This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the Duplication Policy section for more information.
This collection was processed under the sponsorship of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of Preservation, Washington, D.C., 1991.
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|Abstract||The Southern Education Board was established in 1901 as the executive branch of the Conference for Education in the South, which was founded after a series of meetings, 1898-1900, held at Capon Springs, W. Va. The Board worked primarily to promote education, especially rural education, in the South. It disbanded in 1914. Prominent Board members included Robert C. Ogden (1836-1913), pres.; Charles D. McIver (1860- 1908), sec.; George Foster Peabody (1852-1938), treas.; Edwin A. Alderman (1861-1931); William H. Baldwin (1863-1905); Wallace Buttrick (1853-1926); J.L.M. Curry (1825-1903); Charles W. Dabney (1855-1945); George Sherwood Dickerman (1843-1937); Hollis B. Frissell (1851-1917); H.H. Hanna; Walter Hines Page (1855-1918); and Albert Shaw (1857-1947). This collection consists of correspondence, reports, minutes, scrapbooks, and other papers of the Southern Education Board and related organizations concerning the promotion of public education and also of agriculture and rural community in the South in the early twentieth century. The early papers concern the annual meetings of the Conference for Education in the South and the work of the Southern Education Board in supporting the development of rural schools and communities. After 1914, the records also include material on the reorganization of the Conference and Southern Education Board and the activities of related organizations, including the Southern Conference for Education and Industry, the Southern Educational Association, and the Southern Education Society. There are reports on a wide variety of subjects, including rural conditions, education, African Americans, women, community, and other subjects. Also included are the papers of George Sherwood Dickerman, which relate particularly to African American education, 1900-1910.|
|Creator||Southern Education Board.|
The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.
Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.
The Southern Education Board was founded at Winston-Salem, N.C., in 1901 as the executive board of the Conference for Education in the South, which was formalized earlier that year. The background for both of these organizations was a series of Conferences on Christian Education in the South. At these gatherings, representatives from various professions and organizations with a common interest in education met to talk about problems particular to the South. In 1900, the group chose an agent, G. S. Dickerman, to collect information and report on educational conditions in the region. At the meeting that year, Robert C. Ogden, a wealthy New York City businessman, suggested that they create a permanent organization to work for popular education in the South. The Conference was founded the following January.
The Conference for Education in the South was a popular or mass organization to which anyone could belong, and whose major function was to sponsor annual open meetings. The Southern Education Board, its executive arm, did the work of the Conference between meetings. Specifically, the Board was charged with conducting a publicity campaign for education in the South, and with acting as a Bureau of Information and Advice for individuals and school systems interested in improving education. The first Board consisted of Robert C. Ogden (1836-1913), president; educator Charles D. McIver (1860-1906), secretary; philanthropist George Foster Peabody (1852-1938), treasurer; statesman, author, and educator J. L. M. Curry (1825-1903); chemist, agriculturist, and college president Charles W. Dabney (1855-1945); educator and orator Edwin A. Alderman (1861-1931); Presbyterian clergyman and principal of Hampton Institute Hollis B. Frissell (1851-1917); Baptist clergyman and educator Wallace Buttrick (1853-1926); William H. Baldwin (1863-1905); Albert Shaw (1857-1947); Walter Hines Page (1855-1918); and H. H. Hanna.
The Board continued in its original purpose and organization until 1914. With Dabney as director, the Bureau of Investigation and Information sent agents into the South to study the conditions of state schools. In 1906, they began focusing in particular on rural schools, and, in 1909, the Board cooperated with the Peabody Fund to pay state supervisors of rural schools. The Peabody Fund had been established in 1866 to promote the growth of schools in the war-ravaged South. For the next few years, this was the most important function of the Board, along with organizing annual conferences. Also in 1909, the Board became interested in organizing farmers and improving agriculture. In its final years of activity it worked also on community development.
