Remarks on the Death of Jesse Ewing Glasgow, Jr.
The Christian Recorder, April 6, 1861
Some time ago, our readers will recollect we offered a few thoughts on the capacity of colored people to write; and improve the advantages they may enjoy. The following extract from one of our exchanges, the American Presbyterian, contains not only a tribute to deserved worth, but is another illustration of the truth we then endeavored to defend.
MR. EDITOR: - In a recent number you gave an obituary notice of Mr. J. Ewing Glasgow, a colored student from this city, who died while completing his studies with distinguished honor in the University of Edinburgh. Please add the following commendatory testimony that has since been received from one of his friends, the Rev. Wazir Beg, a gentleman from India, of independent means; a Christian convert from Mohammedanism; a licentiate of the United Presbyterian Church, now studying medicine in Ireland. While in Scotland attending the University, he was introduced to Mr. Glasgow, about three years ago. And from that time they kept up an intimate friendship, visited in each others’ lodgings, and walked together in their summer evening rambles.
He says of Mr. G., “I can truly say, he was an Israelite, indeed, in whom was no guile. His Christianity, to a great extent, was unobtrusive and reticent. Ah! he was a simple, amiable disciple. He must have been a hard student, since he distinguished himself in several literary classes, and yet he was never ostentatious of his achievements. I never heard him whisper about his prizes. White lads, I know, envied him, and well they might, for he was studious and talented. Peace be with thee! thou departed spirit of friendship, make perfect in the upper sanctuary; for thou hast now rested from thy sorrows, and art commingling thy joys with those of the spirits of the just, to whom the blood of sprinkling has spoken the better things. Vale! my departed friend! till we meet in Immanuel’s land.”
This testimony is its own commentary. We have here one of dark Afric hue, capable of making strides in learning that excited the envy of his white-skinned fellows; and yet not puffed up by his knowledge. And who dare doubt that when the colored race shall have a fair chance, there will be many a like instance of the thorough-bred scholar and gentleman united? Yet this is the race of whom it is said that they are only fit for slavery, and “have no rights that the white man is bound to respect.” But even now Ethiopia is beginning to stretch out her hand to God, and her soul begins to develop its mental and moral strugglings and yearnings; and the day is coming, when, disenthralled, she shall fulfil a high destiny.
On December 20, 1860, Jesse Ewing Glasgow, Jr., the first graduate of the Institute for Colored Youth, died from illness while studying at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. In his home in Philadelphia, The Christian Recorder printed this article about Glasgow on April 6, 1861. The article includes praise from someone who had known Glasgow, as well as remarks about what the young scholar meant to the African American community.