Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Ethnological and historical...
 The white and black races...
 The race commission: Its organization,...
 The work of the commission
 The results attained and the outlook...

Title: University record
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00075594/00340
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Title: University record
Uniform Title: University record (Gainesville, Fla.)
Physical Description: v. : ; 24 cm.
Language: English
Creator: University of the State of Florida
University of Florida
Publisher: University of the State of Florida,
University of the State of Florida
Place of Publication: Lake city Fla
Publication Date: September 1937
Copyright Date: 1939
Frequency: quarterly
Subject: College publications -- Periodicals -- Florida -- Gainesville   ( lcsh )
Universities and colleges -- Periodicals -- Florida -- Gainesville   ( lcsh )
Agricultural education -- Periodicals -- Florida -- Gainesville   ( lcsh )
University extension -- Periodicals -- Florida -- Gainesville   ( lcsh )
Teachers colleges -- Periodicals -- Florida -- Gainesville   ( lcsh )
Law schools -- Periodicals -- Florida -- Gainesville   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
Dates or Sequential Designation: Vol. 1, no. 1 (Feb. 1906)-
Numbering Peculiarities: Issue for Vol. 2, no. 1 (Feb. 1907) is misnumbered as Vol. 1, no. 1.
General Note: Title from cover.
General Note: Imprint varies: <vol. 1, no. 2-v.4, no. 2> Gainesville, Fla. : University of the State of Florida, ; <vol. 4, no. 4-> Gainesville, Fla. : University of Florida.
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 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00075594
Volume ID: VID00340
Source Institution: University of Florida
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Resource Identifier: ltuf - AEM7602
oclc - 01390268
alephbibnum - 000917307
lccn - 2003229026
lccn - 2003229026

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents 1
        Table of Contents 2
    Ethnological and historical conditions
        Page 411
        Page 412
        Page 413
        Page 414
        Page 415
    The white and black races in America
        Page 416
        Page 417
        Page 418
        Page 419
        Page 420
        Page 421
        Page 422
        Page 423
        Page 424
    The race commission: Its organization, its personnel, and its procedure
        Page 425
        Page 426
        Page 427
        Page 428
        Page 429
    The work of the commission
        Page 430
        Page 431
        Page 432
        Page 433
        Page 434
        Page 435
        Page 436
    The results attained and the outlook for the future
        Page 437
        Page 438
Full Text

The University Record

of the

University of Florida


A Personal Memoir by One of Its Members


Vol. XXXII, Series I

No. 9

September 1, 1937

Published monthly by the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
Entered in the post office in Gainesville, Florida, as second-class
matter, under Act of Congress, August 24, 1912
Office of Publication, Gainesville, Florida


The subject for this monograph was suggested by Townes R.
Leigh, Dean of the College of Arts and Science. The work was be-
gun when the author was physically unable even to write and it has
been pursued in intervals, when health permitted, under the most
disadvantageous and discouraging circumstances.

It has been found impossible to procure any of the docu-
ments bearing on the matter, and only the most meager and vague re-
plies from others associated with the author in the enterprise con-
stitute the source of its material. Consequently, this paper can
have little historical value save as the recollections of events
which occurred some years ago. It is presented only as the personal
remembrances, opinions, and reflections which are present in the
mind of the author as he tries to recall the past.

Since no understanding of the significance of the work of
the Southern University Commission and the questions which it had
to consider would be intelligible without a presentation in broad
terms of the ethnological and historical conditions out of which
its problems arose, it is with such a discussion that this work is



CHAPTER I. Ethnological and Historical Conditions .......... 1

CHAPTER II. The White and the Black Races in America ........ 6

CHAPTER III. The Race Commission--Its Organization, Its
Personnel, and Its Procedure ................... 15

CHAPTER IV. The Work of the Commission ...................... 20

CHAPTER V. The Results Attained and the Outlook for
the Future ...................................... 27



1. The Divisions of the Human Race.. The most important
fact about the human race whether as a highly differentiated species
of the animal kingdom or as a separate and distinctive creation, is
the fact that it is divided into various branches which have charac-
teristics that markedly distinguish and differentiate them from each

(a) The most obvious of these is the difference in skin-pig-
mentation--a difference which has given name to the five branches,
i.e., the White; the Yellow; the Brown; the Red; the Black--races.
This difference is, of course, only "skin deep"--a superficial dif-
ference resulting from climatic differences. But it is very obvious
to the eye. A White man seeing for the first time a Chinaman, an
Indian, or a Negro would observe little else in the stranger than
his markedly different color.

(b) The second difference is also a visible characteristic
in part and in part ascertained by scientific measurement. Differ-
ences in hair; the kinky "wool" of the Negro, the straight black
hair of the Indian; in nose and lips; in shape and color of eyes
these are observable and mark off to the observer the difference
in race. Cranial configuration is less observable but is determin-
ed by measurement.

(c) The third difference is mental and moral. It is true
that the most microscopic comparison of the brains of the various
branches of the race would reveal no characteristic difference; but
it is equally true that all writers who have had anything to say on
the subject recognize that the modes of thought, the thought pat-
terns that control and determine the thinking of the five branches
of the race are as distinctively and characteristically different
as are their physical appearance. This is equally true for their
moral values and evaluations.

"East is East and West is West
"And never the twain shall meet".

(d) Closely allied to (c) is what may be called the "cul-
tural environment" into which each member of a race is born. By
ths is meant thet sum total of the patterns of action and thought,
the manners and methods of life; the traditions, the beliefs, the
ambitions, the ideals--in fact, all the non-physical surroundings
which impinge on the human being and from which his personality is
developed as truly as his body is developed from the physical en-
vironment. Throughout countless ages, each of the races has built
up this environment along divergent lines. Where there has beaa
stability and continuity of development, such as in China or in
Western Europe from the early Grecian beginnings, this has grown
and solidified into a massive structure from which one can scarcely
escape. In a less organized and more unstable society, this cul-
tural environment is less developed, but its conditioning power is
nonetheless all powerful in forming the personality. The Red man
who first faced the White man in America was as much the product
of his cultural environment as was the White man of his. The
former's was less stable, less complicated, less highly organized;
but its conditioning force was equally strong. The taboo of the
least civilized people is as much a bar to its infringement as is
the religious or ethical belief of the most civilized.

(e) Linguistic differences among the races are much less
noticeable than the above to the person untrained in philology,
for to the untrained mutual intelligibility is the one point ob-
seryed. To an illiterate English speaking person, Dutch sounds
"foreign" as Chinese--i.e., they are both unintelligible to him.

To the philologist, however, the inter-relations between the lan-
guages of a given race and their common differences with the lan-
guages of another are apparent.
Scientific study of the languages inside the social group
has been made only in case of one--the so-called Aryan Languages
of the branch of the White Race using them. The language of the
individual is imposed from without; he learns, no matter what the
racial inheritance may be, the language spoken in the environment
in which he is reared. A Chinese child, whose ancestors for a
thousand years have spoken only Chinese, will, if reared in an
English speaking country, speak English as naturally as the child
of English parentage. While this is true, the author is of the
opinion, based only on personal observation and with no claim to
scientific accuracy, that there are slight structural differences
in the vocal apparatus of the races that make them into nations dis-
tinguishably different. In my work with the Race Commission, I was
brought into contact with the most highly educated, the most culti-
vated, the most brilliant members of the Black Race in America.
Their English was better than my own; but I am sure had I heard
their voices without seeing them, I should have detected the Negro

(f) The habitat of the several races has, on the whole,
been fairly constant in historic times. The migrations and wan-
derings which largely make up history have been inner-racial and
confined within the limits of the racial habitat. There are impor-
tant exceptions, however, to this broad generalization. These, in
historic times, at least, are confined largely to the White Race--
their colonizations in the Americas, Africa, and Australia. But
on the whole the races remain in the habitat where they are found
at the beginning of historical times--the White race in Western Asia,
Northern Africa and Europe; the Yellow race in Eastern Asia; the
Brown race in the Pacific islands; the Black race in Central and
Southern Africa, and the remnants of the Red race in the Americas.
These, then, are the differentiating characteristics upon
which the division into races is based. Two are physical and are
transmitted physically, thru the germ cell, from parents to child.
Three are non-physical and are acquired from the cultural environ-
ment. The last is not exactly a characteristic as are the others;
but, according to one school of thought, the conditioning element.
which brings them about--the theory of the French critic, Talne.
In this connection it must be borne in mind that each of
these races, in turn, has differentiated into various peoples, each
of whom preserves the. racial characters and in addition develops
others which distinguish from other members of the same race--the
Semitic and Aryan peoples; the various Black peoples of Africa.
These peoples, in their turn, develop into smaller aggregates with
again distinctive characteristics--i.e., the Frenchman, the German,
the Englishman, etc., of Western Europe--each of them blendings of
the various physical and cultural streams of the Aryan.
Of course, this process of differentiation continues down
from the nation to the section, to the community, to the family
until it reaches the individual.
To an observer, unfamiliar with the race, the racial charac-
teristics are so emphasized that the individual characteristics are
entirely obscured. You often hear the remark, "I can't tell one
Chinaman from another." I have frequently seen persons unfamiliar
with the Negro unable to distinguish one from another; while, to me,
reared in the South, each Negro is as distinctive as a White man.
The physical racial characteristics are capable of blending--
the offspring of parents of two different races will be a hybrid--
the Eurasian, the mulatto, etc. Whether or not the Mendelian law
of the transmission of characteristics obtains is not(and probably
cannot be) proved; it is highly suggestive and has some data to con-
firm the view.
The mental, moral, and cultural characteristics also blend
in the individual if he be exposed simultaneously to both in his
early youth. The young North American Indian, growing up in the


midst of his family who still preserve the Indian culture, and at
the same time attending the American school is a case in point--a
curious hybrid product of the two cultures. It is useless to enter
into the discussion as to what part heredity and environment play in
this blend--the "doctors" disagree too much for the layman to have an
opinion. Unfortunately, however, this is the crux of the ultimate
problem which the Commission had to consider. The question is can
the American cultural environment finally extinguish the original
African culture which the present and future Negro ancestors brought
over? The general opinion in the South is expressed in the saying
"once a 'nigger', always a 'nigger'". Within the racial group we
know this is not true. There are millions of descendants of the
second, third and fourth generation of Scandinavian, German, Irish,
French, Ita'lian, etc., immigrants who are as American as the de-
scendants of the original colonial English. Apparently, however, the
Indian, the Japanese, the Chinese never become assimilated.
One further generalization and this section of our report is
completed. Does there exist a deep-seated and ineradicable repulsion
and antagonism between the races? If so, is it based upon physical
differences alone or upon those in conjuncture with cultural dif-
ferences? Is it one phase of the psychological law of conformity or
uniformity--the law that in its religious aspect deluged Europe with
blood, the law that makes one want to compel my neighbor to refrain
from the Sunday "*Movies", from taking a glass of beer because I do
not? Is it a part of the biological law of the antagonism of spe-
cies--the dog chasing the cat, etc.?
All of these lines of speculation finally work back philoso-
phically to the futile speculation on the origin or origins of the
human race. Are we to accept, either literally or figuratively, the
account as given in Genesis--a human race descended from Adam and Eve--
the theory of the Unit origin of the race? Or are we to surmise that
the racial differences now observable go back to differentiations be-
gun in some obscure past?

