« AnteriorContinuar »
THE NEGRO IN AFRICA AND AMERICA.1
No great question, perhaps, has ever been so much at the mercy of sciolists as has the seemingly eternal and certainly ever present negro problem. Few American subjects have as great a literature; fewer still can boast as much trash in that literature. Speak of the shiftlessness and unreliability of the negro, of his superstition and vices, of his criminality and his religiosity and the wiseacres, whose knowledge is bounded by the idea that the negro is potentially a Teuton, will answer that these weaknesses and vices are all the results of slavery. These are, moreover, the opinions of many educated men who should know better. With such ideas still permeating the classes who read and think, The Negro in Africa and America should be a welcome publication. In this carefully worked out paper Mr. Tillinghast has presented what is comparatively a new phase of this extremely interesting subject. He goes back of slavery and discusses his subject under a threefold division: The negro in West Africa; the negro under American slavery; the negro as a free citizen. From the writings of many travelers and explorers he has brought together a great mass of extracts showing the character of the West Africa negroes from whose ranks American slavery was entirely recruited. There is substantial agreement among these travelers as to the negro's thievishness, his superstition, his noisy gaiety, his lack
"The NEGRO IN AFRICA AND AMERICA, by Joseph Alexander Tillinghast, M. A. Publication of the American Economic Association, May, 1902, O. pp. 231, paper, $1.25, cloth, $1.50.
The NEGRO ARTISAN. A social study made under the direction of Atlanta University by the Seventh Atlanta Conference. Edited by W. E. Burghardt Du Bois. Atlanta University Publications, No. 7. Atlanta, Ga., 1902. 0. pp. 192, paper, 50 cents.
of government, his sensuality, his polygamous life and his lack of domestic love, his cruelty, the utter separation of religion and morality and the absence of both gratitude and revenge.
These are the very qualities in the negro which have been time and again charged up to the account of slavery. They are here shown to be traits inherited from a savage ancestry, while slavery was the hard schoolmaster under whose hands the negro in America has been brought far beyond his brother left in Africa on the road leading to civilization and self-government. During this process there was an amalgamation of representatives of various African tribes and a limited process of selection by which it is believed that the race became stronger than it had been in the days of its savage freedom. There was a great industrial development, since on every large plantation there were men who were trained in the mechanic arts and who were successful arti
There was also development along social, religious and psychic lines. The third part discusses the negro since freedom brought him relief from the stern restraints of the school of slavery. The general conclusion is that, lacking the qualities that make for success in the far-seeing, surefooted and iron-willed white man he is losing the rank as an artisan which he held a generation ago thanks to the lessons of slavery, that he is seeking the lighter and less exacting positions of labor, that he is slowly but surely tending to revert and that the inevitable consequence of reversion is elimination.
An interesting commentary on Mr. Tillinghast's paper is The Negro Artisan, a social study made under the direction of the Atlanta University and edited by W. E. Burghardt DuBois. A series of blanks were sent to various persons, officials and institutions interested in the subject, their replies have been carefully tabulated and conclusions drawn from them which are radically different from those of Tillinghast.
The conclusions of the editor are that while there has been retrogression on the part of the negro as an artisan in past years he is now again coming to the front and promises to hold his own against all rivals. The conclusion, however, seems hardly to hold good on examining the table of "artisans by age periods" in 1890 where blacksmiths wheelwrights, boot and shoe makers, carpenters and joiners who are45 years of age still exceed in number those who are 35-44. The former received their direction and preliminary training from slavery. Their trades are harder to learn, more exacting, and demand a higher degree of skill than those of miners and quarrymen, railroad employes, textile mill operatives and tobacco workers and seem to bear out Tillinghast's contention that the freedom bred negro seeks light and easy jobs. According to this table (p. 93) machinists and masons seem the only exception to this rule.
There is a historical survey of the negro artisan of the slave period; statistics on his relations to trades and labor unions and an examination of the character of education that is now given the negro, with the conclusion that as things are now industrial education comes too high.
The tone of both these papers in their search after truth is admirable. Both are equipped with working bibliographies and The Artisan is indexed.
BOOK REVIEWS AND NOTICES.
MARRIAGE NOTICES IN THE SOUTH-CAROLINA GAZETTE AND ITS SUCCESSORS. (1732-1801.) Compiled and edited by A. S. Salley, Jr. From the files in the library of the Charleston Library Society, Charleston, S. C. Albany, N. Y. Joel Munsell's Sons, Publishers, 1902. 8vo, pp. 174, cloth.
Reviewing one's own book (and acknowledging the review) is rather unusual, but, as this is merely a compilation and as the literary merits and demerits of the work will not enter into the discussion of it and as it is desired to give some account of the history of The South-Carolina Gazette, I hope I may be pardoned for this seeming egotism.
The South-Carolina Gazette is the first paper published in the province of South Carolina of which any files are known to be in existence, although it was not the first paper published in the province. It made its first appearance Saturday, January 8, 1732, and lived an almost uninterrupted career until 1802 when it ceased to exist; and an almost complete file for the entire seventy years of its existence is owned by the Charleston Library Society, which, although not organized until 1748, managed to secure nearly every paper published in the sixteen years prior to that date, and from that file exclusively I have abstracted these interesting and valuable marriage notices containing the names of about one thousand and sixty couples, nearly all of whom were South Carolinians, but there are a few from other States. The first proprietor of the Gazette was T. Whitmarsh who died before the paper had existed for two years, and the next proprietor was Lewis Timothy, who is said to have been a Hollander and a protege of Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia before removing to South Carolina. Timothy acquired the paper about the begining of 1734 and it remained under the proprietorship of his family until its end, one of its last proprietors being Peter Timothy Marchant great-grandson of Lewis Timothy. Lewis Timothy was killed by accident in 1738 and his wife Elizabeth, with the assistance of her son Peter, conducted the paper for several years. This was, perhaps, the first instance of a woman in journalism in America. The next proprietor was Peter Timothy who continued to be either a proprietor or the sole proprietor until the siege of Charles Town in 1780, when, in February, the paper suspended publication. Timothy was an active revolutionist and upon the British capture of Charles Town he was taken prisoner and, later, sent into exile in St. Augustine. After his release he was lost at sea, without having a chance to resume the publication of his paper, but his widow, Mrs. Ann Timothy, revived it in 1783 and, under her own name, conducted it for several years when she, as had been the case with her mother-in-law, was succeeded by her son, Benjamin Franklin Timothy. The latter, with various business associates, conducted the paper until its final suspension. Its place in Charleston was taken by the Charleston Courier, and Peter Timothy Marchant was one of the earliest proprietors of that journal, which also ran for just seventy years when it was consolidated with The News, so that The News and Courier, at present the leading daily of Charleston may be said to have first come into existence in 1732. The Gazette underwent five changes of title during its existence, but the "South Carolina" and the “Gazette” were retained in each title.