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´╗┐Title: Shadow and Light - An Autobiography with Reminiscences of the Last and Present Century
Author: Gibbs, Mifflin Wistar
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Shadow and Light - An Autobiography with Reminiscences of the Last and Present Century" ***

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[Illustration: Very truly yours, M. W. Gibbs]


An Autobiography

With Reminiscences of the Last and Present Century.



With an Introduction by Booker T. Washington

A Fatherless Boy, Carpenter and Contractor, Anti-Slavery Lecturer,
Merchant, Railroad Builder, Superintendent of Mine, Attorney-at-Law,
County Attorney, Municipal Judge Register of United States Lands,
Receiver of Public Monies for U. S., United States Consul to
Madagascar--Prominent Race Leaders, etc.

Washington, D. C.

Copyright, 1902.


During the late years abroad, while reading the biographies of
distinguished men who had been benefactors, the thought occurred that I
had had a varied career, though not as fruitful or as deserving of
renown as these characters, and differing as to status and aim. Yet the
portrayal might be of benefit to those who, eager for advancement, are
willing to be laborious students to attain worthy ends.

I have aimed to give an added interest to the narrative by embellishing
its pages with portraits of men who have gained distinction in various
fields, who need only to be seen to present the career of those now
living as worthy models, and the record of the dead, who left the world
the better for having lived. To enjoy a life prominent and prolonged is
a desire as natural as worthy, and there have been those who sought to
extend its duration by nostrums and drinking-waters said to bestow the
virtue of "perpetual life." But if "to live in hearts we leave behind is
not to die," to be worthy of such memorial we must have done or said
something that blessed the living or benefited coming generations. Hence
autobiography is the record, for "books are as tombstones made by the
living, but destined soon to remind us of the dead."

Trusting that any absence of literary merit will not impair the author's
cherished design to "impart a moral," should he fail to "adorn a tale."

    Little Rock, Ark., January, 1902.



It is seldom that one man, even if he has lived as long as Judge M. W.
Gibbs is able to record his impressions of so many widely separated
parts of the earth's surface as Judge Gibbs can, or to recall personal
experiences in so many important occurrences.

Born in Philadelphia, and living there when that city--almost on the
border line between slavery and freedom--was the scene of some of the
most stirring incidents in the abolition agitation, he was able as a
free colored youth, going to Maryland to work, to see and judge of the
condition of the slaves in that State. Some of the most dramatic
operations of the famous "Underground Railroad" came under his personal
observation. He enjoyed the rare privilege of being associated in labor
for the race with that man of sainted memory, the Hon. Frederick
Douglass. He met and heard many of the most notable men and women who
labored to secure the freedom of the Negro. As a resident of California
in the exciting years which immediately followed the discovery of gold,
he watched the development of lawlessness there and its results. A few
years later he went to British Columbia to live, when that colony was
practically an unknown country. Returning to the United States, he was a
witness to the exciting events connected with the years of
Reconstruction in Florida, and an active participant in the events of
that period in the State of Arkansas. At one time and another he has met
many of the men who have been prominent in the direction of the affairs
of both the great political parties of the country. In more recent years
he has been able to see something of life in Europe, and in his official
capacity as United States Consul to Tamatave, Madagascar, adjoining
Africa, has resided for some time in that far-off and strange land.

It would be difficult for any man who has had all these experiences not
to be entertaining when he tells of them. Judge Gibbs has written an
interesting book.

Interspersed with the author's recollections and descriptions are
various conclusions, as when he says: "Labor to make yourself as
indispensable as possible in all your relations with the dominant race,
and color will cut less figure in your upward grade."

"Vice is ever destructive; ignorance ever a victim, and poverty ever

"Only as we increase in property will our political barometer rise."

It is significant to find one who has seen so much of the world as Judge
Gibbs has, saying, as he does: "With travel somewhat extensive and
diversified, and with residence in tropical latitudes of Negro origin,
I have a decided conviction, despite the crucial test to which he has
been subjected in the past, and the present disadvantages under which he
labors, that nowhere is the promise along all the lines of opportunity
brighter for the American Negro than here in the land of his nativity."

I bespeak for the book a careful reading by those who are interested in
the history of the Negro in America, and in his present and future.




CHAPTER I                                             3

Parents, School and Teacher--Foundation of
the Negroes' Mechanical Knowledge--First
Brick A. M. E. Church--Bishop Allen--Olive
Cemetery--Harriet Smith Home--"Underground
Railroad"--Incidents on the Road--William
and Ellen Craft--William Box Brown.

CHAPTER II                                           15

Nat Turner's Insurrection--Experience on a
Maryland Plantation--First Street Cars in
Philadelphia--Anti-Slavery Meetings--Amusing
Incidents--Opposition of Negro Churches--Kossuth
Celebration, and the Unwelcome

CHAPTER III                                          29

Cinguez, the Hero of Armistead Captives--The
Threshold of Man's Estate--My First Lecturing
Tour with Frederic Douglass--His "Life
and Times"--Pen Picture of George William
Curtis of Ante-Bellum Conditions--Harriet
Beecher Stowe, Lucretia Mott, and Frances E.
Harper, a Noble Band of Women--"Go Do
Some Great Thing"--Journey to California--Incidents
at Panama.

CHAPTER IV                                           40

Arrival at San Francisco--Getting Domiciled
and Seeking Work--Strike of White Employees--Lester
& Gibbs, Importers--Assaulted
in Our Store--First Protest from the
Colored Men of California--Poll Tax.

CHAPTER V                                            51

"Vigilance Committee" and Lynch Law at
"Fort Gunny"--Murder of James King, of William--A
Paradox to Present Conditions.

CHAPTER VI                                           59

Gold Discovery in British Columbia--Incidents
on Shipboard and Arrival at Victoria--National
Unrest in 1859--"Irrepressible Conflict"--Garrison
and Douglass--Harriet Beecher
Stowe and Frances Ellen Harper--John Brown
of Harper's Ferry--"Fugitive Slave Law"--Flight
to Canada.

CHAPTER VII                                          74

Abraham Lincoln President--Rebellion Inaugurated--Success
of the Union Army--Re-Election
of Lincoln--Bravery and Endurance of
Negro Soldiers--Assassination of Lincoln--Lynching
Denounced by Southern Governors
and Statesmen--Words of Wisdom from
St. Pierre de Couberton.

CHAPTER VIII                                         85

My First Entry Into Political Life--Intricacies
of the Ballot--Number of Negro Schools,
Pupils and Amount of School Property in 1898--Amendment
to Constitution and Interview
with Vice-President Schuyler Colfax at Victoria,
B. C.--William Lloyd Garrison, Jr., and
James Russell Lowell on the Right to Vote.

CHAPTER IX                                           93

Philip A. Bell, a Veteran Editor of the "Negro
Press"--British Columbia, Its Early History,
Efforts for Annexation to the United States--Meeting
with Lady Franklin, Widow of Sir
John Franklin, the Arctic Explorer, in 1859--Union
of British Columbia with the Dominion
of Canada in 1868, the Political Issue--Queen
Charlotte Island--Anthracite Coal Company--Director,
Contractor and Shipper of First
Cargo of Anthracite Coal on the Pacific
Coast--Indians and Their Peculiarities.

CHAPTER X                                           107

An Incident of Peril--My Return to the United
States in 1869--Thoughts and Feelings En
Route--Entered Oberlin Law College and
Graduated--Visit to my Brother, J. C. Gibbs,
Secretary of State of Florida--A Delegate to
the National Convention of Colored Men at
Charleston, S. C.--"Gratitude Expensive"--The
Trend of Republican Leaders--Contribution of
Southern White People for Negro Education--Views
of a Leading Democrat.

CHAPTER XI                                          122

President of National Convention at Nashville,
Tenn., in 1876--Pen and Ink Sketch by H. V.
Redfield of "Cincinnati Commercial"--Colored
Leaders Desire to Fraternize for Race Protection--William
H. Grey, H. B. Robinson, and
J. H. Johnson, of Arkansas, Leaders and
Planters--My Arrival at Little Rock, May,
1871--Reading of Local Statutes in the Law
Office of Benjamin & Barnes--"Wheeler &
Gibbs," Attorneys-at-Law.

CHAPTER XII                                         134

Politics and Politicians--Disruption of the Republicans
in Arkansas--"Minstrels and Brindle
Tails"--Early Canvassing in the South,
with Its Peculiarities--Ku Klux Visits--My
Appointment as County Attorney and Election
as Municipal Judge--Hon. John Allen, of Mississippi,
His Descriptive Anecdote.

CHAPTER XIII                                        145

Lowering Cloud on Righteous Rule--Comparison
of Negro Progress--Sir Walter Scott in His
Notes on English History--George C. Lorimer,
a Noted Divine--Educational Solution of the
Race Problem--Baron Russell, Lord Chief Justice
of England--Civil War in Arkansas--Expulsion
of Governor Baxter and Instalment
of Governor Brooks at the State Houses--Stirring
Episodes--"Who Shall Bell the
Cat?"--Extraordinary Session of the Legislature--My
Issue of a Search Warrant for the
Seal of the State--Recognition of Baxter by
the President.

CHAPTER XIV                                         158

Arkansas Constitutional Convention and New
Constitution Adopted--Augustus H. Garland
Elected Governor--My Letter from Madagascar
on Learning of His Demise--General
Grant's Nomination in 1872 at the Academy of
Music, Philadelphia--Oliver P. Morton, of Indiana--William
H. Gray, of Arkansas--R. B.
Elliot, of South Carolina--"Henry at Ajincourt"--Study
of Obsolete Languages Versus
Industrial Education--Views of Lord Rosebery,
ex-Premier of England--Also of Washington
Post--United States Have Supreme
Advantages for the Negro.

CHAPTER XV                                          173

Presidential Elector in 1876, Receiving the
Highest Vote--President Hayes, His Yearnings
and Accomplishments--Protest Against
Lawlessness by the Negroes in State Conventions--Negro
Exodus from the Southern to the
Western States in 1878--Secretary William
Windom's Letter--Hon J. C. Rapier, of Alabama,
and Myself Appointed by Secretary
Windom to Visit Western States and Report.

CHAPTER XVI                                         185

Appointed by the President in 1877 Register
of U. S. Lands--Robert J. Ingersoll on the
Benignity of Homestead Law--General
Grant's Tour Around the World and His
Arrival at Little Rock, 1879--A Guest at the
Banquet Given Him--Response to the Toast,
"The Possibilities of American Citizenship"--Roscoe
Conkling's Speech Nominating General
Grant for Third Term--Bronze Medal as one of
the Historic "306" at the National Convention
of 1880--The Manner of General Grant's Defeat
for Nomination and Garfield's Success--Character
Sketches of Hon. James G. Blaine,
Ingersoll's Mailed Warrior and Plumed Knight--Hon
Grover Cleveland.

CHAPTER XVII                                        195

Honorary Commissioner for the Colored Exhibits
of the World's Exposition at New Orleans,
La.--Neglected Opportunities--Important
Factors Necessary to Recognition.

CHAPTER XVIII                                       201

Effort of Henry Brown, of Oberlin, Ohio, to
Establish "Schools of Trade"--Call for a Conference
of Leading Colored Men in 1885--Industrial
Fair at Pine Bluff, Ark.--Captain
Thompson, of the "Capital Guards," a Colored
Military Company--Meeting of Prominent
Leaders at New Orleans--The Late N. W.
Cuney, of Texas--Contented Benefactions
from Christian Churches.

CHAPTER XIX                                         215

The Reunion of General Grant's "306"--Ferdinand
Havis, of Pine Bluff--Compromise and
Disfranchisement--Progress of the Negro--"Decoration
Day"--My Letter to the "Gazette"--Commission
to Sell Lots of the Hot
Springs Reservation--Twelve Years in the
Land Service of the United States.

CHAPTER XX                                          223

My Appointment as U. S. Consul to Tamatave,
Madagascar--My Arrival in France En Route
to Paris--Called on Ambassador Porter and
Consul Gowdy Relative to My "Exequator"--Visited
the Louvre, the Famous Gallery of
Paintings--"Follies Bergere," or Variety
Theater--The "Dome des Invalids" or the
Tomb of the Great Napoleon--Mrs. Mason, of
Arkansas and Washington, in Paris--Marseilles
and "Hotel du Louvre"--Embarkation
on French Ship "Pie Ho" for Madagascar--Scenes
and Incidents En Route--"Port Said"--Visit
to the "Mosque," Mohammedan Place of

CHAPTER XXI                                         236

Suez Canal--The Red Sea--Pharaoh and His
Hosts--Their Waterloo--Children of Israel--Travel
by Sea--Arrival and Landing at Madagascar--Bubonic
Plague--My Letter From

CHAPTER XXII                                        250

Island of Madagascar--Origin and Character
of the Inhabitants--Their Religion and Superstitions--Physical
Appearance of Madagascar--A
Word Painting of Antananarivo, the
Capital, by Cameron--Forms of Government--Queens
of Madagascar--Slavery and Forced

CHAPTER XXIII                                       265

Introduction of the Christian Religion--Printing
the Bible, Edict by Queen Ranavalona
Against It--The New Religion "a Cloth of a
Pattern She Did Not Like"--Asked the Missionaries,
"Can You Make Soap?"--"Dark
Days"--Persecutions and Executions for a
Quarter of a Century--Examples of Christian
Martyrs--Death of Queen Ranavalona--Permanent
Establishment of the Christian Religion--Self-denial
and Heroic Service of the Roman
Catholics--Native Race Protection Committee--Forced
Labor Abolished.

CHAPTER XXIV                                        282

Cuba and the Philippines--Their Acquisition
Under the Plea of Relief From Spanish Misrule--Aguinaldo,
Leader of the Filipinos--The
Fidelity and Bravery of the American Negro
in the Spanish War--Attestation by Many Witnesses--Industrial
Education--Othello's Occupation
Gone When Polls are Closed.

CHAPTER XXV                                         298

Opposition Possibly Beneficent--President McKinley's
Order for Enlistment of Colored Soldiers--General
Grosvenor's Tribute--Fifteen
Thousand in the Spanish War--U. S. Supreme
Court vs. The Negro--The Basis of Congressional

CHAPTER XXVI                                        306

Departure from Madagascar--Memories--Governor
General's Farewell Letter--Madagascar
Branch of the Smithsonian Institute--Wild
Animals, a Consul's Burden--Descriptive Letter
to State Department.

CHAPTER XXVII                                       312

Leave-taking, its Jollity and Sadness--Arrival
at Camp Aden, Arabia--An Elysium for the
Toper--Whisky Was Plenty, But the Water
Was Out--Pleasant Visit to U. S. Consul Cunningham,
of Knoxville, Tenn.--Arrival at
Suez--My Visit to the U. S. Cruiser "New
York"--The Urbanity of Captain Rogers--Suez
Canal--Port Said--"Mal de Mer"--Marseilles
to Paris--Across the English Channel to

CHAPTER XXVIII                                      320

My First Visit to the Land of Wilberforce
and Clarkson--Excursion on the Thames--Bank
of England--Visited Towers of London--Beauchamp
Tower With Its Sad Inscriptions--Arrival
at New York--National Negro Business
Men's League Convention at Chicago--Booker
T. Washington President--Many Talented
Business Men in Attendance.

CHAPTER XXIX                                        327

Visit to President McKinley at Canton, Ohio--His
Assassination at Buffalo--The Assassin
Struck Down by James Parker--President's
Death--The Nation in Tears--A Christian
Statesman--A Lover of Justice--Crucial
Epochs of Our Country's History, the Negro
at the Fore.

CHAPTER XXX                                         336

President Roosevelt--His Imperial Honesty--Ex-Governor
Jones, of Alabama--Advance of
Justice in Our Country--Status a Half-Century
Ago--Theodore Parker's Arraignment--Eulogy
by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

CHAPTER XXXI                                         343

Booker T. Washington a Guest at the White
House--Northern and Southern Press Comments--The
Latter Not Typical of the Best
Element of Southern Opinion.

CHAPTER XXXII                                       361

Washington City, the American Mecca--Ante-room
at the White House--The Diary of
an Office Seeker--William, the Innocent--William,
the Croker--Colored People of the
District of Columbia--Colored Press of the District.

CHAPTER XXXIII                                      269

Howard University--Public Schools--R. H.
Terrell Appointed to a Judgship of the District--Unlettered



1. M. W. Gibbs                  Frontispiece.

2. Richard Allen                            8

3. Wm. Lloyd Garrison                      18

4. Frederick Douglass                      32

5. Booker T. Washington                    44

6. H. M. Turner                            50

7. Geo. H. White                           58

8. J. M. Langston                          70

9. Abraham Lincoln                         74

10. W. B. Derrick                          80

11. Alexander Walters                      92

12. H. P. Cheatham                        104

13. Edward E. Cooper                      118

14. Judson Lyons                          128

15. Powell Clayton                        140

16. P. B. S. Pinchback                    149

17. A. H. Garland                         158

18. J. A. Booker                          172

19. I. G Ish                              175

20. J. P. Green                           183

21. P. L. Dunbar                          199

22. B. K. Bruce                           204

23. T. T. Fortune                         210

24. W. A. Pledger                         220

25. John C. Dancy                         228

26. Abram Grant                           253

27. J. E. Bush                            263

28. J. P. Robinson                        272

29. Martyrs                               274

30. Chester W. Keatts                     284

31. J. T. Settle                          294

32. Justice Harlan                        302

33. Charles W. Chestnut                   312

34. William McKinley                      327

35. James B. Parker                       331

36. President Roosevelt                   336

37. Secretary Cortelyou                   341

38. W. Calvin Chase                       367

39. R. H. Terrill                         370


In the old family Bible I see it recorded that I was born April 17,
1823, in Philadelphia, Pa., the son of Jonathan C. Gibbs and Maria, his
wife. My father was a minister in the Wesleyan Methodist Church, my
mother a "hard-shell" Baptist. But no difference of religious views
interrupted the even tenor of their domestic life. At seven years of age
I was sent to what was known as the Free School, those schools at that
time invaluable for colored youth, had not graded studies, systematized,
and with such accessories for a fruitful development of the youthful
mind as now exist. The teacher of the school, Mr. Kennedy, was an
Irishman by birth, and herculean in proportions; erudite and severely
positive in enunciation. The motto "Spare the rod and spoil the child"
had no place in his curriculum. Alike with the tutors of the deaf and
the blind, he was earnest in the belief that learning could be
impressively imparted through the sense of feeling. That his manner and
means were impressive you may well believe, when I say that I yet have a
vivid recollection of a bucket with an inch or two of water in it near
his desk. In it stood an assortment of rattan rods, their size when
selected for use ranging in the ratio of the enormity, of the offence
or the age of the offender.

Among the many sterling traits of character possessed by Mr. Kennedy was
economy; the frequent use of the rods as he raised himself on tiptoe to
make his protest the more emphatic--split and frizzled them--the
immersion of the tips in water would prevent this, and add to the
severity of the castigation, while diminishing the expense. A policy
wiser and less drastic has taken the place of corporal punishment in
schools. But Mr. Kennedy was competent, faithful and impartial. I was
not destined to remain long at school. At eight years of age two events
occurred which gave direction to my after life. On a Sunday in April,
1831, my father desired that the family attend his church; we did so and
heard him preach, taking as his text the 16th verse of Chapter 37 in
Genesis: "I seek my brethren; tell me, I pray thee, where they feed
their flocks."

On the following Sunday he lay before the pulpit from whence he had
preached, cold in death, leaving my mother, who had poor health, with
four small children, and little laid by "for a rainy day." Unable to
remain long at school, I was "put out" to hold and drive a doctor's
horse at three dollars a month, and was engaged in similar employment
until I reached sixteen years of age. Of the loving devotion and
self-sacrifice of an invalid mother I have not words to express, but
certain it is, that should it ever appear that I have done anything to
revere, or aught to emulate, it should be laid on the altar of her
Christian character, her ardent love of liberty and intense aspiration
for the upbuilding of the race. For her voice and example was an
educator along all the lines of racial progress.

Needing our assistance in her enfeebled condition, she nevertheless
insisted that my brother and myself should learn the carpenter trade. At
this period in the career of youth, the financial condition of whose
parents or sponsors is unequal to their further pursuit of scholastic
studies, it is not without an anxious solicitude they depart from the
parental roof. For the correct example and prudent advice may not be
invulnerable to the temptation for illicit pleasures or ruinous conduct.
Happy will he be who listens to the admonitions of age. Unfortunately by
the action of response, sad in its humor, too often is: I like the
advice but prefer the experience.

The foundation of the mechanical knowledge possessed by the Negro was
laid in the Southern States. During slavery the master selecting those
with natural ability, the most apt, with white foremen, had them taught
carpentering, blacksmithing, painting, boot and shoe making, coopering,
and other trades to utilize on the plantations, or add to their value as
property. Many of these would hire themselves by the year from their
owners, contract on their own account, and by thrift purchase their
freedom, emigrate and teach colored youths of Northern States, where
prejudice continues to exclude them from the workshops, while at the
South the substantial warehouse and palatial dwelling from base to dome,
is often the creation of his brain and the product of his handiwork.

James Gibbons, of the class above referred to, and to whom we were
apprenticed, was fat, and that is to say, he was jolly. He had ever a
word of kind encouragement, wise counsel or assistance to give his
employees. Harshness, want of sympathy or interest is often the
precursor and stimulator to the many troubles with organized labor that
continue to paralyze so many of our great industrial concerns at the
present time, resulting in distress to the one and great material loss
to the other. Mr. Gibbons had but a limited education, but he possessed
that aptitude, energy, and efficiency which accomplishes great objects,
that men call genius, and which is oftimes nothing more than untiring
mental activity harnessed to intensity of purpose. These constituted his
grasp of much of the intricacies of mechanical knowledge. His example
was ever in evidence, by word and action, that only by assidious effort
could young men hope to succeed in the battle of life.

Mr. Gibbons was competent and had large patronage. We remained with him
until we reached our majority. During a religious revival we both became
converted and joined the Presbyterian Church. My brother entered
Dartmouth College, under the auspices of the Presbyterian Assembly,
graduated and ministered in the church at Philadelphia. After a brief
period as a journeyman, I became a contractor and builder on my own
account. It is ever a source of strength for a young person to have
faith in his or her possibilities, and as soon as may be, assume

While remaining subject to orders, the stimulus is lacking for that
aggressive energy, indispensable to bring to the front. Temporary
failure you may have, for failure lies in wait for all human effort, but
sneaks from a wise and unconquerable determination. We read of the
military prisoner, alone, dejected, and despairing, looking to the walls
of his cell; he watches a score of attempts and failure of a spider to
scale the wall, only to renew an attempt crowned with success. The
lesson was fruitful for the prisoner.

Mr. Gibbons built several of the colored churches in Philadelphia, and
in the early forties, during my apprenticeship, he was a bidder for the
contract to build the first African Methodist Episcopal brick church of
the connection on the present site at Sixth and Lombard streets in
Philadelphia. A wooden structure which had been transformed from a
blacksmith shop to a meeting house was torn down to give place to the
new structure. When a boy I had often been in the old shop, and have
heard the founder, Bishop Allen, preach in the wooden building. He was
much reverenced. I remember his appearance, and his feeble, shambling
gait as he approached the close of an illustrious life.

The A. M. E. Church was distinctively the pioneer in the career of
colored churches; its founders the first to typify and unflinchingly
assert the brotherhood of man and the Fatherhood of God. Dragged from
their knees in the white churches of their faith, they met exclusion by
cohesion; ignorance by effort for culture, and poverty by unflinching
self-denial; justice and right harnessed to such a movement, who shall
declare its ultimatum.

Out from that blacksmith shop went an inspiration lifting its votaries
to a self-reliance founded on God, a harbinger of hope to the enslaved.

From Allen to Payne, and on and on along lines of Christian fame, its
missionaries going from triumph to triumph in America, and finally
planting its standard on the isles of the sea.

A distinct line is ever observable between civilization and barbarism,
in the regard and reverence for the dead, the increase of solicitude is
evidence of a people's advancement. Until the year 1848 the colored
people of Philadelphia used the grounds, always limited, in the rear of
their churches for burial. They necessarily became crowded, with
sanitary conditions threatening, without opportunity to fittingly mark
and adorn the last resting place of their dead.


First Bishop of the A. M. E. Church.

Founder of that Faith That Once Nestled in a Blacksmith Shop, But Now
Encircles the World.]

In the above year G. W. Gaines, J. P. Humphries, and the writer
purchased a tract of land on the north side of Lancaster turnpike, in
West Philadelphia, and were incorporated under the following act by the
Legislature of the State of Pennsylvania: "An Act to incorporate the
Olive Cemetery Company," followed by the usual reservations and
conditions in such cases provided. Among reasons inducing me to refer to
this are, first, to give an idea of the propriety and progress of the
race fifty years ago, and secondly, for the further and greater reasons,
as the following will show, that the result of the project was not only
a palladium for blessed memory of the dead, but was the nucleus of a
benefaction that still blesses the living.

The land was surveyed and laid out in lots and avenues, plans of gothic
design were made for chapel and superintendent's residence, and contract
for construction was awarded the writer. The project was not entirely an
unselfish one, but profit was not the dominating incentive. After
promptly completing the contract with the shareholders as to buildings
and improvements of the ground, the directors found themselves in debt,
and welcomed the advent of Stephen Smith, a wealthy colored man and
lumber merchant, to assist in liquidating liabilities. To him an
unoccupied portion of the ground was sold, and in his wife's heart the
conception of a bounteous charity was formed. The "Old Folks' Home," so
beneficent to the aged poor of Philadelphia, demands more than a passing

"The Harriet Smith Home for Aged and Infirm Colored Persons" is a
continuation of a charity organized September, 1864, and the first board
of managers (a noble band of humanitarians) elected. The preamble was as
follows: "For the relief of that worthy class of colored persons who
have endeavored through life to maintain themselves, but who, from
various causes, are finally dependent on the charity of others, an
association is hereby organized." The work of this home was conducted in
a large dwelling house on South Front street until the year 1871, when,
through the munificence of Stephen Smith and his wife, the land on the
corner of Belmont and Girard avenues, previously purchased from the
Olive Cemetery Company, together with a large four-story building,
valued at $40,000, was given to the Board. In 1871 it was opened as the
"Harriet Smith Home," where it still stands as an enduring monument to
the original donors, and other blessed friends of the race, who have
continued to assist with generous endowments. Edward T. Parker, who died
in 1887, gave $85,000 for an annex to the building. Colored people since
its incipiency have given $200,000. The board is composed of white and
colored persons. On a recent visit I found the home complete,
convenient, and cleanly in all its appurtenances, with an air of
comfort and contentment pervading the place. From many with bent and
decrepit bodies, from wrinkled and withered faces, the sparkling eye of
gratitude could be seen, and prayer of thankfulness read; for this
product of a benign clemency that had blessed both the giver and
receiver. There can be no one with filial affection happy in the thought
that it is in their power to assuage the pain or assist the tottering
steps of their own father or mother, but will recognize the humanity,
Christian character, and unselfishness of the men and women organized
for giving the helping hand to the "unfortunate aged, made dependent by
blameless conditions."

During my apprenticeship, aware of my educational deficiencies, having
been unable to pursue a consecutive course of study in earlier life, I
spent much of the night and odd times in an endeavor to make up the
loss. In joining the Philadelphia Library Company, a literary society of
colored men, containing men of such mental caliber as Isaiah C. Wear,
Frederick Hinton, Robert Purvis, J. C. Bowers, and others, where
questions of moment touching the condition of the race were often
discussed with acumen and eloquence, I was both benefited and
stimulated. It was a needed help, for man is much the creature of his
environments, and what widens his horizon as to the inseparable
relations of man to man and the mutuality of obligation, strengthens
his manhood in the ratio he embraces opportunity.

Pennsylvania being a border State, and Philadelphia situated so near the
line separating the free and slave States, that city was utilized as the
most important adjunct or way-station of the "underground railroad," an
organization to assist runaway slaves to the English colony of Canada.
Say what you will against old England, for, like all human polity, there
is much for censure and criticism, but this we know, that when there
were but few friends responsive, and but few arms that offered to succor
when hunted at home, old England threw open her doors, reached out her
hand, and bid the wandering fugitive slave to come in and "be of good

As one of the railroad company mentioned, many cases came under my
observation, and some under my guidance to safety in Canada. One of the
most peculiar and interesting ones that came under by notice and
attention, was that of William and Ellen Craft, fugitives from the State
of Georgia. Summoned one day to a colored boarding house, I was
presented to a person dressed in immaculate black broadcloth and silk
beaver hat, whom I supposed to be a young white man. By his side stood a
young colored man with good features and rather commanding presence. The
first was introduced to me as Mrs. Craft and the other as her husband,
two escaped slaves. They had traveled through on car and boat, paying
and receiving first-class accommodations. Mrs. Craft, being fair,
assumed the habit of young master coming north as an invalid, and as she
had never learned to write, her arm was in a sling, thereby avoiding the
usual signing of register on boat or at hotel, while her servant-husband
was as obsequious in his attentions as the most humble of slaves. They
settled in Boston, living very happily, until the passage of the
fugitive slave law in 1850, when they were compelled to flee to England.

The civil war of 1861 and proclamation of freedom followed. In 1870,
arriving in Savannah, Georgia, seeking accommodation, I was directed to
a hotel, and surprised to find the host and hostess my whilom friends of
underground railroad fame. They had returned to their old home after
emancipation. The surprise was pleasant and recognition mutual.

One other, and I shall pass this feature of reminiscence. It was that of
William Brown, distinguished afterward as William Box Brown, the
intervening "Box" being a synonym of the manner of his escape. An agent
of the underground railroad at Richmond, Virginia, had placed him in a
box two feet wide and four feet long, ends hooped, with holes for air,
and bread and water, and sent him through the express company to
Philadelphia. On the arrival of the steamboat the box was roughly
tumbled off as so much dead freight on the wharf, but, unfortunately
for Brown, on the end, with his feet up and head down. After remaining
in such position for a time which seemed to him hours, he heard a man
say to another, "Let's turn that box down and sit on it." It was done,
and Brown found himself "right side up," if not "with care." I was
called to the anti-slavery office, where the box was taken. It had been
arranged that when he arrived at his destination, three slow and
distinct knocks should be given, to which he was to respond. Fear that
he was crippled or dead was depicted in the faces of Miller McKim,
William Still and a few others that stood around the box in the office.
Hence it was not without trepidation the agreed signal was given, and
the response waited for. An "all right" was cheerily given; the lifting
of suspense and the top of the box was almost simultaneous. Out sprang a
man weighing near 200 pounds. Brown, though uneducated, it is needless
to say, was imbued with the spirit of liberty, and with much natural
ability, with his box he traveled and spoke of his experience in
slavery, the novelty of his escape adding interest to his description.
Many similar cases of heroism in manner of escape of men and women are
recorded in William Still's "Underground Railroad."


The immortal bard has sung that "there's a destiny that shapes our
ends." At eight years of age, as already stated, two events occurred
which had much to do in giving direction to my after life. The one the
death of my father, as formerly mentioned; the other the insurrection of
Nat Turner, of South Hampton, Virginia, in August, 1831, which fell upon
the startled sense of the slaveholding South like a meteor from a dear
sky, causing widespread commotion. Nat Turner was a Baptist preacher,
who with four others, in a lonely place in the woods, concocted plans
for an uprising of the slaves to secure their liberty. Employed in the
woods during the week, a prey to his broodings over the wrongs and
cruelties, the branding and whipping to death of neighboring slaves, he
would come out to meetings of his people on Sunday and preach,
impressing much of his spirit of unrest. Finally he selected a large
number of confederates, who were to secretly acquire arms of their
masters. The attack concocted in February was not made until August 20,
when the assault, dealing death and destruction, was made.

All that night they marched, carrying consternation and dread on account
of the suddenness, determination and boldness of the attack. The whole
State was aroused, and soldiers sent from every part. The blacks fought
hand to hand with the whites, but were soon overpowered by numbers and
superior implements of warfare. Turner and a few of his followers took
refuge in the "Dismal Swamp," almost impenetrable, where they remained
two or three months, till hunger or despair compelled them to surrender.
Chained together, they were taken to the South Hampton Court House and
arraigned. Turner, it is recorded, without a tremor, pleaded not guilty,
believing that he was justified in the attempt to liberate his people,
however drastic the means. His act, which would have been heralded as
the noblest heroism if perpetrated by a white man, was called religious
fanaticism and fiendish brutality.

Turner called but few into his confidence, and foolhardy and unpromising
as the attempt may have been, it had the ring of an heroic purpose that
gave a Bossarius to Greece, and a Washington to America. A purpose "not
born to die," but to live on in every age and clime, stimulating
endeavors to attain the blessings of civil liberty.

It was an incident as unexpected in its advent as startling in its
terrors. Slavery, ever the preponderance of force, had hitherto reveled
in a luxury heightened by a sense of security. Now, in the moaning of
the wind, the rustling of the leaves or the shadows of the moon, was
heard or seen a liberator. Nor was this uneasiness confined to the
South, for in the border free States there were many that in whole or in
part owned plantations stocked with slaves.

In Philadelphia, so near the line, excitement ran high. The intense
interest depicted in the face of my mother and her colored neighbors;
the guarded whisperings, the denunciations of slavery, the hope defeated
of a successful revolution keenly affected my juvenile mind, and stamped
my soul with hatred to slavery.

At 12 years of age I was employed at the residence of Sydney Fisher, a
prominent Philadelphia lawyer, who was one of the class above mentioned,
living north and owning a plantation in the State of Maryland. Over a
good road of 30 miles one summer's day, he took me to his plantation. I
had never before been that distance from home and had anticipated my
long ride with childish interest and pleasure. After crossing the line
and entering "the land of cotton and the corn," a new and strange
panorama began to open, and continued to enfold the vast fields bedecked
in the snowy whiteness of their fruitage. While over gangs of slaves in
row and furrough were drivers with their scourging whip in hand. I
looked upon the scene with curious wonder. Three score of years and more
have passed, but I still see that sad and humbled throng, working close
to the roadway, no head daring to uplift, no eye to enquiringly gaze.
During all those miles of drive that bordered on plantations, as
machines they acted, as machines they looked. My curiosity and youthful
impulse ignoring that reticence becoming a servant, I said: "Mr. Fisher,
who are these people?" He said, "They are slaves." I was startled but
made no reply. I had not associated the exhilaration of the drive with a
depressing view of slavery, but his reply caused a tumult of feeling in
my youthful breast. The Turner episode of which I had heard so much, the
narratives of whippings received by fugitives, slaves that had come to
my mother's house, the sundering of family ties on the auction block,
were vividly presented to my mind. I remained silent as to speech, as to
feelings belligerent. A few moments elapsed and Mr. Fisher broke the
silence by saying, "Mifflin, how would you like to be a slave?" My
answer was quick and conformed to feeling. "I would not be a slave! I
would kill anybody that would make me a slave!" Fitly spoken. No grander
declaration I have ever made. But from whom did it come--from almost
childish lips with no power to execute. I little thought of or knew the
magnitude of that utterance, nor did I notice then the effect of its
force. Quickly and quite sternly came the reply: "You must not talk that
way down here." I was kept during our stay in what was known during
slavery as the "great house," the master's residence, and my meals were
eaten at the table he had quit, slept in the same house, and had, if
desired, little or no opportunity to talk or mingle with the slaves
during the week's visit. I did not understand at that time the
philosophy of espionage, but in after years it became quite apparent
that from my youthful lips had came the "open sesame to the door of
liberty," "resistance to oppression," the slogan that has ever heralded
the advent of freedom.


"The Great Liberator."

"I Will not Excuse, I Will Not Retreat a Single Inch; I Will Be Heard"
"Emancipation the Right of the Slave and Duty of the Master"--"He Made
Every Single Home, Press, Pulpit, and Senate Chamber a Debating Society
with His Right and Wrong for the Subject."]

As I passed to manhood the object lesson encountered on the Maryland
plantation did much to intensify my hatred of slavery and to strengthen
my resolution to ally myself with any effort for its abolition. The
burning of Pennsylvania Hall by a mob in Philadelphia, in 1838, built
and used by anti-slavery people, the ravages of what was known as the
"Moyamensing Killers," who burned down the churches and residences of
the colored people and murdered their occupants, did much to increase
the anti-slavery feeling.

Old Bethel Church, then the nursery of the present great A. M. E.
Church, was guarded day and night by its devoted men and women
worshipers. The cobble street pavement in front was dug up and the
stones carried up and placed at the windows in the galley to hurl at the
mob. This defense was sustained for several weeks at a time. Every
American should be happy in the thought that a higher civilization is
making such acts less and less frequent. It is not strange that our
present generation enjoying a large measure of civil and political
liberty can but faintly comprehend the condition fifty years ago, when
they were persistently denied. The justice of participation seems so
apparent, it is not easy to fully conceive, when all were refused, in
quite all that were denominated free States.

When street cars were first established in Philadelphia "the brother in
black" was refused accommodations. He nevertheless persisted in entering
the cars. Sometimes he would be thrown out, at others, after being
"sized up" the driver with his horses would leave his car standing on
switch, while its objectionable occupant was "monarch of all he

The "man and brother" finding his enemy impervious to direct attack,
commenced a flank movement. As he was not allowed to ride inside, he
resolved to ride alongside; bought omnibuses and stock and established a
line on the car route at reduced rates. The cars were not always on
time, and many whites would avail themselves of its service. I remember
one of this class accosting a driver: "What 'Bus is this?" The simple
driver answered, "It is the colored peoples!" "I don't care whose in the
---- it is, does it go to the bridge? I am in a hurry to get there," and
in he got. I thought then and still think what a useful moral the
incident conveyed to my race. Labor to make yourself as indispensable as
possible in all your relations with the dominant race and color will cut
less and less figure in your upward grade. The line was kept up for some
time, often holding what was called "omnibus meetings" in our halls,
always largely attended, make reports, hear spirited speeches, and have
a deal of fun narrating incidents of the line, receiving generous
contributions when the horses or busses needed replenishing. But the
most exciting times were those when there had been interference with the
running of the "underground railroad," and the attempt to capture
passengers in transit, or at the different way-stations, of which as
previously stated, Philadelphia was the most prominent in forwarding its
patrons to Canada.

Before the passage of the fugitive slave law, in 1850, if the fugitive
was taken back it was done by stealth--kidnapped and spirited away by
clandestine means. Sometimes by the treachery of his own color, but this
was seldom and unhealthy. The agent of the owner was often caught in the
act, and by argument more emphatic than gentle, was soon conspicuous by
his absence. At others local anti-slavery friends would appeal to the
courts, and the agent would be arrested. Slavery in law being local
before the passage of the "Act of 1850," making it national, we were
generally successful in having the fugitives released. We were
extremely fortunate in having for our chief counsel David Paul Brown, a
leader of the Philadelphia bar, who, with other white friends, never
failed to respond to our call; learned in Constitutional law, eloquent
in expression, he did a yeoman's service in behalf of liberty.

The colored men of Pennsylvania, like their brethren in other Northern
States, were not content in being disfranchised. As early as 1845 a
committee of seven, consisting of Isaiah C. Wear, J. C. Bowers, and
others, including the writer, were sent to the capitol at Harrisburg to
lay a petition before the Legislature asking for enfranchisement and all
rights granted to others of the commonwealth. The grant was tardy, but
it came with the cannon's boom and musketry's iron hail, when the
imperiled status of the nation made it imperative. Thus, as ever, with
the immutable decrees of God, while battling for the freedom of the
slave, we broadened our consciousness, not only as to the inalienable
rights of human nature, but received larger conceptions of civil
liberty, coupled with a spirit of determination to defend our homes and
churches from infuriated mobs, and to contend for civil and political

They were truly a spartan band, the colored men and women. The naming of
a few would be invidious to the many who were ever keenly alive to the
proscription to which they were subject, and ever on the alert for
measures to awaken the moral sense of the border States.

Meetings were nightly held for counsel, protests and assistance to the
fugitive, who would sometimes be present to narrate the woes of slavery.
Sometimes our meetings would be attended by pro-slavery lookers-on,
usually unknown, until excoriation of the Northern abettors of slavery
was too severe to allow them to remain incognito, when they would reply:
It is a sad commentary on a phase of human nature that the oppressed
often, when vaulted into authority or greater equality of condition,
become the most vicious of oppressors. It has been said that Negro
drivers were most cruel and unsparing to their race. The Irish, having
fled from oppression in the land of their birth, for notoriety, gain, or
elevation by comparison, were nearly all pro-slavery. At one of our
meetings during the narration of incidents of his life by a fugitive,
one of the latter class interrupted by saying, "Aren't you lying, my
man? I have been on plantations. I guess your master did not lose much
when you left." Now, it is a peculiarity of the uneducated, when,
puzzled for the moment, by the tardiness of an idea, to scratch the
head. Jacobs, the fugitive, did so, and out it came. "I dunno how much
he lost, only what master said. I was the house boy, one day, and at
dinner time he sent me to the well to get a cool pitcher of water. I let
the silver pitcher drop in the well. Well, I knowed that pitcher had to
be got out, so I straddled down and fished it up. Master was mad, 'cause
I staid so long, so I up and tells him. He fairly jumped and said "Did
you go down that well? Why didn't you come and tell me and I would made
Irish Mike, the ditcher, go down. If you had drowned I'd lost $800.
Don't you do that agin.""

It is needless to say that this "brought down the house," and shortly
the exit of the son of the Emerald Isle. At another time the interrupter
said: "Will you answer me a question or two? Did you not get enough to
eat?" "Yes." "A place to sleep?" "Yes." "Was your master good or bad to
you?" "Marster was pretty good, I must say." "Well, what else did you
want? That is a good deal more than a good many white men get up here."
The man stood for a moment busy with his fingers in a fruitless attempt
to find the fugitive ends of a curl of his hair, temporarily nonplussed
at his palliating concessions, half apologetically said: "Well, I think
it a heap best to be free." Then suddenly and gallantly strengthening
his defense; "but, look here, Mister, if you think it so nice down
there, my place is still open." The questioner good naturedly joined in
the general merriment.

Very frequently we were enthused and inspired by Frederick Douglass,
Henry Highland Garnett, Marten R. Delaney, and Charles L. Remond, an
illustrious quartet of the hallowed band in the anti-slavery crusade,
whose eloquence, devotion, and effectiveness stood unsurpassed.

There were few, if any, available halls for these meetings. The only
resort was the colored churches. Those under the auspices of white
denominations had members who objected to their use for such a purpose.
Craven and fawning, content with the crumbs that fell from these
peace-loving Christians, who deprecated the discussion of slavery while
they ignored the claim of outraged humanity, these churches were more
interested in the physical excitement of a "revival" than in listening
to appeals in behalf of God's poor and lonely. Their prototypes that
"passed by on the other side" have been perpetuated in many climes, in
those who believe that it is the formalities of contact with the
building that blesses a people and not the Godliness and humanity of the
worshippers that give glory and efficacy to the church. An antagonism
thus created resulted in a crusade against such churches styled
"Come-Outerism," and many left them on account of such apathy to carry
on the warfare amid congenial association.

It has been said that citizenship was precipitated upon the Negro before
he was fit for its exercise. Without discussing the incongruity of this,
when applied to the ignorant native Negro and not to the ignorant alien
emigrant, it may be conceded that keeping them in abject bondage with
no opportunity to protest, made slavery anything but a preparatory
school for the exercises of civic virtues, or the assumption of their
responsibilities. It was not true, however, with the mass in the free,
or many in the slave States. Always akin and adjunct are the yearnings
indestructible in human nature for equal rights. And in every age and
people the ratio of persistency and sacrifice have been the measure of
their fitness for its enjoyment. During 25 years preceding the abolition
of slavery the colored people of the free States, though much
proscribed, were active in their protests against enslavement, seizing
every chance through press and forum "to pour the living coals of truth
upon the nation's naked heart," setting forth in earnest contrast the
theory upon which the government was founded with its administration as

In 1848 Philadelphia Square, whereon the old State House of historic
fame still stands, was made resonant by the bell upon whose surface the
fathers had inscribed "Proclaim liberty throughout the world and to all
the inhabitants thereof," and was bedecked with garlands and every
insignia of a joyful people in honor of the Hungarian patriot, Louis
Kossuth. Distinctive platforms had been erected for speakers whose
fatherland was in many foreign lands. Upon each was an orator receiving
the appreciation and plaudits of an audience whose hearts beat as one
for success to the "Great Liberator." The "unwelcome guests," the
colored men present, quickly embraced the opportunity, utilizing for a
platform a dry goods box, upon which I was placed to give the Negro
version of this climax of inconsistency and quintessence of hypocrisy.
This was the unexpected. All the people, both native and foreign, had
been invited and special places provided for all except the Negro, and
on the native platform he was not allowed space. The novelty of the
incident and curiosity to hear what the colored man had to say quickly
drew a crowd equal to others of the occasion. Then, as now, and perhaps
forever, there was that incalculable number of non-committals whose
moral sense is disturbed by popular wrong, but who are without courage
of conviction, inert, waiting for a leader that they may be one of the
two that take place behind him, or one of three or four, or ten, who
follow in serried ranks, that constitute the wedge-like motor that
splits asunder hoary wrong, proximity to the leader being in ratio to
their moral fibre. Most of the audience listened to the utterance of
sentiments that the allurements of trade, or the exactions of society,
forbade them to disseminate.

The occasion was an excellent one to demonstrate the heartlessness of
the projectors, who, while pretending to glorify liberty in the
distance, were treating it with contumely at home, where 3,000,000
slaves were held in bondage, and feeling keenly the ostracism of the
slave as beyond the pole of popular sympathy or national compassion,
with words struggling for utterance, I spoke as best I could, receiving
toleration, and a quiet measure of approbation, possibly on the
supposition, realized in the fruition of time, that such discussion
might eventuate in the liberation of white men from the octopus of
subserviency to the dictum of slavery which permeated every ramification
of American society. I heard Hon. Cassius M. Clay, of Kentucky, sometime
in the forties, while making a speech in Philadelphia, say: "Gentlemen,
the question is not alone whether the Negroes are to remain slaves, but
whether we white men are to continue free." So bitter was the onslaught
on all, and especially on white men, politically and socially, who dared
denounce slavery.


An event that came under my notice of startling character, attracting
national attention, was the arrival of the schooner "Amistad" at
Philadelphia in 1840. This vessel had been engaged in the slave trade.
With a cargo of slaves from Africa was destined for one of the West
India Islands. Cinguez, one of, and at the head of the captives,
rebelled while at sea, killing a number of the crew and taking
possession of the ship.

In the concluding scene of the foregoing drama, Mr. Douglass was an
actor, I an observer. After the decision giving them their liberty, the
anti-slavery society, who had been vigilant in its endeavors to have
them liberated ever since their advent on American shores, held a
monster meeting to receive them.

Frederick Douglass introduced "Cinguez" to the meeting. I cannot forget
or fail to feel the inspiration of that scene. The two giants locked in
each others embrace, looked the incarnation of heroism and dauntless
purpose, equal to the achievement of great results. The one by
indomitable will had shaken off his own shackles and was making slavery
odius by his matchless and eloquent arraignment; the other, "a leader
of men," had now written his protest with the blood of his captors.
Cinguez, with unintelligible utterance in African dialect with emphatic
gesture, his liberty loving soul on fire, while burning words strove for
expression, described his action on the memorable night of his
emancipation, with such vividness, power, and pathos that the audience
seemed to see every act of the drama and feel the pulsation of his great
heart. Through an interpreter he afterwards narrated his manner of
taking the vessel, and how it happened to reach American shores. How,
after taking the ship, he stood by the tiller with drawn weapon and
commanded the mate to steer back to Africa. During the day he complied,
but at night took the opposite course. After sometime of circuitous
wandering the vessel ran into Long Island Sound and was taken possession
of by the United States authorities. Cinguez, as hero and patriot,
ennobled African character.

When majority and the threshold of man's estate is attained, the
transition from advanced youth to the entry of manhood is liable to
casualties; not unlike a bark serenely leaving its home harbor to enter
unfrequented waters, the crew exhilarated by fresh and invigorating
breezes, charmed by a genial sky, it moves on "like a thing of beauty"
with the hope of "joy forever." The chart and log of many predecessors
may unheeded lie at hand, but the glorious present, cloudless and
fascinating, rich in expectation, it sails on, fortunate if it escapes
the rocks and shoals that ever lie in wait. It is unreasonable to expect
a proper conception, and the happiest performance of life's duties at
such a period, especially from those with easy and favorable
environments, or who have been heedless of parental restraint, for even
at an advanced stage in life, there have been many to exclaim with a

    "Ne'er tell me of evening serenely adorning
    The close of a life richly mellowed by time,
    Give me back, give me back the wild freshness of morning
    Her smiles and her tears are worth evening's best light."

Twenty-one years of age found me the possessor of a trade, an
attainment, and a capital invaluable for a poor young man beginning the
race of life. For whether seen smutted by the soot of the blacksmith
shop, or whitened by the lime of the plasterer or bricklayer; whether
bending beneath tool box of the carpenter or ensconced on the bench of
the shoemaker, he has a moral strength, a consciousness of acquirement,
giving him a dignity of manhood unpossessed by the menial and those
engaged in unskilled labor. Let it never be forgotten that as high over
in importance as the best interest of the race is to that of the
individual, will be the uplifting influence of assiduously cultivating a
desire to obtain trades. The crying want with us is a middle class. The
chief component of our race today is laborers unskilled. We will not and
cannot compete with other races who have a large and influential class
of artisans and mechanics, and having received higher remuneration for
labor, have paved the way for themselves or offsprings from the mechanic
to the merchant or to the professional. These three factors, linked and
interlinked, an ascending chain will be strong in its relation, as
consistent in construction.

In 1849 Frederick Douglass, Charles Lenox Remond and Julia Griffith, an
English lady prominent in reform circles in England, attended the
National Anti-slavery Convention held in Philadelphia, and presided over
by that apostle of liberty, Wm. Lloyd Garrison. At its close Mr.
Douglass invited me to accompany him to his home at Rochester, and then
to join him in lecturing in the "Western Reserve."

Without salary, poor in purse, doubtful of useful ability, dependent for
sustenance on a sentiment then prevailing, that for anti-slavery
expression was as reserved as the "Reserve" was Western. I have often
thought of my feelings of doubt and fear to go with Mr. Douglass, as an
epoch in my life's history. The parting of the ways, the embarkation to
a wider field of action, the close connection between obedience to an
impulse of duty (however uninviting or uncertain the outcome), and the
ever moral and often material benefit.


"Sage of Anacostia."

The Most Distinguished Negro of the Race--As Statesman, Editor, Orator,
Philanthropist He Left an Indelible Mark on the Page of His Country's
History--Born in 1817 at Tuckahoe, Maryland--Died February, 1895--He was
Author of "My Bondage and My Freedom," "Life and Times of Frederick
Douglass," and Others.]

Rochester proved to be my pathway to California. Western New York, 50
years ago, then known as the "Western Reserve," was very unlike the
present as to population, means of travel, material developments,
schools of learning, and humanizing influences. Mr. Douglass, in the
Baptist Church in Little Rock, Ark., a short time before his death, told
how, in 1849, we there traveled together; that where now are stately
cities and villages a sparsely settled wilderness existed; that while we
there proclaimed abolition as the right of the slave, the chilling
effect of those December days were not more cold and heartless than the
reception we met when our mission as advocates for the slave became
known; churches and halls were closed against us. Stables and blacksmith
shops would sometimes hold audiences more generous with epithets and
elderly eggs than with manly decorum. God be thanked, Douglass, the
grandest of "our grand old men," lived to see "the seeds of mighty truth
have their silent undergrowth, and in the earth be wrought." A family,
however poor, striving as best they may to give the rudiments of
knowledge to their children, should have, if but few, books descriptive
of the hopes and struggles of those no better situated, who have made
impress on the age in which they lived. We seldom remember from whence
we first received the idea which gave impulse to an honorable action; we
received it, however, most probably from tongue or pen. For impressible
youth such biography should be as easy of access as possible.

