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than realized, in the agonizing scene that met his eyes. Stretched upon a cot lay the partner of his cares, who had followed him through all the dangers and hardships of the wilderness without repining, pale and emaciated, reduced by fierce famine to the last stages in which life can be sustained, and near the mother, on a little pallet, were the remains of his youngest child, born in his absence, and who had just expired from the want of that nourishment which the mother, herself deprived of sustenance, could not supply. Shut up by a gloomy wilderness, far distant from the aid and sympathy of friends, filled with anxiety for an absent husband, suffering from want, destitute of necessary assistance, she was compelled to behold two children expire around her, powerless to help them. Such is the picture presented, truthful in every respect, for the contemplation of the wives and daughters of to-day, who have no adequate conception of the hardships endured by the pioneers of this beautiful country of ours.”
This is but a brief outline of the story. Under his tender and watchful care Mr. Kingsbury's wife was restored to health. Long before the winter was past their scanty store of provision was exhausted and all that could be done was to go to Erie or Cleveland and drag flour and meat and other supplies on a hand-sled to the wilderness home. This Mr. Kingsbury did. In 1797 he left Conneaut and went to Cleveland where he became prominently connected with the history of this of the State. He was honored with several important judicial and legislative trusts, and was in every way a valuable citizen. His removal from Conneaut broke up what had promised to be the first settlement of white people in Ashtabula County.
EDITOR OF THE MONTHLY:—The question of Colored Schools will not down. Their abolition by the act of the last Legislature has been the cause of great strife and bitterness in many communities -strife and bitterness not likely to end for many a long day. The law seems to have been largely a work of sentimentalism,-a sentimentalism, it is true, having a humane and generous impartiality at the bottom of it. It was urged in the discussion of the measure that the law providing for separate schools for colored youth was the last relic of race prejudice on our statute books, and that it ought to be wiped out; and acting on a beneficentimpulse, wiped out it was. But while we may admire the motive which prompted this action, there are no indications that the colored people have gained anything by it.
On the contrary, the old race prejudices that slumbered, and in time were bound to die out, or at least to become greatly ameliorated, have been stirred into fresh activity and virulence. But this is not the point upon which I desire to lay most stress.
The colored people have thus far,-even more in the North than in the South, in their efforts at earning a livelihood, been restricted almost entirely to the poorest paid employments. Teaching and the ministry in connection with their own race, have been the two open doors through which they have been enabled to pass into a field of higher work. And this is an opportunity not to be lightly esteemed. It is one closely connected with the moral and intellectual elevation of the colored people. One of these open doors was closed by the Legislature last winter, or will be closed when the law is fully carried out. As has already been intimated, the action of the Legislature was taken without sufficient consideration as to its results. Sentiment is not always a basis for wise statesmanship. In striving for theoretic justice practical injustice may be done.
The law has worked great hardship to the colored teachers of the State, and will work increased hardship when it goes into full operation. When this is done every colored teacher in the State will be thrown out of employment. The courts, in every case in which they have been appealed to, have decided that the colored children can not be kept out of the white sehools; and every intelligent man knows the courts can decide in no other way. The cases of the colored teachers thus set adrift must appeal strongly to our sympathies.
Let us take the county from which this is written as an example of the workings of the law when it shall be fully enforced. There are in the county over twenty colored teachers. These teachers, in intelligence and success, compare not unfavorably with their white co-laborers.
Some of them have been teaching many years. If deprived of their present occupation, nothing remains to their old age but unaccustomed, ill-paid, disheartening drudgery.
It may be urged, in reply to this, that occasions arise in legislation when individual interests must be sacrificed to the general good. But there is here no general good to compensate this individual wrong. Colored Schools may be made just as good as the White Schools, so that the colored children need suffer under no disadvantages whatever. The colored school of this city, for instance, is as well housed, well taught and well governed as any school we have. It seems to me, also, that the colored children will, for many reasons, be happier when gathered into separate schools. I cannot then resist the conclusion
that the old law which left the question of separate schools to the de
The above is written strictly in the interests of the colored people.
My father was a firm believer in the efficacy of the rod, and his ethical views on fighting were regularly reinforced at the commencement of each term of school by the following admonition: “Now, Charley, don't you get into any fights this term ; for, if you do, you may expect a threshing when you get home whether you get one at school or not." Of course, by this time, my sense of the impropriety of indulging any belligerent propensities was pretty well fortified, and I usually promised that I would not fight, though not without inward misgivings, for I knew. better than he what I had to contend with.
