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JULY 1, 1876! Only one year more; and yet how wearily
the days come and go! How anxiously we watch them, how
eagerly we count them, as they glimmer in the distance,
and forget them as they fade! What joyous anticipation,
what confident expectation, what hope animates each
soul, each heart, each being of us! What encouragement
to study this longing, this impatience gives us, as if
it hastened the coming finale! And who felt it more
than I? Who could feel it more than I? To me it was
to be not only an end of study, of discipline, of
obedience to the regulations of the Academy, but even
an end to isolation, to tacit persecution, to melancholy,
to suspense. It was to be the grand realization of my
hopes, the utter, the inevitable defeat of the minions
of pride, prejudice, caste. Nor would such consummation
of hopes affect me only, or those around me. Nay, even
I was but the point of "primitive disturbance," whence
emanates as if from a focus, from a new origin, prayer,
friendly and inimical, to be focused again into
realization on one side and discomfiture on the other.
My friends, my enemies, centre their hopes on me. I
treat them, one with earnest endeavor for realization,
the other with supremest indifference. They are deviated
with varying anxiety on either side, and hence my joy,
my gratitude, when I find, July 1, 1876, that I am a
A first-classman! The beginning of realization, for had
I not distanced all the colored cadets before me? Indeed
I had, and that with the greater prospect of ultimate
success gave me double cause for rejoicing.
A first-classman! "There's something prophetic in it,"
"The country begins to be agitated by the approaching
graduation of young Flipper, the colored West Point
cadet from Atlanta. If he succeeds in getting into the
aristocratic circles of the official army there will
be a commotion for a certainty. Flipper is destined to
Such was the nature of the many editorials which
appeared about this time, summer of '76. The
circumstance was unusual, unexpected, for it had
been predicted that only slaughter awaited me at
that very stage, because Smith had failed just
there, just where I had not.
"Henry Flipper, of Atlanta, enjoys the distinction
of being the only negro cadet that the government is
cramming with food and knowledge at West Point. He
stands forty-sixth in the third class, which includes
eighty-five cadets. A correspondent of the New York
Times says that, while all concede Flipper's progress,
yet it is not believed that he will be allowed to
graduate. No negro has passed out of the institution
a graduate, and it is believed that Flipper will be
eventually slaughtered in one way or another. The
rule among the regulars is: No darkeys need apply."
"Smith's dismissal leaves Henry Flipper the sole
cadet of color at West Point. Flipper's pathway
will not be strewn with roses, and we shall be
surprised if the Radicals do not compel him, within
a year, to seek refuge from a sea of troubles in his
father's quiet shoe shop on Decatur Street."
Isn't it strange how some people strive to drag
everything into politics! A political reason is
assigned to every thing, and "every thing is
The many editors who have written on the subject
of the colored cadets have, with few exceptions,
followed the more prejudiced and narrow-minded
critics who have attributed every thing, ill-
treatment, etc., to a natural aversion for the
negro, and to political reasons. They seem to
think it impossible for one to discharge a duty
or to act with justice in any thing where a negro
is concerned. Now this is unchristian as well as
hasty and undeserved. As I have said elsewhere in
my narrative, aside from the authorities being de
facto "officers and gentlemen," and therefore
morally bound to discharge faithfully every duty,
they are under too great a responsibility to permit
them to act as some have asserted for them, to compel
me "to seek refuge from a sea of troubles," or to
cause me to "be eventually slaughtered in one way or
another." Who judges thus is not disposed to judge
fairly, but rather as suits some pet idea of his own,
to keep up prejudice and all its curses.
It would be more Christian, and therefore more just,
I apprehend, to consider both sides of the question,
the authorities and those under them. Other and better
reasons would be found for some things which have
occurred, and reasons which would not be based on
falsehood, and which would not tend to perpetuate
the conflict of right and prejudice. My own success
will prove, I hope, not only that I had sufficient
ability to graduate—which by the way none have
questioned—but also that the authorities were not
as some have depicted them. This latter proof is
important, first, because it will remove that fear
which has deterred many from seeking, and even from
accepting appointments when offered, to which determent
my isolation is largely due; and second, because it will
add another to the already long list of evidences of
the integrity of our national army.
To return to the last quotation. Immediately after the
dismissal of Smith, indeed upon the very day of that
event, it was rumored that I intended to resign. I
learned of the rumor from various sources, only one of
which I need mention.
