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the Education of the Negro Prior to 1861A History of the Education of the Colored People of TheUnited States From the Beginning of Slavery to the Civi

the Education of the Negro Prior to 1861A History of the Education of the Colored People of TheUnited States From the Beginning of Slavery to the Civi

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Education Of The Negro Prior To 1861by Carter Godwin WoodsonThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and withalmost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away orre-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License includedwith this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.netTitle: The Education Of The Negro Prior To 1861A History of the Education of the Colored People of theUnited States from the Beginning of Slavery to the Civil WarAuthor: Carter Godwin WoodsonRelease Date: February 15, 2004 [EBook #11089]Language: EnglishCharacter set encoding: ISO-8859-1*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK EDUCATION OF THE NEGRO ***Produced by Suzanne Shell, Josephine Paoluccci and the Online DistributedProofreading Team.The Education of the Negro Prior to 1861A History of the Education of the Colored People of the United Statesfrom the Beginning of Slavery to the Civil WarByC.G. Woodson.1919PREFACEAbout two years ago the author decided to set forth in a small volumethe leading facts of the development of Negro education, thinking thathe would have to deal largely with the movement since the Civil War.In looking over documents for material to furnish a background forrecent achievements in this field, he discovered that he would writea much more interesting book should he confine himself to theante-bellum period. In fact, the accounts of the successful strivings
of Negroes for enlightenment under most adverse circumstances readlike beautiful romances of a people in an heroic age.Interesting as is this phase of the history of the American Negro, ithas as a field of profitable research attracted only M.B. Goodwin, whopublished in the Special Report of the United States Commissionerof Education of 1871 an exhaustive _History of the Schools for theColored Population in the District of Columbia_. In that same documentwas included a survey of the _Legal Status of the Colored Populationin Respect to Schools and Education in the Different States_. Butalthough the author of the latter collected a mass of valuablematerial, his report is neither comprehensive nor thorough. Otherpublications touching this subject have dealt either with certainlocalities or special phases.Yet evident as may be the failure of scholars to treat this neglectedaspect of our history, the author of this dissertation is far frompresuming that he has exhausted the subject. With the hope of vitallyinteresting some young master mind in this large task, the undersignedhas endeavored to narrate in brief how benevolent teachers of bothraces strove to give the ante-bellum Negroes the education throughwhich many of them gained freedom in its highest and best sense.The author desires to acknowledge his indebtedness to Dr. J.E.Moorland, International Secretary of the Young Men's ChristianAssociation, for valuable information concerning the Negroes of Ohio.C.G. Woodson.Washington, D.C. _June 11, 1919._CONTENTSCHAPTERI.--IntroductionII.--Religion with LettersIII.--Education as a Right of ManIV.--Actual EducationV.--Better BeginningsVI.--Educating the Urban NegroVII.--The ReactionVIII.--Religion without LettersIX.--Learning in Spite of OppositionX.--Educating Negroes Transplanted to Free Soil
XI.--Higher EducationXII.--Vocational TrainingXIII.--Education at Public ExpenseAppendix: DocumentsBibliographyIndexThe Education of the Negro Prior to 1861* * * * *CHAPTER IINTRODUCTIONBrought from the African wilds to constitute the laboring class ofa pioneering society in the new world, the heathen slaves had to betrained to meet the needs of their environment. It required littleargument to convince intelligent masters that slaves who had someconception of modern civilization and understood the language of theirowners would be more valuable than rude men with whom one could notcommunicate. The questions, however, as to exactly what kind oftraining these Negroes should have, and how far it should go, were tothe white race then as much a matter of perplexity as they are now.Yet, believing that slaves could not be enlightened without developingin them a longing for liberty, not a few masters maintained that themore brutish the bondmen the more pliant they become for purposes ofexploitation. It was this class of slaveholders that finally won themajority of southerners to their way of thinking and determined thatNegroes should not be educated.The history of the education of the ante-bellum Negroes, therefore,falls into two periods. The first extends from the time of theintroduction of slavery to the climax of the insurrectionary movementabout 1835, when the majority of the people in this country answeredin the affirmative the question whether or not it was prudent toeducate their slaves. Then followed the second period, when theindustrial revolution changed slavery from a patriarchal to aneconomic institution, and when intelligent Negroes, encouraged byabolitionists, made so many attempts to organize servile insurrectionsthat the pendulum began to swing the other way. By this time mostsouthern white people reached the conclusion that it was impossibleto cultivate the minds of Negroes without arousing overmuchself-assertion.

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