All attempts to settle the question of the Negro in the South by

his removal from this country have so far failed, and I think that

they are likely to fail. The next census will probably show that

we have nearly ten million black people in the United States,

about eight millions of whom are in the Southern states. In fact,

we have almost a nation within a nation. The Negro population in

the United States lacks but two millions of being as large as the

whole population of Mexico, and is nearly twice as large as that

of Canada. Our black people equal in number the combined

populations of Switzerland, Greece, Honduras, Nicaragua, Cuba,

Uraguay [sic], Santo Domingo, Paraguay, and Costa Rica. When we

consider, in connection with these facts, that the race has

doubled itself since its freedom, and is still increasing, it

hardly seems possible for any one to take seriously any scheme of

emigration from America as a method of solution. At most, even if

the government were to provide the means, but a few hundred

thousand could be transported each year. The yearly increase in

population would more than likely overbalance the number

transported. Even if it did not, the time required to get rid of

the Negro by this method would perhaps be fifty or seventy-five


Some have advised that the Negro leave the South, and take up his

residence in the Northern states. I question whether this would

make him any better off than he is in the South, when all things

are considered. It has been my privilege to study the condition

of our people in nearly every part of America; and I say without

hesitation that, with some exceptional cases, the Negro is at his

best in the Southern states. While he enjoys certain privileges

in the North that he does not have in the South, when it comes to

the matter of securing property, enjoying business advantages and

employment, the South presents a far better opportunity than the

North. Few colored men from the South are as yet able to stand up

against the severe and increasing competition that exists in the

North, to say nothing of the unfriendly influence of labor

organizations, which in some way prevents black men in the North,

as a rule, from securing occupation in the line of skilled labor.

Another point of great danger for the colored man who goes North

is the matter of morals, owing to the numerous temptations by

which he finds himself surrounded. More ways offer in which he

can spend money than in the South, but fewer avenues of employment

for earning money are open to him. The fact that at the North the

Negro is almost confined to one line of occupation often tends to

discourage and demoralize the strongest who go from the South, and

makes them an easy prey for temptation. A few years ago, I made

an examination into the condition of a settlement of Negroes who

left the South and went into Kansas about twenty years since, when

there was a good deal of excitement in the South concerning

emigration from the West, and found it much below the standard of

that of similar communities in the South. The only conclusion

which any one can reach, from this and like instances, is that the

Negroes are to remain in the Southern states. As a race they do

not want to leave the South, and the Southern white people do not

want them to leave. We must therefore find some basis of

settlement that will be constitutional, just, manly; that will be

fair to both races in the South and to the whole country. This

cannot be done in a day, a year, or any short period of time. We

can, however, with the present light, decide upon a reasonably

safe method of solving the problem, and turn our strength and

effort in that direction. In doing this, I would not have the

Negro deprived of any privilege guaranteed to him by the

Constitution of the United States. It is not best for the Negro

that he relinquish any of his constitutional rights; it is not

best for the Southern white man that he should, as I shall attempt

to show in this article.

In order that we may concentrate our forces upon a wise object,

without loss of time or effort, I want to suggest what seems to me

and many others the wisest policy to be pursued. I have reached

these conclusions not only by reason of my own observations and

experience, but after eighteen years of direct contact with

leading and influential colored and white men in most parts of our

country. But I wish first to mention some elements of danger in

the present situation, which all who desire the permanent welfare

of both races in the South should carefully take into account.

First. There is danger that a certain class of impatient

extremists among the Negroes in the North, who have little

knowledge of the actual conditions in the South, may do the entire

race injury by attempting to advise their brethren in the South to

resort to armed resistance or the use of the torch, in order to

secure justice. All intelligent and well-considered discussion of

any important question, or condemnation of any wrong, whether in

the North or the South, from the public platform and through the

press, is to be commended and encouraged; but ill-considered and

incendiary utterances from black men in the North will tend to add

to the burdens of our people in the South rather than to relieve

them. We must not fall into the temptation of believing that we

can raise ourselves by abusing some one else.

Second. Another danger in the South which should be guarded

against is that the whole white South, including the wise,

conservative, law-abiding element, may find itself represented

before the bar of public opinion by the mob or lawless element,

which gives expression to its feelings and tendency in a manner

that advertises the South throughout the world; while too often

those who have no sympathy with such disregard of law are either

silent, or fail to speak in a sufficiently emphatic manner to

offset in any large degree the unfortunate reputation which the

lawless have made for many portions of the South.

