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Hampton Negro Conference. Number III. July 1899.


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Hampton Negro Conference. Number III. July 1899.


Pamphlet (89 p.)











JULY 1899.

Papers on The Burden of the Educated Negro Woman

The Woman's Conference

Modern Industrialism

The Negro Pulpit and Its Responsibilities

A Few Hints to Southern Farmers

The Educational Side of Sewing

Negro Business Enterprises

Capital Labor in Co-operative Farming, etc.

Hampton Institute Press,

Hampton, Va.




JULY, 1899.

Reports of Standing Committees:

Education, Religion and Ethics

Business and Labor

Sanitary Problems


Domestic Economy

The Burden of the Educated Negro Woman

The Woman's Conference

Modern Industrialism

The Negro Pulpit and Its Responsibilities

A Pew Hints to Southern Farmers

The Educational Side of Sewing

Negro Business Enterprises

Capital and Labor in Co-operative Farming, etc.


Hampton, Va.













In this number of the Hampton Negro Conference the Committee has published in full the reports of the Standing Committees, but has been obliged to abridge many of the papers and the discussions.

More space than usual has been allotted to the publication of the reports of the Standing Committees, as it is important that the work done by them should be widely circulated in order to secure the co-operation of all persons interested.

We have included in this number a most important paper prepared by Mr. Alexander Purves and read before the Capon Springs Conference.



Order of Business, Conference of 1899.

Resolutions Adopted, July, 1899.

Address of Welcome. . . Dr. H. B. Frissell

Suggestions of the Committee on Education, Prof. H. M. Browne, Chairman

Report of Committee on Religion and Ethics, Rev. Francis M. Grimke, D. D., Chairman

Report of Committee on Business and Labor, Andrew F. Hilyer, Chairman

Report of Committee on Vital Statistics and Sanitary Problems, Dr. F. J. Shadd, Chairman

Report of Committee on Statistics, Prof. J. W. Cromwell, Chairman

Suggestions of Committee on Domestic Science, Mrs. Victoria Marie Matthews, Chairman

The Burden of the Educated Colored Woman, Miss Lucy C. Laney

The Woman's Conference.

Modern Industralism and the Negroes of the United States, Hon. A. H. Grimke

A Few Hints to Southern Farmers, Prof. G. W. Carver

The Educational Side of Sewing, Mrs. Mary Schenck Woolman

Negro Business Enterprises of Hampton, Harris Barrett

The Negro in Fiction as Portrayer and Portrayed Prof. W. S. Scarborough

Remarks by Dr. R. F. Campbell

Capital and Labor in Co-operative Farming, Alexander Purves

Committees for 1899—1900


Of 1899

Order of Business.

The sessions of the Conference of 1899 were held In Academic and Virginia Halls of the Hampton Normal and Agricultural lnslitute, Hampton. Va.


9:30 A. M. Address of welcome by Principal H. B. Frissell, of the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, Hampton, Va.

10:00 A. M. Reports by the Chairmen of Standing Committees:--Education, Domestic Economy, Religion and Ethics, Business and Labor.

11:30 A. M. General discussion.

8:00 P. M. A paper by Archibald H. Grimke of Boston, Mass., "Modern Industrialism and the Negro of the United States, Historically Considered."

8:20 P. M. General Discussion.

8:50 P. M. A paper by Rev. Richard Spiller, D. D., of Hampton, Virginia, "The Negro Pulpit and Its Responsibilities."

9:10 P. M. General Discussion.


9:40 A. M. Report of Committee on Vital Statistics and Sanitary Problems.

10:00 A. M. General Discussion.

10:30 A. M. Report of Committee on Statistics.

10:50 A. M. General Discussion.

11:20 A. M. A paper by Miss Lucy C. Laney, Principal of Haines School, Augusta, Ga. "The Burden of the Education Negro Woman."

11:40 A. M. General Discussion.

12:00 M. A discussion by Lady Members. "The Variuos Phases of Woman's Work."

8:00 P.M. A paper by Prof. George W. Carver of Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute. "A few Hints to Southern Farmers."

8:30 P. M. Discussion.

8:50 P. M. A paper by Mary Schenck Woolman. "The Educational Side of Sewing."

9:00 P.M. A paper by Mr. Harris Barrett of Hampton, Va. "Negro Business Enterprises of Hampton, Virginia."


9:00 A. M. A paper by Prof. W. S. Scarborough of Wilberforce University, Ohio. "The Negro in Fiction as Portrayed and as Portrayer."

10:00 A. M. General Discussion.

10:30 A. M. Remarks by Rev. Dr. Campbell of Asheville, N. C.--"Relations of the Races."

11:00 A. M. General Discussion.

11:30 A. M. Report of The Committee on Publication.

11:50 A. M. Report of The Committee on Resolutions.

Resolutions of the Third Hampton Negro Conference

We affirm the resolutions of the first and second Hampton Negro Conferences, and appreciate the work done by the conferences at Atlanta and Tuskegee. Although previous resolutions cover quite fully the general condition of the race, yet we believe that truth is often impressed by the force of reiteration. As these conferences aim to deal only with those phases of the problem which they have power to improve by practical help, the committee has thought best to formulate simple plans of work, rather than to issue a formal statement of general principles.

The following outline of work is therefore suggested for the coming year.


The cause of education in the South is still in its infancy, notwithstanding the large sums of money that have been expended and the splendid work that has been already accomplished.

We recommend:—

1. That education, by whatever name it may pass, be adapted to the needs and condition of the people.

2. That teachers equip themselves along the special lines where they can be of most service to the communities in which they labor.

3. Effort should be made to lengthen the school term wherever public funds are insufficient.

4. Teachers should be employed for no other consideration than merit and fitness.

5. The development of a spirit of consecration and devotion on the part of all who are engaged in the work of education.


We urge:—

1. That parents take a deeper interest in the moral and religious training of their children, and that they express such interest by demanding moral as well as intellectual qualification of teachers and ministers.

2. That our ministers lay greater stress upon the practical, every day duties of life.


3. That ecclesiastical organizations be more exacting as to the intellectual qualifications of candidates for the Christian ministry.


We suggest the following measures for domestic and social improvement:—

1. Mothers' meetings, where simple, practical advice and instruction will be given in the orderly, neat, and economic management of the home, the responsibilities of motherhood, and the care and rearing of children.

2. Social improvement societies for girls, where they can be taught the dignity and purity of womanhood; a knowledge of the domestic industries such as cooking, sewing, cleaning, and mending; simplicity, neatness, and suitability of dress; the decoration of the home and its surroundings; and the forms of refined and decorous social intercourse.

3. Boys' clubs, to inculcate respect for womanhood; to form the habit of saving a part of their earnings; to practice manly sports and amusements; to teach the unhealthfulness of smoking for the young, and the evil of gambling, swearing, and other vicious and boisterous habits and practices.


We recommend:—

1. That ministers, Sunday school teachers, church officials and leaders of secret and benevolent orders, take greater precaution as to the sanitary condition of their meeting places, and see that they are well ventilated and free from destructive germs.

2. That tracts, treating of simple sanitary regulations and family instructions be prepared by the Committee on Vital and Sanitary Problems.

3. That a conference of colored physicians be held at some convenient time and place to take under advisement the general question of the sanitary and vital conditions of the race.


The conference has learned with gratitude of the movements in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia, to establish farm schools for the reclamation of juvenile offenders. The members of this conference and the people at large are urged to interest themselves in the establishment of such institutions in different parts of the country, and we commend


the generosity of Mr. C.P. Huntington in making the work in Virginia possible.


The great movement toward the organization of skilled labor is one which represents on the whole a healthy social evolution.

1. As intelligent workingmen the Negro skilled laborers must eventually join all trades unions, either in bodies or as separate workingmen.

2. We therefore urge Negroes to study carefully the union movement and to seek the best methods to understand and take advantage of it.

3. We would emphasize the idea that the welfare of the nation, social and economic, is in no small degree dependent on the condition of Negro laborers, and that what degrades and hinders them, hurts and pauperizes the nation.


We think it highly important that the managers of the Twelfth Census should make a: their earliest opportunity such special studies of the American Negro as will furnish the most accurate general data as to his social condition.

While this conference is deeply sensible of recent deplorable occurrences, such as the Wilmington riot and the lynchings in Georgia and elsewhere, which tend to destroy the fundamental principles of American institutions, and to humiliate and degrade the colored race, yet we appeal in all confidence to the best sentiment of both races to uphold the principles of civilization and Christianity.








Report of the Third Annual Negro Conference

The Conference was formally opened in Academic Hall on the morning of July 19, after a preliminary meeting for the appointment of the standing committees for the ensuing year.

The opening address was made by Dr. Frissell and was followed by the reports of the various committees.

Address of Welcome


I am glad to welcome to Hampton again the members of this conference. Last year our gathering called forth great interest from all parts of the country. We are to discuss the same subjects that came before us at that time; the problems that confront us are no smaller than they were then; they are perhaps larger, but I hope that we are willing to face them. I am glad that we have problems to face. Some of your race think that life is not worth living because there are so many; but I believe that the members of this conference think that life is not worth living without them.

I want to call your attention to the fact that those who are here and those whom this conference represents, are the ones to work out these problems. It is well enough for the Anglo-Saxon to help, but after all it is for you to do the work. These conferences can do much good. Those of the past two years have confined themselves to matters which they have the power to remedy, and this seems an important thing to do. You have chosen practical subjects such as sanitation, domestic economy, business, and education, and your committees will present their reports.

The thought with which we come together is cooperation. At the conference in West Virginia last month, the great question was how those who are working in the cause of education can get together. We work too much apart—the denominational and public schools; those from the North and those from the South; teachers in white schools and teachers in colored schools—we do not appreciate or understand each others' work. Now how are we to get together? We ought to realize the fact that as

one grows the other grows. No institution advances, I think, without helping the rest. This idea of cooperation was brought out strongly at the last conference, and I hope it will be also in this,—how we who are white can help you who are colored, how you can help one another, how we can all work together for the common good. Last years' meeting was criticized because it was said that we got together and spoke of the faults of the colored people, and then published them to the whole world. It is a mistake to look at the matter in that light. There are certain things to be changed, certain facts to be faced and remedied, and if the white people can help, let them help. We can do no goodby working in the dark. Bring things to the light; let the truth prevail. Probe the question to the bottom and then apply the remedy. We shall never get at the truth by mincing words or covering facts.

We gather on historic ground. You can look out yonder and see where the battle of the Monitor and Merrimac was fought. This spot is sacred with the blood of those who gave their lives to make our work possible. Out there in the cemetery lie the boys in blue. We are to give our lives for the same purpose that they did, and clinch the work which they began amid such storm and stress. We have progressed farther; we have more on our hands, and we must be brave about facing difficulties. Out there lies the body of the great statesman and soldier who founded this institution. He believed in the other man. That spirit ought to characterize this conference—the belief in the other man, whether he be white or whether he be black, whether he be from the North or from theSouth. The words of Booker Washington, "No man can drag me down so low as to make me hate him," fairly represent the Hampton spirit. It is sometimes said that General Armstrong had a cringing nature, it is no such thing. There never was a braver man; but he was always ready to see what was good in people. He had a strong belief in the good intentions of those around him; and we should follow his example by cultivating a spirit of love for all men.

Suggestions of the Committee on Education


The Committee on Education, instead of expressing its views wishes to suggest a few topics for discussion. In spite of the large amount of money that has already been spent for the


education of colored children in the South, the work is only begun. Unless one visits the schools of the South he cannot conceive how great is the lack of the most ordinary education facilities, or how numerous are the disadvantages under which the teachers labor. Thousands are not reached at all, and others in such a meager way that hardly any good results can be seen from the work done.

It would be well for the conference to discuss the character of the education needed by our people in the South. How much of it shall be literary and how much industrial? We should inquire whether the results, after twenty five years, point to any special form of education as the best to be sought after. Some believe that manual training should find a place in all schools, because it goes to develop both the physical and mental nature. Others think that education should be entirely mental; but the question before us this morning is what sortof training is best for our own race in the Southland.

This conference should also express itself on the matter of proper equipment for the teacher. Let us have full and free discussion on this subject; by those who have taught in the schools, by those who have visited them; and by those who have only read about them. We want to know whether anything should be added to the general equipment of a teacher in order to fit him for this special work. In this matter of education it is important to be governed by business principles. The elements necessary for success in any business are also necessary for the success of a teacher. First we must clearly understand the work to be done; second, we must have a clear idea of the best means to be employed to do this work; and third, back of all must be a strong motive to do our work excellently well.

Again, we need suggestions as to how southern teachers can improve themselves and better their surroundings. Those who are teaching in cities in well equipped schools can have no conception of what the country teacher has to contend with. The work that moves me most is that done in backwoods districts where the teacher gets fifteen or twenty dollars a month for five months in the year, and has to board himself. He has no library, no newspapers, no person to whom he may talk about his perplexities. He is entirely divorced from anything that might help him, yet he labors on with cheer in his face if not in his heart. There are thousands of these men and women in the Southland, and there are many more woman than men. The women are


more patient than the men. Is there not some way by which these people can be reached and helped by their more fortunate brothers and sisters?

Still more important is it for us to consider the teacher in his relation to the parents. In the North this matter is adjusted by law; the children are obliged to go to school, but the law does not touch it in the South. In some sections there is an utter indifference to education, and these poorly paid teachers often have to persuade the parents that it is worth while to send their children to school. How can the teacher be helped to reach the parents? There is too much of a gulf between the average Negro teacher and the masses of his people, and this ought not to be. The teacher should be close to the children, he should bear them in his heart, and, as it were, carry them in his arms. One who does not believe this should get out of the schoolroom; it is no place for a teacher who is indifferent to every interest of the child.

We have to consider also what means can be adopted by which our people shall insist on the selection of teachers for merit only. Teaching should be divorced from politics, as well as from church and personal influence; we need to inspire the people with the idea that they must have a certain teacher because he is the most capable that can be found.

Another suggestion concerns the means for lengthening the school terms which are now, in the South, from three to eight months long. If we expect to reach better results we must have longer terms, and I am glad to say that a successful effort is being made in this state to bring about this result. I believe that this matter of education is the vital feature connected with the development of the South.

Character of Education Needed

The first to take part in the discussion of the report on education was Prof. Kelly Miller. In regard to the kind of education needed by the colored youth of the South, he said, "Education should prepare young people to live the life that is possible to them. Pupils should be trained with special reference to their future work, whether it is to be law, medicine, farming, or what not. If we look over the field today, we find about one percent, or four in a thousand engaged in the higher lines of work, requiring higher preparation. We have left nine hundred


and ninety-six to whom these lines are entirely closed. We should try to strike a more reasonable proportion. A certain common ground-work lies beneath any system of education; but after this is obtained, special training should be given such as is calculated to prepare the youth for his future environment."


"The real preparation of the teacher," continued Prof. Miller, "is the cultivation of a true missionary spirit—a spirit of consecration; unless the teacher can bring this spirit to his work, it is doomed to failure. We need a larger proportion of men in the back district of the South. The German people were civilized largely by the monks who lived among the people, and taught them how to cultivate the soil. They taught them by example, somewhat on the college settlement plan; and that is just what we need for the masses of our people. We want men who will go among them, and taking the resources as they find them, will show the people how to develop them. For this reason the teacher in the country districts of the South needs industrial equipment, so that he will be able to take hold of the things about him. He must know how to use his hands in many ways; therefore teachers of such schools should have definite manual preparation."


Mr. Walker and Mr. Fitch were the principal speakers on the best way of lengthening the school terms. From their own experience, having succeeded in more than a hundred and twenty districts in inducing the people to contribute toward this object, they were able to say how it can be successfully managed. The first step is to go into a district, get the people together "under an oak tree, if there is no other place," and convince them that their children can never be educated if they go to school only five months in the year. It is also necessary to explain to them that it is of no use to insist, at least in Virginia, that it is the duty of the state to lengthen the term, for the taxes are not sufficient for the purpose. The second step is to show them how the term can be prolonged without great expense. After the amount necessary has been determined upon, a small tax is assessed on each according to his circumstances, to be paid at once or in installments. All these taxes go into a common fund, which is put in the hands of a treasurer—the most discreet man or woman


in the community. It is important that some one shall see that the promised amounts are paid; also it is absolutely essential that the teacher be interested, for in every instance where there has been failure, it has been due to lack of interest on the part of the teacher.


A teacher from Hertford, N. C. told of a successful effort made in his city to combine all the schools, public and private, into one system with the high school at the head. Nothing denominational was allowed to interfere; the term was lengthened to nine months, and the result was an immense strengthening of educational forces. Miss Laney strongly approved of this idea, saying, "We are too weak to divide our interests. Let private giving supplement public work. Let us have less criticism of one another, and more hearty cooperation."


There was a strong sentiment expressed by the conference in favor of manual training. Mr. T. B. Williams said that of eighteen pupils who left a grammar school in Indianapolis last year for higher schools, twelve chose the manual training high school. "We should distinguish" said Mr. Williams, "between manual and industrial training; the former is needed by every boy and girl of every race because it assists in mental and moral as well as in physical development. We must rid ourselves of the idea that it is offered to the colored people because the white people believe that they are fit only to work with the hands. All the best schools in the country are introducing it into their courses."

Recommendations of the Committee on Religion and Ethics


Your committee begs leave to submit the following recommendations: (1) That all persons be urged to take a deeper interest in the moral and religious training of their children. Just in proportion as the race advances in character, as the thought of God enters into its life as a controlling factor, will it grow strong and self-respecting, and command respect from others.


The place to lay the foundation for self-respecting manhood and womanhood is in the home, and the time to begin is in childhood. Tupper has well said: "The seeds of first instructions are dropped into the deepest furrows." And a greater than Tupper has said, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."

(2) That our ministers of all denominations be urged to emphasize more largely than they do in their preaching the practical, every day duties of life. The sooner they realize that the gospel is intended to fit men to live as well as to die, and that dying right depends upon living right, the better it will be. Unfortunately, in too many of our pulpits, the emphasis is laid upon the future rather than upon the present, upon the life beyond rather than upon the life here. A reform in this respect is imperatively demanded. Practical preaching is what is needed in all of our pulpits,—preaching that will teach men how to live, how to let their light shine so that others seeing their good works my be led to glorify their Father which is in heaven.

