Each One Teach One: The Education of The Texas Freedmen
Freedmen's Bureau - Texas seventh semi-annual report on schools for Freedmen, January 1, 1869
Six months ending December 31, 1868.
The superintendent admits the above embarrassments as resulting from the causes stated, but takes a hopeful view, especially as the national election has now passed and prominent political questions are nearly settled. He says:
We have suffered great inconvenience from the discontinuance of the agency system of the bureau, and owing to the condition of our mail facilities in this section we are slow in receiving our correspondence. I am happy to be able to say that our schools have not recently been interefered with.
The moral effect of the late presidential election is beyond conception.
Our assistant superintendents are taking their stations, and will give the supervision to the schools heretofore accorded by the sub-assistant commissioners.
The school inspector,
General C. H. Howard, writes:
Substantial progress is reported by Mr. Welch for the six months ending December 31, 1868, but the continued aid of the bureau is strongly urged:
In several instances our schools were closed in consequence of terrorism exercised by disorderly parties, whom it was impracticable to punish. Since the presidential election we have been interfered with less than before, owing to the general belief that adequate protection would be afforded by the new administration.
Aid needed.- Very few of our schools are self-supporting, and we have received but few teachers from the educational associations, so that we are dependent upon the aid afforded by our school fund. Nothing but a practically free-school system will reach the great body of the people for a long time to come, and it is very uncertain how soon such a system can be put in operation. The peculiar political situation renders the temporary aid of the bureau and the assistance of the missionary associations of almost unlimited value, as being the only sources from which any aid whatever is received in preparing the freedmen for their new position.
Patient training.- Great anxiety exists among the freedmen to educate their children, with a view of preparing them for the duties and responsibilities of their position, but there is a great lack of continuity,- both of support and attendance. They need patient training to enable them to realize the necessity of continuance in well-doing, in order to the accomplishment of their own earnest desires
A new school-house has been erected in the city of Austin, on a lot donated by the city council; several others of a temporary character have been built by the freedmen, with assistance from the bureau. The schools in general are prosperous, with the pupils regular in their attendance; the chief drawback being the inadequacy and uncertainty of the support of teachers.
The reports from Texas furnish the following statistics:
The average attendance of pupils is 1,543, or 82 per cent. of the whole number.
There was paid for tuition, by 1,043 pupils, $2,555 50; an average of $2 45 for each pupil. Of the whole number enrolled, 192 are in the alphabet; 875 spell and read easy lessons; 648 are advanced readers; 504 are studying geography; 812 arithmetic; 206 the higher branches; and 898 are writing. Two hundred and fifty-eight are over 16 years of age; 8 were free before the war, and 5 are white.
Of the teachers, 33 are white and 20 are colored. Transportation for 11 teachers has been furnished by the bureau.
The freedmen sustained, wholly or part, 57 of the schools a remarkable fact. They owned 32 of the school buildings; the bureau furnished 17.
For rents, repairs, and
materials for school buildings, the bureau
expended during the six months $7,626 24. Total
expenditures by all parties, as reported, have
been $10,181 74.
Seventh semi-annual report on schools for
Freedmen, January 1, 1869