, or who had honestly differed from him in their 
judgment of what the need of the time was. The opinions of good men 
will always differ, I suppose, as to the merit or demerit of Brown in 
ordering these executions, and seeing them performed. It is the belief 
of the best authorities in Kansas history that the men slain had a suffi- 
cient, though irregular trial. That they had well earned their violent 
death under their own code of violence is now quite clear; the pre- 
tense of their innocence is a sham, invented by men who knew better 
and accepted by ignorant or half-informed persons, who would justify 
the killing of a burglar, but shudder at the wild justice of lynch law, — 
sometimes the best code for semi-barbarous communities. I have in my 
book cited the testimony and opinions of the Free State men of Kansas; 
but here is a bit of evidence that will be new to most of my readers. 
General Shelby, a Missourian, who joined his pro-slavery neighbors in 
trying to force slavery upon Kansas, and who rose to be a brigadier in 
the Confederate service, was afterward "reconstructed" and made United 
States Marshal of western Missouri. To a friend of mine, who knew 
him well while holding that office, and residing at Kansas City in Missouri 
he said in substance : 

"Brown was right and did just what he ought to have done in killing 
the Doyles and others at Pottawatomie. I would have done in Missouri 
what he did in Kansas. I was myself in Kansas fighting the Free State 
men — had no business there on any such errand, and ought to have been 
shot for being there. John Brown was the only man then in Kansas 
who seemed to realize fully the situation. He would have shot me per- 
haps, if he had met me in Kansas, — and it would have been no more than 
his duty." 

Regarding Brown's manner at his trial, Sanborn says : 

In the years when I knew Brown, this calmness of manner sometimes 
gave way to animated speech and gestures, — so deeply did he feel the 
coldness of those he addressed on his one great subject; but on his trial, 
the mildness of his earlier manner returned to him, and his last speech 
was delivered with all the quiet and moderation which Mr. Case describes. 
This mild and humble Christian, this practical disciple of Jefferson, was a 
pioneer and hero of emancipation. Others had much share in that work — 
but its two chief martyrs were John Brown and Abraham Lincoln — of 

730 The African Abroad. 

whom one began and the other completed the forcible freeing of 4,000,000 
slaves in the United States. In oratory, too, their names will stand con- 
nected; for Emerson declared that Brown's speech after conviction and 
Lincoln's Gettysburg oration were the high water mark of eloquence in 
the nineteenth century. 

Regarding Brown's results, Sanborn says: 

But the Lord knows his own soldiers, and the far-reaching results of 
Brown's action in Virginia are now well known of all men. He struck 
at American slavery the severest blow it had ever received; and his 
tragic experiment, though for a few months it seemed to have failed, 
was a great hastening cause of that bloody rebellion in which slavery 
perished. Brown was executed December 2d, 1859; three years and 
thirty days afterwards President Lincoln issued the final decree of 
emancipation; and in a few years from the date of Brown's death, not 
a slave remained in bondage, of the four millions for whose redemp- 
tion he had died. Seldom in human history have such great effects so 
rapidly followed magnanimous deeds. 

Brown was an instrument in the hands of Providence to uproot and 
destroy an evil institution which had never appeared more boastful, 
more flourishing and more permanent than when only eight years before 
final emancipation, Brown entered the broad domain of Kansas, which 
the slaveholders by force and fraud, were holding as their own, "I 
shall not be forward to think him mistaken in his methods," said 
Thoreau, "who quickest succeeds to liberate the slave." Can any 
method be found that could have done that work quicker than Brown's? 
Within six years of his execution there was not a slave held in bond- 
age in the United States; but for Brown's career it might have been 
sixty years before we reached that result. His attack and its conse- 
quences showed both North and South the gulf on whose brink they 
were standing. The infuriated slave masters made haste to break up 
the Union, which they saw might ultimately destroy their system. Put 
thus to the test, our millions of the North were not slow to say: 
"We choose Union without slavery, even at the cost of indefinite blood- 
shed, to any further union with slave masters and traitors." The ancient 
belief was again justified, that in battle that army must win in whose 
vanguard the first victim devoted himself to death. Led on by a fore- 
ordination he felt but did not understand, Brown gave his life for the 
cause destined to succeed. 

Unlike that French marshal who "spent a long life carrying aid to the 
stronger side," Brown lent his good sword to that which seemed the 
weaker, but which had God for its reserve. He was one of those rare 
types, easily passing into the mythical, to which belonged David, the 
shepherd; Tell, the mountaineer; Wallace, the outlaw; and Hofer, the 
Tyrolese innkeeper. Born of the people, humble of rank and obscure 
in early life, these men (if men they all were) drew toward them 

Some Connecticut Abolitionists. 73 ^ 

the wrath of the powerful, the love of the multitude; they were 
hunted, prisoned, murdered, — but every blow struck at them only made 
them dearer to the heart of the humble. By these, and not by coteries 
of scholars in their libraries, the fame of heroes is established. In 
heroes, faults are pardoned, crimes forgotten, exploits magnified — their 
life becomes a poem or a scripture — they enter on an enviable earthly 

Foot Notes.— William H. Russell, the father of Mr. Talcott Russell of 
New Haven, was interested in John Brown's Kansas movement, and was 
one of the Sharpens Rifles men. John Brown took dinner at his house 
and Mr. Talcott Russell saw him as a boy. Brown's hair stood straight 
up then. 

Rev. A. F. Beard, D.D., LL.D., of Norwalk, Conn., the honorary 
secretary of the American Missionary Association and editor of the 
American Missionary Magazine, brought to a completion the work of the 
abolitionists. He was the statesman and scholar, who for a quarter of 
a century, as corresponding secretary of the American Missionary Asso- 
ciation shaped its policy regarding the Negro. He saw that the race 
question was to be solved not by the degradation but by the elevation of 
the black man, and recognized that the mind and heart, as well as the 
hand, must be trained. His address before the State Teacher's Asso- 
ciation at Scotia Seminary, Concord, N. C, in June, 1904, inspired all 
who were present by its buoyant hopefulness and lofty idealism. His 
kindly sympathy has cheered many a struggling teacher and preacher 
in the South. Rev. C. J. Ryder, D.D., the corresponding secretary, with 
a virile manly personality, and the late H. W. Hubbard, treasurer, a 
business man with a martial spirit and humane heart, were associated 
with Dr. Beard for over a score of years. 



A Word Concerning Charles Sumner — Hon. Charles Sumner 
Bird and Frank K. Bird's Connection with Charles Sumner. 

The Greeks and Romans revered their heroes, deified them 
and called them demi-gods. The Hebrews harked back to the 
prophets. The reason is because great men reveal the possibili- 
ties of the human personality. They recreate their characters in 
the hearts or minds of the youth of the land. 

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, America's favorite poet, whose 
"Paul Revere's Ride" and "Building of the Ship" captivated 
school boys and girls of my day, in his memorable poem on 
"The Psalm of Life" said : 

Lives of great men all remind us. 
We can make our lives sublime, 
And departing leave behind us, 
Footprints on the sands of time. 

Footprints, that perhaps another, 
Sailing o'er life's troubled main, 
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother, 
Seeing shall take heart again. 

The poet has again well said : 

The paths by great men reached and kept. 
Were not attained by sudden flights, 
But they while their companions slept, 
Were toiling upwards in the night. 

Such a man was Charles Sumner. Like the noble Gracchi of 
Rome, he and Wendell Phillips were aristocrats who championed 
the cause of oppressed humanity. With his Puritan ancestry, 
his Harvard culture, his lucrative practice, and the impression 
produced by his Fourth of July and Phi Beta Kappa addresses, 
a brilliant career was offered Sumner. But he and Phillips 
sacrificed ease and social popularity for the poor slave. The 
civilizations of the North and the South were at variance. The 

Charles Sumner and Frank K. Bird. 733 

fundamental ideas underlying the American and French revolu- 
tions were at variance with human slavery. 

The great God-like Daniel Webster compromised in his speech 
of March 7, 1850. The noble Seward would denounce slavery 
and pinch snuff with the slave holders afterwards. What was 
needed in the United States Senate was a man of brains and 
personality who was an uncompromising idealist. Such a man 
was Charles Sumner. Ex-Governor Curtis Guild of Massachu- 
setts, in his splendid Centennial address in Faneuil Hall, January, 
191 1, thought that Sumner was too severe. But nothing less than 
a rugged adamantine spirit like Sumner could cope with Ameri- 
can slavery, whose aggressive upholders were entrenched in the 
press, pulpit and public opinion of the land. A weaker character 
would have been like putty in the hands of the Southern 

To his last, Sumner was the bosom friend of a colored inan, 
the late George T. Downing of Newport, R. I., who was by his 
bedside when Sumner died beseeching Judge Rockwell Hoar 
not to let his civil rights bill fail. 

Sumner's speech on "The Grandeur of Nations," indicates 
that his intellect was massive and his scholarship profound. His 
powerful intellect was backed by a colossal physique and sus- 
tained by the moral strength of a Hampden. With his lofty 
stature, his noble brow, his thoughtful eyes, his grave, serious 
but kindly face, Sumner was a majestic specimen of the Divine, 
incarnated in the flesh. Paul was the hero of the apostolic cru- 
sade; Luther of the Protestant Reformation; Cromwell of the 
Puritan Reformation ; and Mirabeau of the French revolution 
prelude. But there was no one hero of the anti-slavery cru- 
sade, but a group of heroes. Seldom has such a brilliant and 
versatile body of men and women consecrated their talents and 
gifts to a single cause. Garrison, with Calvin's moral ardour; 
Phillips, one of the most graceful and forceful orators known 
to history ; Sumner, a profound statesman and scholar ; Harriet 
Beecher Stowe, who sent her name as a novelist around the 
civilized world; Henry Ward Beecher and Theodore Parker, 
the most powerful American preachers of their day and genera- 
tion ; Samuel Ringgold Ward and Frederick Douglass, the two 
greatest orators the Negro race has ever possessed; George 

734 ^/^^ African Abroad. 

Luther Stearns and Gerrit Smith, two philanthropists, and 
John Brown, a Cromwell in the rough — these were the heroes 
of the anti-slavery movement. 

And then there were, too, talented and gifted writers and 
speakers, like Julia Ward Howe, Edna D. Cheney, Lucretia 
Mott, Lidia Maria Child, Mary Livermore, Maria White, John 
Greenleaf Whittier, Lowell, Longfellow, Parker, Pillsbury, Rev. 
Samuel May, Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Frank B. 
Sanborn, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thomas Starr King, the most 
magnetic preacher of the West; and men potent in politics like 
Frank A. Bird, Gov. John A. Andrews and Anson Burlin- 
game, lending their talents and prestige to the cause. 

Then there was a Lincoln, a wise pilot to calmly guide the 
destinies of the country during the Civil War, and generals 
like Grant, Sumner, Sheridan, and Meade, to lead the army, 
and an admiral like Farragut to lead the navy to victory ; Erick- 
son with his Monitor, called the cheese box; Benjamin Butler 
with his eagle insight and "contraband of war" phrase, and 
nearly two hundred thousand brave, black soldiers to rush in in 
the very thick of the conflict. Was it any wonder that the 
conscience of the country was aroused and that victory finally 
perched on the banners of the Stars and Stripes ? 


The presidential campaign of 19 12 was remarkable from 
the fact that the colored voters were perplexed and in doubt 
as to which one of the presidential candidates was the best friend 
of the colored race. But Mr. Charles S. Bird, the Progressive 
candidate for Governor of Massachusetts, was a man of such 
strength of mind and grandeur of soul, that I must pause a 
moment in my chronicle of the deeds and achievements of the 
black man to say a word regarding him. 

Foot Note. — The late Mrs. Alice Freeman Palmer, the late Mrs. 
Estelle M. H. Merrill and the late Mrs. Joshua Kendall of Cambridge 
were three ladies who perpetuated the noble spirit of Harriet Beecher 
Stowe and were friendly to the higher aspiration of the colored race. 

Charles Sumner and Frank K. Bird. 735 

It was my g-ood fortune to meet a few of the anti-slavery 
leaders and to meet some descendants of other abolitionists, 
and I discovered that while kindly disposed towards the colored 
man, many had lost the ardent faith in the black man's capaci- 
ties and possibilities which their fathers had. 

A few, however, and among" them Mr. Charles S. Bird of 
East Walpole, Mass., included the colored brother in their opti- 
mistic faith in humanity's future. I met Mr. Bird in the spring 
of 1912 and had quite an interview with him. I was first 
impressed with his intellectual powers as he expressed his views 
upon public men and public questions. His conversation indi- 
cated that he had a comprehensive grasp upon the modern indus- 
trial, economic, political, social and educational problems, that 
his mind was of statesmanlike caliber and that he combined the 
statesman's grasp of the whole, with the business man's mastery 
of detail. 

Finally his conversation drifted to the working man and the 
Negro, and then I was impressed with his faith in humanity, 
his sympathy with the black man's striving and his faith in the 
black man as a part of humanity. As I rode back to Boston, 
I thought of the interview that I had had with the brilliant, 
forceful and magnetic manufacturer. His creed might be sum- 
med up, "Every man, whether the son of an aristocrat or the 
son of a ditch-digger or the son of a slave, every man regard- 
less of his race, color, rank or religion should have a chance to 
rise in life and develop all that is highest and best in himself." 
And this I believe was the creed of Wendell Phillips, Charles 
Sumner and Phillips Brooks. 

That my estimate of Mr. Bird is no picture of fancy or dream 
of the imagination, may be gleaned from the following account, 
from the pen of Frank B. Sanborn, of Mr. Bird's father's con- 
nection with Charles Sumner and the anti-slavery cause. Mr. 
Sanborn was a staunch friend of John Brown and he has ever 
remained a staunch friend of the colored race, and his endorse- 
ment carries great weight. This is what Mr. Sanborn says : 


Francis William Bird, the father of the candidate for Governor of 
Massachusetts, was one of the earliest, most faithful and most trusted 
friends of Charles Sumner, and did more than any other single person, 

736 The African Abroad. 

unless it were his friend Henry Wilson, to make the first election of 
Sumner possible. He supported him in every reelection, and stood by 
him when his own Republican party in Massachusetts, under the lead 
of General Butler and the Ames family, gave a vote of censure on 
Sumner for one of the wisest acts of his public life, which the State 
afterwards rescinded from very shame. 

Like Sumner, F. W. Bird was bred a Whig, when the Massachusetts 
Whigs were anti-slavery as they were in 1838. When, under the treach- 
erous lead of Webster, the Whigs became pro-slavery, as practically 
they did in 1848, Mr. Bird joined Sumner, Wilson and C. F. Adams in 
leaving the Whig party and laying the anti-slavery foundation of the 
Republican party of 1854. It was this revolt from Webster's pro-slavery 
policy, calling itself the Free Soil party, that made Sumner's first elec- 
tion possible. 

Mr. Bird was the most effective promoter of the nomination and elec- 
tion of Governor Andrew in the autumn of i860, when Andrew was 
attacked as the friend of John Brown, and he supported all the emanci- 
pation measures of Andrew and Sumner and Abraham Lincoln. He was 
one of the founders and supporters of the Boston Commonwealth, which 
was started in 1862 to promote emancipation, and which I helped edit 
for five years from that time, until the emancipation policy was fully 
established, and the enlistment of Negro soldiers had aided in putting 
down the pro-slavery rebellion, as Lincoln always meant it should. 

When the enemies of Sumner displaced him from the head of his 
Senate committee, and did what they could to expel him from the 
Republican party that he had helped to create, as Mr. Bird had, Mr. 
Bird and his friends became an independent party, and so continued 
until Sumner's death in 1874. They assisted every effort for the instruc- 
tion and protection of the freedmen, favored Negro suffrage as a meas- 
ure to avoid the evils of military government in the South, and continued 
to support it while false Republicans allowed the white race there to 
usurp the full control, and disfranchise the Negro voters in most of the 
rebel States. 

Mr. Bird, Senior, named his son for Sumner, and he has steadily fol- 
lowed the anti-slavery principles of his father. Without taking a very 
active part in politics, as his father did, he has favored all measures of 
good government, and always opposed the swindling tariff, which has 
made of our old party of freedom a party of privilege and plutocracy. He 
has, like his father and all honest manufacturers, done justly by the 
hundreds in his employ, and will be voted for this year by thousands who 
know the difference between those who favor the interests of labor and 
principle, and those who make that cause a steppingstone to office. I 
voted for his father for Governor in 1872, when he took the place of Sum- 
ner as a candidate, with no chance of election; and I shall vote for the 
son this year, in spite of some difference of opinion on the merits of 
other men, because I see some chance of his election, in the present chaos 
of factions. I hope every colored citizen of the State will do the same; 

Charles Sumner and Frank K. Bird. 737 

for that oppressed class of our voters have no better friend than Charles 

Sumner Bird. 

F. B. Sanborn. 
Concord, Mass., Sept. 21, 1912. 

The New York Sun took issue with Mr. Bird during the campaign and 
poked fun at him and his godfather, Charles Sumner. Mr. James R. 
Magenis, a Boston attorney, wrote a letter to the Sun, which eloquently 
paid tribute to the greatness of Mr. Bird and which was printed on the 
editorial page of the Sun with an editorial comment. The letter follows: 

To the Editor of The Sun: — 

Sir : The charm of the Sun of the past twenty-five years was that 
it would have its laugh and its gibe whether it invented a character to 
poke fun at, or took a figure in actual life to drape its humor on. The 
result has been that readers have learned your editorial page was replete 
with good nature, and if at times it was apparently too captious and 
critical of public men, it was evident good-natured raillery was the only 
indiscretion of which the Suji could be charged. 

The Sun of to-day is much the Sun of old except it seems to me that 
it has lost a deal of its good nature. The name Roosevelt is too much 
of a nightmare with you, and for that reason, perhaps, you are a little 
imjust to the Progressive candidate for governor of Massachusetts. You 
do not know Mr. Bird. If you did you would treat him differently. 
Charles Sumner Bird is an exceptional man in many respects. He is inde- 
pendently wealthy, is a money-maker as a paper-maker, who, in his 
early years worked twelve hours per day, in his father's mills, and then 
and there learned that the cooperation of labor with capital was not 
properly appreciated by the latter. When he became manager of the mills 
he abolished twelve hours as a day's work, ran the mills twenty-four hours 
each day, placed three shifts of men at work, and placing each man on an 
eight-hour day, for which he paid him twelve-hour pay. He found by 
experience that three shifts of men, each on an eight-hour basis, were 
better for the men and better for the business. It was economically and 
humanely correct. That is the rule of his employment to-day, and he now 
controls four mills. 

Again, when a man dies, having served Charles Sumner Bird as an 
employee, and it appears that there is a dependent widow with orphans, 
the salary of the dead man continues on the pay roll and is charged 
up against the maintenance charges of the business. No better epitaph 
can be written of any capitalist than the relatively recent words of Mr. 
Bird, addressing a widowed mother of a small family: "As long as 
you are Dan Costello's widow you will draw Dan Costello's pay." That 
statement illuminates Charles Sumner Bird, in whose mills there never 
has been a strike or even a serious discussion of labor problems. 

Another feature of this kind of employer, whom the Sun would have 
us see through its funny glasses. When an old employee becomes super- 

738 The African Abroad. 

annuated and is retired, he goes out of the mills but his name continues on 
the pay roll as long as he lives. "An honest business should be honest to 
the men who have given the best they had in life to its service," says 
Mr. Bird. 

This is the Progressive candidate for governor of Massachusetts. He 
believes in conservation of property, industry and the home, just as the 
Sun does, but he believes in the conservation of men, women and children 
first. You and he do not differ fundamentally only in those particulars 
where he reads out of the "Book of Life" a solemn, bounden obligation 
as a neighbor, which some of our later-day captains of industry have 
apparently overlooked. 

Let us laugh with the Sun. We Bostonians love it for its sparkling 
brightness, we laugh with it at times, and again, at other times we laugh 
at it. Your Roosevelt discussions are far from discouraging. Ten years 
hence they will be positively humorous. Nevertheless the Sun is a light 
of good nature well worth keeping in view. It certainly cannot be charged 
with agreeing with its readers for the money that it makes. 

James P. Magenis. 
Boston, Mass., October 4, 1912. 

Foot Notes. — Other Massachusetts citizens have also distinguished 
themselves by their generous aid to the colored brothers. Ex-Senator 
Winthrop Murray Crane of Dalton, Mass., not only by his wisdom and 
sagacity became, like the late O. H. Piatt of Connecticut, a leader in the 
United States Senate, but he will also live in Massachusetts history as a 

Hon. Alexander McGregor, the treasurer and manager of the famous 
Houghton & Button's store of Boston, was the son of a poor Canadian 
minister. By his brains, pluck, manliness and magnetism, he has risen 
from the ranks and become a potent figure in the business and political 
life of Massachusetts. He is a member of the Governor's Council and 
president of the Massachusetts Republican Club. He has given employ- 
men to colored men and women and has been ever generous to deserving 
causes and individuals. 

The country knows of the interest of the Stokes family too in colored 
education, and of the public spirit of Rev. Anson Phelps Stokes, Secretary 
of Yale University. Recently the family has contributed a generous 
sum, about $5,000 or $10,000, I believe, to enable Dr. Thomas Jesse Jones 
of the Bureau of Education to investigate the subject of Negro education. 


The Negro in Politics. 

History has witnessed two events during the past fifty years 
that make the marvels and wonders of the Arabian Nights pale 
into insignificance. That a race of barbarous, warring, feudal 
states could, within half a century, absorb and assimilate the 
complex European civilization, evolve into a formidable fighting 
force and crush on sea and land the mighty Russian Bear, who 
was dreaded by England, France and Germany, is a miracle of 
human history that is as marvelous as the rise of Mohammedanism 
and as unique as the battle of Marathon. Yet that is what the 
little island of Japan has done. That a race of African savages 
could, within half a century from its emergence from slavery, 
where it was regarded and treated as beasts of burden, absorb 
and assimilate the most complex civilization that the world has 
yet seen, and produce distinguished philosophers, theologians, 
scientists, mathematicians, linguists, orators, preachers, artists, 
poets, musicians and statesmen, that it could start out on its 
career of freedom hardly owning the brogans on its feet and 
in the short space of fifty years accumulate over a billion dol- 
lars worth of real and personal property, is another miracle of 
human history. That is what the Negro race in America has 

History delights in contrasts. The story of how Abraham Lin- 
coln, a rail splitter, James Garfield, a tow path boy, became presi- 
dents of the greatest republic known to history; the story of 
how Joseph, sold into slavery, became the virtual ruler of Egypt ; 
of how Napoleon Bonaparte, a charity student, became the 
dreaded warrior-statesman who changed the map of Europe and 
had kings and queens waiting in his ante-chambers, has ever 
delighted the minds of men. 

Equally marvelous is the rise of the Negro from slavery to 
the Senate chambers, from the farm to the judicial benches. 
That black men before the beginning of the Civil War were held 
as chattel slaves, were sold on the auction block, were picking 

74° The African Abroad. 

cotton and plowing the ground, and were so illiterate that they 
could not even sign their own names or read the Proclamation 
of Emancipation, could within a dozen years of their emanci- 
pation from bondage administer law as justices, hold important 
administrative positions as lieutenant-governor, secretary of state, 
or sit in the halls of Congress side by side with eminent American 
statesmen, side by side with the senators and congressmen of 
cultured Boston and rich New York, and could conduct them- 
selves with such grace and dignity, and manifest such sound 
judgment and good sense that they could win high praises from 
such distinguished Americans as James G. Blaine, one of the most 
magnetic orators, one of the most popular political leaders, and 
one of the most masterful statesmen that ever figured in Ameri- 
can politics ; from Roscoe Conkling, a modern Pericles, an orator 
who made the Senate chamber ring with his eloquence as it has 
never done since the days of the royal Daniel Webster ; and from 
James A. Garfield, the martyr president, is one of the miracles 
of human history. 

In this age, when Andrew Carnegie is dotting the country with 
his public libraries; when the standard works of the world's 
greatest writers are sold in paper covers for twenty-five cents ; 
when the Sunday edition of the city newspapers retail general 
information, it is difficult for us to realize the position and con- 
dition of the Negro slave. The South, with that political sagacity 
which has ever characterized her policy with regard to the 
Negro, realized that knowledge is power, that to educate the slave 
was to make him intelligent, was to make him dissatisfied with 
his status as a slave, and that the only method to keep the Negro 
in slavery was to keep him ignorant. The relative of his owner, 
Colonel Edward Floyd, who lived in Baltimore and to whom 
young Fred Douglass was sent as a boy, objected to his wife 
teaching Fred to read, saying, "If you give a Negro an inch, 
he will take an ell," and the rest of the saying is, "If you give 
him a horse he will ride to hell." 

Hence, the South adopted repressive measures to prevent the 
Negro slave from learning the three R's. It was regarded as 
a crime for one slave to be caught teaching another slave to read. 
And it was regarded as a grave and serious offense for a slave 
to be caught reading and writing. The State of Georgia passed 

The Negro in Politks. 741 

laws in the ante-bellum days punishing a white man by fine and 
imprisonment, and a black man by whipping and imprisonment, 
who was caught teaching a slave to read and write. The slaves 
gathered secretly and covertly in cabins at night and in odd 
corners of the big house, and the knowing ones initiated the 
ignorant ones into the mysteries of the alphabet. They pondered 
over the sacred book as if they were reading the sibylline leaves of 
the Delphic oracles. Fred Douglass picked up leaves of readers 
and spelling books in the gutters of the streets, dried them and 
thus learned to read. Such were the obstacles the slaves had to 
overcome in gaining the rudiments of an education. Is it a 
wonder that he emerged from slavery ignorant and illiterate? 
That he could so rapidly rise from the slave pen to the pinnacle 
of power is one of the miracles of history. 

Hiram R. Revells and Blanche K. Bruce of Mississippi were 
the two colored men who were honored by a seat in the United 
States Senate. John M. Langston of Virginia; D. A. Haros, 
H. P. Cheatam and George W. White of North Carolina ; Robert 
Smalls, Richard Rowland, Robert C. DeLarge, Robert B. Elliott, 
Joseph H. Rainey, W. J. Whipper, Alonzo J. Ransier, Thomas 
E. Miller, and George Murray of South Carolina ; Jere Haralson, 
James F. Rapier and Benjamin S. Turner of Alabama; Josiah T. 
Walls of Florida and John R. Lynch of Mississippi went to the 
House of Representatives; P. B. S. Pinchback, Oscar J. Dunn 
and C. C. Antoine became lieutenant-governors of Louisiana ; 
Alonzo J. Ransier and Richard H. Gleaves of South Carolina, 
and Alexander Davis of Mississippi. Francis L. Cordoza 
became treasurer of the State of South Carolina, and, considering 
the fact that the governor was a weak man, he did remarkably 
well. Gibbs became secretary of state and superintendent of 
education in the State of Florida. For nearly a decade the carpet 
baggers and colored political leaders were monarchs of all that 
they surveyed in South Carolina, Florida and Louisiana. Robert 
Brown Elliott became the speaker of the House in South Caro- 
lina. The colored legislators, with their mahogany tables, brus- 
sels carpets and their Dresden china cuspidors, lived like lords in 
the Columbia State House. They laid back in rocking chairs, 
smoking their imported cigars. They verily believed that the 
millennium had come. Those were indeed the years of jubilee. 

742 The African Abroad. 

I have often heard Governor Pinchback refer to those days as 
the pahny reconstruction days. 

The National Government, too, honored the Negro with impor- 
tant federal positions. Colored men were appointed as United 
States ministers to Hayti, San Domingo, Liberia ; as register of 
the treasury and recorder of deeds for the District of Columbia. 

They were appointed as postmasters in Kittrell and Wilson, 
N. C. ; Florence, Beaufort and Georgetown, S. C. ; Darien, Ga., 
and Vicksburg, Miss. They were appointed as internal revenue 
collectors in Augusta, Ga., and Jacksonville, Fla. They were 
appointed as collectors of the port and customs in Wilmington, 
N. C, Georgetown and Beaufort, S. C, and Brunswick, Darien, 
and Savannah, Ga. 

Colored men were pushing to the front, both in the North and 
West. E. G. Walker and Captain Charles Mitchel went to the 
state legislature in Massachusetts, George W. Williams went to 
the state legislature in Ohio, and a host of others followed. 
Governor Benjamin Butler appointed E. G. Walker, a black 
Democrat, a successful lawyer with many white clients, and an 
orator of imposing personality, to the judgeship in Charlestown, 
Mass. The governor's council, composed of Republicans, refused 
to confirm him. The governor thereupon sent in the name of 
George L. Ruffin, who was confirmed, and a colored man began 
to administer the law as city judge in Charlestown. William H. 
Dupree was appointed postmaster of the Roxbury Station in 
Boston, Mass., and Rev. Mahlon VanHorn for a dozen years 
served as a member of the board of education in Newport, R. I., 
being chairman of the text book committee most of the time. 

So sudden and miraculous was the Negro's political rise in 
the first twelve years after his emancipation that optimistic col- 
ored leaders like Frederick Douglass and George T. Downing 
expected to see a colored man a member of the President's 
Cabinet. George T. Downing even aspired to the position of 
collector of the Port of Newport, R. L, the summer colony first 
of the Boston aristocrats and later of the New York multi- 

The most buoyant and hopeful colored man would not dream 
now-a-days of putting in a bid for the position of collector of cus- 
toms in the fashionable summer colony. In these days of the 

The Nei^ro in Politics. 743 


disfranchisement and subordination of the Negro, we can have no 
conception of the roseate poHtical future before the Negro, of the 
hope and enthusiasm among colored men, in the pahny reconstruc- 
tion days from 1865 to 1880. Of the large number of talented col- 
ored men who came before the limelight and loomed into view then, 
ten became men of national fame. Seven of these demonstrated the 
possibilities of the self-made, three the possibilities of the edu- 
cated, Negro. These ten men were Frederick Douglass, George 
T. Downing, General Robert Smalls, Senator Blanche K. Bruce, 
Hiram R. Revells, Wright Cuney, Lieutenant-Governor P. B. S. 
Pinchback, John Mercer Langston, Hon. Robert Brown Elliott, 
and Hon. D. E. Bassett. As I have already taken up the careers 
of Frederick Douglass and George T. Downing, I will not speak 
of them here, but will refer to the others. 

It was fortunate for the Negro that the first colored man who 
applied for admittance to the House of Representatives, and the 
first colored man who entered the United States Senate were 
remarkable men. There happened to be a vacancy in the second 
Congressional District of Louisiana in the fall of 1868. At the 
election on November 3, 1868, J. Willis Menard, a college grad- 
uate of unquestioned ability and high character, was declared by 
Governor Warmouth as duly elected to fill the vacancy. On 
December 7, 1868, he presented himself on the floor of the House 
of Representatives, made his plea for admission, and was turned 
down and rejected by an overwhelming majority by a body which 
was largely Republican. 

Mr. A. K. McClure, in the Boston Sunday Herald for January 
5, 1902, graphically describes the entrance of Hiram R. Revells, 
whose credentials were presented in the Senate by Senator Wil- 
son of Massachusetts. McClure says : 

In less than two years the Negro again knocked for admission into 
Congress, and this time he stood at the door of the Senate. In Jan- 
uary of 1870, Hiram R. Revells, a full-blooded Negro, a man of much 
more than common ability and of unblemished integrity, was elected to the 
Senate to fill an unexpired term by the Mississippi Legislature. It was 
accepted as the irony of fate that this Negro leader should be chosen to 
fill the vacancy in the United States Senate that had been created by the 
resignation of Jefferson Davis at the beginning of the war. Mr. Revells 
was a Methodist minister, highly respected, and one of the most prominent 
and useful of the colored leaders of the South. On the 25th of January, 

744 ^^^ African Abroad. 

five days after his election, he appeared in Washington, and the Repub- 
Hcan leaders of the first legislative tribunal were in consternation at the 
threatened advent of the Negro in the Senate. Republican senators 
invented many excuses for rejecting the credentials with the Negro behind 
them; but on the 25th of February Charles Sumner delivered one of 
the ablest speeches of his life in defence of the rights of the Negro, 
resulting in the admission of Revells by a decided majority. Thus on 
the 25th of February, 1870, the first Negro entered our National Legis- 
lature, when Hiram R. Revells was qualified as United States Senator, 
and during his term of a little more than one year, he enjoyed the soli- 
tude that was broken by very few of his fellow senators in social inter- 
course, even on the floor of the Senate. I met Senator Revells when he 
was a member of the Senate and was very much interested in him as 
the first representative of his race in our National Congress. He was 
a man of rather imposing presence, severely unassuming, intelligent. 
He was sincerely devoted to the elevation and improvement of his race 
on the highest lines of advancement and he probably did more than any 
one of his race in his day in smoothing the thorny pathway for his 
people in the South. 

Ten years after Revell's retirement from the Senate I visited the capitol 
of Mississippi and there met the late Senator George, who was then sena- 
tor-elect, with the governor of the State and a number of other prominent 
officials. I was equally surprised and gratified to hear from them that 
ex-Senator Revells was doing a great work in Mississippi as president of 
a college for colored students, and that he was very highly respected and 
his work was so well appreciated that the State of Jefferson Davis, who 
was then living, contributed annually and liberally to maintain the 
institution. Revells was later one of the guests at the dedication of the 
Providence Depot in Boston and delivered an address. 

Of our political leaders, evolved in reconstruction days, Wright 
Cuney of Texas and Governor P. S. Pinchback of Louisiana 
leaped into prominence through their ability to marshal and mass 
political forces and lead white and black alike. Tall, slender and 
light in complexion, brave, fearless, resourceful and magnetic, 
Cuney was for many years the dominant factor in Texas politics. 
Even when the Negro had lost his political grip in other sections 
of the South, Cuney kept his hands upon the throttle valve, and 
up to the time of his death, in the spring of 1898, was a power to 
be reckoned with. 

In the period of the Negro's ascendency in Louisiana, Pinch- 
back was absolute lord and monarch. No reconstruction leader, 
colored or white, was as completely the master of his situation as 
Pinchback was of Louisiana. And Louisiana's history during that 

The Negro in Politics. 745 

period could not be told without bringing- in the name of Pinch- 
back again. With a shrewd, gentle, kind and determined face, 
he looked like Andrew Carnegie. He manifested such genius in 
his leadership of white and black, such dash and brilliancy and 
personal bravery, that he might well be called the Napoleon of 
Louisiana. He was elected Lieutenant-Governor, and when 
Governor Warmouth was impeached, handled the reins as 

John Mercer Langston, R. Brown Elliott and E. D. Bassett 
were the most gifted of the educated colored leaders during the 
reconstruction days. Langston was born in Ohio, educated at 
Oberlin College and practiced law in Ohio and Virginia. He 
served creditably as Dean of Howard University Law School, 
United States Minister to Hayti and Congressman from Vir- 
ginia. He was a high-minded, high-spirited and high-toned aris- 
tocrat, and a polished and graceful orator. He was as proud as 
Lucifer and held his head high. He boasted of the aristocratic 
Caucasian blood that flowed in his veins. No Bostonian, prouder 
of the fact that his ancestors came over in the Mayflower, no 
Bourbon of the South, prouder of his Cavalier and Huguenot 
ancestry, referred more grandiloquently to his blue-veined blood 
than Langston did. He was, however, in spite of his vanity, 
brave and brilliant and noble. 

Robert Brown Elliott, next to Governor Daniel Y. Chamber- 
lain, the carpet-bagger, South Carolina's most prominent recon- 
struction figure, was an almost pure Negro, who graduated from 
the famous school of Eton in England. He returned to America 
and soon became a conspicuous figure in South Carolina politics. 
He went to Congress and immortalized himself by a two-hour 
speech upon the civil and political status of the Negro in reply 
to Stevens, Vice President of the Confederacy, that made an 
impression because of its comprehensive grasp of the Southern 
situation, its masterly analysis and impassioned eloquence. For 
nearly two hours he held the House of Representatives spell- 
bound. At the close of his speech. Congressmen and friends 
gathered round him for half an hour, congratulating him. The 
Associated Press heralded it over the country and Elliott awoke 
one morning to find himself famous. He resigned his seat in 
the House of Representatives to accept a position as speaker of 

746 The African Abroad. 

the House in South Carolina. After the overthrow of Governor 
Chamberlain and Republican rule, Elliott went to New Orleans 
to accept a political position there, but he bucked against Gover- 
nor Pinchback, met his Waterloo, and died in poverty. 

Hon. E. D. Bassett, appointed by President Grant as the first 
colored minister to Hayti, was born in the Nutmeg State and 
graduated from the New Britain State Normal School ; then he 
was tutored by Yale professors. He was for a time principal of 
the Institute for Colored Youth in Philadelphia. He made a 
splendid record both as educator and diplomat. Tall and well 
built, of light chestnut color, Bassett impressed everyone as being 
the embodiment of manliness and urbanity. He could speak 
German and French fluently. His travels, association with public 
men, and wide reading gave him a fund of anecdotes and made 
him a fascinating conversationlist. 

Dr. J. W. Thompson, United States Minister to Hayti, and 
James W. Trotter, Recorder of Deeds for the District of Colum- 
bia in Cleveland's first administration, kept up the pace set by 
Langston and Bassett. 

Some are inclined to point to the Negro's political activity dur- 
ing the reconstruction days as something to be shuddered at. 
But this is what the Hon. James G. Blaine, one of the political 
giants of the nineteenth century, says in his "Twenty Years in 
Congress" : 

The colored man, freed from slavery, attained the right of suffrage, 
and in due season was sent to Congress. Did harm result from it? 
Nay, was it not the needed demonstration of the freedom and justice 
of a republican government? If it be viewed simply as an experiment, 
it was triumphantly successful. The colored men took seats in both 
Senate and House, did not appear ignorant or helpless. They were as 
a rule earnest, ambitious men, whose public conduct as illustrated by Mr. 
Revells and Mr. Bruce in the Senate, and by Mr. Rapier, Mr. L3mch 
and Mr. Rainey, in the House, would be honorable to any race. -Coals of 
fire were heaped on the heads of their enemies, when the colored men 
in Congress, heartily joined in removing the disabilities of those who had 
been their oppressors. 

The martyr President, James Garfield, bore similar testimony 
in an address to colored voters who visited him soon after his 
nomination. This is what Garfield said of the colored leaders of 

The Negro in Politics. 747 

reconstruction days in an address to colored visitors, at Mentor, 
October 20, 1880: 

I have seen your representatives in Congress, one of them in the 
Senate, and I have seen them behave with such self-restraint, good sense, 
judgment, modesty and patriotism that it has given me new hope that 
all their brethren will continue to climb towards the light with every new 

Francis W. Halsey, in the introduction to the "Great Epoch 
in American History," says of the reconstruction : 

Under these conditions there set in an extraordinary reign of crime 
to which modern times afford no parallel. Negro legislatures and plun- 
dering "carpet-baggers," with Federal troops helping them to maintain 
supremacy, debauched and made miserable the whole social, industrial and 
political life of the South. When their reign was over, there had been 
added to state debts a total sum of $300,000,000. It was estimated in 
1874 that in South Carolina at least 200 black men who could not read 
or write a word were trial justices, while others equally illiterate were 
superintendents of schools. 

So much for the evils of reconstruction. Now for the Tweed 
ring. On page 153 of the same book, E. Benjamin Andrews says : 

Innumerable methods of fraud were successfully tried. During the 
year 1863, the expenditures of the Street Department were $650,000. 
Within four years Tweed quadrupled them. A species of asphalt paving, 
dubbed "Fisk's poultice," so bad that a grand jury actually declared it 
a public nuisance, was laid in great quantities at vast cost to the city. 
Official advertising was doled to twenty-six daily and fifty-four weekly 
sheets, of which twenty-seven vanished on its withdrawal. But all the 
other robber enterprises paled before the City Court House job. This 
structure, commenced in 1868, under stipulation that it should not cost 
more than $250,000, was in 1871 still unfinished after an outlay of 
$8,000,000, four times as much as was spent on Parliament House in 
London. Its ostensible cost, at least, was not less than $12,000,000. As 
by witchcraft the city's debt was in two years more than doubled. The 
ring's operations cheated the city's taxpayers, first and last, out of no 
less than $160,000,000, "or four times the fine levied on Paris by the 
German army." Though wallowing in lucre, and prodigal withal, Tweed 
was yet insatiably greedy. "His hands were everywhere, and everywhere 
they were feeling for money." In 1871 he boasted of being worth 
$20,000,000, and vowed soon to be as rich as Vanderbilt. 

Thus the same book which calls the reconstruction "an extra- 
ordinary reign of crime to which modern times affords no 

748 The African Abroad. 

parallel," states that while the state debt in over a dozen states 
in eleven years increased $300,000,000 under reconstruction, the 
Tweed ring in four years robbed a single city of over $160,- 
000,000. So the horrors of reconstruction pale into insignificance 
before the colossal and wholesale grafting of the Tweed ring. 
And yet the immigrants and sons of immigrants who made possi- 
ble Tweed's power were not disfranchised. And I believe that 
the graft in San Francisco was as notorious as the reconstruc- 
tion graft, and yet the voters who made it possible were not 

Professor Albert Bushnell Hart of Harvard University, an 
eminently fair and impartial historian, has disproved the assertion 
that colored legislators and executives fleeced South Carolina of 
enormous sums and turned state treasuries into bonanza mines 
during the period of their ascendency. In a letter to the editor 
of the Boston Transcript, March 4, 1906, he says : "Boss Tweed 
in New York, in 1 869-1871 squeezed out more millions than 
were stolen in the entire South" (during reconstruction days). 
It is the fad to cast upon the canvas the bugbear of Negro domi- 
nation and misrule during the palmy reconstruction days. I 
believe that the Negro politicians who forged to the front during 
those days were by no means fools. Many of them were men of 
considerable education and ability. The average black voter gave 
as good account of himself as the ignorant foreigners, who make 
up the rank and file of Tammany Hall, and of the illiterate 
cracker who regards Governor Vardaman as a demigod. I 
don't believe the political corruption during those days equalled 
that of the Tweed ring, Tammany Hall, or certain phases of 
New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois (Chicago), Missouri and San 
Francisco politics. It is boldly asserted that the colored congress- 
men and politicians lined their pockets with thousands of dollars. 
General Robert Smalls of Beaufort. S. C, the hero of the Planter 
episode, and a typical reconstruction politician, was a political 
dictator during the early days of that period. He sat in Con- 
gress twelve years, and yet retired from his seat in Congress 
nearly $5,000 in debt. That would not indicate that he robbed 
South Carolina of thousands of dollars. On the contrary he 
had always been a generous and public-spirited citizen. I believe 
that it is the marvel of history that a race, as soon as it had 

The Negro in Politics. 749 

been emancipated from two hundred and fifty years of degrading 
and debasing slavery, should aspire to the highest and best things 
in American civilization, even to using mahogany tables, Brus- 
sels carpet and Dresden china cuspidors in the State capitol at 
Columbia, S. C, and should immediately comprehend and grasp 
the most complex political psychology that the world has yet seen. 

On account of the "Black Laws" passed by Southern legis- 
latures immediately after the war, the North was compelled to 
establish martial law and military rules in the South, enfranchise 
the Negro, or permit him to be reduced to helpless and hopeless 
peonage and serfdom. After some experience with the first and 
third of these alternatives, it chose the second as the least of 
these three possible evils. 

The thirteenth amendment to the Constitution was passed by 
Congress January 30, 1865, the act protecting the civil rights 
of the colored people, April 9, 1866, and fourteenth amendment, 
v/hich gave the Negro legal status, June 13, 1866. The famous 
Reconstruction Act, which placed the South under military law, 
was passed by Congress March 2, 1867. Mr. Blaine's amendment 
to the bill conferred the elective franchise upon the Negro. 
Georgia refused to admit the colored men who had been elected 
to her Legislature. On December 16, 1869, Congress passed a 
bill forbidding the exclusion of colored men from the Legisla- 
ture. The fifteenth amendment, which gave the Negro an assured 
political status, was ratified March 30, 1870. 

Tennessee ratified the thirteenth and fourteenth amendments 
and was restored to her place in the Union on July 23, 1868; 
North Carolina and South Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana and 
Georgia, June 25, 1868; Virginia, January 26; Mississippi, Feb- 
ruary 23; Texas, March 30, 1878. Charles Sumner, Henry 
Wilson, Thaddeus Stevens, George S. Boutwell, Roscoe Conkling, 
James G. Blaine, James A. Garfield, Carl Schurz, Benjamin F. 
Butler, Oliver P. Morton and John A. Logan were the leaders 
in the struggle which gave the Negro his legal and political status. 

But the South was as restless as an untamed horse. In Jan- 
uary, 1875, after General Grant and General Sheridan had frus- 
trated the Confederate leaders in their attempt to seize by force 
the government of Louisiana, through Thurman, Bayard, Hamil- 
ton, and Schurz, they attempted to storm the United States 

750 The African Abroad. 

Senate, and attacked General Grant and General Sheridan for 
using the military in organizing the Louisiana legislature. 

Then Senator Conkling, in a speech that will forever live in the 
annals of the Senate, crushed the entire conspiracy. Mr. Conk- 
ling thus concluded his memorable address : 

Mr. President, I have been speaking of history — the history of Louisi- 
ana. It is the statesman's task to turn history into philosophy and 
prophecy. The modes adopted in New York and Louisiana are widely 
unlike; there is a broad difference between them. Whence comes this 
difference? In what is it rooted? Four million black men are the great 
factors in the problem. When the fate of the nation trembled in the 
wavering balance of war they struck no blows at the Republic; they 
stood by the flag; they prayed for it; they toiled for it; and they 
fought for it. The American people said they should be free and be 
citizens; and the American people embedded their will in the bulwarks 
of the Constitution. The Nation forgave its enemies and left the ballot 
and the right of self-government to them. But the same Nation, at the 
same time, conferred the ballot and the right of self-government on 
those who, galled by centuries of oppression, had still been true in the 
supreme hour, had won their liberty and their citizenship on gory fields 
of battle. Congress did not do this. The people did it. The people in 
the States, speaking through their State legislatures, put manhood, 
citizenship, the ballot, and equal rights for the black man into the 

There stands the amendments of freedom. The Nation is for them ; 
humanity is for them; God is for them; and political parties and revolu- 
tionists shall not prevail against them. A great body of men in the land 
shall not submit to them. Social equality is no part of them, but hate 
and pride rebel against them. This is the moral rebellion of to-day. 
Drop it in good faith, man-like, and the South will be tranquil in half 
a year." 

One of the most masterly expositions of the reasons which led 
to the passage of the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments to the 
Federal Constitution was given by the nephew of brave Parker 
Pillsbury, an anti-slavery advocate, who was thus graphically 
described by James Russell Lowell : 

Beyond, a crater in each eye ; 

Sways brown, broad-shouldered Pillsbury; 

Who tears up words, like trees by the root — 

A Theseus in stout cowhide boots, 

A terrible denouncer he ! 

