J. M. HENRY JONES, Colored Orator and Educator in England, address the GUOOF in Wheeling, WV

J. M. HENRY JONES, Colored Orator and Educator in England, address the GUOOF in Wheeling, WV


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The Wheeling Daily intelligencer., June 22, 1897

Wheeling’s Colored Orator and
Educator ia England.
Of that Country u Fraternet Delegate
From Am arte a?Am Eloqmnt Deliver*
MM (liNrtd to 111* Echo-II* Talki
a boot what Um Colored llaci llae Acoempllehed
tor lUelf lu the Hatted Slate*
Ibue Freed from Slavery.
Following Ia an abstract of tha address
delivered by rrofessor J. McHenry
Jones, of Wheeling, at Bolton, England.
June S. Professor Jones Is fra
cental delegate of the Grand united
Order of Odd Fellows In America to
the English A. M. C., in session at
BoKon. He was received with great
demonstration of friendliness and wai
frequently Interrupted by applause.
Professor Jones aald, in part:
WoAby Grand Master. Officers and
Delegates:?Your brothers from beyond
the deep and rolling ocean, plighting
(heir vows at the same altar, drinking
from the same perennial stream at the
fouhtaln of Friendship, warmed by the
Influences emanating from ihe glowing
coals on the altar of Love and worshiping
at the shrine of Truth, with
increasing affection, send fraternal
greetings and good will to the mother
A. M. C.. in England.

