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John J. Smallwood and the Temperance, Industrial and Collegiate Institute

John J. Smallwood and the Temperance, Industrial and Collegiate Institute

by James I. Randall

October 10, 2022

Portrait of John J Smallwood as a young man
John J. Smallwood
The Broad Ax, Jan. 2, 1904.
Chronicling America, Library of Congress

John Jefferson Smallwood (September 19, 1863–September 29, 1912), founder and president of the Temperance, Industrial and Collegiate Institute in Claremont, Va., achieved much before his untimely passing at the age of 49 in 1912. Despite slavery before, and tremendous obstacles following the Civil War, Smallwood determinedly pursued his own education and his vision of educating others, eventually founding a school “For the Moral, Religious, Educational and Industrial Welfare of the Negro Youth” (Advertisement. The Times Dispatch, 1906). Between 1892 and 1928, more than 2,000 students attended the Temperance, Industrial and Collegiate Institute.

Smallwood was born enslaved on a large cotton plantation in Rich Square, Northampton County, North Carolina, to Mary Eliza Smallwood—the daughter of Nat Turner—and David Jefferson Smallwood. While he was still an infant, his parents and siblings were sold. He began working on the cotton plantation at the age of six (Adams, 1904).

John Jefferson Smallwood was known as an extremely intelligent child. In the final months of the Civil War, Union Troops invaded Rich Square and several of them assaulted the elderly plantation owner, Marcus W. Smallwood. John Jefferson Smallwood pleaded successfully for Marcus Smallwood’s life, and in gratitude the elderly man arranged in October 1870 for him to attend the Butler School, which became part of the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute. In June 1871, Marcus W. Smallwood died. Without a parent or guardian and with no financial support, seven-year old John Jefferson was told not to return to Butler School (Drew, 2011, p. 15).

John Jefferson Smallwood returned to Rich Square to work on the plantation, but his desire for education was not diminished. Years later, he would recall in a letter to the Rev. Dr. H. B. Frissell that he read every newspaper or public speech he could get his hands on, and claimed he read a copy of Old Webster’s Spelling Book a hundred times over (Drew, 2011, p.15).

Smallwood attempted to run away from Rich Square in 1872, shortly before his ninth birthday, but was caught by a man who claimed him as a “Bound Boy” under North Carolina law and who claimed right of ownership over him until he turned twenty-one. John Jefferson attempted and failed in a second escape. In 1874 when he was around the age of eleven, he traveled by foot to Franklin, Virginia, where he spent a year working, and unsuccessfully searching for his mother. In 1875, having returned to Rich Square, Smallwood was accepted to Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina, from which he graduated with an A.B. in 1879.

During this time, Smallwood used his talents for teaching and speaking, and for temperance work. Over the next several years he met and impressed a number of men who would become his benefactors (Drew, 2011, pp. 16-18).

An exceptional orator, Smallwood moved to Virginia, upon his graduation from Shaw; there he began to speak in the political arena. In 1881, Smallwood supported the Republican politicians against the Readjusters, an economic populist movement spearheaded by former Confederate General William C. Mahone. Notably, Smallwood had a letter to the editor of the Norfolk Ledger republished in several Virginia newspapers, including the Alexandria Gazette and Staunton Vindicator, wherein he exposed alleged “quid pro quo” corruption by one of Mahone’s, anonymous, supporters, who he claimed had bribed him to denounce a Republican candidate for Congress, John F. Dezendor (More Bribery and Corruption, Alexandria Gazette, p. 2; More Bribery and Corruption, Staunton Vindicator, p. 2).

