Newspaper Page Text
Per Year in Advance.
COLUMBIA AND JEFFERSON CITY, MISSOURI, FRIDAY DECEMBER 25. 1903.
VOL. HI. NO.
fn Letter on the Race Question
President Western University,
Dr. W. T. Vernon, D. D.,
President Western University, Quindaro, Kan.
Hail and Brecsc:
bur request for a letter setting
my views upon the race
tion is complied with without
tancy since you are so broad
liberal that I am confident that
tever I may say will be consid-
for just what it is worth no
re, no less.
I trust to be free from any bias
at ordinarily would influence one
directly concerned, and to dis-
tss your propositions and answer
ueries as one seeing from the
tandpoint of an American rather
than as a negro pure and simple.
To begin with, I think there is
quite too much discussion of the
negro, both by the "yellow journ
als (white) and "yellow journals"
(colored). Both have a tendency
o tocus too much attention upon
im thus causing him in the every
Uv affairs of life to be a marked
By this means the good self-
caucLuut; ucgru is turning iu ue
the unexpected creature, unaccount
ed for, and the bad negro to be the
thing expected the type consider
ed worthy of restraint only as the
wild beast or, at least, not as arc
other criminals restrained and pun
ished. You ask me, "Is the negro treat
ed unjustly?" To this I submit
t we must first denominate what
e consider to be just treatment.
I am sure that the average man
uld consider fair treatment in the
ain to be the right to work un-
ammeled and unmolested, to have
omfortable fare' 'n places of travel
nd public, to have political liberty,
the protection of law and the right
of trial by jury of his peers when
harged with ' crime or -misde-
With such sentiments as are set
brth by the Declaration of Inde-
endence and embodied in the Con-
itution of the United States as our
ational criterion, the above enum
rated sentiments are necessarily
If any man or set of men are de
nied these, according to American
standards, they are treated unjustly.
WW the Nnrn Mn
r or me to say that the respect-"-Taye,
the best negroes are often
I to suffer inconvenience and
Ihip, to accept the most menial
foyment at the most meager
jes, when ambitious and compe-
to do other work, for no other
jpn than they are negroes, is a
ment in support of which I can
luce abundant evidence.
his I have seen time and again.
ye have in many sections organ-
ons which refuse to accept the
o as a member, and yet strike
n he is employed to work with
pt giving as a reason that he is
a member of such organization.
his seems to me to be extreme-
Jard when we consider that ne-
p laborer's love for his wife and
Jdren is as but the love of any
Jier for his family the ones for
by Wm T. Vernon A M- D. D-
whom death is sweet if by the same
they live in happiness and security.
This I would call unjust treatment.
As to the matter of comfort in
places of travel, quite often are
negroes made to feel positive dis
comfort, being compelled to go
hungry with money in their pock
ets when no one will sell to them.
They are made to travel in second
class coaches and "Jim Crow" cars,
after paying the same fare as other
The negro who must thus escort
or send his female relatives from
one locality to another will hardly
feel that such treatment is just.
Again, the disfranchisement of
the negro is becoming so general
that there seems in many sections,
not southern, a disposition to ac
quiesce in the same.
I am quite sure that in America
we all yare convinced that every; citi
zen should have a "free ballot and a
fuir count," and any other system
is unjust, tyrannical and revolution
ary. I would not for once say that ir
responsible men should vote simply
because they are of age, but I do
believe that if property or educa
tional qualifications iire to be in
vogue, they should apply to the
white man and negro alike.
In such a country as ours, where
the people are sovereigns, the bal
lot should be held sacred and is the
means of protection for any con
stituency. Deprived of this the
regnancy of justice is a hollow
mockery and free government a
Again, even where there re
mains the right to vote, we some
times have ambitions to hold office.
For what can we expect or hope?
I fear not much in the way of
offices of public trust.
No man who does not feel as we
only can feel, realizing how high
our ambition soars, and how low
must remain our estate, can appre
ciate the feeling of some negroes
who have predilections towards
politics and statesmanship and yet
must forever eschew the same be
cause of this condition. Personally,
it is my opinion that the negro's
earlier belief that politics constitut
ed the sine qua tion o his life's
mission was baneful. His real con
ception of true citizenship should be
the securing of education and real
property, becoming a tax payer, the
formation of noble character and
the participation in politics, as docs
every patriotic citizen, as a matter
of civic duty to assist in the se
curing of the purity and prosperity
of the state and the happiness of
all the people.
