|Evening Schools for Freedmen in Washington and Georgetown
Committee of the Association of
Volunteer Teachers of Evening Schools for
People of Color in Washington and Georgetown, D. C.
April 14, 1864
American Missionary Association No. 15999
Nine schools had been created with volunteer teachers and assistants.
The first school opened in December 1863. The schools were located at E Street, Asbury Church, Church on the corner of 4th and L, Old Camp Barker, Contraband
Church (called the Rochester School - had support from Rochester, N. Y. ), Wesley Church, Zion Church and the Baptist Church on the corner of 19th, W and I. They
had an enrollment of 1080. The schools held sessions of 2 hours on about 2 evenings of the week. The majority of the students were aged between 15 and 25. Nearly
all had been slaves and 1/5 to 1/4 had not mastered the alphabet before entering the schools. The great truth: Liberty and all free institutions can be based only on
the education of the masses---ignorance not only fosters vice and degradation, but furnishes ready materials for lighting the fires of treason, rebellion, and civil war.
A. E. Newton was Secretary, Samuel Dickinson was Treasurer. The other committee member was Rufus Leighton. This was approved by the Trustees of Free Colored
Schools for Washington and Georgetown: Daniel Breed, M. D., Chairman and S. J. Bowen, Treasurer.
Note: The first free school for African Americans in Washington, D. C. was opened on March 15, 1862 one month before the abolition of slavery in the District. It was
held at Duff Green's row near the Capitol and organized by Rev. H. W. Pierson from the American Tract Society. On April 1, 1862 at the Union Bethel Church on M
Street north an evening school was opened by Rev. George Shearer, Miss Elizabeth Smith and Dr. L. D. Johnson but in November it became a day school. The first
annual report of the Superintendent of Colored Schools for the District of Columbia that the first evening school opened on November 25th, 1863 at E street near
Tenth Island. The second evening school opened on January 4th, 1864 with A. E. Newton as teacher who was not only Secretary of the Evening School Association
but would later become the Superintendent of Colored School.
Index: Daniel Breed, Md, S.J. Bowen, Rev. J. M. Alvord, Rev. J. J. Marks, D. D., Hon. W. D. Kelly, M.C.