Historically Black College
Rev. A. R. Griggs, a member of the Home Mission Society. Texas
Bishop College Notes 1881,1882, The Baptist home mission monthly, Volumes 3-4
Items from Dr. Marston's Journal.
In his report for January, Dr. Marston states that for the Marshall school, Texas, there has been raised $1,457.35, as follows: In Texas, by the colored brethren, $1,047.65 ; by the white brethren, $147.50. In Louisiana, by the colored brethren, $207.20. In Indian Territory, 840.00. In Missouri, $5.00.
"I am glad to say that thus far the enterprise has met with no difficulty or misfortunes by way of sectional opposition or infidelity of those who have acted as agents to solicit funds. The brethren intrusted with funds have acted honestly and promptly in making their returns. I have dealt with them the same as I would with Christian white people, and they have seemed to appreciate the confidence I have placed in them.
"The city (Marshall) was without heat and the roads were impassable amid the coldest weather in December, and the people had to resort to any measure to keep from freezing. Some burned their bedsteads, and others the fences around their houses, and some cut down shade trees for fuel. Deacon Rainey gave the poor colored people about twenty rods of rail fence.
" I am hoping to have most, if not all of the $1,500 (for the final payment on the school property) by March 1st. My impression is, also, that there will lie no trouble after this year in raising on the field each year as much as is raised this year. The work is well begun."
The colored brethren of the Southwest, mainly of Texas, have done nobly, under the leadership of Dr. Marston, in raising since last summer over $2,000, which has been paid for the purchase of the property for the school at Marshall. They are still pushing on their benevolent work. It is proposed to proceed at once with the erection of the new building. For this, $2,500 are needed in addition to the $5,000 gift of Mrs. Bishop. From what quarter shall it come ? The field is vast and very needy.
—Dr. Marston's journal for March records the successful issue of the Marshall. Texas, school enterprise. The last payment of $1,500 was made March 1. A most desirable location, comprising almost four acres of land and a large brick mansion has been bought and paid for. The money, $2,500, has been raised on the field. Great honor is due the colored people who, under Dr. Marston's leadership, have raised this amount. They have thus given another proof of their profound interest in the cause of higher education. When the day of payment came and the collections in hand were found to be $431 short of the required amount, David Abner, a deacon of the Colored Baptist Church at Marshall, advanced that sum and saved the property. The Lord helps those who thus help themselves. An "elect lady " in New York has given $5,000 for the erection of a new building. $1,000 more are needed for alterations in the mansion house. It is expected that the school will open October 1st.
—Dr. Marston says : " I think the white brethren of Texas will co-operate with the society in educational work among the colored Baptists. I frequently get letters containing words of encouragement. Thus, one pastor, in speaking of the Freedmen, says : ' I was raised among them in the old mother State, Virginia, and the first sermon I ever tried to preach was to that people. I wish I was able to help them financially to build the college, for if there is anything justly due that race from the white people of the South it is a good education.' During the present month I expect to give special attention to the collection of funds in Texas for the college, holding, perhaps, about two institute meetings and visiting several large cities. The balance of the $2,500 will doubtless soon be in hand. This will be the fourth part of the $10,000 which I purposed to raise upon the field for 'Bishop Baptist College.' The same amount can be raised each year for the next three years with much less effort, as we already have about 56,000 of it in notes payable in one, two and three years. I shall keep both eyes open for the third $10,000."
"Bishop Baptist College," at Marshall, Texas, promises to open auspiciously. The " mansion " is being put in order for use by the Faculty; and work is progressing on the new building, which is to be ready for occupancy early in November. Temporary accommodations will be provided for the school until then. The school will open about Oct. 1st, in charge of experienced teachers, whose names will be given in the next number. We intend soon to present an engraving of the new building.
BISHOP BAPTIST COLLEGE, MARSHALL, TEXAS. Established in 1881; 10 acres of land, finely located on west side of city ; two story brick mansion undergoing alteration and repairs : large three story brick building in process of erection ; also thirty-seven acres of woodland. Valuation, when buildings are completed, $20,000.
" Bishop Baptist College at Marshall, Texas, opens with a good faculty. It consists of Rev. S. W. Culver, from Geneseo, N. Y.: Prof. F. D. Shaver, from Fredonia, N. Y. (for two years at Leland University); Miss M. A. Culver, from Geneseo, N. Y.; Miss Mary E. Simmons, from Rochester, N. Y., and Mr. Frank C. Long (a graduate of Leland University), from New Orleans, La. A large attendance is expected.
following were appointed teachers in Freedmen Schools for the ensuing year:
Rev. S. W. Culver, President.
Miss Myrtie A. Culver. Miss Mary E. Simmons
Texas. I wish you could come here and see for yourself." Thus writes the President of Bishop Baptist College, Rev. S. W. Culver, in a late letter to the Corresponding Secretary.
At a later date, Nov. 29th, he writes : " We have 153 students on the roll this morning, and more coming in every day."
Bishop College, Marshall, Texas.
By President S. W. Culver.