Smallwood pursued higher education at the coeducational Wesleyan Academy of Wilbraham, Massachusetts in 1885 (President Smallwood, 1894). There, Smallwood was invited to join an otherwise strictly white organization, the Philo Society, and “at once took the lead in public debates and in social life of the grand old school.” It was at this time that Smallwood would begin a lifelong friendship with one of his instructors, the future judge John E. Ricketts (Adams, 1904; Ex-Judge J. E. Ricketts, 145 La Salle street, p. 1). In March 1886, Memorial Methodist Church of Wilbraham granted Smallwood a license to preach, and in December of that year he was called to serve as acting pastor of the Sanford Street Church. (Springfield Sprays, 1888). Also in 1886, Staunton Vindicator reported that Smallwood completed a bachelor’s of arts at a “Wilber [sic] Fisk University, New York, as valedictorian” (Gleaned From the Mails, p. 2). 

By this time Smallwood had achieved significant notice as a compelling speaker. His talents made it possible for him to travel to England in the early 1890s, where he lectured for the United Literary and Lecturing Society of England, and studied political science at Trinity College. He returned to America briefly, then set out again for Great Britain, France and Germany (Drew, 2010, p. 55). The power of his oratory and the experience he gained on the lecture circuit would become essential to the success of his life’s mission: the founding of a school for young African Americans.

newspaper advertisementfor the Temperance, Industrial and Collegiate Institute
The Times Dispatch (Richmond, Va.), July 13, 1906
Chronicling America, Library of Congress


On August 11, 1891, now Dr. Smallwood, purchased 271 acres in Surry County, Va. on the edge of Claremont, a town with a port on the James River, situated midway between Richmond and Norfolk. On October 12, 1892, Smallwood opened the Temperance, Industrial and Collegiate Institute with fewer than ten pupils and less than fifty dollars in cash. Classes were held in a dining hall on the property (Drew, 2010, pp. 56-57). The school would maintain a strong sense of its mission. An advertisement in the 1906 Educational Section of the Richmond, Va. Times Dispatch, stated “Smoking, Chewing Tobacco, Drinking Whiskey, Fighting, Laziness and Impure Living Will Not be Tolerated in Any Pupil.”

For the remainder of his life, John J. Smallwood would dedicate himself to the Temperance, Industrial and Collegiate Institute and to its students. He wrote countless fundraising letters to acquaintances and public figures, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Frederick Douglass. In one letter to E. W. Fox in Milton, NH, Smallwood wrote: 

Our students come from the “rural districts” of Virginia and North Carolina. They are too poor to pay us six dollars per month. We have to beg for them. 

Our object is to teach the Negro Youth all the trades of the “American Industry”—shorthand, typewriting and bookkeeping will be studied. Housekeeping and all kinds of industry will carry on as a part of the regular course of study here. 

Our race must be taught the trades. They must be taught the trades. They must be made working men and women by becoming skilled in their labor. We must also impress the Negro that he must have “Race Pride” and “Self-Reliance” and “Self-Respect.” We must teach the Negro that nothing like the color of the skin makes a man or gentleman, but real true character marks the gentleman. 

My race is a poor, [?] and a badly treated race. They are shot down, hanged and [as in] two cases here in the South, they are tied to the stake and burned alive. Many of our young men are working for four dollars per month. We are treated like brutes in many sections of this fair southland. Education, temperance, skilled labor, morality, industry, wealth and religion are the only instruments that can be used in the great conflicts here in the so-called “Race Problem.”

We write, dear friend to ask you to help us. We shall thank you for any amount that you may see fit to send us for the school. We need money and we need friends. We need sewing machines, washing machines, cooking utensils, carpenter and blacksmith tools. We need everything used in a young school like ours. We need good books, newspapers, desks, a church, and school furniture. 

Our school is non-sectarian, non-political, but strictly industrial and religious. Please Help us (Drew, 2010, pp. 57-59).

In April 1895, Smallwood purchased an additional 36 acres which included buildings and a wharf where enslaved people had landed in the seventeenth century. Soon after this purchase, Smallwood and his students built Sawyer Hall, a girls’ dormitory named in honor of Philetus Sawyer, a U. S. Senator from Wisconsin and a financial supporter (Drew, 2010, pp. 67-68).

