1895
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The BooKER T. WAsHINGTON Papers A Newspaper Report of an Emancipation Dai Address Montgomery, Ala. [Jan. I, 1895] This is the fifth or sixth time we have celebrated the greatest of all great days to the Negro, and I can say without fear of contradiction that every year doubles its interest. The address was delivered by that scholarly and deep thinking gentleman, Prof. B. T. Washington of the Normal school at Tuskegee. The address was as usually delivered by the speaker plain and instructive. The speaker told how a vessel out at sea had thrown up its signal for help from another vessel not far off, saying help, save us or we perish for water, and the captain of the other vessel's reply was, cast down your buckets where you are, and finally after several attempts to get help, and every time hearing the same command, cast down your buckets where you are, decided to try, and in so doing the buckets were drawn up with clear, cool, sparkling water from the mouth of the Amazon. Right here the speaker impresses us to cast down our buckets in the same like manner, and they would come up as merchants, manufacturers, scientific and men of all skillful advantages. The speaker tried to impress his hearers to apply their time and money in giving their children an industrial education through which medium we as a race will gradually grow stronger and independent. Indianapolis Freeman, Jan. 26, rBgs, 6. 1 Emancipation Day, a holiday widely celebrated by black people in the nineteenth century, was Jan. 1, the day the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect in 1863. From Francis J. Grimke Washington, D.C., Jan. 6th. r8g5 Dear Prof. Washington: Your letter was quite a surprise to me. I had no idea that Dr. Blyden1 was thinking of leaving Africa for work in this d:mntry. He is a man of great abilities, of great learning, and of rare scholarship: in some respects the most distinguished representative of our race now living. As to his character, I cannot speak so posi- jANUARY • 1895 tively. Like yourself, I have heard whispers which tended to cast a doubt upon his moral soundness, but whether they are well founded or not, I cannot say; or whether they have reference to what occurred, or is alleged to have occurred, twenty-five or thirty years ago, in Africa, or to something that may have occurred in more recent years, I do not know. I know nothing personally, against his character, though, as I have said, these whispers against him I have heard. I read with the greatest interest your last Report to the Trustees, and would be obliged to you if you would send me a few copies for distribution. Hoping that you are well, and with kindest regards for yourself and Mrs. Washington, and with best wishes for your continued success in the great work in which you are engaged, I am as ever, Your sincere friend, Francis J. Grimke TLS Con. 8 BTW Papers ATT. Original destroyed. 1 Edward Wilmot Blyden (1832-1912) was born a free black in the Danish West Indies. He came to the United States in 1850 to study at Rutgers Theological College but was refused admittance because of his color. The New York Colonization Society heard of his plight and sent him to Liberia to be educated by Presbyterian missionaries. As "" teacher and clergyman Blyden became Liberia's major spokesman in the United States and Europe, encouraging blacks to emigrate to West Africa. Blyden toured the United States in 1889, sponsored by the American Colonization Society, to urge support of the Butler bill to aid emigration to Africa. BTW and Blyden met in Washington, D.C., in 1890 through their mutual friend Francis J. Grimke. Their views on race pride and self-help were similar. They differed sharply, however, regarding African emigration. In 1894 Blyden wrote to BTW and expressed agreement with the Tuskegean's philosophy of eschewing politics in favor of industrial education. He admitted to BTW that any general exodus of black Americans remained in the distant future. BTW publicly praised Blyden as an outstanding intellectual. Blyden's nationalistic views, however, included the notion that mulattoes could play no important role in fostering nationalism ; only pure blacks could lead the way. This viewpoint was a common one in the West Indies. The idea strained Blyden's relationship with most black American leaders. Blyden's position of cooperation with European...


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