Third. No race or people ever got upon its feet without severe

and constant struggle, often in the face of the greatest

discouragement. While passing through the present trying period

of its history, there is danger that a large and valuable element

of the Negro race may become discouraged in the effort to better

its condition. Every possible influence should be exerted to

prevent this.

Fourth. There is a possibility that harm may be done to the South

and to the Negro by exaggerated newspaper articles which are

written near the scene or in the midst of specially aggravating

occurrences. Often these reports are written by newspaper men,

who give the impression that there is a race conflict throughout

the South, and that all Southern white people are opposed to the

Negro's progress; overlooking the fact that though in some

sections there is trouble, in most parts of the South, if matters

are not yet in all respects as we would have them, there is

nevertheless a very large measure of peace, good will, and mutual

helpfulness. In the same relation, much can be done to retard the

progress of the Negro by a certain class of Southern white people,

who in the midst of excitement speak or write in a manner that

gives the impression that all Negroes are lawless, untrustworthy,

and shiftless. For example, a Southern writer said, not long ago,

in a communication to the New York Independent: "Even in small

towns the husband cannot venture to leave his wife alone for an

hour at night. At no time, in no place, is the white woman safe

from the insults and assaults of these creatures." These

statements, I presume, represented the feelings and the conditions

that existed, at the time of the writing, in one community or

county in the South; but thousands of Southern white men and women

would be ready to testify that this is not the condition

throughout the South, nor throughout any Southern state.

Fifth. Owing to the lack of school opportunities for the Negro in

the rural districts of the South, there is danger that ignorance

and idleness may increase to the extent of giving the Negro race a

reputation for crime, and that immorality may eat its way into the

fibre of the race so as to retard its progress for many years. In

judging the Negro we must not be too harsh. We must remember that

it has been only within the last thirty-four years that the black

father and mother have had the responsibility, and consequently

the experience, of training their own children. That perfection

has not been reached in one generation, with the obstacles that

the parents have been compelled to overcome, is not to be wondered


Sixth. Finally, I would mention my fear that some of the white

people of the South may be led to feel that the way to settle the

race problem is to repress the aspirations of the Negro by

legislation of a kind that confers certain legal or political

privileges upon an ignorant and poor white man, and withholds the

same privileges from a black man in a similar condition. Such

legislation injures and retards the progress of both races. It is

an injustice to the poor white man, because it takes from him

incentive to secure education and property as prerequisites for

voting. He feels that because he is a white man, regardless of

his possessions, a way will be found for him to vote. I would

label all such measures "laws to keep the poor white man in

ignorance and poverty."

The Talladega News Reporter, a Democratic newspaper of Alabama,

recently said: "But it is a weak cry when the white man asks odds

on intelligence over the Negro. When nature has already so

handicapped the African in the race for knowledge, the cry of the

boasted Anglo-Saxon for still further odds seems babyish. What

wonder that the world looks on in surprise, if not disgust? It

cannot help but say, If our contention be true that the Negro is

an inferior race, then the odds ought to be on the other side, if

any are to be given. And why not? No; the thing to do--the only

thing that will stand the test of time--is to do right, exactly

right, let come what will. And that right thing, as it seems to

us, is to place a fair educational qualification before every

citizen,--one that is self-testing, and not dependent on the

wishes of weak men,--letting all who pass the test stand in the

proud ranks of American voters, whose votes shall be counted as

cast, and whose sovereign will shall be maintained as law by all

the powers that be. Nothing short of this will do. Every

exemption, on whatsoever ground, is an outrage that can only rob

some legitimate voter of his rights."

Such laws have been made,--in Mississippi, for example,--with the

"understanding" clause, hold out a temptation for the election

officer to perjure and degrade himself by too often deciding that

the ignorant white man does understand the Constitution when it is

read to him, and that the ignorant black man does not. By such a

law, the state not only commits a wrong against its black

citizens; it injures the morals of its white citizens by

conferring such a power upon any white man who may happen to be a

judge of elections.

Such laws are hurtful, again, because they keep alive in the heart

of the black man the feeling that the white man means to oppress

him. The only safe way out is to set a high standard as a test of

citizenship, and require blacks and whites alike to come up to it.