It has been said that "a man's noblest mistake is to be born before his
time." This will not apply to Frederick Douglass. His "Life and Times"
should be in the front rank of selection for blessing and inspiration. A
blessing for the high moral of its teaching; an inspiration for the
poorest boy; that he need not "beg the world's pardon for having been
born," but by fostering courage and consecration of purpose "he may rank
the peer of any man."

Frederick Douglass, born a slave, hampered by all the depressing
influences of that institution; by indomitable energy and devotion;
seizing with an avidity that knew no obstacle every opportunity,
cultivated a mind and developed a character that will be a bright page
in the history of noble and beneficent achievements.

For the conditions that confronted him and the anti-slavery crusade,
have been well and eloquently portrayed by the late George William
Curtis. That how terribly earnest was the anti-slavery agitation this
generation little knows. To understand is to recall the situation of the
country. Slavery sat supreme in the White House and made laws at the
capitol. Courts of Justice were its ministers, and legislators its
lackeys. It silenced the preacher in the pulpit; it muzzled the editor
at his desk, and the professor in his lecture-room. It sat a price on
the heads of peaceful citizens; robbed the mails, and denounced the
vital principles of the declaration of independence as treason. In the
States where the law did not tolerate slavery, slavery ruled the club
and drawing room, the factory and the office, swaggered at the dinner
table, and scourged with scorn a cowardly society. It tore the golden
rule from the school books, and from the prayer books the pictured
benignity of Christ. It prohibited schools in the free States for the
hated race; hunted women who taught children to read, and forbade a free
people to communicate with their representatives.

It was under such conditions so pungently and truthfully stated that
Douglass appeared as a small star on the horizon of a clouded firmament;
rose in intellectual brilliancy, mental power and a noble generosity.
For his devotion was not only to the freedom of the slave with which he
was identified, but for liberty and the betterment of humanity
everywhere, regardless of sex or color. His page already luminous in
history will continue to brighten, and when statuary, now and hereafter,
erected to his memory, shall have crumbled "neath the beatings of
time;" the good fame of his name, high purpose and unflinching integrity
to the highest needs of humanity, will remain hallowed "foot prints in
the sands of time." Eminently fit was the naming of an institution in
Philadelphia "The Frederick Douglass Hospital and Freedman's School;"
the assuaging of suffering and the giving of larger opportunity for
technical instruction were cherished ideals with the sage of Anacostia;
also the lives of Harriet Beacher Stowe, Lucretia Mott and Francis E.
Harper, and the noble band of women of which they were the type, who
bravely met social ostracism and insult for devotion to the slave, will
ever have a proud place in our country's history. Of this illustrious
band was Julia Griffith, hitherto referred to, a grand representative of
those renowned women, who at home or abroad, did so much to hasten the
downfall of slavery and encourage the weak and lowly to hope and effort.
Thackery has said that, "Could you see every man's career, you would
find a woman clogging him, or cheering him, or beckoning him on."

Having finished my intended tour with Mr. Douglass, and returned to
Rochester, the outlook for my future, to me, was not promising. The
opportunities for advancement were much, very much less than now. With
me ambition and dejection contended for the mastery, the latter often in
the ascendant. To her friendly inquiry I gave reasons for my
depression. I shall never forget the response; almost imperious in
manner, you could already anticipate the magnitude of an idea that
seemed to struggle for utterance. "What! discouraged? Go do some great
thing." It was an inspiration, the result of which she may never have
known. We are assured, however, that a kind act or helpful word is
inseparably connected with a blessing for the giver. To earnest youth I
would bequeath the excelsior of the "youth mid snow and ice," and the
above injunction, "upward and onward;" "go do some great thing."

The war with Mexico, discovery of gold in California in 1848, the
acquisition of new territory, and the developments of our hitherto
undeveloped Western possessions, stimulated the financial pulse, and
permeated every avenue of industry and speculative life. While in New
York State I met several going and returning gold seekers, many giving
dazzling accounts of immense deposits of gold in the new Eldorado; and
others, as ever the case with adventurers, gave gloomy statements of
peril and disaster. A judicious temperament, untiring energy, a lexicon
of endeavor, in which there is no such word as "fail," is the only open
sesame to hidden opportunities in a new country. Fortune, in precarious
mood, may sometime smile on the inert, but she seldom fails to surrender
to pluck, tenacity and perseverance. As the Oxford men say it is the one
pull more of the oar that proves the "beefiness of the fellow;" it is
the one march more that wins the campaign; the five minutes more
persistent courage that wins the fight.

I returned to Philadelphia, and with some friendly assistance, sailed,
in 1850, from New York, as a steerage passenger for San Francisco.
Arriving at Aspinwall, the point of debarkation, on the Atlantic side,
boats and boatsmen were engaged to transport passengers and baggage up
the "Chagress," a small and shallow river. Crossing the Isthmus to
Panama, on the Pacific side, I found Panama very cosmopolitan in
appearance, for mingled with the sombrero-attired South American, could
be seen denizens from every foreign clime. Its make up was a combination
of peculiar attributes. It was dirty, but happy in having crows for its
scavengers; sickly, but cheery; old, but with an youthful infusion. The
virtues and vices were both shy and unblushing. A rich, dark foliage,
ever blooming, and ever decaying; a humid atmosphere; a rotting
vegetation under a tropical sun, while fever stalked on from conquest to

The sudden influx, the great travel from ocean to ocean, had given much
impetus to business as well as to local amusements. For the latter,
Sunday was the ideal day, when bull and cock fights secured the
attendance of the elite, and the humble, the priest and the laity.

The church, preaching gentleness and peace in the morning, in the
afternoon her minister, with sword spurred "bolosed" bantams under their
arms, would appear on the scene eager for the fray.

After recovering from the Panama fever I took passage on the steamship
"Golden Gate" for San Francisco. Science, experience, and a greatly
increased demand have done much during the intervening fifty years to
lessen risk and increase the comfort of ocean travel. Yet it is not
without a degree of restless anticipation that one finds himself and
baggage finally domiciled on an ocean-going steamer. Curiosity and
criticism, selfishness and graciousness each in turn assert themselves.
Curiosity in espionage, criticism in observation, while selfishness and
graciousness alternate. You find yourself in the midst of a miniature
world, environed, but isolated from activities of the greater, an
epitome of human proclivities. A possible peril, real, imaginary or
remote; a common brotherhood tightens the chain of fellowship and
gradually widens the exchange of amenities.

We had a stormy passage, making San Diego with the top of smoke stack
encrusted with the salt of the waves, paddle wheel broken and otherwise
disabled, finally arriving at San Francisco in September.


Having made myself somewhat presentable upon leaving the steerage of the
steamer, my trunk on a dray, I proceeded to an unprepossessing hotel
kept by a colored man on Kearny street. The cursory view from the
outside, and the further inspection on the inside, reminded me of the
old lady's description of her watch, for she said, "it might look pretty
hard on the outside, but the inside works were all right." And so
thought its jolly patrons. Seated at tables, well supplied with piles of
gold and silver, where numerous disciples of that ancient trickster
Pharaoh, being dubious perhaps of the propriety of adopting the literal
orthography of his name, and abbreviated it to Faro.

Getting something for nothing, or risking the smaller in hope of
obtaining the greater, seems a passion inherent in human nature,
requiring a calm survey of the probabilities, and oftimes the baneful
effects to attain a moral resistance. It is the "ignis fatuus" that has
lured many promising ones and wrecked the future of many lives.

The effervescent happiness of some of the worshipers at this shrine was
conspicuous. The future to them seemed cloudless. It was not so with me.
I had a secret not at all complacent, for it seemed anxious to get out,
and while unhappy from its presence, I thought it wise to retain it.

When I approached the bar I asked for accommodation, and my trunk was
brought in. While awaiting this preparatory step to domicile, and gazing
at the prints and pictures more or less "blaser" that adorned the bar,
my eye caught a notice, prominently placed, in gilt letters. I see it
now, "Board twelve dollars a week in advance." It was not the price, but
the stipulation demanded that appalled me. Had I looked through a
magnifying glass the letters could not have appeared larger. With the
brilliancy of a search light they seemed to ask "Who are you and how are
you fixed?" I responded by "staring fate in the face," and going up to
the bar asked for a cigar. How much? Ten cents. I had sixty cents when I
landed; had paid fifty for trunk drayage, and I was now a moneyless
man--hence my secret.

Would there be strict enforcement of conditions mentioned in that
ominous card. I was unacquainted with the Bohemian "song and dance"
parlance in such extremities, and wondered would letting my secret come
out let a dinner come in. Possibly, I may have often been deceived when
appealed to, but that experience has often been fruitful to friendless

Finally the bell rang, and a polite invitation from the landlord placed
me at the table. There is nothing so helpful to a disconsolate man as a
good dinner. It dissipates melancholy and stimulates persistency. Never
preach high moral rectitude or the possibilities of industry to a hungry
man. First give him something to eat, then should there be a vulnerable
spot to such admonition you will succeed. If not, he is an incorrigible.

After dinner I immediately went out, and after many attempts to seek
employment of any kind, I approached a house in course of construction
and applied to the contractor for work. He replied he did not need help.
I asked the price of wages. Ten dollars a day. I said you would much
oblige me by giving me, if only a few days' work, as I have just
arrived. After a few moments thought, during which mayhap charity and
gain held conference, which succumbed, it is needless to premise, for we
sometimes ascribe selfish motives to kindly acts, he said that if I
choose to come for nine dollars a day I might. It is unnecessary for me
to add that I chose to come.

When I got outside the building an appalling thought presented itself;
whoever heard of a carpenter announcing himself ready for work without
his tools. A minister may be without piety, a lawyer without clients, a
politician impolitic, but a carpenter without tools, never! It would be
prima facia evidence of an imposter. I went back and asked what tools I
must bring upon the morrow; he told me and I left. But the tools, the
tools, how was I to get them. My only acquaintance in the city was my
landlord. But prospects were too bright to reveal to him my secret. I
wended my way to a large tent having an assortment of hardware and was
shown the tools needed. I then told the merchant that I had no money,
and of the place I had to work the next morning. He said nothing for a
moment, looked me over, and then said: "All right take them." I felt
great relief when I paid the merchant and my landlord on the following

Why do I detail to such length these items of endeavor; experiences
which have had similarity in many lives? For the reason that they seem
to contain data for a moral, which if observed may be useful. Never
disclose your poverty until the last gleam of hope has sunk beneath the
horizon of your best effort, remembering that invincible determination
holds the key to success, while advice and assistance hitherto laggard,
now with hasty steps greets you within the door.

I was not allowed to long pursue carpentering. White employees finding
me at work on the same building would "strike." On one occasion the
contractor came to me and said, "I expect you will have to stop, for
this house must be finished in the time specified; but, if you can get
six or eight equally good workmen, I will let these fellows go. Not that
I have any special liking for your people. I am giving these men all the
wages they demand, and I am not willing to submit to the tyranny of
their dictation if I can help it." This episode, the moral of which is
as pertinent today as then, and more apparent, intensifies the necessity
of greater desire upon the part of our young men and women to acquire
knowledge in skilled handicraft, reference to which I have hitherto
made. But my convictions are so pronounced that I cannot forbear the
reiteration. For while it is ennobling to the individual, giving
independence of character and more financial ability, the reflex
influence is so helpful in giving the race a higher status in the
industrial activities of a commonwealth. Ignorance of such activities
compel our people mostly to engage in the lower and less remunerative
pursuits. I could not find the men he wanted or subsequent employment of
that kind.

All classes of labor were highly remunerative, blacking boots not

I after engaged in this, and other like humble employments, part of
which was for Hon. John C. Fremont, "the pathfinder overland to

[Illustration: BOOKER T. WASHINGTON.

"The Sage of Tuskegee."

The Leader of Leaders For Negro Advancement.]

Saving my earnings, I joined a firm already established in the clothing
business. After a year or more so engaged, I became a partner in the
firm of Lester & Gibbs, importers of fine boots and shoes. Just here a
thought occurs which may be of advantage to ambitious but impecunious
young men. Do not hesitate when you are without choice to accept the
most humble and menial employment. It will be a source of pleasure, if
by self-denial, saving your earnings, you keep a fixed intent to make it
the stepping stone to something higher.

The genius of our institutions, and the noblest of mankind will estimate
you by the ratio of distance from the humblest beginning to your present
attainment; the greater the distance the greater the luster; the more
fitting the meed of praise.

Our establishment on Clay street, known as the "Emporium for fine boots
and shoes, imported from Philadelphia, London and Paris," having a
reputation for keeping the best and finest in the State, was well
patronized, our patrons extending to Oregon and lower California. The
business, wholesale and retail, was profitable and maintained for a
number of years. Mr. Lester, my partner, being a practical bootmaker,
his step to a merchant in that line was easy and lucrative.

Thanks to the evolution of events and march of liberal ideas the colored
men in California have now a recognized citizenship, and equality before
the law. It was not so at the period of which I write. With thrift and
a wise circumspection financially, their opportunities were good; from
every other point of view they were ostracised, assaulted without
redress, disfranchised and denied their oath in a court of justice.

One occasion will be typical of the condition. One of two mutual friends
(both our customers) came in looking over and admiring a display of
newly arrived stock, tried on a pair of boots, was pleased with them,
but said he did not think he needed them then; lay them aside and he
would think about it. A short time after his friend came in, was shown
the pair the former had admired; would he like such a pair? He tried on
several and then asked to try on his friend's selection; they only
suited, and he insisted on taking them; we objected, but he had them on,
and said we need not have fear, he would clear us of blame, and walked
out. Knowing they were close friends we were content. Possibly, in a
humorous mood, he went straight to his friend, for shortly they both
came back, the first asking for his boots; he would receive no
explanation (while the cause of the trouble stood mute), and with vile
epithets, using a heavy cane, again and again assaulted my partner, who
was compelled tamely to submit, for had he raised his hand he would have
been shot, and no redress. I would not have been allowed to attest to
"the deep damnation of his taking off."

The Magna Charter, granted by King John, at Runney Mead, to the Barons
of England, in the twelfth century, followed by the Petition of Right by
Charles I, has been rigidly preserved and consecrated as foundation for
civil liberty. The Continental Congress led the van for the United
States, who oftimes tardy in its conservatism, is disposed to give
audience to merit and finally justice to pertinacity of purpose.

In 1851, Jonas P. Townsend, W. H. Newby, and other colored men with
myself, drew up and published in the "Alto California," the leading
paper of the State, a preamble and resolutions protesting against being
disfranchised and denied the right of oath, and our determination to use
all moral means to secure legal claim to all the rights and privileges
of American citizens.

It being the first pronouncement from the colored people of the State,
who were supposed to be content with their status, the announcement
caused much comment and discussion among the dominant class. For down
deep in the heart of every man is a conception of right. He cannot
extinguish it, or separate it from its comparative. What would I have
others do to me? Pride, interest, adverse contact, all with specious
argument may strive to dissipate the comparison, but the pulsations of a
common humanity, keeping time with the verities of God never ceased to
trouble, and thus the moral pebble thrown on the bosom of the hitherto
placid sea of public opinion, like its physical prototype, creating
undulations which go on and on to beat against the rock and make sandy
shores, so this our earnest but feeble protest contributed its humble
share in the rebuilding of a commonwealth where "a man's a man for all

The committee above named, with G. W. Dennis and James Brown, the same
year formed a company, established and published the "Mirror of the
Times," the first periodical issued in the State for the advocacy of
equal rights for all Americans. It has been followed by a score of
kindred that have assiduously maintained and ably contended for the
rights and privileges claimed by their zealous leader.

State conventions were held in 1854, '55 and '57, resolutions and
petitions passed and presented to the Legislature of Sacramento. We had
friends to offer them and foes to move they be thrown out the window. It
is ever thus, "that men go to fierce extremes rather than rest upon the
quiet flow of truths that soften hatred and temper strife." There was
that unknown quantity, present in all legislative bodies, composed of
good "little men" without courage of conviction, others of the Dickens'
"devilish sly" type, who put out their plant-like tendrils for support;
others "who bent the pliant servile knee that thrift may follow
fawning"--all these the make-weight of a necessary constituent in
representative government conservatism. The conservative majority laid
our petition on the table, most likely with the tacit understanding that
it was to be "taken up" by the janitor, and as such action on his part
is not matter for record, we will in this happier day with "charity to
all," over this episode on memory's leaf, simply wrote "lost or stolen."

Among the occasions continually occurring demanding protests against
injustice was the imposition of the "poll tax." It was demanded of our
firm, and we refused to pay. A sufficient quantity of our goods to pay
tax and costs were levied upon, and published for sale, and on what

I wrote with a fervor as cool as the circumstances would permit, and
published a card from a disfranchised oath-denied standpoint, closing
with the avowal that the great State of California might annually
confiscate our goods, but we would never pay the voters tax. The card
attracted attention, the injustice seemed glaring, the goods were
offered. We learned that we had several friends at the sale, one in
particular a Southern man. Now there was this peculiarity about the
Southern white man, he would work a Negro for fifty years for his
victuals and clothes, and shoot a white man for cheating the same Negro,
as he considered the latter the height of meanness. This friend quietly
and persistently moved through the crowd, telling them why our goods
were there, and advising to give them a "terrible letting alone." The
auctioneer stated on what account they were there, to be sold, asked for
bidders, winked his eye and said "no bidders." Our goods were sent back
to our store. This law, in the words of a distinguished Statesman, was
then allowed to relapse "into innocuous desuetude." No further attempts
to enforce it upon colored men were made.


Born in Newberry, S. C.--Ordained Bishop in 1880--President of Bishop
Council. Home and Foreign Missionary Society and Sunday School Union of
the A. M. E. Church.--From Slave to Statesman--As Soldier, Editor,
Author, Legislator, Orator, and African Explorer--For Vitality and
Ability, Courage and Fidelity, Along so Many Lines, He Stands Without a


A rush to newly discovered gold fields bring in view every trait of
human character. The more vicious standing out in bold relief, and
stamping their impress upon the locality. This phase and most primitive
situation can be accounted for partly by the cupidity of mankind, but
mainly that the first arrivals are chiefly adventurers. Single men,
untrammeled by family cares, traders, saloonists, gamblers, and that
unknown quantity of indefinite quality, ever present, content to allow
others to fix a status of society, provided they do not touch on their
own special interests, and that other, the unscrupulous but active
professional politician, having been dishonored at home, still astute
and determined, seeks new fields for booty, obtain positions of trust
and then consummate peculation and outrage under the forms of law. But
the necessity for the honest administration of the law eventually
asserts itself for the enforcement of order.

It was quaintly said by a governor of Arkansas, that he believed that a
public official should be "reasonably honest." Even should that limited
standard of official integrity be invaded the people with an honest
ballot need not be long in rectifying the evil by legal means. But
cannot something be said in palliation of summary punishment by illegal
means, when it is notorious and indisputable that all machinery for the
execution of the law and the maintenance of order, the judges,
prosecuting attorneys, sheriff and drawers of jurors, and every other of
court of law are in the hands of a despotic cabal who excessively tax,
and whose courts convict all those who oppose them, and exonerate by
trial the most farcical, the vilest criminal, rob and murder in broad
day light, often at the bidding of their protectors. Such a status for a
people claiming to be civilized seems difficult to conceive, yet the
above was not an hypothesis of condition, but the actual one that
existed in California and San Francisco, especially from 1849 to 1855.
Gamblers and dishonest politicians from other States held the
government, and there was no legal redress. Every attempt of the friends
of law and order to elect honest men to office was met at the polls by
vituperation and assault.

One of the means for thinning out the ranks of their opponents at the
polls they found very efficient. It was to scatter their "thugs" along
the line of waiting voters and known opposers, and quickly and covertly
inject the metal part of a shoemaker's awl in the rear but most fleshy
part of his adversary's anatomy, making sitting unpleasant for a time.
There was usually uncertainty as to the point of compass from which the
hint came to leave, but none as to the fact of its arrival. Hence the
reformer did not stand on the order of his going, but generally left the
line. These votes, of course, were not thrown out, for the reason they
never got in. It diminished, but did not abolish the necessity of
stuffing ballot boxes. In the West I once knew an old magistrate named
Scott, noted for his impartiality, but only called Judge Scott by
non-patrons of his court, who had never came within the purview of his
administration, to others he was known as "old Necessity," for it was
said he knew no law. Revolutions, the beneficial results of which will
ever live in the history of mankind, founded as they were on the rights
of human nature and desire for the establishment and conservation of
just government, have ever been the outgrowth of necessity.

Patient in protest of misgovernment, men are prone to "bear the ill they
have" until, like the accumulation of rills on mountain side,
indignation leaps the bounds of legal form and prostrate law to find
their essence and purpose in reconstruction. At the time of which I
write, there seemed nothing left for the friends of law, bereft as they
were of all statutary means for its enforcement, but making a virtue of
this necessity by organizing a "vigilance committee" to wrench by
physical strength that unobtainable by moral right. There had been no
flourish of trumpets, no herald of the impending storm, but the pent up
forces of revolution in inertion, now fierce for action, discarded
restraint. Stern, but quiet had been the preparation for a revolution
which had come, as come it ever will, with such inviting environments.
It was not that normal status, the usual frailties of human nature
described by Hooker as "stains and blemishes that will remain till the
end of the world, what form of government, soever, may take place, they
grow out of man's nature." But in this event the stains and blemishes
were effaced by a common atrocity.

Sitting at the back of my store on Clay street a beautiful Sunday
morning, one of those mornings peculiar to San Francisco, with its balmy
breezes and Italian skies, there seemed an unusual stillness, such a
quiet as precedes the cyclone in tropical climes, only broken
occasionally by silvery peals of the church bells. When suddenly I heard
the plank street resound with the tramp of a multitude. No voice or
other sound was heard but the tramp of soldiery, whose rhythm of sound
and motion is ever a proclamation that thrills by its intensity, whether
conquest or conservation be its mission. I hastened to the door and was
appalled at the sight. In marching column, six or eight abreast, five
thousand men carrying arms with head erect, a resolute determination
born of conviction depicted in linament of feature and expression.

Hastily improvised barracks in large storehouses east of Montgomery
street, fortified by hundreds of gunny sacks filled with sand,
designated "Fort Gunney," was the quarters for committee and soldiers.
The committee immediately dispatched deputies to arrest and bring to the
Fort the leaders of this cabal of misgovernment. The effort to do so
gave striking evidence of the cowardice of assassins. Men whose very
name had inspired terror, and whose appearance in the corridors of
hotels or barrooms hushed into silence the free or merry expression of
their patrons, now fled and hid away "like damned ghosts at the smell of
day" from the popular uprising of the people. The event which
precipitated the movement--the last and crowning act of this
oligarchy--was the shooting of James King, of William, a banker and
publisher of a paper dedicated to the exposure and denunciation of this
ring of dishonest officials and assassins. It was done in broad daylight
on Montgomery Street, the main thoroughfare of the city. Mr. King, of
William County, Maryland, was a terse writer, a gentleman highly
esteemed for integrity and devotion to the best interests of his adopted
State. Many of the gang who had time and opportunity hid on steamers
and sailing vessels to facilitate escape, but quite a number were
arrested and taken to Fort Gunny for trial. One or two of the most
prominent took refuge in the jail--a strong and well-appointed brick
building--where, under the protection of their own hirelings in fancied
security considered themselves safe. A deputation of the committee from
the fort placed a cannon at proper distance from the entrance to the
jail. With a watch in his hand, the captain of the squad gave the
keepers ten minutes to open the doors and deliver the culprits. I well
remember the excitement that increased in intensity as the allotted
period diminished; the fuse lighted, and two minutes to spare; the door
opened; the delivery was made, and the march to Fort Gunny began. A
trial court had been organized at which the testimony was taken, verdict
rendered, and judgment passed. From a beam projecting over an upper
story window, used for hoisting merchandise, the convicted criminals
were executed.

The means resorted to for the purification of the municipality were
drastic, but the ensuing feeling of personal safety and confidence in a
new administration appeared to be ample justification. Much has been
said and written in defense and in condemnation of revolutionary methods
for the reformation of government. It cannot but be apparent that when
it is impossible to execute the virtuous purposes of government, the
machinery having passed to notorious violators, who use it solely for
vicious purpose, there seems nothing left for the votaries of order than
to seize the reins with strong right arm and restore a status of justice
that should be the pride and glory of all civilized people.

But what a paradox is presented in the disregard for law and life today
in our common country, including much in our Southland! It is a sad
commentary on the weakness and inconsistencies of human nature and often
starts the inquiry in many honest minds, as a remedial agency, is a
republican form of government the most conducive in securing the
blessings of liberty of which protection to human life is the chief?

For the actual reverse of conditions that existed in California in those
early days are present in others of our States today. All the machinery
and ability for the just administration of the law are in the hands of
those appointed mainly by the ballot of the intelligence and virtue of
these States, who, if not participants, are quite as censurable for
their "masterly inactivity" in having allowed thousands of the most
defenceless to be lynched by hanging or burning at the stake. That there
have been cases of assault on women by Negroes for which they have been
lynched, it is needless to deny. That they have been lynched for
threatening to do bodily harm to white men for actual assaults on the
Negro wife and daughter is equally true. The first should be denounced
and arrested (escape being impossible) and by forms of law suffer its
extreme penalty. The other for the cause they were murdered should have
the highest admiration and the most sincere plaudits from every honest
man. Is it true that "he is a slave most base whose love of right is for
himself and not for all the race," and that the measure you mete out to
others--the same shall be your portion. All human history verifies these
aphorisms; and that the perpetrators and silent abettors of this
barbarism have sowed to the winds a dire penalty, already being reaped,
is evidenced by disregard of race or color of the victim when mob law is
in the ascendant. And further, as a salvo for their own acts, white men
are allowing bad Negroes to lynch others of their kind without enforcing
the law.

The Negro, apish in his affinity to his prototype in a "lynching bee,"
is beneath contempt.

[Illustration: HON. GEORGE H. WHITE.

Born at Rosedale, North Carolina--Graduate from Howard University in
1877--Practiced Law in all the Courts of his State--Member of House of
Representatives in 1880 and of Senate in 1884--Eight Years Prosecuting
Attorney--Elected Member of the Fifty-fifth Congress as a Republican.
With a Record Unimpeachable.]


Early in the year 1858 gold was discovered on Fraser River, in the
Hudson Bay Company's territory in the Northwest. This territory a few
months later was organized as the Colony of British Columbia and
absorbed; is now the western outlook of the Dominion of Canada. The
discovery caused an immense rush of gold seekers, traders, and
speculators from all parts of the world. In June of that year, with a
large invoice of miners' outfits, consisting of flour, bacon, blankets,
pick, shovels, etc., I took passage on steamship Republic for Victoria.
The social atmosphere on steamers whose patrons are chiefly gold seekers
is unlike that on its fellow, where many have jollity moderated by
business cares, others reserved in lofty consciousness that they are on
foreign pleasure bent. With the gold seeker, especially the
"tenderfoot," there is an incessant social hilarity, a communion of
feeling, an ardent anticipation that cannot be dormant, continually
bubbling over. We had on board upward of seven hundred, comprising a
variety of tongues and nations. The bustle and turmoil incident to
getting off and being properly domiciled; the confusion of tongues and
peculiarity of temperament resembled the Babel of old. Here the
mercurial Son of France in search of a case of red wine, hot and
impulsive, belching forth "sacres" with a velocity well sustained. The
phlegmatic German stirred to excitability in quest of a "small cask of
lager and large box of cheese;" John Chinaman "Hi yah'd" for one "bag
lice all samee hab one Melican man," while a chivalric but seedy-looking
Southerner, who seemed to have "seen better days," wished he "might
be--if he didn't lay a pe-yor of boots thar whar that blanket whar." Not
to be lost in the shuffle was a tall canting specimen of Yankee-dom
perched on a water cask that "reckoned ther is right smart chance of
folks on this 'ere ship," and "kalkerlate that that boat swinging thar
war a good place to stow my fixin's in." The next day thorough system
and efficiency was brought out of chaos and good humor prevailed.

Victoria, then the capital of British Columbia, is situated on the
southern point of Vancouver's Island. On account of the salubrity of its
climate and proximity to the spacious land-locked harbor of Esquimault
it is delightful as a place of residence and well adapted to great
mercantile and industrial possibilities. It was the headquarters of the
Hudson Bay Company, a very old, wealthy, and influential English trading
company. Outside the company's fort, enclosing immense storehouses,
there were but few houses. The nucleus of a town in the shape of a few
blocks laid out, and chiefly on paper maps, was most that gave promise
of the populous city of Victoria of the present. On my arrival my goods
were sold at great advance on cost, an order for more sent by returning
steamer. I had learned prior to starting that city lots could be bought
for one hundred dollars each, and had come prepared to buy two or three
at that price. A few days before my arrival what the authorities had
designated as the "land office" had been subjected to a "Yankee rush,"
which had not only taken, and paid for all the lots mapped out, but came
near appropriating books, benches, and window sashes; hence the office
had to close down and haul off for repairs, and surveyed lots, and would
not be open for business for ten days. Meanwhile those that were in at
the first sale were still in, having real estate matters their own way.
Steamers and sailing craft were constantly arriving, discharging their
human freight, that needed food, houses, and outfits for the mines,
giving an impetus to property of all kinds that was amazing for its
rapidity. The next afternoon after the day of my arrival I had signed an
agreement and paid one hundred dollars on account for a lot and
one-story house for $3,000--$1,400 more in fifteen days, and the balance
in six months. Upon the arrival of my goods ten days later I paid the
second installment and took possession. Well, how came I to take a
responsibility so far beyond my first intended investment? Just here I
rise to remark: For effective purposes one must not be unduly sensitive
or overmodest in writing autobiography--for, being the events and
memoirs of his life, written by himself, the ever-present pronoun "I"
dances in such lively attendance and in such profusion on the pages that
whatever pride he may have in the events they chronicle is somewhat
abashed at its repetition.

Addison truly says: "There is no passion which steals into the heart
more imperceptible and covers itself under more disguises than pride."
Still, if in such memoirs there be found landmarks of precept or example
that will smooth the ruggedness of Youth's pathway, the success of its
mission should disarm invidious criticism. For the great merit of
history or biography is not alone the events they chronicle, but the
value of the thought they inspire. Previous to purchasing the property I
had calculated the costs of alteration and estimated the income. In
twenty days, after an expenditure of $200 for improvements, I found
myself receiving a rental of $500 per month from the property, besides a
store for the firm. Anyone without mechanical knowledge with time and
opportunity to seek information from others may have done the same, but
in this case there was neither time nor opportunity; it required quick
perception and prompt action. The trade my mother insisted I should
learn enabled me to do this. Get a trade, boys, if you have to live on
bread and apples while attaining it. It is a good foundation to build
higher. Don't crowd the waiters. If they are content, give them a
chance. We received a warm welcome from the Governor and other officials
of the colony, which was cheering. We had no complaint as to business
patronage in the State of California, but there was ever present that
spectre of oath denial and disfranchisement; the disheartening
consciousness that while our existence was tolerated, we were powerless
to appeal to law for the protection of life or property when assailed.
British Columbia offered and gave protection to both, and equality of
political privileges. I cannot describe with what joy we hailed the
opportunity to enjoy that liberty under the "British lion" denied us
beneath the pinions of the American Eagle. Three or four hundred colored
men from California and other States, with their families, settled in
Victoria, drawn thither by the two-fold inducement--gold discovery and
the assurance of enjoying impartially the benefits of constitutional
liberty. They built or bought homes and other property, and by industry
and character vastly improved their condition and were the recipients of
respect and esteem from the community.

An important step in a man's life is his marriage. It being the merging
of dual lives, it is only by mutual self-abnegation that it can be made
a source of contentment and happiness. In 1859, in consummation of
promise and purpose, I returned to the United States and was married to
Miss Maria A. Alexander, of Kentucky, educated at Oberlin College, Ohio.
After visits to friends in Buffalo and my friend Frederick Douglass at
Rochester, N. Y., thence to Philadelphia and New York City, where we
took steamship for our long journey of 4,000 miles to our intended home
at Victoria, Vancouver Island. I have had a model wife in all that the
term implies, and she has had a husband migratory and uncertain. We have
been blessed with five children, four of whom are living--Donald F.,
Horace E., Ida A., and Hattie A. Gibbs; Donald a machinist, Horace a
printer by trade. Ida graduated as an A. B. from Oberlin College and is
now teacher of English in the High School at Washington, D. C.; Hattie a
graduate from the Conservatory of Music at Oberlin, Ohio, and was
professor of music at the Eckstein-Norton University at Cave Springs,
Ky., and now musical director of public schools of Washington, D. C.

In passing through the States in 1859 an unrest was everywhere
observable. The pulse-beat of the great national heart quickened at
impending danger. The Supreme Court had made public the Dred Scott
decision; John Brown had organized an insurrection; Stephen A. Douglass
and Abraham Lincoln at the time were in exciting debate; William H.
Seward was proclaiming the "irrepressible conflict." With other signs
portentous, culminating in secession and events re-enacting history--for
that the causes and events of which history is the record are being
continuously re-enacted from a moral standpoint is of easy observation.
History, as the narration of the actions of men, with attendant results,
is but a repetition. Different minds and other hands may be the
instruments, but the effects from any given course involving fundamental
principles are the same. This was taught by philosophers 2,000 years
ago, some insisting that not only was this repetition observable in the
moral world, but that the physical world was repeated in detail--that
every person, every blade of grass, all nature, animate and inanimate,
reappeared upon the earth, engaged in the same pursuits, and fulfilling
the same ends formerly accomplished.

However skeptical we may be as to this theory of the ancients, the
student of modern history has accomplished little if he fails to be
impressed with the important truth standing out on every page in letters
of living light--that this great world of ours is governed by a system
of moral and physical laws that are as unerring in the bestowal of
rewards as certain in the infliction of penalties. The history of our
own country is one that will ever be an exemplification of this
pre-eminent truth. The protests of the victims of oppression in the old
world resulted in a moral upheaval and the establishment by force of
arms of a Republic in America. The Revolutionary Congress, of which, in
adopting the Federal Constitution, closed with this solemn injunction:
"Let it be remembered that it has been the pride and boast of America
that the rights for which she contended were the rights of human
nature." And it was reserved for the founders of this nation to
establish in the words of an illustrious benefactor, "a Government of
the people, for the people, and by the people"--a Government deriving
all its powers from the consent of the governed, where freedom of
opinion, whether relating to Church or State, was to have the widest
scope and fullest expression consistent with private rights and public
good---where the largest individuality could be developed and the
patrician and plebeian meet on a common level and aspire to the highest
honor within the gift of the people.

This was its character, this its mission. How it has sustained the
character, how fulfilled the mission upon which it entered, the
impartial historian has indited, every page of which is redolent with
precept and example that point a moral.

With the inauguration of republican government in America the angel of
freedom and the demon of slavery wrestled for the mastery. Tallyrand has
beautifully and forcibly said: "The Lily and Thistle may grow together
in harmonious proximity, but liberty and slavery delight in the
separation." The pronounced policy of the best minds at the adoption of
the Federal Constitution was to repress it as an institution inhuman in
its character and fraught with mischief. Foretelling with accuracy of
divine inspiration, Jefferson "trembled for his country" when he
remembered that God was just and that "His justice would not sleep
forever." Patrick Henry said "that a serious view of this subject gives
a gloomy prospect to future times." So Mason and other patriots wrote
and felt, fully impressed that the high, solid ground of right and
justice had been left for the bogs and mire of expediency.

They died, leaving this heritage growing stronger and bolder in its
assumption of power and permeating every artery of society. The cotton
gin was invented and the demand for cotton vaulted into the van of the
commerce of the country. Men, lured by the gains of slavery and
corrupted by its contact, sought by infamous reasoning and vicious
legislation to avert the criticism of men and the judgment of God. In
the words of our immortal Douglass, "To bolster up and make tolerable
what was intolerable; to make human what was inhuman; to make divine
what was infernal." To make this giant wrong acceptable to the moral
sense it was averred and enacted that slavery was right; that God
himself had so predetermined in His wisdom; that the slave could be
branded and sold on the auction block; that the babe could be ruthlessly
taken from its mother and given away; that a family could be scattered
by sale, to meet no more; that to teach a slave to read was punishable
with death to the teacher. But why rehearse this dead past--this
terrible night of suffering and gloom? Why not let its remembrance be
effaced and forgotten in the glorious light of a happier day? I answer,

All measure of value, all estimates of greatness, of joy or sorrow, of
health or suffering, are relative; we judge by comparison, and if in
recalling these former depths we temper unreasonable criticism of waning
friendships, accelerate effort as we pass the mile-stones of
achievement, and stimulate appreciation of liberty in the younger
generation, the mention will not be fruitless.

But to the resume of this rapid statement of momentous events:
Meanwhile, the slave, patient in his longings, prayed for deliverance.
Truly has it been said by Elihu Burrit that "you may take a man and yoke
him to your labor as you yoke the ox that worketh to live, and liveth to
work; you may surround him with ignorance and cloud him over with
artificial night. You may do this and all else that will degrade him as
a man, without injuring his value as a slave; yet the idea that he was
born to be free will survive it all. 'Tis allied to his hope of
immortality--the ethereal part of his nature which oppression cannot
reach. 'Tis the torch lit up in his soul by the omnipotent hand of Deity
Himself." The true and tried hosts of freedom, represented and led by
Garrison, Douglass, Lovejoy, Phillips, Garnet, Harriet Beecher Stowe,
and Frances Ellen Harper, and others--few compared to the indifferent
and avowed defenders of slavery, welcoming outrage and ostracism, by pen
and on forum, from hilltop and valley, proclaimed emancipation as the
right of the slave and the duty of the master. The many heroic efforts
of the anti-slavery phalanx were not without effect, and determined
resistance was made to the admission of more slave territory which was
in accordance with the "Proviso" prohibiting slavery in the Northwest.
Slavery controlled the Government from its commencement, hence its
supporters looked with alarm upon an increasing determination to stay
its progress.

California had been admitted as a free State, after a struggle the most
severe. Its admission John C. Calhoun, the very able leader of the slave
power, regarded as the death-knell of slavery, if the institution
remained within the union and counseled secession. Washington,
Jefferson, and Madison, in despair at the growth of slavery; Calhoun at
that of freedom. But how could this march of moral progress and national
greatness be arrested? Congress had, in 1787, enacted that all the
territory not then States should forever be reserved to freedom. The
slave power saw the "handwriting on the wall" surround it with a cordon
of free States; increase their representatives in Congress advocating
freedom, and slavery is doomed. The line cherished by the founders, the
Gibraltar against which slavery had dashed its angry billows, must be
blotted out, and over every rod of virgin soil it was to be admitted
without let or hindrance.

Then came the dark days of compromise, the era of Northern fear of
secession, and, finally, opinion crystallizing into legislation
non-committal, viz: That States applying for admission should be
admitted as free or slave States, as a majority of their inhabitants
might determine. Then came the struggle for Kansas. Emigration societies
were fitted out in the New England and Northern States to send free
State men to locate who would vote to bring in Kansas as a free State.
Similar organizations existed in the slave States for the opposite

[Illustration: HON. JOHN M. LANGSTON.

Born in Louisa Country, Va.--Educated at Oberlin, Ohio--Member Board of
Health, District of Columbia in 1871--Minister Resident and
Consul-General to Port-au-Prince, Hayti, 1877--Elected to Congress from
Fourth Congressional District of Virginia in 1890--Author of "Freedom
and Citizenship" and "From the Virginia Plantation to the National

It is not pleasant to dwell nor fitly portray the terrible ordeal
through which the friends of freedom passed. In 1859 they succeeded;
right and justice were triumphant, the beneficial results of which will
reach remotest time. It was in this conflict that the heroism of John
Brown developed. It was there he saw his kindred and his friends
murdered, and there registered his vow to avenge their blood in the
disenthralment of the slave. The compeers of this "grand old man" or
people of the nation could have scarcely supposed that this man,
hitherto obscure, was to be the instrument of retributive justice, to
inaugurate a rebellion which was to culminate in the freedom of
4,000,000 slaves. John Brown, at the head of a few devoted men, at
Harper's Ferry, struck the blow that echoed and re-echoed in booming gun
and flashing sabre until, dying away in whispered cadence, was hushed in
the joyousness of a free nation. John Brown was great because he was
good, and good because he was great, with the bravery of a warrior and
the tenderness of a child, loving liberty as a mother her first born, he
scorned to compromise with slavery. Virginia demanded his blood and he
gave it, making the spot on which he fell sacred for all time, upon
which posterity will see a monument in commemoration of an effort, grand
in its magnanimity, to which the devotees of liberty from every clime
can repair to breathe anew an inspiration from its shrine--

    "For whether on the gallows high
      Or in the battle's van,
    The noblest place for man to die
      Is where he dies for man."

The slave power, defeated in Kansas, fearful of the result of the vote
in other territories to determine their future status, found aid and
comfort from Judge Taney, a Supreme Judge of the United States.
Bancroft, the historian, has said: "In a great Republic an attempt to
overthrow a State owes its strength to and from some branch of the
Government." 'Tis said that this Chief Justice, without necessity or
occasion, volunteered to come to the rescue of slavery, and, being the
highest court known to the law, the edict was final, and no appeal could
lie, save to the bar of humanity and history. Against the memory of the
nation, against decisions and enactments, he announced that, slaves
being property, owners could claim constitutional protection in the
territories; that the Constitution upheld slavery against any act of a
State Legislature, and even against Congress. Slavery, previous to 1850,
was regulated by municipal law; the slave was held by virtue of the laws
of the State of his location or of kindred slave States. When he escaped
that jurisdiction he was free. By the decision of Judge Taney, instead
of slavery being local, it was national and freedom outlawed; the slave
could not only be reclaimed in any State, but slavery could be
established wherever it sought habitation.

Black laws had been passed in Northern States and United States
Commissioners appointed in these States searched for fugitives, where
they had, in fancied security, resided for years, built homes, and
reared families, seizing and remanding them back into slavery, causing
an era of terror, family dismemberment, and flight, only to be
remembered with sadness and horror. For had not the heartless dictum
come from a Chief Justice of the United States--the "Jeffry of American
jurisprudence," that it had been ruled that black men had no rights a
white man was bound to respect?

The slave power, fortified with this declaration, resolved that if at
the approaching election they did not _succeed_ they would _secede_.
Lincoln was elected, and the South, true to its resolve, prepared for
the secession of its States. Pennsylvania is credited with having then
made the last and meanest gift to the Presidency in the person of James
Buchanan. History tells of a Nero who fiddled while Rome burned. The
valedictory of this public functionary breathing aid and comfort to
secession, was immediately followed by South Carolina firing on Fort
Sumter, and Southern Senators advised their constituents to seize the
arsenals and ports of the nation. Rebellion was a fact.


Abraham Lincoln, the President-elect, was the legitimate outgrowth of
American institutions; in him was presented choice fruit, the product of
republican government. Born in a log cabin, of poor, uneducated parents,
his only aids untiring industry, determination, and lofty purpose.
Hewing out his steps on the rugged rocks of poverty, climbing the
mountains of difficulty, and attaining the highest honor within the gift
of the nation--"truly a self-made man, the Declaration of Independence,"
says a writer, "being his daily compendium of wisdom, the life of
Washington his daily study, with something of Jefferson, Madison, and
Clay." For the rest, from day to day, he lived the life of the American
people; "walked in its light; reasoned with its reason; thought with its
powers of thought, and felt the beatings of its mighty heart." In 1858
he came prominently forward as the rival of Stephen A. Douglass, and,
with wealth of argument, terseness of logic, and enunciation of just
principles, took front rank among sturdy Republicans, battling against
the extension of human slavery, declaring that "the nation could not
endure half free and half slave."

[Illustration: ABRAHAM LINCOLN,

The Emancipator.

The Embodiment of Patriotism and Justice. "I hope peace will come to
stay, and then there will be some colored men who can remember that they
helped mankind to this great consummation."]

On the 4th of March, 1861, he took the oath of office and commenced his
Administration. With confidence and doubt alternating, our interest as a
race became intensified. We knew the South had rebelled; we were
familiar with the pagan proverb "Those whom the gods would destroy they
first made mad." We had watched the steady growth of Republicanism, when
a tinge on the political horizon "no bigger than a man's hand," increase
in magnitude and power and place its standard-bearer in the White House.
But former Presidents had professed to hate slavery. President Fillmore
had, yet signed the fugitive slave law; Pierce and Buchanan had both
wielded the administrative arm in favor of slavery. We had seen Daniel
Webster, Massachusetts' ablest jurist, and the most learned
constitutional expounder--the man of whom it was said that "when he
speaks God's own thunder can be seen pent up in his brow and God's own
lightning flash from his eye"--a man sent by the best cultured of New
England to represent the most advanced civilization of the century--we
had seen this brilliant star of anti-slavery Massachusetts "pale his
ineffectual fires" before the steady glare, the intolerance,
blandishment, and corrupting influences of the slave power--and tell the
nation they must compromise with slavery.

When Daniel O'Connell, Ireland's statesman and philanthropist, was
approached in Parliament by West India planters with promises of support
for measures for the relief of Ireland if he would vote in the interest
of slavery in British colonies, he said: "'Tis true, gentlemen, that I
represent a poor constituency--God only knows how poor; but may calamity
and affliction overtake me if ever I, to help Ireland, vote to enslave
the Negro." A noble utterance! Unlike the Northern representatives sent
to Congress, who "bent the pliant, servile knee that thrift might follow
fawning." What wonder our race was keenly alive to the situation? The
hour had arrived--was the man there?

For Abraham Lincoln impartial history will answer "Nor memory lose, nor
time impair" his nobility of character for humanity and patriotism that
will ever ennoble and inspire. Mr. Lincoln was slow to believe that the
rebellion would assume the proportions that it did, but he placed
himself squarely on the issue in his inaugural address: "That he should,
to the extent of his ability, take care that the laws of the nation be
faithfully executed in all the States; that in doing it there would be
no bloodshed unless it was forced upon the national authority." His
patriotism and goodness welling up as he said: "We are not enemies, but
friends, though we may have strained, it must not break our bonds of
affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every
battlefield and hearthstone, will yet swell the chorus of the Union when
again touched by the better angels of our nature."

    "But the die was cast;
    Ruthless rapine righteous hope defied."

The necessity for calling the nation to arms was imminent on the 15th of
April, 1861; the call for 75,000 men rang like a trumpet blast,
startling the most apathetic. The response from the Northern and
portions of the Southern States was hearty and prompt. The battle at
Bull Run dispelled the President's idea that the war was to be of short
duration. Defeat followed defeat of the national forces; weeping and
wailing went up from many firesides for husbands and sons who had laid
down on Southern battlefields to rest. The great North, looking up for
succor, saw the "national banner drooping from the flagstaff, heavy with
blood," and typical of the stripes of the slave. For 200 years the
incense of his prayers and tears had ascended. Now from every booming
gun there seemed the voice of God, "Let my people go"--

    "They see Him in watch fires
      Of a hundred circling camps;
    They read His righteous sentence
      By the dim and flaring lamps."

The nation had come slowly but firmly up to the duty and necessity of
emancipation. Mr. Lincoln, who was now in accord with Garrison,
Phillips, Douglass, and their adherents, had counseled them to continue
urging the people to this demand, now pressing as a military necessity.
The 1st of January, 1863, being the maturity of the proclamation, lifted
4,000,000 of human beings from chattels to freemen, a grateful, praying
people. Throughout the North and wherever possible in the South the
colored people, on the night of December 31, assembled in their churches
for thanksgiving. On their knees in silence--a silence intense with
suppressed emotion--they awaited the stroke of the clock. It came, the
thrice-welcomed harbinger of freedom, and as it tolled on, and on, the
knell of slavery, pent-up joy could no longer be restrained. "Praise
God, from whom all blessings flow," from a million voices, floated
upward on midnight air. While some shouted "Hallelujah," others, with
folded arms, stood mute and fixed as statuary, while "Tears of joy like
summer raindrops pierced by sunbeams" fell.

When Robespierre and Danton disenthralled France, we learn that the
guillotine bathed in blood was the emblem of their transition state,
from serfs to freemen. With the Negro were the antithesis of anger,
revenge, or despair, that of joy, gratitude, and hope, has been memory's
most choice trio.

This master stroke of policy and justice came with telling effect upon
the consciousness of the people. It was now in deed and in truth a war
for the Union coeval with freedom; every patriot heart beat a responsive
echo, and was stirred by a new inspiration to deeds of heroism. Now
success followed success; Port Hudson, Vicksburg, Chattanooga,
Gettysburg, and the Mississippi bowed in submission to the national
power. The record of history affirms subsequent events that during the
ensuing twelve months war measures more gigantic than had been witnessed
in modern times were inaugurated; how the will of the people to subdue
the rebellion crystallized as iron; that General Grant, planting himself
before Richmond, said he would "fight it out on that line if it took all
summer," and General Sherman's memorable march fifty thousand strong
from Atlanta to the sea. General Grant's campaign ended in the surrender
of General Lee, and Peace, with its golden pinions, alighted on our
national staff.

Abraham Lincoln was again elected President, the people seeming
impressed with the wisdom of his quaint phrase that "it was best not to
swap horses while crossing a stream." Through all the vicissitudes of
his first term he justified the unbounded confidence of the nation,
supporting with no laggard hand, cheering and inspiring the citizen
soldier with noble example and kindly word. The reconstruction acts,
legislation for the enrollment of the colored soldier, and every other
measure of enfranchisement received his hearty approval, remarking at
one time, with much feeling, that "I hope peace will come to stay, and
there will be some black men that can remember that they helped mankind
to this great consummation."

Did the colored troops redeem the promise made by their friends when
their enlistment was determined? History records exhibitions of bravery
and endurance which gave their survivors and descendants a claim as
imperishable as eternal justice. Go back to the swamps of the Carolinas,
the Savannahs of Florida, the jungles of Arkansas; or on the dark bosom
of the Mississippi. Look where you may, the record of their rugged
pathway still blossoms with deeds of noble daring, self-abnegation and a
holy devotion to the central ideas of the war--the freedom of the slave,
a necessity for the salvation of free government.

[Illustration: BISHOP W. B. DERRICK.

Born July, 1843, Antique, Bristol, West Indies--Educated at Graceville,
W. I.--Ordained Deacon in 1868, and now one of the Foremost Bishops of
the A. M. E. Church--Noted for Wisdom of Counsel and Great Ability.]

The reading of commanders' reports bring no blush of shame. At the
terrific assault on Fort Hudson, General Banks reported they answered
"every expectation; no troops could have been more daring." General
Butler tells of his transformation from a war Democrat to a radical.
Riding out at early morn to view the battlefield, where a few hours
before shot and shell flew thick and fast, skillfully guiding his horse,
that hoofs should not profane the sacred dead, he there saw in sad
confusion where lay the white and black soldier, who had gone down
together. The appeal, though mute, was irresistible. Stopping his horse
and raising his hand in the cold, grey light to heaven, said: "May my
tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth and my right hand forget its
cunning if I ever cease to insist upon equal justice to the colored
man." It was at the unequal fight at Milliken's Bend; it was at Forts
Wagner and Pillow, at Petersburg and Richmond, the colored troops asked
to be assigned the posts of danger, and there before the iron hail of
the enemy's musketry "they fell forward as fits a man." In our memory
and affections they deserve a fitting place "as those long loved, and
but for a season gone."