Having for years attempted to make
known, through correspondence, the
love and gratitude the Order in America
cherishes toward you. I have been
sent to emphasize and in a measure
give voice to the enduring nature of
those sentiment*. It has been now
more than half a century ?lnc?’ a
few noble men of our race, despised.
out-Iawed and virtually expatriated,
turned their discouraged faces toward
this God-blessed land. It wan with feelings
of mingled ?k?p^ and fear that
these determined, righteous men made
nrwkni ?o thi? flraad United Order
of Odu Fel’ow*.
Rising above the littleness of caste,
too great to bo mean, the Grand United
Order of Odd Fellows welcomed our
fathers ^nto the family of mankind.
Holding aloft the torch of Truth. th*>
order In England declared: “Fraternity
Is an ocean which washes the shores of
every country, and Its influence can b?
bounded only by the Jutting crugs of
eternity.” Fifty years ago. Peter 0?den
came pleading the v.rtues of the
despised; In the name of the widows
and orphans of our brotherhood. I
come to thank you that his story was
believed. He came bearing the petition
of the oppressed. I come to offer the
homage of the frep. Over him hung the
raven-wing of doubt; above me exSinds
the rainbow of eternal promisf.
e came from the night in search of
dawn; I come clothed with the morning.
expecting the uoonday. Like a
dove, bearing the olive branch. Peter
Ogden returned to the loag-neglected
ark. beneath whose roof our fathers impatiently
waited: I bring back the
much cherished emblem of peace and
with a full heart and open hands present
the greetings of 160.000 black Odd
Fellows, whose lives have been inspired
and manhood strengthened by its
significant teacmngs. n wouiu not ?e
amiss on this auspicious occasion, to
turn on their golden hinpes the glided
leaves of the past and take an Inventory
of the historic foot-prints left by
progress on the years that have llown.
” ‘Tis greatly wise tp talk with
your past hours.
And ask them what report they
have borne to heaven.
And how th?y might have borne
more welcome news.”
What a change has come over the
world since our fathers gathered first
around the sacred altar and pledged
their fidelity to the principles of our
order! What a breadth of years measured
by the events which have crowded
into history since that act which
must ever endear their memories to
their race. The world has lived a
thousand years since then, so rapidly
has progress trodden upon the heels of
‘ In 1843, Bismarck was unknown.
Gladstone, the grand old English gentleman.
winning his spurs 8J a statesman,
Lincoln, a name sufficiently Illustrious
to illuminate any age, was a
country lawyer. Grant was* at West
Point at the foot of his class. It was
the darkest hour for my people in
American history. Every device that
hate could concoct, brain contrive or
oppression execute, fell unchecked, uphaolrti
of the ?oor for
taken negro. The return of Peter Offden,
therefore, triumphantly bearing
the charier of English recognition, was
like a ray of light from a midnight sky.
In 1843, without property, without the
moral support of the community, without
anything save our faith in God and
hope for a bettor day. we organized the
first lodge. A decode after the Institution
of the order In America, our number
had grown to 1,48?. We now number
nearly 160.000. We have expended
for sick dues during the past year. 3198.423
82; paid to widows and orphans.
$40,360 72; paid for funerals. 196.400: and
after the expenditure of this large sum
?aggregating $333,183 54, we still have
Invested in funds and securities Jl.867.159.
We have subordinate lodges In
thirty-nine states, four territories, the
District of Columbia. West Indies,Canada.
Haytl, South America and Africa.
Our grand masters’ councils number
182. Our women also, have Joined with
tis in pushing forward the victories of
our most humane Institution.
Experience has fully demonstrated
that the union of man’s strength and
vigor, with woman’s faith and sympathy.
in a friendly society, is an act
of the highest wisdom. Nowhere has
this fact been more satisfactorily exemplified
than In the organization of
the Household of Ruth. Side by aide
? i.u i.MihrMt zmr .10.000
strong. are dedicating their services to
the sacred caus” of practical charity.
Nor are they satisfied to move along In
<he beaten path, but with n more enlightened
conception of their needs,
they are proposing and organizing new
departments In keeping with the progressive
lines of their development.
The la?t B. M. C. stamped with its approval
the organization of “Juvenile
Lodges,” to be controlled by the Household
of Ruth. Through this new organization,
our God-fearing mothers,
wives and slaters will strive to Inculcate
lessons of virtue, economy and sobriety
in the hearts of th” children. To >
much credit cannot be given the women
of our race. The world has but
one new woman?the Afro-American
woman. In the face of the most cruel
condition* that ever blighted and outraged
womankind, nur mothers. God
bless them, conquering fate, have outlived
the past and arc rearing and educating
manly sons and virtuous
daughters to All places of trust and profit
In the great republic
Our military division?the patriarchy
?like the Household of Ruth, is an Innovation
unknown In England, but filling
an actual need in our work The
highest branch In the order it seek* to
weave Into an endless chain tiie teachings
and experiences of the subordinate
lodge and past grand master council
and h^art to h<art and hand to hand,
render Ineffaceable the moral lesions
of Odd Fellowship. We have labored to
cons’Tv<f in their pristine purify,
principles and mysteries entrusted to
our fathers in the days of other years.
We tench th?- Fatherhood of God and
thus postul?r< th?? brotherhood of men
The Grand United Order of Odd Fellows
is at one with Christianity In
piomulg.iting the universal truth,
“From on?* blood hath God created all |
the nations of the earth.” Wo believe j
!r. the ab*c??i!<? equality of men. Deforo
liberty, equality and fraternity became
ence. Wherever sorrow lifts Its mournful
head ?r wont unbidden lurka there
the Influence of uur noble order will
moke Its appearance, and wheq our
weak efforts arc forgotten and thorn*
that followed ui shall have suffered our
fate, when the tinof England and
America, twin slater*. In the forefront of
destiny ?hall have fallen for want of defenders,
the principles which we teach,
will live on: breathed upon new tonKUea,
articulated under new skies until
the great Father of the universe shall
the rallying cry of oppressed humanity,
these truths were taught and widely
practiced uinong Odd Fellows. Justice
and Charity. Friendship and Truth
bear the same Interpretation, and kindle
the same enthusiasm In America ns
In England. Liberty, founded upon Justice.
Charity, tempered with fraternity,
equality based upon merit share a large
place In the teachings of our order
Our order in America, represents the
high-water murk among the masses of
our people. Young men of the better
social standing cultivation and worth as