A number of other organizations were related to or associated with the Conference for Education in the South and the Southern Education Board. The most important was the General Education Board, which was established in 1902 by John D. Rockefeller to facilitate the promotion of education in the United States. The General Education Board made appropriations to state universities to develop high schools. Also related to the Conference were the Slater Fund, established in 1882 by industrialist John F. Slater for the support of African American schools; the farm demonstration movement; and boys' and girls' clubs. The Southern Education Board generated state-level organizations including Improvement Associations and Cooperative Associations.
After the death of Robert C. Ogden in 1913 and the dissolution of the Peabody Fund in 1914, the Southern Education Board encountered financial and political difficulties that led to a number of reorganizations, including a merger with the Southern Educational Association, a professional organization. In 1915, the two groups formed the Southern Conference for Education and Industry. The Southern Education Board continued as the executive committee of the Southern Conference for Education and Industry until its first conference. During that time, Albert Pike Bourland (1861-1927) acted as executive secretary and treasurer, and the Southern Education Board relinquished the job of supervising rural schools to the General Education Board, keeping only the responsibility for planning conferences. After the 1915 meeting, the Southern Education Board disbanded, and Bourland became the executive secretary of the Southern Conference for Education and Industry.
The financial troubles of the Southern Conference for Education and Industry continued, however. In 1916, it organized a Chautauqua of the South, a summer program of education and entertainment, with the hope that the program's profits would be sufficient for funding the work of the Conference. Bourland devoted much time and energy to the project, but the Chautauqua was never more than a minor success. By 1919, it was only a music program, and it was discontinued in 1920. At the same time, the Conference was undergoing changes. In 1916, it became the Southern Education Association, but the name was quickly changed to the Southern Education Council and then to the Southern Education Society. While the name changed, the organization remained the same: it was a group of select men, with membership by election and requiring dues, gathered to work on improving southern education. By 1920, Bourland was fighting to keep some kind of organization alive, but, in 1921, even he gave up and left the organization for a job at the Department of Extension at Winthrop College.Back to Top
This collection is divided into nine series.
Series 1, Correspondence, contains the correspondence of the Southern Education Board and related organizations. The principal correspondents include H. B. Frissell, principal of Hampton Institute; Wickliffe Rose (1862-1931), who served as executive secretary , 1909-1913; and Albert P. Bourland, who succeeded Rose. The series is further subdivided as follows:
Subseries 1.1, Correspondence, 1898-1908, deals with the formation of the Conference for Education in the South and the Southern Education Board. Most letters are either to or from H. B. Frissell in Virginia. There is also scattered correspondence of Robert Ogden, the founder of the Conference, and of Charles Dabney, who was in charge of the Board's Bureau of Investigation.
Subseries 1.2, Correspondence, 1909-1913, concerns the supervision of rural schools and includes reports (in letter form) from the states. During this time, the Peabody Fund, the major source of funding for the Southern Education Board, was dissolved, and correspondence reflects attempts by members to find alternative sources of funding. There is also a great deal of material on the organization of yearly conferences.
Subseries 1.3, Correspondence, 1914-1916, consists of material on two basic themes: community organization and keeping the Southern Education Board on sound financial footing. The Board became involved with efforts to bolster the country community as a way of supporting the schools, and this movement is reflected in the annual meetings. In addition, there is material reflecting the financial troubles of the Board, its merger with the Southern Education Association, and the founding of the Chautauqua of the South.
Subseries 1.4, Correspondence, 1917-1925, contains material related to Bourland's efforts to keep the work for education in the South going in some form. Correspondence details the failure of the Chautauqua and the formation of the Southern Education Society out of the core of the old Conference. Most of the correspondence concerns Bourland's efforts to recruit new members into the organization, and his eventual decision to give up and liquidate the organization's holdings of publications. The series substantially ends with Bourland's accepting a job with Winthrop College. Undated materials are also included in this series.
Series 2, Reports and Related Materials, contains reports and other materials relating primarily to individual schools and school systems in the South, but also to related subjects. This series is divided into five subseries as follows:
Subseries 2.1, Schools, consists of reports on individual schools, reports of state supervisors, and files on specific types of schools and related educational issues.