Slavery, shorn of its power, nurtured revenge. On the 14th day of April,
1865, while sitting with his family at a public exhibition, Abraham
Lincoln was assassinated, and the nation was in tears. Never was
lamentation so widespread, nor grief so deep; the cabin of the lowly,
the lordly mansion of wealth, the byways and highways, gave evidence of
a people's sorrow. "Men moved about with clinched teeth and bowed-down
heads; women bathed in tears and found relief, while little children
asked their mothers why all the people looked so mournful," and we, as
we came up out of Egypt, lifted up our voices and wept. Our friend was
no more, but intrenched in the hearts of his countrymen as one who did
much "to keep the jewel of liberty in the family of nations."

Since that eventful period the Negro has had a checkered career, passing
through the reconstruction period, with its many lights and shadows,
despite the assaults of prejudice and prescription by exclusion from
most of the remunerative callings and avocations, partiality in
sentencing him to the horrors of the chain-gang, lynching, and burning
at the stake. Despite all these he has made progress--a progress often
unfairly judged by the dominant race. Douglass has pithily said: "Judge
us not from the heights on which you stand, but from the depths from
whence we sprung." So, with a faith and hope undaunted, we scan our
country horizon for the silver lining propitious of a happier day.

Regarding that crime of crimes, lynching by hanging and burning human
beings, a barbarity unknown in the civilized world save in our country,
it is cheering to observe an awakening of the moral sense evidenced by
noble and manly utterance of leading journals, notably those of
Arkansas; the Governor of Georgia, and other Southern Governors and
statesmen, have spoken in derogation of this giant crime.

When others of like standing and State influence shall so pronounce,
this hideous blot upon the national escutcheon will disappear. It is
manly and necessary to protest when wronged. But a subject class or race
does but little for their amelioration when content with its
denouncement. Injustice can be more effectually arraigned by others than
the victim; his mere proclamation, however distinct and unanswerable,
will be slow of fruition. A measure of relief comes from the humane
sympathies of the philanthropist, but the inherent attraction of forces
(less sympathetic, perhaps, though indispensable) for his real uplifting
and protection will be in the ratio of his morality, learning, and
wealth. For vice is ever destructive; ignorance ever a victim, and
poverty ever defenceless. Morality should be ever in the foreground of
all effort, for mere learning or even wealth will not make a class of
brave, honest men and useful citizens; there must be ever an intensity
of purpose based upon convictions of truth, and "the inevitable oneness
of physical and moral strength." St. Pierre de Couberton, an eminent
French writer on education and training, has pertinently said: "Remember
that from the cradle to the grave struggle is the essence of life, as it
is the unavoidable aim, the real life bringer of all the sons of men.
Existence is a fight, and has to be fought out; self-defence is a noble
art, and must be practiced. Never seek a quarrel, but never shun one,
and if it seeks you, be sure and fight to the last, as long as strength
is given you to stand, guard your honesty of purpose, your good faith;
beware of all false seeming, of all pretence, cultivate arduous tasks,
aspire to what is difficult, and do persistently what is uncomfortable
and unpleasant; love effort passionately, for without effort there can
be no manliness; therefore acquire the habit of self-restraint, the
habit of painful effort, physical pain, is a useful one." With such
purpose the Negro should have neither servility, bitterness, nor regret,
but "instinct with the life of the present rise with the impulse of the


My election to the Common Council of the City of Victoria, Vancouver
Island, in 1866, was my first entry to political life, followed by
re-election for succeeding term.

The exercise of the franchise at the polls was by "viva voce," the voter
proclaiming his vote by stating the name of the candidate for whom he
voted in a distinct voice, which was audited on the rolls by clerks of
both parties.

Alike all human contrivances, this mode of obtaining the popular will
has its merits and demerits. For the former it has the impossibility of
ballot-stuffing, for the by-stander can keep accurate tally; also the
opportunity for the voter to display the courage of his conviction,
which is ever manly and the purpose of a representative Commonwealth. On
the other hand, it may fail to register the desire of the voter whose
financial or other obligation may make it impolitic to thus openly
antagonize the candidate he otherwise would with a secret ballot, "that
falls as silently as snow-flakes fall upon the sod" and (should)
"execute a freeman's will as lightning doth the will of God." This is
its mission, the faithful execution of its fiat, the palladium of
liberty for all the people. Opposition to the exercise of this right in
a representative government is disintegrating by contention and suicidal
in success. It has been, and still is, the cause of bitter struggle in
our own country. Disregard of the ultimatum of constitutional
majorities, the foundation of our system of government, as the cause of
the civil war, the past and ever-occurring political corruption in the
Northern and the chief factor in the race troubles in the Southern
States, where the leaders in this disregard and unlawful action allow
the honors and emoluments of office to shut out from their view the
constitutional rights of others; and by the criminality of their conduct
and subterfuge strive to make selfish might honest right.

That slavery was a poor school to fit men to assume the obligations and
duties of an enlightened citizenship should be readily admitted; that
its subjects in the Elysium of their joy and thankfulness to their
deliverers from servitude to freedom, and in ignorance of the polity of
government, should have been easy prey to the unscrupulous is within
reason. Still the impartial historian will indite that, for all that
dark and bloody night of reconstruction through which they passed, the
record of their crime and peculation will "pale its ineffectual rays"
before the blistering blasts of official corruption, murder, and
lynching that has appalled Christendom since the government of these
Southern States has been assumed by their wealth and intelligence. The
abnormal conditions that prevailed during reconstruction naturally
produced hostility to all who supported Federal authority, among whom
the Negro, through force of circumstances, was prominent and most
vulnerable for attack, suffered the most physically, and subsequently
became easy prey for those who would profit by his disfranchisement.

The attempt to justify this and condone this refusal to allow the
colored American exercise of civil and constitutional rights is based on
caste, hatred, and alleged ignorance--conditions that are
world-wide--and the measure of a people's Christianity and the
efficiency of republican institutions can be accurately determined by
the humanity and zeal displayed in their amelioration, not in the denial
of the right, but zealous tuition for its proper exercise.

During the civil war the national conscience, hitherto sluggish, was
awakened and great desire prevailed to award the race the full meed of
civil and political rights, both as a measure of justice and recognition
of their fealty and bravery in support of the national arm.

The Freedman's Bureau, Christian and other benevolent agencies were
inaugurated to fit the freedman for the new obligations. Handicapped as
he has been in many endeavors, his record has been inspiring.
Four-fifths of the race for generations legally and persistently
forbidden to learn to read or write; with labor unrequited, a
conservative estimate, in 1898, little more than three decades from
slavery, finds 340,000 of their children attending 26,300 schools and
their property valuation $750,000,000, while in learned professions,
journalism, and mercantile pursuits their ability and efficiency command
the respect and praise of the potential race.

When the amendments were being considered, opinion differed as to the
bestowal of the franchise; many favored only those who could read and
write. The popularity of this phase of opinion was voiced in the
following interview with Hon. Schuyler Colfax, afterward Vice President,
who was at that time Speaker of the lower house of Congress, and was
said to have the "Presidential bee in his bonnet." While "swinging
around the circle" he touched at Victoria, and the British Colonist of
July 29, 1865, made the following mention: "A committee consisting of
Abner Francis and M. W. Gibbs called on Hon. Schuyler Colfax, Speaker of
the House of Representatives of the United States, yesterday morning. On
being introduced by the American Consul, Mr. Gibbs proceeded to say that
they were happy to meet him and tender him on behalf of the colored
residents of Victoria their esteem and regard. They were not
unacquainted with the noble course he had pursued during the great
struggle in behalf of human liberty in the land of their nativity. They
had watched with intense interest the progress of the rebellion and
rejoiced in the Federal success and sorrowed in its adversity. Now that
victory had perched on the national standard--a standard we believe
henceforth and forever consecrated to impartial liberty--they were
filled with joy unspeakable. And he would allow them to say that it had
afforded them the greatest pleasure to observe the alacrity with which
the colored men of the nation offered and embraced the opportunity to
manifest their devotion and bravery in support of the national cause.

"They had full confidence in the magnanimity of the American people that
in the reconstruction of the seceded States they would grant the race
who had proved their claim by the most indisputable heroism and
fidelity, equality before the law, upon the ground of immutable justice
and importance of national safety. Without trespassing further on his
valuable time they would only tender him, as the distinguished Speaker
of the popular house of Congress, as well as the sterling friend of
freedom, their sincere respect and esteem.

"Mr. Colfax, in reply, said he was truly glad to see and meet the
committee and felt honored by the interview.

"For himself he had ever been an enemy of slavery. From his earliest
recollections he had ever used his influence against it to the extent of
his power; but its abolition was environed by so many difficulties that
it seemed to require the overruling hand of God to consummate its
destruction. And he did not see how it could have been brought about so
speedily but for those who desired to perpetuate it by raising
rebellious hands against the nation. Now, with regard to the last
sentiment expressed, concerning reconstruction, he would say that it was
occupying the earnest attention of the best and purest minds of the
nation. Most men were in favor of giving the ballot to colored men; the
question was to what extent it should be granted. Very many good men
were disposed to grant it indiscriminately to the ignorant as well as
the more intelligent. For himself he was not, but among the other class.
If colored men generally were as intelligent as the gentleman who had
honored him with this interview--for he considered the speech he had
just listened to among the best he had heard on the coast--there would
be no trouble; but slavery had made that impossible. He knew that the
President--decidedly an anti-slavery man--was not in favor of bestowing
the franchise on all alike, while Charles Sumner and others favored it.

"The honorable gentleman closed his remarks by desiring the colored
people not to consider the Administration inimical to their welfare, if
in the adjustment the right of suffrage was not bestowed on all, for it
was probable that reading and writing would be the qualification
demanded. He paid a high tribute to the colored people of Washington, D.
C., for their intelligence, moral worth, and industry, and said that it
was probable that the problem of suffrage would be solved in the
District of Columbia. After a desultory conversation on phases of
national status succeeding the rebellion, both parties seeming well
pleased with the meeting, the committee retired."

I did not then, nor do I now, agree with the views of that distinguished
statesman. The benignity of the ballot lies in this: It was never
devised for the protection of the strong, but as a guardian for the
weak. It is not true that a sane man, although unlettered, has not a
proper conception of his own interests and what will conserve them--what
will protect them and give the best results for his labor. You may fool
him some of the time, as you do the most astute, but he will be oftener
found among those of whom Lincoln said "You could not fool all the
time." William Lloyd Garrison, jr., "a worthy son of a noble sire,"
pointedly says: "Whoever laments the scope of suffrage and talks of
disfranchising men on account of ignorance or poverty has as little
comprehension of the meaning of self-government as a blind man has of
the colors of the rainbow. I declare my belief that we are suffering not
from a too extended ballot, but from one too limited and
unrepresentative. We enunciate a principle of government, and then deny
its practice. If experience has established anything, it is that the
interest of one class is never safe in the hands of another. There is no
class so poor or ignorant in a Republic that it does not know its own
suffering and needs better than the wealthy and educated classes. By the
rule of justice it has the same right precisely to give them legal
expression. That expression is bound to come, and it is wisest for it to
come through the ballot box than through mobs and violence born of a
feeling of misery and despair."

James Russell Lowell has said: "The right to vote makes a safety valve
of every voter, and the best way to teach a man to vote is to give him a
chance to practice. It is cheaper, too, in the long run to lift men up
than to hold them down. The ballot in their hands is less dangerous than
a sense of wrong in their heads."


Born in Kentucky, August, 1858--Educated In the Common Schools of that
State--At Thirty-five Elected Bishop of the A. M. E. Zion Church, Taking
High Rank as a Theologian, Originator and First President of the
National Afro American Council--Thinker, Orator and Leader.]


Among the estimable friendships I made on the Pacific Coast forty years
ago was Philip A. Bell, formerly of New York City, one of nature's
noblemen, broad in his humanity and intellectually great as a
journalist. As editor of The Elevator, a weekly newspaper still
published in San Francisco, he made its pages brilliant with
scintillations of elegance, wealth of learning, and vigor of advocacy.
To his request for a correspondent I responded in a series of letters. I
forbear to insert them here, as they describe the material and political
status of British Columbia thirty-five years ago--being well aware that
ancient history is not the most entertaining. But, as I read them I
cannot but note, in the jollity of their introduction, the immature
criticism, consciousness of human fallability, broadening of
conclusions, mellowed by hope for the future that seemed typical of a
life career. Like the horse in "Sheridan's Ride," their beginning "was
gay, with Sheridan fifty miles away;" but if they were helpful with a
truth-axiom or a moiety of inspiration--as a view of colonial conduct of
a nation, with which we were then and are now growing in affinity--the
purpose was attained.

At first the affairs of British Columbia and Vancouver were administered
by one Governor, the connection was but nominal; Vancouver Island had
control by a representative Parliament of its own; the future seemed
auspicious. Later they, feeling it "in fra dig" to divide the prestige
of government, severed the connection. But Vancouver finding it a rather
expensive luxury, and that the separation engendered strife and rivalry,
terminating in hostile legislation, determined to permanently unite with
British Columbia.

But alas, for political happiness. Many afterward sighed for former
times, when Vancouver Island, proud beauty of the North, sat laving her
feet in the genial waters of the Pacific, her lap verdant with beautiful
foliage and delicious fruits; her head raised with peerless majesty to
brilliant skies, while sunbeams playing upon a brow encircled by eternal
snows reflected a sheen of glorious splendor; when, conscious of her
immense wealth in coal, minerals, and fisheries, her delightful climate
and geographical position, she bid for commercial supremacy. It is said
of States, as of women, they are "fickle, coy and hard to please." For,
changed and governed from England's Downing Street, "with all its
red tape circumlocution," "Tile Barncal," incapacity, and
"how-not-to-do-it" ability that attached to that venerable institution,
its people were sorely perplexed.

During the discussion which the nature and inefficiency of the
Government evoked several modes of relief from these embarrassments were
warmly espoused, among them none more prominent than annexation to the
United States. It was urged with much force that the great want of the
country, immigration and responsible government, would find their
fulfillment in such an alliance. All that seemed wanted was the "hour
and the man." The man was considered present in Leonard McClure, editor
of a local, and afterward on the editorial staff of the San Francisco
Times. He was a man of rare ability, a terse writer, and with force of
logic labored assiduously to promote annexation. But the "hour" was "non
est." For while it was quite popular and freely discussed upon the forum
and street, influential classes declined to commit themselves to the
scheme, the primary step necessary before presentation to the respective
Governments. Among the opposition to annexation, naturally, were the
official class. These gentry being in no way responsible to the people,
an element ever of influence, and believing that by such an alliance
they would find their "occupation gone," gave it no quarter. Added to
these was another possessed of the prestige and power that wealth
confers--very conservative, timid, cautious, self-satisfied, and
dreading innovations of popular rule, but especially republicanism. Amid
these two classes, and sprinkled among the rank and file, was found a
sentiment extremely patriotic, with those who saw nothing worth living
for outside of the purview of the "tight little island."

There seems a destiny in the propriety of territory changing dominion.
God seems to have given this beautiful earth, with its lands, to be
utilized and a source of blessing, not to be locked by the promptings of
avarice nor the clog of incapacity; that it should be occupied by those
who, either by the accident of locality or superior ability, can make it
the most efficient in development. There should be, and usually is,
regard for acquired rights, save in the case of Africans, Indians, or
other weak peoples, when cupidity and power hold sweet converse. Nor
should we slightly estimate the feeling of loyalty to the land of birth
and the hearths of our fathers, the impulse that nerves the arm to
strike, and the soul to dare; that brings to our country's altar all
that we have of life to repel the invader of our homes or the usurper of
our liberties. That has given to the world a Washington, a Toussant, a
Bozzaris--a loyalty that will ever stand with cloven helmet and crimson
battle-ax in the van of civilization and progress. But, like other
ennobling sentiments, it can be perverted, allowing it to permeate every
view of government, finding its ultimatum in the conclusion that, if
government is despotic or inefficient, it is to be endured and not
removed. Such patriots are impressed with the conviction that the people
were made for governments, and not governments for the people. A
celebrated poet has said--

    "Our country's claim is fealty,
       I grant you so; but then
     Before man made us citizens
       Great Nature made us men."

Men with essential wonts and laudable aspirations, the attainment of
which can be accelerated by the fostering love and enlightened zeal of a
progressive government.

In 1859 at Esquimault, the naval station for British Columbia, I had a
pleasant meeting with Lady Franklin, widow of Sir John Franklin, the
Arctic explorer, who sailed in 1845 and was supposed to have perished in
1847. With a woman's devotion, after many years of absence, she was
still in quest, hoping, from ship officer or seaman of her Majesty's
service, some ray of light would yet penetrate the gloom which
surrounded his "taking off" in that terra incognito of the North pole,
whose attraction for the adventurer in search of scientific and
geographical data in the mental world is akin to its magnetic attraction
in the physical. To her no tidings came, but still lingered "hope, the
balm and life-blood of the soul."

In 1868 the union of British Columbia with the Dominion of Canada was
the political issue, absorbing all others. But the allurements of its
grandeur and the magnitude of promised results were insufficient to
allay opposition, ever encountered on proposal to change a
constitutional polity by those at the time enjoying official honors or
those who benefit through contracts or trade, and are emphatic in their
protest; these, however, constitute an element that is unwittingly the
safety valve of constitutional government. Wherever the people rule the
public welfare is ever endangered whenever radical changes are to be
introduced, unaccompanied with a vigorous opposition. A healthy
opposition is the winnowing fan that separates the politician's chaff
from the patriot's wheat, presenting the most desirable of the
substantial element needed. At the convention in 1868 at Fort Yale,
called by A. Decosmos, editor of The British Colonist, and others, for
the purpose of getting an expression of the people of British Columbia
regarding union with the Dominion of Canada (and of which the writer was
a delegate), the reduction of liabilities, the lessening of taxation,
increase of revenue, restriction of expenditure, and the enlargement of
the people's liberties were the goal, all of which have been attained
since entrance to the Dominion, which has become a bright jewel in his
Majesty's Crown, reflecting a civilization, liberal and progressive, of
a loyal, happy people.

The "British American Act," which created the Dominion of Canada,
differs from the Constitution of the United States in important
particulars. It grants to the Dominional, as well as the provincial
Legislatures the "want of confidence principle," by which an
objectionable ministry can be immediately removed; at the same time
centralizing the national authority as a guard against the heresy of
"State rights" superiority. Among the terms stipulated, the Dominion was
to assume the colonial debt of British Columbia, amounting to over two
million dollars; the building of a road from the Atlantic to the Pacific
within a stipulated time. The alliance, however, contained more
advantage than the ephemeral assistance of making a road or the
assumption of a debt, for with confederation came the abolition of the
"one-man system of government" and in its place a responsible one, with
freedom of action for enterprise, legislation to encourage development,
and assist budding industries; the permanent establishment of schools,
and the disbursement of revenue in accordance with popular will.

It is ever and ever true that "right is of no sex, and truth of no
color." The liberal ideas, ever struggling for utterance and ascendancy
under every form of government, are not the exclusive property of any
community or nation, but the heritage of mankind, and their victories
are ever inspiring. For, as the traveler sometimes ascends the hill to
determine his bearings, refresh his vision, and invigorate himself for
greater endeavors, so we, by sometimes looking beyond the sphere of our
own local activities, obtain higher views of the breadth and magnitude
of the principles we cherish, and perceive that freedom's battle is
identical wherever waged, whether her sons fight to abolish the relics
of feudalism or to possess the ballot, the reflex influence of their
example is mutually beneficial.

But of the Dominion of Canada, who shall write its "rise, decline, and
fall?" Springing into existence in a day, with a population of 4,000,000
people--a number larger than that possessed by the United States when
they commenced their great career--its promise is pregnant with benign
probabilities. May it be the fruition of hope that the banner of the
Dominion and the flag of our Republic, locked and interlocked, may go
forward in generous rivalry to bless mankind.

The most rapid instrumentalities in the development of a new country are
the finding and prospecting for mineral deposits. The discovery of large
deposits of gold in the quartz and alluvial area of British Columbia in
1858 was the incipiency of the growth and prosperity it now enjoys. But
although the search for the precious is alluring, the mining of the
grosser metals and minerals, such as iron, lead, coal, and others, are
much more reliable for substantial results.

The only mine of importance in British Columbia previous to 1867 was at
Naniamo, where there was a large output of bituminous coal. In that year
anthracite was discovered by Indians building fire on a broken vein that
ran from Mt. Seymour, on Queen Charlotte Island, in the North Pacific.
It was a high grade of coal, and on account of its density and burning
without flame, was the most valuable for smelting and domestic purposes.
A company had been formed at Victoria which had spent $60,000
prospecting for an enduring and paying vein, and thereafter prepared for
development by advertising for tenders to build railroad and wharfs for
shipping. Being a large shareholder in the company, I resigned as a
director and bid. It was not the lowest, but I was awarded the contract.
The Hudson Bay Co. steamship Otter, having been chartered January, 1869,
with fifty men, comprising surveyor, carpenters, blacksmiths, and
laborers, with timber, rails, provisions, and other necessaries for the
work I embarked at Victoria. Queen Charlotte Island was at that time
almost a "terra incognito," sparsely inhabited solely by scattered
tribes of Indians on the coast lines, which were only occasionally
visited by her Majesty's ships for discovery and capture of small craft
engaged in the whisky trade.

Passing through the Straits of Georgia, stopping at Fort Simpson, and
then to Queen Charlotte Island, entering the mouth of Skidegate River, a
few miles up, we reached the company's quarters, consisting of several
wooden buildings for residence, stores, shops, etc. At the mouth and
along the river were several Indian settlements, comprising huts, the
sides of which were of rough riven planks, with roof of leaves of a
tough, fibrous nature. At the crest was an opening for the escape of
smoke from fires built on the ground in the center of the enclosure. As
the ship passed slowly up the river we were hailed by the shouting of
the Indians, who ran to the river side, got into their canoes and
followed in great numbers until we anchored. They then swarmed around
and over the ship, saluting the ship's company as "King George's men,"
for such the English are known and called by them. They were peaceful
and docile, lending ready hands to our landing and afterward to the
cargo. I was surprised, while standing on the ship, to hear my name
called by an Indian in a canoe at the side, coupled with encomiums of
the native variety, quite flattering. It proved to be one who had been a
domestic in my family at Victoria. He gave me kind welcome, not to be
ignored, remembering that I was in "the enemy's country," so to speak.
Besides, such a reception was so much the more desirable, as I was
dependent upon native labor for excavating and transportation of heavy
material along the line of the road. While their work was not despatched
with celerity of trained labor, still, as is general with labor, they
earned all they got. "One touch of nature makes the whole world kin." I
found many apt, some stupid; honesty and dishonesty in usual quantities,
with craft peculiar to savage life.

Their mode of stealing by stages was peculiar. The thing coveted was
first hid nearby; if no inquiry was made for a period deemed
sufficiently long the change of ownership became complete and its
removal to their own hut followed, to be disposed of when opportunity
offered. If you had a particle of evidence and made a positive
accusation, with the threat of "King George's man-of-war," it was likely
to be forthcoming by being placed secretly nearby its proper place. But
through it we see the oneness of human frailty, whether in the watered
stock of the corporation or that of its humble servitor the milkman,
there is kinship. To get something for nothing is the "ignis fatuus"
ever in the lead. My experience during a year's stay on the island, and
constant intercourse with the natives, impressed me more and more with
the conviction that we are all mainly the creatures of environments;
yet through all the strata and fiber of human nature there is a chord
that beats responsive to kindness--a "language that the dumb can speak,
and that the deaf can understand."

The English mode of dealing with semi-civilized dependents is vastly
different from ours. While vigorously administering the law for proper
government, protection of life, and suppression of debauchery by
unscrupulous traders, they inspired respect for the laws and the love of
their patrons. Uprisings and massacres among Indians in her Majesty's
dominions are seldom, if ever, to be chronicled. Many of our Indian wars
will remain a blot on the page of impartial history, superinduced, as
they were, by wanton murder or the covet of lands held by them by sacred
treaties, which should have been as sacredly inviolate. Followed by
decimation of tribes by toleration of the whisky trade and the
conveyance of loathsome disease. The climate of the island was much more
pleasant than expected. The warm ocean currents on the Pacific temper
the atmosphere, rendering it more genial than the same degree of
latitude on the Atlantic. A few inches of snow, a thin coat of ice on
the river, were the usual attendants of winter. But more frequently our
camp was overhung by heavy clouds, broken by Mt. Seymour, precipitating
much rain.

[Illustration: HON. HENRY P. CHEATHAM,

Late Recorder of Deeds for the District of Columbia. Born in North
Carolina Forty Odd Years Ago--Educated in Public Schools and "Shaw
University"--Register of Deeds for his County--Elected to the
Fifty-first and Fifty-second Congress--Able and Progressive.]

After being domiciled we proceeded with the resident superintendent to
view the company's property, comprising several thousand acres. Rising
in altitude, and on different levels, as we approached Mt. Seymour,
croppings of coal were quite frequent, the broken and scattered veins
evidencing volcanic disturbance. The vein most promising was several
hundred feet above the level of the sea, and our intended wharf survey
was made, which showed heavy cuttings and blasting to obtain grade for
the road. The work was pushed with all the vigor the isolated locality
and climatic conditions allowed. Rain almost incessant was a great
impediment, as well as were the occasional strikes of the Indian labor,
which was never for more wages, but for more time. The coal from the
croppings which had been at first obtained for testing, had been carried
by them in bags, giving them in the "coin of the realm" so many pieces
of tobacco for each bag delivered on the ship. There was plenty of time
lying around on those trips, and they took it. On the advent of the new
era they complained that "King George men" took all the time and gave
them none, so they frequently quit to go in quest. The nativity of my
skilled labor was a piece of national patchwork--a composite of the
canny Scotch, the persistent and witty Irish, the conservative but
indomitable English, the effervescent French, the phlegmatic German, and
the irascible Italian. I found this variety beneficial, for the usual
national and race bias was sufficiently in evidence to preclude a
combination to retard the work. I had three Americans, that were neither
white nor colored; they were born black; one of them--Tambry, the
cook--will ever have my grateful remembrance for his fatherly kindness
and attention during an illness.

The conditions there were such that threw many of my men off their feet.
Women and liquor had much the "right of way." I was more than ever
impressed with the belief that there was nothing so conclusive to a
worthy manhood as self-restraint, both morally and physically, and the
more vicious and unrestraining the environment the greater the
achievement. Miners had been at work placing many tons of coal at the
mouth of the mine during the making of the road, the grade of which was
of two elevations, one from the mine a third of the distance,
terminating at a chute, from which the coal fell to cars on the lower
level, and from thence to the wharf. After the completion of the road
and its acceptance by the superintendent and the storage of a cargo of
coal on the wharf, the steamer Otter arrived, was loaded, and despatched
to San Francisco, being the first cargo of anthracite coal ever
unearthed on the Pacific seaboard. The superintendent, having notified
the directors at Victoria of his intention to return, they had appointed
me to assume the office. I was so engaged, preparing for the next
shipment on the steamer.


My sojourn on the island was not without its vicissitudes and dangers,
and one of the latter I shall ever remember--one mingled, as it was,
with antics of Neptune, that capricious god of the ocean, and
resignation to what seemed to promise my end with all sublime things.
The stock of oil brought for lubricating cars and machinery having been
exhausted, I started a beautiful morning in a canoe with three Indians
for their settlement at the mouth of Skidegate River for a temporary
supply. After a few hours' paddling, gliding down the river serenely,
the wind suddenly arose, increasing in force as we approached the mouth
in the gulf. The high walls of the river sides afforded no opportunity
to land. The storm continued to increase in violence, bringing billows
of rough sea from the ocean, our canoe dancing like a feather, one
moment on a high crest by its skyward leap, and in the next to an abyss
deep, with walls of sea on either side, shutting out a view of the
horizon, while I, breathless with anxious hope, waited for the
succeeding wave to again lift the frail bark. The better to preserve
the equilibrium of the canoe--a conveyance treacherous at the
best--wrapped in a blanket in the bottom of the canoe I laid, looking
into the faces of the Indians, contorted by fright, and listened to
their peculiar and mournful death wail, "while the gale whistled aloft
his tempest tune."

I afterward learned that they had a superstition based upon the loss of
many of their tribe under like conditions, that escape was impossible.
The alarm and distrust in men, aquatic from birth, in their own waters
was to me appalling. I seemed to have "looked death in the face"--and
what a rush of recollections that had been long forgotten, of actions
good and bad, the latter seeming the most, hurried, serried, but
distinct through my excited brain; then a thought, bringing a calm
content, that "To every man upon this earth death cometh soon or late;"
and with a fervent resignation of myself to God and to what I believed
to be inevitable; then a lull in the wind, and, after many attempts, we
were able to cross the mouth of the river to the other side--the place
of destination.

In 1869 I left Queen Charlotte Island and returned to Victoria; settled
my business preparatory to joining my family, then at Oberlin, Ohio. It
was not without a measure of regret that I anticipated my departure.
There I had lived more than a decade; where the geniality of the climate
was excelled only by the graciousness of the people; there unreservedly
the fraternal grasp of brotherhood; there I had received social and
political recognition; there my domestic ties had been intensified by
the birth of my children, a warp and woof of consciousness that time
cannot obliterate. Then regret modified, as love of home and country
asserted itself.

    "Breathes there a man with soul so dead
     Who never to himself hath said:
       'This is my native land'--
     Whose heart has not within him burned
     As homeward footsteps he has turned
       From wandering on a foreign strand?"

En route my feelings were peculiar. A decade had passed, fraught with
momentous results in the history of the nation. I had left California
disfranchised and my oath denied in a "court of justice" (?); left my
country to all appearances enveloped in a moral gloom so dense as to
shut out the light of promise for a better civil and political status.
The star of hope glimmered but feebly above the horizon of contumely and
oppression, prophetic of the destruction of slavery and the
enfranchisement of the freedman. I was returning, and on touch of my
country's soil to have a new baptism through the all-pervading genius of
universal liberty. I had left politically ignoble; I was returning
panoplied with the nobility of an American citizen. Hitherto regarded as
a pariah, I had neither rejoiced at its achievement nor sorrowed for
its adversity; now every patriotic pulse beat quicker and heart throb
warmer, on realization that my country gave constitutional guarantee for
the common enjoyment of political and civil liberty, equality before the
law--inspiring a dignity of manhood, of self-reliance and opportunity
for elevation hitherto unknown.

Then doubt, alternating, would present the immense problems awaiting
popular solution. Born in the seething cauldron of civil war, they had
been met in the arena of fervid Congressional debate and political
conflict. The amendments to the Constitution had been passed, but was
their inscription a record of the crystallization of public sentiment?
Subsequent events have fully shown that only to the magnanimity and
justice of the American people and the fruition of time can they be
commended. Not to believe that these problems will be rightfully solved
is to doubt not only the efficacy of the basic principles of our
Government, but the divinity of truth and justice. To these rounds of
hope's ladder, while eager in obtaining wisdom, the Negro should cling
with tenacity, with faith "a higher faculty than reason" unconquerable.

Having resolved to locate in some part of the South for the purpose of
practicing law, I had while in Victoria read the English Common Law, the
basis of our country's jurisprudence, under Mr. Ring, an English
barrister. Soon after my arrival in Oberlin, Ohio, where my family,
four years before, had preceded me, I entered the law department of an
Oberlin business college, and after graduation proceeded South, the
first time since emancipation. In an early chapter I described my first
contact with and impressions of slavery, when a lad; then the
hopelessness of abject servitude and consciousness of unrequited toil
had its impress on the brow of the laborer. Now cheerfulness, a spirit
of industry, enterprise, and fraternal feeling replaced the stagnant
humdrum of slavery. Nor was progress observable only among the freedmen.
Many evidences of kindness and sympathy were shown and expressed by
former owners for the moral and mental advancement of their former
bondsmen, which, to a great degree, unfortunately, was counterbalanced
by violence and persecution.

My brother, Jonathan C. Gibbs, was then Secretary of State of Florida,
with Governor Hart as executive. He had had the benefit of a collegiate
education, having graduated at Dartmouth, New Haven, and had for some
years filled the pulpit as a Presbyterian minister. The stress of
reconstruction and obvious necessity for ability in secular matters
induced him to enter official life. Naturally indomitable, he more than
fulfilled the expectations of his friends and supporters by rare ability
as a thinker and speaker, with unflinching fidelity to his party
principles. I found him at Tallahassee, the capital, in a
well-appointed residence, but his sleeping place in the attic
contracted, and, as I perceived, considerable of an arsenal. He said
that for better vantage it had been his resting place for several
months, as his life had been threatened by the "Ku Klux," that band of
midnight assassins whose deeds of blood and carnage darken so many pages
of our national history, and was the constant terror of white and black
adherents to the national Government's policy of enfranchisement. He was
hopeful of better conditions in Florida, and introduced me to Governor
Hart. Both urged me to locate in the State, promising me their support.
I highly appreciated the affection of the one and the proffered
friendship of the other. But the feeling paramount was that my brother
had "won his spurs" by assiduity and fidelity through the scathing and
fiery ordeal of those troublesome times; that it would ill become me to
profit or serenely rest beneath the laurels he had won. It was the last
interview or sight of my brother. Subsequently after a three hours'
speech, he went to his office and suddenly died of apoplexy.

I continued my tour of observation, and, having been appointed a
delegate from Ohio to a national convention to be held in Charleston,
South Carolina, I attended. It was the first assembly of the kind at
which I had been present since emancipation. I had hitherto met many
conventions of colored men having for their object the amelioration of
oppressive conditions. This gathering was unlike any similar meeting.
The deliberations of the convention presented a combination of a strong
intellectual grasp of present needs and their solution, with much
uninformed groping and strife for prominence, features of procedure I
have observed not confined to Negro assemblies.

The majority were unlettered, but earnest in their mental toiling for
protection to life and equality before the law. Hitherto the purpose had
been to make earnest appeals to the law-making power for such
legislation as would abolish slavery and award equal justice--the first
supported by the national conscience, but mainly as a military
necessity, was a "fait accompli;" the other had been legislatively
awarded, but for its realization much more was necessary than its simple
identification on the statute books of a nation, when public sentiment
is law. More than a third of a century has now passed, enabling a view
more dispassionate and accurate of the conditions surrounding the
freedmen directly after emancipation and the instrumentalities designed
for fitting him for citizenship.

It is not surprising, neither is he blameworthy, if in the incipiency of
joy for freedom bestowed he could not properly estimate the factors
necessary to form an homogenous citizenship. The ways for two centuries
had been divergent paths. The dominant claiming and exercising, as an
heirloom, every civil and political right; the subordinate, with
knowledge the most meager of their application or limits, by compulsion
was made to concede the claim. Neither is it singular that participation
in the exercise of these rights by the freedman should have created a
determined opposition in a majority of the former, who claimed their
fitness to rule as the embodiment of the wealth and intelligence (which
are generally the ruling factors world-wide), and would have at an early
date derived a just "power from the consent of the governed," did not
history record the unnecessary and inhuman means resorted to to extort
it, the obliquity of which can be erased only by according him the
rights of an American citizen. Mutual hostility, opposition on the one
hand to the assumption and exercise of these rights, and consequent
distrust by the freedman, often fostered by unscrupulous leaders, have
been alike detrimental to both classes, but especially so to the Negro,
for his constant need in the Southland is the cordial friendship and
helping hand of "his brother in white." He deserves it for his century
of unrequited labor in peace and in war for fidelity to the tender ties
committed to his care. Anti-revolutionist in his nature, he will
continue to merit it and possibly save the industrial life in the South
in the coming conflict of capital and labor.

That, as a class, they are in antagonism to the prevailing political
sentiment is the legitimate result of the manner of their emancipation
and a commendable gratitude and kinship for the party through which they
obtained their freedom. But Gibbon, in his "Decline and Fall of Rome,"
has said that "gratitude is expensive," and so the Negro has found it,
and is beginning to echo the sentiment and would gladly hail conditions
and opportunity where he could, after thirty-five years of blood and
fidelity, be less partisan and more fraternal politically, conscious his
united affiliation with his early alliance, and consequent ostracism of
the opposition has given him a "hard road to travel." Commendable as has
been his devotion, he finds commendation a limited currency and not
negotiable for the protection and benefits that should accompany the
paladium of citizenship. While his treatment by the Democratic party has
made a continuous political relation compulsory, it is unfortunate; for
the political affinity of no other class of American citizens is judged
by the accident of birth. It is detrimental to the voter whose
proclivity is thereby determined. Wherever the Negro vote, in the
estimation of any party, is an uncertain quantity, its value as a factor
will have increased, consolidated, and in numbers controlling, it has
been considered a menace and vigorously eliminated.

This view has to an extent an auxiliary in certain Republican circles,
where it is avowed that the party could get in the South a large
accession of hitherto Democratic voters, giving it a commanding
influence, but for its colored contingent, which is averred to be
repellant. There may be difference of opinion as to the merit of such
conclusions and the fitness of their rehearsal "to the marines;" but
none as to the measure of welcome of those that hold them. However,
given that they are correct. Self-respect and a desire to help the old
party can go hand in hand, and when possible in a manly way, room should
be made for such anticipated accession.

There is another phase of present conditions that deserves, and I have
no doubt has claimed, attention. It is the emphatic trend of the
national leaders of the party to conciliate the hitherto discordant
elements in the South in the interest of national harmony, an object
lesson of which was presented by the late President on his Southern
tour. But few years have elapsed since no man seeking a renomination on
the Republican ticket would have put on and worn a Confederate badge.
This President McKinley did, receiving the indiscriminate applause and
the concurrence of his own party. Such an act, which is not only
allowable, but commendable, would formerly have been political suicide.
This being a movement in the house of his political alliance, it is up
to the Negro to consider which is his best interest, should the olive
branch of political friendship be extended by those from whom he
receives his chief support. Under like conditions, his white brother
would have no hesitancy.

There is yet another phase which indicates the Negro in jeopardy on
industrial lines. A few years hence the South will have ceased to be
chiefly agricultural. Mills for cotton, iron, and other factories will
have dotted hilltop and valley, and with them will come the Northern
operative with his exclusive "unions" and trade prejudice, shutting the
doors of mills and foundries against him. To meet this scramble for
favor from the wealth and intelligence of the Southland--the ruling
factors--he should avail himself of every appliance for fostering
harmony and co-operation along all the lines of contact. In slavery and
in his subsequent journey in freedom he has suffered much. But what
nation or people have escaped that ordeal who have made mark in the
world's history? There is now prospective unfriendly legislation in
several Southern States; also the lowest of the whites, as they deem
occasion may require, go, often undisturbed, on shooting and lynching

The problem that continues to force itself for solution is, How the
innocent are to receive immunity from these outrages or a fair trial,
when accused of crime. These being under the purview of State
sovereignty, the Federal arm is not only powerless, but there exists no
Northern sentiment favoring drastic means for their correction. Hence it
is evident that relief can only come from those who fashion the
sentiment that crystallizes into law. But with the bitter is mingled the
sweet; much of his advancement along educational and material lines is
due to the liberality of the white people of the South, who, it has been
computed, have contributed one hundred millions of dollars since
emancipation by taxes and donations for his education, and there are
many evidences that the best thought of the South is in line with Negro
employment and his educational advancement in the belief that the more
general the intelligence the greater the State's progress, morally and
materially. This conviction was emphatically expressed by an
overwhelming negative vote in the Arkansas Legislature recently, where a
measure was introduced to abandon him to his own taxable resources for
education. The ratio of his moral and material product will be the
measure of his gratitude for this great boon. For, after all, many of
"our great dangers are not from without."

[Illustration: EDWARD E. COOPER.

Editor and Publisher of "Colored American," Washington, D. C.

Founder of "Colored World" and "Indianapolis Freeman" Conspicuous as a
Leader and Enterprising as a Journalist.]

General ----, a leading Democrat of this State, and an unmistakable
friend of the negro, referring to the above evidence of good feeling,
said he did not see why I, and other reputed leaders, in view of such
evidences of friendship, did not induce our people to be fraternal
politically. I replied that the effort had once been made, but that the
Democratic party, intrenched as it was in large majorities in the South,
"by ways that are dark and tricks that are vain," its leaders say they
"do not need, neither do they solicit, the colored vote; but if they
choose, they may so vote." He said that certainly had a ringing sound of
independence and was uninviting as an announcement--an independence,
however, that will not forever outlive the vagaries of sound, for it is
not unlikely that he will not only vote the ticket, but be earnestly
solicited to do so. "For it will happen, during the whirligig of time
and action, in my party as well as others, that there will be a change
of policies, new issues, local dissatisfaction, friction, contemplated
antagonism and the political arithmetic sounded. But I cannot but
believe that the clannishness of the Negro has been the boomerang that
has knocked him out of much sympathy, being impractical as a political
factor and out of harmony with the material policies of the Southern

I replied I had thought the highest ideal of patriotism was adherence to
measures materially as well as politically that were for the benefit of
the whole people.

He said: "I know your party preach that they have a monopoly of wisdom;
but the fact is the wisest statesmen of the world are divided in opinion
as to the benefits claimed for the leading policies of your party. But
how do they benefit you, as a dependent class? Your immediate need is
employment and good educational facilities. You should be less
sentimental and more practical. You may honestly believe in a protective
tariff, having for its object the protection of the American
working-man, but does it help you when you know that the doors of mills,
foundries, and manufactories are shut against you? As to the currency,
you are at a disadvantage when you attempt to antagonize the financial
views of your employers.

"It reminds me of an incident," he continued, "in my native town in
Virginia, not long after reconstruction. There had been a drought and
short crop, succeeded by a pretty hard winter. My father, whose
politics, you may well judge, I being 'a chip of the old block,' without
soliciting money or favor, threw open his cellar, wherein was stowed
many bushels of sweet potatoes; invited all the destitute to come. It is
needless to say they came. In the spring Tobey, the Negro minister of
the Baptist Church--a man illiterate, but with much native sense--after
morning service, said: 'Brethren, there's gwine to be a 'lection here
next week, and I wants you all to vote in de light dat God has gin you
to see de light, but I spects to vote wid de taters.' Now, this may seem
ludicrous, but Tobey, in that act, was a fit representative of the white
man in politics--for every class of American citizens except the Negro
divide their vote and put it where to them personally it will do the
most good."

"Much," I replied, "that you have said is undoubtedly true. But can you
wonder at the Negro's cohesion? Is it not a fact that his is the only
class of citizens that your party deny equal participation in the
franchise, and unjustly discriminate against in the application of the
laws? Where better could a change of conduct which you would admire and
he so happily embrace, be inaugurated than within your own political
household; where could nobility of character be more grandly displayed
than by the abolition of these vicious hindrances to the uplifting of
the weak and lowly?"

"Be that as it may," he replied, "your race is not in a condition to
make friends by opposing the prevailing local policies of their

I have narrated this interview for the reason that it is a fitting type
of the views of friends of the Negro of the South who somehow fail to
see the difficulty in his fraternizing with them in the midst of so much
political persecution and bodily outrage. I referred in the above
interview to an effort of colored leaders to assimilate with Southern


In 1876 (twenty-five years ago) I was President of a National Convention
held at Nashville, Tenn, and of which H. V. Redfield, an able
correspondent of the "Cincinnati Commercial," made the following unduly
flattering mention: "Mifflin W. Gibbs, of Arkansas, was selected as
President. It may be interesting to know that Gibbs is strongly in favor
of Bristoe, now an aspirant for the Presidency. He will likely be a
delegate from Arkansas to the National Republican Convention at
Cincinnati. He is a lawyer, one of the foremost of his race in Arkansas.
He is rather slender and a genteel-looking man, with something in his
features that denotes superiority" ("Though poor in thanks," Redfield,
yet I thank thee.) "His speech upon taking the chair, was another event.
It was the third good speech of the day and calculated to leave the
believers of internal inferiority in something of a muddle.

"He made a manly plea for equal rights for his race. All they wanted was
an equal chance in the battle of life. They did not desire to hinder any
man for exercising his political rights as he saw fit, and all they
claimed was liberty of thought and action for themselves. He was sorry
there was occasion for a convention of black men to consider black men's
status. The fact alone was evidence that the race had not been accorded
right and justice. Of the treatment of his race in Arkansas he had
little to complain of, but spoke bitterly of the murders at Vicksburg,
Miss. He gave the Republican party, as administered at Washington,
several blows under the chin. He complained of bad treatment of colored
men by that party, notwithstanding all its professions. He made the bold
declaration that all the whites of the South need do to get their votes
was to promise equal and exact justice and stand to it. All they wanted
was their rights as American citizens and would go into the party that
would secure them. He said the question primarily demanding the
attention of the convention were educational and political, and he hoped
the proceedings would be so orderly as to convince the whites present
that we were capable of self-control. His speech had a highly
independent flavor and the particular independent passages were
applauded by whites and blacks alike."

While the call for the convention was not distinctly political, that
feature of the proceedings was the most pronounced. For at that early
day, through an experience the most bitter, the lesson had been learned
that politics was not the panacea, but that our affiliation with the
Republican party was the main offence. Hence a disposition to
fraternize with Southern politicians for race protection and opportunity
had many adherents, and voiced by Governor Pinchback and other prominent
leaders in the South, who, while preferring to maintain their fealty to
the Republican party, were willing to sacrifice that allegiance if they
could secure protection and improve conditions for the race. Had the
leaders of Southern opinion met these overtures, even part of the way,
much of the friction and turbulence of subsequent years would have been
avoided. But that there will be a breaking up of the political
solidarity of the South, not on sentimental but on material lines, at no
distant day all signs promise, and be its status what it may, the Negro
will benefit by commingling with the respective parties in political
fellowship. Laying down the "old grudge" at the door of opportunity and
entering, should the premises be habitable, he could "report progress
and ask leave to sit again."

It has been alleged to the discredit of the Negro that he too soon
forgets an injury. Nevertheless as a virtue it should redound to his
credit. He is swift to forgive and, if necessary, apologize for the
shortcomings of his adversary. But human nature seldom appreciates
forgiveness, preceded as it is by censure, the subject of which usually
repels, and another melancholy phase is often apparent, for the pricks
of conscience for those we have wronged, we seek solace by hating. There
are in both parties a fraction of saints, who, notwithstanding his
immense contribution by unrequited labor to the wealth of the nation
whilst a slave; his fidelity and bravery in every war of the Republic,
have for him neither care nor regard; denounce him as an incapable and a
bad legacy. He should, nevertheless, be patient, diligent, and hopeful,
with appreciation for his friends and for his enemies a consciousness
expressed in the Irishman's toast to the Englishman--

    "Here's to you, as good as you are;
       And here's to me, as bad as I am;
     But as good as you are,
       And as bad as I am,
     I'm as good as you are,
       As bad as I am."

Very ill considered is the opinion held and advocated by some, that he
should defer or eschew politics--who say: "Let the Negro be deprived of
this right of citizenship until he learns how to exercise it with wisdom
and discretion." As well say to the boy, Do not go into the water until
you learn to swim! The highest type of civilization is the evolution of
mistakes. While education, business, and skilled labor should have the
right of way and be primarily cherished, his right to vote and
persistent desire to exercise it should never be abandoned, for he will
yet enjoy its fullest fruition all over this, our God-blessed land.

Among the delegates I met at the South Carolina convention in 1871 were
the Hon. William H. Grey, H. B. Robinson, and J. H. Johnson, of
Arkansas, prominent planters and leaders in that State. I was much
impressed with the eloquence of Grey, and the practical ideas advanced
by Robinson, the one charmed, the other convinced. Learning that I
sought a desirable place to locate in the South, they were enthusiastic
in describing the advantages held out by the State of Arkansas. The
comparative infancy of its development, its golden prospects, and
fraternal amenities. Crossing the Arkansas River in a ferry-boat, in
May, 1871, I arrived in Little Rock a stranger to every inhabitant. It
was on a Sunday morning. The air refreshing, the sun not yet fervent, a
cloudless sky canopied the city; the carol of the canary and mocking
bird from treetop and cage was all that entered a peaceful, restful
quiet that bespoke a well-governed city. The chiming church bells that
soon after summoned worshipers seemed to bid me welcome. The high and
humble, in their best attire, wended their way to the respective places
of worship.

Little Rock at that date, not unlike most Western cities in their
infancy, and bid for immigration, was extensively laid out, but thinly
populated, having less than 12,000 inhabitants. From river front to
Twelfth Street, on the south, and to Chester on the west, it was but
sparsely settled. The streets were unimproved, but the gradual rise from
river front gave a natural drainage. Residences and gardens of the more
prominent, on the outskirts, gave token of culture and refinement. The
nom de plume "City of Roses" seemed fittingly bestowed, for with trellis
or encircling with shady bower, the stately doorway of the wealthy, or
the cabin of the lowly could be seen the rose, the honeysuckle, or other
verdure of perfume and beauty, imparting a grateful fragrance, while
"every prospect pleases." My first impressions have not been lessened by
lapse of time; generous nature has enabled human appliance to make
Little Rock an ideal city.

As knowledge of the local status of a State, as well as common law, must
precede admission to the bar, I applied and was kindly permitted to
enter the law office of Benjamin & Barnes, at that time the only
building on the square now occupied by the post office and the Allis
Block. In this for preparatory reading I was very fortunate. I not only
found an extensive law library, but the kindness and special interest
shown by Sidney M. Barnes was of incalculable benefit. Mr. Barnes was an
able jurist, one of nature's noblemen, genial, generous, and patriotic.
A wealthy slaveholder in Kentucky, when the note of civil war was
sounded, called together his slaves, gave them their freedom, and at an
early date had them enrolled in the Federal army, and went forth himself
to fight for the Union. James K. Barnes, his son, now a prominent
citizen of Fort Smith, and the able United States Attorney for the
Western district of Arkansas, and whose fellowship and kindness has
extended through all my political career in Arkansas, is "a worthy son
of a noble sire," having courage of conviction and eloquence in their
enunciation. Among the young men then practicing law was Lloyd G.
Wheeler, a graduate from a law school in Chicago, popular and an able
lawyer, with considerable practice. In 1872 we joined, under the firm
name of Wheeler & Gibbs, opening an office in the Old Bank Building,
corner Center and Markam Streets.

[Illustration: HON. JUDSON W. LYONS.

Present Register of the Treasury. Born in Georgia--A Graduate of Howard
University--Appointed by President McKinley to the Above Position.]

It is not without considerable trepidation that an infant limb of the
law shies his castor into the ring, puts up his shingle announcing that
A, B, or C is an "Attorney and Counsellor at Law." His cerebral column
stiffens as, from day to day, he meets members of the bar, who
congratulate him upon his advent, and feels his importance as he waits
from day to day for the visit of his first client, but collapses when he
arrives and with ghostly dread salutes him and prepares to listen with a
disturbed sense of an awful responsibility he is about to undertake.
For, side by side with his client's statements there seem to appear in
stately majesty all the adjuncts of the law: First, the inquisitive
glance of the judge, like a judicial searchlight, scans him as he rises
to defend Mr. Only Borrow, charged with larceny. Will he be able to
think on his feet at the bar as he did in his chair in his office? Will
he succeed or fail in stating his case, with eye and ear of every
veteran of the bar intent on his first utterance? How about the jury,
that unknown quantity of capricious predilections? Will they give him
attention, or will their eyes find a more congenial resting place?
Unbidden, the panorama insists on prominence. He attempts the most
nonchalant air, tells Mr. B. to proceed and state his case. This was not
the first time that he had been requested to perform this incipient step
of the law's demand, and he does it with such astuteness and flippancy,
and how he had been wronged and persecuted by the plaintiff, that tears,
unbidden, are ready to glisten in your eyes. Injured innocence and your
sworn duty to your profession inspire courage and induce you to take his
case. Later on the tyro will have learned that it was highly probable
that Mr. B. would not have called on him but for the fact that he was
not only out of cash, but out of credit with able and experienced

At the time of my examination for entry to the bar by the committee, of
which William G. Whipple was one, I was instructed that the most
important acquisition for a member of the bar was ability to secure his
fee. Having noted all the points of defence for his honesty, the last,
but not the least matter to be considered was the fee, resulting in an
exchange of promises and his departure. When the case was called, for
reasons not divulged, the plaintiff failed to appear. Mr. Borrow was
acquitted; I won my case and am still wooing my fee. The study of the
law is not solely of advantage to those who intend adopting it as a
profession, for its fundamental principles are interwoven with the best
needs of mankind in all his undertakings, making it of value to the
preacher or laymen, the merchant or politician. For the young man
intending the pursuit of the latter it is quite indispensable. The
condition in the South for a quarter of a century giving opportunity for
colored men to engage in the professions has not been neglected. In each
of the States there are physicians and lawyers practicing with more or
less success. With equality of standing as to culture, ability and
devotion, the doctor has had the advantage for a growing and lucrative
practice. This can be accounted for partly on account of the private
administrations of the one and the public career of the other. The
physicians has seldom contact with his professional brother in white and
escapes much of the difficulty that lies in wait for the colored
disciple of Blackstone.