(3) That our teachers, preachers and, physicians, as well as all parents be urged to throw their influence positively on the side of temperance. If this evil is to be successfully combatted something more is necessary than simply refraining from strong drink ourselves. We must be aggressive; we must do with all our might what our hands find to do in seeking to create a healthy sentiment against it. To remain passive, inactive, however strongly we may believe personally in temperance, will count for but little.

(4) That ignorance and immorality in the pulpit should be everywhere frowned upon. If the pulpit is to be a source of influence for good in the work of elevating the race, it must be apt to teach, and in character it must be above reproach. According to God's Word, "a bishop must be blameless, the husband of one wife, sober, of good behavior, apt to teach." And this standard must be maintained. An ignorant and vicious ministry is a curse to any people.

(5) That parents be urged to train their children to be industrious and saving, and, the girls, especially, to dress simply and inexpensively. Idleness and the love of dress are among the greatest sources of demoralization among us. Some one has said, "A lad who is not taught to work is trained to steal." And again, "Bring up your boy to do nothing and he will be a rogue." And still again, "The hour of idleness is the hour of tempta-


tion." Parents should lay these facts to heart and profit by them. "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread," is a law that should be recognized and enforced in every home. And so in reference to apparel,—the adorning that our girls and young women need, and which they should betrained to set the greatest store upon, is the adorning referred to by the apostle Peter, "Not that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and we aring of gold, or putting on of apparel; but the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which in the sight of God is of great price."

The love of dress is natural to the human heart, especially to the female portion of humanity, and therefore in a sense, under proper restrictions, it is all right. The desire to look well, to be neatly and tastefully attired, is commendable, and should be encouraged. It is only when, in the effort to gratify this desire, higher interests are sacrificed, that it becomes wrong. And there is always danger of this where there is poverty. Hence the importance in our present condition of seeking very early to form the tastes of our young people upon a simple and common sense basis. To dress according to our means, is all that a self-respecting manhood or womanhood requires. To dress beyond our means, is not only a very silly thing to do, but it shows that we are deficient in good hard sense,—and more, that we are lacking in principle. This we should seek to get our young people to see and to accept, if we would keep them from one great source of temptation.

Your committee is strongly of the belief that the future of this race depends more upon character than anything else, and takes this opportunity, therefore, of urging upon all the importance of setting into operation every influence and agency that will tend to build us up morally and spiritually.

Report of the Committee on Business and Labor.


Your committee deemed it advisable to secure in the first place some reliable data concerning the actual status of the colored workman in the various sections of the country. Accordingly about twenty-five letters were prepared and sent to persons, who, it was thought, would furnish the desired information, in Boston, New York, Albany, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Pittsburg,


Chicago, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Louisville, Lynchburg, Columbia, Wilmington, Atlanta, Rome, Ga. Augusta, Savannah, Jacksonville, Birmingham, Montgomery, New Orleans, Nashville, and others.

The committee had charge of Hampton, Richmond, Norfolk, Newport News, and Washington. This part of the report is not a great success, because the persons written to did not furnish the data. Few indeed made any reply whatever, and this the committee regret very much. However, some public spirited men did send us some very valuable data and the committee and conference owe them a vote of thanks.


Hon. H. C. Smith writes that there are about one hundred skilled colored workmen in Cleveland Ohio. Most of them are members of the local unions; they are generally not discriminated against and are increasing in numbers.

Mr. Geo. H. Jackson writes from Cincinnati, Ohio that there are many colored members of the union in Cincinnati, and that the labor leaders seem to favor their admission. But conditions are such that it is, as a matter of fact, very hard for any others to get into the union. Some exclude colored workmen altogether. He mentions the machinists, the barbers, shoemakers, horse shoers and coatmakers. Colored skilled laborers seem to be decreasing;—many are not working at their trades, because excluded by the unions.

Mr. Albert S. White of Louisville Ky. says there are about five hundred in Louisville and vicinity. The situation is mixed. Some unions admit colored men; some reject them. Usually they are organized separately. He doubts that they are increasing.

Prof. George E. Stephens of Lynchburg Va., says, there are in that city two hundred and thirty-one skilled colored laborers, mostly in the tobacco factories. None of them are organized: nor are the whites organized, except the bricklayers. Numbers decreasing.

Dr. C. C. Johnson of Columbia, S. C., was able to count three hundred and eighty-six skilled colored workmen in his city. Neither white nor colored work men are organized. Colored workmen increasing. Doing well.

Rev. George F. Bragg writes from Baltimore Md. that he has talked with Mr. Duncan, President of the Stone Cutters National Union. He said that there are many colored men in the union. They are mixed in the North; in many places in the South they


are separate. He also talked with Mr. Elliot of the National Brotherhood of Painters. He said his union, welcomed colored craftsmen, and there were many in the order, but that they had no members in Baltimore.

In Norfolk Va. there are many competent and reliable colored mechanics. They are doing some high grade work, some of it under white contractors. Labor unions are not felt very much. The contractors hire whom they please as a rule. The sentiment is against admitting colored men to the unions that do exist.

Mr. N. B. Clark reports that in Newport News Va. there are about one hundred skilled colored workmen. The Longshoreman's Union is the only colored labor organization in the city. No white unions admit colored members, but both white and colored unions affiliate with the national union.

The Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company employees over 5000 persons; of this number two-thirds are colored. The company is disposed to place colored mechanics whenever and wherever it can upon its work. They are now teaching colored men and boys trades in the various departments; this is indeed an opportunity which should be appreciated by us, when we consider that a boy who is learning a trade in this yard receives more wages per month that the average farm hand.

Mr. W. P. Burrell reports that in Richmond Va. the colored people are not organized in any manner for the protection of labor. Among the whites all the principal trades are affiliated with the national unions, but none of them admit colored workmen, with the possible exception of the Tobacco Workers' Association, lately organized. The colored people of Richmond are employed principally in all branches of the tobacco business, with the exception of cigarette making, cigarmaking, and cheroot rolling. About 8000 men, women, and children are employed in the factories; of this number about 2000 might be classed as skilled laborers. Perhaps 2000 more are employed in the iron works. This branch of business was at one time controlled almost entirely by colored men, but now they are employed chiefly as common laborers, with only here and there a master mechanic.

There are also 50 bricklayers and plasterers, and 30 printers, besides numbers of carpenters and broom-makers. On account of the competition, the number of skilled laborers among the colored people is on the decrease. There are practically no apprentices employed in the various trades, and after the present generation passes away, the prospects for the continuation of colored skilled labor are very meagre.



In Washington there are over 500 skilled colored workmen, not including barbers. There are about 100 bricklayers, 75 carpenters, 80 painters, 75 plasterers, 100 stationary engineers, 100 of various other skilled occupations. There are also many skilled brick-makers. Only the engineers and barbers are organized. The white unions generally will not admit colored workmen, or if they do admit them, manage in some way to freeze them out. The hackmen and master barbers, recently organized, have mixed unions. There are some colored members in the Cigar-makers Union, and several employees in the Government Printing Office and Bindery belong to the local Printers and Bookbinders Unions. But is not believed that these union colored workmen could find employment in any union office outside of the government service. Your committee was unable to learn of any other colored union men in Washington.

During the last ten years over 500 houses have been built in Washington, almost entirely by colored labor, some of them costing as high as fifteen thousand dollars. Many of them are fine specimens of the mechanic's art.

White labor is quite thoroughly organized in Washington. Their organizations control almost all the large contract work, and appear to be driving the unorganized colored workmen out of the better class of work in the building trades; they being now quite generally restricted in Washington to the smaller houses, to houses built by colored owners and to jobs and repairs. At this kind of work several of the more intelligent and reliable colored mechanics, I am told, make more than $100 a month by taking small contracts. This is more than they could earn as journeymen in the white union, consequently the best colored mechanics in Washington are indifferent about organizing.


The Colored Hod-Carriers have a strong union, belong to the National Federation of Labor, the local Building Trades Council and the Central LaborUnion, send their delegates to those bodies and are well treated. They carry hods for white and colored bricklayers, are very efficient workmen and are held up by white men as a model, colored, labor organization. But they do not come into competition with any white union. Other colored organizations are the Colored Barbers, the Hod Carriers No. 2, and the Plumbers' Laborers. These hod-carriers


and unskilled laborers receive $2.00 per day of eight hours, the same as unorganized colored bricklayers for 9 hours work.

Although your committee did not succeed in getting expert testimony as to conditions in cities other than those named, other sources of information were open to them which warrant them to report the following as the


The trade unions along the border line of slavery have, generally, pursued a policy of exclusiveness on account of color, and refused to include the colored craftsman in their scheme of organization. In this way they have compelled him to seek work at his trade outside the union and on the best terms he could get. This policy has been going on ever since the Civil War and if colored men do not rush blindly into every scheme of labor organization is thrown open to them the reason is not hard to find.

The reason usually assigned by white union men for not admitting colored men into their unions, as stated by Mr. E. E. Clark, President of the Railway Conductors, and by many others, is that 'Colored men are always willing to work for wages which white men cannot, and should not be asked to work for." What an astounding argument! They refuse to admit colored men to the union, force them to seek a living by foraging on the outside, deny them the benefit of the union's protection and discipline, and when, in order to live, they are forced to accept work at the employer's terms the white union man says, 'No, we won't receive the colored man into our union because he is always willing to work for less wages than a white man." The injustice and unfairness of this argument are too plain to require further elaboration. We would like to ask the men who advance this argument, if it is not the "union" that enables them to secure a "white man's wages." The testimony from labor leaders is overwhelming that colored men make good union men.

There have been instances where the colored workmen have attempted to organize separately. But, as a rule, when they come in competition with the white union in the same trade, the colored unions have not been able to with stand the opposition of the employer, the white union of the same trade, and race prejudice, and have not been able to keep up their organization. And yet, there are in these border states thousands of colored mechanics and skilled workmen outside the unions who are making a good living; some of the most reliable and competent are bosses and contractors and earn much more than they could possibly earn as journeymen in a white union.


There are, however, in these states, some separate colored labor organizations, the strongest and best of which do not compete with any similar organization of whites. Among these are the Hod-Carriers and Plumbers' Laborers. Other separate unions are the Colored Barbers, Colored Stationary Engineers, Firemen, Tobacco Workers, and Musicians.

The mixed unions in the border states are the Miners and Cigar-makers; perhaps some others, where the circumstances are exceptional, have taken in colored members, as in the Government Printing Office and Bindery. Notwithstanding the fact that the local trade unions, generally, in the border states, have not taken them into their unions and have, when organized, refused to work with them, the colored craftsman has by no means become extinct.

In the North colored men when competent are generally received into local unions and treated fairly. In the South they work side by side when not organ ized. When organization takes place the colored workman, as a rule, is excluded.

From a valuable pamphlet prepared by Prof. Henry Gannett of Washington on the "Occupations of Negroes" and published by the Trustees of the Slater Fund, we gather the following interesting and instructive data.

According to the census of 1890, out of a total population of 62,622,250, 23,753,884 persons or 34.6 per cent were engaged in gainful occupations. Of the Negroes, including all of the mixed Negro blood, number 7,470,040,--3,073,123, or 41.1 per cent were engaged in gainful occupations, or 6.5 per cent greater than that of the total population.

There are, however, several divers elements in our population. The foreign born has a large proportion of adult males. There are five groups of occupations.

The following table shows the proportions of wage earners to the total population and of the various elements of the population according to the census of 1890, in the five groups of occupations named.

                             [[ Total                          Native      born
                              Pop'ion      Color'd     White       White
                              per cent     per cent   per cent   per cent

Agriculture and Mining 32.65 57.2 41. 25.5

Domestic and Person'l service 19.18 32.4 13.06 27.0

Trade and Transportation 14.63 4.7 17.00 14.0

Manufactures 22.39 5.6 22.9 31.3

Professions 4.15 1.3 5.5 2.3

                                100.00     100.00       100.00    100.00]]


Over 88 per cent of the colored wage earners are engaged in agriculture, mining and personal service, to 58 per cent, for the total population; 47 per cent of the colored wage-earners are engaged in trade and transportation, to 14.63 per cent for the total population, and 5.6 per cent in manufactures to 22.39 per cent, for the total population. This shows that in order to bring the colored people up to the average of the white population there must be about four times as many engaged in trades and transportation, manufacturing, and the professions as were engaged in those occupations in 1890. Agriculture and personal service in the Northeastern States occupy but 71 per cent of all colored wage-earners; in the North Central States 75 per cent; in the Western States 81 per cent; in the in the Southeastern 84 per cent, and in the South Central 88 per cent of all

These figures show that the occupations of colored wage-earners are more diversified in the North than in the South.


As a rule each trade or calling has a separate national organization. Some of these affiliate with the Knights of Labor, but by far the greater number affiliate with the American Federation of Labor, with headquarters at Washington, of which Mr. Samuel Gompers is President. The various orders of railway employees engineers, conductors, firemen, trainmen and telegraphers do not affiliate with any other organization. They are independent.

They are all organized very much on the plan of our national and state government. The local unions owe a certain allegiance to the National Union and to the Federation, yet they have the right of local self government the right to manage in their own way their own local affairs, subject always to the Constitution of the higher body.


Your committee visited and had interviews with as many of the leaders of the labor movement as could be reached. One and all they gave us the most cheering words. Mr. Samuel Gompers, President of the American Federation of Labor wrote that the Federation was now making extra exertion to organize all laborers without regard to race sex, or creed, and that the Federation had three extra organizers in the South with instructions to organize all laborers. He also quoted for us a resolution adopted and several times confirmed at their conventions, as follows:—


"We re-affirm as one of the cardinal principles of the Trade Union Movement that the working people must unite and organize irrespective of creed, color, sex, nationality, or politics."

Mr. J. S. Hayes, Secretary of the Knights of Labor, received us with equal cordiality. He wrote us a most encouraging letter, saying that it has always, even from the foundation of the order been one of its cardinal principles that there should be no color line in the Knights of Labor. He cites the action of the great Convention in Richmond in 1886, in sustaining this point. He says there are many colored members in the order, most of them are good union men.

Your committee also interviewed many of the local labor leaders of Washington. They received us with uniform kindness and frankness. With only two exceptions, they all expressed themselves as being personally favorable to the admission of competent colored men into the unions. But some of them frankly admitted that the rank and file held the race prejudice common to this section, and would not vote to admit colored men.


Your committee sent out about thirty letters to the leaders of the various national organizations affiliated with the American Federation of Labor, inquiring, among other things, of their organizations excluded colored craftsmen on account of race. Among those replying that their organizations do not exclude colored workmen are the Boiler-makers, Blacksmiths, Carriage-makers, Cigar-makers, Custom Tailors, American Federation of Musicians, Tobacco Workers, Brotherhood of Painters and Decorators, United Mine Workers, Iron Moulders, The Amalgamated Society of Steam Engineers, Leather Workers on Horse Goods, International Union of Steam Engineers, International Longshoremen's Association, United Brotherhood of Carpenters.

Letters were also sent to the national secretaries of the following, who have not replied:—Brickmakers, Journeymen Barbers, Bookbinders, and The Amalgamated Society of Carpenters, Stationary Firemen, Garment Workers, Horseshoers, Iron and Steel Workers, Potters' National, Pressmen's Union.


It is a matter of common report that all the organizations of railway employees, exclude colored men. Mr. P. M. Arthur, Grand Chief, testified before the Industrial Commission that the Order of Locomotive Engineers did exclude them, by a provision in their constitution.


We have letters from Mr. F. P. Sargent of the Firemen, Mr. P. H. Morrissey of the Railway Trainmen and Mr. W. V. Powell of the Railway Telegraphers, saying that the constitutions of their organizations exclude colored men. Mr. Clark, of the Conductors, writes that the constitution is silent on the subject but he adds that he is satisfied it would be impossible for one to be admitted.

We have read with profound regret of efforts being made to drive the colored firemen off the locomotives in the South, simply because they are colored. The committee have seen some very bitter and unfair articles written with this purpose in view. Let us hope that such an unfair war on colored labor will not succeed. The labor leaders of the entire country who believe in fair play ought to call a halt on this kind of labor warefare. Instead of driving the colored firemen off their engines they ought to organize them.

These railway unions are not affiliated with the Federation of Labor and could not be received as long as their constitutions bar colored craftsmen. In these days of gigantic pools and combinations of capital and labor, it would seem as though the time will soon come when they will be forced to go into the Federation. Then they will be compelled to erase the color line from their constitutions, if not from their practice.

If we except the railway unions, the constitutions and laws of all national trade and labor organizations affiliated with the American Federation and the Knights of Labor, and all the intelligent leaders of the labor movement , favor the admission of colored workmen and fair treatment of them. But the rank and file, especially in the border slave states and in the South, are blindly opposed to it on account of color prejudice. Each union has the right to manage its own affairs. Neither the National Union nor the Federation can make the white man of a local accept a colored brother and treat him fairly, if the sentiment in the local union is against the colored brother.

The Committee believe that it is to the best interest of the colored workmen to attach themselves in some way and as soon as possible to this labor movement. The subject should be carefully studied in each locality and some action taken in the line of organization. To attempt to ignore this great social movement will be suicidal. The interests of the colored and the white workman are identical. Both must be made to see this. It will be disastrous to organized labor to allow the 9,000,000 colored people of this country to be played off against them and to be


used as clubs to beat down their wages. It will be equally disastrous to the colored people to allow the labor leaders to conclude that they are so many enemies, so much useless obstruction to be gotten out of the way as soon as possible. With all the trouble colored people already have, the idea must not be allowed to take root that a non-union man can be told by the color of his skin and the texture of his hair.

The American Federation of Labor and the Knights of Labor together have a membership of more than three-quarters of a million of workers. If in some way the colored workman could so wrap himself into their interests as to secure their co operation and support, he will have gained a powerful ally in his struggle for a fair chance in the rivalries of life.

Report of the Committee on Vital Statistics and Sanitary Problems

Dr. F. J. Shadd, Chairman

In response to the appointment made at the conference last year, I have the honor to make the following report.

