Presbyterian Board of Missions for Freedmen
Organized In 1865.-Women Enlisted In 1884.-Boarding
Schools.-Trains Christian Leaders.-Worthy
Of Generous Support And Endowment.
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath appointed me to preach the
Gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted and preach
deliverance to the captives."-Luke.
The emancipation of 4,000,000 slaves, at
the close of the Civil War, was the sudden
opening of a new and a vast field of
opportunity and duty, before the Christian
Churches of this land.
The education and moral elevation of the
Freedmen became, in both Church and state, a
very serious and vital question. Ever since
the foundation of the government, the
Church, through the voluntary establishment
of academies and colleges, has been
co-operating with the civil government, in
the effort to develop in all parts of our
land an intelligent Christian citizenship.
The Presbyterian Board of Missions for
Freedmen was organized as a committee in
1865, the last year of the Civil War. In
1882 this committee was made and
incorporated as a Board. Its work then
assumed a more permanent form and the
contributions to its work began to be
greatly increased. The contributions
received that year were $68,268.08. In 1913
the amount received to be applied to this
work was $323,899.29. The amount of property
held by it and used for educational and
Church purposes is $1,831,610.09. The office
of the board is at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Rev. E. P.
Secretary and Treasurer
Presbyterian Board of Missions
The Late Mrs.
V. P. Boggs
Women Enlisted In 1884
In 1884 the interest of the women of the
Presbyterian Church was enlisted in behalf
of the women and girls among the Freedmen.
The progress of the work of the Women's
Missionary societies, in establishing and
maintaining educational institutions, is
worthy of special mention.
During their first year they contributed
$3,010; the second, $7,966; the third,
$17,075; and in 1913, $85,236.09.
In raising this last amount 675 Sunday
schools and 1082 Young People's societies
co-operated with 3591 Women's societies.
To the women, almost entirely, is due the
establishment and maintenance of most of the
boarding schools now supported by the board.
The names of some of the most consecrated
workers and liberal contributors have been
commemorated in the names of most of these
institutions. That this fact may be noted
and as a matter of general information, the
following list of twenty-four of them is
List of Boarding
I. For Males Only
Biddle University, Charlotte, North
Harbison Agricultural College, Irmo, South
II. Seminaries for Girls Only
Scotia, Concord N. C.
Mary Allen, Crockett, Texas.
Ingleside, Burkeville, Va.
Mary Holmes, West Point, Miss.
Barber Memorial, Anniston, Ala.
Allendale Academy, Allendale, S. C.
Albion Academy, Franklinton, N. C.
Alice Lee Elliott Memorial, Valliant, Okla.
Arkadelphia Academy, Arkadelphia, Ark.
Boggs Academy, Keyesville, Ga.
Brainard Institute, Chester, S. C.
Emerson Industrial Institute, Blackville, S.
Fee Memorial Institute, Nelson, Ky.
Gillespie Normal, Cordele, Ga.
Haines Industrial, Augusta, Ga.
Kendall Institute, Sumpter, S. C.
Mary Potter Memorial, Oxford, N. C.
Monticello Academy, Monticello, Ark.
Cotton Plant Academy, Cotton Plant, Ark.
Coulter Memorial Academy, Cheraw, N. C.
Redstone Academy, Lumberton, N. C.
Swift Memorial College, Rogersville, Tenn.
In addition to those in these boarding
schools, 112 teachers are employed in the
maintenance of this same number of day
In his last annual report, April 1, 1913,
Rev. E. P. Cowan, D. D., secretary of the
Board submitted the following interesting
summary of its work.
"The Freedmen's Board has ever kept in mind
the one great fact that its work is, first,
last and all the time, missionary work. We
have aimed from the very beginning to follow
a course that would commend itself to every
man's conscience in the sight of God. We
have always sought the counsel and advice of
good men on the field, at times nearer our
work than ourselves, and better able to
judge of its condition. We have endeavored
to exert such an influence over the people
among whom we have labored, so that no one
could object to it except he were a heathen
or an infidel. As a consequence, all the
opposition we have met with in all these
years has been as nothing, compared with the
sympathy and encouragement we have received
from good men.
"We have this year issued our forty-eighth
annual report. This annual report shows that
we have now in connection with our Church,
four colored Synods, composed of sixteen
colored Presbyteries, in which there are
four hundred and four Church organizations,
with twenty-six thousand, one hundred and
thirty-two communicants, two hundred and
eighty-nine ordained ministers of the
Gospel, and thirteen hundred and seventeen
"Within these Presbyteries, there are one
hundred and thirty-six schools, and in these
schools there are 16,427 pupils, taught by
448 teachers, all of whom are professing
Christians, and by a rule of the Board,
members of the Presbyterian Church.