During my practice I found the judges eminently fair in summing up the
evidence produced, noting the points and impartially charging the
jurors, who were also fair when plaintiff and defendant were of the same
race, but who, alas, too often, when the case had been argued by, or the
issue was between the representatives of the two races, bowed to the
prevailing bias in their verdict. Bishop, in his introduction to his
"Criminal Law," has fittingly said: "The responsibilities which devolve
on judicial tribunals are admitted. But a judge sitting in court is
under no higher obligation to cast aside personal motives and his likes
and dislikes of the parties litigant, and to spurn the bribe if
proffered than any other official person acting under a jurisdiction to
enforce laws not judicial. Happy will be the day when public virtue
exists otherwise than in name." It often happens with cases commanding
liberal fees and where the litigant has high regard for the legal
learning and ability of the colored lawyer, yet conscious of this
hindrance to a successful issue of his case, very naturally goes
elsewhere for legal assistance. Hence, as an advocate not having
inducement for continued research and opportunity for application of the
more intricate elements of the law, confined to petty cases with
corresponding fee, he is handicapped in his effort to attain eminence as
a jurist. It has been said that great men create circumstances. But
circumstances unavoidably produce great men. Henry Drummond is quoted
as saying: "No matter what its possibilities may be, no matter what
seeds of thought or virtue lie latent in its breast, until the
appropriate environment presents itself, the correspondence is denied,
the development discouraged, the most splendid possibilities of life
remain unrealized, and thought and virtue, genius and art, are dead."

It should be the solemn and persistent duty of the race to contend for
every right the Magna Charta of the Republic has granted them, but it
might assuage the pang of deprivation and stimulate opportunity did he
fully know the stages of savagery, slavery, and oceans of blood through
which the Anglo-Saxon passed to attain the exalted position he now
occupies. Much of the jurisprudence we now have responding to and
crystallizing the best needs of humanity were garnered in this sanguine
and checkered career. It is said that the law is a jealous mistress,
demanding intense and entire devotion and unceasing wooing to succeed in
winning her favor, or profiting by her decrees. Yet, for student or
layman, the study is instructive and ennobling. It is an epitome of ages
of human conduct, the products, the yearnings, and strivings of the
human heart, as higher conceptions of man's relation to his fellow found
echo or inscription in either the common or written law. Locality,
nationality, race, sex, religion, or social manner may differ, but the
accord of desire for civil liberty--the "torch lit up in the soul by the
omnipotent hand of Deity itself"--is ever the same. Constitutional law
"was not attained by sudden flight," but it is the product of reform,
with success and restraint alternating through generations. It is the
ripeness of a thousand years of ever-recurring tillage, blushing its
scarlet rays of blood and conquest ante-dating historic "Runny Meade."

It is well to occasionally have such reminiscent thought; it makes us
less pessimistic and gives life to strive and spirit and hope. We cannot
unmake human nature, but can certainly improve conditions by
self-denial, earnest thought, and wise action.


Previous to my resolve to settle in the South I had read and learned
much of politics and politicians; the first as being environed by
abnormal conditions unstable and disquieting--the class that had
established and controlled the economy of the Southern States; had been
deposed in the wage of sanguinary battle on many well contested
fields--deposed by an opponent equally brave, and of unlimited
resources; defeated, but unsubdued in the strength of conviction in the
rightfulness of their cause. A submission of the hand but not of the
heart. New constitutions granting all born beneath the flag equality of
citizenship and laws in unison adopted, and new officers alien to local
feeling were the executors.

It is unnecessary here to remark that if a succession of love feasts had
been anticipated, they had been indefinitely postponed.

For the officers of the new system were by their whilom predecessors
ordered to go "nor stand upon the order of their going," the bullet at
times conveying the order. Assassinations, lynchings, and reprisals by
both parties to the feud were of daily occurrence. The future for life,
liberty, and pursuit of happiness in busy city or sylvan grove, was not
alluring. My subsequent career makes it necessary for me to arise to
explain. Taking at the time a calm survey of the situation, an addition
to the column of martyrs seemed to me unnecessary. I believed in the
principles of the Republican party and as a private I was willing to
vote, work, and be slightly crippled; but had not reached the bleeding
and dying point. With such conclusions I resolved to come, and confine
myself to the pursuit of my profession and give politics a "terrible
letting alone." Oh, if abandoned resolutions were a marketable
commodity, what emporium sufficiently capacious and who competent to

The organization of the Republican party of Arkansas was on the eve of
disruption. Its headquarters were in the building and over the law
office of Benjamin & Barnes, with whom I was reading. Violent disputes
as to party policy, leadership, and the distribution of the plums of
office were of frequent occurrence. I very distinctly remember the day
when the climax was reached and "the parting of the ways" determined.
The adherents of Senator Clayton and the State administration on the one
part, and Joseph Brooks and his followers on the other, coming down the
stairs--some with compressed lip and flashing eye, others as petulant as
the children who say: "I don't want to play in your yard; I don't like
you any more." It was the beginning of the overt act that extinguished
Republican rule in Arkansas. The factions led by Powell Clayton and
Joseph Brooks, respectively, were known as the "Minstrels" and "Brindle

Incongruity, being the prevailing force, possibly accounted for the
contrary character of the names, for there was little euphony in the
minstrelsy of the one or a monopoly of brindle appearance in the other,
for each faction's contingent, were about equally spotted with the sons
of Ham. My friends, Benjamin & Barnes, were prominent as Brindles, and
I, being to an extent a novice in the politics of the State, in a
position to hear much of the wickedness of the Minstrels and but little
of the "piper's lay" in his own behalf, fidelity to my friends, appalled
at the alleged infamy of the other fellows, susceptible to encomiums
which flattered ambition, I became a Brindle, and an active politician
minus a lawyer.

In 1873 I was appointed County Attorney for Pulaski, and after a few
months' service resigned to assume the office of Municipal Judge of the
City of Little Rock, to which I had been elected. I highly appreciated
this, as exceedingly complimentary from a population of 16,000, a large
majority of which were not of my race. I entered upon and performed the
duties of the office until some time after the culmination of the
Brooks and Baxter war in the State. It having been announced that I was
the first of my race elected to such an office in the United States, it
was not without trepidation that I assumed the duties that the
confidence of my fellow citizens had imposed upon me for the novelty of
such an administration attracted attention.

A judge who has to deal with and inflict penalties for violation of law
consequent upon the frailties and vices of mankind encounters much to
soften or harden his humanity, which may have remained normal but for
such contact. His sworn duty to administer the law as he finds it often
conflicts with a sense of justice implanted in the human soul, of which
the law, imperfect man has devised is often the imperfect vehicle for
his guidance; but nevertheless to which his allegiance must be
paramount, even when attempting to temper justice with mercy.

Nowhere is so plainly presented as many of the various lights and
shadows of human character. Love and faithlessness, sincerity and
deceit, nobility and dishonor, kindness and ingratitude, morality and
vice--all the virtues and their antitheses take their place at the bar
of the court of justice and await the verdict, while truth and deception
strive for conquest; an honest son of toil arrested in a den of infamy
whither he has been decoyed and his week's earnings filched; his wife
in tears before you; the clash of prejudice when the parties litigant
were of opposite races; the favorable expectation of the rich,
prominent, and influential when confronted by the poor and lowly; humble
and conscientious innocence appalled when rigid law would mulct them in
fine and imprisonment; the high and the haughty incensed at discharge of
the obscure and indigent. In cases slight, where the justice of leniency
was apparent and yet the mandates of the law had to be enforced, I would
pronounce the penalty and suspend the fine during good behavior. But if
the culprit returned, mercy was absent.

An incident in relation to the suspension of the fine will show that I
did to others as I would have others do to me: A member of the court was
at times irritable and vexatious. During a session there was a
misunderstanding, which, upon adjournment, growing in intensity,
resulted in my committing an assault. The chasm, however, was soon
bridged with mutual pledges. Nevertheless I requested the chief of
police to have charge entered upon docket, to come up at next session of
court, whereupon the judge, after expressing regret that the law had
been violated, fined Citizen Gibbs and suspended the fine during good
behavior, and, as the citizen was not again arraigned, it may be
presumed that his conduct was reasonably good, however doubtful may be
the presumption.

I was fortunate in having the confidence of the community, always an
important adjunct to the bench, for it is not always that the executor
of the law has to deal with the humble of no repute. An old resident,
wealthy and prominent, was arrested and was to appear before me for
trial. During the interim it was several times suggested to me in a
friendly way that I had better give the case a letting alone by
dismissal, as it would probably be personally dangerous to enforce the
law, as he was known to be impulsive and at times violent. I heard the
case, which had aggravated features, together with resisting and
assaulting an officer, and imposed the highest penalty provided by law.
Those who had thought that such action would give offence little knew
the man. It being the last case on the docket for the day, descending
from the bench and passing, I saluted him, which he pleasantly returned,
without a murmur as to the justice of the fine. Subsequently, on several
occasions, he placed me under obligations to him for favors. Personally,
insignificant as I may have been to him, he recognized in me for the
time being a custodian of the majesty of the law, which he knew he had
violated. When it shall happen as a rule and not as the exception that
men will esteem, applaud and sustain the honest administration of the
law, irrespective of the administrator, a great step will have been
taken toward a better conservation of constitutional liberty. In
Arkansas the political cauldron continued to boil. In Powell Clayton
were strongly marked the elements of leadership, fidelity to friends,
oratorical power, honesty of purpose, courage of conviction, with
unflinching determination to enforce them. The late Joseph Brooks, an
ex-minister of the Methodist Church, and who secularized as a
politician, was an orator to be reckoned with. Sincere, scathing, and
impressive, his following was large and devoted. Senator Clayton, the
present Ambassador to Mexico, has outlived the political bitterness that
so long assailed him, and was lately guest of reception and banquet
given him and largely attended by Democrats, chiefly his political

The divided Republicans held their State convention in 1872. The Clayton
faction (the Minstrels) had for their nominee Elisha Baxter, a North
Carolinian by birth, and hence to the Southern manor born. This, is was
premised, would bring strength to the ticket. Joseph Brooks was the
nominee of the Brindle wing of the party, and a battle royal was on.
Although a minority of Democrats respectable in number joined the Brooks
faction, the majority stood off with wish for "plague on both your
houses," and awaited the issue. It was in my first of twenty-eight years
of recurrent canvassing. Many districts of the State at that time being
destitute of contact by railroads, made wagon and buggy travel a

[Illustration: HON. POWELL CLAYTON.

Embassador to Mexico.

Governor of Arkansas--United States Senator--Honest and Fearless, with a
Public and Private Life Beyond Reproach.]

After nominations were made for the various State officers in
convention, appointments were made and printed notices posted and read
at church and schoolhouse neighborhoods, that there would be "speaking"
at stated points.

The speakers, with teams and literature and other ammunition of
political warfare known and "spiritually" relished by the faithful,
would start at early morn from their respective headquarters on a tour
of one or two hundred miles, filling ten or twenty appointments. Good
judgment was necessary in the personal and peculiar fitness of the
advocate. For he that could by historic illustration and gems of logic
carry conviction in a cultured city would be "wasting his sweetness on
the desert air" in the rural surroundings of the cabins of the lowly. I
have heard a point most crudely stated, followed by an apposite
illustrative anecdote, by a plantation orator silence the more profuse
cultured and eloquent opponent.

As he was still at his lesson on the duties and responsibilities of
citizenship, it was a study worthy the pencil of a Hogarth to watch the
play of lineament of feature, while gleaning high ideals of citizenship
and civil liberty amid the clash of debate of political opponents;
cheerful acquiescence, cloudy doubt, hilarious belief, intricate
perplexity, and want of comprehension by turns impressed the
countenance. But trustful in the sheet anchor of liberty, they were
worthy students, who strove to merit the great benignity. Canvassing was
not without its humorous phases during the perilous times of
reconstruction. The meetings, often in the woods adjoining church or
schoolhouse, were generally at a late hour, the men having to care for
their stock, get supper, and come often several miles; hence it was not
unusual for proceedings to be at their height at midnight. I was at such
a gathering in the lower part of the State, where Jack Agery, a noted
plantation orator, was holding forth, denouncing the Democracy and
rallying the faithful. He was a man of great natural ability and
bristling with pithy anecdote. From a rude platform half a dozen candles
flickered a weird and unsteady glare. Agery as a spellbinder was at his
best, when a hushed whisper, growing into a general alarm, announced
that members of the Ku Klux, an organization noted for the assassination
of Republicans, were coming. Agery, a born leader, in commanding tones,
told the meeting to be seated and do as he bid them. The Ku Klux,
disguised and pistol belted, very soon appeared, but not before Agery
had given out, and they were singing with fervor that good old hymn
"Amazing Grace, How Sweet It Sounds to Save a Wretch Like Me." The
visitors stood till the verse was ended, when Agery, self-controlled,
called on Brother Primus to next lead in prayer.

Brother P. was soon hammering the bench and calling on the Lord to come
on His "white horse, and to come this very minute." "Oh," said the chief
of the night riders, "this is only a nigger prayer meeting. Come, let us
go." Scouts were sent out and kept out to see that "distance lent
enchantment to the view," and the political feature of the meeting was

The Negro is not without many of the prominent characteristics of the
successful politician. He is aggressive, conservative, and astute, as
occasion demands. Of the latter trait Hon. John Allen, ex-member of
Congress from Mississippi, and said to have been the prince of story
tellers, at his own expense gives this amusing incident. It was on the
occasion of the Carmack-Patterson contested election case. In beginning
his speech he called attention to Mr. Patterson's remarks. "Did any of
you," he said, "ever hear anyone pronounce a more beautiful eulogy on
himself than that just pronounced by Josiah Patterson? In listening to
it I was reminded of what my friend Jake Cummings once said about me. It
was in the great campaign of 1884. The Cleveland-Hendricks-Allen Club at
Tupelo had a meeting, and Mr. Taylor and Mr. Anderson spoke to the club
that night. As I chanced to be at home from my campaigning, I attended
the club meeting. After the regular speakers I was called for and
submitted some remarks about myself and my campaign. After I had spoken
the crowd called for Jake Cummings, a long, black, slick old Negro
carpenter, who lives in Tupelo. Jake's speech ran about this way: "Well,
gentlemen, it's gettin' kinder late now. I don't know as it's necessary
for me to say anything. You's heerd Mister Taylor and Mister Allen on
the general politics of the day. They's dun told you what sort of man
Blaine is, and what sort of a man Cleveland is. It don't look to me like
no honest man ought to have trouble in picking out the fittinest man of
them two. And then you's heerd Mister Allen on hisself, and he has
ricommended hisself so much higher than any the rest of us kin ricommend
him it ain't worth while for me to say nuthin' about him.""


There is at present a lowering cloud on prospect of righteous rule in
many of the Southern States, but the relative rights and
responsibilities of equitable government, enunciated from desk in
church, schoolhouse, or from stump in grove by the Republicans during
and since reconstruction, have been an education to the poor whites,
hitherto ignorant and in complete political thraldom to the landed
class, and to the freedman a new gospel, whose conception was
necessarily limited to his rights as a newly-fledged citizen.
Nevertheless, they were the live kernels of equality before the law,
that still "have their silent undergrowth," inducing a manhood and
patriotism that is now and will more and more blossom with national
blessing. Friends regretfully and foes despairingly sometimes speak of
the tardiness of his progress. He will compare favorably, however, for
all history records that it is slowly, through the crucible of physical
and mental toiling, that races pass to an elevated status. For of serfs
he was not the least in his appreciation of liberty.

Sir Walter Scott, in his note on English history during the reign of
George III, of the "colliers and salters, who were not Negroes," says:
"The persons engaged in these occupations were at the time bondsmen, and
in case they left the ground of the farms to which they belonged, and as
pertaining to which their services were bought and sold, they were
liable to be brought back by a summary process. The existence of this
species of slavery being thought irreconcilable with the spirit of
liberty, the colliers and salters were declared free, and put on the
same footing with other servants by the act of George III. But they were
so far from desiring or prizing the blessing conferred on them that they
esteemed the interest taken in their freedom to be a mere decree on the
part of the proprietors to get rid of what they called "head or harigold
money" payable to them when a female of their number, by bearing a
child, made an addition to the live stock of their master's property."

If the fitness for liberty is the measure of persecution sustained in an
effort for its enjoyment, of that disciplinary process the freedmen have
not been deprived, for ever since his maiden attempt to exercise the
right of an American citizen he has encountered intense opposition and
physical outrage, all of which has been met by non-resistance and manly
appeal to the American conscience for protection; first from the "Ku
Klux band" of murderers, and subsequently against the vicious practices
to deprive him of his political rights, should establish his claim.
Nevertheless, after a third of a century of successful endeavor,
educationally and materially, efforts are being made in Southern States
for his disfranchisement and the curtailment of his education. On this
attempt George C. Lorimer, a noted divine and writer, in a late article
in "The Watchman," under the head of "The Educational Solution of Race
Problems," has this to say:

     "But may it not be that this reactionary movement rather
     expresses a fear of education than a serious doubt of its
     power? We must remember that conditions are peculiar in the
     South, and, in some quarters, there exists a not unnatural
     apprehension that Negro supremacy may prevail. To avert this
     political catastrophe, extraordinary measures have been
     adopted. To the difficulties that beset the Southern people we
     cannot be indifferent, and neither should we assume that we
     would act very differently, were we similarly situated. But we
     think, in view of all the circumstances, that their position on
     this subject exposes them to the suspicion that it is the
     success of education they fear, and not its failure. This
     apparent misgiving reasonably awakens distrust in the soundness
     of their contention."

It is assumed by many who oppose the educational solution that inferior
races are unassimilable in their nature to the higher civilization.
Proof is sought for in the alleged decadence or disappearance of the
Turanian people of Europe, the natives of South America, and the West
India Islands. But what is this civilization that is so fatal in its
operation? What do we mean by the term? What is that exalted something
before which African and Asiatic must perish? Does it consist in armies,
machinery, saloons, breweries, railways, steamboats, and certain
commercial methods that are fatal to truth and honesty. Baron Russell,
Lord Chief Justice of England, included none of these in his conception
of its character. He is recorded as saying: "It's true, signs are
thoughts for the poor and suffering, chivalrous regard and respect for
women, the frank recognition of human brotherhood, irrespective of race
or color, or nation or religion; the narrowing of the domain of mere
force as a governing factor in the world, the love of ordered freedom,
abhorrence of what is mean and cruel and vile, ceaseless devotion to the
claims of justice. Civilization in its true, its highest sense, must
make for peace."


United States Senator.

Born May, 1837--Educated at Gilmon High School, Cincinnati,
Ohio--Captain Co. A, 2d Regiment, Louisiana Volunteers--Member
of Constitutional Convention of Louisiana--State
Senator--Lieutenant-Governor--Editor and Lawyer--Able as a Statesman,
Eloquent as an Advocate, and Unflinching in Defense of Equal Justice.]

Previous to the National Convention which nominated General Grant for a
second term, there had been held a conference of colored leaders, who
assembled at New Orleans to elicit opinion and divine the probable
course of the colored delegates at that convention. It was there I first
met that faithful, able, and invincible champion of the race, Governor
P. B. S. Pinchback and Captain James Lewis, my fellow-member of the "Old
Guard," who, true in peace as war, never surrendered. The conference,
though not great numerically, was strong in its mental calibre and
representative character, with Douglas, Langston, Cuney, and others who
have since passed to the great beyond. The colored office holders at
Washington under Grant were much in evidence and naturally eager for his

There was much discussion, and while an ardent advocate for Brooks, I
could not follow his supporters--the Brindle wing of the party in my
State--in their choice of Horace Greely for President. My slogan in the
State canvass had been Grant for President and Brooks for Governor. The
wisdom of the conference determined upon a non-committal policy. It was
thought unwise, in our peculiar condition, to hasten to proclaim in
advance of the gathered wisdom of such an august body as a National
Convention. Hence, the conference concluded by setting forth by
resolutions, grievances, and a reaffirmation of fealty to the Republican

The result of the State election in Arkansas in 1872 was that Brooks got
the votes and Baxter the office, whereupon a contest was inaugurated,
terminating in civil war. The Baxter, or Minstrel, wing of the party,
with the view of spiking the guns of the Brindles, had, in their
overtures to the Democrats during the campaign and in their platform at
the nominating convention declared in favor of enfranchising the
Confederates that took part in the war against the Union. Baxter's
movement in that direction and his appointment of Democrats to office
created discontent in both wings of the Republican party, leading to
their union and determined steps for his removal and the seating of
Brooks, who, both factions now declared, was elected. The doctrine of
estoppel "cutting no figure" with the Baxter contingent. A writ of
ouster was obtained from Judge Vicoff, of the Circuit Court, which
Sheriff Oliver, accompanied by Joseph Brooks, J. L. Hodges, General
Catterson, and one or two others, including the writer, proceeding to
the State House and made service.

No notice of such action having preceded, Governor Baxter was
ill-prepared for the announcement. After a short parley with his private
secretary, General McCanany, escorted by the Sheriff and General
Catterson down the stairway, they were met by Hon. J. N. Smithea, the
able editor of the "Arkansas Gazette." Leaving the building, they went
direct to the Antony House, on East Markam Street. Word was sent to A.
H. Garland, U. B. Rose, R. C. Newton, and other prominent Democrats, who
soon joined him in consultation. Governor Baxter immediately notified
President Grant of the situation and sent instructions to the custodian
of State arms at the U. S. Arsenal to honor none but his order for
delivery. Joseph Brooks was sworn in, and the two Governors made
immediate preparations for siege and defence. Main Street south from the
river to the boundary line of the city was the dividing line of the two
factions. Governor Baxter to the east on Markam Street, and Governor
Brooks, at the Antony House, to west; at the State House established
their respective quarters.

A condition of unrest had pervaded the State for several months
preceding this event, and when the slogan of war was sounded the
respective adherents by hundreds from all over the State hastened to the
capital. On the morning following the "coup d'etat" a report reached the
State House that a company of colored men, commanded by Gen. King White,
from Pine Bluff, had arrived and was quartered on Rock Street. On the
assumption that the men were misinformed as to the merits of the
quarrel, it was proposed that they be interviewed. To do that was to
cross the line and enter the enemy's territory. It was not unlike the
query of the rats in the fable, Who shall bell the cat? I was solicited,
and, learning I had friends in the company, consented to go. Going south
on Center Street to cross the line by a circuitous route, I reached Rock
Street, and nearly the rendezvous. But the "best laid plans of men and
mice oft gang a glee." The emissary had been discovered and reported.
Approaching me at a rapid rate, mounted on a charger which seemed to me
the largest, with an artillery of pistols peeping from holsters, rode
General George L. Bashman, of the Baxter forces. Reining up his steed he
said, not unkindly: "Judge Gibbs, I am instructed to order you to leave
the lines immediately, or subject yourself to arrest." As formerly
intimated, and not unlike Artemus Ward, I was willing that all my wife's
relatives might participate in the glories and mishaps of war. Hence I
bowed a submissive acquiescence and returned. I appreciated the amity
expressed in the manner and delivery of the order--an amity of which I
have been the recipient from my political opponents during the thirty
years of my domicile in Arkansas.

General Rose, who held command at the Arsenal, and had received
instructions from Washington to keep peace pending a settlement of the
controversy, with a detail of soldiers, had erected a barricade opposite
the City Hall on Markam Street and placed a piece of artillery on
Louisiana Street, pointing to the river. In the afternoon of their
arrival, General White's troops, headed by a brass band, marched on
Markam Street to the Antony House. While so doing a report became
current that they were preparing to attack the State House. General Rose
attempted to investigate and, with his orderly, rode rapidly on Markam
Street, across Main, toward the Antony House. At the moment a shot,
increasing into volleys, from combatants on either side, who primarily
were the aggressors was never known. It resulted in several casualties.
Colonel Shall was killed in the Antony House, and others within the
precincts of the City Hall and Metropolitan Hotel. Markam Street
suddenly assumed a Sunday-like appearance, the Brooksites seeking safety
in the State House and the Baxterites in the Antony. The feet of General
White's troops fought bravely. Three hours later it was announced that
they had made the fifty miles to Pine Bluff without a break, windless,
but happy. Each faction was deficient in arms to equip their adherents.
A company of cadets from St. John's College had been placed at the
service of Baxter.

At the State University at Fayettville were stored rifles and
ammunition, the property of the State. Thither Col. A. S. Fowler, of the
Brooks forces, proceeded, and, with courage and diplomacy, succeeded in
obtaining and placing a supply on a flat boat, and commenced his trip
down the river. Information of this movement having reached the Antony
House, the river steamer Hallie, with a detachment of Baxter forces, was
dispatched up the river to intercept, and succeeded in passing the State
House without interference. The circuitous character of the river
enabled a company from the State House, by quick march, to overhaul it
at a bend of the river, a fusillade of whose rifle shots killed the
captain, wounded several others, and disabled the steamer, which was
captured and brought back to the State House. A restless quiet then
ensued, occasionally broken by random shots.

In the meantime Governor Baxter had called an extraordinary session of
his legislative adherents, vacancies of recalcitrant Republicans filled,
the Brooks government denounced, and an appeal to the President for
support. All the records and appurtenances of the Secretary of State's
office, including the great seal of the State, were in possession of
Brooks at the State House. Information that a duplicate had been made in
St. Louis and was en route to the Antony House was received, whereupon
General D. P. Upham made application for a search warrant to intercept
it, a copy of which is as follows:

     "I, D. P. Upham, do solemnly swear that one Elisha Baxter and
     his co-conspirators have ordered and caused to be made, as I am
     informed, a counterfeit of the great seal of the State of
     Arkansas, and that the same is now or soon will be in the
     express office of the city of Little Rock, as I am informed,
     and that the same is intended for the purpose of defrauding,
     counterfeiting, and forging the great seal of the State of
     Arkansas by the paid Elisha Baxter and his co-conspirators, and
     to use the same for illegal and fraudulent purposes, against
     the peace and dignity of the State of Arkansas, and I ask that
     a search warrant may issue forthwith, according to law, to
     search for and seize said counterfeit seal, wherever or in
     whomsoever possession it may be found.

    "(Signed.) D. P. UPHAM.

    "Subscribed and sworn to before me this 1st day of May, 1874.
     M. W. GIBBS,

    "City Judge."

The warrant was duly served and return made, with the seal. Baxter,
having now ignored the men who placed him in power, called around him as
supporters and advisers the brain and strength of the Democratic party.
Meanwhile each party had representatives in Washington, urging their
claims for recognition. As a party, the Republicans were at a
disadvantage. When Brooks, being elected, was contesting Baxter's right
to the Governorship, Baxter was supported by the leading and most
prominent republicans of the State, who swore "by all the gods at once"
that he and not Brooks was elected; but now they swore at once at all
opposing gods, who said that Baxter was.

A committee of Brooks men, of whom the writer was one, was sent to
Washington to present the claims and conditions to the President. When
the train, en route, stopped at Alexandria a gentleman came hurriedly in
and, accosting another, said: "What do you think? Grant has recognized
Baxter." I did not learn the thought or hear the response, being
possessed immediately by a feeling not unlike the boy whose "piece of
bread and butter falls with the butter side down." We pursued our way to
Washington to find the report true. We called at the White House several
times, but the engagements of the President prevented an interview. Late
of an afternoon, sitting in my room on I Street, I saw the President
approaching slowly and alone. I put on my hat, and was soon with him,
and, with becoming salute, addressed him. General Grant, who was ever
accessible to the most humble, attentively listened, as we walked, to my
brief statement of our case. He replied that his sympathies were with
us, for he believed that Brooks was elected; but that his Attorney
General had given an opinion that the people, through the expression of
their last Legislature, had endorsed Baxter, and that he must acquiesce.

That this avowal was sincere was shown by a subsequent message to
Congress on the subject, condemning the process by which the Democracy
had vaulted into power. When the dispatch from Washington recognizing
Baxter was received at the Antony House the faithful, while making the
welkin ring, made immediate preparations to take undisturbed possession
of the State House. The march of Governor Baxter and his adherents to
the capital was made, as imposing as had his former exclusion been
humiliating. A band playing inspiring music not unlike "See, the
Conquering Hero Comes," and stepping to the air came an array, led by
General King White, on horseback, with flags flying, animated and
exhilarated with all the pomp and circumstance of a victorious legion,
entered and occupied the building which Brooks and his following,
defeated and depressed, had vacated, in obedience to the President's
mandate. The prospect for their rehabilitation seemed shadowy, but, with
that hope said "to spring eternal in the human breast," they had
resolved to carry their contest to Congress.

It may be properly said of Joseph Brooks, as of Charles II, "His
fault--and no statesman can have a worse one--was that he never saw
things as they really were. He had imagination and logic, but he was an
idealist, and a theorizer, in which there might have been good if only
his theories and ideals had not been out of relation with the hard
duties of a day of storm."

There was opportunity for him to have secured the approval of the Poland
Committee. But the tenacity of his ideal of no concession allowed it to


In 1874 a constitutional convention was called and a new constitution
adopted. At the State convention of the Democratic party for the
nomination of State officers Baxter was the favorite for re-election as
Governor, and probably would have been the choice, had not the more
astute politicians put the United States senatorial "bee in his bonnet,"
which induced a letter, fervid and patriotic, declining the nomination.
Baxter was confiding and honest, but not an adept in the wily ways of
the politician. Augustus H. Garland was elected Governor, and in the
United States senatorial race Baxter was "left at the stand." It was
then, as it oft happens, that--

    "God and the soldier all men adore,
    In time of war, and not before.
    When the war is over and all things righted,
    God is forgot, and the soldier slighted."


A learned jurist, broad and humane. A member of the Confederate
Congress--Governor of and United States Senator for Arkansas--A member
of President Cleveland's Cabinet--Evidencing in every position, that it
was a selection "fit to be made."]

Augustus H. Garland was a Senator in the Confederate Congress in 1861,
succeeding Baxter as Governor, then United States Senator from Arkansas,
and subsequently a member of President Cleveland's Cabinet, evidencing
in every position that it was a selection "fit to be made" not only for
his ability and attainments as a statesman, but for rugged honesty of
purpose and broad humanity as a man. Taking the reins of government at
the zenith of a successful revolution, when violence sought
gratification, desire rampant for prosecution and persecution, Governor
Garland, by a conservative policy, soothed the one and discouraged the
other--a policy early announced in his first proclamation, an extract of
which is as follows: "Should there be any indictments in the courts for
past political offences, I would suggest and advise their dismissal. Let
people of all parties, races and colors come and be welcomed to our
State and encouraged to bring her up to a position of true greatness."
His friendship I highly esteemed, and, learning of his demise, could not
but submit the following token:

                          "Tamatave, Madagascar,
                          "April 17, 1899.

     "Editor Little Rock Gazette:

     "Sitting in the Consulate, way down on the banks of the Indian
     Ocean, the Gazette comes to me laden with expressions of sorrow
     on the passing of my friend, ex-United States Attorney General
     A. H. Garland. Truly, 'a great man has fallen.' In him the
     nation has lost an eminent statesman and Arkansas a most
     distinguished citizen, celebrated for his intellectuality and
     valued services to the Commonwealth. I said 'my friend,' and I
     reiterate, in no platform sense of that term. Twenty-five year
     ago I was municipal judge of the city, at the time when the
     conflict for party ascendancy was most intense. When passion
     struggled for the mastery, as Governor, he was in reality to me
     a friend. During his residence at the capital I have never
     visited Washington without seeking and as promptly receiving
     his kindly greeting. On several occasions his services, eagerly
     given, were most helpful. He was not only mentally eminent, but
     morally great.

     "Ever approachable, he was a manly man, with courage of
     conviction, and, while urging them with a zeal born of honest
     belief, had the inestimable faculty of winning adherents by
     strength of presentation, blended with suavity of manner. He
     was conspicuous in this, that his broad soul expanded with
     tender and affectionate regard for the poor and humble.
     Reserved in manner, magnanimous and catholic in a spirit that
     embraced the 'world as his country, and all mankind as his
     countrymen.' So in the archives of memory I make haste to lay
     this small tribute to a departed friend, who still seems as
     'one long loved and but for a season gone.'"

I was present, but not a delegate, at the convention that nominated
General Grant for a second term, at the Academy of Music, in
Philadelphia, in 1872.

The proceedings, reported and published, of a National Convention are
always interesting, but lose much of the impression and force of
actuality with which an auditor and spectator is affected. The gayety
and magnetism of numbers, the scintillations of brain in special
advocacy, followed by tumultuous accord. The intensity, the anxiety
depicted, while results far-reaching and momentous are pending, furnish
a scene vivid and striking that cannot be pictured. Here is being formed
the policy of a party which is to be subjected to the winnowing fan of
acute and honest criticism, and by denunciation by opposite parties,
striving to obtain the administration of the Government, the fiat of
which and the selection of the standard-bearer constitute the claim for
the suffrage of the people. They are the preparatory cornerstones of
self-government, fashioned and waiting for the verdict of the nation.

Committees on platform and resolutions are generally composed of the
radical and conservative elements of a party, so that, while the canvass
is up and on, it shall have steered between "the rocks of too much
danger and pale fear" and reached the port of victory. Experience during
the period since last it met may have had much to do with silence or
brief mention of the heretofore darling shibboleth with which they were
wont to inspire the faithful, rally the laggards, or capture converts.
"Consistency, thou art a jewel" that dazzles, confuses, but doth not
bewilder the ordinary politician, who can allow a former policy
noiseless and forsaken to sink into the maelstrom of neglected and
unrequited love. Prolific in schemes is the procedure of a minority
party, not the least is the selection of a standard-bearer, who has been
the most sparse and reticent in utterance, hence a record the least
assailable, that extracts from his opponents the exclamation of one in
Holy Writ, "Oh, that mine enemy had written a book."

Among the men who made mark at the convention above referred to was
Oliver P. Morton, of Indiana, styled the "War Governor," for the
patriotism and alacrity which he summoned his State in response to the
national call, caught up and followed by every loyal State during the
Civil War. A confirmed invalid, with lower limbs paralyzed, with massive
head and inspired brain, assisted by two servants to a chair to the
front of the platform, he made the speech of the convention. Another
novel incident was the occupation of the platform of a National
Convention by Afro-Americans. The Late Hon. William H. Gray, the
faithful and eloquent leader of the colored Republicans of Arkansas, and
the late Hon. R. B. Elliott, Congressman from South Carolina, were
invited to speak.

A few of their well-chosen words in exordium were as follows:

Mr. Gray said: "Gentlemen of the Convention: For the first time,
perhaps, in the history of the American people, there stands before you
in a National Convention assembled, a representative of that oppressed
race that has lived among you for two hundred and fifty years; who, by
the magnanimity of this great nation, lifted by the power of God and the
hands of man from the degradation of slavery to the proud position of an
American citizen."

Mr. Elliott said: "Gentlemen of the Convention: It is with great
appreciation of the compliment paid my State that I rise to respond to
your invitation to address you. I stand here, gentlemen of the
convention, together with my colleagues from the several States, as an
illustration of an accomplished fact of American emancipation, not only
as an illustration of the management of the American people, but as a
living example of the justice of the American people."

The speeches of which the foregoing are but a part of their
introduction, expressive of gratitude and fidelity, a conception of the
needs of the hour, delivered with an eloquence that charmed, elicited
hearty response, the Academy echoing and re-echoing with the plaudits of
the vast assembly. At each National Convention of the Republican party
representatives of the race have shown not alone oratorical power, but
an intelligent grasp of the political situation. At this period of
General Grant's nomination, the nation's heart still jubilant with the
success of the Federal arms; its conscience awakened by the dread
penalty paid by contributions from every loyal hearthstone for the
subjugation of slavery, was now eager and active in providing that the
Negro who had been faithful in peace and heroic in war, should enjoy the
rights of an American citizen. It was history repeating itself, for in
England's history we read that it was Henry at Ajincourt who said: "Who
this day sheds his blood with me today shall be my brother; were he
ne'er so vile, today shall gentle his condition." For the Civil War, as
it matured, became no ordinary case of political contention; the soul of
its suppression sprang from the most sacred impulses in the mind of man.
It was response to the self-retort of Cain that came echoing down the
ages, "Am I my brother's keeper?" Answer came in shot and shell.

But as time receded from these historic epochs, engrossed more and more
in national development, mercantile aspirations, internal improvements,
rivalry of parties, self-aggrandizement--in short, all the agencies and
factors inseparable from human nature that influence on material lines,
have effaced much of the general solicitude that formerly existed. This
decadence of purpose is not unnatural; a wardship is a duty, and should
not be a continuous necessity, its greatest blessing a consciousness
that its ideals and purposes have been assimilated by its wards, and
lifted higher in humanity's scale. Too much dependence is as hurtful as
entire neglect. The more persistent the call for the forces within the
greater the response from the assistants without. The lethargy or
neglect to give the Negro protection in the exercise of his
constitutional rights is developing a spirit of self-help and intensity
of purpose, to find and adopt a course and measures remedial that may be
practical and efficient; to ignore the sentimentality of politics and
subordinate them to conditions irrespective of party. He has found that
"the mills of the gods grind slowly;" that the political lever needs for
its fulcrum a foundation as solidly material as equitably sentimental.

Proclaim brotherhood, justice, and equal rights ever so much, men will
nod acquiescence with a mental reservation of "but," significant of "Who
are you? What can you do, or what have you done?" It is your current
life's answer to these interrogatives that most interest people in this
material world in your behalf. Only as we increase in commercial
pursuits, ownership of property, and the higher elements of production
through skilled labor will our political barometer rise. Upon these we
should anchor our hopes, assured that higher education, with its
"classic graces, will follow in their proper places."

Of the latter a humorous writer, in answer to the question from the
president of an Eastern college, "Is there any good reason why our sons
should not study the dead languages?" said: "While our sons are not on
speaking terms with many live languages, it ill becomes them to go
fooling around the dead and dying. I do not think it necessary that our
sons should study these defunct tongues. A language that did not have
strength enough to pull through and crawled off somewhere and died,
doesn't seem worth studying. I will go further, and say I do not see why
our sons should spend valuable time over invalid languages that aren't
feeling very well. Let us not, professor, either one of us, send our
sons into the hospital to lug out languages on a stretcher just to study
them. No; let us bring up our sons to shun all diseased and disabled
languages, even if it can't be proved that a language comes under either
of those heads; if it has been missing since the last engagement, it is
just as well not to have our sons chasing around after it with a
detective, trying to catch and pore over it. You may look at it
differently, professor. Our paths in the great realm of education of
youth may lie far apart; but it is my heartfelt wish that I may never
live to see a son of mine ride right past healthy athletic languages and
then stand up in the stirrups and begin to whoop and try to lariat some
poor old language going around on a crutch, carrying half of its
alphabet in a sling. If two-thirds of the words of a language are flat
on their back, taking quinine, trying to get up an appetite, let us
teach our sons that they cannot hope to derive benefit from its study."

But Lord Rosebery, ex-Premier of England, in a late address before the
University of Glasgow on "Questions of Empire," in the following, on
action and learning, takes a serious view:

     "There was a time, long years ago, when the spheres of action
     and learning were separate and distinct; when laymen dealt hard
     blows and left letters to the priesthood. That was to some
     extent the case when our oldest universities were founded. But
     the separation daily narrows. It has been said that the true
     university of our days is a collection of books. What if a
     future philosopher shall say that the best university is a
     workshop? And yet the latter definition bids fair to be the
     sounder of the two. The training of our schools and colleges
     must daily become more and more the training for action, for
     practical purpose. The question will be asked of the product of
     our educational system: Here is a young fellow of twenty; he
     has passed the best years of acquisition and impression; he has
     cost so much; what is his value? For what, in all the manifold
     activities of the world, is he fit? And if the answer be not
     satisfactory, if the product be only a sort of learned mummy,
     the system will be condemned. Are there not thousands of lads
     today plodding away at the ancient classics, and who, at the
     first possible moment, will cast them into space, never to
     reopen them? Think of the wasted time that that implies; not
     all wasted, perhaps, for something may be gained in power of
     application; but entirely wasted so far as available knowledge
     is concerned."

And in keeping with this line of thought, the "Washington Post," of
Washington, D. C., in a recent issue, makes the following pertinent and
truthful mention:

     "Almost without exception, the colleges and universities are
     beginning another year with unusually large classes. Many of
     these institutions report the largest number of matriculates in
     their history. The aggregate attendance is unquestionably
     greater by thousands than that of any previous year. This is
     due in part to the prevalence of business prosperity and in
     part to the steadily increasing approbation of higher education
     for women, while the natural increase of population is also
     something of a factor. The 'Cleveland Leader,' speaking of the
     reports of large classes of freshmen all over the country,

     "'That appears to be the best and most conclusive reply which
     the American people can make to those gentlemen of wealth and
     prominence who, like Mr. Schwab, of the Steel Trust, discourage
     higher education as preparation for the life of the business
     world. It is the solidest kind of evidence that the old love of
     knowledge for its own sake and the old faith in the beneficial
     effects of college training upon the youth of a country having
     such a government and social organization as this Republic has
     developed remain as strong as ever.'"

To which the Post replies:

     "That is somewhat hasty and a probably erroneous conclusion.
     The "higher education" which Mr. Schwab discourages, the
     old-time classical course, has not grown in popular favor. The
     reverse is true. The demand for a more practical education in
     this utilitarian age has compelled the colleges and
     universities to make radical changes in their curriculum. The
     number of students who elect to take the old-time course is
     smaller in proportion to the population and wealth of this
     country than it ever was. Science, both pure and applied, takes
     a far more prominent place in collegiate studies than it
     formerly occupied. Many of the leading institutions of learning
     have introduced a commercial department. Everywhere the
     practical, the business idea is becoming dominant.

     "While no intelligent man questions the value of classical
     studies or disputes the proposition that a knowledge of the
     classics is indispensable to a thorough understanding of our
     own language, the area of practical study has become so vast,
     by reason of new discoveries in science and the arts, that a
     choice between the two is compulsory to young persons who have
     their own fortunes to make. The old-time course of mathematics
     and classics furnishes splendid mental discipline, with much
     knowledge that may or may not put its possessor on the road to
     success in business. But the time required for that course, if
     followed by a three or four years' term of practical study,
     sets a young man so far along in life that he has a hopeless
     race with younger men who dispensed with the classical and went
     in zealously for the practical.

     "The change from the old to the new lines of education is even
     more marked in the common schools than in the colleges and
     universities. The practical begins in the free kindergarten and
     runs with more or less directness through all the grades.
     Millions are expended upon industrial training. The business
     high schools are a great feature of the free school system. All
     this is comparatively new. It has come because of the
     necessities of an industrial age.

     "'Knowledge for its own sake' is becoming more and more a
     luxury, in which the sons and daughters of the rich indulge,
     while the representatives of families that are merely well to
     do feel that they must acquire knowledge for practical uses.
     And this tendency is likely to continue, for, as we have said,
     the field of the practical is expanding. Take, for example,
     electricity and its uses. All that was known of this subject in
     the time of our grandfathers could be learned in a few days or
     weeks. To be an up-to-date electrical scientist and practical
     electrician in 1901 means that years have been devoted to hard

The crude notion held by some, that in far-off climes, to the American
Negro unknown, who, with small capital and limited education; with an
inherited mental inertia that is being dispelled and can only be
eradicated by contact with superior environment, that there awaits him
peace, plenty, and equality, is an ignis fatuus the most delusive. Peace
is the exhaustion of strife, and is only secure in her triumphs in being
in instant readiness for war; equality a myth, and plenty the
accumulation of weary toil.

With travel somewhat extensive and diversified; residence in tropical
latitudes of Negro origin, I have a decided conviction, despite the
crucial test to which he has been subjected in the past and the present
disadvantages under which he labors, nowhere is the promise along all
the lines of opportunity brighter for the American Negro than here in
the land of his nativity. For he needs the inspiriting dash, push, and
invincible determination of the Anglo-Saxon (having sufficient of his
deviltry) to make him a factor acknowledged and respected. But the fruit
of advantage will not drop as ripe fruit from the tree; it can be
gotten only by watchful, patient tillage, and frugal garnering.
Ignorance and wastefulness among the industrious but uneducated poor
render them incapable to cope with the shrewd and unprincipled. The
rivalry to excel in outward appearance and social amenities beyond the
usual moderate means on the part of the educated is a drawback to any
people, but one disastrous to the Negro in his march through arduous
toil and restricted conditions to financial independence.

[Illustration: REV. JOSEPH A. BOOKER,

President of Arkansas Baptist College, and Editor of the "Vanguard."
Born 1859, at Portland, Arkansas--Studied at Branch Normal
College--Graduated At Roger Williams' University, Tennessee, Mainly by
His Efforts this College Only on Paper in 1887, has now Grounds and
Buildings Worth over $50,000 and Several Hundred Students.]


At the Arkansas State election in 1876 I was selected as Presidential
elector, receiving the highest vote on the Republican ticket. The
national election of that year was followed by the memorable canvass of
the contested vote for Rutherford B. Hayes, which was ultimately settled
by a commission appointed under the Compromise Bill, which was passed by
Congress in January, 1877, Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina
declaring for Hayes. That the compromise was the result of an agreement
that the United States troops should by withdrawn from Southern soil
cannot be doubted, and for so doing he was bitterly criticised and
denounced by many of his party, resulting, as it did, in the transfer of
those States in the South from Republican, by continuous and unblushing
disfranchisement, to Democratic rule.

President Hayes, not unlike many of historic fame, may have been "born
before his time;" that his action in removing U. S. troops was immature,
a continuation and increase of intimidation and violence abundantly
proved. At what period of their remaining on Southern soil would have
been a fitting time for removal, is an enigma hard to elucidate. Their
retention ultimately rested with the sentiment and judgment of the
nation. In the South the menace of their presence was galling and
increasing in intensity. The North was daily growing averse to the
bivouac of troops over a people who swore that they were on terms of
"peace with all the world and the rest of mankind." Would compulsion
soften animosity? Hayes was undoubtedly honest and sincere, but not of
that class of epoch-making men who anchor on the right, await and buffet
the advancing storm. Conciliation coyed as gently as loving dove his
mate, while within easy reach glistened the jewel "President" of a
fraternized Republic.

There are possibly men who would have spurned the enchantress. But an
array of figures and ability to enumerate would not be sorely taxed in
finding the number. I was among those at that period who saw the
inutility of depending on physical force to extract justice and lawful
methods from an unwilling constituency; that the reaction from a forced
compulsion in the moral world was as evident and unfailing under the
conditions as from compression in the physical. I was hopeful of good
results, and so expressed myself in an interview with the President. He
replied that he was "sincere in his policy, and should adhere to it
unless it seemed impracticable that the policy of force and musket had
been tried in the South and had failed and public sentiment now demanded
a change." We had and have the change, and it would have been a bright
jewel in the autonomy of many of the Southern States had it been more
liberal and righteous.

[Illustration: PROF. I. G. ISH.

Principal of High School, Little Rock, Arkansas. An Erudite Scholar and
Zealous Tutor.]

History, as a record of the lower to a higher status of civilization
increases in intensity and value as it records superior conditions, and
the degree of unrest and earnestness of appeal for the abrogation of
oppression is indicative of the appreciation and fitness for the rights
of citizenship.

It should be remembered that as it became men dowered with the proud
title of American Citizen, the Negro has not been remiss in stating his
grievances and appealing for justice. To have done less would have
banished sympathy and invited contempt. In Arkansas and some other
Southern States there is a growing demand for the forms of law and the
maintenance of order, and, while not attaining the zenith of
accomplishment, it will be observable when contrasted with the
lawlessness depicted in the following resolutions of a convention of
colored men held in Little Rock August 29, 1883. They contain views and
convictions I there presented, the equity of which 'tis fondly hoped
have not been lost by lapse of time:

"Be it resolved, That this convention of colored men of the State of
Arkansas have still to complain that violence and injustice to their
race still exists to an alarming extent. In most cases the perpetrators
go unwhipped of justice. That when they are arraigned the law is
administered with such laxity and partiality that the escape of the
criminal is both easy and possible. In no instance is the penalty of the
law enforced against a white man for the murder of a Negro, however
palpable the case may be; whilst in most instances the bare accusation
of a Negro committing a homicide upon a white man is sufficient for law,
with all its forms, to be ruthlessly set aside and the doctrine of
lynch, swift and certain to be enforced.

"Case after case is chronicled by the press of Negroes hung by
infuriated mobs without trial to determine their guilt or innocence. The
farcical proceedings at law in their inefficiency of prosecution, the
selection and manipulation of jurors, and the character of public
sentiment have had painful illustration in several cases, and but
recently of Johnson, the colored man murdered in this, the capital
county of the State. The homicide of this man, a servant at a picnic, of
a Christian society of white people, and in their presence, without
provocation, was universally admitted. Notwithstanding, a jury of twelve
men, with almost indecent haste, finds the murderer not guilty. A
verdict fit to shock the sense of every friend of right and justice.
Robinson, a white man, for killing a colored man because his victim
asked for the return of money loaned, received but two years in the
penitentiary. Burril Lindsey, a colored farmer, who had homesteaded land
in Van Buren County and had commenced cultivation, was waited upon and
told he must leave; that they would have no "niggers" in the settlement.
They came back at midnight and broke down his door. One of the mob,
lying dead on the threshold was Burril Lindsey's response. The press of
our city--to their honor be it noted--said he did the proper thing.
Respectable men in the neighborhood who knew Lindsey said the same. But
yet, after being harrassed by threats and legal persecution for months,
a jury found him guilty of an assault with intent to kill, and six years
in the penitentiary at hard labor is the penalty for defending his home.

"Homicide has no local habitation; it is the accident of every
community, in every nation, and the justice and impartiality with which
the law is administered is the measure of their humanity and
civilization. But here we have the spectacle of the press, pulpit, and
rostrum of the State, with exceptions scarcely to be noted, either
entirely dumb or a mere passing allusion, more often in commendation
than censure. We are positive in our confidence that those, and only
those who expose and denounce and lay bare this conduct, and thereby
create a sentiment that will lessen this evil, are the only true friends
to the State's moral as well as its material progress. That the attempt
to deny and evade responsibility does not meet the issue in the minds of
thoughtful men, who believe that no life is safe where the humblest is

"We insist that value of the colored brother as a tiller of the soil,
the increasing thrift and economy conceded in securing homes and taxable
property, their favorable comparison (by fair judgment) with any other
classes as to their moral and law-abiding character, should at least
merit justice in the courts, and we ask for him consideration and fair
settlement for labor. For where could superiority and nobility of
character be better displayed than by generous treatment to the former
bondsmen. That the better element of the Democratic party do not favor
this lawlessness we are continually assured. But the ugly fact stands
out in bold relief that they are unable or unwilling, with forces of
wealth and intelligence, to create a healthier sentiment. To them, and
just men everywhere, we appeal to assist in bringing the moral power of
denunciation against this great wrong, that impartial justice shall be
the law for every citizen of the Commonwealth; and that the president
and secretary be empowered to sign a petition in behalf and as the
earnest request of this convention for presentation to his Excellency
the Governor, asking executive clemency in the pardon of Burril Lindsey,
now incarcerated in the penitentiary, under a sentence of six years."

