Historically Black College
Bishop College Notes 1883 - 1884, The Baptist home mission monthly, Volumes 5-6
—A good working library is a prime necessity in all our Freedmen schools. President Culver, of Bishop College, says :
" The books last sent from Sheldon & Co., are here, and are a splendid lot. Our library makes a good showing our new case, and I am proud of it. There are few libraries of the size, that are so great in intrinsic value. The number of volumes is about 400."
Here is encouraging testimony of progress for those who give, and those who labor:
" I speak advisedly when I say that many of the girls in Bishop College are as neatly dressed as the average school girl in the Empire State."
" I love the work and wish I had engaged in it when they were first emancipated. I wish people at the North (especially those who have given so nobly for Bishop College) could have an opportunity to observe our school and see what is being done for the Freedmen, and also what they are doing for themselves."
Among The Schools.
We are indebted for some very interesting letters to Mrs. Dr. Gregory, who accompanied her husband on his tour of visits to the schools of the A. B. H. M. Society, located among the Freed people. From these communications we select the following paragraphs :
We spent six days at the A. B. H. M. school at Marshall, Texas, Bishop Baptist College.
This is one of the youngest of these schools, being only about two years old, but its growth has been very rapid and encouraging, showing the great need of a school there. The pupils at Marshall seemed to as of a better grade, more intelligent and better off financially than we found farther south. The teaching corps in this college is entirely too small. Classes are too large to be taught effectively, and many important subjects are omitted for want of adequate teaching force. I trust that your Society may be able to send one, if not two, of its trained workers there next fall. They are much needed, both in the school and in the outside work of the churches.
I met the young women for some practical talks on health, cleanliness, economy, etc., and made provisions for the organization of a reading club, having for its object the development of a taste for reading good books, hoping thus to form a reading habit which they will carry into their homes. One of the most serious obstacles these schools have to meet, is the retrogressive influence of the homes after the pupils leave school and during vacations, from the absence of all stimulus there to mental progress.
There is a primary department, numbering about eighty pupils, connected with Bishop College. In charge of it is a young woman full of the missionary spirit, and very teachable, but she needs some older woman to encourage and direct her. Last year, aided by Mrs. Shaver, wife of one of the professors, she organized sewing classes in her school for the girls only, but gave it up at the close of the school year. I talked the matter up for her, and made arrangements for reorganizing these classes. The boys in the school looked especially ragged and uncared for. The propriety of teaching these boys to sew seemed not to nave occurred to any of the teachers. I talked with the boys about the matter, and aroused a good degree of enthusiasm among them over the prospects of learning to mend their own clothing. To my mind, decent clothing and good morals are very closely connected, and if we would save this people, when we carry them the Bible and teach them to read, we must teach them the art of clothing themselves decently.
Rev. S. W. Culver, of Bishop College, Texas, says of the year's work :
"Our school was well sustained in numbers to the close. We have done the best work we could, and we feel that it has been a real and substantial success. Many white people, of the first class in wealth and influence in the city of Marshall, were present at our closing exercises. They speak only words of unstinted commendation. Many of them have expressed to me their astonishment that we could impart to our pupils so much of culture and refinement. The colored people are ecstatic over the matter, and the pastors who were here expressed their determination to raise all they can among their people for the girls' building. There is reason to believe that there will be a large increase in attendance another year. It troubles me much to think more girls are likely to come next fall than we can possibly accommodate."
The following were appointed teachers in Freedmen Schools for the ensuing year:
At Bishop College, Marshall, Texas.—Rev. S. W. Culver,. Pres.; F. O. Shaver; Mrs. S. W. Culver; Miss Clara Leonard.
The following were appointed Teachers in Freedmen's Schools for the ensuing year:
At Bishop Baptist College, Marshall, Tex.—Miss M. A. Culver.
IN JULY, 1884.
The following teachers were appointed:
At Bishop College, Marshall, Tex.—Rev. S. W. Culver, Pres.; Rev. F. W. Shaver, Mrs. S. W. Culver, Miss M. A. Culver, Miss Rose Fowler, Rev. D. A. Abner, Jr.
At Bishop College Marshall Texas arrangements are in progress for the of the much needed dormitory for girls to of brick 43x87 feet three stories above finished basement to cost about $11,000
Quite a number of colored pupils from the Indian Territory have attended the Nashville Institute now know as Roger Williams University Bishop College at Marshall Texas is nearer to a large portion of the Territory than it is even to some portions of Texas and so affords to those who deserve it the opportunity for higher education No special school of a similar character and grade as those established in most of the Southern States is demanded for the Territory which contains a colored population not one twentieth as large as that in many of these States and a Baptist constituency not one fortieth as numerous Nevertheless on account of their peculiar position they must not be neglected n our general missionary and educational operations The time is not very distant in all probability when a general government for the whole Territory will be established and when the three races Caucasian Indian and African will be on an equality in all civil affairs and Christianity through the English tongue must become the potent influence to During these naturally dissimilar elements into concord and sympathy
American Baptist Home Mission Society - 1883