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Title: Working with the Hands - Being a Sequel to "Up from Slavery," Covering the Author's Experiences in Industrial Training at Tuskegee
Author: Washington, Booker T.
Language: English
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WORKING WITH THE HANDS



OTHER BOOKS

BY

THE SAME AUTHOR

     CHARACTER BUILDING
     UP FROM SLAVERY


[Illustration: MR. WASHINGTON IN HIS OFFICE AT TUSKEGEE]



WORKING WITH THE HANDS

BEING A SEQUEL TO "UP FROM SLAVERY"
COVERING THE AUTHOR'S
EXPERIENCES IN INDUSTRIAL
TRAINING AT TUSKEGEE

By
BOOKER T. WASHINGTON

_Illustrated from photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnston_

[Illustration: Logo]

NEW YORK
DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY
1904


Copyright, 1904, by Doubleday, Page & Company Published, May, 1904



INTRODUCTION TO THE SPECIAL SUBSCRIPTION EDITION


There are few subjects that are more important to the people of all
sections of the country than emphasising the value of labour with the
hands. It has an especial interest for the people who dwell in small
towns and in country districts. It has an interest for the farmer,
the mechanic, and for the woman who is engaged in domestic work, as
well as for those whose occupations are more in the direction of
mental work alone. How to dignify all forms of hand-labour, and to
make it attractive instead of repulsive, is a question that vitally
concerns every family. It is my earnest desire that what I have said
in the following pages may reach that class of people in our country,
especially those who are struggling with the hands to reach a higher
and more useful plane of life. It is my further wish that many youths
who may read what I have said may have their ambition quickened and
their courage strengthened for the battle of life.

For several years, I have been receiving requests, from many parts of
the United States and from foreign countries as well, for some detailed
information concerning the value of industrial training and the methods
employed to develop it. This little volume is the result, in part, of
an attempt to answer these queries. Two proved facts need emphasis here:

First: Mere hand training, without thorough moral, religious, and
mental education, counts for very little. The hands, the head, and the
heart together should be so correlated that one may be made to help the
others. At the Tuskegee Institute we find constantly that we can make
our industrial work assist in the academic training, and _vice versa_.

Second: The effort to make an industry profitable should not be the aim
of first importance. The teaching should be most emphasised. Our policy
at Tuskegee is to make an industry pay its way if possible, but at the
same time not to sacrifice the training to mere economic gain. Those
who undertake such an endeavour, with the expectation to getting much
money out of an industry, will find themselves disappointed, unless
they realise that the institution must be, all the time, working upon
new material. At Tuskegee, for example, when a student is trained to
the point of efficiency where he can construct a first-class wagon, we
do not keep him there to build more vehicles, but send him out into the
world to exert his trained influence and capabilities in lifting others
to his level; and we begin our work with the raw material all over
again.

I shall be more than repaid if these chapters serve the purpose of
helping forward the cause of education, even though their aid be remote
and indirect.

BOOKER T. WASHINGTON.

July 22, 1904,
South Weymouth, Mass.



PREFACE


For several years I have been receiving requests, from many parts
of the United States, and from foreign countries as well, for some
detailed information concerning the value of industrial training and
the methods employed to develop it. This little volume is the result,
in part, of an attempt to answer these queries. Two proven facts need
emphasis here:

First: Mere hand training, without thorough moral, religious, and
mental education, counts for very little. The hands, the head, and
the heart together, as the essential elements of educational need,
should be so correlated that one may be made to help the others. At the
Tuskegee Institute we find constantly that we can make our industrial
work assist in the academic training, and _vice versa_.

Second: The effort to make an industry pay its way should not be made
the aim of first importance. The teaching should be most emphasised.
Our policy at Tuskegee is to make an industry pay its way if possible,
but at the same time not to sacrifice the training to mere economic
gain. Those who undertake such endeavour with the expectation
of getting much money out of an industry, will find themselves
disappointed, unless they realise that the institution must be, all
the time, working upon raw material. At Tuskegee, for example, when a
student is trained to the point of efficiency where he can construct
a first-class wagon, we do not keep him there to build more vehicles,
but send him out into the world to exert his trained influence and
capabilities in lifting others to his level, and we begin our work with
the raw material all over again.

I shall be more than repaid if these chapters will serve the purpose of
helping forward the cause of education, even though their aid be remote
and indirect.



CONTENTS

    I. Moral Values of Hand Work                    3

   II. Training for Conditions                     15

  III. A Battle Against Prejudice                  31

   IV. Making Education Pay Its Way                43

    V. Building Up a System                        55

   VI. Welding Theory and Practice                 67

  VII. Head and Hands Together                     82

 VIII. Lessons in Home-Making                      98

   IX. Outdoor Work for Women                     107

    X. Helping the Mothers                        119

   XI. The Tillers of the Ground                  135

  XII. Pleasure and Profit of Work in the Soil    151

 XIII. On the Experimental Farm                   163

  XIV. The Eagerness for Learning                 173

   XV. The Value of Small Things                  181

  XVI. Religious Influences at Tuskegee           192

 XVII. Some Tangible Results                      200

XVIII. Spreading the Tuskegee Spirit              219

  XIX. Negro Education Not a Failure              231



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

Mr. Washington in his office at Tuskegee _Frontispiece_

                                           FACING PAGE
First building erected on School grounds            12

Breaking up new ground with an eight-ox team        16

Cutting sugar-cane on the School's farm             26

Grinding sugar-cane at the School's sugar-mill      32

The repair shop                                     42

In the Agricultural Laboratory                      46

Road-building by Tuskegee students                  50

Building a new dormitory                            56

Digging foundation for a new building on the
  Institute grounds                                 58

Selecting fruit for canning                         60

At work in the School's brick-yard                  62

Shoe-shop--making and repairing                     66

Mattress-making                                     68

Basket-making                                       70

In the School's sawmill                             72

In the machine-shop                                 74

Students at work in the School's foundry            76

Class in mechanical drawing                         78

The blacksmith shop                                 80

Class in outdoor geometry                           82

Students framing the roof of a large building       84

Class in language                                   86

Class in outdoor nature study                       88

Wood-turning machinery                              90

Class in outdoor arithmetic                         92

Chemical Laboratory                                 94

Class in physiology                                 96

Dorothy Hall, in which most of the industries
  for girls are taught                              98

Learning dressmaking                               100

Barrel furniture                                   102

Class in cooking                                   104

An out-of-door class in laundry work               106

Outdoor work for girls                             108

Home-made furniture                                130

Class in nature study                              152

"When at Tuskegee, I find a way, by rising early
  in the morning, to spend half an hour in my
  garden or with the live stock"                   154

Hogs as object-lessons                             156

"The Children's House": Class in nature study      158

"Teach the child something about real country
  life"                                            160

Cultivating a patch of cassava on the agricultural
  experiment plot                                  164

Carnegie Library. Built by Institute students      174

The tailor shop                                    176

In the model dining-room                           186

The paint shop                                     190

Institute Chapel. Most imposing building on
  School grounds built by students                 194

Taking an agricultural class into the field        204

A furniture and repair shop at Snow Hill           222

A Sewing-class at Snow Hill                        224

Typesetting--printing-office                       234

Bird's-eye view of grounds and buildings of
  Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute,
  Tuskegee, Alabama                                244



WORKING WITH THE HANDS



CHAPTER I

MORAL VALUES OF HAND WORK


The worth of work with the hands as an uplifting power in real
education was first brought home to me with striking emphasis when
I was a student at the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute,
which was at that time under the direction of the late General S. C.
Armstrong. But I recall with interest an experience, earlier than my
Hampton training, along similar lines of enlightenment, which came to
me when I was a child. Soon after I was made free by the proclamation
of Abraham Lincoln, there came the new opportunity to attend a public
school at my home town in West Virginia. When the teacher said that the
chief purpose of education was to enable one to speak and write the
English language correctly, the statement found lodgment in my mind and
stayed there. While at the time I could not put my thoughts into words
clearly enough to express instinctive disagreement with my teacher,
this definition did not seem adequate, it grated harshly upon my young
ears, and I had reasons for feeling that education ought to do more for
a boy than merely to teach him to read and write. While this scheme of
education was being held up before me, my mother was living in abject
poverty, lacking the commonest necessaries of life, and working day and
night to give me a chance to go to school for two or three months of
the year. And my foremost aim in going to school was to learn ways and
means by which I might make life more endurable, and if possible even
attractive, for my mother.

There were several boys of our neighbourhood who had superior school
advantages, and who, in more than one instance, had reached the point
where they were called "educated," which meant that they could write
and talk correctly. But their parents were not far removed from
the conditions in which my mother was living, and I could not help
wondering whether this kind of education alone was fitted to help me
in the immediate needs of relieving the hard times at home. This idea,
however, ran counter to the current of widespread opinion among my
people. Young as I was, I had come to have the feeling that to be a
free boy meant, to a considerable extent, freedom from work with the
hands, and that this new status applied especially to the educated boy.

Just after the Civil War the Negro lad was strongly influenced by two
beliefs; one, that freedom from slavery brought with it freedom from
hard work, the other that education of the head would bring even more
sweeping emancipation from work with the hands. It is fair to add that
the Negro was not directly responsible for either of these ideas, but
they warped his views nevertheless, and held sway over the masses
of the young generation. I had felt and observed these things, and
further, as a child in Virginia, had naturally noted that young white
boys whose fathers held slaves did not often work with their hands.

Not long after I had begun to think of these new conditions and their
results, viewing them as seriously as could be expected of an ignorant
boy, an event of my working life left important influences in its wake.
There lived a little way from my mother's cabin a woman of wealth,
who had lived many years in the South, although she had been born and
educated in Vermont. She had a high respect for manual labour, showing
actively her appreciation of the dignity of honest work well done,
and, notwithstanding her own position and culture, she was not ashamed
to use her hands. In the neighbourhood, this lady was reputed to be
exceedingly hard to please in the performance of any sort of work on
her place, and among the village boys she was called a "hard person to
get along with."

As I remember, at least half a dozen boys had been successively chosen
to live with her, but their residence in service had been consistently
short-lived. I think a week was about the average period, in spite
of the widely advertised fact that the household had the redeeming
reputation of always providing good things to eat. In addition to pies
and cakes, which boys in a community like ours seldom saw in their own
cabin homes, the orchards around the house bore heavy yields of the
finest fruits, yet such extraordinary inducements as these could not
hold the boys, who one by one returned to the village with the same
story, that the lady of the mansion was too strict and too hard to
please.

After a long record of these mutual disappointments, my mother told me
that my turn had come, as the rich and exacting personage had sent to
ask me to come and live with her, with the promise of five dollars a
month in wages. After a long and serious talk with my mother I decided
to make the effort to serve this woman, although the tidings of so many
failures filled me with foreboding. A few days later, with my clothes
made as presentable as possible, and with my heart thumping in fear and
anxiety, I reported for duty.

I had heard so much about Mrs. Ruffner, her wealth, her fine house, and
her luxurious surroundings, overshadowed by her appalling severity and
exacting discipline, that I trembled with a terror which I shall not
try to describe at the thought of facing her. My life had been lived
in a cabin, and I was now to try to toil in what looked to me like a
grand mansion, an enchanted palace filled with alarms. But I got a grip
on all the courage in my scanty stock, and braced myself to endure the
ordeal with all possible fortitude.

The meeting was not at all what I had expected. Mrs. Ruffner talked to
me in the kindliest way, and her frank and positive manner was tempered
with a rehearsal of the difficulties encountered with the boys who
had preceded me, how and why they had failed to please, and what was
expected of them and of me. I saw that it would be my fault if I failed
to understand my duties, as she explained them in detail. I would be
expected to keep my body clean and my clothes neat, and cleanliness was
to be the motto in all my work. She said that all things could be done
best by system, and she expected it of me, and that the exact truth at
all times, regardless of consequences, was one of the first laws of her
household--a law whose violation could never be overlooked.

I remember, too, that she placed special emphasis upon the law of
promptness, and said that excuses and explanations could never be taken
in the place of results. At the time, this seemed to me a pretty stern
program to live up to, and I was fighting a sense of discouragement
when, toward the end of the interview, she told me that if I were able
to please her she would permit me to attend school at night during
the winter. This suggestion so stimulated my ambition that it went a
long way toward clinching the decision to make the effort of my life to
satisfy my employer and to break all records for length of service in
her household.

My first task, as I remember it, was to cut the grass around the house,
and then to give the grounds a thorough "cleaning up." In those days
there were no lawn-mowers, and I had to go down on my knees and cut
much of the grass with a little hand-scythe. I soon found that my
employer not only wished the grass cut, but also demanded that it be
trimmed smooth and even. Any one who has tried to mow a lawn with a
dull hand-scythe or sickle can realise the difficulties which beset
this labour. I am not ashamed to say that I did not succeed in giving
satisfaction the first, or even the second or third time, but at last
I made the turf in that yard look as smooth and velvety as if I had
been over it with the most improved pattern of lawn-mower. With this
achievement my sense of pride and satisfaction began to stir itself and
to become a perceptible incentive. I found, however, that cutting the
grass was not the whole task. Every weed, tuft of dead grass, bit of
paper, or scrap of dirt of any kind must be removed, nor did I succeed
at the first attempt in pleasing my employer. Many times, when tired
and hot with trying to put this yard in order, I was heartsick and
discouraged and almost determined to run away and go home to my mother.

But I kept at it, and after a few days, as the result of my efforts
under the strict oversight of my mistress, we could take pleasure in
looking upon a yard where the grass was green, and almost perfect in
its smoothness, where the flower beds were trimly kept, the edges
of the walks clean cut, and where there was nothing to mar the
well-ordered appearance.

When I saw and realised that all this was a creation of my own
hands, my whole nature began to change. I felt a self-respect, an
encouragement, and a satisfaction that I had never before enjoyed or
thought possible. Above all else, I had acquired a new confidence in my
ability actually to do things and to do them well. And more than this,
I found myself, through this experience, getting rid of the idea which
had gradually become a part of me, that the head meant everything and
the hands little in working endeavour, and that only to labour with the
mind was honourable while to toil with the hands was unworthy and even
disgraceful. With this vital growth of realisation there came the warm
and hearty commendation of the good woman who had given me what I now
consider my first chance to get in touch with the real things of life.

When I recall this experience, I know that then and there my mind
was awakened and strengthened. As I began to reap satisfaction from
the works of my hands, I found myself planning over night how to gain
success in the next day's efforts. I would try to picture the yard as I
meant it to look when completed, and laid awake nights trying to decide
upon the prettiest curves for the flower beds and the proper width of
the walks. I was soon far more absorbed in this work than in filling in
my leisure time seeking mischief with the village boys.

I remained in this family for several years, and the longer I was
employed there the more satisfaction I got out of my work. Instead
of fearing the woman whom the other boys had found so formidable, I
learned to think of her and to regard her now (for she still lives)
as one of my greatest teachers. Later, whether working in the coal
mines or at the salt furnaces, I learned to find the same kind of
satisfaction in everything I did for a livelihood. If while sweeping
or dusting a room, or weeding a bed of flowers or vegetables, there
remained the least imperfection, I was unhappy, and felt that I was
guilty of dishonesty until the flaw in my work had been removed.

While I have never wished to underestimate the awakening power of
purely mental training, I believe that this visible, tangible contact
with nature gave me inspirations and ambitions which could not have
come in any other way. I favour the most thorough mental training and
the highest development of mind, but I want to see these linked with
the common things of the universal life about our doors.

It was this experience in using my hands that led me, in spite of all
the difficulties in the way, to go to the Hampton Institute, where
I had learned that pupils could have not only their minds educated,
but their hands trained. When I entered the Hampton Institute few
industries were taught there, but these had to do with the fundamentals
of every-day life. The hand work began with the duties which lay
directly in the path of the student. We were taught to make our own
beds, to clean our rooms, to take care of the recitation rooms, and to
keep the grounds in order. Then came lessons in raising our food on the
farm and the proper methods of cooking and serving it in the school.
The instruction in iron and wood-work in the earlier years of the
institution was mostly in making and repairing the farming implements
and in helping to maintain the buildings.

While much of this work may seem rudimentary, it had great educational
value. How well I remember the feeling of stimulus and satisfaction
inspired by the sight of a perfectly made bed, the pillows placed
always at the right angle, and the edges of the sheets turned over
according to rules of neatness and system. The work of the farm
had a similar kind of influence upon my views of relative values in
education. I soon learned that there was a great difference between
studying about things and studying the things themselves, between book
instruction and the illumination of practical experience.

This chain of experiences, whose links I have tried to indicate, served
as a preparation for the work of training the head, the heart, and
the hands which I was to undertake later at the Tuskegee Normal and
Industrial Institute in Alabama. When I went to Alabama to begin this
work, I spent some time in visiting towns and country districts in
order to learn the real conditions and needs of the people. It was my
ambition to make the little school which I was about to found a real
service in enriching the life of the most lowly and unfortunate. With
this end in view, I not only visited the schools, churches, and farms
of the people, but slept in their one-roomed cabins and ate at their
tables their fare of corn-bread and fried pork.

[Illustration: FIRST BUILDING ERECTED ON SCHOOL GROUNDS]

Often while making these visits, both in the towns and in the
plantation districts, I found young men and women who had acquired
considerable education, but it seemed to be limited to memorising
certain rules in grammar and arithmetic. Some of them had studied both
the classic and modern languages, and I discovered students who could
solve problems in arithmetic and algebra which I could not master. Yet
I could not escape the conviction that the more abstract these problems
were, and the further they were removed from the life the people were
then living, or were to live, the more stress seemed to be placed upon
them. One of the saddest features was to find here and there instances
of those who had studied what was called "art" or "instrumental music,"
in other words "the elegant accomplishments," but who were living in
houses where there was no sign of beauty or system. There was not the
slightest indication that this art or these accomplishments had had
or ever would have any influence upon the life in the homes of these
people.

Indeed, it did not seem to have occurred to them that such things ought
to have any relation to their every-day life. I found young men who
could wrestle successfully with the toughest problems in "compound
interest or banking" or "foreign exchange," but who had never thought
of trying to figure out why their fathers lost money on every bale of
cotton raised, and why they were continually mortgaging their crops
and falling deeper into debt. I talked with girls who could locate on
the map accurately the Alps and the Andes, but who had no idea of the
proper position of the knives and forks on the dinner table. I found
those who remembered that bananas were grown in certain South and
Central American countries, but to whom it had never occurred that they
might be a nourishing and appetising food for their breakfast tables.

In a country where pigs, chickens, ducks, geese, berries, peaches,
plums, vegetables, nuts, and other wholesome foods could be produced
with little effort, school teachers were eating salt pork from Chicago
and canned chicken and tomatoes sent from Omaha. While the countryside
abounded in all manner of beautiful shrubbery and fragrant flowers,
few of these ever found their way into the houses or upon the dinner
tables. While in many instances the people had always lived in the
country, and would continue to do so, what few text-books I saw in
their cabins were full of pictures and reading matter relating to city
life. In these text-books I saw pictures of great office buildings,
ships, street-cars, warehouses, but not a single picture of a farm
scene, a spreading apple-tree, a field of grass or corn, a flock of
sheep, or a herd of cows.



CHAPTER II

TRAINING FOR CONDITIONS


The preliminary investigation of certain phases of the life of the
people of my race led me to make a more thorough study of their needs
in order that I might have more light on the problem of what the
Tuskegee Institute could do to help them. Before beginning work at
Tuskegee I had felt that too often in educational missionary effort the
temptation was to try to force each individual into a certain mould,
regardless of the condition and needs of the subject or of the ends
sought. It seemed to me a mistake to try to fit people for conditions
which may have been successful in communities a thousand miles away, or
in times centuries remote, without paying attention to the actual life
and needs of those living in the shadow of the institution and for whom
its educational machinery must labour.

In the beginning of my work, when I thought it necessary to investigate
at closer range the history and environment of the people around us,
it soon became evident that this data was a valuable basis for the
undertaking at Tuskegee. For it was demonstrated that we were about to
take a share in the burden of educating a race which had had little
or no need for labour in its native land, before being brought to
America--a race which had never known voluntary incentives to toil.

The tropical climate had been generous to the inhabitant of Africa and
had supplied him without effort with the few things needful for the
support of the body. I had cause to recall the story of a native who
went to sleep on his back in the morning under a banana tree with his
mouth open, confident that before noon a providential banana would fall
into his mouth. While the African had little occasion to work with
his hands in the land of his nativity, by the end of his period of
slavery in this country he had undergone two hundred and fifty years of
the severest labour. Therefore, many friends of the race argued that
the American Negro, of all people, ought to be released from further
hand-training, especially while in school. Others said that the Negro
had been worked for centuries, and now that the race was free there
ought to be a change.

[Illustration: BREAKING UP NEW GROUND WITH AN EIGHT-OX TEAM]

At Tuskegee we replied that it was true that the race had been worked
in slavery, but the great lesson which the race needed to learn in
freedom was _to work_. We said that as a slave the Negro was worked;
as a freeman he must learn to work. There is a vast difference between
working and being worked. Being worked means degradation; working
means civilisation. This was the difference which our institution
wished chiefly to emphasise. We argued that during the days of slavery
labour was forced out of the Negro, and he had acquired, for this
reason, a dislike for work. The whole machinery of slavery was not apt
to beget the spirit of love of labour.

Because these things were true we promised to try to teach our students
to lift labour out of drudgery and to place it on a plane where it
would become attractive, and where it would be something to be sought
rather than something to be dreaded and if possible avoided.

More than this, we wanted to teach men and women to put brains into the
labour of the hand, and to show that it was possible for one with the
best mental training to work with the hands without feeling that he was
degraded. While we were considering our plans at Tuskegee, many persons
argued with me, as they had done with General Armstrong years before,
at Hampton, that all the Negro youth needed as education was mental and
religious training, and that all else would follow of itself.

Partly in answer to this argument, we pointed to our people in the
republic of Hayti, who were freed many years before emancipation came
to our race in the Southern States. A large number of the leading
citizens of Hayti during the long period of years had been given a most
thorough mental training not only in Hayti but in France, and the
Catholic Church had surrounded the population from birth with religious
influences. Many Haytians had distinguished themselves in the study of
philosophy and the languages, and yet the sad fact remained that Hayti
did not prosper.

I wish to be entirely fair to the Haytians. Hayti exports annually from
sixty to eighty million pounds of coffee and several hundred million
pounds of precious woods. A French statistician says that "among the
sixty countries of the globe which carry on regular commerce with
France, Hayti figures in the seventeenth place. In amount of special
duties received at the French Custom House upon the products imported
from those sixty countries, Hayti comes in the fourth rank." It seems
well to observe, then, that here is the foundation for the upbuilding
of a rich and powerful country, with great natural resources. It seems
all the more inexcusable that industrial conditions should be as
unsatisfactory as they are.

The thoughtful and progressive men in the republics of Hayti and
Santo Domingo now recognise the fact that while there has always
been a demand for professional men and women of the highest type of
scholarship, at the same time many of these scholars should have had
such scientific and industrial education as would have brought them
into direct contact with the development of the material resources of
the country. They now see that their country would have been advanced
far beyond its present condition, materially and morally, if a large
proportion of the brightest youths had been given skilled handicrafts
and had been taught the mechanical arts and practical methods of
agriculture. Some of them should have been educated as civil, mining,
and sanitary engineers, and others as architects and builders; and
most important of all, agriculture should have been scientifically
developed. If such a foundation had been laid it is probable that Hayti
would now possess good public roads, streets, bridges, and railroads,
and that its agricultural and mining resources would have made the
country rich, prosperous, and contented.

It is a deplorable fact that one of the richest islands in natural
resources in the world is compelled to import a large proportion of
its food and clothing. It is actually true that many of the people
of Hayti, some of them graduates of the best universities of France,
content themselves with wearing clothes imported from Europe. It is
also true that great quantities of canned meats and vegetables are
brought from the United States, commodities which could easily be
produced at their very doors. The Haytians claim, however, that most of
the imported food is for the use of foreigners, as they, themselves,
eat very little meat that is not freshly cooked. The people live almost
wholly upon the primitive products of undisturbed nature, and the
greater part of the harvesters and other workers are women.

I have been told, upon reliable authority, that the majority of the
educated persons in the island take up the professions, and that
because there is almost no industrial development of the country, the
lawyer, naturally, finds himself without clients, and he, in common
with others of the educated classes, spends much of his time in writing
poetry, in discussing subjects in abstract science, or embroiling his
country in revolutions.

In recent years I have received most urgent appeals from both Hayti and
Santo Domingo for advice and assistance in the direction of educating
industrial and scientific leaders. The best friends of Hayti and Santo
Domingo now realise that tremendous mistakes have been made. They see
that if the people had been taught in the beginning of their freedom
that all forms of idleness were disgraceful and that all forms of
labour, whether with the head or with the hand, were honourable, the
country to-day would not be in such stress of poverty. They would have
fewer revolutions, because the people would have industries to occupy
their time, their thoughts, and their energies. I ought to add that, in
such deficiencies as these, Hayti is perhaps not worse off than some
South American republics which have made the same mistakes.

The situation in these countries which have overlooked the value of
industrial training remind me of a story told by the late Henry W.
Grady about a country funeral in Georgia. The grave was dug in the
midst of a pine forest, but the pine coffin that held the body was
brought from Cincinnati. Hickory and other hard woods grew in abundance
nearby, but the wagon on which the coffin was drawn came from South
Bend, Indiana, and the mule that drew the wagon came from Missouri.
Valuable minerals were close to the cemetery, but the shovels and
picks used in digging the grave came from Pittsburg, and their handles
from Baltimore. The shoes in which the dead man was buried came from
Lynn, Massachusetts, his coat and trousers from New York, his shirt
from Lowell, Massachusetts, and his collar and tie from Philadelphia.
The only things supplied by the county, with its wealth of natural
resources, was the corpse and the hole in the ground, and Mr. Grady
added that the county probably would have imported both of these if it
could have done so.

When any people, regardless of race or geographical location, have not
been trained to habits of industry, have not been given skill of hand
in youth, and taught to love labour, a direct result is the breeding of
a worthless idle class, which spends a great deal of its time in trying
to live by its wits. If a community has been educated exclusively
on books and has not been trained in habits of applied industry, an
unwholesome tendency to dodge honest productive labour is likely to
develop. As in the case of Hayti, the people acquire a fatal fondness
for wasting valuable hours in discussing politics and conspiring to
overthrow the government. I have noted, too, that when the people of a
community have not been taught to work intelligently with their hands,
or have not learned habits of thrift and industry, they are likely to
be fretting continually for fear that no one will be left to earn a
living for them.

There are few more dismal and discouraging sights than the men of a
community absorbed in idle gossip and political discussion. I have seen
more than a dozen white men in one small town take their seats under
a tree or on the shady side of the street as early as eight o'clock
in the morning and talk politics until noon. Then they would go home
for dinner, and return at one o'clock to spend the remainder of the
day threshing out the same threadbare topics. Their greatest exertion
during the whole long day would be in moving from the sunny side of the
street or tree to the shady side and back again. A curious trait of
such parasites is that they are always wondering why "times are hard,"
and why there is so little money in circulation in their communities.

An argument handed down from Reconstruction times was once urged by
many people, both white and coloured, against industrial education.
It was to the effect that because the white South had from the first
opposed what is popularly called "higher education" for the Negro, this
must be the only kind good for him. I remember that when I was trying
to establish the Tuskegee Institute, nearly all the white people who
talked with me on the subject took it for granted that instruction
in Greek, Latin, and modern languages would be main features in our
curriculum; and I heard no one oppose what it was thought our course of
study would embrace. In fact, there are many white people in the South
at the present time who do not know that the dead languages are not
taught at Tuskegee.

Further proof of what I have said will be furnished by the catalogs
of the schools maintained by the Southern States for Negro people,
and managed by Southern white people; it will be found that in almost
every instance instruction in the higher branches is given with the
consent and approval of white officials. This was true as far back
as 1880. It is not unusual to meet even at this time Southern white
people who are as emphatic in their belief in the value of classical
education as a certain element of the coloured people themselves. But
the bulk of opinion in the South had little faith in the efficacy of
the "higher" or any other kind of education for the Negro. They were
indifferent, but did not openly oppose. Not all have been indifferent,
however, for there has always been a potent element of white people in
all the Southern States who have stood up openly and bravely for the
education of all the people, regardless of race. This element has had
considerable success thus far in shaping and leading public opinion,
and I believe it will become more and more influential. This does not
mean that there is as yet an equitable division of the school funds
raised by common taxation.

While the education which we proposed to give at the Tuskegee Institute
was not spontaneously welcomed by the white South, it was this training
of the hands that furnished the first basis for anything like united
and sympathetic interest and action between the two races at the South
and the whites at the North and those at the South. Aside from its
direct benefits to the Negro race, industrial education, in providing a
common ground for understanding and coöperation between the North and
South, has meant more to the South and to the cause of education than
has been realised.

Many white people of the South saw in the movement to teach young
Negroes the necessity and honour of work with the hands a means of
leading them gradually and sensibly into their new life of freedom,
without too sudden a transition from one extreme to the other. They
perceived, too, that the Negroes who were master carpenters and
contractors under the guidance of their owners could greatly further
the development of the South if their children were not too suddenly
removed from the atmosphere and occupations of their fathers, but
taught to use the thing in hand as a foundation for still higher
growth. Some were far-sighted enough to see that industrial education
would enable one generation to secure economic independence, and the
next, on this foundation, to obtain a more abstract education, if
desired. The individual and community interest of the white people
was directly appealed to by industrial education. They perceived that
intelligence, coupled with skill, would add wealth, in which both races
would increasingly share, to the community and to the State. While
crude labour could be managed and made to some degree profitable under
the methods of slavery, it could not be so utilised in a state of
freedom. Almost every white man in the South was directly interested
in agricultural, mechanical, or other manual labour; in the cooking
and serving of food, laundering and dairying, poultry-raising, and
everything related to housekeeping in general. There was no family
whose interest in intelligent and skillful nursing was not now and then
quickened by the presence of a trained nurse.

Therefore there came to be growing appreciation of the fact that
industrial education of the black people had a practical and vital
bearing on the life of every white family in the South. There was
little opportunity for such appreciation of the results of mere
literary education. If a black man became a lawyer, a doctor, a
minister, or an ordinary teacher, his professional duties would not
ordinarily bring him in touch with the white portion of the community,
but rather confine him to his own race. While professional education
was not opposed by the white South as a whole, it aroused little or
no interest, beyond a confused hope that it would produce a better
and higher type of Negro manhood. Industrial education, however, soon
recommended itself to the white South, when they saw the Negro not only
studying chemistry, but its applications to agriculture, cooking, and
dairying; not merely geometry and physics, but their application to
blacksmithing, brickmaking, farming, and what not. A common bond at
once appeared between the two races and between the North and the South.

[Illustration: CUTTING SUGAR-CANE ON THE SCHOOL'S FARM]

A class of people in the South also favoured industrial education
because they saw that as long as the Negro kept abreast in intelligence
and skill with the same class of workmen elsewhere, the South, at
present free from the grip of the trade union, would continue free from
its restrictive influences. I should like to make a diversion here to
call attention to the fact that official records show that within one
year about one million foreigners came into the United States, yet
practically none of the immigration went into the Southern States.
The records show that in 1892 only 2,278 all told went into the States
of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina,
South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. One ship sometimes brings as
many as these to New York in one trip. Foreigners avoid the South. It
must be frankly recognised by the people of that section that for a
long period they must depend upon the black man to do for it what the
foreigner is doing for the Great West, and that they cannot hope to
keep pace with the progress of people in other sections if one-third
of the population is ignorant and without skill. If the South does not
help the Negro up, it will be tying itself to a body of death. If by
reason of his skill and knowledge one man in Iowa can produce as much
corn in a season as four men can produce in Alabama, it requires little
reasoning to see that Alabama will buy most of her corn from Iowa.

An instance which illustrates most interestingly the value of education
that concerns itself with the common things about us, is furnished by
Professor Geo. W. Carver, the Director of our Agricultural Department.
For some time it has been his custom to prepare articles containing
information concerning the condition of local crops, and warning the
farmers against the ravages of certain diseases and insects. Some
months ago a white landholder in Montgomery County asked Mr. Carver to
inspect his farm. While doing so, Mr. Carver discovered traces of what
he thought was a valuable mineral deposit used in making a certain kind
of paint. The interests of the agricultural expert and the landholder
at once became mutual. Mr. Carver analysed specimens of the deposits
in the laboratory at Tuskegee and sent the owner a report of the
analysis, with a statement of the commercial application and value of
the mineral. It is an interesting fact that two previous analyses had
been made by chemists who had tabulated the constituents with greatest
accuracy, but failed to grasp any idea of value in the deposits. I
need not go into the details of this story, except to say that a stock
company, composed of some of the best white people in Alabama, has been
organised, and is now preparing to build a factory for the purpose of
putting the product on the market. I hardly need add that Mr. Carver
has been freely consulted at every step, and that his services have
been generously recognised in the organisation of the concern.

