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[391] was too small, and their ignorance of practical teaching too great, to admit of any reasonable degree of success. After trial and failure it was given up. But faith and enthusiasm combined to give the negro teachers a marvelous progress. Of course, in the outset there were few negroes in the United States who were properly fitted to teach. The most who had a smattering of learning could not speak the English language with a reasonable correctness. It was then a plain necessity to have schools which could prepare teachers. My own sentiment often found vent when I was visited by men of opposite convictions — the one set saying that no high schools or colleges were wanted for the freedmen, and the other declaring their immediate and pressing necessity. My own thought favored the latter, but not with haste. It was given in this form: “You cannot keep up the lower grades unless you have the higher.” Academies and colleges, universities and normal schools, had long been a necessity in all sections where the free schools had been continuously sustained.

A brief experience showed us that the negro people were capable of education, with no limit that men could set to their capacity. What white men could learn or had learned, they, or some of them, could learn. There was one school diagonally across the street from my headquarters, named the Wayland Seminary. The pupils were from fourteen to twenty years of age. It was taught in 1866 by a lady, who, herself, was not only a fine scholar, but a thoroughly trained teacher. One day the Hon. Kenneth Raynor, of North Carolina, whom I had long known and valued as a personal friend, came to my room to labor with me and show me how unwise were some of my ideas.

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