THE RECONSTRUCTION PERIOD
T HE years from 1867 to 1878 I think may be called the period of Reconstruction. This included the time that I spent as a student at Hampton and as a teacher in West Virginia. During the whole of the Reconstruction period two ideas were constantly agitating the minds of the coloured people, or, at least, the minds of a. large part of the race. One of these was the craze for Greek and Latin learning, and the other was a desire to hold office.
It could not have been expected that a people who had spent generations in slavery, and before that generations in the darkest heathenism, could at: first form any proper conception of what an education meant. In every part of the South, during the Reconstruction period, schools, both day and night, were filled to overflowing with people of all ages and conditions, some being as far along in age as sixty and seventy years. The ambition to secure an education was most praiseworthy and encouraging. The