Subseries 2.2, Community Development, includes a wide variety of materials related to the idea of the country community and the efforts of the Southern Education Board to bolster it.
Subseries 2.3, Organizations, consists of information about various organizations related to the Conference for Education in the South and Southern Education Board, including notes on meetings and reports on work.
Subseries 2.4, Other Materials, consists of reports, information, articles, statistics, and other materials about miscellaneous topics in which the Southern Education Board was interested, including agriculture, women, and African Americans.
Subseries 2.5, Volumes, consists of material on education and agriculture in the South.
Series 3, Minutes, contains minutes of various organizations, including the Southern Education Board, the Conference for Education in the South, the Southern Education Society, the Chautauqua of the South, and others.
Series 4, Financial Materials, contains financial records of the various organizations, for the most part in the form of lists of expenses, travel accounts, treasurers' statements, and lists of appropriations. There are few bills and receipts until the later years, when there are a large number of receipts for membership dues.
Series 5, Clippings, is a collection of newspaper articles relating to agriculture, education, African Americans, and other topics of interest to the Southern Education Board.
Series 6, Scrapbooks, is a collection of scrapbooks on various topics of interest to the Southern Education Board. This series is divided into three subseries as follows:
Subseries 6.1, Conferences, contains material related to the annual meetings of the Conference for Education in the South and Southern Education Board. The volumes contain clippings, programs, invitations, agendas, and other materials.
Subseries 6.2, African Americans, contains material on education and related subjects, probably collected by George Sherwood Dickerman.
Subseries 6.3, Miscellaneous, contains material on miscellaneous social issues including farm life, tenancy, economics, and other topics.
Series 7, Photographic Materials, contains a photograph album with pictures of schools in Louisiana and postcards from Germany, and approximately 350 loose photographs of various schools and school scenes.
Series 8, Other Papers of the Southern Education Board, includes bylaws and constitutions, membership lists, and a bibliography.
Series 9, George Sherwood Dickerman Papers, consists of correspondence and field agents' reports. Dickerman was field agent for the Conference for Education in the South from 1900 until 1906 and a member of the Southern Education Board until 1914. Topics include the education of African Americans, as reflected in reports on specific schools throughout the South; rural education in general; and Dickerman's work for the Southern Education Board.Back to Top
Correspondence of the Southern Education Board, the Conference for Education in the South, and other related organizations. The principal correspondents are H. B. Frissell, Wickliffe Rose, and A. P. Bourland. The papers reflect the changing concerns of the organization, from the education of African Americans to rural education in general and community development. Also reflected are the changing fortunes of the organizations themselves.
In this period most of the correspondence deals with the formation of the Conference for Education in the South and the Southern Education Board, the planning of the annual meetings, and field research to determine priorities for improving southern schools. Much of the correspondence is either to or from H. B. Frissell, principal of Hampton Institute, Hampton, Va. He organized conferences, engaged speakers, and was very much involved in educational matters in his home state. Also present is the lettercopy book, 1902-1904, of Edgar Gardner Murphy (1869-1913), an Episcopal clergyman, who was at the time executive secretary of the Board. There is also scattered correspondence of Robert Ogden of New York City, the founder of the Ogden Movement and the Conference for Education in the South, concerning meetings and his annual trips accompanied by northern men and women of influence to view southern educational institutions. These were referred to as "Ogden Party Excursions".