The Governor was graciously pleased to pardon him, but for personal
safety he was compelled to abandon his homestead and leave the State.

For some time a general unrest among the colored people on account of
violence had permeated the South, and thousands of the most substantial
planters had already settled in Kansas, Indiana, and other Western
States to enjoy legal protection hitherto denied them. Upon the question
of Negro emigration the white South were divided. The planters and
leading politicians were adverse. The planter for the reason that he
could not supplant him by more efficient and tractable labor; the
politician for fear of reducing Congressional representation, each
regardless of the conditions creating his discontent. A minority
respectable in numbers and prominent for standing, approved of his
removal, alleging that the movement would be mutually beneficial, that
it would induce white immigration, relieve the congested overproduction
of the staples of the Southern States, introduce a higher class of
industries, and simplify the so-called problem by removing the bugbear
of Negro domination by means unobjectionable.

Of this class of opinion the "Nashville American," of the State of
Tennessee, was a fair exponent. In its issue of May 9, 1879, it had this
to say: "We rather rejoiced at a movement which will bring about a
better understanding and teach both races a lesson they ought to learn.
To the Negro it is simply a question as to whether he will be better off
there or here. If there, he ought to go; if here, he ought to stay; and
this simple economic proposition will settle it."

This, the sentiment of the best Southern thought, encountered an adverse
which, while unwilling to grant the Negro the right of an American
citizen, maltreated and imprisoned immigrant agents; desiring his
retention in a specious of serfdom. Such being the conditions existing
at the time of the meeting of the Nashville Conference in 1879, induced
it by resolution to request Senator Windom, Chairman of the National
Executive Committee, to appoint a committee to visit the Western States
to ascertain what inducement they offered for immigration.

In pursuance whereof I received the following, containing words of
wisdom warranting their insertion here:

          "United States Senate,
          "Washington, D. C., Jan. 10, 1879.

     "My Dear Sir: In compliance with the resolution of the
     Nashville Convention requesting me, as Chairman of the National
     Executive Committee, to appoint a committee of three to visit
     Western States and Territories and report, not later than the
     1st of November, upon the health, climate, and productions of
     said States and Territories, I have the honor to designate you
     as one of the number of said committee. In doing so I may add
     that the duty involves great labor and responsibility on your
     part and requires the exercise of that sound discretion for
     which you are noted among your friends. The exodus of the
     colored people involves the greatest consequences to themselves
     and should only be undertaken after the most careful inquiry
     and preparation. If judiciously guided and regulated, I am
     thoroughly convinced that it will result in great good. If not
     so regulated, it may cause incalculable suffering to the
     colored race, and work great injury to the industrial interest
     of the South. If the Negro can have fair treatment as a citizen
     and a man in his present home, he will probably not care to
     remove. If he cannot obtain such treatment there, it is his
     right and duty to secure it by every means in his power, and no
     one has the right to say he may not change his residence at his
     own will and pleasure.

     "Your proposed inquiry will contribute much to inform and
     control the action of those who may desire to emigrate and your
     discretion gives the best assurance that no rash action will be
     advisable. I regret the committee has no funds at command to
     pay your necessary traveling expenses.

     "Hon. James P. Rapier, Member of Congress, of Montgomery,
     Alabama, I have also designated as a member of said committee,
     but I am not sufficiently advised to name the third member.

    "Very respectfully yours,

    (Signed.) "WM. WINDOM,


    "Mifflin W. Gibbs, Little Rock, Ark."

It often happens that distance lends enchantment to the view; that while
contending with hardship, disappointment, and earnest toil, we are apt
to imagine that at some far locality, amid new surroundings, there
abides a reign of contentment and happiness, where labor has its highest
rewards and where there is a minimum of those trials inseparable from
human existence. The gratification of this migratory impulse has in many
instances proved disastrous, the yielding to which should be only
indulged after every possible effort has been made to remove local
obstacles by uprightness, softening animosities, and by industry
accumulate wealth. But emigrants have been illustrious as nation
builders, their indomitable spirit blessing mankind and leaving impress
on the scroll of time. The bump on the head of the Negro that the
phrenologists call "inhabitiveness" is very prominent; he is not
naturally migratory--"content to bear the ills he has, than fly to those
he knows not of." Hence there appeared reason, if not entire "method in
his madness."

[Illustration: HON. JOHN P. GREEN.

United States Stamp Agent.

Educated at Cleveland, Ohio--A Leading Member of the Bar--Twice Elected
to the Senate of the Ohio Legislature.]

In all movements of like character there are always conflicting rumors
and reports as to success or failure of the benefit or loss of the
venture, and this was no exception. Colored immigrants to the number of
10,000 had left the South during a brief period, and the wildest rumors
circulated as to reception and success of these forerunners, and, as bad
news is ever alert, much was heard that was discouraging and demanded
investigation; hence the action of the Nashville Conference referred to.
In pursuance of our appointment, J. T. Rapier and myself, in August,
1879, went to Topeka, Kan., and from there, chiefly by wagon travel,
visited different colonies of the immigrants. Kansas had received seven
or eight thousand. At Topeka we found nearly 100 at immigrant camp
receiving rations, some sick, others looking for work; the balance had
settled on lands or had found work as laborers. At Dunlop we found a
colony of 300 families settled upon 20,000 acres of land. In Wabunsee
County 230 families had settled on their land, while in Lawrence and
other counties hundreds had found work. Mechanics receiving $2 to $2.25
per day and farm hands $13 to $15 per month and board. We found women in
great demand for house servants from $6 to $8 per month.

In our interviews with the colonists we found the list and nature of
their grievances were the same as have impelled men in all ages to
endeavor to better their condition, and should five or ten thousand,
for a period, annually leave the South and settle in Western States and
Territories, the effect would be mutually beneficial to whites and
blacks alike. In Emporia we found the colony in a very prosperous state.
Out of 120 families one-half owned their houses and land on which they
lived. We remained twenty days in Kansas and had not opportunity to
visit Indiana and other States that had received immigrants. But the
information we received, with few exceptions, was similar to that of
those visited. There had been suffering and destitution in some
localities during the past winter; that was to be expected, as many had
come wholly unprepared and without that push and ready adaptation to the
status of a new country.

We made an extended report to Senator Windom, which contained data as to
the success and prosperity of the many and advice to the moneyless to
avoid the suffering which might lie in wait.


In 1877 I was appointed by the President Register of the United States
Land Office for the Little Rock District of Arkansas. The State was
blessed with a valuable patrimony, by having at the time of its
admission into the Union an extensive area of agricultural, besides
thousands of acres of swamp, school and other lands, under State control
and disposition. The United States Government had reserved many millions
of acres, which under its homestead law became available for applicants
for 40, 80, or 160 acres. No economy of the Government has been more
fruitful in substantial blessing upon the industrious poor than throwing
open these lands for entrance and ownership of homes by the payment of a
nominal fee for recording and proof of actual settlement thereon.

The renowned and lamented Robert J. Ingersoll, once, while extolling the
benignity and patriotic effect of the homestead law, said: "Who do you
suppose would take up arms to defend a boarding house?" The opportunity
to enjoy the ownership of a home strongly appeals, not alone to our
avarice, but to the instincts of our nature. For here is located the
citadel of our hopes and fears, our joys and griefs; here congregated
are ties the most sacred, and a love devoted. It is the ever-burning
light, the steady heat-giving impulse, and inspiration to deeds of
domestic utility or of noble daring. For its protection the heart leaps
and the arm strikes. Hence, for domestic felicity, or national autonomy,
the home is an experience, and for liberty a conservator. Having these
convictions during my 12 years' service in the Land Office as Register
and afterwards as Receiver of Public Moneys, I was earnest in my
endeavor to have the poor of all classes enter these lands. On the
political stump at every election, while having as my mission the
political ascendancy of my party, I always felt it a duty to dwell
impressively upon that theme. Upon asking all those living on their own
lands to hold up their hands, the gleam of pride on the countenances of
many of my colored auditors as, standing tiptoe, with hands at arms'
length, was shared by me, and a stimulus to the luke-warm, for on
subsequent visits I would find an increase of holdings.

For the Negro ownership of land and home is not only an important
factor, in his domestic life, for as taxpayer, there is a mutuality of
interest between himself and other members of the body politic, business
and trade seek him, it impels reverence for the law, and protection of
the public peace. His own liability to outrage becomes small. His
character for credit increases in the ratio of his holdings, and while
manhood suffrage is the professed but often disavowed legacy for all
born beneath the flag, his rights of citizenship are more often

While in the Land Service of the United States there were many examples
of heroic conduct by colored settlers worthy of the highest praise. Many
of them, emigrants from other Southern States, seeking better
conditions, and arriving with barely sufficient to pay entrance fee, and
nothing to sustain them in their fight with nature to clear their
heavily-wooded land and fit it for cultivation. Hiring to others for
brief spells, as necessity compelled them, to obtain small stocks of
food and tools, five years after entrance, when they proved up their
holdings and got their deeds, found them in comfortable log or frame
houses of two or more rooms; sheds, with a cow, calves, swine, and
poultry, and ten or more acres under cultivation, according to the
number and availability of labor in their families. And, best of all,
better than the mere knowledge of success, themselves crowned with that
pride of great achievement ever and only the result of rigid self-denial
and incessant toil.

In the National Republican Convention held at Chicago, June, 1880, was a
contest that will be ever memorable as pertaining to a third term for
the Presidency.

Landing at San Francisco, September, 1879, from his tour of two years
around the world, and the honored guest of the crowned heads of Europe,
General Grant's travel through the States was a continued ovation. On
his arrival at Little Rock, Ark., citizens from all over the State
hastened to do him honor, culminating with a banquet at the Capitol
Hotel. The gathering was democratic in the best sense of that word,
political lines were erased, Republicans and Democrats vieing with each
other in giving the distinguished man a fitting reception. Nor were
social lines adhered to, the writer being a guest and responding to the
toast "The Possibilities of American Citizenship."

At the Arkansas Republican State Convention in 1880 I was elected a
delegate to the National Convention of June 2 of that year. As a memento
I highly prize my bronze medal proclaiming me as one of the historic
"306" that never surrendered--compact and erect, "with every gun shotted
and every banner flying," went down with General Grant in an
unsuccessful effort to nominate him for a third term. It was there that
Roscoe Conkling made the nominating speech in behalf of the General that
will live in history, stirring the hearts of the immense audience to a
climax of patriotic fervor. When he said, "Should you ask from whence he
comes, the answer it shall be, He comes from Appomattox and the famous
apple tree."

The fiat of the Convention was an illustration of the ephemeral
character of cotemporary popular acclaim. Ambitious rivalry, the
anticipations of envy, the bitterness of disappointed office seekers
during two former Administrations, the honest belief of the timid that a
third term for one soever trustworthy presaged and paved the way to an
imperial monarchy; the mistakes unavoidable from misplaced confidence,
happening in the career of all men and inseparable in the administration
of government--all these elements, although incongruous in their nature
and make-up, when they conspire are a formidable factor, and as such
accomplished his defeat. Though dead, Ulysses Grant still lives on; the
attributes of his personal nobility as a man, his patriotism as a
citizen of the Republic, his ability and clear perspective as a
statesman, his genius as a warrior, his magnanimity and kindness to a
chivalrous, heroic but fallen foe, will ever typify his greatness in
civic virtues and valiant deeds.

The manner of General Grant's defeat was peculiar. The name of James A.
Garfield, the successful nominee, and in political parlance the "dark
horse" (undoubtedly foreplanned but kept in the shade), was suddenly
sprung upon the Convention and amid a whirlwind of excitement quickly
received adherents from the opposition which increased in volume at each
successive balloting, until the climax was reached that gave General
Garfield the coveted prize. For some time there was much bitterness,
and interchange of compliments more emphatic than polite. Within the
party charges of infidelity to promises were rife. But the second sober
thought of a wise conservatism, which is ever evidence and measure of a
people's civilization, tempered strife and assuaged the pangs of
disappointment. He was handsomely supported and elected, and on the 4th
of March, 1881, was inaugurated as President, amid acclaim, with promise
of a successful Administration. But upon what a slender thread do human
plans rely! Scarcely had five months elapsed when President Garfield was
assassinated by Charles Guiteau, a man of no repute, and emblems of
sorrow drooped throughout the nation. This national calamity
necessitated the second inauguration of a President during the year
1881. The then Vice-President, Chester A. Arthur, was duly installed
September 30 of that year. His execution of the duties of that high
office, assumed under conditions intricate and most trying, disarmed
criticism by its wisdom and ability.

When a prospective candidate for re-election in 1884 the press of New
York, having solicited expressions of fitness from delegates to the last
National Convention, I was pleased with the opportunity to make this
small contribution.

                        Little Rock, Ark., Aug. 1, 1884.

    Dear Sir:

"I but voice the sentiment of the country when I say that I consider the
Administration of President Arthur has been signalized by its justice,
eminent statesmanship and wise discretion."

Such was the tenor of mention, but much more pronounced, by men of the
party, and Mr. Arthur's nomination previous to the assembling of the
next Presidential Convention seemed a foregone conclusion.

Nothing I can write will fittingly describe the personnel of James G.
Blaine, who was to be the prime feature of the Convention on nomination
day. As a man in the field of statesmanship and in intensity of
devotion, he was more idolized than any since his prototype, Henry Clay.
With political erudition was blended an eloquence inspiring and
fascinating; a nobility of character often displayed as the champion of
the weak; a disputant adept in all the mazes of analysis, denunciation,
or sarcasm, he had created antipathy as bitter as his affections were
unyielding. While Speaker of the House, with his counterpart in
eloquence, Roscoe Conkling, he had many tilts. One of the most noted and
probably far-reaching in impeding his Presidential aspirations, was his
defense of General Fry, whom Conkling sought to have impeached, but who
was successfully vindicated and afterwards promoted by the War
Department. During the struggle Conkling hurled a javelin of taunt and
invective, incisive, but thought to be unjust, inducing a response said
to have been terrific in its onslaught, confounding the speaker and
raising excitement in the House to the highest pitch. I transcribe an
epitome of the speech, which will be seen to have bristled with galling
ridicule: "As to the gentleman's cruel sarcasm, I hope he will not be
too severe. The contempt of that large-minded gentleman is so wilting,
his haughty disdain, his grandiloquent swell, his majestic supereminent,
overpowering turkey-gobbler strut, has been so crushing to myself and
all the members of this House that I know it was an act of the greatest
temerity for me to enter upon a controversy with him." Then, quoting
ironically a newspaper comparison of Mr. Conkling and Henry Winter
Davis, ascribing qualities held by them in common, he proceeded: "The
resemblance is great, and it has given his strut additional pomposity.
The resemblance is great, it is striking--Hyperion to a satyr; Thersites
to Hercules; mud to marble; dunghill to diamond; a singed cat to a
Bengal tiger; a whining puppy to a roaring lion. Shade of the mighty
Davis, forgive the almost profanation of that jocose satire!"

But James G. Blaine, that master of diplomacy and magnetic fame, with an
astute following inspired and wild with gilded promises; the nominating
speech of Robert J. Ingersoll, prince of orators, lauding the nominee as
"like a mailed warrior, like a plumed knight"--all these forces
contributed to turn the tide from Arthur and give him the nomination. I
was one of a lonely three of the Arkansas delegation that stood by the
State's instructions and voted for Arthur, nine of the delegation voting
for Blaine. For obeying the State and not the after conclusion of the
delegation, in my next race for a delegate I was "left at the stand."

My failure reminded me of the boy--a humble imitator of the great George
Washington--who hacked to death a choice tree. When asked who did it,
jolly, gushing and truthful, said, "I did it, pap." The old man seized
and gathered him, stopping the whipping occasionally to get breath and
wipe off the perspiration, would remark: "And had der imperdence to
confess it." The boy, when finally released, between sobs sought solace
by saying, "I will never tell the truth again as long as I live." I did
not conclude that one should be false to an implied promise with
instructions received, but I was impressed with the conviction that it
is unwise to trammel a delegation with decisive instructions. A general
expression of the feeling or bias of the State Convention is proper, but
so much can happen during the interim to change conditions that ultimate
action should be largely left to the judgment and integrity of the

The manner of choosing a President is entirely different from that
designed by the founders of the republic. The selection of candidates by
an organized party was not anticipated. It was intended that men of
high character should be chosen by the citizens of each State as
electors, and they should select the men they deemed most fit to be
President, and the selection thereafter ratified by the vote of the
people. An elector now is but the mouthpiece of his party; no matter
what may be his individual judgment, he dare not disregard its fiat. The
result of the national election was the defeat of Mr. Blaine and the
election of the Democratic candidate, Grover Cleveland. Mr. Cleveland
had an independent personality and the courage of his convictions.
Affable and cordial in his intercourse with Afro-Americans, and to those
of his political household was prodigal in the bestowal of appointments.
The effect of this was that many colored men, leaders of thought and
race action, not seeing an increase of oppression, so freely predicted
in the event of a Democratic President, advocated a division of the
colored vote, with a view of harmonizing feeling and mutual benefit. A
welcoming of that approach in the South may be deferred, but will yet be
solicited, despite its present disloyalty to the fourteenth and
fifteenth amendments to the Constitution.


The closing decade of the past century was conspicuous for exhibitions
of products of nature and skill intended to stimulate a country's
consumption, but mainly to increase exportation; for a nation, not
unlike an individual, that buys more than its resources warrant,
bankruptcy is inevitable. Hence the industrial struggle of all
progressive nations to produce more than they consume, export the
residue and thereby add to the national wealth.

The United States not only excels in the magnitude of natural
productions, but in skill in manufacturing articles. The vast stretch of
agricultural lands for natural products, superiority of mechanical
appliance, and the expertness of American workmen herald the supremacy
of the United States for quantity, quality and celerity. For Yankee
ingenuity has not only invented a needed article, but has invented a
"thing to make the thing."

National and State expositions for the extension of American commerce
and development of State undertakings have been marked features of
American enterprise, creating a national fraternity, and stimulating
domestic industries. While the financial motive is ever in the forefront
and the impetus that gives it "a habitation and a name," the moral
effect is the reflex influence of contact, the interchange of fraternal
amenities that ripen and become helpful for the world's peace, progress
and civilization. At the present time Consuls of our Government inform
the State Department that agents of American manufacturers of steel,
electric apparatus, city railroads and improvements in machinery are in
evidence in Europe to an extent hitherto unknown. The directors of the
World's Exposition held at New Orleans, La., in 1884, gave a pressing
invitation to Afro-Americans to furnish exhibits of their production
from farm, shop and home. The late B. K. Bruce, having been created
Chief Director, appointed commissioners for the various States to
solicit and obtain the best specimens of handicraft in their respective
localities for "The Department of Colored Exhibits," and to which the
following refers:

        Washington, D. C., Aug. 13, 1884.

    Hon. M. W. Gibbs,

                Little Rock, Ark.

    Dear Sir:

By virtue of authority vested in me as Chief Director of the Department
of Colored Exhibits of the World's Exposition, I have nominated you for
Honorary Commissioner for the State of Arkansas. It is unnecessary for
me at this time to make any suggestions relative to the importance of
managing this business in a manner that will reflect credit on all
immediately concerned and our people in general further than to say that
my heart is thoroughly in the work. I will communicate with you from
time to time, after being advised of your acceptance, giving necessary
information and instructions.

Hoping that you will undertake the fulfillment of the trust, I am,

    Very respectfully and truly yours,

                          B. K. BRUCE,
                       Chief Director.

I therefore accepted, and proceeded to canvass my State urging the great
opportunity offered to show our progress in industry and culture, on the
fields of nature or within the realms of art. The movement was a novel
one, and the leading colored men and women in the different sections of
the State had much to do to awaken the interest that resulted in a very
commendable showing.

One of the specialties of these expositions was what was designated as
"Emancipation Day," or colored people's day, for the two-fold purpose of
directing the attention of the general public to race advancement, and
inducing a larger attendance of the class directly concerned, and
thereby stimulate race pride for greater achievements. With some of our
brethren this appointment of a particular day seemed derogatory to
their claim of recognition and equality of citizenship, and evoked
considerable discussion. In this I thought some of us were unduly
sensitive. Where intention can be ascertained it should largely govern
our estimate of human action. This exposition was not only open each and
every day to our people, but we were constantly invited, and the few who
attended were most cordially treated and our exhibits were properly
placed without distinction.

The directors of the exposition were gentlemen known to be most liberal
in their dealings with us, and regretted the small attendance, remarking
that aside from our patronage, the exhibits would be beneficial as
object lessons, educating and inspiring, and proposed a
day--"Colored-People's Day." It was not unlike in design and effect
"Emancipation Day" at the Minneapolis Exposition, where noted colored
leaders from various States attended and spoke, and were not impressed
that it was derogatory to the race.

We have a deal of "gush" about recognition. A demand for
recognition presupposes a rightful claim based upon an inherent
interest--deportment, special fitness, or legal right. In politics we
rightfully claim recognition in the ratio of our numerical contribution
to the body politic, and from public carriers, for the reason of
performance of our part of the contract.


Born in 1872 at Dayton, Ohio--Author and Poet--The Foremost of his Race
for Versatility in the Field of Literature--His Poetry and Prose are
Read in Every Clime Where Men Love Truth and Nature the More For Being
Clothed in Beauty of Diction, or Quaintness of Dialect--He has Published
a Number of Books.]

In our demand for a more extended recognition on these material lines,
we should first remember that our contributions are generally meager,
and that these exhibitions are quite the product of the business
ventures and expenditure of our "brother in white," and then brace up
and thank Providence that excessive modesty will never "strike in" and
kill the Negro. We have the men, the money and the ability to do much,
very much more, on many business lines that are now almost exclusively
followed by our more prosperous fellow-citizens. No man in our country
need beg for recognition; he can compel it if he labors assiduously and
takes advantage of opportunity. It can be truly said of Little Rock that
the press and leading citizens have been more just and liberal to her
colored citizens than any other Southern city. I well remember when her
institutions relating to commerce, literature, professions, Board of
Trade, Real Estate Exchange, bar and lyceum were open to us, whilst
two-thirds of their members were our political opponents. These required
but a moderate yearly outlay, repaying, largely, in the amount of
information received. Scarcely any availed themselves of these
opportunities. If for any reason we do not wish to profit by these
overtures, when these trees bear let us not insist upon receiving the
choicest of the fruit.

At an indignation mass meeting some time ago a good brother reached the
climax of the grievance and then exclaimed:

"How long, O Lord, are we to bear these discriminations?"

"For some time longer," I answered, and then said: "All things
considered, we are making progress, and will continue in the ratio we
obtain education and wealth, and come forward in the incipiency of
public enterprises with our money and practical knowledge from the best
possible sources; and, although race identity still exists, the
antagonisms and much of the prejudice of which we now complain will be
buried under higher activities and greater enterprises--when we have
more bank and railroad stock, fewer high-sounding societies, such as
"The Seventeen Stars of the Consolidation," "The Rising, Persevering
Free Sons of Joshua"; more landlords and fewer tenants, more owners of
plantations and fewer share-workers, more merchants and fewer dudes,
more piety and less religion, more economy and less wastefulness, more
confidence and less envy. I simply rise to submit these as irresistible
claims to a higher recognition." I succeeded in making my escape, for
which I was thankful.


Previous to the exposition at New Orleans in 1885, Mr. Henry Brown, of
Oberlin, Ohio, visited the Southern States to obtain information as to
the views and desire of leading colored men regarding the establishment
of "Schools of Trade" in the South where the race could become
proficient in all the mechanical arts. He came at the suggestion of
philanthropic men of capital in Northern States, who thought by such
special means colored men and women could have an opportunity to equip
themselves with handicraft, denied them by the trades unions and other
influences in the country.

On his presentation of the project in Little Rock, it being so
completely in line with my view of a factor so important for the
uplifting of the race to a higher manhood and financial standing, I
eagerly co-operated. It was determined to take advantage of the
attraction of the exposition at New Orleans, issue a call for a
conference at that point, and thereby have a representative gathering to
obtain their views. I therefore proposed, had printed and issued the


"Emancipated, turned loose, poor, ignorant and houseless, continually
surrounded by difficulties and embarrassments sufficient to appall and
retard, by commendable effort on their part, sustained by the generous
aid of philanthropists friendly to education, our race in the South has
made gratifying advance, mentally and morally. But with this progress of
mind and morals, we are confronted with the need of opportunity to
qualify ourselves for those activities and industries necessary to make
a people prosperous and happy. Our great want now is 'cunning hands' to
accompany cultured brains. After obtaining the benefit of our public
schools our boys should be fitted for some useful and profitable means
of livelihood. The restrictions engendered by trades unions, and the
obstacles of race prejudice concur to make it impossible for them to
obtain trades in the workshops of the country. Therefore, we need
industrial schools where our youth can qualify in the various mechanical
pursuits and thereby ennoble themselves, and add value to the State. For
the establishment of these "schools of trade" we require a united effort
and should make earnest appeal to the philanthropy of the nation.

"In view of this vital necessity the undersigned do hereby call a
conference, without distinction, of delegates appointed by mass
meetings in cities and counties; presiding officers of colleges,
principals of schools, bishops, and leading ministers; editors and
publishers friendly to the movement are also invited to meet at New
Orleans, La., January 15, 1885, for expression on this subject. Signed,

     "M. W. Gibbs, Little Rock, Ark.; Hon. J. C. Napier, Nashville,
     Tenn.; A. De Pose, New Orleans, La.; Hon. J. C. Clousen,
     Charleston, S. C.; Rev. B. F. Tanner, Philadelphia, Pa.; Joseph
     Carey, Galveston, Tex.; H. C. Smith, Cleveland, Ohio; W. G.
     Simmons, Louisville, Ky.; Peter H. Clark, Cincinnati, Ohio;
     Hon. B. K. Bruce, Washington, D. C.; P. A. Bell, San Francisco,
     Cal.; J. W. Cromwell, Washington, D. C.; J. Henri Herbert,
     Trenton, N. J.; Hon. Henry Demas, New Orleans, La.; Rev. E.
     Lee, Jacksonville, Fla.; W. H. Russell, Indianapolis, Ind.; F.
     L. Barnett, Chicago, Ill.; A. H. Grimke, Boston, Mass.; E. N.
     Overall, Omaha, Neb.; H. M. Turner, Atlanta, Ga.; Hon. James
     Lewis, New Orleans, La.; John S. Leary, Fayettville, N. C.;
     Hon. Fred Douglass, Washington, D. C.; T. Thomas Fortune, New
     York; Rev. M. Van Horn, Newport, R. I.; Lloyd G. Wheeler,
     Chicago, Ill.; J. W. Birney, La Crosse, Wis.; M. M. McLeod,
     Jackson, Miss.; George T. Downing, Newport, R. I.; D. Augustus
     Straker, Columbia, S. C.; Hon. P. B. S. Pinchback, New Orleans,
     La.; Peter Joseph, Mobile, Ala.; H. O. Wagner, Denver, Colo.;
     Hon. W. A. Pledger, Atlanta, Ga.; H. Fitzbutler, Louisville,
     Ky.; J. L. Walker, Atchison, Kan.; E. P. Wade, St. Paul, Minn.;
     F. G. Barbadoes, Washington, D. C."

As a duty, mingled with pleasure, by this humble means I reproduce a
record of the names of men who in the last century were intent upon
every occasion to promote the welfare of the race, many of whom were
conspicuous in their battle for justice and the betterment of their
fellow man, thus fitting themselves for harmonies of a higher clime,
have now "quiet sleep within the grave," while with the residue "life's
shadows are meeting" and will ere long "be lost to sight," with, let us
hope, their memory only dimmed by greater activity and deeper
consecration by their successors for the ideals they cherished. Ever
loyal, we should not--

    "Rob the dead of their sweet heritage,
    Their myrrh, their wine, their sheet of lead and trophies buried"--


    "Go get them where they got them, when alive,
    And as resolutely dig or dive."

[Illustration: BLANCHE K. BRUCE,

Late United States Senator, Register of the United States Treasury.

Born a Slave in 1841 in Virginia--Studied at Oberlin--Sergeant-at-Arms
of the Senate of Mississippi--Elected United States Senator in
1874--President Garfield Appointed Him Register of the Treasury May,
1881--A Record Honorable and Inspiring.]

With the departed was Hon. B. K. Bruce, who, living to manhood under the
blighting influences of slavery, by honesty, native ability and
persevering study, placed his name in the forefront, leaving his career
as a model. With an astuteness of perception for the retention of
friends, he had suavity of manner for the palliation of foes; with
diligence and faithfulness winning a constituency that honored him with
a seat in the United States Senate.

The conference called at New Orleans, La., to promote industrial
education, above referred to, failed to be fruitful. Members of
different religious organizations, without suggestion that their
particular sect would furnish a modicum of the large expenditure
necessary to the establishment of such "schools of trade," strove to
have the movement inaugurated, and launched under some particular
denominational control.

Mr. Brown, whose only object in desiring to have a conference, was to
elicit an expression from leading colored men, an earnest desire for
such "schools of trade," and helpful suggestions, looked on the needless
strife with amazement and regret, and finally determined, as unity of
purpose and a proper conception of what was needed were so sadly
lacking, to abandon such an instrumentality to favor his purpose.

It can be properly noted here that among the many helpful signs of race
advancement not the least is a broader fraternalization of our religious
bodies, an increasing tolerance, indicative of greater intelligence, the
product of a more widely discriminated educated ministry. Our churches,
being our largest organizations numerically (and greatest of moral
educators), having the ear of the masses, their opportunity and growing
disposition to unite for the material as well as the spiritual progress
of our people, cannot be too highly commended.

Industrial fairs, promulgated and held by the colored people in
different Southern States, have been exceedingly beneficial and cannot
be too often repeated. Several have occurred at Pine Bluff, Ark., on the
extensive race and fair grounds owned by Mr. Wiley Jones, who, with Dr.
J. H. Smith, Ferdinand Havis and other prominent colored men of the
State, by executive ability, tact and judgment made them a success.

The following notice is from a correspondent of the Arkansas Gazette:

                  "Pine Bluff, Ark., Oct. 21, 1886.

     "This, the third day, of the fair was sunny and bright, and the
     hearts of the management were correspondingly light. Even
     before the gates were open a long array of teams were seeking
     admission. The executive officers were early at their posts and
     no time was lost in beginning the exercises of the day.
     President J. H. Smith won golden opinions by the pleasant yet
     firm manner he performed his duties. This morning the Capital
     Guards were formally received by the Colored Industrial

     "Judge Gibbs, of Little Rock, delivered the welcome address,
     which was a very eloquent and scholarly effort.

     "He first praised the directors of the fair for their wonderful
     success, and said it argues well for the future of the colored
     people in that they have had extended such cordial support;
     that nations were influential in the ratio of their
     agricultural and mechanical development, and that the array of
     production here made proclaimed in hopeful tones that 'we are

     "He recognized in the formation of the Capital Guards a hopeful
     omen. Drill develops precision and accuracy, aside from
     physical development; discipline is invaluable in inculcating
     the idea of subordination, without which no constitutional
     government can long exist. Even if they never come within the
     reach of fiery shot and shell, they would be benefited, and if
     war's stern summons swept over the land, he felt confident that
     no more ready response would be made by any class than by the

Captain Thompson responded in behalf of his company, and alluded to the
whole-souled hospitality that had been bestowed upon them by the
authorities of the fair and the citizens generally. The Press
Association had by their speeches proclaimed that the "pen was mightier
than the sword," which he denied; "that the independence of this country
from the thraldom of England was won by Washington's sword, and that
Lincoln's pen only became effective after the sword had paved the way.
It was a recognized arbiter in the disputes of nations, although the pen
could render secure what the sword had won." The Captain put his company
through several evolutions that were very creditably performed.

In affairs of this character the comingling of the substantial and best
element of the white race, their liberal subscriptions and fraternal
endeavor, give impetus and valuable assistance, emphasizing the fact
along the lines of a higher industrial advancement that they are in
hearty sympathy. We cannot too often have these object evidences of our
progress. They speak loud and convincing far beyond oral announcement
the most eloquent. It stimulates the farmer to extra exertion and more
careful measures for increase of quality and quantity of his crop; it
inspires the artisan and mechanic for his best handiwork, and welcomes
articles the product of our cultured and refined women from the realms
of the home. We need this continued stimulus, shut out as we are from
most of the higher industries, the incentive born of contact, and which
promotes rivalry, to us is denied; hence our inspiration must be inborn
and unceasing.

In the economy of God and nature, His handiwork, prominent is "the
survival of the fittest." The fittest survive because they excel.
Whether within the student's study or the mechanic's bench, it is
excellence that counts and heralds its own superiority. If we desire not
only the best personal success, but to be helpful to the race, it is not
enough for one to be known as doctor, lawyer, mechanic, or planter; but
it is upon what round of the ladder of science mechanics or agriculture
he stands. Is he above mediocrity; does he excel? The affirmative answer
to this is the heroic offspring of self-denial and unceasing mental

A feature of attraction at these fairs has been the drill and martial
bearing of our military companies, for while jubilant in the "pride and
pomp and circumstance of glorious war," the measure of praise for
precision of manouver of the soldier is only excelled by commendation
for his bravery in action. The colored citizen took quiet pride and much
interest in these companies and were saddened when many were commanded
by the State authorities to disband. The motives which conspired and
demanded their dissolution were not commendable, but ungrateful, for the
Negro soldier in every war of the Republic has been valorous, loyal, and
self-denying, and has abundantly earned a reputation for discipline and
obedience to every military requirement.

The organization of these companies, furnished with State arms,
authorized and under the patronage of the government of many of the
Southern States, created an "esprit d'corps," a fellowship and worthy
ambition conducive to harmony and the general welfare.

Political friction, no doubt, had much to do with their displacement.
But now the Democracy, so long in power, with majorities in many of
these States almost cumbersome, could well afford to allow and patronize
these conservators for peace and efficient protectors in war, who are
ever ready to say, as Jehu to Jonahab, "Is thy heart right, as my heart
is with thine heart? If it be, give me thine hand."

Previous to a Presidential campaign I attended a meeting of leading
colored Republicans at New Orleans, La. It was not called as a strictly
political conference in the interest of any particular candidate, but to
exchange views and hear suggestions relating to pending legislation in
Mississippi and South Carolina for curtailing, if not abolishing Negro
suffrage in those States. Although the political condition of the Negro
was then and continues to be of such moment that at no intelligent
gathering will it fail to "bob up" and demand a hearing, and this was no
exception. While the claims of Reed, Morton, Allison, Harrison, and
McKinley were freely discussed, the suffrage was the leading topic.

Prominent among the attendants were T. T. Fortune, of New York; N. W.
Cuney and E. J. Scott, of Texas; W. A. Pledger and H. E. Johnson, of
Georgia; P. B. S. Pinchback, James Lewis, and J. Madison Vance, of
Louisiana; Stevens, of Alabama; Stevens, of Louisville, Ky.; E. Fortune,
of Florida; C. W. Anderson, of New York, and others.

[Illustration: TIMOTHY T FORTUNE.

Editor and Publisher of "New York Age."

Born in Jackson County, Florida, October 6, 1856--Polished and Able--On
the Staff of the White Press at Metropolitan Centers--The Most
Aggressive and Trenchant Writer of the Negro Press.]

The late N. W. Cuney, of Texas, was a man of commanding presence,
forceful and emphatic as a speaker; honest, tireless and
self-sacrificing. His sterling qualities as a leader of men grows
brighter as time recedes from his demise.

Fearless in enunciation, the timid thought him impractical. But there is
ever this concerning unpopular truth: When it induces honest thought
that burns to be spoken, you can depend it is not confined to a single
possessor; it has habitation in many hearts. But he alone is the "leader
of leaders," who, with Eolian harp or trumpet call summons its
worshipers. Among matters discussed was the charge that Negro
delegations were a marketable commodity, with no convictions as to
national policy, no regard for manly probity, and were ever at the beck
of the highest purchaser in the political market. Such a sweeping charge
is most unjust; but, if granted, the admission cuts deeply in the
opposite direction, requiring no analysis to discover the preponderance
of venality. It may happen between the receiver of stolen goods and the
thief that impulse to steal is sometimes weakened by uncertainty of
market. The Negro delegate has no market to seek; the market is jammed
under his nose at every turn by immaculate white men, often entrusted
with large sums to be placed "where it will do the most good," report to
those interested the purchase of Negro votes, when such was not the
fact. Satisfied they had placed it where it would do them the most good,
by allowing it to rest in their pockets, this was not only hard on the
Negro, but mean to charge him up with it, then not let him have it. To
say there were no colored men susceptible to such advances would be as
idle as to say there were no white men thereby influenced; but in either
case let us hope it was the exception and not the rule.

Conferences for statement and appeal for removing harsh conditions are
historic, ante-dating and creating constitutional government; for,
implanted in the hearts is a consciousness of right, however much
selfish hate may shut out recognition, or avarice stifle its egress, and
the measure of accord granted just claims of the petitioner is the moral
and Christian status of a commonwealth.

It may be noted here that the character of accord given the Negro in his
now severe battle for justice and equality before the law by the
Christian churches and other organizations is of a peculiar kind. While
the benefactions for moral and Christian education is to him
indispensable, it is not the kind most prominent and effectually
practiced by the Divine Master to dissipate wrong. He forbids the cry of
peace when there is no peace. He was aggressive and distinct. The
peculiarity of accord can be accounted for in this, that it is so much
easier for the well-to-do Christian to donate to the Negro than by word
or pen to denounce the wrongs to which he is subject. Wrong smiles
complacently at any mode save direct attack. It is not in silent
acquiescence, but on the forum of agitation and denouncement, that
reform finds lodgment, so sadly needed in many of the States where he is
the victim of lawlessness and murder, his ballot suppressed, and denied
representation. The partiality and indecent haste with which he is tried
and almost invariably sent to the penitentiary, where as convict he
receives the most barbarous treatment. As a people no one denies that
they are law-abiding; as laborers in all the avenues of industry in
which they are capable they are faithful and honest: as patriots at the
incipiency and duration of the Government they have been faithful and
brave. If, then, in the roll of patriots, citizens and producers, they
have maintained character for fidelity, deportment and industry, surely
they can rightly claim and demand as citizens of the Republic protection
from outrage, justice in the courts and in every way equality before the
law. They ask for nothing more, and would be unworthy to be content with
any less.

The cry of "Negro domination," like the "baseless fabric of a vision,"
has as little foundation. The problem to be solved is not what is or
shall be the status of the colored man born beneath the flag, but
whether the forces of Christian civilization, the genius and spirit of
our Government, impartiality in the execution of law, without let or
hindrance, are equal to the performance of their missions, or are only
"sounding brass and tinkling cymbals." That is the problem for our white
fellow-citizens to solve. That which most troubles the Negro is has the
nation sufficient Christianity and regard for justice to allow these
forces to prevail? The assumption that citizens of a common country
cannot live together in amity is false, denying as it does that lawful
citizenship is the panoply and bulwark of him who attains it, that
should vindicate and shield him, whether he be high or low, at home or
abroad, whenever or wherever his civil rights are invaded.


Never in the history of conventions was there recorded such evidence of
unswerving fidelity by an equal number to the nominee of their choice as
that shown at the National Convention in 1880, when General Grant's name
was before the assembly. Ordinarily when a leader is nominated for
ballot his supporter's are faithful as long as his prospects are
inviting, but at the first evidence of decadence no flock of partridges
scamper more readily to find cover. For years his birthday has been
celebrated by a reunion of the 306 who, from the first to the last of
sounding of the 36th ballot, stood with ranks solidly closed and courage
undaunted. At such a reunion at Philadelphia, in 1893, eighty were
present, and with speech, reminiscence and good cheer "a feast of reason
and a flow of soul," time sped "till the wee sma' hours." Of the colored
delegates, Mr. Ferdinand Havis and the writer were present.

Mr. Havis, of Arkansas, "to the manor born," deserves more than mere
mention as the representative of a class in the South.

He is a gentleman of fine qualities of head and heart. As a member of
the Arkansas Legislature in 1873 and Clerk of Jefferson County for many
years, he has by honesty as an official and courtesy of manner made an
unimpeachable record, and was only dethroned "by fraud and force and
iron will." During his leadership of Jefferson County, where
three-quarters of all voters are colored, he was ever conservative and
regardful of the views and business interests of the numerically weak
but financially strong minority of Democrats, and by supporting a
compromise ticket that gave most prominence to the minority sought to
preserve harmony. But the efforts of such men have proved unavailing to
stem the tide of political usurpation, now rampant at many places in the

The greatest menace to representative government is not solely the
disfranchisement of the Negro, for according with the eternal verities
there cannot be a continued disregard for the ballot in his hand and
protection for his life, and respect for them in the person of the white
man. Under the genius of our Government the rights of claim and exercise
are linked and interlinked.

This truth stands out in bold relief on historic page, and should the
future historian record the dismemberment of the Republic, he will
indite its decay from the commencement of the violation of this basic
principle of civil government, his being but another link in the
evidence that rapidity of material, without equality of moral,
advancement is ever attended with national decline.

Meanwhile, it is the duty (which is ever the highest policy) of the
Negro to be patriotic in his devotion to his country, manly in his
appeals for justice, and wise by discarding, by word or action, the
fomenting of strife; ever on the alert to close the breach by increase
of intelligence, moral worth and financial progress, and thus in great
measure dissipate ignorance, vice and poverty, the abolition of which
can be assisted, but not dispelled, save by a spirit of self-sacrifice
on his part, subjecting his lower nature to the control of the higher.
With such effort, united to a faith in God and the American conscience,
he will yet soften ascerbities, dispel hindrance, and stem the tide.

Philanthropy may assist a man to his feet, but cannot keep him there
unaided by self-effort and an unconquerable will power to stand; while
relinquishing no part of his claim upon his white brother as recompense
for more than a century of unrequited labor, if with an equal chance for
work, education and legal protection, he cannot not only stand, but
advance, exertion in his behalf is "love's labor lost," he having no
rights worthy of respect.

But in no fair mind can there exist doubt as to his advancement. A
people nine-tenths of whom 40 years ago did not legally own themselves
or property, now having 140,000 farms, homes and industries worth
$800,000,000; a people who, for a century previous to emancipation, were
by law forbidden to learn to read or write, now have 3,000,000 children
in 27,000 schools, and have reduced their illiteracy 45 per cent., have
school and church property to the amount of $50,000,000, contributing
themselves thereto $20,000,000; have written 300 books; have over 250
newspapers issued each week. His comparative success as merchant,
mechanic or other line of industry which he is permitted to enter,
speaks for itself, and finally, with per capita valuation of $75. Yet,
in face of such statistical evidence, there are not wanting the
Tillmans, Morgans, Burke Cockrans and other seers of a Montgomery
convention, who, because the Negro, trammeled, as he is, does not keep
step with the immense strides of the dominant class in their wondrous
achievement, the product of a thousand years of struggle and culture,
unblushingly allege that he is relapsing into barbarism, and with an
ingratitude akin to crime, are oblivious to the fact that a large
measure of the intellectual and material status of the nation and the
cultured ability they so balefully use to retard him, are the product of
a century of his unrequited labor.

The feeling that the results of the civil war have been beneficent,
harmonizing theory and practice in the autonomy of the nation is
manifest and conceded. The growing unity of the people of our country
who 40 years ago were engaged in fraternal strife, should be a source of
pleasure and welcomed by every patriotic heart; for, while bitterness
can be assuaged, and laudable effort made to conform to new conditions,
still convictions formed and baptized in the fiery ordeal of war, blood
and material loss require fortitude, generosity and patriotism to soften
their asperity, and much kindly intercourse to promote the general
welfare. The increased desire in this direction is evidenced at each
recurring "Decoration Day," when the Blue and the Gray harmoniously
intermingle, recalling memories and incidents of the internal strife.
The soldiers of each vieing in reciprocity, as with "a union of hearts
and a union of hands" with fragrant flowers they bedeck historic sod.

But will the nation remember that after all that can be said or written,
of heroic circumstance of war, or in praise of its participants, all
these bereft of humanity and justice to the weak, fail to constitute an
enduring State, for eternal and immutable is the decree that
"righteousness exalteth a nation." Relative to this intermingling of
former foes, whatever our estimate of the results of human action may
be, we cannot unerringly divine impurity of motive; hence respect for
honest conviction must be the prelude to that unity of patriotism which
is ever the safeguard to the integrity of a nation.

The spirit that impelled contributions for the erection of the
Confederate monuments in different sections of our country from donors,
irrespective of former affiliation, has been benign in its influence. In
1897 the Hon J. N. Smithea instituted a movement for such a memorial in
Little Rock, Ark., stipulating that responses should be limited to one
dollar. Impressed that our race should not be indifferent to such an
appeal, I transmitted the following:

    J. N. Smithea, Editor "Gazette,"
                 Little Rock, Ark.:

I notice your effort to erect a monument to the Confederate dead. A
third of a century has elapsed since the civil war. Conviction in the
minds of the participants on either side as to who was right and who was
wrong is as firmly fixed as the eternal hills. Given, that a view of
events leading up to that fraternal strife, the bravery of the one or
heroic conduct of the other from standpoints necessarily different will
never find mutual ground for justification, it seems the mission of
patriotism and national unity to give the hand of welcome to every
effort that will unite us in all that will promote the common glory of
the Republic. As one of the representatives of a race, especially in
this southland, I cheerfully subscribe my dollar to the fund, feeling
that the Negro should joyfully hail every effort to soften animosities
which are the outgrowth of a struggle in which, unwittingly, he was so
important a factor.

[Illustration: WILLIAM A. PLEDGER,

Chairman Republican State Central Committee of Georgia.

Born near Athens forty-five years ago--Has been a delegate to every
National Republican Convention for the last twenty-five years--A leader
trusted and tried.]

No one should be more anxious to cement the friendly and good offices of
our more-favored fellow-citizens, from whom we are receiving the largest
share of our educational and material assistance, so greatly needed to
bring us up to the full measure of a noble citizenship. By the
providence of God we are here, and are here to stay. We are producers of
wealth and the conservators of peace. Therefore, encourage us by the
exercise of justice and magnanimity, that we can say to you, as Ruth to
Naomi in Holy Writ: "Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from
following after thee, for whither thou goest I will go; and where thou
lodgest I will lodge; thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God;
where thou diest will I die, and there will I be buried; the Lord do so
to me and more also, if aught but death part thee and me."

    Very truly yours, etc.,

Monuments are the mute mile stones, the connecting links between a
finished effort, and an inspiration for continued struggle. But
monuments are not created after the death of those they commemorate,
although they may seem to be; they are but memorials of the structure
already built, the solidity of whose base and symmetry of whose lines
were projected and fashioned by intensity of conviction and the
unswerving courage of their prototypes in ameliorating conditions while
they lived. Bereft of this, "monuments themselves memorials need."

Having administered the office of Register of United States land by
appointments from Presidents Hayes and Arthur, my last service in the
Interior Department was under an appointment from President Harrison,
who, in 1889, placed me as Receiver of Public Moneys at Little Rock,
Ark., Land District. It was during this term that the Department ordered
and appointed Special Commissioners to conduct the sale of unsold lots
on the Hot Springs Reservation at auction. As one of the Commissioners
and Receiver of Public Moneys, I was required and gave a qualified bond
for $100,000 for the faithful performance of the trust, and with
Register Raleigh proceeded and discharged the duties thereto. Harrison's
term ended a career of twelve years in the land office. If in
retrospective moments amid the many beneficent things you might have
done, but left undone, you catch here and there glimpses of unselfish
ambition or benefit you have conferred, it does much to abate regret,
for the recollection to me is a source of pleasure that during those
terms by personal convass and unofficial publication I contributed in
inducing thousands of immigrants and others to homestead the virgin soil
of Arkansas, who have now good homes, comprising 40, 80 or 160 acres of
land, besides assisting them in establishing schools for their


In October, 1897, by telegrams from my friends, Nathaniel McKay and Dr.
Purvis, of Washington, D. C., I was informed that I had been appointed
United States Consul for the island of Madagascar.

It was a surprise; for, while truth compels the admission that I was not
averse to "being taken in and done for," Madagascar had not come within
my purview; its distance had not "lent enchantment to the view." I gave
it some thought, but could not perceive that I had been so annoyingly
persistent to merit a response from the President, not unlike that given
by Mr. Blaine to one Mr. Tite Barnacle, who was willing to compromise on
a foreign appointment. "Certainly," was the reply; the "foreigner the
better." I concluded, however, that the bard may have been right when he
wrote "There is a destiny that shapes our ends," for it often happens
that what a man desires is just what he ought not to have; and whether
what he gets is to be beneficial depends largely upon its use.

I was summoned to Washington, and after a conference received my
commission, returned to Little Rock to prepare for departure to my post,
"10,000 miles away."

I received a warm greeting and a "jolly send-off" at a banquet given me
on Christmas eve by many friends. To name a few of the devoted would be
invidious to the many. It will suffice to say I felt grateful and
touched by the many expressions, which added testimony to their valued
appreciation. Arriving at New York I was met by Mr. W. H. Hunt, who had
applied and been highly commended for the position of clerk to the
consulate, and who, after a year's faithful service, in pursuance of my
recommendation, was appointed Vice-Consul, and is now Consul.

This, my appointment as Consul to Tamatave, severs a decade's connection
as "Secretary of the Republican State Central Committee," and especially
with its Chairman, Mr. Henry Cooper, who, indefatigable as a worker,
genial, but positive in his convictions, has managed the machinery of
the party with but little friction. The remembrance of the partiality,
honors and kindness of which I have been a recipient from members of the
party, irrespective of "race or previous condition," will be ever bright
and cheery.

On January, 1, 1898, we embarked on the French steamship Champagne, and
arrived at Havre on the 9th, and took train for Paris. The cars either
for comfort or retirement in no way equal ours, eight in a compartment,
sitting omnibus fashion, face to face. We rolled on to the Capital,
passing many fine villas, the product of French architecture.
Everywhere one is impressed with the national peculiarities--the houses,
the streets, modes of conveyance and transportation. Compactness,
neatness, order and precision pervades their every undertaking; but for
celerity and despatch of business they were painful to encounter or
behold, for it ill accords with the American mode. A ride of four hours
and we reach Paris. At the depot the baggage is placed on long tables
awaiting examination by custom-house officers. Mine was passed without.
Took cab for "Hotel de Binda," exquisitely furnished and centrally
located, having easy access to places of note.

This being the most disagreeable time of year, a fire in the rooms was
necessary, for outside everywhere was a damp, penetrating air, remaining
here 15 days with the sight of the sun but once.

The next day after my arrival I called on the American Ambassador, Mr.
Porter, in relation to my exequator, to be issued by the French
Government. It is a recognition of status, and a formal permit from one
nation to another to allow their respective Consuls to exercise the
duties appertaining thereto and a guarantee of protection in their
performance. Had a very cordial reception from Mr. J. R. Gowdy, our
Consul at Paris. Visited the Paris office of the New York Herald, where
many files of American and European papers can be perused. A visit to
the "Louvre" is a joy for the layman, as for the connoisseur, galleries
a mile or more in length hung with paintings grand in imagery and beauty
of old masters, French and Italian, centuries old. Many showed the
silent, slow and impressive steps of age. But "you may break, you may
scatter the vase if you will, the scent of the roses will linger there
still," for on shrunken canvas or from luster dimmed was imperial tone
of materialized conception "not born to die."

