Chapter 59: institutions of the higher grade; the Barry Farm
At the time of this writing we are able to take a brief review of the several freedmen's institutions that were commenced more or less under my supervision.
Naturally enough, in the several historic accounts given by the present professors or presidents, more credit is awarded to private donors than to public officers, even when the latter were the real promoters; yet in case of the higher schools, such as were capable of educating and supplying efficient teachers for a vast field, those officers did lead the way against a strong and decided opposition.
They made innumerable sacrifices, labored incessantly, and endured obloquy and false accusations while they were steadily planting and sustaining such institutions, wholly worthy, which now every contributor who is still alive is proud to have helped.
Taking these schools alphabetically:
1. Atlanta University
was chartered in 1867.
It is governed by a corporate body formed “for the Christian
education of youth.”
It includes both male and female students.
I can remember in the outset when the Hon. E. P. Smith
, then a field agent of the American Missionary Association, came to my office and sat down with me to see what could be done to found this institution.
I said: “My friend, get your land and
your corporation to hold it and I will attend to the erection of your first buildings, and to the transportation thither of your teachers.”
Hence, we now find in the catalogue these facts: Money came from the Freedmen's Bureau
and other sources; a noble site of fifty acres on the west side of Atlanta
was procured; in 1869 the first building was opened and at once crowded with students; other good things followed.
In time Atlanta University became independent of the American Missionary Association, so as to be as far as possible without denominational connection and control.
It has a college church organization of its own, where the Methodist
, Episcopalian, and Congregational young people labor together.
This works so well that all the graduates of this year are in the best sense of the word, Christians
Rev. E. A. Ware
, whom, while he lived, I counted as a personal friend, was the president for the first sixteen years till his death.
He kept the advance for Georgia
in education of the higher grade.
The university is still vigorous under President Horace Bumstead, D. D.
The present student enrollment is 273.
It has many fine buildings which, with land and equipment, are valued at $290,000, and 14 instructors.
Industrial training is supplied: for boys
the care and use of tools for the first year; the use of the turning lathe, including drawings, with considerable job and fancy work for the second year; mechanical drawing, use of instruments in all sorts of architectural and other constructions for the third year.
For the girls
, in their industrial division, sewing, cooking, and household management are made much of. Both boys and girls, at option, work in the printing
Several fine publications have been the result; and the students do considerable job printing for the outside market.
As the demand for teaching in Georgia
is still great, this university continues to pay most attention to this part of its labor and claims to have furnished the best prepared teachers in the State
It wouldn't be quite right to complain of an industrial institution like Atlanta University.
2. The Avery Institute
, situated in Charleston, S. C.
, was established by the American Missionary Association in 1866.
It is mentioned in my accounts for 1870 as having 305 pupils, 9 teachers, and two buildings.
It has maintained its existence and has to-day 8 teachers, and 348 pupils, though but few of them are in the higher grades.
3. The Biddle Memorial Institute
, started by the Presbyterians at Charlotte, N. C.
, has been raised into the Biddle University
. I aided the incorporated board of trustees, as I did those at Atlanta
, from educational funds with $10,000. Now this university has a high school, a normal and collegiate course, and enrolled last year 240 students.
About 170 of them receive additional industrial instruction.
4. Berea College
is located in Madison county, Ky.
It began during 1855 as a select school with 15 pupils; was incorporated as Berea College in 1859.
The charter applied to “all persons of good moral character.”
At first the pupils were all white.
After consideration by the teachers and trustees, including the founder, John G. Fee
, the sentiment adopted and acted upon was: “If anyone made in God's image comes here to get knowledge which will enable him to understand his relation to God in Jesus Christ
, he cannot be rejected.”
This would admit negroes.
In consequence of this action
or sentiment, a steady and bitter persecution arose against all the instructors and patrons of the college, and the sessions were for a long time intermitted.
