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The Negro Exhibit
Thomas J. Calloway

Calloway, Thomas J. 1901. "The Negro Exhibit." Pp.463-467 in Report of the Commissioner-General for the United States to the International Universal Exposition, Paris, 1900. Volume II. U.S. Senate Document No. 232 (56th Congress, 2d Session). Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office.

Online Source:
The start page of the report at Google Books:  
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R. Williams' Notes:
Note 1: Thomas J. Calloway published "The Negro Exhibit" as a report describing the exhibit presented at the International Universal Exposition in Paris, 1900 (i.e., the 1900 Paris Exposition). He briefly outlines various features and also notes DuBois' role and contributions. Calloway's report can be read in tandem with DuBois' "The American Negro at Paris" [page on this site].
Note 2: In the original text the words "Negro" and "Negroes" were not capitalized.

November 11, 1900.
Sir: Pursuant to instructions I have the honor to submit the following report covering the negro exhibit: On November 15, 1899, I received my commission as special agent in the department of education and social economy to take up the work of compiling data and collecting material for an exhibit of the progress of the American negroes in education and industry. Five months only remained before the opening of the Exposition and all material was expected to be ready for shipment by January 1, 1900. The shortness of the time necessitated a very comprehensive scheme, and hence it was determined to take an arbitrary method of collecting the material, by choosing in advance what was wanted and asking this material from sources where we could rely upon getting it to the best advantage. Six institutions were asked to contribute the education features and the other material was solicited in like manner. It is pertinent to note that no complaint has been made of this method of collecting the exhibit, though it differed from the usual method of inviting everybody interested in the subject to contribute material.
It was decided in advance to try to show ten things concerning the negroes in America since their emancipation: (1) Something of the negro's history; (2) education of the race; (3) effects of education upon illiteracy; (4) effects of education upon occupation; (5) effects of education upon property; (6) the negro's mental development as shown by the books, high class pamphlets, newspapers, and other periodicals written or edited by members of the race; (7) his mechanical genius as shown by patents granted to American negroes; (8) business and industrial development in general; (9) what the negro is doing for himself through his own separate church organizations, particularly in the work of education; (10) a general sociological study of the racial conditions in the United States.
    The following entries from the official catalogue give the names of exhibitors, special agents, and material:
Atlanta University, Atlanta, Ga.: Statistical charts showing development of negroes in America.
Coleman Manufacturing Company, Concord, N. C.: Photograph of cotton mill owned and operated by negroes.
Colored American, Washington, D. C.: Bound volume of negro newspapers.
Du Bois, W. E. B., Atlanta, Ga.: Collective exhibit, results of social study of the negro in Georgia. Du Bois mentioned.
Fisk University, Nashville, Tenn.: Written work by negro pupils.
Fleetwood, C. E., War Department, Washington, D. C.: Charts showing photographs and official records of negro soldiers and sailors and their medals of honor.
Haines Industrial Institute, Augusta, Ga.: Sewing work by negro pupils.
Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, Hampton, Va.: Photographs of pupils' work in classes, shops, and agriculture. Model bank.
Harper, Robert H., Chicago, Ill.: Collective exhibit showing homes, business enterprises etc., of the negroes of Chicago.
Hilyer, Andrew F., Washington, D. C.: Collective exhibit of negroes in merchandise, factories, and allied occupations.
Howard University, Washington, D. C.: Charts and photographs showing professional education among negroes.
Lee, Bishop B. F., Wilberforce, Ohio: Charts and photographs of negro self-development in church and school.
Murray, Daniel, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C.: Books and musical compositions by negro authors.
Niell, James P., Nashville, Tenn.: Chart of photographs and percentages of negroes in civil service.
Patent Office, Washington, D. C.: Patents issued to negroes.
Roger Williams University, Nashville, Tenn.: Photographs and catalogue.
Shaw University, Raleigh, N. C.: Photographs and catalogues.
Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute, Tuskegee, Ala.: Shop work, agricultural products, and photographs of negro pupils.
Washington Public Schools, Washington, D. C.: Miniature models from negro life. Miniature model cotton press.
Almost the first object seen in the United States negro exhibit, with figure and arms in the attitude of speaking, was the statuette of the famous negro scholar and orator, Frederick Douglas [sic]. This statuette was a reproduction of the original, which stands in the principal square of Rochester, N.Y., and was executed by the same sculptor, Mr. Stanley W. Edwards. Adjoining was a case which held 15 wing frames and, altogether, 33 charts, 28 inches high and 22 inches wide. In this case were photographs of several educational institutions, viz: Fisk University, Howard University, Roger Williams University, Agricultural and Mechanical College, Greensboro, N. C.; Berea College, Tuskegee Institute, and Claflin University. These photographs showed buildings, grounds, and classes at various kinds of work, and miscellaneous views of school life. Upon the top of this case rested four beautiful bound volumes containing the official patent sheets issued to nearly 400 negro patentees. In case No. 2 were shown the teachers, two kindergarten classes, and two other classes of the Haines Normal and Industrial Institute, Augusta, Ga. This represented a distinctive work by colored women, Miss Lucy Laney being the founder and present principal. The wing frames in this case contained kindergarten work, and sewing and dressmaking samples. There were also photographs of many negro houses, such as those of Bishops Gaines, Holsey, and Turner; Messrs. Snell and Nash, of Atlanta, Ga.; Messrs. Murray, McKinley, and Dr. Grimke, and a street view in Eleventh street, Washington, D. C., showing a solid block of fine houses occupied by negroes.
