Page images
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]



of a trath I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation, he that foureth him,
and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him."-acts x. 34, 35.




les loy96.2.5




By consent of the Compiler, and at the recommendation of the Trustees of the African Free Schools in New. York, (who have liberally patronized the work,) the pieces in the following compilation have been divided into reading sections, with a view to have the volume introduced into Schools, as a Class Book. It is hoped this arrangement will be equally agreeable to Subscribers, and to those Teachers who may use it in their Schools.

[merged small][ocr errors]


The object of this selection is not to set forth the exploits of the war. rior, who has drenched fields in blood, destroyed cities by fire, and their inhabitants by famine, who has made the mother a widow, and her children fatherless; and deprived the aged of their comfort and support in declining life. It is not to rehearse the harangues, nor to set forth the eloquence of the man of science; but to encourage virtue and morality in the different classes of society; and by bringing into view the effects which a system of slavery has on the human mind, and the dreadful consequences of that arbitrary power invested in the slave-holder over his fellow being; to show how it bardens the heart and petrifies the feelings. No doubt there are some men who in carly life, and before they were placed in authority, like Hazael, would have heen shocked to hear predicted what they have afterwards, and under different circumstancos, put in practice; but there are others, who, being trained up in the midst of Slavery, are inured from their infancy to see the sufferings of the poor slaves, and to hear their cries, become almost insensible to the responsibility of their station, and the enormity of the evils they are committing. For these, as well as for the slaves, our tenderest sympathy ought to be awakened, and our aspirations to ascend before Him, who can unstop the deaf ear, and open the eyes even of those who are blind.

The design of this selection is also to show the baneful effects of that degradation to which the children of Africa have, in an especial manner, been sujected by the Slave Trade ; and to exhibit for encouragement and imitation, the salutary and cheering influence of the Christian religion, on such as bave faithfully followed its dictates, though some of them have been held in a state of bondage.

Here we may observe that it is nct the inhabitants of any particular country or climate that are the favorites of Him, who without respect of persons, judgeth every man according to his works, and the integrity of his heart; but it is the faithful and those only, who can look forward to a termination of their pilgrimage here, with a hope that they will then be admitted into the mansions of bliss, where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary find rest.

Some instances will be found, where men, by yielding to the convicting power of Truth, and the noble feelings of justice, have broken the chains of slavery, and said to the captive, go free. May others, by following their example, share in the reward attendant on such acts of benevolence. And may those persons of color who enjoy the inestimable privilege of Freemen, either by birthright or by emancipation, always bear in mind, that by their good conduct they not only promote their own happiness, but that they advocate the cause of Universal Emancipation, by showing to the world their capability of enjoying the benefits of society, and providing comfortably for themselves.

lo preparing these pieces for the press, I have taken the liberty of abridging some of those which have already appeared in print. And

[blocks in formation]

in some instances, where in the first narration, the character was not fully delincated or finished, I have supplied that deficiency from later writers, or from inquiries of those who had been personally acquainted with the individual, as in the cases of Joseph Rachel, Phillis Wheatley, &c.

A. M. Hickory Grove, 11th mo. 1825.

The following remarks, as well as divers other picces in this selection, are generally taken from an inquiry into the intellectual and moral faculties of the Negroes, by GREGOIRE.

Many authors have borne testimony to the pleasantness and fertility of Africa, and to the generosity and filial affection of its inhabitants. In reading Ledyard, Lucas, Mungo Park, Hornman and others, we find that the inhabitants of the interior are more virtuous and more civilized *than those on the sea coast; surpass them also in the preparations of wool, leather, cotton, wood, and metals; in weaving, dying and sewing. Golberry says that in Africa there are no beggars except the blind.

Adanson, who visited Senegal in 1754, when describing the country, says, · It recalled to me the idea of the primitive race of men. I thought I saw the world in its infancy. The Negroes are sociable, humane, obliging, and hospitable, and they have generally preserved an estima. ble simplicity of domestic manners. They are distinguished by their tenderness for their parents and great respect for the aged, a patriarchal virtue, which in our day is too little known.

“ Robin speaks of a slave in Martinico, who having gained money sufficient for his own ransom, purchased with it his mother's freedom. The most horrible outrage that can be committed agaii at a negro, is to curse his father or his mother, or to speak of either with conteinpt.'.

“ Mungo Park observes, that a slave said to his master, Strike me, but curse not my mother. And that a negress hating lost her son, her only consolation was, that he had never told a lie. Casuaux relates, that a negro seeing a white man abuse his father, said, 'Carry away the child of this monster, that it may not learn to imitate his conduct.

"The Bishop Jacqumin, had been twenty-two years at Guyanna, where he was much beloved. When they ceased to employ him as a pastor, those Indians said to him, 'Father, thou art aged: remain with us, and we will hunt and fish for thee.'

Many others might be added from the official depositions made at the bar of Parliament, and before the select committee of the House of Commons, in England, in 1790 and 1791; but these may suffice to en: cuurage others to similar acts of piety, and filial affection, remembering also that we must expect our children to follow our example.

“ As no human being can choose the place of his birth or the advantages of ancestry, so it manifests great folly to build our fame on the - virtues, riches, or honors of those who have gone before us; or to despise a fellow being on account of the poverty or obscurity of his birth. In so doing we arraign the goodness of our Creator, and act inconsistently with our dependent situation.”


Francis Williams,

1. The son of African parents, was born in Jamaica, about the year 1700, and died when about 70 years of age.

2. Struck with the conspicuous talents of this negro, when he was quite young, the Duke of Montague, Gová ernor of the Island, proposed to try whether, by an improved education, he would be equal to a white man placed in the same circumstances.

3. He accordingly sent him to England, where he commenced his studies in a private school, and afterwards entered the University of Cambridge, where he made considerable progress in the mathematics, and other branches of science.

4. After several years stay in England, he returned, to Jamaica, where, with the patronage of the Governor he opened a school and taught Latin

and the mathematics. He also wrote many pieces of Latin poetry some of which was presented to the Governor ; and one of his

we do not find among the defenders of slavery, one half of the literary merit of Phillis Wheatley and Francis Williams."

friends says,


Jasmin Thoumazeau,

1. Was born in Africa, in 1714, brought to St. Domingo and sold for a slave when he was 22 years of age, but alterwards obtaining his freedom, he married,

« PreviousContinue »