When this is done, both will have a higher respect for the

election laws, and for those who make them. I do not believe

that, with his centuries of advantage over the Negro in the

opportunity to acquire property and education as prerequisites for

voting, the average white man in the South desires that any

special law be passed to give him further advantage over one who

has had but a little more than thirty years in which to prepare

himself for citizenship. In this relation, another point of

danger is that the Negro has been made to feel that it is his duty

continually to oppose the Southern white man in politics, even in

matters where no principle is involved; and that he is only loyal

to his own race and acting in a manly way in thus opposing the

white man. Such a policy has proved very hurtful to both races.

Where it is a matter of principle, where a question of right or

wrong is involved, I would advise the Negro to stand by principle

at all hazards. A Southern white man has no respect for or

confidence in a Negro who acts merely for policy's sake; but there

are many cases, and the number is growing, where the Negro has

nothing to gain, and much to lose, by opposing the Southern white

man in matters that relate to government.

Under the foregoing six heads I believe I have stated some of the

main points which, all high-minded white men and black men, North

and South, will agree, need our most earnest and thoughtful

consideration, if we would hasten, and not hinder, the progress of

our country.

Now as to the policy that should be pursued. On this subject I

claim to possess no superior wisdom or unusual insight. I may be

wrong; I may be in some degree right.

In the future we want to impress upon the Negro, more than we have

done in the past, the importance of identifying himself more

closely with the interests of the South; of making himself part of

the South, and at home in it. Heretofore, for reasons which were

natural, and for which no one is especially to blame, the colored

people have been too much like a foreign nation residing in the

midst of another nation. If William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell

Phillips, or George L. Stearns were alive to-day, I feel sure that

he would advise the Negroes to identify their interests as closely

as possible with those of their white neighbors,--always

understanding that no question of right and wrong is involved. In

no other way, it seems to me, can we get a foundation for peace

and progress. He who advises against this policy will advise the

Negro to do that which no people in history, who have succeeded,

have done. The white man, North or South, who advises the Negro

against it advises him to do that which he himself has not done.

The bed rock upon which every individual rests his chances for

success in life is the friendship, the confidence, the respect, of

his next-door neighbor in the little community in which he lives.

The problem of the Negro in the South turns on whether he can make

himself of such indispensable service to his neighbor and the

community that no one can fill his place better in the body

politic. There is at present no other safe course for the black

man to pursue. If the Negro in the South has a friend in his

white neighbor, and a still larger number of friends in his own

community, he has a protection and a guarantee of his rights that

will be more potent and more lasting than any our Federal Congress

or any outside power can confer.

The London Times, in a recent editorial discussing affairs in the

Transvaal, where Englishmen have been denied certain privileges by

the Boers, says: "England is too sagacious not to prefer a gradual

reform from within, even should it be less rapid than most of us

might wish, to the most sweeping redress of grievances imposed

from without. Our object is to obtain fair play for the

Outlanders, but the best way to do it is to enable them to help

themselves." This policy, I think, is equally safe when applied

to conditions in the South. The foreigner who comes to America

identifies himself as soon as possible, in business, education,

and politics, with the community in which he settles. We have a

conspicuous example of this in the case of the Jews, who in the

South, as well as in other parts of our country, have not always

been justly treated; but the Jews have so woven themselves into

the business and patriotic interests of the communities in which

they live, have made themselves so valuable as citizens, that they

have won a place in the South which they could have obtained in no

other way. The Negro in Cuba has practically settled the race

question there, because he has made himself a part of Cuba in

thought and action.

What I have tried to indicate cannot be accomplished by any sudden

revolution of methods, but it does seem that the tendency should

be more and more in this direction. Let me emphasize this by a

practical example. The North sends thousands of dollars into the

South every year for the education of the Negro. The teachers in

most of the Southern schools supported by the North are Northern

men and women of the highest Christian culture and most unselfish

devotion. The Negro owes them a debt of gratitude which can never

be paid. The various missionary societies in the North have done

a work which to a large degree has proved the salvation of the

South, and the results of it will appear more in future

generations than in this. We have now reached the point, in the

South, where, I believe, great good could be accomplished in

changing the attitude of the white people toward the Negro, and of

the Negro toward the whites, if a few Southern white teachers, of

high character, would take an active interest in the work of our

higher schools. Can this be done? Yes. The medical school

connected with Shaw University at Raleigh, North Carolina, has

from the first had as instructors and professors almost

exclusively Southern white doctors who reside in Raleigh, and they

have given the highest satisfaction. This gives the people of

Raleigh the feeling that the school is theirs, and not something

located in, but not a part of, the South. In Augusta, Georgia,

the Payne Institute, one of the best colleges for our people, is

officered and taught almost wholly by Southern white men and

women. The Presbyterian Theological School at Tuscaloosa,

Alabama, has only Southern white men as instructors. Some time

ago, at the Calhoun School in Alabama, one of the leading white

men in the county was given an important position; since then the

feeling of the white people in the county has greatly changed

toward the school.