2. Racial Juxtaposition and Its Result. The second general
consideration which conditioned our especial inquiry was what had
happened when two of these races had been brought, by the hand of
fate, into intimate contact thru occupying the same territory simul-
taneously. What is th6 reaction when the two elements are poured in-
to the same test-tube? Unfortunately, for our inquiry there are
only a few instances of this kind.
On the other hand, the pages of history are full of accounts
of this situation occurring among the various branches of the white
race. European history begins with the successive waves of Aryan
Hellenes invading, conquering and settling among the Mediterranean
Cretans. In time the two peoples blended and the Hellenes assimi-
lated the more advanced Cretan-Egyptian civilization with which they
were brought into contact. With this impetus they developed the
splendid Greek civilization which is the basis of Modern European
Civilization. Next, the Roman power was extended over the Gallic
territory and the Latin culture and language was imposed. Then, in-
to this compound was poured the Teutonic element and from this mix-
ture was produced again a thorough assimilation which results today
in Italy, Spain and France--the so-called Latin races; but in reali-
ty a blend of three distinct branches of the race. The English sit-
uation is similar. Anglo-Saxon England was conquered by the Norman-
French. For awhile the two peoples lived side by side, hostile to
each other. But this soon ceased and again there was perfect assimi-
lation. No Englishman today knows what proportions of Norman and
Anglo-Saxon blood flows in his veins. These facts seem to indicate
that, if two peoples of the same race occupy the same territory si-
multaneously, they finally merge physically and culturally into one
The other situation, where two peoples of different races
occupy simultaneously the same territory, are limited. Outside of
the Americas about the only examples are the European colonies in
Africa. A case in point is South Africa. Here, a people of the
most highly developed culture took possession of a country occupied


by a different race of a much less developed culture. The Boers, a
Dutch people, had occupied adjacent territory. After a brief war,
these latter were conquered and incorporated into the growing common-
wealth which now forms one of the important divisions of the British
Empire. Here, we have a most instructive situation for our inquiry--
two Teutonic peoples and a mass of negro and negroid natives occupy-
ing simultaneously the same territory. While from the historical
point of view this situation has been.'short, still it seems to be
stable and the status quo will probably continue indefinitely. The
two Teutonic folk are rapidly blending and it is predictable that a
South African folk with their blended physical and cultural charac-
teristics mingled will result. On the other hand, the black races
remain, from the white standpoint, a lower and inferior race to be
ruled over with sternness and an even-handed justice which is the
finest trait of the English and which has made them the greatest
colonizing nation since the great days of the Roman Empire. (It may
be remarked here in an aside that Modern England and not the Modern
Italy of Mussolini's ambitious dream, is the inheritor of the Roman
tradition.) With great tolerance for their racial characteristics,
with a sympathetic attempt to understand and to adjust their rule to
them, the white is gradually inculcating some of the fundamental
mental and moral values of his race. There is, however, no question
of assimilation, of a blending of the two races, but a stern suppres-
sion of savagery, an insistence upon fair and honest treatment, and
not the slightest yielding from the status of the white as the supe-
rior class--governmentally or socially.
This has been, on the whole, the attitude of the other
European colonizing nations--French, Italian, Spanish, German--with
less insistence on justice and fair play for the native and more
inclination toward partial assimilation.
Turning to the Western Hemisphere, we find the conditions
under discussion occurring within recent historical times. Prior
to Columbus's discovery (from the European point of view) of the
New World, there existed a fifth race, unknowing and unknown to the
other four--the red man. The origins of this race are lost in the
obscurity of the past. Those who hold to the unit origin of the
human race and regard the plateaus of Central Asia as its cradle
conjecture that the progenitors of these peoples crossed over from
the extreme northeastern tip of Asia to the extreme northwestern tip
of North America in a vague, indefinite past. The fantastic theory
has been seriously advanced that they are the descendants of the lost
ten tribes of Israel. All of which says that there is no vestige of
data upon which to form even a conjecture.
However, it is clear that this race had had time to spread
over the American continent and to diversify into many and divergent
peoples and tribes, separated from each other by a vast variety of
both physical and cultural characteristics--a red race whose dis-
tinguishing characteristics were wholly uncontaminated by any con-
tact with the other four.
The history of the invasion of these new lands by the
European nations--Spain, France, England--is known to every school
boy. Here we have the condition we are examining--two separate
races simultaneously occupying the same territory and we are in-
terested in the result of this racial contact. The results vary
somewhat. In Central and South America and the Caribbean islands,
especially Cuba, the Spaniards ruthlessly overran the country, and
by their superiority in war equipment soon made themselves rulers
of a numerically vastly superior population. The various nations
of Central and South America emerged and finally broke their con-
nection with the mother country.
The surviving remnants of the original populations exist
in three ways. There is a partial amalgamation with the Spaniard--
mainly among the lower classes--giving rise to a hybrid whose physi-
cal and cultural characteristics are distinctly a deterioration of
the best in both races. There is a survival of the aborigines in a
servile class who have acquired in a lowered form some of the charac-
teristics of the white. In certain territory far from the seats of
government and inaccessible to troops, some of the natives have main-
tained a semi-independence and preserved their racial characteristics.

On the North American continent, especially after the elimina-
tion of the French from the northern and central parts and the Span-
ish from the extreme south, the situation is different. The English
colonists, from their first foothold on the extreme Atlantic Seaboard,
took possession of the land and eliminated the Indian from it. The
process of elimination is not one of which we can be proud--force and
chicanery are largely the methods employed. As the republic was
formed and its expansion westward continued, the process of eliminat-
ing the Indian continued. Today, we cover the continent from ocean
to ocean and a pitiful handful of the original inhabitants exists on.
reservations set apart for them and under government tutelage. Undtr
this process the finer elements of their own culture are disappearing
and their absorption of the white culture feeble. The effect upon
the white man's culture by this contact is almost inappreciable--a few
words added to his vocabulary (tomahawk, wigwam, etc.); a few practices
taken up, the use of tobacco and Indian maize.
The advent of the negro in America and a review of the impor-
tant points in the resulting contact will form the second chapter of
this discussion.
There is one further interesting situation with which the
United States was confronted recently--the attempted economic in-
vasion of our Pacific coast by the Japanese. This clash of alien
races was partly economic but underlying this was the fact that the
yellow race was recognized as unassimilable. Fortunately, by the
good sense of the statesmen of both races, the situation was (at
least temporarily) adjusted. Whether or not the latent racial antago-
nism may be aroused is a question for the future.
This examination of the facts of history seems to justify the"
broad generalization that where two peoples of the same race, with
similar physical and cultural characteristics, occupy simultaneously
the same territory, they invariably blend into one people; that where
two peoples of different races, with dissimilar physical and cultural
characteristics, simultaneously occupy the same territory they do not
blend. One of two conditions prevails--either one race exterminates
the other, or one becomes the ruling and dominant race, the other the
servile and dependent one. In this last situation the Anglo-Saxon and
the Latin have, as the dominant race, differed--the one insisting on
fair treatment and amelioration; the other selfishly exploiting and
degrading the dependent race.
Finally, it is unreasonable to think that the wider the
divergence of racial characteristics, the stronger the racial antago-
nism and the less chance for assimilation. The greatest racial con-
trast, both physically and culturally, is between the white man and
the black man.



A Personal Note. As a preliminary to the discussion of our
immediate problem, it is only fair to the reader that I should make
a statement as to my personal relations to the subject in order that
he be in position to judge how far my bias, my early associations, my
prejudices, if you will, have colored my thinking or my statement of
the facts.
I was born in 1874 in the little village of Union, South Caro-
lina, at that time a typical Southern town of some 1,500 inhabitants
of which over one-third were negroes. My father, a graduate of the
South Carolina Military Academy, during the earlier stages of the "War
Between the States", served in the Confederate armies as Captain of
Company H, 15th Regiment. He was twice wounded--Gettysburg and The
Wilderness--and carried to his grave, after sixty years, a Northern
bullet. My ancestors on the paternal side were of English and Scotch-
Irish extraction and descendents of one of the original settlers in
Carolina. During the Revolutionary War, Colonel Wm. Farr was on the
staff of General Francis Marion and was in command at the battle of
Cowpens. My maternal ancestors came from Virginia at the beginning
of the nineteenth century. Close relatives were intimately connected
with the Secession of South Carolina from the Union. Wm. H. Gist was
Governor of the state when the convention was called, and States
Rights Gist was Adjutant General of the state. The latter was a
brigadier-general in the Confederate armies and was killed while
leading a charge at the battle of Franklin, Tennessee.
My earliest memory is that of being seated on the post of our
front gate, and watching the red-shirt brigade of the county, led by
my father, march by. This was in 1876 and was a preliminary to the
election which made General Wade Hampton governor and redeemed the
state from carpet-bag and negro rule which had followed the war.
There were two potent influences brought to bear upon me in
my early days. One was the coterie of Confederate officers who were
our near neighbors--the most distinguished of whom was General, after-
wards Judge,Wm. Wallace. These men frequently assembled in their of-
fices, on the porches of their old southern homes and lived over the
days of the war. Very often I was with my father on these occasions
and absorbed with greedy ears, as only the small boy can, the tales
of valor and heroism. I am free to confess that love for the Con-
federate soldier and my pride in his acts have not diminished with
the years.
The second influence was the fact that I, a motherless lit-
tle boy, was partly reared by the tender care and love of the old
family servants--especially old "Uncle Wiley". This negro had, be-
fore the war, been coachman for Uncle Nat and Aunt Betsy Gist; dur-
ing the war, "body-servant" to General S. R. Gist, bringing his dead
body back home from the battle field; and in my childhood, lived
with us, his principal occupation being me. This negro was remark-
able. I have often used him in my lectures to my classes on the Art
of Fiction as an apt illustration of the thesis that the yarn-spin-
ner's gift is an inborn instinct entirely distinct from and indepen-
dent of literary aptitude and training. I can recall, after more
than fifty years, the many, many nights when a group of us boys sat
on our back steps and listened to him as he spun his yarns of "Fo'
de Wah" and during the war. He spoke a broad, ungrammatical negro
dialect and could neither read nor write (a fact of which he was
proud); but never since in all my studies of literature have I had
my imagination and emotions more thrilled. There was in the old
man a feudal loyalty to the family to which he belonged that has
probably never been surpassed. Then on stormy nights I would creep
out to their house in the back yard where his sister, our cook,
would recount to us white children and her black progeny of the
second generation the tales which Joel Chandler Harris (who probably
got them in the same fashion) has made famous in his Uncle Remus.
This influence also abides--a kindly affection for the old negro.


