Tuesday, February 18, 2014

For My Clan... Just so you Know

It's important to sometimes pull together the fragments of our lives...  so 

that we know.  And not so that we alone know--but that our children 

know and that they might be able to tell their children.  It's important 

that we collect the pieces of our patchwork quilts that are our lives and 

knit them together. 

 It provides a covering, warm and comforting; and as we knit the pieces 

together our quilt becomes stronger.  It becomes a shield, protecting us 

for when the cold winds blow and threaten to rip us apart.   

Rev. C. Max Manning, D.D.

"His mother. Millie E. Johnson, was a native of 

Edenton and was of Burmese and African 

extraction. She was a slave, but her freedom was 

purchased by her husband, together with that of 

their oldest son. While Dr. Manning was still- an 

infant the family moved to Philadelphia and later 

to New York. He was educated, therefore, in the 

Institute for Colored Youths in Philadelphia and 

completed his literary course at Lincoln 

University, in 1872"

The following is an excerpt from:

History of the American Negro and His Institutions edited by 

Arthur Bunyan Caldwell, originally published 1917

AMONG the older leaders of the race in the South in both political and religious circles, few have been more active or done more efficient work than Rev. Cornelius Maxwell Manning, of Atlanta.
He is a native of North Carolina, having been born in the historic old town of Edenton, December 8. 1845. His father was Moses W. Manning, a tailor by trade and a minister by profession, who had been born in Canada. His mother. Millie E. Johnson, was a native of Edenton and was of Burmese and African extraction. She was a slave, but her freedom was purchased by her husband, together with that of their oldest son. While Dr. Manning was still- an infant the family moved to Philadelphia and later to New York. He was educated, therefore, in the Institute for Colored Youths in Philadelphia and completed his literary course at Lincoln University, in 1872. He
made his financial way through school by working as cook at Northern Summer resorts. Years later, 1900, Morris Brown College conferred upon him the degree of D. D.
In 1867, which was the year of his conversion, Dr. Manning began teaching at Hertford, N. C., and in 1868 was elected delegate from Perquimans county to the new State Constitutional and nominating conventions. The same year he returned to the old home, Edenton, and founded there French Academy, an institution which is still running as Edenton Normal and Industrial Institute.
Having felt called to the ministry, he began his work as a preacher of the A. M. E. Z. church at Big Wesley chapel in Philadelphia in 1874, was ordained a deacon in 1878, an elder in 1879 and elected delegate to the General Conferences in 1880, 1892, 1896 and 1900. Meantime, in 1881, he had joined the A. M. E. church under Bishop Dickerson at Augusta, Ga., and was assigned to Savannah for two years, Newnan one year, Cartersville one year, Acworth two years, Lexington three years, Palmetto two years, Madison one year and Washington one year. This latter service brings his career up to 1896, in which year under appointment of President Cleveland, he went to Liberia as Secretary to the U. S. Legation at that point. He utilized this opportunity to do all the good possible, working as a missionary of the A. M. E. church. He pastored a church up St. Paul's River one year, and the second year of his stay pastored at Monrovia and assisted the church in building a house of worship there. After his return he served as Professor of Homiletics and Sacred History at Turner Theological Seminary eight years.
In 1914 Dr. Manning was appointed to the Athens station which is regarded as having one of the most cultured congregations in the connection. In 1915 he was elected to the General Conference.
Dr. Manning's activities, however, have not been confined solely to the work of the church, but he has taken an active part in the movements which had to do with the progress and development of his race. Admirably fitted by training and experience as a leader, he has been recognized by both races and frequently placed in positions of honor and trust. In 1884 he was appointed Commissioner to the New Orleans Exposition, and his appointment to Liberia has been briefly described.
He saw military service during the war as a member of Company K, Thirty-Fifth U. S. Infantry, from '63 to '66. With his command he took part in the bombardment and final capture of Fort Wagner, was in the engagements of Olustee, Honey Hill (or Pocotalligo) and was not mustered out of the service until nearly a year after the close of the war.
In 1868 he was married to Miss Elizabeth A. Hathaway of Edenton, N. C. She bore him two children, Chas. C., deceased, and Anna (i. (now Mrs-. Todd). Subsequent to his first wife's death, he again married, in 1884, Mrs. Mary A. (Wesley) Thomas, a daughter of David and Elizabeth Wesley, of Augusta. Of the four children born of this union two survive—Lorenzo D. C. and Robert W. Manning.
Dr. Manning is a Thirty-Third Degree Mason, and is also prominently identified with the Odd Fellows. His intellectual calibre may be inferred from the lines of reading he has found most helpful. They are: History, sacred and profane; philosophy and poetry, especially the English classics, such as Shakespeare, Milton and Tennyson. While he has not himself been a prolific writer, he has occasionally contributed to church papers, and some years ago prepared a booklet entitled "Is God Knowable?" He also wrote a hymn. "Creative Week," which has found a permanent place in the hymnal of his denomination.
Out of a long experience, he would advise young men not to divide their energies in this day of specialties by trying to master too many things, but to seek to be proficient in some chosen line of work or profession. He considers the questions of immigration and temperance among the most important with which we have to deal as a nation. He has given careful thought to our social and economic conditions, and believes that the best interests of Georgia may be served, not by a policy of repression, but by a policy which would give larger opportunities, which would inspire hope. With this in view, he would like to see better wages, bettor school facilities, better quarters in the country, and a penal system which would undertake to reform. rather than punish the criminal. To this end, he advocates the abolition of stockade sentences, shackles and stripes, as well as corporal punishment."