Negro population, 1830 .......................3,638,808

" " 1860....................... 4,441,830
" " 1890....................... 7,470,040
" " 1900 will be over .... 9,000,000

The study of the condition of the Negro in the various cities is a theme worthy the attention of the leaders in sociology and philanthropy.

While much statistical data many not be exact in every particular, yet the records are relatively correct and are of the greatest importance, showing as they do the alarming death-rate and other conditions affecting the Negro for years past. We are waiting with great eagerness for statistical data contained in the next census pertaining to the social, economic, and mortuary problems affecting the Negro in America. The vital and sanitary condition of the Negro is a subject of great interest to every thoughtful citizen. The Negro is here to stay, and we must help him assimilate American civilization. From the Department of Labor Bulletin for May, 1897, I have selected the following data which may enable you to approximate the present condition of this race with some degree of accuracy. It shall be my purpose to give facts, not sentimental theories, through the med-


medium of the Hampton Conference, which is destined year by year to help mould and sustain a healthy relationship between the races of our common country. Neither shall I burden your minds with redundance of figures collected from various state boards of health, but shall appropriate the results found in the Bulletin for May, 1897 as a basis. In making this report I take pleasure in stating that my friend, Mr. L. M. Hershaw, an alumnus of Atlanta University, has collected much valuable information on this subject. Vital statistics have been collected from Atlanta, Ga., Baltimore, Md., Charleston, S. C., Richmond, Va., and Memphis, Tenn. Diseases are divided into groups as follows:

1. Consumption and Pneumonia; (2) Cholera Infantum and Convulsions; (3) Typhoid fever, Scarlet fever, Malaria fever, Diarrhea and Diphtheria, (4) Scrofula and Syphilis. In all these groups we find the death rate larger for colored people than for white, except for scarlet fever and diphtheria. The greatest excesses are found in the first and fourth groups, consumption and pneumonia, scrofula and syphilis.

Mark these facts: In Baltimore, Md. the excess of births per 1,000 of population is in favor of whites. Illegitimate births for colored population show a very large excess over the whites.

1885-1889 1890-1894

For Baltimore, Md. White: Col'd White: Col'd

Average death rate per 1,000: 19.41 30.52 20.01 31.47 Average birth " " " : 21.88 19.18 20.87 17.63 Excess of death rate 2.12 11.24 .86 13.84

Thus you see the white death rate is slightly less than birth rate; the colored death rate is greatly in excess of birth rate.

As the census reports will not be published for some time, I have been able to collect the following facts as to the condition of the Negro in Washington, D.C. for year ending June 30, 1899:

Average death rate for five years, 1888-92 is 32.66 per cent

" " " " " " 1893-97 is 30.06 per cent

Decrease in rate 7.9 percent yr. Mon. da. Average age at death for 1888 92 period 22 9 10

" " " " " 1893-97 " 24 4 7

Increase in death age of later period, 1 6 27

July 1999.

Population (colored) 90,000 White 195,000 Death rate ( " ) 29.5 per cent " 17.7 per ct. Death rate for past 23

yrs. (Col.) 32.8 per cent " 18.5 per ct.

Decrease of death rate 3.3 per cent

As a result of a study of data taken from various reliable sources, I am able to make the following statements.


In Baltimore, Md. the excess of births per 10,000 of population, is in favor of whites. Illegitimate births for colored population show a very large excess over the whites. The white death rate is slightly less than birth rate; the colored death rate is greatly in excess of birth rate.

In Washington, D.C. there has been a decrease in the death rate during the past twenty-three years of 3.3. per cent. In the same city deaths from consumption, scrofula, and tuberculosis are twice as many for colored as for white and the infant mortality death rate has increased both actually and relatively.

From the data considered the following conclusions may be drawn.

Deaths from consumption, scrofula and tuberculosis are twice as many for colored as white.

Still births, total 512 Colored 338 White 174

Illegitimate births, 545 " 479 " 66

Births, Total 4,757 " 1,891 " 2,866

Deaths, " 6,026 " 2,654 " 3,372

Infant mortality under 5 yrs. " 925 " 810

Alley population about 21 1/4 percent.

This factor is an important point in accounting for large mortality, because alley houses have no modern improvements and are mostly unsanitary.

Richmond, Va. For comparison I shall give the data for Richmond, Va., for 1891-1895.

Consumption, Excess for colored, 87.38 per cent

Pneumonia, " " " 147.46 "

Cholera Infantum " " " 107.76 "

Convulsions " " " 375.00 "

Still births " " " 233.54 "

Scrofula " " " 1,075.00 "

Syphilis " " " 617.24 "

With exception of infant mortality there has been for the groups of specific causes a decrease in colored death rate. Infant mortality death rate has increased both actually and relatively.

The conclusions drawn are as follows:--

As infant mortality plays so important a part in this alarming death rate, we must impress upon the mothers greater care in bringing up their children as to diet, sanitary homes, etc. We must eradicate all germs which contaminate the system; remove the effects of specific infection and unsanitary conditions which, in my judgment, are the pivotal points in race


cy. Infected parents beget sickly children, and the natural results are either weak anaemic, premature, or stillborn children. When these infected children pass through the trials of dentition they are in no condition to withstand the trying ordeal of youthful exposure and indiscretion, -- hence they easily succumb to the ravages of tuberculosis and marasmus. Please remember that scrofulosis is only a type of tuberculosis. Observance of proper diet will cause a decrease in convulsions, which produce 375.00 per cent of excess death rate. Illegitimacy must be reduced. Still births result from lax moral laws and unhealthy conditions. Our women must be protected during the trying period of gestation and parturition. Today I reiterate what was said a year ago. Remove the causes and vital statistics will show marked improvement in the next five years. The Negro can reduce this death rate by the observance of sanitary laws and by personal purity. We must remember that if we sow to the wind we shall reap the whirlwind. Vicious habits, intemperance, licentiousness, gambling -- each and all are conducive to a high mortuary list. Teachers of Negro youth have the most important part to play in this social economic problem. Teach the youth that the penalty for breaking the sanitary laws is death, sooner or later. Teach them to keep their homes in good condition, to examine the water supply, the kind of milk used, to be particular what kind of food is used and how it is prepared. Teach them to shun all kinds of infection, and to be careful as to cups, pencils, books, and other things liable to communicate disease germs. No race can be strong unless the children are healthy, and that the children may be healthy, parents must be pure. Modern education will demand more rigid inspection of schools as well as daily examination of each child,--thus reducing contagious diseases to a minimum.

When these facts are brought to the attention of the children in the public schools all over the country; when the parents are instructed through their children to observe certain health laws; when society shall be regulated that each person strives to have at his home perfect sanitary conditions--then the race will be using the remedies which alone can reduce the alarming condition as depicted in the health reports from all parts of the country. Hopeful outlook for the future is due to the fact that colored physicians are locating in different parts of the country; they are alive to the alarming statistics and will strive to reduce the death rate by skillful treatment at the bedside and by individual instruction to members of the family as to the laws of


health. They should educate the people; they should instruct them as to the potent influences of God's sunlight as a prophylactic for many maladies. Rest in bed at home is a great therapeutic agent.

Another factor is that hospitals are being established and conducted by colored people, giving employment to many colored nurses who in their turn are wielding a far-reaching influence for the good of the race.

The race must learn that careful nursing, rest, diet, hygienic surroundings, absolute cleanliness, and personal purity are the essentials for a sound mind in a sound body. The twentieth century will be a golden era in race history; in every walk of the busy American life there will be marked progress. The Negro has the force within himself to accomplish great ends, and as he ceases to be an object of charity and demands equal privileges and opportunities, there will cease to be a Negro problem to burden the Anglo-Saxon.

The future is bright. With Father Lucey I believe that "Any race that can double its population within the space of the average human life, possesses virility, and a race that can acquire in a quarter of a century $300,000,000 worth of property shows a spirit of independence."

Causes of High Mortality

This report produced a profound impression for, although showing small gains in some respects, the story was in the main discouraging. It was suggested, however, that as the statistics were gathered from the city alone it would hardly be fair to make the conclusions general without considering a like report from country districts. Dr. Lamb was ask to give his opinion of the cause of the high death rate of the colored race. He charged it entirely to ignorance, immorality, and inability to control surroundings, and said that if these conditions were corrected there would be a great change. He thought that the solution of the problem lay in the dissemination of leaflets containing hygienic rules, and simple instructions. He also advocated a greater regard for cleanliness, saying that the best start toward good health is to get rid of vermin and dirt.

This matter was emphasized by Dr. Curtis when he was called upon to give his testimony. He said that in every one of the crowded rooms in alleys that he had investigated he had found the bacilli of tuberculosis. "The Negro must leave such


places, or clean them out. The people run away from smallpox but they court consumption. They do not realize that tuberculosis can be developed in any part of the body, and they are too ignorant to take proper precautions when their friends have such diseases. The negro is a good culture medium; germs flourish in his system, and he must keep himself away from them. He should live in the sunshine and fresh air as much as possible. Crowding in cities is fatal."

The important question of crowded and ill-ventilated churches was discussed. As a rule the preacher pays no attention to ventilation; all the windows are closed, the people become excited, especially at revival times; and are then fit subjects for the reception of the numerous germs that find lodgment in ill-kept churches and halls. These buildings are also, as a rule, overheated, so that the audiences are especially liable to take cold when they emerge into the outside air. Secret society managers were likewise held guilty of subjecting their members to the worst possible sanitary conditions.

The following words from Dr. Harris of Richmond Va. seemed to sum up the situation. "Let the air be pure, the food wholesome, and sleep sweet and abundant. Negroes who have regular habits of life, eat at regular intervals, and sleep the proper number of hours in clean, wholesome beds surrounded by pure air, if they have in themselves no seeds from immoral living, have just as good a chance of health as any other class of people. They neglect the plain and simple laws of living at their peril, just as other people do."

Report of the Committee on Statistics

Prof. J. W. Cromwell, Chairman

The object of this committee has been to gather such statistical and sociological information as would enable us to ascertain both the relative and the absolute status of the Negro as an economic force, especially within the territory in which the Normal and Agricultural Institute, which fosters these conferences, is situated.

The charge is made that the Negro is a non-producer; that he is a laggard in the onward sweep of civilization; that he is improvident; that he has no regard for law and order and is becoming a criminal element at a greater rate of increase than that of his population; and that his religious efforts exhaust themselves in the erection of fine edifices and the payment of liberal


salaries to preachers. Belief in these charges has had much to do with the indifference of the public, the citizen rights of the Negro; and has been instrumental in creating a public sentiment that proposes to restrict the educational advantages that are extended him; it also contemplates shifting the responsibility of cooperating in his elevation by seriously considering plans for his deportation or segregation. Against this your committee proposes no propaganda except the gathering of such facts as will show the Negro to be a producer; a progressive element of our population; a citizen becoming more and more law abiding as educational advantages and religious agencies become more universal.

This work of compiling statistics is a continuous one, the result of which we trust will be as stimulating to the Negro as educative to the Anglo-Saxon.

The result thus far attained is fragmentary, the report including only Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Had the schedules been prepared as suggested, three and a half months ago, a wider area of territory would have been covered and a more comprehensive statement would have been possible.

Taking taxation as a basis, the colored people of the state of Virginia contributed in 1898 directly to the expenses of the state government the sum of $9,576.76, and for schools $3,239.41 from their personal property, a total of $12,816.17; while from their real estate for the purposes of the commonwealth there was paid by them $34,303.53 and for schools $11,457.22 or a total of $45,760.75, a grand total of $58,576.92.

The report for the same year shows them to own 978,118 acres of land valued at $3,800,459 improved by buildings valued at $2,056,490, a total of $5,856,949. In the towns and cities they own lots assessed at $2,154,331, improved by buildings valued at $3,400,636, a total of $5,554,967 for town property and a grand total of $11,411,916, of their property of all kinds in the commonwealth. A comparative statement for different years would doubtless show a general upward tendency.

The counties of Accomac, Essex, King and Queen, Middlesex, Mathews, Northampton, Northumberland, Richmond, Westmoreland, Gloucester, Princess Anne and Lancaster, all agricultural, show an aggregate of 114,197 acres held by Negroes in 1897, the last year accounted for in official reports, against 108,824 held the previous year, an increase of 5,379 or nearly five per cent. The total valuation of land owned by Negroes in the same coun-


ties for 1897, is $547,800 against $496,385 for the year next preceding, a gain of $51,150 or more than ten percent. Their personal property as assessed in 1897 was $517,560, in 1896, $527,688, a loss of $10,128. Combining the real and personal property for '97 we have $1,409,059, against $1,320,504 for '96, a net gain of $88,555, an increase of 6 1/2 percent. What does this increase in this accumulation of taxable values show? You would reply, a more conservative citizenship. Do the facts uphold this opinion?

The records of Gloucester, Lancaster, Middlesex, Princess Anne, Northumberland, Northampton, King and Queen, Essex, and Westmoreland, where the colored population exceeds the white, show that the criminal expense for 1896 was $14,313.29, but for 1897 it was only $8,538.12, a saving of $5,774.17 to the state, or a falling off of 40 percent. This does not tell the whole story. In the first named year 26 persons were convicted of felonies with sentences in the penitentiary, while in the year succeeding only 9, or one third as many, were convicted of the graver offences of the law.

A statistical side-light with respect to eleven of these counties is that Mr. T.C. Walker personally supervised the collection of $1,685 from the people, by which 77 schools had their terms prolonged from one to two months, and permanent improvements were made to the amount of $400. Similar in character was the work of Mr. Fitch who led the people in twelve school districts to raise the sum of $398, by which their school terms were lengthened. These counties are all in the tide-water section of Virginia where the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute is located, and where its ex-students and graduates are more numerous than those of all the higher institutions of learning combined.

Over against this record of these typical agricultural counties in which the colored population equals or exceeds the white, it was the purpose of the committee to make a similar statement for Richmond, Petersburg, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Portsmouth, and Staunton in order to contrast the tendencies of city and country life; but the Auditor of Public Accounts of whom the inquiry was made, clearly mistook my meaning and forwarded data for both races for the localities and the years named. As it was received only this week it was too late to have the mistakes corrected, and the comparison incorporated in this report.

City life gives rise to enterprises impossible in rural communities. Important among these are the mutual or industrial insurance societies that solve problems incident upon excessive


mortality and the low price of labor. Foremost among these we find the True Reformers Society with its headquarters at Richmond, employing fifty clerks and two hundred and fifty field agents. Since our last annual conference they have paid death benefits amounting to $53,000, or more than $1,000 a week; in 18 years similar benefits aggregate $450,000, and sick benefits $1,300,000. The real estate owned is $130,000. In the city of Richmond alone there are 14 such insurance societies that require small payments weekly for which special sums are paid to families at death. Only one replied of the half dozen to which I wrote. The Benevolent Investment and Relief Association reports $5,000 capital stock and $50,000 in its investment department, $20,000 of which is taken up. It has issued 249 certificates of investment on which loans may be made, and 2747 insurance policies, thus giving a total membership of 3096. It operates in North Carolina, Kentucky, Mississippi and Georgia, as well as in Virginia. has thirty five agents, six clerks, two bookkeepers, and eight salaried officers. It paid $150.04 benefits in June and $3,056.86 has been loaned to members.

As bearing on the question of the thrift of the Negro in a large city population the sworn report of the Nickle Savings Bank of Richmond for June 30, 1897, is important. Its assets are $10,478.72 with a capital stock of $5,450, undivided profits of $251.25, individual deposits and certified checks of $3,877.47, and a surplus of $900.

But the True Reformers Bank shows at present a balance of $115,000 due depositors, $80,000 invested funds, and a paid up capital of $75,000, besides having a record of cash dividends paid in four years amounting to $40,000. In the National Capital the Capital Savings Bank has a record to date of $3,209,605.17 deposits; loans and investments amounting to $1,539,782.85 and 2,756 depositors. Its capital stock is $50,000 and the amount of real estate owned is $53,440.

The summer school now in progress here has afforded some valuable data for conclusions, reliable to a certain extent, as to prevailing tendencies. The committee scanned two hundred and eighty of the registration blanks on file, made out by teachers who represent fifteen states and the District of Columbia.

Fully one-half report favorable public sentiment by the whites towards Negro education, the remainder being in different or opposing it. Irregular attendance on the part of the pupil arising either from poverty or improvidence, is the greatest obstacle to good work in school; lack of proper accommodations and proper equipment are subordinate hindrances.


The usual trades and occupations are followed in the cities, but few businesses of special note are enumerated. The reports are in many instances fragmentary, yet architects, house decorators, and photographers are named. Among business firms are mentioned: one building and loan association, two land companies, one real estate agency, one supply company, one grist mill, three banks, several insurance societies and farmer's clubs and one cotton factory. Among the evidences of progress are noted the increased number of young people's aid societies in connection with church work, more pains in personal appearance, less extravagance in dress, the existence of educational clubs, and the demand for higher education.

As to the real estate holdings by the Negro, many give vague replies, but one hundred and ninety-six make specific answers in regard to the percentage who own their homes, and taking these returns as a basis, the average shows that 33 1/3 per cent nearly are owners of their homes, which is a striking confirmation of the conclusion recently reached by a well known journalist, that the colored people in large cities, have reached an advanced stage in their evolution, and that they are now differentiated into three classes, one which shows marked progress in all lines of advancement.

Another year, by the distribution of comprehensive schedules aiming at certain specific information on lines of inquiry within the scope of investigation, our data will be more complete, and such a showing can be presented as will enable the Negro at least to know the conditions that exist among his class.

Suggestions Regarding Statistics

Some criticisms of this report were made by the conference, chiefly on ground that it was confined to too small a territory, that the sources of information were not given, and that some of the conclusions were drawn from insufficient data. The chairman himself complained of lack of cooperation on the part of the people to whom he had written for statistics, and shared the general wish that the work of the committee might, another year, be along more strictly scientific lines.

The subject was considered a most important one, and it was suggested by Prof. Miller that since it was impossible for individuals to get at the conditions in the country at large, it might be well to make certain requests of the officials of the census office in Washington. They were as follows: (1) that the cen-


census officers endeavor to collect accurate statistics in regard to the colored race, and that they incorporate them in the Twelfth Census; (2) that they make comparisons with corresponding classes of whites, not only in our own but in foreign countries; (3) that the schedules of property be such as to make possible a report of the holdings of colored people; and (4) that these officials be asked to make a special interpolation of the statistics gathered by Dr. DuBois of Atlanta University. It was added that it might also be helpful to forward to the census bureau suggestions in regard to the appointment of a colored specialist or specialists for this work.

