“Industrial School for Colored People—Views of Colored Legislators and Others.” (February 3, 1876)

Address to Virginians.

This article, published February 3, 1876, in the Daily Dispatch, reports on a meeting of Black leaders in Richmond planning to open a vocational school for Black children in the city. The first statewide system of free public schools in Virginia was established in 1870 after the ratification of a new state constitution. In spite of protests by African American members of the General Assembly, the system segregated Black and white students. Public schools for Black students were often small, overcrowded, and poorly equipped. In the absence of a quality public education, Black communities across the state established private schools for their children like the Moore Street Industrial School.


A meeting of colored people interested in the establishment of an industrial institution for colored youth was recently held in the Moore-Street chapel. John Oliver, the agent, presided, and R. P. Brooks acted as secretary. The prospectus of the school was read, after which the chairman stated the object of the meeting and the progress of the enterprise. He said he had talked with a good many thoughtful people in the community upon the subject under consideration, and all felt interested in its success. The first object now is to complete the payment on the property, and this must be done before much headway can be made in operating the school.

J. W. Poindexter, of Louisa, read the following paper, which was adopted:

“Whereas, seeing the need and necessity of the establishment of some industrial institution here which in its scope and comprehension shall embrace the present wants of our youth in carrying forward among them the mechanical industries now so much neglected, we take pleasure in recommending the Moore-Street Institution to the favorable consideration of a generous public sentiment, and hope with our united efforts the amount of money necessary to complete the purchase of the property may be speedily realized, and the school at once put into operation.”

P. J. Carter, who is one of the agents, spoke earnestly in behalf of the enterprise. In the course of his remarks he said the colored people of the cities of Richmond, Lynchburg, Petersburg, Norfolk, and Staunton last year had spent over $75,000 in the matter of excursions. This amount spent for educational purposes would have been an honor to the race.

R. C. Hobson, Aaron Comadore, R. H. Whittaker, and Rev. Mr. Troy made addresses in support of the school. The trustees were requested to hold a public meeting once a month in aid of the Institution, and the meeting adjourned.

APA Citation:
Dispatch, Daily. “Industrial School for Colored People—Views of Colored Legislators and Others.” (February 3, 1876). (2021, October 28). In Encyclopedia Virginia.
MLA Citation:
Dispatch, Daily. "“Industrial School for Colored People—Views of Colored Legislators and Others.” (February 3, 1876)" Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Humanities, (28 Oct. 2021). Web. 20 Apr. 2024
Last updated: 2021, October 28
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