Now and then my advocacy of industrial education has been interpreted
to mean that I am opposed to what is called "higher" or "more
intellectual" training. This distorts my real meaning. All such
training has its place and value in the development of a race. Mere
training of the hand without mental and moral education would mean
little for the welfare of any race. All are vital factors in a
harmonious plan. But, while I do not propose that every individual
should have hand training, I do say that in all my contact with men I
have never met one who had learned a trade in youth and regretted it in
manhood, nor have I ever seen a father or mother who was sorry that his
children had been taught trades.

There is still doubt in many quarters as to the ability of the
Negro, unguided, and unsupported, to hew out his own path, and put
into visible, tangible, indisputable forms the products and signs
of civilisation. This doubt cannot be extinguished by mere abstract
arguments, no matter how ingeniously and convincingly advanced.
Quietly, patiently, doggedly, through summer and winter, sunshine and
shadow, by self-sacrifice, by foresight, by honesty and industry,
we must re-enforce arguments with results. One farm bought, one
house built, one home neatly kept, one man the largest tax-payer and
depositor in the local bank, one school or church maintained, one
factory running successfully, one truck-garden profitably cultivated,
one patient cured by a Negro doctor, one sermon well preached, one
office well filled, one life cleanly lived--these will tell more in our
favour than all the abstract eloquence that can be summoned to plead
our cause. Our pathway must be up through the soil, up through swamps,
up through forests, up through the streams and rocks; up through
commerce, education, and religion!

In my opinion we cannot begin at the top to build a race, any more than
we can begin at the top to build a house. If we try to do this, we
shall reap in the end the fruits of our folly.



CHAPTER III

A BATTLE AGAINST PREJUDICE


When the first few students began to come to Tuskegee I faced these
questions which were inspired by my personal knowledge of their lives
and surroundings:

What can these young men and women find to do when they return to their
homes?

What are the industries in which they and their parents have been
supporting themselves?

The answers were not always to my liking, but this was not the point
at issue. I had to meet a condition, not a theory. What I might have
wanted them to be doing was one thing; what they were actually doing
was the bed-rock upon which I hoped to lay the foundation of the work
at Tuskegee.

It was known that a large majority of the students came from
agricultural districts and from homes in which agriculture in some form
was the mainstay of the family. I had learned that nearly eighty per
cent of the population of what are commonly called the Gulf States are
dependent upon agricultural resources, directly or indirectly. These
facts made me resolve to attempt in downright earnest to see what the
Tuskegee Institute could do for the people of my race by teaching the
intelligent use of hands and brains on the farm, not by theorising, but
by practical effort. The methods in vogue for getting enough out of
the soil to keep body and soul together were crude in the extreme. The
people themselves referred to this heart-breaking effort as "making a
living." I wanted to teach them how to make more than a living.

I have little respect for the farmer who is satisfied with merely
"making a living." It is hardly possible that agricultural life will
become attractive and satisfactory to ambitious young men or women in
the South until farming can be made as lucrative there as in other
parts of the country where the farmer can be reasonably sure of being
able to place something in the bank at the end of the year. For the
young farmer to be contented he must be able to look forward to owning
the land that he cultivates, and from which he may later derive
not only all the necessities of life, but some of the comforts and
conveniences. The farmer must be helped to get to the point where he
can have a comfortable dwelling-house, and in it bathtubs, carpets,
rugs, pictures, books, magazines, a daily paper, and a telephone. He
must be helped to cherish the possibility that he and his family will
have time for study and investigation, and a little time each year for
travel and recreation, and for attending lectures and concerts.

[Illustration: GRINDING SUGAR-CANE AT THE SCHOOL'S SUGAR-MILL]

But the average farmer whom I wanted to help through the medium of the
Tuskegee Institute was far from this condition. I found that most of
the farmers in the Gulf States cultivated cotton. Little or nothing in
the form of stock or fowls, fruits, vegetables, or grain was raised
for food. In order to get the food on which man and live stock were to
live while the cotton crop was being grown, a mortgage or lien had to
be given upon the crop, or rather upon the expected crop, for the legal
papers were usually signed months in advance of the planting of the
crop.

Cotton in the South has been known for years as "the money crop."
This means that it is the one product from which cash may be expected
without question as soon as the crop is harvested. The result of this
system has been to discourage raising anything except cotton, for the
man who holds the mortgage upon the crop discourages, and in some cases
prevents, the farmer from giving much of his time and strength to the
growing of anything except cotton, since the money-lender is not sure
that he can get his money back from any other crop.

The result of this has been that, beginning in January, the farmer had
to go to the store or to the money-lender for practically all of his
food during the year. The rate of interest which the farmer had to pay
on his "advances" was in many cases enormous. The farmer usually got
his "advances" or provisions from a storekeeper. The storekeeper in
turn borrowed money from the local bank. The bank, as a general thing,
borrowed from New York. By the time the money reached the farmer he had
to pay in not a few cases a rate of interest which ranged from 15 to 30
per cent. If he failed to make his payment at the end of the year he
was likely to be "cleaned up"--that is, everything in sight in the way
of crops or live stock was taken from him. After being "cleaned up" he
would either try to make another crop on the same rented farm--trusting
to Providence or the weather for better luck--or else move to another
farm and go in search of some one else to "run him," as the local
expression describes the process. Not a few of the farmers whom I met
had been "cleaned up" half a dozen times or more.

In addition to having to pay the high rate of interest for food
supplies and clothing advanced, the ground rent was also to be paid.
By far the greater part of the land was rented. This, of course, had a
hurtful effect. Because the man who tilled the land did not own it, his
main object was to get all he could out of the property and return to
it as little as possible. The results were shown in the wretched cabins
and surroundings. If a fence was out of repair, or the roof of the
house leaked, the tenant had no personal interest in keeping up the
premises, because he was always expecting to move, and he did not want
to spend money upon the property of other people.

Instead of returning the cotton-seed to the ground to help enrich
the soil, he sold this valuable fertiliser. The land, of course, was
more impoverished each year. Ditching and terracing received little
attention. The mules with which the crops were made were rented or were
being bought "on time," as a rule, and the farmer did not have enough
direct interest in them to encourage him to spend money in keeping them
in prime condition. Besides, the food fed to the animals was not raised
on the place, but had to be bought.

Another serious result of the "one-crop" system was that the farmers
handled almost no cash except in the fall. To the ignorant and
inexperienced men of my race this was hurtful. If by any chance they
were able to pay their ground rent, and the principal and exorbitant
interest charged for their "advances," and have a few dollars in cash
left, the money did not remain with them long, for it came into their
hands about Christmas time, when the temptation to spend it for whisky,
cheap jewelry, cheap buggies, and such unprofitable articles was too
strong to be resisted. Had the same value been in the hands of the
farmer in the form of corn, vegetables, fruit, stock, or fowls it would
have been not only less likely to be wasted, but it would also have
been available for the farmer and his family during the whole or the
greater part of the year.

The conditions which I have described had a discouraging effect upon
many people who tried to get their living from the soil. As numbers of
them expressed it to me, if they worked hard during the year they came
out at the end in debt, and if they did not work they found themselves
in debt anyhow. Some went so far as to perform only sufficient work
to "make a show" of raising enough cotton on which to get "advances"
during the year, with no thought of ridding themselves of debt or of
coming out ahead.

Notwithstanding these conditions, there were instances each year
of individuals who triumphed over all these difficulties and
discouragements and came out with considerable money or cotton to their
credit. These men soon got to the point where they could begin to buy
their own homes.

In justice to the class of men in the South who advance money or
provisions each year to the farmers, I ought to say that many of them
deplore the state of affairs to which I have referred as much as any
one, but with them it is simply a system of lending money on uncertain
security. If these advances were not made, in many instances the
farmers and their families would starve. The average merchant prefers
to deal with the man who owns his land and can pay cash for his goods,
but the many ramifications of the mortgage system make both the farmer
and the money-lender slaves to the one-crop plan. If cotton fails, or
if the tenant abandons the crop before it is matured, the money-lender
is bound to lose. Both with the farmer and the money-lender it has
been like the old story of the man hugging the bear, each desperately
anxious to find a way to get free.

From the first I was painfully conscious of the fact that I could do
very little through the work of the Tuskegee Institute to help the
situation, but I was determined to make an effort to do what I could.
Many of my own race had been reduced to discouragement and despair.
Before the school could begin its practical help I spent all the time
that could be spared in going about among the people, holding meetings,
and talking with individual leaders, to arouse their ambition, and
inspire in them hope and confidence.

My first effort was to try to help the masses through the medium of
the thing that was nearest to them, and in which they had the most
vital and practical interest. I knew that if we could teach a man's son
to raise forty bushels of corn on an acre of ground which had before
produced but twenty bushels, and if he could be taught to raise this
corn with less labour than before, we should gain the confidence and
sympathy of that boy's father at once.

In this connection I have often thought that missionaries in foreign
countries would make greater progress if at first more emphasis were
placed upon the industrial and material side than upon the purely
spiritual side of education. Almost any heathen family would, I
believe, appreciate at once the difference between a shack and a
comfortable house, while it might require years to make them appreciate
the truths of the Bible. Through the medium of the home the heart could
be reached. Not long ago I was asked by a missionary who was going into
a foreign field what, in my opinion, he ought to teach the people, and
how he ought to begin. I asked him what the principal occupation of
the people was among whom he was going, and he replied that it was the
raising of sheep. I advised him, then, to begin his missionary work
by teaching the people how to raise more sheep than they were raising
and better sheep, and said that I thought the people would soon decide
that a man who could excel them in the raising of sheep might also
excel them in the matter of religion, and that thus the foundation for
effectual mission work might be laid.

The first few students of our school came largely from the farming
districts. The earliest need at the Tuskegee School was food for
teachers and students. I said: "Let us raise this food, and while doing
so teach the students the latest and best methods of farming." At the
same time we could teach them the dignity and advantages of farm life
and of work with their hands. It was easy to see the reasons for doing
this, and easy to resolve to do it, but I soon found that there were
several stubborn and serious difficulties to be overcome. The first
and perhaps the hardest of these was to conquer the idea, by no means
confined to my race, that a school was a place where one was expected
to do nothing but study books; where one was expected not to study
things, but to study about things. Least of all did the students feel
that a school was a place where one would be taught actually to _do_
things. Aside from this, the students had a very general idea that work
with the hands was in a large measure disgraceful, and that they wanted
to get an education because education was something which was meant to
enable people to live without hand work.

In addition to the objections named, I found that when I began to
speak very gently and even cautiously to the students about the plan
of teaching them to work on the farm, two other objections manifested
themselves with more or less emphasis. One was that most of the
students wanted to get out of the country into a town or a city,
and the other that many of them said they were anxious to prepare
themselves for some kind of professional life, and that they therefore
did not need the farm work. The most serious obstacle, however, was
the argument that since they and their parents for generations back had
tilled the soil, they knew all there was to be known about farming, and
did not need to be taught any more about it while in school.

These objections on the part of the students were reinforced by the
parents of many of them. Not a few of the fathers and mothers urged
that because the race had been worked for two hundred and fifty
years or more, now it ought to have a chance to rest. With all of my
earnestness and argument I was unable in the earlier years of the
school to convert all the parents and students to my way of thinking,
and for this reason many of the students went home of their own accord
or were taken home by their parents. None of these things, however,
turned the school aside from doing the things which we were convinced
the people most needed to have done for them.

I shall always remember the day when we decided actually to begin the
teaching of farming--not out of books, but by real and tangible work.
In the morning I explained to the young men our need of food to eat,
and the desire of the school to teach them to work with their hands.
I told them that we would begin with the farm, because that was the
most important need. The young men were greatly surprised when the hour
came to begin work to find me present with my coat off, ready to begin
digging up stumps and clearing the land. As my first request was more
in the form of an invitation than a command, I found that only a few
reported for work. I soon learned, too, that these few were ashamed
to have any one see them at work. After we had put in several hours
of vigorous toil I noticed that their interest began to grow, because
they came to realise that it was not _my_ farm they were helping to
cultivate, but that it belonged to the school, in which we all had a
common interest. The next afternoon a larger number reported for duty.
They were still shy about having any one see them at work, however, and
were especially timorous at the idea of being caught in the field by
the girl students.

Gradually, year by year, the difficulties which I have enumerated
began to melt away, but not without constant effort and very trying
embarrassments. It soon became evident that the students had practical
knowledge of only one industry, and that was the cultivation of cotton
in the manner in which it had been grown by their fathers for years.
Another defect soon became evident, and that was that they had little
idea of caring for tools or live stock. Plows, hoes, and other farming
implements were left in the field where they were last used. If
quitting time came when the hoe was being used in the middle of a field
or at the end of a row, the tool remained there over night. Where the
last plowing in the fall was done, there the plow would most likely
spend the winter. No better care than this was given to wagons or
harness, and mules and horses shared this impartial neglect.

It was the custom in the earlier days of the school--as it is now--for
students and teachers to assemble in the evening for prayers. After
considerable ineffective effort to teach the students to put their
implements away properly at night, I caused a mild sensation at evening
prayers by calling the names of three students who had left their
implements in the field. I said that these three students would be
excused from the room to attend to this duty, and that we would not
proceed with the service until their return, and that I felt sure they
would be more benefited by prayer and song after having done their work
well than by leaving it poorly done. A few lessons of this kind began
to work a notable betterment in the care with which the students looked
after their implements, and attended to other details of their daily
round.

[Illustration: THE REPAIR SHOP

All of the broken furniture of the school is mended here]



CHAPTER IV

MAKING EDUCATION PAY ITS WAY


I cannot emphasise too often the fact that my experience in building
up the Tuskegee Institute has taught me year by year the value of
hand work in the building of character. I have frequently found one
concrete, definite example illustrating the difference between right
and wrong worth more than hours of abstract lecturing on morality. I
have told girls many times that a dish is either thoroughly washed and
dried or it is not. If a thing is not well done, it is poorly done.
Furthermore, I have taught our girls from the beginning of this school
that a student who receives pay for properly attending to dishes,
and does her work poorly, is guilty of two wrongs. She is guilty of
falsehood and guilty of receiving money for doing something which she
has not done.

This lesson taught in the kitchen, with the carelessly cleaned utensil
in evidence as an illustration, has a power that is hard to resist.
Just so the implement left in the field over night has many times
been made to teach the same lessons--of warning against untruth and
dishonesty. Leaving it there was untruthful, because the student had
said by his action that he had properly performed the work of the day;
it was dishonest because the school had been robbed of a portion of the
value of the implement by reason of the rain and dew falling on it and
causing it to rust and depreciate in value.

In the beginning our methods of instruction in farming were primitive
and crude, but month by month, and year by year, steady growth
encouraged our efforts. One difficulty to which I have not referred
was that the land on which we began work was not the richest in the
world. When attention was called by the students and others to the poor
quality of the soil, I replied that poor soil was the best in which
to begin the teaching of agriculture, because this would give us an
opportunity to learn to make poor land rich. I told them also that if
we could teach the students how to cultivate poor land profitably they
would have little difficulty in making more than a living upon fairly
good or rich soil.

Apart from the problems found on the school grounds, our methods
were at first misunderstood by school officials in high authority
throughout the country, and our aims were not appreciated by other
schools established in the South for the education of my race. I
remember that after I had spoken for an hour at a meeting of a State
Teachers' Association, trying to explain the meaning and advantages
of industrial education or hand work, a teacher arose and asked the
State superintendent, who was present, a very simple question regarding
the subject. The superintendent replied that he would have to refer
the question to me, as the subject was one that he had never heard
discussed before. It happened occasionally that students on their
way to the Tuskegee Institute were asked if they were going to an
"ox-driving school," the question implying, I suppose, that the main
thing taught at Tuskegee was ox-driving. Our critics, however, did not
know that at the time we were too poor to own oxen, and that on our
little farm we had nothing in the way of draught animals except one
poor blind horse which a white friend in Tuskegee had given us.

During the first year the training in agriculture on the school farm
consisted of about two hours of work daily for each of the young men
students, the remaining time being spent in the class rooms. The
outdoor period, during the first school session, was mostly spent in
grubbing up stumps, felling trees, building fences, making ditches,
and in plowing the ground preparatory to planting a little crop. We
had few implements with which to do this work, and most of these were
borrowed. The reader will realise how hard it must have been under
these conditions to make the student feel that he was acquiring new
knowledge of farm life. As I recall it now, I am sure that the main
thing that we were able to teach the students in those early days was
that book education did not mean a divorce from work with the hands.

Gradually we were able to secure more land for farming purposes and to
cultivate what we did have to better advantage. As the school grew, we
learned more about the proper fertilisation of the soil, and how to
use labor-saving machinery more effectively. It was surprising to note
how many of the students believed that farm labour must from its very
nature be hard, and that it was not quite the proper thing to use too
much labour-saving machinery. Indeed, many of the white planters in
certain sections of the South have until recently refused to encourage
the use of much agricultural machinery, for the reason, as they stated
it, that such assistance would spoil the Negro "farm hands." For
some years the Tuskegee Institute did not escape this charge. As our
department of farming grew from month to month, I was not afraid to let
it be known that I felt certain that one result of any proper system of
hand training _was_ to spoil, or get rid of, the ordinary "farm hand."
If one will study the industrial development of the South, he will be
forced to the conclusion that one of the factors that has most retarded
its progress has been and is the "farm hand." This individual has too
long controlled the agriculture of the South. With few exceptions, he
is ignorant and unskilled, with little conscience. He seldom owns the
land which he pretends or tries to cultivate. Too often he is a person
who has no permanent abiding place, and if he has one it is probably a
miserable one-room cabin. The "farm hand" can be hired for from forty
to sixty cents a day. In fact, I have known of cases where such men
were hired for twenty-five cents a day and their board; and they were
very dear help even at that price.

[Illustration: IN THE AGRICULTURAL LABORATORY]

I believe that most of the worn-out and wasted fields, the poor stock,
the run-down fences, the lost and broken farm tools and machinery, as
well as the poor crops, are chargeable to the "farm hand" whom, I have
been warned so many times, I must be careful not to spoil. Such a man
is too ignorant to know what is going on in the world in progressive
agriculture. He is without skill to such an extent that he knows almost
nothing about setting up and operating labour-saving machinery. His
conscience has not been trained, and hence he has little idea of giving
an honest day's labour for a day's pay, and of doing unto others in
matters of labour as he would have others do unto him.

It will be seen at a glance that such a worker in the soil as this
cannot compete with the farmer of the Northwest, who owns the land
that he cultivates, who is intelligent, and who uses the latest
improved farm machinery. One such man is worth as much to the general
industrial interests of a country as three "farm hands." No country can
be very prosperous unless the people who cultivate the soil own it and
live on it. I repeat, then, that one of my first thoughts in beginning
agricultural training at the Tuskegee Institute was to help to replace
the "farm hand" of the South with something better.

As an illustration of the need of new ideas in farming, and of the
effect that the long-continued cultivation of a single crop has upon
the tiller, I remember that some years ago I invited a farmer into
my office and explained to him in detail how he could make thirty
dollars an acre on his land if he would plant a portion of it in
sweet potatoes, whereas if he planted cotton, as he had been doing
for years, he could make only fifteen dollars per acre in the best
season. As I explained the difference, step by step, he agreed with me
at every point, and when I came near to the end of my argument I began
to congratulate myself that I had converted at least one man from the
one-crop system to better methods. Finally, with what I fear was the
air of one who felt that he had won his case, I asked the farmer what
he was going to cultivate on his land the coming year. The old fellow
scratched his head, and said that as he was getting old, and had been
growing cotton all his life, he reckoned he would grow it to the end
of his few remaining years, although he agreed with me that he could
double the product of his land by planting sweet potatoes on it.

Soon after we had succeeded in clearing the trees and stumps from a
few acres of ground, we planted a small crop. This crop, as I have
stated, was not very different from others which the students had seen
planted or had taken part in planting at their homes, because the
school was poor in implements and stock. The main difference between
our first crop and those which the students had come into contact with
at their homes was that ours was to some extent a diversified crop. The
increasing number of students soon made it necessary to increase the
acreage of land cultivated. In the first few months of the Tuskegee
Institute the students boarded in families. This made it difficult to
get the greatest value out of our farm products. Partly to overcome
this, we arranged to begin boarding the students upon the school
grounds. Here another difficulty presented itself. It was found that a
student would be of little value to the farm and would gain very little
in knowledge and skill if he worked only a few hours each day. We
discovered that, after there had been subtracted the minutes required
for him to reach his work, get his tools, and otherwise prepare
himself, little time would be left for getting actual results out of
the soil. In order to overcome this weakness in our system, we decided
to follow in some measure the plan originated by General Armstrong at
the Hampton Institute. This was to have the students study in the class
rooms during four days of the week, and work on the farm two days. The
students, however, for a long while referred to these two days as "lost
days."

It was often amusing, as well as interesting, to note the intense faith
of the students in their books. The larger the book and the bigger the
words it contained, the more highly it was revered. At this time there
were almost no text-books which dealt with industrial subjects. For
this reason, any one who wanted to give instructions in such branches
had, in a very large measure, to "blaze" his way. The absence of
text-books on these subjects made it all the more difficult at first to
combine industrial and academic teaching. We partly solved the problem
by having the students work two days at some industry and study four
days in the school-room.

We found it advisable to consider not only the best system of teaching
in our practical work, but the economic values also. We felt that it
would be possible to teach the students the latest and best methods of
performing all kinds of hand work, and at the same time show them the
dignity of such service. But in addition to this we wanted the students
to do such work as they could about the school, work which otherwise
would have been done by hired men not connected with the institution.

[Illustration: ROAD-BUILDING BY TUSKEGEE STUDENTS]

We felt, therefore, that the fair thing to do would be to arrange some
scheme by which the student would receive compensation for all the work
of value which he did for the school. This we felt was not only just,
but would emphasise another valuable element in teaching. The lack of
this economic emphasis I have always felt to be one of the weak points
in manual training. To enable us to meet this condition, we decided
to have the students board on the school grounds, to charge them
eight dollars per month for their board, and then to give them credit
on their board-bills for all the work they did which proved to have
productive or money-saving value.

Aside from the economic results of the work, we knew that the mere
effort on the part of the student to help himself through school by
labour would prevent our making "hot-house plants" of our students, and
would prove worth while in character building. In all cases payment
for work depended upon the individual efforts of the students. One of
the dominating purposes kept always in mind was to give the student a
chance to help himself by means of some industry. In this connection,
I beg to say that in my judgment the whole problem of the future of my
race hinges largely upon the question: "To what extent will the Negro,
when given a chance, help himself, and make himself indispensable to
the community in which he lives?"

We soon learned that in the practical application of our scheme the
average student would earn from two to three dollars a month by working
two days in the week, leaving only five or six dollars to be paid in
cash. Some students were so much in earnest that they worked out more
than half of the eight dollars. This opportunity proved a godsend to
most of the students, as very few of them were able to pay the eight
dollars a month in cash during nine months of the year. Aside from
other considerations, we began to find out that we could quickly test
the worth of a student by the degree of earnestness which he evinced in
helping himself through labour with his hands. After a little while,
many of the students began to take great pride in telling their parents
at the end of each month how much they had helped themselves through
their work on the farm or in other industries. This information and
enthusiasm came in time to have its influence in leading the parents to
appreciate the value of hand training.

As the school grew in size and experience, it became apparent that we
ought to find a way to help the large number of young men and women
who were constantly seeking admission, but who had no money with which
to pay any portion of their expenses. We became convinced that some
of the most promising and worthy students were those who came from
the country districts, where they had had very few advantages of
book education. They had little or no money, but they had good strong
bodies, and were not ashamed to work with their hands. In reaching this
class of students I found that my experience at the Hampton Institute
was of great advantage. We decided to start a night school for students
who could not afford to go to school in the day time. The number who
availed themselves of this arrangement was very small at first. We
began by making a written contract with each student to the effect that
he or she was to work during the whole of the day at some industry,
and study in the class room for two hours at night, after the day's
work was completed. In order to put this plan upon a sound basis, the
following form of contract was signed:


TUSKEGEE NORMAL AND INDUSTRIAL INSTITUTE.

(INCORPORATED.)

     This agreement, made the seventeenth day of October, 1902, between
     James C. Black, of the first part, and Booker T. Washington,
     Principal of The Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute, of the
     second part,

     Witnesseth, that the said James C. Black has agreed faithfully,
     carefully and truly to serve The Tuskegee Normal and Industrial
     Institute, in whatever capacity the said Booker T. Washington,
     Principal, etc., or those deputed by him, may designate, from date
     hereof to the seventeenth day of October, 1904.

     In consideration of service to be rendered by James C. Black, the
     said Booker T. Washington, Principal, etc., has agreed to allow
     said James C. Black eight dollars per month, provided he remains
     until October 17, 1904; otherwise he has agreed to pay him at
     the rate of one-fifth of that sum per month for the time he may
     have been in the service of The Tuskegee Normal and Industrial
     Institute; this latter amount to include all amounts which may
     have been charged against said James C. Black.

     It is agreed, further, that the amount earned shall be reserved
     in the hands of the said Booker T. Washington, Principal, etc.,
     the same to be used in paying the expenses of said James C. Black
     in the regular classes of The Tuskegee Normal and Industrial
     Institute. In case the said James C. Black leaves school
     voluntarily, or is dismissed after the expiration of the time for
     which he agrees to serve, he is to forfeit all that the school may
     owe him at that time.

     It is further agreed that no part of what said James C. Black may
     earn shall be transferred to another's account, but shall be kept
     for James C. Black's exclusive use after he shall have entered the
     Day School.

     It is distinctly understood that what said James C. Black may earn
     is for the purpose of paying board, and no part can be drawn in
     cash.

     In witness whereof, we have hereunto set our hands and seals.

     JAMES C. BLACK (L. S.)
     BOOKER T. WASHINGTON (L. S.)

     WITNESS:  {  ABRAM T. BLACKETT
               {  GEORGE F. MAY



CHAPTER V

BUILDING UP A SYSTEM


The system we decided to use at Tuskegee divided the school into two
classes of students: those who worked with their hands two days in the
week, and spent four days in the class room; and the night students,
who, through the first year of their course, worked all day with their
hands and spent their evenings in the class rooms. Of course, the
student who worked ten hours each day was paid more than the one who
laboured only two days in the week. The night-school students were to
earn, not only their board, but something in addition. The surplus
was to be used in paying their expenses in the regular day school
after they had remained in the night school one or two years as they
might elect. The night school, besides other opportunities, gave the
student a chance to get a start in his books and also in some trade or
industry. With this as a foundation, I have rarely seen a student who
was worth much fail to pass through the regular course.

The night school had not been in session many weeks before several
facts began to make themselves prominent. The first was the economic
value of the work of the night students. It was plain that these
students could perform much labour for which we should otherwise have
had to pay out cash to persons not connected with the institution. It
is true that the work at first was crude, but it should be remembered
that in the earlier years the whole school was crude. All work in
laying the foundation for a race is crude.

The economic value of hand work at the Tuskegee Institute can be
illustrated in no better way than by data of the construction of our
buildings. When a friend has given us twenty-five thousand dollars for
a building, instead of having it constructed by an outside contractor,
we have had the students produce the material and do the work as far as
possible, and through this method a large proportion of the money given
for the building passes into the hands of the students, to be used in
gaining an education. The plan has a double value, for, in addition
to the twenty-five thousand dollars which is diverted into channels
through which a large number of students get an education, the school
receives the building for permanent use.

[Illustration: BUILDING A NEW DORMITORY

Students draw plans, dig foundations, make the brick, cut timber, which
they saw and make into joists and frames. The painting, plastering,
plumbing and roofing are also done by the students under the direction
of their instructors.]

Let us value the work at Tuskegee by this test: The plans for the
Slater-Armstrong Memorial Trades' Building, in its main dimensions 283
× 315 feet, and two stories high, were drawn by a coloured man, our
instructor in mechanical drawing. Eight hundred thousand bricks were
required in its construction, and every one of them was manufactured
by our students while learning the trade of brick-making. All the
bricks were laid into the building by students who were being taught
the trade of brickmasonry. The plastering, carpentry work, painting,
and tin-roofing were done by students while learning these trades. The
whole number of students who received training on this building alone
was 196. It is lighted by electricity, and all the electric fixtures
were put in by students who were learning electrical engineering.
The power to operate the machinery in this building comes from a 125
horse-power engine and a 75 horse-power boiler. All this machinery was
not only operated by students who were learning the trade of steam
engineering, but was installed by students under the guidance of their
instructor.

For other examples of the amount of work that our students do in the
direction of self-help, I would mention the fact that they manufactured
2,990,000 bricks during the past twelve months; 1,367 garments of
various kinds have been made in the tailor shop, and 541,837 pieces
have been laundered in the laundry division by the girls.

Agriculture is the industry which we plan to make stand out most
prominently; and we expect more and more to base much of our other
training upon this fundamental industry. There are two reasons why we
have not been able to send out as many students from our agricultural
department as we have desired:

First, agriculture was the industry most disliked by the students and
their parents in the earlier years of the school. It required nearly
ten years to overcome this prejudice.

Second, nearly all of our buildings, seventy-two in number, have been
built by the students, and the building trades have, of necessity, been
emphasised. As soon as the building period slackens, we shall be able
to send out a larger number skilled in all the branches of agriculture.

I have been asked many times about the progress of the students in the
night school as compared with those in the day school. In reality,
there is little difference. A student who studies two hours at night
and works with his hands ten hours during the day, naturally covers
less ground in the text-books than the day student, yet in real sound
growth and the making of manhood, I question whether the day student
has much advantage over the student in the night school. There is
an indescribable something about work with the hands that tends to
develop a student's mind. The night-school students take up their
studies with a degree of enthusiasm and alertness that is not equalled
in the day classes. I have known instances where a student seemed so
dull or stupid that he made practically no progress in the study of
books. He was away from the books entirely for a few months and put
to work at a trade; at the end of a few months he has returned to the
class room, and it has been surprising to note how much more easily
he could master the text-books than before. There is something, I
think, in the handling of a tool that has the same relation to close,
accurate thinking that writing with a pen has in the preparation of a
manuscript. Nearly all persons who write much will agree, I think, that
one can produce much more satisfactory work by using the pen than by
dictation.

[Illustration: DIGGING FOUNDATION FOR A NEW BUILDING ON THE INSTITUTE
GROUNDS]

While speaking of the effect of careful hand training on the
development of character, it is worth while to mention an uncommonly
instructive example. If any one goes into a community North or South,
and asks to have pointed out to him the man of the Negro race of the
old generation, who stands for the best things in the life of the
coloured community, in six cases out of ten, I venture to say, he will
be shown a man who learned a trade during the days of slavery. A few
years ago, James Hale, a Negro, died in Montgomery, Alabama. He spent
the greater part of his life as a slave. He left property valued at
fifty thousand dollars, and bequeathed a generous sum to be used in
providing for an infirmary for the benefit of his race. James Hale
could not read or write a line, yet I do not believe that there is
a white or black man in Montgomery who knew Mr. Hale who will not
agree with me in saying that he was the first coloured citizen of
Montgomery. I have seldom met a man of any race who surpassed him in
sterling qualities. When Mr. Hale was a slave his master took great
pains to have him well trained as a carpenter, contractor and builder.
His master saw that the better the slave was trained in handicraft, the
more dollars he was worth. In my opinion, it was this hand-training,
despite the evil of slavery, that largely resulted in Mr. Hale's fine
development. If Mr. Hale was all this with mere hand training, what
might he have been if his mind had also been carefully educated? Mr.
Hale was simply a type of many men to be found in nearly every part of
the country.

The average manual-training school has for its main object the
imparting of culture to the student; while the economic element is
made secondary. At the Tuskegee Institute we have always emphasised
the trade or economic side of education. With any ignorant and
poverty-stricken race, I believe that the problem of bread-winning
should precede that of culture. For this reason the students who have
attended the night school at Tuskegee have, as a rule, mastered the
principles and practice of agriculture, or have been taught a trade by
means of which we felt sure they could earn a living. With the question
of shelter, food and clothing settled, there is a basis for what are
considered the higher and more important things.

[Illustration: SELECTING FRUIT FOR CANNING]

We have, therefore, emphasised the earning value of education rather
than the finished manual training, being careful at the same time
to lay the foundations of thorough moral, mental and religious
instruction. In following this method something may be lost of the
accuracy and finish which could be obtained if a course in manual
training preceded the industrial course, but the fact that the student
is taught the principles of house-building in building a real house,
and not a play house, gives him a self-reliance and confidence in his
ability to make a living, that manual training alone could not give.
The boy in the conditions surrounding the average Negro youth, leaving
school with manual training alone, finds himself little better off than
he was before, so far as his immediate and pressing problem of earning
a living is concerned. He and those dependent upon him want at once
food, shelter, clothing and the opportunity to live properly in a home.
Industrial education takes into consideration the economic element in
production in a way that manual training does not, and this is of great
value to a race just beginning its career.