I was on guard that day, and while off duty an officer
high in rank came to me and invited me to visit him at
his quarters next day. I did so, of course. His first
words, after greeting, etc., were to question the truth
of the rumor, and before hearing my reply, to beg me to
relinquish any such intention. He was kind enough to
give me much excellent advice, which I have followed
most religiously. He assured me that prejudice, if it
did exist among my instructors, would not prevent them
from treating me justly and impartially. I am proud to
testify now to the truth of his assurance. He further
assured me that the officers of the Academy and of the
army, and especially the older ones, desired to have me
graduate, and that they would do all within the legitimate
exercise of their authority to promote that end. This
assurance has been made me by officers of nearly every
grade in the army, from the general down, and has ever
been carried out by them whenever a fit occasion presented
Surely this is not discouraging. Surely, too, it is not
causing me "to seek refuge from a sea of troubles." We
need only go back to the article quoted from the Era,
and given in Chapter III., to find an explanation for
"We know that any young man, whether he be poor or black,
or both, may enter any first-class college in America and
find warm sympathetic friends, both among students and
faculty, if he but prove himself to be possessed of some
This is the keynote to the whole thing. One must not
expect to do as one pleases, whether that be right or
wrong, or right according to some fanatical theory,
and notwithstanding to be dealt with in a manner
warranted only by the strictest notion of right.
We must force others to treat us as we wish, by giving
them such an example of meekness and of good conduct as
will at least shame them into a like treatment of us.
This is the safer and surer method of revenge.
"Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst,
give him drink; for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of
fire on his head."
To proceed: I am undoubtedly a first-classman. None
other has enjoyed that eminence. There are many honors
and responsibilities incident to that position or rank.
First-classmen have authority at times over their fellow-
cadets. How will it be when I come to have that authority?
Will that same coldness and distance be manifested as
hitherto? These are important questions. I shall be brought
necessarily into closer relations with the cadets than
before. How will they accept such relationship? The
greatest proof of their personal convictions will be
manifested in their conduct here. If they evade my
authority, or are stubborn or disobedient, then are their
convictions unfriendly indeed. But if kind, generous,
willing to assist, to advise, to obey, to respect myself
as well as my office, then are they, as I ever believed
them to be, gentlemen in all that recognizes no prejudice,
no caste, nothing inconsistent with manhood.
There are certain privileges accorded to first-classmen
which the other classes do not enjoy. The privates of
the first class do duty as officers of the guard, as
company officers at company and battalion drills, at
light battery drills, and at other drills and ceremonies.
In all these cases they have command of other cadets.
These cadets are subject to their orders and are liable
to be reported—indeed such is required—for disobedience,
stubbornness, or for any thing prejudicial to good order
and good discipline.
In this fact is a reason—the only one, I think, which
will in any manner account for the unpardonable reserve
of many of the cadets. To be subject to me, to my orders,
was to them an unbearable torture. As they looked forward
to the time when I should exercise command over them, they
could not help feeling the mortification which would be
I must modify my statement. They may be prejudiced, and
yet gentlemen, and if gentlemen they will not evade
authority even though vested in me.
We go into camp at West Point on the 17th of June, '76
for ten days. During all that time I enjoy all the
privileges of first-classmen. Nothing is done to make it
unpleasant or in any way to discourage or dishearten me.
We go to Philadelphia. We visit the Centennial, and there
not only is the same kindness shown me, but I find a
number of cadets accost me whenever we meet, on the
avenues and streets, on the grounds and in the city.
They ask questions, converse, answer questions. This
occurred several times at the Southern Restaurant, as
well as elsewhere. After the parade on the 4th of July,
every kindness was shown me. Those cadets near me bought
lemons, lemonade, etc, and shared with me, and when, on
another occasion, I was the purchaser, they freely partook
of my "good cheer." What conclusion shall I draw from this?
That they are unfriendly or prejudiced? I fain would drop
my pen and burn my manuscript if for even an instant I
thought it possible. And yet how shall I explain away this
bit of braggadocio in the words italicized in this article
from the Philadelphia Times?
"The Color Line.—One of the first-classmen is Mr.
