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Published online by Cambridge University Press: 03 February 2021
This article examines the workings of Hampton Institute's external relations program to show how the school developed loyal supporters and donors. By 1900, Hampton was the wealthiest school for African Americans, and its philosophy—stressing vocational education and forsaking political equality—was at its most influential during this time, attracting numerous followers as well detractors. Little has been written about how Hampton actually raised money and few have explored in any detail why it was so successful in fundraising. Hampton's leaders developed a comprehensive, state-of-the-art external relations program that forged meaningful connections with its supporters. Hampton's coordinated outreach efforts were highly effective at getting its message to its target audience—wealthy White Northerners—making them feel closely connected to Hampton and its students, as well as making them feel, through their support of Hampton, that they were part of solving the so-called race problem.
1 Richard R. Bowker to Hollis B. Frissell, Feb. 9, 1906, box 27, Richard Rogers Bowker Papers, Manuscripts and Archives Division, Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, New York Public Library (hereafter cited as Bowker Papers).
2 Fleming, E. McClung, R. R. Bowker: Militant Liberal (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1952), 358Google Scholar.
3 Hampton also educated a small number of Native Americans between 1877 and 1923. While the federal government largely subsidized their education, Hampton did fundraise for them and some donors did give specifically to Native American students. Although beyond the scope of this article, the connection between Native Americans and philanthropy is a topic certainly worth further scholarly exploration. See Hultgren, Mary Lou, To Lead and to Serve: American Indian Education at Hampton Institute, 1878–1923 (Charlottesville: Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and Public Policy, 1989)Google Scholar; and Lindsey, Donal F., Indians at Hampton Institute, 1877–1923 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1995)Google Scholar.
4 The historiography on philanthropy and Black education is voluminous, but James Anderson's The Education of Blacks in the South, 1860–1935 is still the most influential interpretation. Anderson argues that northern white philanthropists aligned with White southern progressives to promote a system of education for African Americans, based on the Hampton model, that would secure their status as second-class citizens. Other scholars have shown that these school reformers did not have unchecked power. For instance, Eric Anderson and Alfred Moss Jr. show that they dealt with opposition to, and suspicion of, their agenda from both southern Whites and Blacks, for different reasons; and Joan Malczewski shows the relationship of school reform efforts to power structures in the South, and in particular how reformers had to adapt their approaches to local power structures. Anderson, James D., The Education of Blacks in the South, 1860–1935 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1988)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Anderson, Eric and Moss, Alfred A. Jr., Dangerous Donations: Northern Philanthropy and Southern Black Education, 1902–1930 (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1999)Google Scholar; and Malczewski, Joan, Building a New Educational State: Foundations, Schools, and the American South (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.
5 Richardson, Joe Martin, Christian Reconstruction: The American Missionary Association and Southern Blacks (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1986), 105Google Scholar.
6 Thelin, John R., A History of American Higher Education (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins Press, 2011), 102Google Scholar.
7 Anderson and Moss, Dangerous Donations, 17.
8 See especially Anderson's discussion of Fort Valley High and Industrial School. Anderson, Education of Blacks in the South, 115–32.
9 Finkenbine, Roy E., “Law, Reconstruction, and African American Education in the Post-Emancipation South,” in Charity, Philanthropy, and Civility in American History, ed. J., Lawrence Friedman and Mark Douglas MacGarvie (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 166Google Scholar; and Walker, Vanessa Siddle, Their Highest Potential: An African American School Community in the Segregated South (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.
10 For the difficulties other schools had, see Enck, Henry S., “Black Self-Help in the Progressive Era: The ‘Northern Campaigns’ of Smaller Southern Black Industrial Schools,” Journal of Negro History 61 no. 1 (Jan. 1976), 73–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar; and Mbajekwe, Carolyn Wilson, “The Difficult Task: Fundraising for Small Southern Black Industrial Schools: The Case of Emma Jane Wilson and the Mayesville Educational and Industrial Institute, 1900–1915,” American Educational History Journal 30, (Jan. 2003), 7–15Google Scholar. For a view of fundraising for a southern industrial school for Whites during this era, see MacDonald, Victoria-María and Lenington, Eleanore, “Southern Poor Whites and Higher Education: Martha Berry's Philanthropic Strategies in the Building of Berry College,” in Women and Philanthropy in Education, ed. Walton, Andrea (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005), 135–76Google Scholar.
