His earliest education.

Edward Austin Johnson (23 Nov. 1860-24 July 1944), educator, historian, attorney, and politician, was one of eleven children of Columbus and Eliza Johnson, slaves belonging to a large slaveholder in Wake County. Johnson acquired his earliest education from a free black, Nancy Walton, and after emancipation attended a school in Raleigh directed by two white teachers from New England. These “Yankee” teachers introduced him to the Congregational church, in which he was active for the rest of his life. …

Excerpt from biography of Edward A. Johnson,  http://docsouth.unc.edu/church/johnson/bio.html