After finishing my local school, I entered Davidson College,
the old Presbyterian College of the South, and was occupied with my
academic work and my association with boys most of whom had a heri-
tage similar to my own. After graduation, I, in 1895, entered the
English Department of Johns Hopkins University where I remained,
with one year's absence on account of sickness till I received my
doctor's degree in 1901. Here for the first time I was brought into
contact with men from the North and the West as teachers and fellow-
students. I still recall the shock I experienced when I heard Pro-
fessor Bright, the head of my department, refer to the Confederate
soldiers as "Rebels". Dear Dr. Bright! He never knew how narrowly
he escaped having the heavy ink-stand which I had clasped in my hand
hurled at his innocent head. I hastily retired from the classroom
and it took me several days to adjust myself to the situation. In
this I was helped by a number of friends among my fellow-students who
came from all parts of the country--one especially from the city
"where the Lodges speak only to the Cabots and the Cabots speak only
to God".
After receiving my degree, I was offered, thru Professor
Bright, several positions in the North and West, and one in the
South--the English department of the A. & M. College of Florida,
located at Lake City. This last carried by far the least salary
($900. per annum). Professor Bright advised that I accept this both
on account of my strong Southern bias, and because he foresaw that
soon Florida would need a modern state university. I accepted the
position and began my life's work.
These seem to be the pertinent facts in my life experience
which tend to condition my thinking in regard to the race relation-
ships in the South.

1. Slavery. Turning now from this personal sketch, to the
contact of white and black in America, we are faced at once with
the general fact which has been one of the conditions of human re-
lationships beyond historic times--the institution of slavery. With
the dawn of historic records we find that human bondage, one human
being owning another human being as chattel, like horse or dog, was
already established and familiar. No one, so far as I know, has at-
tempted to write a complete history of this human relationship, trac-
ing it throughout all its manifold ramifications and aspects as it
comes down from the most ancient times. It has varied from the treat-
ment of the cultured Greek slave by his Roman master, a relationship
based on mutual esteem and kindly consideration, to the unutterable
atrocities inflicted on galley slaves or workers in mines. Some of
the most gracious and some of the blackest pages in human history
would have to be written.
It has been suggested that the origin of slavery was philan-
thropic, that it was an amelioration of the prior practice of putting
to death a conquered people. In all the earlier ethical systems--
Jewish, Greek and Roman, Buddhistic, Confuscian, Christian, there is
no specific condemnation of slavery as such. In all these systems
the duty of justice, kindness, good will, even brotherly love is in-
culcated as between man and man--this holding, apparently, between
master and man; but in none of these systems, though the institution
of slavery was familiar to all, is it definitely condemned. It would
seem that the same code which prescribed the attitude of one free man
to another equally applied to the master and his bond-slave. In other
words the inference is that the institution per se involved no moral
turpitude but only its abuse. In a fairly extensive reading of his-1
tory I have been able to find no instance to the contrary before the
middle of the eighteenth century. The present day concept, so utter-
ly accepted by you and me, that slavery is wrong is so fixed a part
of our thinking that its contradiction is unthinkable. It is hard
for a generation reared in this atmosphere to realize that the best
thought of other generations was different. This can be paralleled
by other cases. You and I, reared in the atmosphere of religious tol-
erance find it hard to realize that only a few centuries ago the best
thinkers and the noblest characters thought otherwise--believed it was
their .highest duty to impose their religious views upon others even
at the point of the sword.


This view of slavery as unethical, wrong, abhorrent is only
one aspect of a more general movement which swept over Western
Europe in the middle of the eighteenth century--a movement as clear
and as important in conditioning human thought and action in Europe
as the Renaissance. I have called this movement, for want of a bet-
ter term, the Humanitarian movement. In literature it is summed up
in Burn's line--"a man's a man for a' that." The concept that every
human being by virtue of the fact that he is a human being has cer-
tain inalienable rights--rights summed up in our Declaration--rights
"to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness". It is a queer com-
mentary on the inconsistency of human thought that the rights of the
negro slaves should have been so blandly ignored. This humanitarian
movement resulted in the upheaval of the French Revolution; was the
philosophical basis of our own government; marked the beginnings of
the orderly democratization of the British government; and numerous
efforts to ameliorate the condition of the down-trodden.
About the opening of the nineteenth century, the British
conscience awoke to the enormity of slavery and especially of the
slave-trade. With their usual practical efficiency, once their
minds and consciences were clear, they set about remedying matters
so far as it lay within their power.

2. The Negro Slave in Spanish America. The importation of
negroes, captured in Africa and brought across the ocean in slave
ships, began with the Spaniards, especially in their island settle-
ments, notably Cuba. The cause of this is clear--the Indian slaves
who had been forced to the work, had been depleted by harsh and
cruel treatment. This exhaustion of the slave labor supply suggest-
ed that the slave trade which had existed in Africa could profitably
be turned to the New World. So a slave trade with its organized
equipment for procuring the negroes and vessels for their transport
grew up. The horrors of this trade have been graphically depicted in
history and fiction.
So the negro was introduced into Spanish territory and was
better equipped to withstand the labor and harsh treatment than was
the Indian predecessor. In course of time the slaves were liberated
and there has been a gradual blending of the races. This somewhat
bizarre and nondescript racial muddle is still, it seems to me, in a
very indeterminate condition. Will there result a fusion or amalga-
mation, physical and cultural, of the two disparate races producing
a thorough assimilation which is equal or superior to its constituent
elements? I speak with due caution and with a sense of my own limit-
ed knowledge; but, so far as my observation and knowledge extend, the
answer seems to be clear. The partial amalgamation of the two races
has produced, in Cuba say as an example, a spurious hybrid, which is
neither flesh nor fish nor good red herring but an ill-adjusted and
infusible mixture of the weaker aspects of both races.

3. The Negro Slave in English America. The discussion of
this phase of the subject naturally falls into four divisions: (a)
the introduction of negro slavery into the English colonies; (b) the
growth and expansion of the institution in the South and its decay
and disappearance in the North; (c) the War Between the States and
the freeing of the negro; (d) the aftermath.

(a) The introduction of slavery into the colonies was due
to economic conditions. These colonies, founded in the seventeenth
century, had grown rapidly in population, in territory, and in eco-
nomic activity, industrial and agricultural, in the earlier decades
of the eighteenth century. In the South especially the opening up
of large territory suitable for agriculture demanded a body of
laborers able to stand the heat and the rough work of agriculture.
The American Spaniard had already solved this problem by the impor-
tation of the African negro as slave. The practice had been carried
over to the English Barbadoes. Many of the early English settlers,
owning slaves and familiar with the institution, migrated to the
colonial mainland, in some cases bringing their slaves and in all
cases a knowledge of its practice.

It is only just to the people of the South to state that at
the time negro slavery was introduced into America the humanitarian
concept of human rights which condemned slavery had not developed.
Slaves were owned in the Northern colonies and the New England sailors
were active in the slave trade. Even leaders of religious thought
viewed it favorably, holding that it was the hand of God bringing the
benighted heathen to a Christian land that their immortal souls might
be saved.
The Northern and Southern colonies had begun their New World
life with an inherent difference brought over from England. The Pil-
grim Fathers were the physical and cultural descendents of the Puri-
tans, a bourgeoise class who fled to the New World to escape the re-
ligious persecutions of the Monarch and closely akin to their fellows
in England who, under Cronwell, set up the commonwealth and beheaded
the king. The settlers of the South were from the beginning sharply
divided into two classes: the landed gentry, allied to the English
aristocracy in sentiment, came with grants of land or obtained them;
the laboring class, (artisans, mechanics, agricultural workers); the
indentured servants; and undoubtedly a considerable element of unde-
sirables. The Government of the Southern Colonies was given from the
beginning a somewhat feudal caste. An extreme example of this was
the document drawn up by the philosopher John Locke for the govern-
ment and social organization of the Carolina colony.
A second difference that was inherent in the situation de-
veloped rapidly. The North turned to industry and trade; the South
to agriculture. These two differences together with the climatic
difference the long, hot summers of the South, the harsh, rigorous
winters o f the North are a full explanation of the fact that slavery
grew and flourished in the South and languished and died in the North.
I state these facts at length and explicitly, because, as a school boy
I studied histories of our country written by Northern scholars which
led one to believe that the sole reason why slavery existed in the
South and not in the North was a moral one.

(b) The growth of slavery in the South was rapid. The landed
gentry, the planter class, developed with large holdings of land and
everincreasing bodies of slaves. Much has been written of this
Southern culture its generous living, its lavish hospitality, its
courtesy and chivalry, and I fear, its fire-eating proclivities.
Much Southern romance and poetry has probably idealized and over-
painted this pleasing picture. Beneath was the grim reality of hordes
of human beings held in bondage. Little of value has been written to
portray the life conditions of the vast majority of these slaves,
those that toiled in the fields under the sting of the overseer's lash
to produce the rice, the tobacco, the cotton which supported the
luxury of their masters. The sentiment and pathos of the attachment
between master and servant is true, but true only of a small class of
the slaves the house servants, those who came into close and inti-
mate contact with their owners. Let me illustrate by a concrete ex-
ample. Mr. Nathaniel Gist was the largest landowner in Union County,
South Carolina. His agricultural activities covered many thousands
of acres and he owned over a thousand slaves. The slaves that came
into actual contact with him, whom he knew individually, and who knew
him, numbered less than one hundred.
The idealizations of the Southern writers are false but the
picture presented to the world of the conditions of Southern slavery
in the pages of Mrs. Stowe's UNCLE TOM'S CABIN are more false and
infinitely more vicious. It is true that the incidents narrated in
this story could be paralleled in the South; but when the story pur-
ported to depict the typical and usual conditions of Southern slavery
it was a libellous falsehood.
The fact is that the slave who faithfully performed his
duties was treated with kindness adequately fed, clothed and housed,
given ample leisure for rest and amusement, his physical condition
closely observed and cared for, and his spiritual needs looked after.
He was not allowed freedom of movement,liberty in choice of work
and was by custom and law cut off from the cultural life of the white
man. even to the point of forbidding him to learn to read and write.

This treatment of the negro slave rests upon two facts: one
economic, and the other a racial trait of the master. Economically
the negro was a valuable piece of property and it was to the advan-
tage of the owner that he be kept in good condition to do his work
and to propagate rapidly. The second was the inherent tendency of
the Anglo-Saxon towards a just and humane treatment of the dependent
That this is true is proved by the fact of the rapid increase
in the body of slaves an increase that soon made it desirable to ac-
quire new lands. As the frontier moved Westward it became more and
more the practice for younger sons of the slave-owning families to
move on with the superflous slaves where new land could be obtained.
To recur again to my concrete example, Mr. Thos. Gist, one of the
sons of Nathaniel Gist moved into Arkansas where his descendants
still live.
This attempt to expand the slave-holding territory by the
South and a simultaneous expansion of free territory by the North
brought on naturally the first serious overt clash between the sec-
Just as slavery flourished in the South, so in the North
there was a growing sentiment against it. The Southern opinion
that this opposition was due to jealousy and latent antagonism may
be partly true, but the larger truth is that by this time the mid-
dle of the century the best thought of the world had condemned
slavery as opposed to its new concept of human rights. The South,
economically committed to slavery and more isolated from streams of
world thought, had not as a whole been influenced by this concept,
though a considerable number of its best thinkers werein favor of a
gradual and orderly abolition of the institution. In the North
this new concept was seized on by a body of zealots and fanatics
who were determined to purge the nation of this horrible condition.
That the abolitionists, Garrison and his confreres, were earnest,
sincere and right as to the principle is not to be denied; that
they were intemperate, unwise and fanatical in their methods is
equally true.

