Monday, July 29, 2013

The “Contrabands” at Port Royal

Massachusetts teachers at Port Royal give encouraging accounts of their educational enterprise among the contrabands.  The Boston Journal, noticing the substance of those communications, says:

“The negroes are busily employed in planting cotton, corn and potatoes, laboring cheerfully for slight pecuniary rewards, and manifesting a tractable, obedient, and deferential spirit, which has deeply impressed the white teachers who are striving to fit them to take care of themselves.  On some plantations they have planted sufficient corn to meet their own wants before the Government undertook to direct their labors.  Some of them are very intelligent in practical matters, and manage the affairs of the plantations to which they belong with much skill.  They all manifest an eager desire to learn to read, and make excellent progress.  Old negroes, sixty or seventy years of age, press forward to be taught.”

– Published in The Davenport Daily Gazette, Davenport, Iowa, Tuesday Morning, May 6, 1862, p. 2

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