Flipper, of Georgia, a young colored man. 'We don't
have any thing to do with him off duty,' said one of
the cadets yesterday. 'We don't even speak to him. Of
course we have to eat with him, and drill with him,
and go on guard with him, but that ends it. Outside
of duty, we don't know him.' 'Is he intelligent?' 'Yes;
he stands high in his class, and I see no reason to
doubt that he will graduate next June. He has the negro
features strongly developed, but in color he is rather
Easily enough, I think. In the first place the
statement is too broad, if made by a cadet, which
I very much doubt. There are some of that "we" who
do know me outside of duty. And if a cadet made the
statement he must have been a plebe, one unacquainted
with my status in the corps, or one who, strenuously
avoiding me himself, supposed all others likewise did
so. The cadet was not a first-classman. There is a
want of information in his last answer which could not
have been shown by a first-classman.
Again, he says we "go on guard with him." Now that
is untrue, as I understand it. The word "with" would
imply that we were on guard in the same capacity, viz.,
as privates. But first-classmen do no guard duty in
that capacity, and hence not being himself a first-
classman he could not have been on guard"with" me. If
he had said "under him," his statement would have been
nearer the truth.
After a stay of ten days in Philadelphia, we return
to West Point, and still the same respect is shown
me. There is but little more of open recognition, if
any, than before, and yet that I am respected is shown
in many ways. See, for example, the latter part of
chapter on "Treatment."
Again, during my first year I many times overheard
myself spoken of as "the nigger," "the moke," or "the
thing." Now openly, and when my presence was not known,
I always hear myself mentioned as Mr. Flipper. There are
a few who use both forms of address as best suits their
convenience or inclination at the time. But why is it?
Why not "nigger," "moke," or "thing" as formerly? Is
there, can there be any other reason than that they
respect me more now than then? I am most unwilling to
believe there could be.
We begin our regular routine of duties, etc. We have
practical military engineering, ordnance, artillery,
practical astronomy in field and permanent observatories,
telegraphy, and guard. We are detailed for these duties.
Not the least distinction is made. Not the slightest
partiality is shown. Always the same regard for my
feelings, the same respect for me! See the case of
gabion in the chapter on "Treatment."
At length, in my proper order, I am detailed for officer
of the guard. True, the cadets expressed some wonderment,
but why? Simply, and reasonably enough too, because I
was the first person of color that had ever commanded a
guard at the Military Academy of the United States. It is
but a natural curiosity. And how am I treated? Is my
authority recognized? Indeed it is. My sergeant not only
volunteered to make out the guard report for me, but also
offered any assistance I might want, aside from the
discharge of his own duty as sergeant of the guard.
Again, a number of plebes were confined in the guard
tents for grossness and carelessness. I took their
names, the times of their imprisonment, and obtained
permission to release them. I was thanked for my
trouble. Again, a cadet's father wishes to see him.
He is in arrest. I get permission for him to visit
his father at the guard tents. I go to his tent
and tell him, and start back to my post of duty.
He calls me back and thanks me. Must I call that
natural aversion for the negro, or even prejudice?
Perhaps it is, but I cannot so comprehend it. It
may have that construction, but as long as the other
is possible it is generous to accept it. And again,
I am ordered to report a cadet. I do it. I am
stigmatized, of course, by some of the low ones (see
that case under "Treatment"); but my conduct, both
in obeying the order and subsequently, is approved
by the better portion of the corps. The commandant
said to me: "Your duty was a plain one, and you
discharged it properly. You were entirely right in
reporting Mr.—." What is the conduct of this cadet
himself afterwards? If different at all from what it
was before, it is, in my presence at least, more
cordial, more friendly, more kind. Still there is no
ill-treatment, assuming of course that my own conduct
is proper, and not obtrusive or overbearing. And so
in a multitude of ways this fact is proved. I have
noticed many things, little things perhaps they were,
but still proofs, in the conduct of all the cadets
which remove all doubt from my mind. And yet with all
my observation and careful study of those around me,
I have many times been unable to decide what was the
feeling of the cadets toward me. Some have been one
thing everywhere and at all times, not unkind or
ungenerous, nor even unwilling to hear me and be with
me, or near me, or on duty with me, or alone with me.
Some again, while not avoiding me in the presence of
others have nevertheless manifested their uneasy dislike
of my proximity. When alone with me they are kind, and
all I could wish them to be. Others have not only
strenuously avoided me when with their companions, but
have even at times shown a low disposition, a desire to
wound my feelings or to chill me with their coldness.
But alone, behold they know how to mimic gentlemen. The
kind of treatment which I was to receive, and have
received at the hands of the cadets, has been a matter
of little moment to me. True, it has at times been
galling, but its severest effects have been but temporary
and have caused me no considerable trouble or
inconvenience. I have rigidly overlooked it all.
