Bishop Whitaker presented the Letter of Endowment of the Lectureship on Christian Sociology from Rev. William L. Bull as follows:
For many years it has been my earnest desire to found a Lectureship on Christian Sociology, meaning thereby the application of Christian principles to the Social, Industrial, and Economic problems of the time, in my Alma Mater, the Philadelphia Divinity School. My object in founding this Lectureship is to secure the free, frank, and full consideration of these subjects, with special reference to the Christian aspects of the question involved, which have heretofore, in my opinion, been too much neglected in such discussion. It would seem that the time is now ripe and the moment an auspicious one for the establishment of this Lectureship, at least tentatively.
After a trial of three years, I again make the offer, as in my letter of January 1, 1901, to continue these Lectures for a period of three years, with the hope that they may excite such an interest, particularly among the undergraduates of the Divinity School, that I shall be justified, with the approval of the authorities of the Divinity School, in placing the Lectureship on a more permanent foundation.
I herewith pledge myself to contribute the sum of six hundred dollars annually, for a period of three years, to the payment of a lecturer on Christian Sociology, whose duty it shall be to deliver a course of not less than four lectures to the students of the Divinity School, either at the school or elsewhere, as may be deemed most advisable, on the application of Christian principles to the Social, Industrial, and Economic problems and needs of the times; the said lecturer to be appointed annually by a committee of five members: the Bishop of the Diocese of Pennsylvania; the Dean of the Divinity School; a member of the Board of Overseers, who shall at the same time be an Alumnus; and two others, one of whom shall be myself and the other chosen by the preceding four members of the committee.
Furthermore, if it shall be deemed desirable that the Lectures shall be published, I pledge myself to the additional payment of from one to two hundred dollars for such purpose.
To secure a full, frank, and free consideration of the questions involved, it is my desire that the opportunity shall be given from time to time to the representatives of each school of economic thought to express their views in these Lectures.
The only restriction I wish placed on the lecturer is that he shall be a believer in the moral teachings and principles of the Christian Religion as the true solvent of our Social, Industrial, and Economic problems. Of course, it is my intention that a new lecturer shall be appointed by the committee each year, who shall deliver the course of Lectures for the ensuing year.
WILLIAM LEVI BULL.
We are now, I think, far enough removed from the period of slavery to be able to study the influence of that institution objectively rather than subjectively. Surely if any Negro who was a part of the institution itself can do so, the remaining portion of the American people ought to be able to do so, whether they live at the North or at the South.
My subject naturally leads me to a discussion of the Negro as he was in slavery. We must all acknowledge, whatever else resulted from slavery that, first of all, it was the economic element involved that brought the Negro to America, and it was largely this consideration that held the race in slavery for a period of about 245 years. But, in this discussion, I am not to consider the economic value of the Negro as a slave, as such, but only the influence of his industrial training while in slavery in the development of his moral and religious life.
In my opinion, it requires no little effort on the part of a man who was once himself a slave to be able to admit this. If any Negro who was a part of the institution of slavery itself can so far rid himself of the prejudices of the same, it seems to me other people, living in whatever section, should be able to do so.
I have been a slave once in my life — a slave in body. But I long since resolved that no inducement and no influence would ever make me a slave in soul, in my love for humanity, and in my search for truth.
At the same time slaves were being brought to the shores of Virginia from their native land, Africa, the woods of Virginia were swarming with thousands of another dark-skinned race. The question naturally arises: Why did the importers of Negro slaves go to the trouble and expense of going thousands of miles for a dark-skinned people to hew wood and draw water for the whites, when they had right among them a people of another race who could have answered the purpose? The answer is that the Indian was tried and found wanting in the commercial qualities which the Negro seemed to possess. The Indian, as a race, would not submit to slavery and in those instances where he was tried, as a slave, his labor was not profitable and he was found unable to stand the physical strain of slavery. As a slave, the Indian died in large numbers. This was true in San Domingo and in other parts of the American continent.