Each One Teach One: The Education of The Texas Freedmen 

Freedmen's Bureau - Fifth semi-annual report on schools for freedmen : January 1, 1868


 -Fifth semi-annual report on schools for freedmen : January 1, 1868



The schools in Texas went on prosperously until about the end of June, and many of the teachers would have remained through the summer, but the fatal epidemic which prevailed brought the schools to a close in all the larger places of the State, and prevented the northern associations from executing the liberal schemes they had formed for the current year.

Sickness and death. The superintendent of education says :

Early in June the malarial and bilious fevers of the climate had attacked so many of our teachers, particularly those from the north, and the outlook for the summer was so ominous, that it was thought advisable to close the schools with the month. About one-fourth of the teachers, however, decided to remain and continue their work during vacation, but the rapid spread of the epidemic throughout the seaboard and larger towns paralyzed all further efforts. Hundreds of our pupils perished, and at least three faithful teachers. On the return of the healthy season the teachers returned, and the schools, aided by the experience of the past two years, again resumed in a measure their beneficent course.

The decease of the assistant commissioner, the late and lamented Brevet Major General Charles Griffin, who fell a victim to the disease, was one of the afflictive events of the summer. General Griffin was not only an efficient officer, but his whole heart was set upon the elevation of the freedmen. His plans well matured and comprehensive were rapidly going into practice. We shall ever regret that the period of his service was so brief, while one of the highest tributes to his memory is the record of what he actually accomplished in the educational interests of Texas.

General Reynolds. The appointment of his able successor, Brevet Major General J. J. Reynolds, gives promise that the work so well commenced will be resumed and vigorously prosecuted. But the schools must unavoidably for a while suffer, and, under the above circumstances, a gradual approach only to the former attendance can at present be expected.-

The highest number of schools of all kinds and pupils during the period covered by this report is, schools, 72 ; pupils, 2,731.

These consist of 34 regularly reported day or night schools, with 32 teachers and 1,133 pupils, and 5 Sabbath schools, with 394 pupils.

Schools "not regularly reported," but "within the knowledge of the superintendent," are 26 day or night schools, with 30 teachers and 689 pupils, and 7 Sabbath schools, with 13 teachers and 515 pupils.

Eleven of the buildings used for school purposes are owned entirely by the freed people, and 24 of the schools are sustained wholly or in part by them.

The above schools are in charge of 75 teachers, of whom 39 are white and 36 colored.

Of the whole number of pupils, 105 are in the alphabet, 265 spell and read easy lessons, 420 are advanced readers, 155 are in geography, 401 in arithmetic, 511 in writing, and 34 are in the higher branches.

This bureau has expended Si, 628 32 for rents, repairs, and material for school buildings, and the amount expended by all parties for the support of the above schools has been $2,092 32.

We are confident that Texas will have a return of liberal patronage from abroad, the disasters of the last year producing deeper sympathy ; and that the educational interests of the State will soon regain their former character, thus showing, in another striking instance, that freedmen's schools, as an institution, have a vitality which nothing can destroy.




Fifth semi-annual report on schools for freedmen : January 1, 1868 - Alvord, John Watson, 1807-1880
Birney Anti-Slavery Collection
Keywords: African Americans -- Education
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