(c) The War Between the States, in itself, has little bear-
ing on our problem. The actual battles, the victories and defeats,
as the forces in blue and gray struggled for supremacy did not,
while in progress, modify the status of master and slave. It is
needless here to enter into the controversy as to the causes of the
*war, a controversy which has been carried on with acrimony for near-
ly three quarters of a century. Why did the eleven slaveholding
Southern States secede from the Union and form the Confederacy? Why
did the Federal Government controlled by an administration elected
by the vote of non-slave-holding states begin the war of aggression
to force them back into the Union? Was it the old antagonism brought
from England? Was it the economic conflict between the industrial
and agrarian interests? Was it a conflict over slavery? Was it the
result of the clash of the fiery tempered Southerner and the fanati-
cal abolitionist? Or was it political ambition and a desire for po-
litical dominance? Some future historian, with broad enough vision
and impartial enough judgment, will weigh these questions and answer
them in the light of truth. He is yet to be born. Even today every
honest thinker, North or South, must candidly own that he cannot be
certain that his judgment is not warped by bias and prejudice.
There is one outstanding fact of significance in this last
phase of Southern slavery. Practically the entire manhood of the
South, its smooth-cheeked boys and its gray-haired men, was drawn in-
to the armies. In hundreds of thousands of homes defenseless women
and children were at the mercy of the slaves. That no servile in-
surrection occurred is one of the marvels of history. There are
various causes which contributed to this the nature of the negro -
the original fighting instinct of the African tribesman atrophied
thru generations of enslavement; his lack of powers of organization
and concerted action still manifest among the tribesmen today; his
ignorance; and the fact that he was on the whole happy and content-
ed with his lot. It is not difficult to imagine what would have
happened, if large organized bodies of the slaves had arisen, slaugh-

tering the women and children at home and cutting off the food sup-
plies of the armies in the field.
Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation was a war measure, de-
signed to stimulate and encourage such a move. It was ineffective
until the surrender of Lee at Appomatox and the establishment by
Federal troops of what is known in the South as the period of "car-
pet-bag"' rule.
It is idle to speculate as to what would have happened had
the conflict been postponed for another generation. The author is
firmly of the opinion that the leaders of thought in the South would
have conformed to world opinion on the evil of slavery as an ethical
wrong and to have perceived that economically, while it enabled a
limited class to live in luxury, it was detrimental to the best in-
terests of the whole population. However, the conflict occurred and
the Southern armies, after four years of heroic struggle, were over-

(d) The aftermath of this conflict is the most important
period in the history of the relationship of the two races in the
South. The decade from 1868 to 1876 determined the attitude of the
two towards each other and brought about the complications which
have formed and are still forming a bar to a satisfactory adjust-
ment of racial relations. This period begins with the assassina-
tion of President Lincoln and the loss of his leadership with its
broad human sympathy and its homely common-sense; the weakness of
his successor and his inability to cope with the dominant element in
Congress; this dominant element in a Congress filled with the black-
est hatred of the white South and determined to inflict upon its
bowed head the utmost humiliation and revenge.
The Fourteenth Amendment to the Federal Constitution was
passed and these ten years are the attempt to force on the South its
literal and implied meanings. The impartial historian of the future
will condemn this piece of legislation as the most unwise, the most
unstatesmanlike enactment that any great legislative body has ever
perpetrated. It rests upon the fanatical zeal of visionary idealists
and the hatred and thirst for revenge of a few leaders. The vast ma-
jority of Northern citizens were ignorant or indifferent to its animus
and passively acquiesced in its attempted enforcement.
It was an attempt to impose, by right of conquest and by
force of arms, the political dominance of the hoards of recentlyst
liberated slaves, ignorant, illiterate, removed only a step from
their ancestral culture, over a highly civilized branch of the Anglo-
Saxon white.
The broken and defeated Confederate soldiers returned to
their homes to find the economic foundations of their country crumbled
to dust and their political and social organizations blasted. Fed-
eral troops took possession of the conquered territory, governments
were set up by Federal appointment, the Freedman's Bureaus were es-
tablished, the "carpet-baggers" and the missionaries flocked in, the
negroes were given the ballot. Words fail to paint the horrors of
the orgy that ensued. The psychological fact that explains the atti-
tude of the Southern white towards the negro is the fact that this
experience burned into the depths of his soul an awful dread of its
recurrence. Unfortunately and erroneously, the negro bore the brunt
of his resentment and fear. A calmer and more dispassionate view sees
that the negro was simply the club wielded by those in power to wreak
their vengeance. A full understanding of the white man's reaction to
the experience of these ten years is necessary to understand the whole
problem of racial adjustment in the South. His fear of political
dominance by the negro and his resentment at any attempt to break
down the social barriers between the races are a state of mind of the
white South that conditions its thoughts and actions wherever they
are called in question. I can speak with assurance on this point be-
cause I was born at the close of the period and absorbed its atmos-
phere with every breath of my youth.
The psychological reaction of the negro is much more diffi-
cult for a white man to grasp and to describe. The modes of thought
of the black race, no matter if somewhat modified by the contacts he

had with the white man, is basically different. A second difficulty
also arises here which complicates the whole matter. We have hither-
to spoken of the slaves as descendants of the original blacks trans-
planted from Africa. That is .not the case. From the introduction of
the negro there had been going on a certain amount of crossing be-
tween the two races, the result of cohabitationb between white men and
negro women. Thus instead of the two clean-cut and highly differen-
tiated races the black and the white we have a third, usually
spoken of as the mulatto. While both the laws of the Southern states
and social practice classes all persons with negro blood, however
small the proportion, as negroes, law and social usage cannot nullify
biology. These persons are a hybrid mixture of the two races as far
as their physical being is concerned. The law and the social status,
however, imposes upon them the same cultural environment as that of
the pure blood negro. As the mulattoes and negroes freely intermarry,
there is a wide range of variation in the proportions of the mixture.
On the whole, it is probable that the degree of skin pigmentation is
a fair test, but, if the Mendelian law is applicable, by no means a
sure and accurate one.
The action of the negroes in this period is, to me, a marvel
of restraint when we compare it with similar upheavals--the French
Revolution of the eighteenth century or the Russian of our own day.
Backed by the power of the Federal bayonets, urged on to seize politi--
cal power by the "carpet-bag" regime, stimulated to the assertion of
economic rights by the Freedman's Bureau, inspired with educational
and social aspirations by the school teachers and "missionaries" who
flocked to their aid, the wonder is not that they indulged in excesses;
but that those excesses were not more violent and bloody. That their
obedience to and fear of their former masters could not be eradicated
in a day is true; that the awe inspired by the Ku Klux Klan was a
restraining force is clear. But this comparative moderation can best
be explained by the nature of the negro whose ancestral savagery had
been modified by slavery and by contact with the white man's culture.
The negroes were divided into three rather distinct classes:
(1) the field-hands, living on the plantations and having a limited
range of acquaintanceship and intercourse with those of adjoining
plantations; (2) the house servants, a small and select group, affec-
tionately united to the masters whom they personally served; (3) a
group of urban negroes, living in the towns as artisans, carpenters,
masons, etc. The first group reacted with docile conformity to the
views of their new friends; the second group clung with feudal loyalty
to their former owners; the third group furnished the aggressive lead-
ership in the attempt to establish the new order.
With '76, this period comes to a close. The old leadership
with its ruthless hatred of the South had given place, in Congress,
to younger men less influenced by old antagonisms. The old dream of
the idealists, of transforming the negro over-night into a citizen
capable of exercising his franchise with intelligence and into a
civilized man capable of taking an equal part in the complex so-
ciety of his day, had faded with the futility of its accomplishment.
The bulk of northern voters were still more indifferent to the issue.
It was clearly seen that the status quo of this period could be main-
tained only by the presence of large bodies of Federal troops in each
state--a costly proceeding with little to be gained in return.
There is a story which gives a more explicit explanation
which I have never seen in print and which I tell for what it was worth.
When I was a boy (about ten, I think) General Hampton, the United States
Senator, visited Union, S.C., and was entertained by my father.
That evening a group of old Confederatc soldiers came to pay their
respects. As they sat chatting on our front porch, the conversa-
tion naturally turned to the recovery of the state government, a
movement in which Senator Hampton was the leading figure. He stated,
as I recall it, that Tilden, the Democratic candidate for the Presi-
dency, had been elected, but had agreed to the decision which placed
his Republican opponent in the office in return for allowing the
Southern whites to reassume the governments of their states. I give
this story for what it is worth--a memory of a conversation heard in
my boyhood some fifty odd years ago.
The next period extends from the recovery of their state

governments by the white people of the South to the organization of
the Race Commission--(1876-1911). During this time various changes
had occurred.
First the Southern white determined that the negro should
never again threaten his political dominance nor even hold a balance
of power in factional political struggles. To this end it was neces-
sary to devise methods to practically nullify the Fourteenth Amend-
ment and various amendments to State Constitutions were made and so
administered that the blacks were excluded from the ballot. The
negroes (as a whole) have accepted this status with apathetic in-
difference and apparently give no thought to the matter. Occasional
rumbling of threats of investigation were heard in Congress, but the
North has acquiesced. Along with this was his exclusion from office
and jury duty.
To exclude the negro from anything like social contact with
the whites the "Jim Crow" laws for public carriers were passed and
the negroes were strictly segregated in the homes in all urban com-
munities. In their contacts the white man demanded a certain amount
of deference and often subservience from the negro.
Along with his freedom, the negro's economic right to his
wage, to accumulation of property; his legal right to a fair trial
in the courts; his right to a share (meager it is true) in educa-
tional opportunity--were not questioned by the whites. In these mat-
ters the urban negro was favored. The rural negro, remaining on the
farms as tenant or share-cropper was ruthlessly exploited and his
condition was little better than that of the serf.
Some important changes took place. There was a decided
shift from the rural districts to the urban. On the whole,.the more
independent, the more enterprising, the more intelligent tended to
seek the advantages offered them in the cities and towns. Later,
this was still further extended and large numbers of negroes mi-
grated to the North and West. The negro population as a whole was
increasing but not in proportion to the white--i.e., the percentage
of negroes to the total population was progressively decreasing.
An illiterate was being transformed into a literate. Pub-
lic schools were maintained and were, especially in the urban dis-
tricts, largely attended. Each of the states had one of the "Land
Grant" colleges, supported in part by Federal funds. Numerous pri-
vate foundations, largely supported by Northern philanthropists,
existed. And several colleges, like Fiske, Howard, Hampton and Tus-
keegee, were doing excellent work.
In every rural district there were emerging successful and
well-to-do farmers who owned their land. In every town there was a
growing body of intelligent, honest, industrious, law-abiding, home-
owning negroes who commanded the respect and liking of the better
element of the white race. There were throughout the country small
groups of highly educated, and, in some cases, brilliantly endowed
negroes--largely on the faculties of the colleges and in the larger
cities of the North. This last group constituted the mouthpiece
and intellectual leadership of the race. This leadership was di-
vided into two opposed schools of thought in their philosophy of
racial relations. The gifted writer, DuBose, represented one school
in its demand that the negro be given his full political and social
rights, with no compromise or conciliatory gesture towards the whites.
The other school of thought was led by such men as Booker T. Wash-
ington, Fisher, Moton, who were anxious to cooperate with the Southern
white to bring about friendly relations; to ameliorate sore of the
worst conditions that handicapped their race, and to inculcate
patience and forbearance in minimizing race friction. They were will-
ing to allow the political situation to work itself out in time, and
they denied emphatically any desire for misnamed "social equality".
There existed, thru the period, a smouldering antagonism be-
tween the races which burst into flames occasionally in race riots
that resulted in destruction of property and bloodshed. The lynch-
ing of negroes, sometimes with bestial brutality, primarily for rape
or attempted rape on some white woman but frequently for much lesser
offenses, occurred with alarming regularity thruout the South.
The worse feature of the situation was that public sentiment
in the white South had placed an absolute taboo on any sane discus-