Old Sinai burns unquenchably 

Upon his lips ; he might well be 

The Negro in Politics. 751 

A hot-blazing soul from fierce Judea, 
Habakkuk, Ezra or Hosea, 
His words burn as with hot iron searers, 
And might-more like he mounts his bearers. 
Spurring them like avenging fate ; or 
As Watterton his alligator. 

I refer to Hon. Albert E. Pillsbury, ex-attorney-general of 
Massachusetts, who has grappled as intelligently and cottrage- 
ously with the moral and political problems facing his day as 
did his famous uncle, the author of the acts of the anti-slavery 
apostles, who stood as an Ajax among the New England 

Hon. A. E. Pillsbury, at the close of his article upon "The 
War Amendments," in the North American Review for May, 
1909, said: 

At this distance from the reconstruction period, and after so long a 
systematic perversion of the facts, there is so much misapprehension or 
positive ignorance of the truth that it is worth recalling it. It was 
within the power of the dominant party to control the reconstructed 
states, if this had been its purpose, without the aid of a Negro vote. 
This was not its purpose. The fourteenth amendment went no further 
than to make the Negro a citizen, leaving him to be dealt with by the 
States as they might see fit; in the hope and belief that he would be 
fairly treated, and that some such scheme as President Lincoln proposed, 
of moderate and gradual extension of the suffrage by impartial tests 
to the best of the Negro race, would preserve order under white supre- 
macy and work out a peaceful and satisfactory solution of the problem, 
as it would have done if adopted. These liberal terms were flung back 
upon those who made them. The contemptuous rejection of the fourteenth 
amendment by all States of the late Confederacy, accompanied by a 
system of legislation remanding the Negro to servitude, in fact if not 
in law, betrayed a purpose toward him which could not be indulged 
consistently with the honor or the safety of the country. It also raised 
the direct issue whether the terms of reconstruction should be prescribed 
for those who had remained loyal to the Union. To this question there 
could be but one answer. This and this alone brought on the fifteenth 
amendment, which was in simple truth no more than the last necessary 
step in the process of suppressing rebellion. It does not confer the 
suffrage upon a single Negro. It forbids discrimination against him as 
a Negro, making suffrage to that extent impartial but not universal. 

Every assault upon it is evidence of a desire and purpose to exclude 
the Negro from the suffrage, whatever his character or qualification, 
solely because of his color, while admitting to it every white man however 
ignorant, worthless or depraved, and retaining, in open disregard of 

752 The African Abroad. 

the fourteenth amendment, the whole share of political power of which 
the disfranchised Negroes are despoiled. We have seen how the North, 
grateful to the Negro for his patriotic devotion to his country during 
the trying days of the civil war, rewarded him by clothing him with the 
panoply of citizenship and crowning him with the diadem of manhood 

But the South, though conquered by the sword, was never 
conquered in its inborn and innate desire to reduce the Negro to 
a position of absolute inferiority. It has persistently refused to 
abide by the results of the war. President Johnson, by his 
proclamation of amnesty and pardon, permitted the South to 
reconstruct the State governments. The Southern legislatures 
enacted the "Black Code" which ignored the Proclamation of 
Emancipation, the thirteenth amendment to the Constitution of 
the United States, and which practically reestablished slavery in a 
new form. James G. Blaine, in his "Twenty Years of Congress," 
says, in part, of the "Black Code" : 

That which was no offense in a white man was made a misdemeanor, 
a heinous crime, if committed by a Negro. Both in the civil and criminal 
code his treatment was different from that to which the white man was 
subjected. He was compelled to work under a series of labor laws 
applicable only to his own race. 

The laws of vagrancy were so changed as in many of their provisions 
to apply only to him, and under their operation all freedom of move- 
ment and transit was denied. The liberty to sell his time at a fair market 
rate was destroyed by the interposition of apprentice laws. Avenues of 
usefulness and skill, in which he might specially excel, were closed 
against him, lest he should compete with the white man. In short, his 
liberty in all directions was so curtailed that it was a bitter mockery to 
refer to him in the statutes as a freed man. 

The truth is that his liberty was merely a form and not a fact, 
and slavery was revived by the enactments of the State. Some 
of these enactments were peculiarly offensive, not to say atro- 
cious. In Alabama, which might serve as an example for the 
other rebellious states, stubborn or refractory servants who 
might loiter their time away were declared by law to be vagrants, 
and might be brought before a justice of the peace and fined 
fifty dollars, and in default of payment they might be hired out, 
on three days' notice, by the public notary, for the period of six 
months. No fair man could fail to see that the whole effect, and 
presumably the direct intent of this law, was to reduce the help- 

The Negro in Politics. 753 

less Negro to slavery for half of the year, a punishment which 
could be repeated whenever desired, a punishment sure to be 
desired for that portion of each recurring year when his labor 
was especially valuable in connection with the cotton crop, while 
for the remainder of the time he might shift for himself. 

By this detestable process the master had the labor of the ser- 
vant for a mere pittance, and even the pittance did not go to the 
servant, but was paid into the treasury of the county and thus 
relieved the white man from his proper share of taxation. There 
may have been more cruel laws enacted, but the statute books 
of the world might be searched in vain for one of meaner 

In Florida the laws resembled those of Alabama, but were, per- 
haps, more severe in their penalties. In the laws of South Caro- 
lina the oppression and injustice towards the Negroes w^ere con- 
spicuously marked. The restriction as to firearms, which was gen- 
eral to all the states, was especially severe. Perhaps the most 
radically unjust of the statutes was reserved for this State. 
The legislature enacted that no person of color should pursue 
the practice of art, trade or business of an artisan, mechanic or 
shopkeeper, or any other trade or employment besides that of 
husbandry, or that of a servant under contract for labor, until 
he should have obtained a license from the judge of a district 
court, which license was good for one year only. If the license 
was granted to the Negro to be a shopkeeper or peddler he was 
compelled to pay a hundred dollars a year for it, and if he 
v/ished to pursue the rudest mechanical calling he was compelled 
to pay a license fee of ten dollars. No such fee was enacted of 
the white men and no such fees were enacted of freed black men 
during the era of slavery. 

Mississippi followed in the general line of penal enactments 
prescribed in South Carolina, though her code was possibly 
somewhat less severe in deprivation to which the Negro was sub- 
ject. It was, however, bad enough to stir the indignation of 
every lover of justice. The legislature enacted a law providing 
that if the laborer should quit the service of his employer before 
the expiration of his term of service, without just cause, he should 
forfeit his wages for that year up to the time of quitting. Prac- 
tically, the Negro himself was never permitted to judge whether 

7 54 ^^^ African Abroad. 

the cause which drove him to seek employment elsewhere was 
just, the white man being the sole arbiter in the premises. 

Louisiana probably attained the worst eminence in this vicious 
legislation. At the very moment when the Thirty-ninth Con- 
gress was assembling to consider the condition of the Southern 
States and the whole subject of their reconstruction, it was 
found that a bill was pending in the Legislature of Louisiana 
providing that every adult freedman or woman should furnish 
themselves with a comfortable home with visible means of sup- 
port within twenty days after the passing of this act; and that 
every freedman or woman failing to obtain a home and support 
as thus provided should be immediately arrested by any sherif? 
or constable in any parish, or by the police officer in any city 
or town in said parish where said freedman might be, and by 
them delivered to the recorder of the parish and by him hired 
out, by public advertisement, to some citizen, being the highest 
bidder, for the remainder of the year. 

Such, in part, was the code of the Black Laws, which were 
rendered null and void by the fourteenth amendment. But the 
South spurned the fourteenth amendment, and then the fifteenth 
amendment was passed. Still the South was not conquered yet; 
members of the Klu Klux Klans, secret, oath-bound societies, 
disguised with masks and armed to the teeth, rode at night, com- 
mitted depredations and did their bloody work. They first rose 
in Louisiana and vented their wrath upon colored men and their 
white political sympathizers. Mr. Blaine said : "Over two thou- 
sand persons were killed, wounded or otherwise injured in 
Louisiana, within a few weeks of the Presidential election of 
1868." The State was overrun by violence, midnight raids, secret 
murders and open riots. In one parish the Klu Klux Klans 
killed and wounded over two hundred Republicans, hunting and 
chasing them for two days through the fields and swamps. 
Over twenty-five bodies were found in one place in the woods. 
Dr. William A. Sinclair on page 36 of his admirable book on the 
"Aftermath of Slavery," says: "The horrors of cruelties of the 
Klu Klux Klans in Louisiana were fully rivaled in Mississippi 
and more or less largely sustained in each of the Southern States." 

It is estimated by persons well acquainted with the situation 
that from forty to fifty thousand colored people, white loyalists 

The Negro in Politics. 755 

and Northern men were murdered in cold blood during this era. 
The reign of terror spread through the South and lasted several 
years. General Butler, a Southerner, gained the title of "Ham- 
burg Alassacre Butler" for his share in the Hamburg, S. C, riot, 
where colored men were shot down in cold blood. President 
Grant sustained Governor Daniel H. Chamberlain, the brilliant 
carpet-bag governor of South Carolina, with the United States 
troops. Then Rutherford B. Hayes was elected president. He 
withdrew the Federal troops. Daniel Chamberlain and Wade 
Hampton were the rival candidates for the gubernatorial chair 
in Columbia, S. C. It was a matter of doubt which was elected, 
and the Southern Confederates took possession of the State 
Capitol by force. 

The outraged public sentiment of the North protested against 
the wholesale shooting down of men at the polls, against the 
wholesale slaughter of human beings simply because they dared 
to vote the Republican ticket. Then the South proceeded to do 
by guile what she had been doing by force for over a score of 
years. Her first method was to prevent the Negro from voting. 
This she did with the shot gun and the Winchester rifle. Her 
second method was by constitutions. Mississippi led off, followed 
by South Carolina. Then came Louisiana, North Carolina, Vir- 
ginia and Alabama. In 1890 Mississippi, in 1895 South Carolina, 
in 1898 Louisiana, in 1900 North Carolina, in 1901 Virginia and 
Alabama adopted constitutional amendments disfranchising the 
Negro. \*ery curious were the devices whereby the ballot was 
left in the hands of the ignorant white men and taken from the 
Negro. Mississippi barred from the election franchise any per- 
son who was unable to read any section of the constitution or to 
understand it when read to him or give a reasonable interpreta- 
tion of it. Payment of a poll tax was also required. This under- 
standing clause left it to the discretion of the register, whether 
the applicant understood or did not understand the constitution. 
It made it possible for the brilliant and talented colored man to 
be disfranchised on the ground that they did not understand and 
could not interpret the constitution. 

South Carolina, in her constitutional amendment, excluded 
those voters who were unable to read or write any section of the 
constitution or to show they owned and paid taxes on property 

756 TJie African Abroad. 

which was assessed at $300 or more. This was quite reasonable. 
Louisiana amended its constitution in a similar manner. In 
addition, she had a grandfather clause, which made an exception 
of those whose fathers or grandfathers had voted previous to the 
Civil War. Thus a loophole was opened for the illiterate white 
man who could neither read nor write. 

North Carolina demands an educational but no property quali- 
fications. In the fall of 1908, the attempt to disfranchise the 
Negroes of Maryland and West Virginia was defeated at the 
polls. In the spring of 1910, a bill came up in the Maryland 
legislature which aimed at the wholesale disfranchisement of the 
Negro, in absolute defiance of the fifteenth amendment. 

Kentucky and Florida have not yet attempted to disfranchise 
the Negro. North Carolina at first seemed unafifected by this 
anti-Negro wave that was sweeping over the Southland. Colored 
men were potent in North Carolina politics and they ran things 
in Wilmington, N. C. Finally, in October, 1898, led by Ward well, 
500 armed men destroyed the Manley printing press, shot colored 
men down right and left, and took the government away from the 
Republicans by force. Clad in red shirts and brandishing their 
Winchesters, white Democrats rode over dififerent sections of the 
states and drove the Negroes out of politics. But before the 
vogue of disfranchising constitutions, the group of colored sena- 
tors and congressmen began to thin out. 

H. C. Cheatham of North Carolina, in the Fifty-second 
Congress, and G. W. Murray of South Carolina, in the Fifty- 
third and Fifty-fourth Congresses, had seats in the House of 
Representatives. Finally, George H. White of North Carolina 
stood alone in the Fifty-fifth and Fifty-sixth Congresses. In 
1903, when he retired from the House of Representatives, the 
Negro race had not a single representative in Congress. 

Colored men continued to hold diplomatic appointments abroad 
and Federal positions in Washington and the South, but the 
fight upon colored office-holders in the South was begun soon 
after Theodore Roosevelt became President, in the fall of 1901, 
and it reached its culmination in the spring of 1903. Thorpe and 
Wick were removed as postmasters of Kittrell and Wilson, N. C. 
Deas was removed from his position as United States marshal in 
South Carolina. The fight centered around the appointment of 

The Negro in Politics. 757 

Dt. Crum as collector of the Port of Charleston, S. C, and Miss 
Cox as postmistress at Indianapolis, Ind. Roosevelt stood by his 
guns and continued to stand by his appointment of Crum until 
he was confirmed by the Senate. The protest against Miss Cox 
was so vigorous that Roosevelt decided not to press the matter. 
He abolished the Indianapolis postoffice as a punishment to the 
Southern buckers. When Roosevelt retired from the Presidency, 
Crum, Joshua Wilson of Florence, S. C, Robert Smalls, Rucker, 
Deveaux and Judge Lee were holding important positions as col- 
lectors of ports and collectors of internal revenue or postmasters. 

President Taft, in his inaugural address, March, 1909, sounded 
the death knell of the colored man's political hopes, when he said 
that he would not appoint colored men to office where the white 
people of that community objected. That encouraged Tillman to 
protest against Dr. Crum. Pressure was then brought to bear 
upon Dr. Crum to induce him to resign. He and Mr. Rucker, 
collector of internal revenue at Augusta, Ga., were supplanted 
by white men. Deveaux, collector of the port of Savannah, 
Ga., died and his place was filled by a white man. At the time 
^\'oodrow Wilson took his seat, Joshua Wilson was still post- 
master at Florence, S. C. ; Bob Smalls was still collector of the 
Port of 'Beaufort, S. C, and Judge Lee was still cohector of 
internal revenue at Jacksonville, Fla. 

In the North the Negro still held his ground politically. Wil- 
liam Dupree held on as postmaster in South Boston. In the 
spring of 1903 W. H. Lewis was appointed assistant district 
attorney in Boston, Mass., and in 1910 was appointed assistant 
attorney-general by President Taft. In New York City, James 
D. Carr was appointed as assistant district attorney and assistant 
corporation counsel and Charles Anderson was appointed sur- 
veyor of the port. In Chicago, III, Mr. Barnett, the husband of 
the famous Ida B. Wells, and other colored men were appointed 
assistant district attorneys. 

We may conclude our survey of the Negro in politics by saying 
that the North and West have endeavored to embody the prin- 
ciples underlying the fifteenth amendment in their attitude 
towards the Negro, while the South at first openly defied the 
letter and spirit of the fifteenth amendment and is now trying to 
evade it by amendments to her State constitutions. 

758 The African Abroad. 

Mr. Pillsbury, in the concluding paragraph of the article to 
which we have already referred, admirably sums up the situation. 
He says : 

The dream of annulling the fifteenth amendment by judicial decree 
will never be realized, but the political question will be a source of dan- 
ger so long as it is left unsettled. If the people continue to ignore the 
injustice to the Negro, they will not always tolerate the injustice to them- 
selves. In the event of a Presidential election turning upon the thirty 
odd electorial votes now unlawfully controlled by the white South, is 
there any assurance or is it likely that the party in power would surrender 
possession of the government to a claimant under such a title? A con- 
troversy so arising, precipitated under such conditions, would shake the 
Federal structure to its foundations. To allow the country- to drift into 
such a situation is forbidden alike by patriotism and statesmanship. 

The fifteenth amendment is the Magna Carta of our political 
rights, the Ark of the Covenant of our political salvation. It car- 
ries with it political equality and political opportunity. It gives 
not only the right to vote but the right to go to Congress and 
represent this government in executive, judicial and diplomatic 
positions. Everything that makes a black man a man politically, 
everything that makes him a political unit, is contained in the 
fifteenth amendment. Until it shall be operative in the South, 
the declaration of independence is an iridescent dream. 

(From the Boston Globe.) 

Hon. Joseph C. Manning of Birmingham, Ala., spoke before the mem- 
bers of the Massachusetts Club at its weekly luncheon and meeting in 
Young's Hotel yesterday afternoon, and incidentally opened the eyes of 
the Republicans here as to political conditions in the Southern States. 
Ex-Gov. John L. Bates was present and William F. Garcelon, secretary 
of the organization, presided. 

Mr. Manning, who is widely known as a newspaper man, spoke about 
the political situation in the South and said that during the administra- 
tion of President Harrison the Republicans in the section took heart, went 
to the polls and accomplished something. He contrasted those times 
with the present. 

Under present conditions Republicans in the South, he said, feel that it 
is of no use to take much interest in politics, as out of 300,000 whites 
and 200,000 Negroes only 2,500 Negroes are registered in Alabama, 
although there are about 75,000 Negroes capable of casting an intelligent 
vote. Out of 500,000 possible voters in Alabama, all told, there are only 
about 125,000 registered. 

The Nezro in Politics. 759 


He spoke of the twelve Democratic Southern States with their 2,000,000 
colored men and 4,000,000 whites more than twenty-one years of age, of 
which number only 1,200,000 exercise the franchise, because the white 
Republicans in that part of the country feel forsaken and deserted by 
the Republicans of the North. He claimed the Bourbon repression is 
not exercised because of fear of the Negroes, but rather to prevent the 
whites who are Republican from obtaining control of the situation. 

Mr. Manning drew attention to the fact that the Bourbons have brought 
the Republicans around to the point of view of letting the South alone, 
and that they were glad to see Booker Washington brought into promi- 
nence in the North because the people of the North were thus made to 
believe that he is solving the problem of the South. 

The speaker said that while Booker Washington is doing good work 
with "his little institution with 1,500 students," there are ten or twelve 
great Southern states with 6,000,000 possible voters where the Negro 
is not advancing to his political rights because of the policy of "let the 
South alone," to which Northern Republicans have been assenting. 

He closed with an urgent plea to Republicans of the North to return 
to the old militant Republicanism of the Abraham Lincoln type and thus 
give heart and courage to the faltering and downcast Republicans of the 


Mr. A. K. McClure, in his article in the Boston Herald for 
January 5, 1902, pathetically tells of the beginning of the dis- 
franchisement, and indirectly shows what has been the South's 
mistake. He says : 

Universal Negro suffrage was first established in the District of 
Columbia, where Congress has supreme authority and a territorial govern- 
ment organized with legislative authorities, chosen largely by the enfran- 
chised freedman. A very few years made it an imperative necessity for 
Congress to disfranchise the entire people of the District of Columbia, 
to escape the ignorant and profligate rule of the Negro. 

I happened to be present in the gallery of the Senate when Senator 
Morton, the ablest all-round leader of the Republican party, made his 
final appeal against the passage of the bill repealing the right of suffrage 
in the District of Columbia. 

His appeal was unavailing, as he well knew, and the same Republican 
authority that had enfranchised the Negro under the very shadow of the 
capitol of the Nation was compelled to declare that his disfranchisement 
had become an imperious necessity to protect property and maintain 
social order. The Southern States, which have been ingenious in con- 
stitutional devices, practically disfranchised him in the capital city. 

I believe, however, that Mr. McClure is going- too far afield 
when he sees in a Republican Congress disfranchising the entire 

760 The African Abroad. 

District of Columbia, a precedent for the South disfranchising 
the Negro by the understanding and grandfather clause, and 
yet at the same time saving the illiterate white vote. 

Congress, however, made a mistake in lumping all of the 
Negroes, the intelligent and the illiterate, the good and the 
bad, the worthy and the unworthy, the high-toned and the low- 
toned, together and formulating a legislation that v/ould afifect 
the entire mass. The North has since been discriminating in 
its estimate of the Negro, but the South has carried out that 
mistake with a vengeance. 

The North now largely judges a colored man with regard to 
his individual character ; but the South considers the Negro as 
belonging to a certain class, and it groups all colored men 
en masse in a certain class and legislates against that certain 
class. In order to hit the illiterate, unworthy, bad, and low- 
toned Negro, it hits the intelligent, worthy, good and high-toned 
class, at the same time. Because some Negroes are ignorant the 
South desires to disfranchise all ; because some Negroes are 
vicious, the South Jim-Crows all. No legislation either for or 
against the Negro will be effective that fails to discriminate 
between the civilized and semi-barbarous Negro. No solution of 
the so-called race problem will be a real solution which attempts 
to give the same kind of treatment to the high Negro that should 
be meted out to the low. The South does not realize this. 

Foot Notes. — Senator Joseph Benson Foraker in his address before the 
Chautauqua Association at Bellefontaine, Ohio, July 27, 1907, gave a 
splendid resume of the conditions that brought about the passage of the 
thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth amendments to the Federal Con- 
stitution and a brilliant vindication of Reconstruction. Those w^ho 
desire a fuller discussion of the subjects discussed in this chapter can 
find it in Dr. William A. Sinclair's work, "The Aftermath of Slavery," 
which I regard as an able contribution to American History. 

Since Woodrow Wilson has been elected president, Lewis has been 
removed from the position of assistant attorney general ; Bob Smalls 
has been supplanted in Beaufort, S. C, by a white man ; Joseph Lee has 
been supplanted in Jacksonville, Fla., by a white man ; the colored clerks 
in the Bureau of Printing and Engraving have been segregated. On 
June loth, 1913, a bill was introduced in the House of Representatives to 
segregate all of the colored clerks in all of the departments of Washing- 
ton, D. C. ; an Anti-Intermarriage Bill for the District of Columbia has 
been introduced in Congress, and the United States Supreme Court has 
declared Sumner's famous Civil Rights bill unconstitutional. 


Who led over 300 slaves to liberty during 

the ame bellum days 
(Courtesy of Tin- American Magazine) 


Late U. S. Minister to St. Domingo 

The only colored man to hold religious 

services in the House of Representatives 


of Howard University (Mathematician 
and Sociologist) 

Grand Army Veteran, Father of the Author 


Some Colored History Makers of the Reconstruction Days. 

Hiram R. Revells of Mississippi was the first Negro to forge 
to the front as a legislator. On February 25, 1870, he took his 
seat in the United States Senate, and Jefferson F. Long of 
Georgia, on February 24, 1871, took his seat in the House of 
Representatives; Blanche R. Bruce did not take his seat in the 
United States Senate until March 4, 1875. So Revells was the 
pioneer of the colored congressmen and senators. Later he 
became president of Alcorn University, Mississippi. Richard H. 
Cain, Robert C. DeLarge, Robert B. Elliott, Joseph H. Rainey, 
W. J. Whipper, Alonzo J. Ransier of South Carolina, Jare Haral- 
son, James F. Rapier and Benjamin S. Turner of Alabama, John 
R. Lynch of Mississippi, Josiah T. Walls of Florida, J. E. O'Hara 
and H. P. Cheatham of North Carolina, soon followed these and 
obtained seats in Congress. Then in recent years John Mercer 
Langston of Virginia, George H. White of North Carolina, and 
Thomas Miller and George Murray of South Carolina served 
in Congress. A few colored men became Lieutenant-Governors. 
They are P. B. S. Pinchback, Oscar J. Dunn, and C. C. Antoine 
of Louisiana; Alonzo J. Ransier and Richard H. Cleaves of 
South Carolina, and Alexander Davis of Mississippi. Of these 
Lieutenant-Governors, Pinchback was the most famous. Pinch- 
back's hair-raising feat was to hire an engine in 1876 and ride 
from New Orleans to Washington, carrying the electoral votes 
of Louisiana at the risk of his own life. He ran the engine 
himself. Word was sent along and men were on the lookout 
along the railroad to pick him off with shot guns. But they 
arrived at the railroad too late and Pinchback landed the votes 
in Washington. 

Josiah T. Walls assisted Congressman Zack Chandler of 
Indiana in capturing the electoral votes of Florida for Ruther- 
ford B. Hayes, thus electing him President of the United States. 

762 The African Abroad. 

Frederick Frelinghuysen and Richard Wayne Parker of New 
Jersey, in the Returning Board, deciding in favor of the validity 
of Florida's vote. 

James C. Matthews, John C. Dancy and Taylor, recorder of 
deeds for the District of Columbia, and the men I have mentioned 
in the previous chapter as ministers to Hayti and Liberia are the 
other leaders. 

Now that the mists have cleared away, I think we may safely 
say that Revells, Bruce, Elliott, Miller, R. Smalls, Langston, 
Lynch, Pinchback, Josiah T. Walls and Francis L. Cordoza, Sec- 
retary of State for South Carolina, who, when South Carolina 
turned over from Chamberlain to Wade Hampton in President 
Hayes's administration, carried the State funds to New York 
and tied up the Hampton administration, and who afterwards 
became principal of the colored high school in Washington, will 
go down In history as the twelve most potent colored leaders 
during the early reconstruction days. 

The after career of these men is interesting. One of these 
Lieutenant-Governors became waiter and street sweep, and in 
later years waited at a banquet on the Lieutenant-Governor of the 
State. Senators Revells, Thomas Miller and T. D. S. Tucker, 
law partner of R. Brown Elliott, a cultured aristocrat and a pol- 
ished speaker, became founders and presidents of colleges. 
George H. White, the last Negro to sit in Congress, became, with 
George H. Cook and John H. Cook, owner of a brickyard and 
interested in establishing a new town (Whitesboro) in New 
Jersey. Josiah T. Walls became a wealthy farmer in Florida. 
His fortune was ruined by the frost which killed the orange 
trees. He then became farm superintendent of the State College 
in Tallahassee, Fla. Cheatham afterwards became recorder of 
deeds, and then a farmer. James C. Matthews, who preceded 
James M. Trotter as recorder of deeds in the District of Colum- 
bia, was afterwards elected as district judge in Albany, N. Y., 
more white people than colored people voting for him. John R. 
Lynch, who presided at the National Republican Convention in 
1884 at Chicago as temporary chairman, became paymaster for 
the United States army in the late Spanish War. 

T. McCants Stewart, author of "Liberia," famous as a lawyer, 
orator and politician in New York City a few years ago, and the 

Colored History Makers of Reconstruction Days. 763 

president of the Brooklyn Literary, is now a practicing lawyer in 

D. A. Straker, author of "The New South," and in the early 
reconstruction days a professor in the South Carolina University, 
became a prominent lawyer in Detroit, Mich. We are now accus- 
tomed to sneer at the colored leaders during the trying recon- 
struction days and to regard them as men who were freighted 
down with braggadocia and inflated with bravado. Some have 
even believed that their prototypes were to be found in Give-a- 
Dam Jones, Pickles Smith and Raspberry Johnson of Brother 
Gardner's celebrated Lime Kiln Club, as they uttered linguistic 
abortions. But it is not so. When we remember that men, 
most of whom were born and trained as slaves, some of whom 
did not know their alphabet when they were twenty-one years 
old, rose out of the mire of obscurity and filled with credit and 
honor to themselves and their race, positions as United States 
Senators, Congressmen, Lieutenant-Governors and Secretaries of 
State, we may well pause with amazement and marvel that men 
from such depths could climb to such dazzling heights of fame. 

After the close of the war, six colored men attracted attention, 
three as orators, one as a scholar, one as an editor, and another 
as a business man. R. Brown Elliott, whose speech in Congress 
about the rights of the Negro, in reply to Alexander H. Stephens, 
ex-Vice President of the Confederacy, who assailed the consti- 
tutionality of the Civil Rights Bill, held the audience spell-bound 
for two hours and caused the Congressmen for half an hour to 
gather around him congratulating him ; J. C. Price, the magnetic 
orator, whose magnificent voice and playful humor charmed and 
delighted admiring audiences of both races ; George W. Wil- 
liams, the first colored member of the Ohio Legislature, Judge 
Advocate of the G. A. R. of Ohio, the superb orator whose his- 
tory, "The Negro Race in America," is still standard authority; 
Hon. John F. Cook, colored member of the board of education, 
probably the richest and most influential colored citizen in the 
District of Columbia, who was for twenty years tax collector, 
has been a delegate to the Republican National Convention, and 
who has held other positions of dignity, trust and honor; T. 
Thomas Fortune, former editor of the New York Age, and 
contributor to the Sunday Sun, the gifted literatteur, the terse 

764 The African Abroad. 

and trenchant pioneer of Negro journalism, the ardent champion 
of Negro political independence, and author of "Black and 
White, the Negro in Politics," and Professor Bouchet, who 
almost won the valedictory at Yale in the early seventies, are 
these six men. Henry Highland Garnett and James Monroe 
Trotter are the peers of these in ability. William Howard Day, 
a graduate of Oberlin College, and Edward Everett, later a mem- 
ber of the school committee in Harrisburg, Pa., was undoubtedly 
gifted in oratory. 

The late Professor Daniel B. Williams, A.M., formerly dean 
of the college department in the Virginia Normal and Collegiate 
Institution of Petersburg, Va., author of "Freedom and 
Progress," and "Art and Methods of Teaching," almost rivalled 
DuBois in acquaintance with the world's history, depth of 
thought, loftiness of spirit and beauty of expression. I regard 
his chapter upon "Freedom and Progress," in his book of the 
same name, as a masterpiece. Unfortunately he died just as 
the world was beginning to recognize his greatness as a man. 
The late Bishop Dickerson, founder of Allen University, Colum- 
bia, S. C, possessed, in the words of Bishop Paine, "a sonorous 
voice, the bass tones of which did at times roll out of his mouth 
like the diapason of an organ." 

Ex-President William J. Laws, D.D., of Paul Quinn College, 
Waco, Texas, is a history maker. Over thirty years ago he was 
pastor of the A. M. E. Church in New Haven, Conn. In those 
days it was unusual to see a Negro preacher as polished, as 
graceful, as gallant, and as chivalric as the silver-tongued Laws. 
Edmonia Lewis is a noted sculptress who formerly had a studio 
in Rome. The figure of "Hagar in the Wilderness," her two 
groups representing Longfellow's "Hiawatha," her Madonna 
with infant, Christ and two adoring angels, her busts of Longfel- 
low and John Brown, her medallion portrait of Wendell Phillips, 
brought her a deserved fame. Her "Madonna" was bought by 
the Marquis of Bute, Disraeli's Lothair. 

Several colored men have mastered chemistry and the mechani- 
cal arts. Professor J. H. Bluford of the A. and M. College, 
Greensboro, N. C, has successfully analyzed beerine and other 
products. Mr. Phillip Allston of Boston is a chemist with Potter, 
Wicks & Co. Professor L. B. Thompson of the Georgia State 

Colored History Makers of Reconstruction Days. 765 

Industrial College, superintended the erection of their splendid 
dormitory. ]\Ir. J. A. Lankford, an architect, designed the True 
Reformer's Building in Washington, D. C. Mr. Williams of 
Augusta Ga., is a genius for repairing watches and building 
automobiles, etc. Joseph Lee, the Boston caterer, invented a 
bread-kneading and bread-making machine. Stanley Ruffin of 
Boston, a graduate of technology in Boston, was employed by 
a mining company in the West. Richard M. Hancock was fore- 
man of the pattern shops of the Eagle W^orks and Manufacturing 
Company. John W. Terry was foreman of the iron and fittings 
department of the Chicago W^est Division Street Car Company. 
Mr. E. McCoy of Detroit, Mich., invented the "lubricator" which 
has been used on several railroad engines. D. F. Black of Mechan- 
icsburg, Pa., invented several patents. The New York Age of 
April 30, 1887, and Professor Daniel B. Williams say that 
"Garnett D. Baltimore with great dexterity enlarged the locks 
of the canal connecting Oswego with the Seneca River." But 
Jeremiah D. Baltimore, E. McCoy, Eugene Burkins, Lieutenant 
H. O. Flipper and Granville Woods are the five Negro stars in the 
mechanical firmament. McCoy has taken out thirty patents for 
lubricators. Jeremiah D. Baltimore, who invented the pyrometer 
exhibited at the New Orleans Exhibition, was formerly employed 
as engineer of the United States Survey at Washington, and 
for many years was chief engineer and mechanician at Freed- 
men's Hospital, Washington. Mr. E. McCoy of Detroit, Mich., 
invented the lubricator which is used on many railroad engines. 
Eugene Burkins invented the Burkin's automatic machine gun. 

H. O. Flipper, a graduate of West Point, author of "The 
Colored Cadets at West Point," and formerly a captain in the 
United States Army, started out gloriously, but seems to be 
floundering somewhat now. He successfully drained the ponds 
and swamp lands about Fort Sill in Indian Territory, and was 
then employed by the Mexican Government to assist in making 
a survey of Chihuahua. He was later employed by the Sonora 
Land Company of New Mexico. He and the United States Gov- 
ernment seemed to have some misunderstanding about the appro- 
priation of funds and severed relations. I understand that he 
is now in Mexico, and not a dead dog by any means. The latest 
report is that he has regained his standing in the United States 

766 The African Abroad. 

Army. Mr. D. F. Black of Mechanicsburg, Mich., has taken 
out several patents. 

Now we come to Granville T. Woods of Cincinnati, the great- 
est inventor and mechanical genius our race has yet produced. 
He started a factory in Cincinnati and has won repute and 
made money as an electrician and manufacturer of telephonic, 
telegraphic and electrical instruments. He invented the electric 
telephone transmitter used in connection with the Bell telephone. 
He invented a new system of electrical motors for the street 
railroad and also the synchronous multiplex railway telegraphy, 
by means of which communication may be had with a train 
while it is in motion, thus oftentimes preventing a collision. 
He has patented more than twenty electrical devices and 
electrical inventions. It is said that he sold his electric telephone 
transmitter to the Bell Company for $10,000. 

Some think that Tanner was the first colored painter to attain 
distinction and win honors ; but it is not so. Mr. M. E. Bannister 
of Providence, R. I., attracted the attention of the country thirty 
years ago. I remember, when I was a sophomore, meeting him at 
the pavilion on the Newport beach in the fall of 1892. He 
seemed very buoyant, optimistic and enthusiastic for an elderly 
gentleman. Bannister's painting, "Under the Oaks" or "A New 
England Pasture," was awarded the first gold medal at the great 
Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia, Pa., in 1876. That paint- 
ing was afterwards sold for $1,500. 

Richard Allen, the founder of the A. M. E. Church, and the 
learned and puritanic Bishop Daniel Payne, author of "Recol- 
lections of Seventy Years," have wrought nobly, the first in 
asserting the spiritual independence and manhood of the Negro 
church and Negro ministry ; the second in raising the moral and 
intellectual tone of the Negro church. Charles L. Remond, flour- 
ishing in Boston seventy years ago, famous as an anti- 
slavery orator before Douglass took the field in 1842 ; Hon. 
E. B. Bassett of New Haven, Conn., ex-United States minister 
to Hayti a quarter of a century ago ; the late John Mercer 
Langston, lawyer. United States Congressman, United States 
minister to Hayti, and dean of the Howard University Law 
School, and Hon. John P. Green of Washington, D. C, formerly 
a lawyer in Cleveland, Ohio, who in 1873 '^^'^s elected justice of 


of Cambridge, Mass. (Deputy Sealer 
of Weights and Measures) 


of Cambridge, Mass. (in Boston Postal 
Service for 38 years) 


(whom Gov. Ben Butler recommended for 
the Charleston judgeship) 


Boston's first Colored Law}-er 

Colored History Makers of Reconstruction Days. 767 

the peace in Cleveland by a majority of 3,000 votes, and who 
decided more than 12,000 cases in eight years, also in 1881 
elected a member of the Ohio Legislature, are four men who, 
by their wide range of information, refined and polished manner 
of writing and speaking, gave the Negro intellectual standing 
W'hen the educated men of the race w^ere few and far between. 
Douglass was not in the same class wath Remond for polish as a 
speaker. Before the war, they were thinking of electing Remond 
a member of an exclusive literary society of Boston. Hon. E. D. 
Bassett could converse in French with ease and fluency, could 
read and write German with ease and facility, and was a ripe 
scholar and a charming conversationalist. 

Thirty years ago there were few colored men living like Rev. 
Henry Highland Garnett, United States minister to Liberia, a 
scholar, orator and preacher of note and distinction. He was 
a high-minded, high-spirited Christian gentleman. He was a 
brave man. When a white mob attacked the little colored 
school in Canaan, N. Y., Garnett, then a boy, fired a return shot 
and the mob withdrew and permitted the boys to depart in peace. 
That act was characteristic of the man. 

James Trotter, the father of the editor and the recorder of 
deeds in the District of Columbia, and the author of "Music and 
Some Musical People," was a fine specimen of the best type of 
the American Negro. A brave soldier, a resourceful business 
man, an able writer, an uncompromising idealist, he was respected 
and esteemed by all who knew him, white and black alike. 

Then, too, the late Law^yer James Wolfif of Boston, formerly 
judge advocate-general of the Grand Army of the Republic and 
commander of the G. A. R. Post of Massachusetts, was a con- 
spicuous example of a colored soldier whose worth and merit 
has been recognized by his Caucasian associates. He delivered 
the Fourth of July oration in Boston in 1910. He and his law 
partner, Edward Everett Brown, an impassioned orator, had a 
strong law firm. Lawyers Robert Morris and E. G. Walker of 
Boston, thirty and forty years ago each had a $3,ooo-a-year 
practice, most of it coming from the Irish people at a time vrhen 
the Irish of New York were mobbing the Negroes. Walker was 
a stalwart, pure-blooded Negro orator of imposing and dignified 
physique. He was a bold asserter of Negro manhood, and in 

768 The African Abroad. 

his later years was the dean and Nestor of the colored orators of 
New England. In the late Judge George L. Ruffin of Boston, 
Mass. ; in the late Senator B. K. Bruce, register of the treasury ; 
in Hon. Judson Lyons, ex-register of the treasury ; and in Post- 
master William Dupree of South Boston, Mass., we have four 
colored office-holders whose sound judgment, integrity of charac- 
ter and courteous manners won the esteem of their white asso- 
ciates and business men of both races. 

The late Editor W. G. White of the Georgia Baptist was one 
of the pioneers in Negro journalism. He had a simple and 
a well-equipped office. The success of the Macon Conference, 
which he called, shows him to have been a manly and conservative 
leader of his race. "Josh" Wilson, presiding elder of the M. E. 
Church in South Carolina, and for about twenty-five or thirty 
years postmaster at Florence, S. C, was the prince of diplomats. 
Parties have changed ; Republicans have come and gone, and yet 
Wilson remained postmaster of Florence for over a quarter of a 
century. By his tact and suave manners, he has conquered 
Southern prejudice. Gibbs of Florida was one of the rare 
colored leaders during reconstruction days. He was secretary of 
state in Florida, and afterwards secretary of education. He was 
respected and esteemed by colored and white alike. Joseph Lee, 
collector of internal revenue at Jacksonville, Fla., an orator, law- 
yer, political leader and student of literature, is an A. M. E. 
preacher at the same time. He is an adroit manipulator of men, 
keeps his counsels to himself, is a polished orator and can dis- 
course elegantly on the beauties of Homer, Dante, Milton and 

Colonel Bill Pledger of Atlanta, Ga., and N. W. Cuney of 
Texas were two famous leaders. Colonel Bill Pledger was 
rather short of stature, but broad-shouldered and deep-chested, 
with a stentorian voice. He had a wide-awake Western air and 
manner, and was a born leader of men. He was fearless, auto- 
cratic, but sympathetic, and he was a level-headed, magnanimous 
fellow. As a mob orator, he could make the welkin ring. Cuney 
was collector of the Port of Galveston, Texas and was a man of 
wealth and influence in Texas. 

Wlio has not heard of Bishop Henry M. Turner of the A. M. E. 
Church? He is a law unto himself. The late Bishops Grant, 

Colored History Makers of Reconstruction Days. 769 

Derricks and Salters were remarkable personalities, and in 
Bishops Tyree, \^'alters and Clinton we have able men. But 
Turner is the noblest Roman of them all. He is the grand old 
man of the Negro race. Built like an oak, with a bold, fearless, 
lionlike face, awful in its majesty and conscious power, gifted 
with common sense, a splendid imagination and rough, native wit 
and humor, and endowed by nature with a powerful bass voice 
that can speak in trumpet tones, you have a mob orator who 
can awe an audience with a look. And when he is aroused, he 
is like a roaring lion. 

President J. S. Flipper of ]\Iorris Brown College, President 
W. H. Goler of Livingston College and the late President D. J. 
Sanders of Biddle University have succeeded admirably well 
as educators. Bishop Flipper was president of Morris Brown 
College with over 1,000 enrolled members, probably the largest 
Negro college in the world. Like Frederick Douglass he is a 
splendid specimen of a man, physically, mentally and morally. 
He is a born ruler and leader of men. As an organizer he ranks 
highly. He has succeeded as pastor and educator and bishop. 
^^'ith his executive ability, iron will, tact and judgment, he has 
done big things. 


Professor William Howard Day, the Edward Everett of 
the colored race, was born in New York City and graduated from 
Oberlin College in 1847, the only colored man in a class of fifty, 
working in a printing office to pay his way through. He took 
a prominent part in the repeal of the "Black Laws" of Ohio in 
1849, having been, with John L. Watson, elected by the colored 
citizens to address the State Legislature, in the hall of the House 
of Representatives. In 1852 he was the orator at Cleveland, 
Ohio, at the assembling of the colored veterans of the war of 
1842. In the same year he was chairman of a committee of 
citizens of Cleveland to address Louis Kossuth of Hungary. 
He established the Aliened America and was local editor of the 
True Democrat. He welcomed to Cleveland, Professor Gottfried 
Kinkel, and later offered resolutions in behalf of German 
liberty. In 1858 he was elected at Chatham, Canada, by a 
convention of citizens of Canada and the L^nited States, as 

77° The African Abroad. 

president of the National Board of Commissioners of Colored 
People. At the beginning of the war he, with Dr. Delaney and 
Professor Campbell of the Institute for Colored Youth, met in 
London and established the African Aid Society. He was 
received by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church 
of Ireland. He addressed an audience of 3,000 in the Alusic 
Hall of Dublin, lectured with success in Edinburgh and other 
Scottish towns. He addressed 200 noblemen and gentlemen at 
Whitehall, England. At Hull, he lectured in place of Gerald 
Massey and wife, and at Burton-on-Trent supplied the place of 
Father Gwarril, and addressed the Y. AI. C. A., and for four 
months filled the pulpit of a large Congregational Church in 
Lincolnshire, England. He declined a professorship in an 
English Classical Academy. He delivered a wonderful address 
at the great emancipation meeting in Cooper Institute, New York 
City, was assigned duty in connection with the parent Freedman's 
Association and addressed several meetings with Horace Greeley. 
He spoke in Rochester, N. Y., and eclipsed Frederick Douglass 
and every other colored speaker. 

In 1869, Professor Day organized the colored citizens of Wil- 
mington, N. C, as voters and changed the representation in the 
lower house of Congress. In 1870, he was editor of Our National 
Progress. In 1872 he was a clerk in the corporation department 
of the Auditor-General's office of Pennsylvania. In 1878 he was 
elected school director at Harrisburg, Pa., the first colored man 
elected to that body. He served three years and was secretary 
of the committee on teachers. He was reelected in 1881, declined 
the election in 1884, and in 1887 was elected as the Republican 
candidate, the Democrats refusing to nominate anyone against 
him. He, J. C. Price, William H. Goler and Solomon Porter 
Hood, were the quartette that launched Livingston College. 

Dr. William Wells Brown, on pages 499 and 500 of his work 
entitled "The Rising Sun," says: 

As a speaker, Mr. Day may be regarded as one of the most effective 
of the present time; has great self-possession and gaiety of imagination; 
is rich in the selection of his illustrations, well versed in history, literature, 
science and philosophy, and can draw on his finely-stored memory at will. 

He is a mulatto of ordinary size, has a large and well-balanced head, 
high forehead, bright eyes, intellectual and pleasing countenance, genteel 
figure, and is what the ladies would call "a handsome man." 

Colored History Makers of Reconstruction Days. 771 

Dr. James E. Mason, the financial secretary of Livingston 
College, who was born in Pennsylvania a little more than half 
a century ago, and made a wonderful record as a preacher and 
evangelist in New York State in the eighties and who has since 
spoken in Dr. Hillis's famous church, in the leading white 
Y. M. C. A.'s of the country and before Chautauquas in Silver 
Lake and the West, has paid such a memorable tribute to Profes- 
sor J. C. Price that I will quote it. Professor J. C. Price, a grad- 
uate of Lincoln University, was the founder and first president of 
Livingston College, Salisbury, N. C. 

DR. mason's address. 

The career of the late President Joseph Charles Price was one of 
the most remarkable of American history. Within a decade, he arose 
from comparative obscurit}- and stamped the impress of his genius on 
two continents. Like a brilliant meteor he flashed upon us and then 
disappeared below the horizon, but like the eternal stars, he still shines on. 
Physically and intellectually he was a fine specimen of the splendid 
possibilities of the Afro-American. 

Entering upon life's work, his unusual devotion to duty, exceptional 
intellectuality, and rare oratorical power, soon commanded widespread 
attention. His fame leaped beyond the boundaries of his church, and 
the great educational conventions were swayed and delighted with the 
rising race champion. His views on the perplexing racial problems were 
broad and comprehensive. He believed most thoroughly in the Consti- 
tution, and that marvelous instrument, in its equitable application, included 
all classes of American citizens. For, said he in substance, "What avail 
the plow or sail, or land or life, if freedom fail?" 

Like the late Henry Ward Beecher, of precious memory, on special 
occasions he was often carried away by spiritual premonitions. In such 
mental processes, often like that peerless pulpit orator, he possessed the 
vision of a prophet or seer, and his eloquence was as overwhelming as his 
logic was irresistible. 