We must admit the stern fact that at present the Negro, through no

choice of his own, is living in the midst of another race, which

is far ahead of him in education, property, and experience; and

further, that the Negro's present condition makes him dependent

upon the white people for most of the things necessary to sustain

life, as well as, in a large measure, for his education. In all

history, those who have possessed the property and intelligence

have exercised the greatest control in government, regardless of

color, race, or geographical location. This being the case, how

can the black man in the South improve his estate? And does the

Southern white man want him to improve it? The latter part of

this question I shall attempt to answer later in this article.

The Negro in the South has it within his power, if he properly

utilizes the forces at land, to make of himself such a valuable

factor in the life of the South that for the most part he need not

seek privileges, but they will be conferred upon him. To bring

this about, the Negro must begin at the bottom and lay a sure

foundation, and not be lured by any temptation into trying to rise

on a false footing. While the Negro is laying this foundation, he

will need help and sympathy and justice from the law. Progress by

any other method will be but temporary and superficial, and the

end of it will be worse than the beginning. American slavery was

a great curse to both races, and I should be the last to apologize

for it; but in the providence of God I believe that slavery laid

the foundation for the solution of the problem that is now before

us in the South. Under slavery, the Negro was taught every trade,

every industry, that furnishes the means of earning a living. Now

if on this foundation, laid in a rather crude way, it is true, but

a foundation nevertheless, we can gradually grow and improve, the

future for us is bright. Let me be more specific. Agriculture is

or has been the basic industry of nearly every race or nation that

has succeeded. The Negro got a knowledge of this under slavery:

hence in a large measure he is in possession of this industry in

the South to-day. Taking the whole South, I should say that

eighty per cent of the Negroes live by agriculture in some form,

though it is often a very primitive and crude form. The Negro can

buy land in the South, as a rule, wherever the white man can buy

it, and at very low prices. Now, since the bulk of our people

already have a foundation in agriculture, are at their best when

living in the country engaged in agricultural pursuits, plainly,

the best thing, the logical thing, is to turn the larger part of

our strength in a direction that will put the Negroes among the

most skilled agricultural people in the world. The man who has

learned to do something better than any one else, has learned to

do a common thing in an uncommon manner, has power and influence

which no adverse surroundings can take from him. It is better to

show a man how to make a place for himself than to put him in one

that some one else has made for him. The Negro who can make

himself so conspicuous as a successful farmer, a large taxpayer, a

wise helper of his fellow men, as to be placed in a position of

trust and honor by natural selection, whether the position be

political or not, is a hundredfold more secure in that position

than one placed there by mere outside force or pressure. I know a

Negro, Hon. Isaiah T. Montgomery, in Mississippi, who is mayor of

a town; it is true that the town is composed almost wholly of

Negroes. Mr. Montgomery is mayor of this town because his genius,

thrift, and foresight have created it; and he is held and

supported in his office by a charter granted by the state of

Mississippi, and by the vote and public sentiment of the community

in which he lives.

Let us help the Negro by every means possible to acquire such an

education in farming, dairying, stock-raising, horticulture, etc.,

as will place him near the top in these industries, and the race

problem will in a large part be settled, or at least stripped of

many of its most perplexing elements. This policy would also tend

to keep the Negro in the country and smaller towns, where he

succeeds best, and stop the influx into the large cities, where he

does not succeed so well. The race, like the individual, which

produces something of superior worth that has a common human

interest, wins a permanent place, and is bound to be recognized.