The first official meeting of the Southern Education Board was held in Winston-Salem, N.C., in 1901. In 1902, the Southern Education Board formed a Bureau of Investigation, headed by Charles W. Dabney, then president of the University of Tennessee and later of the University of Cincinnati. The Bureau published a few issues of Southern Education (none are present in the papers) to document the problems of southern education. Also mentioned in 1902 is the founding of Peabody Teachers' College. Beginning in 1903, there are occasional letters about the importance of rural schools. There is more comment on racial issues in this section than in any other part of the correspondence, except George S. Dickerman's correspondence (see Series 9). Other significant events during this period include the arrival of Wickliffe Rose in 1905, after the resignation of H. B. Frissell, and George S. Dickerman's joining the Board in 1907 with the main responsibility for the organizing of the annual meetings. Other correspondents represented in the papers include George Foster Peabody and Edgar Gardner Murphy. Other subjects represented include the issue of women's education. State reports appearing in the form of letters include: Georgia (1905); Kentucky (1905); Tennessee (1906); and Texas (1908).
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The volume of material jumps substantially beginning in 1910. The major part of the correspondence during this time deals with rural school development. Letters and reports from individual schools also begin to appear at this time. These include reports from women involved with School Improvement Associations, including Mrs. L. R. Dashiell and Virginia Moore, and from state supervisors of rural schools. (See also: Series 2.1. Schools, for reports from the supervisors; and Series 2.4. Other reports, for additional information on the School Improvement Associations.) Many of the letters were addressed to Wickliffe Rose, who was first an agent for the Peabody Educational Fund, 1907-1914, and then the executive secretary of the Southern Education Board, 1907-1913. The correspondence primarily discusses educational efforts and progress in the states.
During this time, rumors developed that the Peabody Education Fund would be dissolved, threatening a major loss of funding for the Southern Education Board. There are many letters concerning the Board's search for a new funding source, especially to pay women employees. The Fund's eventual dissolution was the first in a series of financial blows to the organization. The officers responded with a number of letters and reports detailing the success of the organization thus far.
Another topic that received much attention was the preparation for the yearly conferences. In particular, in 1913, there is much material regarding the coordination of the Richmond Conference, which was a mass meeting of farmers, businessmen, educators, clergymen, and others to discuss rural development and schools. Wickliffe Rose quit the organization in 1913, and A. P. Bourland took over most of the correspondence for the organization.
Toward the end of this period, discussions about the "country community" begin. The phrase "country community" was used to refer to the whole complex of community organizations in the rural South: church, school, family, and farm. Members of the Board and others feared the country community was deteriorating as people moved out of rural areas, and sought ways to bolster it. (See also: Series 2.2. Reports on Community Development.) Another topic of discussion was the possible merger of the Conference for Education in the South and the Southern Education Association. These topics dominate the correspondence over the next few years.
Other topics of significance reflected in the papers are: the first conference to include a session on the education of southern women, 1910; the beginning of an ongoing correspondence concerning the state of public education in Australia, 1911; the work of James Yadkin Joyner in North Carolina, 1911; and the movement to establish school libraries, 1912. State reports appear for: Alabama (1910); Arkansas (1912); Florida (1912); Georgia (1912); Kentucky (1912); Louisiana (1910, 1912); North Carolina (1910, 1912); Virginia (1912); and West Virginia (1909, 1912).
Robert Ogden, the leading force behind the Southern Education Board, died in the early fall of 1913. January 1914 saw the demise of the Peabody Fund. As a result of these and other crises, the Southern Education Board was formally dissolved in May 29, 1914. The remnants of its membership joined the General Education Board. During these years, the focus of the papers continues to be organizing the country community in the belief that education could not improve without community support. The correspondence indicates that the work of the Conference for Education in the South continued, with A. P. Bourland coordinating many committees to study various aspects of country life.
The Conference's annual meetings grew both in the number of attendees and in the scope of discussion. Meeting sites discussed during this period included: Louisville, Ky. (1914); Chattanooga, Tenn. (1915); and New Orleans, La. (1916). The focus of the Louisville meeting was on women's education. There is also material on the proposed merger between the Conference for Education in the South and the Southern Education Association, and on the idea of the Conference holding joint meetings with the Southern Sociological Congress. The correspondence indicates that the merger took place in 1915, with the two organizations forming the Southern Conference for Education and Industry. The new organization expended considerable effort trying to get back the $9,000.00 that the Southern Education Board had given to the General Education Board to pay for the supervision of rural schools.