While I am speaking of the comparative value of manual training and
industrial education, there is one other difference between them to
which I ought to call attention. The proportion of students who
complete an industrial or trade course is likely to be smaller than
the proportion completing a literary or manual training course. For
example, a boy comes to Tuskegee Institute, as has often happened, from
a district where he has been earning fifty cents a day. At Tuskegee he
works at the brickmason's trade for nine months. He cannot master the
trade during this time, but he gets a start in it. At the end of the
nine-months' session, if he returns home, this student finds himself
in demand in the community, at wages which range from one dollar and a
half to two dollars a day. Unless he is a man of extraordinarily strong
character, he will be likely to yield to the temptation to remain at
home, and become a rather commonplace mason, instead of returning and
finishing his trade, in order that he may become a master workman. So
far I have been unable to discover any remedy that will completely
offset this tendency. The most effective cure for it, so far as my
experience is concerned, is an appeal to the pride of the student.

[Illustration: AT WORK IN THE SCHOOL'S BRICK-YARD

Getting a kiln ready to fire]

Another question often asked me is, how long it will take an industrial
school to become self-supporting. To this question I always reply
that I know of no industrial school that is self-supporting, nor do
I believe that any school which performs its highest functions as an
industrial school will become so. I believe that it is the duty of all
such schools to make the most of the economic element--to make each
industry pay in dollars and cents just as far as is possible--but the
element of teaching should be made the first consideration, and the
element of production secondary. Very often at the Tuskegee Institute
it would pay the institution better to keep a boy away from the farm
than to have him spend a day at work on it; but the farm is for the
boy, and not the boy for the farm.

An industrial school is continually at work on raw material. When a
student gets to the point where he can build a first-class wagon or
buggy, he is not retained at the school to build these vehicles merely
for their economic value, but is sent out into the world to begin his
life's work; and another student is taken in his place to begin the
work afresh. The cost of teaching the new student and the waste of
material weigh heavily against the cost of production. Hence, it can
easily be seen that it is an almost impossible task to make money out
of an industrial school, or to make it self-supporting. The moment the
idea of "making it pay" is placed uppermost, the institution becomes a
factory, and not a school for training head and hand and heart.

One of the advantages of the night school at Tuskegee is in the
sifting-out process of the student body. Unless a student has real
grit in him and means business, he will not continue very long to work
with his hands ten hours a day for the privilege of studying two hours
at night. Though much of the work done by students at an industrial
school like Tuskegee does not pay, the mere effort at self-help on the
part of the student is of the greatest value in character building.

Most races have come up through contact with the soil, either directly
or indirectly. There is something about the smell of the soil--a
contact with a reality that gives one a strength and development that
can be gained in no other way. In advocating industrial training for
backward or weak races or individuals, I have always kept in mind the
strengthening influence of contact with a real thing, rather than with
a third-rate imitation of a thing.

The great lesson which the race needs to learn in freedom is to work
willingly, cheerfully and efficiently. In laying special stress upon
hand training for a large proportion of my race, I ask no peculiar
education for the Negro, because he is a Negro, but I would advocate
the same training for the German, the Jew, or the Frenchman, were he
in the same relative stage of racial development as the masses of
the Negroes. While insisting upon thorough and high-grade industrial
education for a large proportion of my race, I have always had the
greatest sympathy with first-class college training and have recognised
the fact that the Negro race, like other races, must have thoroughly
trained college men and women. There is a place and a work for such,
just as there is a place and a work for those thoroughly trained with
their hands.

I shall never forget a remark I once heard made by a lady of foreign
birth. She had recently arrived in America, and by chance had landed in
one of our largest American cities. As she was a woman of considerable
importance, she received lavish social attention. For weeks her life
was spent in a round of fashionable dressing, dining, automobiling,
balls, theaters, art museums, card parties, and what not. When she
was quite worn out, a friend took her to visit the Hampton Normal and
Agricultural Institute. There she saw students and teachers at work
in the soil, in wood, in metal, in leather, at work cooking, sewing,
laundering. She saw a company of the most devoted men and women in the
world giving their lives in the most unselfish manner, that they might
help to put a race on its feet. It was then that she exclaimed in my
presence: "What a relief! Here I have found a reality; and I am so glad
that I did not leave America before I saw it."

I think I was able to understand something of her feeling. In the
history of the Negro race since freedom, one of the most difficult
tasks has been to teach the teachers and leaders to exercise
enough patience and foresight to keep the race down to a reality,
instead of yielding to the temptations to grasp after shadows and
superficialities. But the race itself is learning the lesson very fast.
Indeed, the rank and file learn faster than some of the teachers and
leaders.

[Illustration: SHOE SHOP--MAKING AND REPAIRING]



CHAPTER VI

WELDING THEORY AND PRACTICE


Broom-making has been recently included among the industries for girls
at Tuskegee. Hundreds of brooms were being worn out every year in
sweeping the floors of more than seventy buildings; and I venture to
say that more brooms were used up for the same amount of floor space
than at almost any other institution of the kind. Wherever you may go
in the shops, or halls, you will find some one busy with a broom most
of the time. The litter in the carpenter shop or the mattress-making
room is not allowed to accumulate until the end of the day, but is
swept up so often that visitors sometimes ask me whether there is a
moment of the working day when some one is not wielding a busy broom
somewhere in the institution.

It was this reason that inspired the home manufacture of the needed
supply of brooms. It had been found possible to supply most of the
needs of the school by student labour, and after establishing a summer
canning factory, which Chaplain Penney directs while the Bible School
is not in session, making brooms seemed a natural evolution of supply
and demand. But investigation showed that none of the instructors knew
anything about making brooms, and that the Experimental Farm had not
yet taken up the task of raising broom-corn. These obstacles were not
serious in comparison with many others which had been attacked in the
industrial school.

A way was found to make the first sample broom, and gradually the
needed machinery was installed. Then the director of the Agricultural
Department discovered that broom-corn could be raised on the farm, and
now students can be equipped to take the industrial knowledge home with
them, and also to grow the crop on their own farms. This department
keeps the school supplied with good brooms at small cost, and out of
a minor need grew another useful industry. The lesson in this little
story is that finding a way to solve the problems closest at home helps
to build up the community at large. It was found, also, that the work
of the class room could be correlated even with broom-making, and made
to harmonise with the Tuskegee theory of education of head and hands
together. The girls were asked to write compositions descriptive of
their work in this industry, and some of these efforts have been very
creditable.

[Illustration: MATTRESS-MAKING

All the mattresses and pillows used at the Institute are made by the
students]

I insert one of these compositions as a sample:


"BROOM-MAKING"

"I am a nice large broom just made Tuesday by Harriet McCray. Before
I was made into a broom, I grew over in a large farm with a great
many others of my sisters. One day I was cut down and brought up to
the broom-making department, and was carefully picked to pieces to
get the best straw. I was put in a machine called the winder. Here I
was wound very tightly, and then put in another machine called the
press. I was pressed out flat and sewed tightly. Out of the press I was
carried to the clipper, and all of my seed and long ends were cut off.
From the cutter I was carried to the threshing machine and combed out
thoroughly, and put in the barrel for sale. I was sold to the school
for thirty-five cents. He will use me very roughly in doors, and when I
begin to get old, I shall be used in sweeping the yards. When I am worn
completely out, I shall be pulled to pieces to get my handle, which
will be used again to make a fresh, new broom."


Class-room work is also made a part of the training in this varied
catalogue of industries in successful operation at Tuskegee:
Agriculture, basketry, blacksmithing, bee-keeping, brick-masonry,
plastering, brick-making, carpentry, carriage trimming, cooking,
dairying, architectural, free-hand and mechanical drawing, plain
sewing, dress-making, electrical and steam engineering, founding,
harness-making, house-keeping, horticulture, canning, laundering,
machinery, mattress making, millinery, nurses' training, painting,
saw-milling, shoe-making, printing, stock-raising, tailoring, tinning,
and wheelwrighting.

It will be seen that the school is a community unto itself, in which
buildings can be erected, finished, and furnished, the table supplied
the year round, and economic independence achieved in a large measure.
But this work is for the benefit of the student, not to make the
school self-supporting. Therefore, no one side of his education must
be neglected in order that he may be for the time a more productive
labourer in his department of industry. It would be wronging both him
and the system to keep him at the work-bench all the working hours in
order that he might turn out the greatest possible number of shoes, or
window sashes, or fruit cans in a week.

[Illustration: BASKET-MAKING

Special effort is made to have the students use the natural products of
the region as material]

For example, if you should chance to visit the carpenter shop, you
would find a score of young men turning out the finished material for
some new building in process of erection, or at the lathes turning out
the interior finishings. But in a small room in one corner, having a
hard time to be heard above the din of the steam saws, is an instructor
with a class of students, who are learning to draw up contracts for
jobs in carpentry or building. They are not going out with the
expectation of always being carpenters at day wages. They should know
how to make contracts as "boss carpenters," to build houses, or repair
them, or how to hire other men to build houses for them. Therefore,
they learn to draw up specifications in both legal and practical form,
so that when the occasion arises they will know how to work with
intelligence.

Their class-room work in spelling, mathematics, grammar, and English
composition comes effectively into play. They find out that a
carpenter has small chance of getting ahead unless he can use his
head intelligently. He writes out a contract, for example, to put up
a four-room house, on a basis of three cash payments--when he takes
the job; when the roof is on; and when the house is turned over to the
owner. This contract is read aloud by the instructor, who asks the
other members of the class to criticise it. One of them points out a
flaw which would allow the owner to "crawl out" of his bargain on a
technicality. Another is pleased to discover that the arithmetic is
so faulty that the estimates of the cost of material would land the
contractor in the poor-house. Then the student begins to see that his
so-called academic teaching is as important in his calling as his skill
with the plane, the saw and the miter-box, and that he cannot hope to
become a good carpenter unless he is also a diligent scholar.

In the winter an instructor in the Agricultural Classes may teach his
students to familiarise themselves, through books, with insect pests
which infest the peach tree. They are asked to give their own ideas
of the "borer," or the "scale," but this information is not allowed
to be packed away in the attic of memory, to be forgotten like so
much useless lumber. The real examination comes in the spring, not in
written papers, but in the school orchard. The same instructor takes
the class among the peach trees, and, with branches in their hands,
they are required to identify the "borer," and apply to the trees the
remedies laid down in their books and lectures.

When a new building is to be erected, the school industries join their
activities in a common cause. The project sets in motion, first, the
wagons to be used in removing the excavated material. The young men
in the wheelwright, blacksmithing, and harness-making rooms see their
work tested, for they have made and equipped all the heavy farm wagons
needed for this hauling. Along with their daily work with the hands,
the patterns and instructions had been given them on blackboards and in
lectures. They have trained their minds, they have learned handicraft,
and the combined results are applied. Their wagons and harness are not
to be sent away or put on exhibition. They must stand the strain at
home, and if they are faulty it cannot be hidden.

[Illustration: IN THE SCHOOL'S SAWMILL]

Then come the brick-makers, turning out 20,000 bricks a day in the
school kilns. They know whether they have made good bricks when they
see them handled, and put into the walls by the student masons. In the
course for brick-masonry, there is practical demonstration the year
round. All the brick work on the buildings of the school is done by
students, under the supervision of the instructors. Plastering and
repair work, both inside and outside of the buildings, is in charge of
the Brickmasonry Division. The theory is taught in the class room, the
practical test is always close at hand. The brick-mason and plasterer
has one hundred and eighteen lessons in the fundamental principles of
the trade, he is taught how to make estimates on different kinds of
work, he has a course in architectural drawing, and he does research
work in trade journals. So much for theory, but his diploma of
efficient mastery of his trade is built into the walls of the Tuskegee
buildings. They show whether he has learned to be a brick-mason, or
whether he has merely learned things about brick-masonry.

The school sawmill turns out the lumber for the building in course of
erection. The instruction in saw-milling includes these branches of
information:

"Names of machines and their uses. Care of machines. Defects of timber
trees. Felling timber trees and loading logs on wagon. Measuring lumber
and wood. Industrial classes. Drawing. Scaling logs to find their
contents in board measure. Grading lumber. Running planer and other
machines. Care of belts. Saw filing and caring for saws. Designing and
making cutters for mouldings. Calculating speed of pulleys. Arrangement
of machines in a planing and saw mill, etc."

Theory and practice in this department are dovetailed in the finished
work in the interior of such a structure as the Carnegie Library, or
the new Collis P. Huntington Memorial Building, where the wood work,
handsomely finished in Southern pine, is the product of the school
saw-mill and planer, the carpenter shops and the paint-shop.

[Illustration: IN THE MACHINE-SHOP

Three years are required to complete this course]

The equipment of the machinery, engineering, and foundry department and
the courses of study offered are designed to give students a thorough
training in their various branches. The machine shop is equipped with
the latest machine tools, driven by power from an Atlas engine. All the
repair work on the mechanical equipment of the school, including steam
pumps, steam engines, woodworking machines, printing presses, metal
working machines, is done in this shop. About fifty different machines
outside of this department, including the complete steam laundry, the
agricultural and dairy machinery, are in daily operation, furnishing
the best possible demonstration of the theory taught in the classes.
In the course for steam engineers, the young men are able to study the
working of eleven different steam engines, seven steam pumps, twelve
steam boilers, and a complete water-works system, with miles of piping,
valves, gauges, recording apparatus, etc. The instructors lay out the
courses in theory and written work, and the mathematical studies are
applied in work on blue-print drawings and free-hand sketches.

A foundry is in daily operation, and here the castings used in repair
work for the school are made. When the Tuskegee cotton-raising party
went to Africa, the castings for the cotton press sent with them were
made in the school foundry. In the plumbing and steam-fitting division,
the tools and shop equipment are ample for training in lead and iron
work, for water and steam piping systems in buildings of various kinds.
The plumbing and steam fitting in nearly all the buildings of the
Institute were done by the classes of this division. This work includes
sinks, bath-tubs, steam radiators, lavatories and sanitary closets.
More than eight miles of piping of various sizes, for steam and water,
are in use on the school grounds, with all the necessary valves,
expansion joints, unions and fittings. The tinsmithing shop turns
out nearly every kind of tin work from covering a house to making a
pepper-box. The apprentice becomes a first-class tinsmith in two years'
training. More than two thousand one-gallon fruit cans were made by the
students last year in addition to many other useful articles.

The object of the course in electrical engineering is to give the
student a foundation upon which he may build along any special line
he may choose later. Arc and incandescent lighting is in use at the
school, and there is a complete telephone service connecting most of
the buildings and offices through a central station. The students learn
not only how to install these systems, but to maintain them in the
highest state of efficiency. The dynamos and other electrical machinery
of a complete powerhouse are in operation for lighting the school
buildings and grounds, so that the student finds practical work at
every turn in his course.

[Illustration: STUDENTS AT WORK IN THE SCHOOL'S FOUNDRY]

He has learned how to build and equip a building. He is taught also
how to design it in all its parts. All students in the day and
night schools who are in the Mechanical Department are required to
take instruction in mechanical drawing. The work of the first year
is largely preparatory. It begins with simple geometrical drawing,
to accustom the student to the use of instruments and to teach him
accuracy and neatness. This is followed by work in projection, which
finds application in scale-drawing of simple objects. As soon as a
fair knowledge of the instruments has been attained, with a thorough
drill in free-hand sketching, the study of design is carried far enough
to secure an understanding of the principles, and facility and accuracy
in the construction of drawing plans. Strictly speaking, mechanical
drawing begins with the second year of trade work, with the study of
materials and working drawings. During the last quarter of the third
year the student learns how to make blue, solar, and black prints.
During the fourth year several excursions are made by the class to
the shops, the buildings under construction, the brick-yard, etc. In
such excursions detailed notes must be taken and a satisfactory report
submitted upon the things seen and examined.

The course of architectural drawing covers three years, and aims
to give thorough instruction in drawing, building construction and
design. In all cases, the general mechanical and artistic training
is supplemented by the course of study in the Academic Department.
On entering the third year of the architectural course, the student,
in addition to his regular work, is given actual practice in office
training and general superintendence. The student visits also the
trade shops, and is required to attend classes in heating, electrical
lighting, and plumbing. Many of the most satisfactory and imposing
buildings of the school were designed in our architectural department.

It will be seen from the foregoing survey that the students are able to
build and equip a large building from top to bottom, inside and out,
and these object lessons of their own handiwork stand clustered over
many acres, a city in itself built by young coloured men, most of whom
were wholly ignorant of systematic mental or manual training when they
asked to be admitted to Tuskegee.

They maintain also what may be called the running machinery of the
institution. The carpenters learn wood-turning and cabinet-making.
They make the furniture used in the class rooms and dormitories. Their
regular division has been so crowded in recent years that it was found
necessary to organise an auxiliary division, called the "Repair Shop."
Here all the school's repairs in wood work are done, and the training
has proved so valuable that it has been made a separate course of study
extending over three years. In the blacksmith shop is performed the
ironing of carriages, buggies, and wagons, of which a hundred are used
by the school, in addition to making all kinds of implements and the
shoeing of horses. Hundreds of farm implements are repaired here. The
student blacksmith is not a mere labourer. He is taught how to run a
shop of his own. He learns how to make out bills for material, how to
keep shop supplies, and a part of his time is devoted to mechanical
drawing and class room work.

[Illustration: CLASS IN MECHANICAL DRAWING]

The division of wheelwrighting is fitted for work in all details of
the trade. The students have constantly on hand new work, such as
the building of wagons, drays, horse and hand carts, wheel-barrows,
buggies and road carts. A great deal of repair work must be done
to keep the farm equipment in first-class shape, and the shop is
constantly patronised for this kind of work by the farmers of the
town and neighbourhood. The school has a standing order for farm
wagons from merchants in Tuskegee and Montgomery. These are turned
out complete, and have proved serviceable and popular. All of the
harness used by the school, and a large quantity sold outside, is made
in the harness-making department. All the vehicles turned out by the
blacksmith and wheelwrighting divisions are finished by the students in
the carriage-trimming shop.

The visitor, therefore, who wishes to inspect the Tuskegee Institute,
is met at the station by a carriage built by the students, pulled
by horses raised on the school farms, whose harness was made in a
school shop. The driver wears a trim, blue uniform made in the school
tailor-shop, and shoes made by student class work. The visitor is
assigned to a guest room in a dormitory designed, built, and furnished
by the students. His bathroom plumbing, the steam heat in his room, and
the electric lighting were installed by students. The oak furniture of
his room came from the shops. The young woman who takes care of his
room is a student working her way through the Institute. After supper,
she will change her wearing apparel to a blue uniform dress and a neat
straw hat, all made in the school. The steam laundry sends over to know
if the visitor wishes some washing done, and girl students send it
back, proud of the snowy polish of shirts and collars. The visitor is
asked to be a guest in the teachers' dining-hall. The bill of fare may
read as follows:


BREAKFAST:

Breakfast food, ham, fried cakes, bread, syrup, coffee, tea, butter,
fruit.


DINNER:

Roast beef, tomatoes, rice, corn-bread, sweet potatoes, buttermilk,
snap beans, dessert.


SUPPER:

Cold ham, tea, bread, syrup, butter, milk, fried potatoes, coffee.

In looking over this program, the guest will discover that the ham,
roast beef, vegetables, cornbread, syrup, butter, milk, and potatoes
are products of the school farms, raised, cared for and produced by
student labour.

Throughout these varied fields of industrial and productive activity,
the following objects are kept constantly in view, and their relative
importance is in the order of their enumeration:

To teach the dignity of labour.

To teach the trades, thoroughly and effectively.

To supply the demand for trained industrial leaders.

To assist the students in paying all, or a part, of their expenses.

[Illustration: THE BLACKSMITH SHOP]



CHAPTER VII

HEAD AND HANDS TOGETHER


That the distinctive feature of Tuskegee Institute--ample provision for
industrial training--has received in the public prints almost exclusive
attention is not strange. But it is well to remember that Tuskegee
Institute stands for education as well as for training, for men and
women as well as for bricks and mortar.

Of course, the distinction involved in the words, "education" and
"training," is largely theoretical. My experience convinces me that
training to some productive trade, be it wagon-building or farming,
educates. For example, one of our students is foreman on the large
and beautifully planned Collis P. Huntington Memorial Building,
now in process of construction; that young man is notable for a
simple honesty, an unobtrusive confidence and self-reliance, that
abundantly testify to his manliness. That this manliness is in large
degree directly traceable to his skill and his experience in bearing
industrial responsibility--in short, to his training--is beyond
peradventure. Indeed, in running over the long list of students
who, for one reason or another--lack of money or lack of taste for
books--have left Tuskegee without completing the prescribed course in
the Academic Department, I have been forcibly impressed with the fact
that training to productive industry directly tends to develop sound
judgment and manly independence--those qualities of the mind and heart
that collectively constitute the character of the educated man.

[Illustration: CLASS IN OUTDOOR GEOMETRY]

Another example of the effect of the training given at the Tuskegee
Institute on the mind of the student occurs to me. A few weeks ago it
was decided to modify the Day School system. To make any change in a
great organisation like ours requires great discriminating judgment
and care. The faculty discussed the change in its every phase, and
I finally called the students of the four upper classes together,
presented to them our plans, and explained to them the reasons for the
proposed change.

Their response was not a negative acquiescence, but a series of direct
and searching questions. They were alert and quick to see minor
defects, and to give direct and constructive criticism in regard to
many details. Their work in the shops and on the farm had brought
them into touch with real issues and real things--their daily work in
constructing and equipping our buildings and in helping to build the
institute had brought with it an intelligent interest in the school and
an enlightened appreciation of values; in other words, it had taught
them to think.

It is obvious that a man cannot build wagons or run a farm with
continuous success who is unable to read, write, and cipher. But, far
deeper than the mere commercial advantage of academic studies, is the
fact that they afford incentives to good conduct and high thinking.
To make a boy an efficient mechanic is good, for it enables him to
earn a living and to add his mite to the productiveness of society;
but a school must do more--must create in him abiding interests in the
intellectual achievements of mankind in art and literature, and must
stimulate his spiritual nature. And so Tuskegee has always maintained
an Academic Department, at present housed mainly in four buildings. The
most important of these are Porter Hall, a three-story frame building,
the first building erected after the opening of the Institute, though
poor in appointments, yet rich in traditions; Thrasher Hall, a handsome
three-story brick building with well-equipped physical and chemical
laboratories; and the Carnegie Library, a beautifully proportioned
brick structure, which is the center of Academic interests. The
collection of books is well selected, and the generosity of Tuskegee's
friends keeps it constantly growing. The admirable Collis P. Huntington
Memorial Building will be the largest building on the grounds, and is
to be used exclusively for academic purposes.

[Illustration: STUDENTS FRAMING THE ROOF OF A LARGE BUILDING]

On the faculty of the Academic Department are twenty-eight men and
women of Negro blood with degrees from Michigan, Nebraska, Oberlin,
Amherst, Cornell, Columbia, and Harvard. In order to display the
character of work done in the Department, it may be well for me to
explain the course of study in some special branches.

The aim of the work in English in the preparatory classes is to bring
about familiarity with the mother tongue, and correctness and ease in
its use. From contact with good models of spoken or written discourse
the pupil learns to appreciate and interpret thought well expressed.
From the careful attention given his own language, he learns to feel
the correctness or incorrectness of an expression, without slavish
reliance upon rules. In other words, in these classes language is
taught as an art; the necessary rules and definitions, when they occur,
are treated as working principles, and abundant practice in applying
them is given. In the advanced years of the course, technical grammar
is taught because at this stage the pupil has already become familiar
with good usage, and has attained a certain facility in employing the
mother tongue. He should now be taught more thoroughly the fundamental
principles governing the correct or incorrect use of an expression,
while in the preparatory classes, oral exercises in narration,
description and reproduction predominate. The pupil is encouraged to
talk simply and naturally about something he has seen or heard or read.
He is taught to exercise care for unity, logical sequence of ideas,
and smoothness of transition. To the narration and description of the
lower grades, argumentation and exposition are added in the advanced
work, these subjects being expanded to form the basis of a course in
public speaking.

The pupil obtains material for themes and debates from his experience
in shop and field and from literature technical to the subject. The
themes are submitted for correction and in due course committed, and,
after preliminary training, delivered at the monthly public rhetoricals
of the class. Except for the written brief required of each disputant,
debates are extemporaneous. In the preparation of a program like the
following, considerable experience and research must necessarily be
involved.

[Illustration: CLASS IN LANGUAGE]


     "A" MIDDLE RHETORICAL

     EVENING PRAYER SERVICE

     _A Model Southern Farm_

     "It is this noble agriculture which feeds the human race and all
     the humbler orders of animated nature dependent on man."

     --Speech by EDWARD EVERETT

          *       *       *

OVERTURE                                       ORCHESTRA

 1 Choosing and Preparing the Land            _Leon Harris_

 2 The Crops                                  _Terry Hart_
   Song, "Old Folks at Home"                  _A Middle Quartette_

 3 Constructing the Farm House                _Alonzo Fields_

 4 Constructing the Chimneys and Fireplaces   _Charles Weir_
   Duet                                       _Miss Young_, _Mr. Weaver_

 5 Care of the Farm House
   (_a_) The Dining-room and Kitchen          _Miss Emma Smith_
   (_b_) Bedrooms and Parlour                 _Miss Pearl Rousseau_
   Music               Waltz                  _Orchestra_

 6 The Kitchen Garden                         _Cornelius Richardson_

 7 The Poultry-yard and Contents              _Miss Stella Pinkston_
   Music                                      _A Middle Brass Quartett_

 8 A Model Storage Barn                       _Thomas Brittain_

 9 The Farm Machinery                         _William Lewis_
   Music              March                   _Orchestra_

10 The Dairy Herd                             _Mr. Wesley McCoy_

11 A Model Dairy-barn                         _Wm. J. Williams_
   Music              Polka                   _Orchestra_


Exercises like the foregoing not only assist the Industrial Department
in its work with the pupil, but offer admirable Academic training in
English and in practical elocution. Besides the discussion relative to
industrial pursuits, the pupils consider questions important to them
as future citizens and men of business. This phase of the English work
trains the pupil to rigorous methods of reasoning, and to clearness and
forcefulness in public discourse.

Literature in the preparatory classes is taught under the head of
reading. The physical requisites to effective expression receive due
attention, but great stress is laid upon reading as a means by which
the mind is furnished with knowledge. Literature is taught by reading
and language teachers, the former dealing with the subject-matter for
literary values, the latter having an eye to construction. The course
is of twofold importance; contact with finished style gives to the
pupil a sense of what is most fitting and beautiful in expression,
thus proving an invaluable aid to his own oral and written diction.
The work of the Senior class in English literature and composition
aims to develop in the pupil power to think clearly and logically, and
ability to appreciate thought expressed by others; to teach clearness
and correctness of expression together with facility and power in the
use of language; to produce an appreciation of good books by contact
with classic authors; and to give, by an outline study of the history
of English literature, a proper setting for the authors read. To
supplement the class-room work in literature, a course in home reading
has been arranged. It is the aim of the division of English to make the
home reading as much like play as possible, a relaxation from sterner
requirements of the curriculum, an occupation for idle hours. By
persuading the most stupid pupil to read books which appeal to him, the
teacher can lead him gradually to more solid literature.

[Illustration: CLASS IN OUTDOOR NATURE STUDY]

As personal achievements appeal to the undeveloped mind more strongly
than the chronicles of conflicts and political changes, the first
course in history deals with biography. The student is given facts
in the lives of men, Washington, Jefferson, Adams, and is made to
feel that these men actually lived, that they are not mere abstract
influences. At the very beginning their lives are studied in the
light of character building. After the first ideas of character
building have been presented, the next step is to awaken the power of
the observation, to quicken the imagination. The elementary course in
English history is adapted to this purpose.

The course in advanced American History is for developing judgment and
discrimination. Little attention is given to the periods of discovery
and of colonisation, except to show the student how the American
people, as is true of all great nations, began as cultivators of the
soil.

The peculiar position of the Negro in American History, from the
earliest days of the slave trade, through the wars with England and
the Civil War, to the present time, is given due importance, not by
isolating it, but by introducing it in its proper place with other
events.

In the Senior year, a course is given in the State History of Alabama,
for the benefit of those who wish to fit themselves as teachers in that
State. The object is to acquaint the Normal student with the important
facts in the settlement of Alabama, its entrance into the Union, and
its present industrial and political status.

During the first three years, the course in Geography is taught with
Nature Study. In the last year, Geography is combined with History. The
purpose of this arrangement is obvious. Geography is really a broad
phase of Nature Study. Questions regarding natural features, the sun,
moon, planets, water-courses, physical points, etc., are explained in
the course in Nature Study. Hence the pupil appreciates all the more
what is said about them when he comes to them again in his Geography.
The same intimacy is found in the study of plant and animal life,
minerals, and rock formation.

Tuskegee is admirably fitted for the study of Geography, and every
effort is made to make the teaching easily grasped. The industrial
shops are always open to academic teachers and students. When the
student takes up the subject of lumber, for example, he is able, by
going to the shops, to understand the various stages through which the
rough, uncut log must pass in order to make suitable building material.
Then, too, the school grounds are put to excellent use. Various kinds
of plant-life are studied; hills, valleys, small water-courses,
examples of erosion, different kinds of soil, are seen on every hand.
In connection with Nature Study and Geography, the pupils are urged to
be on the alert to detect something new, something which they have seen
often, but can afterward view in a new light because of the information
obtained.

[Illustration: WOOD-TURNING MACHINERY]

The course in mathematics covers a period of seven years, including
Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, and Surveying. Throughout
the entire course, the aim is to give the student, as far as possible,
a practical knowledge of the subjects embraced. The pupil is required
to deal in things associated with figures, rather than with figures
alone. In multiples and measures, his work is brought in close and
effective touch with the trade work. For example, the carpenter must
get the greatest common length of board from several different lengths
without any waste: the dressmaker must find and use the smallest
number of yards of cloth that suffice for the making of dresses of
different sizes. Mathematics is shown to be an instrument of economy.
In fractions, estimates are made of the cost of bales of cotton at
prevailing prices. The student is often required to weigh out in
each case the amounts of various articles which can be purchased for
given amounts of money. In compound quantities and in the various
measurements, the student does the measuring. Yards, rods, tons of
coal, and tons of hay are measured. In carpeting, he is required to
carpet a room. In lathing and plastering, he must witness the work in
active operation. In percentage, problems which must be solved in the
daily work the student is able to get from the industrial departments.
For example, if the leather for a pair of shoes costs a definite
amount, and the shoes are sold at a definite rate, what per cent. is
gained? Or for what must they be sold so as to gain a certain per cent.?

Much actual outdoor work is done during the study of trigonometry,
and in surveying the student learns to lay off lots, country roads; to
plot, map, etc. The last term of the Senior year is spent in mastering
the elements of Civil Engineering, work for which the first two terms
have prepared the student. The South is sorely in need of surveyors
and men grounded in the elements of engineering; positions of this
character are easy to find, and pay well.

The object of the work in Nature Study, as taught in the Academic
Department, is to train the faculty of observation, create an interest
in and love of nature, gain knowledge which will be of service in the
future, and to cultivate a practical interest in Agriculture. Knowledge
of things near at hand should be acquired first, and later of things
more distant; a clear and definite acquaintance with home surroundings
(plants, animals, minerals, natural phenomena, and the human body)
is made the basis of the teaching as a foundation for more advanced
study. In the assignment of work and selection of material for study,
the special needs of special classes are kept in mind, the work being
determined by the student's power of observation and interpretation.
Subjects for study are selected largely according to the seasons. This
work is conducted with reference to its correlation with Geography,
language, and other subjects. Field excursions, collecting and
preserving specimens, and gardening of various kinds, are prominent
features of the courses in Nature Study.

[Illustration: CLASS IN OUTDOOR ARITHMETIC]

The school offers also through the Academic Department, a two-years'
course, especially treating of the affairs of the farm. Instruction is
by laboratory work, supplemented by text-books, lectures, and reference
readings, which are assigned from standard volumes and periodicals. The
student is brought into close practical contact with his subject. He
studies farm implements, traces root systems of corn and other crops,
tests germination of seeds, determines the properties of soils and the
effects of various crops and of rotation of crops upon soil fertility.
He tests milk, studies butter and cheese, and judges a variety of
animals.

