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270 A COLORED L^DY JDECTUREK.
The In The -Recei Month Pt Of Of A Book ...
Nancy & emon 4 _^ wonian possessing every characteristic which can adorn or ennoble womanhood , combined with the most
indomitable energy . We were all trained to habits of industry , with ar thorough knowledge of those domestic duties which particularly
mark the genuine New England woman . With no private means , it was also most necessary . We were taught to knit and sewand
, to cook every article of food placed upon the table . The most trifling affair was obliged to be well done . Her aim seemed to be
to guard , and at the same time strengthen her children , not only for the trials and duties of life , but also to enable them to meet the
terrible jxressure which prejudice against color would force upon them . Our home discipline was what we neededbut it did
not——, could not , fit us for the scorn and contempt which met us on every hand when face to face with the worldwhere weniet a community
, who hated all who were identified with an enslaved race . While our mother never , excused those who unjustly persecuted those
whose only crime was a dark complexion , her discipline taught us to gather strength froni our own souls ; and we felt / fche full force of
the fact , that to be black was no crime , but an accident of birth . _''My strongest desire through life has been to-be educated . We
had from time to time been taught to read and write a little , but had received no regular instruction . I found the most exquisite
pleasure in reading , and as we had no library , I read eyery book which came in my way , andlike Oliver TwistI longed for more .
, , Again and again mother would endeavor to have us placed in some private school , but being colored we were refused . We soon
knew the real reason , and the most bitter and indignant feelings were cherished by me against those who deprived me . of the
opportunity of gaining knowledge . My eldest brother had been admitted to one of the . public schoolsand at a much later period the three
, youngest children , including myself , were admitted to one of the ¦ _public primary schools . All went on well for a time , and the
children generally treated us kindly , although we were very frequently made to feel that prejudice had taken root in their hearts . We
remained in this school . a very short time , passed the examination , and entered the . high school for girls . In the primary school we
had been taught by a lady ; the principal of the high school was a gentleman . Both teachers always treated us with kindness . W _>
had been in this school a very short time , when we were informed that the school committee contemplated founding a school exclusively
for colored children . The public schools of Salem are located in the different districts , and the established rule was , that children can
only be admitted to the school in the district of their residence , and we were . in the school of the district where we resided .
" The schools were then divided into separate ones for the boys and girls . These schools were also arranged according to age and
capacity . Now , they intended to found a school for young and old , advanced pupils and those less advanced _; boys and girls were all to
270 A Colored L^Dy Jdecturek.
270 A _COLORED L _^ DY JDECTUREK .
English Woman’s Journal (1858-1864), June 1, 1861, page 270, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/ewj/issues/ewj_01061861/page/54/