Amanda Smith. 453
it. But my people often called me " White folks'nigger," any¬
how. So I am in for it, and I don't care. All I care to do is to
keep in favor with God and man as much as lieth in me.
During my stay of eight years in Africa there was not a gov¬
ernment school building in the republic, and never had been, as
far as I could learn; but'their schools wrere held in churches, or
private houses. I remember there was a high school talked of
and arranged for during the session of the Legislature in 1885 or
1886. A Mr. James Lewis, of Sinoe, was appointed by the gov¬
ernment as teacher. I was in Greenville, Sinoe, when he returned
home from the Legislature with his appointment.
Of course there was a great deal of talk about this new depart¬
ment of school work. Mr. Lewis was thought to be the man for
the position. And I thought from the talk that they would erect
a building for the purpose. But no; when Mr. Lewis opened his
school, with quite a nice number of pupils, it was on the veranda
of his own private dwelling; and his seat was a hammock!
Many times I have passed by, or from my window could see
him, hearing his pupils recite, while he would be lying in the
hammock. It was right in the public street, so it was not a thing
done in a corner. I spent some weeks with his sister, Mrs. Mar¬
shall, almost opposite his house; so know whereof I affirm.
Then there were two other schools called government schools;
one held in the Congregational Church, and another, said to be for
natives, held in another part of town. This school was held about
three times in a week, with an average attendance of five or six
native boys, who lived in the families generally. The teacher was
Mrs. Marshall's sister.
Of course the government had an inspector of schools; but if
you were a friend of the inspector, or if you had a friend who was
a friend of the inspector, it had more to do with your keeping the
school than any other qualification.
Then people say, " Well, but they have a college." Yes, they
boast of a college. I often told them that it did not come up to a
good high school in this country, not in any sense. I think there
was a time when it was in a better condition than it was when I
was there. Whatever that was, I don't know. I simply speak of
what it was during the eight years of my stay. To call it a col¬
lege I think, is a misnomer; for it led the people to believe that
we had "raded schools, and every requisite preparatory to a col¬
lege course. But that is really not so.