After World War I, the correspondence chiefly concerns A. P. Bourland's struggle to keep the Conference and its work alive. Because of the distraction of the war and other factors, donations to the Conference dropped, and the organization continued to be in financial trouble. The members came up with the idea of associating with the Chautauqua in New York, an organization that sponsored educational and musical programs in the summer. The Chautauqua of the South, like the one in New York, combined educational programs and summer sessions with musical entertainment. Much correspondence concerns hiring of performers, selling tickets, and publicizing the program. After a few years, the New York group decided the program was not worth the expense and pulled out. Bourland fought to keep the Chautauqua of the South going as a music festival. The papers include exchanges between Bourland and others in which he sought to justify the Chautauqua's continuance.
By this point, many people in the Southern Conference for Education and Industry decided that mass meetings were no longer effective and wanted to trim the Conference down to a select group of men. Correspondence documents the formation of the Southern Educational Council and its transformation into the Southern Educational Society. Shortly thereafter, the Southern Educational Society affiliated with the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Much of the correspondence for these years shows Bourland trying to recruit people to be members of the these combined groups and soliciting dues payments, organizing fund-raising projects, such as liquidating the Southern Education Board's stock of old publications, and pushing for the Southern Conference for Education and Industry to start a periodical. Throughout the period, Bourland tried to see the bright side of things, and considered every setback an opportunity for rebirth. Even Bourland gave up in 1921, however, and started looking for a new job. Included in the correspondence are letters of recommendation for him. Substantive correspondence ends in 1922, when Bourland got a job in the Extension Department at Winthrop College; 1924 and 1925 materials consist of two letters to Bourland thanking him for material on his work in South Carolina.
Arrangement: by category, then alphabetically or chronologically as appropriate.
This series includes a wide variety of material, as the term "reports" has been taken loosely. Much of the material was sent by outside or unidentifiable sources to the Southern Education Board rather than produced by the Board. The material includes notes, lists, essays and articles, statistics, and information in other forms. This series is broken into five subseries as follows: 1. Schools; 2. Community development; 3. Organizations; 4. Other reports; and 5. Volumes about agriculture and education in the South.
The material on schools is organized into three categories: information by state, reports of state supervisors, and files on specific types of schools or related educational issues. Included in the state files are completed report forms from state supervisors, essays about particular schools or state initiatives, statistics, and occasional maps. It should be noted that this material is in the form of reports to the Southern Education Board, General Education Board, and A. P. Bourland from state representatives. Of special note is a file on the Rock Hill School in South Carolina, an experimental farm school that the Southern Education Board considered a model in rural educational development. The states included are those considered to be part of the South. There are also materials on other areas, and a folder on unidentifiable locations.
The reports of state supervisors for rural schools are typed, formal statements to the Southern Education Board. Each state is covered in a few pages, the supervisor describing his activities and the progress in his state for that quarter. These reports are followed by some miscellaneous material related to the supervision of rural schools. See also Series 1.2-1.3 for reports written in the form of letters to Bourland or the Board.
In the third category in this series are materials on specific types of schools or education-related issues. In addition to some slight material on elementary and vocational schools, the collection includes information on high schools and higher education. There is also material on how the schools were financed, mostly information on taxes and levies in various states. This section is followed by miscellaneous materials.
This subseries includes a wide variety of materials with the theme of "community development." They have been organized as "reports," although this is a loose designation. The material includes programs for conferences; outlines of plans for organizing country communities; essays about various aspects of country life, including the church, recreation, women's roles; questionnaires, both blank forms and completed; and descriptions of community organization efforts in various places. (See also: Series 1.3. for notes on the "Oemulgee" communities and related topics.)
This subseries consists chiefly of information about the organizations themselves, and occasionally about specific projects. Included are descriptions of meetings, announcements and programs of conferences, outlines of projects, and statements of purpose. The reports of the Southern Education Board are summaries of their own work, most often prepared for presentation to the Russell Sage Foundation and other organizations.