11 Seymour, Harold J., Designs for Fund-Raising: Principles, Patterns, Techniques (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1966), 115Google Scholar.
12 John R. Thelin and Richard W. Trollinger, Philanthropy and American Higher Education (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), 153–54.
13 Tuskegee applied many of the same concepts, but it had numerous financial agents over the years, and it is not clear how integrated they were into the school's operations. At least one, Frank Chisholm, was a Tuskegee graduate who was associated with the school for seven decades; however, he apparently was only a part-time employee and he lived in the North. See Flavel Sweeten Luther to Booker T. Washington, Oct 26, 1908, and Booker T. Washington to Frank P. Chisholm, Oct. 30, 1908, both reprinted in Louis R. Harlan and Raymond W. Smock, eds., Booker T. Washington Papers, vol. 6, 1901–1902 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1977), 668–69, 672–73; and Louis R. Harlan, Booker T. Washington: The Making of a Black Leader, 1856–1901 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1972), 150. On how Tuskegee conducted its fundraising, see Enck, Henry S., “Tuskegee Institute and Northern White Philanthropy: A Case Study in Fund Raising, 1900–1915,” Journal of Negro History 65, no. 4 (Oct. 1980), 336–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar.
14 For the early history of Hampton, see Anderson, Education of Blacks in the South, 33–66. A more sympathetic history is Robert Francis Engs, Educating the Disfranchised and Disinherited: Samuel Chapman Armstrong and Hampton Institute, 1839–1893 (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1999).
15 The Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, Principal's Report for the Year Ending June 30, 1895 (Hampton, VA: Normal School Steam Print Press, 1895), 4.
16 Tadajewski, Mark, “Relationship Marketing at Wanamaker's in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries,” Journal of Macromarketing 28, no. 2 (June 2008), 162–89CrossRefGoogle Scholar. Among other Wanamaker innovations, his store was among the first to offer free bathrooms, and he instituted a one-price policy where everyone paid the same price for items (except for ministers, who paid less), eliminating the haggling that was traditionally part of the retail experience. For Wanamaker's influence, see William R. Leach, Land of Desire: Merchants, Power, and the Rise of a New American Culture (New York: Vintage, 1994), 191–224.
17 Other scholars have noted Frissell's good business practices, including acknowledging all gifts, responding to all letters, and having scholarship recipients write letters to their donors. Wilma King Hunter, “Coming of Age: Hollis B. Frissell and the Emergence of Hampton Institute, 1893–1917” (PhD diss., Indiana University, 1982); and Charles D. Walters, “Projections, Projects, and Finance: The Letters of Hollis Burke Frissell,” in Stony the Road: Chapters in the History of Hampton Institute, ed. Keith L. Schall (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1977), 51–62.
18 Robert C. Ogden to Hollis B. Frissell, May 17, 1894, box 6, Robert C. Ogden Papers, Manuscript/Mixed Materials Division, Library of Congress, Washington, DC (hereafter cited as Ogden Papers).
19 Robert C. Ogden to Hollis B. Frissell, June 7, 1894, box 6, Ogden Papers.
20 Robert C. Ogden to Hollis B. Frissell, Oct 6, 1894, Robert C. Ogden file, Hollis Burke Frissell Collection, Principals and Presidents, Hampton University Archives, Hampton University, Hampton, VA (hereafter cited as Frissell Collection).
21 “Outline of work carried on in principal's office,” Nov. 1905, William H. Scoville file, Frissell Collection.
22 William H. Scoville to Hollis B. Frissell, Aug. 12, 1909, William H. Scoville file, Frissell Collection.
23 Anson Phelps Stokes Jr. (1874–1958) was the son and namesake of the multimillionaire businessman who made his money from the Phelps Dodge mining company. The younger Phelps would later take a leading role in the Phelps-Stokes Fund, established in 1911 by the will of his aunt Caroline Phelps Stokes and dedicated to the improvement of Blacks in America and Africa. Eric S. Yellin, “The (White) Search for (Black) Order: The Phelps-Stokes Fund's First Twenty Years, 1911–1931,” The Historian 65, no. 2 (Dec. 2002), 319–52.
24 “The Richest Clergyman,” Atlanta Constitution, July 15, 1900, 17. The story and its variations appeared in newspapers across the country in 1900. See, for instance, “Christ, Rather than the World,” Christian Herald and Signs of Our Times, July 25, 1900, 623; “A Young Millionaire Who Prefers the Pulpit to Society,” Parsons (KS) Daily News, Sept. 16, 1900, 3; and “Men and Women of Wealth Tell How They Have Solved the Problem of Giving,” Owensboro (KY) Messenger, Oct. 7, 1900, 12.
