There was no standard school book in any of the schools. The
children used any kind of books they could get—Sunday School
books, story books, or any book. Everywhere I went I inquired
about the schools, and found the same statement. I visited a
school one day where I found a very nice lot of children, . nging
from six to fourteen years of age. Many of them seemed to be
very bright. They came to recite one at a time.
"Why don't you have them in classes?" I asked.
"Yes, that is what I would like to do," the teacher said.
"But we haven't got the books. There are not four children in
the school with books alike. Their parents send them with any
kind of a book, and I am obliged to use it; and some of the chil¬
dren come and have no book at all; but they come."
"How do you manage?"
" I borrow a book from some of the other children, and hear
" Then they can't study when they go home?"
" No," she said, " they just have to study in school."
"How long have you been teaching this school? "
"Two years," she said.
"Well, why don't you speak about it? Isn't this a govern¬
"Yes but I have spoken, and I have gone myself to Monrovia,
and done all I could about it; but it does no good."
And that was about the way I would find it everywhere,
unless there was a mission school.
As I was going to Liberia, in 1882, when we got to Sierra
Leone, a Liberian young man, a very nice lad, I suppose about
seventeen years of age, Mr. Eddie Lisles, from Bassa, got on the
steamer. I saw he was a very nice, interesting looking lad, and
one day as he was sitting smoking, I went up to him and had a
talk with him. I asked him his name, and where he lived, and
he told me. He said he had been away at school.
"Away at school?" I said; "where?"
"At Sierra Leone."
"Sierra Leone? Why, they have a college at Monrovia,
"Yes," he said.
"Well," I said, "I'm surprised. I thought that the people
would be sending their children from other places to Monrovia to