"In all these schools, the Word of God and
the Shorter Catechism are regularly and
daily taught. On the mind and heart of every
living soul that passes in and out of our
schools, there is impressed the fundamental
and far-reaching truth, that the chief end
of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him
forever, and that the Word of God, which is
contained in the Scriptures of the Old and
New Testaments, is the only rule to direct
us how we may glorify and enjoy Him.
"These Churches and schools, and ministers
and teachers-588 workers in all-are housed
in 470 buildings, of which 300 are Church
buildings, 70 are manses, and 100 are school
buildings. The value of these buildings is
estimated at $1,561,000. The cry comes up to
us without ceasing for either more room, or
better accommodations. Should we answer
these cries promptly, and without regard to
the question as to where the money is to
come from, we should be hopelessly
overwhelmed with debt within one year."
The Freedmen are naturally religious and
hitherto their Churches have been their
principal social centers. Under uneducated
leadership, the only kind possible at first,
their Church life was characterized by a
loose moral standard, poor business methods
and boisterous worship. In many places it
still lacks a realization of the real needs
of the race.
"The true standard bearers of better things
have been the relatively few ministers and
Churches that have been noted for their
educated ministry, restraint in worship,
rigid morals and careful supervision."
The wisdom of the policy of training capable
Christian leaders was emphasized at the last
General Assembly at Atlanta, by Rev. H. A.
Johnson, D. D., in the following pertinent
"The vital need of the negro people is a
trained Christian leadership. Their problem
can never be solved by elementary education
for the masses, or industrial training for
those who enter the trades and till the
farm. They must have thoroughly trained
Christian teachers and ministers of the
Gospel and should also have the other
professions represented among their leaders.
The men, who are conspicuous leaders among
the Negroes in industrial training, are
publicly saying that they expect such
organizations as the Presbyterian Church to
furnish the ministers and teachers for their
people, while they furnish the farmers, the
carpenters and other tradesmen. The task of
furnishing this trained leadership is being
bravely attempted by our Board within the
limitations of their available resources.
Every intelligent student of the problem
must realize how supremely important is this
phase of the work."
Worthy Of Generous Support And
The Board of Missions for Freedmen of the
Presbyterian Church merits the intelligent
sympathy and cordial co-operation not only
of our whole Church but of all the friends
who favor Christian education among the
dependent colored people in the south part
of our land.
It educates ministers and teachers, and
supports them in their work. It builds
academies, seminaries and colleges, and aids
in the erection of Churches and manses. Its
24 boarding schools, having normal and
industrial departments, are distributed so
that there is one or more in every southern
It now owns and controls school, Church and
manse properties that represent a value of
one and a half million dollars.
Its permanent investments, that bring an
annual income for the promotion of its work
however, are yet only $200,202.50. In these
days of big business, the evidence of
unusual prosperity, it ought to have an
endowment of one million dollars.
Education is the most costly of all
philanthropic enterprises. The following
reason recently expressed for a large
endowment of the College Board applies with
equal force to the Freedmen's Board.
"A million dollar corporation is now
considerably more than twice as efficient,
as an instrument to accomplish results than
one of a half million. In this day of large
things the men who are interested in
education, prefer to employ as their agent,
an organization whose resources are large
enough to place its permanent and financial
stability beyond question. A bank with a
million dollars of capital has considerable
advantage over one having only a quarter of
a million. The law, 'To him that hath shall
be given,' still prevails among the children
The members of the Freedmen's Board have
been selected, because of their manifest
interest in the educational and spiritual
welfare of the colored people; and they are
conscientiously striving, to the best of
their ability, to promote the interests of
the Freedmen, in behalf of the great body of
generous hearted Christian people whom they
The work of the Freedmen's Board has
hitherto by its charter been limited to the
Freedmen in southern states. At the next
General Assembly, an effort will be made to
extend its work, so as to include the
Negroes in the northern states.
includes some historical materials that may imply negative stereotypes
reflecting the culture or language of a particular period or place. These
items are presented as part of the historical record and should not be
interpreted to mean that the WebMasters in any way endorse the stereotypes
Choctaw Freedmen and Oak Hill Industrial
Academy, 1914, Robert Elliott Flickinger