well as their white haired sires, the solid
men among us. have linked Chelr fortunes
with our brotherhood. The pro
gress or the American negro, during ine
last generation tlnds no parallel in the
history ?>f tht world. Whatewr ftcir i mica
may say, facta art* more convincing
than theories and truth is stranger than
fiction. At the close of the war of the
rebellion, the frecdmen were the I>00rest
people on the face of the earth. We had
no home, no roof to shelter us from the
Inhospitable storm?hothing save the
blit* .?k” and friendly sunshine by dey,
the unsym pat hiring stars by night. We
were houseless, homeless wanderers
upon the face of the earth. The negro
had no family to strengthen and encourage
him; family ties were largely denied
him by the circumstances of his most
unhappy past. lie was void of houjfo*
hold goods or aacred memories to holfl
him in a steady course. We had nothing
but willing hands, honeat hearts and unshaken
trust In O kL Under audi circumstances,
to have established a home
and gathered under a common family
tree, in a generation his wife and children
Would have been one of the tu? 1
remarkable acoompllahtnents of history.
To our credit we have done this and
more. In a generation we have accum itn?4wi
and n;?v taxes on Si00.000.000
worth of real estate. We own and operate
a street car railway In Arkansas’. We
own $663,000 worth of shipping. $102,000
worth of wharfage, live banks with a
capital <?f $3,000,000. 200 dally and weekly
newspapers. In one state alone, nre own
800,000 acre* of land.
Small indeed nr.- these figures when
compared with the aggregated wealth of
our great country, but worthy of consideration,
when it is* remembered that
under circumstances not the most favorable,
we have accomplished so much In
so short a time. Our material prosperity
Is by no means our proudest monument.
Our mental advancement has surpassed
our material advancement. In n quarter
of a centur> over 3,500,000 of our race
have learned to read and write. We have
acquired and control IS college*. 24 acmlemles,
01 high schools and seminaries.
We have more than 30,000 teachers In
the public school.*. 33 painter* of merited
reputation, 16 sculptors, 2.000 physicians,
295 dentists. 3.000 lawyers. 2.800 B. D.
ministers, MO telegraph operators. 30.0C0
skilled workmen of all sorts and conditions,
1,466 engineers, 1.600 captains and
pilots of vessels, 3,970 b??ok-keepers and
stenographers. 8,000 printers.
This work of educating and up-llftlng
the masses ha? been largely done by our
own people. Circumstance have compelled
us to uplift ourselves. Where In
the annals of mankind can be found another
example of a race rising to the
sut>llm?? statue of Intellectual manhood
and womanhood by Its own power. We
have been largely our own teacher*. We
would not detract from the help given us
by the church, nor the noble self-sacrlflcing
men and women who have suffered
o-.rtraclsm and contempt in order that
they might devote their energies to the
cause of the despised, but the fact remains.
the great force used in elevating
our people, ha:? come from within. “We
have made bricks, gathering our own
straw. We do not complain; the exertion
has been helpful rather than enervating.
Circumstances have taught us
self reHaitce . We only beg for our
schools and churches, bread for the
mind, food for the soul. The marks of
past sorrows are not altogether obllter
ated, still our star of manhood continues
to ascend. Reformation gotn not backward.
If a rac<? has left the llrst apathy
of Ignorance when it longs to shako off
the darkness of the past, then sire we In
the whirl of advancing time and keeping
step with the music ??f progression.
Trainer! in a ochool of mixfortune. we
hopefully, fearlcaely face the future.
Our past sorrows were providential.
Through the fiery clouds <>f suffering
can be dimly outlined the puissant hand
of (Jod. These facts may be prosaic, but
they lead to a broad generalization. Tf
the order has been able, to grow under
circumstance so forbidding, what mu*t
be the future under brighter skies and
more Inviting prospects? It Is a pleasure
to report that the night Is passing
and faint mreaks of the Incoming light,
soften the threatening sky. with prophecies
of a b-t:?-r day. Here and there as
the grey dawn steals noltleuty upon ub,
a flickering bonfire, or an Illegal lynching
fin the* out. proof that Error die3
By the heart throbs that beat In unl
Ron. by the tnutua) Borrows of the past,
by the frequent louche* of nature that
make the whole world kin. we are nearIng
a better understanding. It la coming
by the way of the schoolhouse scattering
enlightenment; by the way of
church disseminating a purer conception
of the Holy Christ. Just as the hatred
engendered betiveen the two sections
of our country, by ivar. Is disappearing
as distance from It recedes, so
we believe that the asperities between
races must yield to th?? better Influence*
which time alon^ will produce. We
have faith to look Into the frowning
face of blackest night for the rosy hues
of coming morning;faith to believe that
through the threatening clouds that
havo so long overshadowed us,, will
break th?? golden light of n new mancipation.
Next to uur own happiness, we
pray for the prosperity of Copland. Our
people, to a man, hope that tie- friendly
feeling, so long existing between Knqland
and the United Statos may continue
to strengthen as the years roll by.
We ch’-rlsh the hope that never again
the two nations t*?uml by a rommon
tongue, heirs to a common literature,
seeking th^ snm” high destiny* the net*
tors and promulgators of civil and religious
liberty?wo hope, hay, we demand
that nations so united by a community
of Interests, shall always find
norne means to H??tt|o tneir auiercnceii
without an appeal to arms.
We ?re only on th?’ border of the
wave of fraternity which must tilt?mately
sweep our land. We Increased
our membership 13,000 during the last
year, nnd still there are more to follow.
The principles which we teach nnd practice
or-‘ destined to llv<? forever. No
( Hiii.- w>r country ‘an Urn 11 tle-lr InllnMOTHER!
English language and the 0110 about
which the rnont tender and holy recollections
cluster is that of Mother?she
who watched our tender year*,yclthp
life of every Expectant Mother is beset
sit. Mother’s Friend
so assists Nature in the change taking
place that the Mother is enabled to
look lorward without dread or gloomy
forebodings to the hour when she experience*
the the joy of Motherhood.
Its use insures safety to the lives of
both Mother and Child, and she is left
stronger after than before confinement.
Sent by Mall, “n receipt “f prlco, PI.00 wr bottle.
Ilook to” Kxprtatit Mottmr i ” will mulled
freo on rpquon, to any lady, containing valuable
Information and voluntary tentimoulals.
Tk* BridOill Bejalitor Co., Allaata, Ga*
close the chaptcr of time. “‘Mid th<*
.?.? h f matter And the crash of
I world*”
I In tbo name of the ittyrcunimUtetf of
management, in th?* name of th?? H. M
! C., add In the nam*- of the black host of
Odd Fellow# in America. I extend to
i you fraternal greeting**


