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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Proceedings of the Convention of Colored People Held in Dover, Del., January 9, 1873.
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DO THE COLORED PEOPLE APPRECIATE EDUCATION, AND ARE THEY WILLING TO PAY FOR IT?
A certain gentleman in the City Council of Wilmington, a short time ago, remarked that the colored people were unwilling to pay for schooling, and that, consequently, he was unwilling to tax the white people to educate their children.
We present below the following facts, which perhaps may be worth as much as the gentleman's assertion:
Fact No. 1. John M. Clayton, of Appoquinimink Hundred, states that the colored people of his community have sustained a school for four years, one to three months each year, and that it has cost him an average of $5.00 per month during school session.
Fact No. 2. James H Duckry, of Pencader Hundred, states that they have a school to which the Association pays $5.00 per month, and for which he also pays the sum of $5.00 per month. This amount he has paid monthly for four years, during the time school was in session.
Fact No. 3. Thomas Reed, of East Dover Hundred, paid in 1871, $35.00 for three months schooling for three children.
Fact No. 4. Elias Tillman, of Appoquinimink Hundred, has contributed not less than $30.00 to the cause of education for the benefit of his own children, and others.
Who are these men? All colored men, and all poor men. Men to whom a dollar is a matter of much importance, and yet their bright examples but illustrate the spirit that prevails in great degree among a large portion of the colored people of the State. In every locality where there is a school they are paying from fifty cents to one dollar per month for each child sent. In view of all this, and much more that could be presented, it is certainly not very creditable to one's head or heart to assert that colored people are not willing to pay for schooling.
And yet, if they are unwilling, is it strange? White people of Delaware have schools provided for them by the State —school houses are built, and the teachers paid out of public money. Is it not natural that this fact alone would give to the colored people an unwillingness to pay from their own scanty earnings their own school expenses? "Put yourself in his place." The unfairness of the thing is enough to discourage any people, but we have those among us whose love of progress and education, and whose desire for the good of their children and the race, will not allow them to give up even under these many difficulties.
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