It was clearly the opinion of the conference that it was not to the interest of the race to evade or cover up facts, and that the whole truth must be sought after; for instance, in giving the valuation of property, the amount of encumbrance should always be added, in order that correct conclusions may be drawn.

Suggestions of the Committee on Domestic Science


My personal contact with tenement house dwellers in New York leads me to urge upon the conference with all possible earnestness the actual need of the institution of some plan by which the very poor and ignorant may have free practical information and guidance concerning dietetics, hygiene, and the laws of health. If capable women could be sent out as missionaries with the above end in view, in all districts and localities crowded by our people, incalculable good could be accomplished. Neighborhood and nurses' settlements could also be made useful.

I would further urge the need of wholesome recreation, gymnasiums, and public baths, for our young people as a valuable aid towards the upbuilding of a pure home life, for as Herbert Spencer says, "Perhaps nothing will so much hastens the time when body and mind will be adequately cared for as a diffusion of the belief that the preservation of health is a duty."



From observation and experience we know the necessity of home training, the lack of which is due to the following causes: (1) poverty and the necessity of the mother being away from


home as a bread-winner, (2) ignorance on the part of the parents as to the true needs of the child.

As helpful remedies we suggest:—

First,—Mothers' meetings, to impress the importance of proper home life.

Second,—Girls' meetings, to encourage the development of pure womanhood.

Third,—Voluntary missionaries to give from house to house, needed instruction along the lines presented.

Fourth,—Day nurseries for the care of children whose mothers are compelled to be out at work for the day. For such services a fee of five cents would preserve their independence.

Fifth,—Kitchen garden, sewing, and cooking classes.

Sixth,—Reading circles.

Seventh,—The cultivation of flowers, the adornment of the house, and the maintenance of a cheerful and sympathetic spirit, as a means of retaining the child's affection within the home.

Eighth,—The discouragement on soliciting subscriptions for church and society purposes by means of punch cards, jugs, etc.

It encourages boldness, familiarity, and deception.

Ninth,—That ladies of the conference give their names to this committee as voluntary missionaries to put in operation in their immediate neighborhoods the above mentioned suggestion.

The Woman's Conference opened on Thursday morning with a paper by Miss Lucy Laney, whose simplicity of manner, and evident common sense, won for her many friends. The discussion that followed was earnest and spirited,—one of the very best of the conference.




If the educated colored woman has a burden—and we believe she has—what is that burden? How can it be lightened. how may it be lifted? What it is can be readily seen perhaps better than told, for it constantly annoys to irritation; it bulges out as did the load of Bunyan's Christian—ignorance—with its inseparable companions, shame and crime and prejudice.

That our position may be more readily understood, let us refer to the past; and it will suffice for our purpose to begin with


our coming to America in 1620, since prior to that time, we claim only heathenism. During the days of training in our first mission school—slavery—that which is the foundation of right training and good government, the basic rock of all true culture—the home, with its fire-side training, mother's moulding, woman's care, was not only neglected but utterly disregarded. There was no time in the institution for such teaching. We know that there were, even in the first days of that school, isolated cases of men and women of high moral character and great intellectual worth, as Phillis Wheatley, Sojourner Truth and John Chavers, whose work and lives should have taught, or at least suggested to their instructors, the capabilities and possibilities of their dusky slave pupils. The progress and the struggles of those for noble things should have led their instructors to see how the souls and minds of this people then yearned for light—the real life. But alas! these dull teachers, like many modern pedagogues and school-keepers, failed to know their pupils—to find out their real needs, and hence had no cause to study methods of better and best development of the boys and girls under their care. What other result could come from such training or want of training than a conditioned race such as we now have?

For two hundred and fifty years they married, or were given in marriage. Oft times marriage ceremonies were performed for them by the learned minister of the master's church; more often there was simply a consorting by the master's consent, but it was always understood that these unions for cause, or without cause, might be more easily broken, than a divorce can be obtained in Indiana or Dakota. Without going so long a distance as from New York to Connecticut, the separated could take other companions for life, for a long or short time; for during those two hundred and fifty years there was not a single marriage legalized in a single southern state, where dwelt the mass of this people. There was something of the philosopher in the plantation preacher, who, at the close of the marriage ceremony, had the dusky couple join their right hands, and then called upon the assembled congregation to sing, as he lined it out, "Plunged in a gulf of dark despair," for well he knew the sequel of many such unions. If it so happened that a husband and wife were parted by those who owned them, such owners often consoled those thus parted with the fact that he could get another wife; she, another husband. Such was the sanctity of the marriage vow that was taught and held for over two hundred and fifty years.


Habit is indeed second nature. This is the race inheritance. I thank God not of all, for we know, each of us, of instances, of holding most sacred the plighted love and keeping faithfully and sacredly the marriage vows. We know of pure homes and growing old together. Blessed heritage! If we only had the gold there might be many "Golden Weddings." Despair not; the crushing burden of immorality which has its root in the disregard of the marriage vow, can be lightened. It must be, and the educated colored woman can and will do her part in lifting this burden.

In the old institution there was no attention given to homes and to home-making. Homes were only places in which to sleep, father had neither responsibility nor authority; mother, neither cares nor duties. She wielded no gentle sway nor influence. The character of their children was a matter of no concern to them; surroundings were not considered. It is true, house cleaning was sometimes enforced as a protection to property, but this was done at stated times and when ordered. There is no greater enemy of the race than these untidy and filthy homes; they bring not only physical disease and death, but they are very incubators of sin; they bring intellectual and moral death. The burden of giving knowledge and bringing about the practice of the laws of hygiene among a people ignorant of the laws of nature and common decency, is not a slight one. But this, too, the intelligent women can and must help to carry.

The large number of young men in the state prison is by no means the least of the heavy burdens. It is true that many of these are unjustly sentenced; that longer terms of imprisonment are given Negros than white persons for the same offences; it is true that white criminals by the help of attorneys, money, and influence, oftener escape the prison, thus keeping small the number of prisoners recorded, for figures never lie.

It is true that many are tried and imprisoned for trivial causes, such as the following, clipped from the Tribune, of Elberyon, Ga.: "Seven or eight Negroes were arrested and tried for stealing two fish-hooks last week. When the time of our courts is wasted in such a manner as this, it is high time to stop and consider whither we are driving. Such picannyish cases reflect on the intelligence of a community. It is fair to say the courts are not to blame in this matter." Commenting on this The South Daily says: "We are glad to note that the sentiment of the paper is against the Injustice. Nevertheless these statistics will form the basis of some lecturer's discourse." This fact remains, that many of our youth

are in prison, that large numbers of our young men are serving out long terms of imprisonment, and this is a very sore burden. Five years ago while attending a Teacher's Institute at Thomasville, Ga., I saw working on the streets in the chain gang, with rude men and ruder women, with ignorant, wicked, almost naked men, criminals, guilty of all the sins named in the Decalogue, a large number of boys from ten to fifteen years of age, and two young girls between the ages of twelve and sixteen. It is not necessary that prison statistics be quoted, for we know too well the story, and we feel most sensibly this burden, the weight of which will sink us unless it is at once made lighter and finally lifted.

Last, but not least, is the burden of prejudice, heavier in that it is imposed by the strong, those from whom help, not hindrance, should come. They are making the already heavy burden of their victims heavier to bear, and yet they are commanded by One who is even the Master of all: "Bear ye one another's burdens, and thus fulfill the law." This is met with and must be borne everywhere. In the South, in public conveyances, and at all points of race contact; in the North, in hotels, at the baptismal pool, in cemeteries; everywhere, in some shape or form, it is to be borne. No one suffers under the weight of this burden as the educated Negro woman does; and she must help to lift it.

Ignorance and immorality, if they are not the prime causes, have certainly intensified prejudice. The forces to lighten and finally to lift this and all of these burdens are true culture and character, linked with that most substantial coupler, cash. We said in the beginning that the past can serve no further purpose than to give us our present bearings. It is a condition that confronts us. With this we must deal, it is this we must change. The physician of today inquires into the history of his patient, but he has to do especially with diagnosis and cure. We know the history; we think a correct diagnosis has often been made—let us attempt a cure. We would prescribe: homes—better homes, clean homes, pure homes; schools—better schools; more culture; more thrift; and work in large doses; put the patient at once on this treatment and continue through life. Can woman do this work? She can; and she must do her part, and her part is by no means small.

Nothing in the present century is more noticeable than the tendency of women to enter every hopeful field of wage-earning and philanthropy, and attempt to reach a place in every


intellectual arena. Women are by nature fitted for teaching very young children; their maternal instinct makes them patient and sympathetic with their charges. Negro women of culture, as kindergartners and primary teachers have a rare opportunity to lend a hand to the lifting of these burdens, for here they may instill lessons of cleanliness, truthfulness, loving kindness, love for nature, and love for Nature's God. Here they may save years of time in the education of the child; and may save many lives from shame and crime by applying the law of prevention. In the kindergarten and primary school is the salvation of the race.

For children of both sexes from six to fifteen years of age, women are more successful as teachers than men. This fact is proven by their employment. Two-thirds of the teachers in the public schools of the Untied States are women. It is the glory of the United States that good order and peace are maintained not by a large, standing army of well trained soldiers, but the sentiment of her citizens, sentiments implanted and nourished by her well trained army of four hundred thousand school teachers, two-thirds of whom are women.

The educated Negro woman, the woman of character and culture, is needed in the schoolroom not only in the kindergarten, and in the primary and the secondary school; but she is needed in high school, the academy, and the college. Only those of character and culture can do successful lifting, for she who would mould character must herself possess it. Not alone in the schoolroom can the intelligent woman lend a lifting hand, but as a public lecturer she may give advice, helpful suggestions, and start its people on the upward way. To be convinced of the good that can be done for humanity by this means one need only recall the names of Lucy Stone, Mary Livermore, Frances Harper, Frances Willard and Julia Ward Howe. The refined and noble Negro woman may lift much with this lever. Women may also be most helpful as teachers of sewing schools and cooking classes, not simply in the public schools and private institutions, but in classes formed in neighborhoods that sorely need this knowledge. Through these classes girls who are not in school may be reached; and through them something may be done to better their homes, and inculcate habits of neatness and thrift. To bring the influence of the schools to bear upon these homes is the most needful thing of the hour. Often teachers who have labored most arduously, conscientiously, and intelligently


have become discouraged on seeing that society had not been benefited, but sometimes positively injured by the conduct of their pupils.

The work of the schoolroom has been completely neutralized by the training of the home. Then we must have better homes, and better homes mean better mothers, better fathers, better born children. Emerson says, "To the well-born child all the virtues are natural, not painfully acquired."

But "The temporal life which is not allowed to open into the eternal life becomes corrupt and feeble even in its temporalness." As a teacher in the Sabbath school, as a leader in young people's meetings and missionary societies, in women's societies and Bible classes our cultured women are needed to do a great and blessed work. Here they may cause many budding lives to open into eternal life. Forebel urged teachers and parents to see to the blending of the temporal and divine life when he said, "God created man In his own image; therefore man should create and bring forth like God." The young people are ready and anxiously await intelligent leadership in Christian work. The less fortunate women already assembled in churches, are ready for work. Work they do and work they will; that it may be effective work, they need the help and leadership of their more favored sisters.

A few weeks ago this country was startled by the following telegram of southern women of culture sent to Ex-Governor Northen of Georgia, just before he made his Boston speech: "You are authorized to say in your address tonight that the women of Georgia, realizing the great importance to both races of early moral training of the Negro race, stand ready to undertake this work when means are supplied." But more startled was the world the next day, after cultured Boston had supplied a part of the means, $20,000, to read the glaring head lines of the southern press, "Who Will Teach the Black Babies?" because some of the cultured women who had signed the telegram and declared when interviewed, that Negro women fitted for the work could not be found, and no self-respecting southern white woman would teach a colored kindergarten. Yet already in Atlanta, Georgia, and in Athens, Georgia, southern women are at work among Negroes. There is plenty of work for all who have the proper conception of the teacher's office who know that all men are brothers, God being their common father. But the educated Negro women must teach the "Black Babies;": she must come forward and inspire our men and boys to make a successful onslaught upon sin, shame, and crime.


The burden of the educated colored woman is not diminished by the terrible crimes and outrages that we daily hear of, but by these very outrages and lawlessness her burdens are greatly increased.

Somewhere I read a story, that in one of those western cities built in a day, the half-dozen men of the town labored to pull a heavy piece of timber to the top of a building. They pushed and pulled hard to no purpose, when one of the men on the top shouted to those below: "Call the women." They called the women; the women came; they pushed; soon the timber was seen to move, and ere long it was in the desired place. Today not only the men on top call, but a needy race,—the whole world, calls loudly to the cultured Negro women to come to the rescue. Do they hear? Are they coming? Will they push?


The discussion following Miss Laney's paper brought to light the fact that educated colored women are aware of their responsibilities, and that they have already accomplished much toward making lighter the burdens that weigh down the race. There was no lack of frankness in the relation of incidents showing the great need of help for the ignorant and degraded classes; nor was there any lack of willingness to undertake whatever the conference might decide upon as the best thing to be done. The session was especially marked by harmony and unanimity of feeling, no disposition being shown by anyone to shirk responsibility or to belittle the work of her neighbors.


It was a matter of congratulation to all present that the Negro reformatory, for which a contribution was taken at the last conference, has been put on its feet by generous gift of Mr. C. P. Huntington, and there were many expressions of gratitude. Mrs. Bowser made an appeal to the conference to help bear the burden of supporting this reformatory. She said that, although she had no children of her own, she felt the responsibility of the neglected little ones who are to be seen in crowds about the log cabins, or in the streets of cities. "Let us be interested in ourselves," said the speaker, "these children are on the downward road; they will help to swell the criminal classes. We cannot afford to let them go to ruin. As fast as the bad rise, we rise


with them; and so long as they are degraded we are degraded. If the parents cannot or will not bring up their children so that they can become good citizens, then it is clearly the duty of someone else to look after them. In the Virginia penitentiary there are 1259 colored persons to 287 whites; not one of the female prisoners is white, but of the whole number, 66 are colored women and girls. This shows that our homes are not what they should be; we must make home attractive to the young people, and keep them out of the streets. For those who have already joined the criminal classes, a place is provided where they can be reclaimed. In Hanover County stand ready and waiting 1382 acres of land, and large buildings with the proper equipment for teaching agriculture and the trades; let us see to it that this preparation is not in vain, that the children are there who ought to be there, and that the work is carried to a successful issue. Do not leave the matter to be attended to by white people alone. It is for us to take the burden upon our shoulders and push the good work forward."

Mrs. Bowser was followed by Mrs. Smythe, wife of Hon. John Smythe, who was the first to rouse the public to interest in the reformatory. Mrs. Smythe spoke of the work of the Colored Woman's League in Washington. By the efforts of this league, six kindergartens have been opened in connection with the colored public schools of that city while at the same time a normal training school for kindergartners has been maintained. The league has also lately taken up the wok of establishing day nurseries for neglected children.


Apropos of a remark made by a member of the conference to the effect that the $12,000 for the reformatory was "of course" the gift of a white man, Mrs. Attwell rose and said, "As long as forty years ago, Negroes in Philadelphia purchased a large tract of land for burial purposes on the cooperative plan. Also the Home for Aged and Infirm Colored Persons in the same city, of which I am superintendent, was founded thirty-five years ago by Stephen and Harriet Smith, who gave in all $100,000 for land and buildings. Other gifts make the aggregate amount given by colored persons over $200,000. I do not in any way mean to make little of the larger sums and the devoted labors given by our white friends to this Home; but I wish to emphasize the fact that even in ante-bellum times Negroes were not only able to


give, but that they did give freely for the protection and elevation of their own race."


As a sample of the overcrowding in cities, an instance was cited of a room which was found in an alley in a large city, containing fourteen people, no three of whom were related. Other examples were given of similar cases in one-room cabins and in other cities. In the course of the discussion it was said that bad sanitation was due to ignorance,—ignorance of the laws of health and of the laws of community. Dr. Cole said she had repeatedly found families complaining of bad conditions, who were entirely ignorant of their rights and privileges under the law. Women are needed who have sufficient missionary spirit to enable them to go among the people in the slums, and tell them of their legal rights in this matter, to talk to them of the need of ventilation, and to induce each family to live by itself, instead of herding with others and encouraging immorality. Mothers' meetings were suggested as a helpful means of reaching the people; they have already done great work.


Mrs. Orra Langhorne, a southern white woman, well-known to the readers of the SOUTHERN WORKMAN, spoke to the conference of the evils of extravagance and imprudence in dress, admonishing teachers and ministers' wives to be careful about their influence in these matters. Thick-soled shoes and simple dresses, and hats were strongly recommended as necessary factors in the improvement of the race. Mrs. Langhorne also spoke of the good work along many lines being done by colored women in Lynchburg and other southern cities and of the help and interest given to this work by white women.

Mrs. Titus reported on the efforts made in Norfolk and vicinity by the Peoples' and Woman's Conferences. Besides sewing and cooking classes, mothers' meetings, and boys' and girls' clubs, now becoming common in the South, Mrs. Titus spoke of two special evils which there had been an attempt to reach. The ticket selling and punching of cards by young girls and children has led, in many cases, to disastrous consequences, and every effort is being made to discourage the practice. The other evil, so destructive to personal purity, is the one referred to in the following resolutions:


"Because of the fact that many young women and girls who leave their homes in the South for the North are decoyed off by irresponsible agents, the Woman's Conference of Norfolk has passed the following resolutions :

Whereas:- It has come to our knowledge that girls and young women from country and city homes in the South are induced to go north to places of employment, and since it is evident that many of them are led into vile places by their helpless condition after their arrival,

1. Be it resolved: That we do all in our power to discourage this custom among our girls of leaving good homes in the South for uncertain ones in the North.

2. That we invoke the aid of the pastors of northern churches in behalf of those girls who are already in these cities or may hereafter go.

