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struction in the evening, after she has put her children to bed. She had become interested in learning by hearing her younger sister read when she came from her school; and when she asked to be taught, she had learned from this sister the alphabet and some words of one syllable. Only a small proportion of the adults are, however, learning.
On the 8th of April, I visited a school on Ladies Island, kept in a small church on the Eustis estate, and taught by a young woman from Kingston, Massachusetts. She had manifested much persistence in going to this field, went with the first delegation, and still keeps the school which she opened in March, 1862. She taught the pupils their letters. Sixty-six were present on the day of my visit. A class of ten pupils read the story which commences on page 86th of Hillard's Second Primary Reader. One girl, Elsie, a full black, and rather ungainly withal, read so rapidly that she had to be checked,the only case of such fast reading that I found. She assisted the teacher by taking the beginners to a corner of the room and exercising them upon an alphabet-card, requiring them to give the name of letters taken out of their regular order, and with the letters making words, which they were expected to repeat after her. One class recited in Eaton's First Lessons in Arithmetic; and two or three scholars with a rod pointed out the states, lakes, and large rivers on the map of the United States, and also the different continents on the map of the world, as they were called. I saw the teacher of this school at her residence, late in the afternoon, giving familiar instruction to some ten boys and girls, all but two being under twelve years, who read the twenty-first chapter of the Book of Revelation, and the story of Lazarus in the eleventh chapter of St. John. Elsie was one of these. Seeing me taking notes, she looked archly at the teacher, and whispered, "He 's putting me in the book"; and as Elsie guessed, so I do. The teacher was instructing her pupils in some dates and facts which have had much to do with our history. The questions and answers, in which all the pupils joined, were these:
"Where were slaves first brought to this country?" "Virginia." "When?" "1620." "Who brought them?" "Dutchmen." "Who came the same year to Plymouth, Massachusetts?” “Pilgrims." "Did they bring slaves?" "No."
A teacher in Beaufort put these questions, to which answers were given in a loud tone by the whole school:
"What country do you live in?" "United States." "What "What island?" "Port Royal."
"Who is your Governor?"
"Who is your President?" "Abraham Lincoln." "What has he done for you?" "He's freed us."
There were four schools in the town of Beaufort, all of which I visited, each having an average attendance of from sixty to ninety pupils, and each provided with two teachers. In some of them writing was taught. But it is unnecessary to describe them, as they were very much like the others. There is, besides, at Beaufort an industrial school, which meets two afternoons in a week, and is conducted by a lady from New York, with some dozen ladies to assist her. There were present, the afternoon I visited it, one hundred and thirteen girls from six to twenty years of age, all plying the needle, some with pieces of patchwork, and others with aprons, pillow-cases, or handkerchiefs.
Though I have never been on the school-committee, I accepted invitations to address the schools on these visits, and particularly plied the pupils with questions, so as to catch the tone of their minds; and I have rarely heard children answer with more readiness and spirit. We had a dialogue substantially as follows:
"Children, what are you going to do when you grow up?" "Going to work, Sir."
"Cotton and corn, Sir."
"What are you going to do with the corn?"
"What are you going to do with the cotton?"
"What are you going to do with the money you get for it?"
One boy answered in advance of the rest,—
"Put it in my pocket, Sir."
"That won't do. What's better than that?"
"What else are you going to do with your money?"
There was some hesitation at this point. Then the question was put,
"What are you going to do Sundays?"
"Going to meeting."
"What are you going to do there?"
"Going to sing."
"Hear the parson."
"Who's going to pay him?"
One boy said, "Government pays him "; but the rest answered, "We's pays him."
"Well, when you grow up, you'll probably get married, as other people do, and you'll have your little children; now, what will you do with them?"
There was a titter at this question; but the general response came, "Send 'em to school, Sir."
"Well, who 'll pay the teacher?"
"We's pays him."
One who listens to such answers can hardly think that there is any natural incapacity in these children to acquire with maturity of years the ideas and habits of good citizens.
The children are cheerful, and, in most of the schools, well-behaved, except that it is not easy to keep them from whispering and talking. They are joyous, and you can see the boys after school playing the soldier, with corn-stalks for guns. The memory is very susceptible in them, too much so, perhaps, as it is ahead of the reasoning faculty. The labor of the season has interrupted attendance on the schools, the parents being desirous of having the children aid them in planting and cultivating their crops, and it not being thought best to allow the teaching to interfere in any way with industrial habits.