In the year 1881, the great Ecumenical Conference of Methodism con- 
vened in the city of London. The most eminent theologians, distinguished 
clergymen, and eloquent orators of the different branches of the great 
denomination were gathered from all parts of the world. Many of them 
were of international fame as authors, zealous workers, men who had 
changed the course of public thought and lifted society to a higher plane 
of spiritual activity. There stood Dr. J. M. Buckley, editor, the greatest 
of religious controversalists ; Dr. Pope, whose theological disquisitions 
had enriched ecclesiastical knowledge, and especially endeared him to the 
great branch of Wesleyism; Dr. Arthur, whose tongue of fire had 

772 The African Abroad. 

belted the Christian world and brought the day of Pentecost into thou- 
sands of hearts and homes ; Bishop Simpson, whose pathetic and stirring 
eloquence so overawed vast assemblages that often many unconsciously 
left their seats and stood encircling the pulpit, the Chrysostom of modern 

Naturally, questions of great importance affecting the present and 
future success of Methodism were interestingly and thoughtfully con- 
sidered. The eminent speakers vied with each other in their forceful 
presentation. A special telegram to the New York Tribune, speaking of 
the gifted and eloquent debaters, said, "For impromptu address and elo- 
quence par excellence, there is a genuine Negro orator who surpassed all 
white delegates." As the convention continued, among other questions, that 
of Africa naturally came up for review. Glowing and inspiring remarks 
had been made during the early morning for consideration. Ten minutes 
were assigned to each speaker. Later on in the discussion, a voice of 
unusual clearness commanded the ear of the chairman, the special atten- 
tion of all the delegates and the great audience, as his massive form 
arose, and he commenced the speech of the day in a plea for Africa. 
His silvery voice and luminous sentences so stirred and animated his 
hearers, that at the end of ten minutes, in the midst of remarkable enthusi- 
asm, a motion prevailed that the time limit be extended, and with marvel- 
ous felicity of expression, President Price continued to speak for forty 
minutes. Such an occurrence had not taken place in a deliberative assem- 
blage in one hundred and seventeen years. It was an oratorical triumph. 

Here was a genuine Afro-American, born during the dark and starless 
night of slavery, yet rising superior to his environments, and with the 
Christian intellectual world focused upon him speaking immortal truth 
as inbreathed by the Almighty. 

Dr. Price, regardless of his great attainments, kept in touch with the 
masses of his race everywhere. With a scholarship that made him at 
home in company with the learned and philosophical, with tastes that 
might revel in the refinement of the select few, he still remained in 
his convictions, in his habit, in his home, in his sympathies, and in his 
affections a true brother and abiding friend. 

His nature, like a mirror, reflected everything around it; the grass 
by the wayside, the clouds of the sky, the sunset and the stars. 

Young in years, but full of good works and glorious achievements, he 
left us where manhood's morning kisses noon, and while the shadows were 
falling toward the west. Yonder upon the campus rest all that is mortal 
of the mighty dead. Dead, did I say? Is Martin Luther dead, is John 
Calvin, is John Knox dead? True, centuries have elapsed since their 
demise, and their dust long since has been gathered in earth's golden urn, 
but they live in the hearts of thousands who read their works and adore 
their transcendent achievements. And, so, notwithstanding the years that 
have intervened since Dr. Price stood within these classic halls or walked 
across the campus, inspiring all with his magnetic personality, he is with 
us still. He was, and is, and shall forever be. 

Colored History Makers of Reconstruction Days. 773 

"By daring hands the world's great tasks are done. 
There is a call for leaders ; — he was one." 

I regard the tragedy in the Hfe of our distinguished Negroes, 
not that one Congressman practically died in the gutter, that a lieu- 
tenant-governor died a pauper, that other colored men who were 
at one time worth from fifty to one hundred thousand dollars died 
poor, but that a man of R. T. Greener's gift of mind and heart is 
not now recognized as the most prominent spokesman and leader 
for the educated Negro. Of all the colored pioneers in the intel- 
lectual world, Greener was by far the most brilliant. Not such 
a plodding and faithful student as Bouchet, not as exact and 
accurate a scholar in his college days. Greener nevertheless sur- 
passed Bouchet in range of information and in ability as a writer 
and speaker. He was the first colored man to graduate from 
Harvard University, entering in 1865 and graduating with hon- 
ors in 1870. George W. Williams says that Greener was turned 
back a year for alleged imperfection in mathematics. He won 
second prize in reading in his Freshman year, the Boyleston decla- 
mation in his sophomore year and the Boyleston prize for oratory 
and first Bowdoin prize for a dissertation on "The Tenures of 
Land in Ireland" in his Senior year. Then he ably held the 
position of principal of the Institute for Colored Youth in Phila- 
delphia, principal of Sumner High School in Washington, D. C, 
professor of metaphysics in University of South Carolina, dean 
of law department of Howard University, secretary of Grant 
Monument Fund Committee, member of Civil Service Commis- 
sion and consul to Vladivostok. 

At the Social Science Congress at Saratoga, N. Y., about 
twenty-five years ago, he vanquished Douglass in debate when 
Douglass opposed the exodus of the Negroes from the South, 
and his speech at a dinner of the Harvard Club in New York 
a few years ago won him a great many encomiums. He was 
associated with ex-Governor Chamberlain as counsel for Cadet 
Whittaker in New York City. 

Greener was a polished and finished writer, and as a speaker 
he was in no way inferior to Depew. Greener had a rich fund 
of information to draw upon and was at his best when he spoke 
in a pleasant reminiscent view or touched tender chords of senti- 
ment. His voice was mellow, his manner of speaking was ele- 

774 The African Abroad. 

gant, and a mellifluous flow of words seemed to pour from his 
lips. He was a fascinating and charming conversationalist, and 
was a graceful, pleasing, felicitous speaker. When I heard him 
address a small group in Kelly Miller's home, at the time of 
McKinley's first inauguration, he gave reminiscences of his col- 
lege life and Harvard days in the delightful manner of an Ik 

In the summer of 1895, when Booker T. Washington delivered 
his famous Atlanta speech, Douglass and Price were dead and 
the fighting days of Crummell, Downing and Langston were 
over. Greener was then about fifty years of age, when a man 
has been ripened and chastened and matured by experience and 
is in the full possession of his mental and physical vigor. Why 
didn't he leap to the front as DuBois does now? He lacked the 
heroic spirit of Crummell and DuBois. That was Greener's 
chance and opportunity to command the attention of the countr}^ 
and challenge admiration as the champion of the higher aspira- 
tions of the Negro. When the industrial surrender, civil and 
political rights wave swept over the country fifteen years ago, 
most of the educators, preachers, editors and politicians of the 
race lost their moorings and drifted with it. To DuBois 
belongs the honor of being the man who stayed the- advancing 
tide of compromise that would have engulfed and submerged the 
entire Negro race. 

Foot Note. — Bishop Turner was the first colored chaplain to receive a 
commission from the United States Government. In 1863, he was a pastor 
of Israel Church, Washington, D. C, when he was called into the service 
of the Union Army. Bishop Wm. P. Derrick was born in the Island of 
Antigua, British West Indies, on July 27, 1843. He served during the 
Civil War, on the Minnesota, the flagship of the North Atlantic 


of AV'ashington, D. C, Pastor of the 
Shiloh Baptist Church 


Secretary of Livingston College, 
Salisbury, N. C. 


First colored graduate of Yale University, 

who for twenty-six years taught in the 

Institute for Colored Youth 

in Philadelphia 


Pastor of the St. James Presbyterian 

Church, New York City, and a 

writer for the Brooklyn 


Some Colored History Makers of To-Day. 

Some may wonder why I single out Bouchet of Yale and C. G. 
Morgan of Harvard as the two colored students who were ice 
breakers. Forty years ago a distinguished Southerner wrote 
to a prominent professor in Yale University that he did not desire 
his boy to sit alongside of a Negro. The professor replied 
that his wish would be gratified, as the students were graded and 
seated according to their qualifications and ability, that the col- 
ored student would go in the highest division while his son would 
go in the lowest. That colored student is now the genial and 
gracious Professor Edward Bouchet of Gallipolis, Ohio. He 
made a splendid record at Yale and received his Ph.D. degree. 
I well remember the sensation that swept over the country when 
Morgan was elected class orator at Harvard. I was a school 
boy then. It thrilled me and I worked like a Trojan. The result 
was I was chosen one of the Commencement speakers at the 
Hillhouse High School in New Haven, Conn., and spoke in the 
Hyperion before two thousand people. And when I went to 
Boston, in the fall of 1897, I again heard of the impression that 
Morgan produced upon his classmates. 

The late Dr. George Franklin Grant of Boston, Mass., was a 
gentleman of the old school who was honored by being professor 
in the Harvard Dental School. The wealthiest men in Boston 
frequented his dental parlors. He was an aristocrat in the truest 
sense and was a man of wealth and influence. 

There are said to be a dozen colored millionaires. The Lincoln 
family, of Dallas, Texas, consisting of three men and three 
women, was said by the Galveston Neivs, over twenty years ago, 
to be worth about $48,000,000. Groves, the potato king of Kan- 
sas, is said to be very wealthy. It is reported that there is a 
colored farmer in Florida who is worth over one million dollars. 
Ellis, a colored member of the New York Stock Exchange, is 
said to be worth two or three millions. Robert Church of Mem- 
phis, Tenn., and Calvin Johnson of Knoxville, Tenn., were 

776 The African Abroad. 

reported as being worth nearly half a million dollars. Wiley Jones 
of Pine Bluff, Ark., owns a street car railroad, race track and 
park. The late W. C. Coleman was the principal stockholder in 
the cotton mill of Concord, N. C, which at one time was capital- 
ized at $30,000. William Still of Philadelphia was a coal dealer. 
W. C. Atwood was a lumber merchant and capitalist. Mrs. Mars 
of New York was rated at $100,000, and D. C. White of New 
York at $130,000. Then Mr. Merrick, a colored barber of Dur- 
ham, N. C, owns thirty or forty houses and is worth at least 
$50,000. Cody Bryant of Jasper County, Ga., is worth $200,000. 
And I suppose that there are two or three hundred colored per- 
sons in the country worth from $50,000 to $100,000. W. C. 
Atwood of East Saginaw, Mich., is one of the largest lumber 
dealers in the world. He is worth over $100,000 and is the only 
colored member of the Board of Trade of his State. 

The two bona-fide millionaires that our race has produced are 
the late Colonel John McKee of Philadelphia, and Don Juan 
Knight of Guatemala. When Colonel McKee died three or four 
years ago it was discovered that he was actually worth $5,000,000. 
His wealth was largely invested in real estate, shares in copper 
and oil mines, and other gilt-edge securities. E. A. Johnson, in 
his school history of the Negro Race quotes at length from the 
Maxton Blade, but I will only briefly quote from it. The Blade 
says of Don Juan Knight, who lives in the city of Guatemala : 

He was born a slave in the State of Alabama. He owns gold mines, 
large coffee and banana farms, is the second largest dealer in mahogany 
in the world, owns a bank and pays his employees $200,000 a year. 
His wealth is estimated at $70,000,000. He contributed largely to educa- 
tional institutions, has erected hospitals, etc. 

Samuel Harris of Williamsburg, Va., started business about 
forty years ago with $70. In 1906 he did business of $55,000 
a year, owned ninety-six building lots in Williamsburg, four 
large farms in Virginia, and property in Richmond, Norfolk and 
Newport News, Va. All of his goods were shipped in his own 
vessels and manned by his own crews. 

I will briefly tell of other colored history makers and what they 
did. The late Professor W. G. Simmons, formerly president of 
the Louisville, Ky., Baptist Institute, was the author of "Men 
of Mark." In Bishops Abram Grant, William Derrick, Tyree, 

Some Colored History Makers of To-Day. 777 

and the late Bishops Ward and Dickerson, the A. i\I. E. Church 
has produced eloquent preachers. In the late Bishops Wayman 
and Brown, B. W. Arnett, S. M. B. Salters and Handy and 
Gaines and Bishop L. \'. Coppin, she has produced quiet but force- 
ful speakers, but I believe that next to Bishops Paine and Turner, 
Bishops B. F. Lee and B. T. Tanner are the history makers of 
the church. Bishop Lee was formerly president of Wilberforce 
University, while Bishop Benjamin Tucker Tanner was editor of 
the Christian Recorder, the A. M. E. Church Review, and is the 
author of "An Apology for African Methodism." A quarter of 
a century ago. President S. T. Alitchel of Wilberforce University 
and Professor Peter H. Clark, author of "History of the Black 
Brigade," did noble work as educators. 

Rt. Rev. J. Albert Johnson, D.D., formerly pastor of the Met- 
ropolitan A. 'M. E. Church of Washington, D. C, completed his 
education in Edinburgh, Scotland. He, with the possible excep- 
tion of Bishop L. V. Coppin, is the best exegetical preacher in 
the A. M. E. Church. He was a devoted admirer of Dr. Crum- 
mell. He is now serving as missionary bishop and his diocese is 
Africa, the Dark Continent. 

Two gifted young men died before their prime. It was never 
my good fortune to meet them, but I have followed in their wake 
and have heard many good things of them. They were Rev. L. B. 
Maxwell and Professor Thomas S. Gibbs of Florida. In Jack- 
sonville, Fla., Charleston, S. C, Augusta and Savannah, Ga., I 
heard of Rev. L. B. Maxwell, who developed the Congregational 
church of Savannah, Ga., made it self-supporting, and was such 
a talented leader of the young men. Later he was one of the 
international secretaries of the Y. M. C. A. Professor T. S. 
Gibbs, the son of the famous statesman and educator of Florida, 
was vice president of the State Normal College of Tallahassee, 
Fla. He, more than President Tucker, was the life of the college, 
and after his death President Tucker was unequal to the task of 
directing and managing the college. It went to pieces under 
his hands. He was retired and his place filled by President 
Nathaniel Young, a graduate of Oberlin College. Under his able 
management, it has been brought back to the high point of 
efficiency that it had reached when the wise and tactful Gibbs 
went to a premature grave, overworked and worn out by his 

778 The African Abroad. 

efforts to build up the school and educate the colored youth of 

The late President William Decker Johnson of Allen Univer- 
sity, Columbia, S. C, was born in Baltimore, Md. He was one 
of the early graduates of Lincoln University. He graduated in 
1868, and was said to be the first colored graduate of Lincoln 
L^niversity after the emancipation. He is one of the pioneers 
in Negro education and was pastor for thirty-one years in 
Georgia, and served twelve years as educational secretary of the 
A. M. E. church, and founded the systems. He served from 1884 
to 1896. President Johnson was an inspirer of young men. He 
was a unique Orator of the old-fashioned type, blending philo- 
sophic insight, imaginative flights, close reasoning, hard, horse 
sense and native wit and humor in his personality and discourse. 
He begins to speak in an awkward, apologetic, embarrassed, timid 
and hesitating manner, but in a few minutes he is delving into 
philosophy and logic and giving you the results of his mature 
thought and ripe experience, and he always winds up with an 
outburst of real eloquence that almost lifts the audience off its 
feet. Under his wise and energetic administration Allen Uni- 
versity took on a new lease of life and bounded forward 
with renewed vigor. He resigned from the presidency of that 
institution in 1908, returned to the pastorate and has since gone 
to his reward. 

Principal E. E. Smith of the Fayetteville State Normal School, 
N. C, was formerly United States Minister to Liberia. He, like 
the great DeGrasse and Alexander Crummell, possesses that cul- 
ture and polish which comes from acquaintance with books and 
travel in the old world. 

Principal T. S. Liborden of the Joseph K. Brick School, is a 
graduate of Fiske, who has built up a splendid school. Probably 
no colored college has a finer set of buildings than the Brick 
School, and we see in Inborden the practical results of the higher 
education of the Negro. 

Dr. Marcus F. Wheatland of Newport, R. L, owns and operates 
an X-ray machine and has successfully attended some of the 
richest summer residents of the City by the Sea. 

The fact that I have quoted from Professor E. H. Johnson's 
"School History of the Negro" half a dozen times is evidence 

Some Colored History Makers of To-Day. 779 

that I have a high regard for his lucid history. Professor John- 
son formerly taught in Shaw University, but is now a practicing 
lawyer in New York City. 

Attorney Henry A. Macbeth of Savannah, Ga., is a cultured, 
refined and aristocratic Charlestonian, who is the rising Repub- 
lican leader of Savannah. He won his case for little Rosa Tully, 
and thus established a precedent. The Savannah Press of 
November 5, 1904, says that Rosa holds the distinction, so far 
as the records show, of being the only Negro child to inherit a 
white man's property in Georgia. The question at issue- was 
whether a white man, under the laws of the State of Georgia, 
could transfer property to a colored child. The estate was valued 
at $33,cxx). Attorney Macbeth, by his masterly handling, won the 
case for little Rosa Tully and her mother, Mrs. Rosa Tully, the 
colored widow of Charles Tully, a white man. 

George S. W. Williams, formerly a teacher, but now a railway 
mail clerk, is a splendid specimen of the finest type of the younger 
Negro. A few years ago he delivered the emancipation address 
in Savannah, which for scholarship and eloquence was a master- 
piece. He owns considerable property, is deacon of the Congre- 
gational Church, member of the executive committee of the Men's 
Sunday Club, and a potent factor in holding up high ideals 
before the colored youths of Savannah. I know of no more 
useful and influential colored man in private life. I believe that 
if Tom Dixon were to meet his beautiful and refined wife he 
would have a higher regard and esteem for colored women. 

Editor Solomon C. Johnson of the Savannah Tribune is a jour- 
nalist of intelligence, tact, manliness and principle. The influence 
of his paper is felt throughout Savannah. 

Lindsley S. Reed is the president and manager of the Union 
Savings and Loan Company. He is an alert, ambitious, resource- 
ful business man, and a born orator. He is brilliant, magnetic, 
and fluent. His buoyant personality inspires confidence. His 
voice is masterful and musical, and he possesses some of the 
pluck, grit, nerve, dash and enthusiasm that made Roosevelt the 
idol of the country. We see in him a manly and strenuous nature 
successfully grappling with the financial problems that confront 
the Negro at the dawn of the twentieth century. He is a moving 
force in the Men's Sunday Club, the Republican Poll Tax Club, 

780 The African Abroad. 

the State Fair Association, and the Asbury M. E. Church. In 
short, his hands are upon the throttle valves of the pulsing 
business life of the Savannah Negro. 

Most of the colored men who entered West Point have had 
hard luck. Cadet Whittaker is reported to have been bound 
and his ears sliced by some of his fellow students. Captain 
Flipper became involved in some snares and entanglements, but 
has now returned to the army. Professor Alexander, another 
graduate of West Point, died while professor of mathematics and 
military science at Wilberforce University. Colonel Charles 
Young seems to have been very fortunate. He entered the 
Spanish War as major of the United States Volunteers in the 
36th Regiment. He is now colonel. He has been professor of 
military science at Wilberforce. He served in the 9th and 
loth Cavalry. At the beginning of the Spanish American War 
he was a major of the 9th Battalion and the only Negro com- 
missioned officer in the United States Army. At the close of the 
war he was a colonel of the 6ist Regiment in the Ohio National 

There are now seven other commissioned officers besides Major 
or Colonel Young. Three of them are line officers, three are 
chaplains and one a paymaster. Theophilus C. Stewart, the 
writer, formerly of Washington, was the most prominent of the 
chaplains. Allen Allensworth and George Washington Priolean 
are the other chaplains. During the Spanish-American War, 
Congressman John R. Lynch served as an additional paymaster of 
volunteers, with the rank of major. Then he was permanent pay- 
master, with the rank of captain. Lieutenant B. C. Davis of the 
Tenth Cavalry is now military instructor at Wilberforce Uni- 
versity. Lieutenant J. E. Green of the Twenty-fifth Infantry is 
now with Company H at Fort Bliss, Texas. Major or Colonel 
Charles Young, who is now military attache at Port au Prince, 
Hayti, is the pioneer of this group of commissioned officers. 

And now we come to two martyrs, Granville Martin and 
ex-United States Marshal Deas. Granville Martin is the 
colored butler who was a martyr for free speech. He and 
William Monroe Trotter of the Boston Guardian precipitated the 
Boston riot in July, 1903, when they put a few questions to 
Dr. Washington at a public mass meeting in Boston. For their 

Some Colored History Makers of To-Day. 781 

love of liberty of speech they spent a month in the Charles 
Street jail, but their heroism shed a lustre to that jail which it 
never had before. At first I regarded Trotter as a martyr, but 
his imprisonment gave him the leadership of the Negro race in 
Massachusetts for a time. He is to DuBois what Sherman was 
to Grant. 

Postmasters Vick and Thorpe, Collector Rucker and Marshal 
Deas, who were supplanted by white men, are the victims of 
the lily-white policies of the McKinley, Roosevelt and Taft 
administrations. W. H. Vick, postmaster at Wilson, N. C, was 
turned down by the lily-white policy of President McKinley and 
Judge (then Senator) Pritchard. Postmaster Thorpe of Kittrell, 
N. C, was turned down by the lily-white policy of President 
Roosevelt and Pritchard. Prominent local white men petitioned 
for the continuance of these two postmasters in office. A white 
man succeeded the polished and gentlemanly H. E. Rucker as 
collector of the internal revenue in Georgia. A factional split 
and non-popularity with local political organizations caused his 
removal. United States Marshal Deas of South Carolina, a 
member of the National Republican Committee, was fought by 
John G. Capers, a reformed Democrat. He fought the lily-white 
policy of Roosevelt and was turned down. Hence we must regard 
him as the political martyr of our race. His position as United 
States Marshal paid him about $6,000 a year. 

The career of Postmaster Dupree of Boston is quite "remarkable. 
William H. Dupree was born in Petersburg, Va., March 13, 1839, 
the family later going to Chillicothe, Ohio. He received his 
education in the common schools until nineteen years of age, 
at which time he lost his father. Seeking employment, he was 
engaged as a messenger at the headquarters of the Marietta and 
Cincinnati Railroad until the outbreak of the Civil War. 

In common with all young colored men, Mr. Dupree was 
enthusiastic in his desire to strike a blow for the freedom of his 
people, and gladly tendered Hon. John M. Langston his services 
to bring to Boston, ]\Iass., thirty-seven young men, most of them 
the flower of colored society in the West, to help make up the 
Fifty-fifth Massachusetts Volunteers, and entered Camp Meigs, 
Readville, Mass., June 5, 1863. Frederick Douglass and George 
T. Downing also recruited colored soldiers. 

7^2 The African Abroad. 

Mr. Dupree was made first sergeant, Company H, on June 25 
of the same year. The regiment reached Folly Island July 25, 
1863, and Air. Dupree was commissioned second lieutenant 55th 
Massachusetts Volunteers, July i, 1864, by Governor John A. 
Andrew, but was refused muster in as an officer on account of 
color and legal enactment, by General Hatch, commanding the 
Department of South Carolina. He was finally mustered in as 
second lieutenant July i, 1865, at Charleston, S. C. 

At the famous battle of Honey Hill the Fifty-fifth occupied the 
most perilous position throughout the engagement. Three times 
these heroic men marched up the hill and were swept back by 
the iron hail of grape-shot and shell. More than one hundred 
men were lost in half an hour. What the Fifty-fourth Massa- 
chusetts Regiment was at Wagner and Olustee, Fla., the Fifty- 
fifth was at Honey Hill. 

In this battle Lieutenant James M. Trotter, later recorder of 
deeds at Washington, D. C, and a relative of Lieutenant Dupree, 
was wounded but fought on. Lieutenant Charles L. Mitchell also 
was severely wounded in this battle, losing his right foot. Mr. 
Dupree was mustered out as second lieutenant, Company I, serv- 
ing until the regiment returned to Boston, October 25, 1865. 

He was appointed a letter carrier at Station A, Boston, Mass., 
February 12, 1866, where he served until May, 1874, when he was 
appointed a clerk at Boston by Postmaster William L. Burt. On 
October i, 1874, he was promoted to be superintendent of Station 
A, which position he still holds. 

When Mr. Dupree took charge in 1874, the office employed 
five clerks and nine carriers. The force has been increased until 
twenty-five clerks, fifty-one carriers, and eight substitute carriers 
are required, and the office does a business in stamps and other 
sales of $140,000, and money orders to the amount of $125,000 
per annum. The station is one of the largest in the city of Boston. 

Mr. Dupree was appointed chairman of the commissioners for 
the disbursement of the Firemen's Relief Fund of Massachusetts 
by Governor John Q. A. Brackett, July 24, 1890, and served one 

In 1892 Mr. Dupree was mentioned for the office of state 
auditor, and would have undoubtedly secured the position if he 
had been persistent. 

Some Colored History Makers of To-Day. 783 

Mr. Dupree was chairman of the committee in charge of the 
dedication ceremonies attending the unveihng of the Crispus 
Attucks monument on Boston Common, November 4, 1888, serv- 
ing in company with Governor Ames, Butler R. Wilson, Lewis 
Hayden and others. Mr. Dupree was secretary of the committee 
which brought the colored veterans from all over the country 
together to be present at the unveiling of the memorial to Colonel 
Shaw and his brave black followers, May 31, 1897. 

He owns valuable real estate in the popular section of Boston. 
Mr. Dupree is a past commander of Post 68, Department of 
Massachusetts, Grand Army of the Republic, having held the 
commander's place in 1895. This post numbers 297 men, three 
of whom were colored comrades. 

Mr. Dupree. was married to Miss Lizzie M. Isaacs of Chilli- 
cothe, Ohio, June 23, 1871. She comes of a prominent family of 
Chillicothe, and the union has been a happy one. 

We have had some remarkable colored women. Harriet 
Tubman was the brave colored woman who made several trips 
to the Southland, each time bringing off slaves at the peril of her 
own life. Mrs. Sojourner Truth was the stalwart woman of rare 
common sense who once asked Frederick Douglass, when he 
despaired of the success of the anti-slavery cause, *Ts God 
dead?" They have crossed the Great Divide, but they have left 
the memory of noble lives behind them. 

Mrs, F. J. Grimke of Washington, D. C, and Miss Mariah 
Baldwin, principal of the Agassiz Grammar School, Cambridge, 
with ten or twelve cultured white teachers under her, broke the 
ice for colored teachers in the North. Over forty years ago, 
Mrs. Grimke, then Miss Forten, taught in Salem, Mass. Her 
fine literary taste and gracious manners made a lasting impression 
upon Colonel Higginson and other abolitionists. I am inclined 
to think that Mrs. Grimke's culture and refinement paved the 
way for Miss Baldwin's appointment. When we consider that 
Boston is the most cultivated city in America, if not in the world ; 
when we consider that the wealthiest white citizens in Cambridge 
send their children to the school over which Miss Baldwin pre- 
sides as principal ; when we consider that she teaches in a promi- 
nent white Sunday school, and that she is an honored member 
of some of the leading literary and social clubs of Boston and 

7^4 The African Abroad. 

Cambridge, we can well understand something of the greatness 
of Miss Baldwin's achievement. Her tact and ready sympathy, 
her innate refinement, her calm, serene temper, and her dignified 
bearing, have all combined to make her a distinguished exponent 
of the refined colored woman. 

Miss Charlotte L. Forten wrote the parting hymn for the grad- 
uating class in the Higginson High School, Salem, Mass., and 
was a contributor to the Anti-Slavery Standard and the Atlantic 

The late Mrs. Francis E. W. Harper of Philadelphia, the late 
Mrs. Victoria Earl Matthews of New York City, and Mrs. A. 
Cooper, former principal of the M Street High School, Wash- 
ington, D. C, and author of "A Voice from the South," were 
among the first colored women to attract attention as writers. 
Mrs. Matthews was a self-educated woman. She possessed a 
French delicacy of perception and a poetic imagination. A deli- 
cate vein of sentiment runs through her writings. Ten or fifteen 
years ago her addresses and articles in newspapers attracted 
attention on account of their fire, dash, brilliancy and enthusiasm. 

How Mrs. Fannie Jackson Coppin, who recently passed away, 
built up the Institute for the Colored Youth in Philadelphia, Pa., 
is well known. But Miss Lucy C. Laney, principal of the Haines 
Normal School, Augusta, Ga., has duplicated the work of Mrs. 
Coppin. She started a small work in Augusta and to-day has 
a splendid school of 700 enrolled students and twenty-two teach- 
ers. In the Rev. Mr. Adams she has or had a fine chaplain. In 
our age, when so many prominent colored men and women are 
bowing the knee to Baal, worshiping the brazen calf and forget- 
ting that the Negro has a soul, Miss Lucy C. Laney has remained 
loyal and true to the highest traditions and highest ideals of 
her alma mater, Atlanta University. 

Of our women in public life, Mrs. Ida B. Wells Barnett of 
Chicago, 111., has done splendid work as an anti-lynching agitator, 
especially by her lectures in England. Mrs. Josephine St. Pierre 
Ruffin, the brilliant Mary Church Terrell of Washington, Miss 
Elizabeth Carter of New Bedford and Mrs. John Dickerson of 
Newport, R. I., have wrought a great work for the race in leading 
the Woman's Era movement. The late Mrs. Ida D. Bailey of 
Washington, D. C, was one of the most forceful colored women 

Some Colored History Makers of To-Day. 785 

in public life. Her interest in Howard University and in the 
Home for Destitute Colored Women and Children and Old Peo- 
ple in Washington is well known. But this is her title to fame in 
my estimation. Ten years ago, when the discussion raged regard- 
ing- the higher industrial education of the Negro and his civil and 
political rights, and so many of our prominent leaders were at 
sea, Mrs. Bailey was among the few who sighted the port in the 
storm. She saw clearly where lay the dangerous rocks and treach- 
erous shoals, and her eloquent words in the Bethel Literary in 
behalf of the higher aspirations of the Negro and his manhood 
rights will long be remembered in Washington, D. C. 

Theodore Roosevelt was not only one of the most popular 
Presidents we have ever had, but he is one of the most forceful 
and magnetic personalities in the world to-day. Perhaps since the 
days of Napoleon never has any one man so completely riveted 
the attention of the world upon his every movement. The charge 
of his "Rough Riders" up San Juan Hill, his rising in spite of 
the organized effort of political rings and political bosses to keep 
him down, his winning the coveted honor that Clay, Webster, Cal- 
houn, Greeley, Blaine, Reed and Sherman struggled for in vain, 
his being the only Vice President seizing the sceptre of power by 
the death of the President to be elected President in his own 
right ; all these things combined have made Roosevelt a popular 
idol and a popular hero. 

In his Southern trip in 1906 every movement and utterance of 
his was wired over the country. H he sneezed the whole country 
heard it. If he yawned the whole country saw it. It was a sig- 
nificant fact of his Southern trip that he visited only two colored 
schools which were manned and captained by colored teachers 
and principals, thus showing his interest in the efforts of the 
colored men to lift their own people. His addresses to these two 
schools were scattered broadcast by the Associated Press and read 
eagerly. These two schools were Tuskeegee Institute and the 
Florida Baptist Academy, Jacksonville, Fla., whose principal is 
N. W. Collier. The papers reported that President Roosevelt was 
charmed and captivated by the singing of the latter school and 
he said, "I must tell you how much I enjoyed your singing; I 
am glad to see an institute carried on as this one is evidently 
carried on." 

786 The African Abroad. 

Every bootblack and chimney sweep had heard of Tuskeegee 
and Booker T. Washington, but who is Professor CoUier, and 
what is the Florida Baptist College? were the questions eagerly 
asked. The fact that Howard, Fisk, Wilberforce, Atlanta, Tus- 
keegee and Hampton, the Himalayas of Negro education, were 
so constantly in the limelight of the public gaze has blinded the 
public to the fact that the Southland is dotted with schools and 
colleges which, while not so large and conspicuous and heavily 
endowed as Tuskeegee and Hampton, are doing in their humble 
way just as valuable and necessary work. The Florida Baptist 
College is one of these. Its quartette, whose leader was Sidney 
Woodward, the sweet tenor of national repute, has delighted large 
audiences in both Florida and Northern cities and resorts. Such, 
in brief, is the Florida Baptist College. Its discipline is well nigh 

The unique thing about this school is the fact that most of the 
money for its foundation came from colored people of moderate 
means. But its real spiritual birth was in the hills of Norwich, 
Conn. From Norwich came a gifted and chivalric young man, 
sprung from one of New England's noble families, who incar- 
nated his dream of life in Atlanta University. What Yale and 
Harvard had done for the youth of New England, that Atlanta 
University should do for the Negro of the South, was his thought. 
There were two colored students of Atlanta who left the walls of 
that institution loyal to its traditions and ideals. They had 
caught the missionary spirit of Ware, the cultured Anglo-Saxon, 
and they resolved to be apostles of culture to their people. They 
were Miss Sarah A. Blocker and Principal N. W. Collier. Miss 
Blocker came as one of the founders of the Florida Baptist Col- 
lege and Principal Collier two years after its establishment. So 
the school may rightly be regarded as a monument to the 
untiring, heroic and self-sacrificing efforts of these two Atlanta 
University products. 

The first time I met Principal Collier, twelve years ago, I was 
impressed by the fact that he possessed plenty of hard common 
sense, resourcefulness of mind, buoyancy of spirit and fluency of 
speech, and a closer acquaintance has confirmed this impression. 
He is tactful, wide-awake, energetic and progressive. As a 
speaker he is ready and deliberate, with plenty of fire when the 

Some Colored History Makers of To-Day. 787 

occasion requires. Slowly but surely the Florida Baptist College 
is gaining- friends in the North and East and its future outlook 
is hopeful and encouraging. 

Rev. E. AI. Brawley, A.M., D.D., former pastor of the First 
Baptist Church of Fernandina, Fla., and dean of the theological 
department of the Florida Baptist College, Jacksonville, Fla., is 
the educational pioneer amongst the colored Baptists. He is a 
polished, refined gentleman, gracious and winning in his manners, 
generous in his sympathy, and aristocratic in his ideals. He is 
one of the greatest Biblical scholars of the race, and is a pious 
and devout student of the New Testament. In 1875 he graduated 
from Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Pa., being the first colored 
man so honored. Then he became a missionary in South Carolina 
for the American Baptist Publication Society. In October, 1883, 
he became president of what is now known as Selma University. 
Then it was known as the Alabama Baptist Normal and Theo- 
logical School. Dr. Simmons, in "Men of Mark," says that in 
one year he reconstructed the school, graded it, put in a collegiate 
department, and doubled the number of students. He became 
district secretary for the South for the American Baptist Publi- 
cation Society. Later he was pastor of the First Baptist Church 
of Petersburg, Va., the oldest Baptist Church in America. After 
that he again became district secretary for the American Baptist 
Publication Society. Since then he has pastored in Greenville, 
S. C, Darien, Ga., and Palatka, Fla. He has done considerable 
literary work. In January, 1887, he edited the Baptist Tribune, 
a weekly newspaper. For several years he was expositor for 
Sunday School lessons for the National Publishing Board. And 
he has been editorial secretary of the National Publishing Board 
under the auspices of the National Baptist Convention. 

His son, Griffin Brawley, who received his A.B. degree from 
Chicago University in 1906, is professor of English literature 
in Atlanta Baptist College. He has written some very clever 
poetry. His critique upon Phyllis Wheatley, which appeared in 
the Voice of the Negro, is probabl}' the most luminous and 
penetrating critique upon that gifted but undeveloped poet. 

One of the most brilliant scholars and preachers in the Negro 
pulpit is the Rev. Dr. AI. W. Gilbert, president of Selma Uni- 
versity, Selma, Ala. Dr. Gilbert was born at Mechanicsville, Lee 

788 The African Abroad. 

County, S. C, on July 25, 1862, his parents being the Rev. Mark 
Gilbert and his wife Mary, Early in life, Dr. Gilbert attended 
the public schools of his home, and after his profession of religion 
was sent, in 1879, by his father, to Benedict Institute, now Bene- 
dict College, at Columbia, S. C. He remained there a little more 
than three years, completing the college preparatory course in 
the spring of 1883. In the fall of 1883 he entered Colgate 
University at Hamilton, N. Y. After a rigid examination, he 
entered the freshman class as third man among twenty white 
applicants for matriculation. In the year 1887, he graduated 
from Colgate with the degree of A.B. During his sophomore 
year he was chosen on merit to compete for the Kingsford prize 
for excellence in declamation, and won the first prize. This was 
the first time in the history of Colgate that a colored man was 
chosen to compete for the Kingsford prize, and therefore the first 
time that a colored man succeeded in winning the prize. During 
his stay at Colgate, Dr. Gilbert distinguished himself as a student, 
particularly in the languages. During his whole college career he 
was chosen by his white classmates as their secretary and treas- 
urer, and during his senior year he was elected class historian. 
Dr. Gilbert has also graduated from the Union Theological Sem- 
inary of New York City with the degree of B.D. 

In 1890 Colgate University conferred upon him the degree of 
M.A. He has also received the degree of D.D. from Guadalupe 
College, at Seguin, Texas. 

Dr. Gilbert has been pastor of the First Baptist Church of 
Nashville, Tenn., of the Bethel Baptist Church of Jacksonville, 
Fla., the First African Baptist Church of Savannah, Ga., located 
on West Broad Street, the Central Baptist Church of Charleston, 
S. C, and of the Mt. Olivet Baptist Church, New York City. 
Since his graduation he has also been engaged in the education of 
the race, having been the principal of the Florida Institute at Live 
Oak, Fla., the founder and principal of the Florida Baptist 
Academy of Jacksonville, Fla., professor of political science, his- 
tory and modern languages in the Colored State College at 
Orangeburg, S. C, and professor of French, Greek and theology 
in Benedict College at Columbia, S. C. 

He has been editor thrice : in Nashville, of the Baptist Head- 
light; in Jacksonville, of the Southern Courier; and in Columbia, 

Some Colored History Makers of To-Day. 789 

S. C, of the South Carohna Standard. As an editor, he is 
acknowledged to be a very able debater, uses a very trenchant 
pen, and is a master of the king's English. An opponent always 
finds in him a foeman worthy of his steel. Dr. Gilbert is very 
much in demand as a public speaker and as a preacher of the 

Dr. Gilbert is a born student. His study contains one of the 
largest libraries in the possession of the race. He was and 
perhaps is now chairman of the Educational Board of the 
National Baptist Convention, and was largely entrusted with the 
project of establishing a theological seminary for the colored 
Baptists of the country at Nashville, Tenn. 

In 1882, Dr. Gilbert was married in Columbia, S. C, to Miss 
Agnes N. Boozer. Seven children were born to this marriage, 
five of whom are still living. 

Standing six feet in height, with a noble brow, massive 
physique, and a rich, ringing baritone voice, Dr. Gilbert is one 
of the finest representatives of the Bourke Cochran style of 
oratory, which blends scholarship with passion and learning with 
common sense, in the Negro pulpit. Only Dr. Gilbert is more 
sincere than Cochran. 

In 1906 two men were elected president of Negro colleges 
and universities whose elections brought universal satisfaction. 
One was a white man who was the head of a Negro university, 
whose former president did not sympathize with the higher 
aspirations of the Negro. The other was a colored man to 
fill the president's chair of a Negro college that had never had 
a colored president before. I refer to Dr. W. P. Thirkfield, 
the magnetic orator, one of the apostles of the higher edu- 
cation of the Negro, the junior corresponding secretary of 
the Freedman's Aid and Southern Education Society, who, in 
1906, was elected president of Howard University, and in 
1912, was elected bishop in the Methodist Episcopal Church; 
and to Professor John Hope, the colored educator who has had 
the honor of being the first colored man to be elected president 
of the Atlanta Baptist College, one of the strongest colleges in 
the South. Professor John Hope is a native of Augusta, Ga., 
and a graduate of Brown University, Providence, R. I. For 
four years he was professor of natural science in Roger Wil- 

79° The African Abroad. 

Hams University, Nashville, Tenn. For eight years he has been 
professor of classics in the Atlanta Baptist College, and is 
beloved and respected by all of the members of the faculty 
and by the entire student body. He is still quite a young man, 
not yet out of his forties, I understand, and a brilliant career 
awaits him. I have met him twice and he impressed me as being 
a sober, sane and sensible idealist. He has pursued post-grad- 
uate studies in Chicago University, and is a splendid represen- 
tative of the educated Negro. 

At the recent Baptist convention in Darien, Ga., I met two 
of the most gifted colored Baptists in the country — Dr. S. N. 
Vass and Dr. E. R. Carter. Dr. S. N. Vass is secretary for the 
Southern States of the American Baptist Publication Society. 
Whether I discussed theology, medicine, or the race question 
with him, I found that he possessed a very bright and keen 
mind and was an original thinker. His article upon race leader- 
ship in a North Carolina paper a few years ago was one of 
the most searching criticisms of Booker T. Washington that 
have appeared. Dr. Vass is one of the bravest and most fearless 
men of the race. He is one of the intellectual giants of the 
race. When professor in Shaw University, he impressed his 
personality upon his students. 

The late Attorney G. F. McGee of Minneapolis, Minn., the 
Rufus Choate of the Negro bar, had a lucrative law practice 
and a large number of white clients. Professor J. W. Cromwell 
is an editor, educator and historian of ability. He is now secre- 
tary of the "American Negro Academy." He blends common 
sense with ripe scholarship. 

A few years ago the world was astonished to learn that Dr. 
J. W. E. Bowen of Gammon Theological Seminary had by his 
renown as a theologian, educator and preacher, so impressed the 
Methodist Episcopal Conference, which met in Los Angeles, Cal, 
that he received a flattering vote for bishop on several ballots, and 
he almost won the honor and distinction of being the first and only 
Negro bishop to preside over dioceses which contained white 
churches and to hold conferences with white ministers under 
his jurisdiction and authority. And while the Methodist Epis- 
copal Conference decided that the times were not ripe for a colored 
bishop over white churches and ministers, the fact that Dr. 

Some Colored History Makers of To-Day. 79 1 

Bowen was for a long time seriously considered as a prospective 
bishop entitles him to be considered as one of the most famous 
Negro divines and theologians our race has yet produced. 

Dr. M. C. B. Mason, a man who blends the gift of eloquence 
wnth rare executive ability, formerly drew a yearly salary of 
$4,500 as a corresponding secretary of the Freedman's Aid and 
Southern Society of the great Methodist Episcopal Church. 
His oration upon the "Battle of Waterloo" is a masterpiece 
of vivid and graphic description, and is delivered with force 
and energy. His address upon "Africans in America and 
Beyond the Seas," at the Young People's Congress in Washing- 
ton, D. C, stamps him as a wonderful orator. 

Dr. H. H. Proctor of Atlanta, Ga., was elected assistant 
moderator of the National Council of Congregational Churches 
held in Des Moines, Iowa, in October, 1904, and this was a 
tribute both to him and to the race. 

Dr. William V. Sinclair's "Aftermath of Slavery" is as com- 
prehensive a study of the reconstruction period as one will find 
in most of the histories of that period written by eminent white 

In Dr. Daniel H. Williams of Chicago we have a surgeon who 
has performed some very delicate operations. His operation in 
1897 for a stab wound of the heart and pericardium brought 
him world-wide fame and was referred to in the Medical Record, 
and Da Costa's "Modern Surgery," an international text-book on 

In Greenville Woods we have an inventor and electrician who 
has issued several patents, while in President W. S. Scarborough 
of Wilberforce University we have a Greek scholar whose 
Greek text-book "First Lessons in Greek," has been used as a 
reference work in some of our New England colleges. Hon. 
E. H. Morris of Qiicago, counsel for a wealthy corporation and 
the representative of one of the richest districts in the Illinois 
legislature, is said to have a practice paying him $25,000 a year. 
In fact, he has made more money out of his profession than any 
other lawyer of our race. 

In Doctors F. Purvis, F. Shadd and John R. Francis of Wash- 
ington, we had three successful physicians. Of these Dr. Purvis 
is a brilliant wit and raconteur, with a Carlylian gift of describ- 

792 The African Abroad. 

ing and caricaturing a man with a single phrase or epithet. 
Some of the puritanic fire and earnestness of his father still 
lives in him. Dr. Francis has a private sanitorium that is 
splendidly equipped. 

I believe that I am entitled to include L. M. Hershaw in my 
list of the colored immortals. On account of his unerring eye in 
detecting the weak points in an antagonist's armor and his 
vulnerable places, on account of the dexterity of his thrusts and 
parries, on account of his loyalty to the ideals of Atlanta Uni- 
versity, his alma mater, he is dreaded as a controversialist and 
respected as a consistent champion of the higher education of 
the Negro. Attorney J. N. Bundy of Washington, D. C, has a 
lucrative practice, is treasurer of the Howard University Law 
School, and was formerly one of the two colored members of 
the Washington Board of Education, Mrs. Francis being the 
other member. 

Mr. James Fitzgerald of Durham, N. C, is a colored brick- 
maker who owns two brickyards, a drug store, and property 
valued at $70,000 in various sections of the town. We have 
many other colored men who are richer than Mr. Fitzgerald. 
But the grit, courage, nerve and bulldog tenacity of purpose that 
he manifests stamp him as a great man. Once he was burned 
out, once an enemy destroyed his machinery; but his steadiness 
of purpose, his iron will, his cool judgment, his level-headedness, 
never deserted him. 

Professor Kelly Miller of Howard University, the best mathe- 
matician the race has yet produced, the author of "A Reply 
to Dixon's Leopard Spots," and "Race Adjustment," and Hon. 
Archibald Grimke, author of "Lives of William Lloyd Garri- 
son and Charles Sumner," are the ablest controversialists 
we have. Both are men whose grasp of sociological problems, 
analytical minds, epigrammatic style and Socratic irony can 
perplex and confuse any antagonist. And yet their most telling 
work has been done in newspapers. The brilliant comparison of 
Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington, the splendid 
analysis of the political philosophy of Douglass, Washington, 
DuBois and Trotter, which Kelly Miller gave in the Boston 
Transcript, September, 1903, I regard as equal to Macaulay's 
finest analytical work. Professor Miller is in great demand as a 
speaker and lecturer. 

Some Colored History Makers of To-Day. 793 

The Hon. Thomas E. Miller, former president of the State 
College of Orangeburg, S. C, is one of the most gifted and 
versatile men the Negro race has yet produced. As a farmer, 
a lawyer, an educator and a political orator he has won remark- 
able success. Dr. Miller actually turned out from his State Col- 
lege in Orangeburg, S. C, farmers and mechanics who command 
good wages and his daughters taught bookkeeping and the making 
of butter and cheese. In Dr. Nix he had an able vice president 
and in Professor Butler and Professor Wilkinson two gifted 
teachers. The latter is now the president of the school. 

To hear a Negro preacher whose aerial imagination can soar 
in its ethereal flight to the mysterious realm where the soul 
communes with the Infinite, to hear a Negro preacher whose 
scintillating sentences sparkle like diamonds that glow in the 
lustre of their beauty, one must listen to Rev. J. T. Wright, a 
Presbyterian divine, who was the chaplain of the school, and who 
is one of the ablest homiletical critics that our race has yet 

As a lawyer, Dr. Miller very rarely lost a case, although pitted 
against some of the keenest intellects of South Carolina. I 
have read his speeches in Congress and his address before the 
disfranchising Constitutional Convention of 1896 in Columbia, 
S. C. I have never read a more splendid defense and vindica- 
tion of the Negro. In its comprehensive grasp and survey of 
human history, in its rapier thrusts and chaste and dignified 
style, it almost ranks with the state papers and the orations of 
Daniel Webster. Those who heard him have said that he spoke 
over four hours, with a brief intermission for dinner. The 
galleries were crowded with men and women who represented 
the best blood of South Carolina. With his broad brow, waving 
hair, leonine face, massive physique, musical voice and graceful 
gestures, it seemed as if the genius and soul of Wendell Phillips 
were incarnated in that colored orator whose eloquence electrified 
an audience that hung upon his every word. I think we must 
regard him, Rev. Mr. Thurston, and Professor William Henry 
Harrison Hart of the Law Department of Howard University, 
who won his Jim Crow car fight in Maryland in January, 1905, 
when the Maryland Jim Crow law was declared unconstitutional 
for interstate passengers, who came to Washington from Ala- 

794 The African Abroad. 

bama a penniless, ragged, barefoot boy, started life as an office 
boy and bootblack to Senator Evarts, and finally became his 
private secretary, as three of the most ready and resourceful 
orators our race has yet produced. 