3. That we place circulars containing practical suggestions for these girls in the hands of the stewardesses of the boats which leave our cities to be given to young women travellers."


The evening sessions were held in Virginia Hall Chapel which was filled on both occasions with enthusiastic audiences. On the first evening the conference listened to two papers, one by Hon. Archibald H. Grimke of Boston, and the other by Rev. Dr. Spiller of Hampton. Mr. Grimke represented his country in San Domingo during Cleveland's last administration. He is the author of a life of William Lloyd Garrison, has written critically on Sumner and Phillips, and is a lecturer and writer of marked ability.

The gentleman represents the best type of an intellectual and cultivated man, and is an excellent exponent of the capacity of his race. We regret that our space will permit us to publish only a portion of his paper which was a scholarly and finished production.



Mr. Grimke's paper treated with historical accuracy of the economic friction between the North and South, which grew out of the presence under one general government of two contrary and mutually invasive social ideas and systems of labor. He


followed the development of this industrial struggle under the constitution through its several phases; - the unexpected revival of slavery; its territorial expansion; the rise of a political power devoted to its protection; and over against these the growth of American manufactures, high tariffs, and a political power devoted to their protection. He pointed out how the counter-expansion of these two sets of economic forces and interests produced increasing friction between the sections: and how this industrial strife culminated finally in the rebellion on the part of the weaker of the two rivals in order to escape from a Union in which a check had been placed by northern industrialism upon the further expansion of the southern social idea or labor, and continued as follows:

"The general welfare of the reunited nation demanded not only political unification of the states under one supreme government, but their social unification as well on a common industrial basis of free labor. The co-existence under the old constitution of two contrary systems of labor, had given rise to seventy years of rivalry and strife between the sections, and had plunged them finally into one of the fiercest and most destructive wars of modern times. It was clearly recognized at the close of that war that the foundation of the restored Union should be made to rest directly on the enduring bedrock of a uniform system of free labor for both sections, not as formerly on the shifting sands of two conflicting social orders. For as long as our ancient duality of labor systems shall continue to exist, there will necessarily continue to exist also duality of ideas, interests and institutions. I do not mean mere variety in these regards which operate beneficially but profound and abiding social and political differences, engendering profound and abiding social and political antagonisms, naturally and inevitably affecting sometimes more, sometimes less, national stability and security, and leaving every where in the sub-conscious life of the republic a sense of vague uneasiness, rising periodically to the keenest anxiety, like the ever present dread felt by a city subject to seismic disturbances. For what has once happened, the causes continuing, may happen again.

The southern soil was at the moment roughly broken up by the hot ploughshare of the civil war. It might have been better prepared for the reception of the good seed by the slower process of social evolution. But the guiding spirits of that era had no choice. The tide of an immense historic opportunity had arisen. It was at its flood. Then was the accepted hour; then or never it appeared to them, and so they scattered broadcast seed ideas of the equality of all men before the law, their inalien-


able right of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and the derivation of the powers of all just governments from the consent of the governed. The revolutionary ideas fell along side of the uptorn but living roots of other hostile and political principles, and the ramified and deep-growing prejudices of an old social order, and had forthwith to engage in a life and death struggle against tremendous odds, for existence. Many there are who see in the history of the reconstruction period nothing except the asserted incapacity of the Negro for self government, carpet bag rule, and its attendant corruption. But bad as those governments were, they were nevertheless, the actual vehicles which conveyed the seeds of our industrial democracy and of a new social and political order into the South. From that period dates the beginning of an absolutely new epoch for that section. The forces set free then in the old slave states have been gradually unfolding themselves amid giant difficulties ever since. They are, I believe, in the South to stay, and are destined ultimately to conquer every square inch of its mind and matter, and so to produce the perfect unification of the republic by bring about the perfect unification of its immense, heterogeneous population, regardless of race, color, or previous condition of servitude, on the broad basis of industrial and political equality and fair play.

The contest of the old industrial rivals has in consequence of this influx of democratic ideas in the South, and the resultant modification of environment there, taken on fresh and deplorable complications. The struggle between the old and the new which is in progress throughout that section, is no longer a simple conflict between the two sets of industrial principles of the Union along section lines, as formerly, but along race lines as well. The self-evident truths of the Declaration of Independence invading the old slave states, have divided the house against itself. Their ally, popular application, is creating everywhere moral unrest and discontent with present injustices, and a growing desire on the part of the Negro to have what is denied him, but which others enjoy, namely, free and equal opportunities in the rivalry of life. The labors of the fathers for a more perfect union will have been in vain, unless the Negro win in this irrepressible conflict between the two industrial systems of the country. It is greatly to be lamented that a question of color and difference of race has so completely disabled the nation and the South from seeing things relating to this momentous subject clearly, and seeing them straight. Those who


see in this problem only a conflict of races in the South, see but a little was into its depths. For underlying this conflict of races is a conflict of opposing ideas and interests, which have for a century vexed the peace of the nation. The existence of a system of labor in the South distinct from that of the North, separated the two halves of the Union industrially, as far as the East is from the West, and made of them in truth two hostile nations, although united under one general government. This difference has been the cause of all the division and strife between the sections and it will continue to operate as such until completely abolished.

The clinging of the South, under the circumstances, to its old social ideas and system, or to such fragments of them as now remain, and its persistent attempts to put these broken parts together, and to preserve thereby what so disastrously distinguishes it from the rest of the country, is an economic error of the first magnitude, an error which injuriously affects its own industrial property and greatness by retarding its material development and by infecting at the same time with increasing unrest and discontent, its faithful and peaceful black labor. The fight which the South is making along this line is a fight not half so much against the Negro, as against its own highest good. For it has in this matter opposed itself ignorantly to the great laws which control the economic world, to the great laws which are the soul of modern industrialism, laws which govern production, exchange, consumption, competition, supply and demand, which determine everywhere, between rival parts of the same country, and between rival nations as well, that commercial struggles, industrial rivalries, shall always terminate in the survival of the fittest. If in such a battle the South sows seeds of economic weakness, when it ought to sow seeds of economic strength, it will go down before its rivals whether those rivals be in this country, or in any other country or part of the world. In such a struggle, if it would win, it will need to avail itself of all the means which God and nature has placed at its disposition.

One of the most important of these means, perhaps the most important single factor in the development and prosperity of the South, is its negro labor. It is more to it, if viewed aright, than all its gold, iron, and coal mines put together. If properly treated and trained, it will means fabulous wealth and greatness to that section. Lest you say that I exaggerate, I will quote the estimate put upon this labor by the Washington Post, which will hardly be accused of enthusiasm touching any matter relating to the Negro, I think. Here it is:


"We hold as between the ignorant of the two races, the Negroes are preferable. The are conservative, they are good citizens, they take no stock in social schisms and vagaries; they do not consort with anarchists; they cannot be made the tools and agents of incendiaries; they constitute the solid, worthy, estimable yeomanry of the South. Their influence in government would be infinitely more wholesome than the influence of the white sansculottes, the riff-raff, the idler, the rowdies, and the outlaws. As between the Negro, no matter now illiterate he may be, and the poor white, the property holders of the South, prefer the former."

The South cannot, economically, eat its cake and have it too. It cannot adopt a policy and code of laws to degrade its labor, to hedge it about with unequal restrictions and proscriptive legislation, and raise it at the same time to the highest state of productive efficiency. But it must as an economic necessity raise this labor to the highest point of efficiency or suffer inevitable industrial feebleness and inferiority. What are the things which have made free labor at the North the most productive labor in the world, and of untold value to that section? That but its intelligence, skill, self-reliance, and power of initiative? And how have these qualities been put into it? I answer unhesitatingly, by those twin systems of universal education and universal suffrage. One system trains the children, the other the adult population. The same wise diffusion of knowledge, and large and equal freedom and participation in affairs of government which have done so much for northern labor, will not, be assured, do less for southern labor.

For weal or woe, the Negro is in the South to stay. He will never leave it voluntarily, and forcible deportation of him is impracticable. And for economic reasons, vital to that section, he must not be oppressed or repressed. All attempts to push and tie him down to the dead level of an inferior caste, to restrict his activities arbitrarily and permanently to hewing wood and drawing water for the white race, without regard to his possibilities for higher things is in this age a strenuous industrial competition and struggle; an economic blunder, pure and simple, to say nothing of the immorality of such action. Like water, let the Negro find his natural level, if the South would get the best and most out of him. If nature has designed him to serve the white race forever, never fear. He will not be able to elude nature; he will not escape his destiny. But he must be allowed to act freely. Nature needs not our aide here. Depend upon it, she will make


no mistake. Her inexorable laws provide for the survival of the fittest only. Let the Negro freely find himself, whether in doing so he falls or rises in the scale of life.

With his labor the Negro is in the market of the world. If, all things considered, he have the best article for the price offered, he will sell, otherwise not. But it is of immense value and moment to the South, as well as to himself, that he shall succeed in disposing of his labor. It means much to him morally and economically, but it means much more to the South in both respects. If his labor, in all departments of industry in which it may be employed, be raised by education of head and hand, by the largest freedom and equality of opportunities, to the highest efficiency of which it is capable, who more than the South will reap its resultant benefits? So will not the whole country in the diffused well being and productivity of its laboring classes, and at the same time in the final removal of the ancient cause of difference and discord between its two parts? But if the Negro fail by reason of inherent unfitness to survive in such a struggle, his failure will be followed by decline in cumbers and ultimate extinction, which will involve no violent dislocation of the labor of the republic, but a displacement so gradual that while one race is vanishing another will be silently crowding into the spaces thus vacated.

Dr. Spiller is a practical man of affairs as well as a minister of the gospel. As president of the Peoples' Building and Loan Association he has considerable influence over his people, and in all practical ways is a power for good in the community in which he lives. He has also established an academy in Hampton, and constantly throws his influence on the side of education and better living. His paper, extracts from which we print below, did not adequately represent Dr. Spiller's power in his own pulpit, nor give a proper conception of his practical helpfulness.



When we consider the ways and means by which man is influenced for his development along all lines, none is so patent as that of the pulpit. It would be impossible for any congregation to listen to a pastor for any number of years without being trained along certain lines.


God's ministers are a separate class of men, distinguished by a special, divine call to preach the word of God. They are partakers of the heavenly calling by which men are brought out of the world and made the servants of Christ. The mission of the pulpit is to publish the gospel in the world. It is to tell men plainly what is the new message of God and what are the terms of the gospel so that they may not misapprehend Him. Besides this instruction in what the vital truth of Christianity is for the apprehension of faith, the pulpit is to furnish the world with all other needed instruction in religious things, and in the reasons and proofs of divine truths. The work of the pulpit is necessarily intellectual. It deals with men's minds and rational nature. It must adapt the divine word to the human mind. True preaching is addressed first to the intellect, for men must know the truth before they can be expected to love it or obey it. The work of the pulpit is educative in its character, and the preacher must, therefore, be prepared to teach by being properly educated himself.

I should like to say a few words in regard to the special responsibilities of the Negro pulpit. In the first place we are a peculiar people, not because of our color, but by force of circumstances. It has been a little more than thirty years since we began to live under these conditions. When our race was emancipated there could not be found in all the Southland one educated Negro preacher, and yet, such as they were, we were taught to respect and love them, and look to them for instruction upon everything touching our present and future condition. This spirit seems to have been transmitted to our children, and even after the lapse of thirty years, which have brought upon the stage of activity professional men and leaders of the highest type, the minds of the masses are still turned toward the pulpit for instruction.

The white minister has not nearly so much to do with the secular affairs of his congregation as the Negro pastor has. In every convention of assembly of Negroes in which efforts are put forth touching their improvement, morally, socially, mentally or materially, the influence of the preacher is referred to and sought. No great enterprise among our people can succeed without the cooperation of the pulpit. The pastor must be financier and legal adviser, as well as spiritual leader. For the present and for many years to come, the head of a Negro church must expect to help his people develop along all lines which tend to the betterment of their condition.


But what is the Negro pulpit doing towards fullfiling the expectations of the great number of persons who are confiding in its integrity and its ability to lead them? Is it keeping them gazing steadily into the heavens while other races are accumulating wealth, making inventions, tilling the soil, building school houses, education their children, and making the world better by their having lived in it? The pulpit should be the exponent of the great doctrines of economy and industry. Are we teaching the people as we should how to develop the material resources of their various communities? Are we showing them how to get the most out of the soil? Are we helping them to buy land and to build houses? In short, are we training them in economy and in the other virtues of a thrifty people? We ought to encourage the young men to work, and show them by example that we believe and practice what we preach.

Since our people look to us for instruction upon all subjects, let us be prepared to impart it whenever it is needed. The pulpit should look after the the homes and the families. Of all the work committed to the hands of our ministers there is nothing more important than this:—The looking after the homes and making them pure and sweet. We are God's stewards and must account for our stewardship. The pulpit is accountable for its talents, time, and influence,—for all the good it possesses, the ability to do, in the world and in the church.

The three papers that follow were presented at the Thursday evening session held in Virginia Hall Chapel.



The virgin fertility of our southern soils and the vast amount of cheap and unskilled labor that has been put upon them, have been a curse rather than a blessing to agriculture; this exhaustive system of cultivation, the destruction of forests, the rapid and almost constant decomposition of organic matter, and the great number of noxious insects and fungi that appear every year, make our agricultural problem on requiring more brains than that of the North, East or West. Other occupations are holding out inducements to young men and women ready to


grapple with life's responsibilities; and the average southern farm has little more to offer than about thirty-seven percent of a cotton crop selling at four and a half cents a pound and costing five or six to produce, together with the proverbial mule, primitive implements, and frequently a vast territory of barren and furrowed hillsides and wasted valleys. With this prospect staring them in the face, is it any wonder that the youth of our land seek some occupation other than that of farming?

Yet we have a perfect foundation for an ideal country; we have natural advantages of which we may feel justly proud. Our soils are by nature rich and responsive, and our climate is so varied that the most fastidious may be suited. With a little effort we can have green forage for our stock the entire year, and we can raise with ease all the vegetables of the temperate, and many of those of the tropic regions. In truth the colder sections of the country should depend even more largely than they do upon our farms for their supply of early vegetables and fruits. This ideal will be realized in proportion to the rapidity with which we convert our unskilled and non-productive labor into that which is skilled and productive. I see no logical reasons why, with proper education and proper economy, we cannot in time make more butter and raise more valuable stock. In our by-products of the cotton seed,and in our wealth of leguminous plants we have the cheapest and best food in the world for the production of the best quality of butter and cheese; as to beef, pork and mutton we could enter into the keenest and sharpest competition with other states.

There are certain things I should like to suggest. We should greatly increase, both in quantity and in quality, all of our farm animals; we should sacrifice the razor back hog, the long horned steer, and the scrub cow, which last animal requires the same food and care as a thoroughbred cow, and in return gives two or three quarts of two percent milk per day. We should also sacrifice a goodly number of the worthless puppies that are in evidence in two many dooryards, and put two or three sheep in their places.

It is pleasant to note that in many sections of our country agriculture in the primary grades is part of the compulsory curriculum. Nature study leaflets are being issued, and carefully planned courses of study are rapidly gaining place in many of our best colleges and academies, familiarizing the people with the commonest things about them, of which fully two-thirds are surprisingly ignorant. They know nothing about the mutual


relationship of the animal, mineral, and vegetable kingdoms, and how utterly impossible it is for one to exist in a highly organized state without the other. Our young people must be encouraged to take advantage of these opportunities. Send your boy to the best agriculture school within your reach, and let him take as much of the two, four or six years' course as he can. Likewise, let your daughter go and learn the technique of poultry raising, dairying, and fruit growing, and landscape gardening. Be a frequent visitor to your nearest experiment station; ask many questions, and note carefully every successful experiment; then go home and try to put the same in practice on your own farm. Read their bulletins, and take one or two agriculture papers; and a stream of prosperity will flow in upon you by reason of the application of this knowledge,that will be to you a very agreeable surprise. In conclusion I would say, attend with your families every farmers meeting or conference,for they are powerful educational factors, and are the keys to the golden doors of your success.


At the conclusion of Prof. Carver's paper, Mr. Troyer of the Calhoun School rose, and said in part: "There are more teachers here than farmers and the school teacher must become a missionary of agriculture. The land in the south is bare, like the famous cupboard of Mother Hubbard. It must be supplied with food so that when plants are put into it they can find sufficient nourishment. In order to furnish this necessary food the farmer should be advised to plough under leaves of trees, cornstalks, and the like, instead of burning them. The cotton and corn plants ase hungry, like everything else that lives. In common with other plants, they reqnire nitrogen, and this can be most easily and cheaply obtained from leguminous plants, such as cow peas and clover. These draw nitrogen directly from the air and when they are ploughed under, they give it to the soil, which, in turn, feeds it to other plants.

"In the second place I want to say something about pigs. It is the farmer's business to make good pork; if his pork does not command the highest price in the market, he should find out the reason why and apply the remedy. A pig twelve months old ought to weigh two or three hundred pounds; and if he does


not, it is because he has not been properly fed. It will pay the farmer in the end to provide abundant food for his stock.

"it is also important that the soil should be ploughed deep, from six to ten inches, and that the plough should be kept free from rust. The farmer cannot expect abundant harvest if he simply runs over the top of the ground with a dull, rusty plough. Teachers can help the farmers by telling them these things."

It was the general opinion of the conference that it would be still better if the men teachers, at least, would become practical farmers themselves, so that their neighbors might learn by imitation. It was suggested that a model farm in each neighborhood would be the best sort of object lesson. A few words were added by Dr. Frissell, which emphasized the importance of agricultural training. He said that no occupation was more promising than agriculture for the young of the South; and he hoped that many would avail themselves of the opportunities for instruction afforded at Hampton. The demand for thoroughly trained agriculturalists is at present much greater than the supply.



Vice-President of the New York Association of Sewing Schools

My purpose this evening is to present to you a few points tending to show how sewing may become a factor in the development of the child's mind.


The subject is not a new one in the schools. It was introduced many years ago as it was felt that girls needed to know how to sew, and that they often failed to learn at home. This was a purely utilitarian standpoint. The skilled needlewoman was employed as teacher, and her object was to make the children clever needlewomen. Material results were emphasized and little or no thought given to the training of the brain through the hand.


