LIFE OF GORDON.
the first students that were enrolled, and he displayed,
within a few weeks, such powerful talent, and made
such rapid advances in his studies, that he was the
acknowledged genius of the public school on Roa¬
noke Island. When Charles had been in school one
session, his fame as a speller had gone over the
Island. He stood at the head of his class, and did
not allow a word to pass him. On the days when the
school would have spelling matches, Charles was sure
to wear the laurels. On some Fridays the scholars
made speeches. In his first speech, delivered in
orie of these Friday evening exercises, Charles grew
exceedingly eloquent, creating quite an intense in¬
terest and holding the school spell-bound; mean¬
time the teacher was gazing on the noble little ora¬
tor as if a spell of amazement and wonder had cap¬
tivated the whole school. It may justly be said that
on this occasion Charles portrayed the hidden treas¬
ures of wisdom and the germ of oratorical power
with which he is endowed.
Unfortunately for Charley, he was forced to quit
school and go home as soon as he was large enough
to be of service there. His mother had a large
family and no one to look to but herself and God.
She therefore worked hard, and made all around
her work who was able. Much to the regret of the
boy, whose aspirations had swollen so high, he
leaves school and accepts the situation.
Charles had a sister, Huldian Gordon, who was
the first colored public school teacher in North Car¬
olina. In those days it was very difficult to teach a