While the number of students were in the single digits at the start of the school’s first term on October 31, 1892, enrollment soon skyrocketed with a total of 150 admission applications in the 1895–1896 academic year alone. However, Smallwood did not have the resources to take on every single aspiring student, and only took on applicants he knew he could board. Donors to the institute were acknowledged in the school’s newspaper, The Monthly Advocate, but contributions were insufficient to the school’s needs, and Smallwood was eventually forced to take out loans to continue operations (Drew, 2010, pp. 67-70).

The Institute faced a severe misfortune in 1897 when a fire claimed the campus’ sawmill, planing mill, and mattress factory, which had been the site for relevant training for male students. Dr. Smallwood was devastated by the loss, but characteristically rose to pour himself into the needs of his students and the institute (Drew, 2010, p. 79).

newspaper portrait of Rosa E. Smallwood
Rosa E. Smallwood
The Broad Ax, Jan. 2, 1904
Chronicling America, Library of Congress

On September 20, 1900, John J. Smallwood married twenty-one-year-old Rosa E. Banks, the daughter of Mat and Phyllis Banks of Richmond, Va. (Drew, 2010, p. 85). Rosa served as the Temperance Institute’s Lady President. She was described as a “practical Negro educator,” “a most brilliant essayist, a fine poetess, a Democratic hostess, and a born scholar” (Adams, 1904).  A March 1901 letter from Rosa Smallwood to then-Vice President Theodore Roosevelt reveals her ability. Hewing close to the talking points that Dr. Smallwood consistently used, Mrs. Smallwood informed Roosevelt as to the conditions in which their institution operated, under threat from “White Caps, Ku-Klux, and shotguns.” In light of this, she requested financial assistance from the Vice President, one-fifth of the $1500 they owed and help in securing other conditional funds, for “the good of my poor Race” (R.E. Smallwood, 1901).

By 1904, four hundred and ninety-eight students had successfully completed Smallwood’s curriculum. An article from The Broad Ax reported a wide assortment of achievements and career paths from the Temperance Institute’s alumni, among them fifty-nine farm owners, eight “high school teachers and hotel waiters,” one lawyer, seven ministers, twelve grade school teachers, two temperance lecturers, seventeen “tradesmen of various kinds,” and twelve urban homeowners across several states (Adams, 1904).

Dr. Smallwood’s institutional responsibilities did not preclude his oratory tours, but in fact proved their necessity as he proselytized for his and the school’s mission. In 1894, the Portland Daily Press of Maine reported on Smallwood’s speaking on the “Great American Negro Problem” at several churches, and characterized him as “the finest and the most substantial speaker upon the Race Problem in America. Smallwood was dogged in his pursuit of funding for the Temperance, Industrial and Collegiate Institute, with The Broad Ax reporting on Smallwood’s “successful lecturing tour” he undertook through the northwest which benefited from the philanthropic “many… wealthy white friends of the Negro in this city” (Prof. John J. Smallwood, p. 1).

Compounding the logistical and financial difficulties of establishing a school for African Americans were the many personal attacks on John J. Smallwood himself. His accomplishments and his vision, his fundraising, and even his marital status were all subject to criticism and insult. He was accused of fraud (Sinner, Not Saint, p. 1). At times, the attacks on Smallwood became violent.

Smallwood took pride in the Temperance, Industrial and Collegiate Institute’s successful first years and invited several friends, white men who had been his classmates at Wesleyan, to the school’s commencement ceremony held at Bagley Hall. Following the dissemination of reports of the event, Smallwood received a threatening letter from the “White Caps and Ku Kluxes,” explicitly white supremacist terrorists and vigilantes, where he was “given ten days to leave his home and his life work.” Two white guests from South Portland, Maine—the Rev. Mr. and Mrs. Ira G. Ross—were also targeted, with the Reverend subjected to a stoning while preaching at a Methodist church and his wife called a “White Maine Yankee N___” because she addressed Black men and women in public (President Smallwood, 1894). 