Educational thinkers, however, began to complain that sewing from this utilitarian standpoint was not a subject for the


school curriculum any more than other trades. It was pushing aside more important studies. Still more serious was another accusation that the work was at times positively injurious to little children from its demand for fine work and over-neat adjustment at an age when neither eye nor brain were in condition for them.

While thoughtful minds were engaged in balancing the value of and objection to sewing in schools, an important educational movement was gaining force and demanding attention. The movement was to change the attitude toward sewing and show that it might be an educational medium.


The impression had been increasing that education had not accomplished all that had been promised for it. It developed reflective powers but often left the student inefficient when he entered the world of workers. Gradually the idea gained strength that feeding the mind without giving it an opportunity to digest, assimilate, and utilize what it had received clogged the powers. Education had consisted too much in pouring in information with the hope that these facts might sometime be utilized. It lacked the equally important provision of active utilization of knowledge. It had failed of attaining its full object. The solution came from many directions that the doing side of life needs training as well as the thinking side. This was the important factor that had almost been left out of education.


The brain has motor as well as sensory cells. A complete education requires the culture of the whole brain—the motor as a well as the sensory. Mental power comes through doing as well as thinking. The study of important factors in race development brought ethnologists to a like conclusion,—that is, the positive use of hand labor as a means of developing the brain. Civilized nations have obtained their culture through the work of the hand assisting the development of the brain. Ethical science tells the same story. Sermons, maxims, etc., are only of avail as they lead to the active doing of good. Taking thought of itself will not add one cubit to our stature. A strong, active will is absolutely essential to the uplifting of an individual. It is the important factor in success in life. It is trained through


activity and in no other way. If the will is to receive its right training in school life some form of activity must be provided. The teacher's will, however, controlling the child as he works, will not accomplish the result. It must be the child's own will in the work.


It was thoughts such as these which made it evident to those studying educational problems that the schools must provide for actual doing. Every child in every school should have the opportunity to use his hand, his will, and his mind together. Manual training came thus into the curriculum, and sewing is one phase of it.


This branch of manual training has great possibilities in the schools. It comes or should come close to the interests of childhood. As yet most of the schools have not seen all it may include. Watch a little child learning a new stitch which will help him construct an interesting article. The whole child is in it as the stubborn little fingers are put in place and the will power brought into play. His whole body shows his lively interest and he overcomes difficulty after difficulty in his road to success. Give this same child a set of models to make which have been arranged by the teacher, apart from the interest of childhood, and he will become fatigued and instead of utilizing his own will, the teacher will have to step in and by urging, perhaps even scolding, keep him at his tiresome task.


In early years the child should not be allowed to do fine sewing. Basketry, weaving, netting and coarse sewing were all steps in culture taken by primitive people and can well be utilized for the schools. The articles should be simple in construction and should, if possible, be completed in one short lesson. They may deal with home, play, or school. Boys can be interested as well as girls, and flags, sails, tents, fishnets, etc., come close to their hearts. The teacher must ever consider the work a little child should do and not require it to be too difficult or too accurate. The result may not yield a fine exhibit for the end of the year; probably it will be quite the reverse from the stand-


point of an outside observer. The beauty of the exhibit will be the child's own will, his very self, imprinted on every object produced by his hand. One of the most beautiful exhibits I ever saw was a loan collection. Each child during the school year had made his little articles with a purpose of usefulness in the world, which had immediately on completing the article, been carried into effect. At the end of the year the school had little to show, but borrowed back the articles the children could collect. It was a rare exhibit—no chance for selected articles. Each child was represented by the article he had made.


The steps of the work must be thought out by the children. Side by side with the training of the hand goes the training of the brain, not apart in another section of the being, not in another sphere, unconnected with the work in hand, but in the work itself. The mind must be thinking about the work the hand is doing. Another important thing is the training of the judgment. Let the child decide for himself whether the work is good or bad. At first a beautiful model may not result, but gradually the judgment will improve and the work with it. The ability to distinguish good hand work brings a desire to produce it.


It is necessary that the teacher should have a high ethical aim. On this depends the educational value of the work. If the aim is simply to complete good models, the building of character through the hand will be small. The powers developed depend on the contents of the aim. If the object is to make the children efficient for good in the world the teacher must study their characteristics and interests. She must see to it that the child's own will power is at work, and that he has thought out for himself every step in connection with the article in hand. He must have a purpose in the making which can be carried out, so that gradually he will come in touch with the world of workers and desire to land a hand. If the teacher works with this spirit she will find the children in her classes growing into active, thoughtful helpers.


The sewing must be part of all the school branches. The textiles on which the work is done may be an aid in this correlation. The way things are made is of intense interest to childre


and the teacher can easily make their history and manufacture a part of geography, history, mathematics, civics, etc. Through the right presentation of the subject should come sympathy with a respect for labor.

"Every task, however simple, sets the soul that does it free."




If I were requested to give a name in the present age—a name that would indicate the influence that predominates in our national life, I would choose the designation, "The Business Age." Almost all occupations, trades, and professions bow at the shrine of business; there are those who see in this a menace to our government and institutions, but this I will not attempt to discuss. Do we contemplate war with a foreign nation? No steps can be taken till the question is decided as to what effects such a war will have upon business; questions of morality, of the righteousness of such a war, of national dignity, are all subordinate to the settlement of that question. Having declared such a war, would we finance it? Then we must appeal to the magnates of Wall Street and other centres to float our bonds. Would we clothe the army we put into the field? A Wanamaker or an Ogden must be consulted; and in order to feed the army we are at the mercy of the Armours and Swifts of our country.

The necessaries of life, our rights, our pleasures, and almost our very existence are in the hands of the business men of to-day; we need only to look around us for a verification of this assertion and however unpleasant the fact may be, it is nevertheless true, that, that group or race of people who control any considerable part of the business(and thus incidentally the wealth) of our country are those who will come the nearest to being accorded the privileges and rights due to citizens under our government.

It is here, it seems to me, the Negro is weakest; and almost largely because he is not and never has been an appreciable factor in the business life of various communities in which he lives or in the business life of the country at large, that he pleads, implores, demands in vain that he be accorded many of the commonest rights accorded to other people without question.

The reasons for the Negro's failure to take a higher place in the business world are not far to seek. It has taken many centuries


for the Anglo-Saxon to attain to the heights of business perfection that he has reached; the Negro has had but a third of a century/ during our enslavement, while here and there a trusted servant was allowed to take the crops to market or, to a certain extend handle a small part of his master's funds, no opportunity was ever given for acquiring or exercising those principles which enable a man to successfully manage business enterprises. Because of our failures in business and because of our glaring lack of trained business men it is often asserted that the Negro does not possess those qualities which make merchants, bankers, and manager of financial organizations but the success of a Negro here and there in these lines proves the assertion to be altogether true. Rather may it be said that he has had no change to develop or to exercise those qualities. Excluded in the North as well as in the South from clerkships in the stores where successful merchants are trained, from positions in the counting rooms of railroads, insurance companies, and banks where are learned the details of the management of these institutions, and therefore dependent upon his own small affairs for training in these lines, is it any wonder that his steps along the paths of business are faltering and feeble, and that failure often overtakes him.

Though the past thirty years have been years of bitter experience, the dawn of a brighter day is upon us; whereas thirty four years ago we owned nothing, it is estimated that to day we pay taxes on three hundred millions of dollars worth of property; here and there we find a few of our number more successful than the rest, worth $10,000 to $300,000; in several cities we have established savings banks whose reputation and credit extend beyond their own locality; we are making beginnings in the life insurance business which give promise of expanding to creditable dimensions; in numerous localities we find successful merchants who have built up good trades in their respective lines; we are beginning to establish cooperative ventures in various parts of the South which are bringing the masses together and teaching them the valuable lessons of combining their small, weak force in order to create and maintain large, strong organizations.

I hope I may be pardoned if I dwell for a while upon what the people of our little town of Hampton and the adjoining county have done and are doing in a business way. The Negroes of this county, probably the smallest in the area in the state, enjoy the proud distinction of paying taxes on more property than do the Negroes of any other county in Virginia, except those where are located large cities like Richmond, Norfolk and Portsmouth. The


Negroes of this county number about 8,000 and they pay taxes on property assessed at $528,756.00. They own and support 12 groceries, 2 drygoods stores, 1 wood, coal and feed yard, 1 wheelwright and a blacksmith shop, 1 building and loan association 1 undertaking establishment, 10 barber shops, 10 bar rooms, 2 oyster and fish packing establishments, 4 hotels and restaurants. Six of the finest and most substantial brick stores in our town are owned by Negroes. They also support 1 real estate firm, 3 life insurance agents, 2 doctors, 3 lawyers, 5 churches (2 of them the finest in the county), 11 contractors, and lodge innumerable. Several of the boatmen own large, two-masted schooners and give employment to quite a number of men, while many own small boats. A number are landlords and at least half-a-dozen have incomes from rents alone amounting to $25 to $50 a month. The men and the establishments here enumerated furnish employment to over 200 people.

As interesting as it might be, it is impossible to take up the various business es in detail, but I do wish to describe several of them in which the people have combined and which have been more or less successful. The first of these is a small grocery established seven years ago with a capital of $150, divided into shares of $5 each, owned by thirteen young men. They transact business of about $2000 a year, own their store, are out of debt, have paid each member in dividends about $8 for every $5 paid in by him on account of their capital stock, and still each member's share of the property and business is worth double what it was at the beginning

Another company of young men, twelve in number, opened a small grocery store nine years ago each of them putting into the concern $10 with which to purchase a supply of goods and fixtures; and no one has been assessed for another cent since then. In this time they have actually paid to each member $40 for every $10 invested; they are free from debt, and still, were a division of the company's property made to-day, each member's shares would amount to nearly a hundred dollars. They have recently purchased a lot and built and moved into a new store, all of which they have paid for. Their property and stock are worth, at present a conservative estimate, about $1,200, built up from their original investment of $120. These are small enterprises but they illustrate the fact that some of our young men are beginning to learn the secret of true business success.

Three years ago a stock company organized some time before, launched out into coal wood, and feed business, because,


as some one put it, "Colored people must buy wood, they must buy coal, they must buy food stuffs, and they must pay for them. So why not sell these things to them ourselves and receive the benefits of the profits which now go to other people?" This company employs from five to ten men and sells about 1000 tons of coal and 1200 cords of wood each year in addition to large quantities of feed stuffs. The paid up capital of this company is now over $4,500, and they own property and stock amounting to over $10,000. The net earnings of the organization for the thee years have been more than $2000. The complaint often made that Negroes will not patronize each other does not apply to this company, for while a few white people are among their patrons, by far the largest part of their business is among the colored people.

The Bay Shore Hotel Company was organized two years ago and is now in the midst of its second season. The paid up capital of this company is about $4000. They own one of the finest pieces of property on Chesapeake Bay, about two miles from Hampton and about the same distance from Old Point Comfort. The electric cars run within a short distance of the place and their facilities for surf bathing are excellent. The manager of the place says that the people have appreciated and patronized it liberally from the start and, while their buildings are not yet very commodious, they hope to make such enlargements in the near future as will enable them to accommodate all who may knock at their door.

When we consider that the Negro is shut out from all places of this kind in the South, the reason for establishing this company, and the necessity of maintaining such a resort are apparent.

The oldest of the business organizations among the Negroes of Hampton is the People's Building and Loan Association organized a little over ten years ago. Their business for the past year, larger, by the way, than that of any previous year of its existence, was in part as follows:

Total receipts for the year $36,620.27; net earnings $6,143.00; loans made to members $24,358.00. The business for the ten years and a quarter is represented by the following figures:—Total loans to members $132,097.58; of this amount $57,709.17 have been repaid, leaving a balance of loans outstanding at this date of $74,388.41; net profits earned during this period, $29,870.75, a large part of which has been paid to members as dividends, the balance remaining to the credit of their accounts, payable at the maturity of their stock; total receipts since organization $202,231.


II; there are at present about 500 stockholders in the association.

While they feel some pride in the amount of business transacted, the promoters and managers of this company do not measure their success by this alone; they measure it more by the number of persons whose property they have snatched from under the auctioneer's hammer; by the homes they have saved to poor orphans and widows, and by the two hundred and fifty homes they have built for their members in this town and the adjoining county.

The Closing Session.

After the opening exercises on Friday morning, Dr. Frissell introduced Prof. Scarborough, one of the foremost Greek scholars in the country, who read a paper on



Some eight years ago I presented phases of this subject before a body of educators in Nashville, Tenn. Since that time there has been astonishing growth in fiction which deals with Negro life and character, both in quantity and in quality. It therefore seems to me not altoghther unprofitable to review what was then said while I note what the passing years may have developed concerning this theme.

This development emphasizes the utterance of Judge Tourgee then quoted; that with the conditions resulting from the downfall of slavery, southern life would furnish to the future American novelist his richest and most striking material. We have seen this verified with the Negro in the predominating part. How well it has been done is another story.

Both northern and southern writers have presented Negro nature. Negro dialect, Negro thought, as they conceived it. too often, alas, as evolved out of their own consciousness. Too often the dialect has been inconsistent, the types presented, mere composite photographs as it were, or uncouth specimens served up so as the humorous side of the literary setting might be property balanced.


A long list could be made of those of our white friends who have attained name and fame through fiction dealing with the Negro. Harriet Beecher Stowe, Judge Tourgee, Thomas Nelson Page, Joel Chandler Harris, Ruth McEnery Stuart, are but a few of the names that have gained prominent places in the world of letters largely through the portrayal of the Negro character.

Then comes the list of those who, dilettante like, dabbled in the roles and essayed occasionally to drag in the Negro. Among these we may mention Cable, Donnelly, W. D. Howells, D. P. Roe, Harry Stillwell Edwards, and Will Allen, Dromgoole. A number of other writers of fiction in short and long story have incidently brought the Negro before the public.

I paid my respects to W. D. Howells' "An Imperative Duty," when I stated that his delineations are essentially street types, with but one excuse,--that higher types would not allow him to carry out the purpose of the book, which was to analyze the character of a modern American conscience in the matter of living a lie. Of E. P. Roe one can only say that his dialect is a makeshift and his people artificial.

Since then, in comparatively recent years, another specie of fiction has sprung up,--the purpose novel, as it deals with the Negro. Judge Tourgee once said: "About the Negro as a man with hopes, fears, aspirations like other men, our literature is very nearly silent. Much has been written of the slave and something of the freedman, but thus far no one has been found able to weld the new life to the old."

This is no longer true, but with what success the ventures in this direction have met is still another question. Here again the white man has entered the field and "Yetta Segal," by Rollins, reasons out the whole matter of race absorption to a logical, optimistic conclusion. "Harold," while commendable as a literary effort, presents the pessimistic side and gives evidence of its authorship. Mrs. Harper's "Iola Le Roy," is in similar, somber hues, while "Imperium in Imperio," a work entire void of literary merit, deals with an anarchistic view that few Negroes hold, we are happy to say. We hardly feel it worth while to mention Ermine Rives' "Smoking Flax," which presents an educated villain and asks the world to take him as a type of the Negro.

We now come to another point. Eight years ago I said that the Negro must come to the front and boldly assume the task of portraying Negro life and character from his own standpoint. We see that the work has already begun, and aside from those named as colored writers of the purpose novel, we find Dunbar


easily among the first of his competitors taking rank in the world of fiction as a portrayer of Negro life and character. Chestnutt follows in the same line. There may be others.

And here we pause to see what these have added to our literature, what new artistic value they have discovered. Dunbar and Chestnutt have followed closely the "suffering side" the portrayal of the old fashioned Negro of "befo' de wah."--the Negro that Page and Harris and others have given a permanent place in literature. But they have done one thing more; they have presented the facts of Negro life with a thread running through both warp and woof that shows not only humour and pathos, humility, self-sacrifice, courtesy and loyalty, but something at times of the higher aims, ambition, desires, hopes and aspiration of the race--but by no means as fully and to as great an extent as we had hoped they would do.

The Negro has entered the field of fiction as portrayer as well as portrayed, to remain we are sure; to make an honored name for himself and race we trust. It is in his power to do so. Belonging himself to one of the "dispised races," he will naturally be better able to depict the feelings and ambitions of this "brother in black," and to represent him more truly in accordance with the facts in the case. He knows from his own consciousness what the situation must necessarily be under the circumstances, and if he is true to nature and to himself, he cannot fail.

The Negro possesses an exuberant imagination; he is a natural story teller. Witness Uncle Remus. He has stood close to nature and she has communed with him as confidently as Kipling's "Mowgli." One great Negro writer of fiction has stirred the world--Dumas pere; and Dumas fils has not been far behind. The artistic merit that is claimed for the Negro as the portrayed is shown as well in the work that comes from his hand as the portrayer.

But there are dangers lurking in the efforts being put forth by the black novelist,--dangers that have overtaken many writers of the white race. One of these is that in the desire to shine in too many spheres, and in the elation of creation, the real bent of genius may be forced out of its natural order and development; forces may be scattered and literary strength diffused. Some one line well followed is best for all concerned. Another danger is that of degenerating into a writer of "pot-boilers," turning off this and that for the money that is in it, leaving crudities


here and there, and at last almost losing the art that once resided in hand and brain.

There is still another danger. It is that of imitation pure and simple, the following of lines which gave fame to others; leaving that which is best known to deal with themes and situations impossible to depict with the highest success because of the very force of circumstances. The white man has failed in such attempts and the Negro does the same. Literature is a coy mistress and a jealous one in each line. Very few have the power or ability to be great in several lines; very few can dally here and there or give attention to quantity instead of quality with any hope of success. Deterioration is the price that must eventually be paid for such stupidity.

It has been said by a writer in Lippincott's that in the many possibilities of the world the African has his fair share, and it is hinted that the future novelist of America may be a Negro. But I return to the idea suggested in the article mentioned in the beginning of my paper. What we want is a novelist who possesses the genius to "weld the new life to the old,"--one who can overcome the difficulty spoken of by Judge Tourgee, "the finding himself always confronted with the past of his race and the woes of his kindred."