25 Emma Anderson to Anson Phelps Stokes, n.d., folder A, box 4, Anson Phelps Stokes Family Papers, Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library, New Haven, CT (hereafter cited as Stokes Papers).
26 Form letter from Anson Phelps Stokes, n.d., folder A, box 4, Stokes Papers.
27 “Fortieth Annual Report of the Principal,” Southern Workman 37, no. 4 (May 1908), 299.
28 The Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, Principal's Report for the Year Ending June 30, 1900 (Hampton, VA: Normal School Steam Print Press, 1900), 29.
29 “Forty-Fifth Annual Report of the Principal,” Southern Workman 42, no. 5 (May 1913), 307.
30 “Some Stumbling Blocks,” Southern Workman 30, no. 1 (Jan. 1901), 747.
31 Bacon, Alice, “Reflex Action of the Carolina Troubles,” Southern Workman and Hampton School Record 28, no. 3 (March 1899), 90–92Google Scholar.
32 Ludlow, Helen W., “The Girls’ Half of Hampton Institute,” Southern Workman 30, no. 1 (Jan. 1901), 763–70Google Scholar.
33 For example, see The Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute and Its Work for Negro and Indian Youth (Boston: G. H. Ellis, printer, 1899); What Hampton Graduates Are Doing in Land-Buying, in Home-Making, in Business, in Teaching, in Agriculture, in Establishing Schools, in the Trades, in Church and Missionary Work, in the Professions, 1868–1904 (Hampton, VA: Hampton Institute Press, circa 1904); Everyday Life at Hampton Institute (Hampton, VA: Hampton Institute Press, 1907); Some Results of Hampton's Work (Hampton, VA: Hampton Institute Press, 1915); The Need for Hampton (Hampton, VA: Press of the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, 1916); and Hampton in War Time (Hampton, VA: Press of the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, 1918).
34 Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute and Its Work, 11.
35 Alice Lansing reply to appeal, n.d., box 61, Appeals Campaigns, Campaigns, Frissell Collection.
36 “Benefit for Hampton Institute,” New York Times, March 10, 1895, 3.
37 Edith Armstrong to Hollis B. Frissell, Jan 2, 1895, folder A, box 81, Misc. Correspondence, Frissell Collection.
38 For a list of the various Hampton associations, see Francis G. Peabody, Education for Life: The Story of Hampton Institute (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1918), Appendix 17, 384–87. The Philadelphia Armstrong Association still exists as an affiliate of the Urban League.
39 Forty-Second Annual Report of the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church, 1901, Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church Records, folder 2, box 14, Brooklyn Historical Society, Brooklyn, NY.
40 “Work of Hampton,” Hartford Courant, Jan. 23, 1896, 6.
41 “For Hampton Institute,” Hartford Courant, March 4, 1901, 8.
42 Allyson Nadia Field, Uplift Cinema: The Emergence of African American Film and the Possibility of Black Modernity (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2015).
43 “Hampton's Summer Campaign,” Southern Workman 60, no. 10 (Oct. 1911), 555–58.
44 “Hampton Incidents,” Southern Workman 34, no. 10 (Oct. 1905), 572.
45 Hollis B. Frissell to Dr. John Graham Brooks, April 25, 1906, folder B, Frissell Correspondence A-OM, Frissell Collection.
46 “Hampton's Chaplain Emeritus,” Southern Workman 47, no. 6 (June 1918), 265.
47 “Forty-Seventh Annual Report of the Principal,” Southern Workman 44, no. 5 (May 1915), 298.
48 James Howell Smith, Honorable Beggars: The Middlemen of American Philanthropy (PhD diss., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1968); and Thelin and Trollinger, Philanthropy and American Higher Education, 19.
49 Armstrong, S. C., “Twenty-Fourth Annual Report of the Principal,” Southern Workman and Hampton School Record 21, no. 6 (June 1892), 84Google Scholar.
50 Wilberforce University, for instance, had a tiered commission scheme where their financial agent got as much as “33½ per cent on all sums collected under $100.00” to “10 per cent on sums over $5,000,000.” Yet “very little money was raised by the agents.” Frederick A. McGinnis, A History and an Interpretation of Wilberforce University (Wilberforce, OH: Brown Publishing, 1941), 127.
