Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/817

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EDUCATION OF OUR COLORED CITIZENS.

stand the Huntington Industrial Works, where lumber passes from the felled log into finished carpentry under the hands of joiners and carpenters. The boys who have been trained in this school will never be at a loss to get work. They can put up their own houses and those of their neighbors, and teach by example and precept in their turn. Wheelwright and blacksmith shops stand close at hand. Dressmaking establishments and cooking schools meanwhile are training women to equal usefulness.

Hampton stands, above all, for industrial education. The institutions at Petersburg, Nashville, and Atlanta are all working for the education of the colored race. Some of them have technical schools, but it is at Hampton alone that industrial training and manual labor form the keystone of the educational arch. The students here are taught not only to work, but to be proud of working; and when the higher education is earned it is worth more because it is founded on the solid basis of hand work. Thoroughness and accuracy, the two great qualifications for scholarship, are taught at the carpenter's bench and the blacksmith's forge. But the artisans are not left untaught in other things. The night school is crowded every evening with eager learners of two races. Negroes and Indians study side by side, with benefit to both races. Their horizon is widened by the interchange of experiences from such diverse regions as the West and South, the prairie and the cotton field. The habits of the wandering tribes and the sons of the soil are full of interest to the observers, and, even as children learn from each other more readily than from grown people, so these child races are teaching and training one another.

When the Indians were introduced into the school, some fifteen years ago, while the Hon. Carl Schurz was Secretary of the Interior under Hayes, it was feared that the discipline and general morale of the institution would suffer. These, on the contrary, have steadily improved. General Armstrong was one of the first educators to adopt the principle of student-government. The boys, Negro and Indian, are formed into a battalion. Cases of insubordination are dealt with by a court martial detailed from among the officers, who report their sentence for the approval of the faculty of the school. The system is admirably adapted to its purpose. It develops both discipline and a sense of honor. To compel a boy, under ordinary circumstances, to report the conduct of his comrades is to make him a spy and informer, but when he acts as guard or sentinel he falls at once into the attitude of military obedience.

Nothing in the conduct of the school shows keener insight into the character of the negro than the establishment of this semi-military basis of organization. A uniform, gay with straps and