As I now look back over my father's noble and sainted life, the only thing I can find to lay to his charge is the above semi-annual injunction given me at the commencement of each school term, but this was an error of the head rather than the heart. I am sure that if he had
known how much suffering, not only physical but mental, this solemn obligation not to fight would bring upon his boy, the mandate would never have been given. .
O the mortification of those early school years! I can hardly revert to them now without pain. My father being almost the only church member in the district, I was looked upon as a very proper object of persecution, both by the larger pupils and those of my own age.
One of the boys was about my equal in size and strength, and it was almost a daily occurence for the large boys to form a ring, with us two on the inside, for the purpose of compelling us to fight. They would push us and bump us together until in a fit of exasperation we would clinch each other, despite all our pledges to each other that we wouldn't fight even if the big boys killed us.
Of course, if we told our teacher, we were dubbed “tattle tales,” an epithet most unsavory to the ears of the average boy, and made to “suffer for it” besides, especially if the teacher paid any attention to our complaints, which, however, was seldom the case. I was usually excluded from the games of my own associates, or was made to do the drudgery in the construction of the dams, bridges and play houses of our boyish fancy. I remember with painful distinctness how one evening the boys compelled me, on pain of threshing, to stay after school to assist in the building of a certain dam, for which I afterwards received a severe punishment at home. Thus I was bullied and nagged week after week and term after term, until the indignities heaped upon me became absolutely unbearable, and my whole nature rose in open rebellion. I excelled in my studies, which fact only increased my unpopularity. Among the boys there was one who was tacitly acknowledged as their "ring leader," but whose main stock in trade, it was afterward discovered, was only braggadocio. One day he was especially insulting to me, both in language and action, but I steadily refused to be drawn into a quarrel. I went home full of righteous indignation. I related to the family the treatment I had been receiving, and deliberately announced that I would endure it no longer,—that I would not be imposed upon as I had been even if I did get punished at home. My father tried to reason me out of my purpose to fight for my rights and warned me to be careful, but he did not expressly forbid my fighting, under the circumstances. It was with some misgiving that I went out at recess the next day, for I knew that “war was inevitable." And sure enough it did come, and I was victorious. The boastful bully sank at once in the estimation of his school fellows and I, -well, I was the best fellow in school. It is unnecessary to say that I never
had any more occasion to complain of my treatment at the hands of my playmates. • This little experience was of great value to me when I became a teacher. A great many teachers make the same mistake that my father made. They often make the rule that any one engaging in a fight will receive a severe punishment, regardless of circumstances, and regardless of right and justice. My first school was in a "back district” at the foot of the Cascade Mountains, in Oregon. The people were generally rough and uncultured, and, of course, the boys were no angels, and fights were almost as common as recesses. There was one boy not much more than half witted, who was made the “scape goat” of the whole school. He was quick tempered and could fight like a wild cat, and it was the chief delight of the boys to tease him. I am sorry to say they had even been encouraged in this course by my predecessor. I soon saw “how the land lay” and proceeded to lay down the law in the following terms: "Fighting, as a general rule, will not be tolerated in this school, but I don't want any one to allow himself to be imposed upon. Stand up for your rights every time, and if you can't lick the fellow that tries to run over you, I will help you. I shall not punish every one that gets into a fight here, but I propose to investigate every quarrel, and the person that is at the bottom of the trouble, whether he is one of the fighters or not, may surely count on a pretty severe application of hazel sprout.”
Whenever a fight occurred, I adopted the following plan: As soon as the school had assembled, I would call the belligerents to the front and have each one name a witness. These two would call out a third witness, when I would have each of them relate his side of the story, cross examining them as I went along. By the time they had all told their story, I knew pretty well who was at fault. Sometimes I was obliged to call additional witnesses, but not often. Thus I was enabled to put the blame where it belonged and could "lay the ax at the root of the tree," meting out justice to all and giving to each some sense of his own rights as well as the rights of others. The feeble knees were strengthened, and the hunted, dogged expression of the oppressed began to wear away when they came to feel that they had rights which their fellows were bound to respect. Even the poor halfwitted boy seemed to take a new lease of life. He felt that he could step as high and hold up his head as proudly as any of them, while he learned as he had never learned before. The "reign of terror” was soon over, and the angel of peace with wings of mercy hovered over that old school house in the pine woods and hazel brush of Oregon.