51 Fundraising by commission is considered unethical in modern development. Association of Fundraising Professionals, “Compensation, Bonuses & Finder's Fees,” Code of Ethical Standards, https://afpglobal.org/ethicsmain/code-ethical-standards.
52 Herbert B. Turner to Hollis B. Frissell, Nov. 5, 1894, Hollis B. Frissell Correspondence T, Frissell Collection.
53 Herbert B. Turner to Hollis B. Frissell, Nov. 24, 1900, Hollis B. Frissell Correspondence T, Frissell Collection.
54 Herbert B. Turner to Hollis B. Frissell, Nov. 17, 1900, Hollis B. Frissell Correspondence T, Frissell Collection.
55 Herbert B. Turner to Hollis B. Frissell, Nov. 18, 1904, Hollis B. Frissell Correspondence T, Frissell Collection.
56 Herbert B. Turner to Hollis B. Frissell, Dec. 11, 1908, Hollis B. Frissell Correspondence T, Frissell Collection.
57 Herbert B. Turner to Hollis B. Frissell, Nov. 4, 1910, Hollis B. Frissell Correspondence T, Frissell Collection. The emphasis is in the original.
58 Herbert B. Turner to Hollis B. Frissell, Nov. 15, 1910, Hollis B. Frissell Correspondence T, Frissell Collection.
59 Herbert B. Turner to Hollis B. Frissell, Oct. 10, 1911, Hollis B. Frissell Correspondence T, Frissell Collection.
60 Herbert B. Turner to Hollis B. Frissell, Dec. 3, 1916, Hollis B. Frissell Correspondence T, Frissell Collection.
61 Robert C. Ogden to Hollis B. Frissell, March 10, 1910, Robert C. Ogden file, Frissell Collection.
62 Hollis B. Frissell to Francis G. Peabody, March 7, 1910, reel 143, subseries 1, series 1, General Education Board archives [microform] (hereafter cited as GEB Papers).
63 Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, The Forty-Second Annual Catalogue (Hampton, VA: Press of the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, 1912), 10; and Farnam, Henry W., Biographical Record of the Class of 1874 in Yale College: Part Fourth 1874–1909 (New Haven, CT: Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor, 1912), 91Google Scholar.
64 “Hampton's Field Secretary,” Southern Workman 50, no. 4 (April 1921), 152–53.
65 Sydney Dodd Frissell to Hollis B. Frissell, Jan. 12, 1916, Hollis B. Frissell Correspondence F, Frissell Collection.
66 Analysis based on data from the Report of the Treasurer of Hampton Institute for the years 1894 to 1917. The treasurer's report contained summary information on Hampton's income and expenses as well as detailed information on donations received. See, for instance, Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, Thirty-Seventh Report of the Treasurer of Hampton Institute (Hampton, VA: Hampton Institute Press, 1905), 4–8, 18–51.
67 Julie Husband and Jim O'Loughlin, Daily Life in the Industrial United States, 1870–1900 (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2004), 2.
68 Sears, Roebuck and Co., Sears, Roebuck Catalogue, 1897 ed. (1897; repr., New York: Skyhorse Publishing, 2007), 185.
69 Montgomery Ward Catalogue, Spring/Summer 1895 (1895; repr., Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 1969), 238.
71 Analysis based on data from endowment receipts in the Report of the Treasurer of Hampton Institute for the years 1894 to 1917.
72 George Foster Peabody to Rev. James S. Russell, April 10, 1906, Russell folder, box 3, George Foster Peabody Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
73 George Foster Peabody to Hollis B. Frissell, Dec. 26, 1913, George Foster Peabody Correspondence, Frissell Collection.
74 Endowment appeal, Oct. 23, 1899, Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, box 27, Bowker Papers.
75 Executors of Judge Benjamin R. Sheldon Estate to F. C. Briggs, April 30, 1897, Hollis B. Frissell Letters sent 1881–1918, Frissell Collection.
76 Lee A. Gill to R. R. Bowker, March 29, 1898, Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, box 27, Bowker Papers.
77 Plymouth Chimes, Dec. 1896, folder 1, box 18, 3–4, Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims and Henry Ward Beecher Collection, Brooklyn Historical Society, Brooklyn, NY.
78 Ethel Paine letters, n.d., Frissell Correspondence P, Frissell Collection.
79 “Individual donor base” is defined as donors who were not anonymous and not through an organization such as a church or a group meeting.
