Augustus Wattles was a highly qualified teacher from
Connecticut seeking a job in the Northwest Territory. He organized schools for Negroes.
Due to racial barriers in Cincinnati and a conviction that the Negro should be taught,
Wattles toured the state gathering money with which he started 25 private schools. In
1842, Augustus purchased a tract of 160 acres in Mercer county and announced he proposed
to found a settlement for Negro colonists. Wattles established a manual training school
for Negro boys. The funds came through a bequest of Samuel Emlen, a rich Philadelphian, who
left a sum of $20,000 to be devoted to the work inaugurated by Wattles. With the school
firmly established and funded, the Negro colonists started coming from the South. About
this time, the county residents told him to leave and after considerable pressure, Wattles
abandoned his dream, closing the schools doors in 1857.
'Black History' segment
written in June, 1998 by David Lodge
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