When I came to the freedmen's work in 1865, the institution, hardly yet advanced enough to bear the name of college, was reorganized by Prof. J. A. R. Rogers
, and though suffering much opposition in Kentucky
because of its coeducation of whites and blacks, soon had plenty of students of both colors.
From the start I determined to help Berea
, particularly because of its Southern origin and because of its sturdy and fearless recognition of the manhood of the negro.
In 1866 and 1867 we called it “Berea
It was still elementary and then composed of both races, in about equal numbers.
The progress was manifest; pupils who had commenced there with monosyllables were in three months able to read fairly well.
The latter part of 1867, four new buildings, principally by my aid, had been erected.
The normal features were already introduced and 240 pupils enrolled.
Many young men and young women were receiving special training for teachers.
Before the close of 1868, the record calls the school by its charter name: “Berea College.”
There were 156 students.
My superintendent of education, who paid them a visit, spoke of the excellent recitations in mathematics and the classics, and predicted for Berea
a grand future.
A year later the construction of Chase Hall
, which I helped largely, is mentioned in the Kentucky
It was finished in September and cost us about $17,--000.
The money was well appropriated.
Another communication of my superintendent in Kentucky
says: “Upon the earnest
solicitation of President Fairchild
and Mr. Fee
I determined to finish the work at Berea
by giving them an additional $2,000.”
And the final reference to the college in 1870 shows my authorization of $7,000 more to complete the large and commodious Ladies' Hall.
This placed Berea
with its extensive grounds on a substantial basis.
The students there numbered 170 with eight teachers.
Having steadily grown, Berea
in 1896 had 460 students and 23 instructors.
In 1903, 972 students and 52 instructors, and property valued at $791,968. The Government aid was for the freedmen and such as would properly be called refugees and their descendants.
5. The Burrel School
, one of a high order, at Selma, Ala.
, had in 1870 but 35 pupils and two teachers.
In 1896 there were 92 pupils.
6. Claflin University
was organized in 1869 at Orangeburg, S. C.
In my accounts of schools for 1870 I mention it as then under Methodist auspices.
It had a good academic course of study and numbered 170 pupils with 9 instructors.
By Act of the South Carolina legislature, 1872, the university was enlarged to embrace the Institute
for Agriculture and Mechanic Arts.
It was recorded in 1895 as nonsectarian, having 570 students.
In 1896 the two institutions, Claflin University proper and the Institute
for Agriculture, separated and now educate youth each in its own line.
Claflin University had an enrollment in 1904 of 481 pupils.
7. Central Tennessee College
, located at Nashville, Tenn.
, and founded by the Methodist Freedmen
's Aid Society, had in 1870 92 scholars and 5 teachers.
risen in 1896 to a total of 165 scholars, all in professional courses.
The first building used by this college was a Confederate gun factory.
8. Fisk University
had its beginning in the thought and plan of E. P. Smith
and E. M. Cravath
, who were both at the time secretaries of the American Missionary Association.
They met at Nashville, Tenn.
, October 3, 1865, and had a conference on the subject of making Nashville
an educational center for the then newly emancipated and their descendants.
This conference soon took into its councils General C. B. Fisk
, and Prof. John Ogden
, an able educator who had been an officer of the army during the war. A half square of land was purchased, and by General Fisk
's solicitation a number of temporary hospital structures which were on the land were by the Government
assigned to the use of the proposed university.
January 9, 1866, the first school connected with the enterprise opened.
upon solicitation allowed the use of his name for the university, and Professor Ogden
, equipped with fifteen assistant teachers, commenced his work.
In 1870 there were 283 pupils; in 1904, 525 students.
was the president till his death; he was aided by a faculty and officers to the number of 29.
The Fisk Jubilee Singers became famous throughout the world.
They raised by their public concerts in the United States
and abroad over $150,000 for their university.
The campus has been increased to thirty-five acres and covered with noble and appropriate structures.
General Clinton B. Fisk
from his private estate left the institution heir to a fund of about $30,000 from which was erected its beautiful chapel.
gives degrees to normal college and theological graduates, and every department has been sedulously kept up to a high standard.
