political obligations must find some way to afford a more equal distribution of educational opportunities."
The urgent needs of better educational facilities in the south are at once apparent from the following statement:
The illiteracy of the native white population (meaning those who can neither read nor write) ranges from 8.6 per cent. in Florida, 8 per cent. in Mississippi and 6.1 per cent. in Texas to 17.3 per cent. in Louisiana and 19.5 in North Carolina; as contrasted with 0.8 per cent. in Nebraska, 1.3 per cent. in Kansas, 2.1 per cent. in Illinois, 1.2 per cent. in New York and 0.8 per cent. in Massachusetts. In all the states taken outside the southern states and forming a group, the average rate of illiteracy among the native white population is only 2.8 per cent. as against 12.2 per cent. of native white illiterates in the south.
According to the figures of Dr. Charles W. Dabney, there are 3,500,000 people in the south ten years of age and over, who can not read and write, of these about 50 per cent. of the colored population and 12.5 per cent. of the white.
In 1900, the states south of the Potomac and east of the Mississippi contained in round numbers 16,400,000 people, of whom there were 10,400,000 white and 6,000,000 black.
In these states there are 3,981,000 white children from five to twenty years old and 2,420,000 black children of the same age, making a total of 6,401,000 children to be educated.
These are distributed among the states as follows (see the above-mentioned report):
Only 60 per cent. of these children were enrolled in the schools in 1900 and the average daily attendance was only 70 per cent. of those enrolled; so that only 42 per cent. of the southern children are
- See Report of the Proceedings of the Sixth Conference for Education in the South.