Historically Black College
BUREAU FOR TEXAS.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "The highest test of civilization is not the census, nor the size of the cities, nor the crops; but the kind of men it turns out." The two great principles which have ever given force and guidance to Christian activity are the ideas of love and duty—abstractions—idealities; yet they have never been unproductive, but always fruitful and efficient in results.
These motives, however, have not influenced all men. There are thousands who have never felt their divine impulse. The work has been done by the small minority—the noble few, whose lives of heroism and devotion have been beacon lights in the field of moral achievement.
This work, too, has often been done in the most unobtrusive way— in Christian homes, in burden-bearing, and by the devoted Christian missionary, than whom none are more unselfish than the heroines who, in the face of scorn, contumely, and social ostracism, are laboring for the uplift of the submerged classes in our own land. These devoted women, seeing that character must be developed in individuals, and that public opinion must be fashioned, cultivated, and strengthened on the lines of intelligent right action, have had a vision of the power of the gospel leaven and Christ's power to save. It is a great work to reach one soul; but how Herculean the task of uplifting a race from the lowest depths into ideal men! But the promise is, that the kingdoms of this
world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ. Our missionaries going forth in this sublime faith have made possible this report. We have had more pupils than ever before, far too many for our accommodations. Seventy-six boarding pupils have been in the Home, forty-one in the scientific dressmaking department, and one hundred and eighty-four in the day-school, making a total enrollment of three hundred and one.
The management has been efficient and harmonious, and good progress has been made by the pupils. During the year the library was enlarged and a veranda put upon the west side, at a cost of two hundred and seventy dollars, paid from the receipts of the Home.
This gives more room for the sewing classes, which was greatly needed. The sewing department sent an exhibit to the Dallas Exposition, which was ranked as very fine. Miss King wrote me she was very proud of it. I concurred in Miss Elliott's suggestion, not to admit so many boarding pupils this year, as they were crowded beyond hygienic conditions.
The Harrisburg Home stands as last year. Mrs. Howells has been the care-taker, and nothing more can be done until money can be appropriated to erect a building to meet the conditions of the deed.
The sewing teacher at Samuel Huston College, at Austin, has been satisfactory, and I will ask that she be continued. I would be very glad if we could give the West Texas Conference an Industrial Home. They are very anxious for it, and think that it would do great good. All connected with the work of the Bureau have rendered most efficient and faithful service, and they can not be awarded too high a need of praise. Mrs. Lavanda Gassner Murphy, Secretary.
In reviewing the work of the past year, we find it is not what we had hoped it would be, not what it might have been; yet we find much cause for gratitude to God for the little we have been able to do. We have not been without trials in our endeavors to make the work clear and simple to pastors and people. But the grace that is promised to "the faithful" has not been withheld. Greater interest than usual has been shown by our pastors in the work, and all our Presiding Elders have had the work well represented at the District Conferences. The Conference is better organized than ever before. We hope to make our mistakes of the past serve as stepping-stones to better things.
One Church on Houston District is keeping a girl in King Home. Palestine District raised $40 for the support of a girl.
The students of Wiley University and King Home are raising $50 for a room in the new Colored Deaconess Home. They expect to furnish this room and at least help pay the expenses of the girl who shall occupy it. We trust it may be a Texas girl. Much interest is being manifested in the Deaconess Work. We feel the need of such work in our Conference.
This is the first year we report the Young People's Work. A number of good Bands have been organized and are living. Mrs. J. M. Johnson, who has taken up this department of work, is untiring in her efforts to lead the young people to help save the young people of our home land. Mrs. Johnson was eight years in our Thayer Home and is proving a blessing to our work here. We are looking forward to the time of Mrs. Williams' visit, and hope for better things another year.
Miss Elizabeth O. Elliott, Secretary.
WEST TEXAS CONFERENCE.
Once more we come to report our work done in the West Texas Conference. We have not made very rapid strides, yet we have lost none save those claimed by death. At Goliad I organized an Auxiliary last year with forty members, and on the 18th of May all but three perished in that memorable storm. I rallied as best I could the other Auxiliary toward helping those who escaped. Our Annual Meeting was held in Dallas, December I4th, with twenty-two delegates present.
All five District Associations were held during the summer, and much interest manifested. We have not raised so much money this year as last, as my people have been cut short owing to the drought. No corn was raised, and the bold weavers cut off the cotton crop; hence we have little to live on this winter.
Yet when the time came for our King Home to open, girl after girl came to me seeking entrance into our Training and Industrial Home. I arranged for them with Miss Elliott, until she wrote me not to send any more this year; it was impossible for her to take care of the Texas Conference girls. This nearly broke my heart, as we have no Home in the West Texas Conference, and have at present four girls in a room at Samuel Huston College, and four had to be sent to Mr. Booker T. Washington.
If you knew, or could I make you believe, how earnestly our girls are seeking an industrial training, you, I am sure, would come and build the Home. We need it now. Never did I see our girls so anxious for an industrial education. Mrs. E. S. Spriggs, Corresponding Secretary.
Woman's Home Missionary Society (Cincinnati, Ohio) - 1902