Historically Black College
KING HOME and School has had one of the best years in its history. Though some difficulties have had to be overcome, and some anxious and weary hours endured, yet under the blessing of God the work has made progress. Very early in November, I wrote Miss Elliott, the Superintendent, a letter full of interrogation-points, to which she promptly responded, giving me the desired data. In her first letter I read between the lines, great energy, good financiering, practicality, executive ability, and devotion and love for the work. I have never received a letter from her but that I have risen to a pitch of enthusiasm for which I can scarcely account. She is always direct, graphic, and intense; and without knowing or having seen her personally, I am ready to give her the cognomen, " model Superintendent." During the year 118 pupils have been enrolled, while the average attendance has been 86.
Three pupils were graduated from the Dressmaking Department, which is ably managed by Miss Clara I. King, the assistant superintendent.
The statistics for the year are as follows:
Food $711 80
So you see that only the money for the beneficiaries and the teachers' salaries was drawn from the general treasury, and the sum expended averaged about seven dollars for each pupil.
The severe winter was the source of much discomfort and real suffering, as the stoves in the halls (the only heaters we have) were not sufficient to heat the rooms comfortably.
For about a week the regular work could not be done, so Miss Elliott sent the girls out to visit the poor and sick (of whom there were great numbers in Marshall), to keep them employed; and so interested did they become in others, that they wanted to give away all their own supplies.
Mrs. Bishop McCabe visited the school in the early winter, and spoke in the highest terms of its management. President Dogan, of Wiley University, says: "I consider the Home almost indispensable to our work here. Our people are further back in home-making than along any other line, and the good effects of the good women sent out by your Board, eternity alone can tell." There exists a most fraternal spirit and perfect harmony between the two schools, each supplementing the other. King Home made an exhibit at the Nashville Exposition. And Miss Elliott wrote me that it was one of the best, if not the best, and one of which she was justly proud. She visited Nashville on her return home in the spring. The building and premises are in quite good condition, having been painted upon the outside and some papering done inside, though it needs more of the latter to make it neat and healthful.
This Industrial Home and School, as you all know, is one of our largest for colored girls. As I look over the State of Texas, with its more than two millions and a half of people, of whom over a million are colored, and catch a glimpse of its vast area, great needs, and the degradation of its colored people, and see this one school standing like a lighthouse amid this seething sea of ignorance, poverty, and sin, I can but feel how inadequate are our appliances for teaching these thousands of colored girls, who, through no fault of their own, have very low ideas of home, virtue, and duty. Yet we arc sending out the light as fast as the Church is furnishing us the means. The girls from the best colored families from all parts of the State come here, and are being educated and trained in industrial and domestic arts, and will in the near future go out to be nuclei of Christian homes. I have received urgent letters during the year from other Conferences, begging that a school be established within their bounds. But under present conditions, I do not consider it wise to inaugurate new work. It surely will be the wiser policy to strengthen and support what we now have. If the economic administration of our work and funds be the watchwords of the hour, let us bear in mind, however, that the greatest of economical measures is the strengthening and care of the work now established.
I regard the education of these colored girls as one of the most pressing and vital obligations in our work, and one that will do more than any other, toward the uplift of the nine millions of illiterate and degraded people, who now have equal rights with us, and whose influence in the near future will be so potent for good or ill to this country.
The work of necessity must be slow. But as surely as night follows day, so surely will good seed sowed bring forth good fruit. The promise is, "He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him."
MRS. LAVANDA G. MURPHY, Secretary Texas Bureau.
WEST TEXAS CONFERENCE.
We regret to say, during the past year the work has not been what we hoped at the beginning. Our eleventh Anniversary was celebrated December 5th, at Cuero, Texas. Over forty delegates were present.
The five districts are well organized, and each held a well-attended meeting during the summer months.
Five Auxiliaries and four "Mothers' Jewels" have been organized, and the older ones strengthened.
We have endeavored to secure a wider circulation for our Woman's Home Missions and the children's paper, which is the delight of the whole Conference. My Conference has suffered much this year from the cry of hard times, also sickness. Just now we are perplexed over our school. So many of our bright girls are lost to us, and attend other schools. These schools hold out such great inducements, and are being built right within our reach, while we have nothing to offer. Thus we are asked each passing day, "What are we to do?"
My people need more knowledge of the work; they have done exceedingly well, and are willing to do more.
This year's work is more thorough than ever before. The light is being gradually turned on, and more Christian women's hearts are being inspired from the rays that it sends forth.
E. S. Spriggs, Conference Corresponding Secretary.