With little time to spare, Smallwood sent notice to the mayor, the editor of the county paper, and other officials that he would stay put at Claremont, “attending to his business and the business of the institution, which is building,” and that he “intended [to] act upon the first man who came to his house upon White Caps or Ku Klux business.” Smallwood also quickly armed the Blacks at Claremont and told them directly to “kill the first White Cap or Ku Klux that came to take his life” (President Smallwood, 1894).

The school also received hostile reporting from the white press. In one such instance, in 1906, the school’s business manager, Scotland Harris, repudiated blatantly inaccurate coverage of the Institute’s closure with a letter to the editor. Harris defended not only the “great and good work” the school was already pursuing, but additional improvements which had led to a temporary closure to allow for the rebuilding of Old Bagley Hall and refurbishment of several other campus buildings (Harris, p. 4).

Along with renovations, a new flagship building on campus drew attention to the institution: Lincoln Hall.  Completed in 1911, the $50,000 building was an imposing four-stories tall; constructed of brick, stone, and cement. As of June 1912, the 300-acre campus’ other “splendid” buildings were equipped with “heating and electric plants, [a] water plant, and sewerage plant, which make the sanitary environment healthy,” most impressive along the rural banks of the James River. Smallwood at this time ran expenses totaling $45,000 during the 1911–1912 school year alone, and was advocating for the school’s need for a hospital space to train nurses, a new carpentry shop, and other improvements, for which he was arranging the raising of a further $100,000 as an endowment fund (Dodson, p. 6) 

In September 1912, Smallwood became severely ill. He was taken to the Retreat for the Sick hospital in Richmond, Virginia, and was reported to have undergone several operations. On September 29, as Rosa Smallwood was still en route from Claremont for an afternoon arrival at Richmond to see her husband, Dr. Smallwood passed away. His official death certificate noted that the cause was the result of “adhesion from appendicitis,” but his Claremont neighbors insisted that it was simply the result of Dr. Smallwood pouring every piece of himself into his school (Drew, 2010, p. 145). Funeral services were conducted at the Third Street African Methodist Evangelical Church, now Bethel A.M.E., on October 1, 1912. George R. Hovey, president of Virginia Union University and John Mitchell Jr., editor of the Richmond Planet delivered eulogies. Early the next day, Smallwood’s body was transported by the steamer Pocahontas to its final resting place at the Temperance, Industrial and Collegiate Institute. Funeral director A. D. Price accompanied the body to Claremont where John J. Smallwood was interred near Lincoln Memorial Hall (Drew, 2010, pp. 152-154, Negro Educator Stricken Here, p. 10). Two years later, in July 1914, friends and patrons would erect a twenty-foot tall monument in Smallwood’s honor on the campus grounds (Unveiling Of Monument, p. 1).

Following Smallwood’s passing, his colleagues at the Institute in Claremont carried on with the school’s mission, even as they struggled with the school’s debt and continuing financial difficulties. Rosa Smallwood served as the school’s acting president for several months after her husband’s death. January of 1913 saw Mrs. Smallwood implement several important changes to the school’s charter, bringing on new members to and further empowering the board of trustees. Reincorporated as the Smallwood Memorial Institute, Mrs. Smallwood and the board invited the Reverend Morris of Norfolk, a fellow attendee and speaker to the aforementioned Educational Association’s congress who Mrs. Smallwood considered a worthy candidate, to succeed her in the office of the President, which he accepted.  

Without Smallwood’s extraordinary ability to secure funds for the needs of his school and students, the debts which continued to accrue burdened the successful administration of the Institute. In 1915, the Institute took Claremont’s county treasurer to court in regards to overdue taxes to the number of $1,500. The Institute’s attorney, W. Stanley Burt, was able to negotiate a temporary injunction against payment on the grounds that the Smallwood Memorial Institute was “an institution for public education,” which they argued made them exempt from tax collection (Smallwood Institute Fights Tax Collections, p. 5). Unfortunately, while the battle was won in this instance, the war loomed large overhead. Ultimately, the Virginia Supreme Court would rule against the Institute’s position, upholding the claim that the properties which made up a large portion of the campus which Dr. Smallwood had left in his will had been left for the benefit of his surviving family, not the Institute. In sum, this meant that Mrs. Smallwood was legally required to pay taxes on those tracks of land, further complicating the Institute’s financial obligations with no true room for respite (Drew, 2010, p. 161).