The officers, on the contrary, as officers and gentlemen,
have in a manner been bound to accord me precisely the
Same privileges and advantages, etc., which they granted
the other cadets, and they have ever done so.
I must confess my expectations in this last have been
most positively unfulfilled, and I am glad of it. The
various reports, rumors, and gossips have thus been
proved not only false but malicious, and that proof
is of considerable consequence. That they have not
been unkind and disposed to ill-treat me may be
readily inferred from the number of demerits I have
received, and the nature of the offences for which
those demerits were given. They have never taken it
upon themselves to watch me and report me for trifling
offences with a view of giving me a bad record in
conduct, and thereby securing my dismissal, for one
hundred demerits in six months means dismissal. They
have ever acted impartially, and, ignoring my color,
have accorded me all immunities and privileges enjoyed
by other cadets, whether they were allowed by regulations
or were mere acts of personal favor. Of the majority of
the cadets I can speak likewise, for they too have power
to spy out and report.
As to treatment in the section-room, where there were
many opportunities to do me injustice by giving me low
marks for all recitations, good or bad, for instance,
they have scrupulously maintained their honor, and have
treated me there with exact justice and impartiality.
This is not a matter of opinion. I can give direct and
positive proof of its truthfulness. In the chapter on
"Studies," in the record of marks that proof can be
found, my marks per recitation, and the average are
good. By rank in section is meant the order of my mark—
that is, whether best, next, the next, or lowest. Are
these marks not good? In law, for example, once I
received the eighth out of nine marks, then the fifth,
the first, second, third, first, first, and so on.
Surely there was nothing in them to show I was marked
low either purposely or otherwise.
My marks in the section for each week, month, and the
number of men in each section, afford the means of
comparison between the other members of the section
and myself. And my marks are not only evidence of the
possession on my part of some "good faculties," but
also of the honor of my instructors and fellow-members
What manner of treatment the cadets chose to manifest
toward me was then of course of no account. But what
is of importance, and great importance too, is how
they will treat me in the army, when we have all
assumed the responsibilities of manhood, coupled with
those of a public servant, an army officer. Of course
the question cannot now be answered. I feel nevertheless
assured that the older officers at least will not
stoop to prejudice or caste, but will accord me proper
treatment and respect. Men of responsibility are
concerned, and it is not presumable that they will
disregard the requirements of their professions
so far as to ill-treat even myself. There is none
of the recklessness of the student in their actions,
and they cannot but recognize me as having a just
claim upon their good-will and honor.
The year wears away—the last year it is too—and I
find myself near graduation, with every prospect of
success. And from the beginning to the close my life
has been one not of trouble, persecution, or punishment,
but one of isolation only. True, to an unaccustomed
nature such a life must have had many anxieties and
trials and displeasures, and, although it was so with
me, I have nothing more than that of which to complain.
And if such a life has had its unpleasant features, it
has also had its pleasant ones, of which not the least,
I think, was the constantly growing prospect of ultimate
triumph. Again, those who have watched my course and
have seen in its success the falsity of certain reports,
can not have been otherwise than overjoyed at it, at the,
though tardy, vindication of truth. I refer especially
to certain erroneous ideas which are or were extant
concerning the treatment of colored cadets, in which it
is claimed that color decides their fate. (See chapter
I hope my success has proved that not color of face,
but color of character alone can decide such a question.
It is character and nothing else that will merit a harsh
treatment from gentlemen, and of course it must be a bad
character. If a man is a man, un homme comme il faut, he
need fear no ill-treatment from others of like calibre.
Gentlemen avoid persons not gentlemen. Resentment is not
a characteristic of gentlemen. A gentlemanly nature must
shrink from it. There may be in it a certain amount of
what is vulgarly termed pluck, and perhaps courage. But
what of that? Everybody more or less admires pluck.
Everybody worships courage, if it be of a high order, but
who allows that pluck or even courage is an excuse for
passion or its consequences? The whites may admire pluck
in the negro, as in other races, but they will never
admit unwarrantable obtrusiveness, or rudeness, or
grossness, or any other ungentlemanly trait, and no more
in the negro than in others. This is quite just. A negro
would not allow it even in another.
I did not intend to discuss social equality here, but
as it is not entirely foreign to my subject I may be
pardoned a word or so upon it.