This subseries includes reports, information, articles, statistics, and other items about various topics in which the Southern Education Board was interested. The material on agriculture includes the status of agricultural production in the various states, articles on how to produce various crops, and information on the rural credit movement. There is also material on African Americans, including reports on the state of African American education. Another subject of interest was a cooperative enterprise in Minnesota that the Board considered to be a good model. The focus on cooperatives coincides with the interest, reflected in the correspondence in Series 1, in strengthening the country community. Lastly, there is material containing compilations of various educational and agricultural statistics for the South. See also Series 6. Scrapbooks, for clippings about race issues; and Series 9. George S. Dickerman Papers, which deals at length with education for African Americans.
Miscellaneous volumes dealing with education and agriculture in the south.
The loose papers in this series are minutes of various organizations, filed chronologically. Included are official resolutions or statements, especially memorials to deceased members and friends. The material for 1907 contains much discussion about taxes and finances for education. Papers for many years include a list of elected officers. The material in 1914 continues the debate over whether or not the Southern Education Board should continue, and, if so, in what form. There is a little material on the Southern Conference for Education and Industry after 1916 or on the Chautauqua of the South after 1918. The volumes are much more substantial, and include much more detailed and inclusive records.
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For the years before 1916, the loose papers in this series are mainly travel and other expense accounts, treasurer's statements, budgets, and lists of appropriations, with only scattered bills and receipts. Most of the material is typed as though it were to be included in a report. There are also lists of expenses for the Conference for Education in the South. In 1916, the number of bills and receipts increases. Of special interest are receipts for membership fees that show members' names. Also in 1916, there are receipts for the sale of Southern Education Board publications, as A. P. Bourland attempted the liquidate the stock. Materials for the later years include bills, receipts, and lists of expenditures for the Chautauqua, Southern Education Society, and Southern Conference for Education and Industry. The volumes are contain receipts and expenditure lists.
This series contains a few articles about members of the Southern Education Board, including Robert Ogden and A. P. Bourland, and about the organization itself. The remaining clippings relate to various topics, including education and related issues, rural and agricultural issues, community, and women's issues. The bulk of the material is undated.
Arrangement: by subject, then chronological.
This series consists of volumes containing clippings, programs, invitations, and related material. The volumes fall into three categories: conferences, African Americans, and miscellaneous. Within the categories the volumes are arranged chronologically.
Volumes contain clippings, programs, articles, and other material related to the annual meetings of the Conference for Education in the South, including the first meeting at Capon Springs and later mass meetings of farmers, women, businessmen, and others. There is also material about Robert Ogden's trips to the South.
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Scrapbooks of clippings about African American education and related issues, including a paper by Booker T. Washington. See also: Series 2.4. Reports, Other, for additional information on African Americans, and Series 9, G. S. Dickerman's Papers, for correspondence regarding African American education.
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Scrapbooks on miscellaneous social issues including eugenics, community organizing, economics, tenancy, and the visit of Prince Henry of Prussia.
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Arrangement: roughly alphabetical by state and county, where known.
Photograph album entitled "Rural Schools in Louisiana" containing photographs by C. J. Brown for the Southern Education Board (7 pages). The rest of the album contains post cards of scenes in Germany. Also included are about 350 loose photographs depicting school buildings, school scenes, etc., as well as farm demonstration activities.
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Restaurant in Oakdale, Allen Parish, La. #00680, Series: "7. Photographic Materials, 1901-1914." P-680/63
Caption reads: "League organized to have it become incorporated, helped to buy equipment for school house, Oakdale, La."
Labadieville, Assumption Parish, La. #00680, Series: "7. Photographic Materials, 1901-1914." P-680/67
Caption reads: "Have a new school building in process of erection, French Community."
Four country schools, Saint James Parish, La. #00680, Series: "7. Photographic Materials, 1901-1914." P-680/79
Caption reads: "League here helped to fix yard and equip building. The Burton School, at the right, has a fine League of Children and Urchins."