But to day the greatest of all suf
ferings of the negro's portion is
the fact that in many localities he is
almost without protection of law or
guarantee of life. To be simply
accused of a crime now often means
that his life is in jeopardy. Lynch
ing for that foulest of all crimes,
outrage,' have graduated into burn-
ings and inhuman torture, and now
the innocent negro is at times ter
rorized, driven from home and
sometimes mobbed because of his
brother negro's crime. Witness
the Joplin mob, the Evansville and
Danville mobs and many others.
Achievements of the Freedman.
He pays taxes on over $6oo,ooo,
ooo worth of realty holdings, ex
clusive of church and school prop
erty all amassed by hard labor and
not very remunerative wages, since
He has produced some states
men, such as Douglass, Bruce, El
liott, and White; orators, such as
Price, Bowen, Mason and Derrick ;
educators, such as Payne, Mitchell,
and the apostle of industrialism,
Booker T. Washington.
Negro boys have carried off hon
ors at Cornell, Brown, Yale and
Flora Batson, the song bird ;
Dubois, the scholar; Taylor, the !
musician ; Ira Aldridge, the trage
dian ; Embry, the theologian, arc
Tanner has painted, Dunbar has
tuned his lyre and, touched by the
muse, broken forth in song that
dies no more.
These are the giants, the ones
who have arisen to noble heights
and contributed to the sum total of
America's great achievements.
There arc still millions who de
spite ignorance and poverty, toil on,
trust God and live honest lives and
in humble homes do the best they
can or know.
There are negro women by the
thousands who toil over the wash
tub and the ironing board and still
live true to home and love whose
every effort is' for the weal and bet-
ter Vile of their chidren.
There are hundreds of thousands
of negro youth educated and refined
who seek employment of the higher
kind and, failing to secure the same,
accept any honoruble toil, however
menial, and cheerfully struggle and
hope for better things.
I admit that many are in idleness
and drift into crime ; but oftimes
they have been educated along the
aesthetic lines and are. barred from
all employment tending toward or
encouraging the same.
Idleness ensues, and this means
We notice negro criminality
more because we are beginning to
expect more of him than his few
years of freedom and untoward en
vironment would warrant.
However, I would not thus ex
cuse the negro loafer. I would
. DR. E. L. SCRUGGS, D. D.
Pmident Western College, Macon,- Mo.
. -. .MM
PROF. H. B. STONE
Principal Sturgeon Schook
have him learn the lesson of all
races particularly the great Anglo
Saxon race to work at whatever
his hands find to do, to save a por
tion of what he earns, however
Uttle' to rise from the lowly estate
to a place of command. The ne
gro of respectability must not con
done the offenses or approve the
idleness of the negro loafer and
criminal, since we are all to be ele
vated in the eyes of the world only
by an improvement of the criminal
class as jWell as others. Being
farthest behind in life's race, we
must work more zealously to lift as
These ills upon the nation are but
the result of slavery and rm't be
! for a time borne : and thus will toil
and patience on the part of all true
Americans make better the situa
tion now calling for calm thought
and pure motives everywhere.
Why There Will be no Race War.
To concei ;e of the civilized world
standing by in this age while o,
000,000 Ji, human beings are fought,
conqucnfd and slaughtered by .7o,
000,000 is a distorted mental picture
not possible while conscience snd
To feel that the American white
man would force the same is to
doubt his sanity and Christianity,
and to feel that the negro is reck
less enough to bring on the same is
to think him a mad man. In such
a struggle the negro might finally
be destroyed, but the courage dis
played by both races in all Ameri
can wars would, inspired by the
desperation of such a conflict, lead
to horrors worse than the French
Revolution, inviting the demolition
of our governmental fabric.
I am tor peace. 1 want no war
or strife. Some predict war. De
spite predictions to the contrary,
this cannot be. No, unless God be
dead and Christ a myth forever
more. As to your next query, may I
say I believe it possible to effect a
better understanding between .the
I cannot bring myself to that de
gree of pessimism that doubts the
final triumph of right and justice.
The laws of the land provide for
the same, the economy of Divine
creation demands it.
A better era will come.
I have always found the best
white men in sympathy with ne
groes striving for the right.
The better elements in both races
have no quarrel. Our serious race
troubles are usually begun by the
more radical and oft-times vicious of
These sooner or later enlist the
sympathies of the better classes.
The sanest thought of the age is
for a better understanding. This
will come by the pursuance of the
proper course on the part of the
Let the white minister preach
charity, righteousness and the true
Christianity, at the same time con
demning without stint sin and
violence, whether on the part of the
law breaker or the mob.
Let the negro minister preach
the same Christianity and love, take
the same stand against criminals
and mobs, and foster morality and
education among his people.
