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Negro Education

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NEGRO EDUCATION in America be gan with the early efforts of individual masters or slave owners for economic reasons. They were supplemented by Spanish and French missionaries as a part of their effort to convert the In dians and the Negroes to Christianity.

The first settlers of the American Colonies, who offered Negroes the same educational and religious privileges which they accorded to white persons, were the Quakers. The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, an organi zation of the Episcopal Church of Eng land, attempted education as well as missionary work among Indians and Negroes, the first school being opened by the Rev. Samuel Thomas in South Carolina in 1695. In 1747 the Rev. William Sturgeon, a student of Yale, and ordained in London, opened a school for Negroes in Philadelphia.

Prohibitive legislation against the edu cation of the Negro began with the Act of South Carolina in 1740, but the Northern and New England States still continued to provide teachers for colored children. In 1828 there were three pub lic schools for Negroes in Boston, one in New Haven, one in Salem, and one in Portland, Me. In New York City the New York African Free School was or ganized in 1787, and was the first to introduce industrial training. In 1801 the Convention of Abolition Societies of New Jersey had several schools in oper ation. During the latter part of the 18th century and the early part of the 19th century practically all negro education was conducted either by the Church or by Abolition societies.

A colored settlement was begun near Xenia, O., where Wilberforce University had its beginning. The sixth census in 1850 shows that Pennsylvania had 3,114 Negro children in school, New York 2,607, Ohio 1,321, New Jersey 1,243; in 1860 New Jersey had 2,741, Ohio 5,671, New York 5,694, and Pennsylvania 7,573.

The first Negro to graduate from a college was John B. Russworm from Bowdoin. The first institution exclu sively for the higher education of Negro youth was opened in Philadelphia, 1852. Avery College was incorporated at Alle gheny City, 1849. Ashmun Institute, afterward Lincoln University, was founded in 1854 in Chester co., Pa.

Wilberforce University in Ohio was formally incorporated in 1856.

The earliest advocate of manual train ing for colored pupils was Frederick Douglass, and industrial schools were opened in Ohio and Indiana. Free pub lic schools for colored children were es tablished by law in Massachusetts 1820, New York 1821, Rhode Island 1828, Pennsylvania 1834, New Jersey 1844. The foundations of Hampton Institute were laid at Fortress Monroe in 1861. After the Emancipation Proclamation, Negro schools were established in all parts of the South by the Federal Army.

The Freedmen's Bureau was created March 3, 1865, and in the five years of its existence it established 4,239 schools, employed 9,307 teachers and taught 247, 333 pupils, expending for Negro educa tion $3,521,936, while the benevolent or ganizations cooperating with the bureau expended $1,572,000. In addition the freed colored people raised and expended for their own schools $785,700.

The American Missionary Association, which helped to establish Hampton, also started Fisk University at Nashville, Tenn.; Atlanta University, Atlanta, Ga., and Straight University at New Orleans, La. It also established normal schools at Charleston, S. C.; Macon, Ga.; Talla dega and Mobile, Ala.; high schools at Wilmington and Beaufort, N. C.; Sa vannah, Ga.; Memphis and Tenn.; and Louisville, Ky.

The American Freedmen's Union Com mission, organized in 1866, established 458 schools. The New England branch of the same society sent out 180 teachers, who instructed 10,000 pupils. The New York branch supported 125 schools, with 222 teachers. The Baltimore Associa tion for the Moral and Educational Im provement of the Colored People built more than 50 school houses.

West Virginia was the first Southern State to establish a public school sys tem for colored children, in 1863. The District of Columbia, Louisiana, and Maryland in 1864; Missouri, 1865; Ala bama and Tennessee, 1867; Arkansas, Florida, and South Carolina, 1868; North Carolina and Virginia, 1869; Georgia, Mississippi, and Texas, 1870; Kentucky, 1874; and Delaware, 1875.

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