sion of the racial situation--any criticism of Southern action and
any suggestion of an amelioration of the negro's condition was met
by a howl of execration. A typical case came under my observation.
Dr. Andrew Sledd, a former President of the University of Florida
and later a teacher in the Theological School of Emory University
had this experience. From intimate personal knowledge I can say that
he was one of the clearest thinkers in the South--a man whose sense
of right and justice was abnormally keen, endowed with physical, men-
tal and moral courage in an extraordinary degree, given to espousing
hopeless causes, and, I fear, with a decided flair for courting mar-
tyrdom. At the time of this incident, he was professor of Latin in
the older Emory of which his father-in-law, Bishop Candler, was
He wrote an article condemning in no uncertain terms the
practice of lynching negroes in the South. Unfortunately, this ar-
ticle was printed in the Independent, a publication notoriously
hostile to the South. At first it passed unnoticed, but it was used
by a Mrs. Felton for a sensational story in the Atlanta Constitution
in which by misinterpretation and garbled quotation it was repre-
sented as a malignant and traitorous attack upon the fair name of the
South. Thruout Georgia and the whole South indignation grew and Doc-
tor Sledd was, in the vernacular, the arch example of the Southern
traitor. He told me that for weeks he slept with a rifle beside him,
expecting any night a mob would attempt to tar and feather and lynch
him. His connection with Emory was injuring the institution and he
was forced to resign.
These two chapters are not offered as an introduction, but
as an organic and integral part of any account of the Race Commission
and its work. They are primarily the facts, opinions and generaliza-
tions which were in my own mind, and I am sure that they equally ex-
press the minds of the other members of the Race Commission.



1. The Founder of the Commission. No account of the Race Com-
mission could begin without introducing at once the man who con-
ceived the idea, who brought the Commission into existence, who found
ways and means of financing its activities, and during its duration
served as its guide, mentor and friend. Dr. Jas. H. Dillard, a Vir-
ginian by birth, began his career as a teacher in the Norfolk Academy.
He became a professor in Washington and Lee University and later in
Tulane. In both institutions he was recognized as a splendid teacher,
a wise administrator and a profound student of public affairs. From
these academic and professional duties, he was invited to become the
administrative head of two large bequests by Northern philanthropists,
the Jeanes and Slater funds, the income from which was devoted to the
furtherance of negro education in the South. This was a happy choice
and overcame the two difficulties which had thwarted all Northern
philanthropic efforts to aid the negro their administration from
a distance and by men with little or no knowledge of either the negro
himself or the whites by whom he was surrounded. Dr. Dillard's ad-
ministration of these funds has been a long record of efficiency.
Through his administrative work, he was brought into daily
contact with the racial situation in every part of the South and
received it from both races alike. His body of observation and
knowledge, his broad human sympathy and understanding, his years of
study and meditation equipped him with a grasp of the subject of
racial relationships in the South that was not equalled by that of
any other man in America.
He saw clearly that little or no progress could be made in
betterment of race relationships so long as resentment, fear and an-
tagonism between the races conditioned all thinking on the subject.
The silly sentimentality of idealists and "reformers", the vengeful
mood of the politician, the sullen resentment of the negro, the fear
psychosis of the Southern white had rendered all rational thinking
impossible. Through this murky atmosphere could be heard the ballyhoo
of the cheap-John politician the preservation of white supremacy in
the South, the guarding of the purity of Southern womanhood, etc., ad
nauseam. What was needed was some clear, hard-headed facing of the
facts, some impartial and unbiased thinking in terms of a broad
humanitarianism, some candid and courageous utterance which by virtue
of its source could command attention and respect. Dr. Dillard, a
life-long member of white college faculties and now being brought
into daily contact with educators of the negro race, naturally turned
to this source for material. He conceived the idea of organizing a
commission composed of one member from each of the eleven state Uni-
versities of the South. He laid the plan before the presidents of
these institutions and they all agreed to cooperate with him in this

2. The University Presidents and the Appointment of the Commis-
sion. Let me partially digress to throw further light on this sit-
uation. I am speaking with ample knowledge and experience, having
served as vice-president and frequently as acting president of the
University of Florida, when I say that it is the duty of the presi-
dent of a state university, which depends for its financial support
on legislative appropriations, to see that his institution stands in
fevor with the voters and receives their unqualified support. If
the institution antagonized the feelings of the citizens and fell in-
to disfavor its income would be imperilled and maybe destroyed. Aca-
demic freedom is a splendid theory and in an ideal community works,
but in the practical administration of a state university, it must
be limited.
A few years prior to the formation of the Commission, the
University of Florida had had an experience of this kind. We had a
young professor of history, a native of Georgia, a graduate of Emory

and a doctor of philosophy from Harvard. He wrote an article com-
paring the statesmanship of Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis in
which the acts of the former were lauded and those of the latter se-
verly criticized. He first read this paper before a faculty club.
I recall that my comment was, "Beautiful English, Dr. Banks, but rot-
ten history' I learned that he intended having it printed and im-
mediately went to him to protest. I left him thinking he had agreed
not to publish. Shortly afterward, however, and on the eve of a
legislative assembly, it appeared in print. It caused a furor the
Confederate veterans, the U. D. C. and the public demanded his resig-
nation and threats of legislative investigation were rife. I advised
him to resign and told him plainly that otherwise he would seriously
cripple the usefulness of the institution. He resigned and the in-
cident was closed.
I have introduced this incident to point out the fact that
presidents of the institutions, who were able, wise and conscientious
administrators, were aware of what they were committing themselves
and their institutions to. That they assented shows their moral
courage, the broadness of their views, and also, I think, their con-
fidence in the judgment of Dr. Dillard.
I well remember the day President Murphree received Dr,
Dillard's letter. That afternoon, as we were leaving Language Hall,
he asked me to bring Mrs. Farr over after supper as he had an impor-
tant matter to discuss. When we were closeted in his study, he gave
me Dr. Dillard's letter. I read it, getting the gist of its propo-
sition; reread it more carefully; took a few long puffs of my old
corncob pipe and read it a third time. Then I turned to President
Murphree to hear his view. Frankly, I had expected that he would
agree with me in my first impression that it was a dangerous propo-
sition loaded with dynamite and that we .had better reject it.
One of the finest assets that Albert A. Murphree brought to
the task of establishing Florida's infant university was his acute
sensitiveness to the political atmosphere. Only those who went through
that struggle can know how grueling it was. His policy had always
been to steer the University clear of any dangers that might threaten
its popularity with the citizens of the state. Consequently, I was
surprised when I found that he, while fully aware of the danger in
the situation, was, on the whole, inclined to accept. After dis-
cussing the matter pro and con for several hours we were interrupted
by the entrance of our wives who insisted that it was time that all
honest people were at home and in bed. I left with the final sug-
gestion that he get in touch with the presidents of the other in-
stitutions and learn their intentions.
So the matter rested for a week or ten days. Then I was
called to his office and informed that, after corresponding with the
other presidents, he would accept Dr. Dillard's proposition. He
added that they agreed that the crux of the situation lay in choosing
the right man from each faculty, one whose judgment and discretion
could be trusted. Then with that charming smile and manner which
made President Murphree the best loved man in the state, he abruptly
asked, "Will you accept the appointment?" My first impulse was to
refuse. I was already carrying a larger load of work than any reason-
able man should assume, my personal teaching, the supervision of the
largest department of the University, chairmanship of several of the
most important committees and a sharing with President Murphree the
burdens of the administration. I dreaded adding another interest to
my life that might make serious inroads on my time and energy. In
addition I dislike newspaper notoriety, am temperamentally opposed to
visionary idealists and professional reformers" and have no desire
for the crown of martyrdom in an unpopular cause. However, when Doc-
tor Murphree repeated more emphatically and a little more sternly that
he desired me tosaccept, that ended the matter. I accepted. I may
say that no regret but only profound gratitude is my portion that
the experiences gained by my association with the Race Commission
have become a part of my life.