Cotton still on site to be used for school garden. #00680, Series: "7. Photographic Materials, 1901-1914." P-680/345-346
Planting turnips and spinach between the rows on first day of school, 13 September 1915
Arrangement: by subject.
This series includes miscellaneous papers of the Southern Education Board, including membership lists; lists of members of committees, coordinated by A. P. Bourland, that were charged with studying components of country life; and lists of interested people. There are also the bylaws and constitutions of various organizations and incorporation papers for the model creamery in Minnesota.
George S. Dickerman (1843-1937) was field agent for the Southern Education Board, 1900-1906, and later for the John F. Slater Fund. His correspondence is largely concerned with routine Southern Education Board business, including planning and attending the yearly conferences, visits to various schools, and, after 1906, his duties as associate secretary. Much of the correspondence is with Robert C. Ogden, S. F. Venable, Charles D. McIver, George Foster Peabody, Edgar Gardner Murphy, and other prominent members of the Board.
Of particular interest are letters, beginning in 1901, from John R. Rogers, superintendent of schools for Washington County, Ga., discussing local conditions and his efforts to improve the lot of his African American teachers; letters concerning Winthrop Normal and Industrial College of Rock Hill, S.C., an experimental girls' school that taught dairying, horticulture, and floriculture; a letter, 21 March 1904, from S. W. Bennett of Charleston, S.C., describing the extent of property ownership among African American citizens; an extensive ongoing correspondence with A. W. Nicholson of Bettis Academy, Warwick, S.C., an independent African American school; a letter, 25 April 1907, from J. W. Beeson of Meridian Female College, Meridian, Miss., with a detailed description of the institution's educational philosophy and especially of its use of military drill for both sexes; and, in 1909, the beginning of a correspondence with James J. H. Gregory of Marblehead, Mass., which resulted in the formation of the Marblehead Libraries, a series of traveling libraries that were loaned to African American institutions. Throughout 1909 and 1910, there is correspondence with librarians and educators concerning books appropriate for inclusion in these traveling collections. Another of Dickerman's interests reflected in the correspondence was his encouragement of industrial and vocational educational programs.
The correspondence reveals that Dickerman resigned from his position with the John F. Slater Fund after it combined with the Jeanes Negro Rural School Fund in 1910. Afterwards, he apparently increased his writing activities, engaged in a correspondence with W. E. B. DuBois in the latter's capacity as editor of The Crisis, and became involved with a movement to distribute used library books in southern communities.
Lettercopy books of George S. Dickerman as a field agent for the Southern Education Board, beginning in 1900, and later for the John F. Slater Fund. Most of the volumes are handwritten, fragile, faded, and difficult to read. A major concern of Dickerman's was African American education, and a good deal of the correspondence deals with this and related issues. In 1904-1905 in particular, he was interested in medical education for African Americans and thereafter kept up an active exchange with various African American medical and nursing schools. Off and on there is material on the annual meetings of the Conference for Education in the South, particularly for 1901, 1906, and 1907, when Dickerman had an active role in the planning. In addition, Dickerman often wrote of publication, both of his own works and of the annual proceedings of the Conference. Scattered among the correspondence in the volumes are some of his writings, including "The Negro in Africa and America," "Industrial Progress in the South," a paper on wages and wage earners, and "Old Time Negro Education in the South". Finally, Dickerman kept in touch with schools across the South about their activities and progress. In his letters, he gave advice and encouragement, especially about fund raising. After 1907, as an agent for the Slater Fund, he corresponded with schools seeking grants. The correspondence includes vouchers for Slater funds and other material related to his job as the Fund's agent.
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Processed by: Tracy E. K'Meyer with Eileen Parris, June 1992
Encoded by: Eben Lehman, May 2007
Updated by: Nancy Kaiser, February 2021
This collection was processed under the sponsorship of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of Preservation, Washington, D.C., 1991.
Note oversize volume numbers reflect the prior arrangement of the collection.Back to Top