Prof. David Abner, Jr – Past District Grand Master of Texas (1886-1890)

Rev. C.A. Harris, our pastor at Weimar, has just closed a protracted meeting with 49 conversions, all added to our church and many others. He has also built a good parsonage and he is deservedly popular in his charge. Dr. Harris has just been elected District Grand Master of the G.U.O of O.F. for the State of Texas, a position held and honorably filled by Prof. Abner, Jr., of Bishop college, Marshall, Texas, for four years.   Source: Christian recorder 1890


The first black professor of Bishop College, minister, and president of Guadalupe College.

Abner, David, Jr. (1860–1928). David Abner, Jr., the first black professor of Bishop College, minister, and president of Guadalupe College, the son of David Abner, Sr., was born in Upshur County, Texas, on November 25, 1860. After attending public schools and studying classics at Straight University in New Orleans, Louisiana, he went to Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1877. While he was at the university, one of his compositions in Greek was placed on display at the Nashville exposition. Abner became the first black person to graduate from a Texas institution of higher learning when he received his degree from Bishop College in 1881. After graduation, he became a professor for the Baptist Home Mission Society of New York. In 1883 he was chosen as a delegate to the National Convention of Black Men in Louisville, Kentucky. He served as a Baptist minister, as corresponding secretary for the Baptist State Convention of Texas, and as editor of the Baptist Journal and two other newspapers. Abner was president of Guadalupe College from its founding until 1905, when he became president of Conroe College. He lectured, wrote, and traveled until 1917, when he left the college to head the National Baptist Convention Theological Seminary at Nashville. He was among the founders of the Odd Fellows Lodge in Texas, and a District Grand Master of the organization in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. Abner married Ella Wheeler, with whom he had two children. He died on July 21, 1928. – Source and Image Credit: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/128500643