Early 1920 would see new leadership arrive in Claremont from the Corey Memorial Institute in Portsmouth, Virginia, named after Dr. Charles Henry Corey of the Richmond Institute (later named Richmond Theological Seminary)–one of the institutions which would go on to form Virginia Union University. The Corey Memorial Institute was affiliated with the Norfolk Union Baptist Association. Following an appeal from that group to their national organization, the Baptist General Association, to address the inadequate size of their previous accommodations, the Baptist General Association purchased the Smallwood Memorial Institute’s campus. With the relocation to the site complete by May of 1921, the school was rechartered and renamed the Smallwood-Corey Memorial Industrial and Collegiate Institute. In April 1923, the name would be shortened to Smallwood-Corey Industrial Institute (Drew, 2010, pp. 195–196).

A 1925 article from The Richmond Planet reported on the grounds’ temporary use as a summer camp for girls & young women by the Y. W. C. A, although no further clarification is available as to how the arrangement came about (Y. W. C. A. Summer Camp For Girls, p. 5). Additional contemporary reporting identifies the Reverend R. J. Langston, D.D., as the principal of the Institute (Martin, p. 2). The Rev. Dr. J. G. St. Clair Drake served as the school’s vice president, and also served as an organizer for Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). This confluence would lead to the UNIA perceiving an opportunity at Claremont (Pastor Weds As Death Nears, p. 1).

Around 1925, the board of trustees of the Smallwood-Corey Industrial Institute appealed to the UNIA for financial assistance (Drew, 2010, p. 200). The UNIA, noting the Institute’s struggles without consistent or sufficient financial support for their expenses, eagerly sought to buy out Smallwood-Corey, in part as a way to keep the institution under the control of African Americans. The UNIA as an explicitly black nationalist organization followed a distinct, yet congenial, approach to the racial uplift as practiced by Smallwood and his successors. Both held a line which advocated against the pursuit of social equality by black communities, instead focusing on “improvement,” whether in education and morals as preached by Smallwood, or in business-class building, as pursued by Garvey (Pastor Weds As Death Nears, p. 1, 6).

The UNIA purchased the land for $7,300, and also assumed responsibility for between $53,000 to $55,000 in debts previously held by the Smallwood-Corey Institute (Pastor Weds As Death Nears, p. 1). The property’s full value at the time amounted to $250,000, with a $100,000 value estimate listed for Lincoln Hall, renamed Garvey Hall by the UNIA. The UNIA went on to rename the institution Universal Liberty University, and successfully opened its doors to students in September of 1926 for its autumn session (Hill & Blair 1989/2014; U. N. I. A. Buys Quarter Million Dollar Property For Great Negro University, p. 2). The UNIA was eager to establish “an international university” which would appeal to not only black youth in the United States, but to those of “the West Indies, in Africa and in the islands of the sea,” drawing on language which the The Negro World editor had spoken aloud as a “commencement orator of the school many years ago” (Let’s Put It Over, p. 3). 

The endeavor to establish the UNIA University was characterized by the contemporary press as a success, with UNIA members and officials from across the country gathering at Claremont several times. In September 1926, a wide swath of people–members of the UNIA, their friends, or other curious visitors–visited the school for its opening ceremony, with a UNIA-affiliated news correspondent urging the readership to support the institution’s expansion (Brown, 1926, p.1). In May of the following year, another large crowd gathered to observe the school’s commencement exercises and celebrate the achievement of Universal Liberty University’s first completed academic year. Important leadership from the various chapters in the organization attended, with Acting President-General of New York’s contingent Frederick A. Foote taking the stage to speak alongside school faculty, notably: Professor Caleb Robinson, principal, and Reverend Dr. St. Clair Drake, vice principal (Brown, 1927, p. 2). 

