Thursday, February 16, 2012

John G. Fee on African American Education

"Here [at Camp Nelson, Kentucky] are thousands of noble men, made in the image of God, just emerging from the restraints of slavery in the liberties and responsibilities of free men, and of soldiers. I find them manifesting an almost universal desire to learn; and [in] that they do make rapid progress…When we consider that this people have great physical strength, are manifestly capable of rapid intellectual development, that they are humble, grateful, trusting, religiously inclined – that they are destined to occupy an important place in the army and agriculture of this nation, I feel that it is blessed to labor with such a people...."

Source -
Sears, Richard D. Camp Nelson, Kentucky: A Civil War History. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2002.


  1. Hi Tim,

    Good to see your blog is still so active and interesting!

    I think John Fee was a remarkable man. His efforts to educate freed men and to establish Berea College as a multiracial institution are a great testament to his legacy. I find it very interesting that despite the best efforts of Fee and others to establish real education and equality for African Americans in the years proceeding the Civil War, the tide of racism and oppression reestablished itself pretty quickly in Kentucky and most of the nation. Kentucky's 1904 "Day Law" aimed at eliminating multiracial teaching at Berea stands as a sad indictment of early 20th century culture in Kentucky and America.

    Thanks again for your blog.

    Warren Greer
    Louisville, KY

  2. Warren,
    Thanks for the kind and encouraging words. The blog has been fun do and I can believe that it is coming up on its three year anniversary.

    I agree with your comments on Fee. I wish somehow his deeds and accomplishments could be known to more Kentuckians and Americans.