Fisk University has, as my officers who gave it aid early predicted, given to Tennessee
and, in fact, to other States a steady supply of well-qualified colored teachers.
Fisk University has done a noble work.
9. Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute
. Having been assured of General S. C. Armstrong
's ability and fitness, in March, 1866, I placed him, as we have seen, a subassistant in charge of fourteen counties of eastern Virginia
, with his headquarters at Hampton
In 1868 he left the general work for the freedmen and took the presidency of the institute at Hampton
, which, in fact, with the American Missionary Association behind him, he founded and steadily developed till his death.
, from his experience and observation among the natives of Hawaii
, insisted on more attention to labor as the basis of his institute; more attention than he thought was given in our other schools.
My own reference of 1870 gave this institution 75 students and 6 teachers.
It was extended after a time to embrace a portion of the Indian
In General Armstrong
's last statements he said: “Steadily increasing, its full growth just reached is 650 boarding students from 24 States and territories, averaging eighteen years of age, 136 of them Indians
; 80 officers, teachers, and assistants, of whom half are in the 18 industrial departments and shops.”
The last annual in my hands since General Armstrong
's decease is for 1904.
The force of teachers is 134, the students 1,239.
The President, H. B. Frissell
is having abundant success; and Virginia
replete with good teachers from Hampton
, and the Indian
tribes are benefited by the 400 young people trained in academic knowledge and useful arts who have gone out with bright faces and hopeful hearts.
In the start I took great interest in Hampton Institute, and many times aided it by Government contributions to its buildings and to its permanent endowment.
10. Howard University
of Washington, D. C.
, recorded in 1869 over 400 students pursuing academic and professional branches.
The enrollment for 1905-6, the 39th year from its inception, was 950 students and 98 professors and other instructors.
The summary of graduates in all the nine departments at the 1897 Commencement was 1,354.
Since then the enrollment has at times exceeded 1,000 students per year.
The property valuation, i. e., grounds, buildings, and endowment, is estimated at $1,300,000.
11. The Lincoln Institute
at Jefferson City, Mo.
, was among the first schools of a high grade undertaken in a former slave State.
, it had much help from its earlier students.
I remember in the summer of 1865 that a lady of large benevolence living in Jefferson City
came all the way to Washington, D. C.
, to see me and to consult concerning the ways and means of sustaining.
and developing this institute.
The Sixty-second and Sixty-fifth United States colored regiments, when discharged from service in 1865, contributed generously to its founding-the Sixty-second, $5,000, and the Sixty-fifth, $1,379. The condition of the gifts was that a school for colored people should be begun in Missouri
In 1869 there
were 3 instructors and 98 students.
The summary for 1903 showed 386 scholars and 17 officers and instructors.
The buildings, grounds, and industries are of the best.
This Missouri institute has afforded an example of what the faith and work of one good woman can accomplish.
12. The Howard Normal School
, of Baltimore
, just starting in 1869, has been replaced by the Baltimore City
Colored High School.
In the latter to-day are 21 instructors and 350 pupils.
13. When I first knew the institution for colored youth at Oxford, Pa.
, it was called Ashby Institute
. As it was just in the line of work which was desired for the speedy preparation of teachers, I gave, as commissioner, all possible aid, and the trustees soon changed its name to Lincoln University
I attended the Commencement of this university in 1867, as I recall the visit.
The students on that occasion gave evidence of remarkable advancement.
Their oratory appeared phenomenal.
From time to time I contributed to its endowment.
It maintains a good record, and had in 1904 14 teachers and 184 students.
14. The Maryville Normal
at Maryville, Tenn.
, had in 1869 60 pupils and 3 instructors.
It appears to have changed its name to Freedmen's Normal Institute
, and in 1897 it had 14 teachers and 243 students, mostly in the normal course of study.
15. The Normal School
at Elizabeth City, N. C.
, had two instructors in 1869 and 46 students; in 1904 it was called State Colored Normal School
with 6 instructors and 404 students.