Unfortunately for Garvey and his supporters, this endeavor would not last. In addition to financial strains from outstanding debts, the UNIA was wracked by internal dissension stemming from Garvey’s imprisonment and deportation. This resulted in a factionalization between officer cliques and their concerns of legitimacy, thus dividing membership, and further complicating funding for and effective management of the school (U.N.I.A Plans University of the School, p. 1). The stock market crash of 1929 was the final blow, with an October 12 announcement from the school’s board of director’s published in the UNIA’s Negro World stating that “owing to contemplated reorganization… the school will not be opened until further notice” (Notice, p. 2). 

Less than a decade after the purchase of the land by the UNIA, a brief note regarding the state of the campus was published in the Norfolk Journal & Guide in December of 1934. The paper noted that on December 2, 1934, James Richardson, a former student at the school, along with “Mr. Brown of Hampton,” visited the site with a former professor at the school, Professor W. M. Lamb, and Mrs. Alice F. Davenport. Richardson and Brown were dismayed at the dilapidated condition of the buildings (Claremont, Va., p. 6). 

In May of 1937, the 65 3/4-acre Claremont property was sold at public auction to H.C. Redd of Hanover County, Virginia for $100. The memorial monument was relocated soon thereafter to the nearby Gravel Hill Church. The remaining buildings on the former campus site would finally be demolished via controlled dynamite explosions in June of 1941. Smallwood’s biographer Mary E. C. Drew quotes a contemporary newspaper account that noted that an institution with such bright prospects was “buried under the fallen ruins, blended with the soil its founder had hoped would bear an everlasting monument of his labors” (Negro College Faded Out, in Drew, 2010, p. 208).

Today, a Virginia State Historical Marker indicates the former site of John Jefferson Smallwood’s dream. Smallwood’s memorial is still standing, and can be found today at the site to which it was moved in 1937, the Abundant Life Christian Church Cemetery at Gravel Hill Church in Spring Grove, Virginia. Its inscription reads, in part, “His best epitaph is written in the hearts of the many who knew him as scholar, educator and friend. Requiescat in Pace.”



Adams, W. L. D. D. (1904, January 2). High tribute paid to the educational abilities of Mr. and Mrs. John J. Smallwood. The Broad Ax, 9 (10), p. 5. 

Advertisement. Temperance, Industrial and Collegiate Institute (1906 July 13). The Times Dispatch (Richmond, Va.) Educational Section, p. 17. Chronicling America, Library of Congress.

Brown, C.M. (1926, September 18). Crowd Goes To Claremont On U. N. I. A. Trip. Norfolk Journal & Guide, 26 (38), p. 1. ProQuest Black Studies Center. Historical Newspapers. 

Brown, C.M. (1927, June 4). U.N.I.A. Members Attend Finals At Claremont School: Notables of Organization At Liberty University, Formerly Smallwood-Corey. Norfolk Journal & Guide, 27 (23), p. 2. ProQuest Black Studies Center. Historical Newspapers. 

Claremont, Va. (1934, December 15). New Journal and Guide, 34 (50), p. 6. ProQuest Black Studies Center. Historical Newspapers. 

Dodson, N. B. (1912, June 15). Potent Factor In Education. School In Claremont, Va., Completes Twentieth Year. How It Benefits The Race. The Statesman, 23, p. 6.

Drew, M. E. C. (2010). Divine Will, Restless Heart: The Life And Works of Dr. John Jefferson Smallwood: 1863–1912. Xlibris Corporation.

Drew, M. E. C. (2011). One Common Country for One Common People. Selected Writings and Speeches of Dr. John Jefferson Smallwood. Xlibris Corporation. 