3. The Organization of the Commission. As a preliminary to this
part of this paper, let me repeat what I have said in the Foreword -
this is not a historical document, with a detailed and accurate chro-

nology based upon a complete collection and survey of the documen-
tary data. After an exhaustive and exhausting effort through the
mails, extending over many weary months, I was unable to obtain one
side item of value. So by necessity and the force of unadvoidable
circumstances, I am relying wholly upon my memory a memory never
good in retaining accurate dates or names of persons and places,
but tenacious in holding vivid pictures of personalities and in pre-
serving facts, opinions and generalizations. At first, I was bitter-
ly discouraged and disappointed that I could not make this paper what
I had projected; but now as it develops in its present form I am con-
vinced that what I am recording is the significant and important as-
pect after all.
To resume the story After the various members of the Com-
mission had been chosen, a preliminary conference was called by Dr.
Dillard to meet at the Hotel Hermitage in Nashville, Tennessee. It
was, I think, during the Christmas holidays of 1911. We all arrived
during the course of the day and were met by Dr. Dillard, who intro-
duced us, all I believe, perfect strangers to each other. We col-
lected around a large table for supper and the social tone which
characterized our hours of relaxation out of our formal meetings was
begun. It consisted mainly of anecdotes recounted by Dr. Dillard
and others from apparently inexhaustible stores. After this meal we
assembled in one of the private parlors and were called to order by
the good doctor. He gave us a brief, vigorous, clear account of what
led to the forming of the Commission and suggested that we immediate-
ly effect a permanent organization. As we were strangers to each
othbr, we appealed to him for advice. He suggested that we elect
Professor Brough, head of the Department of Sociology at the Uni-
versity of Arkansas as chairman and Professor Hundley, Associate Pro-
fessor of Sociology at the University of Virginia as secretary. Pro-
fessor Brough assumed the chair and the Commission was in existence.
There was an expectant pause and all eyes turned to Dr. Dil-
lard again. At this he defined his position tersely but vigorously.
He was not a member of the Commission. They were now responsible
for their own work and must in no sense be under his tutelage nor an*
organ to express his views; but, if desired, he would always attend
the meetings and be at their service. On motion he was elected
honorary member and advisor of the Commission. Then the conference
was thrown open to suggestions from the members. We were a body of
school teachers inured, by daily routine, to interminable hours of
lecturing to classes. Talking was our profession, talking ably and
authoritatively on subjects of which we were master; talking still
more fluently and verbosely on subjects where it was necessary to
conceal our ignorance. So we talked, talked singly, talked in
groups, talked all at once. Then we talked more and continued to
talk as the hours sped by. Dr. Dillard sat by, patiently listening
with a smile on his face. As the wee sma' hours approached, he sug-
gested we adjourn for the night. We dispersed through the corridors
to our rooms, still talking and I have no doubt that some of us con-
tinued to talk in our sleep.
As I lay awake, my mind was busy with the personnel of this
Commission of which I found myself a part. I regret that the name
and personality of some have entirely faded and in other cases the
personality is still vivid while the name escapes me. But my im-
pression of the group as a whole is clear. In many respects it was
a singularly homogeneous gathering. All (with the exception of
Josiah Morse of South Carolina) were from Southern stock, all were
born and reared in the South and attended Southern schools, all had
pursued advanced courses in the great institutions of the country, a
and all were engaged in teaching in the state universities of the
South. Their academic fields were varied: 3 in Sociology; 2 in
Education; 1 each in Economics, Agriculture, Latin, Psychology, Eng-
lish and History. They were all men of middle age; Dr. Sutton of
Texas being the oldest and Professor Hundley of Virginia the youngest.
All were men trained to scientific methods of thought, and all were
accepting this mission with zeal and earnestness.
We reassembled next morning, each of us, I think, with the
consciousness of the futility of the night's discussion. As is well-


known, every Southern man, old or young, rich or poor, learned or
ignorant, can talk fluently on the social situation, and each one
confidently puts forward a solution of its difficulties, ranging
from disposing of the negro by massacre, deportation to Africa or
segregation on government reservations, as with the Indian, to a
future amalgamation of the races. We had been guilty of this very
thing. Now we settled down to serious discussion. One considera-
tion emerged with perfect unanimity our own woeful ignorance of
the subject. When we contrasted our years of study, of thought,
of investigation that we had devoted to our special fields of know-
ledge with the casual superficial observation and the lack of care-
ful and accurate investigation and of thought and meditation that we
had devoted to this, we realized that our first need was to educate
ourselves. This was definitely determined that the year should be
spent as far as our other duties permitted, in gaining some real in-
sight into the situation. We agreed to read all the literature on
the immediate subject, and subject it to rigorous analysis and, as
far as possible, to pursue the subject in its wider ramifications
into the fields of ethnology, history, sociology, psychology, and
to accompany this by a case study method in our immediate environ-
ment. Our second decision was that as we represented the education-
al leadership of the whites, our closest point of contact with the
negro would be through his educational leadership and in accordance
with this, that our next annual meeting should be held at one of the
leading colored colleges. The choice of place and the arrangements
for the meeting were referred to a committee composed of Dr. Dillard
and Professors Brough and Hundley. Besides these two formal actions,
two other steps had been taken, the members were becoming acquainted
and were finding that they could work in harmonious understanding; a
and by informal discussion each of us individually found that the
combined mind of the Commission had raised many points for investi-
gation and study that had not occurred to us separately.
The meeting adjourned in a mood of harmonious optimism. We
left Nashville for our respective homes, each of us determined, I
am sure, to come to the next meeting more adequately equipped for our
My activity along this line during the ensuing year was typi-
cal (as I learned) of what all the members of the Commission were
doing. On my return to Gainesville, I reported to President Murphree
and was asked by him to give a brief account of the meeting to the
faculty. As soon as possible, I procured personally and through
library funds, an almost complete collection of the literature on
the subject and devoted much time to a thorough, systematic study
of its content. I began reading, on a somewhat ambitious scale,
ethnological, historical and psychological works that would throw
light on racial conditions, racial contacts, racial struggles. I
began my case study of the subject with the material closest to hand -
my cook. He had been in my employ for about fifteen years and was
not only an'excellent cook but an excellent man, highly respected by
both races in the community. Chisholm and I were not only satisfied
employer and employee but were good friends. When he found that I
was serious in desiring him to discuss with me the multitude of
questions in my mind and to express himself with utmost candor, he
complied. This was a liberal education in itself. My infancy had
been cared for by negroes; as a boy, I had played with the negro
children of my age; as a youth, I grew up among them; and had in my
manhood come into daily contact with them. But these frank talks
with my negro cook gave me more insight into the negro mind than all
the forty previous years had bestowed. Through him I made contact
with the leading negroes of the town: a doctor, a dentist, the school
principal, two leading preachers, and four business men with sound
commercial rating. From many years of handling college boys, I had
learned that like produces like; if you desired candor and truthful-
ness from them, you must give them candor and truthfulness. I applied
this in my talks with these negroes and got many candid and truthful
expressions of what was in their minds in regard to race relationships.
I made a considerable examination of the living conditions of
the negro the conditions of the streets on which they lived, their

homes with their sanitation, their furniture, their amount of con-
veniences and comforts, etc. I visited the school and with the con-
nivance of the principal was able to witness the teaching of classes
without the knowledge of teacher or pupil. I attended services in
their church. And once through the aid of a friend on the police
force I witnessed a thrilling and exciting crap game.
During the year I visited, on official business for the
university, several of the towns in the state and so far as time and
opportunity offered repeated these investigations. Throughout the
year I was conducting week-end classes in extension work in Jack-
sonville and had time and opportunity to continue these observa-
tions in one of the larger urban centers.
Along with this, I was also interested in one line of in-
quiry as to the white race. I had learned from the standpoint of the
University that the four powers that produced public opinion in
America were the Press, the Pulpit, the Politician and the Pedagogue.
I was desirous of feeling out how far they would go in helping to
influence the people along lines indicated by us. I talked with
several editors and found them open-minded, mildly sympathetic but
absolutely averse to committing their papers to any stand. With
sorrow, I state the fact that I found the preachers willing to talk
of brotherly love and Christian duty but when it came down to a dis-
cussion of racial relations, none'of them was willing to have the
matter discussed in their churches. The politicians whom I en-
countered, with two notable exceptions, had closed minds. Nothing
that might interfere with their popularity with the masses could
even be thought about, much less discussed. The school teachers were
by far the most open-minded group, the most sympathetic and the most
willing to cooperate in any movement for the betterment of human re-
I spent the summer vacation in my home town in South Caro-
lina and had opportunity to study a large agricultural negro popula-
tion. I found a few farmers who by intelligence, energy and thrift
were successful, owning their land and making a good living; a con-
siderable number of wage-earners and tenant farmers, who were in com-
fortable condition and a mass of "share-croppers", whose condition
physically, economically and mentally was deplorable.
When we met again in Atlanta for our conference at Howard
University, we were a different set of men. Our ideas as to the
nature of our work were becoming clear and definite methods of pro-
cedure and definite lines of action were beginning to crystalize.



In this chapter, I shall not attempt to give a chronologi-
cally exact account of the various meetings of the Commission and
the details of its transactions. .That method would not convey as
true a picture of its work as an analysis of its various activities
and the import and scope of each the method I shall use.
These activities divide naturally into the collective acts
of the Commission as such, and the individual activities, each with-
in his own territory, of the members.
The collective acts were the establishment of contact with
the leaders of thought of the colored people of the South; con-
ferences in which the large masses-of data which we were accumulat-
ing were assembled, analyzed and evaluated; the issuing through the
press, from time to time, of manifestoes embodying our findings and
recommendations; and miscellaneous projects which grew out of our
That the intellectual leadership of the colored people was
concentrated in the institutions of higher learning was obvious.
From these there were going out each year large numbers of graduates,
who were, as preachers, as schoolteachers, as business and profes-
sional men, becoming the leaders in their various communities. In
these centers were collected bodies of intelligent and highly edu-
cated negro men and women, who through contact with their students,
were brought into daily touch with the streams of thought and feel-
ing which were flowing in the minds of Southern negroes. They, in
turn, were sending back, through their students, their own thoughts
and conclusions. So, we, as college men, naturally turned to this
quarter, both as a means of learning what was in the mind of the
colored man and as a means of transmitting to him what was in ours.
Thus began our series of annual meetings at the various schools -
Howard, Fiske, Hampton and Tuskeegee.
Our experiences were so similar in all cases that they may
readily be discussed collectively Dr. Dillard and Professor Hund-
ley chose the institution and made preliminary arrangements for our
reception. We were notified of the time and place of meeting and
assembled on the day appointed. After a short conference at our
hotel, we proceeded to the campus. In all cases we were met by the
administrative head with utmost cordiality and the institution was
put at our command. We spent part of the morning in examining the
plant, watching some of the classes (I was particularly interested
in the English instruction and literary equipment), attending the
chapel assembly where one, or more, of us was asked to address the
student body._ At noon we were seated in a private dining-room and
served a delicious lunch.
The vital part of the proceedings began in the afternoon
and usually extended far into the night the conference with the
faculty of the institution. We had discussed our attitude in these
meetings and a definite procedure and policy had been formulated.
We must take the initiative and state clearly who we were there and
the basis on which we desired the conference to be conducted. Chair-
man Brough opened the meeting with a short address which at one
time I could repeat verbatim as I had helped him in its composition
and had listened to it often. The gist of it was as follows: that
we recognized that prejudice and antagonism partly biological, but
intensified by the series of events which had brought the races to
their present situation that the two were here commingled in a
common land and under a common governmenL which would continue in-
definitely; that it was our belief that this antagonism should be
minimized and that a spirit of goodwill be promoted. To this he
added that we as a commission were pledged to a scientific, impartial
study of race relationships, freed as far as humanly possible from
all bias and prejudice; that to this end, we must have a true and
accurate knowledge of what was in the negro heart and mind and had
come to them for it; that we promised them absolute candor in dis-