I believe that Professor Hart is one of the most brilliant law- 
yers and v^rith the possible exception of Professor J. E. Mason, 
Dr. I. N. Ross and Reverdy C. Ransom, the most gifted orator 
whose genius in recent years has uttered itself through a colored 
man's lips. Although Professor Hart is a lineal descendant of 
Thomas Hart, who came to Boston from Baddon, in Essex 
County, England, in the ship Desire in 1635, he is regarded as a 
colored man. His unique greatness as an orator resides in the 
fact that he is endowed with that rarest of all gifts, a poetic 
imagination. I well remember the only time I heard Pro- 
fessor Hart when his genius as an orator manifested itself 
at its best. In April, 1902, he spoke before the Men's Club of 
the United Congregational Church, New Haven, Conn. It was 
an honor for a colored man to address that club. The Sunday 
before the famous Episcopal divine, Dr. Rainsford of New York 
City, spoke there and the Sunday after an eminent professor in 
the Yale Law School was to speak there. So Hart was sand- 
wiched in between two great men. And yet he charmed and 
captivated and took into camp an audience that represented the 
wealth and culture of New Haven, as he had fascinated an 
audience that represented the cream and culture of Boston in the 
spring of 1901. The repose and dignity of his bearing, the grace 
and ease of his gestures, the exquisite modulation of his voice, 
the rhythmic and sententious roll of his sentences, the splendor 
and the sweep of his imagination delighted every one who heard 

Then, again, Professor Hart has done big things. He raised 
the money to erect the Howard University Law School buildings, 
secured the appropriation from Congress for the maintenance of 
the professorships. Through his farm school he taught the 
District of Columbia how to care for neglected waifs and way- 
ward colored boys and smashed the Maryland Jim Crow law, so 
far as it affected interstate passengers. 

Rev. Mr. Thurston, formerly manager of the silk mill in Fay- 
etteville, is an impressive and convincing speaker. He is power- 

Some Colored History Makers of To-Day. 795 

fully built, with a keen gray eye, a pleasant smile, and an iron will; 
a man of medium height, with a voice that is at the same time 
stentorian in volume and musical in quality, and he has a calm- 
ness and dignity that nothing can ruffle or disturb. In June, 
1905, he, with Professor Smith, pleaded in Raleigh for the 
Fayetteville State Normal School. He faced Governor Glenn 
and said, "Governor, give us a chance and we will make cotton 
do for North Carolina what gold has done for Colorado. We 
will make the old Piedmont section blossom with cotton as Colo- 
rado glistens with gold." And Thurston won his case. 

We have other orators, like Douglass and J. C. Price, who were 
more majestic; others like Charles Satchell Morris and James 
Hayes, the Virginia agitator, who are more magnetic, but Doctor 
Miller and Professor Hart have no set and stereotyped speeches 
and orations as some orators have. They are endowed with fertile 
imagination and prolific minds, and their oratory, like that of 
\\'endell Phillips and Henry Ward Beecher, is flexible and can 
adapt itself to different problems and different situations. The 
same may be said of Rev. Mr. Thurston. 

The hue and cry that was made by the Southern press regard- 
ing Dr. Crum's appointment made him a man of more than 
national reputation, and the courage and discretion that he mani- 
fested during that trying period, when a principle was at stake, 
stamps him as one of the greatest Negroes who ever held a 
position under the Federal Government. Posterity may regard 
him as the representative Negro office-holder. Most of the col- 
ored office-holders regarded their positions as plums or com- 
fortable berths. But in Dr. Crum we see a Negro physician who 
had accumulated quite a fortune as a physician before he was 
appointed as collector of customs. So he is one colored office- 
holder whose earnings as a physician were greater than his 
salary under the Federal Government. Hence, he stands in a 
class by himself. We must regard Dr. Crum as a great orator. 
Those who heard him deliver the emancipation address at Claflin 
University in 1906 regarded it as as brilliant an address as the 
one the famous J. C. Price delivered there several years ago. 
Like Sir William Conrad Reeves, he is not a brilliant rhetorician, 
nor prose poet, nor pyrotechnic painter of word pictures, but he 
is a great orator, because he is a big man speaking. He has some- 

796 The African Abroad. 

thing to say and backs that something with an impressive, digni- 
fied personahty. Tall and well built, with a light reddish-brown 
complexion, a round face, determined jaw and chin, a firm mouth, 
shaded by a moustache, and a heavy, husky bass voice, his words 
carry weight and conviction. 

He resigned his position as collector of the Port of Charleston, 
S. C, in the spring of 1909, and was later appointed United 
States Minister to Liberia to succeed Rev. Ernest Lyons. He 
contracted the African fever in Liberia, and was brought to his 
home in Charleston, S. C, in a serious condition. He died Decem- 
ber, 1912, in his native city, universally beloved and lamented. 

Another remarkable colored educator and preacher is Rev. Dr. 
William V. Tunnell, formerly pastor of the St. Augustine Epis- 
copal Church in Brooklyn, N. Y., later president of King Hall, 
an Episcopal Theological Seminary in Washington, D. C, now 
head of the department of history in Howard University, Wash- 
ington, D. C. Dr. Tunnell is a native of the Danish West 
Indies and has a great deal of the fighting blood of the old Danish 
race. He is an erudite scholar and an impressive preacher and 
orator. His intellectual head, his stern face, his heavy, bass 
voice, his erect, well-knit figure, and his commanding personality, 
indicate that he is a man of executive and administrative ability, a 
born ruler of men. His sturdy, rugged nature is tempered with 
mellowness and sweetness and geniality. He has not yet wrought 
out a great work as has Mr. Washington, but when you meet 
Dr. Tunnell you feel that he is every inch a man, and that he 
could master and handle almost every situation that confronted 
him. His grandeur and poise as a speaker can impress and 
awe any audience. He was appointed a member of the Board of 
Education of Washington, D. C. 

In \A'illiam Monroe Trotter and George Washington Forbes of 
Boston we must recognize two clever and fearless journalists who 
mercilessly dissected and laid bare as with a scalping knife the 
fallacious theories of the Tuskeegee sage regarding the civil and 
political status of the Negro race, and made the Boston Guardian 
the most formidable and dreaded colored newspaper the world 
has yet seen. 

If any one were to ask what is the most potent Negro news- 
paper published, the answer would unquestionably be the Boston 



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Some Colored History Makers of To-Day. 797 

Guardian, whose editor is William Monroe Trotter. He was a 
remarkable student at Harvard, standing near the head of his 
class, taking a magna cum laude, and almost winning a siimma 
cum laude. He was a very successful real estate mortgage 
broker. Now he is devoting his powerful intellect, his fertile 
brain, his splendid business ability and- his Promethean energy to 
the cause of Negro manhood and Negro suffrage. 

The world does not know that the man who launched the 
Boston Guardian upon its tempestuous career, who wrote at first 
most of the scintillating and slashing editorials, and who con- 
ceived the idea of most of those X-ray cartoons that mercilessly 
unmasked the bogus leaders of the Negro race, and that first 
brought the Boston Guardian into fame, was none other than 
George W^ashington Forbes of the West End Branch of the 
Boston Public Library, formerly editor of the Boston Courant, 
but now no longer engaged in newspaper work. For a combina- 
tion of philosophic grasp of mind, statesmanlike comprehension 
of the Negro question, knowledge of the foibles and frailties of 
human nature, hard horse sense, sardonic wit, biting satire and 
playful humor, he is unsurpassed by any colored writer. Some 
of his editorial work when he was connected with the Boston 
Guardian was superb. The reader may ask, "Why has not 
Forbes the world-wide fame of DuBois?" Dr. DuBois has the 
prestige of a Harvard Ph.D. He has written several books, and 
there is poetic quality to his writings. Mr. Forbes is now writing 
a history of the Negro race that may give him the international 
renown of a BIyden or Dumas. 

Of the Boston lawyers, Clement G. Morgan and Butler R. 
Vv'ilson might possibly be able to make as good a speech on the 
spur of the moment as former Assistant Attorney-General Wil- 
liam H. Lewis of Boston, the famous Harvard center and football 
coach. Johnson W\ Ramsey has made more money out of his 
practice than any colored lawyer in the North, but give Lewis, 
with his magnificent brow, massive jaw, Niagara voice and ath- 
letic physique, time to prepare himself, and you have a second 
Daniel Webster, a man whose eloquence is irresistible. Like 
Webster, Lewis is the personification of dignity and is endowed 
with a thunderous voice. I saw and heard him sweep the mem- 
bers of the Twentieth Century Club of Boston ofif their feet in 

798 The African Abroad. 

his impassioned plea for the Negro in March, 1904. He was hke 
a torrent gathering force and energy as he moved along, and, 
when he said, trembling with suppressed excitement, "For me, I 
would rather not be, than to be and not to be a man," an audience 
which represented the wealth and culture of Boston broke into 
spontaneous and prolonged applause. On Lincoln's birthday, 
February 12, 1913, he delivered the annual memorial address 
before the Massachusetts State Legislature. The galleries were 
crov\'ded and Lewis held the audience spellbound. 

As I have traveled through the country, I have met several 
colored men who have impressed me with their exceptional 
ability: the late Captain James Wilkins of New Haven, Conn., 
the military and political leader ; James A. Peaker of New Haven, 
Conn., the founder of the State Sumner League ; Rev. A. P. 
Miller, who made the Dixwell Avenue Congregational Church 
of New Haven, Conn., the first colored Congregational church 
to be self-supporting ; and Willis Bonner and \MlIiam Manning, 
political leaders of New Haven, Conn., impressed me with their 
ability to lead and marshal men. And of these. Captain James 
Wilkins, a brave soldier, by his brilliancy and energy amassed 
quite a fortune ; James A. Peaker, who as a political leader 
equaled Cuney of Texas and Lee of Florida, and as a versatile 
orator is the peer of any of the Negro race, made a profound 
impression upon the community. 

In New York City, Dr. E. P. Roberts, the successful physician, 
and Benjamin E. Thomas, former proprietor of the Maceo, 
impressed me as resourceful and able business men. In Balti- 
more, ]\Id., Dr. W. A. C. Hughes, former pastor of Sharp Street 
M. E. Church, Dr. Lincoln Gaines, Dr. J. J. Wortham and the late 
Dr. E. J. Gregg, pastor of St. John's A. M. E. Church, impressed 
me as brilliant preachers ; and W. Ashbie Hawkins struck me as 
being a splendid specimen of colored lawyer and race leader. 
I have also met a few men like Dr. York Russell, the brilliant 
physician and orator of New York ; Professor John Wesley 
Cromwell, Professor William H. Richards, Professor C. C. Cook 
and L. M. Hershaw of Washington, D. C, who impressed me 
by the versatility of their scholarship. Of these I will first speak 
of Professor Richards, who, as a scholar, I regard as the peer 
of DuBois and Scarborough. Professor Richards, of the law 

Some Colored History Makers of To-Day. 799 

department of Howard University, was born in Tennessee and 
reared by bis grandmother. As a boy he was aristocratic and 
ambitious. When President Garfield heard him deHver his ora- 
tion, when he graduated from Howard University Law School, 
he said, "That young man will make his mark." And young 
Richards did make his mark. He was appointed to a govern- 
ment clerkship in Washington, was elected mayor of Athens, 
Tenn., and about 1890, was appointed a professor in Howard 
University Law School, which institution he has helped to 
develop. He did much for Bethel Literary, has generously 
assisted many struggling students, and is one of the profoundest 
scholars of the race. He is another George W^illiam Curtis, for 
he has stood forth as the champion of high intellectual, aesthetical 
moral ideals. 

The late Professor C. C. Cook of Howard University was 
one of the most subtle minds in our race. Although a teacher 
of English literature, he has mastered sociology and philosophy. 
He was one of the few colored men I have met who has grasped 
the significance of Taine's "History of English Literature" and 
Hegel's "Philosophy of History." He was the son of the late 
John F. Cook of Washington, D. C. He graduated from Cornell 
University and took a post-graduate course at Oxford. He was, 
withal, a sweet, modest and noble-minded gentleman. 

Professor L. M. Hershaw, the editor and correspondent, is 
another colored scholar, who has mastered Spencer, Taine and 

Among the colored men in the postal service, Mr. Charles E. 
Chapman of Cambridge, Mass., who has been in the service 
since 1875, has won the confidence, esteem and respect of the 
business men with whom he has come in contact. His father 
and mother were born in Virginia, but Mr. Chapman was born 
in New York, where he remained until he was twenty-one. 
He then went to New Haven, Conn., in which place he stayed 
until 1872, when he went to Boston. In 1875 he was appointed 
clerk in the Boston post office, in which capacity he remained a 
little over ten years. He was transferred to the position of 
letter carrier at his own request. In 1885 he was appointed 
letter carrier on the Boylston Street route, embracing the wealthy 
business district. So intelligent and efficient has been his service 

8oo The African Abroad. 

that he has remained on the same important route for twenty- 
five years, making thirty-eight years in which he has success- 
fully and faithfully served Uncle Sam. Well may he and his 
race be proud of his record. In the winter of 1910 he was 
appointed as clerk. 

Mr. Alonzo R. Jones of Jacksonville, Fla., is a native of North 
Carolina. He was born in Blackville, in 1853, of slave parents. 
He went to Florida, in 1S67, with his parents, where he grew 
up into manhood. His school training was obtained in the com- 
mon schools of Jacksonville, and as early as 1872 he became 
interested in politics, working hard for the party candidates. 
His first political position was when he received the appointment 
of election clerk. Several times he was election inspector. He 
was always known to be opposed to corrupt politics, and took 
an active part in all reform movements in the municipal gov- 
ernment, which made him quite prominent among the best people 
of the city, and he gained the respect of the business men of 
the community. 

At the reorganization of the city government he was elected 
police commissioner with two white men. The board organized 
by electing Mr. Jones chairman. He was also appointed a notary 
public at large for the State of Florida by Governor E. A. Perry 
in 1888. He was also prominent in fraternal organizations, in 
the Masons, Odd Fellows and Knights of Pythias; but especially 
was he a leader in the church of his choice. 

The ruling power became the turbulent element in 1892, when 
a disturbance occurred in July, wherein Jones was charged with 
inciting a riot, which charge was trumped up for the purpose 
of humiliating him and extorting over one thousand dollars from 
him. Owing to the persecution, he was compelled to leave his 
comfortable home in Jacksonville and take up an abode in New 
Haven, Conn., where he became prominent in church, society 
and politics. 

The facts were as follows : A colored man killed a white 
man in an altercation in which the white man struck the first 
blow and raised the paling to strike the colored man ; the colored 
man wrested the paling from him and struck and killed him 
with it. A mob gathered to lynch the colored man who had 
killed the white man in self-defence. Mr. Jones organized an 

Some Colored History Makers of To-Day. 80 1 

armed band of colored men, who guarded the jail for two days 
and nights, thus preventing the lynching. That was all the dis- 
turbance there was. This, with the exception of the prompt- 
action of the men at Darien, Ga., is the only time that colored 
men have successfully prevented a lynching. This, alone, stamps 
Mr. Jones as a leader and organizer of men.- 

Boston is a city which makes or unmakes a man's reputation. 
Great men soon reach the common size of men before the critical 
eye of Boston. Frederick Douglass, R. Brown Elliot, J. C. Price 
and Professor William H. H. Hart, as orators, successfully ran 
the gauntlet of Boston criticism. Of the colored preachers 
who have gone to Boston, Dr. Hurley, Reverdy C. Ransom, 
Charles Satchell Morris and J. A. Brockett stood the test. Dr. 
Hurley is a thoughtful, earnest and impressive speaker; R. 
Reverdy Ransom is the Wendell Phillips of the race, and Charles 
Satchell Morris rivals Bourke Cochran as a builder of climaxes. 
But Dr. J. A. Brockett, who leaped into fame by brilliantly 
answering Henry Grady in Tremont Temple and in IMusic Hall, 
is the Roscoe Conkling of the Negro race. 

Each of the last three was fortunate in being selected to deliver 
an address upon a historic occasion that lived in the memory of 
those who heard it. Reverdy C. Ransom's Garrison's Centennial 
address, delivered in Faneuil Hall in January, 1906, electrified an 
audience that crowded the historic temple to its doors. Charles 
Satchell Morris's welcome to the colored soldiers who returned 
from the Spanish- American War in the late fall of 1898 held a 
vast audience spellbound for nearly two hours. The climax of 
his oration came when he said amid deafening applause, "Criti- 
cize Massachusetts as you may, there is a moral fibre that runs 
like a thread of gold throughout her history. She did go into 
hysterics, however, over the election of Isaac B. Allen to the 
Governor's Council." The last remark convulsed the audience 
v/ith laughter. 

Joshua A. Brockett, in Tremont Temple, in the fall of 1889 
replied to Henry Grady, the silver-tongued orator of Atlanta, 
Ga., in a speech that for a few weeks made him the most talked 
of man in Boston. One of the addresses was delivered to an 
audience largely colored and the other to an audience largely 
white. Nearly four thousand packed Tremont Temple to hear 

8o2 The African Abroad. 

Brocket! answered Grady point by point. Grady boasted that 
he had been suckled by a black mammy. Brockett replied that 
"she did not know that she was taking a viper to her bosom. By 
a strange irony of fate, Brockett's addresses appeared in the 
newspapers the same day in which the death of Henry Grady 
Avas heralded over the country. And the colored people cried 
• out, "Brockett's speech killed Grady." 

He had but one rival in Boston — E. G. Walker, the black Demo- 
crat, the founder of the Colored National League, the friend of 
Ireland, a lawyer whom Hon. Patrick Collins and other eminent 
Bostonians eulogized at the memorial exercises in his honor, an 
orator whose oration upon Charles Sumner in Faneuil Hall 
equalled that of Hon. R. Brown Elliot, and a race leader vvho 
aided and encouraged young men and pushed them to the front. 

Dr. Brockett is hypnotic in his effect upon an audience. With 
an athletic physique, a deliberate manner, a sonorous voice, a 
well-thought-out speech, biting wit and sarcasm, and sublime 
climaxes backed up by a masterful poise and a well-balanced and 
self-controlled personality. Dr. Brockett has brought the grandilo- 
quent style of speaking to a high point of perfection. 

He, preeminently, of the colored orators has the grandiloquent 
personality of Roscoe Conkling and the superb self-possession of 
a Pericles. There is a grandeur, a solemnity, a sublime dignity 
to the man that awes and impresses an audience. 

Hart captivates you by the rhythm of his sentences and the 
modulation of his voice, Morris sways you by throwing you into 
sympathy with him, while Brockett dominates you by the force 
and magnetism of his transcendent personality. 

I will bring this chapter to a close by saying a word about Rev. 
J. Milton Waldron, D.D., formerly the pastor of Bethel Baptist 
Institutional Church of Jacksonville, Fla. This church is built 
like a Turkish mosque and is the most beautiful and best equipped 
Negro church I have ever seen. Probably no Negro preacher in 
the country lives the life of intense activity that Dr. Waldron 
does and has his hands so completely upon the throttle valves of 
the community's life. Dr. Waldron was president of the Afro- 
American Industrial and Benefit Association, which was one of 
the best banking, insurance and benefit companies in our race, 
employing one hundred and ten men and women. He was also 

Some Colored History Makers of To-Day. S03 

the president of the stockholders of the Florida Standard and 
Publishing Company, of which Rev. J. A. Hopkins is the editor. 
The Standard is one of the strongest and most fearless of Negro 
newspapers and employs ten colored persons. Then, too, Dr. 
Waldron is an eloquent Gospel preacher, a minister of high ideals, 
rare purity of life, integrity of character and puritanic moral 
fibre. He is a man with plenty of gray matter in his brain, 
with plenty of iron in his blood and unusual strength in his 
vertebrate column. He is a plain, positive, practical character, 
with strong convictions, that he never fails to assert. He is a 
born fighter. Standing six feet in height, weighing over two 
hundred pounds, light complexioned, clean shaven, with a noble 
brow, strong, stern, rugged features, and kindly voice, possessing 
an unusual amount of energy, magnetism and earnestness, Dr, 
Waldron is a human dynamo and perhaps one of the strongest 
dynamic forces in the Negro pulpit to-day, if not the strongest. 
For when I look at him, it seems as if the spirit of an Oliver 
Cromwell was incarnated in this colored preacher. He is not 
a flowery, poetic speaker ; he is not a humorist in the pulpit ; 
but he is the embodiment of power, intellectual, moral and phy- 
sical, and gives one the impression of titanic force of personality. 
But, best of all. Dr. Waldron has lived in Jacksonville fourteen 
years and demanded the same respect in Jacksonville that the 
late Air. Crummell once commanded, and that Dr. Grimke now 
commands in Washington. In the National Capital, Dr. Waldron 
not only sustained his former reputation, but has forged to the 
front as a race leader. Lincoln University was his alma mater, 
and Newton Theological Seminary gave him his theological train- 
ing; so New England Puritanism speaks in him. I believe that 
a man who can impress his individuality upon a community as 
Dr. Waldron has deserves to be regarded as a great man, and 
the colored people of the country ought to be proud of such a 
noble representative of the possibilities of the Negro pulpit. Few 
ministers blend education, ideals, horse sense and pluck as Dr. 
Waldron does. He is now the successful pastor of Shiloh Baptist 
Church, Washington, D. C. 

Now for a closing word as to Morris. I will quote the begin- 
nings of a news item, which, under a heavy head line, appeared in 
the Boston Post, Thursday morning, June 21, 1906: 

8o4 The African Abroad. 

Standing, some on the chairs, throwing hats, handkerchiefs and purses 
into the air, and cheering at the tops of their voices, a crowd of 
colored people that filled Faneuil Hall to the very doors, went into a 
frenzy of excitement last evening while the Rev. Charles S. Morris, 
D.D., pastor of Abyssinia Baptist Church, New York City, denounced 
the Southern people in general for their treatment of the colored people, 
the Pullman Car Company for its treatment of Rev. Reverdy C. Ransom, 
and Booker T. Washington for what the speaker called his absolute failure 
as the leader of the colored people. 

Rev. Charles S. Morris is now pastor of a Baptist Church in 
Norfolk. Va. 

Foot Notes. — Claflin University has been brought by Dr. F. M. Dunton, 
its white president, to a high point of efficiency. The same may be said 
of Benedict College, also under white management. Professor J. E. 
Wallace of Claflin has been elected president of Bennet College, Greens- 
boro, N. C, and Treasurer Youngblood has been called to the professor- 
ship of a Western college. 

Rev. Dr. Kimball Warren, the forceful pastor of the IMather Street 
Baptist Church of Hartford, speaks eloquently of the progress of the 
colored people of Michigan. He says that there are four very wealthy 
colored men in Cass County, Michigan. William Allen owns a farm of 
900 acres of land and annually ships nine decks of sheep. (There are 
three decks of sheep to a cattle car.) Samuel Hawkes owns 600 acres 
of tilling ground and 300 acres of black walnut, sugar trees and white oak. 
James Archer owns two or three big threshing engines and separators 
and threshes all of the wheat in the county. He also owns a fine stock 
farm. Flenry Brown owns 700 acres of land, rents part of it out and 
loans money. 

Rev. Dr. Warren also says that the members of the Chain Lake Bap- 
tist Church are worth a million and that the total wealth of the members 
of the three churches aggregates two million. The school board and 
county trustees are also colored. 


Sotne Prouiinent and Talented Colored People of To-day. 

There are several men of exceptional ability worthy of men- 
tion here. These men are Edward H. Wilson, W". H. A. Moore 
of the Chicago Tribune, and L. M. Hershaw of Washington — 
three brilliant correspondents ; Rev. Silas X. Floyd of Augusta, 
Ga., some of whose poems have appeared in the Independent 
and Judge, while some of them have been illustrated in Judge, 
and who is destined to become famous as a Negro dialect poet 
and writer of short stories ; J. Max Barber, formerly the 
talented editor of the Voice of the Negro; W\ Scott Alontgom- 
ery, formerly superintendent of the colored schools, Washing- 
ton, D. C. ; Attorney J. N. Bundy of Washington, formerly 
colored member of the Board of Education and treasurer of 
Howard University Law School ; Judge Robert H. Tyrrell of 
Washington, society leader, educator and lawyer ; John R. 
Lynch, ex-congressman and paymaster of the United States 
Army; the late Hon. A. S. White of Louisville, Ky., an able 
lawyer and orator — a man of great brain pov/er ; the brilliant, 
resourceful and tactful R. R. Wright, president of the Georgia 
State Industrial College and former paymaster of the United 
States Army in the late Spanish-American war, who became 
famous by crying out when General Howard asked, "What 
shall I tell the people of the North?" "Tell them that we are 
rising," and who was a member of the National Republican 
Convention that nominated Garfield and Harrison and renom- 
inated Harrison ; the genial, suave and diplomatic President 
James B. Dudley of the A. & M. College, Greensboro, N. C, 
whom Governor Glenn of North Carolina proclaimed a greater 
man than Booker T. Washington ; Professor Roberts, vice 
president of Shaw University, Raleigh, N. C. ; Professor 
DeLaney, vice president of St. Augustine School, Raleigh, 
N. C. ; Rev. Albert P. Miller of Jersey City, who built up the 
Dixwell Avenue Congregational Church of New Haven, Conn. ; 
J. P. Peaker of New Haven, who welded the colored voters of 

8o6 The African Abroad. 

Connecticut into the State Sumner League, and Dr. Owen M. 
Walker of Brooktyn, N. Y., whose culture was ripened in Oxford 
University, who was for a few years the gifted, courteous and 
eloquent pastor of St. Mary's Church, ^Vashington, D. C, and 
who if he had continued in the ministry would have become 
one of the most famous preachers of our race. 

Bishop T. H. Halsey's books and essays show a grasp upon 
sociological problems, and Bishop B. S. L. Williams' sermon 
upon 'The Philosophy of Truth" is a philosophical discourse 
that is delivered by a preacher of regal appearance and wonderful 

I will mention some of the colored men and women who have 
distinguished themselves in Northern and Eastern colleges and 
universities. Professor Edward A. Bouchet, Ph.D., was a Phi 
Beta Kappa man at Yale in the early seventies. In Clement G. 
Morgan and Roscoe Conkling Bruce, the Harvard class orators, 
and William Pickens, winner of the Ten Eyck Prize at Yale, we 
have instances of colored men winning the highest oratorical 
honors in Yale and Harvard universities. Mr. James Bertram 
Clark, a native of the \Nesi Indies, while a student at Cornell 
University, won a French prize in his Junior year. 

In Stewart and Morton, the debaters at Harvard ; in McGuinn 
and Crawford, winners of the Townsend prize speaking con- 
tests in the Yale Law School ; in Richard T. Greener, winner 
of the Boyleston and Bowdoin prizes at Harvard; in Seme, 
the young Zulu who won an oratorical prize at Columbia ; in 
Dr. Henderson, Rev. O. Faduma and Rev. T. Nelson Baker, 
winners of the scholarships in the Yale Divinity School ; in 
Smith wick, winner of the $ioo prize for an essay on Roman 
law in the Yale Law School; in R. R. Wright, Jr., fellow in 
sociology in the University of Pennsylvania ; in Robert Bonner, 
winner of a prize in drawing in the Yale Art School ; in Dr. 
I. N. Porter, and William Fletcher Penn, successful graduates 
of the Yale Medical School ; in Dr. Ferdinand A. Stewart and 
Dr. Henry S. Bailey of Harvard; in Prof. Benjamin Lightfoot 
of Howard University, a brilliant Latin scholar of Cornell or 
Amherst; in William Monroe Trotter, a magna cum laude man 
of Harvard; in Professor John W. Gilbert of Augusta, Ga., 
winner of a Greek fellowship in Brown University; in Trim- 


Robert H. Booner, Esq., 
Beverly, Mass. 

Prof. Charles H. Boyer, 
Raleigh, N. C. 

Rev. Prof. Oreshatukeh Faduma, 
Boley, Okla. 
Rev. H. C. Proctor, D.D., 
Atlanta, Ga. 




■' ■ /. -Wr^ Y' '-' ' 


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til Ik. -■ 





Some Prominent Colored People of To-Day. 807 

bull, a Phi Beta Kappa man in Brown University ; in E. H. 
Wilson, a Phi Beta Kappa man of Williams; in J. H. Bluford, 
a former holder of a graduate scholarship in the University 
of Pennsylvania ; in Hon. John P. Green, who graduated at 
the head of his class in the Central High School of Cleveland; 
in John Wesley Cromwell, Jr., a Phi Beta Kappa man at Dart- 
mouth ; in Terrell, DuBois and Hill, commencement orators 
at Harvard University; in George H. Henderson, Proctor, Rev. 
T. Nelson Baker and Gregory, winners of oratorical honors in 
the Yale Divinity School; in Charles Hatfield Dickerson of 
Oberlin and Yale Divinity schools ; and in James Augusta 
Wilson, winner of an oratorical prize in Wesleyan University, 
we see colored students who have demonstrated the ability of 
colored students to stand the rivalry of the keenest Caucasian 
students. In W. H. Lewis, the celebrated Harvard center and 
football coach ; in Marshall, the brilliant Harvard football and 
baseball player ; in Howard Lee, the football player ; in Napoleon 
Bonaparte Marshall and Edward Hamilton, the Harvard run- 
ners ; in Sherman Jackson, the Amherst half-back ; in Caldwell, 
the Williams end ; in Bullock, the Dartmouth football hero ; in 
Taylor, the famous University of Pennsylvania runner; in 
Cable, Harvard's hammer thrower; in A. L. Jackson, the 
Harvard hurdler; in Speiden of Cornell, the two-mile runner, 
and in Howard M. Drew, the premier sprinter of the Springfield 
High School, an Olympic hero, we have colored students who 
have shown that the Negro is not lacking in presence of mind, 
nerve and dash upon the athletic field. 

The late Mrs. Fannie Jackson Coppin and Mrs. Mary Church 
Terrell, graduates of Oberlin College; Mrs. Maude Brooks 
Cotton, a graduate of Knoxville College; Mrs. Elbert of Wil- 
mington, Del., an M.A. of Smith, and Miss Anita Hemings of 
Vassar (now Mrs. Love, I believe), are four colored ladies whose 
college careers attracted unusual attention. In Misses Alberta 
Scott, Gertrude Bakers, Genevieva Hall and Gladys Holmes, we see 
graduates of Radcliffe College, the Harvard Annex. Of these 
ladies Miss Hall, I understand, graduated with high honors. Miss 
Effie Grant won a $150 prize for singing in the Yale School of 
Music. Miss Helen Hagan of New Haven, Conn., graduated in 
1912 from the Yale School of Music. For three successive years 

8o8 The African Abroad. 

she won scholarships from that school. At her graduation she was 
awarded the Samuel Simons Sanford Fellowship, which provided 
for two years' study abroad. The fellowship was given for the 
best original composition. Miss Hagan played her concerto in 
C minor for piano and orchestra in a concert at Woolsey Hall, 
in May, 19 12, accompanied by the New Haven Symphony Orches- 
tra. Miss Hagan has also composed songs, pianoforte pieces, 
violin and piano sonatas and string quartettes. But I suppose 
that Locke of Harvard, winning one of the Cecil Rhodes Schol- 
arships, is the most conspicuous recent example of the Negro's 
triumph in the university world. 

In Henry A. Rucker, former collector of internal revenue in 
Georgia ; in Judge Gibbs, Dr. J. W. Thompson, Professor Powell 
and Dr. Frederick Furniss, Frederick Douglass, E. D. Bassett 
and J. M. Langston, United States ministers to Hayti; in Dr. 
Jackson, consul to La Rochelle, France ; in Dr. VanHorne, Pro- 
fessor R. T. Greener, Colonel James Lewis, New Orleans; the 
late Colonel J. H. Deveaux, collector of the Port of Savannah; 
and John C. Dancy, former recorder of deeds in Washington, 
D. C. ; in Cyrus Field Adams, former deputy in Register Lyon's 
office, Washington, D. C. ; and in John Taylor, former deputy 
collector, Wilmington, N. C, we see colored men who have faith- 
fully performed the services required "of them. In ex-Governor 
P. B. S. Pinchback we see an old reconstruction "war horse" 
whose brilliancy, dash and personal magnetism made him a 
national figure during the trying reconstruction days. Profes- 
sor Cordoza, secretary of state in South Carolina, was another 
prominent reconstruction figure. In Congressman John R. 
Lynch, George H. White and George Murray we had three able 
representatives in Congress, though I believe that Elliot, Bruce 
and Langston were more in the public eye. In Professor E. 
S. Smith and the late John H. Smythe of Virginia we have 
two ex-ministers to Liberia who have done good work as edu- 

In T. McCants Stewart of New York City, S. Laing Williams 
of Chicago, 111., lawyers Mitchell and Heathman, of Providence, 
R. I., J. Madison Vance of New Orleans, R. I. D. Macon, 
Webster, and James L. Curtis of New York City, Butler R. 
Wilson, E. E. Brown and Edgar Benjamin of Boston, \\'. Cal- 

Some Prominent Colored People of To-Day. 809 

vin Chase, the late Reuben Smith, Mr. T. H. Jones, and Messrs. 
Stewart and Walker, the two receivers of the Capitol Savings 
Bank, of Washington, D. C, Simmons and Chapelle of New 
York City, lawyer Onley of Peacedale, R. I., we see a few 
of the colored men who have broken the ice for colored law- 
yers. Mr. Ormond Scott and Mr. Pattison are two brilliant 
young lawyers of Washington ; the late Mr. McGee of Detroit, 
Mich., had a great many white clients. John Milton Turner 
and C. H. J. Taylor w^ere former United States ministers to 
Liberia, who are eloquent speakers. 

In Rev. Charles E. Jacobs, D.D., of Sumter, S. C, field worker 
for the Methodist Episcopal Sunday School Union and con- 
testant for a seat in Congress ; in the brilliant and magnetic 
Rev. E. V. Burroughs of Charleston, S. C. ; in Dr. John E. 
Frank of Louisville, Ky., the masterful moderator; in Dr. 
P. P. Watson, formerly of Beaufort, S. C, who presided over 
a church, conducted a Sunday School, managed a farm and 
superintended a library; in the late Dr. J. W. Carr of Savan- 
nah, Ga., formerly the pastor of the largest Negro church in 
the world, with nearly 5,000 enrolled members, we have typical 
representatives of the new type of Negro preachers. 

Rev. L. G. Jordan, secretary of the Baptist Foreign Mission 
Board, Louisville, Ky. ; Dr. Matthew Anderson and Dr. Wm. 
H. Credit, of Philadelphia, Pa. ; Rev. W. Howard of Washing- 
ton, D. C, and Rev. E. Robert Bennett, formerly of Wilming- 
ton, N. C, have won enviable reputations as organizers and 
church workers. Bishop Scott of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church ; Rev. John Adams of Columbia, S. C. ; the late Dr. 
William L Dixon of Brooklyn, N. Y., Rev. C. K. Brown of 
Aiken, S. C, Rev. Dr. W. T. Bowen of Bamberg, S. C. ; Rev. 
Dr. S. L. Corrothers, Rev. J. D. Corrothers, Rev. Sterling N. 
Brown, Rev. A. C. Garner and Dr. Rivers, pastor of Berean 
Baptist Church, Washington, D. C. ; R.ev. Byron Gunner, for- 
merly of Newport, R. L ; Rev. Hannah, Sumter, S. C. ; Rev. Mid- 
dleton, Hickson, Witherspoon, Johnson and Snick of South 
Carolina ; Rev. Gedda, Rev. Dr. H. C. Bishop of New York ; Rev, 
H. P. Nelson, Rev. Dr. Townsend and Presiding Elder Cooper 
of Orangeburg, S. C. ; Rev. Dr. Mouzon, Rev. Laurie, Dr. W. 
W. Beckett, Rev. Jackson, the late Rev. O. D. Robinson of 

8io The African Abroad. 

Charleston, S. C. ; Rev. J. H. Holley and Rev. W. G. Johnson, 
D.D., of Macon, Ga. ; Rev. Dr. J. W. Porter of Memphis, 
Tenn. ; Rev. P. J. Bryant and Rev. Dr. Rush of Atlanta, Ga. ; 
Rev. Dr. W. M. Gray, Rev. H. O. May, Rev. Daniel Reid, Rev. 
Haywood, Rev. Blair, the late Rev. Griffin, Rev. S. A. Lindsley, 
Rev. R. \'. Branch, Rev. N. T. Whiting, Rev. E. Lowery of Savan- 
nah, Ga. ; the late Archdeacon Pollard of North Carolina, Rev. 
Dr. King of Raleigh, Rev. J. A. Bonner, Rev. G. W. Walton, 
Rev. S. S. Henderson and Rev. John E. Jackson of Wilmington, 
N. C; Rev. W. R. Coles and Rev. G. W. Raiford of Aiken, 
S. C. ; Rev. G. Coit of Georgetown, S. C. ; Presiding Elder 
H. W. Bennett, formerly of the famous Emanuel A. M. E. 
Church of Charleston, S. C. ; Rev. B. S. A. Williams of Summer- 
ville, S. C. ; the late Butler Tompkins, a Presbyterian divine 
of New York City; Rev. N. T. Haywood, Rev. D. J. Flynn, of 
Charlotte, N. C. ; and Rev. McCoy of Augusta, Ga. ; Rev. King 
of Candor, Dr. AMiitted of Raleigh, N. C, and the late Rev. 
Boyd of Nashville, Tenn., are worthy of mention. 

Rev. and Professor H. Macon Joseph of New York City, Rev. 
W^ilson of Raleigh and Presiding Elders Bruce Williams, N. 
B. Sterrett, Dr. Nichols, Dr. Jefferson and Dr. Chavis, of the 
A. M. E. Church in South Carolina ; Rev. F. P. Bishop, Cythian, 
Ky. ; Rev. J. T. Morrow, formerly of Louisville, Ky., are 
among our noted preachers. Of these Rev. J. Albert Johnson, 
Rev. A. P. Miller, Dr. Bruce Williams, Archdeacon Pollard, 
Dr. J. W. Porter, and Dr. I. N. Ross are men of almost national 
reputation. Rev. Clemons, editor of the Star of Zion, the late 
Rev. E. J. Gregg, formerly secretary of Allen League, and former 
Secretary W. H. Coffin of Church Extension, are known through- 
out the country. Rev. F. P. Crum of Beaufort, S. C. ; Rev. Low- 
ery of Savannah, Ga. ; Rev. J. Francis Robinson, formerly of 
Indianapolis, Ind., and Presiding Elders Capot, Telfair and 
Nichols of \\'ilmington, N. C, are clergymen whose importance 
should not be overlooked. 

Then we have had many noted educators. President Nathaniel 
Young of State College, Tallahassee, Fla. ; Professor William 
Lewis Bulkley, principal of a mixed school in New York City; 
President W. H. Goler, Professor K. ^^'eggio Aggrey, Professor 
Crittenden, Professor Hanna and Professor Connor of Living- 

Some Prominent Colored People of To-Day. 8ii 

ston College; the late President Sanders, Professor Davis and 
Professor Russell of Biddle University ; Dr. Jones, formerly 
president of Wilberforce University ; President Allen of Lincoln 
Institute, Jefferson City; Professor George A. Towne of Atlanta 
University, Professor G. W. Playes, A.M., Richmond, Va. ; 
Professor J. E. Wallace, Professor Cook and Professor Young- 
blood of Claflin University; Professor H. H. Thomas and Pro- 
fessor J. G. Reese of Benedict College; Professor D. C. Suggs, 
Professor Henry Pearson, Professor Cooper, Professor M. N. 
Work, Professor G. B. Thompson and Professor J. G. Lemon 
of Georgia State Industrial College ; President James Dudley 
and Professor J. H. Bluford of the A. & M. College, Greens- 
boro, N. C. ; Professor Roberts and Professor Pegues of Shaw 
University ; the late Professor John Holt of Wilmington, N. C. ; 
Professor Gregory of Bordenton, N. J. ; W. Scott Montgomery, 
Professor Cordozo and the late Superintendent George Cook of 
Washington, D. C. ; Professor Morris of Allen University, 
Columbia, S. C. ; Professor George H. Henderson, Fiske Uni- 
versity, Professor Nix Butler and President Wilkinson of A. & 
M. College, Orangeburg, S. C. ; Professor John Wesley Hoff- 
man, Marshall, Texas; Professor T. B. Williams, Hampton, Va. ; 
Principal Hugh M. Brovv^n, Cheney, Pa. ; P. J. Dawkins, for- 
merly principal of St. Helena, S. C. ; Professor Pegues of Bene- 
dict College, Columbia, S. C. ; Professor Howard, Georgetown, 
S. C. ; Principal Griffin, Professor Cartwright and Professor 
Green, High Point, N. C. ; Professor S. G. Atkins and Professor 
O'Kalley, Winston, Salem, N. C. ; Principal Moore, Elizabeth 
City, N. C. ; Principal Savage, Franklinton, N. C. ; Principal J. 
A. Cotton, Henderson, N. C. ; Professor Garrett, Asheville, 
N. C. ; Professor Williams, Raleigh, N. C. ; former President 
J. G. Wheeler and former Professor George Adams, Kitterell 
College; Professor Channing H. Tobias, Paine Theological Col- 
lege, Augusta, Ga. ; Professor Johnson and Rev. Adams, 
Augusta, Ga. ; former Principal Waring of Baltimore High 
School, Md. ; Professor Perry and Professor Ennis of Louis- 
ville, Ky. ; Professor Charles Boyer of Raleigh, N. C, former 
Principal Bruce Evans, Washington, D. C. ; Professor U. S. G. 
Bassett, former Professor Love, Professor Cyrus Shippen, the late 
Parker Bailey, of Washington, D. C. ; Professor W. R. Coles, 

8i2 The African Abroad. 

Aiken, S. C. ; Professor W. H. Mitchell and Professor Yancey, 
Allendale, S. C. ; Professor Colbert, Beaufort, S. C. ; Profes- 
sor Freysen, Sumter, S. C. ; Professor Storum of Washington, 
D. C. ; Professor Shaw of Oxford, N. C. ; Professor George 
Benson, Kowaliga Institute, and the late Miss Jennie Dean, 
Manassas, Va., are among our prominent educators. 

President William H. Goler's baccalaureate sermon at Shaw- 
University in May, 1905, attracted considerable attention. Presi- 
dent D. J. Sander's address in England was a model for polish, 
finish of diction, wit and humor. President James B. Dudley, 
a suave and courteous gentleman, was complimented by 
Governor Glenn and declared to be a "bigger" man than Booker 
T. Washington. Professor Bluford is preparing a book upon 
Agricultural Chemistry. Professor Freyson is a finished scholar. 
Professor K. Weggio Aggrey is a poetic writer. Professor 
Charles Boyer and Rev. DeLaney of the St. Augustine School, 
Raleigh, are trying to make it a second Rugby and Eton. 
Rev. Dr. Matthew Anderson of the Presbyterian Institutional 
Church of Philadelphia, Pa., is doing a noble work. His church 
owns four flats in its own right. His building and loan associa- 
tion has bought over 150 homes, aggregating $200,000 in value, 
for colored persons of moderate means. 

Mr. Welcome T. Blue is President of the Mohawk Realty 
Company, of Cleveland, Ohio, which owns $50,000 worth of 
property. Mr. Walter B. Wright is secretary to the president 
of the Nickel Plate Railroad of Cleveland, Ohio. 

Of our business men, Professor J. J. demons of Wilming- 
ton, N. C, and Wendell Wright of Salem, Mass., are the best 
traveling salesmen of the race; Mr. John Taylor, the late Dr. 
Tom Mask, Mr. George Letlow, Mr. Julius Murray and Mr. 
Hawkins of Wilmington, N. C. ; Caterer Allen of Newport, 
R. I. ; Caterer James Stewart of New Haven, Conn. ; the 
late Deacon Green of Wilmington, N. C. ; the late Mr. Seals of 
Cincinnati, Ohio ; Whitfield McKinley of Washington, D. C. ; the 
late Caterer Joseph Lee, Jack Crawford, Lyde Benjamine, J. H. 
Lewis and George Freeman of Boston, Mass. ; Mr. Birney, cot- 
ton grader of Augusta, Ga., formerly of Charleston, S. C. ,* 
the late Robert Church of Memphis, Lawyers J. C. Napier of 
Nashville, Tenn., G. H. Jackson, of Cincinnati, Ohio ; Dr. W. L. 

Some Prominent Colored People of To-Day. Si 3 

Taylor, Grand Worthy Master of the True Reformers, Rich- 
mond, Va. ; Messrs. Lawrence and Bennett of Charleston, S. C. ; 
George W. Allen, for many years president St. Mark's Lyceum, 
N. Y., are all prominent. Mr. Wyatt of Wilmington, N. C, did 
splendid work there in building up the True Reformers. Of 
these the late Air. Joseph Lee of Boston invented a bread-making 
and bread-kneading machine. 

Of our physicians. Dr. McClellan of AlcClellan's Hospital, 
Charleston, S. C. ; Dr. Birney, Sumter, S. C. ; Dr. Lindon, 
Charleston, S. C. ; Dr. W^ilder and Dr. Philip Broome Brooks of 
\\'ashington, D. C. ; the late Dr. Ray and the late Dr. White of 
Brooklyn. N. Y. ; Drs. Walton and Golden of Georgetown, S. C. ; 
Dr. F. S. Belcher, Dr. King, Dr. P. E. Love, and Dr. Williams 
of Savannah, Ga. ; Dr. D. W. Chestnutt, the late Dr. Tom Mask 
and Dr. Allston, Wilmington, N. C, Dr. Jones of Richmond, Va., 
and Dr. William T. Carr, Jr., of Baltimore, Md., deserve special 

Of our dentists. Dr. W. Onley of New York City; R. J. 
Macbeth of Charleston, S. C. ; the late D. P. Reid of New York 
City ; Dr. Richard S. Fleming of New Haven, Conn., Dr. Russell, 
of Boston, and Dr. Hamilton of Danville, Ky., are very prominent. 