Dedication services were held in the chapel of the new college building on the evening of March 24th. The chapel was well filled with citizens of Marshall, both white and colored, and a number of the most prominent ladies of the city graced the occasion with their presence. The principal address was given by Rev. S. W. Marston, D.D., and was mainly a history of the inception and progress of the enterprise to the present tnne. It was listened to with the deepest interest, and was followed by congratulatory and commendatory speeches from various educators and prominent citizens of Marshall. Among them we mention Captain Hudgins, Agt. of the Texas and Pacific Railroad, Prof. Hogg, a popular educator of 30 years experience, Rev. Dr. Stuart, Principal of the Masonic Institute for Young Ladies, Rev. A. E. Clemmons, Pastor of the white Baptist Church, and Dr. McGill, Superintendent of Public Schools. These men and others gave us their hearty endorsement, and bade us God speed. How much this is worth to us it will be difficult, perhaps, for Northern people to understand. For such evidences of good will we thank God and take courage.
The singing on the occasion was by the students, under the conduct of Prof. Shaver, and many flattering things were said of it; Dr. Stuart remarked that it was the best music he had heard since he had been in Texas.
The evening passed off delightfully, and a most favorable impression was made. The College is doing, and is destined to do, a noble Christian work, and is, even at this early day, beginning to be appreciated by the Southern people.
In the course of his address, Dr. Marston stated that, " the cost of the college property, so for as represented by the money that has already been expended upon it, is as follows :
Paid for College grounds, 10 acres, and Mansion, $2,500 00; paid for repairs on Mansion, $974 87; paid for Primary building, $339 97; paid for Dining Hall, $1,077 79; paid for Fencing, Gates, etc., $274 48; paid for New Building, $11,385 35; paid for Furniture, $1,499 55; Total $15,552 01.
The closing words of Dr. Marston's address were as follows :
" Another building, costing not less than $10,000, for the young women, should be erected at an early day, and then buildings for the Medical and Law Departments, and then an endowment fund of not less than $100,000.
"These are not visionary estimates; they express the actual necessities of the College, and present indications, if we read them correctly, point with unmistakable certainty to their realization at no distant day.
" Upon this educational institution should therefore be bestowed the best thought, and the largest possible benefactions of the colored Baptists of the Southwest. Let this be done, and in God's own time this institution will assume the proportions of a well-endowed University, and take its place among the best-equipped and most useful colleges of our land. Only let the Baptists of Texas, Arkansas, and Western Louisiana, with consecrated hearts and united persevering energy rally around Bishop Baptist College; let them stand up in the dignity of their Christian manhood, and do their whole duty; and they will secure a present blessing upon themselves, and the children of coming generations will rise up and call them blessed."
Bishop Baptist College building is of brick, with stone foundation and stone trimmings. Its dimensions are 75x36. The building is constructed in a very substantial manner.
The lower story is divided into four rooms, besides the general entrance. There is a large study and recitation room, with two smaller recitation rooms opening into it be
folding doors, and at the opposite end of the building and at the left of the entrance, the President's office.
The upper stories are devoted to dormitory purposes for young men. The building was located so that the sunlight enters the rooms on one side in the morning, and the other side in the afternoon. This important consideration in respect to health of the students, is often overlooked in the erection of dormitories.
The ten acres included in the site are on an elevation overlooking the plain on which the city of Marshall is built. Stately pine, oak, cedar and magnolia trees, in large numbers, adorn the grounds, making the place delightful at all times, but especially in the hot season.
The colored Baptists of Texas chiefly paid for the site; the white brethren of the State Convention giving $400. The principal building was erected through the generosity of the donor, whose name it bears. A considerable part of the remaining expense was provided for by special contributions. The rooms are partially furnished by designated funds ; thirty dollars procuring the furniture for a room, the donors' names being placed over the doors. About fifteen rooms are yet to be furnished. These will be needed in January.
In addition to the principal building is the "mansion" for teachers and for recitation rooms ; also a frame building, the first story of which is used for a dining-room, and the second story for girls' dormitory ; also a small building used last year for the primary department.
The second year of the school opens very hopefully under the charge of President Culver, who has as principal assistant, Professor Shaver ; the whole number of teachers being six.
The following is a statement of the College property, with cost of the several items : Holcomb Mansion and grounds, 10 acres.. $2,500 00
Thirty-seven acres of woodland 563 38
New College building 15,428 74
New dining-hall 1,07779
Primary building 339 0,7
Alterations and repairs on Mansion 974 81
Fencing gates, etc 274 48
Furniture 1,887 78
Total $23,046 35
—The following is from President Culver of Bishop College. What can we do? With every advance m this work the more it presses us and oppresses us. The fact is we require to-day for adequate buildings and appliances for our Freedmen schools, a quarter of a million of dollars :
" It is evident we are getting hold of the best minds, and through them we shall certainly reach the masses of the colored population with elevating, civilizing and Christianizing influences. These young men come from distant parts of this and neighboring States, and they have come to learn. It gives me great satisfaction to know that we are not only directing mental processes, and so teaching these people to think soundly, but that we are also, in a most efficient way, moulding character and shaping destiny. We can daily see the good results of work growing under our hands and before our eyes. These students are sure to be better and wiser men and women for what we are doing for them. Every student that comes from a distance tells us of from two to a dozen that are intending to come after Christmas. The , prospect is that more girls will be here by the end of another month than can be accommodated at the rate of two in a room ; and the rooms they occupy are really too small for more. If there is some wealthy person who wishes to imitate the good example of Mrs. Bishop, there is a chance here to build wisely and well."
edited by Henry Lyman Morehouse, Thomas Jefferson Morgan - 1881