Let him teach the negro that
brains, character and property are
today the greatest need. Let him
preach that, since we are on trial,
we must all the more struggle to
Let all the race be as quick to
have a negro criminal punished, ac
cording to law, as we are any of ,
the American people, and thus rc-1
fute the charge that we uphold
criminals and maintain a lower
standard of morals than other races.
More Negro Farmers the Need.
The negro needs more farmers
and fewer loafers, more money and
less poverty, more true manhood
and less veneer and sham, more
doctors and fewer quueks, more
competent school teachers and few
er wage-drawing school keepers.
In short, he must approach man's
highest standard and the demands
of God everywhere.
Then let the whites who would
settle the question aright keep rati
ical negro haters away from Chan
tauquas, where the best means of
settling the race question are being
discussed. Let them cease to give
wide publicity to the sayings of un
reasonable orators (who will not
see any thing good in us), whose
high official position enables them
to add fuel to flames already con
suming our national traditions and
principles sacredly consecrated by
the blood of patriots of both races
since Knox was martyred at Hunker
Hill or the negro, Attucks, fell on
Boston Common. This will all
bring about the only solution con
sistent with reason and our present
Lastly, I aver that the races are
to continue to exist side by side as
American citizens, emigration being
The Jamestown settlers came to
America in 1607, tfte negroes in
1619, the Pilgrim Fathers in 1620.
Side by side, though as master and
slave, they have worked, suffered,
fought and died. In peace the ne
gro has been faithful and helped to
tunnel mountains, dike seas, con
struct railroads, delve in the mines,
cultivate the soil and make his
brawn and sweat a part of our
Not a Folterer in the Time of War.
In war he has never faltered, as
will the battles of Croton river
in the Revolutionary War, New
Orleans in the War ot 181 2, and
the brave blacks of Fort Wagner,
Olustee and Mines of St. Peters
burg, and many other sanguinary
fields of the Civil war Httcst. And
the Cuban soil, where sleep the
brave heroes of the Ninth , and
Tenth regulars ; the Twenty-fourth
and Twenty-fifth (See President
Roosevelt's tribute), is "hallowed"
with the ashes of negro cx-slaves
and their children, all saying to
America that the strong black arm
and brave heart of 10,000,000 of
her citizens will be given gladly for
Why cannot such people remain
here in peace and security?
These plead, entreat us not to
leave these hills and ivy mantled
cliffs, made by nature towers and
citadels to human liberty and free
dom. We cannot gather the tlrons
of blood drawn from our bodies by
sword and lash and carry them
with us. We cannot gather the
tears and groans of near three cen
turies and the bleached bones of our
loved ones in cane brake and cotton
patch, or on battle field, left there
for all these years. These we
would want with us as a memorial
Peace Without Social Equality.
The best white men are going to
help him to help himself its has
been the case for generation.
I am convinced that by the adop
tion of the right methods the two
races will exist side by side peace
fully without social equality, but as
Americans, respecting each olhe
and working for, fighting for and
as ever in the past when called
upon, dying for this country of ours
America, the asylum of the op
pressed, the gift of the All-Kather
to the down-trodden of eai ll..
Trustintr von will narilo.i thin
too lcn-rthv letter, iianklv written
I am vour humble servant.
fTry -i " :r y i -,'. .V.';'.i:
-v-t.i y . v .
Pkoi -. J. Sii.ovk Yatks A. M.
Professor of Pedagogy Lincoln
I iir-lit i:if.
Prof. J. Siloiie Yntrs stands as
one of the leading negro women in
the United Stales. She was reared
in historic New 1" upland and re
ceived her grammar cdueatMiii in
the schools of New York inul a
the first woman of color to re
ceieve a certificate entitling her to
teach in the public schools of New
port, Rhode Island. She graduated
from the Rogers High school of
Newport. As valedictorian of her
class, receiving the scholarship
medal and was the only colored
pupil in the class. Two years later
she was graduated with honors,
from the Rhode Island State Nor
mal school with high honors.
Since that time she has devoted her
entire life to the work of educating
and elevating her race. Besides
her work in the school room, Mrs.
Yates has done much in the or
ganization kn'own as the national
association of colored women. She
being its present president. For a
period of eight years beginning in
CQ. 4 V. " .... .
luu'i Hies neio tne chair of
natural science in Lincoln Institute,
with perfect satisfaction to all con
cerned and was recalled there to
take the chair of pedagogy in 1902.
Mrs. Yates is a writer of national
repute, having contributed articles
to some 'of the best magazines in
the country. Her connection with
Lincoln Institute adds much to the
strength of the faculty there as
well as being a source of great, in
spiration for the many young ladies
with whom she comes in daily cow