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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 12

The Freedmen

page 552

The Freedmen.

There is one department of the work of re-construction in the United States, that all must approve. That is, the education of the freed negroes to take their place on a good level in society. There is a quiet, unostentatious heroism in the faith, hope and patience and personal privation of hundreds of earnest men and women from the North who are teaching the "emancipados" in the southern towns and villages. There must be many thousands of them who have been taught to read and write during the last year. The young coloured children learn with eagerness and rapidity in many cases. "The Pensylvania Freed-men's Bulletin" is devoted entirely to the movement, and it is filled with most interesting facts and incidents indicating its progress, Each number contains letters from teachers scattered throughout the South, giving their experiences in the work. One young lady writes that a negro boy in her school, only eleven years of age, learned to read, write, and even cypher a little with forty days' teaching.

The blacks have established a weekly paper at Nashville, called the "Coloured Tennessean," and are advocating their rights in it with no little ability. Nothing will so smooth the way for their entrance into society as citizens, as these efforts in self-elevation.

A graduate of one of the best colleges in New England, who had taught the classics in grammar schools, is giving himself to the work of teaching the alphabet to a number of little coloured children in a Southern town. The men who once made it a penal offence to instruct a negro, look and shake their heads at this work, but it goes on steadily in spite of all opposition and ridicule.

Jane Taylor's Physiology is one of the text-books of the freed negro. How little did the authoress contemplate that her work would get into such hands!

There are now about fifty Freedmen's Aid Associations in Great Britain, all working for the help of the millions of emancipated negroes in the United States; collecting clothing, books, &c., and sending large quantities of useful materials for distribution among these poor people. The aid thus forwarded will make thousands of the hungry, half-naked creatures sing for joy.