The school owns an ample supply of plows, cultivators, planters,
cutters, engines, etc. It has extensive collections of agricultural
plants, seeds and products. Laboratories are well equipped with
apparatus for the study of manures, fertilisers, soil bacteriology,
germination of seeds, and judging cotton and corn. The Institute
grounds and the fields and orchards of the Experiment Station are
always available for illustrations in class work. Collections of seeds
and woods, cabinets of beneficial and noxious insects, photographs,
maps, charts, and drawings afford valuable material for study and
demonstration. Specimens of draft and coach horses, Jersey, Ayrshire
and Holstein cattle, Southdown sheep, and Berkshire swine, afford
material for judging. In the Dairy Division is a complete outfit for
cream separation and butter and cheese making. We have, also, levels,
microscopes, and an extensive list of agricultural journals, a complete
file of experiment station bulletins from all the States, and an
excellent assortment of standard reference books.

The one purpose is to acquaint the student with the facts and
principles needed for the improvement of soils, the increase of
fertility, the nature of the various crops, the conditions governing
their successful and economic production, and with the general
development of agriculture. The student is also made familiar with
animals, first, as to fitness for specific purposes; second, as to
their care and management; third, as to their improvement by breeding;
and fourth, as to the manufacture of animal products. He learns the
principles of orchard management, small fruit culture, vegetable
gardening and plant propagation, as well as the evolution of cultivated
plants. A sense of the beautiful is cultivated and given expression in
floriculture, to the end that more of nature's beauty shall pervade the
home and its surroundings.

[Illustration: CHEMICAL LABORATORY]

The work of each year of strictly mental education is prescribed. We
aim to arouse the students' interest in important educational problems,
with especial reference to the South, rewarding that interest with
practical suggestions; and to train efficiently teachers who will
render valuable service in school and society. The courses in Normal
Education comprise a critical study of human nature; an outline history
of American education; general and special methods in teaching; and
school organisation and administration. The students in these courses
observe expert teaching in a primary school under the direction of the
Academic Department. Senior students are not only permitted to observe,
but also to practice teaching under supervision. This division of
Education is being strengthened, and keeps steadily before it the fact
that Tuskegee is to send out teachers as well as trained artisans and
industrial leaders.

The courses in Chemistry and in Physics, more clearly than any other
Academic courses, complement the work of the Industrial Department.
Thus in the course in Chemistry, operations in the shops and on the
farm, involving chemical reactions, are drawn upon as illustrative
material for the first year's work. The artisan, with a knowledge
of chemical matters, grows and thinks, and is not automatic. The
courses are not those in which the students are merely taught _how_
to do, but _to do_. Soap is taken apart and put together. Polishes,
lacquers, chemical cleansers, are not known merely as formulæ; but are
actually made in small quantities by students themselves, so as to
develop their power of doing things. Is this flour, bran, and baking
powder, pure? Is the fertiliser of high grade? How shall the sick-room
be disinfected? How shall we destroy the cabbage-devouring worm?
To these and similar questions, the division of Chemistry seeks to
enable students readily to find answers. In the course in Physics, the
principles taken up are illustrated by the actual work going on in the
outside building construction, and the farm work. Great stress is laid
upon the bearing of Physics on tools, machines, and operations of the
shops. Inspection of the various industrial plants in the vicinity of
Tuskegee is required in order that the student may see the applications
of Physics to the processes in use. Throughout the courses, a notebook
is accurately kept by each student, in which are recorded the results
of his observations and experiments, together with sketches for
illustration.

An exercise given to one of the Junior classes in the night school, not
long ago, shows how the attempt is made, even in so simple a matter as
a spelling lesson, to correlate the Academic work with the Industrial.

[Illustration: CLASS IN PHYSIOLOGY]

The theme of this lesson was "Building a Chest," and the teacher
brought to the class a small chest in which were placed most of the
tools and materials needed in its construction. The teacher exhibited
each article as he came to it in telling the story, and required the
student to spell the word and then write it on the blackboard as
neatly as possible. The synonyms and homonyms of some of the words
were given, and the student required to illustrate their difference in
spelling and use.

The teacher proceeded as follows, eliciting from the students the
words in italics: To build this article we must have _Timber_, such as
_Pine_, or _Cedar_, or _Cypress_, and other _Material_. We also need
several _Tools_, such as a _Plane_ to _Smooth_ the _Planks_; a _Chisel_
to cut these _Dove-tails_; and some _Glue_, with which to fasten the
pieces together substantially, as we shall not need _Nails_. Then
with these _Sprigs_ we put on this _Moulding_, which should be cut
in a _Miter_, or we may cut it by this _Bevel_, which can be changed
to a _Square_. We now put on these _Butts_--not _Strap-Hinges_--with
_Screws_. In front must be _Bored_ a hole and the _Lock_ put on; then
the _Escutcheon_ over the hole as a finish; the _Key_ is inserted,
and we have completed the _Chest_. A _Carpenter_--one engaged in
_Carpentry_--or a _Cabinet-Maker_, builds things like this, and we call
him a _Mechanic_.

The practical usefulness of the Academic Department lies in the
aid which the study of physics and chemistry and mathematics and
drawing offers to the blacksmith, the carpenter, the nurse, and the
housewife--an aid that does much to transform listlessness and drudgery
into vivacity and gratifying efficiency.



CHAPTER VIII

LESSONS IN HOME-MAKING


While the men must work to get and keep the home, the wives and
daughters must, in a great measure, supply and guard the health,
strength, morals, and happiness of the family. Their responsibility is
great in all that makes for the development of the individual and the
community. The home is built on an ancient foundation among the white
population of this country, especially in the rural communities. The
Negro has had to learn the meaning of home since he learned the meaning
of freedom. All work which has to do with his uplifting must begin with
his home and its surroundings.

[Illustration: DOROTHY HALL

IN WHICH MOST OF THE INDUSTRIES FOR GIRLS ARE TAUGHT]

Those familiar only with the rural life of the North and West, where,
even in poverty, there are deep-grounded habits of thrift and comfort,
do not know what home lacks among great masses of the cabin-dwellers
of the South. Nowhere is there a nobler opportunity than that which
confronts the young women who are learning at Hampton and Tuskegee,
and other educational institutions, what home should be. The crowded
one-room cabin affects the moral and physical life of the family, it
slowly destroys the right inclinations given by nature to every child,
and develops a manner of life which, coöperating with other causes,
produces mental weakness, loss of ambition, and a shiftless disregard
of responsibilities.

It goes without saying that many of the young women who come to
Tuskegee need such training as will enable them to make homes that are
worthy the name. It is the need first at hand, and the school tries to
meet it in a practical way. The most liberal courses in literature and
the sciences, if they exclude all practical training that will help a
young woman to solve the problems which center around her own hearth,
will not help her to get what she needs most.

At Tuskegee she is given a thorough English education, she can go out
from the school and obtain a teacher's position in a field where the
demand is greater than the supply, but after all her duty begins at
home, and it would be worse than folly to overlook these essentials. It
is interesting to note, in this connection, that, after the household
training system of Tuskegee had been in operation for some time, the
need of similar education for young women whose natural advantages
were infinitely greater than those of the coloured girls in the South,
prompted the following announcement in the advertisement of what is,
perhaps, the most high-priced and exclusive seminary in Massachusetts:

"In planning a system of education for young ladies, with the view
of fitting them for the greatest usefulness in life, the idea was
conceived of supplementing the purely intellectual work by practical
training in the art of home management and its related subjects.

"It was the first school of high literary grade to introduce courses in
Domestic Science into the regular curriculum.

"The results were so gratifying as to lead to the equipment of
Experiment Hall, a special building, fitted for the purpose of studying
the principles of Applied Housekeeping. Here the girls do the actual
work of cooking, marketing, arranging menus, and attend to all the
affairs of a well-arranged household.

"Courses are arranged also in sewing, dressmaking, and millinery; they
are conducted on a similar practical basis, and equip the student with
a thorough knowledge of the subject."

A dozen years ago, I do not believe that any such announcement would
have been made.

[Illustration: LEARNING DRESSMAKING]

At Tuskegee there is a modest dwelling of four rooms, called the
"practice cottage." In the shadow of the massive brick buildings which
surround it, this cottage seems to have strayed in from some one of the
country roads around Tuskegee. But is has a trim and well-kept air,
such as all country homes can have, no matter how poor and simple they
may be. It contains a bedroom, sitting-room, dining-room and kitchen.
These rooms are comfortably furnished for family housekeeping, but
there is nothing in them that is not within reach of any Alabama farmer
who is able to make both ends meet.

Much of the furniture is home-made. The creton-covered chairs, divan,
and sofa are made from common barrels, which the girls are taught
to make into furniture in the upholstering department. This kind of
utility furniture has been so successful for ornament and comfort that
a good deal of it has been ordered by visitors for their Northern
homes. The floors of the cottage are covered with clean, cheap
matting and oilcloth, and the students are taught to make pretty and
serviceable mats from corn-husks. Whatever there is in the rooms is
in good taste, for pictures, wall paper, and humble adornment can be
worked out in good taste without extra cost.

The girls of the Senior class live in the "practice cottage" in turn,
four at one time, for periods of five weeks. They are able to put into
practice, under the supervision of Mrs. Washington, much that they have
learned in their school life of three or four years. This is not, in
reality, an "experiment station," for the girls are thoroughly equipped
to take charge of every department of the house, and they run it
themselves, being held responsible only for results.

They do the sweeping, dusting, cooking, washing, and ironing, sewing
if need be, and their own marketing. The family of four is given an
allowance of not more than three dollars a week for food, which they
invest at the school store and the school farm. With this allowance
they are expected to set the table for four, and to run their cuisine
through the week without any outside help. This seems a very modest
sum, but it is in fair proportion to the average incomes of the class
of people who need just such training. The girls are thoroughly
acquainted with the nutritive and appetising values of the foods which
will be available in their home neighbourhoods.

Distinguished visitors have been guests of the "practice cottage
girls," and have enjoyed the simple meals, skillfully prepared by the
hostesses, who make no extra preparations. On their small allowance,
and with the menu prepared in advance, they are able to entertain
without flurry or embarrassment. They have been taught that the truest
hospitality is in making the most of what one has to do with, and
offering no apologies for the absence of luxuries one cannot afford.
The "practice cottage" is well kept, and is an interesting picture in
miniature of the essentially practical side of the school gospel of
hard work with the hands as a part of a useful education.

[Illustration: BARREL FURNITURE

A thriving Tuskegee industry]

Of course, this cottage routine is not allowed to interfere with the
class work; and while they are testing their ability to manage a
modest, clean, attractive, livable home, the girls are pursuing the
studies they have selected to fit them for their several lines of
work after graduation. In addition to the training in the Academic
Department, these girls are learning trades, and, what is more
important, how to make homes for themselves or for others. In this
cottage the Senior girls round out their course by the practical
application of all the theories in household economy that they have
learned during the earlier years of their training. The course in
"Domestic Science" is perhaps worth outlining in part because it is
practical, and is designed to make the home an uplifting agency by its
daily operation and influence:

First year: Making and care of fires; care and adjustment of lamps
used for cooking; cleaning and keeping in order the tables, closets,
sinks, and pantries; care of material as it comes from market; washing
kitchen and cooking dishes, and care of baking-bowls, dish-towels,
and dish-cloths; cleaning painted and unpainted woodwork; washing
windows, sweeping and dusting; the proper use and care of utensils;
making breads without yeast; making biscuit, cornbread, sweet and white
potato, graham and oatmeal bread; muffins of each of the flours, and
combinations of rice or grits with them; making different kinds of
toast and using stale breads; cooking vegetables in simple ways. The
simplest forms of cooking meats; making plain, brown and milk gravies
and sweet sauces; cooking cereals and serving in various ways; also
cooking fish and eggs.

Second year: Care of silver, glass, china, brass and nickel; care
of table linen; laying table for different meals, waiting, clearing
table and washing dishes; cleaning oiled floors; lessons on providing
material for meals, and calculating cost. Preparing given menus, and
estimating time required in preparation; making yeast bread, brown and
white, rolls, muffins, coffee, spice and raisin bread. Soup-making,
with and without meat; purées from beans, peas and other vegetables,
with or without milk; stews, hashes, minces. Cleaning and cooking
chicken in various ways; bacon: boiled, fried. Making tea, chocolate,
coffee and cocoa.

The third year deals with the theory of foods, their source, selection
and composition and economic value, and the practice of principles
involved in different methods of preparation.

The fourth and final year covers the study of dietaries, including the
arrangement of bills of fare for daily living, in which the expense is
limited to fifty cents for each person, and dinners of three courses
for six persons.

[Illustration: CLASS IN COOKING]

In the school laundry the young women are taught the art of washing
and ironing according to improved methods. Two washers, an extractor,
a mangle, starcher, collar and cuff ironer, have been added to lighten
the drudgery. Drying-rooms and ironing-rooms provided with excellent
facilities afford means for thorough teaching. All of the washing for
teachers and students, including bed and table linen, is done in this
department. The course covers one school year.

It is the policy of the Institute to give special attention to
the training of girls in all matters pertaining to dress, health,
etiquette, physical culture and general housekeeping. The girls are
constantly under the strict and watchful care of the Dean of the
Woman's Department and the women teachers. Special rules governing the
conduct of the girls are made known to each girl upon her arrival. In
addition to the general training, they receive special practical talks
from various members of the Faculty on such matters as relate to the
care of the body, social purity, etc.

The course in household training includes such instruction as:--The
location and sanitation of the home. Furniture: its purchase,
arrangement, and proper care. Surroundings and their advantages.
Cleaning: lamps, beds, bedrooms, and general weekly cleaning. The care
of the dining-room: serving the table and the care of linen, silver,
pantry, dishes, and towels. The duties and manners of the hostess.
The furnishing and care of the kitchen. Marketing, and economy,
punctuality, and regularity in preparation of food. The sick-room: its
attractions and proper ventilation. Changing the patient's clothing and
bedding. Feeding and visiting the sick. Yards and outhouses: how to
keep clean and how to beautify. The housekeeper's personal appearance.
Dress: what to wear and the colors suitable.

The hospital and training-school for nurses were organised to provide
for the physical needs of the Tuskegee colony, and to equip young
women for efficient service among their people. A beautiful two-story
hospital building, with all modern improvements, has been finished,
with enlarged facilities for the care of patients. The facilities for
the training of nurses are excellent and the standard of admission
high. Graduates from the hospital are doing good work, many of them
holding excellent positions in the hospitals, schools and private
infirmaries throughout the South. The five Tuskegee nurses sent to the
front in the Spanish-American war were the only coloured female nurses
employed by the Government. The course of study covers three years,
but is so arranged that students of exceptional ability are able to
complete it in two.

[Illustration: AN OUT-OF-DOOR CLASS IN LAUNDRY WORK

At the Mount Meig's School]



CHAPTER IX

OUTDOOR WORK FOR WOMEN


Seven years ago I became impressed with the idea that there was a wider
range of industrial work for our girls. The idea grew upon me that it
was unwise in a climate like ours in the South to narrow the work of
our girls, and confine them to indoor occupations.

If one makes a close study of economic conditions in the South, he
will soon be convinced that one of the weak points is the want of
occupations for women. This lack of opportunity grows largely out of
traditional prejudice and because of lack of skill. All through the
period of slavery, the idea prevailed that women, not slaves, should
do as little work as possible with their hands. There were notable
exceptions, but this was the rule.

Most of the work inside the homes was done by the coloured women. Such
a thing as cooking, sewing, and laundering, as part of a white woman's
education, was not thought of in the days of slavery. Training in art,
music, and general literature was emphasised. When the coloured girl
became free, she naturally craved the same education in which she had
seen the white woman specialising. I have already described our trials
at the Tuskegee Institute, in attempting to get our girls to feel and
see that they should secure the most thorough education in everything
relating to the care of a home. When we were able to free them of the
idea that it was degrading to study and practice those household duties
which are connected with one's life every day in the year, I felt
convinced that one other step was necessary.

New England and most of the Middle States are largely engaged in
manufacturing. The factories, therefore, naturally give employment
to a large number of women. The South is not yet in any large degree
manufacturing territory, but is an agricultural section and will
probably remain such for a long period. This fact confirmed my belief
that an industrial school should not only give training in household
occupations to women, but should go further in meeting their needs and
in providing education for them in out-of-door industries.

[Illustration: OUTDOOR WORK FOR GIRLS]

In making a study of this subject it became evident that the climate
of every Southern State was peculiarly adapted to out-of-door work
for women. A little later I had the opportunity of going to Europe
and visiting the agricultural college for women at Swanley, England.
There I found about forty women from some of the best families of
Great Britain. Many of these women were graduates of high schools and
colleges. In the morning I saw them in the laboratory and class room
studying botany and chemistry and mathematics as applied to agriculture
and horticulture. In the afternoon these same women were clad in
suitable garments and at work in the field with the hoe or rake,
planting vegetable seeds, pruning fruit trees or learning to raise
poultry and bees and how to care for the dairy. After I had seen this
work and had made a close study of it, I saw all the more clearly what
should be done for the coloured girls of the South where there was so
large an unemployed proportion of the population. I reasoned that if
this kind of hand-training is necessary for a people who have back of
them the centuries of English wealth and culture, it is tenfold more
needful for a people who are in the condition of my race at the South.

I came home determined to begin the training of a portion of our women
at Tuskegee in the outdoor industries. Mrs. Washington, who had made a
careful study of the work in England, took charge of the outdoor work
at Tuskegee. At first the girls were very timid. They felt ashamed to
have any one see them at work in the garden or orchard. The young men
and some of the women were inclined to ridicule those who were bold
enough to lead off. Not a few became discouraged and stopped. There
is nothing harder to overcome than an unreasonable prejudice against
an occupation or a race. The more unreasonable it is, the harder it
is to conquer. Mrs. Washington made a careful study of the girls and
discovered the social leaders of a certain group. With this knowledge
in hand she called the leaders together and had several conferences
with them and explained in detail just what was desired and what the
plans were. These leaders decided that they would be the pioneers in
the outdoor work.

Beginning in a very modest way with a few girls, the outdoor work has
grown from year to year, until it is now a recognised part of the work
of the school, and the idea that this kind of labour is degrading has
almost disappeared. In order to give, if possible, a more practical
idea of just what is taught the girls, I give the entire course of
study. In reading this it should be borne in mind that the theory is
not only given, but in each case the girls have the training in actual
work. Since the school year opens in the fall, the work naturally
begins with the industries relating to the fall and winter. The course
of study is:

First Year.--Fall Term.--Dairying.--The home dairy is first taken up,
and a detailed knowledge of the following facts taught: Kinds, use and
care of utensils, gravity, creaming. A study of stone, wooden, and
tin churns, ripening of cream, churning, working and salting butter,
preparation and marketing of same. Feeding and care of dairy cows.

Poultry Raising.--A working knowledge is required of the economic value
of poultry on the farm, pure and mixed breeds, plain poultry-house
construction, making of yards, nests, and runs.

Horticulture.--Instruction is given as to the importance of an orchard
and small fruits, varieties best suited, particular locality, selection
and preparation of ground, setting, trimming, extermination of borers,
lice, etc., special stress being laid upon the quality and quantity
of peaches, pears, apples, plums, figs, grapes, and strawberries that
should be planted in a home orchard.

Floriculture and Landscape Gardening.--A study of our door-yards, how
to utilise and beautify them. The kinds, care, and use of tools used in
floriculture and landscape gardening. Trimming and shaping of beds and
borders, and the general care of shrubbery and flowers. The gathering
and saving of seed. Special treatment of rose bushes and shrubbery.

Market Gardening.--Importance of proper management of the home garden,
its value to the home, selection and preparation of ground; kinds, care
and use of tools, planting, gardening and marketing of all vegetables.
Gathering of seeds, drying of pumpkins, okra, and fruits.

Live Stock.--Study is limited wholly to ordinary farm animals; the
number and kind needed, how, when and what to feed; characteristics
and utility of the various animals.

Winter Term.--Dairying.-The commercial dairy is the subject of study,
and emphasis is laid upon the following: Use of separators, of which
the school has two leading styles; churns, feeding, and care of the
dairy herd, breeds of dairy cattle and their selection, butter-making,
packing, salting and preparation for market.

Poultry Raising.--Special study of breeding and feeding. When, how
and what kind of eggs and the breed of fowls to set; the period of
incubation, poultry book-keeping, saving of eggs for market; an
introductory of study of young chickens.

Floriculture and Landscape Gardening.--Trimming of beds and borders,
mulching, tying, wrapping, and preparation of plants for the winter.

Winter decoration of grounds, the decorative value of native shrubbery;
a study of window plants, their value in the home, halls and public
buildings, their economic value, etc.

Market Gardening.--The selection of grounds and making of hotbeds, cold
frames, etc., planting and managing of same, the raising of winter
vegetables, marketing.

Spring Term.--Dairying.--Milking; a study of pastures, how to destroy
lice and other parasites, the care of calves, the utilisation of waste
in the dairy; laboratory work.

Poultry Raising.--A more advanced study of young poultry; brooders,
sanitation of the house, runs, and of all the apparatus; egg-testing,
moulting and its effects upon different breeds.

Horticulture.--Spring planting, trimming, budding, grafting, spraying,
care of grape vines; the wire and post system of supports; spring
layering and cuttings.

Floriculture and Landscape Gardening.--Renewing of beds and borders,
seed sowing, special study of propagation by layers, cuttings, division
of roots, bulbs, etc.; kinds and uses of fertilisers for this special
season.

Market Gardening.--Preparation of ground, what and how to plant,
special stress being laid upon the production of early vegetables for
the home and market. Reproduction of plants by seeds and by division of
numbers; water and its office in plant economy.

Live Stock.--Course includes the history, development, characteristics,
standard points, utility, adaptability to climatic conditions; lessons
on judging, care, selection and management of the leading breeds of
horses, sheep and hogs.

Second Year.--Fall Term.--Dairying.--A more comprehensive study of
milk and its constituents; weeds and their harmful effect upon dairy
products; general sanitation of dairy barns; the drawing of plans, etc.

Poultry Raising.--Insecticides, how to make, when and how much to use,
diseases of fowls and their treatment. A study of foods and their
adaptability to different breeds, special study of turkeys and guineas.

Horticulture.--Root and stem grafting with active and dormant buds;
formation of trunk and top starch, and its relation to the hardiness of
fruits and shrubs, botany of the orchard, entomology; book-keeping.

Floriculture and Landscape Gardening.--Systematic botany,
bouquet-making--harmony of colour, form and size of flowers; laying
out of private and public grounds, roads, parks, walks, and streets;
entomology of the flower garden.

Market Gardening.--Botany of the field and garden; physical analysis
of soils and the improvement of clay and sandy soils; the depletion of
plant food and its replacement by direct and indirect fertilisers; the
source of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen. Draining.

Live Stock.--How to hitch and unhitch horses, the care of vehicles and
harness, how to drive, the names of common diseases and treatment of
sick animals; swine for profit.

Winter Term.--Dairying.--The weighing and recording of milk in a
commercial dairy; the Babcock and other methods of testing milk;
composition of cheese and its value as a food.

Poultry Raising.--Composition of the animal body; a special study of
ducks and geese; brooders, ponds, runs, etc., by-products and their
value.

Horticulture.--Forestry, botany, cryptogamic and systematic; nut
culture; preservation of timber, the economic value of different woods;
the relation of forests to climate, water supply, floods and erosion.

Market Gardening.--A study of the life-history of insects, injuries to
stored grain, peas, beans, meal, flour, dried fruits; botany of the
greenhouse, cold frame and hotbeds; the use of thermometers. A study of
markets, library work.

Spring Term.--Dairying.--Cottage and Cheddar cheese-making, scoring
of butter, bacteriology of milk, butter, and cheese. Judging of dairy
animals by the score-card method, diseases of cows and their treatment;
analysis of food stuffs.

Poultry Raising.--Physical and chemical study of foods, library work,
fancy breeds, what and how to exhibit, the history and development of
the industry. Heredity and the effects of in-breeding.

Horticulture.--Origin of new varieties by cross-fertilisation, hybrids,
sports, atavisms and reversion, correlation between plants and animals,
rejuvenating by pruning, grafting and scraping the bark, special
diseases of both trees and fruit, and their treatment. Knot-growth,
blight, gum excrescences and frost injuries; drying, preserving, making
fruit syrups, etc.

Horticulture and Landscape Gardening.--Special designing in cultivated
flowers. Origin of new species; bees and their relation to the forest
and garden; the hiving of bees and after-management. A study of
honey-producing plants; the economic value of the honey.

Market Gardening.--Relation of crops, geology of the garden,
agricultural chemistry, good roads and their relation to the success
and value of the farm, mineralogy and useful birds and insects.

I believe that all who will make a careful study of the subject will
agree with me that there is a vast unexplored field for women in the
open air. The South, with its mild climate and other advantages, is as
well adapted to out-door labour for women as to that for men. There is
not only an advantage in material welfare, but there is the advantage
of a superior mental and moral growth. The average woman who works in a
factory becomes little more than a machine. Her planning and thinking
is done for her. Not so with the woman who depends upon raising
poultry, for instance, for a living. She must plan this year for next,
this month for the next. Naturally there is a growth of self-reliance,
independence, and initiative.

Life out in the sweet, pure, bracing air is better from both a physical
and a moral point of view than long days spent in the close atmosphere
of a factory or store. There is almost no financial risk to be
encountered, in the South, in following the occupations which I have
enumerated. The immediate demands for the products of garden, dairy,
poultry yard, apiary, orchard, etc., are pressing and ever present. The
satisfaction and sense of independence that will come to a woman who
is brave enough to follow any of these outdoor occupations infinitely
surpass the results of such uncertain labor as that of peddling books
or cheap jewelry, or similar employments, and I believe that a larger
number of our schools in the near future will see the importance of
outdoor handwork for women.

There is considerable significance in the fact that this year more
than fifty girls have taken up the study of scientific farming at
the Minnesota College of Agriculture, and have thus announced their
intention to adhere to country life. The college has been in existence
for the past decade, but girls have only recently been admitted.
The character of the instruction available to the girl students is
suggestive. The course presented emphasises the sciences of botany,
chemistry, physics and geology, requiring, during the freshman and
sophomore years at least, two terms' work in each of them. Boys and
girls work together throughout two-thirds of the entire course,
which includes study in language, mathematics, science, civics, and
considerable technical work. In the courses for girls, cooking,
laundering and sewing are substituted for carpentry, blacksmithing and
veterinary science. The girls, too, give more attention to household
art, home economy and domestic hygiene than to the business aspect of
farming. It is happily the chief purpose of the college to awaken in
its entire student body a keen interest in farming, farm life, the
farm-house and farm society. Both boys and girls are taught to plan
farm buildings and to lay out the grounds artistically. Considerable
attention is given to the furnishing of houses, to literature, music
and social culture, with the general thought of making the farm home
the most attractive spot on earth. The result of the new movement is
being watched with keen interest by agriculturists and educators. It is
evident that, should it prove successful, the innovation will spread to
other agricultural States. Its influence, one readily apprehends, is
apt to be social as well as agricultural in character. Heretofore, one
great drawback to farming, even in the North, has been the difficulty
of keeping the farmers' sons on the farm. With trained and educated
girls enthusiastically taking up the profession of farming, the country
life will take on new charms, and the exodus of young men to cities
will be materially lessened.



CHAPTER X

HELPING THE MOTHERS


Something about the Woman's Meeting, organised and conducted in the
town of Tuskegee by Mrs. Washington, seems not out of place in this
book. It is her work, and she has kindly supplied the following outline
of the aims and results of this attempt to better the conditions and
lives of the people living in this typical Alabama community:

In the spring of '92, the first Negro Conference for farmers was held
at Tuskegee. The purpose of this conference was to inspire the masses
of coloured people to secure homes of their own, to help them to better
ways of living, to insist upon better educational advantages for
them, and so to raise their standards of living, morally, physically,
intellectually and financially. Sitting in that first meeting of Negro
farmers and hearing the resolutions which stood as the platform of the
conference, I felt that history was repeating itself. In the days of
Lucretia Mott, and the early struggles of Susan B. Anthony, women had
no rights that were worth mentioning, and, notwithstanding the fact
that there were many women present at this first conference, they had
little actual place in it.

Perhaps they did not realise that they, too, had a most prominent part
to play in the life which their lovers, or their sons and husbands,
were urged to seek. Perhaps they did not dream that they would some day
have a vital part in the uplifting of our people. This thought would
not be stilled: What can these poor farmers do with the new ideas, new
hopes, new aspirations, unless the women can be equally inspired and
interested in conferences of their own?

Not many days passed before there was a fixed purpose in my mind that
these women in the homes represented by the farmers should be reached.
How to reach and help them was the question. After many weary days and
sleepless nights, praying for some way to open, the thought came that
the village of Tuskegee was a good place to begin work. The country
women, tired of the monotony of their lives, came crowding into the
village every Saturday. There should be a place for them to go to be
instructed for an hour or more each Saturday. Like a flash the idea was
caught up, and it was not let go until such a place was secured.

Our first conference was held in the upper story of a very dilapidated
store which stands on the main street of the village. The stairs were
so rickety that we were often afraid to ascend them. The room was
used by the coloured firemen of the village, and was a dark and dreary
place, uninviting even to me. It answered our purpose for the time. We
had no rent to pay, and that was one less burden for us. How to get
the women to the first meeting was not easily settled. For fear of
opposition from friends, no mention had been made of the plan, except
to the man who let me have the room.

That first Saturday I walked up the stairs alone, and sat down in the
room with all its utter dreariness. My heart almost failed me, and not
until I remembered these words: "No man, having put his hand to the
plow and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God," did I throw off
the despondency. At this moment a small boy entered the room. I said to
him, "Go through the streets and say to each woman, so that no one else
will hear you, there is a woman up those stairs who has something for
you."

That first meeting I can never forget. There were six women who came,
and each one as she looked at me seemed to say: "Where is it?" We
talked it all over, the needs of our women, the best ways of helping
each other, and there was begun the first woman's weekly conference,
which now numbers nearly three hundred women.

We now have a large, roomy hall on the main street, where we come
together each Saturday, and spend two hours talking of the things
which go to make better and truer lives among women and children.
Women come long distances on foot to these meetings. They soon brought
with them their little girls, whom they could not afford to leave at
home, and there arose a new question--what to do with the children?
A plan was hit upon, and a room hired. These girls, now more than
fifty in number, are taught simple lessons, and, at the same time,
receive short practical talks on behaviour at home, on the streets
and elsewhere. We also have a small library for them, and each one is
allowed to draw the books she wants, to keep two weeks or longer. We
also have picture books on the table for the younger children. We are
now trying to get games for these children and pictures for the walls
of the room. A friend gives two hours of her time on Saturday to these
children, and it delights one's heart to see the improvement in them in
all directions, especially in their quiet and becoming conduct on the
streets.

The marked improvement among the women in the matter of dress has been
frequently commented upon in the village. They are doing away with the
wrapping of the hair, and substituting for it braiding or some other
simple arrangement. The women no longer go barefooted, nor do they sit
around the streets in a listless way. There is less familiarity among
the men and women in the streets, and in many ways the women are being
led into better ways of conduct, to say nothing of home improvements
and the closer union of family life.

We visit the homes of the women and see that the lessons are put into
practice. We have given out thousands of papers and picture cards,
that the cracks might be closed against the wind and rain, and that
the children of the home might have something besides the dark and
cheerless logs to look at.

Soon the women began to see the importance of these conferences, and
to do all in their power to promote their interests. Our talks were
discussed on the farms and in neighbourhood chat. Their influence
spread in indirect channels. These talks were planned along such simple
and practical lines as the following subjects suggest:


     Morals among young girls.

     The kinds of amusements for young girls.

     A mother's example.

     A mother's duty to her home.

     Dresses for women and children.

     Poultry raising for women.

     The part a woman should take in securing a home.

     Fruit canning, etc.


Many other subjects were suggested by the women themselves,
and afterward put in written form so that they could read them
intelligently. Many of the talks were grouped in a little book for
women who could not reach the conferences. These books contain also
little recipes which any woman may need in her country home, especially
when there is sickness in the family. Work for the masses is always
more difficult than for the individual, but it is work which must be
done. Eighty per cent. of our women have their homes in the country or
on the plantations, they live in the old-time log cabins, but they have
hearts, they have aspirations for the future. In pursuance of the ideas
which prompted this humble crusade, I have sent out leaflets which
embody, among others, these suggestions for teachers and other workers,
which I have found exceedingly helpful in organising home-union
meetings for mothers:

Decide upon a definite time for holding a meeting, and then send notice
to the mothers by the school children.

Once every three or six months have a general meeting with simple
refreshments such as can be gotten in a country village.

Now and then an experience meeting can be held to the advantage of all.
Encourage the women to talk freely of their own plans.

Find out by judicious visiting whether any advancement is made.

Do not expect too much in a short time, and, above all, do not be
dictatorial while visiting, or personal in meetings when you wish to
deal with mistakes that you have seen in the homes visited.


SOME SUBJECTS FOR TALKS

How to keep home neat and tidy.

How to make home attractive for husband and children.

Amusements, music and reading in the home circle.

