restricted access Appendix B: Estimating the Number of Black and Southern White Teachers, 1869–1876
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Appendix B Estimating the Number of Black and Southern White Teachers, 1869–1876 As noted above, a significant number of southern whites taught in the southern black schools, roughly half as many as northern whites. A relatively small number of southern white teachers agreed to teach for, or were hired by, a northern aid agency. Significantly more were assisted by or agreed to report to the Freedmen’s Bureau. It is clear from state archival records, however, that far more southern white teachers were in the freed people’s schools by 1870 than can be positively identified by name. There were likewise far more black teachers in those schools than have been identified to date. To attempt to establish with some level of certainty the proportional participation of northern and southern white teachers and African American teachers in the first generation of southern black education, the Freedmen’s Teacher Project used the existing data from South Carolina, supplemented with that from Alabama, to estimate the number of black and southern white teachers from 1870 onward. As noted above, given the nature of the sources available to the project, with nearly complete coverage of the teachers supported by the aid agencies from their beginning to their demise or to the end of Reconstruction , it is likely that the northern white teachers are largely accounted for in the database. Various sorts of state records that identify individual teachers have survived in only five southern states: Texas, Louisiana, North Carolina, Alabama, and South Carolina. Most date from 1870 to about 1872. The Texas records are particularly voluminous. Unfortunately, they do not indicate the teachers’ race nor whether they taught in black or white schools; those who can be identified as black from other sources have been added to the database, but there is no way to determine whether the others taught in black schools. The Louisiana records are incomplete and only extend for two years. In North Carolina, county-level education records extend from 1869 to the late 1870s but cover fewer than one-quarter of the counties. None of those states’ records, then, provide su≈ciently robust records upon which to base larger estimates. Appendix B 185 Records have survived in Alabama that detail every teacher and the race of the school within which they taught, covering most but not all counties, extending from 1870 to 1872, though they are more complete in 1870–71 than subsequently. They are su≈ciently robust to provide a provisional baseline for an estimate of the number of black and white teachers in 1870. In South Carolina, the quarterly reports of teachers, with an indication of the race of the school, have survived for 1869–1871, though they are incomplete. Of far greater value, however, are the annual reports of the South Carolina superintendent of education. Throughout the 1870s, those reports provided tabular records of the number of northern white teachers, northern black teachers, southern white teachers, and southern black teachers (except in 1876 and 1878). They also reported the number of black and white students in the state schools. The South Carolina data merely identifies the total number of teachers; it does not indicate how many taught in white versus black schools. Throughout the decade of the 1870s, however, black students outnumbered white students. By 1875, for example, black students outnumbered white students 63,000 to 47,000. It is likely, however, given the growing discrimination against black schools by the end of Reconstruction, that there were more black students per teacher as compared to white students per teacher. Thus, despite the greater number of black students, the project assumed that about half of the total South Carolina teaching force was working in black schools. To estimate the number of South Carolina’s white teachers in black schools, then, the project assumed that most northern white teachers and all black teachers were teaching in black schools. It subtracted that number of teachers from the half who were in black schools, leaving an estimate of the number of southern white teachers in the black schools. Establishing the number of black teachers was more straightforward. Archival sources for 1869–70 and the above-referenced state superintendent’s annual reports provide solid evidence of the total number of black teachers in South Carolina’s schools from 1870 to 1879. Incomplete archival sources in Alabama identify teachers in that state’s black schools in 1870–71, many of whose race has been ascertained...