At a county fair in the South, not long ago, I saw a Negro awarded

the first prize, by a jury of white men, over white competitors,

for the production of the best specimen of Indian corn. Every

white man at the fair seemed to be proud of the achievement of the

Negro, because it was apparent that he had done something that

would add to the wealth and comfort of the people of both races in

that county. At the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute, in

Alabama, we have a department devoted to training men along the

lines of agriculture that I have named; but what we are doing is

small when compared with what should be done in Tuskegee, and at

other educational centres. In a material sense the South is still

an undeveloped country. While in some other affairs race

prejudice is strongly marked, in the matter of business, of

commercial and industrial development, there are few obstacles in

the Negro's way. A Negro who produces or has for sale something

that the community wants finds customers among white people as

well as black. Upon equal security, a Negro can borrow money at

the bank as readily as a white man can. A bank in Birmingham,

Alabama, which has existed ten years, is officered and controlled

wholly by Negroes. This bank has white borrowers and white

depositors. A graduate of the Tuskegee Institute keeps a well-

appointed grocery store in Tuskegee, and he tells me that he sells

about as many goods to one race as to the other. What I have said

of the opening that awaits the Negro in the business of

agriculture is almost equally true of mechanics, manufacturing,

and all the domestic arts. The field is before him and right

about him. Will he seize upon it? Will he "cast down his bucket

where he is"? Will his friends, North and South, encourage him

and prepare him to occupy it? Every city in the South, for

example, would give support to a first-class architect or

housebuilder or contractor of our race. The architect or

contractor would not only receive support, but through his example

numbers of young colored men would learn such trades as carpentry,

brickmasonry, plastering, painting, etc., and the race would be

put into a position to hold on to many of the industries which it

is now in danger of losing, because in too many cases brain,

skill, and dignity are not imparted to the common occupations.

Any individual or race that does not fit itself to occupy in the

best manner the field or service that is right about it will

sooner or later be asked to move on and let another take it.

But I may be asked, Would you confine the Negro to agriculture,

mechanics, the domestic arts, etc.? Not at all; but just now and

for a number of years the stress should be laid along the lines

that I have mentioned. We shall need and must have many teachers

and ministers, some doctors and lawyers and statesmen, but these

professional men will have a constituency or a foundation from

which to draw support just in proportion as the race prospers

along the economic lines that I have pointed out. During the

first fifty or one hundred years of the life of any people, are

not the economic occupations always given the greater attention?

This is not only the historic, but, I think, the common-sense

view. If this generation will lay the material foundation, it

will be the quickest and surest way for enabling later generations

to succeed in the cultivation of the fine arts, and to surround

themselves with some of the luxuries of life, if desired. What

the race most needs now, in my opinion, is a whole army of men and

women well-trained to lead, and at the same time devote

themselves to agriculture, mechanics, domestic employment, and

business. As to the mental training that these educated leaders

should be equipped with, I should say, give them all the mental

training and culture that the circumstances of individuals will

allow,--the more the better. No race can permanently succeed

until its mind is awakened and strengthened by the ripest thought.

But I would constantly have it kept in the minds of those who are

educated in books that a large proportion of those who are

educated should be so trained in hand that they can bring this

mental strength and knowledge to bear upon the physical conditions

in the South, which I have tried to emphasize.

Frederick Douglass, of sainted memory, once, in addressing his

race, used these words: "We are to prove that we can better our

own condition. One way to do this is to accumulate property.

This may sound to you like a new gospel. You have been accustomed

to hear that money is the root of all evil, etc.; on the other

hand, property, money, if you please, will purchase for us the

only condition by which any people can rise to the dignity of

genuine manhood; for without property there can be no leisure,

without leisure there can be no thought, without thought there can

be no invention, without invention there can be no progress."

The Negro should be taught that material development is not an

end, but merely a means to an end. As professor W. E. B. Du Bois

puts it, the idea should not be simply to make men carpenters, but

to make carpenters men. The Negro has a highly religious

temperament; but what he needs more and more is to be convinced of

the importance of weaving his religion and morality into the

practical affairs of daily life. Equally does he need to be

taught to put so much intelligence into his labor that he will see

dignity and beauty in the occupation, and love it for its own

sake. The Negro needs to be taught to apply more of the religion

that manifests itself in his happiness in prayer meeting to the

performance of his daily task. The man who owns a home, and is in

the possession of the elements by which he is sure of a daily

living, has a great aid to a moral and religious life. What

bearing will all this have upon the Negro's place in the South, as

a citizen and in the enjoyment of the privileges which our

government confers?