Mr. Hicks of Wilmington, N. C, is an artistic carver. Mr. 
Hazel of Cambridge, Mass., and Professor J. Langford of 
Wilberforce University are architects. Louis Belden of Wil- 
mington, N. C, is a lightning typewriter operator. Edward 
Manning of New Haven, Conn., is an artistic sign painter. The 
late Perry Carson was once the political "boss" of Washington. 
Principal T. S. Inborden, Joseph K. Brick School, Enfield, N. C. ; 
Rev. J. W. Holley, Albany Industrial Institute, Albany, Ga. ; and 
the late Miss E. T. Wright, Denmark, S. C, did fine work. Law- 
yers Telfair of Wilmington, N. C. ; H. A. Macbeth of Savannah, 
Ga. ; Adams of Columbia, S. C. ; Edgar Benjamin and Butler R. 
Wilson of Boston, Alass., are very capable and resourceful. 

E. T. Morris of Cambridge, Mass., who owns a magnificent 
library; W. D. Johnson, I. D. Barnett and the late Captain 
Charles Mitchell of Boston, Mass. ; Shelby Davidson, Berkley 
Waller and Messrs. William Wilkinson, H. McLynn Yarborough 
and Mr. Lassiter and Mr. J. Thomas Heard of Washington are 
influential private citizens. Editor Jones of the Southwestern 
Christian /idvocate; President H. T. Kealing, former editor of 

8i4 ' The African Abroad. 

the A. M. E. Church Review; Roscoe Conkhng Simmons of the 
Colored American Magazine; McGirt of McGirt's Magazine; 
Charles Alexander, formerly of Alexander s Magazine; Bishop 
H. P. Parks, formerly editor of the Voice of Missions, and 
Messrs. Heard and Allen are able magazine editors. Of these 
gentlemen President Kealing is a refined and polished orator, 
gifted with an analytical mind and an inimitable way of telling 
a story. He is now the president of Quindara University of 
Kansas. Editor W. Calvin Chase of the "Washington Bee, W. H. 
Stewart of the American Baptist, Louisville, Ky. ; the late 
W. G. White of the Georgia Baptist; J. H. Henderson, for- 
merly of the New England Torchlight; Editor Johnson of the 
Kentucky Standard, Louisville, Ky. ; John Mitchell of the Rich- 
mond Planet; the late Beriah Wilkins of the Chicago Conserva- 
tor; W. Ashbie Hawkins, formerly editor of the Baltimore 
Lancet; Perry of the Philadelphia Tribune; J. G. Dart of the 
Southern Reporter; Harry Smith of the Cleveland Gazette; 
George Murray, formerly editor of the Home Neivs of Alexan- 
dria, Va. ; Rev. J. H. Clement of the Star of Zion; the editors of 
the Advocate, Portland, Oregon ; and the Chicago Broad Axe; 
George Knox of the Indianapolis Freeman; Macon B. Allen of 
the Beaufort County News, South Carolina; Richard Carroll 
of the Southern Ploughman ; Professor Garrett and Mr. W^il- 
liams of the Columbia Sun, editor Johnson of the Savannah 
Tribune, editors E. W. Houston, E. W'\ Sherman, and J. C. 
Hamilton of the Pythian Advocate, Savannah; W. O. P. Sher- 
man of the Savannah Independent, Ben Davis of the Atlanta 
Independent and the late Dr. H. T. Johnson, editor of the 
Christian Recorder, Philadelphia, Pa., are among the foremost 

The late Robert Teamah of the Boston Globe; Charles Stew- 
art, the Associated Press correspondent; J. E. Bruce (Bruce 
Grit) ; the late Dr. Clayton of Washington, W. T. Menard of 
the New York Age, H. P. Slaughter of W^ashington, R. W. 
Thompson of the Indianapolis Freeman, \N. Houston and Robert 
Pelham of Washington, Fitzgerald Jones of New Haven, 
E. W^ Houston of Savannah, Ga. ; J. M. A. Myers and Pro- 
fessor Garrett of Columbia, L. M. Hershaw of Washington, 
J. Allison Sweeney, whose brilliant editorials made the Indian- 

Some Prominent Colored People of To-Day. 815 

apolis Freeman famous, and Mr. Wilson, whose article in the 
Atlantic Monthly for February, 1906, on "The Joys of Being 
a Negro," teemed with wit and humor, form a brilhant group 
of correspondents. 

Former Chaplain Theophilus Stewart of the United States 
Army is a noted historian and a forceful writer. J. N. 
Samuels Belboder, Mrs. Fordham, D. Webster Davis, McGirt and 
Dinkins have written good poetry. Joseph Douglass and Clar- 
ence White as violinists, Loudin, Harry Burleigh and Thomas 
Blount as singers and Professor Craig as a conductor of orches- 
tras, have attracted attention. Messrs J. Johnson, R. Johnson, 
the "Bob Cole," Gussie Davis and Will Cook have turned out 
catchy ragtime two-steps and sentimental songs. Rosamond 
Johnson and Bob Cole are refined comedians who have per- 
formed in some of the largest theatres in the country. Mr. A. 
Hillyer of Washington, D. C, has been a promoter of high- 
class music. So has Dr. Connor. 

There are a few colored men residing in Washington who 
represent a type of scholarship that is fast becoming more com- 
mon in our race. Not specialists along any single line, they 
are nevertheless men of wide reading and broad culture. I 
refer to W. Scott Montgomery, former assistant superintendent 
of schools; L. M. Hershaw, Dr. George H. Richardson, George 
W. Jackson, three moving forces in the famous Bethel Literary ; 
Dr. H. L. Bailey, former supervising principal of public schools ; 
Professor George W. Cook, Mr. Daniel Murray, assistant libra- 
rian of Congress ; Mr. A. Hillyer, Professor Jesse Lawson and 
the late Mr. Meriweather; and I suppose former President 
W. R. A. Palmer of the Birmingham College, Birmingham, 
Ala., and Professor Benjamin Lightfoot of Howard University 
are two of the finest and best representatives of the cultured 
Negro. In scholarship they remind me of the late Alexander 
Crummell, who was in his day the ripest scholar of the race; 
and I do not believe that we have to-day any who surpass the 
standard that he reached in wealth of information and fluency 
and ease in applying and using that information. 

We have produced many born orators, men endowed with the 
natural gifts of the orator, possessing the imposing physique, 
the dignified bearing, the rich, round, full musical voice and 

8i6 The African Abroad. 

charm of personality which enable a speaker to command the 
attention and the respect of an audience before finishing the first 
sentence. Such men are Bishop R. S. Williams of the A. M. E. 
Church, Rev. Richard Carroll of Columbia, S. C. ; Rev. Dr. 
D. W. Bythewood of Beaufort, S. C. and Rev. I. H. Fulton 
of Orangeburg, S. C. Many lament the passing away of that 
gracious and pleasing speaker, J. C. Price ; but in Rev. I. H. 
Fulton of Orangeburg, S. C, we have an orator whose personal 
magnetism, self-possession, magnificent stage presence, ease in 
speaking and inimitable wit and humor recall the matchless Price. 

Then we have four remarkable preachers. I refer to former 
President William J. Laws of Paul Quinn College, Waco, Texas, 
a tall, slender, graceful and chivalrous orator who can thrill 
and electrify any audience; the late Dr. George W. Lee of 
Washington, D. C, a mob orator of the first magnitude, a born 
philosopher and poet, a diamond in the rough; Dr. Charles T. 
Walker of Augusta, Ga., founder of the Y. M. C. A. of New 
York and Augusta, President of Walker's Baptist Institute of 
Augusta, and justly called "The Black Spurgeon" and the 
"Uncrowned King of Augusta," and the scholarly and eloquent 
Rev. Dr. Walter H. Brooks of Washington, D. C. 

We also have many noble women. In Dr. Lucy Moten, Mrs. 
Tucker, Mrs. Daniel Murray, late Miss Mattie Bowen, and Miss 
]\Iarietta Gibbs of Washington, D. C. ; Miss Lucy E. Laney 
of Augusta, Ga. ; Miss Kreuse of Wilmington, Del. ; Miss L. 
Parm of Baltimore, Md. ; Miss Lucy DuValle of Louisville, Ky. ; 
]\Iiss Lizzie Frazer of New York City, Miss Lyons of Brooklyn, 
Mrs. Siloam Yates of Lincoln Institute, and Miss Lillian Mack 
of Orangeburg, we have talented educators. 

In ]\Iiss E. Elizabeth Carter, the noted lecturer of New 
Orleans, La., general representative of the A. M. E. Church 
Reviezv, Philadelphia, Pa.; in IMrs. John F. Cook, Mrs. Har- 
riet, Mrs. Dr. Hall of Washington, D. C. ; Mrs. B. R. Wilson, 
Mrs. C. G. Morgan. Mrs. Hannah Smith, Miss Eva Lewis, Miss 
Medorah Gould, Miss Hattie Smith, Mrs. Eliza Gardner, Mrs. 
Virginia Trotter of Boston, Mrs. Emory T. Morris of Cam- 
bridge, Mass., ]\,Irs. John Ross, Mrs. Frank Swan, Mrs. Edward 
Manning, Mrs. D. P. Brown, Mrs. Charles Johnson, Mrs. E. F. 
Coin, Mrs. D. S. Klugh and Mrs. R. S. Fleming of New Haven, 

Some Prominent Colored People of To-Day. 817 

Conn., Miss Dunbar and Miss Jackson of Providence, R. I. ; Mrs. 
John Dickerson of Newport, R. I.; and Miss Elizabeth Carter 
of New Bedford, we have public-spirited women. In Miss 
Ednorah Narr, Mrs. Elijah Butler, Mrs. Frank Swan, Miss 
Adelina Saunders of New Haven, Mrs. Berty Toney Davis Craig 
of New York City, Mrs. Henrietta Vinton Davis and Miss HalHe 
Q. Brown, we have elocutionists of a high order. The late Miss 
Lottie Bassett of Philadelphia, Misses Grace and the late Eleanor 
Booth of Indianapolis, Ind. ; Miss N. Chestnutt and Miss A. 
Jackson of Wilmington, N. C. ; Miss Dover and Miss Baldwin 
of Wilmington, Del. ; Miss Hattie Smith and Miss Nellie Smith 
of Boston, and Miss Muse of New Haven, Conn., are to be 
included among our capable and efficient educators. The late 
Mrs. Alice Strange Davis of Washington, D. C, was a musical 
virtuoso. I suppose that Mesdames Nellie Brown Mitchell, 
Selika, Madame Azalia Hackley, Sissereta Jones and the late 
Flora Batson Bergin are our most artistic singers. Three colored 
women have creditable articles and stories in both white and 
colored papers. These are Mrs. Fannie Barrier Williams of 
Chicago, Miss Pauline Hopkins of Boston and Mrs. Alice Ruth 
Moore Dunbar of Wilmington, Del. 


I regret that the date of my book going to press prevents 
my doing full justice to many eminent clergymen, educators 
and business men who are doing splendid work. I refer to 
Rev. Dr. Shaw, Rev. Dr. Cassius Ward, Rev. William H. 
Thomas, Rev. B. M. Swain, Rev. Dr. Comfort, and the late Rev. 
Dr. B. F. Farris of Boston ; Rev. Dr. Harold, Rev. Dr. Duckery, 
formerly of Cambridge, Mass. ; Rev. Dr. J. H. Wiley of Provi- 
dence, R. I. ; Rev. Dr. Smith of Providence, R. I. ; Dr. 
Booker and Rev. Dr. Eppes of New York City; Rev. W. W. 
Henderson of Newport, R. I.; the Rev. Dr. Smith of Jersey 
City, N. J.; Rev. T. J. King of Yonkers, N. Y. ; Rev. Dr. 
Slater, Rev. F. C. VanBuren and Rev. J. D. Boddie of New 
Rochelle, N. Y. ; Rev. Dr. Ananias Brown, Rev. Dr. J. H. Jones 
of Baltimore, Md. ; Rev. King of Candor, N. C. ; Rev. Dr. 
Cannon of Savantiah, Ga. ; Rev. Asbury of Timonsville, S. C. ; 
Rev. Dr. Daniels and Rev. Dr. Reeves of Columbia, S. C. ; 
Professor Mason Hawkins, former treasurer of the Niagara 

8i8 The African Abroad. 

Movement, and principal of the Baltimore High School; the 
late H. E. Warton, Professor D. O. W. Holmes, Professor Joseph 
H. Lockerman, Dr. W. W. Wright, Dr. W. D. McCard, Dr. Pope, 
Professor Daniel Creditt, Professor J. N. Waring, Dr. Howard 
Young, Lawyer G. W. F. McMechens, Lawyer H. M. McCard, 
Mr. Samuel Young of Baltimore, Md. ; Dr. B. T. Robinson, Dr. 
T. E. A. McCurdy and Dr. Hubert Ross of Boston, Mass. 

There are some preachers like Rev. Dr. M. C. Haynes, 
formerly of New Rochelle, N. Y. ; Rev. Dr. Mouzon of Charles- 
ton, S. C. ; Rev. Dr. Willbanks of Washington, D. C. ; and the 
Rev. Dr. S. F. Corrothers of W^ashington, D. C, who are 
forceful race leaders as well as brilliant preachers and successful 
pastors. Then there is Rev. Dr. J. H. Plolmes of Baltimore, 
Md., with a Bismarckian head and jaw and a Bismarckian force 
of character; Rev. Dr. W. H. Brooks, pastor of the St. Mark's 
Methodist Episcopal Church, New York City, and the Rev. Dr. 
W. D. Wynn of Newark, N. J., polished and refined in manner, 
who are reverenced by their congregations as a Catholic priest is 
reverenced by devout worshipers. Rev. Dr. F. M. Jacobs of 
Brooklyn, N. Y., a successful physician and masterful political 
speaker; Rev. Dr. H. J. Callis, formerly of Boston, now of 
Indianapolis, Ind., who was honored by being one of the two 
colored guests at the Mayor's reception in Old Home Week in 
Boston in the summer of 1907 ; Rev. Dr. William H. Creditt of 
Philadelphia, Pa., the most impassioned preacher in the Baptist 
denomination, and the founder of the Downing Industrial School 
of Downing, Pa. ; Rev. Dr. Matthew Anderson of Philadelphia, 
Pa., the founder of the Berean Training School, and the Rev. 
Dr. J. H. Smyer, formerly of Yonkers, N. Y., the brilliant and 
versatile founder of the Cooperative Company, which is building 
flats and building stores in Yonkers and Tarrytown, N. Y., are 
ministers who have broadened the scope of church work. 

There are five clergymen who have done splendid literary 
work. I refer to the lion-hearted Dr. Harvey Johnson of 
Baltimore, Md., a devout Churchman, a beloved pastor, a Bibli- 
cal scholar, a believer in the possibilities of his race, who has 
written books and pamphlets criticising the United States 
Supreme Court and American caste prejudice, which have been 
favorably commended and quoted from on the editorial pages of 

Some Prominent Colored People of To-Day. 819 

the New York Sun and Baltimore Sun; Rev. Dr. William H. 
Coston, formerly of Anacostia, D. C, one of the founders of the 
Y. M. C. A. of New Haven, Conn., a chaplain in the Spanish- 
American war, author of "A Free Man and Yet a Slave," and 
"The Spanish-American War Veterans" ; Rev. James Carlisle, 
pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Troy, N. C, a moral 
philosopher, who has written a series of ethical sermons for 
the white press of Troy; Rev. W. R. Lawton, a Presbyterian 
pastor in New York City, a correspondent for the Brooklyn 
papers, and city clerk in Borough Hall, who has a comfortable 
berth in the city government, and Dr. D. P. Seaton of Baltimore, 
Md., who has visited the Holy Land and written a scholarly 
work on Palestine. 

Of our physicians, Dr. Samuel J. Courtney of Boston, Mass., 
and Dr. Marcus F. Wheatland have a large white practice ; Dr. 
Wheatland has two splendid X-ray machines and has success- 
fully treated Newport and New York millionaires. Dr. Court- 
ney has been elected a member of the Boston Board of Education. 

W. Calvin Chase of the Washington Bee, with the possible 
exception of Editor Trotter of Boston, has been the most force- 
ful and aggressive journalist that our race has yet possessed. 
He has been a potent force in school affairs and in local politics. 

Of our business men, Mr. James T. Hitchens, of Baltimore, 
Md., who built up a fortune in the transfer and storage business ; 
Mr. John Henry Smith, Dr. R. H. Hall, and Caterer William 
H. Jolley of Baltimore, Md. ; and Rev. Thomas L Moultrie of 
Yonkers, N. Y., who was born at Charleston, S. C, on August 
22, 1842, educated privately and came to Yonkers in 1870 and 
so succeeded in the catering business that he became a serious 
competitor of the famous Maresi of New York, have especial 
reason to be proud of their careers. 

Of our lawyers, Harry Smith Cummings of Baltimore, Md., 
leaped into national prominence by being selected to second the 
nomination of President Roosevelt at the Republican National 
Convention in 1906. He was born in Baltimore, Md., on May 
19, 1866. Through his own efforts and the sacrifices of his 
mother, he secured an education, graduating from Lincoln Uni- 
versity and the law department of the University of Maryland. 
In 1890, when only twenty-four years of age, he was selected to 

820 The African Abroad. 

the City Council, and in 1891 caused a manual training school 
to be established for the colored youth in Baltimore. He and 
his brother, Rev. Gilmore Cummings of the Albany Methodist 
Episcopal Church, have both been distinguished for their good 
sense and tactfulness. 

Mr. Minor F. Hamlin of Cambridge, Mass., has won the con- 
fidence of the mayor and the best citizens and went as an 
alternate delegate to the last Republican convention. 

The late J. Q. A. Shaw of Cambridge, Mass., the original 
founder of the New York Globe, a veteran editor and political 
leader, who has written several brilliant articles to the Tran- 
script, was a master of epigrams, wit and sarcasm, almost 
divided the honors with Professor Kelly Miller of Howard Uni- 
versity, Washington, D. C, author of "Race Adjustment," as 
an essayist of force and power. Professor Miller is the Mon- 
taigne of the Negro race, while Shaw had universality of cul- 
ture and has uttered generalizations of which Emerson might be 

Dr. H. J. Brown of Baltimore, Md., is a phrenologist, psy- 
chologist and philosopher, who has mastered Herbert Spencer, 
Darwin and Schopenhauer. 


Willis H. Ellis, Stock Exchange, New York, N. Y. 

Samuel Harris, Williamsburg, Va. 

Calvin Johnson, Knoxville, Tenn. 

Wiley Jones, Pine Bluff, Ark. 

W. I. Atwood, East Saginaw, Mich. 

John Fitzgerald, proprietor of brickyard, Durham, N. C. 

Mr. Merrick, tonsorial artist, Durham, N. C. 

Cody Bryant, Jasper County, Ga. 

The late Robert Church, Memphis, Tenn. 

The late John Trower, caterer, Philadelphia, Pa. 

Rev. Thomas Moultrie, caterer, Yonkers, N. Y. 

The late John T. Cook, Washington, D. C. 


Rev. T. Nelson Baker, Ph.D., pastor of the Second Congrega- 
tional Church of Pittsfield, Mass., had an interesting career. 

Some Prominent Colored People of To-Day. 821 

He was born in Northampton County, Va., during the Civil 
War period. He didn't start to school, until he was twenty-one, 
barely knew his alphabet, and didn't know his multiplication 
tables. Yet he was valedictorian of his class at Hampton Insti- 
tute, I believe, and successively commencement orator at Dr. 
Moody's school at Mt. Hermon, Mass., at Boston University 
and at the Yale Divinity School. He received his Ph.D. degree 
from Yale University in 1903, the title of his thesis being "The 
Ethical Significance of the Connection between Mind and Body." 
He did splendid work as pastor of the Dixwell Avenue Congre- 
gational Church, New Haven. In Pittsfield, he has preached 
in some of the prominent white churches and has written for 
the daily press. 

The address of Mrs. Fannie Barrier Williams on "Intellectual 
Progress of the Colored Woman" at the World's Columbia 
Exposition was a credit to Mrs. Williams and the race. 

Mrs. Ruth M. CoUett of Philadelphia. Pa., wife of the late 
Rev. Mr. Collett, manager of the A. M. E. Publishing House, is 
one of the most resourceful and energetic business women of the 

These are only some of our talented people. Other chapters 
v/ill tell of those colored people who have not only possessed a full 
measure of talents, but who by fortunate occurrence of favor- 
able circumstances were placed in positions to make history for 
the race and for mankind. They were not necessarily superior 
in ability to those colored persons mentioned in this and previous 
chapters but, favored by circumstances, they reached the pinnacle 
of fame. 

Foot Note. — There are a number of prominent preachers of the race 
whom lack of space prevents my elaborating upon. I refer to Rev. Dr. 
Phillips, former pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church, Philadelphia, Pa.; Rev. 
E. W. Moore, D.D., of Philadelphia, Pa., a scholarly clergyman of impos- 
ing physique; Rev. W. D. Johnson of Philadelphia, Pa., and Rev. Dr. 
Winston of Germantown, who draw big crowds ; Presiding Elder I. F. W. 
Roundtree of Trenton, N. J., a Lincoln man, who took post-graduate 
courses at Princeton, a potent factor in New Jersey politics; Rev. H. C. 
Newby of Freehold, N. J., a refined and cultured gentleman of high 
character; Rev. J. R. Brown of Freehold, N. J., Newark's beloved pastor; 
Rev. Green W. Johnson and Rev. Asa S. Crook of Brooklyn, N. Y., two 
of the most eloquent and successful of the A. M. E. Zion preachers. 

Some Distinguished Foreign Negroes 

When the slavery debate waged in Congress, the issue hung 
on the question of the humanity of the Negro. The South tried 
to remove him outside of the pale of humanity and endeavored 
to show that the Negro did not possess those intellectual, moral 
and assthetical qualities, those higher and finer attributes and 
sentiments that differentiate civilized man from the savage and 
barbarian. Some then looked upon the Negro as part monkey 
and part man, and believed that Monkeyology as well as Psy- 
chology should be studied to understand him. They thought 
that he was the missing Hnk between man and the lower animals 
that Darwin sought for and found not. I will say in passing 
that men no longer see in the Negro the half-brother or first 
cousin of the manlike ape, who bridged the chasm between 
monkey and man. 

A Southern statesman, the eminent Calhoun, went so far as 
to say that if anyone would show him a Negro who could master 
a Greek grammar, conjugate a Greek verb, and solve the problem 
of Greek roots, that he would regard him as worthy of freedom 
and citizenship. Such was the estimate of the persecuted black 

To be informed that in the seventeenth and eighteenth cen- 
turies and in the early part of the nineteenth century, Henry Diaz 
was a colonel in the Brazilian army and that Hannibal and 
Alexander Dumas were generals in Russian and French armies ; 
that Amo, another Negro, wrote two books on philosophy; that 
Capitein and Francis Williams, two more Negroes, wrote elegies 
in Latin ; that Julien Raymond, another colored man, wrote noted 
treatises on politics, law and government; that Geoft'rey LTslet 
was a scientist, geographer and archaeologist of international 
renown and world-wide fame ; to hear that colored men distin- 
guished themselves in Europe, Africa and the West Indies dur- 
ing the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, as artisans, artists, 
poets, writers, swordsmen and inventors; to hear that .Esop, 

Solicitor General of Barbadoes, W. I. 


Barrister-at-La\v, Secundi, Africa 
Author of "Gold Coast Native Institutions" 


Editor of The Spectator^ 
South Africa 

I'H.l)., D.D. 

Lagos, West Africa 

Some Distinguished Foreign Negroes. 823 

the creator of famous tales, and that Terence, the illustrious 
Latin poet, who said in the Coliseum at Rome, "I am a man and 
I think that nothing that pertains to humanity is foreign to me," 
had Negro blood coursing through their veins, reads like a 
romance and makes all adverse talk about the Negro sound like 
machinations. It sounds like a fairy tale or the Arabian Nights 
entertainment. Yet such was the case. Colored men in Europe 
rose to the highest pinnacle of fame and attained international 
renown in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Where 
can these statements be verified? In "Gregoire's Enquiry." 
Who was Gregoire, who sought to instruct, enliven, and dazzle 
the world regarding the achievements of talented colored people ? 
He was a famous French bishop, who was very conspicuous dur- 
ing the period of the French Revolution. He was called at first 
Abbe and then Count Gregoire. 

Abbe Gregoire was born of poor but worthy parents at Veho, 
near Luneville, December 4, 1750, and died at x\uteuil, May 28, 
183 1. He was educated at the Jesuitic schools at Metz and Nancy 
and soon entered into orders. He immediately leaped into prom- 
inence when the peace and serenity of France was being disturbed 
by the dark clouds that were silently and slowly gathering in the 
horizon and which were soon to break in that carnival of riot and 
bloodshed, such as the world had not seen since the Eve of 
St. Bartholomew's massacre. Gregoire was cure of Embermesmil, 
in the district of Nancy, in Lorraine, and was selected by the 
clergy of Lorraine as one of the deputies to represent them at the 
States General, where he immediately forged to the front as a 
debater. He immediately left the aristocratic traditions of the 
clergy and became a pronounced democrat. He favored, says 
the New International Encyclopedia, the secession of the Third 
Estate, the abolition of the royal power and the establishm.ent of 
a republic. As secretary to the Constituent Assembly, he voted 
for the condemnation of King Louis XVI, but not for his 
execution. He proposed a suspension of the death penalty ; but 
his proposal was voted down. Gregoire was a member of the 
council of Five Hundred, of the corps legislatif and of the 
senate in 1801. 

But Abbe Gregoire did not confine his activities to the political 
field. He urged, we are informed by the New International 

824 The African Abroad. 

Encyclopedia, the abolition of special privileges for the nobles 
and clergy, and urged the civil constitution of the clergy. He 
was elected constitutional bishop from the department of Loire-et- 
Cher, taking the title of Bishop of Blois, which position he resigned 
on the conclusion of the concordat between Pius VII and Napo- 
leon. A sincere democrat, he, in the words of the New Interna- 
tional Encyclopedia, "opposed the proclamation of the Empire, 
and although created a count of the empire and an officer of the 
Legion of Honor, Gregoire resisted every step towards the estab- 
lishment of the absolute authority of Napoleon and in 1814 was 
the first to pronounce against him. On the Restoration, he 
demanded from Louis XVIII the acceptance of the constitution. 
During the Hundred Days he attracted no notice. After the 
second return of the King, he was elected from the Senate, and 
when chosen as a deputy from the Department of Isere in 1819, 
his election was annulled. The last years of his life were spent in 
poverty and obscurity, for he had been expelled from the institute 
and denied his pension as an ex-senator. And he died at Auteuil, 
May 28, 1 83 1, unreconciled to the church, which refused him the 
last offices of religion." 

But though such an eminent statesman in that seething and 
surging sea of revolt, Gregoire was a patron of arts and sciences 
and a moral and social reformer. In 1793 he served on the com- 
mittee of public instruction and encouraged literature, art and 
science. Under the directory, he continued his efforts for art and 
science. He wrote on the amelioration of the condition of the 
Jews and urged civil rights for the Jews. In 1789 he advocated 
Negro emancipation and in 1793 worked for the February 4th 
decree of 1794, whereby slavery was abolished in the French 
possessions. Gregoire was a voluminous writer. He wrote 
"Essai sur la regeneration civile, morale, et politique des Juifs," 
"Histoire des Sectes Religieuses Depuis le Commencement de ce 
Siecle," "Annales de la Religion" (1795-1803), "Ruines de Port 
Royal," 1801, "Histoire des Sectes Religieuses," in 1800, "Essai 
Historique sur les Libertes de I'Eglise Gallicane," in 1818. 

The new International and American Encyclopedias have brief 
accounts of Gregoire. Henry Carnot has a three-page article on 
Gregoire in a French encyclopedia. Gregoire is referred to in 
Pressene, "L'eglise et la Revolution Frangaise Paris," 1864, and 

Some Distinguished Foreign Negroes. 825 

Grazier, "Etudes sur THistoire Religieuse de la Revolution 
Franqaise," Paris, 1887. Henry Carnot was editor of "Memoirs 
Ecclesiastiques, Politiques et Litteraires de Gregoire," in Paris, 
1839. Kriiger and Bohringer wrote biographies of Gregoire. But 
the best account of Abbe Gregoire is the work by Gregory, an 
American, entitled "Gregoire, the Priest and the Revolutionist." 
This was presented as a thesis before the University at Leipsic 
in 1876. This will give some idea of the versatility, scholar- 
ship and many-sided activity of the man. But the work by 
which he will be best remembered is a work written at the 
beginning of the nineteenth century, which attracted little 
attention then. It is entitled "An Enquiry Concerning the Intel- 
lectual and Aloral Faculties of Xegroes," with an account of 
some fifteen talented Negroes, etc. 

gregoire's account of brilliant soldiers and brave 

It is said that when there was talk of enlisting Negro sol- 
diers in the Civil War, the South scoffed at the idea, and even 
Northern officers, with the exception of General Saxton, Colonel 
Higginson, Colonel Shaw and Colonel Hallowell, distrusted the 
courage of the Negro. And yet Gregoire, writing over half a 
century before Fort Sumter was fired on, shows that in 
Henry Diaz, Alexander Dumas and John Kina, the Negro race 
has produced soldiers whose daring deeds and dazzling achieve- 
ments matches anything we read about in Froissart's Chroni- 
cles and the Crusades; and tells of those terrible Maroons of 
Jamaica and Jacmel and Surinam, and of the red Caribs of 
Saint A'incent, and of the brave Black defenders of Guadaloupe, 
of the Black heroes at the siege of Savannah, whose courage 
equaled that of Leonidas' three hundred and that of the famous 
Light Brigade at Balaclava, and whose ferocity reminds us of 
the Huns. 

Verily, when we really know the achievements of the Negro 
race, we find that "Truth is stranger than fiction." But before 
I quote what Gregoire has to say about his immortal writers, 
I desire to give his account of Alexander Dumas, Henry Diaz and 
John Kina, who, with the exception of Toussaint L'Ouverture 
and Dessalines, were the greatest fighters the Negro race ever 

826 The African Abroad. 

produced; and of Saint George, one of the most remarkable 
swordsmen France has ever produced; Mentor and Julian Ray- 
mond, the famous statesmen ; the brave Alaroons and the 
intrepid Blacks of Guadaloupe and Jamaica. I will largely quote 
Gregoire's own language, because I cannot hope to surpass the 
vividness and brevity of Gregoire's description. Gregoire says: 

Alexander Dumas, a mulatto, with four men, near Lisle, attacked a 
post of fifty Austrians, killed six and made sixteen prisoners. He 
during a long time commanded a legion of horse composed of blacks and 
mulattoes who were the terror of their enemies. In the Army of the 
Alps, with charged bayonet, he ascended St. Bernard, defended by a 
number of redoubts, and took possession of the cannon, which he imme- 
diately directed against the enemy. Others have already recounted the 
exploits by which he signalized himself in Europe and in Africa, for 
he was in the expedition to Egypt and on his return had the misfortune 
to fall into the hands of the Neapolitan government, who kept him and 
Doleman two years in irons. Alexander Dumas, general of division, 
named by Bonaparte the Horatio Coeles of the Tyrols, died in 1807. 

Daniel Murray, editor of "The Encyclopedia of the Negro 
Race," says that he was introduced by Napoleon to the French 
Convention in 1795 as the "Horatio Coeles of the Tyrol" and that 
Napoleon later named him commander-in-chief of the Army of 
the Rhine." 

And now we come to Henry Diaz, the brilliant Brazilian 
hero, whose military achievements almost rank him as a soldier 
with Toussaint L'Ouverture, Cromwell and Washington, whose 
fearless courage places him in the small group of death-defying 
heroes in which Marshal Ney and Alexander Dumas, the French- 
men, are conspicuous. It is related of him that in one battle 
he was severely wounded in his left hand, which was terribly 
lacerated. He severed the hand at the wrist, bound up the 
wound and continued the fight, saying that one good right hand 
was worth several wounded left hands. This was more than 
Spartan courage. Gregoire says of this hero : 

Henry Diaz, who is extolled in all the histories of Brazil, was a Negro. 
Once a slave, he became a colonel of a regiment of foot-soldiers of his 
own color, to whom Brandano, who was certainly not a colonist, bestows 
the praise of talents and sagacity. This regiment composed of blacks 
still exists in Portuguese America under the name of Henry Diaz. The 
Hollanders, then possessors of Brazil, disturbed its inhabitants. In 1637, 

Some Distinguished Foreign Negroes. 827 

Henry Diaz in order to chase the Hollanders away, joined the Portuguese. 
The former being besieged in the town of Arecise, having made a sally, 
were repulsed with great loss by a Negro general. He took the fort by 
assault which they had erected at. some distance from this town. To 
a knowledge of military tactics and warlike maneuvre, by which the 
Dutch generals were often disconcerted, they combined the most deter- 
mined courage. Henry Diaz forces Arecise to capitulate; Fernabou to 
surrender, and entirely destroys the Batavian army. . . . Menezes 
praises his consummate experience, and speaks of the Africans, who all of 
a sudden are converted into intrepid warriors. Nova Lusitania, istoria de 
guerras Brasilicas, by Francisco de Brito Freyre, folio, Lisbon, 1675; 
B. viii, p. 610, and B. Ix, No. 762; Istoria della guerre di Porto, gallo, 
etc., di Alessandro Brandamo, 4to; Veneyio, 1689, pp. 181, 529, 564, 
393, etc. 

Istoria della guerre del regno del Brasile, etc., dal P. F. G. Jios, eppe, 
di santa Tlhresa Carmelitano, folio, Roma, 1698; Porti I, pp. 133 
1S3; porti II, p. 103 and following; Historiarum Lusitanarum libri, etc., 
autore Fernando de Meneyes, Counte Ericeyr, 2 vols. 4to, Nlyssippone, 
1734, PP- 606, 635, 675, etc.; LaClede, Histoire de Portugal, etc., passim. 

Oge was a martyr for trying' to enforce the decree of the 
Constituent Assembly of the fifteenth of J\Iay. Gregoire says 
of him: 

In 1791 he repassed by the way of England and the American continent 
to St. Domingo. He demanded the execution of the decrees. His recla- 
mation founded upon reason, and sanctioned by divine authority, is 
rejected, the parties are exasperated and an attack ensues. Oge is per- 
fidiously delivered up by the Spanish government. Thirteen of his 
companions are condemned to the galleys, more than twenty to the gibbet, 
and Oge with Chavanne are destined to the torture of the wheel. Report 
on the troubles of San Domingo by Garran, 4to, Paris, 6 vols., II, p. 52 
and following, and p. 78. 

ChevaHer Sainte Georges, called the Voltaire of equitation, of 
fencing and instrumental music, who was knighted by Louis 
XVI of France and whom Daniel Murray says Talleyrand pro- 
nounced the most gifted individual he had ever met, was a 
man of color, Gregoire says, "By the amatetirs of these exer- 
cises he was placed in the first rank and by the compositors in 
the second or third. Some of his concertors are still held in 
estimation." He was such an expert with the gun that he could 
hit a ball thrown into the air. Gregoire still further says of 
him : 


828 Tlie African Abroad. 

According to the traveler Arndt, this new Alcibiades was the finest, 
strongest and most amiable of his contemporaries and besides he was 
generous, a good citizen and a good friend. All people of fashion, or 
in other words, frivolous people considered him as an accomplished man. 
He was the idol of fashionable society. Bruch-Stucke einer reise durch 
Frankreich im friihling und sommer, 1799, von Ernst, Moritz Arndt 3 
vols., 8 vols. Leipzig, 1808; vol. ii, pp. 36 and 2>7- When he fought a 
duel with the Chevalier Leon, it was almost an affair of state. When 
Saint George, who was considered the best swordsman of his time, was 
to fence or exhibit his musical talents, the newspapers announced it to 
the idle of the capital. His bow and his foil set all Paris in motion. 
Thus formerly they assembled at Seville, where a brotherhood of Negroes, 
which had not been destroyed, but which for lack of subjects existed no 
more, formed brilliant processions on certain holy days and performed 
also various maneuvres and evolutions. (Note communicated by Mr. 
de Lasteyrie, who has made several scientific voyages into Spain, the 
publication of which is expected.) .... 

John Kina of San Domingo was a Negro who fought against his own 
race; but his valor gained him the most flattering reception in London. 
The British government confided to him the command of a company of 
men of color, destined to protect the remote quarters of the colony of 
Surinam. In 1800 he crossed over to the Antilles; a humiliating pride 
reminds him that he is free; his heart swells with this sensation. He 
excites an insurrection to protect his brethren from the colonists, who, 
by employing the Negresses in hard labor, causes them to miscarry; and 
who resolved to expose free Negroes for sale. He is soon apprehended, 
sent to London and shut up in Newgate. . . . 

Louis Desrouleaux was a Negro pastry cook of Nantes. After he left 
Nantes, he lived at the cape, where he had been a slave of Pinsum, of 
Bayonne, a captain in the Negro trade, who came with great riches to 
France, where he was at last ruined. Desrouleaux gave him a pension of 
15,000 francs a year until his (Desrouleaux) death in 1774. 

gregoire's account of the terrible maroons. 

In 1795 the Maroons of Jamaica made the planters tremble. The Negro 
Maroons of Jacmel have been for almost a century the terror of Santo 
Domingo. Bellecombe, the most imperious of governors, was obliged 
by them to capitulate in 1785. There were not more than one hundred 
and twenty-five men on the French side and five on the Spanish. It is 
Page, the planter, who asks (in his treatise on the political economy and 
commerce of the colonists) whether it had ever been heard that these 
men violated the capitulation, although they were like wolves chased 
from the bushes. ... In 1718, when they (the planters) were in peace 
with the red Caribs of St. Vincent, who are known to carry their bravery 
even to rashness, and who are more active and industrious than the white 
Caribs, an unjust and unsuccessful expedition was directed against those 

Some Distinguished Foreign Negroes. 829 

of Martinico. Instead of being irritated, the year following they mildly 
acquiesced in a peace. These traits, saj's Chauvelin, are not found in 
the history of civilized nations. (Voyage in Martinico by Chauvelin, pp. 
4 to 39.) In 1726, the Maroons of Surinam, whom the ferocity of the 
colonists has driven to despair, obtained their liberty with the sword and 
forced their oppressors to a treaty; they religiously observed their 

In 1750, the Negroes of Jamaica revolted, with Tuchy as their chief; 
their tyrants remaining conquerors, many were condemned to the fires 
and all marched gaily to punishment; one, without emotion, saw his 
limbs reduced to ashes — one hand was disengaged, the flame having con- 
sumed the cord which confined it, he seizes a brand and darts it against 
the face of the executioner. . . . 

In the seventeenth century, when Jamaica was still under the dominion 
of the Spaniards, a party of slaves, under the command of John de Bolas, 
regained their independence. They increased in numbers and became 
formidable after they had elected Cudjoe as chief, whose portrait is 
seen in Dallas's v/ork. Cudjoe, equally brave, skillful and enterprising, in 
1730, established a confederation among all the Maroon tribes; made the 
English tremble, and compelled them to make a treaty in which they 
acknowledged the freedom of the blacks and ceded to them forever a 
portion of the territory of Jamaica. . . . 

Among the traits of bravery which Labat has collected, one of the 
most remarkable happened at the siege of Carthagena; all the troops of 
the line had been repulsed at the attack of Fort Bochachique. The 
Negroes, brought from St. Domingo, attacked with such impetuosity that 
the besieged were forced to surrender. . ." . Labat, Vol. IV, p. 184. 
In 1703 the blacks took arms for the defense of Guadaloupe, and were 
more useful than all the rest of the French troops ; at the same time, 
they defended Martinico against the English. The honorable conduct of 
the Negroes at the siege of Savannah, and at the taking of Pensacola, is 
well known ; and also during our revolution, when incorporated with the 
French troops, they shared their dangers and their glory ! 

Two famous statesmen were Mentor and Julien Raymond. 
Gregoire says: "Mentor, born at Mortinco in 1771, was a 
Negro. In fighting against the English, he was made prisoner. 
In sight of the coast of Ushant, he took possession of the 
vessel which was conducting him to England and carried her 
into Brest." He was handsome in face and figure, gentle and 
amiable in disposition, cultured and refined in mind. He sat in 
the legislature by the side of Tomauy." 

Gregoire says of Raymond : "Julien Raymond, a mulatto, 
was associated with the class of moral and political sciences for 

830 The African Abroad. 

the section of the legislation. He defended men of color and 
free Negroes with courage and ability. Many works were pub- 
lished of his, one 'Origine des Troubles de St. Domingo,' par 
Raymond, which relates to the history of St. Domingo, which 
may serve as an antidote to the impostures circulated by the 

gregoire's account of talented colored people. 

And now we come to Gregoire's group of talented colored 
scholars and writers. Calhoun said that if anyone could show 
him a Negro who could master Greek syntax, why then he would 
regard him as a full-fledged man. To read that one hundred 
years before Calhoun made that remarkable statement, one 
Negro (Amo) wrote two books on philosophy that attracted the 
attention of the universities of Halle and Wittenberg; that two 
others (Capitein and Francis Williams) wrote elegies that were 
approved by the universities of Hague and Leyden, and Cam- 
bridge University and that caused Dr. Nichols to exclaim, "an 
orang outang couldn't write an elegy in Latin" ; to read that 
Hannibal, a Negro, was a director of artillery and lieutenant- 
general under Peter the Great of Russia ; that LTslet Geoffroy, 
a mulatto, was an officer of artillery and guardian of the depot 
of maps and plans of the Isle of France ; to read that he pub- 
lished a map of the Isles of France and wrote an account of 
the island of Madagascar; that IMentor and Julien Raymond, 
Negroes, were famous statesmen, orators and scholars of the 
French Revolution, and that Raymond was the author of many 
scholarly treatises, sounds like a tale of the Arabian Nights 
and yet these facts are brought out by Gregoire. 

Higiemonde or Higiemonte, liannibal, Amo,. L'Islet Geoffroy, 
James Derham, Thomas Fuller, Othello, Bannaker, Gustavus 
Vassa, Cuguano, Capitein, Francis Williams, Sancho and Phillis 
Wheatley are the Negroes who in Gregoire's "Enquiry" were 
especially distinguished by their talents or works. Fligiemonde 
or Higiemonte, generally called the Negro, won some renown 
as a talented artist. He seemed to possess more natural ability 
than acquired skill. Joachim de Sandrart in his work "Acha- 
demia Nobillissimae Artis Pictoriae" calls his paintings very 
celebrated ( clarissimus ) . 

Some Distinguished Foreign Negroes. 831 

Hannibal or Annibal was probably the first African Negro 
who distinguished himself for military ability in Europe. He 
had received a good education and under Peter the Great of 
Russia became lieutenant-general and director of artillery. 
Gregoire says he was decorated with the red ribbon of the 
order of St. Alexander Neuski. In 1784 he was lieutenant- 
general in a corps of artillery. It was he who, under the 
order of Prince Potemkin, minister of war, commenced the 
establishment of a port and fortress at Cherson, near the mouth 
of the Dnieper. 

I will now quote Gregoire's own words in the account of 
talented colored people : 

Antony William Amo, born in Guinea, was brought to Europe when 
very young, and the princess of Brunswick, Wolfenbuttle, took charge 
of his education. He embraced the Lutheran religion, pursued his studies 
at Halle, in Saxony, and at Wittenberg. The Rectors and Council gave 
"public testimony" to his ability and character and stated that Terence 
was an African, and that many martyrs, doctors and fathers of the 
church were born in the same country. 

He mastered Greek and Latin and gave private lectures on philosophy. 
The dean of the philosophical faculty, in a syllabus, stated that he had 
absorbed and assimilated the core and substance of ancient and modern 
philosophy. In 1734, he received a Ph.D. degree from the University 
at Wittenberg, supporting his thesis, and published a dissertation on 
"The Absence of Sensation in the Soul and its Presence in the Body." 
The president wrote him a letter, congratulating him and called him 
"Vir nobilissime et clarissime." This is the title "Dissertatio inauguralis 
philosophica de humanae mentis (A 11 A 9 E I A) seu sensionis ac 
facultates sentiendi in mente humana absentia et earum in corpore nostro 
organico ac vivo praesentia, quam praeside, etc., publice defendit, auto, 
G. Amo, Guinea, afer. Philosophiae, etc., L. C. magister, etc. 1734, 4to ; 
Wittenbergoe." The author endeavors to ascertain the difference of 
phenomena which takes place in beings simply existing and those endowed 
with life — a stone exists but is without life. Having been appointed a 
professor, he the same year supported a thesis, analogous to the preced- 
ing, on the distinction which ought to be made between the operators of 
mind and those of sense. The titles of these two dissertations prove that 
Amo, the author of the first, was also the author of the second. Disputatio 
philosophica continens ideam distinctam earum quae competunt vel menti 
vel corpori nostro vivo et organico quam consenteienti amplissimorum 
philosophorum ordine praeside M. aut. Guil. Amo, Guinea, afer, etc., 
defendit Joa, Theod. Mainer, Philos et L V. Cultor, 4to. 1734, 

832 The African Abroad. 

The Court of Berlin conferred upon Amo the title of Coun- 
selor of State. After the death of the Princess of Brunswick 
he left Europe, where he had lived for thirty years, and went to 
Axim on the Gold Coast and then to Chama, where he lived 
as a recluse. David Henry Gallaudat visited him in 1753 and 
mentioned him in the Memoirs and the Academy of Flessnique. 

L'Islet Geoffrey, a mulatto, was an officer of artillery and guardian 
of the depot of maps and plans of the Isle of France. The twenty-third 
of August, 1786, he was named correspondent of the Academy of Sciences. 
He is acknowledged as such in the Connaissance des Temps for the year 
1791, published in 1789 by this learned society, to whom LTslet regularly 
transmitted meteorological observations and sometimes hydrographical 
journals. The class of physical and mathematical sciences of the National 
Institute thought it their duty to adopt the members of the Academy of 
Sciences as correspondents and associates. 

By what fatality is it that U Islet forms the sole exception? Is it to 
his color? . . . His map of the Isle of France and Reunion, delineated 
according to astronomical observations, the geometrical operations of 
LaCaille and particular plans, was published in 1797, year 5, by order of 
the minister of marine. A new edition, corrected from drawings trans- 
mitted by the author, was published in 1802, year 10; it is the best map 
of these isles that has yet appeared. 