Is it necessary to teach the girls to do good by teaching them how to
do housework, cooking and sewing?

The relations of mothers to their children.

How to gain the confidence of children.

How to correct falsehood and theft among boys and girls.

Is there not a share in the home for the boys?

How to teach boys and men to respect women generally by teaching them
to respect mothers and sisters.

The mother's authority in selecting company for her sons and daughters.

When should a girl be allowed to receive company? How can a mother help
her to avoid mistakes as regards the young man she loves?

What part should a woman take with her husband in securing a home or a
piece of land on which to build one?

What is the effect upon the face when the hair is wrapped with
coloured strings? Why not plat it or arrange it in some other becoming
way?

Should women go barefooted?

Love of gaudy dress for children. What will the result be when they are
older and cannot afford to buy the same sort?

Manners on the street.

Necessity of varying diet for the household.

Economy in the house as regards food.

The proper duty of mothers in having the family table set with care at
the proper time.

The importance of ventilation, proper food, and cleanliness of body on
the moral atmosphere of the home.

What lessons can be drawn from Thanksgiving Day, New Year's and
Christmas?

The mother's relation to the church and the minister.

How the family should go to church. Isn't it better if all go together
and sit together, too?

How can boys and girls be taught the habit of giving to the church and
charitable purposes?

How may mothers and their daughters best resist men who attempt to rob
them of their honour and virtue?

The best way to inspire children to purity of thought, speech, and
action, at home and abroad?

In a leaflet of practical help, for these mothers' meetings, some of
the simple teachings are put in detail form, and these may give an
idea of what we are trying to do in these directions, and what are the
common needs of the people among whom we are working. Under the head of
"Your Needs" are the following items:

You need chairs in your houses. Get boxes. Cover them with bright
calico, and use them for seats until you can buy chairs. You need
plates, knives and forks, spoons and table-cloths. Buy them with
tobacco and snuff money.

You need more respect for self. Get it by staying away from street
corners, depots, and, above all, excursions. You need to stay away from
these excursions to keep out of bad company, out of court, out of jail,
and out of the disgust of every self-respecting person.

You need more race pride. Cultivate this as you would your crops. It
means a step forward. You need a good home. Save all you can. Get your
own home, and that will bring you nearer citizenship. You can supply
all these needs. When will you begin? Every moment of delay is loss.


HOW TO BECOME PROSPEROUS

Keep no more than one dog. Stay away from court. Buy no snuff, whisky
and tobacco. Raise your own pork. Raise your own vegetables. Put away
thirty cents for every dollar you spend.

Get a good supply of poultry. Set your hens.

Keep your chickens until they will bring a good price.

Go to town on Thursday instead of Saturday. Buy no more than you need.

Stay in town no longer than necessary.


MY DAILY WORK

I may take in washing, but every day I promise myself that I will do
certain work for my family. I will set the table for every meal. I will
wash the dishes after every meal.

Monday I will do my family washing. I will put my bedclothes out to
air. I will clean the food closet with hot water and soap.

Tuesday I will do my ironing and family patching.

Wednesday I will scrub my kitchen, and clean my yard thoroughly.

Thursday I will clean and air the meal and pork boxes. I will scour my
pots and pans with soap and ashes.

Friday I will wash my dish-cloth, dish-towels, and hand-towels. I will
sweep and dust my whole house, and clean everything thoroughly.

Saturday I will bake bread, cake, and do other extra cooking for
Sunday. I will spend one hour in talking with my children, that I may
know them better.

Sunday I will go to church and Sunday School. I will take my children
with me. I will stay at home during the remainder of the day. I will
try to read aloud a something helpful to all.


QUESTIONS I WILL PLEDGE MYSELF TO ANSWER AT THE END OF THE YEAR

How many bushels of potatoes, corn, beans, and peanuts have we raised
this year?

How many hogs and cows do we keep? How much poultry have we raised? How
many bales of cotton have we raised? How much have we saved to buy a
home?

How much have we done toward planting flowers and making our yard look
pretty? How many kinds of vegetables did we raise in our home garden?

How many times did we stay away from miscellaneous excursions when we
wished to go? What were our reasons for staying at home? Have we helped
our boys and girls to stay out of bad company? What paper have we
taken, and have we taken our children to church and had them sit with
us?


The experiment of real settlement work on a plantation near Tuskegee
was begun in 1896 in a dilapidated, unused one-room cabin in the
quarters of the "big house," where resided the last scion of a family
of slave-holders.

Seventy-five families lived scattered in cabins over the
two-thousand-acre plantation in easy access to their plots of land
farmed on shares. Many of the men were paying for "time" bought by the
owner of the plantation. Some had been arrested, and on trial found
guilty. They had to pay either a certain sum or suffer imprisonment.
The owner of the plantation paid the fines, and the men paid him
for their time in labour. Schools were miles distant, and the only
opportunity to teach the better way of life seemed to be establishing
a settlement. The planter graciously granted the free use of the cabin
aforesaid. Students from the Institute nailed the shingles on the open
roof. The room was given a thorough cleaning, and in a short time
a young woman graduate, now wife of the Principal of Christianburg
Institute, Cambria, Virginia, and an undergraduate moved in with her
home-made furniture--fashioned from dry-goods boxes, and covered with
pretty chintz sent by an old friend who has now passed to her reward.

As a Sunday School had begun in one of the log houses several Sundays
previous to the opening of the settlement, the young teacher's coming
had been explained, and all had promised to contribute all they could
to her support.

[Illustration: HOME-MADE FURNITURE]

The first articles of food entered on the teacher's book to the credit
of her patrons were two eggs, one can of syrup, one half-pound bacon,
one quart meal, one can buttermilk. The teacher cooked her meals on her
oven in the fireplace, did her work, and taught school in her cabin.
The first day brought fifteen boys and girls. Ten of the fathers
and mothers, eager to learn how to read and write, came to the night
school. For two years the teacher struggled. Her patrons helped her
with larder, and grew--measuring up to the standards of true living.

In spite of frequent patchings, the teacher's cabin became almost unfit
for use. There came a time when umbrellas were indispensable in the
cabin during a heavy downpour. In 1898 a way opened for the purchase of
ten acres of woodland. A two-room cottage was built for the teacher on
a clearing. No prouder workers could be found than the teacher and her
pupils in clearing the land for possible crops. Beginning with 1900,
the average annual yield was as follows: Two bales of cotton, forty
bushels of corn, seventy-five bushels sweet potatoes, twenty bushels
peanuts, twenty bushels pease, four loads shucks and fodder, greens,
cabbage, and other vegetable products.

Two years ago a kitchen was added to the cottage, and the cooking
classes of the school arose to the dignity of having a real stove and
other necessaries. Sewing, cooking, gardening, and housekeeping classes
have succeeded wonderfully. The boys of the settlement have received
first prizes from Tuskegee Institute Agricultural Fair for their
products put on exhibition.

One of the first fruits of the settlement work has been the promotion
of a boy from that school to Tuskegee Institute. He has stood the test
of four years in his classes, industrial and academic, and is now most
promising.

The second step to place the work on a hopeful basis has been the
purchase of ten more acres of land. A two-room cottage has been built
recently, and the mother of the first settlement boy to come to
the front, and one of our pioneer workers in the venture, has been
given a chance to not only earn her living, but to serve as a native
object-lesson of neatness in her home and surroundings. Eight years of
constant work teaching old and young how to live has resulted in better
built homes on the plantation. Owner has replaced one-room log cabins
with two-room cottages.

House to house visits and the object-lesson of the settlement work
have told for good in the matter of cleanliness. The marriage tie is
respected. It is the exception rather than the rule to find unmarried
mothers living with their children's fathers without even a sense of
shame.

The barefoot boys and girls, men and women, who first attended the
settlement Sunday School eight years ago, come neatly dressed. Men and
women who could not read or write in the beginning of the work can read
their Sunday School lessons and write a presentable note in a matter of
business.

The Mothers' Union has brought the mothers to see the deep necessity
of exerting their influence for good of home and people. The penny
savings bank held by the teacher represents stockholders that mean to
be owners of their own homes.

In the night school, the grown people, who are employed during the day,
are taught the simple lessons which were neglected in their youth. At
first many of them were ashamed to admit their ignorance. One young
man, whom Mrs. Washington noticed during one of her visits as being
particularly sullen when asked to join the class, has turned out to
be one of the most ambitious pupils. "At first I was almost afraid to
speak to him," she said, "but after I talked to him a little while, he
broke down quite suddenly, and exclaimed:

"Oh, Mis' Washington! I'se so ashamed, I don't even know my letters."
But it is the classes in cooking and cleaning and sewing which have
been most successful, and these are responsible more than anything else
for the change in the women.

From the outset, the white planters who employ most of the coloured
families of the settlement have aided in the work. When Mrs.
Washington first sent for permission to carry on some missionary work
among his tenants, he sent a boy on a mule with a fat turkey, and a
message for me to "come and do anything I liked." What seemed to be
a discouragement at first was that occasionally a family moved away,
thus causing the teacher to begin all over again, with a newcomer,
the work which had been scarce finished with the old. Later she came
to see that those who migrated served to spread the influence into
other neighbourhoods, thus broadening the teachings far beyond her own
limitations.



CHAPTER XI

THE TILLERS OF THE GROUND


There is held at the Tuskegee Institute every year a remarkable
conference of Negro workers, mostly farmers, who are to work out their
salvation by the sweat of their brows in tilling the soil of the South.
The purpose of these gatherings is severely practical--to encourage
those who have not had the advantages of training and instruction,
and to give them a chance to learn from the success of others as
handicapped as they what are their own possibilities. As I have said
many times, it is my conviction that the great body of the Negro
population must live in the future as they have done in the past, by
the cultivation of the soil, and the most hopeful service now to be
done is to enable the race to follow agriculture with intelligence and
diligence.

I have just finished reading a little pamphlet written by Mr. George
W. Carver, Director of the Agricultural Department at Tuskegee, giving
the results of some of his experiments in raising sweet potatoes for
one year. This coloured man has shown in plain, simple language, based
on scientific principles, how he has raised two hundred and sixty-six
bushels of sweet potatoes on a single acre of common land, and made
a net profit of one hundred and twenty-one dollars. The average yield
of sweet potatoes to the acre, in the part of the South where this
experiment was tried, is thirty-seven bushels per acre. This coloured
man is now preparing to make this same land produce five hundred
bushels of potatoes.

I have watched this experiment with a great deal of pleasure. The
deep interest shown by the neighbouring white farmers has been most
gratifying. I do not believe that a single white farmer who visited the
field to see the unusual yield ever thought of having any prejudice or
feeling against this coloured man because his education had enabled
him to make a marked success of raising sweet potatoes. There were, on
the other hand, many evidences of respect for this coloured man and of
gratitude for the information which he had furnished.

If we had a hundred such coloured men in each county in the South,
who could make their education felt in meeting the world's needs,
there would be no race problem. But in order to get such men, those
interested in the education of the Negro must begin to look facts and
conditions in the face. Too great a gap has been left between the
Negro's real condition and the position for which we have tried to
fit him through the medium of our text-books. We have overlooked in
many cases the fact that long years of experience and discipline are
necessary for any race before it can get the greatest amount of good
out of the text-books. Much that the Negro has studied presupposes
conditions that do not, for him, exist.

The weak point in the past has been that no attempt has been made to
bridge the gap between the Negro's educated brain and his opportunity
for supplying the wants of an awakened mind. There has been almost no
thought of connecting the educated brain with the educated hand. It
is almost a crime to take young men from the farm, or from farming
districts, and educate them, as is too often done, in everything except
agriculture, the one subject with which they should be most familiar.
The result is that the young man, instead of being educated to love
agriculture, is educated out of sympathy with it; and instead of
returning to his father's farm after leaving college, to show him how
to produce more with less labour, the young man is often tempted to go
into the city or town to live by his wits.

The purpose of the Tuskegee Negro Conference is to help the farmers who
are too old, or too bound down by their responsibilities, to attend
schools or institutes; to do for them, in a small way, what Tuskegee
and other agencies seek to do for the younger generation. Coloured men
and women make long and expensive journeys to be present, coming from
all the Southern and several of the Northern states. They have found
that their money is not wasted, for they learn much by seeing what
has been done at the school, from the advice of experts, but more
especially by the exchange of opinions and by comparing experiences
in their own field of work. These meetings are not for whining or
complaints. Their keynote is hopeful courage. To look up and not down,
forward and not backward, to be cheerful and mutually helpful, is the
golden rule of the conference.

It was decided from the first to confine the proceedings to matters
which the race had closely within its own control, and to positive,
aggressive effort, rather than to mere negative criticisms and
recitations of wrongs. I wanted these coloured farmers and their wives
to consult about the methods and means of securing homes, of freeing
themselves from debt, of encouraging intelligent production, of paying
their taxes, of cultivating habits of thrift, honesty and virtue, of
building school-houses, and securing education and high Christian
character, of cementing the friendships between the races.

In these conventions, as in other ways, we have tried to keep alive the
feeling of hope and encouragement. We have seen darker days than these,
and no race that is patient, long-suffering, industrious, economical,
and virtuous, no race that is persistent in efforts that make for
progress, no race that cultivates a spirit of good-will toward all
mankind, is left without reward.

The Farmers' Conference each year adopts a declaration of principles,
which sum up its objects in such words as these:

"Our object shall be to promote the moral, material, and educational
progress of this entire community. Believing, as we do, that we are our
own worst enemies, we pledge, here and now, from this time forth, to
use every effort--

"To abolish and do away with the mortgage system just as rapidly as
possible.

"To raise our food supplies, such as corn, potatoes, syrup, pease,
hogs, chickens, etc., at home rather than to go in debt for them at the
store.

"To stop throwing away our time and money on Saturdays by standing
around towns, drinking and disgracing ourselves in many other ways.

"To oppose, at all times, the excursion and camp-meeting, and to
try earnestly to secure better schools, better teachers, and better
preachers.

"To try to buy homes, to urge upon all Negroes the necessity of owning
homes and farms, and not only to own them, but to beautify and improve
them.

"Since the greater number of us are engaged in agriculture, we urge the
importance of stock and poultry raising, the teaching of agriculture
in the country schools, the thorough cultivation of a small acreage,
rather than the poor cultivation of a large one, attention to farm-work
in winter, and getting rid of the habit of living in one-room houses.

"We urge more protection to life and property, better homes for
tenants, and that home life in the country be made more attractive, all
this with the view of keeping such great numbers of our people out of
the large cities.

"In connection with the better schools and churches, we emphasise the
need of careful attention to the morals of our ministers and teachers,
and all others acting in the capacity of leaders.

"Prosperity and peace are dependent upon friendly relations between the
races, and to this end we urge a spirit of manly forbearance and mutual
interest."

What these conferences are doing, and what sort of people are coming
to them every year, may be gathered from some of their experiences as
they have told them themselves during their visit to Tuskegee. Some of
the best things are said by men and women who have succeeded in working
their way up from abject poverty to comfortable independence. There
is no better antidote for the foolish talk so often heard about the
inevitable shiftlessness of the Negro race than these short and pithy
narratives of sacrifice, struggle and achievement. A Florida man said
that he had six dollars when he married. He now owns two hundred acres
and a home of seven rooms. "I did without most everything until I got
it paid for," he explained. He has fifty-seven head of cattle, six work
horses, and five colts, all raised by himself. Is it dangerous to
give the ballot to that kind of a citizen? Will he be apt to use it to
promote extravagant taxation?

An Alabama farmer said:

"I own sixty-seven acres of land. I got it by working hard and living
close. I did not eat at any big tables. I often lived on bread and
milk. I have five rooms to my house. I started with one, and that was
made of logs. I add a room every year. I was lucky in marrying a woman
whose father gave her a cow. I ain't got no fine clock or organ. I did
once own a buggy, but it was a shabby one, and now we ride in a wagon,
or I go horse-back on a horse I raised that is worth two hundred and
fifty dollars. I have seven children in school."

"I started plowing with my pants rolled up and barefoot," said a
Georgia man. "I saved five hundred dollars and bought a home in Albany,
Georgia. I bought two hundred acres for seven dollars an acre, and paid
for it in three years. I made that pay for two hundred acres more.
After awhile I bought thirteen hundred acres. I live on it, and it is
all paid for. I have twenty-five buildings and they all came out of my
pocketbook. That land is now worth twenty-five dollars an acre. For a
distance of four or five miles from my settlement, there has not been
a man in the chain-gang for years. I work forty-seven head of mules.
The only way we will ever be a race is by getting homes and living a
virtuous life. I don't give mortgages. I take mortgages on black and
white. I have put the first bale of cotton on the market in Georgia
every year for eight years."

A widow from Alabama told her story, which shows among other things how
a dog may be useful:

"There are three in my family, and I am the boss. I save about a
hundred dollars a year. I give no mortgages. I plant everything that
a farmer can plant. I raise my own syrup, meat, pease, corn, and
everything we need to eat. I have three cows. You have got to go low
down to get up high. I traded a little puppy with my brother for a
pig. From this one pig I raised eight pigs, and for seven years I have
not bought a pound of meat. I am living on the strength of that little
puppy yet. I own forty acres, and sometimes rent more land."

A coloured minister from Alabama said that he farmed as well as
preached. He was a renter for seven years. In nine years he paid for
four hundred acres, and now owns ten hundred and fifteen acres. He
raises horses, cows, mules, and hogs and has fifty persons dependent
upon him. He owns the land where he used to live as a renter, and lives
in the house of the man from whom he rented. There are few white people
in his neighbourhood. Most of the coloured people own their own homes,
and they have lengthened the annual school term two months at their own
expense. This man said that, when he first bought land, he split rails
to fence it during the day and carried them around at night, and his
wife built the fence.

A South Carolinian, who was never before so far from home, said that he
was a slave for twenty years. "I used to work six days for my master,
and Sunday for myself," he said. "God introduced ten commandments,
but our people have added another, 'Thou shalt not work Saturdays
or Sundays, either.' I stick to the Ten Commandments and put in six
days a week, and in that way have bought three hundred acres and paid
for it. I have a large house for my own family of ten, and fourteen
other buildings on the place, six of them rented. No man is a farmer
excepting the man who lives on the produce of his farm."

A visitor from Louisiana told how he had borrowed two hundred and fifty
dollars from his father and bought twenty-five acres of land in 1877.
He used to begin work at four o'clock in the morning. For a year his
wife ground all their meal, three ears at a time, in a small hand-mill.
Now he owns three hundred acres of sugar land, worth a hundred dollars
an acre, and has twenty-seven white and forty-eight coloured people
working for him.

"I would like to set a big table for you," said one of these farmers
whom I visited at his home, "but, professor, you-all is teachin' us
to 'conermise an' save, an' dats what I'se tryin' to do." When you
remember how anxious the good farmers and their wives are always to set
a good table for the visiting "professors" and "revrums," this man had
a good deal of courage in departing from old customs.

I say to the farmers: "If feeding the 'brutherins' is a strain on you,
feed no more of them. Cut down on all expenses that can be trimmed
without injury to yourself."

One woman from Bullock County, Alabama, carried away the true spirit
of the conference. Not long ago, one of our agents saw a deed to a
valuable piece of farm land, bought with money she had saved by selling
cows. She said that she had never thought of any such plan until she
had visited the Farmers' Conference and heard others tell how they had
bought land. An unusual feature of this case was that the woman did
not live in the town in which she had invested her money. She had made
herself interested enough to seek a chance to invest her earnings in
the purchase of property several miles from her home settlement. She
said that it required a mighty sight of will-power to keep from buying
fine clothes with the money, but she was determined to get hold of some
land, and she did it without any assistance from her husband.

"Yes, of course I'll be at the next Negro Conference," wrote another
farmer, "I want you to give me a chance to talk, too. I want to show
Mr. Washington a turnip I raised in my own garden, and have been
saving for the Conference, and I want to tell him how much I have
raised and eaten out of my own garden, and how much I have saved as the
result of these teachings at the annual meetings."

Another wrote recently:

"I have to buy very little to eat, for I raise with one horse all I
want to eat, and a little more besides. Last year I raised nine bales
of cotton, plenty of corn, sugar cane, pease, and potatoes, and many
other things. Besides this, my wife raised twenty hogs, and a yard full
of chickens, geese and turkeys. The only way for the farmer to get out
of debt and keep out of debt is to buy a home, raise what he eats, and
pay at once for what he gets out of the store."

A pilgrim from Georgia thus expressed himself:

"I came here to get my keg full of good news and glad tidings to carry
back to Georgia, and I have got it. I began working for myself when I
was eighteen years old. My father and mother died when I was a child.
I first worked for eight dollars and fifty cents a month and my board,
and cleared eighty-three dollars the first year. Then I worked on
shares for a while, then I bought a mule on credit, using my money to
support myself while raising a crop. Now I own fifteen hundred acres
of land, all paid for. I have six rooms in my house. I don't give any
mortgages. I have twenty-three plows, and a bank account. I haul on my
drays about ten thousand bales of cotton every year for the planters
in my county. I have another patch of fifty acres near Fort Gaines on
which there is a six-room house."

"We come here to learn wisdom and knowledge," said a man from Macon
County, Alabama. "I had a part of the slavery time, and I've had all of
the freedom time. When I was in my eighteenth year I wanted to marry
the worst way. I did it somehow, and then we tried every plan to get
ahead in the world. I worked Sunday as well as Monday. I even hitched
myself to the plow, and my wife plowed me. Now I have got horses,
mules, corn, and plenty of everything to do me, but I have not got any
home. Next year when I come here I am going to own a place of my own
instead of renting it."

Scores of similar illustrations could be quoted to show that the Negro
farmer is fighting his own battles, and that in his annual visits to
Tuskegee he preaches, both to the students and to his fellow toilers,
the gospel of work with the hands as the pathway to freedom. The kind
of practical advice distributed among these farmers is illustrated in
the following specimen of the leaflets issued by our "Bureau of Nature
Study for Schools." This one on Hints and Suggestions for Farmers has
to do with the ever-vital question of "Mortgage Lifting":

"Farmers all over the Cotton Belt are now finishing their plans for the
growing of this year's crop. All sorts of financial plans have been
made. Perhaps the most common among our farmers is the credit plan or
crop mortgage. In this the farmer binds himself and family to make a
crop, usually cotton, for any one who will 'advance' him what he must
buy while growing the crop. He agrees to pay interest, ranging from ten
to thirty-five per cent. on the cost of the things furnished. Thus a
pair of shoes which would sell for $1.50 in cash would cost about $2
in the fall. If allowed to run until the next Fall, it would cost him
about $2.50. If allowed to run three years, it would take $3.15 to pay
for a $1.50 pair of shoes. If carried the fourth year, it would take
$4, and one year more would call for $5.

"Too many farmers are paying $5 for shoes which would have cost them
only $1.50 if they had managed their business properly. Too many times
the $5 shoes are never paid for, leaving an unkindly feeling between
the 'advancer' and the one 'advanced,' causing the landlord and tenant,
and very often the merchant, to suffer.

"Yet the farmer must have clothing. He must have plows, hoes, wagons,
etc. No man who tills the soil should have to suffer for something to
eat. Perhaps no one will question the farmer's right to make the crop
mortgage. He must and ought to have plenty of good, wholesome food to
make it possible for him to do his work well. But for his own good, the
good of his family, for the good of the landlord, and the community in
which he lives, we do dispute his right to manage business as many of
our farmers do. He should not make a mortgage he cannot easily lift.

"If it requires $150 to supply a farmer for a season, at the end of
that season his debt will be about $180--an extra $30, the average
value of a bale of cotton, to do a credit business. If it requires $75
to carry him, he will owe about $90, costing him half a bale of cotton
to do a credit business. Now, do you note that the smaller the amount
borrowed, the smaller the amount of interest, and the easier it becomes
for the farmer to lift the whole thing? Don't load so heavily. Put two
thousand pounds on a thousand-pound wagon and see what becomes of you,
your load, and your wagon. One man tries by main strength to lift a
large load. He fails and gives up in despair. Another man gets a long
pole, or lever, and with the greatest ease raises and places the load
where it is wanted. The first uses only muscle, while the last mixes
muscle with brains.

"Could we not say the same thing of the unsuccessful and the successful
mortgage lifter? If you will use your head and go at that debt in the
right way, you will be surprised with what great ease you can get it
out of the way. Well, how can this be done, one man asks? What would
you advise? A wise man listens to advice. If he thinks it good, he will
try to follow it. The farmer who is in debt must--

"Not make bad bargains. He must work all day and sometimes part of
the night, and buy only what he is compelled to have. He should raise
everything he eats and a little more, and then cultivate as much cotton
as he can.

"Some of the farmers buy shoddy goods at fair prices. They allow the
boys and girls to buy cheap jewelry. They buy a sewing machine on
credit for fifty or sixty dollars, and when they get it paid for, if
they ever do, it has cost about a hundred dollars. They pay ten and
fifteen dollars for a washstand and bureau when an upholstered box
would do for the present. The industrious farmer works from sunrise to
sunset every day in the week. If there is some light work he can do by
putting in two or three hours during the long winter nights, you find
him at it. It takes this to lift the mortgage.

"The sensible farmer will not buy five hundred pounds of bacon if there
is any way to get along with two hundred and fifty. If he must buy
it on credit, he will eat butter, drink milk, raise and eat eggs and
chickens, kill a young beef when he can, and dry or pickle it, so as to
supply his wants from his own produce as long as possible.

"The farmer who wants to get out of debt will have large patches of
greens, his garden will have something growing in it the year round.
His table will be loaded with wild fruits, such as blackberries,
huckleberries, plums, etc. His potatoes will keep him from buying so
much corn meal and flour on credit. He plans to raise more than enough
corn, oats, and wheat to do him another year. Then he makes that cotton
crop count. He gathers every lock of it as fast as it opens and tries
to sell it for every cent it is worth. He walks up like a man and pays
every cent he owes when it falls due. Then his neighbours, both white
and coloured, learn to respect him because he is an honest man, he owes
nobody, his store-house, smoke-house, and barn are loaded with fruits,
and home-made produce. He is a happy man because that mortgage is
lifted."



CHAPTER XII

PLEASURE AND PROFIT OF WORK IN THE SOIL


I have always been intensely fond of outdoor life. Perhaps the
explanation for this lies partly in the fact that I was born nearly
out-of-doors. I have also, from my earliest childhood, been very fond
of animals and fowls. When I was but a child, and a slave, I had many
close and interesting acquaintances with animals.

During my childhood days, as a slave, I did not see very much of
my mother, as she was obliged to leave her children very early in
the morning to begin her day's work. Her early departure often made
the matter of my securing breakfast uncertain. This led to my first
intimate acquaintance with animals.

In those days it was the custom upon the plantation to boil the Indian
corn that was fed to the cows and pigs. At times, when I had failed to
get any other breakfast, I used to go to the places where the cows and
pigs were fed, and share their breakfast with them, or else go to the
place where it was the custom to boil the corn, and get my morning meal
there before it was taken to the animals.

If I was not there at the exact moment of feeding, I could still find
enough corn scattered around the fence or the trough to satisfy me.
Some people may think that this was a pretty bad way to get one's food,
but, leaving out the name and the associations, there was nothing very
bad about it. Any one who has eaten hard boiled corn knows that it
has a delicious taste. I never pass a pot of boiled corn now without
yielding to the temptation to eat a few grains.

Another thing that assisted in developing my fondness for animals was
my contact with the best breeds of fowls and animals when I was a
student at the Hampton Institute. Notwithstanding that my work there
was not directly connected with the stock, the mere fact that I saw the
best kinds of animals and fowls day after day increased my love for
them, and made me resolve that when I went out into the world I would
have some as nearly like those as possible.

I think that I owe a great deal of my present strength and capacity for
hard work to my love of outdoor life. It is true that the amount of
time that I can spend in the open air is now very limited. Taken on an
average, it is perhaps not more than an hour a day, but I make the most
of that hour. In addition to this, I get much pleasure out of looking
forward to and planning for that hour.

[Illustration: CLASS IN NATURE STUDY]

I do not believe that any one who has not worked in a garden can begin
to understand how much pleasure and strength of body and mind and soul
can be derived from one's garden, no matter how small it may be, and
often the smaller it is the better. If the garden be ever so limited
in area, one may still have the gratifying experience of learning how
much can be produced on a little plot carefully laid out, thoroughly
fertilised, and intelligently cultivated. And then, though the garden
may be small, if the flowers and vegetables prosper, there springs up
a feeling of kinship between the man and his plants, as he tends and
watches the growth of each individual fruition from day to day. Every
morning brings some fresh development, born of the rain, the dew, and
the sunshine.

The letter or the address you began writing the day before never grows
until you return and take up the work where it was left off; not so
with the plant. Some change has taken place during the night, in
the appearance of bud, or blossom, or fruit. This sense of newness,
of expectancy, brings to me a daily inspiration whose sympathetic
significance it is impossible to convey in words.

It is not only a pleasure to grow vegetables for one's table, but
I find much satisfaction, also, in sending selections of the best
specimens to some neighbour whose garden is backward, or to one who has
not learned the art of raising the finest or the earliest varieties,
and who is therefore surprised to receive new potatoes two weeks in
advance of any one else.

When I am at my home in Tuskegee, I am able, by rising early in the
morning, to spend at least half an hour in my garden, or with my fowls,
pigs, or cows. Whenever I can take the time, I like to hunt for the
new eggs each morning myself, and when at home I am selfish enough
to permit no one else to make these discoveries. As with the growing
plants, there is a sense of freshness and restfulness in the finding
and handling of newly laid eggs that is delightful to me. Both the
anticipation and the realisation are most pleasing. I begin the day by
seeing how many eggs I can find, or how many little chickens are just
beginning to peep through the shells.

Speaking of little chickens coming into life reminds me that one of
our students called my attention to a fact connected with the chickens
owned by the school which I had not previously known. When some of
the first little chickens came out of their shells, they began almost
immediately to help others, not so forward, to break their way out. It
was delightful to me to hear that the chickens raised at the school
had, so early in life, caught the Tuskegee spirit of helpfulness toward
others.

[Illustration: Courtesy of The Outlook Company

WHEN AT TUSKEGEE I FIND A WAY BY RISING EARLY IN THE MORNING TO SPEND
HALF AN HOUR IN MY GARDEN OR WITH THE LIVE STOCK]

I am deeply interested in the different kinds of fowls, and, aside from
the large number grown by the school in its poultry house and yards, I
grow at my own home common chickens, Plymouth Rocks, Buff Cochins, and
Brahmas, Peking ducks, and fantailed pigeons.

The pig, I think, is my favourite animal. In addition to some
common-bred pigs, I keep a few Berkshires and some Poland Chinas; and
it is a pleasure to me to watch their development and increase from
month to month. Practically all the pork used in my family is of my own
raising.

I heard not long ago a story of one of our graduates which delighted me
as an illustration of the real Tuskegee spirit. A man had occasion to
go to the village of Benton, Alabama, in which Mr. A. J. Wood, one of
our graduates, had settled ten years before, and gone into business as
a general merchant. In this time he has built up a good trade and has
obtained for himself a reputation as one of the best and most reliable
business men in the place. While the visitor was there, he happened to
step to the open back door of the store, and stood looking out into a
little yard behind the building. The merchant joining him there, began
to call, "Ho, Boy. Ho, Boy," and finally, in response to this calling,
there came crawling out from beneath the store, with much grunting,
because he was altogether too big to get comfortably from under the
building, an enormous black hog.

"You see that hog," the man said. "That's my hog. I raise one like that
every year as an object-lesson to the coloured farmers around here
who come to the store to trade. About all I feed him is the waste from
the store. When the farmers come in here, I show them my hog, and I
tell them that if they would shut their pigs up in a pen of rails, and
have the children pick up acorns in the woods to feed them on, they
might have just such hogs as I do, instead of their razor-backs running
around wild in the woods.

"Perhaps I can't teach a school here," the man added, "but if I can't
do that, I can at least teach the men around here how to raise hogs as
I learned to raise them at Tuskegee."

In securing the best breeds of fowls and animals at Tuskegee, I
have the added satisfaction of seeing a better grade of stock being
gradually introduced among the farmers who live near the school.

After I have gathered my eggs, and have at least said "Good morning"
to my pigs, cows, and horse, the next morning duty--no, I will not say
duty, but delight--is to gather the vegetables for the family dinner.
No pease, no turnips, radishes nor salads taste so good as those which
one has raised and gathered with his own hands in his own garden. In
comparison with these all the high-sounding dishes found in the most
expensive restaurants seem flavourless. One feels, when eating his own
fresh vegetables, that he is getting near to the heart of nature; not a
second-hand stale imitation, but the genuine thing. How delightful the
change, after one has spent weeks eating in restaurants or hotels, and
has had a bill of fare pushed before his eyes three times a day, or has
heard the familiar sound for a month from a waiter's lips: "Steak, pork
chops, fried eggs, and potatoes."