16. The Straight University
at New Orleans, La.
, commenced operations in 1869 and gradually developed into a large and well-favored institution.
students in attendance numbered at the Commencement of 1903 765.
Officers and instructors in all the five departments 27.
It has kept up its work steadily from year to year.
Once a great fire came and swept away the buildings, but by the work of the students and the help of the benevolent they were soon more than replaced.
Its industrial department in the building trades is the best I have seen.
There is not room for agriculture with its small grounds in a great city.
The students, as mechanics, have erected several of the college buildings, and their teachers are especially proud of the cabinet work done by the young men and the fine needle work by the young women.
17. St. Augustine Normal and Collegiate Institute
, located in Raleigh, N. C.
, began in 1867 and has continued its work thirty years under the auspices of the Episcopal Church.
It received at the start considerable aid from the Government
In 1869 there were 3 instructors and 46 students; in 1904 an enrollment of 360 students and 18 teachers.
I remember well its beginning and followed it with much sympathy and aid.
18. The Swayne School
, and also the Emerson School
at Montgomery, Ala.
, not now found in the United States
school reports, were absorbed in the newer State Normal School for Colored Students
, which gives an aggregate enrollment for 1903 of 416 pupils and 20 teachers.
, my diligent and able assistant commissioner, aided these schools in every possible way.
19. The Stanton Normal School
, of Jacksonville, Fla.
, began January, 1868.
A good building was dedicated April 10, 1869. General G. W. Gile
commissioner, sent me that day from Florida
this dispatch: “The Stanton Normal Institute
is being dedicated.
Thousands assembled send their greeting to you as their truest advocate.”
That year this Normal had 348 pupils and 6 instructors.
20. Shaw University
in Raleigh, N. C.
, had its inception in 1865 in the work and enterprise of Rev. Dr. H. M. Tupper
(who was an enlisted Christian soldier during the last three years of the Civil War
). He was the first President
It is a large thriving university.
In 1869 it had 70 students and four teachers.
In 1904 the governmentt (Department of Education) recorded 499 students and 35 instructors.
Its departments of medicine and pharmacy place its medical work abreast of Howard University.
21. The Normal School
under the Friends' control at Warrenton, N. C.
, had two teachers and 50 pupils in 1869.
The Shiloh Institute
appears to have replaced it, having four teachers and 95 pupils in 1896.
22. The Normal and Manual Labor School
just beginning in 1869 at Tougaloo, Miss., soon became the Tougaloo University
, under the patronage of the American Missionary Association.
I remember to have given this school an impulse at the start by a special appropriation.
It is finely located, a few miles north of the capital of the State
The university has many departments and maintains for its graduates a high standard of conduct and scholarship.
The boarding pupils number over 200.
The total enrollment for 1903 is 502.
Much stress is laid upon the “industrial work,” including farm and garden work.
The industrial features on a smaller scale are like those of Hampton
23. The Talladega, Ala., Normal School
about the same time as that at Tougaloo, under the same patronage and having General Swayne
's active and efficient aid. Its name was soon changed to College.
In 1869 there were two teachers and 70 scholars.
In 1904 we find Talladega College in full and active operation.
The total enrollment was 596 students, coming from seven States.
There were 31 in the body of officers and instructors.
24. Wayland Seminary
, before mentioned, was already in existence; it was the first that I visited in Washington
in May, 1865.
It stood as my model and object lesson, where I could show doubting visitors from North and South the possibility of educating negroes.
Its first buildings, altogether too small, cramped the work till the trustees moved to the head of Chapin Street, Meridian Hill
The patrons are of the Baptist Home Mission Board
, and the thorough good results the seminary has already accomplished cannot be overestimated.
Its enrollment (1897) gives 159 students and 15 officers, and other instructors.
25. Wilberforce University
, under the patronage of the African Methodist
people, began in the fifties.
Bishop D. A. Payne
of the A. M. E. Church
was president from 1863 to 1876.
