For Friends’ Intelligencer.


On the 18th of First month, with the thermometer below zero, two Friends visited the colored school in Mt. Pleasant, composed of fifty scholars, and made up of the children of the freed-people who have found their way into this State. The teacher is the son of the County Superintendent, a young man of talent, and very deeply interested in this class of our people. We were surprised at the astonishing progress of the pupils, and listened to their exercises in orthography, embracing some of the most difficult words in ordinary use. It was a rare thing for anyone to misspell a word. Their reading was very fair, but in arithmetic and geography they exceeded our expectations. While great credit is due to the assiduity of the children, very much is also due Pembroke Howe, who, to use his own language, says, "I feel a pride in being able to say my school will compare well with the white schools of the county." Our county supports this school.

On the same day, a visit was made to an old freedwoman who is now nearly one hundred years of age. She has been the mother of twenty children, and is a pious Christian. She still retains her faculties remarkably.

A part of the nice flannel sent to S. B. D.’s care from Friends in Philadelphia was given her, which she received with many expressions of gratitude, saying, "Surely de Lord sent it." She lives with her son-in-law David Johnson, known as "Uncle Davy." This poor man is only forty-seven years old, looking as if he might be threescore and ten. His fingers have nearly all been frozen off, and his limbs are distorted by rheumatism. We met him in the street with his horse and saw, returning from work. He had been sold to seven different masters while a slave in Northern Missouri. A number of benevolent persons have aided him in purchasing a little home. He, too, is a religiously-minded man.

The colored people here have all recently been in slavery, and are doing so well as to merit the kind regard even of some who were once prejudiced against them. A more grateful people for the favors received, it is rare to find. Those who have recently come, seem to have more means than such as arrived during the war.

J. A. D. (NOTE: Joseph A. Dugdale)

Prairie Grove, Iowa, 1st mo. 20, 1867.

Article taken from the "Friends Intelligencer", February 2, 1867, page 759. Accessed August 2021 by Jennifer Sterling, director of the William Penn Library, Oskaloosa, Iowa, and forwarded to Henry County Heritage Trust, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. Transcribed by James Peters, University of Northern Iowa Public History Field Experience Class, Fall 2021.
Added to Henry County IAGenWeb, 22 Nov 2021.
Return to:
Were They African-American  Quaker  ***   Henry County IAGenWeb
Copyright © IAGenWeb.  All rights reserved.