[Illustration: Courtesy of The Outlook Company

HOGS AS OBJECT LESSONS]

As I go from bed to bed in the garden, gathering my lettuce, pease,
spinach, radishes, beets, onions and the relishes with which to garnish
the dishes, and note the growth of each plant since the previous day, I
feel a nearness and kinship to the plants which makes them seem to me
like members of my own family. When engaged in this work, how short the
half-hour is, how quickly each minute goes, bringing nearer the time
when I must go to my office. When I do go there it is with a vigour and
freshness and with a steadiness of nerve that prepares me thoroughly
for what perhaps is to be a difficult and trying day--a preparation
impossible, except for the half-hour spent in my garden.

All through the day I am enabled to do more work and better work
because of the delightful anticipation of another half-hour or more in
my garden after the office work is done. I get so much pleasure out of
this that I frequently find myself beseeching Mrs. Washington to delay
the dinner hour that I may take advantage of the last bit of daylight
for my outdoor work.

My own experience in outdoor life leads me to hope that the time will
soon come when there will be a revolution in our methods of educating
children, especially in the schools of the smaller towns and rural
districts. I consider it almost a sin to take a number of children
whose homes are on farms, and whose parents earn their living by
farming, and cage them up, as if they were so many wild beasts, for six
or seven hours during the day, in a close room where the air is often
impure.

[Illustration: "THE CHILDREN'S HOUSE": CLASS IN NATURE STUDY]

I have known teachers to go so far as to frost the windows in a
school-room, or have them made high up in the wall, or keep the
window curtains down, so that the children could not even see the
wonderful world without. For six hours the life of these children is an
artificial one. The apparatus which they use is, as a rule, artificial,
and they are taught in an artificial manner about artificial things.
Even to whisper about the song of a mocking-bird or the chirp of a
squirrel in a near-by tree, or to point to a stalk of corn or a wild
flower, or to speak about a cow and her calf, or a little colt and its
mother grazing in an adjoining field, are sins for which they must
be speedily and often severely punished. I have seen teachers keep
children caged up on a beautiful, bright day in June, when all Nature
was at her best, making them learn--or try to learn--a lesson about
hills, or mountains, or lakes, or islands, by means of a map or globe,
when the land surrounding the school-house was alive and beautiful
with the images of these things. I have seen a teacher work for an
hour with children, trying to impress upon them the meaning of the
words lake, island, peninsula, when a brook not a quarter of a mile
away would have afforded the little ones an opportunity to pull off
their shoes and stockings and wade through the water, and find, not one
artificial island or lake, on an artificial globe, but dozens of real
islands, peninsulas, and bays. Besides the delight of wading through
the water, and of being out in the pure bracing air, they would learn
by this method more about these natural divisions of the earth in five
minutes than they could learn in an hour in books. A reading lesson
taught out on the green grass under a spreading oak tree is a lesson
needing little effort to hold a boy's attention, to say nothing of the
sense of delight and relief which comes to the teacher.

I have seen teachers compel students to puzzle for hours over the
problem of the working of the pulley, when not a block from the
school-house were workmen with pulleys in actual operation, hoisting
bricks for the walls of a new building.

I believe that the time is not far distant when every school in the
rural districts and in the small towns will be surrounded by a garden,
and that one of the objects of the course of study will be to teach the
child something about real country life, and about country occupations.

I am glad to say that at the Tuskegee Institute we erected a
school-house in and about which the little children of the town and
vicinity are given a knowledge, not only of books, but of the real
things which they will be called upon to use in their homes. Since
Tuskegee is surrounded by people who earn their living by agriculture,
we have near this school-house three acres of ground on which the
children are taught to cultivate flowers, shrubbery, vegetables,
grains, cotton, and other crops. They are also taught cooking,
laundering, sewing, sweeping, and dusting, how to set a table, and how
to make a bed--the employments of their daily lives. I have referred to
this building as a "school-house," but we do not call it that, because
the name is too formal. We have named it "The Children's House." And
this principle holds true, for children of a larger growth, and is
especially true of the training of the Negro minister who serves the
people of the smaller towns and country districts.

In this, as in too many other educational fields, the Negro minister is
trained to meet conditions which exist in New York or in Chicago--in
a word, it is too often taken for granted that there is no difference
between the work to be done by Negro ministers among our people after
only thirty-five years of freedom, and that to be done among the
white people who have had the advantages of centuries of freedom and
development.

[Illustration: Courtesy of The Outlook Company

TEACH THE CHILD SOMETHING ABOUT REAL COUNTRY LIFE]

The Negro ministers, except those sent to the large cities, go among
an agricultural people, a people who lead an outdoor life. They are
poor, without homes or ownership in farms, without proper knowledge of
agriculture. They are able to pay their minister so small and uncertain
a salary that he can not live on it honestly and pay his bills promptly.

During the three or four years that the minister has spent in the
theological class room, scarcely a single subject that concerns the
every-day life of his future people has been discussed. He is taught
more about the soil of the valley of the Nile, or of the valley of the
river Jordan, than about the soil of the State in which the people of
his church are to live and to work.

What I urge is that the Negro minister should be taught something about
the outdoor life of the people whom he is to lead. More than that, it
would help the problem immensely if in some more practical and direct
manner this minister could be taught to get the larger portion of his
own living from the soil--to love outdoor work, and to make his garden,
his farm, and his farm-house object-lessons for his people.

The Negro minister who earns a large part of his living on the farm is
independent, and can reprove and rebuke the people when they do wrong.
This is not true of him who is wholly dependent upon his congregation
for his bread. What is equally important, an interest in agricultural
production and a love for work tend to keep a minister from that
idleness which may prove a source of temptation.

At least once a week, when I am in the South, I make it a practice to
spend an hour or more among the people of Tuskegee and vicinity--among
the merchants and farmers, white and black. In these talks with the
real people I can get at the actual needs and conditions of those for
whom our institution is at work.

When talking to a farmer, I feel that I am talking with a real man and
not an artificial one--one who can keep me in close touch with the real
things. From a simple, honest cultivator of the soil, I am sure of
getting first-hand, original information. I have secured more useful
illustrations for addresses in a half-hour's talk with some white or
coloured farmer than from hours of reading books.

If I were a minister, I think I should make a point of spending a day
in each week in close, unconventional touch with the masses of the
people. A vacation employed in visiting farmers, it seems to me, would
often prepare one as thoroughly for his winter's work as a vacation
spent in visiting the cities of Europe.



CHAPTER XIII

ON THE EXPERIMENTAL FARM


The purpose most eagerly sought by the Agricultural Department of
the Tuskegee Institute is to demonstrate to the farmers of Alabama,
first of all, that with right methods their acres can be made to
yield unfailing profit, and that they can win in the fight against
the deadly mortgage system. In many of the Western and Northwestern
States cheese-making has led the one-crop, wheat-growing farmers to
independence. The South has felt that this industry was beyond its
reach, and has set small store by the dairy business. At Tuskegee, not
only has it been demonstrated that cows can be made to yield from 50 to
150 per cent. on the money invested, but also that every farmer can, at
moderate cost, make his own cheese, with a good supply for the market.
Not long ago, the graduate of the Institute who is directly in charge
of the cheese and butter departments, sent to my home specimens of six
kinds of cheese made at the school--Tuskegee Cream, Philadelphia Cream
Cheese, Neufchatel, Cottage, Club-house, and Cheddar. These were as
fine grades of cheese as can be found in any other creamery.

To find out what corn, grasses, pease, millet, etc., are best suited to
the Southern climate and soil is the work of several years of earnest
labour. At present experiments are in progress with ten varieties of
corn, with vetch, clovers, cassava, sugar beet, Cuban sugar cane, eight
kinds of millet, the Persian and Arabian beans, and many other food and
forage plants. Fifty-five acres of peach orchard are sowed in pease,
besides three hundred acres of corn land utilised for this second or
auxiliary crop. The vegetable garden covers fifty acres, and there is
hardly a day when this garden fails to help pay the table expenses of
the school.

Stock raising is carried on more extensively each year. To get the best
hog, sheep, cow, and horse for this region of the country is the chief
aim. We cannot quit cotton, but we must raise our stock and our meat.
The hen and the bee are great wealth-producers, but not more than one
in three hundred Macon County families raise bees, and few of them give
any special care to poultry. Therefore the school trustees spend a
large sum of money each year in teaching the practical lessons of these
industries.

[Illustration: CULTIVATING A PATCH OF CASSAVA ON THE AGRICULTURAL
EXPERIMENT PLOT]

Statistical data show that the average yield of cotton per acre
throughout the South is 190 pounds, an astonishingly low figure, and,
except when high prices rule, below the paying point. Every acre of
cotton in the South can and should be made to produce 500 pounds
of lint. Should the cotton grower add the trifling increase of five
pounds of lint an acre, it would mean for the Cotton States a total
increase of 240,000 bales, based on the crop reports for 1902, with a
value of nearly $15,000,000, according to the prices realised on the
crop of 1903. The experimental station at Tuskegee has appreciated the
tremendous possibilities pictured by such statements as these, and
the Director, Mr. Carver, has demonstrated the value of scientific
cultivation, by raising nearly 500 pounds of cotton on one acre of
poor Alabama land. In addition he has taken up the problem of crossing
varieties of cotton to increase the quality of the uplands staple.
These experiments have been promisingly successful, and already a
hybrid cotton has been grown which is vastly superior to that commonly
raised in Alabama. In other words, Tuskegee is teaching the farmers how
to raise a better grade of cotton and more of it, without increasing
the acreage planted.

The subject of soil improvement through natural agencies has been one
of much concern to both ancient and modern agriculturists. The ancient
Egyptian knew that if he let his land lie idle--"rested," as he termed
it--he was able to produce a much better crop, and that crop would be
in quantity and quality, all other things being equal, proportionate to
the length of time this land had been rested.

At a later period the fertilising value of the legumes (pod-bearing
plants) was recognised. But as the population of the world increased
and civilisation advanced, it became more imperative that all farming
operations should be more intensive and less extensive. Each decade
saw the progressive farmer on his journey of progress correcting many
mistakes of the past. He then began to see that it was quite possible
and practicable to keep his ground covered with some crop; and the
soil also became richer and more fertile every year--by reason of this
constant tillage--than was possible under the old method of letting the
land lie fallow for a few years. As science shed light upon his art,
he learned that the crop-yielding capacity of a soil was increased by
rotating or changing his farm crops every year upon land not occupied
by such crops the year previous.

For seven years Tuskegee has made the subject of crop rotation a
special study, and submits the plan illustrated by the accompanying
chart as the most simple and satisfactory. This chart and data were
worked out by the Director of the Agricultural Department. It was hoped
that the experiment would shed some light on the following pertinent
questions:

(a) Is it possible to build up the poor upland soils of Alabama?

(b) Can injurious washing away of the soil by rains be overcome?

(c) Are not the fertilisers necessary for the production of a crop on
such land far beyond the reach of the average farmer?

(d) Granting it can be built up and made productive, will it not take
an average life-time?

[Illustration: Plan of planting]

(e) Will it pay to purchase such land?

(f) State the smallest amount of such land the farmer should buy
expecting to make a living off it.

The plan for rotation as outlined is for a farm of forty acres, but is
perfectly applicable to one of any size, even down to a garden patch.
In order that our efforts might be guided with the greatest degree of
intelligence, the soil was analysed and found to be seriously deficient
in three very important elements of plant food, and in the order named:
Nitrogen, phosphoric acid and potash. In addition to this, it was
practically devoid of humus (vegetable matter), and otherwise was in as
bad a physical condition as chemical. Our first efforts were directed
toward correcting the physical condition by deep plowing, rebuilding
terraces and filling in washes. This being done, we are now ready to
make definite plans for planting our forty-acre farm. In a farm this
size we find it is wise to set aside four acres to be used as indicated:

(1) One acre for the house, lawn, flower garden, nut and ornamental
trees. (2) One acre for the garden, orchard and small fruits. Upon
this all the vegetables of various kinds, peaches, pears, plums, figs,
strawberries, blackberries, grapes, etc., should be raised, not simply
to supply the needs of the family, but there should be a surplus to
market. (3) One acre for the barn, poultry house, pigsties, and other
necessary out-buildings. (4) One acre for a good pasture where cows,
horses, hogs, and stock of various kinds might be turned in from time
to time. The remaining thirty-six acres should be planted as follows:

First year, sixteen acres of cowpease, eight acres of cotton, two
acres of ribbon cane, three acres of corn, one acre of sorghum, one
acre of peanuts, three acres of sweet potatoes, one acre of teosinte (a
green fodder plant), one acre of pumpkins, cushaws, squash, etc.

The second year it will be observed that the peas change places with
the cotton, corn, ribbon cane, sorghum, teosinte, pumpkins and sweet
potatoes, except in a few instances--and these are where the soil
was: (a) Naturally poor, as indicated by the acre where peanuts and
cowpease follow each other the first and second years in order to
better fit the land physically and chemically to produce an exhaustive
crop like cotton; (b) Sweet potatoes following cotton and ribbon cane.
Here bottom land is represented, and is, therefore, quite fertile.
The fertilisers necessary to produce a good crop of sugar cane and
cotton were quite sufficient to produce a good crop of potatoes with
but little additional fertiliser. (c) In this we have a different
condition--that of neglected bottom soil, deficient mainly in nitrogen.
Here the pea is planted the first year to restore the nitrogen; and
this is followed by teosinte and sorghum in one instance and pumpkins
and ribbon cane in another; the physical condition of the soil being
best suited to these particular crops. With the few exceptions
mentioned, the third year is identical with the first.

_Such a system of rotation has enabled us in seven years to make a net
profit of $96.22 from one acre of this land, when in the beginning we
lost $2.40 per acre._

In 1897, cowpease were planted, using $5 worth of kainite and acid
phosphate per acre--mixing them together and putting in the drill. The
seed, preparation of the land, planting, harvesting the light crop of
vines, etc., amounted to $6.50, making a total of $11.50. The crop sold
for $9.10, leaving us $2.40 behind.

In 1898, this same acre was planted in sweet potatoes and fertilised
with $5 worth of kainite and acid phosphate, the same as recommended
for the pease. The after-operation cost $6. Fifty-five bushels of
marketable potatoes were harvested and sold for 60c per bushel,
equalling $33, and leaving a net balance of $22 on the acre.

In 1899, cowpease were again planted and fertilised exactly the same
as in 1897. The returns were fifteen bushels of pease, at 55 cents per
bushel, equalling $8.25; also one and one-half tons of cured hay, worth
$22.50, giving a total of $30.75. Less the cost--$11.50--equals $19.25
gain.

In 1900, it was planted in sorghum cane, fertilised with $5 worth of
kainite and acid phosphate, plus fifteen one-horse wagon-loads of swamp
muck and decayed forest leaves, at a cost of $3.75; plus the cost of
harvesting, etc., $4.25, making a total of $13. Seven tons of hay were
harvested and sold green for $5 a ton, leaving a gain of $22.

In 1901, cowpease were planted and fertilised exactly the same as for
the sorghum. Twenty-five bushels of pease were harvested, worth $13.75;
two tons of cured hay worth $28, making a total of $41.75; less the
cost, equals $28.75 gain.

In 1902, it was planted in garden truck--cabbage, onions, beets,
squash, tomatoes, melons, beans, turnips, mustard, kale, kohl rabi,
rutabagas, etc. Fertilised the same as for sorghum and pease, except
half of the swamp muck was replaced by stable manure. The total
operations cost $21; the entire crop sold for $60, leaving a gain of
$39.

In 1903, it was again planted in cowpease. Fertilised the same as for
the garden. Twenty-seven bushels of pease were harvested, worth $14.85,
and three tons of cured hay worth $43, equalling $56.85. Less the cost,
gives us a gain of $43.85 per acre.

In this same year, a portion of this field, subject to the same
rotation, was planted in white potatoes, using the same amount of
muck, kainite and phosphate, at a total cost of $9. Eighty bushels of
potatoes were harvested and sold for $1 per bushel, equalling $80.
Before the potatoes were dug, cowpease were planted between the rows
and yielded $25.22 worth of peas and hay, giving a clear profit of
$96.22 per acre.

Another acre subjected to the same treatment was planted in early corn
and followed by sweet potatoes, at a cost of $16. It gave a crop as
follows: $44.60 in corn and fodder, one hundred and five bushels of
marketable potatoes, and $4.05 worth of hay; making in all $111.65.
Less $16.90, gives a profit of $94.75.

It is important to note that the data for 1903 represent only one-half
of the crop, as the land is now in grain and will be harvested in time
for the next crop, or grazed, which, of course, will give a net balance
according to the yield of this grain or its value in grazing. We think,
therefore, that the foregoing facts answer quite conclusively all the
questions in the affirmative, and that it is wise for the Southern
farmer to purchase a home even of two acres.



CHAPTER XIV

THE EAGERNESS FOR LEARNING


Necessity compels most of the coloured youth seeking education to work
with their hands and pay as they go. It is better thus, even for those
who do not expect to follow trades. I do not believe that any young man
who has worked his way through Yale or Harvard regrets the experience.
All whom I have met were proud of the achievement, and considered it an
important part of the training that was to make them useful and capable
men.

Many thousand letters of application for admission to the Tuskegee
Institute are on file in my office. Their general trend is one of the
strongest arguments for the gospel of hard work with head and hands.
These young men and women from nearly every state of the Union and many
foreign countries are writing me scores of letters daily, asking for a
chance to get an education. With them there is no such thing as taking
it for granted that they will be sent to school by somebody else. They
have felt the force of newly awakened ambition, and lacking money to
support themselves for three, four or five years in school, are eager
to work for it. If their parents share this ambition, it is often the
case that prayers, and heartfelt wishes, and hopes are all they can
give their children to help them along the rough road to freedom.

For lack of room, we are forced to refuse each year thousands of
applicants, earnest, pleading candidates, most of them, who are willing
to make any sacrifices, to endure any burden of toil, to get the
training that is to help them and enable them to help others. Merely to
look through these piles of letters as they have accumulated for years
would require many days' labour. I have chosen a few of them at random,
for they show why Tuskegee students are in earnest from the beginning
of their school work to the end, and why they go out to earn a living,
armed with sincerity of purpose.

I have taken the liberty of making them easier to read by correcting
the crude spelling and expression in some of them.

[Illustration: CARNEGIE LIBRARY. BUILT BY INSTITUTE STUDENTS]

Here is one in which the writer has a fondness for imposing words
without quite knowing how to handle them:


     _Dear President_: I that delights in education have by
     recommendation conceived an idea of applying to your worthy
     school, if possible, for education, provided I am qualified to
     enter. Believing that your catalogue will give me a thorough
     understanding of the same, I will hereby [ask] that you send me
     one of your complete catalogues that I may prepare to enter the
     ensueing fall. Now, sir, you will please excuse me if I give you
     knowledge of my disposition. I am full of delight in education.
     Therefore I will try to be one of the most pious students of the
     time. This would also cause me to be grateful for the privileges,
     especially those of labour, for this is my first inquiry whether I
     might remain in school during vacation and work. In fact, I would
     have, please, sir, a prompt and continual job in school. Please,
     sir, to interest yourself in my welfare in this circumstance.


     _Dear Sir_: Wishing to enter the Tuskegee Institute, I hereby
     write you for information. I wish to enter night school and work
     in the day as an apprentice in the machine department. My parents
     are poor and not able so assist me in going to school, so my only
     chance is to work my way if there be any chance at all. I am now
     twenty-one years old. I am working with my father on a farm where
     I have been working ever since I have been large enough. I have
     been going so school some, but a very little, while I were very
     small, and I had not been in several years until this Mr. ----
     came here, and now I am working every day and going to school at
     night. I am proud to say that he has done me good two ways by
     telling me of the chances afforded in the Tuskegee Institute for
     poor boys and girls to educate themselves, and he has enthused my
     ambition for educating and bettering my condition. Please send me
     a catalogue of the school, that I may see just how I must start to
     enter.

     Yours truly, desiring an education.


     _Dear Sir_: I have heard so much and read so much of your school,
     until I am craving to come and take a part with the leading people
     of my colour. Mr. Washington, I've heard that a poor person who
     desires to make a mark in the world and haven't the means, you
     would take them and let them work the first year for two hours
     lessons at night, and let this help on their expenses for the
     next year. If this is correct, will you please write me at once,
     for I am a poor girl, and is so very anxious to learn some good
     trade, also have good learning in books, and I am too poor to go
     to school and pay. So if you will let me in, I am willing to work
     very hard, indeed I am. Please send me a clear understanding of
     the school, for I am anxious to be a great woman. Please write me
     at an early date.


     _Dear Sir_: I have read and heard a great deal of your school, and
     I want to attend it this summer. I would like to know whether I
     could work all of my way or not, as my parents is not able to send
     me, and I want to go to school, I want to take a special course in
     sewing.


     _Kind Sir_: I received your immediate reply, and I was truly glad
     to hear from you, and to receive your circular of information and
     its meanings. But there is a few questions of importance I wish
     to ask. Can I enter the night school at once, or is there any
     limited time the school closes, and when are the sessions? Now,
     I hope I can enter at once, and stay the year around, or as long
     as I can be employed at the place, so that I can pay my board and
     schooling, as I have no parents and I am trying to make a start
     for an education. I am a member of the church and a lover of the
     Sunday School, also I feel that I have a superior calling from on
     high. Therefore I wish to secure even a good English education.
     May God provide for your success is the prayer of your humble
     servant.


     _Kind Sir_: I have thought to write you since your lecture up here
     in the adjoining county last fall. Mr. Washington, I have a great
     desire for an education and it seems that I have many besetments
     in life that prohibits me from saving just the amount of money
     that I need to educate myself as I desire so do, and I will
     inquire of you if your college has any way that a young man could
     work his tuition out. If so, please let me know just what terms I
     could enter on, as I have fully made up my mind to try to educate
     myself, provided any school will help me in my struggle. I see
     the need of an education, and I see that there is fields of work
     for a young man of my age. Mr. Washington, if you please, give me
     a chance if you can, I am willing to work my way through at any
     position you would put me at to pay for my learning. I am not too
     proud to do any work I can help to educate myself. I want to join
     that goodly number of Negroes that is making such success at your
     school. Please pardon such a long letter.

     Your humble questioner.


     _Mr. Washington_: I would be more than glad to appreciate your
     school, inasmuch as to come down and attend about two terms, if
     you are not filled. I am not able to pay my board in money, and if
     there is any vacancy in your school where I can work and pay, I
     would be more than glad. Please let me know immediately, so I will
     know what to do. Let me know all about your charges per month.
     Please reply at once, because I want to come as early as possible.


[Illustration: THE TAILOR SHOP]


     _Dear Sir_: I received your kind circulars some days ago, and I
     was more than glad to hear as I did. I would have wrote before
     now, but thinking I could come soon, I waited. Though times is so
     hard, of course a poor boy that has no one to help him has a hard
     time, but by the help of the Lord, I am going to make a man of
     myself. I want to come as soon as I can. I am going to bring every
     one that will come with me. I want to stay there and work until I
     can master a trade.


     _Dear Sir_: I takes great pleasure in writing to you a few lines,
     and hopes this will find you well. I want to complete the full
     course of education, and am not exactly able to bear my expenses
     through. I would like to know whether you will give me a position
     to work to pay my expenses through. If you will, it will be a
     great favour and consolation to me. Write soon, and let me hear
     from you, and please send me full particulars.


     _Dear Sir_: After reading and hearing so much talk of your school,
     I made it up in my mind that I would like to attend your school,
     as I have been trying to get an education for the last two years.
     I attended school here in Texas for six months this term, but
     owing to my money running short I had to quit school and go to
     work. I am a poor boy, and I desire to get an education. Do you
     think that you could give me work to pay my school? I want an
     industrial education, and am not able to pay for it, and I will do
     any work I can get to pay for my lesson.


     "I would like to attend your school, but being poor I can't
     enter as a day student. I write to know if I can enter as a
     work student. I would like to enter soon enough so that I can
     work during the summer months. Mr. Washington, I am anxious to
     get a good training. Being poor and fatherless, I have had few
     advantages, and that is why I have applied to you as I have. If
     you will or will not receive me, please let me know as soon as
     possible."


     "I received your circular and was carefully reading the terms.
     There is some few more hints I would like to ask you. If I arrive
     there with forty dollars, could I attend the whole nine months
     of a school year? My occupation has been for the last four years
     cooking. Before then it was farming, but I can do a little laundry
     work also. In these four years I have attended school two terms in
     public school. I am very anxious for an industrial education, so
     therefore I desire to attend your school. The industrial studies
     I would like to learn are carriage-trimming and laundry work.
     My studies are United States History, Arithmetic, English, and
     Geography. If you think I can stay the whole term on forty dollars
     let me know, and I will be there in August. I am twenty-two years
     of age."


     "Please let me know whether you can furnish girls work enough to
     support them in school. I see in the 'Voice of Missions' where
     you will give ministers work to support themselves. Is there any
     chance for a girl who wants an education? I have read of your
     school, and would like so well to come there, but I live so far
     away, until I would not be able to pay my fare from New Orleans
     and then pay my school expenses. Please let me know the cheapest
     that I could enter school, also the distance and cost from New
     Orleans. I would like to enter next season without fail. Please
     write me by return mail without fail."


     _Dear Sir_: During your recent lecturing tour you stopped here and
     I was determined to hear you, and when I heard you I was fired
     with the ambition to go to school. I tried to get an audience with
     you, but owing to so many others who were as enthusiastic as I, I
     could only speak a few words with you. Do you remember the young
     man who spoke to you about going to your school? As I said before,
     I did not have time to explain it all to you. I am unable to pay
     my way through your school, but I am more than willing to work my
     way through. You told me that I could when I spoke to you about it.


     _Dear Sir_: My boy ran away from home during my absence from home
     in January. After he was gone, I learned from his associates that
     he said he was going to Tuskegee to school. Please inform me
     whether he has made his appearance there or not.


     _Dear Sir_: Do you think it best for me to enter as soon as
     possible, or wait until the next term, but I would rather enter as
     soon as possible. But will do as you think best. I have a mother
     and grandmother to support, and if I can get an education I know
     that I will be better fitted to support them, and I am sure that
     you will agree with me in the matter. And if you will give me a
     chance, I will be a man among my people some day.


     _Dear Sir_: I am sorry that I cannot be admitted. In case of a
     vacancy, will you notify me, or until there is a chance could I
     come to the school in the summer? I am a poor girl. If I can't
     come in the summer, I am going to try to earn enough money to come
     and stay two or three months as soon as you will let me, even if
     there is no room to live at the school.


     "I will write you a few lines to ask if you please to let me enter
     into your band of coloured scholars. That is, I want to come to
     your school in the daytime, or at night and work the rest of the
     time. If there is any way fixed, let me know whether my name can
     be put in your roll book. I have just left school a few days ago,
     and I want to get in as soon as possible. I have been striving to
     come to your school going on three years, and at last I have got
     to the point that if you will let me in I will be over there the
     first day of March. Please, sir, let me in, if there is any way
     that can be fixed to do so. I would be one of the happiest boys in
     the world if you say I could come. Please write me word just as
     soon as you read it."


     _Dear Sir_: Having just read again a short biography of your life,
     and being desirous of obtaining a better education, I thought I
     would write you and perhaps gain the necessary information. Last
     year I completed the course in the High School here. When school
     opened in September, I joined the Normal Training Class here and
     since then I have been training in for a second and third grade
     teacher. I have had about eight months of piano music and two of
     vocal, and one school year in the elements of elocution. I am
     desirous of becoming a school teacher, and realise how necessary
     it is to have a better education. I have no support but an aged
     mother. I had almost given up hope, but when I read of others
     working their way through college, I am resolved to try. Is there
     any possible way of earning my schooling at Tuskegee? I thought
     perhaps I could teach in the primary grades a part of the day to
     pay for what I should get. Or perhaps I could work in some other
     way. I am willing to do any honest labour to get an education.
     You doubtless get letters of this kind daily, but I only ask that
     you please answer and tell me if there is any chance for a poor
     girl obtaining knowledge. I am so anxious that I would willingly
     work during the vacations and holidays. Please answer this, and
     if I cannot gain entrance at Tuskegee, perhaps you can tell me
     of some school where I can. If your answer is favorable, I will
     immediately begin to earn money to pay my way there, for those of
     us who are in the training class receive no salary.



CHAPTER XV

THE VALUE OF SMALL THINGS


A lifetime of hard work has shown me the value of little things of
every day. We preach them at Tuskegee, and try to enforce them in
the daily round of sixteen hundred students' lives. We speak of them
because they are at the bottom of character-building, and because no
person can go on year by year forgetting them, without having his
soul warped and made small and weak. We want young men and women to
go out, not as slaves of their daily routine, but masters of their
circumstances. But the structure must be built a brick at a time, and
no act is without its influence. I am in the habit of talking to the
student body when it is assembled in the chapel for the first time
after the opening of the school year with a good deal of practical
exhortation about the "value of little things," unimportant as some
of them may seem to the new-comers at Tuskegee. They are told, for
example, that among the resolutions which each should abide by through
the term, is to keep in close and constant touch with their homes.
"You can do this," I have said, "in no better way than by forming
the habit of writing a letter home once every week. I fear that this
is not always done. I want to see each one of you grow into the habit
of writing a letter to your parents or your friends at home, as often
as you can find the time. I do not mean by this that you shall get a
little piece of waste paper, snatch up a lead pencil, and scribble a
hasty note, asking them to send you some money, or to send you a dress,
or a hat. I mean for you to select a time--the Sabbath, if you can
find no other time--and sit down in your rooms, or go to the library,
take plenty of time, get good paper, the best ink, and write your
mother and father, your brothers and sisters, a good, encouraging,
well-thought-out letter. It will pay you to do that, even if you look
at it from a selfish standpoint. Grow into the habit of doing that
every week while you are students here.

"It will keep you in touch with your homes, and it always pays to
keep under the home influence, no matter how humble that home may be,
no matter how much poverty there may be about it, no matter how much
ignorance there may be in it--it always pays to keep in close touch
with your homes. I want you to do this, not only for your own sake,
but more for the sake of your parents, for the sake of those who are
trying to keep you at this institution. You can make them feel your
appreciation in no better way than by writing them regularly in the
manner that I have tried to urge you to do. It will encourage them. It
will make them feel that it pays to make the sacrifice for you."

These practical talks on the value of small things are enforced by a
corp of inspectors, whose practised eyes are quick to detect the soiled
collar, the loose button, the unpolished boot, when the forces assemble
for meals and for chapel, and the personal appearance of every student
is carefully scrutinised. Nothing is more humiliating to a Tuskegee boy
or girl than to be taken out of line as the body marches out of chapel.

It requires care and thought to make a hasty toilet after a ten-hour
day on the farm or in the shops, and be ready for supper on the stroke
of the bell. And a student late to meals goes without that meal unless
he has a good excuse. But out of such a system arises a pride in
personal appearance, and a spirit of self-respect that goes far toward
making useful men and women. It must be remembered, too, that much
of the raw material which is taken in hand at Tuskegee has not had
the advantages of any system and order at home, even in the primary
qualities of personal cleanliness and neatness.

It sounds like the discipline of a man-of-war to say that one loose or
missing button on the clothing of any one of a thousand boys is almost
instantly noted and recorded, but the students themselves are proud
of the fact that it is seldom that one of them must be called out of
line by an inspector. They have responded to the test set for them,
and they never forget it. They feel a personal sorrow that the epithet
"shiftless" has been used to characterise their race, and they realise
that it must be lived down in small things as well as great.

There is a student police force at Tuskegee, the members of which are
uniformed and allowed to carry policemen's short "clubs" on their night
rounds. A visitor, who was on his way to my house, to dine, met at the
gate a young man in uniform, apparently on guard, who saluted with his
raised stick. My guest expressed some surprise, saying:

"I did not know that you had to guard against the hostility of the
Southern white people of this region. It is shocking to know that race
antagonism can be so violent and unreasonable."

I replied: "I have no better friends than the white people of Tuskegee,
and there is no need for a body guard, I assure you. That alarming
young man was simply a student policeman who saluted you as he is
required to do all teachers and visitors. He is allowed to carry a
stick, not because he will ever need to use it, but because it is
a badge of his authority, an emblem of the responsibility of his
position. The officers of our cadet corps carry swords for the same
reasons."

The boy policeman and his club typify the worth of little things,
indirectly furnishing a help toward the complex structure of
character. The young man in uniform, trudging on his night rounds about
the school grounds, feels himself more of a man if he is equipped for a
man's work. It adds to his self-respect, and it helps him to feel that
his duty is an important one.