Social equality, as I comprehend it, must be the natural,
and perhaps gradual, outgrowth of a similarity of instincts
and qualities in those between whom it exists. That is to
say, there can be no social equality between persons who
have nothing in common. A civilized being would not accept
a savage as his equal, his socius , his friend. It would
be repugnant to nature. A savage is a man, the image of
his Maker as much so as any being. He has all the same
rights of equality which any other has, but they are
political rights only. He who buried his one talent to
preserve it was not deemed worthy to associate with him
who increased his five to ten. So also in our particular
case. There are different orders or classes of men in
every civilized community. The classes are politically
equal, equal in that they are free men and citizens and
have all the rights belonging to such station. Among the
several classes there can be no social equality, for they
have nothing socially in common, although the members of
each class in itself may have.
Now in these recent years there has been a great clamor
for rights. The clamor has reached West Point, and, if
no bad results have come from it materially, West Point
has nevertheless received a bad reputation, and I think
an undeserved one, as respects her treatment of colored
A right must depend on the capacity and end or aim of
the man. This capacity and end may, and ought to be,
moral, and not political only. Equal capacities and a
like end must give equal rights, and unequal capacities
and unlike ends unequal rights, morally, of course, for
the political end of all men is the same. And therefore,
since a proper society is a moral institution where a
certain uniformity of views, aims, purposes, properties,
etc., is the object, there must be also a uniformity or
equality of rights, for otherwise there would be no
society, no social equality.
This, I apprehend, is precisely the state of affairs
in our own country. Among those who, claiming social
equality, claim it as a right, there exists the
greatest possible diversity of creeds, instincts, and
of moral and mental conditions, in which they are
widely different from those with whom they claim this
equality. They can therefore have no rights socially
in common; or, in other words, the social equality
they claim is not a right, and ought not to and cannot
exist under present circumstances, and any law that
overreaches the moral reason to the contrary must be
admitted as unjust if not impolitic.
But it is color, they say, color only, which determines
how the negro must be treated. Color is his misfortune,
and his treatment must be his misfortune also. Mistaken
idea! and one of which we should speedily rid ourselves.
It may be color in some cases, but in the great majority
of instances it is mental and moral condition. Little or
no education, little moral refinement, and all their
repulsive consequences will never be accepted as equals
of education, intellectual or moral. Color is absolutely
nothing in the consideration of the question, unless we
mean by it not color of skin, but color of character, and
I fancy we can find considerable color there.
It has been said that my success at West Point would be
a grand victory in the way of equal rights, meaning, I
apprehend, social rights, social equality, inasmuch as
all have, under existing laws, equal political rights.
Doubtless there is much truth in the idea. If, however,
we consider the two races generally, we shall see there
is no such right, no such social right, for the very
basis of such a right, viz., a similarity of tastes,
instincts, and of mental and moral conditions, is
wanting. The mental similarity especially is wanting,
and as that shapes and refines the moral one, that too
To illustrate by myself, without any pretensions to
selfishness. I have this right to social equality,
for I and those to whom I claim to be equal are similarly
educated. We have much in common, and this fact alone
creates my right to social and equal recognition.
"But the young gentlemen who boast of holding only
official intercourse with their comrade, should
remember that no one of them stands before the
country in any different light from him. . . .
Amalgamated by the uniform course of studies and
the similarity of discipline, the separating fragments
at the end of the student life carry similar qualities
into the life before them, and step with almost
remarkable social equality into the world where they
must find their level."—Philadelphia North American,
July 7th, 1876.
If we apply this to the people as a unit, the similarity
no longer exists. The right, therefore, also ceases to
The step claimed to have been made by my success is one
due to education, and not to my position or education at
West Point, rather than at some other place; so that it
follows if there be education, if the mental and moral
condition of the claimants to that right be a proper one,
there will necessarily be social equality, and under other
circumstances there can be no such equality.
"Remember, dear friend," says a correspondent, "that
you carry an unusual responsibility. The nation is
interested in what you do. If you win your diploma,
your enemies lose and your friends gain one very
important point in the great argument for equal
rights. When you shall have demonstrated that you
have equal powers, then equal rights will come in
due time. The work which you have chosen, and from
which you cannot now flinch without dishonor, proves
far more important than either you or me (Faculty at
A. U.) at first conceived. Like all great things its
achievement will involve much of trial and hardship."
