Basil Manly Jr.

American minister and theologian (1825-1892)

Basil Manly Jr. (18251892) was an American Baptist minister and educator. He was one of a group of theologians instrumental in the formation of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in South Carolina.

Basil Manly Jr.


  • The only way then to deal with the black man whom we find in America—is to give him his rights, cordially, frankly, fully.

    The freedman is a man, neither more nor less. And it is not so much as a freedman that we are concerned about him. It is rather as a freeman. Whatever he was, this thing is certain—he is now a freeman, by the highest organic law of our government, by the constitution of the United States, by the separate action of the respective states. His past condition of servitude is not unimportant, as affecting his present state and our present responsibilities. But the momentous question is not what he was, but what he is, and especially what he is going to be. And with that question we have something to do.

    He is not a babe, to be fondled and petted. He is not a brute, to be trampled and despised. He is not a fiend or a savage to be shunned and dreaded, nor an angel to be admired and flattered. He is simply a man, with the capabilities and duties of any other man, so far as he is competent to discharge them, liable to the same temptations and frailties, heir of the same immortality, and redeemed by the same precious blood...

  • First and foremost, he needs to be fairly treated. To have the truth [told] about him, the whole truth if practicable, but at all events to nothing but the truth; to have fair opportunities to labor, and to get honest pay for [it, to] have a chance to become educated and to develop whatever there is [in] him, in good and noble directions, in short to have a fair field.

    Next, and mainly, our colored brethren need the gospel.

    I shall not draw any terrible picture of their deplorable state, with a good deal of red in the brush, for two reasons—first, they would not be true; and second, there is no need of them. There is enough to rouse any thoughtful man to action in the fact that here in our midst is to be found a nation with in a nation, twice as great in number today as the whole American people were one hundred years ago, when our independence was achieved. They are said to number now not less than seven millions...

  • And in the emergency we welcome cordially the liberal aid of our Northern brethren, who have done, especially in the important matter of education institutions, a work which in our crippled condition it would have been impossible for the South to have undertaken, or to carry through. Let us each do all we can in this great enterprise.