Dr. Morris Succeeds Late Dr. Smallwood. (1913, January 18). Twin City Star, 3 (20), p. 2.

Ex-Judge J. E. Ricketts, 145 La Salle street. (1903, October 3). The Broad Ax, 8 (50), p. 1.

Gleaned from the Mails. (1886, July 16). Staunton Vindicator, 41 (29), p. 2. Retrieved from——-en-20–101–txt-txIN-%22john+j+smallwood%22——-.

Harris, S. (1906, May 15). Claremont Institute Prospering. News Leader, 12 (117), p. 4. Retrieved from——-en-20–101–txt-txIN-%22john+j+smallwood%22——-

Hill, R.A., & Blair, B. (2014). American Series Introduction Volume VI: September 1924–December 1927. UCLA African Studies Center. (Reprinted from The Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers, Vol. VI: September 1924–December 1927, by R.A. Hill & B. Blair, Eds., pp. xxxv–xlii, University of California Press).

Let’s Put It Over: A University On The James River. (1926, July 31). The Negro World, 20 (25), p. 3.

Marker K-331 (2010). Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Historical Highway Markers.

Martin, E. E. (1923, March 3). The Week’s News of Portsmouth, Suffolk, Franklin and Suburban Towns: PORTSMOUTH. Norfolk Journal & Guide, 23 (9), p. 2. ProQuest Black Studies Center. Historical Newspapers. 

Memorial to Smallwood (1914 August 1). Richmond Planet, 31(36), p.1.——-en-20–1–txt-txIN——– 

More Bribery and Corruption. (1882, October 18). Alexandria Gazette, 83 (246), p. 2.

More Bribery And Corruption. (1882, October 20). Staunton Vindicator, 37 (42), p. 2.

Negro College Faded Out When Founder Died. Crumbling Ruins are Mute Evidence of School of Culture that Faded Out,” unidentified newspaper clipping, courtesy of James Atkins, Richmond, Va. as cited in Drew, Divine Will, Restless Heart.

Negro Educator Stricken Here: Dr. Smallwood, President of Claremont Institute, Dies at Retreat for Sick. (1912, September 30). The Times Dispatch, 19 (124), p. 10.

Notice. (1929, October 12). The Negro World, 26 (10), p. 2.

Pastor Weds As Death Nears: U. N. I. A. Buys Smallwood – Corey Institute. Plan To Make A University Of The School. Institution Will Be Conducted According To Best Methods, Announce Officials Representing Purchasers. Plan To Make School National In Scope. (1926, July 31). Norfolk Journal & Guide, 26 (31), p. 1. ProQuest Black Studies Center. Historical Newspapers. 

President Smallwood: The Founder And Head Of The Temperance Institute At Claremont, Virginia—Rev. I. G. Ross’s Experiments There—President Smallwood Here. (1894, August 14). Portland Daily Press, 32, p. 8. 

Prof. John J. Smallwood. (1904, September 24). The Broad Ax, 9 (48), p. 1.

Sinner, Not Saint. Rev. John S. Smallwood, Colored, At Last Exposed. Reaped A Rich Harvest With His Smooth And Oily Tongue. Rev. I. G. Ross and Rev. I. Luce of Portland, Among Latest Victims. (1895, January 19). Daily Kenneber Journal, 26 (17), p. 1.

Smallwood, R.E. (1901, March 18). [Letter from Mrs. Rosa E. Smallwood to Hon. Vice-President Theodore Roosevelt]. Library of Congress.


Of further interest:

Education of Deaf and Blind African Americans in Virginia, 1909-2008, Social Welfare History Project

Opening of the Virginia State School for Colored Deaf and Blind Children, 1909, Social Welfare History Project

Virginia Industrial School for Colored Girls, Social Welfare History Project

National Health Circle for Colored People, Inc. Hiking the Health Road for Others, Social Welfare History Image Portal

Report, Segregation in the Field of Public and Private Law [excerpt], Social Welfare History Image Portal



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