Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 72.djvu/461

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457
THE EDUCATION OF THE COLORED RACE

civilized world. We assert that it is a fundamental duty of the United States government to its own citizenship in the promotion of morality and in the establishment of every department of industry, invention and manufacture which ultimately tends to the improvement, progress and prosperity of the nation as a whole and stands as a bulwark of strength in the time of trouble.

Granting the correctness of statistics already given, every true citizen of the nation will admit that the present conditions existing for the education of southern children must be improved. The writer has ventured to outline a method[1] by which this may be accomplished. It is evident that if the United States government assumes the responsibility of the education of the colored children of the south, the white people, relieved of this burden, will be the better able to meet the educational requirements of their own children.

There are 600 places in the southern states, not counting Virginia, Maryland and Kentucky, which contain 1,000 people or over. In these dwell about 3,000,000 people, white and colored. The other 14,000,000 are country people. This number is over 17,000,000 if the above-named states are added. About 10,000,000 of these are native white Americans with 3,500,000 children to be educated; and there are seven millions of colored people with 2,500,000 children to be educated.

The area of this country is seen in the following table:

Square Miles.
Virginia 42,450
North Carolina 52,250
South Carolina 30,570
Georgia 59,470
Florida 58,680
Alabama 52,250
Mississippi 46,810
Louisiana 48,720
Arkansas 53,850
Tennessee 42,050
Total 487,100
Kentucky 40,400
Texas 265,780
West Virginia 24,780
Maryland 12,210

Owing to the small proportion of colored people with respect to the total population in Kentucky and West Virginia and the small proportion of them in comparison with the great area of Texas, these states are omitted from the present calculations. Other appropria-

  1. This method must be regarded as merely provisional. It is intended for the most part to give an idea of the expenses necessary for an adequate education of the colored race.