In the precious collection of manuscript memoirs deposited in the 
archives of the Academy of Sciences we find the relation of a voyage of 
LTslet to the Bay of St. Luce, an island of Madagascar, accompanied 
by a map of this bay and of the coast. He points out the exchangeable 
commodities, the resources which it presents and which would increase if. 
instead of exciting the natives to war in order to have slaves, they would 
encourage industry by the hope of an advantageous commerce. The 
descriptions he gives of the customs and manners of Malgaches are very 
curious. They discover a man versed in botany, natural philosophy, geol- 
ogy and astronomy. . . . Some person belonging to the expedition of 
Captain Bandin informed me that LTslet, having established a scientific 
society at the Isle of France, some whites refused to be members merely 
because its founder was black. 

In the almanac of the Isle of France, several contributions 
of L'Islet were inserted. Among others a description of Pitre- 
bat, one of the highest moimtains of the island. 

James Gerham learned in languages, spoke with facility Eng- 
lish, French and Spanish. Gerham was a colored physician 
of New Orleans, who flourished in the early part of the 
nineteenth century. 

Some Distinguished Foreign Negroes. 833 

In 1788, Othello published at Baltimore an essay against slavery of 
Negroes. . . . Othello paints in strong colors the grief and sighs of 
children, fathers, brothers and husbands, dragged from the country which 
gave them birth — a country always dear to their hearts, by the remem- 
brance of family and local impressions. , . . Few works can be com- 
pared to this of Othello for force of reasoning and fire of eloquence. 

Banneker studied the works of Ferguson and the tables of 
Tobias I\Iayer and was an astronomer and almanac publisher, 
who attracted the attention of Thomas Jefferson. 

Ottobah Cugoano, born on the coast of Fantin, in the town of Agimoque, 
was stolen by European slavers, carried to Grenada, received his freedom 
through the generosity of Lord Hoth, who carried him to England. 
He was there in the year 1778 in the service of Cosway, the first painter 
of the Prince of Wales. Piatali, author of a treatise in Italian, on the 
situation and danger of burial grounds, which Vicq D' Azir, at the request 
of d'Alembert, translated into French. Piatali, who, during a long residence 
in London, was particularly acquainted with Cugoano, then about forty 
years of age, and whose wife was an Englishwoman, praises highly this 
African and speaks in strong terms of his piety, his mild character, his 
modesty, his integrity and talents. . . . Like Othello, he paints the 
heart-rending spectacle of those unfortunate Africans who were forced 
to bid an eternal adieu to their native soil. 

James Eliza John Capitein, born in Africa, was bought at seven or eight 
years of age, on the borders of the river St. Andre, by a Negro trader 
who made a present of him to one of his friends. The latter named him 
Capitein; he instructed him, baptized him, and brought him to Holland, 
where he acquired the language of that country. He devoted his time 
to painting, for which he had a great inclination. He commenced his 
studies at the Hague. Miss Boscam, a pious and learned lady who, in 
this respect resembled Miss Shurman, was much occupied with the study 
of languages; she taught him the Latin, the elements of the Greek, 
Hebrew and Chaldean tongues. From the Hague he went to the Univer- 
sity of Leyden, and found everywhere zealous protectors. He devoted 
himself to theology, with the intention of returning home to preach the 
Gospel to his countrymen. Having studied four years, he took his degrees, 
and in 1742 was sent as a Calvinist minister to Elmina in Guinea. . . . 
The first work of Capitein was an elegy in Latin verse on the death of 
Mauger, minister at the Hague, his preceptor and his friend. Capitein, 
at his admission to the University of Leyden, published a Latin dissertation 
on the calling of the Gentiles, divided into three parts. . . . This Latin 
dissertation of Capitein, rich in erudition, though poor in argument, was 
translated into Dutch by Wilheur, with the portrait of the author as a 
frontispiece, in the dress of a minister, and has gone through four 
editions. He sought to reconcile his co'mtrymen to slavery. . . . Capi- 

834 The African Abroad. 

tein also published a small volume (in 4to) of sermons in the Dutch 
language, preached in different towns, and printed at Amsterdam in 1742. 

Professor Chamberlain says he was Hkewise the author of an 
appeal to the heathen to accept Christianity. 

Francis Williams was born in Jamaica of Negro parents, towards the 
end of the seventeenth or at the beginning of the eighteenth century. 
Information about this Negro poet was taken from the history of Jamaica 
(by Long), whose statements were governed by prejudice. He died at 
the age of seventy, a short time before the publication by Long, which 
appeared in 1774. 

The Duke of Montaigne, impressed by his "precocity," sent him to 
England, where he studied first in private schools, then entered the 
University of Cambridge, where he distinguished himself in mathematics. 
While in England, he published a song, which begins, "Welcome, welcome, 
brother debtor," which made such a hit that several white men claimed 
it as their own. Returning to England, his patron tried in vain to secure 
him a place in the council of the government. Williams then opened a 
school, where he taught Latin and mathematics. He published a Latin 
ode to George Holdane, governor of Jamaica. Dr. Nichols, seeing this 
Latin ode, and feeling indignant against the colonists for comparing 
blacks with apes, exclaimed, "I have never heard that an orang outang 
has composed an ode . . . Among the defenders of slavery, we do not 
find (says he) one-half of the literary merit of Phillis Wheatley and 
Francis Williams." (In letter to the treasurer of the society instituted for 
the purpose of effecting the abolition of the slave trade, from the Rev. 
Robert Bouche Nichols, dean of Middleham. 8vo; London, 1788, p. 46.) 

Olandad Equiano Vasso was born in Essaka, in 1746, stolen at the age 
of twelve, sold at Barbadoes, resold to the lieutenant of a vessel, who 
brought him directly to England and with whom he went to Guernsey; 
to the siege of Louisburg, in Canada; with Admiral Boscawen, in 1738; 
and to the siege of Belle Isle in 1761. He was sold at Montserrat; 
made several voyages to the Antilles ; to America ; returned several 
times to Europe and visited Spain, Portugal, Italy, Turkey and Greenland; 
began a small trade and at last in 1781, having escaped the dangers of the 
sea, being several times shipwrecked and having avoided the cruelty of his 
masters, one of whom, at Savannah, proposed to assassinate him, after 
thirty years of a wandering and stormy life, Vassa, restored to liberty, 
established himself at London, where he married and published his 
memoirs, which have been several times reprinted in both hemispheres and 
of which there was a new edition in 1794. Doctor Irving taught him to 
distill water. In a passage to the North, he distilled and made the water 
palatable. His son, named Sancho, versed in bibliography, was an assist- 
ant librarian to Sir Joseph Banks, and was also secretary to the committee 
for vaccination. 

Some Distinguished Foreign Negroes. 835 

Ignatius Sancho was born when his mother was conveyed by a slave 
trader from Guinea to Spanish America. She died in Spanish America 
and slavery drove his father to suicide. He was baptized at Carthagena 
by Bishop Ignatius. Kis master carried him to England and presented 
him to three young sisters at Greenwich. His resemblance to the knight 
of Don Quixote led them to give him this name. He attracted the atten- 
tion of the Duke of Montaigne, who lived at Blackheath and who lent 
him books. But his master died and the sisters checked his sentimental 
and scholastic ambitions. He bought a pistol with five shillings and 
planned suicide. He became butler of the Duchess. By his industry and 
her legacy he became the possessor of seventy pounds sterling and "thirty 
of an annuity." He loved books, theatre, women and gambling; renounced 
gambling when a Jew "won all his clothing"; "he spent his last shilling 
at Drury-lane to see Garrick, to whom afterward he became a friend"; 
he tried to be an actor and represent Othello and Oronoko, but was 
hampered by a bad articulation; he then became chaplain for a family 
of Montaigne, threw off all his wild and dissolute habits and married a 
charming West Indian beauty. In 1773, he was attacked by the gout 
while following an honest trade. He and his wife reared a large family. 
On December 15, 1780, he died. An edition of his letters was published 
in two volumes (8vo) "of which there was a second edition in 1783, 
with the life of the author and his portrait, designed by Bartholozzi, and 
engraved by Gainsborough." Jefferson thought he was too imaginative 
and that he had a graceful style and a sweet and noble nature. Imlay 
thought that Jefferson was prejudiced against Negroes. His style 
"resembled" that of Sterne, who wrote him a splendid letter, published in 
his third volume of letters. "He has the grace and lightness of the fancy 

Phillis Wheatley, stolen from Africa when seven or eight years old, 
carried to America and sold in 1561 to John Wheatley, a rich Boston 
merchant, "was of amiable manners, exquisite sensibility and premature 
talents." Her family was kind to her. She read the Scriptures and mas- 
tered Latin. In 1772, at nineteen years of age, she published a little 
volume of religious and moral poems, containing thirty-nine pieces. The 
work ran through several editions in England and in the United States. 
On the title page was a declaration, signed by her master, the governor, the 
lieutenant-governor, and fifteen other prominent Boston people. In 1775 
her master set her free. In 1777, she married a man of color, who 
was a grocer, later became a lawyer, with the name of Doctor Peter and 
"plead the cause of blacks before tribunals," thereby securing quite a 
fortune. Her husband harshly upbraided and reproved her because she 
was not a good housekeeper. In 1780 she died of a broken heart. Twelve 
of her poems relate to the death of friends. Her poetry was moral, 
religious, sentimental and melancholic. 

Elesban in his calendar of the Catholics, has inserted the names ot 
many blacks. 

836 The African Abroad. 

Benoit of Palermo, also named Benoit of St. Philadelphia or of Santo 
Fratello; Benoit the Moor and holy black, was the son of a Negress slave 
and himself a Negro. Roccho Pirro, author of the Silicia Sacra, charac- 
terizes him by these words, "Nigro quidem corpore sed candore animi 
praeclarissimus quern et miraculis Deris contestatum esse voluit." "His 
body was black; but it pleased God to testify by miracles the whiteness 
of his soul." He was quiet, modest and unassuming. He died at Palermo, 
in 1589, where his tomb and memory are generally revered. . . . Roccho 
Pirro, father Arthur, Gravima and many other writers are full of elegies 
concerning this venerable Negro, Benoit of Palermo. 

Belinda, stolen when twelve years of age, in 1782, addressed 
a petition to the legislature of Massachusetts. "The authors of 
the American Museum have preserved this petition, written 
without art, but dictated by the eloquence of grief and therefore 
more fit to move the heart to pity." She said that forty years 
service would not procure freedom for her or her child. 

Bloomfield, translated by de la Vaisse, 6vo, Paris, 1800 or 1802, 
says : "Greensted, a female servant at Maidstone and Anne 
Yearsley, a simple milkmaid of Bristol, are already placed in the 
rank of poets. The misfortune of Negroes forms the subject of 
the muse of the last mentioned author, whose works have gone 
through four editions." 


Daniel Murray of Washington, D. C, says that Jules Rai- 
m-ond, the statesman and scholar, whom Gregoire eulogizes, 
helped to draw up the Code Napoleon. There were two brilliant 
soldiers of the Napoleonic era whom Gregoire overlooked. They 
v/ere General Louis Delgres, the heroic black defender of Guada- 
loupe in 1807, and General Jean Francois Coquille Dugoumier, 
who was killed in battle and whose name was inscribed on the 
column of the Pantheon by order of Napoleon Bonaparte, under 
whom he served. Daniel Murray says that he commanded 
60,000 men at St. Sebastian and that his name decorates the 
Arc de Triomphe. I understand that a full-blooded Negro from 
Algiers is a general in the French army, and that there is a 
Negro admiral in the French navy, and incidentally I will state 
that there are more Negroes in Paris than in London. 

Gregoire claims that Beronicius, a chimney sweep of Hol- 
land, wrote Latin poems ; and that his poem, in two books, 
entitled, "Georgar or the Battle between the Peasants and the 

Some Distinguished Foreign Negroes. 837 

Great," has been translated into Holland verse and reprinted 
(in 8vo) at Middleburg in 1766. 

And now we come to another g-roup of talented colored men 
whom Gregoire refers to. Gregoire says that Castaing, a 
mulatto, "exhibited poetic genius" and that "his pieces orna- 
ment different editions of poetry." Earland Boyer and Michael 
Mina, mulattoes of St. Domingo, were authors. Boisrond, a 
mulatto, was the author of "Precis des Gemissemendes des 

Gregoire says "the history of Congo gives an account of a 
black bishop who studied at Rome" (Prevot, Gen. History of 
Voyages, Vol. V, p. 53). Gregoire also says that "the son of 
a king and many young people of this country sent into Portu- 
gal in the time of King Emmanuel were distinguished at the 
universities, and many of them were promoted to the priesthood." 
(History of Portugal by Clede, 2 vols., 4to ; Paris, 1735, Vol. 
I, pp. 594 and 595.) 

Gregoire says, also: 

Near the close of the seventeenth century, Admiral Du Quesne saw at 
the Cape Verd isles a Catholic Negro clergy, with the exception of the 
Bishop and Curate of St. Yago. (Journal of a voyage to the East Indies, 
on board the squadron of Du Quesne, 2 vols, in i2mo; Rouen, 1721 ; Vol. 
I. P- 193 ; and narrative of a voyage to and return from the East Indies 
during the years 1690 and 1691 by Claude Michel, Ponchot de Clantissin 
of the guard on board Du Quesne, i2mo; Paris, p. 80.) ... In our 
time, Barrow and Jackquemine Socre, bishop of Cayenne, found the same 
establishment still in force. (Barrow, voyage to Cochin China, Vol. I, 
p. 87.) 

Gregoire says, too, that Madam Belm's Plistorical Romance, 
"Oronoko," was founded on the life of the African Prince 
Oronoko, sold at Surinam, and who was a black Spartacus. 

The traveler Pratt (in vol. H. p. 208) proclaims Herbert 
Pott, a simple workman living in Holland in the seventeenth 
century, the father of elegiac poetry in Holland," and in the 
Middleburg edition of the works of Beronicius, the print which 
serves as a frontispiece represents Apollo crowning the poet 
chimney-sweep with laurels. 

A servant of Glats in Selesia has lately excited public atten- 
tion by his romances — La Prusse litteraire, par Deniva; article, 

838 The African Abroad. 

Bloomfield, a ploughman, has pubHshed a volume of poetry 
which has undergone several editions and a part of which has 
been translated into our language. 


Africa and the West Indies have produced several distin- 
guished men. Dr. J. E. London of Georgetown, British Guiana, 
has been signally honored. He is a graduate of the College of 
Physicians, London; is a member of the Royal College of 
Surgeons, England; a licentiate of the Royal College of Physi- 
cians ; a licentiate of the Apothecaries Society ; and a fellow 
of the Chemical Society. This is his name with degrees and 
titles. Dr. J. E. London, M.D., M.R.C.S.E., L.R.C.S., L.S.A., 
and F.C.S. That is enough for one mortal to be burdened 

When Lord Lister was elevated to the baronetcy, Dr. London 
was his special guest from British Guiana and represented the 
colony on that occasion. He married an English lady who was 
educated in England. 

Dr. S. F. Herbert is another intellectual prodigy of British 
Guiana. He was divinity prizeman in the third year of his 
course, although a medical student. He stood highest in schol- 
arship at King's College ; and completed his classical course at 
Oxford, beating every competitor, and was complimented by 
Gladstone, who presented the prize ; then he graduated from 
the College of Physicians of London. Professor Ouain of 
Oxford said that his extensive classical learning would have won 
him a fellowship and chair at Oxford had he continued his 
classical studies. 

The late Sir William Conrad Reeves of Barbadoes, chief jus- 
tice of Barbadoes, who was knighted by Queen Victoria, was a 
graduate of the Inner Temple, England, and a master of Roman 
law. He worked his way up by sheer force of character. He 
was born a poor boy and went to school in Bridgetown, Barba- 
does. Young Reeves excelled as a debater in the debating 
society at the Bridgetown School. The citizens became inter- 
ested in him, raised the necessary funds and sent him to Eng- 
land to complete his education. As solicitor-general, he won 
every case he handled and was probably the greatest Xegro jurist 
the British West Indies ever produced. 

Some Distinguished Foreign Negroes. 839 

Cyprian Jolly, a mulatto, born and raised in the West Indies, 
is reputed to be worth several hundred thousand dollars. 

But I believe that Dr. York Russell, a West Indian physician, 
practicing in New York City, with the possible exception of Dr. 
J. E. London, is the greatest living West Indian, and is as splen- 
did a specimen of the pure Negro as I have ever met. He 
stands nearly six feet in height, weighs over two hundred 
pounds, has a strong face, a rich, ringing, resonant, baritone 
voice, and an unusual amount of personal magnetism. As an 
orator, whether he addresses a church, a Y. M. C. A., a Y. W. 
C. A., a literary society or presides at a banquet to the Liberian 
Legation, he always charms, captivates and electrifies his audi- 
ence. But it is as a conversationalist that Dr. York Russell is 
especially brilliant. He is a profound student of history and is 
steeped in classical learning and Biblical lore. His is a richly- 
stored mind. The wealth of his information, the beauty of his 
imagery, the vividness of his illustrations, the fluency of his 
speech, the brilliancy of his repartee, the richness of his voice 
and the magnetism of his virile, manly personality, cause Dr. 
Russell to easily impress an auditor of one or an audience of 
a thousand. Magnificent in physique, brilliant in mind, with a 
rugged strength of character and an inborn manliness and innate 
self respect. Dr. York Russell stands forth as a representative of 
the possibilities of Negro manhood. 

Professor Fileen of New York City, a tutor in Latin and Greek, 
and a specialist in modern languages, is a West Indian Negro, 
who recently passed the civil service examination in New York 
for the position of interpreter of modern languages. He is a 
student of sociology, philosophy and English literature, as well 
as a linguist, and takes a high rank among the scholars of the 
race. Like Blyden and Scarborough, he is a ripe and erudite 

Dr. Morgan of Yonkers, N. Y., is a sociologist and another 
scholarly West Indian Negro. 

And now we come to four African Negroes. Mr. Charles L. 
Moore of New Haven, Conn., associate manager for seven years 
of Williams & Walker's Troupe, which performed before the 
king of England, the Prince of Wales and, in fact, the royalty 
of England, has visited England, Scotland, Ireland, France, 

840 The African Abroad. 

Germany and Cape Town, Africa, and has met some of the 
prominent African Negroes. While sailing from Cape Town, 
Africa, to Liverpool, England, he with several other passengers 
noticed two distinguished-looking Englishmen constantly in the 
company of a big, powerfully built Negro about fifty years of 
age, who possessed a fine, musical voice and a courtly bearing. 
Some officious Americans remonstrated with the Englishmen for 
showering such attention upon the big, proud and graceful black. 
Great was their surprise when they learned that he was Henry 
Prentiss, a native of the Gold Coast of Africa, who graduated 
from the University of Edinburgh, and was reported to be worth 
three million pounds sterling, which fortune he had made as a 
gold miner near Akra, Africa. Immediately he was the lion of 
the ship. 

It is the custom of the black merchants from the Gold Coast 
of Africa, who go to London every year to buy goods, to have 
a commerce of trades dinner at Holborn's restaurant, Holbom 
Street, near Southampton Road, London. When Mr. Moore was 
in England, an African prince of the Gold Coast gave a dinner 
to these hundred and fifty colored Londoners and Africans. ]\Ir. 
Moore was the guest of Maurice A. Aga, a full-blooded young 
Negro, who had received a degree from Oxford and was a suc- 
cessful barrister. One of his brothers was a student at the 
Crystal Palace Scientific School. 


Henry Prentiss, Akra, Gold Coast, West Africa, graduate of 
Edinburgh University, reputed to be worth three million pounds 

Hon. James Carmichael Smith, ex-postmaster general of Sierra 
Leone, Africa. 

The late Sir Henry Lewis, Chief Justice in Sierra Leone or 
Akra, Africa. 

Cyprian Jolly, West Indies, worth several hundred thousand. 

Dr. J. E. London, Georgetown, British Guiana. 

Colard Ward, a Jamaica millionaire, gave a $25,000 organ to 
the Catholic Church. 

Don Juan Knight, Guatemala, Central America, reputed to be 
worth $70,000,000. 

Some Disfinguishcd Foreign Negroes. 841 


Dr. W. W. Campbell, Georg-etown, British Guiana, South 

A. A. Thorne, Demarara, British Guiana, South America. 

Miss A. H. Bridgewater, postmistress near Charleston. 

The late John Bridg-ewater, Xevis, West Indies. 

Rev. J. B. Wood, Kinf^ston ]\Ianse, Georgetown, British Guiana, 
South America. 

The late Rev. Thomas Chambers, Georgetown, British Guiana, 
South America. 

Durant, a linguist who could read a dozen languages and speak 
seven or eight fluently was a contemporary of the late Sir William 
Conrad Reeves in Barbadoes. 

Edward Jordan of Jamaica, knighted by Queen Victoria, was 
the first colored man to be so honored. 

George Stiebel of Barbadoes was a colored millionaire who 
made a fortune out of silver mines in South America, and Queen 
Victoria bestowed upon him the knightly order of C.M.G. 

A monument has been erected in honor of the late George Wil- 
liam Gordan of Jamaica. He was a member of the House of 
Assembly, and a leader of the people and a martyr. 

The late Hon. Samuel Constantine Burke served honorably 
as attorney-general of Jamaica. 

Hector Josephs, attorney-general of Jamaica, graduated from 
the Inner Temple of London. Chief Justice Linn said that he 
was a credit to his country and an honor to his alma mater. 

The daughter of ex-AIayor Harris of Kingston danced with 
King Edward when he visited Kingston as Prince of Wales. 


The virtues and benevolence of Joseph Rachell are recounted 
in a letter written by William Dickinson, formerly private sec- 
retary to the late Hon. Edward Hay, governor of Barbadoes. 
The letter is extracted from a private journal, and is as follows: 

Feb. 23, 1788. 

When I resided in Barbadoes in the year 1769, I was very much struck 

with the accounts given me by my father and other inhabitants of the 

island concerning- one Joseph Rachell, a Negro. This J. R. was a free 

Negro. I know not by what means he obtained his freedom. He was, 

842 The African Abroad. 

however, a capital merchant, and kept what is called a dry-good-shop. He 
was, by all accounts, an ingenious, industrious, and upright tradesman. 
Whenever the young tradesmen were at a loss how to proceed in any 
matter of commerce, they generally consulted J. R. and whenever any 
doubt arose about the value of the cargo of goods J. R. was often the 
man by whose opinion the price was fixed. Whenever the captains of 
vessels arrived with a cargo J. R. was one of the first persons waited 
upon, and one of the first to whom the cargo was offered. I have not 
heard that he traded much to England. His connexions seem to have 
been chiefly confined to the Leeward Islands, Demarara, Essequebo, &c., 
&c. He had some white persons under him, such as his book-keeper, his 
apprentices, &c., &c., and these always spoke of him in a very respectful 
manner, and particularly revered him for his humanity and tenderness. 
He was extremely kind in lending out money to poor, industrious men, 
in order to enable them to begin their trade, or to retrieve them from 
difficulties which their trade would unavoidably bring upon them. But 
there was one peculiar trait in his character. It is well known in our 
island that a planter or merchant is often obliged by some cogent or 
sudden distress to sell his property instantly for whatever he can pro- 
cure, be it ever so small. Now, such was the benevolence of this excellent 
Negro, that he would go to the vendue, bid gravely for the property, give 
a fair market price for it, and tender it to the owner again, upon the very 
same terms at which he himself bought it; and if the price of the estate 
exceeded the value of the debt, J. R. always took care to pay off the 
debt himself before the tender was made, and thus the planter might 
reenter upon his property, free from all incumbrances, excepting those 
owing to J. R. himself. By these humane and judicious means, he has 
extricated many families from ruin. — J. R. was also very charitable. He 
kept a gang of fishing Negroes, and, when his boats returned home, he set 
apart every day, a quantity of fish, for the use of the prisoners in the 
town gaol. He visited the gaol regularly, enquired into the circumstances 
of the prisoners, and gave them relief, in proportion to their distresses and 
good behaviour.* Nay, he used to give them good moral advice, and, 
for aught I know, religious advice. His example stirred up a noble 
spirit of generosity in Bridge-town, insomuch that it was the custom, for 
some years before his death, for the better sort of people to send 
weekly, either money or provisions to the gaol. He supported two or 
three old indigent whites, and left them something at his death. It was 
remarkable, too, that he was extremely kind to his Negroes. I have heard 
my father lament much that J. R's generosity was much imposed upon, 
both by whites and blacks. He frequented St. Michael's Church on 
Sundays, and I have heard our worthy minister say that he believed 

* I have heard poor white persons talk of J. R. to this effect, — Mr. 
Rachell was a blessed man, for no poor thing ever went away hungry from 
his house; and some, who had seen better days, were shewn into a back 
room, and had victuals set before them. W. D. 

Some DistinguisJied Foreign Negroes. 843 

him to be a very attentive and devout hearer. — He died about 30 years 
ago (i. e., about 1758) possessed of a good deal of property, and lies 
buried in the centre of the old churchyard in Bridgetown. 

His funeral was attended by thousands of whites (some of them very 
respectable people) and by a prodigious concourse of blacks, and I 
believe that his loss was very sensibly felt for many years. There is a 
tomb-stone over his grave, but no inscription or memorial.* 

(By Arthur A. Schomburg.) 

One of the greatest difficulties to the student in quest of historical data 
is that of locating Negroes who have lived in Europe and America in 
the early centuries and who have won fame and honor in divers fields 
of endeavor and opportunity. 

During the middle of the thirteenth century Negroes as slaves and free- 
men lived in the city of Sevilla. The historian Diego Ortiz Zuniga, who 
wrote the Ecclesiastical and Secular Annals of Sevilla from the year 124b 
to 1671, in volume XH, covering the year 1475, says : "Negroes from the 
time of King Henry HI to the present time have been treated very kindly 
and were permitted to attend the feasts and dances during the holidays, 
and it was not only noticed that they would return pleased to their labors 
but that they better tolerated their captivity." He instances the fact that 
a Negro, one Juan Valladolid, was given the title of mayor, his function 
being to intercede with masters in behalf of their slaves, with judges 
before whom they were brought for petty offenses, and it is so engrossed 
among old papers and is credited with a king's warrant given at Duenas, 
November 8th, 1475, in these words : "For the many good, loyal and 
marked services which you have shown and still show us each day, and 
because we know your proficiency and usefulness and disposition, we 
have made you mayor — judge of all Negroes, Negresses, Mulattoes, free 
or slave who are captive in the very noble and very loyal city of Sevilla 
and in all its archbishopric, that they cannot make or perform any settle- 
ment amongst themselves except with the knowledge and cognizance of 
the said Juan Valladolid, our judge-mayor of the said Negroes and 
Mulattoes and we demand that you should have knowledge of their debates, 
suits and marriages and other things amongst them and with no other, 
for thou art a person of knowledge who is versed in the laws and ordi- 
nances, and we are informed that you are of noble lineage amongst the 

* The tomb which was shewn to me as that of J. R. is a handsome 
one of bluish marble. He left a widow, who, I think, is called Betty 
Rachell, of whom I heard nothing remarkable. — The above account of 
J. R. agrees very well with that given by Mr. Ramsay at p. 254 of his 
essay. To authorities so respectable I can add nothing but that, in 
Barbadoes. I have repeatedly heard similar accounts of that excellent 
Negro. His innocent stratagem, in particular, to get rid of the teasing 
visits of a certain avaricious colonel (whom I could name), I have more 
than once heard related, with much glee. W. D. 


844 The African Abroad. 

said Negroes." Juan Valladolid, because of his deportment and the 
esteem in which he was held, was commonly called the Negro Count and 
a street named in his honor is still known in Sevilla. It is situated outside 
the gates of Carmonoa, back of the place where Negroes have their 
chapel, known as Our Lady of the Angels, and where their brotherhood 
is situated, so old is it, says this author. 


Professor Chamberlain says of Miguel Kapranzine : 

In 1631 the Portuguese finally established as chief of the Kalanga, a 
Bantu tribe, of Southeast Africa, a native convert, who, a few years 
before, had been proclaimed by the army and the Dominican missionaries, 
"Manuza, Emperor of Monomotapa." The Christian forces were com- 
pletely successful in a great battle, and among the captives taken was 
the young son of Kapranzine, really the rightful claimant to the throne. 
This boy was sent to Goa, technically a prisoner, and handed over to 
the Dominicans of that city to be educated at the expense of the crown. 
He was baptized by the name of Miguel, became a member of the order 
of the Dominicans, devoted himself arduously and successfully to study, 
and won fame as one of the greatest preachers in Portuguese India. 
In 1670, when he was still in the prime of life, the general of the 
Dominican Order conferred upon him the degree of Master in Theology, 
which would correspond to our D.D. When he died, he held the position 
of vicar of the convent of Santa Barbara in Goa. As Mr. Theal, the 
historian of South Africa, observes, "fiction surely has no stranger story 
than his." From a Kaffir kraal to high office in the religious life of a 
city, of which the saying went, "If you have seen Goa, you do not need 
to see Lisbon !" 

Professor Chamberlain, in his remarkable article in the "Journal 
of Race Development," to which I have frequently referred, 
brings out the fact that the Negro is represented in Spanish art. 
He says : 

In Spain, where, besides some diluted Negro blood came in with the 
Moors, we find a remarkable remembrancer of the black man in the 
field of art. In one of the churches of Seville are to be seen four 
beautiful pictures (Christ bound to a column, with St. Peter kneeling at 
his side; St. Joseph; St. Anne; Madonna and Child), the work of 
the mulatto, Sebastian Gomez, the slave, then the pupil, the companion 
and the equal of his master, the great painter Murillo, who had him made 
a free citizen of Spain, and at his death (1682) left him part of his 
estate. And, in their voyages and travels the Spaniards in the New 
World had the services of the Negro. 

Professor Chamberlain, in his article upon "The Negro's Con- 
tribution to Civilization," tells of Latino, said to be a member of 

Foot Note. — An American poetess has dedicated a poem to Gomez. 

Some Distinguished Foreign Negroes. 845 

the faculty of the University of Seville, and of Crespo, who dis- 
ting-uished himself at the University of Coimbra. Professor 
Chamberlain says : 

The history of Angola under the rule of the Portuguese shows that many 
Negroes from that part of Africa studied successfully at Coimbra. It 
may not be out of place to mention here also the fact that among the 
distinguished graduates of this ancient institution of learning is to be 
counted A. C. G. Crespo (1S46-1883), poet and man of letters, with 
both an American and a European reputation, and at one time a member 
of the Portuguese Chamber of Deputies. His father was a white man, 
his mother a black slave in Brazil. The University of Seville in Spain 
is said to have had at one time a Negro as a member of its faculty, 
viz., Don Juan Latino, a noted professor of Latin. It is probable that 
a complete record of the activities of the universities of Latin Europe 
would reveal other interesting instances of the participation of Negroes 
in the academic world. 


In the foot note to page 495 of George Ticknor's "History of 
Spanish Literature" we find : 

It may not be amiss here to add that another Negro is celebrated in 
a play written with skill in good Castilian, and claiming, at the end, to be 
founded in fact. It is called "El Valiente Negro en Flandes," by Andres 
de Claramonte, actor and playwright and is found in Tom. XXXI, 1638, 
of the collection of comedias printed at Barcelona and Saragossa. The 
Negro in question, however, was not like Juan Latino, a native African, 
but was a slave born in Merida, and was distinguished only as a soldier, 
serving with great honor under the Duke of Alva, and enjoying the 
favor of that severe general. 


I\Irs. Child, on page 173 of "An Appeal in Favor of that Class 
of Americans Called Africans," says : 

Between 1620 and 1630, some fugitive Negroes united with some Bra- 
zilians and formed two free states in South America, called the Great 
and Little Palmares, so named on account of the abundance of palm 
trees. . . . The Great Palmares was nearly destroyed by the Hollanders, 
in 1644, but at the close of the war the slaves in the neighborhood of 
Fernanbonc resolved to form an establishment which would secure their 
freedom. Like the old Rom.ans, they obtained wives by making incur- 
sions upon their neighbors, and carrying off the women. 

They formed a constitution, established tribunals of justice, and 
adopted a form of worship similar to Christianity. The chiefs, chosen 
for life, were elected by the people. 

846 The African Abroad. 

They fortified their principal towns, cultivated their gardens and fields 
and reared domestic animals. They lived in prosperity and peace until 
1C96, when the Portuguese prepared an expedition against them. The 
Palmarisians defended themselves with desperate valor, but were over- 
come by superior numbers. Some rushed upon death, that they might 
not survive their liberty, others were sold and dispersed by the con- 
querors. Thus ended this interesting republic. Had it continued to the 
present time, it might have produced a very material change in the 
character and condition of the colored race. 


General Alfred Dodds, a quadroon, is one of the ablest com- 
manders in the French army. 

General Boulanger, after whom the celebrated Boulanger march 
was named, was said by Mr. Morrell to have had Negro blood 
coursing- through his veins. I do not know whether there is any 
truth in this rumor and am inclined to doubt the story. 

A black Algerian general was honored in France, so I believe 
]\Ir. Butler R. Wilson of Boston told me. 

A black general is conspicuous in one of the series of paintings 
giving epochs of French history. 

A French countess is represented in a painting in the Louvre, 
telling a story to a black page, whose face is radiant with intelli- 
gence and boyish wonder. 

A small bust of Longfellow is in a corner of Westminster 
Abbey. At the entrance is a large bust of a Negro. 

Mr. W. H. Morrell is a colored man who traveled with John 
Slater of Slater Mills, visiting Africa and Asia. 


Prince Hall, founder of Negro Masonry in America, in Boston. 

Eustace, philanthropist, winner of the Monthyn prize of virtue, 
San Domingo. 

Brindis de Salo, violinist, decorated by crowned heads of 

Martin R. Delaney, explorer, journalist and physician. 

"A Dutch Guiana Negro, who worked in one of the Lynn 
shops, had invented a somewhat crude machine to last shoes, which 
saved much time and labor. After the usual fashion of inventors, 
he had hawked it about with no success. Winslow heard of it, 
and, together with George W. Brown, then New England agent 

Some Distinguished Foreign A'cgroes. 847 

for the Wheeler & A\'ilson Sewing ^Machine Company, he bought 
and backed this patent which became the nucleus of the great 
United Shoe ^Machinery Company." — From the article "The Mil- 
lionaire Yield of Boston," by Isaac F. Marcosson, in The Miinsey 
Maga::ine for August, ipi2. 

Chief Araby of Surinam concluded in 1761 a treaty of peace 
with the Dutch and it was ratified, founded on the basis of 
equality between the parties from the African point of view. 

The African Company, between the years 1680 and 1688, 
imported into the British West Indies 46,396 slaves. 

Christian Sout, a Xegro who received his freedom for acting 
as a spy in the slave insurrection of 1733 in the Danish West 
Indies, was highly intelligent, skillful and successful as a botanist 
in the use of medicinal plants. 

One of the early Xegro papers, founded since emancipation in 
1837 and devoted chiefly to the colored interests, was the New 
Times, at Barbadoes, under the leadership of the Xegro, Mr. 

The first Xegroes — a tribe of blacks — seen in the Xew World 
was at Ouarequa, by Vasco Xunez in the year 15 13. These 
blacks were supposed to have been shipwrecked upon the coast. 
Will Negro historians unravel the mystery? Did they cross the 
equator into Brazil during the period of Hanno's travels? 

A fleet of over twenty sail, under Admiral Harvey, was safely 
piloted to Trinidad in 1797 by Alfred Sharper, a Mandingo 

The Negro women of the tropics are entitled to the highest 
tribute of praise for the part they took in every attempt to gain 
their freedom, as women, mothers and fighters. 

The Creole grammar lately published in Trindadby thelate J. J. 
Thomas, a colored gentleman who seems to be at once no mean 
philosopher and no mean humorist, is a curious book, says Charles 
Kingsley in his "At Last." Thomas was Froude's Xemesis in 
his latest w^ork, "Froudacity." 

Mr. Richard Hill, a special magistrate and member of the 
assembly at Jamaica, to whom Lord Sligo paid a high compli- 
ment, was the author of books on Hayti and Jamaica. 

Joseph Rachel of Bridgetown, Barbadoes, a free Negro of 
wealth, who died in 1758, was known as a most generous, charita- 

848 The African Abroad. 

ble and kind man. His funeral was attended by thousands of 
whites and by a prodigious concourse of blacks. 

Napoleon scattered the bodies of French soldiers throughout 
Europe, and Negroes, as soldiers, are sleeping from the extreme 
north of the United States through Central America to the 
extreme south of the Argentine Republic. At Bunker Hill, Fort 
Wagner, Carobobo and San Martin Negro blood helped to free 
America from monarchial despotism. 

Raimundo Cabrebra, author of "Cuba and the Cubans," on 
page 117 of his work, says: "In music. White, Cervantes, Diaz, 
Albertini and Jimenez, distinguished alumni and winners of first 
prizes at the Conservatory of Paris, artists whose genius has been 
admired in Vienna, London, Paris and other great centres of 
Europe and in America; some of the former, like the mulatto 
White, are exiled from their native soil; he is the head of the 
conservatory of music of Brazil." 

Pastor W. Mojolo Agbebi, M.A., Ph.D., D.D., Lagos, West 
Coast of Africa, director of the Niger Delta Mission and president 
of the native Baptist Union of West Africa, studied theology in 
Colwyn Bay College, in Wales, an institution for West Africans, 
and read a paper on the "West African Problem" at the Univer- 
sal Race Congress, in London, in July, 191 1. His address took up 
the general discussion, inter-racial marriage, segregation, secret 
societies, ancestral and hero worship, witchcraft, cannibalism, 
marriage in Africa and Islam. The keynote of his remarkable 1 
address was sounded in his closing words, when he said : "The 
African is no big child, no child-race, according to the current 
expression of some Europeans; but a full-fledged man in the 
'eternal providence' of the world. He may be a child in respect 
of European greed and aggrandisement, European subtlety 
and guile, European trespasses and sins ; but he is not a child to 
his creation or the law of his being." 

Caseley Hayford, author of "Gold Coast Native Institutions" 
and "Ethiopian Unbound," graduated from Inner Temple, Eng- 
land, and is now barrister-at-law at Second!, Gold Coast, Africa. 


(Editorial by Philip Hale in the Boston Herald, September 17, 1912.) 
London newspapers just received inform us that the late Samuel 
Coleridge-Taylor, the composer, was "not only not ashamed but intensely 

Some Distinguished Foreign Negroes. 849 

proud of his Negro origin ; and he was greatly interested in the theory 
that Beethoven had colored blood in his veins. He used to say that the 
supposition was borne out by the great composer's type of feature and 
many little points in his character." Strange things have been written 
about Beethoven and his music, especially by his biographers. Has anyone 
stated clearly just when the tar brush entered into the family history of 
the composer of the Ninth Symphony and the great Mass? In Beethoven's 
time there was a famous Negro fiddler named Bridgetower, and not long 
ago a mulatto named WTiite was celebrated as a fiddler in European 
cities and as a teacher in Paris. 

As is well known, the father of Coleridge-Taylor was a West African 
physician, a Negro or mulatto — as to the precise shade we are not 
informed — and the mother of the composer was an Englishwoman. 
This fact excited no adverse comment in England, nor are we told that 
the relatives of the West African despised the white woman for mating 
v/ith a Negro. It is said that Mrs. Johnson, the wife of the Negro pugilist, 
killed herself because she considered herself an outcast; because she 
was flouted by Negro women, even her own maids. It is also said — 
the tale may or may not be true — that when Frederick Douglass in his 
later years married a white woman her lot was unfortunate and she 
suffered acutely from the hostility shown her by those closest to Douglass 
and of Negro blood. 

Neither Alexander Dumas the elder nor Dumas the younger was the less 
esteemed because of Negro blood that was unmistakably revealed. Many 
white women were fascinated by the famous father and the famous son. 
Neither one of the two suffered socially. There was Negro blood in 
Charles Cros; nor was Heredia, the distinguished poet, reminded 
insultingly in Paris of his mixed blood; his daughters in their youth 
were distinguished beauties and two made brilliant marriages. 

Daniel Murray, in the prospectus of his forthcoming "Encyclo- 
pedia of the Negro Race," says : 

Four men of color have been decorated by English sovereigns, the last 
in 1908 by His Majesty King Edward VII. The first was Edward Jordan 
of Jamaica, then Judge Conrad Reeves of Barbadoes, next Samuel Lewis 
of Sierra Leone, and now Mr. Thomas of the same place. 

James Jonathan Thomas, son of the late James and Jane Thomas of 
Sierra Leone, West Africa, was born July 22, 1850, at Freetown. His 
first wife was Patience, daughter of Mr. Thomas Joe, merchant of Lagos, 
his second wife Rhoda, daughter of Mr. Abraham Hebrom, merchant of 
Sierra Leone. The American Commissioners, Messrs. Sale and Falkner, 
sent to Liberia by President W. H. Taft in the summer of IQOQ, visited 
also Freetown, Sierra Leone, and there met Sir James J. Thomas. The 
following from the West African World is interesting : 

October 29, igoS, a number of friends and admirers of Sir James, 
wishing to commemorate the mark of Royal favor evidenced by his 

350 . The African Abroad. 

decoration by His Majesty, King Edward VII of England, as "Companion 
of the most distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George," tendered 
him a banquet at one of the leading hotels in Sierra Leone. It was 
attended by the foremost business and professional men in the Colony. 
Among those who extended congratulations to Sir Knight Thomas was 
Sir Alfred Lewis Jones, the famous ship owner, the unflinching friend of 
West Africa and her people, whose vessels dot every ocean and trade 
with every clime. 

The policy of the English government to treat all of its subjects with 
Christian fairness, cannot but awaken sentiments of admiration in the 
hearts of all Christian peoples towards such noble examples of concrete 
justice. The idea of a Christian nation discriminating against its own 
subjects on the score of a difference of color is a monstrous perversion 
of common decency. Sir James is a justice of the peace and since 1893 
a member of the legislative councils of Sierra Leone and Lagos. He was 
formerly a merchant at Lagos and commissioner for that colony to the 
Colonial and Indian Exhibition at London in 18S6. Member of the 
Royal Geographical Society, the Royal Colonial Institute and the Royal 
Society of Arts. Member of the National Liberal Club of London. 

(Paris Correspondent New York Sun.) 

The French take a very different view of the Negro than do Americans, 
as is shown by the action of the French press recently in congratulating 
M. Delcasse, minister of marine, for promoting to the grade of captain 
a Negro of the name of Mortemol. 

Mortemol was born in Guadeloupe and he entered the navy just after 
being graduated from the Ecole polytechnique. His comrades received 
him well and he rose rapidly, so that it is now predicted that in the near 
future he will be permitted to fly from the masthead of his ship the 
pennant bearing the two stars of the admiral. No similar situation 
exists throughout Europe and the Parisian press takes this opportunity to 
point out that only in France does there exist the equality of races which 
should be the case the world over. 

BLUMENBACh's tribute to the NEGRO. 

As a fitting- close to this chapter, I will quote from Johann 
Friedrich Blumenbach's Anthropological Treatises, published by 
Longmans, Green, Longmans, Roberts & Green, London, 1865. 
In "Contributions to Natural History," on pages 308-312, Part 
I, Blumenbach says : 

At the came time it will not be at all superfluous to point out here some 
not so well-known though remarkable examples of the perfectibility 
of the mental faculties and the talents of the Negro, which of 
course will not come unexpectedly upon any one who has perused the 

Some Distinguished Foreign Negroes. S51 

accounts of the most credible travelers, about the natural disposition of 
the Negro. Thus the classical Barbot, in his great work on Guinea, 
expresses himself as follows: "The blacks have for the most part 
head and understanding enough; they comprehend easily and correctly, 
and their memory is of a tenacity almost incomprehensible; for even 
when they can neither read nor write, they still remain in their place 
amidst the greatest bustle of business and traffic, and seldom go wrong." 

With respect to their talents for music, there is no necessity for me to 
call attention to the instances in which Negroes have earned so much 
by them in America, that they have been able to purchase their freedom 
for large sums, since there is no want of examples in Europe itself 
of blacks who have shown themselves true virtuosos. The Negro Freidig 
was well known in Vienna as a masterly concertist on the viol and the 
violin, and also as a capital draughtsman, who had educated himself 
at the academy there under Schmutzer. As examples of the capacity of 
the Negro for mathematical and physical sciences, I need only mention 
the Russian colonel of artillery, Hannibal, and the Negro LTslet of the 
Isle of France, who on account of his superior meteorological observa- 
tions and trigonometrical measurements was appointed their correspondent 
by the Paris Academy of Sciences. . . . 

I possess some annuals of a Philadelphia calendar, which a Negro there, 
Benj. Bannaker, had calculated, who had acquired his astronomical 
knowledge without oral instruction, entirely through private study of 
Ferguson's works, and our Tob. Mayer's tables, &c. Boerhaave, de Haen, 
and Dr. Rush have given the most decided proofs of the uncommon 
insight which Negroes have into practical medicine. Negroes have also 
been known to make very excellent surgeons. And the beautiful Negress 
of Yverdum, whom I mentioned, is known far and wide in French Switzer- 
land as an excellent midwife, of sound skill, and of a delicate and well- 
experienced hand. I omit the Wesleyan Methodist preacher, Madox, and 
also the two Negroes who lately died in London, Ignatius Sancho and 
Gustavus Vasa, of whom the former, a great favorite both of Garrick 
and Sterne, was known to me by correspondence ; and the latter, whom 
I knew personally, has made himself a name by his interesting autobiog- 
raphy; and also many other Negroes and Negresses who have dis- 
tinguished themselves by their talents for poetry. I possess English, 
Dutch and Latin poems by several of these latter, amongst which, how- 
ever, above all, those of Phillis Wheatley of Boston, who is justly famous 
for them, deserves mention here. 

There are still two Negroes who have got some reputation as authors, 
and whose works I possess, whom I may mention. Our Hollmann, when 
he was still professor at AA'ittenberg, created in 1734 the Negro Ant. 
Wilh. Amo, Doctor of Philosophy. He had shown great merit both in 
writing and teaching; and I have two treatises by him, of which one 
especially shows a most unexpected and well-digested course of reading 
in the best physiological works of that day. In an account of Amo's 

852 The African Abroad. 

life, which on that occasion was printed in the name of the University 
Senate, great praise is allotted to his exceptional uprightness, his capacity, 
his industry, and his learning. It says of his philosophical lectures : "He 
studied the opinions both of the ancients and moderns; he selected the 
best, and explained his selections clearly and at full length." It was in 
his fortieth year that the Negro Jac. Elisa Capitein studied theology 
at Leyden; he had been kidnapped when a boy of eight years old, and 
■was bought by a slave-dealer at St. Andrew's River, and got to Holland 
in this way at third-hand. I have several sermons and poems by him, 
which I will leave to their own merits ; but more interesting and more 
famous is his Dissertatio politico-theologica de servitute libertati Chris- 
tianae non contraria, which he read publicly on the loth of March, 1742, in 
Leyden, and of which I have a translation in Dutch, of which again 
four editions were struck off, one immediately after the other. Upon 
this he was ordained preacher at Amsterdam in the Church d'Elmina, 
W'hither he soon afterwards departed. Professor Brugmans of Leyden, 
who procured for me the writings of this ordained Negro, sends me 
word also that according to the circumstances there are two stories about 
liis fate there ; either namely that he was murdered, or that he went 
Lack to his own savage countrymen, and exchanged their superstitions 
and mode of life for what he had learned in Europe. . . . 