Alas! how true! What a trial it is to be socially
ostracized, to live in the very midst of life and
yet be lonely, to pass day after day without saying
perhaps a single word other than those used in the
section-room during a recitation. How hard it is to
live month after month without even speaking to woman,
without feeling or knowing the refining influence of
her presence! What a miserable existence!
Oh! 'tis hard, this lonely living, to be
In the midst of life so solitary,
To sit all the long, long day through and gaze
In the dimness of gloom, all but amazed
At the emptiness of life, and wonder
What keeps sorrow and death asunder.
'Tis the forced seclusion most galls the mind,
And sours all other joy which it may find.
'Tis the sneer, tho' half hid, is bitter still,
And wakes dormant anger to passion's will.
But oh! 'tis harder yet to bear them all
Unangered and unheedful of the thrall,
To list the jeer, the snarl, and epithet
All too base for knaves, and e'en still forget
Such words were spoken, too manly to let
Such baseness move a nobler intellect.
But not the words nor even the dreader disdain
Move me to anger or resenting pain.
'Tis the thought, the thought most disturbs my mind,
That I'm ostracized for no fault of mine,
'Tis that ever-recurring thought awakes
Such a life was mine, not indeed for four years, but
for the earlier part of my stay at the Academy.
But to return to our subject. There are two questions
involved in my case. One of them is, Can a negro
graduate at West Point, or will one ever graduate
there? And the second, If one never graduate there,
will it be because of his color or prejudice?
My own success answers most conclusively the first
question, and changes the nature of the other. Was
it, then, color or actual deficiency that caused the
dismissal of all former colored cadets? I shall not
venture to reply more than to say my opinion is
deducible from what I have said elsewhere in my
However, my correspondent agrees with me that color
is of no consequence in considering the question of
equality socially. My friends, he says, gain an
important point in the argument for equal rights.
It will be in this wise, viz., that want of education,
want of the proof of equality of intellect, is the
obstacle, and not color. And the only way to get this
proof is to get education, and not by "war of races."
Equal rights must be a consequence of this proof, and
not something existing before it. Equal rights will
come in due time, civil rights bill, war of races, or
any thing of that kind to the contrary not-withstanding.
And moreover, I don't want equal rights, but identical
rights. The whites and blacks may have equal rights,
and yet be entirely independent, or estranged from
each other. The two races cannot live in the same
country, under the same laws as they now do, and yet
be absolutely independent of each other. There must,
there should, and there will be a mutual dependence,
and any thing that tends to create independence, while
it is thus so manifestly impossible, can engender
strife alone between them. On the other hand, whatever
brings them into closer relationship, whatever increases
their knowledge and appreciation of fellowship and its
positive importance, must necessarily tend to remove
all prejudices, and all ill-feelings, and bring the two
races, and indeed the world, nearer that degree of
perfection to which all things show us it is approaching.
Therefore I want identical rights, for equal rights may
not be sufficient.
"It is for you, Henry, more than any one I know of, to
demonstrate to the world around us, in this part of it
at least (the North), the equality of intellect in the
races. You win by your uprightness and intelligence,
and it cannot be otherwise than that you will gain
respect and confidence."
Thus a lady correspondent (Miss M. E. H., Durham Centre,
Ct.) encourages, thus she keeps up the desire to graduate,
to demonstrate to the world "the equality of intellect in
the races," that not color but the want of this proof in
this semi-barbarous people is the obstacle to their being
recognized as social equals. A tremendous task! Not so
much to prove such an equality—for that had already been
abundantly demonstrated—but rather to show the absurdity
and impracticability of prejudice on account of color; or,
in other words, that there is no such prejudice. It is
prejudice on account of non-refinement and non-education.
As to how far and how well I have discharged that duty,
my readers, and all others who may be in any manner
interested in me, must judge from my narrative and my
career at West Point. Assuring all that my endeavor has
been to act as most becomes a gentleman, and with
Christian forbearance to disregard all unfriendliness
or prejudice, I leave this subject, this general résumé
of my treatment at the hands of the cadets, and my own
conduct, with the desire that it be criticised impartially
if deemed worthy of criticism at all.
"Reporter.—Have you any more colored cadets?
"Captain H—.—Only one—Henry O. Flipper, of Georgia.
He is a well-built lad, a mulatto, and is bright,
intelligent, and studious.
"Reporter.—Do the cadets dislike him as much as they
"Captain H—.—No, sir; I am told that he is more popular.
I have heard of no doubt but that he will get through all
right."—New York Herald, July, 1874.
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