To state in detail just what place the black man will occupy in

the South as a citizen, when he has developed in the direction

named, is beyond the wisdom of any one. Much will depend upon the

sense of justice which can be kept alive in the breast of the

American people; almost as much will depend upon the good sense of

the Negro himself. That question, I confess, does not give me the

most concern just now. The important and pressing question is,

Will the Negro, with his own help and that of his friends, take

advantage of the opportunities that surround him? When he has

done this, I believe, speaking of his future in general terms,

that he will be treated with justice, be given the protection of

the law and the recognition which his usefulness and ability

warrant. If, fifty years ago, one had predicted that the Negro

would receive the recognition and honor which individuals have

already received, he would have been laughed at as an idle

dreamer. Time, patience, and constant achievement are great

factors in the rise of a race.

I do not believe that the world ever takes a race seriously, in

its desire to share in the government of a nation, until a large

number of individual members of that race have demonstrated beyond

question their ability to control and develop their own business

enterprises. Once a number of Negroes rise to the point where

they own and operate the most successful farms, are among the

largest taxpayers in their county, are moral and intelligent, I do

not believe that in many portions of the South such men need long

be denied the right of saying by their votes how they prefer their

property to be taxed, and who are to make and administer the laws.

I was walking the street of a certain town in the South lately in

company with the most prominent Negro there. While we were

together, the mayor of the town sought out the black man, and

said, "Next week we are going to vote on the question of issuing

bonds to secure water-works; you must be sure to vote on the day

of election." The mayor did not suggest whether he should vote

yes or no; but he knew that the very fact of this Negro's owning

nearly a block of the most valuable property in the town was a

guarantee that he would cast a safe, wise vote on this important

proposition. The white man knew that because of this Negro's

property interests he would cast his vote in the way he thought

would benefit every white and black citizen in the town, and not

be controlled by influences a thousand miles away. But a short

time ago I read letters from nearly every prominent white man in

Birmingham, Alabama, asking that the Rev. W. R. Pettiford, a

Negro, be appointed to a certain important federal office. What

is the explanation of this? For nine years Mr. Pettiford has been

the president of the Negro bank in Birmingham, to which I have

alluded. During these nine years, the white citizens have had the

opportunity of seeing that Mr. Pettiford can manage successfully a

private business, and that he has proved himself a conservative,

thoughtful citizen, and they are willing to trust him in a public

office. Such individual examples will have to be multiplied, till

they become more nearly the rule than the exception they now are.

While we are multiplying these examples, the Negro must keep a

strong and courageous heart. He cannot improve his condition by

any short-cut course or by artificial methods. Above all, he must

not be deluded into believing that his condition can be

permanently bettered by a mere battledoor [sic] and shuttlecock of

words, or by any process of mere mental gymnastics or oratory.

What is desired along with a logical defense of his cause are

deeds, results,--continued results, in the direction of building

himself up, so as to leave no doubt in the mind of any one of his

ability to succeed.

An important question often asked is, Does the white man in the

South want the Negro to improve his present condition? I say yes.

From the Montgomery (Alabama) Daily Advertiser I clip the

following in reference to the closing of a colored school in a

town in Alabama:--

"EUFALA, May 25, 1899. The closing exercises of the city colored

public school were held at St. Luke's A. M. E. Church last night,

and were witnessed by a large gathering, including many whites.

The recitations by the pupils were excellent, and the music was

also an interesting feature. Rev. R. T. Pollard delivered the

address, which was quite an able one, and the certificates were

presented by Professor T. L. McCoy, white, of the Sanford Street

School. The success of the exercises reflects great credit on

Professor S. M. Murphy, the principal, who enjoys a deserved good

reputation as a capable and efficient educator."

I quote this report, not because it is the exception, but because

such marks of interest in the education of the Negro on the part

of the Southern white people may be seen almost every day in the

local papers. Why should white people, by their presence, words,

and actions, encourage the black man to get education, if they do

not desire him to improve his condition?

The Payne Institute, an excellent college, to which I have already

referred, is supported almost wholly by the Southern white

Methodist church. The Southern white Presbyterians support a

theological school for Negroes at Tuscaloosa. For a number of

years the Southern white Baptists have contributed toward Negro

education. Other denominations have done the same. If these

people do not want the Negro educated to a higher standard, there

is no reason why they should pretend they do.