Finally, I am of opinion that after all these numerous instances I 
have brought together of Negroes of capacity, it would not be difficult 
to mention entire well-known provinces of Europe, from out of which 
you would not easily expect to obtain off-hand such authors, poets, 
philosophers, and correspondents of the Paris Academy ; and on the 
other hand, there is no so-called savage nation known under the sun 
v.'hich has so much distinguished itself by such examples of perfectibility 
and original capacity for scientific culture, and thereby attached itself 
so closely to the most civilized nations of the earth, as the Negro. 

Foot Note. — Calcagero, in "Poetas de Color," Habana, 1887 (5th ed.), 
says of the poet Heredia : "Severiano de Heredia, of the same race as 
Placido, an honor to French literature." 

Gonzalo de Quesada, former Cuban Minister at Washington, on Jan- 
uary 25, 1906, in a letter to the editor of the New York Sun, says : "Cuba 
can point with pride to the martyr poet, Placido, who gave his life for 
his fellowmen; to such artists as White, who wrested prizes at Paris 
from the best painters; to Juan Gualberto Gomez, a journalist and poli- 
tician of high ideals ; to Morna Delgado, a literary man, a student and 
a senator, who presides as pro tempore chairman of the Senate at 
Havana ; and who can ever forget that in the annals of epic feats the 
heroic mulatto, General Antonio Maceo, enjoys everlasting glory?" 





Some Men of Color zvho are Doing Big Things and Making 
History — TJiomas Walker, Judge E. M. Hewlett, Dr. I. N. 
Porter, J. E. Bruce, George Washington Forbes, Professor 
John JVesley Cromzvell, Dr. W. Bishop Johnson, William 
Stanley Braithwaite, Henry M. Tanner, Professor William 
H. H. Hart. 

I have met Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington and 
other self-made men of the race ; but I believe that Lawyer 
Thomas Walker of Washington is as fine a specimen of the 
self-made men as the Negro race has yet produced, perhaps the 
finest specimen. He is handsome in person and gracious in 
manner. He was born a slave in Alabama about 1850, and was 
reared on one of the aristocratic plantations of Alabama. Being 
house servant for an old Southern family in his teens, he assimi- 
lated and absorbed the best traditions of the Southern aristocracy, 
and soon became a chivalric and high-spirited gentleman. Mr. 
Walker was born on Colonel Samuel M. Hill's plantation at 
Caheba, Dallas County, about sixteen miles from Selma, Ala. 
Colonel Hill was worth over half a million dollars, an immense 
fortune in those days, and his plantation stretched over several 
thousand acres of land. Colonel Hill was an aristocrat of the 
old school and young Walker, as a boy, saw the representatives 
of the best aristocracy of the South entertained as guests on that 
plantation, and they made an indelible impression upon his plastic 
mind and filled him with high ideals of life and duty. He was 
forced to paddle his own canoe from the time he was fifteen 
years of age. He remained on Colonel Hill's plantation until he 
was fifteen years old, when he went to Selma, Ala., and worked 
for Yankee soldiers at two dollars a month. He was then waiter 
in a hotel and in the spring of 1866 served in the family of Mr. 
R. C. Goodrich, a cotton commission merchant, where he saw 
such noted men as Bishop I. N. Andrews of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church South, who, with Dr. Olin of Aliddletown, Conn., 
separated the Methodist Church, North and South, on the slavery 

856 The African Abroad. 

question; John W. Tapsley, the famous railroad promoter; 
Hon. B, M. Woolsey and other distinguished men. In the fall of 
1866, he spent four weeks in the night school of Mr. Joseph H. 
Sears, a Yale graduate. And this was the only public school edu- 
cation young Walker ever received. 

He and a few other colored boys were taught the alphabet by 
a kind-hearted, religiously-disposed white boy named George H. 
Craig, youngest son of a wealthy and distinguished family at 
Caheba. Young Craig achieved distinction in his four years.' 
service as a youthful Confederate officer in the great Civil War, 
returning home at the close, still a beardless youth. Since the 
war, he has served on the bench twelve years, in Congress four 
years. United States Senate two years, and has repeatedly declined 
the nomination for governor, tendered him by acclamation. After 
the lapse of more than half a century, Mr. Walker still retains 
the good will and friendly interest of this remarkable and dis- 
tinguished Southern gentleman. 

Walker went back to the plantation in 1867, where he remained 
until January, 1869, as a body servant for Colonel Samuel M. 
Hill, his old master, who, he says, was one of the wisest, most 
considerate and kindly men it has ever been his fortune to 
know. On recommendation of Mr. Goodrich, in 1869 ^^'^ i870> 
he waited on Mr. M. J. Williams, editor of Selma Times. 

In 1871 he put in an apprenticeship as carpenter. In his 
twenty-first year, young Walker entered politics and soon won 
a reputation as a political orator. He was elected to the state 
legislature when only twenty-one years of age. In 1874, when 
only twenty-four, he was elected a clerk of the Dallas County 
Circuit Court. He qualified under an official bond of $10,000 
for the faithful performance of duty. Dr. J. H. Henry and Dr. 
Robert Morsely went on his bond. That he had won the con- 
fidence and esteem of the leading men of the community at that 
early age testifies to his sterling qualities. In 1875 Mr. Walker 
started a grocery store and soon had established a large business. 
He taught school in Arkansas from 1879 to 1881 and came to 
Washington in 1882. He was appointed to a government clerk- 
ship and studied law in Howard University while in the gov- 
ernment service. In 1892 he began to devote himself to the 
practice of law and is now one of the richest and most successful 

Men of Color Who arc Doing Big Things. 857 

colored lawyers in the District of Columbia. He does a great 
deal of business in connection with Attorney J. N. Bundy, for- 
merly member of the board of education. They have taught 
their clients the fundamental and basic principles of business and 
political economy. As a business man of rare sanity of judg- 
ment, uncommon good sense and integrity of character, ^Ir. 
Walker had so impressed the Washington bar that he with 
Lawyer Joseph H. Stewart were appointed receivers when the 
Capitol Savings Bank failed in the fall and winter of 1902. 

Had Mr. Walker done nothing else but rise from a humble to 
a commanding position in life, his career would have been 
remarkable. But what is unusual for a self-made man (for 
most self-made men despise literature), he is a man of literary 
tastes and aspirations and is a lover of the fine arts. He admires 
Gray, Goldsmith, Macaulay and Dickens, and has mastered 
Buckle's "History of Civilization." I have often enjoyed hearing 
him discourse of the beauties of Gray, Goldsmith, Dickens and 
Thackeray, compare and contrast Macaulay with Carlyle and 
discuss Buckle's philosophy of history. 

Attorney Walker has been quite a philanthropist. He married 
Miss Annie E. Anderson of Brooklyn, N. Y., youngest daughter 
of Francis and Nancy Anderson of Flatbush, L. I. He has per- 
sonally helped some of his poor clients and has wisely invested 
money for them. He has aided one Southern aristocrat, who 
befriended him in his youth. He has spent over $5,000 in edu- 
cating six nephews and four nieces in Tuskeegee, Talladega, 
Selma, Kowaliga, and the graded and high schools of Washing- 
ton, D. C, one of whom, Aliss Fayette Walker, was formerly a 
teacher in the Washington schools. He gave his wife, an accom- 
plished artist, a four years' course in the Woman's Art School of 
Cooper Union, New York. The audience was enthusiastic 
when she received her certificate. ' She then studied art in Paris 
for fifteen months. She made a petite pastelle, called "The Little 
Parisian." It was exhibited in the Salon of Paris the same year 
as Tanner's "Lion Den" was exhibited, for which he received 
honorable mention. That was in 1896. A jury passed on the 
works before they were accepted. So we may sum up Lawyer 
Walker's career by saying that he is a lover of all that goes to 
make a noble and chivalric manhood. 

858 Tlic African Abroad. 


But the account of Walker would be incomplete without an 
account of a friend who 'has won the highest, honors in the legal 
profession in Washington. I refer to the bold, intrepid, lion- 
hearted E. Molyneaux Hewlett, who, with Robert H. Terrell, 
was appointed justice of the peace, at a salary of $2,500 a year, 
when ten justices of the peace were appointed to have jurisdiction, 
in their respective districts, of all civil cases which did not involve 
ever $300. Judge Hewlett's father was a man of herculean size 
and strength and for many years was the popular gymnastic and 
boxing instructor of Harvard University. Although short of 
stature. Judge Hewlett was broad-shouldered and powerfully 
built, and inherited his father's great strength, and possessed an 
agility that was remarkable. One evening, he and his brother 
were insulted by a gang of white ruffians on a Boston street car. 
They knocked the ruffians down right and left and cleaned out 
the car. The driver and conductor fled in terror and Hewlett 
and his brother drove the car in safety to the car barn. Had 
young Hewlett entered the ring he would have become as famous 
as Molyneaux, Peter Jackson. Sam Langford, Joe 'Wolcott, Joe 
Gans and Dixon. But Hewlett had higher ambitions. 

He graduated from the Boston University Law School in the 
early eighties, came to Washington and hung out his shingle. 
Bold and fearless as a lion, tireless in energy as a Trojan; dig- 
nified in his manner of presenting his case, calm and deliberate 
in debate and fiery and impassioned in his appeals, Hewlett rap- 
idly forged to the front as a lawyer, won his spurs, successfully 
carried several cases to the Supreme Court and soon became a 
respected and honored member of the Washington bar. 

But his greatest service to his race was rendered when he 
caused two proprietors of the City Hall Restaurant to be removed 
from the City Hall, because they insisted upon serving colored 
lawyers in the counter room and refused to serve them in the 
room set apart for the members of the bar, where men could 
sit at tables. In a community where automatons are preferred 
in the government service and school system, Hewlett has been a 
man of initiative and individuality and that is his crowning title 
to fame. Even in W^ashington, D. C, Hewlett has been true 
to his Boston traditions and Boston ideals. 







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Men of Color JVho arc Doing Big Things. 859 


No class of colored professsional men have been more success- 
ful than the physicians. There are a score or two, like Dr. 
Garland and Dr. B. J. Robinson of Boston ; Dr. E. D. Osborn of 
New Bedford, Mass. ; Dr. Elbert of Wilmington, Del. ; Dr. York 
Russell and Dr. E. P. Roberts of New York; Dr. Owen M. 
Waller and Rev. Dr. F. M. Jacobs of Brooklyn; Dr. Curtiss of 
Washington, D. C. ; Dr. William Fletcher Penn of Atlanta, Ga. ; 
Dr. Hills and Dr. Smalls of Jacksonville, Fla., who have a large 
and lucrative practice. And Dr. Hills' practice reaches far 
beyond the limits of Jacksonville. Dr. N. F. Mozell of Philadel- 
phia has a well-equipped hospital called the Douglass Memorial 
Hospital. Dr. Curtiss, Dr. Warfield and Dr. Brooks of Washing- 
ton, D. C., have done excellent work as surgeons. 

But we have produced four physicians whose success has been 
phenomenal. They are Dr. Daniel L. Williams of Chicago, the 
surgeon; Dr. Marcus F. Wheatland of Newport, R. I., the 
X-ray specialist ; Dr. York Russell of New York, brilliant as a 
physician, scholar and orator, and Dr. I. N. Porter of New 
Haven, Conn., who unquestionably has a larger white practice 
than any colored physician in America has ever had, as more 
than ninety per cent, of the patients that he treats every day are 

Dr. I. N. Porter was born at Summer Bridge, Del., shortly after 
the time of General Lee's surrender. His father, Isaac Porter, 
and his grandfather, Jesse Porter, were respected farmers of 
Delaware. His being reared in the country is one of the reasons 
why Dr. Porter has been so eminently practical and resourceful. 

His mother's father was an African prince, who was born 
in Tunis, Algeria. This may possibly account for his innate 
manliness of character. 

He studied in the public schools of Chester, Pa., and then 
took the preparatory and college course at Lincoln University, 
Pa., the Presbyterian college which has produced a number of 
eminent educators and clergymen, like Dr. F. J. Grimke, Hon. 
Archibald Grimke, J. C. Price, Dr. Thomas B. Miller, Dr. Wil- 
liam H. Goler, Dr. William Decker Johnson, Dr. Walter Brooks 
and Dr. William H. Creditt. 

Dr. Porter distinguished himself in the classics, mathematics, 
literature and philosophy. 


86o The African Abroad. 

In the fall of 1890 he entered the Yale Medical School, work- 
ing his way through by carving, in the New Haven House. He 
made a splendid record in the Medical School, and Dr. Carmalt, 
the eye specialist, at the banquet of the graduating class stated 
that Dr. Porter was better qualified to practice medicine than 
any member of his class. 

Dr. Porter hung out his shingle in the winter of 1894 in New 
Haven. His success was not phenomenal at first. But he 
equipped himself with a splendid medical library, attended Pro- 
fessor George Trumbull Ladd's public lectures in philosophy, 
read Amiel's Journal and was growing intellectually. 

In the fall of 1896, the Ninth Vv'ard caucus was held to elect 
councilme'n and an alderman. Two colored men, Robert H. Bon- 
ner, a graduate of the Yale Art School, and Dr. I. N. Porter, and 
one white man were put in nomination. Neither candidate could 
muster enough votes to win out. Some of the colored voters 
cried out, "You ought to give us a colored man." Then Dr. 
Porter arose and said, "Don't elect me because I am black ; but 
because I am a man." That caught the audience. The other two 
candidates retired in his favor and Dr. Porter was unanimously 
elected and made a good record as a member of the Common 

He numbers among his patients some of the wealthiest 
families of New Haven. 

In 1907, he married Miss G. C. Ward of St. Joseph, Mich., 
an accomplished and cultured lady, whose brother is a lawyer 
in Chicago. In diagnosis Dr. Porter's judgment is quick and 
unerring ; in deciding what to do, he thinks quickly ; in meeting 
unforeseen developments, his resourcefulness is wonderful ; and 
in surgery his eye is keen, his hand and arm steady and firm. It 
has been a marvel that he could treat so many cases successfully in 
one day. In a word, he is a genius. 


We have produced in America two writers for the press who 
gained a national reputation. I refer to T. Thomas Fortune, 
founder and former editor of the New York Age, and to Mr. 

Men of Color Who arc Doing Big Things. 86 1 

J. E. Bruce of Yonkers, N. Y. Mr. Fortune started his career 
under a blaze of glory, made the New York Age the most bril- 
liant Negro newspaper in the world, was a weekly contributor to 
the New York Sun, under the elder Dana ; addressed a big politi- 
cal meeting in the Wigwam on Sperry Street, in New Haven, in 
the Blaine-Cleveland campaign of 1884; was the orator of the day 
at the Tyler City camp meeting near New Haven, Conn., in 
August, 1890, and began his address on liberty by saying "My 
right ceases where your right begins." He was the chairman of 
the Executive Committee of the Afro-American Council at its 
famous meeting in Washington, D. C, in January, 1899, ^"^ ^"^^s 
reelected president at the stormy session in Louisville, Ky., in 
July, 1903. For nearly a score of years he was the most gifted 
editor and one of the most brilliant champions of the civil and 
political rights of the Negro. Born in Florida, with Anglo- 
Saxon, French, Indian and Negro blood coursing through his 
veins, he possessed, like Langston, dash, brilliancy, vivacity and 

At first he was an independent in politics ; a bold, a fearless race 
champion; but in January, 1899, he began to lend the weight of 
his powerful paper to booming Dr. Washington. Gradually he 
lost his independence of utterance, and consequently his influence. 
Finally, in December, 1907, he sold his interests in the Age to 
a syndicate ; Mr. Frederick R. Moore, editor of the Colored 
American Magasine, became the editor. Since Fortune's retire- 
ment from the New York Age, as editor-in-chief, the editorials 
have lost the sparkle and scintillating brilliancy that characterized 
them when Fortune's terse and trenchant style made him both 
an admired and dreaded writer. 

Mr. Fortune is still one of the associate editors of the A^e and 
is now living in a cozy home in Redbank, N. J., now and then 
venturing forth from his retirement to write for the press. 

But in Mr. J. E. Bruce of Yonkers, N. Y., we have a gentle- 
man, who, under the pseudonym of "Bruce Grit," for a quarter of 
a century contributed articles to the leading white and colored 
journals of the country that were characterized by independence 
and fearlessness of thought, keen analysis, striking metaphors, 
and a racy and vigorous style. He is doing what he can to help 
give the right direction to the thought and policy which should 

362 The African Abroad. 

govern and control the Negro in this land. Now he is endeavor- 
ing to inject a little pride of race in those of our brethren who 
doubt by holding the Negro up and showing that he is really 
somebody. For this purpose he has organized the Negro Society 
for Historical Research, which has corresponding members in the 
West Indies, England, Scotland and Africa. 

Pie was born a slave in the State of Maryland, in the village of 
Piscataway, February 22, 1856. His father was sold into slavery 
soon after his birth. His mother ran away from slavery with 
her two children; one of them, Bruce's brother, died young, one 
year before the outbreak of the Civil War. She went to Wash- 
ington, D. C, and was lost, until the excitement was over and 
hostilities began; then she went to work with less fear and 

J. E. Bruce never had the advantages of a school education, 
but, like Topsy, "just growed." That he should have developed 
into such a brilliant writer and into such a broad-gauged thinker 
is truly remarkable. 

His mother was a first-class cook, and young Bruce usually 
worked where she did for his board and keep and whatever extra 
he could earn. He was always ambitious to learn and there 
were in those days kind-hearted Northerners who took a friendly 
interest in black boys and girls who were willing to learn. He 
learned to read quite early in life, and to write a little, but he 
never had a lesson in penmanship. In his twentieth year, he . 
found himself writing pieces for the press of both races. He 
was Washington correspondent for the Richmond Star and wrote 
under the nom de plume of "Rising Sun." This was in the 
seventies. He subsequently became a publisher and issued the 
following weeklies: The Argus, Washington, D. C, 1874, 
Charles N. Otey, editor, J. E. Bruce, associate editor; Sunday 
Item, 1880, J. E. Bruce, editor, Washington, D. C. ; The Repub- 
lican, 1882, J. E. Bruce, editor, Norfolk, \^a. ; Grit, 1884, J. E. 
Bruce, editor, Washington, D. C. ; The Commonwealth, Balti- 
more, Md., 1885. As a writer for the press he has always been 
bold, fearless, intrepid; has never worshipped the golden calf 
nor bowed before the Baal of materialism. 

For thirty years he has been a general newspaper correspond- 
ent and has furnished news letters to more than one hundred 

Men of Color Who arc Doing Big Things. S6 


weekly papers under the name of "Bruce Grit" ; has been a 
paid contributor to the Boston Transcript, Albany Argus, Buffalo 
Express, Washington (D. C.) Sunday Gazette and Sunday 
Republic. He is a member of the African Society, England, 
made so on the motion of Count de Cardi, its honorary secretary, 
live years ago. He was, on the recommendation of Hon. J. J. 
Dossen, then vice president of Liberia, who with his delegation 
he entertained at his home, made a Knight of the Order of 
African Redemption by President Barclay. He has a book in 
his library with pictures of all the presidents of Liberia, and 
he has a great many pictures of noted Africans. 

One of the memorable events of my life was the reception 
tendered to the Liberian legation by Mr. Bruce at his home in 
Yonkers in July, 1908. An audience representing the eastern 
section of New York assembled that evening. Dr. York Russell 
was the brilliant, eloquent and tactful master of ceremonies, and 
ex-President Gibson of Liberia spoke. But the event of the 
evening was the address of Hon. J. Dossen, vice president 
of Liberia. Tall, stalwart, erect and manly, he was the embodi- 
ment of force and power and seemed a giant in bronze. As he 
eloquently pictured the future of Africa, I saw in him a realiza- 
tion of the possibilities of the native African. I believe he is 
now president of Liberia College. 

I reprint from the African Times and Orient Review an 
account of the Negro Society for Historical Research of which 
j\Ir. Bruce is the founder and president : 

It was to instruct the race and inspire love and veneration for its 
men and vi^omen of mark that the Negro Society for Historical Research 
was brought into being. Our principal aim is to teach, enlighten, and 
instruct our people in Negro history and achievement; to institute a 
circulating library, a bureau of race information, with a collection of all 
books, pamphlets, etc., by Negro authors and their friends, together with 
all data bearing upon race achievements in every form of endeavor. We 
believe that the race can be made stronger and more united if it can be 
made to know that it has done great things. 

The Negro Society for Historical Research was organized at Sunny 
Slope Farm. Yonkers, New York, U. S. A., the residence of j\Ir. John 
Edward Bruce, April 18, 1911. The officers are:— John Edward Bruce, 
president; Arthur A. Schomburg, secretary and treasurer; David B. 
Fulton, librarian; Wm. Wesley Weekes, musical director; Ernest W. 
Braxton, art director. 

864 The African Abroad. 

The Society has a collection of over three hundred books and 
pamphlets, among the rarest of which are : — 
An autograph copy of Phyllis Wheatley's poems, published London, 1773. 

Another copy printed at Walpole, N. H., 1802. A copy of her Letters 

published at Boston, Mass. 
Gustavus Vassa, The Narrative of His Life, London, 1793. 
Ignatius Sancho, "Letters," First Edition, London, 1782, two volumes. 
Paul Cuffe, "Brief Account of Sierra Leone," N. Y., 1812. 
Paul Cuffe, "His Life," 1822. 

J. W. C. Pennington, "Origin and History of the Colored People," 1841. 
Frederick Douglass, "Autobiography," 1845. 
J. M. Whitfield, "Poems," 1846. 
William Wells Brown, "Clotel," "Narrative of a Fugitive," "Three 

Years in Europe," "Rising Sun," "Black Man." 
Martin R. Delaney, "Condition, Elevation, Emigration, and Destiny of 

the Colored People of the United States," 1852. 
William C. Nell, "The Colored Patriots of the American Revolution," 

Boston, 1855. 
Frances E. W. Harper, "Miscellaneous Poems," Boston, 1854. "lola 

Leroy" (novel). 
Samuel R. Ward, "Autobiography of a Fugitive Slave," London, 1855. 
Josiah Henson, "Father Henson's Story," Boston, 1858. 
Poems of Isley Walden, the Blind Poet of North Carolina. 
Genesis, in Grebo Tongue, by Rev. J. Payne, formerly the property of 

Mrs. Rossetta Douglass Sprague. 
The unpublished autograph letters and sermons of Alexander Crummell, 

the immortal champion of his race at home and abroad, presented to the 

Society by Mrs. Hayson of Washington, D. C. 
Alexander Crummell, "The Future of Africa," "Africa and America," 

and the "Greatness of Christ." 
Rev. Edward Wilmot Blyden, "Liberia's Ofifering," "Christianity, Islam 

and the Negro Race," and other books and pamphlets by him. 
W. T. Catto, "History of the Presbyterian Movement," Phila., 1857. 
William Douglass, "Annals of St. Thomas's First African Church," 1862. 
Paul L. Dunbar, his Poems and Prose. 
Dr. J. McCune Smith, "Lecture on the Haytian Revolutions," etc.. New 

York, 1 84 1. 
Bishop HoIIey, "Vindication of the Capacity of the Negro Race, etc.," 

New Haven, 1857. 
Negroes' Memorial, The Abolitionist's Catechism, London, 1825 (white). 
America Negro Academy. Occasional Papers. 
Autograph Letters of Authors. Llore than forty letters of Negro authors 

are to be seen at the Society's Room. 
Bound Volume Anglo-African Magazine, Edited by Wm. Hamilton, 

N. Y., 1856. 
Collection of Rare African Curios, and Photographs of Noted Africans, 

etc., etc. 

Men of Color Who arc Doing Big Things. S65 


King.Lewanika of Barotseland, Honorary President. 

Prince Lnbinda of the Barotse, son of King Lewanika, Hon. Member. 

Prince Akashambatwa of the Barotse, son of King Lewanika, Hon. 

Hon. James J. Dossen, Vice-President of Liberia, Hon. Member. 
*Hon. Edward W. Blyden, Sierra Leone, W. A., Hon. Member. 
Hon. Casely Hayford, Sekondi, Gold Coast, Africa, Hon. Member. 
Dr. Majola Agbebi, Lagos, West Africa, Hon. Member. 
E. Elliott Durant, Esq., Journalist, Barbadoes, W. L, Hon. Member. 
A. Rawle Parkinson, Esq., Educator, Barbadoes, W. L, Hon. Member. 
*Hon. A. White, Dean of the Law School, Louisville, Ky., Hon. Member. 
♦General Evaristo Estenoz, Havana, Cuba, Hon. Member. 
Mr. F. Z. S. Peregrino, Journalist, Capetown, S. A., Hon. Member. 
Matt Henson (Peary's Companion), Hon. Member. 
C. W. Anderson, Esq., New York City. 
Dr. T. E. S. Scholes, London, England, Hon. Member. 
Daniel Murray, Esq., Washington, D. C, Corresponding Member. 
William P. Moore, Brooklyn, N. Y., Corresponding Member. 
Prof. John W. Cromwell, Washington, D. C, Corresponding Member. 
Prof. Pedro C. Timothee, San Juan, Porto Rico, Corresponding Member. 
Moses da Rocha, Esq., Edinburgh University, Edinburgh, Corresponding 

J. R. Clifford, Esq., Martinsburg, W. Va., Corresponding Member. 
C. A. Franklin, Esq., Denver, Colorado, Corresponding Member. 
Hon. James C. Smith, Killarney, Jersey, Channel Islands, Corresponding 

W. E. Hawkins, Esq., 'Wilmington, N. C, Corresponding Member. 
Prof. W. E. B. DuBois, New York City, Corresponding Member. 
L. H. Latimer, Esq., Flushing, L. L, N. Y., Corresponding Member. 
Rev. E. D. L. Thompson, Freetown, Sierre Leone, W. A., Corresponding 

Mrs. Veronica Nickelson, Ossining, New York. 
Mrs. Lillian Urquhart, Newark, N. J., Corresponding Member. 
Mrs. Florence A. Bruce, Yonkers, N. Y., Corresponding Member. 
Mrs. Mary Butler, Yonkers, N. Y., Corresponding Member. 
Mrs. Marie Du Chatellier, Bocas del Toro, Panama, Corresponding 

C. Carroll Clark, New York City, Corresponding Member. 
Air. A. LeRoy Locke, Camden, New Jersey, Corresponding Member. 
Prof. J. S. Moore, Bahia, Brazil, Corresponding Member. 
Thomas I. Peregrino, Esq., Capetown, S. A., Corresponding Member. 
Miss Emma Brown, Philadelphia, Pa., Corresponding IMember. 
Rev. William Forde, Port Limon, Costa Rica, Corresponding Member. 


866 The African Abroad. 

James B. Clarke, Esq., New York City, Corresponding Member. 

W. A. Lavelette, Washington, D. C, Corresponding Member. 

Duse Mohamed, Effendi, London, England, Corresponding JNIember. 

James A. Stephens, Yonkers, N. Y., Corresponding Member. 

F. J. Moultrie, Esq., Yonkers, N. Y., Corresponding Member. 

W. T. Jemmott, Esq., Brooklyn, N. Y., Corresponding IMember. 

Thomas H. Knight, Wilmington, N. C, Corresponding Member. 

W. C. Bolivar, Esq., Philadelphia, Pa., Corresponding Member. 

John Edward Bruce, Yonkers, N. Y., Member. 

Arthur A. Schomburg, New York City, Member. 

David B. Fulton, New York City, Member. 

William Wesley Weekes, Brooklyn, N. Y., Member. 

Ernest W. Braxton, Brooklyn, N. Y., Member. 

Dr. York Russell, New York City, N. Y., Member. 

Dr. J. Frank Thorpe, New York City, N. Y., Member. 

W. P. Dabney, Cincinnati, Ohio, Member. 

society's publications. 

Occasional Paper No. i. — "Historical Research," by Dr. York Russell. 
No. 2. — "A Plea for Social Justice for the Black Woman," by David 

B. Fulton, Esq. 
(Copies of which may be obtained on application to the Secretary of the 
Society, Mr. A. A. Schomburg, 63 W. 140th Street, New York City, N. Y., 
U. S. A.) 

Since the organization of the Society it has been addressed by quite a 
number of men of prominence, among whom was Dr. J. H. Reed of 
Monrovia, Liberia, President of College, Liberia. 


We must also say a word regarding Mr. Arthur Alfonso 
Schomburg, the secretary of the Negro Society for Historical 
Research, whose library, including ancient and modern works 
regarding the African, Haytien, West Indian and American 
Negro, contains a rich mine of information, and has been of 
invaluable assistance to me in preparing my book. 

His library includes books ranging from Leo Africanus's 
"Africa," republished in 1632, to English books published during 
the current year. The collection includes "The Happy Slave," 
published in 1630; an autograph copy of Phyllis Wheatley's 
original poems, a racial MSS. dedicated to Henry Highland Gar- 
nett by the Rev. Alexander Crummell and read before the literary 
society in New York City, the Hamilton Lyceum, on July 4, 
1844, and many odd and antiquated works now out of print. Mr. 

Men of Color JVho are Doing Big Things. 867 

Jack Thorne wrote an interesting account of the life of Mr. 
Schomburg for the Pioneer Press, September 14, 19 12. I will 
quote the article in part : 

Mr. Schomburg was born in St. Juan, Porto Rico, January the 24th, 1874. 
His parents were Charles and Hilary Joseph Schomburg of the well- 
known family of Nicholas Joseph of the island of St. Croix, D. W. I. 
Graduating from the grammar school in 1887, he entered the Institute of 
Popular Instruction in 1SS8, afterwards mastering the printer's trade. 

'Mr. Schomburg came to New York in 1891 and was one of the founders 
of the first Revolutionary Circle, formed for the purpose of furthering 
the cause of Cuban and Porto Rican freedom. This movement was 
inaugurated in the home of the author Rafael Serra in West Third Street. 

The subject of this sketch read law five years in the oiifices of Pryor, 
!Melliss and Harris. He has taken an active part in literary work and a 
meagre part in the political affairs of New York City. He is a forceful, 
concise and instructive writer, and under the nom de plume of 
"Guarionex"' has contributed extensively to the daily newspapers of the 

Mr. Schomburg has been for a number of years in the employ of the 
Bankers Trust Company, and is now head of the mailing department. 
The Bankers Trust Company is the largest institution of its kind in the 

Arthur A. Schomburg is a jovial and genial host, a delightful guest, 
an ardent lover of literature, and a keen and resourceful debater. To 
get acquainted with Arthur A. Schomburg is to honor and esteem him — 
to know him is to love him. 

Jack Thorne. 
New York City, N. Y. 

]\Ir. Schomburg has w^ritten an account of Juan Latino, which 
appears in this book and an interesting pamphlet upon Placido, 
which I regret lack of space prevents my republishing. 


iMr. George Washington Forbes of the West End Branch of 
the Boston Public Library is preparing a work w'hich will mxake 
a notable contribution to Negro literature. It is entitled "The 
Pen and Voice Achievements of the Negro in Poetry and Prose." 
Part of the chapter upon Samuel Ringo AA'ard and Frederick 
Douglass appeared in the Sunday edition of the Springfield 

Foot Note. — The gentleman who writes under the nom de plume of Jack 
Thorne is 'Mr. David B. Fulton. 

868 The African Abroad. 

Republican on February 13. It was an illustrated article, which 
covered more than an entire page. Judging from that article 
the book will be saturated with scholarship and replete with 
worldly wisdom. 

Mr. Forbes was born in Mississippi after the close of the war. 
His parents were untutored but were moral and religious. 
Young Forbes worked in the brickyards and farms of Missis- 
sippi. But he looked long and lovingly at the North Star and 
heard its beckoning call, came north and found friends in Mr. 
and Mrs. Mungin of Smith Court, who assisted many struggling 
students. Forbes worked in Memorial Hall, Cambridge, studied 
and saved his money. He entered Amherst College and received 
his A.B. degree in 1891. Both of his colored classmates attained 
renown. Sherman W. Jackson married a talented sculptress, 
received the A.B. and LL.B. degrees from the Catholic Univer- 
sity, Washington, D. C, was appointed teacher of mathematics 
and then principal of the M Street High School, Washington, 
D. C, but in the summer of 1909, was with Dr. Henry T. Bailey, 
a Harvard graduate and supervising principal, demoted by the 
forces in the national capital that have been hostile to colored 
graduates of New England Colleges and Universities for over 
a decade. Both of these gentlemen are still doing work in the 
Washington School System. W. H. Lewis, another of Forbes' 
colored classmates, became assistant attorney-general under 
President William H. Taft. 

Forbes declined tempting offers to teach in the Southland and 
decided to remain in Boston, where he could grow and develop 
intellectually, and would not be compelled to stultify his indi- 
viduality. For five years he edited the Boston Coiirant, and 
under the pseudonym of "Argus, the hundred eyes," saw 
everything and wielded the Damascus blade of sarcasm. 

In the summer of 1897 he was appointed assistant librarian 
in the West End Branch of the Boston Public Library, which 
position he has held ever since. In the fall of 1901 he edited 
the Boston Guardian in connection with William Monroe Trot- 
ter. His scintillating editorials and keen blade of sarcasm made 
the paper famous at once. He was the first man in the country 
to take the measure of the Tuskeegee wizard. He retired from 
the editorship of the paper in the fall of 1904. Since then he 
has written occasionally for the Boston Transcript and the 

Men of Color Who are Doing Big Things. 869 

Springfield Republican and is at present book reviewer of the 
A. M. E. Church Review of Philadelphia, of which Rev. Reverdy 
C. Ransom, the peerless orator, is editor. In December, 1900, 
he married Miss Elizabeth Harley of Kingston, N. Y., a capable 
stenographer and talented musician. 


Professor John Wesley Cromwell, one of the early graduates 
of the Institute for the Colored Youth (formerly located in 
Philadelphia, Pa.), who for over a quarter of a century has been 
prominently identified with the educational, literary, religious 
and civic life of the national capital, who since its organization in 
March, 1897, has been secretary of the American Negro 
Academy, has just written a book upon "The Negro in American 
History," which will be published. Professor Cromwell preemi- 
nently blends scholarship with common sense, is a man of upright 
character and high ethical ideals. He has exerted a wholesome 
influence not only upon the intellectual but upon the moral life 
of the colored people of America. 

After giving a broad survey of the history of America, from 
its discovery and settlement, through emancipation and Civil 
War citizenship, the work includes detailed biographical sketches 
of fifteen colored men and women, eminent in widely different 
fields of endeavor. Noted colored educators have written in 
flattering terms of Professor Cromwell's forthcoming book. 

Professor John Wesley Cromwell was born September 5, 1846, 
at Portsmouth, Va. In 1851, his father, having obtained the 
freedom of his family, moved to West Philadelphia. Young 
Cromwell attended the public schools of the city from 185 1 to 
1856, when he entered the Institute for Colored Youth in Phila- 
delphia, of which Professor Ebenezer D. Bassett was principal. 
He graduated in the summer of 1864 and for eight years had a 
varied and interesting career as a teacher in Philadelphia and 
Virginia and as a political leader in Virginia. 

In the fall of 1872 he went to Washington, D. C, which he 
has made the scene of his life work. In March, 1874, he grad- 
uated from the law department of Howard University and was 
admitted to the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia upon 
motion of Hon. A. G. Riddle. As a scholar and educator in the 

870 The African Abroad. 

National capital, Professor Cromwell has scored triumph after 

In 1875 he was elected first president of the Virginia Educa- 
tional Historical Association and served for the eight years that 
it was organized. 

The Sunday School Times of Philadelphia, August 29, 1875, 
said of Professor Cromwell's opening address : "This address 
has been highly commended for its strong common sense and 
original ideas and the clearness with which they were expressed." 

In 1876 he edited the Peoples Advocate in Alexandria, Va. 
The following year it was removed to Washington, D. C. The 
intellectual and moral tone of the paper was very high. 

His address as alumni orator at the Institute for the Colored 
Youth in Philadelphia caused the Sunday Times on July i, 1883, 
to say among other things : "His address proclaimed him to be 
a man well booked m the issues of the day and his fund of 
knowledge seems inexhaustible. He is a clear, forcible, enter- 
taining speaker and held his audience in wrapt attention." 

Hon. B. L. Bruce appointed him as one of the honorary com- 
missioners of the Department of Colored Exhibits in the Cotton 
Centennial Exhibition at New Orleans. 


In the early fall of 1896, when I first met Dr. Alexander Crum- 
mell and Mr. George T. Downing, I met a colored youth whose 
father was a cultured West Indian, not out of his teens, who was 
a voracious reader, an ardent lover of poetry, and an enthusiastic 
admirer of Keats and Shelley. Moonlight nights, we walked 
up and down the cliffs of Newport, while he recited his favorite 
passages from Keats and Shelley and went into ecstacies over 
them. People said that he was a dreamer. Five years later they 
still said the same thing. He married a Miss Kelley of Baltimore 
and struggled to support himself and his family by his pen. In 
the early spring of 1910 I returned to Boston and found that 
the young man had gained an enviable position among contempo- 
rary American poets. That man was William Stanley Braith- 
waite, who is now the poet laureate of the colored race. 

Mr. Braithwaite has published two volumes of poems entitled 
"Lyrics of Life and Love" and "The House of Falling Leaves." 

Men of Color Who are Doing Big Things. 871 

He has published three anthologies, entitled "The Book of Eliza- 
bethan Verse," "The Book of Restoration Verse," and "The 
Book of Georgian Verse." Every year he studies for the Boston 
Evening Transcript the annual output of poetry in the current 
magazines. His poetry appears in the various magazines. 

While he lived in Boston he was a member of the Authors* 
Club. He is now living in New York City, doing work for some 
of the publishers and the magazines. He deserves recognition, 
because for the past few years he has earned his living solely 
by his pen. 

Wendell Wright, a colored litterateur of Salem, says : 

Braithwaite is the only poet we have who has the Elizabethan spirit, 
who writes with a tine poetic instinct, without any alloy of materialism. 
He has no peer in the present age of American literature. There is no 
one I can compare him with. He is fine and subtile and has a pure 
poetic instinct. 

If other poets would drink from the same fount the standard of 
American poetry would be much higher than it is now. 

It is simply marvelous, considering his environment, that a man could 
produce such pure poetic material in the present transitional condition 
of American literature. When I read his poetry in the Transcript five 
years ago I was astounded and said, "Can a black man write such stuflf?" 

It is regrettable that he hasn't a public that he can appeal to as he 
ought. The time will soon come when he will find a public to which he can 
appeal. Seldom do we pick up a book of verse that is so free from 
commercialism and materialism as the book of Braithwaite. 

His flight is not high; but the movement is graceful and we must keep 
our eyes upon the beauty and majesty of his poetic sweep. 

I think that in Braithwaite's cullings he could have well been a con- 
tributor to this anthology instead of a compiler of it. I would liken 
him to Beaumont, but Beaumont was a copyist and lacked sincerity. 
I would liken him to Raleigh, but Raleigh was more aggressive and less 
subtle. If this age were as chivalric as the Elizabethan, he would have 
taken his place by the side of Sir Philip Sidney. His poetry is subtile 
and fine and purely ideal and literary and has no politics and no propa- 
gandism. He is purely an artist. He works in the artistic spirit and is 
an artistic genius. 


Rev. William Bishop Johnson, D.D., born in Toronto, Ontario, 
Canada, December 11, 1858, is a preacher of massive physique, 
towering intellect, ripe scholarship and indomitable will, whose 
eloquence at the funerals of Perry Carson in Washington, D. C, 

872 TJie African Abroad. 

Dr. Dixon in Brooklyn and at the dedication of a Baptist Church 
in Washington, D. C, will long be remembered. No preacher or 
orator in the colored race is more sought after to deliver addresses 
on big occasions. Then he has been a friend to young men of 
ambition ; but Dr. W. Bishop Johnson may be known to posterity 
as the founder of the Afro-American School of Correspondence. 
N. Barnett Dodson of the American Press Association, New York 
City, says, in part, of the School of Correspondence: 

The Afro-American School of Correspondence was organized in Wash- 
ington in September, 1909, at 818 Third Street, N. W. It was incor- 
porated under the laws of the District of Columbia as a university. 
It was organized to reach the great unreached middle class, the man with 
a need and thirst for a deeper drink from the "Pierian spring of 
knowledge." . . . 

The faculty represents some of the best institutions in America — 
Harvard, Yale, Howard, Union and Northwestern Universities, Bishop, 
Bates, Storer and Guadalupe colleges. The president of the corporation 
is the Hon. Thomas L. Jones, LL.B., Washington, a graduate of Union 
and Howard Universities, one of the ablest lawyers in the country. The 
first vice-president is Rev. Holland Powell, D.D., Brooklyn, N. Y., a 
graduate of Wayland Seminary and Union University, an able preacher 
and successful pastor. The second vice-president is Rev. C. H. Payne, 
D.D., of West Virginia, graduate of Richmond Theological Institute, 
American consul to St. Thomas, D. W. I., diplomat, lawyer, educator 
and preacher. 

The secretary and treasurer is Rev. W. Bishop Johnson, D.D., LL.D., 
once professor of mathematics and political science at Wayland Seminary 
for twelve years. He is the organizer of the national Baptist educa- 
tional convention, author of "The Correspondent Student's Arithmetic, 
Grammar and United States History," "The Scourging of a Race," 
"Sparks from My Anvil," and "The Story of Negro Baptists." Dr. 
Johnson is one of the most eloquent orators among Negroes and is 
thoroughly devoted to his race. He has been pastor of the Second Baptist 
Church in Washington for twenty-eight years. He enjoys an inter- 
national reputation as a great educator. He is also president of the New 
England Baptist ]\Iissionary Convention, whose territory consists of the 
states from Maine to Virginia. Rev. Dr. A. W. Adams, D.D., is the 
field secretary, a graduate of Storer and Bates colleges, formerly a 
professor in Storer College, Harpers Ferry, W. Va. 

The students number 300 and are found in thirty-four States. 

His name is W. Bishop Johnson and he exerts the power of a 
bishop in the Baptist denomination, as he is constantly called 
upon to recommend pastors for vacant pulpits. 

Men of Color Who are Doing Big Things. 873 

(From the Charleston (W. Va.) Advocate, August 29, 1907.) 

For eighteen years Henry O. Tanner has made his home in Paris, where 
he has a studio and where he holds an enviable position in the world 
of art of the great Prench capital. Prior to this he lived in Philadelphia, 
the city of his first triumphs in his chosen profession and the abiding 
place of some of his finest works. 

In reviewing his career the most remarkable thing about it is the thor- 
ough and effective manner in which he has overcome the impediments 
of race prejudice and carved for himself a place entitling him to rank 
as one of the greatest painters on either side of the Atlantic. 

This place has been won by strenuous and unceasing work, for earnest 
effort is the keynote of Tanner's character. He has demanded a place 
in art and won it. 

As proof of his ability, his genius and masterly portrayals in oil, it is 
only necessary to statt that he is one of the two living men who have 
had two famous pictures hung in the famous Luxembourg galleries of 
Paris. One of these is the "Raising of Lazarus," purchased by the 
French government a number of years ago. 

Another signal recognition of his work was given last fall in Chicago 
when he was awarded the W. Harris prize of $500 for the best painting 
at the exhibition of American painters, held in the art institute. The 
picture was the "Disciples at the Tomb," showing Peter and Paul, the 
figures drawn with striking originality. The award to Tanner was 
unanimous on the part of the art committee. 

Tanner now devotes all his energies to the painting of religious sub- 
jects, in which he excels. In the earlier part of his art career he 
painted marine and animal objects, but he has found religious portraiture 
more to his taste and more in consistence with his genius. So exhaus- 
tive and devoted is he in reading up and studying a Biblical subject before 
he puts brush to canvas, that he has undermined his health and is frail 
and delicate in constitution. 

In his early effort in the line artistic, when he littered up the house 
with his sketches and painted bad caricatures, when only a mere child, 
he always received the encouragement of his mother. She was Miss 
Sarah Miller, a woman of scholarly attainments, particularly in the literary 
line, and it is due to her care and guidance, in large measure, that 
his success is attributed. She is still living and was in Pittsburgh last 

Tanner's insatiable passion for drawing and painting manifested itself 
at a very early age. When only fourteen years old one of his pictures 
was awarded a premium at the juvenile exposition of art held at the 
Philadelphia centennial in 1876. 

After completing a common school education in Philadelphia the boy 
artist entered the study of his chosen profession with that indefatigable 
zeal and determination that has characterized his entire career. He 

874 The African Abroad. 

became a pupil of Benjamin Constant and Paulean Lorens, both now 
distinguished painters in Paris, but then residing in the Quaker City. 

Tanner made remarkable progress and soon became a favorite pupil 
of his tutors. After a while he went to Paris, where he again studied 
under Constant, and about the same time he made his first tour of the 
Holy Land, where he executed a great number of sketches, some of 
which he later worked up into finished pictures. From this period of 
his life he became more than ever absorbed in religious subjects and 
formed the decision that he would in the future paint these almost 

In the opinion of art critics, Tanner's best work is in this line, 
although he has painted some excellent animal studies, landscapes and 
marine. One of his earliest works in animal painting is "After Dinner," 
a splendid picture of a lion licking his paws after a goodly repast of 
meat. Still another lion picture is the "King of the Desert," after the 
st3'le of Gerome, showing a monarch standing erect and fearless amid a 
barren waste of trackless sand. Following these animal studies the artist 
painted some marine studies, one of which is here in the home of his 
aunt, Mrs. Sarah Tanner. 

Other noteworthy paintings of this period of Tanner's career are "Deer 
in the Adirondacks," executed in 1885 and now owned by a wealthy 
connoisseur of Philadelphia; "A Lesson on the Bagpipe," also bought 
by a Philadelphian ; "Daniel in the Lions' Den," and others. The 
Adirondack scene is a particularly beautiful one, showing both lane and 
water in charming contrast and the deer are drawn with great fidelity 
to nature. The bagpipe picture tells a story. A child of the Scotch 
Highlands is learning with painstaking care to play one of the cumber- 
some peculiar instruments of that country. 

Tanner's pictures are now to be seen in the permanent collections of 
some of the greatest art galleries of this country and in Europe, and 
several are possessed by private collectors, who exhibit them with pride 
as among their choicest paintings. Critics are not agreed as to which 
of his pictures is the masterpiece of all his works. Some critics favor 
the "Annunciation," while others declare for the "Raising of Lazarus." 
The first picture hangs in the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and 
the second hangs in the famous Luxembourg Gallery, Paris, having been 
bought by the French government. 

