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African in New England
			

               THE AFRICAN IN NEW ENGLAND.                   433



                             X.
          THE AFRICAN IN NEW ENGLAND.

                  BY REV. R. F. HURLEY, D.D.

  BORN in Virginia, in 1846, an African myself (that is, if
Mr. Webster's definition of African is correct: "A native of
Africa, or one ethnologically belonging to an African race "),
I saw the African in slavery up to the opening of the war of the
Rebellion; enlisting in the United States Army in 1863, I saw
him as a soldier up to the close of the war. Then, as the
Emancipation Proclamation, emphasized by the triumph of
Federal arms, made him a free man, I have seen him as a citizen
for over a quarter of a century. During this time, I have seen
him in the South and Southwest; I have seen him in the North
and in the East by the East, I mean that part of our country
which has generally been regarded as the most favorable to his
general well-being. This, however, has not been, nor is it
now everybody's opinion; but, perhaps, the preponderance of
opinion is in favor of the conclusion that New England offers
the fullest recognition of his manhood, and the best and freest
means of improving that manhood, of any section of our coun-
try. Presuming on the correctness of this view, it becomes a
matter of increased importance as to what effect these favorable
conditions have had upon him. To New England, therefore, we
may look for information that cannot be had anywhere else, as
to what would be the condition of the African throughout the
Union to-day, more than a quarter of a century after his eman-
cipation, had he been under conditions equally favorable with
those of New  England.      If those who have spent the last
twenty or thirty years under these conditions have improved in
proportion to the advantages and opportunities offered by these
conditions or surroundings, as a rule, then we would reason-
ably conclude that the same rule would obtain elsewhere. I
therefore conclude, that the standard by which the possibilities
and probabilities of the African in this country are to be tested,
is to be sought, or should be sought, in the character and con-
dition of those Africans who, in the providence of God, have
had their lot cast where conditions are most favorable to their
progress or general improvement; in other words, for the
answer to the question: "What would be the condition of the
African in this country to-day, had he been favorably sur-
rounded since the day of his emancipation ?" must be furnished
by those whose surroundings have been thus favorable. Does
the progress made by these justify the claims of those whose
friendship and devotion to the race have made their names to




			
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African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, [Vol.08, Num. 4]

African in New England

F.

Volume:  08
Issue Number:  04
Page Number:  433
Date:  04/1892


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