Like Lincoln University
, I found it the right sort of helper to furnish teachers as the freedmen's educational institutions developed, and so I rendered it, as I did Oberlin College
and for the same reason, what encouragement and pecuniary aid was in my power.
being near Xenia, O.
, Oberlin College at Oberlin, O.
, and Lincoln University
, neither of the three in the former slave States, subsequently caused me some legal difficulties on account of the Government
did before emancipation and are still doing noble work for the negro population.
The enrollment of Wilberforce
for 1906 is 400 students with 30 on the board of instruction, Its industrial division, including that of hospital and trained nurses, is extensive.
26. There was one thriving school of the grammar grade in Atlanta, Ga.
, called the “Storrs school.”
When I paid a visit to Atlanta
in the fall of 1868 I visited that school.
Sunday morning the Congregational
Sunday School was well attended in the Storrs schoolhouse
Here neatly dressed children with intelligent faces, prompt, cheerful, and hearty in all their responses, could not fail to attract the attention of any thinking man. They indicated and gauged progress.
After my address to the school I asked if anyone had a message for the other children I should visit.
One little boy of about twelve years, wearing a clean white jacket, rose and said: “Tell them we are rising.”
It was this incident that Whittier
put into his poem entitled “Howard at Atlanta
That boy, R. R. Wright
, has since been a major in the army, a minister abroad, and is a college president.
There lies before me at this writing, over thirty years after the child's message, a book entitled “A Brief Historical Sketch of Negro Education in Georgia
It is a faithful and exhaustive sketch.
The author is that same Atlanta
boy with added years; now at the head of the Georgia State Industrial College
located at College
, Ga., and has 15 in his official and faculty board, with 443 students.
Storrs School itself in 1904 continued with 8 teachers and 354 scholars.
The foregoing are brief accounts of twenty-six of those institutions of higher grade which began under
my supervision from 1865 to 1870 and continued for more than twenty-five years, having had a constant development.
The last year of my administration of the educational work among refugees and freedmen, I reported 70 schools, graded high enough at least to educate teachers.
In 1904 there were open to the colored students, i. e., especially intended for them, 128 such institutions and 131 public high schools.
Many of the original 70 have been absorbed in the total, often under new names.
More and more has the education of those who were once wards of the Government
taken a practical turn, and much stress has been put upon industrial features
. There has been no cessation of demand for well-: trained colored youth, and no diminution of interest on the part of the descendants of the freedmen in seeking for that knowledge which will fit them for the common duties of life.
To show how great things spring from small in this matter, notice the work of a single graduate of Hampton
: Booker T. Washington
He graduated in the class of 1875; he taught school three terms in West Virginia
; he took further studies at Wayland Seminary, Washington, D. C.
, and returning in 1880 to Hampton
he taught Indians till 1881; then, recommended by General Armstrong
to found a State normal school at Tuskegee, Ala.
, he was appointed principal.
He commenced the school with thirty pupils in a colored church, with an outfit of $2,000 and nothing besides.
wrote in 1896: “Beginning July 4, 1881, without a dollar except the annual appropriation ($2,000), during the thirteen years there has come into our treasury $491,955.42 in cash from all sources.”
During the thirteen years it is notable that the students
have done labor for the institution to the amount of $187,612.52. The number of students enrolled this year (1907) is 1,624.
The property, including land, buildings, live stock, and apparatus, is valued at $838,--277.69; the endowment, $1,238,924, and the total assets have reached (1907) $2,227,047.77. The institution named Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute is a success.
Its academic and industrial training are going on, hand in hand.
One item is full of encouragement: During the college year 1906-7, $8,233 were paid by the students themselves in entrance fees and chapel collections.
From Mr. Washington
's effort and example, more than a score of kindred smaller schools which did not before exist have been set in motion in Alabama
This retrospect affords me great satisfaction.
Could the whole school business be set forth in graphic sketches, it would require volumes to contain them.
