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[369]

In 1869, official reports gave two thousand one hundred and eighteen (2,118) schools, two thousand four hundred and fifty-five (2,455) teachers, and one hundred and fourteen thousand five hundred and twentytwo (114,522) pupils. These figures do not include many evening and private schools which have not been reported. It is believed that not less than two hundred and fifty thousand (250,000) colored adults and children have received considerable instruction during the past year. . . .

Since the freedmen have been invested with all the rights and privileges of free men, and already exert a powerful political influence, it is admitted by all the intelligent and fair-minded people that they must be educated, or they will become the tools of demagogues, and a power for evil rather than good. This necessity has already led to the organization of a system of free schools in some of the reconstructed States. Until this is done in every State, and such public schools are in practical operation, the safety of the country, and especially of the South, will demand the continuance, by some agency, of the additional work now carried on. Not only this, but means should be provided for greatly extending these operations to meet the wants of the whole people. Just at present not more than one tenth of the children of the freedmen are attending school. Their parents are not yet able to defray the expenses of education. They are already doing something, probably more in proportion to their means, than any other class. During the last year it is estimated that they have raised and expended for the construction of schoolhouses and the support of teachers not less than two hundred thousand dollars ($200,000). They have shown a willingness to help,

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1869 AD (1)
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