purpose to supersede the benevolent agencies already engaged in it, but to systematize and facilitate them.The next step after public announcement was to introduce in the field some practical systematic arrangement. So much overlapping and interference one with another were found among the workers that I hastened to appoint a school superintendent for each State. He was generally a commissioned officer detailed from the army and placed under the direct authority of the State assistant commissioner of the Bureau. The majority of the schools throughout the South were elementary. They were more flourishing in those localities which had been for six months or more within the lines of our armies. After peace many Government schools were added to those of the benevolent societies, being brought into existence by Bureau officials. These were self-supporting from the start. The educational work was in every way helped by the extraordinary ardor of the pupils and the enthusiasm of the teachers, fed by the societies behind them, who at this time voiced the generous devotion of benevolent people everywhere. Yet the ruling classes among the Southern whites were deeply offended. They said at first: “If the Yankees are allowed to educate the negroes as they are now doing, the next thing will be to let them vote.” No one can describe the odium that awaited the excellent, selfdenying teachers of freedmen in those days. Our first official summary of these schools declared that “doubtless the treatment to which they, the teachers, have been subjected is due in part to the feelings engendered by the war, but it is mostly attributable to prejudice against educating the blacks, and the belief that the teachers are fostering social equality.” Even
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.