We who labored so hard and so confidently against untold opposition, and often under accusation, suspicion, and obloquy, take exceeding comfort in seeing our hopes fully realized-yes, even beyond our most sanguine predictions.
A grand Christian work has been done in the land by sanguine souls since the fetters were knocked from the feet of the slave, and I am glad to have borne a part of the burden.
In connection with three institutions of a higher grade, early in April of 1867, as commissioner of freedmen, I set apart a sum of money under peculiar circumstances.
It will be remembered that the colored population in Washington
had at one time become so numerous and congested in some sections of the city, that I had been obliged to do something to relieve the suffering people from excessive want.
had been to issue rations and clothing; another, after careful examination of their condition, to feed the most needy, through work temporarily provided near by, and through tickets to established soup houses; but the main expedient was in sending small parties under chosen agents, who were men or women of fitness, to places where there were work and wages, i. e., places already ascertained where there were reliable promises of employment.
But in one locality, where there was a large, troublesome crowd, all my efforts in providing for the men, women, and children appeared to fail.
I was almost in despair.
One day, one of the largest owners of the land, or rather city lots, situated between Fourteenth and Seventeenth streets and north of K Street, came to me in great distress.
He had gladly suffered the Government
in the war time to put up on his own property, barracks, hospital structures, and quartermaster's storehouses.
The owners of the lands thereabouts, including himself, had bought in these buildings at Government sales after the war; but not before they had been seized and occupied by the floating colored population which had gathered there from Maryland
, and farther South.
A few industrious negroes were cultivating small gardens on the vacant lots, but the majority were of that crowd of helpless refugees that were living from hand to mouth, nobody could tell just how. The owners had tried in vain to get the city to remove them, for their land was now worth $1,500 an acre.
They could get no rentals and could not sell while thus encumbered.
My visitor said that he came to the commissioner of freedmen as a last resort.
He was a kind man and declared that he had not the heart to force these wretched people into the streets or into
the lowest resorts and hovels of the district; but he did not think that he and the other owners of that property ought to be required to bear so heavy a burden.
I said to the gentleman that there were thousands of people, refugees and freedmen, in the same condition as those on his valuable property, and I could not then see how to relieve him; that I was charged in an opposition press with “feeding people in idleness,” and I must not add to our pauper list.
Yet I answered him, however, that I knew I ought to make an effort to help him.
At last, I proposed, as I should have done in the field, to go to the place where the trouble was pressing.
We took a carriage and rode to the encumbered lots and rough structures.
We called out all the men that we found in the buildings.
Many of them did not lack intelligence.
At first, I explained the situation as I understood it, telling the people who we were.
When I said: “You cannot expect to stay here on other people's property without paying rent,” they very pertinently asked: “Where shall we go, and what shall we dot”
I answered them by asking another question: “What would make you self-supporting!”
Several replied: “Land I give us land!”
They seemed to realize that they could not much longer stay there in the heart of the capital on that costly ground.
Yet some were saucy and some stupid; but the greater number appeared anxious somehow to earn their way. At last, I said: “Now, if I could manage to secure you a homestead, say an acre of land apiece near the city, might I rely upon it that you would work, earn money, and repay my outlay?”
Some of them fully understood me and earnestly promised to do so. Others hung down their heads and said nothing.
The above is a detailed
account of that one community.
There were a number of such crowds at that time in Washington
or within the District of Columbia, not so pressing, but where poverty prevailed.
In meditating upon this condition of things, upon the evident desire of many of the poorest to do something for their own support, and upon their entreaty for land, I concluded that it would be well to take a portion of the “Refugees and freedmen's fund” which had been accumulating mainly from the rental of abandoned property, and which I had already devoted, in the exercise of my discretion, to educational purposes, and with that fund purchase a farm of large size as near Washington
as practicable, and make it an object lesson, affording what relief it could.
I would divide it up into acre or two-acre lots, give lumber enough for a small, comfortable tenement, and sell to the poor freedmen on time, on a bond to be followed by a deed in fee as soon as the terms of the bond should be fulfilled.
