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Emlen Institute

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 school’s doors in 1857.

'Black History' segment written in June, 1998 by David Lodge

 

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