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At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 65,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Chase, Thomas N. (fl. 1872) to Charles Sumner with Sumner's autograph endorsement signed

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC07202.02 Author/Creator: Chase, Thomas N. (fl. 1872) Place Written: Atlanta, Georgia Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 14 December 1872 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Chase, a professor at Atlanta University, updates Sumner on the condition of African Americans in Georgia. States that "[t]he opposition to the elevation of the colored people is becoming more & more intense. 'I don't want a nigger to know more than I do' is the general sentiment." Reports that in Georgia, African Americans are excluded from the benefit of agricultural scrip. States that Joseph Emerson Brown, Chairman of the Atlanta Board of Education, does not support African American schools as much as he supports white schools. He indicates that black students only get female teachers, whereas white students get some male teachers as well. Complains about insufficient travel accommodations for African American students, stating "[w]hen our pupils returned to their homes last summer, they were obliged to ride in a low filthy uncomfortable car put close to the engine before the baggage car"; he also mentions that the young African American ladies of breeding should not be subjected to the smoky train car they were obliged to ride in. Offers to send a school catalog to Sumner, and requests Sumner's advice. Endorsed by Sumner: "There is but one answer - my Civil Rights Bill. C.S".

People: Chase, Thomas N., fl. 1872.
Sumner, Charles, 1811-1874.
Brown, Joseph Emerson, 1821-1894.

Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Keywords/Subjects: Education Reform, African American History, Reconstruction, Education, Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, Jim Crow, Women's History, Travel, Transportation, Government and Civics, Law, Congress

Sub Era: Reconstruction