Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/815

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EDUCATION OF OUR COLORED CITIZENS.

pated Russian serfs straightway fell into the toils of usurers, who first established and then foreclosed mortgages on the little farms granted to the newly enfranchised. At the South, too, the mortgaged farm has been a weapon of tyranny. Once let a negro own his ground and he is indeed free; once let him own a mortgage on a white man's farm and he is master of the situation. Such is the witness borne by Booker Washington, that eloquent young colored man who, coming to Hampton with fifty cents as his entire capital, worked his way through the school and went out to found a similar institution at Tuskegee, Alabama. He is in himself the best illustration of the progress of the race; and the best hope for the future was unintentionally expressed by a Southern white man, who, after seeing him pass on the street, exclaimed with an oath, "By ——! it's all I can do to help saying 'Mister' to him."

Booker Washington is firm in the faith that his brothers will never succeed until they learn to depend on themselves, and that self-dependence is best fostered by the ownership of land. A property-owning negro is not only secure of his rights, but he has a vital interest in the stability of government, and thus becomes a citizen in the fullest sense without distinction of race or color. No one man has done as much as General Armstrong to bring about this great industrial revolution. Here is the testimony of the Rev. S. J. Barrows:

"General Armstrong has built a new Uncle Tom's cabin, and it is very different from the old. You may see the difference in the Black Belt. There is the old one with its one door and perhaps no window; and then, not far away, is the new one built by the Hampton graduate, two stories high perhaps, nicely carpeted and furnished, neat spreads on the table, and something better than 'hog and hominy' to eat, a cabinet organ in the room, books on the shelf. Such a home is a beacon-light in the community to diffuse intelligence and the spirit of order and progress. That is what Hampton is doing. It is building homes and schools all through the South. What a cloud of witnesses we should have, could we summon those seven hundred graduates, each one bringing the implements of his trade—the carpenter with his saw, the blacksmith with his hammer, the harnessmaker with his knife, the farmer with his hoe! What a long line there would be of the graduates alone! And then add the one hundred and twenty-nine thousand pupils they have taught and the two thousand teachers again that have been drawn from this army of pupils! It would take two days for them all to march through the streets of Boston!"

A man once excused himself for begging from Dr. Johnson by explaining, "You see, my dear sir, I must live." "Really," re-

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