The nearness to Washington
would enable me to give the execution of the plan my personal oversight, and help me from time to time to secure city employment and wages for the industrious.
I had no doubt of my right, under the laws governing me, to use the funds in question, except perhaps the constitutional one of purchasing land.
So I consulted the second comptroller of the Treasury, who agreed with me. I even ventured to interview Chief Justice Chase
on the subject.
He was kind and approachable and freely advised me in the premises.
He said: “Without doubt, General Howard
, you can use your funds in the way you propose.”
At last, April 3, 1867, I issued a special order, transferring $52,000 to S. C. Pomeroy
, J. R. Elvans
, and O. O. Howard
as trustees; the amount to be held
in trust for three normal collegiate institutions or universities, embracing the education of refugees and freedmen; the institutions to be incorporated: one located in the District of Columbia, one in the State of Virginia
, and the third in the State of North Carolina
The order also authorized the investment of the money, so transferred, in land “with a view of relieving the immediate necessities of a class of poor colored people in the District of Columbia, by rental, by sale, or in such other way as the trustees might judge best for that purpose; provided that all proceeds, over and above the necessary expenses, should be transferred annually to the three institutions implied in the order.”
The proceeds were to be divided equally between them.
I had great difficulty at that time to find anybody willing to sell, and was obliged, finally, to purchase without being known in the matter, and particularly without having the object of the purchase revealed.
The Barry Farm
, 375 acres, situated near the “Government hospital for the insane,” was thus obtained.
When about two years later I was obliged to turn over the funds to a successor, Mr. John A. Cole
, treasurer of the “Barry Farm fund,” 266 families had already been provided for. Some of those who bought one acre or two-acre lots were fairly well off. I found it better to have a few among the purchasers who were reasonably educated, and of well-known good character and repute, to lead in the school and church work, and so I encouraged such to settle alongside the more destitute.
The land all the time was constantly inquired for by working freedmen.
It was taken with avidity, and the monthly payments, with very few exceptions, were promptly and regularly made.
The prospect to these freedmen of owning a homestead was a great stimulus
Fortunately there was, during the ensuing year, 1868, much Government work of grading on Capitol Hill
and in their neighborhood, so that they obtained steady employment and pay. A number of these awakened people at the same period united and raised sufficient money to purchase a school lot. The Freedmen's Bureau
aided them to erect upon it a school building that would accommodate 150 pupils.
Everyone who visited the Barry Farm
and saw the new hopefulness with which most of the dwellers there were inspired, could not fail to regard the entire enterprise as judicious and beneficent.
The amount returned to the fund and distributed to the three educational institutions, as provided in the original order before the time I turned over the accounts in 1869, was $31,178.12, and the cash besides, transferred to my successor, was $10,081.41.
The Hon. Edgar Ketchum
, who was my counsel before a Congressional Committee of Investigation in 1870, gave to the gentlemen of the committee a few sketches of homes on the Barry Farm
Here is one: You may see another (man) some thirty-six years of age, very black, very strong, very happy, working on his place.
He will welcome you. His little house cost him $90. You will see his mother; that aged “aunty,” as she raises herself up to look at you, will tell you that she has had eleven children, and that all of them were sold away from her. She lived down in Louisiana
The man will tell you that he is one of those children.
He went down to Texas
, and when he came up through Louisiana
he found his old mother and brought her up here with him, along with his wife and son. And there they live.
“ Have you paid for your place” you may ask him, and he will say: “Don't owe fifteen cents on it, sir.”
spoke of the educational facilities: “You go into the school, and you see a boy of ten years old who will answer any question in geography when the others fail, though they may be older than he; he is a bright boy, though of dark complexion.”
He added: “These people are happy there, having homes and having comforts.”
Thus the “Refugees and freedmen's fund” was made to perform a double part in furnishing the Barry Farm
homes, and the accompanying school facilities, to the thrifty poor, and also in endowing in part with necessary funds three collegiate institutions.