80 Kathleen D. McCarthy, “Parallel Power Structures: Women and the Voluntary Sphere,” in Lady Bountiful Revisited: Women, Philanthropy, and Power, ed. Kathleen D. McCarthy (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1990), 1.
81 Andrea Walton, “Introduction: Women and Philanthropy in Education–A Problem of Conceptions,” in Walton, Women and Philanthropy in Education, 3.
82 Marybeth Gasman, Envisioning Black Colleges: A History of the United Negro College Fund (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007), 69.
83 In 1909, the Pennsylvania Railroad Company billed Ogden $1,555.48, which covered “party ticket for 75 persons from New York to Old Point Comfort, Va. and return,” folder 7, box 11, Ogden Papers; James M. McPherson, The Abolitionist Legacy: From Reconstruction to the NAACP (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1975), 366–67; and Ronald C. White, Liberty and Justice for All: Racial Reform and the Social Gospel (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 2001), 65–66.
84 The Conference for Education in the South grew out of the Capon Springs Conference for Education in the South, beginning in 1898. This was the start of the southern education movement, which would advocate for state responsibility for education for both Blacks and Whites. See Anderson, Education of Blacks in the South, esp. 79-109; and Louis R Harlan, Separate and Unequal: Public School Campaigns and Racism in the Southern Seaboard States, 1901–1915 (Chapel Hill: Univ Of North Carolina Press, 1958). See also Finkenbine, “Law, Reconstruction, and African American Education,” 161–78; William A. Link, A Hard Country and a Lonely Place: Schooling, Society, and Reform in Rural Virginia, 1870–1920 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1986), esp. 98-123; and C. Vann Woodward, Origins of the New South, 1877–1913 (1951; repr., Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1971), 396–428.
85 Chernow, Ron, Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. (New York: Knopf Doubleday, 2007), 481–500Google Scholar; and McPherson, Abolitionist Legacy, 366.
86 Villard, Oswald Garrison, Fighting Years: Memoirs of a Liberal Editor (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1939), 172Google Scholar; and McPherson, Abolitionist Legacy, 366.
87 R. R. Bowker to Robert C. Ogden, April 30, 1910, Robert Curtis Ogden folder, box 48, Bowker Papers.
88 Russell, William F., “Knowledge and the Pursuit of Happiness and Safety,” in University of Kentucky, Man's Right to Knowledge and the Free Use Thereof: Proceedings of the Thirty-first Annual Educational Conference (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1955), 10Google Scholar.
89 Samuel B. Scott to Robert C. Ogden, May 4, 1909, folder 7, box 11, Ogden Papers; and Lillian H. Crittenden to Robert C. Ogden, May 6, 1909, folder 7, box 11, Ogden Papers.
90 Harriot Sumner Curtis to Harriot Appleton Curtis, May 1, 1903, Papers of the Curtis Family, 1766–2000, folder 370, carton 8, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.
91 Anderson, Education of Blacks in the South, 62.
92 “Conference of Hampton Graduates,” Southern Workman and Hampton School Record 22, no. 7 (July 1893), 121.
93 On double taxation, see Anderson, Education of Blacks in the South, 156, 179–85.
94 “Graduates and Ex-Students,” Southern Workman 43, no. 9 (Sept. 1914), 515.
95 “Anna Maria Fisher Makes Many Bequests,” New York Age, Nov. 2, 1911, 1.
96 “Tributes to a Noble Woman,” New York Age, Dec. 3, 1914, 1.
97 “Forty-Fourth Annual Report of the Principal,” Southern Workman 41, no. 5 (May 1912), 313.
98 The 1900 and 1902 treasurer's reports list $5 donations from a “Mrs. Fisher,” but it is impossible to determine if this is Anna Maria Fisher.
99 “Brooklyn Aid for Hampton Institute,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Jan. 29, 1907, 12. For more on Walker, see his autobiography, Walker, Thomas Calhoun, The Honey-Pod Tree: The Life Story of Thomas Calhoun Walker (New York: J. Day Company, 1958)Google Scholar; and Smith, John Clay, Emancipation: The Making of the Black Lawyer: 1844–1944 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999), 227–30Google Scholar.
100 W. T. B. Williams, “Outgrowths of Hampton,” March 29, 1907, reel 143, GEB Papers.
102 “Thirty-Fourth Annual Report of Hampton Institute,” Southern Workman 31, no. 5 (May 1902), 290.
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