The Savings Bank Department of the school, which is part of the
regularly authorised banking department of the institution, has
been, in addition to its education in business methods, a great aid
in teaching the students the value of little things. Early in the
present year, there were to the credit of the students in the savings
fund deposits of more than $14,000. This was largely made up of small
accounts. The depositors are allowed to have checkbooks, and to draw on
their accounts checks in as small amounts as twenty-five cents. As a
result they do not carry their available cash around in their pockets,
but hasten to the bank with it, and settle nearly all transactions
among themselves by check.

This impresses on their minds the value of saving, for the bank account
is in itself a strong incentive. These deposits come from various
sources. The work done by the students in the various industrial
departments is not paid for in cash, but its value is credited to
their accounts with the school for the board, lodging, laundry, etc.,
furnished them. Their work amounted last year to a cash value of more
than $90,000.

For "ready money," however, they must depend on what they receive from
home, which is a small proportion of the total bank deposits, and upon
what they are able to earn out of working hours. Many of them act as
agents on commission for mail-order houses, which supply clothing,
shoes, underwear, and a variety of necessaries and a few luxuries. In
the summer a large number of young men go from Tuskegee to work in
the Southern States, many of them in the Alabama coal fields, to earn
money to pay the expenses of their education through the next school
year. They save these earnings and bring them back to deposit in the
Institute bank.

But these savings are not in dollars for the most part, but in
quarters, dimes, and even pennies. In looking over the books of the
bank recently, the individual ledger accounts attracted my notice.
There was a whole page given the account of one girl, whose individual
deposits did not average more than ten cents. There were several of
three cents, and one of two cents. It seemed to me that this girl
student was worth watching in after life. If she was willing to walk
across the grounds and back, a round trip of perhaps half a mile, from
her dormitory or work-shop, to make a deposit of three cents in the
savings bank, and to continue her deposits, although she was never able
to save more than a few cents at a time, she was fast learning the
value of small things, and was already far along the path of practical
usefulness.

[Illustration: IN THE MODEL DINING-ROOM]

One thousand students assemble three times a day in the main
dining-hall. They take their seats without confusion or noise. A line
of young men and women face each other at each table, and over them
presides a student host and a hostess. The young women are seated
first, and then the young men march in. But no conversation is allowed
until all are seated, and until after a simple grace is chanted by this
chorus of a thousand voices.

The meal is something more than a necessary consumption of food. The
deference which a young man should always pay to woman is taught,
without demonstration, by the manner of assembling. Self-restraint
is taught the girls by waiting five minutes in their seats before
they begin to eat and to talk. Their meeting at table inculcates good
manners. The boys are on their mettle to act like gentlemen, and the
host and hostess feel a personal responsibility for enforcing the
little details of courtesy and good breeding.

The corps of teachers assembles for meals in another dining-room. They
are not needed to preserve order or enforce discipline, as the students
have that matter largely in their own hands. Inspectors see that their
clothes have been brushed, their faces and hands cleaned of the stains
of the farm and work shops, as the army enters the dining-hall. But
behaviour takes care of itself. It is not long since I read of riotous
scenes in the "commons" of certain Northern universities, in which
students were guilty of throwing bread and crockery around the room.
This has never happened at Tuskegee, and this kind of disorder in our
dining-hall is quite beyond my imagination.

Once in a while, when tired of office work, I walk across the school
grounds and drop into one of the dormitories to talk with the boys
or girls in their rooms, and see for myself how they are living and
what they are doing to make their rooms, not only spotlessly neat,
but livable and attractive. Not long ago I went into a room in one of
the girls' halls, which was clean but utterly cheerless. She said in
explanation that she had been told that, if she could not keep the
photographs and all the other bric-a-brac that finds its way into a
girl's room dustless and in order, she should store the superfluous
articles away. I told her that the result of this misguided endeavour
was a room that looked as much like a barn as it did a home. She told
me how much she had spent during the term in buying chocolate to make
"fudge." For the same outlay she could have had pretty framed prints
on her walls, and other simple adornment in good taste and without
"clutter." That evening I said, while talking to the students in chapel:

"I was in the rooms of several girls to-day. I had been in these
rooms before. Some of the rooms are always clean and attractive. You
will find a number of little, delicate, home-like touches about them.
You have only to go into another room, and you will feel as if you
wanted to go out as soon as possible. This latter room has possibly
two or three girls in it, and they are always full of excuses, always
explaining. They can stand for five, ten, fifteen minutes, and reel off
excuses by the yard. Those girls, unless they change, will never get
ahead very far, I fear.

"The habit of making excuses, of giving explanations, instead of
achieving results, grows from year to year upon one, until finally
it gets such a hold that I think the victim finds himself almost as
well satisfied with a good, long-drawn-out excuse, as he does with
real tangible achievement. The schoolboy and girl must be taught such
lessons in every moment of routine duty, and there are no "little
things," to be carelessly overlooked, without danger that repetition
will breed bad habit. The student may think these things are little,
but permanent injury to character is the price paid for indifference
and carelessness. The price is paid in permanent injury to character.

"Every dollar received at Tuskegee comes through hard work on the part
of some one. Every dollar is placed with us because the donor feels
that perhaps it will accomplish more good here than elsewhere. It is
always a question for them to choose between giving a dollar here or
to some other institution. The attitude of every student, if he wishes
to be honest, must be that he has no right to ask persons to support
the school if a dollar goes into the hands of an individual who is not
doing his very best to earn the worth of it, every moment of every day,
from rising bell to "taps" on the bugle at the boy's hall."

Looking at education from this view-point, every detail of the work and
administration of a community of sixteen hundred people, with their
great variety of activities, becomes vitally important, a part toward
the complete whole.

This doctrine of "small things" finds expression in an infinite number
of channels. One of the despised but abundant products of the Southern
farms has been the cowpea. It is used extensively as a fodder plant,
and as a fertiliser by plowing it under. The cowpea is also one of
the most nutritious of foods, when properly cooked, but while it has
been growing at their doors the coloured people have neglected it as
a part of their diet. The Tuskegee agricultural expert investigated
the cowpea. He found that it was as valuable for food as the far-famed
"Boston bean," and prepared his table of analyses to prove it. Then
he worked out no less than eighteen different appetising recipes for
cooking the humble cowpea, and made practical demonstration, in a
booth of his own making, during one of the Negro Conference gatherings.

[Illustration: THE PAINT SHOP]

These recipes he had printed for distribution in a neat and attractive
pamphlet, and in this way he opened in defense of the cowpea a
successful crusade, which has had direct results. It was a small thing,
but it was not too small to be overlooked in the effort to make the
best of the resources close at hand.



CHAPTER XVI

RELIGIOUS INFLUENCES AT TUSKEGEE


In the rapid growth of the institution along academic and industrial
lines, the spiritual side of the school has not been neglected.
During the last fifteen years a regularly appointed chaplain, an
ordained evangelical minister, has been connected with the school,
which is non-denominational, but by no means non-religious. It has
much of the machinery of most regularly organised churches, although,
for good reasons, it has not seemed best, yet, to organise a church
in connection with the institution. It has, in fact, a much better
equipment than most churches about it, both as to its house of worship
and auxiliary services.

First: There is, each Sunday, a regular preaching service, at which
teachers and students are expected to be present.

Second: Every Sunday morning, during the months of school, a large
and enthusiastic Christian Endeavour Society meets for an hour's
appropriate exercises. Teachers and students alike belong to it, serve
on its committees, and, in many ways, are very helpful to the religious
side of the school. The selections of scripture read or repeated and
commented upon, the prayers offered, and the songs contributed by the
students, show that they are preparing themselves for leadership in
religion as well as for usefulness in shop and class room when they
leave Tuskegee.

Third: The students are divided into thirty-six Sunday-school classes,
each Sunday, to study the international lesson. There is also a Junior
Sunday-school, composed of the children of teachers and of families
near the school.

Fourth: A flourishing organisation of the Y. M. C. A., ably officered
by students, makes itself felt for good both among the young men
students as well as by visits, through committees, to the surrounding
country, each Sunday, to look after sick and needy persons, especially
the aged poor.

Fifth: The young women students, under the leadership of lady teachers,
sustain three societies among themselves, viz.: The One Cent Missionary
Society, the oldest in the institution. It is auxiliary to the Woman's
Home Missionary Association of Boston, to which it sends $5 annually.
The Edna D. Chaney Missionary Club has its own special work, as has
also the Y. W. C. T. U. Recently, there has been organised a Y. W.
C. A. to reach a younger class of girls. Each of these organisations
has proved itself a potent factor for good, not only in the school
and its immediate environs, but beyond; for it is the policy of the
Tuskegee Institute to spread its various influences to other towns and
communities, wherever its graduates and students find work, in whatever
capacity.

Sixth: The Humane Society has done much to teach the students the
proper care of dumb animals.

Seventh: The Tuskegee Women's Club, a branch of the National
Association of Coloured Women, which meets twice a month to discuss
such topics as look to the betterment of the women and girls of the
Negro race in the United States. Another society, more local, is called
Mothers' Council. Here the married women meet to discuss household
matters. One of the members of this body, the wife of an instructor,
though herself not a teacher, has for several years been conducting a
Sunday afternoon meeting for neglected children in one of the tenement
sections of the town of Tuskegee. The room in which the meetings are
held is rented for this purpose by the students of the Bible School and
paid for out of their weekly contributions.

Eighth: Once, daily, at evening (Friday and Saturday excepted), the
whole school assembles in the spacious chapel for devotional services,
led by the Principal or his representative, before retiring.

[Illustration: INSTITUTE CHAPEL

MOST IMPOSING BUILDING ON SCHOOL GROUNDS BUILT BY STUDENTS]

Ninth: Perhaps the most helpful religious meeting of all is the Friday
evening prayer-meeting, where teachers and students gather, before
retiring, as one large family, for informal worship; for it is the
most home-like of all the services. Any one is at liberty to take part,
without restraint, and at times so much interest is manifested that it
often happens that two or more will be on their feet at the same time
striving to get a hearing, or will raise hymns or begin to pray, or
speak or repeat verses of Scripture at the same time. But the utmost
courtesy and good nature prevail. These meetings are productive of
much good. Many of the students date their conversion from the impulse
received at these Friday evening meetings.

Tenth: The Week of Prayer is usually observed for two weeks, in
January, every year, with more or less spiritual profit to the whole
institution. The outward results from the meetings held during the
present year are the hopeful and happy conversions of more than one
hundred and fifty students, from all classes, post-graduates, special
students, down through the preparatory grades. The most of these have
received, and, after careful and prayerful consideration, have signed,
in duplicate, the following pledge, keeping one copy and returning the
other to the Chaplain:


     MY PLEDGE.

     I thank God that I was led by the Spirit to accept Christ. I am
     glad I am a Christian, and I promise:

     1. That, as soon as I can, I will join the church of my choice,
     and by word and deed help to build up the kingdom of Christ on
     earth.

     2. That I will, daily, think of, or read some portion of the
     Bible, and will pray, in private each day of my life, closing each
     prayer with this verse:


     "Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole;
     I want Thee forever to live in my soul;
     Break down every idol, cast out every foe:
     Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow."

     --Amen.

     Name _______________________________________

    P. O. address _______________________________________
                  _______________________________________


The reclamation of many backsliders also, as well as the spiritual
awakening of the teacher's, many of whom joined heartily in the work of
soul-saving, were gratifying and encouraging results.

Eleventh: Last, but not least, is the wholesome influence the Bible
Training School has on the entire Institute.

This school is a department of the Normal and Industrial Institute. It
was founded some years ago by a lady living in New York, in order that
poor young men and women might be enabled, on the Tuskegee plan, to fit
themselves for the Christian ministry and other active religious work.

A night class is connected with the Bible School, to reach those who
cannot attend during the day, but who are desirous of knowing more
about the Bible. The members of this class are the farmers and other
labouring men who live in the neighbourhood. They come twice a week
for an hour and a half, some of them walking two, three, four, and
five miles each way, and show the greatest interest in the lessons.
Most of them are pastors and members of churches in their communities.
The students of the Bible School are expected to spend their Sundays
in religious work among the churches and mission stations in the
surrounding country. Every Sunday morning they may be seen, in groups
of two or more, starting out, after breakfast, to their various
appointments, reaching from four to six miles into the country, and
to the jail and the churches in the town of Tuskegee. If they do not
find a place of labour, they are encouraged to begin in new fields,
and to reach people who might otherwise be neglected. Several have
started missions, and two, during the history of the Bible School, have
organised and built churches, and turned them over to their respective
denominational connections. The Bible students are required to make a
weekly report of their outside work on the following blank:


WEEKLY REPORT
OF THE
RELIGIOUS WORK DONE IN TUSKEGEE AND VICINITY,
BY STUDENTS OF
PHELPS HALL BIBLE TRAINING SCHOOL

Work done for the week ending Sunday night ____19__

1. Name of student __________ Are you a minister Licentiate
     or a Layman? ____________

2. What is your denomination? ____________

3. Where do you labour? ________ (State whether in a church, jail,
     or almshouse, etc.) ________

4. Sermons, Give:
    1st. Number preached ________
    2nd. Scriptures read ________
    3rd. The text to each ________
    4th. The subjects to each ________

5. Number of adults present? ________
    1st. Males ________
    2nd. Females ________
    3rd. Children ________

6. Number of Sunday Schools attended? ________
    Number of children present ________
    1st. Males ________
    2nd. Females ________
    3rd. Adults ________

7. Number of prayer meetings attended? ________

8. Number of marriages solemnised? ________

9. Number of sick visited in their homes? ________

10. Number of funerals attended? ________

11. Number who have secured homes through your advice and help
      during the past week ________

12. Does your S. S. use Sunday literature, such as books,
    quarterlies, S. S. papers, etc.? State which ________

    Sign here. (Name) ________
        (Home P.O. address) ________________
                            ________________

Please answer EVERY question, and return to E. J. Penny.

A volunteer prayer meeting is held daily, just after breakfast, in the
Bible School building, under the guidance of the Bible students. This
meeting is well attended by young men of all the classes, who take
turns in leading the services.

Any one passing this building at that hour will hear songs of praise
and earnest voices in prayer to God. All these societies, at Christmas
and Thanksgiving, unite in taking food and other comforts to the
deserving poor and helpless.

All the young men and boys at Tuskegee are assigned to groups
numbering twelve to fifteen, each group in charge of a teacher. There
are eighty of these small companies formed that the boys may become
better acquainted with one another, and grow in a spirit of mutual
helpfulness. Every boy feels that he can go to the teacher who is in
charge of his social unit for advice and comfort. This feature of the
school life is under the general direction of the Chaplain, and has
done much to make the students feel at home. Discipline has been more
satisfactory since the plan was adopted. The young women students are
organised in other ways to meet their own social and religious needs,
and to bring them into personal relations with their teachers.

All these forces are working more and more for good, and the School is
in an encouraging and healthy religious condition.



CHAPTER XVII

SOME TANGIBLE RESULTS


Since the founding of the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute, in
1881, the total enrollment of young men and women who have remained
long enough to be helped, in any degree, is about six thousand. From
the beginning, the school has sought to find out the chief occupations
by which our people earn their living, and to train men and women to be
of service in these callings. Those who go out follow the industries
they have learned, or teach in public or private schools, teaching part
of the year and farming or labouring the remainder of their time. Some
follow house-keeping or other domestic service, while others enter
professions, the Government service, or become merchants. Many of the
teachers give instruction in agriculture, or in the industries. The
professional men are largely physicians and the professional women are
mostly trained nurses.

After diligent investigation I have been unable to find a dozen former
students in idleness. They are busy in schoolroom, field, shop, home or
church. They are busy because they have placed themselves in demand by
learning to do that which the world wants done, and because they have
learned the disgrace of idleness, and the sweetness of labour. One of
the greatest embarrassments which confronts our school at the present
time is our inability to supply any large proportion of the demands
for our students that are coming to us constantly from the people of
both races, North and South. But, apart from their skill and training,
that which has made Tuskegee men and women succeed is their spirit of
unselfishness and their willingness to sacrifice themselves for others.
In many cases while building up a struggling school in a community,
they have worked for months without any fixed salary or promise of
salary, because they have learned that helping some one else is the
secret of happiness. Because of the demand for men and women trained at
Tuskegee, it is difficult to keep a large proportion of the students in
the school until they graduate. It is, therefore, not so easy to show
the results of the work in concrete form as it would be if a larger
number of the students finished. But the facts obtainable prove that
the school is achieving its purpose in preparing its students to do
what the world wants done.

Some years ago a young man named Williams came to Tuskegee from Mobile,
Alabama. Before coming, he had nearly completed the public-school
course of study at Mobile, and had been earning about fifty cents a day
at various kinds of unskilled labour. He wished to study further in
the academic branches, with the object of combining this knowledge with
the trade of brick-masonry. To take the full course in brick-masonry,
including mechanical drawing, he should have remained three years.
He remained for six months only. During this time, he got some rough
knowledge of brick-masonry and advanced somewhat in his academic
studies. When he returned to Mobile, it soon became known that he had
been working at brick-masonry. At once he was dubbed a full-fledged
mason. As there was unusual building activity in Mobile at that time,
he found himself in great demand, and, instead of having to seek odd
jobs, he soon saw that, in spite of his rather crude knowledge of the
trade, he could earn one dollar and fifty cents per day, and have more
work offered him than he could do. When the three months' vacation
expired, Williams debated whether he ought to return to Tuskegee to
finish his course or remain at home and try to purchase a home for his
widowed mother. Hence, seeing an opportunity to make two dollars a
day _at his trade_, he decided not to return. As in hundreds of other
cases, the Mobile man had unusual natural ability, and was able to
get out of his six months at Tuskegee a mental, spiritual, and bodily
awakening which fixed his purpose in life. Not only this, but he had
made such a start in his trade that by close study and observation he
was able to improve from month to month in the quantity and quality of
his work, and within a few months he ceased to work for other people
by the day and began to make small contracts. At the present time, Mr.
Williams is one of the most substantial coloured citizens of Mobile.
He owns his home and is a reliable and successful contractor, doing
important work for both races. In addition to being a successful
brick-mason and contractor, he owns and operates a dairy business, and
his class of patronage is not limited by any means to members of the
Negro race.

The value, then, of the work of schools, where the trade or economic
element enters in so largely as it does at Tuskegee, cannot be
judged in any large degree by the number of students who finish the
full course and receive diplomas. What is true of the course in
brick-masonry is true in larger or smaller measure of all the other
thirty-seven industrial divisions of the school.

Another example: Crawford D. Menafee came to Tuskegee about 1890, and
began taking the agricultural and academic courses. He was older than
the average student, and entered one of the lower classes. Because he
had no money to pay any part of his expenses, he was given permission
to enter the night school, which meant that he was to work on the farm
ten hours a day, receiving, meanwhile, lessons in the principles of
farming and devoting two hours at night to the academic branches. He
was never classed as a very bright student, and in the purely literary
studies made such slow progress, after repeating several classes, that
he left two years before completing either the agricultural or the
academic course. It was noted, however, that, notwithstanding inability
to grasp theoretical work, he manifested unusual enthusiasm and showed
special ability in practical farm work. His ability was so marked that
he was asked to take a place of responsibility as assistant to one of
the school's farm managers. It soon became evident that he possessed
extraordinary executive ability. He read constantly everything of value
which he could secure upon agriculture, and soon began to show signs
of considerable intellectual growth and the possession of a rarely
systematic mind. Mr. Menafee was soon promoted to a higher position at
Tuskegee.

[Illustration: TAKING AN AGRICULTURAL CLASS INTO THE FIELD]

A few years later, there came a call for some one to introduce
theoretical and practical agriculture into the State Normal College for
coloured people at Tallahassee, Florida. Mr. Menafee was recommended.
The students had no wish to learn agriculture. They were opposed to
it in any form. By tact and patience, Mr. Menafee gradually won the
students and made them see the importance of intelligent cultivation
of the soil. Mr. Menafee has now been in charge of the agricultural
department of the Florida school for three years, and has made the
study of theoretical and practical farming so effective that it is now
one of the most popular branches in the school. Not only do the young
men cultivate a large acreage each year, but a number of girls also
receive instruction in gardening, dairying, and poultry raising. In
a word, the whole attitude of the school toward agriculture has been
revolutionised, and the department has been placed upon an effective
and practical foundation.

There are hundreds of cases similar to those of Mr. Menafee and the
Mobile brick-mason. These represent a class of students who have
absorbed the spirit of the school as well as its methods, and who are
doing far-reaching service, although they are not enrolled on our list
of graduates. We have tried to give special attention to all forms of
agricultural training at Tuskegee, because we believe that the Negro,
like any other race in a similar stage of development, is better off
when owning and cultivating the soil.

As I have explained elsewhere, the results of our agricultural work
in the past have not been as manifest as they will be in the future,
for the Institute has been compelled to give foremost place to the
building trades in order to get under shelter. The task of erecting
nearly seventy buildings, in which to house about seventeen hundred
people, has not been easy. And yet what are some of the results of our
lessons in farming? Not long ago I drove through a section of Macon
County, Alabama. My drive extended a distance of perhaps eight miles,
and during this time I passed through or near the farms of A. H. Adams,
Thomas Courrier, Frank McCay, Nathaniel Harris, Thomas Anderson, John
Smith, and Dennis Upshaw. These seven men had attended the Tuskegee
Institute for longer or shorter periods, and each had already paid
for his farm or was buying it. All of these men had studied in the
Phelps Hall Bible Training School in the morning, and had taken the
agricultural course in the afternoon. When I visited their farms, I saw
them actually at work, and it was most encouraging and interesting to
note the air of cleanliness and system about their farms and homes. In
every case they were not confining themselves to the raising of cotton,
but had learned to diversify their crops. All were active in church and
Sunday-school work, and were using their influence to get others to buy
homes. The most prosperous farmer among them was Mr. Upshaw. He began
farming with practically nothing. At present he owns one hundred and
fifteen acres of land, which is cultivated by himself and family. On
this land is a neat, attractive house, a barn and outbuildings, and a
small sugar house for boiling syrup from the cane which he raises for
his own use. His home and farm are models for other farmers. He raises
not only cotton, but corn and oats, vegetables, fruit, live stock, and
fowls. He has an unusually fine peach orchard. Mr. and Mrs. Upshaw are
leaders in the County Farmers' Institute. Mrs. Upshaw is also a member
of the Mothers' Meeting, which assembles regularly in the town of
Tuskegee. While Mr. Upshaw's present house is better than the average
farmhouse in that section, when I last visited this farm, I found
lumber on the ground to be used in erecting a new and larger house.
Hundreds of such examples could be cited.

I have given these seven examples because people who know absolutely
nothing about the subject often make the statement that when a Negro
gets any degree of education he will not work--especially as a farmer.
As a rule, people who make these sweeping assertions against the Negro
are blinded by prejudice. The judgment of any man, black or white,
who is controlled by race prejudice is not to be trusted. With one
exception, I did not know of the farming operations of these men before
the drive referred to; but I was not at all surprised at what I saw,
because my years of experience have brought me into unbroken contact
with Tuskegee men and women all over the South, and wherever I have met
them I have found that they had in some degree raised the level of life
about them.

Another branch of Agriculture, to which we have for a number of years
given special attention, is dairying. The demand from Southern white
people for trained dairymen is much greater than we have been able to
supply.

In 1898, L. A. Smith finished the course of training in dairying and in
the academic branches. He had been able to complete his course only by
working during the day and attending school at night during the greater
part of his time here. Soon after Smith graduated, we had a call for a
well-trained dairyman from the Forest City Creamery Company, Rockford,
Illinois. Smith was recommended. He has been holding an important
position in the creamery for five years, and has several times been
promoted with an increase of salary. Smith has paid for a neat and
comfortable home, and he has the confidence and respect of the entire
community. He looked so young and inexperienced in taking up his work
that his ability was doubted, but it did not take him long to prove
that he was fully equal to the occasion. The proprietor unhesitatingly
said that he was one of the most proficient and valuable men in his
employ, and that he had placed him in a very important and trying
position--that of making butter cultures. This is a secret department
in which no one except the employees operating it and the proprietor
is permitted to enter. Mr. Smith also did some important chemical work
in connection with a lawsuit supposed to involve the manufacture of
spurious butter.

In Montgomery County, Alabama, Mr. N. N. Scott, a Southern white man,
has operated for a number of years the largest and most successful
dairy farm in his section. Mr. Scott has in his employ three Tuskegee
men, with Scott Thomas in charge. Mr. Scott tells us that those men
trained at our school are the most efficient helpers he can secure. He
keeps a standing order with Mr. George W. Carver, our instructor in
dairying, to the effect that he will employ any one that Mr. Carver
recommends. Not far from Mr. Scott's dairy is a smaller one owned by
Mr. E. J. Hughes, another white man. Some time ago Mr. Hughes secured
Luther M. Jones, who had taken only a partial course in dairying at
Tuskegee, to make butter and cheese for him. Such examples can be found
in nearly every one of the Southern States.

From the beginning, the work of this institution has been closely
related to the public school system of the South, for it must be clear
to all that in the last analysis we must depend upon public schools
for the general education of the masses, and it is important that the
larger institutions for the education of the Negro keep in close and
sympathetic touch with the school officials of the Southern States.

One way in which we assist the public school system of the South is
by sending out men and women who become the teachers of teachers. One
of the best examples of this is the case of Isaac Fisher, a young man
who came to Tuskegee a number of years ago, and earned his board by
working during the day and going to school at night. Two years ago Mr.
Fisher, upon my recommendation, was elected by the State officials of
the State of Arkansas to the important position of Principal of the
Branch Normal College of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, the main institution for
training coloured teachers for the public schools of that commonwealth.
Mr. Fisher has associated with him a large force of teachers, two of
whom also are Tuskegee graduates. In the school are students many of
whom will become not only public-school teachers in the usual sense,
but having been trained by Mr. Fisher in the industries, they will be
able to introduce them gradually into their teaching. There is hardly a
single Southern State where our men and women are not found in some of
the larger schools for training teachers.

Our students at Tuskegee are instructed constantly in methods of
building schoolhouses and prolonging the school term. It is safe to
say that outside the larger Southern cities and towns in the rural
district, one will find nine-tenths of the school buildings wholly
unfit for use, and rarely is the public school session longer than
five months--in most cases not more than four. These conditions exist
largely because of the poverty of the States. One of the problems of
our teachers is to show the people how through private effort they can
build schoolhouses and extend the school term.

Milton Calloway left Tuskegee three years ago. In addition to taking
the normal course, he learned the trade of tinsmithing. When he
returned to his home at Union Spring, Bullock County, Alabama, he
secured a school some distance in the country. The term was so short
that Calloway found he could not live all the year by teaching during
the three or four months of the session. Calloway's trade came to his
rescue. Soon after he began teaching, he made an arrangement with a
white man in the town by which he was to work in his shop on Saturdays
and during his vacation months. By following this plan, the school is
gradually being built up, the people are being taught to save their
money, improve the schoolhouse, prolong the school term, and buy homes.

Moses P. Simmons, another one of our graduates in an adjoining county,
has lengthened the term of the public school by teaching the children
how to grow vegetables, which have been disposed of for school purposes.

During the latest session of our Negro Conference in February, one
delegate from Conecuh County, Alabama, told how his people had nearly
doubled the length of the school term by each family's agreeing
to plant an extra half-acre which was designated as the "school
half-acre." A number of Tuskegee men and women have put on foot some
such scheme as this.

I asked one of the officials of the Tuskegee Institute to canvass
our nearest large city, Montgomery, Alabama, in order to obtain the
name of every student there who had received a diploma or certificate
from Tuskegee, or who had remained long enough to be in any degree
influenced by its teaching, and to report to me exactly what he found
after making a personal inspection. Here are a few of his reports:

"Perry, J. W., class of 1889, lives near the city. Is farming. He
controls 150 acres, owns five head of cattle, and teaches school six
months in the year.

"Davis, Joseph, who has been away from Tuskegee three years, I found
at work on a four-story building in process of erection on Commerce
Street. He was getting $2.50 a day. At work on the same job were
William Fuller at $3.60 a day, and H. T. Wheat at $2.50. Last summer
Fuller received $4 a day for four months, at Troy, Alabama.

"Moten, Pierce, is at work as drug clerk in the drug store of D. A. C.
Dungee, at the corner of Court and Washington Streets. He graduated
from Tuskegee in 1902. While at the school he worked in the hospital,
and much of that time had charge of the drug room. He is studying
medicine, and has already spent a session at Meharry Medical College,
Nashville, Tennessee.

"Campbell, Mrs. Berry N. (Miss Bowen), graduated in the class of 1887,
and her home has been in Montgomery most of the time since then,
although her work at times takes her away from the city. She is a
trained nurse of excellent reputation and wide experience, and has
frequently been employed at Hale's Infirmary. When I inquired for her
she was taking care of a private case. She owns two good houses on
Union Street and on High Street, both of which I saw. She also owns a
vacant lot."

There were only three whose records were found to be uncertain or
unsatisfactory. The same kind of investigation will reveal almost
similar conditions existing in a greater or less degree in other
Southern cities.

Now let me show their life in smaller towns: one containing between
four and five thousand inhabitants. Some time ago Mr. Bedford, one of
our trustees, made a personal investigation in Eufaula, Alabama. I
quote directly from Mr. Bedford as to what he found:

"Sydney Murphy graduated in 1887. He went at once to Eufaula. For three
years he taught and farmed in the country. He was then made principal
of the coloured public schools of the city. He still holds this
position, and is now serving his thirteenth year. He has a nice home in
the city, three houses that he rents, and some vacant lots.

"John Jordan, 1901, a graduate in harness-making, opened a shop in
Eufaula, September, 1901. He reached Eufaula with $16 and a very few
tools. He paid $7 license, $3.50 in advance for a month's rent, and had
$5.50 for board and other expenses. He curtained off a little space
in his shop for a bedroom, and with an oilstove cooked his own meals.
In this way he saved up $50, but lost it in the failure of the bank of
Eufaula. He has gone right on with his business, and now has one of the
best shops in the city. He has established the People's Library, which
has more than 600 volumes in it. He has a reading-room and literary
society over which he presides, and is superintendent of the A. M. E.
Sunday-school."

After several years at the school, during which they worked upon the
school farm, Frank and Dow L. Reid left Tuskegee at the completion of
the B Middle Class. Frank, the older brother, left in the year 1888,
and Dow in the year 1891. Before coming to Tuskegee, these young men
had lived upon a rented farm with their father, but on returning home
they decided to buy a farm of their own. They entered into an agreement
to purchase a farm of 320 acres, four miles from the old homestead,
and with little or no money, but with a determination to succeed,
they began to cultivate the land. They agreed to pay $5.50 per acre
for the place, and, regardless of the fact that they had little money
at the time, they bought the farm, paying in a few years the whole
amount, $1,760. In addition to this farm, the Reid brothers, as they
are styled for miles around, have bought another farm of 225 acres at
$10 per acre. This farm is about two miles away from the place first
mentioned. When the final payment upon this last purchase is made in
the fall, after crops have been gathered and marketed, a total of
$4,010 will have been made and expended for land by these young men
since the younger one left Tuskegee some twelve years ago.

The stock and farming implements on these farms are far superior to
those seen upon most of the plantations. On the farm of 320 acres are
seventeen fine horses and mules, all large and in good condition;
there are thirty well-bred cows and fifty fine, healthy looking hogs,
besides a large number of chickens and guineas, which furnish plenty of
eggs for the families' use. The farming implements, including plows,
mowers, rakes, harrows, etc., are of the latest patterns. The four
double wagons, the single top-buggy, the road wagon and go-cart are all
in good order, and are kept under cover when not in use. We often find
farmers in the South who, when the crop is made, leave the plows, the
mower, the rake, in fact, all the farming implements, standing out in
the field, exposed to wind and weather all through the winter months.
A visitor to the Reid brothers' plantation will find that each piece
of machinery on this plantation has a place under a shed built for the
purpose, and is kept there when not in use.

There are eight dwelling-houses--a four-room frame building in which
the young men and their families live, and seven log cabins in which
the farmhands live with their families. The first is rather old and
uncomely in appearance from the outside, but the interior is more
pleasing. The bedrooms are large and clean, with sufficient windows and
doors to permit of necessary ventilation during the sleeping hours. The
dining-room is well kept, and the whole interior of the house presents
a neat, clean and attractive appearance. This house is to be replaced
by a larger one, to be built during the winter.

A large cotton-gin, with an eighty-tooth saw, is owned and operated by
these young men. Last year, besides ginning the 125 bales of cotton
raised upon their own plantation, they ginned the cotton raised by
nearly all the other farmers in the neighbourhood.

The post-office at Dawkins was formerly about four miles from its
present location, but since the Reid brothers settled there and the
community grew so rapidly the post-office was removed to their place,
and the plantation was named Dawkins. The post-office is located
in the general merchandise store of the Reids, and Mr. Frank Reid
is postmaster. There was neither a church nor a schoolhouse in the
community when these young men went to Dawkins. They purchased four
acres of land nearby, and not only gave this land, but assisted in
building a comfortable church, which has been used both as a church and
a schoolhouse. Preaching services are held regularly in the church, and
a flourishing school is taught from seven to nine months each year.
Last year more than one hundred boys and girls were registered.