cussing any and all phases of the question and requested a recipro-
cation; and finally that no offense would be intended or taken at
whatever should be said. The response was instantaneous and empha-
tic. They were willing, nay eager, for this opportunity and prom-
ised to unfold their minds unreservedly.
A stenographic report of these conferences would fill vol-
umes. Every conceivable, and in some cases scarcely conceivable
questions were raised. Only those of vital importance and that
dwell in my memory can be recounted.
One of the first questions raised was what was the concept
of each race by the other. We told them that the average white man
of the South regarded the typical negro as lazy, shiftless, irre-
sponsible, dishonest and filthy. We learned that the average negro
regarded the typical white man as arrogant, tyrannical, unfair in
his dealings, hypocritical in his religious professions and, on oc-
casion, lawless, brutal and blood-thirsty.
The question of the disfranchisement of the negro in the
Southern states was raised. Our views, as set forth in a preced-
ing chapter, were presented. We acknowledged that there were groups
of negroes who, by virtue of intelligence and character, could be
safely entrusted with the ballot more so than certain whites; but
that any agitation of that aspect of the subject would be futile and
unwise; the North, at least negatively, had acquiesced in the dis-
franchisement and the prevailing sentiment there, was that the South
should be allowed to work out its own problem; that no practical ad-
ministrative machinery could be devised for successful partial en-
franchisement; that the color line was the only feasible line to
draw; that any agitation of this issue would serve only to arouse
Southern antagonism and would destroy any chances for progress in
other lines. We found their response ran from acceptance of our
view to the other extreme of passionate demand that the Fourteenth
Amendment should be enforced by the Federal Government at any cost -
Hampton and Tuskeegee leaning towards the former; Howard and Fisk
to the latter view.
The so-called "Social equality" question, the second point
on which Southern susceptibilities were extremely sensitive was dis-
cussed. My own contribution was an attempt to point out that this
term was a misnomer which obscured and confused the real issue.
"Equality is a mathematical term x = y and no bias or preju-
dice changes that fact. If two social groups, no matter of what
race or color, have similar characteristics of enlightenment, culture,
refinement, tastes, ideals, and whatnot that determine the social
scale, they are equal. If one has these qualities in a superior de-
gree to another, they are not equal again race or color not affect-
ing the mathematics of the situation. A mere statement makes this
obvious. What the Southern white enforced was a ban on what should
be correctly called "social intermingling"- both in its narrow sense
of social intercourse between individuals, families and groups and
also in its wider public aspects of separation in religion, educa-
tion, location of homes, public carriers and hotels, places of amuse-
ment and recreation. This attitude on the part of the Southern white,
was founded on one of the deepest instincts of the Anglo-Saxon race -
the preservation of racial purity.
We found among these negro leaders a unanimous agreement that
neither for themselves personally nor for their race, did they desire
any social intercourse. Nowhere did we hear an echo of the strident
shrieks of a DuBose because the Southern whites had failed to accept
him socially. When at Hampton, I asked this direct question of Major
Moton, he turned to me with a cheerful grin and answered: "Now, look
here, Dr. Farr, suppose I came to Gainesville and you through the
kindness of your heart should ask me to dinner with your family and
friends, don't you know you'd embarrass me more than yourself? I
should want to meet you in your office and discuss matters of mutual
interest but as for an invitation to dinner !" and he dismissed the
matter with a shrug of his massive shoulders.
To matters of public intermingling, they showed no serious
objection provided, as was not the case, that in such matters as
were affected by law, such as: education, public carriers, negro
quarters, etc., adequate and reasonable provision for the welfare of

the negro should be made.
After this would follow a discussion of a rather formidable
list of grievances and injustices which were being inflicted on their
race. First and the most embarrassing for ur to face was lynching.
At Tuskeegee we found a complete list of the, lynching of negroes by
white mobs in the South and a detailed case-history of each. Many
of them were for trivial offenses petty thievery, "impudence" to
a white man, and many were characterized by scenes of brutal
atrocity. We offered no justification, defense or palliation and
freely acknowledged that they were a horrid stain on our civiliza-
tion which the law-abiding citizens should stamp out.
Second in importance was the charge of unjust discrimination
in publicity supported provision for educational opportunity. We
acknowledged that it was a deplorable situation, but pointed out that
there were many inherent difficulties. There were many intelligent
citizens, well-disposed to their race, who honestly questioned the
wisdom of trying to educate the negroes. I cited my own father as an
example, a deeply religious man whose life was devoted to community
service and who kindness towards negroes was well known. He died in
the belief that money expended on negro education was wasted and was
positively harmful to the race. Students of history will recall a
similar attitude of a Colonial government of Virginia to the lower
white classes of that state. There were serious financial difficul-
ties where white education itself was handicapped by the meagerness
of funds. In the black districts of South Carolina and Mississippi
the situation was hopeless. But that matters could, and in the
course of time, would improve was our view.
This list could be indefinitely extended, but space forbids.
Objection was raised to the contemptuous connotations contained in
the term "nigger"' as applied indiscriminately to all members of the
race, no matter what their intellectual or cultural standing, to the
practice of using abusive and profane language towards negro laborers
and domestic servants, to the violation of negro women's virtue and
the lack of any method of redress. These and numerous other ques-
tions, ranging from the serious to the trivial and puerile were frank-
ly discussed by both parties. No body of white men, before or since,
has had such an opportunity to gain an insight into the minds of the
leaders of the black race as had we.
We carried from these meetings not only a vast fund of in-
formation, but an impression of a group of men and women of intelli-
gence, thorough training, earnest, sincere and upright a body that
would not suffer seriously in comparison with a similar group among
the whites. Of them all, to me, the outstanding personality was
Major Moton, then Commandant of Cadets at Hampton, later the succes-
sor of Booker Washington at Tuskeegee. Physically, he was a splen-
did example of the negro at his best intellectually keen, and his
thought characterized by a hard common-sense, morally serious and
earnest, tinged by a fine sense of humor an impressive personality.
It is interesting to record that at our second meeting we had
a self-invited guest in the person of Dr. Spingard of Columbia Uni-
versity, a leading member (I believe) of the Society for the Advance-
ment of the Negro Race. He requested permission to join us in our
conferences. After some hesitation and debate we consented. He left
the meetings, I am sure, much disgusted with our, to him, lukewarm
espousal of the negro cause and disgruntled that he had not been in-
vited to air his views for our benefit. After our adjournment, it
happened that he and I were detained in Atlanta by our trains. He
invited me to supper and I gladly accepted. Over cigars and coffee,
we discussed the situation for several hours. He appealed to me as
an excellent example of the idealistic visionary "ReformerV, a type
that has done much harm and little good because their fundamental
defect is a lack of hard, rugged "horse-sense". The emotional appeal
in the causes they espouse overpowers any sanity of judgment they
might possess. I enjoyed the experience but was not in the slightest
influenced by his views but rather confirmed in my own. I told him
laughingly as we parted that I thought there was enough needing re-
formin his own little town of New York to keep him occupied and that
any attempted intervention by himself or his society with our work
would be harmful.

One of our meetings stands apart from the others and should
be so recorded. In the fall of 1914 the attention of the country
was concentrated on Europe and the front page of our press was en-
tirely occupied by news from abroad. Our meetings were losing their
news value and something was needed to stimulate public interest.
Dr. Dillard and Professor Hundley arranged with Secretary Tumulty
for an interview with the President of the United States. President
Wilson was of Southern birth and a leader of the Democratic party.
His endorsement would not only call public attention to us but
would add prestige and official sanction.
We were notified of the arrangements and were called to meet
during the Christmas holidays. I left Jacksonville on a night of
sweltering heat and arrived next day in Washington to find the city
in the clutches of a cold wave, the streets covered with snow and
ice. Our preliminary meeting was held in the new Willard and was
spent in listening to the address prepared by Dr. Brough for the oc-
casion. It was an excellent paper, setting forth our aims and ob-
jects, which took something over an hour to read. Most of us
realized the absurdity of the situation the demands on the Presi-
dent's time meant that only a few minutes could be allowed us. So
some of us caucussed against Professor Brough and agreed to whittle
down his production. We spent the evening and part of the next morn-
ing, each of us in turn, getting him to read parts and then advising
strongly that certain paragraphs be omitted. By noon we had succeed-
ed in reducing the document to a brief statement of about ten minutes'
When the time arrived we marched across to the White House
grounds, were halted in front of the Executive offices for the press
cameramen to "shoot" us and were marshalled into the outer Executive
office. After a brief delay, President Wilson appeared from his in-
ner office. We were in turn presented to him. It happened that I
was the only member of the Commission who had previous personal ac-
quaintance with him. He and I were fellow alumni of Davidson College,
North Carolina, and while at Hopkins I had attended for several years
courses of lectures which he came from Princeton to deliver. In ad-
dition, his maternal uncle, Dr. James Woodrow, Professor of the Pres-
byterian Theological Seminary at Columbia, South Carolina, and my
father had been lifelong friends. So, when he recognized me and made
some personal inquiries which showed that he "placed" me, I was great-
ly pleased and flattered and puffed up over my associates. Introduc-
tions over, Professor Brough made his now shrunken speech and the
President replied in a simple, informal way, saying that he was sure
that the Commission was to be fully trusted to carry out its impor-
tant task and that we had his best wishes in our work. He closed by
telling us that once upon a time Charles Lamb was asked by a friend
if he did not hate a certain person. Lamb had replied: "Hate him!
How could I? I know him." A better relation between the two races
should be based upon a better knowledge and understanding by each
of the other. On this note our interview with Woodrow Wilson ended.
Both publicity and endorsement had been attained.
At each of our meetings we spent long hours in conference,
each of us bringing what he had garnered during the year to the com-
mon stock. This mass was collaborated and subjected to rigorous
analysis and interpretation. Let me give an example or two from my
own contribution. The question as to racial mixture had arisen -
what proportion of the negro race had white blood in Its veins and
was the practice of miscegenation increasing or decreasing? I was
spending the three months of my summer vacation with my father in
upper South Carolina with an abundant leisure on my hands. It was
the custom for practically the whole of the negro population to flock
to the county seat every Saturday. I prepared a scale of skin pig-
mentation from the black through various degrees (eight) of mulatto
and every Saturday for three summers I stood on the corner of the
main street where all the negroes passed during the day and tabulated
my observations. Then I studied three large negro families in the
town whose ancestors had resided there from early Colonial times, ac-
quiring much information from older members of both races as to
parentage. I found, on the whole, that the degree of pigmentation was
a-fairly accurate measure of the proportions of the two bloodstreams.