The demand is for the novelist who will portray the Negro not in the commonplace way that some have done, but one who will elevate him to a high level of fascination and I interest; one who can place the old life with the new in such a dramatic juxtaposition that the movement as well as the characters, while absorbing, will yet be true to life. Let the dramatis personae represent the plantation, or the hut in the black belt of the South; or let them be college bred, or from the more refined society of Afro-American, North or South, but above all let them be true to nature--to fact.

The Negro, I claim, can portray the Negro best if he will. There is an inner circle, a social sphere, that no one else knows so well as he. Others may have looked in upon it; they may have spent hours, days, even years within it, but even then that is not living the life. The onlooker who may perchance remain with us longest can never know all. So we must look to the Negro as the last resort for that portrayal of the Negro character that will attract and please, yet be true to the facts.

We are tired of vaudeville, of minstrelsy and of the Negro's pre-eminence in those lines. We want something higher, something more inspiring than that. We turn to the Negro for it,


Shall we have it? The black novelist is like the white novelist, in too many instances swayed by the almighty dollar; in too many instances willing to pander to low tastes and cater to public sentiment for what he can get out of it. Like Esau he is ready to sell his birthright for a mess of pottage.

Let the Negro writer of fiction make of his pen and brain all-compelling forces to treat of that which he well knows, best knows, and give it to the world with all the imaginative power possible, with all the magic touch of an artist. Let him portray the Negro's loves and hates, his hopes and fears, his ambitions, his whole life, in such a way that the world will weep and laugh over the pages, finding the touch that makes all nature kin, forgetting completly that hero and heroine are God's bronze images, but knowing only that they are men and women with joys and sorrows that belong alike to the whole human family. Such is the novelist that the race desires. Who is he that will do it? Who is he that can do it?


The interest aroused by Prof. Scarborough's paper was broadened and deepened during the discussion that followed. The relation of the Negro to the drama first engaged the attention of the conference. Formerly it was said, all the colored characters introduced on the stage were of the lowest type, but it was generally conceded that there had been an improvement in this respect. Some of the best vaudeville shows now are those gotten up by Negroes, and some actors of the race have good places in white companies. This was considered encouraging, as was also the fact that, while only a few years ago, but one or two Negro troupes were allowed in the best theatres, at present four or five are permitted to use them every season. The fair success of "Clorinda," and "The Cannibal King," compositions by Will N. Cook, was spoken of as a hopeful sign of future development in the line of the drama.

There was a rather general feeling that the Negro was thought incapable of anything better than "rag-time" music, and the so-called "coon songs;" and it was also said that entertainments which included cake walks, and plenty of "rag-time" songs would draw larger audiences than those of a more "respectable" character. Several speakers referred to the coon songs


and rag time music as natural expressions of a certain stage of civilization. "When real," said one, "they have a certain quality that appeals to the human race without distinction of color. We do not need to be ashamed of them: they are evanescent and will pass. From "rag-time" we shall grow into something higher; we must pass from the known to the unknown." There was a very strong expression of disapproval of the practice of waiters in large hotels to cater to the entertainment of white people, by making themselves ridiculous. This was characterized as degrading, and students going out to work at hotels for the summer were urged to discourage it, "for they have their own self-respect and that of their race to maintain."

It was, however, plainly the sentiment of the conference that the beautiful plantation melodies should be preserved. Rev. Mr. Lyon of Baltimore said, "We should give most attention to those things that belong to us as a race, and not try to imitate the work of white men, however good it may be. The plantation songs are our own; they belong to our very life; they were born out of our own sufferings, and the plaintive melodies as well as the words express deep things. Never, never let them go, but hunt them out and preserve them with care." Dr. Frissell, in speaking on this subject, referred to the fact that most of the buildings of Hampton Institute have been "sung up" by the students on their campaigns in the North. "There is a great future," said he, "for the race that produced the plantation melodies. What can any people want better than a song-lore that has had power to move the hearts of men and women all over the world? Walter Damrosch, who is himself a great master of music, and knows the elements that make it divine, has distinguished these melodies by his commendation.

This idea that whatever is characteristic of the race should be carefully cherished, was emphasized also in connection with literature. Many felt that the Negro is seriously handicapped by his poverty and consequent lack of leisure for study, as well as by this want of influence in literary circles; but it was also acknowledged that anyone having real merit would find recognition. "What we need," said Miss Laney, "are authors who are able to write what will be read long after they have left the stage of life. Let some one do for us what Ian Maclaren has done for the Scotch in the "Bonnie Brier Bush." There is plenty of material for beautiful short stories in the country districts of the South. I wish we had Negro writers who would go down to the sea islands of Georgia and South Carolina, where are to be found the last ship loads of Negroes brought from Africa—the


link between the Africans and the Afro Americans—living a life and speaking a dialect of their own. There they could find materials for stories that would make people lie awake nights. There they could study the Negro in his original purity. Too many of us are Anglo-Saxon-Africans."

At the close of this discussion, as a paper by Mr. W. V. Richards, Southern Land and Industrial Agent, was omitted on account of the absence of the writer, Dr. Frissell invited Rev. Dr. R. F. Campbell, of Ashville, N.C., to address the conference.

He spoke in part as follows:

Dr. Campbell's Address

I came to Hampton to hear, not to speak. I am a southern white man, and like a great host of white men in the South, I have been interested from boyhood in the advancement of the Negro race. When I was a lad of thirteen, I opened a little night school for colored men, in which were enrolled from ten to fifteen dusky pupils, ranging in age from twenty to sixty. No special credit is due me for this. I got more, far more than I gave. Those men paid me seventy cents apiece per month, and the aggregate sum made a good deal of money for a small boy in the pinching years that followed soon after the civil war. But I got something else which in later years I have learned to value far above the money, however it may have been at the time. I got a knowledge of the Negro's character and a sympathy with him in his needs and struggles.

As a life-long friend to your race I wish to say some things today of which perhaps you have not thought, and the first is this: race prejudice is a double thing; it faces both ways. It has doubtless led the white man to do many things unkind and unjust to his brother in black, but has it not led the black man also to be suspicious of efforts to do him good by his southern brother in white? Booker T. Washington said a few months ago in Boston, "It is unfortunate that the Negro got the idea that every southern white man was opposed by nature to his highest interest and advancement, and that he could only find a friend in the white man who was removed from him by a distance of thousands of miles." Now let me show you by way of example how this prejudice of the blacks against the whites has worked,


in small matters. There are some of us who keep up the good old custom of family prayers. In many cases our sincere and earnest efforts to induce the servants to unite with the other members of the household in these acts of worship have been in vain. The Negro has thought and said, "White folks don't know anything about religion."

It has been the same with Sunday schools. Long before the civil war Stonewall Jackson established and maintained a Sunday school for the black slaves at Lexington, Virginia. How fully his great heart was enlisted in this work is shown by the following touching incident:

"A day or two after the battle of Manassas, and before the news of the victory had reached Lexington in authentic form, the postoffice was thronged with people, awaiting with interest the opening of the mail. Soon a letter was handed to the Rev. Dr. White, who immediately recognized the well-known superscription of his deacon soldier, and exclaimed to the eager and expectant group around him: 'Now we shall know all the facts,' Upon opening it the Bulletin read thus: 'My Dear Pastor,—In my tent last night, after a fatiguing day's service, I remembered that I had failed to send you my contribution for our colored Sunday school. Enclosed you will find my check for that object, which please acknowledge at your earliest convenience, and oblige yours faithfully.

T.J. Jackson."

It was my privilege some years after the war to be a teacher in this Sunday school, which was kept up under the superintendency of Col. J. T. L. Preston, a member of Stonewall Jackson's staff. This school was finally abandoned, and for what reason? Because of the prejudice and suspicion of the Negro pastors of the town. This is only one of many similar instances that might be cited. Now I want you to remember that the prejudice has not all been on one side.

Another thing that I wish to say plainly but kindly is that the prejudice of the whites against the blacks is not confined to the South. It is more extensive in the South simply because the contact of the two races is more extensive. But is just as intensive at the North. I venture to say off-hand that in proportion to the population, the number of lynchings has been just as great in the North as in the South. I do not wish to be misunderstood. I am opposed to mob violence wherever it may occur. Lawlessness bets lawlessness.


But it is not of this violent manifestation of race prejudice that I wish to speak now. I live in a town whose population is somewhat equally divided between northern and southern people, and I have a rare opportunity to study the attitude of each towards the Negro. The northern immigrant comes with his bristles out on the subject of "southern outrages," but he soon discovers that the white men do not spend most of their leisure time in hunting down Negroes with shot-guns and blood-hounds, but on the contrary that the ordinary relation of the two races is one of mutual friendliness and dependence. Moreover he has not been long in the South before he finds that in spite of preconceived theories and sympathies there is rising in his own breast an irresistible antipathy toward the black man, which has been overcome in the southerner by more than a century of contact. It isn't long before this northern man has a white coachman, a white cook, and a white housemaid. I want it understood that I do not say these things unkindly. I am giving a calm statement of facts that ought to be known. Especially would I avoid any misunderstanding of what I say on the part of the noble band of philanthropists who come south themselves to help, or send teachers to help uplift the Negro. God bless them every one! God bless the great work that is being done at Hampton! But the average northerner who comes south soon tires of the Negro and does not want to come any nearer to him than is absolutely necessary. The southern whites, on the contrary, prefer the Negro in domestic service, and the relation is generally one of friendliness and frequently of affection.

I wish you, then, to remember this second plain fact to which I have called your attention, that race prejudice is not peculiar to the people of the South, but is manifested much more generally by white people of the North when brought into contact with the masses of your race. But I must not talk too long, and I will close with two bits of advice:

1. Cultivate friendly relations with the white people of the South among whom you are to live. I have spoken of the adjustment that has taken place between the two races here. In my opinion the conservation of this adjustment is fundamental in the race problem. If this adjustment, established by many years of contact, is violently disturbed, we cannot live together in the South. One race or the other must go down.

(At this point some one asked the speaker to explain what he meant by this adjustment. He replied: Some of these northern white men to whom I speak have told me in private conversation


that we white people of the South understand the Negro better than they do, and know how to get along with him in the ordinary relations of life. And on the other hand, you colored people understand us better than you do the people from the North.

The best way to overcome an evil or disagreeable tendency in any one, is to recognize and emphasize every manifestation of the opposite virtue. If I have a selfish child, I am not forever reminding him of his selfishness, but if I am wise I watch for every opportunity to commend any acts of generosity on his part. Thus I overcome evil with good.

Now, my friends, try this on us. Instead of looking out for wrongs inflicted upon your race by the southern whites, instead of complaining incessantly of these wrongs, begin to watch for manifestations of benevolence and good will and show your appreciation of them. By pursuing this course you will multiply and increase these kindly acts.

(From the audience Dr. Francis J. Grimke of Washington, asked the speaker if he would give the southern white man the same advice.)

Dr. Campbell:—Certainly. Certainly. It's a poor rule that doesn't work both ways. But I would remind you now of the story told by one of the speakers of this conference about the man who was advised to speak against the sins of the Jews because there were none in the congregation to take offence. The Jews are not here today. I prefer to talk to them when they are present. I do not spare my own people. I speak to them as plainly as I do to you, when I have them before me. But it would do you no good for me to tell you their duty.

Now, in illustration of the principle I have stated, let me give you a fact which you will find stated in the Report of the Commissioner of Education, 1896 97, vol. 2., p. 2296. Since 1870 the Southern States have expended one hundred million dollars for the education of the Negroes, while northern philanthropists and the national government have expended twenty-five millions. Did you know that? (Answers from the audience, "No, we didn't know it.")

(Mr. Wheeler of Connecticut asked the speaker whether this money was contributed by individual philanthropists of the South or collected in the form of taxes.

Dr. Campbell: It has come in the form of taxes voluntarily imposed upon the southern people by themselves.

Now, the point I wish to make is this. When facts like this come to your knowledge, do the white people of the South


justice by taking notice of them. Make the most of the good they do for the colored race, and you will get more good of the same kind.

(2) My second suggestion is, that the best way to counteract race prejudice, or any other kind of prejudice, is to cease trying to talk it down and begin to live it down. One of your own race, Miss Lucy Laney, said to you the other day, "Get culture, character, and cash, and the problem will solve itself." That is good advice. Act upon it.

But see to it that in trying to work out the destiny of your race you do not fall into the mistake of simply aping the white man. God drew the color line. It was He who said, "Can the Ethiopian change his skin?" I see that some doctor is advertising a patent medicine which he claims will bring about this result. I do not believe that any of you will send for this medicine. Don't be ashamed of your black skin. Don't be ashamed of being a Negro. Work out your destiny under God along the line of your race characteristics. As was said in the discussion this morning, let your literature grow out of your own life. Build on your own foundation. Though clouds and darkness veil the final issue of the new race problem, we may trust that in pursuing "the right, as God give us to see the right," clouds and darkness will flee before us. It is the path of the just that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

Relations of the Races

The discussion following this address was marked by frankness and moderation. The first speaker said that he wished to express his gratitude for the outspoken words of Dr. Campbell, and that he hoped the number of such men in the South might be increased. Another said that if the sentiments that had been expressed were those of the younger instead of the middle-aged men of the South, the Negro might hope for better things; but that under the present circumstances, the chasm seemed to be widening and deepening. It was believed by some that if the two races could get together on a basis of good-will, wonders might be accomplished. One of the members said that what the Negro feels toward the southern white man is not prejudice but suspicion, a natural enough feeling after the treatment he has received in some quarters. He insisted that there is a difference


between race prejudice and race distinction. "In the North," said he, "it is race distinction rather than race prejudice that we find. It is all right to make distinctions; even we can understand that, but prejudice is a much more harmful thing." Upon being asked to explain the difference in the effects of the two, he said: "Race distinction will let you alone; it will not interfere with your business or your pleasure. Race prejudice will interfere with your daily life. Race distinction may be indifferent, but is never cruel; it gives a man a chance to work out his own salvation. We need more men like Dr. Campbell," he added, "who are willing to hear our side of the question, as well as to express their own views. We hope the time is not distant when southern men will cease to put all Negroes in the same class. There is a difference in development among us as among other men. We are not all criminal; neither have we all criminal instincts; but there are bad men of our race just as there are bad men of the Anglo Saxon race." Mrs. Langhorne emphasized the fact that the Negroes are separating themselves into classes, saying that she considered it a most hopeful sign of progress.

Capital and Labor in Co-operative Farming

By Alexander Purves.

Assuming that it is difficult for the penniless and underfed Negro to appreciate the blessings of education or understand its elevating influences, one is impressed with the fact that, while such splendid work is being carried on by the Trade and Normal Schools in the preparation of colored young men and women as leaders for their people, it becomes the more imperative that some determined effort be made to reach away down to the most ignorant of the race and endeavor to left them upon their feet and prepare them, physically and materially, for the leadership that is to be sent them. And when that effort is made let it be formed upon lines purposed to enable the deeply ignorant colored man, if property disposed, to secure his own little farm, clear of all encumbrance and stocked with mule and cow—teach him how to manage it scientifically, so as to attain the best results—secure to him the benefits of an organization through which he may obtain full value for his product and make his necessary purchases at cash prices, so placing him in position to procure and consume proper food in sufficient quantities—encourage his thrift and guard his savings—and he will secure elementary education for himself and for his children at his own expense.


In outlining any plan of operation the main object of which is to be the uplifting of the colored race, it is vitally necessary that every effort be made to embody in the plan such features as would in a measure enlist the sympathy and support of local interests, and draw public opinion into line with the movement.

In other words—make farming in the South so advantageous that hod-carrying in the North will, by comparison, lose some of its attractiveness—permit the Negro to acquire property, and with property, character—place him in a position to obtain through his own labor enough nutritious food to strengthen and sustain life—teach him the benefits of co-operation and the value of a dollar—and give him so much of interest and importance to look after in his own affairs that he will be less inclined to regard political power as essential to his betterment of the position. In short, reduce this end of the problem to a plain business proposition, and take the very lien system which is now dragging down multitudes to conditions of utter wretchedness and despair and make that same system the means of their deliverance.

To carry out such a project successfully would necessitate a carefully empowered organization, conducted on strict business principles, formulated upon a comprehensive scale and upon such lines as would warrant the admission of the most ignorant as participants without danger of serious imposition. As a suggestion for such a plan the following outline is submitted, with the thought that should it prove successful similar organizations could be formed throughout the various states in large sections of which agriculture is conducted chiefly by the Negro race. And while it may be adjudged as more than probable that applications for admission under the plan will be made principally by colored men, there shall be no such limitation, and the white man, if it appears to his advantage, will have the same opportunity as the Negro of participating therein.






and shall be governed and managed by the Board of seven Trustees therein named, who shall hold continuous succession, and the power to fill vacancies. The said Trustees shall choose by ballot the necessary officers.


The objects of the Association shall be the purchase of large tracts of real estate and the division, leasing and sale thereof to its active members upon such terms and conditions as may seem best to the Board ; so enabling such members to secure their homes through their own thrift ; and at the same time offering to those who wish to become subscribing members an opportunity of making safe investments of capital. While not limiting the amount of any one subscription, preference shall be given to the smallest subscribers and especially to those whose interests are local.

The Trustees shall have the right and power to conduct for the benefit of the Association a co-operative store, warehouse, cotton gin, creamery, and such other manufacturing and mercantile business as may be found necessary for the mutual good; and also shall provide a Savings Fund Department for the accommodation of the active members of the Association.

The Association may establish branches in different communities throughout the State, each with its local organization for management. All such branches, however, shall be under the control and supervision of the Association proper, through which all cash transactions shall be made. A financial statement shall be issued annually and a copy thereof sent to every member, active and subscribing.

The Association shall be chartered perpetually, it being especially provided by the act of incorporation that from and after the expiration of twenty years (or at any time previous thereto if so decided by a vote of five of the seven Trustees) the surplus assets of the Association shall be set aside as a Special Trust Fund to which fund shall be added the annual net earnings of the said Association as the same may thereafter accrue. The principal of this trust shall at all times be liable for the obligations of the Association but, by a majority vote of said Trustees, the net income thereof shall be annually distributed amongst the Trade and Normal Schools already established within the State or for the establishment of new schools of like character, or to any one or more of said schools as the said Trustees may determine.