A few freedmen, who had picked up an imperfect knowledge of reading, have assisted our teachers, though a want of proper training materially detracts from their usefulness in this respect. Ned and Uncle Cyrus have already been mentioned. The latter, a earnest piety, has died since my visit. Anthony kept four schools on Hilton-Head Island last summer and autumn, being paid at first by the superintendents, and afterward by the negroes themselves; but in November he enlisted in the negro regiment. Hettie was another of these. She assisted Barnard at Edisto last spring, continued to teach after the Edisto people were brought to St. Helena village, and one day brought some of her pupils to the school at the Baptist Church, saying to the teacher there that she could carry them no farther. They could read their letters and words of one syllable. Hettie had belonged to a planter on Wadmelaw Island, a kind old gentleman, a native of Rhode Island, and about the only citizen of Charleston who, when Samuel Hoar went on his mission to South Carolina, stood up boldly for his official and personal protection. Hettie had been taught to read by his daughter; and let this be remembered to the honor of the young woman.
Such are the general features of the schools as they met my eye.
The most advanced classes, and these are but little ahead of the rest, can read simple stories and the plainer passages of Scripture; and they could even pursue self-instruction, if the schools were to be suspended. The knowledge they have thus gained can never be extirpated. They could read with much profit a newspaper specially prepared for them and adapted to their condition. They are learning that the world is not bounded north by Charleston, south by Savannah, west by Columbia, and east by the sea, with dim visions of New York on this planet or some other, about their conception of geography when we found them. They are acquiring the knowledge of figures with which to do the business of life. They are singing the songs of freemen. Visit their schools; remember that a little more than a twelvemonth ago they knew not a letter, and that for generations it has been a crime to teach their race; then contemplate what is now transpiring, and you have a scene which prophets and sages would have delighted to witness. It will be difficult to find equal progress in an equal period since the morning rays of Christian truth first lighted the hill-sides of Judea. I have never looked on St. Peter's, or beheld the glories of art which Michel Angelo has wrought or traced; but to my mind the spectacle of these poor souls struggling in darkness and bewilderment to catch the gleams of the upper and better light transcends in moral grandeur any thing that has ever come from mortal hands.
Atlantic Monthly-The Freedmen at Port Royal', by EDWARD L. PIERCE.
BY REV. ROBERT COLLYER.
LAST week, a young man and woman came to our house; and he said, rather timidly, "We have come to be married." They were entire strangers. I had never seen their faces until then. I only knew their names, as they were written on the license. They came to me as if they had come out of another life. They had both pleasant faces clear, honest eyes. Their hands trembled as they clasped each the other's, just as I love to see the hands of youth and maiden tremble at that time-evidence that the deepest chords of the heart are touched, and this is the vibration. Their voices sounded very real when I said, "Wilt thou have this woman? this man?" and they answered, "I will." Finally, when I had said the prayer of
consecration over the solemn thing they had just done, and looked up into their faces, I saw that their eyes were full of happy tears. So they went out,
To make a brave new world, wherein should grow
I never make a few remarks' at a wedding-never. I feel that if ever such a thing can be most painfully impertinent and out of place, it is then. No words that I can say to a good man and woman can be more than a poor shadow of the words that have been said before they come to me. So I made no remarks to these good strangers; and yet I thought a good deal-touched, I suppose, by their singular, frank waysabout what could be said, not only then, but before and after, about this thing that alters the vocabulary of the world for us in a single minute, and in stead of this man', and 'this woman', sets all tongues a saying, 'thy wife', 'thy husband'. And, beginning with the most material thing first, I would say, Do you know, if this is a true wedding, that it touches certain great laws of the world and of life, as surely as the rainbow touches the principles of light, or a crocus verifies for a child the advent of the spring? When God revealed to you this mystery of love that I hear pulsing through your voices as you answer me, you said, at such a time, "We will be man and wife." You could have come to me on the next day, but you did n't. You saw the right time in the distance, and waited. What made the right time? The man will say, When I had succeeded in life up to such a point. The woman will say, When I was ready; which may mean a thousand things that even a minister can not explain. This was all true; but it was only locally true. The reason why the snow-drop comes out in the spring is because the sunbeams are resting in that corner with a more lingering, kindly touch, and are wakening in the hidden root the mystery of life that is folded in it, and in the cubic foot of earth that makes its uttermost, boundless world. But beyond that, is the slope of the earth to the sun; and beyond that, the great balancings of heaven; and beyond that, the touch of God, without which were no equinox, no fresh sunshine, and no snow-drop. So, if this is a true wedding, and no headlong tramp of a blind passion, these local causes that have set your wedding-day at this more distant time touch some vast principles that are continually rising into a clearer light through faith in the statistician. In that light, your true wedding-day depended upon the breadth of land we are cultivating in the Northwest; on the average crop; on the averages of birth, death, and emigration. When the crop is abundant,