6n the other hand, I found some clear indications of the Mendelian
law. I found a negro youth with every mark of pure African descent,
skin, hair, eyes, mouth, fingernails, etc., who undoubtedly was half-
white. I investigated the case of a young negress who had, I was as-
sured on the most reliable and confidential testimony, only one-
eighth white blood but who had moved to a neighboring town and for
several years passed herself off undetected as white. On one of the
plantations I found an interesting case. A white man and a negress
had cohabited for many years and had numerous progeny ten children.
I was assured by the couple themselves and by the concurrent testi-
mony of their relatives and neighbors that there had never been the
slightest suspicion of unfaithfulness on the part of the woman and
that all the offspring were undoubtedly his. The children presented
a considerable range of color variation, from black to the lightest
mulatto. The father told me the black child was his favorite be-
cause in character, it was most like himself. The boy in turn mar-
ried a pure negro girl and their child, only a few months old when I
saw them, was light mulatto.
A tabulation of my statistics by age as well as by color
seemed to indicate that the mixture of the races was progressively
declining. This was correlated with a confidential questionnaire
addressed to college boys, the answers to which indicated that the
practice was disappearing while we estimated that in our generation
it prevailed among twenty to thirty per cent of our student bodies.
These facts fell in with our a priori considerations: the change in
living conditions had rendered the negro women less accessible; the
growing education and the social standards among the negroes had
raised appreciably the demand for sexual purity; and that opportunity
for the white man to gratify his instinct with his own race had in-
With this determined, we felt that this particular question
was caring for itself and needed no comment from us.
This is given in detail as an example of our procedure.
Every question that arose in our minds or that was suggested was
studied patiently and thoroughly. After several years of this work
we felt we were in a position to speak with some authority to the
white citizens of the South.
In contemplating our next step, we were acutely aware of the
situation, that a taboo of silence on all racial matters hung over
the South, that no man, hitherto, no matter what his attainments or
how high his standing, had been able to speak out his mind if any
criticisms of the Southern whites were even intimated. I have cited
the experience of Dr. Andrew Sledd as a case in point, None of us
craved the halo of martyrdom for himself nor desired to inflict in-
jury upon his institution. But the situation must be faced with what-
ever courage we possessed and we must give to the public, regardless
of personal consequence, our findings on matters that we regarded as
Dr. Dillard, a skilled publicist, had somewhat prepared the
public by judicious matter given to the press at our various meetings.
(a) We determined that we would seize the bull by the horns, that we
would subject our position to the most grueling test. We would issue
a statement embodying our views on lynching and our recommendations.
These were clear and positive in our minds. A committee was appoint-
ed to draft the statement. As a professional English teacher, I was
given the task of drafting it. I did this and submitted it to the
committee who worked it over with meticulous care, weighing every word.
Then it was submitted to the Commission and again reworked. At last
we felt that we had produced a document that stated exactly what was
in our minds. We denounced lynching as an act of mob violence, law-
less, brutal and unreasonable. It was a horrid stigma on the fair
name of the South and brought us into disrepute among civilized people.
The blame was attached not only to the mobs who perpetrated these
crimes against humanity but also to communities and to the administra-
tive officers states and county, which tolerated them. We called up-
on all decent elements of our citizenry, all officials, all organs of
public opinion, the press, the pulpit to unite to stamp out, by a de-
velopment of popular sentiment and by the strong arm of the law, this
practice which was bringing shame and disgrace upon our land, which


was brutalizing those engaged in it, and which was a sin against
the black race as members of the human family.
The document was then given to the Associated Press and
was first page news in practically every newspaper in America.
We awaited the reaction of the South with anxiety. Had we
succeeded in breaking the taboo that had throttled the South and pre-
vented any open and fair discussion? Would the politicians, the
sensation mongers, the vicious try to arouse and fan into flames of
fury Southern resentment? Would we be met by howls of execration,
branded as traitors, subjected to ostracism and threatened with mob
violence? Nothing of this kind occurred. In every community the
lawabiding and thoughtful citizens accepted this statement as just.
Commendation from press and pulpit poured in. It was evident that a
moral victory of first magnitude had been won. (b) Education formed
the theme of our second manifesto, issued the following year. It
pointed out the inadequacy of the provisions made for public educa-
tion of the negroes in schoolhouses, in the number and training of
the teachers and in length of school terms. It pointed out that the
facts showed that the old idea, inherited from the period of slavery,
was erroneous. Education was transforming the negro from an economic
and moral liability to an asset. We advocated better facilities for
a common school education, leaning towards the vocational side with
some provision for higher training for the professions, the ministry
and teaching. We recommended that larger funds be expended and a
greater interest taken. (c) Our third utterance was on the sanitary
and hygienic conditions. An investigation by one of Professor Hund-
ley's classes was a vivid illustration of these conditions. Early
one morning the students scattered themselves throughout Charlottes-
ville and intercepted the negro cooks as they were going from their
homes to the kitchens of their white employers. Each was paid a
small sum to allow the student to take finger-nail parings. These
were carried to the bacteriological laboratory and subjected to
analysis. It was found that these parings contained enough deadly
germs to poison a community ten times the size. Attention was called
to the unsanitary conditions of the negro sections of the communities -
badly paved and lighted streets, inadequate sewage disposal, the
presence of filth, the poor housing facilities and the squalor and
dirt of their homes. We pointed out that the preparation of our food,
the washing of our clothes, the handling of our babies and a hundred
other matters were bringing us into daily inmate contact with them.
Consequently, it was not only a matter of common humanity, in the case
of the negro, but one of self-preservation for us. (d) Our last word
to our-fellow citizens was an appeal of a broader and more general
scope an appeal to the Anglo-Saxon spirit of fair play and justice
to the dependent race. The negroes were, by no fault or wish of their
own, here, and, so far as human foresight could see, here to stay.
To any thinking mind it was evident that the welfare was mutually
inter-dependent: whatever affected the one inevitably affected the
other. If the negro were an economic liability, if he consumed more
than he produced, the white man paid the difference. If he were the
carrier of disease, he carried it to the white man's door. If his
morals were low, this lowered the moral tone of the whole community.
The fate of the two races was inextricably bound together by the hand
of fate and there was no escape from it.
We appealed to the self-interest, to the intelligent under-
standing of sociological law, to the humanitarian spirit of the age,
and to the principles of the Christian religion which we professed.
We, as the dominant race, older in civilization, all powerful in politi-
cal and economic matters, should feel the noblesse oblige of the strong
to the weak. We urged all right-thinking citizens to cultivate a
spirit of tolerance, understanding and broad human sympathy and good-
will toward the black man. We assured them that the negro leaders
in the South desired the aid of the Southern whites in their efforts
to raise their race rather than that of the zealous, but often ill-
advised and harmful activities of Northerners.
This summary of our four manifestoes gives the gist of what
the Race Commission had found to convey to the people of the South.
For comoleteness a few minor activities should be mentioned. We were

instrumental in having courses in race relations established in
various colleges and universities. The course offered at the Y.M.C.A.
college at Black Mountain, North Carolina and the text prepared by
its president deserve especial commendation. Several scholarships
for graduate students who should specialize in this field, were of-
As the World War drew to a close, there was widespread alarm
throughout the South on the prospective return of the negro soldiers.
Clashes like that at Brownsville, Texas, were recalled. Thousands
of young negroes would come home with their attitude changed by the
consciousness that they had fought for their country and by their ex-
perience in France where-racial prejudice was weak. To meet this an
extension of our procedure was devised the establishment of inter-
racial committees, influential whites and leading negroes, who con-
jointly agreed, on the first indication of trouble, to interpose and
suppress it.
The anticipated trouble did not occur and it may be that
discipline and wider experience did much for these men.
A brief resume of the activities of the individual members
of the Commission will complete this chapter. Again, I use my own
case as typical. At the request of our professor of Sociology, I
gave a series of talks each year to his class in racial relations.
I found the students deeply interested and their questions and dis-
cussions illuminating. A newer generation, less biased by the old
antagonism and obsessions, was developing. I addressed the student
body, both in the regular and in the summer sessions and found my
views favorably received. Off the campus, I was invited to address
various civic organizations, men and women, throughout the state.
My position on the Commission became known to the negroes and
I was flooded with invitations to address them. I accepted as many
as my other duties allowed. My first experience, at the Gainesville
School, was amusing. At its graduation exercises, I delivered an
address one night and on the following evening an address by a color-
ed teacher from Tuskeegee was given. On my night, ten cents was
charged for admission; on the netro's, twenty-five cents. My wife
has always insisted that it was a just evaluation of our relative
Our work was drawing to a close. At the meeting from which
we issued our last appeal, we were informed that the funds by which
we had been financed were exhausted. We faced the alternative of fi-
nancing, either through our institutions or personally, any further
meetings or a disbanding. I have said nothing of the source of the
funds that had been used. Dr. Dillard had preserved absolute silence
but some of us had come to know that the source of our funds was the
Fhelps-Stokes Foundation. I felt, and found others of my associates
agreeing, that financial aid had been withdrawn because we had woe-
fully failed to fulfil the expectations of the administrators of this
I was emphatically of the opinion, independent of financial
considerations, that it was time for disbandment of the Commission.
Our work had been done and further effort would be anticlimactic and
useless. This view unanimously prevailed. The Commission voted its



Our work was ended and there remains only to summarize its
results in the life of the South and to offer some prognosis of pos-
sible future developments.
It is a commonplace of political history that freedom of
thought, freedom of speech and freedom of discussion is the founda-
tion on which a democracy must rest. Where this obtains there is a
free people; where it is absent tyranny of some sort prevails. Since
"carpetbag" days a ban of silence lay upon the South a taboo which,
on pain of ostracism and even personal violence, prescribed that no
Southern white man should dare, in public utterance or in print,
speak one word of condemnation of Southern practices. He was a trai-
tor to his country and a friend to its enemies.
The most important, the most vital, the most far-reaching
result of our work was the breaking of this ban, successfully defy-
ing and forever destroying this taboo. We branded lynching as bar-
barous and criminal and called upon all citizens to suppress it with
iron resolution. This required moral courage and we awaited the re-
action with anxiety. Soon it was apparent that we were justified.
Our finding was received everywhere with approval. The cheap poli-
ticians, the sensationalists, the irreconcilables were silenced.
From now on the race questions could be discussed.
As to our specific recommendations, the facts indicate that
they bore and are still bearing fruit. Lynchings have decreased
significantly in their annual number. Law enforcement officers have
shown themselves more willing to forestall these occurrences and in
cases to prevent them by armed force. Judges and juries have con-
victed and punished their perpetrators.
Educational opportunity for the negro is slowly improving.
Larger funds are provided. Better school houses are being built.
The condition in Gainesville, Florida, comes under my personal obser-
vation. The old wooden barn formerly used has been replaced by an
adequate brick building. County superintendents are supervising the
work more closely and the personnel of the teaching force is improv-
Sanitary conditions are better. Gainesville again furnished
a case in point. Today the main thorofare through the negro section
is as well paved and lighted as any street of the city.
As to our last recommendation, proof of a tangible nature is
hard to obtain. My own impression from observation and discussion,
is that in the last quarter century some advance has been made, that
the white man is beginning to feel his civic duty and to evince wil-
lingness to aid in helping the negro.
The Commission was under no illusion as to these changes. We
knew that an over-night transformation was an idle dream, that it
would be a slow, uphill, toilsome process that would require genera-
tions for any large results. My belief is that racial conditions are
improved and that our work to this end had some bearing on this im-
To prophesy is a dangerous undertaking. What the future
holds no man can foresee. That there will continue to be progressive
and cumulative adjustment is my belief today. That the mass of ne-
groes will ever outgrow entirely their African descent and become
American citizens as have our Irish and German and Italian immigrants
is improbable. That the white man will ever get rid of his racial
antagonism, his feeling of racial superiority, and lose his present
concept of negro character is more than doubtful.
But my last observation on this subject is that within mle-
limits a better racial modus operandi can be accomplished.

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