Shall provide, among other things, that both active and subscribing members may be of either sex and of any race, but that the membership may be restricted to such extent as the Trustees may deem wise, and further that any application for member-


ship, active or subscribing, may be refused by the Trustees without explanation and free from any liability whatsoever. That all applications for active membership shall be accompanied by such credentials as the Trustees may see proper to require.

That the execution of the "Contract and Agreement" (hereinafter particularly set forth) by any person shall, upon the approval of the Trustees, constitute such person an active member. And that a subscription by any person or corporation to the shares of the association shall, upon the sanction of the Trustees, constitute such person or corporation a subscribing member thereof.

That the shares of the Association have a par value of $100, each. Shall be sold at par; shall be redeemable (at the option of the Association) after 5 years and within 12 years, and shall bear interest at a rate not exceeding six per cent, and that said interest shall be Cumulative.

That all transactions between the active members and the various departments of the Association shall be under a system of pass books and credit tickets which shall not be negotiable nor transferable.

That all money transactions such as the purchase and sale of merchandise, stock, crops, etc. shall be conducted through the main office of the Association.

That the Association shall forever retain its control over the Savings Funds and also over the mercantile and manufacturing departments established by it, insuring to all active and ex-active members a continuance of their profit-sharing privileges therein so long as they continue the prompt payment of their annual dues.

That the Association shall provide the services of an expert in agriculture (to be known as the Association Superintendent) who shall direct the whole matter of cultivation, planting, harvesting, etc.—whose instructions shall be followed in every detail, and whose judgment shall be final.

For the purpose of presenting the proposition it is assumed that the Association will start with subscriptions to its Capital Stock to the amount of............................$100,000

It is then proposed to purchase, say 5,000 acres of land at an average price of $6.00 per acre..........................$30,000 dividing the same into 200 farms containing, on an average, 25 acres each.

As these farms are taken up by Active members, the Association to make the following expenditure upon each:—


Erect a 3-room board cottage at a cost of ............$ 130.00

And also a small barn (utilizing for that purpose, as far as possible, the old cabins) at a cost of ........ 40.00

And equip the same with one horse (or mule) costing 75.00

One cow costing.................................... 30.00

Implements and tools costing........................ 25.00


Total Improvements and equipment for each........ $300.00

And for 200 farms.................................... $60,00.00


which, with the cost of the land equals, the total of 90,000.00

Leaving for working Capital for the erection and operation of a co-operative store, cotton gin, creamery, warehouse, mill etc. the sum of ............... $10,000.00

While it might be possible for the Association, at some future time, to treat more liberally the matter of eligibility for active membership, it is deemed wire that, at the outset, such membership shall be restricted to thoroughly healthy males under forty-five years of age, and it is a part of the plan that the Association shall take out a ten year endowment policy on the life of each of its active members in the sum of five hundred dollars ($500) in a reliable company.

It is assumed for the purpose of illustration that the average age of active members would be thirty-five years, and as a form for a "Contract and Agreement" between the Association and an active member of that age the following is suggested:

This Agreement made this of ................................................................... A.D. 190 .... between the "Co-operative Land Association" (herein called the Association) of the one part, and ......................................................... (herein called the Tenant) of the other part,


First,—That the Association hereby agrees to lease unto the said Tenant a certain tract of land containing .................................................... acres more or less, described as follows :—.................. ............ .................... .................... .................... .................... .................... .................... .................... ...........with the improvements thereon erected, together with one....................cow No............and one horse (or mules) No............. and the following tools, branded with the name of the Association :—

1 Plow 1 Fork 1 Hoe

1 Harrow 1 Spade 1 Scythe


for the term of ten years from the ............ ... ....... ....... at the annual rental of one hundred and sixteen dollars and sixty cents ($116.60) payment thereof to be made at the times, and in the manner hereinafter set forth.

Second. The said Tenant on his part agrees to cultivate the soil, plant the crops, harvest the same, and manage the farm generally to the best of his ability, and in strict accordance with the instructions of the Association's Superintendent whose judgment in all matters of agriculture shall be final. He further agrees to care for and manage the stock in such manner as the said Superintendent may require, and to keep in good repair all improvements and tools.

Third. The said tenant agrees to deliver each day to the Association's Creamery the entire milk yield of his cow or cows, for which he shall receive credit with the Creamery at the current rate then prevailing, receiving back, however, the entire amount of skimmed milk for his domestic use without charge.

Fourth. The said Tenant agrees to pay on or before each year during the continuance of this contract the annual rental above named and in addition thereto he furtheragrees to pay into the Association in each and every year within the periods mentioned the sum of ten dollars ($10) annual membership dues and the further sum of five dollars ($5) per annum for the Contingent Fund, (the uses and purposes of which are hereinafter more particularly set forth)

Fifth. To secure to the Association the payment of said rental and all other obligations of whatever nature that may be due to the said Association in any way during the full term of this lease, the said Tenant hereby assigns, transfers, and sets over unto the said Association all amounts that may at any time stand to his credit on the books of the Association in any and all departments thereof and also all his right, title and interest of, in and to the entire crops (outside of the kitchen garden) produced on the said farm during his occupancy under this lease, hereby further agreeing to harvesting and to deliver the same in good condition to the said Association at its warehouse, upon receipt of which the Association may and shall make such disposition as it may deem best and from the moneys so obtained deduct the entire indebtedness due by said Tenant to the said Association in any and every department, it being understood that the balance then remaining shall be paid over to said Tenant with


statement of account, or deposited to his credit in the Savings Department of said Association as the said Tenant shall elect.

The said "Co-operative Land Association" in consideration of the faithful performance by the said Tenant of every and all the provisions of this Contract by him herein agreed to be kept, and of the sum of one dollar to it in hand paid by the said Tenant, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, doth hereby convenant and agree as follows:—to wit

a. To furnish the services of a capable Superintendent who shall instruct the said Tenant how to cultivate the soil and manage his crops so as to obtain the best possible results, and to whom the said Tenant may freely appeal for such information as he may desire in that connection.

b. To provide, in conjunction with the County authorities, proper day school facilities for at least six months of each year for all children under the age of sixteen years and likewise a night school for at least four months in each year open to all other members of the family.

c. To establish and conduct a general store, and in connection therewith a cotton gin, mill, and warehouse for the storage of crops, and such other departments as may to the said Trustees seem wise and expedient. It being especially agreed that all charges shall be moderate and not exceeding current cash prices for similar goods and services; that each year, after deducting from the net profits a sum equal to 10 per cent upon the amount invested therein and working capital, one-half of the balance shall be divided between the active members in proportion to the total amount of their respective transactions with the various departments, and the other half thereof shall be added to the net surplus of the Association.

d. To permit the said Tenant to purchase from the general store of the Association on his personal credit to an amount not exceeding the sum of five dollars per month, plus his credit on the books of the Association in any of the departments.

e. To provide a Savings Fund department in which the Tenant may deposit his savings at 4 per cent, subject to withdrawal at any time upon 3 months notice.

f. To give the said Tenant every opportunity of subscribing to the Capital Stock of the Association (when issued) in sums of not less than $100.00.


g. That in case of destruction of improvements by fire, not directly or indirectly caused by any act or neglect of the Tenant, the Association shall promptly rebuild the same and as nearly as possible in accordance with the original construction thereof.

h. To place each year in the Contingent Fund to the credit of said Tenant the sum of five dollars, from which fund said Tenant may borrow in emergencies upon his individual note to any amount not exceeding sixty dollars, at 6 per cent under certain circumstances and conditions only,—as follows:—

1 In case of loss of only cow,

2 In case of loss of only horse (or mule)

3 In case of failure of crops,

4 In case of physical inability to work (not caused by drunkenness)

5 For necessary extra labor hired at harvest time (this latter item not to exceed ten dollars)

It being especially understood and agreed that in certain cases the Association may at its discretion make loans for other purposes and also to increase the amount of the sum to be loaned to any member from said fund to such extent as the Trustees of the said Association may deem proper.

i. To provide and furnish to said Tenant at its warehouse without further cost to him, during each and every year of the continuance of this Contract, 30 pounds ready mixed paint and 1,000 pounds high grade fertilizers.

j. After the faithful performance on the part of said Tenant of all the conditions and provisions of this Contract for the term of ten consecutive years the said Association agrees to convey to said Tenant in fee simple a good and marketable title of the said tract of ground and improvements clear of encumbrance of any and every kind and release to said Tenant all interest in personal property such as stock, tools, etc. belonging to said farm. The said Association further agrees to pay back at that time to said Tenant the total amount placed to his credit in the Contingent Fund less any sums then due by him to said Fund. It being especially agreed and provided that the said Tenant may at any time after the expiration of five years from the ................ day of .................... 190.., secure title to the property and final settlement of all accounts with the said Association as above provided, by anticipating all obligations due by him under


this contract by the payment of the following sums after the expiration of the respective dates, viz:—

After 5 years— $399

After 6 years—341

After 7 years—275

After 8 years—200

After 9 years—118

It being distinctly understood and agreed that said Tenant shall not in any sense acquire an equitable right or title of any description pending the full completion of this contract. (The above calculation is made upon the basis of selling for $500 a farm which cost the Association $450, to which is added the membership dues for the unexpired portion of the 10 years term—which dues are calculated to pay the salary of the Superintendent—less the cash cancellation value of the endowment policy)

k. In case of the death of said Tenant, while in good standing with the Association, at any time during the continuance of this contract from cause other than suicide or murder committed by a beneficiary, the Association will, upon payment of all amounts due to any and all of its departments, convey to the Heirs at law of said Tenant the property herein particularly described including stock, tools, etc. clear of encumbrance, and also will pay his Estate any balance that may have been due to him at the time of his death out of the Contingent Fund.

It is understood and mutually agreed that this Contract is not transferable by either party without the written consent of both parties hereto.

In case the said Tenant shall default in the payment of any sum or sums due by him under this contract, or fail promptly to follow all directions given him by the Association's Superintendent, or neglect to harvest and immediately deliver said crops as above provided, or in any way whatsoever fail fully to comply with all and every of the provisions herein set forth, all obligations on the part of the said Association shall cease, determine and forthwith come forever cancelled, and said Association may enter in and levy upon all effects of said Tenant to the amounts that my be due the Association and he, the said Tenant, shall immediately forfeit on account of liquidated damages all benefits and advantages that he may have had under this Contract and agreement and shall, within five days after due notice shall have been left upon the premises, vacate and remove therefrom, hereby waiving all rights of exemption, etc.


In witness whereof the said "Co-operative Land Association" hath hereunto affixed its corporate seal duly attested and the said Tenant has set his hand and seal the day and year first above written.

Sealed and Delivered in the presence of { ........................ President.




(Corporation Acknowledgment)

(Individual Acknowledgment)

Recorded in .................... County, State of.................... this day of ...................... A.D. 190....

(The annual rental named above—$116.60—being equal to the sum total of the annual instalment on the 10 year endowment policy plus the cost of the fire insurance, the fertilizers and paint to be furnished by the Association, the proportionate part of cost of maintaining the school, and ten per cent upon the entire cost of the farm improved and equipped. The annual dues of the Tenants providing for the salary of the Superintendent.)

For the purpose of demonstrating what might be accomplished amongst the ignorant Negroes, upon a purely business basis, under the operation of the proposed lease, the following figures are submitted. In all calculations included in this example every effort has been made to keep well within conservative estimates, so to arrive at a result that has every assurance of being correct, and while this proposition is based upon the average small farm located in the Cotton Belt, there seems to be no reason why the same result should not be reached in any of the other farming sections of the South which are largely settled by the Negro race, by a slight modification of the terms of the Contract.

The average farm as now conducted in the Cotton Belt under the lien system will show about as follows:—

Contents of Farm 25 to 30 acres:

Yearly product:—

7 Bales Cotton, 3,500 lbs. at say 5 cents at Warehouse $175.00

Yearly rental for such a farm, and mule ................ 75.00

Rations received from Landowner or Store-keeper, payment of which is secured by lien on crops ........ 100.00


which purchases, with the rent above mentioned, would require the entire crop in settlement.

(The above rations if purchases for Cash could be obtained from the same store for $70 instead of $100 as above shown).

It is claimed by some authorities that by proper and intelligent cultivation the market value of the average crop can be easily doubled. To treat the proposition most conservatively, however, an increase of only 25 percent is counted upon. The income of the average farm the, managed intelligently, with the addition of the cow as contemplated would be ............................ 218.75

Plus credit at Creamery for butter fate (annual yield of milk being estimated at 3,000 lbs.) ................ 18.00


Total value of product ................ $236.75


Amount due the Association every year under lease ................................ $116.60

Yearly dues ................................ 10.00 Contingent Fund .......................... 5.00

Purchases of equal amount of goods at Association store at cash prices (not including fertilizer which is provided by Association .......................... 58 00



Showing as annual net earnings due to the farmer in cash $47.15

To this amount might be added the following items likely to accrue to his benefit in the respective department:—

dividend from Co-operative Store, say .... $3.

" " Creamery .................... 2.

" " Mill and Cotton Gin .......... 8.

" " Warehouse (being increased price obtained from product) .............. 21. 34.00

Saving in cost of meal (by raising sufficient corn for all his needs) .................................... 15.00


Total surplus earnings of farmer, due to him in cash after the payment of all amounts due the Association $96.15


The financial side of the proposition so far as the Association itself is concerned should show somewhat as follows:-

Annual Receipts.

Rental of 200 farms at $116.60 each .................... $23,320.00

Annual dues, $10 from each of 200 active members ... 2,000.00

10 per cent on $10,000 working capital, charged vs. Store, Creamery, Gin, Warehouse, etc ... ... 1,000.00

Total ................... $26,320.00

Annual Expenditures as follows:—

Annual premium upon $100,000 Life Insurance (upon 200 Active members at $500 each) 10 years endowment policies ............................ 9,830.00

Fire Insurance:—

$100 on each house ............. 1.00

100 on each barn and stock ......... 1.75

and on 200 550.00

(Insurance on Store, Warehouse, etc. paid out of respective earnings)

Fertilizers (1/2 ton each for 200 farms) 100 tons at ... $2,400.00

6,000 lbs. Paint at 8 cents ............................ 480.00

Interest on $100,000 Stock at 6 cents ................ 6,000.00

Amount contributed for expenses of school ............ 1,000.00

Clerk hire ........................................ 1,000.00

Taxes ............................................ 500.00

Salary of Superintendent (all other salaries of Assistants, Clerks, etc. are to be deducted from earnings of Store, Gin, Creamery, Warehouse, etc) ........................................ 2,000.00


Total .......... $23,760.00

Net surplus earned annually ........ 2,560.00

It being assumed that the commissions on the first payment of endowment policies (40 per cent of $9,830.00 or $3,932.00) would pay all expenses of organization, and also losses through payment of interest the first year on the entire $100,000 before farms were taken up and yielding income.

To the yearly earned surplus should also be added the $10,000 invested in the buildings, stock, equipment and working capital of the co-operative store, etc., and also the probably dividends upon the endowment insurance, which may reasonably be calculated


calculated at $1,000 per annum, and another yearly dividend of say $600, being 1/2 of net earnings of the various departments. So that in the course of a few years, the Association then showing a fair surplus as additional security to subscribers, new issues of Stock should become attractive as a safe investment for capital at a good rate of interest.

It would be provided that the Co-operative Store should carry staple articles only and so elinimate from its stock trifles and such other things as would be considered valueless to the members, so guiding in a large degree the purchasing of the ignorant.

It may be seen, therefore, that through the operation of the plan as above outlined, the farmer who had heretofore been working under average conditions would as a participant herein receive each year not only all that he previously had, but also some 3,000 pounds of skimmed milk (the most nutritious part of the product) would be added to the subsistence of the household; the family must be sheltered in a three-room cottage in place of the one-room cabin; they would all have the benefit of a good common school for longer sessions; they would be taught how to manage their farms scientifically; in case of the death of the tenant the family would be fairly provided for, while if he lived through the term of the lease he would have earned for himself a neat little farm, clear of encumbrance, and know how to manage it. It would seem too that in the majority of cases, should the plan meet with expected success, the ambitious farmer could be careful saving anticipate his payments, as provided in the "Contract and Agreement" and secure his farm by the end of the fifth year and have as snug cash balance in addition.

In conclusion it may be added that in formulating the foregoing proposition for organization the effort has been to outline a plan for an Association to be governed by a board of representative men, which Association is expected to offer the opportunity and the brains, only requiring on the part of the Negro that he shall keep sober and work; and—aiming, eventually to eliminate the element of philanthropy—to reduce the problem to a commercial basis and permit the race to work out its salvation at six per cent.


Education—H. M. Browne, Hampton N. and A. Institute, Hampton, Va.: Marie L. Baldwin: Kelly Miller: J. Hugo Johnston: T. C. Walker: Edwin B. Kruse: Dr. J. H. N. Waring: W. S. Scarborough.

Domestic Economy—Rosa D. Bowser, 513 N. Adams St. Richmond, Va.; Marian P. Shadd: (Mrs.) Arthur S. Gray; Amelia E. P. Pride; Rev. Geo. F. Bragg. Jr.; Sadie A. Collins.

Religion and Ethics—Rev. Francis J. Grimkè, 1526 L St., Washington, D. C.: Rev. R. Spiller; Rev. J. E. Jones; Rev. W. V. Tunnell; Rev. N. J. Naylor; Rev. Earnest Lyons; (Mrs.) D. I. Hayden.

Business and Labor—Andrew F. Hilyer. 2352 Sixth St. N. W. Washington. D.C.; W. Ashie Hawkins; W. P. Burrell; Norris B. Clark; W. R. Williams; Henry E. Baker; W. H. H. Hart; Harris Barrett.

Vital and Sanitary Problems—Dr. F. J. Shadd, 901 R St., Washington. D. C.: S. G. Atkins; Dr. W. R. Granger; Laura E. Titus; Dr. A. M. Curtis; L. M. Hershaw; Dr. Rebecca J. Cole; Lucy B. Stephens.

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Hampton Negro Conference (1899 : Hampton, VA), “Hampton Negro Conference. Number III. July 1899.,” Colored Conventions Project Digital Records, accessed July 13, 2024,