Among the guests of the hotel were two gentlemen, one an American
capitalist, the other a German merchant from Berlin, the latter speaking
French like a native. We became pleasant companions, and concluded on
Sunday evening to go to the "Follies Bergere"--in American parlance a
variety theater.

Ten minutes' drive brought us to a very large building, lighted as if by
sunlight, where a hundred finely-dressed men and women crowded for
entrance. Outside of what we term pit and dress circle is a partition,
three or four feet high, dividing them from a promenade ten or fifteen
feet wide. You can stand or sit in this promenade, and see the
performance. Our friends suggested this plan, as we could see and hear
more of Parisian peculiarities. Here many very beautiful women
promenaded. They had evidently been touched by artists, for their
make-up was superb. But I could not but think of the refrain of a song
we have all heard, "Oh, but what a difference in the morning." They had
sweet, pretty sayings, clothed in all the softness of modulation and
earnestness of gesture of the French people. My American friend, like
myself, was Frenchless, and as a consequence invulnerable. The
appearance of the occupants of the front row of seats very forcibly
reminded me of a similar locality at the Capital Theater in the City of
Roses, on similar occasions, where many of my old friends with gaze
intent loved to congregate. The performance was spectacular and
acrobatic, with usual evolutions, with more "abandon" and very artistic.
Passing through the cafe, where hundreds of finely-dressed men and women
were sitting at tables quietly talking, smoking and drinking wine or
coffee, we passed to the street.

There is much to delight in a walk through the Tulleries and "Palace de
la Concord." These public squares have an acreage of several hundred,
and are adorned with flowing fountains and marvelous statuary. Passing
through the Tulleries brings you to the "Dome de Invalids," in which is
Napoleon's tomb. The building and dome is of the most exquisite
architecture. Upon entry everywhere your gaze is confronted by stately
columns of Italian marble arches, statuary, flags of many varieties,
captured by Napoleon from his enemies on many battlefields, besides
other trophies of war.

As you look down a circular pit twenty feet deep and forty feet wide,
enclosed by a balustrade of Italian marble, you see the sarcophagus, in
which is inclosed all that was mortal of the great Napoleon. The mosaic
pavement at the bottom of the pit represents a wreath of laurels; on it
rests the sarcophagus, consisting of a single block, highly polished, of
reddish brown granite, fourteen feet high, thirteen long and seven wide,
brought from Finland at a cost of $25,000. Above rises a lofty dome 160
feet high, divided into two sections, one of twelve compartments, each
containing a figure of one of the twelve apostles; the other
representing St. Louis offering to Christ the sword with which to
vanquish his enemies.

While in Paris I visited Mrs. Mason, widow of James Mason, deceased. Mr.
Mason was formerly a member of the Arkansas Senate and Sheriff of Chicot
County. It will be remembered by old residents that the death of Mason's
father, an old bachelor and rich planter, who died intestate, caused a
suit at law of great interest and importance. It was an exciting trial,
as many thousands of dollars were at stake in the issue. The fatherly
care he had ever evinced for the education of his children (James having
been educated in France and Martha at a Northern college); the
solicitude and unfailing recognition, the many instances of which he had
designated them as direct heirs, and other evidence, collateral and
convincing, were availing. They received a jury award.

[Illustration: HON. JOHN C. DANCY,

Recorder of Deeds for District of Columbia.

Born at Torboro, S. C., May, 1857--Entered Howard University--Elected
Recorder of Deeds of Edgecombe County, S. C., in 1880 and 1882--Late
Collector of the Port at Willmington, S. C.--Christian and Progressive
in the Church--Eminent and Eloquent in the State.]

An appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States was taken, which
dragged its weary way for a number of years, but resulted in confirming
the decision of the lower court. Mrs. Mason was for many years, through
the patronage and kindness of Senator Garland and other members of
Congress from Arkansas, a clerk in the Land Office at Washington. I
found Mrs. Mason living in well-appointed apartments with her daughter,
an artistic painter of some note, with studio adjoining, where I was
shown many beautiful productions of her brush. I was conversant with
many instances in the North where Southern planters had brought their
colored families to be educated, purchasing and giving them property for
settlement and sustenance, especially that their girls might escape the
environments which undoubtedly awaited them at the South. These were in
fine and valuable contradistinction to many cases similarly related,
where they were sold on the auction block to the highest bidder. But in
all candor it cannot but be supposed that in many instances the sale of
the planter's own flesh and blood was involuntary. High living, neglect
of the comparative relation of resource and expenditure, gambling for
big stakes on steamboat and at Northern watering places, brought the
evil day with attending results to the "chattel" subject to the baneful
caprice of unrestrained liberty.

On the 23d of January, 1898, I was taking my leave of Paris to meet my
steamer at Marseilles for a 20-day voyage for Madagascar. My stay at
the hotel had been pleasant, and I supposed had received all necessary
attention from the servants that occasion demanded; but in character it
had been individual. Now it was united, for in doorway and on staircase
they were (like Tennyson's cannon) servants "to the right of me and
servants to the left of me," smiling and gracious. One, of whom I had no
recollection of having previously seen, approached me with an obeisance
decidedly French to remind me that he was the "baggage man" and attended
to it when I arrived. I replied, "You are not the man who took up my
baggage." "No," he said; "I am the man who looked after the man who
watched the man who did take it up." "Oh!" I said; and then remembering
that he and I had much in common, his English and my French being twins,
I conceded his claim, "tipped" others that impeded my exit, and made
hasty retreat.

Leaving Paris at 2:30 P. M., at 2 in the morning we reached Lyons,
stopping 25 minutes for coffee and refreshments, which reached a
long-felt want, arriving at Hotel de Louvre et de la Paix, at
Marseilles, three hours later. Paris is prolific in names of its hotels,
but this was commensurate in luxury and first class in every particular,
very large, the finest in Marseilles and said to be unsurpassed in
France. It is approached by a hall-way fifty feet long from Rue
Canebrian (the street), which leads you into an oval-shaped court 100
by 200 feet. Around this court in niches are finely-sculptured statuary,
paintings and choice flowers in porcelain vases. Out of this court you
are conducted into the hotel proper. Spacious stairways of Italian
marble, the tread of which covered with Turkish carpets, leads you to
the interior. The court in the inner center of the hotel rises to a
height of five or six stories, and is covered by parti-colored glass,
which emits a soft and pleasing tint on all below. The dining room was
"a thing of beauty," and the menu "a joy forever." The adornments of the
room would well befit a palace. Oh, that I had the tongue of an orator
or the pen of a ready writer, to fitly describe! Took breakfast and then
a stroll along the principal streets of the city and the wharves of the
Mediterranean. The city resembled a bee hive; the houses and streets are
literally crowded with men and women of all nationalities and costumes.

Wending our way to "Notre Dame," a magnificent church on a hill, one
thousand feet above the level of the city, entirely overlooking it,
while the Mediterranean lies sparkling in the distance directly below.
On the top of the dome of this edifice is a figure encased in gold,
representing "Holy Mary" with the Christ in her arms. A gallery
surrounds the church, from which the view is grand and imposing. Ascent
and descent can be made by an elevator.

On the 25th of January we embarked on board our ship, the "Pie Ho," and
found state room comfortable for the longest voyage of our travel. The
view as we pass out of the harbor of Marseilles is quite picturesque,
with its quaint old buildings, mountainous surroundings, its medley of
ships, soldiers and sailors of every nation, differing in uniform and
costume. Here, as I suppose it is everywhere where love and friendship
dwell, hundreds had assembled at docks and quays and other points of
vantage to waive hands and handkerchiefs of a loving farewell. I thought
of my dear daughter on the wharf at New York and her anxious gaze until
we were lost in the distance. This ship, the "Pie Ho," of a French line,
is said to be old, but staunch, comfortable and giving good service; but
a failure in that particular the want of which retards the success of
many people of whom it could be truthfully said by Christian and
moralist that they were good and reliable. The "Pie Ho" is not swift,
but if she retains the commendation that oft accompanies slowness, that
of being sure, we should be content. But age has its limits, and happy
should all be who safely and honorably round up the voyage of life.

We are now in full view of Mount Strombol in the Mediterranean, a
volcano in full blast, emitting fire and clouds of smoke. Yesterday we
entered the Ionian Sea; today we have land on either side, Sicily on our
right and Italy on our left, with a good view of its coast lines;
cities, towns, cultivated fields and trains in motion. At 2 P. M.
January 30 we see Dermot Lighthouse, and at 3 reach Port Said. The
Khedive's dominion, a Government and business point, with many consular
residences. It was the first sight of the "old flag" since leaving
Marseilles. It is a new baptism of patriotism for one to see the
national banner so far from home, and impromptu he sings, "long may it
wave," for "with all thy faults I love thee still."

We anchored out in the bay, and with small boats went ashore. Port Said
is quite cosmopolitan both in its business and residence features.
Nearly every nationality has its representative in trade, but
numerically the unspeakable Turk is very much in evidence. On landing
one of the guards, numerous and whose charges are fixed by law, took us
in charge to show us the city. The streets generally were unimproved and
irregular, both in architecture and location. Through several dingy and
untidy streets he led us to the public park, which made considerable
pretension to order and neatness. The turban, the wrap, the sandals and
other Oriental costumes, which made up the dress, were not more varied
than the complexion of the people, but their features were generally
fine-cut. A marble bust of De Lesseps, the contractor of the Suez Canal,
which we shall soon enter, has a prominent place.

Through several streets, monotonous for disorder and uncleanliness, we
reached the "Mosque," the Mahomedan place of worship. In the minaret
high up on the tower stood an officer awaiting the hour to lower the
flag as a signal to all Musselmen that they could eat, the day being one
of their fast days. In all the streets through which we passed could be
seen groups of the faithful with anxious look toward the minaret to
catch the first downward movement of the flag. It came at last, and with
it the shouting and running of the crowds to booths and stands for
eating purposes that lined the sidewalks. We approached the "Mosque"
with all the solemnity possible for hypocritical heretics to assume, and
were met at the door by a grave and reverent sire, who interviewed the

We had been told that we would have to take off our shoes (just here we
noted the same pliancy observable in many of our own denomination when
there is prospect of getting the almighty dollar). In some way the
matter was compromised by putting on over our shoes large sandals made
of straw. After paying 50 centimes each (equal to 10 cents in our
currency), we entered a large room without furniture or other adornment,
with stone floor, some matting, upon which a number of worshipers were
kneeling and supplicating "Allah," their supreme being. There was an
earnestness that bespoke sincerity, and an all-abiding faith. I could
but think how few of us who would criticise are true to the creed we

In a kind of lavatory adjoining could be seen men washing their feet and
doing oddities unmentionable preparatory to worship.

After wandering about the building for some time I was accosted by one
of the attendants, and was made to understand that one of my feet was
uncovered. I had lost one of my sandals. I was rather uneasy for a
while, not knowing what they might do with that unholy foot that had
desecrated the temple. The guide found it, however, and "Richard was
himself again." After leaving the "Mosque" the guide escorted us
shipward through the business portion of the city, neat and cleanly,
with hotels and stores creditable to a metropolis. But for beggars of
unrivaled persistency I commend you to Port Said, for with a
pitiableness, sincere or assumed, they dog your every footstep.

At the southern part of the city is a large cemetery, having stones with
many hieroglyphics and inscriptions denoting the former locality,
character and virtues of the dead. With the scholar are interred copies
of his literary productions; with the soldier, his sword; with the
statesman, a roll of his achievements for the good of the state, for
presentation to "Allah."


The passage through the Suez Canal was somewhat monotonous, but a
continued reminder of bible history. On either side as far as the eye
could reach the desert spread out its sandy atoms glistening in the sun.

Out of the canal we are in the Gulf of Suez, and in a few hours in the
Red Sea, an interesting locality in ancient history. It is there we
learn that Pharaoh and his hosts met their Waterloo (with the accent on
the water) in the pursuit of the children of Israel. But here we find
conflicting opinions. Some say that Pharaoh, arriving at the bank and
seeing the impossibility of overtaking them, turned and retired; others,
that there were shoal places in those far-away days where any one could
cross; others, that they crossed on flats very like the ordinary modern
mortal. But I do not accept this attempt to question the orthodox
version, but will verify it as far as my observation will admit. The sea
was likely red in those days, and has very properly retained its name on
account of the locality being red-hot at times, or, perhaps, chameleon
like, changes its color. This morning, however, it is a deep blue. As to
Pharaoh and his hosts getting drowned, there cannot be doubt, if it was
in its present condition and they attempted to cross on foot.

But this we do know, that the success of the "Children of Israel" in not
being "overtaken" has been the prototype of father to son in every
effort to do so from that day to the present. There is a serious view,
however. Here the sea, sky and neighborhood of Jerusalem, pyramids,
monuments and sacred traditions all conspire to have a solemn and
awe-inspiring effect. Thousands of generations of men have lived and
moved in the activities that engage modern humanity, but have passed
like fleeting shadows, leaving only these sentinels as perpetual
reminders. While the "Red Sea" sings in murmuring cadence that "men may
come, and men may go, but I go on forever," doubly impressing us that

    "So the multitude goes, like the flower or weed,
    That wither away to let others succeed;
    So the multitude comes, even those we behold,
    To repeat every tale that has often been told."

But a truce to moralizing on the past. The children of Israel seem to
have made and kept their record as "passengers." I was interested in the
passage of a child of Ham. I am somewhat deficient in Bible history, and
am without knowledge of the whereabouts of Ham's children at that time,
or whether they had "crossing" to do; but if they possessed the
proverbial character imputed to some of their offspring, antipathy to
water, especially for lavatory purposes, I am of the opinion they took
no desperate chances, "content to bear the ills they had than fly to
those they knew not of."

Passing Hurich Island, a British possession, and having had a very
pleasant passage on the Red Sea, we arrive at Djiboute, Abyssinia, the
terminus of King Menelik's domain, the scenes of recent conflict between
Italy and the King's forces, the "unpleasantness" resulting unprofitably
to the Italians. There were landed from the ship many boxes of rifles
and ammunition for the King's governor, who resides here. During the few
hours we remained there, we were interested in and enjoyed the gathering
of ten or fifteen native boys around the ship diving for centimes or
francs thrown by the passengers, their dexterity as divers, securing
every penny, was as clever as grotesque. They remained in the water six
or eight hours during the ship's stay. A few hours brought us to Aden, a
very strongly fortified appendage to the British Empire at the south end
of the Red Sea. For armament and strategical locality it is the
Gibraltar of the southern seas.

The rivalry of native boatmen for passengers and luggage to take ashore
was appalling. When I say it surpassed a third ward political meeting in
"ye olden times" in Little Rock I faintly describe it. Sunday morning;
once more on the way; one more stop, and then to Tamatave, our

Looking this beautiful morning on the foam-crest waves as they roll in
sportive emulation, with a cloudless sky coming down on every side to
kiss the horizon, shutting out human vision of all else beyond, one
could not fail to be impressed with the greatness, the omnipotence of
the Creator. This being but a speck of that vast whole, comprising the
celestial and terrestrial aggregation, he, indeed, who regards this
sublime workmanship as the product of chance and not that of a
super-human architect and law-giver, by Whom every atom of nature is
controlled, is more to be pitied than condemned.

To conclude our voyage, we have six or seven days of "innocuous
desuetude." That is what I believe President Cleveland designated a
monotonous and unprofitable period. I am not certain, however, and one
should be careful in quoting great authors.

We pass the Gulf of Aden and enter the Indian Ocean, Rem Huffien Island
to the right, and now appears the eastern coast lines of the continent
of Africa. On that continent, I learn, lies the ashes of my forefathers.
Peace abide with them, and may peace crowned with justice come to such
of their descendants as are still the victims of dishonesty and
inhumanity by enlightened and professedly Christian nations.

Travel by sea loses in interest as you recede or are midway between
distant points. You somehow feel yourself located in the neighborhood of
"Mahomet's coffin," and have a sort of a "don't-care-a-continental"
atmosphere surrounding you, with nothing to arrest attention save the
usual incidents of ocean voyage, with no land in sight. The
constitutional promenade on deck before and after meals, with the French
etiquette of raising your hat or cap as you pass; reading or lounging on
sofas or reclining chairs; relating individual experiences of life or
travel; criticising the conduct of others than yourselves; the welcome
sound of the bell that calls you to meals; the last view of the sun as
it bids you "good-bye," with its ineffectual rays, and gently sinks
beneath the horizon; the rising of the moon, shedding its sheen of
sparkling light on the dancing waves; retirement to your couch to listen
awhile to the heavy breathing, and feel the pulse-beat of the iron
monitor as it speeds you onward; finally to sleep, to dream of loved
ones at home.

The suavity of the French is in notable contrast with the more taciturn
deportment of the English; amiable contact has much to do with softening
the asperities of life.

We are now crossing the heretofore much-dreaded equator--weather
splendid, light, cloth suit not uncomfortable, but we are at sea and not
on land. The forward deck is today given up to the sports of the
sailors (the custom when crossing the line), and is now the center of
attraction--running "obstacle races," the two competitors getting under,
and from under a canvas-sheet held to the deck by a number of their
fellows, and then running for the goal, picking up potatoes as they ran.
Afterwards, with bucket of paste and paintbrush, lathering head and
face, shaving with a large wooden razor the unlucky competitor--were a
part of the amusements they imposed on "Old Father Time."

Arrived at Diego Suarez, on the northern port of Madagascar, a French
naval station, having a land-locked harbor, providing good shelter and
anchorage. The town is located on a plateau overlooking the bay. Many
officers disembarked and a large amount of freight discharged. The
resident population consisted of a medley from all eastern nations.
Anchored a mile off and in small boats, and after 20 minutes' rowing we
were landed. A dozen stores, barracks and the hospital on the opposite
side of the bay were the only objects of interest. The large amount of
freight discharged indicated it to be a prominent distributing point for
the interior. Leaving Diego and running down the eastern coast with land
in view, mountainous and apparently sterile, we reach Tamatave and
anchor in the bay.

The ship was soon boarded by a messenger from Mr. Wetter, the outgoing
American Consul at Madagascar, and I was piloted ashore. The view of
Tamatave from the ship was not prepossessing, and my walk through the
city to the hotel was not inspiring. The attempt to dignify the six or
eight feet wide alleys (which were the main arteries for travel) as
avenues or streets, seemed ludicrous, and the filthy condition, the
absence of all sanitary regulations in a province pretending a civilized
administration, was to me a revelation. The natural sequence of such
neglect was the visitation of the "Bubonic plague" a few months after my
arrival and an immense death-rate. The alarm proved a conservator for
the living, for the burning of the effected districts, widening the
streets and enforcement of sanitary rules have tended to lessen its
virulence, although it has been yearly in its visitations; for while
foul surroundings are recognized as hot-beds for the propagation of the
germs of this pest, recent experience has demonstrated that while
cleanliness and rigid sanitary measures are less inviting, they are not
positive barriers to its approach and dire effect. The "terror"
originally supposed to be indigenous only to India, Egypt, and China,
and so domestic in its habits as to confine its ravages to few
precincts, now stalks forth as on a world mission--to Mauritius in
Indian Ocean, to Japan, Brazil, Australia, Honolulu, and last and not
least, interesting from an American point of view, are the stealthy
footsteps of the unwelcome guest in the city of San Francisco, Cal.
"While medical information relating to the plague is still less definite
and extensive than it should be," says an eminent physician, "it is now
well demonstrated that the disease depends upon a specific microbe."

It may be communicated from one person to another through expectoration,
oozings from the mouth of dying persons, or through the excretions of
the body. "The fears it inspires are well grounded, for the recoveries
in a case of severe epidemics are only ten per cent. Of 126 cases
reported from Manila from January 20 to March 30, 1900, 112 cases
resulted fatally." In India, where the plague has been the most severe,
the deaths from this cause have averaged 5,000 a week of recent years, a
considerable amount of study has been devoted to the various phases of
the plague, by physicians in Europe and the East especially, and a
number have given their lives to the cause of medical science in
attempts to find some method of successfully combating it. It is
needless to say that no specific has as yet been discovered in its
treatment, and ordinary curative measures have but little effect on its

In Chinatown, San Francisco, where it made its appearance, a rigid
"cordon sanitaire" was established, and all outer intercourse
prohibited. It is not believed that conditions are inviting in North
America, although "the wish may be father to the thought."

The following brief expression relative to Madagascar and comment on
Negro status in the following letter to the "Colored American,"
published in Washington City, may be in place:

                    Tamatave, Madagascar, Aug. 5, 1900.

     Dear Friend Cooper: I have your favor June 14th last, in which
     you say you would like to have a line from me, that you "may
     let the friends over here know what you are doing." Well, here
     it is, line upon line, if not precept, etc. I am "still doing
     business at the same old stand," and doubt if I have anything
     to say regarding this "far-away post" that would particularly
     interest your readers, engrossed as I perceive they are in
     domestic phases and in the alignment of our recent

     Regarding the physical development or moral progress of
     Madagascar, as you know it is now a French province, with a
     Governor General and staff, all appointees from France. The
     Government is doing considerable to open up the country by
     means of telegraphs, railroads, turnpikes and canals. At Paris
     they recently voted sixty millions francs (12 million dollars)
     for a railroad from here to Tananarivo, the capital, 200 miles
     from here, over a mountainous and broken country. The capital
     is situated on a plateau 5,000 feet above sea level, with a
     climate cool and bracing. Here at Tamatave a fireplace or
     heating stove in a house are unknown appendages. The Hovas for
     a long period were the rulers previous to the conquest and
     occupation by the French, who by diplomacy--"force and iron
     will"--the means usually adopted by the strong when a coveted
     prize looms in the distance, added an immense territory to
     their colonial possessions. But perhaps in the interest of
     civilization the change is not to be deplored. The Hovas were a
     superior class of Madagascan people the rulers being men of
     education and ability, but not equal in quality or quantity to
     cope with the energy, wealth and military prowess of a power
     like France.

     The mental and physical conditions of the great bulk of the
     natives were not, and are not, inviting; they were held by a
     mild system of slavery, a system that in substance still exists
     under French rule as to forced labor on public works. The
     severity of tasks and bad rum are said by a friendly society at
     Paris in its protest "to be fast decimating their number." The
     French Government, however, are establishing an extension of
     schools for the natives, where industrial training will be the
     marked feature, and which on yesterday, the occasion being an
     official visit the Governor was pleased to pay me, I took pains
     to extol; as you know industrial training is my pet. The
     General wisely remarking, "we wish first to place the present
     generation in a position to earn more money, so they will be
     able to give their offspring a higher education if they wish."
     The English, Norwegians from America, the Friends and other
     missions, are doing something for their educational and moral
     progress, but the appliances are meager compared with the
     herculean task that awaits them.

     There is, however, this difference in the problem here. There
     are colored men occupying places of prominence as officials, as
     tellers in banks, clerks in counting-houses and merchant
     stores. Here it is condition, and not color, wealth and
     position, the "open sesame." On social occasions the brother in
     black is in evidence, without special notice of the fact, and,
     strangest of it all, on the following day the sun and other
     heavenly bodies seem to stand or revolve in their accustomed
     orbits. My health has been good, although the bubonic pest,
     periodical in its visitations, has been alarming in the
     suddenness of its destruction of life. In the spring it is
     again expected to alight without "healing in its wings." But I
     will not longer dwell on Madagascan peculiarities, many of
     which, as elsewhere, are not chastening. What I am interested
     in, and want to know about is, how you are getting on with the
     "old grudge?" If I judge correctly from the journals that reach
     me, that during my near three years' absence, its status,
     unlike renowned grape-juice, has neither dissipated or improved
     by lapse of time, and that lynching and disfranchisement still
     have the right of way.

     The expansion of our sovereignty is fraught with complications,
     and onerous duties from the statesman, the zeal of the
     humanitarian, and of reformers and friends of equitable
     government, unflinching determination are required, that
     kindness and justice shall be ceded to the people thereof. But
     is the prospect for the dissemination or ascendancy of these
     virtues either bright or promising? If the exercise and
     enjoyments of these attributes are not granted to millions of
     the American household, is it reasonable to expect they will
     dominate abroad? There is reason for apprehension that our
     cousins in the East will find little change of despotic
     tendencies amid the rank and file of American adventurers. The
     philosophy of our system of government seems out of balance.
     Cicero wrote "that excessive liberty leads both nations and
     individuals into excessive slavery."

     But amid the lights and shadows that environ the Negro, he is
     neither undeserving of the assistance rendered, and
     indispensable for educational development, which has been
     generous, and for which he is grateful, although handicapped by
     a prejudice confronting on so many avenues of industry, and
     forbidding his entry. Not undeserving for patient and
     non-anarchist in the realms of labor, his right to possess and
     enjoying equality of citizenship is written with blood and
     bravery on the battlefield of every war of the Republic where
     he "fell forward as fits a man." Munificent contributions of
     Christians and philanthropists, for missionary work abroad, are
     greatly in evidence, given with a self-complacency of duty
     done; but, however, fail to vivify the declining pulse-beat for
     equality before the law and justice at home. Manifestly there
     is an absence of that arraignment and condemnation of wrong
     done the weak, that contributed so largely to abolish the "corn
     laws of England" and slavery in the United States. History is
     the record that it is the men of moral courage and heroism who
     by pen and voice, that sociality and gain cannot intimidate and
     combat evil in their very midst that "leave footprints in the
     sands of time."

     I must close this letter, already too long. Don't regard me as
     a pessimist. I know that Bacon wrote that "men of age object
     too much," but the fact is, Cooper, it has been so long since I
     heard a Fourth of July hallelujah chorus that I am getting out
     of tune.

     McKinley has been again nominated, I see, and doubtless will be
     elected, with a Congress in harmony, thus giving the party
     another lease of power, which, God grant, let us hope, may
     redound to the welfare of all the people. Say to my many
     friends that they are, "though lost to sight to memory dear."
     Truly your friend,

                    M. W. GIBBS.


The Island of Madagascar was discovered in 1506 by Lawrence Almeyda, a
Portuguese; but the Persians and Arabs are said to have known it from
time immemorial. The island is divided into 28 provinces and is said to
contain two hundred millions acres of excellent land, watered on all
sides by streams and large rivers. Its two highest mountains are
Vigagora in the north and Batistmene in the south, said to contain in
their bowels abundance of fossils and valuable minerals. This island,
situated near the eastern coast of Africa, with 300 miles of the
Mozambique Channel intervening, is 1,000 miles in length and varying
from 200 to 400 miles in width, and is supposed to have been in remote
ages a portion of the continent of Africa and that the progenitors of
its people were to that "manor born;" others that the channel was
crossed in canoes and Madagascar populated.

Rev. W. E. Cousins, an English missionary, in a late edition of
"Madagascar of Today," says that "its people are not on the whole an
African people, and much of its flora and fauna indicate a very long
separation from the neighboring continent. Particularly notable is the
fact that Madagascar has no lions, deer, elephants or antelopes, which
are abundant in Africa; the people generally are not Africans, but
belong to the same family as Malays and Malayo Polynesians." How the
Malayon came to be the predominant language has exercised the thoughts
of many, Africa being not more than 300 miles from the west coast of
Madagascar, whereas the nearest point, Malayon Peninsula, is 3,000 miles
away. That the distinct type of African presents itself in large numbers
of native population is beyond question.

For much of the following as to the religion, morals and customs of the
Madagascar people, I am indebted to Rev. Cousins, the missionary above
referred to, and a work entitled "Madagascar, or Drury's Journal,"
edited by Pasfield Oliver and published in 1729. Robert Drury was an
English lad that ran away from home, was shipwrecked, and held in
captivity by the natives for 15 years, and redeemed by Captain Mackett,
commanding the "Prince of Wales" in the East India Company's service.
Also to the "Island of Madagascar," by Abbe Alexis Rochon, a learned
Frenchman, who visited the island in 1767 and made an extensive report.

Mr. Oliver mentions that there are authors who say that the religion of
these people is Mahometanism, but he is at a loss to know from what
they drew their conclusions, since their sacrifices and their antipathy
to revelation; and, besides, at the only place where a Moorish ship
(Mahometan) came, swines' flesh is eaten. These obviously show that
there can be nothing in more direct opposition to it. There is no one
circumstance like it, except circumcision, and that is well known to
those learned in ancient history to have been common to some Eastern
nations, even before the Jews had it, and where there is no reason to
think the name of the Jews was ever heard, and we have more reason to
think that the Jews derived a great deal from them instead of they from
the Jews; that their religion is more ancient is evident for several
obvious reasons.

First, by their regarding dreams and divining by them, which so early as
the Mosaic law the Children of Israel were warned against.

Secondly, these people shave their hair all off in mourning for the
dead. This Moses expressly commands the Israelites not to do, and the
Jews do superstitiously observe this last and suffer their hair to grow
in their mourning.

Thirdly, Moses commanded none but males to be sacrificed. On the
contrary, these sacrifice cows for the most part. They have no burnt
offerings but near their sepulchers, which with gum, burnt likewise, may
only arise from a defense of cadaverous scents.


Joined Church at an Early Age--Advanced Until he Was Elected Bishop of
the A. M. E. Church--An Able Pulpit Orator, and Among the Bishops He is
Known as the Politician of his Church--Having a Competency, He is
Devoting His Closing Years to Benevolence and the Promotion of His

Fourthly, but the most remarkable instance of all is, that the "owley,"
which these Madagascar people divine by and procure most extraordinary
dreams, is evidently the Ephod and Teraphin which the Levites used who
lived in Micah's house (see Judges 17) and which the Israelites could
never be wholly brought off from, though contrary to their law. Some
have taken these Teraphin for images like a man, and there seems a show
of reason in it from Micah, Saul's daughter putting one in David's bed
to deceive her father's messenger, while he escaped. This, it is
possible, alludes to some divination by the Teraphin which she used in
his behalf, for Teraphin is the plural number; therefore, could not
signify only one image; neither could the gods which Rachel stole from
her father, Labon, be one god as big as a man, for she sat on them and
hid them. The word is here in the original "Teraphin," although
translated gods. Then, in Hosea, chapter 3, verse 4, "an image, an Ephod
and Teraphin," are all mentioned in one verse, plainly showing that they
are distinct things. It is further to be remarked that by this Teraphin
they invoked the dead, which is exactly the same as these people do by
the "Owley" always invoking the spirits of their forefathers, which is
expressly forbidden to Israelites, and often sharply inveighed against
by the prophets.

That these people had not their religion from any polite or learned
nation is by their retaining no notion or meaning of letters, nor their
having a horse among them, either for carriage or other use, which could
never have been forgotten had they ever had it.

Mr. Oliver positively asserts that these Madagascar people came from
Africa, and is certain on account of their color, while other writers
think most of them to be descendants of Malays.

Captain Mackett, previously mentioned as the redeemer of Robert Drury
from his 15 years' captivity, states that Devon (King) Toak, often told
him they had a tradition of their coming to the island many years ago in
large canoes; "but," says Captain Oliver, "let them come from where they
will, it is evident that their religion is the most ancient in the known
world and not much removed from natural religion, and whether the
Egyptians and Canaanites had their religion from them, or that they are
Egyptians originally, it had its rise long before the Children of Israel
were in bondage, for Egypt was then a very polite country, and although
idolators, they were not any more so than their neighbors before
Abraham's time.

"The respect due from children to parents is taught them early by those
parents and grows with them, besides the gratitude naturally arising to
those who have fed and protected them when they were helpless infants.
So it is no wonder to find a law there against cursing parents. The
notion of the Being of one Supreme Author of nature arises from natural
reflection on the visible harmony and uniformity of the universe and
seeing that men and things did not produce themselves. The reverence due
to this stupendous Being is only of a pious and rightly amazement, dread
and respect. The testimony was everywhere uniform that where Europeans
or Mahometans had not corrupted them they were innocent, moral and

"Physically the island has lost none of its picturesque character, so
vividly portrayed by Abbe Rochon more than a century ago, who wrote 'The
Traveler,' who in pursuit of knowledge traverses for the first time wild
and mountainous countries, intersected by ridges and valleys, where
nature, abandoned to its own fertility, presents the most singular and
varied productions, cannot help being struck with terror and surprise on
viewing those awful precipices, the summits of which are covered with
trees as ancient perhaps as the world. His astonishment is increased
when he hears the noise of immense cascades which are so inaccessible
that it is impossible for him to approach them. But these scenes, truly
picturesque, are always succeeded by rural views, delightful hills and
plains, where vegetation is never interrupted by the severity and
vicissitudes of the seasons. The eye with pleasure beholds those
extensive savannas which afford nourishment to numerous herds of cattle
and flocks of sheep. Fields of rice and potatoes present also a new and
highly interesting spectacle. One sees agriculture flourishing, while
nature alone defrays almost all the expense. The fortunate inhabitants
of Madagascar need not moisten the earth with their sweat; they turn it
up slightly with a pick-axe, and this labor alone is sufficient. They
make holes in the ground at a little distance from each other and throw
into them a few grains of rice, over which they spread the mold with
their feet. And what proves the great fertility of the soil is that a
field thus sown produces an hundred-fold. The forests contain a
prodigious variety of the most beautiful trees, such as palms of every
kind, ebony, wood for dyeing, bamboos of an enormous size, and orange
and lemon trees." The Abbe's picture is quite enchanting, for it seems
that "every prospect pleases."

A view of Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar, in the word-painting
of Cameron, a war correspondent of the London Standard, is interesting.
"Antananarivo was in sight and we could plainly see the glass windows of
the palace glistening in the morning sun, on the top of the long hill
upon which the city is built. It was Sunday, and the people were
clustering along the foot-paths on their way to church or sitting in the
grass outside waiting for the services to begin, as they do in villages
at home. The women, who appeared to be in the majority, wore white
cotton gowns, often neatly embroidered, and white or black and white
striped lambas, thrown gracefully over their shoulders. The men were
clad also in cotton, white cotton pantaloons, cotton lambas, and straw
hats, with large black silk band. In the morning sun the play of colors
over the landscape was lovely. The dark green hills, studded with the
brilliant red brick houses of the inhabitants, whose white garments
dotted the lanes and foot-paths, contrasted with the brighter emerald of
the rice fields in the hollows. The soil everywhere is deep red, almost
magenta, in color, and where the roads or pathways cross the hills they
shine out as if so many paint-brushes had streaked the country in broad
red stripes. Above all, the spires of the strange city, set on top of
its mountain with a deep blue sky for a background, added to the beauty
of the scene.

"It was difficult to imagine that this peaceful country, with its pretty
cottages, its innumerable chapels, whose bells were then calling its
people to worship, and its troops of white-robed men and women answering
the summons, was the barbarous Madagascar of twenty years ago."

Mention of the form of government had by the Madagascar people and which
is now being superseded by occupancy of the French and the introduction
of laws of a civilized nation, may not be out of place. As far back as
tradition will carry, there existed in Madagascar a kind of feudalism.
Villages were usually built on the hilltops, and each hilltop had its
own chieftain, and these petty feudal chiefs were constantly waging war
with each other. The people living on these feudal estates paid taxes
and rendered certain services to their feudal lords. Each chief enjoyed
a semi-independence, for no strong over-lord existed. Attempts were made
from time to time to unite these petty chieftains into one Kingdom, but
no one tribe succeeded in making itself supreme till the days of Radam
I, who succeeded in bringing the whole of Imerina under his government,
and to his son, Radama, he left the task of subduing the rest of the
island. By allying himself closely with England, Radama obtained
military instruction and carried war into distant provinces. He
ultimately succeeded in conquering many of the tribes and his reign
marked the beginning of a new era in Madagascar. Indeed, only from his
days could Madagascar in any sense be regarded as a political unit.

In one direction, however, the results of Radama's policy must be
regarded as retrogressive. Before his reign no chief or king was
powerful enough to impose his rule upon the people without their

Opposition to rule, without the consent of the governed, has been the
shibboleth with which liberty has rallied the votaries of constitutional
government in all its reforms. It was the magna charter extorted from
King John at Runnymead--the trumpet call echoing and re-echoing by hill
and through valley in our Declaration of Independence. Before Radama,
although rude and primitive in form, it was the basic principle
cherished by the people of Madagascar. The principal men of each
district had to be constantly consulted and Kabary, or public assemblies
like the Greek or the Swiss Communal assemblies, were called for the
discussion of all important affairs, and public opinion had a fair
opportunity of making itself effective.

"A single tree does not make a forest, but the thoughts of many
constitute a government," is handed down by tradition as one of the
farewell sayings of their early kings, and is often quoted by the
people. This was the spirit that existed in "ye olden time," but after
Radama I. formed a large army and a military caste was created there was
a strong tendency to repress and minimize the influence of civilians in
public affairs, and men holding military rank have wielded the chief

It was ever thus; for while the chiefs of victorious legions are
received with strains of "conquering hero," have roses for a pathway
canopied with waving flag and triumphant banner, there is not wanting a
latent, reserved concern for the legitimate use of the franchise granted
and whether vaulting ambition may not destroy the sacred inheritance
they were commissioned to preserve. Military rank in Madagascar was
strangely reckoned by numbers. The highest officers being called men of
"sixteen honors," the men of twelve honors would be equal in rank to a
field marshal, the men of nine honors to a colonel, and the man of three
honors to a sergeant, and so on, through the whole series.

When any important government business had to be made known the men from
12 honors upward were summoned to the palace. Above all these officers
stood the Prime Minister. His Excellency Ramiloiarivony. The supreme
head of the state was the Mpanjaka, or sovereign, and every proclamation
was issued in her name and was generally countersigned and confirmed as
a genuine royal message by the Prime Minister. For three reigns, namely,
from the accession of Rasaherina in 1863, Mpanjaka had been a woman and
the wife of the Prime Minister. A general impression exists in England
that this is an old Madagascar custom, but such is not the case. The
arrangement is of quite recent date. The last Prime Minister (not being
of royal blood) was content to be Mpanjaka, or ruler, and while all
public honor was shown to the Queen, and her authority fully
acknowledged, those behind the scenes would have us believe that the
Queen was supreme only in name.

As a matter of fact, the Prime Minister, and even his supposed wishes
and preferences, were the most potent forces in Madagascar. No one
seemed able to exercise any independent influence, and time after time
the men who showed any special ability or gained popularity have been
removed, swept away as it were, out of the path of the man who had
assumed and by his ability and astuteness maintained for thirty years
the highest position in the country. There was, no doubt, a large amount
of latent rebellion against this "one-man government," but those who
were the most ready to grumble in private were in public, perhaps, the
most servile of any. It is conceded that in many ways the Prime Minister
was an able ruler, and compared with those who went before him was
deserving of great praise.

He made many attempts to prevent the corruption of justice, and
strenuously endeavored to improve the administration, and for many years
had managed to hold in check the ambitious projects of French statesmen,
and had shown at many times his interest in the cause of education.

But his monopoly as a ruler, the idea of omnipotent control, refusal to
allow his subordinates to take their share of responsibility, like many
similar instances which history records, loosened the bond of patriotic
interest, love and integrity for country, and made easy the ingress of
the French in subduing and appropriating the Island of Madagascar.

It has been stated that no account of Madagascar government would be
complete that did not include a description of their system of
"fanompoana," or forced service, which answers very nearly to the old
feudal service, and to the system known in Egypt as "corvee." The
tax-gatherer is not the ubiquitous person in Madagascar he is generally
supposed to have been.

There were a few taxes paid by the people, such, for example, as a small
tax in kind on the rice crop, and occasionally a small poll-tax, and
money paid the sovereigns as a token of allegiance on many occasions.

Taxes of this kind were not burdensome. The one burden that galled and
irritated the people was the liability to be called upon at any moment
to render unrequited service to the government.

[Illustration: HON. JOHN E. BUSH,

Receiver of United States Lands at Little Rock, Arkansas.

Former Principal of Public Schools of Little Rock--Clerk in Railway Mail
Service--Grand Scribe of "Mosaic Templars of America"--An Able and
Leading Republican of Arkansas.]

Every man had something that was regarded as "fanompoana." The people of
one district might be required to make mats for the government, in
another pots, the article required. From one district certain men were
required to bring crayfish to the capital, charcoal from another, iron
from another, and so on through all the series of wants. The jeweler
must make such articles as the Queen would desire, the tailor use his
needle and the writer his pen, as the government might need. The system
had in it some show of rough-and-ready justice, and was based on the
idea that each must contribute to the needs of the state according to
his several abilities; but in the actual working it had a most injurious
influence on the wellbeing of the country. Each man tried to avoid the
demands made upon him, and the art "how not to do it" was cultivated to
a very high degree of perfection. Many of the head men made this
"fanompoana" system a means of enriching themselves, compelling the
subordinates to serve them as well as the government. History does but
repeat itself, as there are not wanting instances in our own country
where certain heads of department "fanomponed" subordinates for private

In many ways are recorded the product of the fertile brain of these head
men. For instance, the centurion, or head man of a certain district,
gave out a notice in the church yard, on Sunday morning, or at a
week-day market, that a hundred men would be required next morning to
carry charcoal for the government. As a matter of fact, he required only
twenty, but he knew that many would come to him to beg off, and as none
would come empty-handed, his profit on the transaction was considerable.
Another illustration was given Mr. Cousins by the British Consul. It was
customary to send up mails from the coast by government runners, but
English ideas being adverse to demanding unrequited service, the Consul
had always sent the usual wages for the runners to the Governor, who
pocketed the dollars and "fanomponed" the mail. But enough of this, as
it has a flavor of our "Star Route Mail" disclosures, which startled the
country some years ago, and conclude with a tribute to Tammany, as:

    We arise to remark, and our language is plain,
    That the Tweeds and the Crokers are of Malagash fame.


The introduction and perpetuation of the Christian religion in
Madagascar has been attended with vicissitudes, hopeful, discouraging,
and finally permanent. The Catholics were the first to attempt to gain a
footing on the southeast corner of the island. A French mission settled
and commenced to instruct the natives in the Roman Catholic faith, and
maintained a mission in spite of many discouragements for twenty years,
and then came to an end. Protestants who a century and a half later
carried the Gospel to Madagascar found it virgin soil. They found a
people without a written language or knowledge of the Christian faith.
Both in their literary and evangelical labors they had to revive a work
that was not dying out, but to start de novo, and the London Missionary
Society had to seek its own way to carry out its objects.

The men to whom it appears that the Madagascar people are indebted for
their written languages and the first translation of the Scriptures were
two Welshmen.

David Jones and David Griffiths--these two men were the pioneers of
Protestant missions in Madagascar--the first in 1820, the second a year
later. The main strength of these early missionaries was devoted to
educational work, in which they were vigorously supported by King Radama
I, and Mr. Hastie, the British agent. Besides this they began very early
to make a translation of the Scriptures, and in ten years after the
arrival of Mr. Jones in Antananarivo the first edition of 3,000 copies
of the New Testament was completed, in March, 1830. At this time much
progress had been made in the translation of the Old Testament. The
account of the completion of it is interesting. Soon after the death of
King Radama I, in 1828, the missionaries saw clear indications of the
uncertainty of their positions; ominous clouds began to gather until the
storm burst.

The edict of Queen Ranavalona I against the Christian Church was
published March 1, 1835. A portion of the Old Testament translation was
uncompleted. The missions were deserted by their converts, and they
could procure no workman to assist; so with trembling haste they
proceeded with their task, and at the end of June they had joy in seeing
the first bound copies of the completed Bible. Most of these were
secretly distributed, and seventy remaining copies were buried for
safety in the earth--precious seed over which God watched and which in
due season produced a glorious harvest. The translators were driven
away, but the book remained. Studied in secret, and at the risk of life,
it served during more than a quarter of a century of persecution to keep
alive faith in the newly received religion; for, during all this time,
to use the familiar native phrase, "the land was dark." At its
commencement Queen Ranavalona (the Queen Mary of Madagascar), with all
the force of her strong will, set herself to destroy the new religion.
"It was cloth," she said, "of a pattern she did not like, and she was
determined none of her people should use it."

The victims of her fury form a noble army of martyrs, of whom Madagascar
is justly proud. The causes that led to the persecution are not far to
seek. On the one hand, they were intensely conservative, clinging to
ancestral customs; and on the other hand, a suspicious and jealous fear
of foreign influence. The zealous work of the missionaries was believed
by many of the Queen's advisers to be only a cloak to conceal political
designs. The teachings of the foreigners were proving so attractive that
their chapels were crowded, and the influence of this new religion was
making itself felt in many families. Whither would all this lead? Was it
to pave the way to annex the island to the English Government? The word
"society" to a native ignorant of English would suggest a phrase of
their own which sounds alike, viz: "sosoy-oty"--"push the canoe over
this way." This to the ingenuous or suspicious mind of the hearers
suggested the idea of pushing over the Government of Madagascar to those
across the ocean who were supposed to be greedily seeking to seize it.
This is seemingly absurd, but not too ridiculous to obtain credence with
a people excited and suspicious.

The former King Radama showed his shrewdness in giving permission to the
missionaries to reside in his country, for he expressly stipulated that
some of them should be skilled artisans, so that his people might be
instructed in weaving, smith-work, carpentry, etc. To this the society
wisely assented, and a number of Christian artisans were sent out. The
influence of these were of immense value, and to them is to be
attributed much of the skill of the Madagascar workman of today.

There is no doubt that the manifest utility of their work did much to
win for the mission a measure of tolerance from the heathen rulers of
the country. One of the missionaries with great mechanical skill, in his
"Recollections," states that Queen Ranavalona in 1830 was beginning to
feel uneasy about the growing influence of foreign ideas and wished to
get rid of the missionaries. She sent officers to carry her message, and
the missionaries were gathered together to meet the messengers, and were
told that they had been a long time in the country and had taught much,
and that it was time for them to think of returning to their native
land. The missionaries, alarmed at this message, answered that they had
only begun to teach some of the elements of knowledge, and that very
many more remained to be imported, mentioning sundry branches of
education, among which were Greek and Hebrew languages, which had
already been taught to some. The messengers returned to the Queen, and
soon came back with the answer: "The Queen does not care much for Greek
and Hebrew. Can you teach how to make soap?" (And if cleanliness is akin
to godliness she was evidently groping in the right direction.) This was
an awkward question to address theologians; almost as much so as "Do you
know enough to come in out of the rain?" to some college graduates; but
after a moment's pause Mr. Griffith turned to Mr. Cameron and asked him
if he could answer it. "Give me a week," and it was given, and when the
messengers again met at the close of the week a bar of tolerable good
white soap, made from materials found in the country, was presented.
This was entirely satisfactory, and the manufacture of soap was
forthwith introduced, and is still continued to the present day. This
bar of soap gained the missionaries a respite of five years, the Queen
tolerating their presence on account of material advantage derived from
the work of the artisans. In believing that industrial training, the
knowledge to make things in demand, was the first necessary step for
the elevation of her people, the Queen was eminently correct.

During the fifteen years (from 1820 to 1835) the mission was allowed to
exist it was estimated that 10,000 to 15,000 children passed through
school, so that when the missionaries were compelled to leave the island
there were thousands who had learned to read, and thereby raised far
above the mass of their heathen fellow-countrymen.

Dark Days--January, 1835, a formal complaint was presented to the
missionaries by one of the Queen's officers against the Christian
religion under six different heads. Excitement increased and opposition
to the new teaching grew bolder. The Queen, in passing a native chapel
and hearing singing, was heard to say: "They will not stop till some of
them lose their heads."

On the first of March, 1835, the edict publicly prohibiting the
Christian religion was delivered in the presence of thousands of people
who had been summoned to hear it. The place of meeting was a large open
space lying to the west of the long hill on which the city of
Antananarivo is built, and large enough to contain two or more thousand
people. In the middle of the plain crops up a large mass of granite
rock, on which only royal persons were allowed to stand; hence probably
the name "Imohamosine," which means "having power to make sacred." There
from time to time large public assemblies have been held, but never one
of greater significance or of more far-reaching issues than that. Of
this great "kabary," or meeting, notices had been sent far and wide. All
possible measures had been taken to inspire the people with awe and to
make them feel that a proclamation of unusual importance was about to be
published. Queen Ranavalona seemed anxious to make her people feel that
her anger was burning with an unwonted fury. It is stated that morning
had scarcely dawned when the report of the cannon intended to strike
terror and awe into the hearts of the people ushered in the day on which
the will and power of the sovereign of Madagascar to punish the
defenseless followers of Christ was to be declared. Fifteen thousand
troops were drawn up, part of them on the plain and the rest in two
lines a mile in length along the road leading to the place. The booming
of artillery from the high ground overlooking the plain and the reports
of musketry of the troops, which was continued during the preparatory
arrangements, produced among the multitude the most intense and anxious
feelings. At length the Chief Justice, attended by his companions in
office, advanced and delivered the message of the Sovereign, which was
enforced by Ramiharo, the chief officer of the Government. After
expressing the Queen's confidence in the idols, and her determination to
treat as criminals all who refused to do them homage, the message

"As to baptism, societies, places of worship, and the observance of the
Sabbath--how many rulers are there in the land? Is it not I, alone, that
rule? These things are not to be done. They are unlawful in my country,"
said the Queen, "for they are not the customs of our ancestors."

As a result of this "kabary" 400 officers were reduced in rank and fines
were paid for 2,000 others, and thus was ushered in a persecution which
lasted a quarter of a century.

The Rev. William Ellis, on English missionaries, in his book entitled
"Madagascar Revisited," states that the first martyr for Christ who
suffered there in 1836 was "Rosolama." She was a Christian woman,
between twenty and thirty years of age, bearing no common name, for
Rosolama signifies peace and happiness. She was imprisoned at
Ambotonakonga, the site of the first house built exclusively for
Christian worship in the country. A memorial church has been erected on
the spot. When brought to the place she knelt down and asked a few
minutes to pray. This was granted, and then her body fell, pierced with
the spears of her executioners.

[Illustration: REV. J. P. ROBINSON,

Pastor of First Baptist Church, Little Rock, Arkansas.

Eminent as a Successful Preacher, with Much Originality of Thought and
Strength of Convictions.]

The second martyr, Rayfarolahy, a young man, suffered on the same place
some time after. At the request of Rosolama when she was taken forth to
death he had walked by her side to the place of execution and offered
words of encouragement to her to the last. When brought to the place
himself the executioners seized him and were about, as was their custom,
to forcibly throw him down, he said to them calmly, "There is no need to
do that; I will not cause any trouble." He also asked to be allowed to
pray, and then gently laid himself down and received the executioners'
spears. The measures taken to destroy Christianity were not at all times
equally severe. The years that stand out with special prominence are
1835, 1837, 1840, 1849 and 1857. Of what took place in 1840 was depicted
at the time in a letter written by Rev. D. Griffiths, who was then
residing at Antananarivo. The nine condemned Christians were taken past
Mr. Griffiths' house. "Ramonisa," he says, "looked at me and smiled;
others also looked at me, and their faces shone like those of angels in
the posture of prayer and wrestling with God. They were too weak to
walk, having been without rice or water for a long time. The people on
the wall and in the yard before our house were cleared off by the swords
and spears of those leading them to execution. That we might have a
clear, full and last sight of them, they were presented opposite the
balcony on the road and at the entrance of the yard for about ten
minutes, carried on poles by the executioners, with merely a hand
breadth of cloth to cover them, they were then led away to execution.
The cannon fired to announce their death was shattered to pieces, and
the gunners' clothes burnt, which was considered ominous, many
whispering 'Thus will the kingdom of Ranavalona Manjaka be shattered to

In 1849 what may be called the great persecution took place; not less
than 1,900 persons suffered persecution of various kinds--fines,
imprisonment, chains, or forced labor in the quarries. Of this number 18
suffered death, four, of noble birth, by being burned, and 14 by being
thrown over the great precipice of Ampomarinona. It is not easy to
estimate exactly the number of those who suffered the punishment of
death in these successive outbursts of persecution. It is most probable
the victims were between seventy or eighty. But these form only a small
portion of the total number of sufferers. Probably hundreds of others
died from their heavy irons, chains, or from fevers, severe forced
labor, or privations during the time they were compelled to hide in
caves or in the depths of the forests.