The "Annunciation" is an original and powerful portrayal of the Vir- 
gin as the artist believed she must have looked at that supreme moment. 
Tanner's originality and fertility of conception is shown by his departure 
from the traditional manner of treating this subject, for, while Raphael, 
Botticelli and other great masters depict radiant joy on the face of 
the Mother of Christ, Tanner has made the scene one of extreme gravity, 
the Virgin gazing in rapt awe and tenseness at hearing the divine mes- 
sage. The effect of light and shade are considered very fine in this 

Men of Color Who arc Doing Big Things. S75 

The "Raising of Lazarus" is done in subdued colors and is a striking 
piece of work. Some critics aver this picture excels the "Annunciation" 
in treatment and conception. 

Another honor conferred on Tanner was the awarding of the Walter 
Lippincott prize for 1904, at the exhibition of the Pennsylvania Academy of 
Fine Arts, Philadelphia. His pictures are also to be found in the 
Wilstach Collection, Memorial Hall, in that city. One of his finest 
paintings, the "Flight Into Egypt," is in Pittsburgh, having been bought 
in 1899 by a wealthy art lover who has it hung in his private gallery. 

Among the other religious subjects painted by the artist are: "Jews 
Waiting at the Wall of Solomon" and "Stephen Before the Council," 
the latter painted for the Paris Exposition of 1906. Tanner is a regular 
exhibitor at the Paris Salon, and in this country his works have been 
exhibited in all the important art centers. He is a member of the 
American Art Association and of the Paris Society of American Painters. 


It frequently happens that a single episode lifts a man from 
the dusk of obscurity to the limelight of fame and reveals to the 
world the worth of a man of whose existence it had not dreamed. 

Such an epochal moment came in the life of Rev. Charles 
Douglass Martin of New York City on February 2^, 1913, when 
an interview with Mr. Martin appeared in the New York Sun- 
day World on "What it Means to be a Negro in New York 
City." The interview with Henry Hall of the New York World 
occupied an entire page. A large cut of Mr. Martin was pub- 
lished, and the JVorld also had an editorial upon the interview. 

I regret that lack of space prevents my reproducing the inter- 
view. But I will quote the JVorld's splendid editorial, "To be 
a Negro in New York." The Sunday World for February 23 

The story told on another page of social and industrial conditions 
surrounding the Negro in New York City is pathetic to the last degree. 
It tells of an exclusion from practically all save the more menial employ- 
ments, except as they are confined to the race itself; of a social ostracism 
which reaches up to embrace the most educated and refined; of a caste 
system so insidiously powerful that "it takes a man of great strength 
of character to treat the Negro as a man." 

That such a story might be written of the Negro in the chief city 
of the North fifty years after emancipation could never have entered 
the heads of the emancipators, who not only made him free but threw 
around him every possible security of law for his substantial equality with 
the whites. 


876 The African Abroad. 

• It meant nothing for the Rev. Charles Martin to be a Negro in the 
British West Indies, where his treatment by the whites never made him 
conscious of his color. But it affects everything dear in life to be a 
Negro in New York. 

Why should it be so? Is an explanation to be found in our multi- 
plicity of white races who have suffered sorely from the oppression of 
others, and who, in their pride as they work their way along up in the 
freedom of the Republic, are too apt to forget for others socially weaker 
what they had justly demanded for themselves. 

It may be so, but there is hope for the Negro even here under patience, 
sobriety, honesty and industry. Many white races with us have been 
"despised races." No one of them is failing with us to work up into 
a command of respect from all others. So it can and will be with the 

Rev. Mr. Martin's lucid portrayal of the American caste system 
in New York City attracted attention and made history for the 
colored race. 

Rev. Charles Douglass Martin was born November 7, 1873, 
at St. Kitts, British West Indies. He is the pastor and founder 
of Beth-Tphillah, Fourth Moravian Church, 63 West 134th 
Street, Harlem, New York. It was begun July 12, 1908, on the 
104th anniversary of the death of the immortal Alexander Hamil- 
ton of St. Kitts-Nevis. He is the first Negro minister of this faith 
in the United States. He received his early education in the Mora- 
vian School. He entered the Moravian College and Theological 
Seminary, Nisky, St. Thomas, Danish W^est Indies, in 1891, grad- 
uating in 1896. After graduation, he was appointed to the 
Church at Nisky and was ordained in 1901 in Tobago, B. W. I., 
after completing a post graduate course. He served as pastor in 
St. Thomas and St. Croix, D. W. I., and in Tobago and Antigua, 
B. W. I. He came to America in 1907 on furlough and took 
courses for that year at Union Theological Seminary. He has 
been in continuous service in the Moravian Church as minister 
of the Gospel since 1896. On June 22, 1913, he was raised to 
the Presbyterate. 

In 1906, Rev. Mr. Martin played on the cricket club of Antigua, 
of which the dignitaries of the State, consisting of the governor 
of the Island and the attorney general, were members. 

In person. Dr. Martin is tall, broad-shouldered and muscular, 
with a pleasant and kindly but strong and masterful face, with 
a sweet musical voice and calm, tranquil, self-possessed manner. 
He owns both a splendid Negro and a splendid theological manner. 

Men of Color Who are Doing Big Things. 877 



We have given a brief sketch of the Hfe of Professor Wilham 
H. H. Hart in our chapter on "Colored History-Makers of 
To-Day," and we will now resume our account. 

Tragedy was a famous theme with the Greek poets and drama- 
tists. Tlij^ruggle of man against fate or society or the gods 
appealed^^them and interested them just as the hopeless strug- 
gle of a^rave swimmer against an outgoing tide touches the 
sympathy of us moderns. That is why an eternal interest attaches 
to the fate of Antigone, CEdipus Tyrannus and Prometheus, the 
three immortal characters of Greek tragedy. Antigone disobeyed 
the then existing order of society and gave her brother, who was 
warring against her father, a decent burial ; and she bore the 
consequences and was killed. CEdipus Tyrannus struggled 
against fates and unconsciously and unknowingly married his 
own mother, thus unwittingly he suffered the same fate. Pro- 
metheus, the hero of ^^schylus's colossal work, defied Zeus, 
brought down the fire from the heavens and gave it to men. He 
was chained to a rock and an eagle eternally tore out his heart 
and vitals. 

But w^e are not compelled to go back to Greek tragedy or to 
Hawthorne's "Scarlet Letter" or Victor Hugo's "Les Misera- 
bles" for exhibitions of the hopeless struggle in accordance with 
the moral law of man against the order of society or the reigning 
powers, for history teems with examples of the same. Christ, the 
God-man, rebuked the Scribes and Pharisees and was crucified. 
Socrates did not believe in the Greek gods and the Greek 
religion ; he was forced to drink the hemlock. Savonarola, 
Huss, Servetus, Latimer, Ridley and Cranmer were burned alive 
at the stake because they defied the prevailing religion. Sir 
Thomas More, the creator of a divine dream of the imagination, 
was beheaded because he defied his king. Greek tragedy, mod- 
ern fiction, and all history illustrate the fate of those bold reform- 
ers and daring spirits who defy the powers that be and tilt 
against the constituted authorities. Such was the fate of Hart. 
He was a modern Prometheus and the Zeus that he defied was 
the District of Columbia; the mortals he wished to help were 
little black waifs. 

878 The African Abroad. 

It seems that the real cause of the difference of opinion between 
Professor Hart and the District commissioners and District system 
of charities was that they did not fully realize that Professor 
Hart was a constructive and creative genius of the highest order 
and demanded full scope for the realization of his comprehensive 
plans. President MacFarland of the Board of District Commis- 
sioners partly realized this when he said in the wiM^r of 1903, 
"Professor Hart is a man of large imagination an^ifervid elo- 
quence." Now one of the characteristics of a constfflctive and 
creative mind is that it cannot be circumscribed but must be 
given a free rein and must follow the dialectics of its own nature. 
No man of genius can become a mere automaton. Herder, 
Lessing and Goethe broke through the conventional restrictions 
that slavery to French forms imposed upon the German literature 
and blazed out a new path for that literature. Homer and 
Shakespeare transcended the literary forms of their day. Hanni- 
bal revolutionized ancient, and Napoleon modern warfare. 
When Caesar crossed the Kubicon and defeated Pompey, his 
political genius shaped a new government for Rome. Thus it 
has always been for a constructive, creative genius, for a fertile, 
productive and prolific mind ; thus it was with Professor Hart. 
He was endowed by nature with a creative imagination, a com- 
prehensive mind, and big ideas and grand plans were taking shape 
in his powerful intellect and capacious brain. His methods were 
unique and novel; but he was not allowed to develop his work 
as he desired. 

It was largely a struggle between Professor Hart and the Dis- 
trict system of charities, backed by the District commissioner, 
to determine whether Professor Hart should have his hands 
upon the throttle valves of the school, and should be given full 
sway to develop the Vv^ork along the unique and novel lines laid 
down by him, and on the magnificent scale desired by him, or 
whether he should be an automaton to obey the wish and the will 
of the constituted District authorities. 

The District authorities saw that Professor Hart's ascendency 
would curtail their power and clip the wings of their authority. 
If Professor Hart had won out in his fight against the District 
authorities, it would have meant that those fifty or sixty black 
boys and that ten or twelve thousand dollar appropriation would 

Men of Color JVho arc Doing Big Things. S79 

have been taken away from the District authorities and placed in 
the hands of Hart, who would be responsible to Congress alone. 

The District authorities were human; they saw that if the 
Hart Farm School was taken out of their hands and exclusively 
controlled by Professor Hart, who was responsible to Congress 
alone, a dangerous precedent would be established. A breach in 
the strong wall of their absolute authority would be made, and 
the grip of their absolute authority would be broken. Hart's 
Farm School would be the opening wedge; another man with 
a fascinating personality might be able to cut loose from them 
and their exclusive and absolute control of the district affairs and 
district appropriations. In a word, the Hart Farm School 
threatened to take away from the District authorities some of 
their absolute power and they fought it not because they hated 
Professor Hart personally, but because they feared and dreaded 
his ascendency and desired to hold on to the power they already 

The constituted District authorities put Professor Hart out of 
the business for the same reason that the Roman senators assas- 
sinated Julius Csesar. Shakespeare makes Cassius say of him, 
"He doth bestride this narrow world like Colossus." Csesar had 
grown so large that he overshadowed the noble Romans. His 
power reduced them to ciphers and stripped them of their author- 
ity. That is also why James G. Blaine's political aspirations 
were opposed by jealous rivals and why he never became Presi- 
dent, and that is why the politicians tried to sidetrack Roosevelt 
thirteen years ago. Thus it was with Professor Hart. His 
ascendency threatened the continued power of the District 
authorities. Men don't usually waste powder and shot on a fly 
or train Krupp guns on a little skiff or bombard a canoe with 
lyddite shells. This is no Utopian dream. In the winter and 
spring of 1903, the Board of Charities, Board of Children's 
Guardians and District Commissioners, in fact the entire District 
government and District System of Charities recommended the 
abolition of the Hart Farm School, and yet he secured his appro- 
priation from Congress. 

How did Professor Hart turn the trick? By the matchless 
charm of his magnetic eloquence. Professor Hart's unique great- 
ness as an orator, apart from his resourcefulness and versatility, 

88o The African Abroad. 

lies in the fact that he is endowed with that rarest of all gifts, 
a poetic imagination. When Professor Hart went before the 
House Committee of the District of Columbia, on a certain Friday 
morning in February, 1903, he was given fifteen or twenty min- 
utes to deliver his farewell address and preach his own official 
sermon. But he held that committee for seven and a half hours 
on Friday and three hours on Saturday. The way he interpreted 
the law governing the establishment of his school ; the way he 
quoted authorities and endorsers of his work and marshaled the 
facts and evidence in defense of his institution, stamps him as a 
master mind. 

The House Committee listened to Professor Hart's eloquence; 
but the House of Representatives turned down his appropriation. 
Then he went before the Senate Committee. It was impressed 
by the fervor and eloquence of his plea, and Hart secured his 
appropriation ; the Senate stood by him. The House swung into 
line. It was the sensation and talk of the hour in March, 1903; 
it was another case of little David overthrowing Goliath with his 
sling and five pebbles. 

Professor Hart was beginning to loom up in the colossal pro- 
portions of a Caesar or Roosevelt. He was a young giant sent 
to work revolutions. Unless, like Samson of old, he was shorn 
of his locks and his strength reduced, he might break the power 
and authority of the constituted District authorities. They would 
not have been human if they did not for mutual protection band 
themselves together to checkmate Professor Hart, just as the 
European powers united to crush and annihilate Napoleon. 

They determined to destroy his farm school, and succeeded in 
so doing. But they could not destroy the pregnant idea which 
he had given the world. Before Congress could be induced to 
withdraw the annual appropriation for the Hart Farm School, 
the District government was compelled by mandatory law to 
embody the Hart Farm School idea in a public institution now 
denominated the Colored Home Industrial School, wholly 
supported by the government and directly under government 


Seemingly his experiment, like the Brook Farm experiment, 
was a failure; but it has expanded into a larger and more mag- 

Men of Color Who are Doing Big Things. 88i 

nificent work. He deserves the credit of discovering the method 
to save the homeless and wayward colored boys of Washington 
and of prevailing upon the authorities to apply it for the benefit 
of the neglected children, for whom, prior to Professor Hart's 
agitation, nothing had been done. 

A man is an institution. Emerson in his essay on "Self 
Reliance" said, "An institution is the lengthened shadow of one 
man; as the Reformation of Luther; Quakerism of Fox; 
Methodism of Wesley; Abolition of Clarkson." And so the 
Hart Farm School and its continued ideal, the Colored Home 
Industrial School, is the lengthened shadow of Professor William 
H. H. Hart. 

And so, likewise, is the Howard University Law School, whose 
building he erected and whose appropriation he secured from 
Congress for the maintenance of the professorships and the law 
library, and to whose students he has expounded the principles of 
the law and the fundamental political doctrines that underlie the 
civilization of the Anglo-Saxon race, in a large measure the 
lengthened shadow of Professor Hart. And so is the case of 
Hart against the State of Maryland, reported at page 500 in Vol. 
100 of the Md. Reports, where the Maryland Jim Crow law was 
declared unconstitutional for interstate passengers, in its entire 
measure, the lengthened shadow of Hart, for it is an institution 
of justice and righteousness. 

As this eventful century draws to a close, some historian, 
descanting upon the forces and factors which have shaped and 
moulded its thought and life, will glorify the institutions which 
have impregnated the youth of the land with ideals and fired 
them with energy and enthusiasm and a passion for service. 
And the future historian, in extolling the beacon lights of Ameri- 
can education, will paint in glorious colors on the dome of the 
Temple of Fame the name of ]\Iark Hopkins of Williams, 
McCosh of Princeton, Woolsey and Dwight of Yale, Eliot and 
Norton of Harvard, William T. Chancellor, the American 
Herbart, and Henry Barnard and Dr. William T. Harris, United 
States commissioners of education, and General O. O. Howard. 
Then, taking fresh inspiration and dipping his brush in the 
alembic, whence are mixed the colors of the rainbow and the 
liquid glories of the sunset, side by side with these names he 

882 The African Abroad. 

will portray the splendid Anglo-Saxons who have cast in their 
lot with the humble black folk and, like the lowly Nazarine, have 
left the seats of the mighty to uplift the down-trodden and 
oppressed. In that group the names of Beard, Rankin, Cravath, 
Ware, Patton, Bumsted and Armstrong will shine out in flaming 
hues, and glisten when touched by Aurora's rosy light, reflecting 
back the golden glory and the streaming radiance of the rising 
sun. Then, just below these names, he will place that of Profes- 
sor William H. H. Hart, a son of Howard University, who, in 
the Hart Farm School and Junior Republic for Dependent Chil- 
dren, gave the world a new idea and taught it how to save black 
waifs and wayward city boys; and instead of receiving the 
thanks of Congress and a gold medal for great and exceptional 
public service, was neglected after he had sustained a loss of 
several thousand dollars and in his old age left destitute and 
bankrupt, with credit destroyed and a growing family of his 
own cherished children to rear and educate and launch in the 

Foot Note. — Daniel Murray, author of the forthcoming "Encyclopaedia 
of the Negro Race," is a scholarly gentleman of means and high char- 
acter. Mr. J. William Cole says of him: "He enjoys the acquaintance 
of the most eminent men of this nation, and in his beautiful home (pre- 
sided over by his wife, a lady of culture and equally high ideals) he 
dispenses a gracious and generous hospitality." 

Mr. Murray has been assistant librarian in the Library of Congress 
for over thirty years. I have been indebted to him for suggestions 
which led me to new lines of research. His work will contain a valuable 
mine of information. But he is coming before the reading public with 
many contested cases, claiming a Negro strain in many supposed Moors, 
Arabians, Americans, Englishmen and Frenchmen. And I do not know 
just how the reading world will dispose of these cases. He intimated in 
his recent article in the A. M. E. Church Review that Leo Africanus was 
a Negro. But the authorities classify him as a Moor of Arabo-Berber 

?i X 



The Three Spiritual Leaders of the American Negro — President 
William S. Scarborough of Wilberforce University, the Dean 
of Negro Scholars; Rev. Francis J. Grimke, D.D., of Wash- 
ington, D. C, the Dean of Negro Preachers and Theologians, 
and Hon. Archibald H. Grimke, the Dean of Negro Orators 
and Writers. 

Now we come to three men whose influence upon the intellec- 
tual and moral life of the American Negro during the past thirty 
years has been so powerful that they have the prestige and 
standing that comes from long and glorious achievement. In 
1887, when Rev. William J. Simmons wrote his "Men of Mark," 
President Scarborough was only thirty-three and Doctor Grimke 
only thirty-seven, yet President Scarborough had written his 
"First Lesson in Greek," "The Birds of Aristophanes," and 
"The Thematic Vowel in the Greek Verb," and Dr. Grimke had 
made an enviable reputation as a preacher and theologian. 
Their careers, then published in "The Men of Mark," attracted 
considerable attention. That was twenty-six years ago. In 1894, 
at the age of forty-five, Hon. Archibald H. Grimke was appointed 
United States Minister to San Domingo and became a national 
figure. Since then, each of the three gentlemen has not only 
sustained the reputation won and the prestige and standing 
acquired at that early age, but has added to it. 

These gentlemen not only have the rich, intellectual equip- 
ment which has enabled them to face critical and cultured white 
audiences, challenging admiration, but the high character which 
commands universal respect and esteem, so that we can regard 
them as the three deans of Negro scholarship and theology. 
Now, to briefly recapitulate the careers of these three gentlemen. 


In this age, when the industrial training of the Negro has the 
right of way, we are tempted to ignore the value of the work of 

884 TJie African Abroad. 

the intellectual pioneers of the colored race. But during the half 
century in which the slavery question was dominant in American 
politics and during the first quarter of a century after the eman- 
cipation of the Negro, the intellectual and moral capacity of the 
Negro was the bone of contention. 

Calhoun eloquently voiced this sentiment when he said that 
if anyone could show him a Negro who could master a Greek 
grammar, conjugate a Greek verb and solve the problem of Greek 
roots, he would regard him as a man. As neither he nor the 
world knew of the achievements of the Negro in other lands, he 
did not know and the world did not know that one Negro, Juan 
Latino, was a professor in the chair of grammar in the University 
of Granada in the sixteenth century, that Amo had written two 
books on philosophy, and Capitein and Francis Williams elegies 
in Latin, a century before Calhoun made that remarkable state- 
ment. Consequently we can imagine the surprise which burst 
upon an astonished world when the news was flashed over the 
wires in 1881, eighteen years after the Emancipation Proclama- 
tion was signed, that a Negro professor, not thirty years of age, 
had written a book entitled "First Lessons in Greek." He sent 
a copy of his book to John F. Slater of Norwich, Conn., who 
gave a million dollars to educate the colored race, and received 
the following reply : 

Norwich, Connecticut, June 28, 1882. 

Professor William S. Scarborough. 

Dear Sir: — Your book, entitled "First Lessons in Greek," has been duly 
received by me. If I may hope that what I have tried to do for the 
promulgation of education among your race should result in any more 
such publications, I shall feel that my efforts have been amply rewarded. 

Very truly yours, 

John F. Slater. 

Twenty-five years ago, when I was in my first year in the 
Hillhouse High School of New Haven, Conn., the names of 
four colored men were ringing over the country as exponents of 
the capacity of the colored race for intellectual and practical 
achievements. Toussaint L'Ouverture, the Haytien soldier and 
statesman; Blyden, the Arabic scholar and authority upon 

Foot Note. — Professor Chamberlain says that Latino was professor in 
the University of Seville. 

Three Spiritual Leaders of the American Negro. 8S5 

Mohammedanism ; Frederick Douglass, the orator, and Professor 
Scarborough, the Greek scholar. 

It has been the fortune of some colored men like Bridgetower, 
the English violinist, Samuel Ringo Ward and R. Brown Elliott, 
the orators, to rise to the height of fame, then gradually drop out 
of sight and die in comparative obscurity. But not so with Presi- 
dent Scarborough. He followed up his first brilliant achieve- 
ment with other glorious achievements. He wrote another Greek 
book, read papers upon classical subjects before learned societies; 
and so impressed the world of scholarship by his intellectual 
ability, his character as a man, his dignified manners and genial 
personality, that he was admitted to the membership of nearly a 
dozen learned societies. 

Meanwhile he was impressing his worth as a man and scholar 
upon Wilberforce University, until he was finally elected presi- 
dent. And as president, he has lifted the intellectual and moral 
tone of the university, successfully managed its finances, and ably 
represented it at the Ecumenical Conference in Edinburgh and 
the Universal Race Congress in London. 

The African Times and Orient Reviezv of August, 1912, con- 
tained the following account of President Scarborough's life : 

William Sanders Scarborough, president of Wilberforce University, 
Wilberforce, Ohio, U. S. A., was born February 16, 1854, in Macon, 
Bibb County, Ga. He received his early education in his native city 
before and during the Civil War. In 1869, he entered Atlanta University, 
where he spent two years in preparation for Yale University, but entered 
Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio, instead, in 1871, and was graduated from 
the Department of Philosophy and the Arts with the degree of A.B. in 
1875. Later he received from his alma mater the degree of M.A. He 
has since been honored by various colleges with the degrees of Ph.D. and 
LL.D. He spent a part of the year following graduation from Oberlin 
Theological Seminary in special study of the Semitic languages and 
Hellenistic Greek. 

In 1877 he was elected head of the classical department in Wilberforce 
University. In 1881 he published through A. S. Barnes & Co., a Greek 
text book — "First Lessons in Greek" — the first and only Greek book ever 
written by a Xegro. This book was widely used by both white and colored 
schools of the country, especially in the North. He has also written a 
treatise entitled "The Birds of Aristophanes — a Theory of Interpretation," 
aside from numerous tracts and pamphlets, covering a variety of subjects, 
classical, archseological, sociological and racial. He has written many 
papers for various societies to which he belongs, especially the Philological 

886 The African Abroad. 

Society. In 1S91 he was transferred to the chair of Hellenistic Greek in 
Payne Theological Seminary of Wilberforce University upon the opening 
of this school. In 1897 he was again reelected as professor of Latin and 
Greek in the university, and was made vice president of the same. In 
1908 he was elected president of Wilberforce University, a position which 
he now holds. 

In 1881 he married Sarah C. Bierce, a lady of high literary attainments, 
and a writer for m.any magazines. 

President Scarborough has long been a contributor to the press in his 
country, including the leading magazines. He has been for many years the 
exegetical editor of the A. M. E. Church Sunday School publications. He 
is a member of a number of learned societies : American Philological, 
American Dialect, American Social Science, Archaeological Institute of 
America, American Spelling Reform, American Folk-lore, American Mod- 
ern Language, American Political and Social Science, the Egyptian 
Exploration Fund Association, National Geographical Society, American 
Negro Academy, of which he is first vice president. He has several times 
been one of the invited orators at Lincoln League Banquet of the State of 
Ohio. At a conference of the Negro leaders in Columbus, Ohio, he was 
elected president of the Afro-American State League designed to further 
the interests of the Negro throughout the country. He was appointed by 
the governor of Ohio a delegate to the National Conference in St. Louis 
in the interests of Negro education. He is the only Negro representative 
on the board of the Lincoln Memorial Association of Ohio, which is 
presided over by the governor. 

He has now in press a volume of his works on the race question. He 
was a delegate to the Ecumenical Methodist Conference held in London in 
1901, representing the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and was in 
attendance upon the Universal Race Congress in London representing 
Wilberforce University, of which he is president. 


To-day we are gathered here for an unusual purpose. It is not that a 
memorial to a great citizen is an extraordinary occurrence, for this is 
almost a daily happening. But it is a remarkable thing that such a 
gathering should be in memory of a man not only of humble birth, but 
one of the darker race — one with a sable skin, the badge of the servitude 
and oppression that have been the Negro's lot for so many years. 

But to-daj', at this hour, race and color are ignored, and this beautiful 
city, the Gem City of Ohio, is proud to honor its famous son who has 
helped to give it fame — to honor him because of his worth, his genius, 
his work. 

The old adage that a prophet is not without honor save in his own 
country is another instance of the falsity of so many popular sayings; 
for in this beautiful city, where Paul Laurence Dunbar was reared, where 

Three Spiritual Leaders of the American Negro. 8S7 

he made his home and gathered to himself friends, here he is most highly 
honored, and in this memorial to-day we not only do honor to an individual 
man of color who has lived and wrought so well as to deserve recognition 
by his fellows, but we do honor to an entire race, and to mankind regard- 
less of race. 

As I consider this splendid tribute to the Negro poet, as I dwell upon 
the meaning of such an expression of appreciation of his greatness, my 
heart swells with pride and gratitude that in this day and generation such 
a thing is possible. And I am more and more convinced that, after all, 
the possibilities of any race are to be finally determined by the heights 
reached by its men of intellect, of brain, of genius — men of power who 
are able to touch the hearts and stir the pulses of the world by their 
marvelous ability for delineation by pen, brush, or chisel — men who rise 
in the realm of the fine arts and command the world to listen, to gaze, to 
admire, to respect, to praise their efforts. 

It shows us that, after all, greatness is not a matter of race, color, or 
condition, and that it will win its way forward and upward. These are 
the ones who will raise a people to higher planes. These are the ones who 
will give this same people a place among the nations of the earth. These 
are the ones that we especially praise and honor. 

But the Negro race has had such men scattered throughout its history — 
men of color who have distinguished themselves. We do not need to go 
back to the centuries when Bagay, or Cugoano, or Vassa lived for such 
material to declare the Negro's ability. The last century has given the 
world a proud list from which we may draw examples of Negro greatness 
in the higher walks of life. 

I recall with pleasure the sight of a bronze figure in the Place Male- 
sherbes in Paris which was the work of the great artist and sculptor Dore. 
It is that of Alexander Dumas's pere, France's great Negro historical 
romancer, who has enchanted the world with his story-telling genius, 

Dumas the father and Dumas the son have both carved niches for the 
race where their names are imperishably written, and France is proud 
to honor them. 

Eighteen years ago Russia did honor to another Negro as we are 
honoring Dunbar to-day. Then the statue of Alexander Pushkin, 
acknowledged as Russia's greatest poet, was unveiled in Moscow to an 
admiring people who celebrated thus the literary achievements of the 
Negro "poet of the Caucasus." Pushkin's name is immortal in Russian 

Down the list we may come to touch Phyllis Wheatley, whose powers 
drew a tribute from George Washington ; to Banneker, who astounded the 
world with his scientific astronomical calculations — down to the present, 
where the names cluster more thickly, because of honors won — Edmonia 
Lewis, who from Rome made her fame as a sculptress ; and Henry Tanner, 
whose fame as an artist has reached the coveted recognition of the 
French government. These, with Douglass and Washington and a host of 

888 The African Abroad. 

others, have proved to the world that the souls of black folks differ not 
from other souls in high impulses, aspirations, and even genius. 

Russia and France are proud of their sable writers, each of whom 
stamped his own personality upon the literature of his nation, and why- 
should not America possess the same pride? 


A few months ago I was talking with an eminent colored orator, 
educator and preacher of the Alethodist persuasion and mentioned 
Rev. Dr. Francis J. Grimke of Washington. "Yes," said he, 
"he is the dean of colored preachers." And I thought that this 
remark summed up the popular estimate of Dr. Grimke. There 
are other colored divines like Dr. William V. Tunnell, the Epis- 
copalian ; Dr. H. H. Proctor, Dr. Sterling Brown, and Dr. A. C. 
Garner, the Congregationalists ; Dr. C. A. Tindley, Dr. O'Connell 
and Dr. Bowen of the Methodist Episcopal Church ; Bishops Hood, 
Walters and Clinton, and Dr. S. L. Corrothers, Dr. P. A. Wallace 
and Dr. William H. Coffey of the A. M. E. Zion Church; Bishop 
Turner, Dr. Reverdy C. Ransom and Dr. I. N. Ross of the 
A. M. E. Church, and Rev. Dr. Rivers, Rev. Harvey Johnson, 
Rev. Walter -H. Brooks, Rev. Dr. William Bishop Johnson, Dr. 
William H. Creditt, Rev. William P. Playes, Rev. A. Clayton 
Powell, Dr. J. Milton Waldron, Dr. D. S. Klugh and Dr. Kim- 
ball Warren of the Baptist fold, v/ho are powerful potentates in 
their respective denominations, who hold regal sway at the 
conferences and conventions of their respective churches. But 
Rev. Dr. Grimke is a clergyman whose profound scholarship, 
logical reasoning, coinmon sense, dignity and manliness of char- 
acter, purity of life and kindness of heart have given him such 
prestige and standing in the country that he is respected by the 
leaders of all denominations. 

Twenty years ago, when I was a sophomore at Yale, men 
spoke the name, "Dr. Grimke," with respect and reverence. 
And they do to-day. If all of the Negroes in America were 
Catholics and the Pope of Rome decided to honor the Negro race 
with the Cardinal's cap, Dr. Grimke would be the almost universal 
choice. Since the deaths of Bishop Payne and Dr. Crummell, 


jf Boston, Mass. (wife of the late Judge 

George L. Ruftin of Boston) a Founder 

of the Northeastern Federation 

of Colored Women 


of New Haven, Conn., an illustrious 

example of the practical efficiency 

of the colored college 



Pastor of the Fifteenth St. Pres- 
byterian Church, Wash- 
ington, D. C. 


Ex-U. S. Minister to St. Domingo 

Author of " Lives of Garrison 

and Sumner" 

Three Spiritual Leaders of the American Negro. 889 

Dr. Grimke has remained the most potent figure in the Negro 
ecclesiastical world. 

This is somewhat remarkable, when we consider that he very 
rarely leaves Washington, D. C, to go on a preaching or lecturing 
tour. But he has stamped the impression of his personality upon 
the national capital and upon those who visit it. 

Dr. Grimke has done two very remarkable things. In the first 
place, for nearly a quarter of a century, he has pastored a church 
which in wealth and culture surpassed any other colored church 
in the country. If there is one colored church in the country 
which rivals some of the historic Congregational churches of 
New England, in that it represents the wealth, culture and 
social prestige of the community, it is the Fifteenth Street Presby- 
terian Church of Washington, D. C. The old and wealthy fami- 
lies, professors in Howard University, principals and teachers of 
the public schools, government clerks, lawyers, doctors and 
business men, and men living in comfort off of their incomes, 
attend it. It is a church that makes severe intellectual demands 
upon its preacher, and demands a man of refinement and of moral 
character above reproach and above suspicion as pastor. Dr. 
Grimke has pastored this church between the years 1878- 1885 and 
for nearly the past quarter of a century. That is something 

Then, again, Washington is a hard training ground for 
preachers. It is called the city of magnificent distances and dis- 
appointed hopes. The wealth and culture of the colored race is 
centered in Washington. I have seen Congregational, Episco- 
palian, Baptist, Methodist Episcopal, African Methodist Episcopal, 
and African Methodist Episcopal Zion clergymen, who domi- 
nated things in some other large metropolis, come to Washington 
and be regarded there as only mediocre preachers. Some of the 
Methodist ministers who have pastored there have since risen to 
the bishopric or become presidents of colleges or deans of theologi- 
cal seminaries. So, for a man to tower as an intellectual and moral 
colossus in Washington means that he is a man of transcendent 
ability and character. And yet, if at any time during the past 
twenty years you had asked anyone, "Who are the two most 
distinguished colored clergymen in Washington?" Dr. Grimke 
would be one of the two names mentioned. 

890 The African Abroad. 

Dr. Grimke has rung true upon the race question. Twenty- 
years ago he was a champion for the manhood rights of the race. 
And his recent sermons upon "Christianity and Race Prejudice" 
and "Gideon Bands" indicate that his spirit is as manly and as 
strenuous as in days of yore. 

Then, again, Dr. Grimke has that kindness of heart and' 
mellowness of nature which causes him to respect a man who is 
a man and endeavoring to do what is right, even if he is not 
rolling in wealth and wearing broadcloth. 

Dr. Grimke is a lover of literature and art. He has been a 
loyal member of the American Negro Academy since its incep- 
tion, and treasurer for a large part of the time. An art club met 
at his house once a week. Dr. Grimke has the reproductions of 
famous paintings and famous works of art hanging in his house. 

It is no one trait or quality that has given Dr. Grimke his 
ascendency in the national capital and in the country. But the 
same combination of intellectual, aesthetical and moral qualities 
that gave Charles Eliot Norton his prestige in the American 
literary world and Richard Salters Storrs his prestige in the 
American ecclesiastical world, have given Dr. Grimke his prestige 
in the Negro ecclesiastical world. 

Dr. Grimke is really the Storrs of the Negro pulpit. The late 
Dr. Richard Salters Storrs of the Pilgrim Congregational Church, 
Brooklyn, N. Y., was a man of a calm, judicial mind and unques- 
tioned integrity of character. In splendor and grandeur of 
thought, and in opulence and richness of diction, he surpassed 
Beecher in his palmiest days. And that rich intellectual equip- 
ment was backed by the weight of a dignified, manly personality, 
so that when he ascended a pulpit it seemed as if he was a priest 
ascending a papal throne. His word carried great weight. Such 
a man is Dr. Grimke of Washington, D. C. When he takes a 
stand, the colored people of the country listen to him. 

As a preacher, Dr. Grimke invariably reads his sermons, rarely 
lifting his face from the manuscript and fixing his eye upon the 
audience. With some preachers, the text is the point of depar- 
ture. But Dr. Grimke develops his text and logically unfolds the 
meaning contained in it. He evolves what is involved in the 
text. He makes explicit what is latent and implicit in the text. 
He is not an orator, seeking to dazzle the audience with his 

Three Spiritual Leaders of the American Negro. 891 

flowers of rhetoric and impassioned outbursts ; but he is a thinker, 
giving- voice and utterance to his profound thought with an 
impressive voice ; a thinker tremendously in earnest, and you are 
carried along by the current and stream of his thought. 

When J. C. Price spoke, the personality of the man dominated 
you; but when Dr. Grimke preaches, you forget the man and 
think of the message. Like the Apostle Paul, his one dominant 
purpose is to be the bearer of the message which he received from 
the Most High. Now for a brief account of Dr. Grimke's 
eventful boyhood and interesting life. 

President Simmons says of Dr. Grimke on pages 608 and fol- 
lowing of his "Men of Mark" : 

Mr. Grimke's parents were named Henry and Nancy Grimke. He was 
born in Charleston, S. C., November 4, 1850. His mother was a slave. 
On the death of his father, however, a change took place, when he was 
only a few years old. The children were all left free and placed under 
the guardian care of his father's oldest son, E. Montague Grimke, who 
faithfully discharged his duty towards them until Frank was about ten 
years old, when this guardian undertook to enslave them, which made 
some complications of course. Although a boy, Frank determined that 
he would not submit to such an outrage. He ran off and went into the 
Confederate army as the valet to one of the officers, in which position he 
continued for about two years. Through the influence of Mrs. 
Pillsbury, who was then in charge of Morris Street school in Charleston, 
which he attended for a while, his brother and himself went North for 
the purpose of being educated. Soon, however, he was summoned by 
Mrs. Pillsbury to report at once to Lincoln University, in Chester County, 
Pa., where arrangements had been made for the prosecution of his studies. 
As a student he ranked very high, and received the approbation of the 
professors and was acknowledged superior among the students. He grad- 
uated from the college department of this institution in 1870 as valedic- 
torian of his class. 

Immediately afterwards he began the study of law in the law depart- 
ment of the university, which at that time, in 1871, v/as on the university 
grounds. The next year he acted as financial agent of the university. 
The year after, he resumed his legal studies in the same department, which 
in the meantime had been removed to West Chester, Pa. The next year 
he went to Washington, District of Columbia, and entered the law depart- 
ment of Howard University. While there he decided to turn his thoughts 
to the ministry. In the fall of 1875, therefore, he entered the Princeton 
Theological Seminary, from which he graduated in 1878, and immediately 
went to Washington as pastor of the Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church, 
where he remained until October, 1885, when he was called to the pastorate 
of the Presbyterian Church of Jacksonville, Fla. 


892 The African Abroad. 

President James McCosh of Princeton College said of him: 

I have heard him preach, and I feel as if I could listen to such preaching 
with profit from Sabbath to Sabbath; and I rejoice to find that the 
colored people of Washington have such a man to minister to them. 

Dr. Grimke returned to Washington, D. C, and resumed the 
pastorate of his former church there. He has published articles in 
the New York Independent and the New York Evangelist. His 
address on "Character, the True Standard by which to Estimate 
Individuals and Races and by which they should Estimate Them- 
selves and Others," delivered before the Presbyterian Council at 
its session held in the Berean Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, 
Pa., October 2"/, 191 1, is a powerful expression in words of the 
ideals and principles which have dominated and controlled Dr. 
Grimke's noble and heroic life. 


Twenty years ago, Hon. Archibald H. Grimke, former United 
States Minister to San Domingo, gained a reputation as a bril- 
liant writer, a finished orator, a true aristocrat and fearless cham- 
pion of human rights. That reputation he bears to-day. He has 
pitched and kept his life on a high intellectual and moral plane, 
has stood forth as a colored representative of the Wendell 
Phillips type of manhood and his title to fame is secure. 

We have produced orators galore. But many of the speeches 
of our great orators do not read well in print. Mr. Grimke's 
speeches are literary gems. His addresses as president of the 
American Negro Academy, his address at the presentation of the 
loving cup to Senator Foraker and his anti-lynching speech in 
Boston on May 9, 1899, ^^e worthy of appearing in a compilation 
of American eloquence. 

I believe that the latter effort was the speech of Mr. Grimke's 
career. An audience assembled in the Berkeley Temple or Peo- 
ple's Temple to protest against the lynching of Sam Hose. 
Assistant Attorney General William H. Lewis was the temporary 
presiding officer. The late Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higgin- 
son presided and referred to it as a real anti-slavery meeting. The 
speakers included such eminent citizens as Rev. Charles Gordon 

Three Spiritual Leaders of the American Negro. 893 

Ames, Rev. Samuel Crothers, Rev. Dr. Berle, ex-Attorney General 
A. S. Pillsbury, ex-Governor Brackett and Hon. A. H. Grimke. 
So Mr. Grimke had as fellow speakers men who stood high in the 
literary, religious, political and business life of Massachusetts. 

The editorial of the Boston Evening Transcript on Wednesday, 
May 10, 1S99, under the caption of "The Barbarous States," 
referred to Mr. Grimke's speech as "the great speech of the 
occasion." It thus began : "The anti-lynching mass meeting 
at the People's Temple last niglit, if it does nothing else, has 
affixed a name to the States of the South which practice torture 
on black suspects prior to lynching that will stick. It is a former 
governor of Massachusetts who stamps the lynching states 'the 
Barbarous States.' "... After referring to Rev. Charles 
Gordon Ames's "Ahmen" as giving "the tone of Cromwellian 
consecration militant to the whole," after referring to Rev. Mr. 
Berle's "thrilling and pathetic speech," after referring to ex-Gov- 
ernor Brackett as "so conservative a Republican and so moder- 
ate a leader," after referring to ex-Attorney General Pillsbury as 
"so progressive and independent a Republican," after referring 
to "the scholarly Rev. Mr. Crothers" as being "most thoughtful 
and dispassionate," the editorial went on to say : 

But the great speech of the occasion was that of Archibald M. Grimke, 
United States Consul-General at San Domingo under the Cleveland 
administration. The whole philosophy of the situation may be found in 
this fine paper, which is therefore reproduced in full in our report and 
is well worth reading by every candid man and woman, North and 
South, who seeks to know the whole truth about the Negro and the crying 
need there is for doing something to check the policj' of the South, with 
the North's assent, to remand him to political and social vassalage. Mr. 
Grimke's delimitation of the lynching class in the South and historical 
account of the origin and growth of this distinct order of degenerates 
until its low life threatens to swamp all other at the South, the terror 
of both white and blacks, is a positive contribution to the philosophy and 
sociology of this crisis. It is a fearful indictment both of past conditions 
and present politics, but let who can overthrow it. 

I have heard Mr. Grimke sway audiences in the St. Alark's 
Literary and Boston Literary in Boston. I heard him in Colum- 
bia Hall in New York in April, 1908, address a political meeting 
and raise it to the fever heat of enthusiasm ; but I have never 

894 The African Abroad. 

heard him speak with so much fire and force and passion as at 
the celebrated Sam Hose meeting. He began as usual in his calm 
and self-possessed manner, but seemed to gather fire and force 
as he moved along. There was a suppressed excitement that 
vibrated through his entire personality. There was a nervous 
quiver to his voice, which had an elocutionary effect upon the 
audience. To say that Mr. Grimke held his audience spellbound 
and electrified would be putting it mildly. This was genuine 

But it is as a newspaper controversialist that Mr. Grimke has 
manifested surprising strength. I well remember the open letter 
in the Boston Herald in the campaign of 1900, in which Mr. 
Grimke scored the Republican party for its sins of commission 
and omission regarding the colored brother. The letter occupied 
nearly an entire page and was signed by Mr, Grimke and others. 
While I questioned then the wisdom of swapping a lukewarm 
friend for an avowed enemy and while I saw no hope for the 
Negro in the Democratic party, whose Northern wing is friendly, 
but whose Southern wing is hostile to him, I admired Mr. 
Grimke's brilliant analysis and epigrammatic sentences. 

But a still more powerful series of letters appeared in the spring 
of 1905, when Mr. Grimke, through the columns of the New York 
Age, aroused the country against President Gordon of Howard 
University. The intellectual inefficiency and hostility of President 
Gordon to the higher aspirations of the Negro were so revealed 
by Mr. Grimke's short, crisp, terse and staccatic sentences, that 
the alumni, students and friends of the university forced Dr. 
Gordon's resignation. 

Mr. Grimke was born on August 17, 1849, graduated from Lin- 
coln University in 1870, receiving the A.M. degree. In 1874 he 
graduated from the Harvard University Law School. He was 
editor of the Hub newspaper in Boston from 1883-5. Then he 
Vv^as special writer on the Boston Herald and Boston Traveler. 
He was a trustee and secretary of the board of directors of the 
Westboro Insane Hospital from 1884- 1894. He was United States 
Consul at San Domingo from 1894-98. He has written many 
pamphlets upon the anti-slavery movement, African civilization 
and the advancement of the colored people. He is a member of 
the American Social Science Association and president of the 










h-; « 



Three Spiritual Leaders of the American Negro. 895 

American Negro Academy and president of the Frederick Doug- 
lass Memorial Association. 

He has contributed articles to the Atlantic Monthly and other 
leading magazines and has written a Life of William Lloyd 
Garrison and a Life of Charles Sumner. 

The Baptist Commonwealth of Philadelphia, Pa., on November 
23, 1905, said of Grimke's "Life of Garrison" : 

It is one of the most entertaining and instructive biographies of that 
inspiring biographical series to which it belongs and to which he has 
also contributed an excellent biography of Charles Sumner. 

Mr. Grimke is broader gauged than Washington. 

Now I am going to close with an astounding proposition. 
Grimke is one of the few world statesmen whom the Negro 
race has evolved in America. Just as Grimke is more of a world 
statesman than Trotter and Washington, because, while they 
recognize the importance of certain phases and aspects of the race 
question, he grasps the significance of all ; so we must recognize 
him as perhaps more of a world statesman than Douglass and 
Crummell even. Douglass wrought out a work for the emanci- 
pation and manhood rights of the Negro race that no other 
Negro, living or dead, has done. And Crummell has been the 
apostle of culture and prophet of righteousness for the Negro 
race in America. There was in him the blending of a Plato and 
an Elijah, the fusing of a Carlyle and a Matthew Arnold. The 
aristocratic and the humane, the refined and the heroic elements, 
the austere and gracious, were so mixed and synthesized in him 
that no single adjective could characterize him. 

When he died in the fall of 1898 the New York Tribune said 
that he was the ripest scholar of his race. Hon. E. D. Bassett 
told me that Crummell was a ripe scholar, a high-minded, 
high-spirited Christian gentleman ; Rev. C. H. Dickerson said 
that he was a born aristocrat; Rev. T. G. Brown, rector of St. 
Luke's Episcopal Church, Washington, D. C, the church Crum- 
mell was a priest in, said of him : "Crummell was ambitious and 
indomitable and would not be overcome." DuBois says that in 
other ages Crummell would have worn the purple or been clad 
in the toga. These impressions of Crummell from keen observers 
give one an idea of the greatness of the man. In his little circle 

896 The African Abroad. 

in Washington, D. C, he was looked up to as a king. When he 
retired from the pastorate, at a pubHc reception held in his honor, 
amid thmiderous applause, Dr. Grimke bestowed upon him the 
title of "Terror to Evil Doers." Crummell told me that he 
regarded that as the highest compliment that had ever been paid 
to him. Taking him all in all, I believe that he is the grandest 
character the race has yet produced. He was the grand old man 
of the Negro race. Of the living Negroes, Dr. F. J. Grimke 
alone matches him in dignity, sublimity and austerity of character. 

And Crummell recognized the importance of the Negro's mas- 
tering the trades, acquiring land and accumulating wealth just 
as Douglass and Booker Washington did. And yet he did not 
quite emphasize the importance of the ballot to the extent that 
Douglass did. On the other hand, Douglass did not appreciate 
the value of culture for its own sake as Crummell did. Grimke, 
while not as forceful as a leader as either Douglass or Crummell, 
is perhaps more of a world statesman than either Crummell or 
Douglass, because Grimke on the one hand stands for the intel- 
lectual, sesthetic and moral aspirations of Crummell; and on the 
other hand for the political aspirations of Douglass. 

The prototype of Grimke was f