SEEKING TO EXTEND THE WORK.
The result of our work was so encouraging that my constant prayer was that our plan of preaching the Gospel and saving souls along the way might be spread all over the South. Therefore in the spring of 1878 I started on an exploring trip, taking with me Agnes Wilson. She had been a teacher for many years, and I felt sure she would help in the best way if I started as I hoped to do a training school for colored women.
I do not recall all our stops. One was at Selma, Ala., where we met for the first time our beloved Harry Woodsmall. He was one of the men who knew how to listen, and as a result said we must have this work in Selma. Then in 1881, with Miss Ambrose, whom the society had sent to Selma, I started the mission there. We next, as far as I can recall, visited Atlanta University, where we were warmly welcomed, as also at Dr. Roberts' school for ministers. He and his sister were very kind and allowed me to talk to his class about our work. Dr. Roberts said, "We will educate the preachers and they will lead the masses out of the darkness." I said, "Yes, but we must educate the masses before they will choose to follow a wise leader; both are needed."
At Columbus, S. C., Dr. Goodspeed, then in charge of Benedict College, said, "Yes, yours is a good work and we must have it here," and they did.
When we came to Raleigh, Dr. Tupper listened, and as a result gave us a hearty God-speed. Next, we visited Miss Waugh at Newbern who had just begun this work and found it a great blessing. Then on to Richmond, Va. Good Dr. Corey was in favor of our work. We met the colored pastors and planned with Rev. Wells of the Ebenezer Church (colored), to come to the May meetings and ask our society for a missionary. Rev. Wells was a wise man that not only knew how to listen but also how to take hold and help a good cause.
In due time we made our appearance at the May anniversaries. I feared the meeting of the Women's Society would close before Rev. Wells could get a chance to make his request, but we prayed and at the last meeting they asked me to state the needs of the work. I said, "Rev. Wells is here, and he can do it better than I." He made such an eloquent appeal that a mission was started in Richmond the next fall. I spoke to our society about a training school for colored women. But they objected at that time, saying that the establishing of such a school might appear to overlap the educational work of the American Baptist Home Mission Society, and that it was best for them to go on with the mission work in the homes. My readers cannot understand what a disappointment it was to me not to get this school on which I had set my heart.
I forgot to mention that we visited New York where we met Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Bishop, two people who knew how to listen and cheer laborers on in every good work. I remember Dr. Bishop said, "You do not realize with all your enthusiasm, what a task it is to lift up the masses of any race. All their surroundings are against them. "Then he told us something of the work in New York City. It was through his kindness that I was introduced to the National Temperance Society and to the editor of the New York Weekly Witness, both of which afterward furnished me with good reading.
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