Notwithstanding the severe persecution much quiet Christian work was
carried on in the lulls between storms--sometimes on hilltops, sometimes
in caves, or even in unfinished tombs. Thus the story of the Covenanters
was repeated, and the impossibility of destroying the Christian faith by
persecution again shown. Through these long years of persecution the
Christians were constantly receiving accessions to their ranks, and the
more they were opposed "the more they multiplied and grew."

[Illustration: CHRISTIAN MARTYR,

In Madagascar in chains--Receiving consolation.]

The year 1861 will ever be a period from which date results momentous in
behalf of civil and religious liberty for the Negro. It was the
beginning of the end of Negro slavery in the United States and the
permanent establishment of religious freedom in Madagascar. Queen
Ranavalona had a long reign of thirty-three years, but in that year it
became evident she could not reign much longer. Natives give details of
her last days. The aged Queen had for some time been suffering in
health; diviners had been urgently consulted, charms and potent herbs
had been employed, with no avail. Late in the summer of 1861 it became
generally known that the fatal moment could not long be delayed.
Mysterious fires were said to be seen on the tops of mountains
surrounding the capital, and a sound like music was rising from Iatry to
Andohalo. The Queen eagerly questioned those around her as to the
meaning of these portents. But while the dying Queen was anxiously
praying to the idol in which she placed her trust, there were those who
whispered to the prince that the fire was the sign of jubilee to bring
together the dispersed, and to redeem the lost, and so the event

The aged Queen passed away during the night of August 15, 1861, and
early on the morning of August 16 the news spread rapidly through the
capital, and her son was proclaimed as Radama II. One of the first acts
of the new sovereign was to proclaim religious liberty. The chains were
struck off from the persecuted Christians and the banished were
recalled. Many came back who had long been in banishment or in hiding,
and their return seemed to friends who had supposed them to be dead like
a veritable resurrection.

The joy of the Christian was intense. The long season of repression had
at last come to an end. Now it was no longer a crime to meet for
Christian worship, or to possess Christian books. On that first Friday
evening some of the older Christians met and spent the night in prayer,
and Sunday services were begun in eleven private houses; but these were
soon consolidated into three large congregations. Radama II eagerly
welcomed intercourse with foreigners and gave Christians permission to
write at once, urging that missionaries be sent out, himself writing to
the London Missionary Society making the same request. The society
responded promptly with a large band of men and women missionaries,
twenty or thirty thousand copies of the Bible, New Testament and tracts.

The result of three-quarters of a century of Christian work in
Madagascar has been that the Christian religion has taken firm hold on
the people. Manifest and noticeable are the number and prominence of
church buildings in and around the capital. There are four stone
memorial churches, built by the friends of the London Missionary Society
to remind coming generations of the fidelity of the martyrs, and a very
fine and well situated Roman Catholic cathedral in Ambodin Andaholo.
Prominent as Christian agencies in Madagascar are "The Society for the
Propagation of the Gospel," who sent out Bishop Kestel Cornish and James
Coles; "The Norwegian Missionary Society," "The Roman Catholic
Missionary Society," and "The Society of Friends in England."

To summarize, approximately there are now 110 foreign missionaries on
the island; over 2,000 congregations, with a total of 400,000 adherents,
which include 100,000 church members; while the Protestant schools
contain 150,000 children. No statement of the Christianizing agencies
and influences would be just or correct that did not include that of the
Roman Catholic Church. "No one," it has been truly said, "can be long in
Madagascar without learning to admire the self-denial, patience and
heroic fortitude with which its work is carried on." It has been thus
fittingly described, a few years ago, by an English visitor: "In 1861,
when Catholic missionaries landed on the shores of Tamatave there was
not a Catholic on the island; but little by little, by dint of
unwearied labor, suffering and preaching, they won over not hundreds but
thousands of pagans to the love and knowledge of our Lord and His truth,
so that their pagan converts number over 130,000. They have built a
magnificent cathedral, which is the glory and pride of Antananarivo.
They have also 300 churches and 400 or more Catholic stations scattered
over the island, where 18,000 children are taught and trained by a large
and elevated staff of Christian brothers and sisters of St. Joseph, and
641 native teachers. They have also created industrial schools, where
various trades are taught by two devoted brothers, Benjamin and Arnoad,
and at Ambohipo they have a flourishing college for young Malagash. They
have also on the island four large dispensaries, where thousands of
prescriptions are distributed gratis to all who seek to relieve their
sufferings. They have also established a leper hospital at Ambohivoraka,
where the temporal and spiritual wants of 150 poor lepers are freely
administered to, and have already opened another such establishment, in
Betsilio land. Prison visitation, dispensing rice, clothing, and
spiritual instruction to half-starved and naked prisoners under the
Madagascar rule; their catalogue of books devotional, literary and
scientific; a dictionary, all of which have been edited and published in
the Madagascan language, are among the golden contributions for
civilization by the Catholics in this far-off island continent in the
Indian seas."

In referring to their labors, and to which, comparatively, I have made
but brief reference, Mr. Cousins says: "To much in the Roman Catholic
system we may be strenuously opposed; but to their zeal, their skill,
their patience, their self-denial, we render the homage of an ungrudging

The foregoing were the labors and results of missionary effort up to the
date of the French taking absolute possession of the island. It is to be
hoped there will be no retrograde movement lessening the efficiency of
these civilizing agencies. Although it is alleged that French control
and influence in Tahiti and other South Sea islands have been averse to
both morality and evangelical Christianity, and hence there are not
wanting those who predict incumbrances in missionary work, now French
authority is established. But in this age of progress along all the
lines of human endeavor the French Government will undoubtedly see the
justice and utility of governing with a regard to the advancement of
these wards that the prowess of its arms have committed to its care. It
is not unreasonable to expect, and the promise should be flattering,
that with the European ideas of the proper functions of government, the
incipient steps for the mental culture of the natives, present evidence
of large expenditure and introduction of the most modern applications
for the physical development of the island, the Madagascan people will
attain in the future a higher degree of human advancement from contact
with the civilization of the French than it was possible they could have
under "Hova rule." And in this connection it is gratifying to note that
"The Native Race Protection Committee," headed by Mr. Paul Viollet, of
the Paris Institute, in June, 1899, addressed an appeal to the Colonial
Minister in behalf of the Malagash, entreating him to shorten the forced
labor, to reduce the taxes, and to annul decrees, which greatly
re-established slavery.

The appeal dwelt on the fearful mortality occasioned by forced labor on
the roads, which threatened to reduce the most robust population of the
highlands as to de-bar colonists from commercial and agricultural
enterprises, and very pertinently asks "Is it not better to be without
roads than without a healthy population?" The appeal also denounced
arbitrary acts. "The native," it is said, "is arrested and imprisoned
for months without a trial, and this with all the less forbearance, as
the prisoner is always utilized as an economic laborer." The justice of
this appeal and prompt reception and accord with the French conscience
was evidenced in the public announcement to the natives by Gen.
Gallieni, the Governor of Madagascar, a few months later, that forced
labor would be discontinued after January 1, 1900, and thereafter they
could work for whom they pleased, and if for government they would be
paid wages agreed to.

It is needless to say that this proclamation was received by the natives
with tumultuous rejoicing. Forced labor is now abolished, and the
natives rejoice in a jubilee from a servitude the most galling.


The adaptability of the Negro to conditions that are at the time
inevitable has been the paladium that has sustained and multiplied him
amid the determined prejudice that has ever assailed him. The Indian,
unassimilating, combatted the prejudice of caste by physical force, and
has been well nigh extinguished, while the Negro has bowed to the
inevitable with the mental reservation to rise to a higher recognition
by a persistent assimilation of the forces that disenthralled and
exalted the Saxon.

The foregoing chapter, indicating the policy of the French in their
occupation and dealing with Madagascar, the planting of a nation's
authority and establishing a colony on the ruins of a weaker power, or
of subject races, under the plea of humanity, or through the chicanery
of diplomacy, has ever been the rule when territory has been desired by
a stronger power. The proximity of Cuba to the States, and Spanish
misrule of that island, and also of the Philippines, were the "open
sesame," it is alleged, that beckoned the armed force of the United
States to take possession. But in truth the Spanish jewel, Cuba, shone
in the distance, "so near, and yet so far"--so near for mischievous
complication, and so far for material and diplomatic control. With a
vicious administration by a nation of decaying prestige were all
elements promising success to the invader. The covert and dastardly
destruction of the U. S. warship "Maine" in Cuban waters, the offspring
of Spanish suspicion of American designs, was all, and more than
required, to inaugurate a "causi belli" and complete the conquest of the
island. To claim that these movements had their incipiency in a
consensus of desire of the American people for justice to subject races,
and was solely, or even mainly, on account of Spanish tyranny, is a
statement that will not bear investigation for moral consistency. It
being the very antipodes of their current behavior to a large class of
citizens born beneath the pinions of their eagle of freedom at home.

For how does it happen that the alien Cuban and Filipino colored
brothers are so much more entitled to protection and the enjoyment of
civil and political rights than the colored American brother, that
thousands of lives and millions of treasure must be expended to
establish that humanity and justice abroad denied by these "world
reformers" to millions of their citizens at home? Really, it would seem
that to duty and the bestowal of justice 'tis "distance that lends
enchantment to the view." "Wherever you see a head, hit it," was the
slogan of Pat, at Donnybrook Fair, and wherever there has been a
territorial plum ripe in its loneliness, and tempting in its
lusciousness, there has not been wanting a "grabber." It was the French
in Madagascar, the English in Africa, and the Americans in the Antilles.
"O! civilization; what crimes are committed in thy name!" The record of
our stewardship is in the tomb of the future for the coming historian to
"point a moral or adorn a tale."

The acquisition of new territory, when honorably acquired, is ever
attended with peculiar conditions and vicissitudes. The transformation
of the population of which into a desirable element of the body politic
depends much upon the wisdom of the statesman, and the insistence of
moral rectitude on the part of the Christian and philanthropist whether
it shall be a blessing or an evil to both parties in interest.

It is no secret that in many minds the motive and manner of acquiring
the Philippines are open to much disparaging comment. We are charged
with wresting by superior force that independence that a weak but heroic
people were and had been for ten years struggling to attain from the
Spanish yoke; that we, whom they hailed as an assistant and in good
faith co-operated with in turn, became their hostile enemies and
destroyed that identity as an independent entity for which they fought.

[Illustration: CHESTER W. KEATTS,

Grand Master "Mosaic Templars of America."

Born In Pulaski County, Arkansas, in 1860--For Many Years Prominent in
the Mail Service of that State--Broad in His Sympathies, and Strong as
an Advocate for the Beneficent Principles of the Institution of which He
is the Head.]

The conditions which confronted Aguinaldo as the leader of the
Philippine revolution have been vividly described by a writer of English
history: "With the statesman in revolutionary times, it is not through
decisive moments that seemed only trivial, and by important turns that
seemed indifferent; for he explores dark and untried paths; groping his
way through a jungle of vicissitudes, ambush and strategem; expedient, a
match for fortune in all her moods. Regardless of what has been called
'history's severe and scathing touch,' we cannot forget the torrid air
of revolutionary times, the blinding sand storms of faction, the
suspicions, jealousies and hatreds, the distinctions of mood and aim,
the fierce play of passions that put an hourly strain of untold
intensity on the constancy, the prudence, and the valor of a leader."

No one can read the state papers and proclamations of Aguinaldo without
being impressed with his ability as a leader, the intensity of his
patriotism and honesty of purpose depicted for the independence of his
country from Spanish rule. The statesmanship he displayed, the
intelligent and liberal conception of constitutional government, and the
needs and aspirations of his people, are at variance with the allegation
that the Filipinos were unfit for self-government.

Hence it is that men ask, "Would it not have been national nobility of a
high order if as a protector we should have given them a protectorate
instead of the ignoble action of shooting them down in their patriotic
attempt?" Indeed, it remains to be seen whether absolute authority
obtained by such means, together with current American usage of colored
races, will not evolve the fact that they have but changed masters. For
here in our own hemisphere our country's history continues to be rife
with lawlessness at the bidding of a vicious sentiment, and in some
sections it is the rule and not the exception. Free from the restraint
of law-abiding localities in the States, the American adventurer of
lawless propensity will have free reign in bullying and oppressing, and
probable partiality in the administration of the law.

George E. Horr, the able editor of the "Watchman," under "Treatment to
Subject Races," is pointed and timely when he says: "The Englishman who
emigrates to an English colony finds that he comes under the same laws
that apply to the natives; he is not a privileged personage, by virtue
of the fact that he is an Englishman. Law is enacted and executed with
absolute impartiality. In India a native and an Englishman stand exactly
on the same plane before the law. Indeed, in many cases, an Englishman
will be tried by an Indian judge. The British have not succeeded in
winning the affections of the natives, but the natives are thoroughly
convinced the Englishman will act justly. There will not be (in
practice) one law for European and another for the native, as in too
many cases in our own country there is one law for the white man and
another for the black man."

But let us all work, hope and trust that the best of American
Christianity and civilization may be equal to the emergency, giving the
Filipinos a larger measure of liberty and civil rights than they had
under the erstwhile rule of Spain.

Under a constitutional government it is premised that sustenance and
valor for "amor patria" proceeds from the fact that its institutions are
designed as bulwarks for the citizen's liberty, and that its political
and economic features are such as guarantee equality before the law and
promote an equal chance in the race of life.

That there is a degree of selfishness in his patriotism, and that
government is revered only as a means to an end, is evidenced by
revolutionary tendencies ever uppermost when there are reasons to
believe that these benign purposes are being thwarted. But if for
wrongs, the return be fidelity, for obloquy patience, for maltreatment
loyalty, be a high type of Christian ethics, the reflex influence of
which, we read, are God-like; surely the Negro has virtues "not born to
die," presaging an endurance that must evolve out of this nettle
discomfort, justice and contentment. For, as heretofore, in the last war
with Spain, putting behind him his century of oppression in slavery, and
the vicious discrimination since his emancipation, forgetful of all
else save the honor and glory of the flag, there, as, always, he wrote
his name high up on the roll of his country's heroes. "Our's not to ask
the reason why; our's to do or die." To read the reports of commanders
and other officers, and the narratives of bystanders, all attesting to a
bravery invincible, causes the blood to tingle and the patriot heart to
leap. We are making history replete with self-abnegation as we continue
to bring to our country's altar an unstinted devotion and brilliant
achievement. These take their places fittingly, and we should keep them
in the forefront of our claim for equality of citizenship.

For it is declared that "not the least valuable lesson taught by the war
with Spain is the excellence of the Negro soldiery". In the battle of
San Juan, near Santiago, a Negro regiment is said to have borne the
brunt of the battle. Three companies suffered nearly as seriously, yet
they remained steady under fire without an officer. The war has not
shown greater heroism. In the battle of Guasimas it is said by some of
the "Rough Riders" themselves that it was the brilliant supporting
charge of the Tenth Cavalry that saved them from destruction. George
Rennon writes: "I do not hesitate to call attention to the splendid
behavior of the colored troops." It is the testimony of all who saw them
under fire that they fought with the utmost courage, coolness and
determination; and Colonel Roosevelt said to a squad of them in the
trenches in my presence that he never expected to have and could not ask
to have better men beside him in a hard fight. If soldiers come up to
Colonel Roosevelt's standard of courage, their friends have no reason to
be ashamed of them. His commendation is equivalent to a medal of honor
for conspicuous gallantry, because, in the slang of the camp, he is
himself a fighter "from way back." I can testify, furthermore, from my
own personal observation in the hospital of the Fifth Army Corps,
Saturday and Sunday night, that the colored regulars who were brought in
there displayed extraordinary fortitude and self-control. There were a
great many of them, but I cannot remember to have heard a groan or
complaint from a single man.

General Miles is quoted as favoring an increased number of colored
soldiers in the United States service. He said that "in no instance had
they failed to do their full duty in this war, or in the campaigns in
the West; in short, they were model soldiers in every respect; not only
in courage have they done themselves credit, but in their conduct as

When the Second Volunteer regiment of Immunes (white) became so
disorderly in Santiago that they had to be sent outside to the hills for
better discipline, General Shafter ordered into the city the Eighth
Illinois regiment of colored troops, who had an unsullied name for
sobriety and discipline, and enjoyed the thorough confidence of those in
command. And the following brief compendium of Spanish war mention from
a few of the leading press of the country is good reading. A soldier
writing home to friends in Springfield said: "You want to see the
Negroes; they let out a yell and charge, and the fight is over." Arthur
Partridge, of Co. B, writes: "At first we got the worst of it, but we
received reinforcements from the two regiments of colored infantry, who
walked right up to the block house, against their whole fire; they lost
heavily, but it put heart into everybody, and the way we drove those
Spaniards was a caution. A colored man can have anything of mine he
wants. When storming they yelled like fiends." Corporal Keating of Co. B
writes: "The Negroes are fighters from their toes up. They saved
Roosevelt at the first battle, and took one of the forts in the battle a
few days ago."

Thomas Holmes, a Rough Rider, who hails from Newkirk, Oklahoma, was the
magnet of attraction at St. Paul's Hospital, says a writer in the New
York Tribune. "He is a handsome, stalwart fellow, full of anecdote and
good humor, and popular all around. He was sitting next to Corporal
Johnson, of the Tenth Cavalry, a Negro who still carries a Mauser bullet
somewhere 'inside of me inside,' as he expressed it. 'The colored
cavalry fought well, eh?' interjected the clergyman. 'Indeed they did,'
said Holmes, fervently. 'That old idea about a "yellow streak" being in
a Negro is all wrong. No men could have fought more bravely, and I want
to tell you that but for the coming up of the Tenth Cavalry the Rough
Riders might have been cut to pieces.' 'Oh, he is just talking,' said
the colored man, who smiled like a happy child nevertheless."

Says the "Philadelphia Daily Press:" "At every forward movement in our
national life the Negro comes to the front and shares in the advance
with each national expansion. He does his part of the work, and deserves
equal recognition. At Santiago two Negro regiments--the Ninth, in
General Sumner's Brigade, and the Tenth, in General Bates'--were at the
front in the center of the line. With the rest they crested the heights
of San Juan; with the rest they left their men thickly scattered on the
slope, and since they shared in death every member of the race has a
right to ask that in life no rights be denied and no privileges
curtailed. The white regiments that connected them in that thin blue
line, that slender hoop of steel which hemmed in more than its opposing
number, may have held men who hesitate about this and that, contact with
color; but on that Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, when risk and
peril hung heavy over the line, there was no hesitation in closing up
on the Ninth and Tenth Regiments, because the men in them were colored.
All honor to the black troops of the gallant Tenth."

Says the "New York Mail and Express:" "No more striking example of
bravery and coolness has been shown since the destruction of the Maine
than by the colored veterans of the Tenth Cavalry during the attack on
Fort Caney of Saturday. By the side of the intrepid 'Rough Riders' they
followed their leader up the terrible hill from whose crest the
desperate Spaniards poured down a deathly fire of shell and musketry.
They never faltered; the rents in their ranks were filled as soon as
made. Firing as they marched, their aim was splendid, their coolness
superb, and their courage aroused the admiration of their comrades.
Their advance was greeted with wild cheers from the white regiments, and
with an answering shout they pressed onward over the trenches they had
taken close in pursuit of the retreating enemy. The war has not shown
greater heroism. The men whose freedom was baptised in blood have proven
themselves capable of giving their lives that others may be free. Today
is a glorious 'Fourth' for all races of people in this great land."

The "New Orleans Item" gives its contemporary, the "States," the
following spanking (with the usual interrogation, "Now will you be
good?"): "The 'States' has evidently failed to profit by the beneficial
lesson taught since the opening of the Santiago campaign. Had our
esteemed contemporary been present in Richmond a few days since; when
the form of a Negro soldier pierced by nine Mauser bullets was tenderly
borne through the streets by four stalwart white infantry men, he would
have heard the lustiest cheers that ever went up from the throats of the
residents of the former capital of the Confederacy. Perhaps our
anti-Negro friend would have learned wisdom from the statement of a
member of Roosevelt's regiment, who declared in an interview with a
press representative, that had it not been for the valiant conduct of
the Negro cavalry at Baguiri the Rough Riders would have found the
routing of the Spaniards almost a hopeless task. The attack of the
'States' on the Negro soldier is vicious and unpardonable. There is no
more intrepid or hardy fighter to be found anywhere than the much-abused
descendant of Ham. He has dogged persistence and a determination to
conquer which triumphs over all obstacles. He is aware of his social
inferiority and never seeks to attain positions of eminence to which his
valor and his spirit of daring do not entitle him. The 'States' presents
one of the most rabid cases of negrophobia extant. It should seek an
immediate cure."

Such indorsements from the white press of the country is not only
timely, but for all time. History of his endurance and endeavor in
peace, and his valor in war, stimulates his demand and strengthens his
claim for equal justice. Such and kindred books as "Johnson's School
History of the Race in America" should be prominent as household gods in
every Afro-American home, that along the realm of time the vista of
heroic effort "bequeathed from sire to son" may gladden hearts in "the
good time coming;" for it is display in endurance, a vigorous courage, a
gladsome self-control, a triumphant self-sacrifice, that mankind applaud
as supreme for exaltation, and the highest types of self-abnegation for
human advancement; for "before man made us citizens, Great Nature made
us men."

Equally as in the realm of war has the race produced its noblemen in the
arena of peace and mental development. For, if it be true that "the
greatest names in history are those who in the full career and amid the
turbid extremities of political action, have yet touched the closest and
at most points the ever-standing problems of the world and the things in
which the interests of men never die," our industrial educators are
fittingly placed.

[Illustration: HON. JOSIAH T. SETTLE, A. B. A. M.

Born in Tennessee September, 1850--Entered Oberlin College in
1868--Graduated From Howard University, 1872--A Leading Member
of the Bar--Member of State Legislature of 1883--Assistant
Attorney-General--For Integrity as a Man, Learning as a Jurist, and
Eloquence of Appeal, He Has Made an Honorable Record.]

Of the ever-standing problem of the world, and in which mankind is ever
alert, is the struggle for survival, and he that by inspiring word and
untiring deeds leads the deserving poor and destitute to prosperity and
contentment, is entitled to unstinted praise as a great human force
directed to a high moral purpose. While an advocate for the higher
education of as many of the race who have the will or means to obtain
it, for the majority, after obtaining a good English education, it
should be immediately supplemented by a trade, to labor skillfully, is
its great want today.

The question has been asked: "Can any race safely exist in any country
composed only of unskilled laborers and professional men? Must not the
future leaders of our people come from the middle classes, from those
who work and think?" Education to be of practical advantage must not
only sharpen the intellect, but it must be of that sort that will enable
them to engage in pursuits and avocations above those of mere drudgery;
those that are more lucrative, and from which accumulate wealth. The
school room must be the stepping stone to a good trade. The statement
has been made (which may be problematical) that we have fewer,
comparatively, very many fewer, mechanics of all kinds now than we had
in the days of slavery. The master knew that the money value of the
slave was increased in the ratio of his efficiency as a skilled laborer.

To the credit of Kentucky, Alabama, Arkansas and other Southern States,
they have made generous provisions for industrial education by supplying
machinery and the most modern appliances to teach skilled labor to
those who prefer them to the white apron of the waiter or the grubbing
hoe of the plantation. Of the students that graduate from our high
schools and colleges there are those who have not the qualities of head
and heart essential for teaching and preaching, including a love and
devotion to those callings, and possibly would have been shining marks
had their studies fitted them to grapple with the mercantile or
industrial factors that promise a future more independent and lucrative.

The advancement of any race in morals and culture is retarded when poor
and dependent. It is indispensable to progress that it has the benefit
of earnings laid by. It is therefore to these industrial features that
we must look for the foundation of advancement for the race. It will not
be found at either extreme of our present avocations; neither the
attainment of the professions, nor devotion to menial labor will solve
the problem of the "better way." A greater number must be fitted to
obtain work more lucrative in character and more ennobling in effect.
Institutions of applied science and business pursuits seem to me the
great doorway to ultimate success. Economy and industries of this kind
will more rapidly produce the means to achieve that higher education for
the race so desirable. Morality, learning and wealth are a trio

To content ourselves with denouncing injustice is to fail to enlist the
economic features so necessary as assistants. For amid all our
disadvantages we are to a large extent arbiters of our fortunes, for we
can by an indomitable will dispel many, many seeming mountains that
encumber our way. But we have much to unlearn, and especially that the
road to financial prosperity is not chiefly the dictum of the facile
mouth, but through the manifestation of skilled hands and routine of
business methods, however much the mouth may attempt to compete,
conscious of its wealth of assertion and extent of capacity. While it is
eminently proper we should strive for the administration of equitable
laws for our protection, it should be ever remembered that while local
laws under our constitutional government are supposed to be the equity
of public opinion, for us they are not sustained unless in harmony with
feelings and sentiments of their environments. Our work as a dependent
element is plainly to use such, and only such, methods as will sustain
or create the sentiment desired by a fraternization of business and
material interests. This we cannot do either in the arena of politics or
the status of the menial laborer. For in the one, when the polls are
closed, we are continuously reminded of "Othello's occupation gone." In
the other, the abundance of raw and uncouth labor robs it of its
vitality as a force to compel conditions.


The spirit in which these "schools of trade" have been conceived, and
the success of their conduct, indicate they have struck a responsive
chord in the communities where local approval is a necessity.
Constituting an agreeable counterpoise to the fixed determination of the
white people of the South that within its purview the Negro, however
worthy, shall not occupy political prominence. This, while diametrically
opposed to the genius and spirit of republican government, may yet be
the boomerang, beneficent in its return, redounding to his advantage by
turning the current of his aspirations to trades and business activities
rich with promise of material and ennobling fame. From this point of
view history records the Jew as a shining example. The Negro,
constitutionally buoyant, should be energetic and hopeful, for "there is
a destiny that shapes our ends," blunt them however much by "damning
with faint praise" or apology for oppression from whilom friends. In the
darkest hour of slavery and ignorance came freedom and education. When
lynchings became prevalent, lynching of whites made it unpopular; when
disfranchisement came, debasing him in localities as a factor in civil
government, came elevation and high honor ungrudgingly bestowed for
heroic deeds by commanders of the national armies.

President McKinley, in his order for the enlistment and promotion of the
colored soldier in the Spanish war, added additional luster to his page
in history, it being an act the result of which has been of inestimable
value to the race. Just and inspiring is the speech of Hon. Charles H.
Grosvenor, of Ohio, delivered at the close of the 56th Congress,
entitled "The Colored Citizen; His Share in the Affairs of the Nation in
the Years of 1897 to 1900. Fifteen thousand participated in the war. The
President's generous treatment of colored men in the military and civil
service of the Government."

General Grosvenor commences with an exordium eloquent in succinctness
and noble in generosity. "I cannot let pass this opportunity at the
close of a long session of Congress, and at the end of three years of
this Administration, without putting on record to enlighten future
generations the history of the part which the colored citizen has had in
the stirring events of this remarkable period. It is a period in the
history of the country of which future generations will be proud, as are
those of today, and as the colored citizens of the United States have
participated nobly in it, it is but just to them that the facts be put
on record.

"I want to speak of his part in the war in Cuba, in Porto Rico, in the
Philippines. Would a war with Spain benefit the Negro? was a popular
question for debate. Some thought it would benefit, others thought not.
In many respects it has been a Godsend and beyond dispute a great
benefit. If in no other way, 15,048 privates have shown their patriotism
and their valor by offering their bared breasts as shields for the
country's honor; 4,114 regulars did actual, noble and heroic service at
El Caney, San Juan and Santiago, while 266 officers (261 volunteers and
five regulars) did similar service and demonstrated the ability of the
American Negro to properly command ever so well, as he does readily

General Grosvenor then pertinently adds: "When we learn to appreciate
the fact that three years ago the Negro had in the army only five
officers and 4,114 privates, and that one year ago he had 266 officers
and 15,048 privates, we must know that inestimable benefit has come to
the race. Among the officers are to be found many of the brightest minds
of the race. Fully 80 per cent of those in authority come from the best
known and most influential families in the land. Their contact with and
influence upon their superior officers will be sure to raise the Negro
in the popular esteem and do an incalculable good."

Reference is made to disbursements to Negro officers and soldiers during
the Spanish war, which he colates to be $5,000,000; adding the salaries
of those employed in the civil service brings up to a sum exceeding
$6,000,000 paid the Negro citizen. This, coupled with the high honor
attached to such military designations as colonels, lieutenants and
captains conferred upon him, shed a halo of generosity over President
McKinley's Administration.

General Grosvenor is richly entitled to and received a just meed of
praise for the great service he has done by putting this grand array of
fact and heroic deed in popular form, and thereby strengthening the
Negro appeal for justice and opportunity, while its pages are a noble
contribution to a valor that will illumine Negro history for all time.
It was most opportune, for the then pressing need to strengthen the weak
and recall the recalcitrants who indiscriminately charge the party with
being remiss in requiting and acknowledging the Negro's devotion. The
well-earned plaudits for his bravery on the battlefield should widen the
area of his consciousness, intensify conviction that mediocrity is a
drug in every human activity, for whether in the professions,
literature, agriculture or trades, it is excellence alone that counts
and will bring recognition, despite the frowning battlements of caste.
As we become more and more valued factors in the common cause of the
general welfare, that the flexibility of American sentiment on
conviction of merit will be more apparent we cannot but believe; for
conditions seem to have surmounted law and seek their own solution,
since the supreme law of the land seems ineffectual and local sentiment
the arbiter, when the Negro is plaintiff.

In the first section of Article 14 of the Constitution we have: "All
persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the
jurisdiction thereof are citizens of the United States and of the
several States wherein they reside. No State shall enforce any law which
shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United
States." To neutralize this pronounced and unequivocal legislation we
have the dictum of the Supreme Court of the United States that this
constitutional right, so plainly set forth, can be legally abrogated by
a State convention or legislature. While from the premises stated the
conclusion may be evident to a jurist, to the layman it is perplexing;
and while bowing in obeyance to this court of last resort, he cannot but
admire the judicial agility in escaping the problem. He is reminded of a
final response touching the character and standing of a church member of
whom the inquirer wishes to know. The reply was: "Brother B. is quite
prominent and well known here." "Well, what is his standing?" "Oh, very
high; he is the elder of our church and superintendent of the Sunday
school." "Yes, but as I am thinking of having some business dealings
with him, what I want to know is, how does he stand for credit and
promptness?" "Well, stranger, if you put it that way, I must say that
heavenward Bro. B. is all right, but earthward he is rather twistical."
Ordinaryward, the Supreme Court is all right; but Negroward, twistical.


Chief Justice of the United States.

Born in Kentucky--A Colonel in the Union Army--Candidate for
Vice-President of the United States--One of the Foremost Authorities on
Constitutional Law--Learned and Impartial.]

For the law-abiding citizens of these Commonwealths we have this other,
the second section of the same article: "When the right to vote at any
election for the choice of electors for President or Vice-President of
the United States, Representatives in Congress, the executive or
judicial officers of a State, or the members of the legislature thereof,
is denied to any one of the male inhabitants of such State being
twenty-one years of age and a citizen of the United States, or in any
way abridged, except for participation in rebellion or other crimes, the
basis of representation thereon shall be reduced in the proportion which
the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male
citizens twenty-one years of age in such State."

If, as avowed, that it is for the welfare of such Southern States that
they desire to banish the Negro from politics, can welfare be promoted
or national integrity sustained by such rank injustice, as their Members
of Congress occupying seats therein, or having representation in the
electoral college based upon an apportionment in which the Negro
numerically is so prominent a factor, and in the exercise of rights
pertaining thereto, he is a nonentity.

"The Baptist Watchman" takes this unassailable position of this misrule:
"Ex-Governor Northen, of Georgia, in his address before the
Congregational Club the other evening, declared that the status of the
black race in the South was that of permanent dependence upon the white
race. The central point of his contention is that capacity to rule
confers the right to rule. The white man can give the black man a better
government that he can give himself; therefore, the black man should be
glad to receive the blessing at the hands of the white man. For our
part, we believe that, whatever specious defense on the ground of
philanthropy, civilization and religion may be made for this position,
it is radically repugnant to the genius of American institutions. If the
men of the nation who are best qualified to rule have a right to rule,
they themselves being the judge of their qualifications, England or
Russia would be justified in attempting to impose their sovereignty on
the United States, if they thought they could give us a better
government than we are apt to give ourselves. Unless the doctrine is
vigorously maintained that governments 'derive their just powers from
the consent of the governed,' and not from the conceit of an aristocracy
as to its own capacity, then we of the North will not find it easy to
protest effectively against the disfranchisement of the Southern

But the issue will not be made in opposition to a great national party
that draws a large measure of its strength from the South till disaster
from material issues compel. With the Republican party (as of a
Christmas morning) "everything is lovely and the goose hangs high;" but
discomfiture, sometimes laggard, is ever attendant on dereliction of
duty. This usurpation, which should have been throttled when a babe, has
now become a giant seated in its castle, compelling deference and
acquiescence to an anomaly, reaching beyond the Negro in its menace to
representative government.

And now, while from inertia the Republican party has been privy to this
misrepresentation, prominent Northern leaders are trying to take
advantage of their own neglect in an attempt to reduce representation in
national conventions from Southern States, irregularly Democratic. But
the friends of just government need not despond, for the political and
industrial revolution which the war for the perpetuation of the Union
and the basic principle of equity it evolved will continue to demand and
eventually secure equal rights for all beneath the flag.


Now, on the eve of my departure from Madagascar, and approaching four
years of consular intercourse, I have only pleasant memories. My
relations with General Gallieni, Governor-General of the Island, and his
official family, have ever been most cordial. On learning of my intended
departure, he very graciously wrote me, as follows:

    Madagascar and Dependencies.


        Tananarivo, 19th Mch., 1901.

My Dear Consul:

I learn with much displeasure of your early departure from Madagascar,
and would have been very glad to have met you again at the beginning of
May, when going down to the coast. But I always intend to take a trip to
America, and perhaps may find an opportunity to see you again in your
powerful and flourishing country, which I wish so much to know. I thank
you very much for your kind letter, and reciprocate. I had always with
you the best relations, and I could appreciate your friendly and highly
estimable character, and regret your departure. I have read with great
pleasure your biographical sketch, and I see that you have already
rendered many valuable services to your country, where your name is
known very honorably. Yours faithfully,


Socially, as a member of the "Circle Francais", a club of the elite of
the French residents, a constant recipient of its sociability, the
urbanity and kindness of Messrs. Proctor Brothers, Messrs. Dadabhoy &
Co., and Messrs. Oswold & Co., representing, respectively, the leading
English and German mercantile firms in the island, contributed much in
making life enjoyable at that far-away post. My official life in
Madagascar was not without its lights and shadows, and the latter
sometimes "paled the ineffectual rays" of belated instructions. Of an
instance I may make mention. I was in receipt of a cablegram from the
Department of State advising me that the flagship "Chicago," with
Admiral Howison, would at an early date stop at Tamatave and instructing
me to obtain what wild animals I could indigenous to Madagascar and have
them ready to ship thereby for the Smithsonian Institute, at Washington,
D. C. How I responded, and the result of the response, is attempted to
be set forth in the following dispatch to the Department of State:

        Consulate of the United States,
      Tamatave, Madagascar; July 3, 1899.
      Mr. Gibbs to the Department of State.


    Madagascar Branch of Smithsonian Institute.

                  A Consul's "Burden."

                  Abstract of Contents:

    Procuration of Live Animals, as per Order of the Department, and
    Declination of the Admiral to Receive Them on Board.

    Honorable Assistant Secretary of State,

                                    Washington, D. C.

Sir:--Referring to your cablegram under date of May 22d last, directing
me to secure live animals for the Smithsonian Institute, to be sent home
on the flagship "Chicago" on its arrival at this port, I have to report
that I proceeded with more or less trepidation to accomplish the same,
the wild animals of Madagascar being exceedingly alive. With assistance
of natives I succeeded, after much trouble and expense, in obtaining
twelve, had them caged and brought to the consulate weeks before the
arrival of the ship. This, I regret to say, was a misadventure. I should
have located them in the woods and pointed them out to the Admiral on
his arrival. At first they seemed to agree, and were tractable until a
patriotic but unlucky impulse induced me to give them the names of a
few prominent Generals in the late war. After that, oh, my!

The twelve consist of different varieties. One of the twelve seems a
cross of panther and wild cat, and rejoices in the appelation of "Aye

On the arrival of the "Chicago," forthwith I reported to Admiral Howison
my success in capturing "these things of beauty," and eternal terrors,
and my desire that they change domicile. He received me with such
charming suavity, and my report with so many tender expressions of
sympathy for the monkeys that I got a little mixed as to his preference.
Still joy-smitten, I was ill-prepared for the announcement "that it was
unwise to take them, as it was impossible to procure food to keep them
alive until the termination of the voyage."

It was then, Mr. Secretary, that I sadly realized that I was confronted
by a condition. Over seventy years of age, 10,000 miles from home, a
beggarly salary, with a menagerie on my hands, while bankruptcy and a
humbled flag threatened to stare me in the face. There remained nothing
for me, but to "bow to the inevitable," transpose myself into a
committee of ways and means for the purpose of securing sleep for my
eyelids and a saving to the United States Treasury. For while ever loyal
to "the old flag and an appropriation," a sense of duty compels me to
advise that this branch of the Smithsonian Institute is of doubtful

With a desire to avoid, if possible, "the deep damnation of their
taking-off," by starvation, several plans promising relief suggested
themselves, viz: Sell them, turn them loose, or keep them at Government
expense. I very much regret that the latter course I shall be compelled
to adopt. My many offers to sell seemed not understood, as the only
response I have yet received has been: "I get you more like him, I can."
As to turning them loose, I have been warned by the local authorities
that if I did so I would do so at my peril. A necessary part of diet for
these animals is condensed milk, meat, bread, jam, and bananas, but they
are not content. Having been a member of the bar, and retaining much
veneration for the Quixotic capers of judicial twelve, on their desire
to leave I "polled" them and found a hung jury, swinging by their tails;
eleven indicated "aye," but the twelfth, with his double affirmative cry
of "Aye, Aye," being equal to negative, hung them up. Meanwhile, they
bid fair to be a permanent exhibit.

Under cover of even date I enclose account for animals' food and
attention to June 30, and beg to say regarding the item of food, that I
anticipate a monthly increase of cost, as the appetite of the animals
seem to improve in captivity. I conclude, Mr. Secretary, with but a
single solace: They may possibly eat off their heads, but their tails
give abundant promise of remaining in evidence. Patiently awaiting
instructions as the future disposition of these wild and wayward wards
of the Government, I have the honor to be,

        Your obedient servant,
                  M. W. GIBBS,
                    U. S. Consul.

How and when "I got rid of my burden" and the joyous expressions of a
long-suffering Government on the event, will (or will not) "be continued
in our next."

Having asked for leave of absence, and leaving Mr. William H. Hunt, the
Vice-Consul, in charge of the consulate, on the 3d of April, 1891, I
took passage on the French steamer, "Yantse," for Marseilles, France.


April 3, 1901.--It was not without regret, that found expression at a
banquet given me on the eve preceding my departure, by Mr. Erlington,
the German Consul at Tamatave, that I took my leave of Madagascar, when
the flags of the officials of the French Residency and flags of all the
foreign consuls were flying, honoring me with a kindly farewell. A jolly
French friend of mine, who came out to the steamer to see me off, said:
"Judge, don't you be too sure of the meaning of the flags flying at your
departure from Tamatave, for we demonstrate here for gladness, as well
as for regret." "Well," I replied, "in either event I am in unison with
the sentiment intended to be expressed; for I have both gladness and
regret--gladness with anticipations of home, and with regret that, in
all human probability, I am taking leave of a community from whom for
nearly four years I have been the recipient, officially, of the highest
respect; and socially of unstinted friendliness."

[Illustration: CHARLES W. CHESNUTT.

A Distinguished Colored Writer--Author of "The House Behind the Cedars,"
"The Wife of My Youth," "The Conjure Woman," "The Morrow of
Tradition"--All Sparkling with Justice, Wisdom, and Wit.]

I found Vice-Consul Hunt had secured and had had my baggage placed in a
desirable state room. The ringing of the bell notified all
non-passengers ashore. After hearty handshakes from the Vice-Consul,
German, French, and other friends, taking with them a bottle or two of
wine that had been previously placed where it would do the most good,
they took the consular boat, and with the Stars and Stripes flying, and
handkerchiefs waving a final farewell, they were pulled ashore. The
anchor weighs, and the good ship "Yantse" inhales a long, moist, and
heated breath and commences to walk with stately strides and quickened
pace--weather charming and the sea as quiet as a tired child. The next
day a stop at the Island of St. Maria, a French possession, and on the
fifth day at Diego Suarez, on the north end of Madagascar.

On the ninth day from Tamatave we entered the Gulf of Aden, and after
some hours dropped anchor at Camp Aden, in Arabia. Mr. Byramzie, a
Tamatave friend of mine, and of the London firm of Dadabhoy & Co., with
a branch at Aden, came off to meet me and accompany me ashore. Camp Aden
is a British fortification I cannot readily describe with reference to
its topography or the heterogenous character and pursuits of its
inhabitants. Nature was certainly in no passive mood when last it flung
its constituents together; for, with the exception of a few circling
acres forming a rim around the harbor, high, broken, and frowning
battlements of rock, ungainly and sterile, look down upon you as far as
the eye can reach. No sprig, or tree, or blade of grass takes root in
its parched soil or stony bed, or survives the blasting heat. Scattered
and dotted on crag, hilltop or slope, in glaring white, are the many
offices and residence buildings of the camp. While in hidden crevices
and forbidden paths are planted the most approved armament, with its
"dogs of war" to dispute a passage from the Gulf.

In a dilapidated four-wheeler, drawn by one horse, after considerable
time spent by my friend in agreeing on terms (concerning which I pause
to remark that these benighted Jehus can give a Bowery cabman points on
"how not to do it"), over a macadam road of five miles we reach Aden
proper--the site of hotels, stores and residences with little
pretensions to architectural beauty; the buildings are quite all
constructed of stone, that material being in superabundance on every
intended site; their massive walls contributing to a cool interior
indispensable as a refuge from the blistering heat. Pure water for
drinking is a luxury, spasmodic in its supply. I once heard an hilarious
Irish song that stated:

    "We are jolly and happy, for we know without doubt,
    That the whisky is plenty, and the water is out."

This, I learn is the normal condition at Aden as to the relative status
of whisky and water--a very elysium for the toper who could not
understand why whisky should be spoiled by mixing it with water.

Rains are infrequent and well water unpalatable. Sea water is distilled,
but the mineral and health-giving qualities are said to be absent. The
water highly prized and sold is the rainwater caught in tanks. Hollowed
out at the foot of the rock hills, there are numbers of peculiar
construction, connected and on different elevations. But for the last
three years the non-rainfall has kept them without a tenant. As I looked
in them not a drop sparkled within their capacious confines; they are
seldom filled, and the supply is ever deficient. The population is from
6,000 to 8,000, amid which the Parsee, the Mohammedan, Jew, Portuguese,
and other nationalities compete for the commerce of the interior. The
natives are of varied castes, the Samiles the most energetic and
prevailing type. The inferior classes go about almost naked and live in
long, unprepossessing structures, one story high, divided into single
rooms, rude and uncleanly.

While at Aden I availed myself of the honor and pleasure of a visit to
the American Consulate, and received a warm, jolly, and spiritual
welcome from the incumbent, the Hon. E. T. Cunningham, of Knoxville,
Tenn. Mr. Cunningham intended to stay at Aden for six months. Like
"linked sweetness long drawn out," that period has extended to three
years, and is now "losing its sweetness on the desert air." He stated
that he was not infatuated with those "scarlet days" and "Arabian
nights," and is seeking relief or placement amid more congenial
surroundings, where distance (does not) "lend enchantment to the view."
But I assured him the Department was as astute as selfish. It knows when
it has a good thing, and endeavors to keep it. Mr. Cunningham has proved
himself to be an efficient and trusted official. We parted with mutual
hope of again meeting in "the land of the cotton and the corn."

On my way to the landing I passed many convoys of camels and asses,
laden with coffee, it being one of the main articles of export. Arriving
at the steamer and bidding my Parsee friend a last, long farewell,
shortly we weighed anchor and away for a five days sail to Suez.

On the 17th of April, eventful to me, being my birthday, we arrived at
Suez for a short stay, without time or inclination to go ashore. But,
seeing the Stars and Stripes flying from a ship lying in the distance, I
could not withstand the temptation. Jumping into a native sailboat that
described every point of the compass with oars and adverse wind, I
reached the United States cruiser, "New York." Capt. Rodgers and his
gentlemanly officers gave me a very cordial reception, ensuring an
enjoyable visit. Capt. Rodgers informed me that Lieutenant Poundstone
was aboard, who knew me as a "promoter" for the Smithsonian Institute at
Washington, he having been aboard the "Chicago" when it visited
Tamatave, and when Admiral Howison declined to convey my "gay and
festive" collection of wild animals to America. I would be most happy to
see him. He soon appeared with pleasant greetings and recollections of
Tamatave incidents. My stay from ship being limited, after a chat,
mingled with sherry and cigars and an expression of regret from Capt.
Rodgers that, not being in our "bailiwick," he could not give me a
consular salute from his guns, he ordered the ship's steam launch, and,
escorted by the Lieutenant, under our national banner, I soon boarded my
ship. I was much indebted to Capt. Rodgers and officers for their
charming courtesy.

Leaving Suez at mid-day, we shortly enter the Suez Canal--85 miles, with
numerous tie-ups to allow other ships the right of way.

At 8 o'clock the following morning we dropped anchor at Port Said, a
populous city of Arabia with 30,000 inhabitants, much diversified as to
nativities, Turks, Assyrians, Jews, and Greeks being largely
represented. The city is quite prepossessing, and seems to have improved
its sanitary features since my visit four years ago. There are many
charming views; an interesting place for the tourist, alike for the
virtuous and the vicious, for those so inclined can see human nature
"unadorned." Wide streets pierce the city, the stores on which are a
continuous bazaar, lined with many exquisite productions of necessity
and Eastern art. But I have previously dwelt on Port Said peculiarities.

Leaving Port Said on the 18th, our good ship soon enters the
Mediterranean, and with smooth seas passes through the Straits of
Messina, with a fine view of Mt. Etna, as of yore, belching forth flames
and smoke, with Sicily on our left and Italy and her cities on our
right. Again entering the Mediterranean, we encounter our first rough
seas and diminution of guests at the table. Neptune, who had been
lenient for 17 days, now demanded settlement before digestion should
again be allowed to resume its sway. For myself, I was like and unlike
the impecunious boarder, who "never missed a meal nor paid a cent," but
like him only in constant attendance, for I could ill-afford to miss any
part of the pleasure of transit or menu costing $10 a day--happy,
however, that I was minus "mal de mer," seasickness. But this temporary
ailment of the passengers was soon banished by another phase of ocean
travel, that of being enveloped in a fog so dense that the ship's length
could not be seen ahead from the bow--every officer of the ship alert,
the fog horn blowing its warnings at short intervals, answered by the
"ships that pass in the night" of fogs. The anxiety of the passengers
that the fog would lift was relieved after 36 hours, and our ship hied
away and reached Marseilles on the 23d. From there by rail to Paris.
Ensconced again at the "Hotel Binda," the next day I visited the site of
the great Paris Exposition. Few of the buildings were in their entirety,
but what remained of the classic beauty of their construction shone the
more vivid amid the debris of demolition that surrounded them. The
French were not enthusiastic in relation to the financial benefit of the

A few days in Paris, and thence to Cherbourg to cross the English
Channel to Southampton, London. This channel, which has a well-merited
reputation for being gay and frolicsome, was extremely gracious,
allowing us to glide over its placid bosom with scarce a tremor.


This was my first visit to the land of Wilberforces and Clarksons of the
seventeenth century, whose devotion and fidelity to liberty abolished
African slavery in Britain's dominion and created the sentiment that
found expression in the immortal utterance of Judge Mansfield's
decision: "Slaves cannot breathe in England; upon touch of its soil they
stand forth redeemed and regenerated by the genius of universal
liberty." With my English friend, C. B. Hurwitz, as an escort, I enjoyed
an excursion on the Thames, and visited many places of note, including
England's veteran bank, designated as the "Old Lady of Threadneedle
Street," and the Towers of London. One of these, the Beauchamp Tower, is
supposed to have been built in the twelfth or thirteenth century, the
architecture corresponding with that in use at that period, and lately
restored to its original state. Herein are many inscriptions, some very
rude, others quite artistic. It was during the restoration that these
inscriptions were partially discovered and carefully preserved. They
were cut in the stone walls and partitions by the unhappy occupants,
confined for life or execution for their religion or rebellion in the
thirteenth to the sixteenth century. Many are adorned with rude devices
and inscriptions denoting the undying faith of the martyr; others the
wailing of distress and despair. Five hundred years have elapsed, yet
the sadness of the crushed hearts of the unhappy occupants still lingers
like a funeral pall to point a moral that should strengthen tolerance
and cherish liberty.

Leaving Southampton, London, on the steamship St. Louis, after an
uneventful passage I arrived in New York, and from thence to Washington,
D. C. After my leave of absence had expired, I decided not to return to
Madagascar. For after nearly four years' dalliance with the Malagash
fever in the spring and dodging the bubonic plague in the fall, I
concluded that Madagascar was a good place to _come from_.

W. H. Hunt, the Vice-Consul, who had filed application for the
Consulship, conditioned upon my resignation, was appointed. An admirable
appointment, for the duties pertaining thereto, I have no doubt, will be
performed with much credit to himself and to the satisfaction of the

I was honored as a delegate to a very interesting assembly of colored
men from 32 States, designated the "National Negro Business Men's
League," which met in Chicago, Ill., Aug. 27, 1901. Of its object and
labors my conclusions were: That no better evidence can be produced
that the negro has a good hold on the lever which will not only give a
self-consciousness of latent powers, but will surely elevate him in the
estimation of his fellow-citizens, than the increasing interest he is
taking and engaging in many of the business ventures of the country, and
the popular acquiescence manifested by the crowded attendance at every
session of the meeting.

The President of the League, Booker T. Washington, expressed the
following golden thoughts in his opening speech:

"As a race we must learn more and more that the opinion of the world
regarding us is not much influenced by what we may say of ourselves, or
by what others say of us, but it is permanently influenced by actual,
tangible, visible results. The object-lesson of one honest Negro
succeeding magnificently in each community in some business or industry
is worth a hundred abstract speeches in securing opportunity for the

"In the South, as in most parts of the world, the Negro who does
something and possesses something is respected by both races. Usefulness
in the community where we live will constitute our most lasting and
potent protection.

"We want to learn the lesson of small things and small beginnings. We
must not feel ourselves above the most humble occupation or the simple,
humble beginning. If our vision is clear, our will strong, we will use
the very obstacles that often seem to beset us as stepping-stones to a
higher and more useful life."