Mr. J. N. Calloway, who graduated from the Tuskegee Institute in
1892, is principal of the school, and has one assistant teacher. A
new two-room schoolhouse is now being built through the efforts of
Mr. Calloway, and will be completed at the time of the opening of the
school the latter part of next October.

I am often asked to what extent we are able to supply domestic servants
directly from this institution. I always answer, "Not to any large
extent, notwithstanding the fact that women are trained here in
everything relating to work in the home." When a woman finishes one
of our courses, she is in demand at once at a salary three or four
times as large as that paid in the average home. Aside from this,
we are doing a larger service by sending out over a large extent of
territory strong leaders who will go into local communities and teach
the lessons of home-making than we could by trying to send a cook
directly into each family who applies to us. The latter would be a
never-ending process. Miss Annie Canty, for example, teaches cooking
and other industries in the public schools of Columbus, Georgia. There
is a little leaven that we hope will gradually help leaven the whole
lump. Largely through the influence of our graduates, cooking and other
industries are being taught in many of the public schools of the South.
Another young woman, Miss Mary L. McCrary, is doing the same thing in
the Industrial College for coloured people in Oklahoma.

Not a few of our men have become merchants, and they are generally
patronised by both races and have high commercial rating. Two of the
best examples of this class are Mr. A. J. Wilborn, who is a successful
merchant in the town of Tuskegee, and Mr. A. J. Wood, of Benton,
Alabama.

Last January, when in Los Angeles, California, I met by chance a young
man who had taken a partial course in our nurse-training department.
I asked him if he were reflecting credit upon the Tuskegee Institute?
Without a word, he pulled out a bank-book and asked me to inspect it.
I found a substantial sum recorded to his credit. Before I was through
with the inspection of the first bank-book, he handed me a second which
showed an amount to his credit at another bank. I found that Mrs.
Barre, another of our graduates, is one of the leading trained nurses
of the same city.



CHAPTER XVIII

SPREADING THE TUSKEGEE SPIRIT


One of the questions most frequently asked me is, To what extent
are Tuskegee graduates able to reproduce the work of the parent
institution? Just as the Tuskegee Institute is an outgrowth of the
Hampton Institute, so other smaller schools have grown out of the
Tuskegee Institute in various parts of the country. There are at
present sixteen schools of some size which have grown out of the
Tuskegee Institute or have been organised by Tuskegee men and women. In
all instances, these schools have become large enough to be chartered
under the laws of the State.

The Vorhees Industrial School at Denmark, South Carolina, for example,
was founded by Elizabeth E. Wright, class of 1894. It is now in its
seventh year. Miss Wright was greatly opposed at first by both the
white and coloured people, but she persevered, and has at length
overcome all opposition. She has 300 acres of land, all paid for. A
large central building has been erected at a cost of $3,000. This
contains offices, class rooms, and a chapel that will seat 600. This
building is paid for, and a girls' dormitory, to cost $4,000, the
money for which is in the treasury, is in process of erection. The
plans for both of these buildings were drawn by a Tuskegee student.
A barn to cost $800 is nearly completed, and there are several other
small buildings. Miss Wright is assisted by three Tuskegee graduates,
one as the farm superintendent, one as treasurer and bookkeeper, and
the other as carpenter and teacher of drawing. The day and boarding
students number more than 300. Farming in its various branches is the
principal work of the students, but they are also taught shoemaking,
carpentry, cooking, sewing, housekeeping, and laundering, while
printing and blacksmithing are soon to be added to the course. The
school spent $9,000 last year in current expenses, building expenses,
and the purchase of land.

Another of our graduates, Mr. V. Chambliss, has charge of the farming
operations of the Southern Land Improvement Company. About forty Negro
families have settled upon land controlled by this organisation, and
the number is increasing each year. These families are being given the
opportunity to buy their homes through their own labour and under the
guidance of Mr. Chambliss. Mr. Chambliss does not use the hoe himself,
for he finds it more economical to utilise his time directing the work.
When the world wants cotton or corn, it cares little whether the man
uses his pen or his hoe. What it desires are results. Some men have the
ability to produce fifty times as much cotton with the pen as with the
hoe. Another example will show how our students succeed when working
directly under others. The letter which follows is to the point:


     PROFESSOR BOOKER T. WASHINGTON.

     _Dear Sir_: The students from your school who have been at work
     here during the vacation expect to return to Tuskegee to-morrow,
     and we want to say to you that these boys have demonstrated to our
     company the wonderful benefit of your teaching. These young men
     have taken hold of their work in a steady and businesslike way,
     and have worked uncomplainingly during the severe heat of the past
     summer. We would like, if it is possible, to induce a number of
     your students to purchase their homes about our works in North
     Birmingham and become regular workmen in our different shops. We
     have a letter before us now, written by one of your students,
     John Davis, which would reflect credit on the masters of Yale or
     Harvard. Please accept our best wishes for the success of the
     grand work you have undertaken.

     DIMMICK PIPE WORKS COMPANY,
     Birmingham, Alabama.


A conspicuous example of a Tuskegee graduate who is using his knowledge
of stock-raising in a practical way is that of William Johnson
Shoals, of Clear Creek, Indian Territory. Shoals owns and operates
his own stock farm, one of the largest in the Territory, and has been
successful from the very beginning.

The following letter indicates one of the ways in which we are able to
assist the public-school system from time to time:


     ETHELVILLE, ALABAMA, June, 1903.

     PROFESSOR B. T. WASHINGTON.

     I am very anxious to afford the coloured teachers of this county
     the best instruction possible, and so I write to ask if you cannot
     send us one of your teachers to conduct a Normal Institute, to be
     held at Carrollton, June 29th to July 4th--a teacher whom you can
     recommend. I am sorry to say the county has no money it can spend
     on this matter.

     Yours truly,
     W. H. STOREY,
     County Superintendent of Education.


The following institutions have grown out of the Tuskegee Institute and
have been chartered under the laws of their respective States. Not only
have they been founded by Tuskegee graduates, but the officers and in
many cases the entire faculty are from Tuskegee:

Mt. Meigs Institute, Waugh, Alabama; Snow Hill Institute, Snow Hill,
Alabama; Vorhees Industrial School, Denmark, South Carolina; East
Tennessee Normal and Industrial Institute, Harriman, Tennessee;
Robert Hungerford Industrial Institute, Eatonville, Florida; Topeka
Educational and Industrial Institute, Topeka, Kansas; Allengreene
Normal and Industrial Institute, Ruston, Louisiana; Utica Normal and
Industrial Institute, Mississippi; Christianburg Institute, Cambria,
Virginia.

The story of struggle, sacrifice and hard work connected with the
founding of some of these schools is more akin to romance than to
reality.

[Illustration: A FURNITURE AND REPAIR SHOP AT SNOW HILL]

Snow Hill Institute, Snow Hill, Alabama, by way of illustration, was
founded by William J. Edwards, of the class of 1893. This school is
now in its tenth year, and was started in a one-room cabin. Soon after
the school was established, Honourable R. O. Simpson, a wealthy white
resident of the community, was so impressed with its good effect upon
the Negroes of the vicinity that he gave the school forty acres of
land. This has been added to, until the school now owns 160 acres, and
property to the value of $30,000.

Last year it expended $20,000 in its operations. It has about 400
students, 200 of them being boarding students. The following trades are
taught: Farming, carpentry, wheelwrighting, blacksmithing, painting,
brickmaking, printing, sewing, cooking, housekeeping. About twenty
teachers and instructors are employed, nearly all graduates or former
students of Tuskegee. Snow Hill has sent out twenty-five graduates. All
are required to pass the State teachers' examination before graduating.
Six of them are teachers in the Institute. The school not only has the
support and the sympathy of Mr. R. O. Simpson, but of all the best
white people in the county.

A little more than a year ago one of our graduates, Mr. Charles P.
Adams, established a small school at Ruston, Louisiana. At present
the school owns twenty-five acres of land, on which a schoolhouse
costing $1,200 has been built and paid for. The school term has
been extended from three to eight months, with three teachers--all
Tuskegee graduates--and 110 pupils. In connection with the class-room
work the students are taught agriculture and housekeeping. All this
has been done in a little more than one year with money and labour
contributed by the people of both races in the community. In regard
to Mr. Adams's work, Honourable B. F. Thompson, the Mayor of Ruston,
says, "Professor Adams deserves credit for what he has accomplished."
Honourable S. D. Pearce, the representative of the parish in the State
Legislature, says, "The school is doing fine work for the education of
the coloured youth of this section of the State, and Professor Adams
is making a vigorous struggle for its advancement." Mr. W. E. Redwine,
Superintendent of Public Instruction for the parish, says, "Professor
Adams is doing work in the right direction for the betterment of his
race." Mr. A. J. Bell, the editor of the local newspaper, says, "His
work in this section has been productive of incalculable good."

As to the work of the Utica Normal and Industrial Institute, Utica,
Mississippi, I will let Mr. W. H. Holtzclaw, the principal, tell in his
own words:

[Illustration: A SEWING-CLASS AT SNOW HILL]

"I came here from Snow Hill, Alabama, last October, without a cent (I
left my wife behind because of lack of means to bring her, and I walked
part of the way through a wild and unfrequented part of this State),
and started this work under a tree. Now we have two horses, forty
acres of land, one cow and a calf, a farm planted and growing, more
than 200 students, seven teachers, and a building going up. In all my
efforts I have had the wise counsel and constant assistance of Mrs.
Holtzclaw, without which I could not have made much progress."

Harriman Industrial Institute, Harriman, Tennessee, was established
five years ago by J. W. Oveltrea, of the class of 1893. The school has
thirty acres of land in the suburbs of Harriman. Mr. Oveltrea and his
wife are both graduates of Tuskegee, and they have been aided in their
work by Tuskegee graduates and students. The school has four buildings
and about one hundred students. Several trades are taught.

The Robert Hungerford Institute, in Eatonville, Florida, was founded by
R. C. Calhoun, of the class of 1896. Eatonville is about six miles from
Orlando. Mr. Calhoun had nothing to begin with but the little public
school. He has secured 200 acres of land, clear of debt, and a year
ago dedicated Booker T. Washington Hall, a dormitory and class-room
building, with chapel. This building, the plans of which were drawn
by a Tuskegee graduate, cost $3,000. The trades taught are farming,
wheelwrighting, painting, carpentry, sewing, cooking and laundering.

Miss Nathalie Lord, one of my early teachers at Hampton, is a trustee
of this school. The school is now in its fourth year. It has forty
boarding students and nearly one hundred day students. Mrs. Calhoun,
who is her husband's assistant, was a student at Tuskegee, as was also
the man who has charge of the blacksmith and wheelwright shops.

Nearly three years ago, three of our graduates, under the leadership
of one of our teachers, Mr. J. N. Calloway, went to Africa under the
auspices of the German government, to introduce cotton-raising among
the natives. At the end of the second year the German officials were
so pleased that they employed three other students. At the end of the
fourth year the experiment was successful to the extent that a hundred
bales of cotton have been shipped from the colony of Togo, Africa, to
Berlin. Only a few months ago the German officials were kind enough to
send me several pairs of hose made from cotton raised by our students.

Since beginning this experiment, we have received applications from
both English and Belgian cotton-raising companies that wish to secure
Tuskegee men to introduce cotton-raising in their African possessions.
The Porto Rican Government makes an annual appropriation for the
purpose of maintaining eighteen students at Tuskegee in order that they
may learn our methods. The Haytian Government has recently arranged to
send a number of young men here, mainly with the view of their being
trained in farming. Besides, we have students present from the West
Indies, Africa, and several South American countries.

While speaking of the Tuskegee missionary spirit, it is interesting to
note the effect that the industrial training given by our graduates has
had upon the morals and manner of living among the natives of Africa
in Togoland. Missionaries have been working among these people for
many years, and very effectively, and yet training in carpentry and
cotton-raising had results that the academic and religious teaching
had not accomplished. When the natives are taught the Bible, and the
heart and the head are educated, the tendency is for them to become
teachers or traders. In the latter case, their learning brings them too
frequently into contact with unscrupulous European traders from whom
they acquire habits of gambling, cheating, drinking, etc. In addition
to this, when they begin _merchandising_, the natives find that it is
to their advantage to have more than one wife, since their wives are
able to help them in selling in the markets and through the country
districts. The young people who went to Africa from Tuskegee found that
this problem greatly perplexed the missionaries, but wherever these
natives were given work on the plantations, and employed their muscles
as well as their brains, a change for the better was soon apparent.

It is usually true that when a native is kept employed in one place,
he will begin to build a home, consisting of a number of huts; he
will clear a farm or plantation, and stock it with cattle, sheep,
pigs and fowls. He will plant vegetables, corn, cassava, yams, etc.
This happened among the Africans who were employed on the plantations
cultivated by our graduates. The wives and children of these labourers
were given work on the farms, and it has been found that few of them
gamble, steal and cheat, as do those who wander to and fro without
employment. Such natives as these cotton-growers are more easily
reached by missionary effort, and when they are converted to the
Christian religion, if they remain on the farms, they seldom fall back
into paganism.

I have been informed that it is a general opinion among the
missionaries in Togoland that industrial education will be a main-stay
in future effort, and that such teaching will be introduced in the
missionary institutions as rapidly as possible. Since the young men
went out from Tuskegee, a decided change has been noticed in the
sanitation and mode of living in the towns near which they are located.
Much of this betterment has been the direct result of the lessons
learned by the natives from seeing our carpenter build houses, and
observing our graduates' habits of life. The natives seemed anxious
to learn, and the Tuskegee colony received many applications from the
women to have their daughters come and live with the American women in
order that they might learn the new customs, especially the art of
sewing, cooking, and doing housework.

Few of the huts had shutters or doors when our graduates first went
to the colony--bedsteads were unknown; but now many of the huts have
outside shutters, and their inmates have learned how to construct
comfortable beds for themselves. Many who formerly bathed in streams
now have bath-houses back of their huts. On Sunday, all work on the
plantations of the Tuskegee party was suspended, except caring for the
stock and other necessary duties, and this, too, had its effect on the
natives, who were inclined to accept our religious observance of the
day. Many now dress in holiday attire on Sunday, and go to the nearest
mission.

The Tuskegee party settled about sixty miles from the coast, where no
wagons or carts were used for conveying produce or material. The native
men and women carried all freight in sixty-pound loads on their heads,
and were able to travel fifteen to twenty miles a day. On these round
trips of ten days, the women carried their small children with them,
and during their frequent halts came into contact with the rough and
demoralising element of the trading-post, and with other degrading
influences. This mode of transportation seemed very unsatisfactory to
the Tuskegee young men, who introduced carts and wagons drawn by men.
This allowed the women and children to remain at home and look after
the farms and their household duties, while the men made the trips to
the coast.

Young girls, just growing into womanhood, are no longer compelled to
meet the many bad influences formerly encountered on the trips to
the coast. The use of farm machinery in the colony has relieved the
women and girls of much drudgery. They used to prepare the land with
the crudest hoes and plows. This is now done with improved American
implements. The Germans have been so strongly impressed with these
effects of industrial training upon the natives, that they have decided
to introduce into all the schools of that colony a system for the
training of boys in hand work. With the assistance of the chiefs,
improved methods of agriculture and handicraft will be spread among the
tribes of that region.

I do not wish my readers to get the impression that all of Tuskegee's
men and women have succeeded, because they have not. A few have failed
miserably, much to our regret, but the percentage of failures is so
small that they are more than overshadowed by those who have been, in
the fullest sense of the word, successful.

Despite all that I have said, the work has merely begun. I believe we
have found the way. Our endeavour will be to continue to pursue it
faithfully, actively, bravely, honestly. With sufficient means, such
work as I have indicated could be greatly increased.



CHAPTER XIX

NEGRO EDUCATION NOT A FAILURE


Several persons holding high official position have said recently that
it does not pay, from any point of view, to educate the Negro; and
that all attempts at his education have so far failed to accomplish
any good results. The Southern States, which out of their poverty are
contributing rather liberally for the education of all the people, as
does individual and organised philanthropy throughout the country, have
a right to know whether the Negro is responding to the efforts they
have made to place him upon a higher plane of civilisation.

Will it pay to invest further money in this direction? In seeking to
answer this question, it is hardly fair to compare the progress of
the American Negro with that of the American white man, who, in some
unexplained way, got thousand of years ahead of the Negro in the arts
and sciences of civilisation. But to get at the real facts and the
real capability of the black man, compare for a moment the American
Negro with the Negro in Africa, or the black man with the black man. In
South Africa alone there are five million black people who have never
been brought, through school or other agencies, into contact with a
higher civilisation in a way to have their minds or their ambitions
strengthened or awakened. As a result, the industries of South Africa
languish and refuse to prosper for lack of labour. The native black
man refuses to labour because he has been neglected. He has few wants
and little ambition, and these can be satisfied by labouring one or
two days out of the seven. In the southern part of the United States
there are more than eight millions of my race who, both by contact with
the whites and by education in the home, in school, in church, have
had their minds awakened and strengthened--have thus had their wants
increased and multiplied many times. Hence, instead of a people in
idleness, we have in the South a people who are anxious to work because
they want education for their children; they want land and houses,
and churches, books, and papers. In a word, they want the highest and
best in our civilisation. Looked at, then, from the most material and
selfish point of view, it has paid to awaken the Negro's mind, and
there should be no limit placed upon the development of that mind.

Does the American Negro take advantage of opportunities to secure
education? Practically no schoolhouse has been opened for the Negro
since the war that has not been filled. Often hungry and in rags,
making heroic sacrifices, the Negro youth has been determined to
annihilate his mental darkness. With all his disadvantages, the Negro,
according to official records, has blotted out 55.5 per cent. of his
illiteracy since he became a free man, while practically 95 per cent.
of the native Africans are illiterate. After years of civilisation and
opportunity, in Spain, 68 per cent. of the population are illiterate;
in Italy, 38 per cent. In the average South American country about
80 per cent. are illiterate, while after forty years the American
Negro has only 44.5 per cent. of illiteracy to his debit. I have thus
compared the progress of my race, not with the highest civilised
nations, for the reason that, in passing judgment upon us, the world
too often forgets that, either consciously or otherwise, because of
geographical or physical proximity to the American white man, we are
being compared with the very highest civilisation that exists. But
when compared with the most advanced and enlightened white people of
the South, we find 12 per cent. of illiteracy for them and only 44 per
cent. for our race.

Having seen that the American Negro takes advantage of every
opportunity to secure an education, I think it will surprise some to
learn to what an extent the race contributes toward its own education
and works in sympathetic touch with the whites at the South. In
emphasising this fact, I use the testimony of the best Southern white
men. Says the State Superintendent of Education of Florida in one of
his recent official reports: "The following figures are given to show
that the education of the Negroes of Middle Florida (the Black Belt of
Florida) does not cost the white people of that section one cent." In
those eight Black Belt counties, the total cost of the Negro schools
is $19,457. The total contributed by the Negro in direct and indirect
taxes amounted to $23,984, thus leaving a difference of $4,527,
which, according to the Superintendent, went into the white schools.
In Mississippi, for the year ending in 1899, according to an eminent
authority, the Negroes had expended on their schools about 20 per cent.
of the total school fund, or a total of about $250,000. During the same
year they paid toward their own education, in poll taxes, State, county
and city taxes, and indirect taxes, about $280,000, or a surplus of
about $30,000. So that, looked at from any point of view, it would seem
that the Negroes in that State are in a large measure paying for their
own education.

[Illustration: TYPESETTING--PRINTING OFFICE]

But with all the Negro is doing for himself, with all the white people
in the South are doing for themselves, and despite all that one race
is doing to help the other, the present opportunities for education
are woefully inadequate for both races. In the year 1877-78 the total
expenditure for education in the ex-slave States was a beggarly $2.61
per capita for whites and only $1.09 for blacks; on the same basis the
U. S. Commissioner of Education calculates that for the year 1900-01,
$35,400,000 was spent for the education of both races in the South, of
which $6,000,000 went to Negroes, or $4.92 per capita for whites and
$2.21 for blacks. On the same basis, each child in Massachusetts costs
the taxpayers for its education $22.35, and each one in New York $20.53
yearly.

From both a moral and religious point of view, what measure of
education the Negro has received has been repaid, and there has been
no step backward in any State. Not a single graduate of the Hampton
Institute or of the Tuskegee Institute can be found to-day in any jail
or State penitentiary. After making careful inquiry, I cannot find a
half-dozen cases of a man or woman who has completed a full course of
education in any of our reputable institutions like Hampton, Tuskegee,
Fisk or Atlanta, who are in prisons. The records of the South show that
90 per cent. of the coloured people in prisons are without knowledge of
trades, and 61 per cent. are illiterate. This statement alone disproves
the assertion that the Negro grows in crime as education increases. If
the Negro at the North is more criminal than his brother at the South,
it is because of the employment which the South gives him and the North
denies him. It is not the educated Negro who has been guilty of or even
charged with crime in the South; it is, as a rule, the one who has
a mere smattering of education or is in total ignorance. While the
Negro may succeed in getting into the State prison faster, the white
man in some inexplainable manner has a way of getting out faster than
the Negro. To illustrate: the official records of Virginia for a year
show that one out of every three and one-half white men were freed from
prison by executive clemency, and that only one out of every fourteen
Negroes received such clemency. In Louisiana it is one to every four
and one-half white men and one to every forty-nine Negroes. So that,
when this feature is considered, matters are pretty well evened up
between the races.

As bearing further upon the tendency of education to improve the morals
of the Negro and therefore to prolong his life, no one will accuse the
average New York insurance company of being guided by mere sentiment
toward the Negro in placing its risks; with the insurance company it
is a question of cold business. A few months ago the chief medical
examiner for the largest industrial insurance company in America stated
that, after twenty years' experience and observation, his company had
found that the Negro who was intelligent, who worked regularly at a
trade or some industry and owned his home, was as safe an insurance
risk as a white man in the same station of life.

Not long ago, a Southern white man residing in the town of Tuskegee,
who represents one of the largest and most wealthy accident and
casualty companies in New York, wrote to his company to the effect
that while he knew his company refused to insure the ordinary, ignorant
coloured man, at the Tuskegee Institute there were some 150 officers
and instructors who were persons of education and skill, with property
and character, and that he, a Southern white man, advised that they be
insured on the same terms as other races, and within a week the answer
came back, "Insure without hesitation every Negro on the Tuskegee
Institute grounds of the type you name." The fact is, that almost every
insurance company is now seeking the business of the educated Negro. If
education increased the risk, they would seek the ignorant Negro rather
than the educated one. As bearing further upon the effect of education
upon the morals of the Negro during the last forty years, let us go
into the heart of the Black Belt of Mississippi and inquire of Alfred
Holt Stone, a large and intelligent cotton planter, as to the progress
of the race. Mr. Stone says: "The last census shows that the Negro
constitutes 87.6 per cent. of the population of the Yazoo-Mississippi
delta. Yet we hear of no black incubus; we have had few midnight
assassinations, and fewer lynchings. The violation by a Negro of the
person of a white woman is with us an unknown crime; nowhere else is
the line marking the social separation of the two races more rigidly
drawn; nowhere are the relations between the two more kindly. With us,
race riots are unknown, and we have but one Negro problem--though that
constantly confronts us--how to secure more Negroes."

There are few higher authorities on the progress of the Negro than
Joel Chandler Harris, of the _Atlanta Constitution_. Mr. Harris had
opportunity to know the Negro before the war, and he has followed his
progress closely in freedom. In a statement published recently Mr.
Harris says:

"In spite of all, however, the condition of the Negro has been growing
better....

"We cannot fairly judge a race, or a country, or a religious
institution, or a social organisation, or society itself, nay, not the
republic in which we take pride, unless we measure it by the standard
set up by the men who are its best representatives.

"We are in such a furious hurry. We are placed in a position of
expecting a race but a few years from inevitable ignorance imposed on
it by the conditions of slavery to make the most remarkable progress
that the world has ever heard of, and when we discover that in the
nature of things this is impossible, we shake our heads sadly and are
ready to lose heart and hope.

"The point I desire to make is that the overwhelming majority of the
Negroes in all parts of the South, especially in the agricultural
regions, are leading sober and industrious lives. A temperate race is
bound to be industrious, and the Negroes are temperate when compared
with the whites. Even in the towns the majority of them are sober and
industrious. The idle and criminal classes among them make a great show
in the police court records, but right here in Atlanta the respectable
and decent Negroes far outnumber those who are on the lists of the
police as old or new offenders. I am bound to conclude from what I see
all about me, and from what I know of the race elsewhere, that the
Negro, notwithstanding the late start he has made in civilisation and
enlightenment, is capable of making himself a useful member in the
communities in which he lives and moves, and that he is becoming more
and more desirous of conforming to all the laws that have been enacted
for the protection of society."

Some time ago I sent out letters to representative Southern men,
covering each ex-slave state, asking them, judging by their observation
in their own communities, what effect education had upon the Negro. To
those questions I received 136 replies as follows:

1. Has education made the Negro a more useful citizen?

Answers: Yes, 121; no, 4; unanswered, 11.

2. Has it made him more economical and more inclined to acquire wealth?

Answers: Yes, 98; no, 14; unanswered, 24.

3. Does it make him a more valuable workman, especially where skill and
thought are required?

Answers: Yes, 132; no, 2; unanswered, 2.

4. Do well-trained, skilled Negro workmen find any difficulty in
securing work in your community?

Answers: No, 117; yes, 4; unanswered, 15.

5. Are coloured men in business patronised by the whites in your
community?

Answers: Yes, 92; no, 9; unanswered, 35. (The large number of cases in
which this question was not answered is due to scarcity of business
men.)

6. Is there any opposition to the coloured people's buying land in your
community?

Answers: No, 128; yes, 3; unanswered, 5.

7. Has education improved the morals of the black race?

Answers: Yes, 97; no, 20; unanswered, 19.

8. Has it made his religion less emotional and more practical?

Answers: Yes, 101; no, 16; unanswered, 19.

9. Is it, as a rule, the ignorant or the educated who commit crime?

Answers: Ignorant, 115; educated, 3; unanswered, 17.

10. Does crime grow less as education increases among the coloured
people?

Answers: Yes, 102; no, 19; unanswered, 15.

11. Is the moral growth of the Negro equal to his mental growth?

Answers: Yes, 55; no, 46; unanswered, 35.

But it has been said that the Negro proves economically valueless
in proportion as he is educated. All will agree that the Negro in
Virginia, for example, began life forty years ago in complete poverty,
scarcely owning clothing or a day's food. From an economic point of
view, what has been accomplished for Virginia alone largely through the
example and work of the graduates of Hampton and other large schools
in that state? The reports of the State Auditor show that the Negro
to-day owns at least one twenty-sixth of the total real estate in that
commonwealth exclusive of his holdings in towns and cities, and that in
the counties east of the Blue Ridge Mountains he owns one-sixteenth.
In Middlesex County he owns one-sixth; in Hanover one-fourth. In
Georgia, the official records show that, largely through the influence
of educated men and women from Atlanta schools and others, the Negroes
added last year $1,526,000 to their taxable property, making the total
amount upon which they pay taxes in that State alone $16,700,000.
From nothing to $16,000,000 in one State in forty years does not seem
to prove that education is hurting the race. Relative progress has
been made in Alabama and other Southern States. Every man or woman
who graduates from the Hampton or Tuskegee Institutes, who has become
intelligent and skilled in any one of the industries of the South,
is not only in demand at an increased salary on the part of my race,
but there is equal demand from the white race. One of the largest
manufacturing concerns in Birmingham, Alabama, keeps a standing order
at the Tuskegee Institute to the effect that it will employ every man
who graduates from our foundry department.

When the South had a wholly ignorant and wholly slave Negro population,
she produced about 4,000,000 bales of cotton; now she has a wholly free
and partly educated Negro population, and the South produces nearly
10,000,000 bales of cotton, besides more food products than were ever
grown in its history. It should not be overlooked that it is not the
Negro alone who produces cotton, but it is his labour that produces
most of it. And while he may pay a small direct tax, his labour makes
it very convenient for others to pay direct taxes.

Judged purely from an economic or industrial standpoint, the education
of the Negro is paying, and will pay more largely in the future in
proportion as educational opportunities are increased. A careful
examination shows that, of the men and women trained at the Hampton and
Tuskegee schools, not ten per cent. can be found in idleness at any
season of the year.

Years ago some one asked an eminent clergyman in Boston if Christianity
is a failure. The Reverend doctor replied that it had never been
tried. When people are bold enough to suggest that the education of
the Negro is a failure, I reply that it has never been tried. The fact
is that 44.5 per cent. of the coloured people of this country to-day
are illiterate. A very large proportion of those classed as educated
have the merest smattering of knowledge, which means practically no
education. Can the Negro child get an education in school four months
and out of school eight months? Can the white child of the South
who receives $4.92 per capita for education, or the black child who
receives $2.21, be said to be given an equal chance in the battle
of life, or has education been tried on them? The official records
in Louisiana, for instance, show that less than one-fourth of the
Negro children of school age attend any school during the year. This
one-fourth was in school for a period of less than five months, and
each Negro child of school age in the State had spent on him for
education last year but $1.89, while each child of school age in the
State of New York had spent on him $20.53. In the former slave States
ninety per cent. of the Negro children of school age did not attend
school for six months during the year 1900.

Wherever the race is given an opportunity for education, it takes
advantage of that opportunity, and the change can be seen in the
improved material, educational, moral and religious condition of the
masses. Contrast two townships, one in Louisiana, where the race has
had little chance, with one in Farmville, Virginia, by means of the
United States Bulletin of the Department of Labour. In the Louisiana
township only 10 per cent. attend school, and they attend for but four
months in a year, and 71 per cent. of the people are illiterate. And as
a result of this ignorance and neglect, we find that only 50 per cent.
of the people living together as man and wife are legally married.
Largely through the leadership of Hampton graduates, 56 per cent. of
the black children in Farmville, Virginia, attend either public or
private school from six to eight months. There is only 39 per cent. of
illiteracy. Practically all the people living together as man and wife
are legally married, and in the whole community only 15 per cent. of
the births are illegitimate.

But the vital point which I want to emphasise is the disposition of
the Negro to exercise self-help in the building up of his own schools
in connection with the State public school system. Wherever we send
out from Tuskegee, or any of our Southern colleges, a Negro leader
of proper character, he shows the people in most cases how to extend
the school term beyond the few months provided for by the State. Out
of their poverty the Southern States are making a tremendous effort
to extend and improve the school term each year, but while this
improvement is taking place, the Negro leaders of the character to
which I have referred must be depended upon largely to keep alive the
spark of education.

[Illustration: _Courtesy of The Henderson Lithographing Co.,
  Cincinnati, O_.

BIRD'S-EYE VIEW OF GROUNDS AND BUILDINGS OF TUSKEGEE NORMAL AND
INDUSTRIAL INSTITUTE TUSKEGEE, ALABAMA]

It now seems settled that the great body of our people are to reside
for all time in the Southern portion of the United States. Since
this is true, there is no more helpful and patriotic service than to
help cement a friendship between the two races that shall be manly,
honourable, and permanent. In this work of moulding and guiding a
public sentiment that shall forever maintain peace and good-will
between the races on terms commendable to each, it is on the Negro who
comes out of our universities, colleges, and industrial schools that we
must largely depend. Few people realise how, under the most difficult
and trying circumstances, during the last forty years, it has been
the educated Negro who counselled patience and self-control and thus
averted a war of races. Every Negro going out from our institutions
properly educated becomes a link in the chain that shall forever bind
the two races together in all the essentials of life.

Finally, reduced to its last analysis, there are but two questions that
constitute the problem of this country so far as the black and white
races are concerned. The answer to the one rests with my people, the
other with the white race. For my race, one of its dangers is that it
may grow impatient and feel that it can get upon its feet by artificial
and superficial efforts rather than by the slower but surer process
which means one step at a time through all the constructive grades
of industrial, mental, moral, and social development which all races
have had to follow that have become independent and strong. I would
counsel: We must be sure that we shall make our greatest progress by
keeping our feet on the earth, and by remembering that an inch of
progress is worth a yard of complaint. For the white race, the danger
is that in its prosperity and power it may forget the claims of a
weaker people; may forget that a strong race, like an individual,
should put its hand upon its heart and ask, if it were placed in
similar circumstances, how it would like the world to treat it; that
the stronger race may forget that, in proportion as it lifts up the
poorest and weakest, even by a hair's breadth, it strengthens and
ennobles itself.

All the Negro race asks is that the door which rewards industry,
thrift, intelligence, and character be left as wide open for him as
for the foreigner who constantly comes to our country. More than this,
he has no right to request. Less than this, a Republic has no right to
vouchsafe.



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