It was as late as December 28, 1899, that Professor Du Bois concluded to undertake the special investigation of Georgia, which he had been requested to make. The State of Georgia was chosen because it has the largest negro population and because it is a leader in Southern sentiment. The second choice would have been Virginia, and the third South Carolina. Professor Du Bois outlined his plan and estimated his expense at $2,500. This amount was appropriated by Commissioner-General Peck, and he began his task. Ten or a dozen clerks were employed and the great machinery of a special census was set to work. In the exhibit case relating to Georgia were 31 charts, as follows: No. 1, in front, showed the Eastern and Western hemispheres, and the distribution of Africans and their descendants in all parts of the world. Nos. 2 and 3 showed the States according to their negro population, Georgia heading the list with 858,815. No. 4 showed the growth of the negro population of Georgia as follows:
1790 . . . . . . . . . . .    29,662
1800 . . . . . . . . . . .    60,423
1810 . . . . . . . . . . .  107,019
1820 . . . . . . . . . . .  151,417
1830 . . . . . . . . . . .  220,017
1840 . . . . . . . . . . .  283,697
1850 . . . . . . . . . . .  384,616
1860 . . . . . . . . . . .  465,698
1870 . . . . . . . . . . .  545,142
1880 . . . . . . . . . . .  725,133
1890 . . . . . . . . . . .  858,815
Du Bois mentioned.
Nos. 5 and 6 showed the negro population of Georgia by counties in 1870, 1880, and 1890, also the movement of the negro population. No. 7 illustrated the migration from Georgia to other States, showing the actual number of negroes born in Georgia who are resident in other States and Territories, also of those resident in Georgia who were born in the several States and Territories. Of the negroes born in Georgia 89,551 are living in other States, whereas only 43,200 born in other States are living in Georgia. Chart No. 8 showed that, notwithstanding this migration from Georgia in 1800 the negroes constituted 37 per cent of a total population of 162,686; in 1830, 43.5 per cent of a total population of 516,823; in 1860, 44 per cent of a total population of 1,057,286, and in 1890, 46.7 per cent of the total of 1,837,353, which shows the comparative increase of whites and negroes in Georgia. No. 10 gave the age distribution as compared with France. No. 11 gave the conjugal condition as compared with Germany, showing the total number married, single, widowed, and divorced at different ages. Here the American negro in his family life compares favorably with the German, who has the highest perfection in home life of all nationalities. Charts Nos. 12 to 19 took up the subjects of city and rural population, slaves, and percentage of free colored people, amalgamation, illiteracy, enrollment in public schools, teachers, schoolhouses, and students in special courses. Nos. 20 to 31 showed by unique designs the valuation of school property owned by negroes, assessed for $13,447,423, land owned to the value of $4,230,120, acres to the amount of 1,042,223 owned in 1899, acres in each county, value of farm tools, horses and other stock, etc.
In the adjoining case were shown 150 photographs, which were among the finest to be found anywhere in the Exposition. Hampton Institute sent them to tell the story of her work, and they served the purpose admirably. Case No. 3 contained another set of charts sent by the Atlanta University. These charts told the story of negro statistics for the whole country, much as the charts previously described did for Georgia. In the last case to the right was a miscellaneous collection of photographs, charts, etc., showing medal-of-honor men, factories owned or operated by negroes, other factories in which they have employment, as well as stores, shops, places of business, homes, churches, and organizations owned or conducted by them. In this last were the True Reformers of Richmond and views of negro soldiers. On the extending shelf were accessible a series of bound volumes of written work by pupils of Fisk University. The volumes were illustrated by photographs. On the shelves underneath were over 200 volumes by negro authors. The total number of books and special pamphlets by negroes amounted to 1,400 volumes or more.
Just above the exhibit case were seventeen swinging cases, containing samples of shop and farm work from the Tuskegee Institute. This institute believes in showing the practical things manufactured by its students in that great hive of industry. It followed the rule in this case, and by a careful device compressed into a few feet the evidence of the work its students are doing. One-half of these cases to the right contained beautifully arranged specimens of the agricultural work being done. Girls were seen in the photographs being taught open-air work, and beside the picture were samples of the products they raise. This idea was exemplified throughout the exhibit, and thousands of visitors viewed these cases with great interest. Just above the Tuskegee exhibit were pictures of three famous negroes -- the late B. K. Bruce, who was United States Senator from Mississippi; Booker T. Washington, one of the greatest leaders of his race in America, and J. W. Lyons, registrar of the United States Treasury. In the vestibule was a long case of French plate glass, containing the nine models made by Professor Hunster and contributed by the Washington public schools. These models illustrated the various phases of negro life through which the Southern slaves have passed since their emancipation, and gave a clear insight into the advancement made with regard to domestic and educational life as a result of the newborn aspirations of the race.
Thomas J. Calloway,
Special Agent.
[End of original text.]    

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