The Early Years
Rev. R. H. Boyd
Richard Henry Boyd
Henry Allen Boyd
National Baptist Publishing Board
The Separate Or "Jim Crow" Car Laws Or Legislative Enactments of
HE work of Rev. R. H. Boyd, for the development of his people is one of the most remarkable achievements in the history of the Race. Although past 74 years of age he is still active in all the affairs of the National Baptist Publishing House, which is the outgrowth of his well laid plans. This mammoth institution, owned and controlled and operated by Negroes stands as a monument to this ex-slave.
Rev. Boyd does not like to talk about himself so a great deal of the personal history of the man is not to be had. He was born a slave. He stood by and watched the dying groans of his master. He had left the home in Texas and gone with the master into the army. Here he saw some of the struggle between the North and the South that was the battle for his freedom. When his master died, he took the body and returned to Texas with it. He then took upon himself the man's tasks of disposing of the farm produce and making the necessary purchases for the family of his dead master. It is this slave, this property of a Confederate soldier, this man unlearned in books without the knowledge of the textbook itself, but true to every principle of the Southern home; this slave who stood by his master till his death and then went to the assistance of the widow; it is this slave who had the sterling qualities needed to establish such a wonderful organization as the National Publishing House.
Rev. Boyd was married to Miss Harriet Moore, of Texas, in 1868. Mrs. Boyd has been to him in every sense of the word a helper. Through her very strict economy the education which Rev. Boyd had the privilege of securing late in life was made possible. She even surpassed most of her sisters in this respect and was one with her husband in all his efforts. From this union there came six children: Mrs. Annie Boyd-Hall, Galveston, Texas, wife of undertaker and embalmer ; Mrs. Mattie Boyd-Bennefield, Nashville, Term. ; Rev. Henry Allen Boyd, Nashville, Tenn., Secretary Sunday School Congress, Assistant Secretary National Baptist Publishing Board, Manager Nashville Globe, Secretary National Negro Press Association; Mrs. Lula Boyd-Landers, Nashville, Tenn. Mr. J. Garfield Elaine Boyd, Nashville, Tenn., general foreman National Baptist Publishing Board's plant; Mr. Theophilus Bartholomew Boyd, Nashville, Tenn., Linotype operator and machinist at the National Baptist Board's plant.
The plant itself fills a niche in the commercial life of Nashville, that is a credit to the city, the State and the nation. All who know Dr. R. H. Boyd, regardless of race, regard him as a conscientious, honest, well-thinking, well meaning, industrious citizen who knows how and who really does make the conditions between the races more tolerable, for he spends no time in attempting to solve the race problem. He abhors any inference at social equality, believes implicitly in the fact that the Negro should work out his own salvation and become a worthy citizen in his own city, in his own community and in his own State, and that he should uphold the flag of the nation and march under the principles of their respective denominations.