Though some of the lynchings in the South have indicated a

barbarous feeling toward Negroes, Southern white men here and

there, as well as newspapers, have spoken out strongly against

lynching. I quote from the address of the Rev. Mr. Vance, of

Nashville, Tennessee, delivered before the National Sunday School

Union, in Atlanta, not long since, as an example:--

"And yet, as I stand here to-night, a Southerner speaking for my

section and addressing an audience from all sections, there is one

foul blot upon the fair fame of the South, at the bare mention of

which the heart turns sick and the cheek is crimsoned with shame.

I want to lift my voice to-night in loud and long and indignant

protest against the awful horror of mob violence, which the other

day reached the climax of its madness and infamy in a deed as

black and brutal and barbarous as can be found in the annals of

human crime.

"I have a right to speak on the subject, and I propose to be

heard. The time has come for every lover of the South to set the

might of an angered and resolute manhood against the shame and

peril of the lynch demon. These people whose fiendish glee taunts

their victim as his flesh crackles in the flames do not represent

the South. I have not a syllable of apology for the sickening

crime they meant to avenge. But it is high time we were learning

that lawlessness is no remedy for crime. For one, I dare to

believe that the people of my section are able to cope with crime,

however treacherous and defiant, through their courts of justice;

and I plead for the masterful sway of a righteous and exalted

public sentiment that shall class lynch law in the category with


It is a notable and encouraging fact that no Negro educated in any

of our larger institutions of learning in the South has been

charged with any of the recent crimes connected with assaults upon


If we go on making progress in the directions that I have tried to

indicate, more and more the South will be drawn to one course. As

I have already said, it is not to the best interests of the white

race of the South that the Negro be deprived of any privilege

guaranteed him by the Constitution of the United States. This

would put upon the South a burden under which no government could

stand and prosper. Every article in our Federal Constitution was

placed there with a view of stimulating and encouraging the

highest type of citizenship. To continue to tax the Negro without

giving him the right to vote, as fast as he qualifies himself in

education and property for voting, would insure the alienation of

the affections of the Negro from the state in which he lives, and

would be the reversal of the fundamental principles of government

for which our states have stood. In other ways than this the

injury would be as great to the white man as to the Negro.

Taxation without the hope of becoming voters would take away from

one third of the citizens of the Gulf states their interest in

government, and a stimulus to become taxpayers or to secure

education, and thus be able and willing to bear their share of the

cost of education and government, which now rests so heavily upon

the white taxpayers of the South. The more the Negro is

stimulated and encouraged, the sooner will he be able to bear a

larger share of the burdens of the South. We have recently had

before us an example, in the case of Spain, of a government that

left a large portion of its citizens in ignorance, and neglected

their highest interests.

As I have said elsewhere: "There is no escape, through law of man

or God, from the inevitable.

'The laws of changeless justice bind

Oppressor with oppressed;

And close as sin and suffering joined

We march to fate abreast.'

Nearly sixteen millions of hands will aid you in pulling the load

upwards, or they will pull the load downwards against you. We

shall constitute one third and more of the ignorance and crime of

the South, or one third of its intelligence and progress; we shall

contribute one third to the business and industrial prosperity of

the South, or we shall prove a veritable body of death,

stagnating, depressing, retarding every effort to advance the body


My own feeling is that the South will gradually reach the point

where it will see the wisdom and the justice of enacting an

educational or property qualification, or both, for voting, that

shall be made to apply honestly to both races. The industrial

development of the Negro in connection with education and

Christian character will help to hasten this end. When this is

done, we shall have a foundation, in my opinion, upon which to

build a government that is honest, and that will be in a high

degree satisfactory to both races.

I do not suffer myself to take too optimistic a view of the

conditions in the South. The problem is a large and serious one,

and will require the patient help, sympathy, and advice of our

most patriotic citizens, North and South, for years to come. But

I believe that if the principles which I have tried to indicate

are followed, a solution of the question will come. So long as

the Negro is permitted to get education, acquire property, and

secure employment, and is treated with respect in the business

world, as is now true in the greater part of the South, I shall

have the greatest faith in his working out his own destiny in our

Southern states. The education and preparation for citizenship of

nearly eight millions of people is a tremendous task, and every

lover of humanity should count it a privilege to help in the

solution of a problem for which our whole country is responsible.

THE CAPTURE OF A SLAVER THE FREEDMEN'S BUREAU facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail