The Endowment, 1870-1873 103
white children and 44,805 colored children in the State between the
ages of 15 and 21 years unable to read and write. There are in the
State 191,961 whites and 205,032 colored over the age of ten years
unable to read and write; adding 679 Indians who cannot read or
write, we find the sum total of the illiterates in the State, over the age
of ten years, to be 397,690. The entire population of the State is
1,071,361. If from this number we deduct the whole number of
children in the State under the age of ten years and divide the
remainder by two, we find that about half the population of the State
over the age of ten years are unable to read and write." (Page 38.)
Using the census figures Cobb made this comparison: "The children
in the State number 268,000―182,690 white, 85,239 colored, and
396 Indian, and only 58,000 of all these, less than one to four and
one-half, are going to public and private schools; our hearts sicken
within us, and we begin to think, after all, that distinguished
statesman was right: `The condition of education in North Carolina is
worse than it has been in forty years'." 28 From the general figures
Cobb deduced the conclusion that there were 50,000 white Baptists in
the State, one-half the entire membership of the churches, who were
illiterate and ignorant, and that the chief responsibility for this must
be laid to the blindness and indifference of parents. The editor of the
Biblical Recorder, Mills, in commenting on Cobb's address
recognized the justice of the charge, saying: "The indifference of the
people to the subject of education is alarming; a large proportion of
the population cannot read or write, and as things now are there is no
promise of immediate improvement. The Baptists have a full share in
all this apathy and illiteracy; hence their influence is circumscribed,
their progress retarded, their benevolent enterprises crippled, their
denominational literature not read, their organ not circulated, their
pastors not paid, and their schools and colleges languish for want of
patronage, while hundreds and thousands of their children are
growing up
Statement of Ex-Governor Graham to Dr. T. H. Pritchard, Biblical Recorder,
January 29, 1873. Graham as a member of the Peabody Board was in a position to
get correct information.
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