The enrollment of the members present was not completed at the first
session, but the hall was crowded and 200 of those present were visitors
in Chicago. Pictures and some of the product of Negro concerns decorated
the walls, as evidence that the black man is rising above the cotton
plantation, his first field of labor in this country. Pictures of brick
blocks, factories, livery stables, farms and shops of every description
owned by Negroes in many different States of the Union were in the
collection, but the greater evidence of the Negro's development were the
men taking part in the deliberations of the sessions. They are clean
cut, well-dressed, intelligent, and have put a business method into the

The Governor of the State and Mayor of Chicago were represented with
stirring addresses of welcome. The convention was singular and peculiar
in this: The central idea of the meeting was scrupulously adhered to;
there was present no disposition to refer to grievances or deprivations.
A feeling seemed to permeate the participants of confidence and surety
that they had fathomed the depths of much that stood in the way of a
just recognition of Negro worth and a just appreciation and resolution
to "fight it out on that line if it took all summer," or many summers.

There were so many expressions so full of wisdom; so many suggestions
practical and adaptable, I would, had I space, record them all here.

Theodore Jones, of Chicago, a successful business man, in concluding an
able paper, "Can a Negro Succeed as a Business Man," said:

"The tone of this convention clearly indicates that the Negro will
succeed as a business man in proportion as he learns that manhood and
womanhood are qualities of his own making, and that no external forces
can either give or take them away. It demonstrates that intelligence,
punctuality, industry, and integrity are the conquering forces in the
business and commercial world, as well as in all the affairs of human

Giles B. Jackson, Secretary of the Business League of Virginia, read a
paper on "Negro Industries," showing what had been done toward the
solution of the so-called "Negro problem." The Negroes, he stated, had
$14,000,000 invested in business enterprises in Virginia.

William L. Taylor, President of the "True Reformers' Bank," of Richmond,
Va., gave interesting details in an able and intelligent effort, of the
aims and accomplishments of that successful institution, presenting many
phases of the enterprise--its branch stores, different farms, hotel and
printing department, giving employment to more than 100 officers,
clerks, and employees. Dr. R. H. Boyd, of Nashville, Tenn., the head of
the "Colored Publishing Company, of Nashville," employing 123
assistants, delivered an able address on the "Negro in the Publishing
Business," which was discussed with marked ability by the Rev. Dr.
Morris, of Helena, Ark.

All the participants are worthy of a meed of praise for their many
helpful utterances and manly deportment. Prominent among them were
Charles Banks, merchant and a large property owner of Clarkesdale,
Miss., who spoke on "Merchandizing"; William O. Murphy, of Atlanta, Ga.,
on the "Grocery Business"; Harris Barrett, of Hampton, Va., on "The
Building and Loan Association of Hampton, Va."; A. N. Johnson, publisher
and editor, of Mobile, on "The Negro Business Enterprises of Mobile"; F.
D. Patterson, of Greenfield, Ohio, on "Carriage Manufacturing"; Martin
Ferguson on "Livery Business," small in stature, light in weight, but
herculean in size and heavy in force of persistency, told how by
self-denial he had gained a fair competency; L. G. Wheeler, of Chicago,
Ill., on "Merchant Tailoring"; Willis S. Stearns, a druggist, of
Decatur, Ala., in his address stated that 14 years ago there was not a
Negro druggist in that State; now there are over 200 such stores owned
by colored men in various cities of that State, with an invested capital
of $500,000. Walter P. Hall, of Philadelphia, Pa., an extensive dealer
in game and poultry, spoke on that subject.

And possibly as a fitting wind-up, as all sublunary things must come to
an end, George E. Jones, of Little Rock, Ark., and G. E. Russel, of St.
Louis, Mo., undertakers, spoke pathetically to their fellow-members of
the League (I trust not expectantly) of the advance in the science of
embalming and other facilities for conveying them to that "bourne from
which no traveller returns." The session was "a feast of reason and a
flow of soul" from its commencement until its close. And, as ever has
been the case on our upward journey, there were women lighting the
pathway and stimulating effort; for during the sessions Mrs. Albreta
Smith read a very interesting paper on "The Success of the Negro Women's
Business Club of Chicago"; a delightful one was read by Mrs. Dora
Miller, of Brooklyn, N. Y.; "Dressmaking and Millinery" was
entertainingly presented by Mrs. Emma L. Pitts, of Macon, Ga., the
ladies dwelling on the great good that was being done by their
establishments by teaching and giving employment to scores of poor but
worthy girls, and thereby helping them to lead pure and useful lives.

I have given this exhibition of what the Negro is doing the foregoing
space for encouragement and precept, because I believe it to be the key
to unlock many doors to honorable and useful lives heretofore barred
against us.

[Illustration: WILLIAM McKINLEY,

Late Martyred President of the United States.

With a Record for Statesmanship, Patriotism, and Justice
Imperishable--"His Life Was Gentle and the Elements so Mixed in Him,
that Nature Might Stand Up and Say to all the World, 'This is a Man.'"]


Leaving Chicago, and having business with the President, I visited him
at Canton, was kindly received, and accomplished the object of my visit,
little thinking that, in common with my countrymen I was so soon to be
horrified and appalled by an atrocity which bathed the country in tears
and startled the world in the taking-off of one of the purest patriots
that had ever trod his native soil.

The tragedy occurred at 4 o'clock p. m., on the 6th of September, 1901,
in the Temple of Music on the grounds of and during the Exposition at
Buffalo, N. Y. Surrounded by a body-guard, among whom was Secret Service
Detective Samuel R. Ireland, of Washington, who was directly in front of
the President, the latter engaged in the usual manner of handshaking at
a public reception at the White House. Not many minutes had expired; a
hundred or more of the line had passed the President, when a
young-looking man named Leon Czolgosz, said to be of Polish, extraction,
approached, offering his left hand, while his right hand contained a
pistol concealed under a handkerchief, fired two shots at the

James Parker, a colored man, a very hercules in height, who was next to
have greeted the President, struck the assassin a terrific blow that
felled him to the floor, preventing him (as Czolgosz himself avers in
the following interview) from firing the third shot:

"Yesterday morning I went again to the Exposition grounds. Emma
Goldman's speech was still burning me up. I waited near the central
entrance for the President, who was to board his special train from that
gate, but the police allowed nobody but the President's party to pass
where the train waited. So I stayed at the grounds all day waiting.

"During yesterday I first thought of hiding my pistol under my
handkerchief. I was afraid if I had to draw it from my pocket I would be
seen and seized by the guards. I got to the Temple of Music the first
one, and waited at the spot where the reception was to be held.

"Then he came, the President--the ruler--and I got in line and trembled
and trembled until I got right up to him, and then I shot him twice
through my white handkerchief. I would have fired more, but I was
stunned by a blow in the face--a frightful blow that knocked me
down--and then everybody jumped on me. I thought I would be killed, and
was surprised the way they treated me."

Czolgosz ended his story in utter exhaustion. When he had about
concluded he was asked:

"Did you really mean to kill the President?"

"I did," was the cold-blooded reply.

"What was your motive; what good could it do?"

"I am an anarchist. I am a disciple of Emma Goldman. Her words set me on
fire," he replied, with not the slightest tremor.

During the first few days after he was shot there were cheering
bulletins issued by the medical fraternity in attendance, all typical of
his early recovery, and the heart of the nation was elated, to be, a
week later, depressed with sadness at the announcement that a change had
come and that the President was dying. Never was grief more sincere for
a ruler. He was buried encased with the homage and love of his people.
William McKinley will live in history, not only as a man whose private
life was stainless, and whose Administration of the Government was
beyond reproach, but as one brilliant, progressive, wise, and humane.

Pre-eminent as an arbiter and director, developing the nation as a world
power, and bringing to the effete and semi-civilized peoples of the
Orient the blessings of civilized Government; as a leader and protector
of the industrial forces of the country, William McKinley was
conspicuous. With strength of conviction, leading at one time an almost
forlorn hope, by his statesmanship and intensity of purpose, he had
grafted on the statute books of the Nation a policy that has turned the
wheels of a thousand idle mills, employed a hundred thousand idle hands,
and stimulated every manufacturing industry.

This accomplished, in his last speech, memorable not only as his last
public utterance, but doubly so as to wise statesmanship in its advocacy
of a less restrictive tariff, increased reciprocity, and interchange
with the world's commodities. His love of justice was imperial. He was
noted in this, that he was not only mentally eminent, but morally great.
During his last tour in the South, while endeavoring to heal animosities
engendered by the civil war and banish estrangement, he was positive in
the display of heartfelt interest in the Negro, visiting Tuskegee and
other like institutions of learning, and by his presence and words of
good cheer stimulating us to noble deeds.

Nor was his interest manifest alone in words; his appointments in the
bureaus of the Government of colored men exceeded that of any previous
Executive--a representation which should increase in accordance with
parity of numbers and fitness for place.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: JAMES B. PARKER.

Who, Inspired by Patriotism and Fidelity, Struck Down the Assassin of
President McKinley.]

The following excerpts from the Washington Post, the verity of which was
echoed in the account of the crime by the New York and other
metropolitan journals on the day following the sad occurrence, gives a
sketch of the manner and expressions of the criminal, and throws light
on a peculiar phase of the catastrophe, that for the truth of history
and in the interest of justice should not be so rudely and covertly
buried 'neath the immature "beatings of time."

Washington Post: In an interview Secret Service Detective Ireland, who,
with Officers Foster and Gallagher, was near the President when the
shots were fired, said:

"A few moments before Czolgosz approached a man came along with three
fingers of his right hand tied up in a bandage, and he had shaken hands
with his left. When Czolgosz came up I noticed he was a boyish-looking
fellow, with an innocent face, perfectly calm, and I also noticed that
his right hand was wrapped in what appeared to be a bandage. I watched
him closely, but was interrupted by the man in front of him, who held on
to the President's hand an unusually long time. This man appeared to be
an Italian, and wore a short, heavy, black mustache. He was persistent,
and it was necessary for me to push him along so that the others could
reach the President. Just as he released the President's hand, and as
the President was reaching for the hand of the assassin, there were two
quick shots. Startled for a moment, I looked and saw the President draw
his right hand up under his coat, straighten up, and, pressing his lips
together, give Czolgosz the most scorn and contemptuous look possible to

"At the same time I reached for the young man, and caught his left arm.
The big Negro standing just back of him, and who would have been next to
take the President's hand, struck the young man in the neck with one
hand, and with the other reached for the revolver, which had been
discharged through the handkerchief, and the shots from which had set
fire to the linen.

"Immediately a dozen men fell upon the assassin and bore him to the
floor. While on the floor Czolgosz again tried to discharge the
revolver, but before he could point it at the President, it was knocked
from his hand by the Negro. It flew across the floor, and one of the
artillerymen picked it up and put it in his pocket."

Another account: "Mr. McKinley straightened himself, paled slightly, and
riveted his eyes upon the assassin. He did not fall or make an outcry. A
Negro, named Parker, employed in the stadium, seized the wretch and
threw him to the floor, striking him in the mouth. As he fell he
struggled to use the weapon again, but was quickly overpowered. Guard
Foster sprang to the side of Mr. McKinley, who walked to a chair a few
feet away."

Washington Post, Oct. 9: James Parker, the six-foot Georgia Negro, who
knocked down the assassin of President McKinley on the fatal day in the
Temple of Music, after the two shots were fired, gave a talk to an
audience in the Metropolitan A. M. E. Church last night. He was
introduced by Hon. George H. White. Parker arose, and after a few
preliminary remarks, in which he thanked the crowd for its presence, he
said he was glad to see so many colored people believed he did what he
claimed he did at Buffalo.

"When the assassin dealt his blow," said Parker, "I felt it was time to
act. It is no great honor I am trying to get, but simply what the
American people think I am entitled to. If Mr. McKinley had lived there
would have been no question as to this matter. President McKinley was
looking right at me; in fact, his eyes were riveted upon me when I
felled the assassin to the floor.

"The assassin was in front of me, and as the President went to shake his
hand, he looked hard at one hand which the fellow held across his breast
bandaged. I looked over the man's shoulder to see what the President was
looking at. Just then there were two flashes and a report, and I saw the
flame leap from the supposed bandage. I seized the man by the shoulder
and dealt him a blow. I tried to catch hold of the gun, but he had
lowered that arm. Quick as a flash I grasped his throat and choked him
as hard as I could. As this happened he raised the hand with the gun in
it again as if to fire, the burning handkerchief hanging to the weapon.
I helped carry the assassin into a side room, and helped to search him."

Parker told of certain things he was about to do to the assassin when
one of the officers asked him to step outside. Parker refused. He
declared the officers wanted to get him out of the way. He said he
helped to carry the assassin to the carriage in which the wretch was
taken to jail.

"I don't know why I wasn't summoned to the trial," he said.

Parker said Attorney Penney took his testimony after the shooting.

"I was not at the trial, though," concluded Parker in an injured tone.
"I don't say this was done with any intent to defraud me, but it looks
mighty funny, that's all."

The above interviews with officers present agree with Parker's version
of the affair, and whether the afterthought that further recognition of
his decisive action would detract from the reputation for vigilance
which they were expected to observe is a fitting subject for

At the time of the occurrence Parker was the cynosure for all eyes.
Pieces of the clothing that he wore were solicited and given to his
enthusiastic witnesses of the deed, to be preserved as trophies of his
action in preventing the third shot. No one present at that perilous
hour and witnessing doubted or questioned that Parker was the hero of
the occasion. This, the better impulse, indicating a just appreciation
was destined soon to be stifled and ignored. At the sittings of the
coroner's jury to investigate the shooting of the President, he was
neither solicited nor allowed to be present, or testimony adduced in
proof of his bravery in attempting to save the life of the Chief
Magistrate of the Republic. Therefore, Parker, bereft of the well-earned
plaudits of his countrymen, must content himself with duty done.

Remarkable are the coincidences at every startling episode in the life
of the Nation. Beginning at our country's history, the Negro is always
found at the fore. He was there when Crispus Attacks received the first
of English bullets in the struggle of American patriots for
Independence; there in the civil war, when he asked to be assigned to
posts of greatest danger. He was there quite recently at El Caney; and
now Parker bravely bares his breast between the intended third shot of
the assassin and that of President McKinley.

If this dispensation shall awaken the Nation to the peril of admitting
the refuse of nations within our borders, and clothing them with the
panoply of American citizenship; if it shall engender a higher
appreciation of the loyalty and devotion of the Negro citizens of the
Republic by the extension of justice to all beneath the flag, William
McKinley will not have died in vain.


Taking up the reins of the Administration of the Government, with its
complex statesmanship, where a master had laid them down, President
Roosevelt, heretofore known for his sterling worth as an administrator,
and his imperial honesty as a man, has put forth no uncertain sound as
to his intended course. The announcement that the foreign policy of his
illustrious predecessor would be chiefly adhered to has struck a
responsive chord in every patriotic heart. The appointment of ex-Gov.
Jones, of Alabama, to a Federal judgeship was an appointment in unison
with the best of popular accord. The nobility of the Governor in his
utterances on the subject of lynching should endear him to every lover
of justice and the faithful execution of law. For he so grandly evinced
what is so sadly wanting in many humane and law-abiding men--the courage
of his convictions.

    "For when a free thought sought expression,
    He spoke it boldly, spoke it all."

It is only to the fruition of such expressions, the molding of an
adverse sentiment to such lawlessness that we can look for the
abolishment of that crime of crimes which, to the disgrace of our
country, is solely ours.


President of the United States.

Civil Service Commissioner--Police Commissioner of New York--Assistant
Secretary of War and Vice-President of the United States--A Hero in War,
a Statesman in Peace.]

This appointment is considered eminently wise, not only for the superior
ability of the appointee as a jurist, but for his broad humanity as a
man, fully recognizing the inviolability of human life and its
subjection to law. For the Negro, his primal needs are protection and
the common liberty vouchsafed to his fellow-countrymen. To enjoy them it
is necessary that he be in harmony with his environments. A bulwark he
must have, of a friendship not the product of coercion, but a concession
from the pulse-beat of justice. Such appointments pass the word down the
line that President Roosevelt, in his endeavor to be the exponent of the
genius of American citizenship, will recognize the sterling advocates of
the basic elements of constitutional Government, those of law and order,
irrespective of party affiliation.

This appointment will probably cause dissent in Republican circles, but
it may be doubted if the Negro advances his political fortunes by
invidious criticism of the efforts of a Republican Administration to
harmonize ante-bellum issues. For while he in all honesty may be
strenuous for the inviolability of franchises of the Republican
household, and widens the gap between friendly surroundings, each of
the political litigants meet with their knees under each other's
mahogany, and jocularly discuss Negro idiosyncrasies, and tacitly agree
to give his political aspirations a "letting alone." For, with character
and ability unquestioned for the discharge of duties, the vote polled
for him usually falls far short of the average of that polled by his
party for other candidates on the ticket.

The summary killing of human beings by mobs without the form of law is
not of late origin. Ever since the first note of reconstruction was
sounded, each Administration has denounced lynching. All history is the
record that it is only through discussion and the ventilation of wrong
that right becomes a valued factor. But regard for justice is not
diminishing in our country. The judiciary, although weak and amenable to
prevailing local prejudices in localities, as a whole is far in advance
on the sustenance of righteous rule than in the middle of the last
century, when slavery ruled the Nation and its edicts were law, and its
baleful influence permeated every branch of the Government.

Of the judiciary at that period Theodore Parker, an eminent
Congregational divine and most noted leader of Christian thought, during
a sermon in 1854, said:

"Slavery corrupts the judicial class. In America, especially in New
England, no class of men has been so much respected as the judges, and
for this reason: We have had wise, learned, and excellent men for our
judges, men who reverenced the higher law of God, and sought by human
statutes to execute justice. You all know their venerable names and how
reverentially we have looked up to them. Many of them are dead, and some
are still living, and their hoary hairs are a crown of glory on a
judicial life without judicial blot. But of late slavery has put a
different class of men on the benches of the Federal Courts--mere tools
of the Government creatures who get their appointments as pay for past
political service, and as pay in advance for iniquity not yet
accomplished. You see the consequences. Note the zeal of the Federal
judges to execute iniquity by statute and destroy liberty. See how ready
they are to support the Fugitive Slave Bill, which tramples on the
spirit of the Constitution and its letter, too; which outrages justice
and violates the most sacred principles and precepts of Christianity.
Not a United States Judge, Circuit or District, has uttered one word
against that bill of abominations. Nay, how greedy they are to get
victims under it. No wolf loves better to rend a lamb into fragments
than these judges to kidnap a fugitive slave and punish any man who
desires to speak against it. You know what has happened in Fugitive
Slave Bill courts. You remember the 'miraculous' rescue of a Shadrach;
the peaceable snatching of a man from the hands of a cowardly kidnapper
was 'high treason;' it was 'levying war.' You remember the trial of the
rescuers! Judge Sprague's charge to the jury that if they thought the
question was which they ought to obey, the laws of man or the laws of
God, then they must 'obey both,' serve God and Mammon, Christ and the
devil in the same act. You remember the trial, the ruling of the bench,
the swearing on the stand, the witness coming back to alter and enlarge
his testimony and have another gird at the prisoner. You have not
forgotten the trials before Judge Kane at Philadelphia and Judge Greer
at Christiana and Wilkesbarre.

"These are natural results from causes well known. You cannot escape a
principle. Enslave a negro, will you? You doom to bondage your own sons
and daughters by your own act."

[Illustration: HON. GEORGE B. CORTELYOU.

Secretary to the President.

Born July, 1862, in State of New York--Has Made Mark in Literature and
Art--His Promotion Has Been Rapid, From Stenographer to Executive Clerk,
Thence to Secretary to Presidents McKinley and Roosevelt, an Office Now
Grown to the Dignity of a Cabinet Position.]

At the death of Theodore Parker, among the many eulogies on his life was
one by Ralph Waldo Emerson, highly noted for his humanity, his learning
and his philosophy. It contains apples of gold, and richly deserves
immortality; for in the worldly strife for effervescent wealth and
prominence, a benign consciousness that our posthumous fame as unselfish
benefactors to our fellow-men is to live on through the ages, would be a
solace for much misrepresentation. Emerson said: "It is plain to me that
Theodore Parker has achieved a historic immortality here. It will not be
in the acts of City Councils nor of obsequious Mayors nor in the State
House; the proclamations of Governors, with their failing virtue failing
them at critical moments, that generations will study what really befel;
but in the plain lessons of Theodore Parker in this hall, in Faneuil
Hall and in legislative committee rooms, that the true temper and
authentic record of these days will be read. The next generation will
care little for the chances of election that govern Governors now; it
will care little for fine gentlemen who behaved shabbily; but it will
read very intelligently in his rough story, fortified with exact
anecdotes, precise with names and dates, what part was taken by each
actor who threw himself into the cause of humanity and came to the
rescue of civilization at a hard pinch; and those who blocked its

"The vice charged against America is the want of sincerity in leading
men. It does not lie at his door. He never kept back the truth for fear
of making an enemy. But, on the other hand, it was complained that he
was bitter and harsh; that his zeal burned with too hot a flame. It is
so hard in evil times to escape this charge for the faithful preacher.
Most of all, it was his merit, like Luther, Knox, and Latimer and John
the Baptist, to speak tart truth when that was peremptory and when there
were few to say it. His commanding merit as a reformer is this, that he
insisted beyond all men in pulpit--I cannot think of one rival--that
the essence of Christianity is its practical morals; it is there for
use, or it is nothing: If you combine it with sharp trading, or with
ordinary city ambitions to glaze over municipal corruptions or private
intemperance, or successful frauds, or immoral politics, or unjust wars,
or the cheating of Indians, or the robbing of frontier natives, it is
hypocrisy and the truth is not in you, and no love of religious music,
or dreams of Swedenborg, or praise of John Wesley or of Jeremy Taylor,
can save you from the Satan which you are."


The accord so generally given to the appointment of ex-Governor Jones,
of Alabama--a Gold Democrat, having views on domestic order in harmony
with the Administration--to a Federal judgeship was destined to be
followed by a bitter arraignment of President Roosevelt for having
invited Booker T. Washington to dine with him at the White House. As a
passing event not without interest, in this era of the times, indicative
of "shadow and light," I append a few extracts from Southern and
Northern Journals:


In all parts of the country comment has been provoked by the fact that
President Roosevelt, on Wednesday night last, entertained at dinner in
the White House, Booker T. Washington, who is generally regarded as the
representative of the colored race in America. Especially in the South
has the incident aroused indignation, according to the numerous news
dispatches. The following comments from the editorial columns of
newspapers and from prominent men are given:

New Orleans, Oct. 19.--The Times-Democrat says:

"It is strange news that comes from Washington. The President of the
United States, for the first time in the history of the nation, has
entertained a Negro at dinner in the White House. White men of the
South, how do you like it? White women of the South, how do you like it?

"Everyone knows that when Mr. Roosevelt sits down to dinner in the White
House with a Negro he that moment declares to all the world that in the
judgment of the President of the United States the Negro is the social
equal of the white man. The Negro is not the social equal of the white
man. Mr. Roosevelt might as well attempt to rub the stars out of the
firmament as to try to erase that conviction from the heart and brain of
the American people."

The Daily States: "In the face of the facts it can but appear that the
President's action was little less than a studied insult to the South
adopted at the outset of his Administration for the purpose of showing
his contempt for the sentiments and prejudices of this section."

Richmond, Va., Oct. 19.--The Dispatch says:

"With many qualities that are good--with some, possibly, that are
great--Mr. Roosevelt is a negrophilist. While Governor of New York he
invited a Negro (who, on account of race prejudice, could not obtain
accommodation at any hotel) to be his guest at the Executive Mansion,
and, it is said, gave him the best room in the house.

"Night before last the President had Prof. Booker T. Washington to dine
with him at the White House. That was a deliberate act, taken under no
alleged pressure of necessity, as in the Albany case, and may be taken
as outlining his policy toward the Negro as a factor in Washington
society. We say 'Washington society,' rather than 'American society,'
because the former, on account of its political atmosphere, is much more
'advanced' in such matters than that of any other American city of which
we know anything. The President, having invited Booker T. Washington to
his table, residents of Washington of less conspicuous standing may be
expected to do likewise. And if they invite him they may invite lesser
lights--colored lights.

"When Mr. Cleveland was President he received Fred Douglass at some of
his public entertainments--'functions,' so-called--but we do not
remember that Fred was singled out for the distinguished honor of dining
with the President, as Booker Washington has been.

"We do not like Mr. Roosevelt's negrophilism at all, and are sorry to
see him seeking opportunities to indulge in it. He is reported to have
rejoiced that Negro children were going to school with his children at
Oyster Bay. But then, it may be said, too, that he has more reasons than
the average white man to be fond of Negroes, since it was a Negro
regiment that saved the Rough Riders from decimation at San Juan Hill.
And but for San Juan Hill it is quite unlikely that Mr. Roosevelt would
be President today.

"Booker Washington is said to have been very influential with the
President in having Judge Jones put upon the Federal bench in Alabama,
and we are now fully prepared to believe that statement.

"With our long-matured views on the subject of social intercourse
between blacks and whites, the least we can say now is that we deplore
the President's taste, and we distrust his wisdom."

Birmingham, Ala., Oct. 19.--The Enterprise says:

"It remained for Mr. Roosevelt to establish a precedent humiliating to
the South and a disgrace to the nation. Judge Jones owes a duty to the
South, to his friends and to common decency to promptly resign and hurl
the appointment back into the very teeth of the white man who would
invite a nigger to eat with his family."

Augusta, Ga., Oct. 19.--The Augusta Chronicle says, in its leading
editorial, today:

"The news from Washington that President Booker T. Washington, of
Tuskegee Institute, was a guest at the White House at a dinner with
President and Mrs. Roosevelt and family, and that after dinner there was
the usual social hour over cigars, is a distinct shock to the favorable
sentiment that was crystallizing in the South for the new President.

"While encouraging the people in the hope that the Negro is to be
largely eliminated from office in the South, President Roosevelt throws
the fat in the fire by giving countenance to the Negro's claims for
social equality by having one to dine in the White House.

"President Roosevelt has made a mistake, one that will not only efface
the good impression he had begun to create in the South, but one that
will actively antagonize Southern people and meet the disapproval of
good Anglo-Saxon sentiment in all latitudes.

"The South does not relish the Negro in office, but that is a small
matter compared with its unalterable opposition to social equality
between the races. President Roosevelt has flown in the face of public
sentiment and precipitated an issue that has long since been fought out,
and which should have been left in the list of settled questions."

Nashville, Tenn., Oct. 19.--The Evening Banner says:

"Whatever justification may be attempted of the President's action in
this instance, it goes without saying that it will tend to chill the
favor with which he is regarded in the South, and will embarrass him in
his reputed purpose to build up his party in this section."

Louisville, Ky., Oct. 19.--The Times of yesterday afternoon says:

"The President has eliminated the color line from his private and
official residences and with public office is hiring white Democrats to
whitewash it down South."

Atlanta, Ga., Oct. 19.--Governor Candler says:

"No self-respecting white man can ally himself with the President after
what has occurred. The step has done the Republican party no earthly
good, and it will materially injure its chances in the South. The effect
of the Jones appointment is largely neutralized. Still, I guess it's
like the old woman when she kissed the cow. As a matter of fact,
Northern people do not understand the Negro. They see the best types and
judge of the remainder by them."


Philadelphia, Oct. 19.--The Ledger this morning says:

"Because President Roosevelt saw fit, in his good judgment, to invite
Booker T. Washington to dinner, strong words of disapproval are heard in
the South. Mr. Washington is a colored man who enjoys the universal
respect of all people in this country, black and white, on account of
attainments, character and deeds. As the President invited him to be his
private guest, and did not attempt to enforce the companionship of a
colored man upon any one to whom the association could possibly be
distasteful, any criticism of the President's act savors of very great
impertinence. But, considered in any light, the invitation is not a
subject for criticism. Booker T. Washington is one of the most notable
citizens of the country, just because he has done noteworthy things. He
is the founder and the successful executive of one of the most
remarkable institutions in the United States, the Tuskegee (Alabama)
Institute, which not only aims, but in fact does, educate and train the
youth of the negro race to become useful, industrious and
self-supporting citizens.

"Booker T. Washington is the embodiment of common sense and, instead of
inciting the members of his race to dwell upon their wrongs, to waste
their time upon politics and to try to get something for nothing in this
life, in order to live without work, he has constantly preached the
gospel of honest work, and has founded a great industrial school, which
fits the young Negroes for useful lives as workers and teachers of
industry to others. This is the man who was justly called by President
McKinley, after he had inspected Tuskegee, the "leader of his race," and
in the South no intelligent man denies that he is doing a great service
to the whole population of both colors in this land. It is evident that
the only objection that could be brought against association with such a
man as that is color alone, and President Roosevelt will not recognize
that prejudice."

The Evening Bulletin says:

"President Roosevelt night before last had Booker T. Washington, the
worthy and much-respected colored man who is at the head of the Tuskegee
Institute, as a guest at his private table in the White House. This has
caused some indignation among Southerners and in Southern newspapers.

"Yet all the President really seems to have done was an act of courtesy
in asking Mr. Washington to sit down with him to dinner and have a talk
with him. As Booker T. Washington is an entirely reputable man, as well
as an interesting one, the President doubtless enjoyed his company. Many
Presidents in the past have had far less reputable and agreeable men at
their table. If Mr. Roosevelt shall have no worse ones among his private
guests, the country will have no cause for complaint.

"The right of the President to dine with anyone he may please to have
with him is entirely his own affair, and Theodore Roosevelt is not a
likely man to pick out bad company, black or white, for his personal or
social companionship. The rumpus which some indiscreet Southerners are
trying to raise because he has been hospitable to a colored man is a
foolish display of both manners and temper."

Boston, Oct. 19.--Commenting on President Roosevelt's action in
extending hospitality to Booker T. Washington, President Charles Eliot,
of Harvard, said:

"Harvard dined Booker Washington at her tables at the last commencement.
Harvard conferred an honorary degree on him. This ought to show what
Harvard thinks about the matter."

William Lloyd Garrison: "It was a fine object lesson, and most
encouraging. It was the act of a gentleman--an act of unconscious
natural simplicity."

Charles Eliot Norton: "I uphold the President in the bold stand that he
has taken."


New York Herald: The President has absolutely no sympathy with the
prejudice against color. He has shown this on two occasions. Once he
invited to his house at Oyster Bay, Harris, the Negro half-back of Yale,
and entertained him over night. The other occasion was when he took in
at the Executive Mansion at Albany, Brigham, the Negro baritone of St.
George's Church, who was giving a concert in Albany and had been
refused food and shelter by all the hotels.


Philadelphia Press: President Roosevelt's critics are wasting breath and
spilling ink. There is an obstinate man in the White House. The cry of
"nigger" will neither prevent him from continuing to appoint to any
office in the Southern States the best men, under whatever color of
politics, who can be found under current conditions, or recognizing in
the hospitalities of the White House the best type of American manhood,
under whatever color of skin it can be found.


New York Tribune: The Southern politician who criticises President
Roosevelt's action in inviting Prof. Booker T. Washington to dine at the
White House is likely to raise the query whether the manager of the
Tuskegee Institute or himself is really the more deserving and genuine
friend of the South.


Glad of Booker T. Washington's Help in Securing Office.


Berate President for Dining With a Negro.

Some Noted Occasions When the Alabama Educator Has Received the Plaudits
of the South.

Washington, D. C., Oct. 19.--President Roosevelt has a fine sense of
humor, and while he regrets that he has without malice stirred up a
tempest in a teapot for the Southern editors by entertaining Professor
Booker T. Washington at dinner, he cannot put aside the humorous side of
the situation. It is only a few weeks since a number of white Democrats
co-operated with Booker Washington in regard to the appointment of
ex-Governor Jones to the vacancy on the Federal bench in Alabama, and
Washington spoke for these white Democrats when he came to the capital
and assured President Roosevelt that Jones would accept the appointment
and that it would be satisfactory to all classes.

Washington had seen the President and had acted as his agent in
interviewing Governor Jones and others as to the appointment. The
Southern Democrats applauded the appointment of Jones, and they praised
Washington for using his influence at the White House to secure such an
appointment for a Democrat. Then they all spoke of Washington as a
gentleman of culture, who had the refined sense to cut loose from the
Republican leaders of the Negro party in the South and work in harmony
with the best class of whites. Now they are abusing the President for
dining with a "nigger."

Washington has entertained more distinguished Northern men and more
distinguished Southern men at the Tuskegee Institute than any other man
in the State, if not in the South. President McKinley and his Cabinet,
accompanied by many other distinguished gentlemen, were the guests of
Washington at Tuskegee two years ago, and they lunched at his table.
Washington was the guest of honor at a banquet in Paris three years ago,
when Ambassador Porter presided and ex-President Harrison and Archbishop
Ireland were among the guests. This same "nigger" was received by Queen
Victoria and took tea in Buckingham Palace the same year.


When he returned to this country Washington received invitations from
all parts of the South to deliver addresses and attend receptions given
by white people. He was received by the Governors of Georgia, Virginia,
West Virginia and Louisiana. He spoke to many mixed audiences in the
South, where whites and blacks united to do him honor. When the people
of Atlanta wanted an appropriation from Congress for their Exposition in
1895 they sent a large committee of the most distinguished men in the
South to the National Capital to plead their cause. Booker T. Washington
was one of these distinguished Southern men. Congressman Joseph E.
Cannon, Chairman of the Committee on Appropriations in the House, says
that Washington by his force and eloquence secured that appropriation of
$250,000 for the Atlanta Exposition.

The Southern people had only praise for him when he was arranging to
take Vice-President Roosevelt to Tuskegee and Montgomery and Atlanta
this fall, and they were eager to co-operate with him in entertaining
such a distinguished visitor. They still hope to have President
Roosevelt visit the South, and if he goes he will go as the guest of
Booker T. Washington.

The President knows, too, that the real leaders of the South, white
Democrats, do not sympathize with this hue and cry of Southern editors
because Washington was a guest at the White House. Today the President
has received many messages from Southern men, urging him to pay no
attention to the yawp of the bourbon editors, who have not been able to
get over the old habit of historical discussion of "social equality."
Southern men called at the White House today as usual to ask for favors
at the hands of the President, and they are not afraid of contamination
by meeting the man who "ate with a nigger."


President Roosevelt cannot help seeing the humorous side of the
situation he has created by asking his friend to dinner, and he is
pursuing the even tenor of his way as President without worrying over
the outcome. He has, in the last two weeks, given cause for much
excitement in the South. The first was when he appointed a Democrat to
office and ignored the professional Republican politicians, who claimed
to carry the "nigger" vote in their pocket. He was not disturbed by the
threats of the Southern Republican politicians over that incident, and
he is not disturbed by the threats of the Southern Democratic editors
over this incident.

As to the Southern objection to dining, with a Negro, Opie Read, of
Chicago, tells a story about M. W. Gibbs, who has just resigned his
position as United States Consul at Tamatave, Madagascar. Gibbs is now
in Washington on his way home to Little Rock. He resigned to give a
younger man a chance to serve his country as a Consul. Here is the story
Opie Read told about Gibbs dining with white men at a banquet in honor
of General Grant in Little Rock:

In the reconstruction days a Negro by the name of Mifflin Wistar Gibbs
located in Little Rock, Ark. He showed the community that he was keener
than a whole lot of its leading citizens, who had kept the offices in
their families for generations. Under the new order of things he was
appointed Attorney of Pulaski County. His ability and the considerate
manner in which he conducted his relationship with the whites gave him a
greater popularity than any other colored man had ever before enjoyed in
that place. His influence increased, until General Grant, then
President, appointed him Register of the United States Land Office at
Little Rock.


"When General Grant visited our city a banquet was prepared, and it was
finally decided that for the first time in the history of the 'Bear
State' a Negro would be welcomed at a social function on terms of
absolute equality. I was then editor of the Gazette, and my seat was
next to that of Gibbs. The speaker who had been selected to respond to
the toast, 'The Possibilities of American Citizenship' was absent. I
asked Gibbs if he would not talk on that subject. He consented, and I
arranged the matter with the toastmaster. The novelty and the
picturesqueness of the thing appealed to me. Every guest was
spellbound, and General Grant was astonished. Not only was the speech
of the Negro the best one delivered on that occasion, but it was one of
the most remarkable to which I have ever listened.

"The owner of the Gazette was a Democrat of the Democrats, and a strict
keeper of the traditions of the South. Moreover, his paper was the
official organ of the Democratic party, and we were in the heat of a
bitter campaign. In spite of all this, however, I came out with the
editorial statement that Gibbs had scored the greatest oratorical
triumph of the affair. Perhaps this didn't stir things up a little. But
the gratitude of Gibbs was touching. He is now United States Consul at
Tamatave, Madagascar. In my opinion he is the greatest living
representative of the colored race. We have been close friends ever
since that banquet."


(From the Washington (D. C.) Post, October 23, 1901.)

Quite the most deplorable feature of the Booker Washington incident is,
in our opinion, the effect it is likely to have on Washington himself;
yet this is an aspect of the case which does not seem to have occurred
thus far to any of the multitudinous and more or less enlightened
commentators who have bestowed their views upon the country. Criticisms
of the President are matters of taste. For our part, we hold, and have
always held, that a President's private and domestic affairs are not
proper subjects of public discussion. A man does not surrender all of
his personal liberties in becoming the Chief Executive of the Nation. At
least, his purely family arrangements are not the legitimate concern of
outsiders. The Presidency would hardly be worth the having otherwise.
The country, however, has a right to consider the incident in the light
of its probable injury to Washington and to the great and useful work in
which he is engaged.

       *       *       *       *       *

In closing this page of "Shadow and Light" I am loath to believe that
this extreme display of adverse feeling regarding the President's action
in inviting Mr. Washington to dine with him, as shown in some
localities, is fully shared by the best element of Southern opinion. Few
Southern gentlemen of the class who so cheerfully pay the largest amount
of taxation for the tuition of the Negro, give him employment and do
much to advance him along educational and industrial lines, fear that
the President's action will cause the obtrusion of his bronze pedals
beneath their mahogany. Trusting that he will be inspired to foster
those elements of character so conspicuous in Mr. Washington and that
have endeared him to his broad-minded countrymen both North and South.
The best intelligence, the acknowledged leaders of the race, are not
only conservative along political lines, but are in accord with those
who claim that social equality is not the creature of law, or the
product of coercion, for, in a generic sense, there is no such thing as
social equality. The gentlemen who are so disturbed hesitate, or refuse
such equality with many of their own race; the same can be truthfully
said of the Negro. Many ante-bellum theories and usages have already
vanished under the advance of a higher civilization, but the "old
grudge" is still utilized when truth and justice refuse their service.


Washington, the American "Mecca" for political worshipers, is a
beautiful city, but well deserving its "nom de plume" as "the city of
magnificent distances;" for any one with whom you have business seems to
live five miles from every imaginable point of the compass; and should
you be on stern business bent, distance will not "lend enchantment to
the view." It is here that the patriot, and the mercenary, the ambitious
and the envious gather, and where unity and divergence hold high

Dramatists have found no better field for portraying the vicissitudes
and uncertainties, the successes and triumphs of human endeavor. The
ante-room to the President's office presents a vivid picture, as they
wait for, or emerge from, executive presence, delineating the varied
phases of impressible human nature--the despondent air of ill success;
the pomp of place secured; the expectant, but hope deferred; the
bitterness depicted in waiting delegations on a mission of opposition
bent; the gleam of gladness on success; homage to the influential--all
these figure, strut or bemoan in the ratio of a self-importance or a
dejected mien. There is no more humorous reading, or more typical, than
the ups and downs of office-seekers. Sometimes it is that of William the
"Innocent," and often that of William the "Croker." The trials of "an
unsuccessful," a prototype of "Orpheus C. Kerr," the nom de plume of
that prince of writers, on this subject, is in place:

Diary of an office-seeker, William the "Innocent":

March 2d--Just arrived. Washington a nice town. Wonder if it would not
be as well to stay here as go abroad.

March 4th--Saw McKinley inaugurated. We folks who nominated him will be
all right now. Think I had better take an assistant secretaryship. The
Administration wants good men, who know something about politics;
besides, I am getting to like Washington.

March 8th--Big crowd at the White House. They ought to give the
President time to settle himself. Have sold my excursion ticket and will
stay awhile. Too many people make a hotel uncomfortable. Have found a
good boarding house.

March 11th--Shook hands with the President in the East Room and told him
I would call on a matter of business in a few days. He seemed pleased.

March 15th--Went to the Capitol and found Senator X. He was sour. Said
the whole State was there chasing him. Asked me what I wanted, and
said, "Better go for something in reach." Maybe an auditorship would be
the thing.

March 23d--Took my papers to the White House. Thought I'd wait and have
a private talk with the President, but Sergeant Porter said I'd have to
go along with the rest. What an ill-natured set they were. Elbowed me
right along just because they saw the President wanted to talk with me.
Will have to go back and finish our conversation.

March 27--Got some money from home.

March 29th--Went to the White House, but the chap at Porter's door
wouldn't let me in. Said it was after hours. He ought to be fired.

April 3d--Saw Mark Hanna, after waiting five hours. Asked him why my
letter had not been answered. He said he was getting 400 a day and his
secretaries would catch up some time next year. I always thought Hanna
overestimated. Now I know it.

April 5th--Had an interview with the President. Was last in the line, so
they could not push me along. When I told him of my services to the
party, he replied: "Oh, yes;" and for me to file my papers in the State
Department. Said he had many good friends in Indiana and hoped they
would be patient. Can he have forgotten I am not from Indiana? Probably
the tariff is worrying him. Shameful the way the Senate is acting.

April 7th--Borrowed a little more money. Washington is an expensive town
to live in.

April 11th--Senator X. says all the auditorships were mortgaged before
the election, but he will indorse me for a special agency or a chief
clerkship, if I can find one that is not under the civil service law.

April 12th--D--n the civil service law.

April 17th--Didn't know there were so many good positions abroad. Ought
to have gone for one of them in the first place. That State Department
is a great thing. Think I'll start with Antwerp and check off a few
which will suit me. Wonder where I can negotiate a small loan?

April 19th--Got in to see the President and told him I could best serve
the Administration and the party abroad. He said, "Oh, yes," and to file
my papers in the Post-office Department, and he hoped his friends in
Massachusetts would be patient. What made him think I was from
Massachusetts? I suppose he gets mixed sometimes.

April 20th--Senator X. says there is one chance in a million of getting
a Consulate; but if I will concentrate on Z town he and the delegation
will do what they can. Salary, $1,000; fees, $87.

April 21st---Have concentrated on Z town. Got in line today just for a
moment to tell the President it would suit me. He said, "Oh, yes," and
to file my papers in the Treasury Department, and he hoped his friends
in Minnesota would be patient till he could get around to them. Queer he
should think I was from Minnesota.

April 26th--The ingratitude of that man McKinley! He has nominated Jones
for Z town, when he knew I had concentrated on it. After my services to
the party, too! Who is Jones, anyhow?

April 27th--I am going home. Senator X has got me a pass. Will send for
my trunk later. It is base ingratitude.

William the "Croker," the other applicant for official favor, wanted
"Ambassador to Russia," and while not attaining the full measure of his
ambition, was nevertheless rewarded for his pertinacity. His sojourn in
Washington had been long, and was becoming irksome, particularly so to
the Senators and Members of Congress from his State, who had from time
to time ministered to his pecuniary wants. But Seth Orton was noted at
home and abroad for his staying qualities. He came from an outlying
district in his State that was politically pivotal, and Seth had been
known on several occasions by his fox-horn contributions to rally the
"unwashed" and save the day when hope but faintly glimmered above the
political horizon. For his Congressional delegation Seth was both useful
at home and expensive abroad. That the mission for which he aspired was
beyond his reach they were fully aware; that he must be disposed of
they were equally agreed. After having adroitly removed the props to his
aspirations for Ambassador, Minister Plenipotentiary and Consul, they
told him they had succeeded in getting him an Indian agency, paying
$1,000 a year. He was disgusted, and proclaimed rebellion. They appeased
him by telling him that the appropriation for supplies and other
necessaries the last year was ten thousand dollars, and they were of the
opinion that the former agent had saved half of it. A gleam of joy and
quick consent were prompt! Walking up and down his Congressman's room,
pleased, then thoughtful, then morose, he finally exclaimed to his
patron, "Look here, Mr. Harris; don't you think that $5,000 of the
$10,000 too much to give them d--n nigger Indians?"

On the official side of colored Washington life, we see much that is
gratifying recognition. The receipt by us of over a million dollars
annually, on the one side, and the rendering of a creditable service on
the other, while our professional and business status in the District is
equally commendable, and much more prolific in the bestowal of
substantial and lasting benefit. And on the domestic side we have much
that is cheering, comprising a large representation of wealth and
intelligence, living in homes indicating refinement and culture, and
with a social contact the most desirable.


Lawyer, and Editor of "Washington Bee."

Born in Washington, D. C., February, 1854--Leaving the Public School
entered Howard University and there Graduated--As Editor or Lawyer He is
Tireless in His Adherence to well-formed Convictions--The "Bee" Hums no
Uncertain Sound.]

Mr. Andrew F. Hilyer, editor and compiler of "The Twentieth Century
Union League Directory," in his introduction to that able and useful
publication, says: "This being the close of the nineteenth century,
after a generation of freedom, it was thought to be a good point at
which to stop and take an account of stock, and see just what is the
actual status of the colored population of Washington, the Capital of
the Nation, where the colored population is large, and where the
conditions are the most favorable, to see what is their actual status as
skilled workmen, in business, in the professions, and in their
organizations; in short, to make a study, at first hand, of their
efforts for social betterment."

This publication contains the names, character and location of 500
business men and women. It is creditable to the compiler and encouraging
for the subjects of its reference.

The colored newspapers of the District, several in number, are of high
order, and maintain a reputation for intelligent journalism, and for
energy and devotion to the cause they espouse are abreast with those of
sister communities. The growth of Negro journals in our country has been
marked. We have now three hundred or more newspapers and magazines,
edited and published by colored men and women. The publisher of a race
paper early finds that it is not a sinecure nor a bed of roses. If he is
zealous and uncompromising in the defense of his race, exposing
outrages and injustice; advertisements are withdrawn by those who have
the most patronage to bestow. Should he "crook the pregnant hinges of
the knee, that thrift may follow fawning," and fail to denounce the
wrong, the paper loses influence and subscriptions of those in whose
interest it is professedly established, and hence, as an advertising
medium, it is deserted.

So, as for the publisher (in the words of that eccentric Puritan,
Lorenzo Dow), "He'll be damned if he does, and be damned if he don't."
He is between "Scilla and Carribdes," requiring versatility of ability,
courage of conviction and a wise discretion, that he may steer "between
the rocks of too much danger and pale fear," and reach the port of
success. The mission of the Negro press is a noble one, for "Right is of
no sex, and Wrong of no color," and God, the Father of us all, with
these as its standard, to be effectual it must give a "plain,
unvarnished tale, nor set down aught in malice." The white journals of
the country often quote the Negro press as to Negro wants and Negro
aspirations, and as time and conditions shall justify it will
necessarily become more metropolitan and less exclusive, dealing more
with economic and industrial subjects on broader lines and from more
material standpoints.

[Illustration: HON. WILLIAM H. HUNT.

United States Consul to Madagascar.

Born May, 1860, in Louisiana--Graduated at Groton Academy,
Massachusetts, and Studied at Williams' College--Secretary and
Vice-Consul to the Consulate--Appointed Consul by President McKinley
August 27, 1901--Competent and Worthy.]



Howard University was established by a special act of Congress in 1867.
It takes its name from that of the great philanthropist and soldier,
Gen. O. O. Howard, who may be called its founder and greatest patron. It
was through the untiring efforts of General Howard that this special act
passed Congress to establish a university on such broad and liberal
lines as those that characterize Howard University.

This University admits students of both sexes and any color to all of
its departments. The great majority of its students, however, are
colored, and some of its graduates are the most distinguished men of the
Negro race in America. It has splendid departments of law, medicine,
theology and the arts and sciences.

Howard University is situated on one of the most beautiful sites of the
Capital of the Nation.

Having two members of my family as teachers in the public schools of
Washington City, I have learned considerable about them. They are said
to rank among our best public schools, and are constantly improving,
under the careful supervision of a highly competent superintendent, and
a paid board of trustees. There are 112 school buildings in the city--75
for white and 37 for colored, the number being regulated according to
population, about one-third being colored. New manual training schools
have just been erected, for both races, and a growing disposition exists
to provide equal (though separate) accommodation and opportunity. The
colored schools are taught exclusively by colored teachers, the grade
schools being conducted by the graduates of the Washington Normal School
almost entirely. The M Street High School, a leading sample of the best
public schools of the country, has a teaching faculty of twenty
teachers, most of them graduates of our best colleges, such as Howard,
Yale, Oberlin, University of Michigan, Amherst, Brown and Cornell.

R. H. Terrill, the present principal, is a graduate of Howard, with the
degree of "Cum laude," and, after having won golden opinions from the
board and attaches of the school for his scholarship and supervising
ability, has been appointed by President Roosevelt to a judgeship of the
District, and will assume the duties thereof in January, 1902.


Was born in Virginia in 1837--A Graduate of Harvard College--A Chief of
Division in the United States Treasury and Principal of the Colored High
School--Appointed one of the Judges of the District of Columbia
November, 1901.]

All such appointments are helpful, coming from the highest ruler, and
for place, at the fountain head of the Government, have a reflex
influence upon much which is unjust. With each success we should beware
of envy, the offspring of selfishness, which is apt to creep insidiously
into our lives. We should crown the man who has achieved distinction and
advise him as to pitfalls. "No sadder proof," Carlisle has said, "can be
given by a man of his own littleness than disbelief in great men." There
is no royal road to a lasting eminence but the toilsome pathway of
diligence, self-denial and high moral rectitude; surely not by turning
sharp corners to follow that "will-o'-the wisp" transient success, at
the expense of upright conduct. Neither suavity of manner nor the
gilding of education will atone for disregarding the sanctity of
obligation, the violation of which continues to wreck the lives and
blast the promise of many. By sowing the seed of uprighteousness, by
unceasing effort and rigid frugality, the harvest, though sometimes
tardy, will be sure to produce an hundred fold in Christian virtues and
material prosperity. The latter is a necessity for our progress; for,
say what you will about being "just as good as anybody," the world of
mankind has little use for a penniless man. The ratio of its attention
to you is largely commensurate with your bank account and your ability
to further ends involving expenditure. Whether this estimate is in
accord with the highest principle, the Negro has not time to
investigate, for he is up against the hard fact that confronts the great
majority of mankind, and one with which each for himself must grapple.
Opportunity may be late, but it comes to him who watches and waits while
diligent in what his hands may find to do. For, with all that may be
said, gracious or malicious, of the "Negro problem," we are unmistakably
on the upward grade, educationally and financially, while these bitter
criticisms and animadversions will be the moral weights to steady our
footsteps and give surety to progress.

Granting no excuse for ignorance or unfitness in a political aspirant,
or for a religious ministry at the present day, we cannot but remember
that our present lines in more pleasant places, both in Church and
State, had impetus through the trying ordeal of toil, suffering and
massacre during the era of reconstruction. Many, though unlettered, with
a nobility of soul that oppression could not humble, were martyrs to
their Christian zeal for the right and finger boards and beacon lights
on the dark and perilous road to our present advanced position.

In concluding this imperfect autobiography, containing mention of "men I
have met" in the nineteenth century, absence of many co-laborers, both
white and colored, will be observable, whose ability, devotion and
sacrifice should be treasured as heirlooms by a grateful people.

And now, kind reader, who has followed me in my wanderings--

"Say not 'Good night,' but in some brighter clime bid me 'Good

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