Lift Every Voice: African American Oratory, 1787-1900

By Philip S. Foner; Robert James Branham | Go to book overview

men and things, we have supplied that defect; and if they will let us we shall call ourselves a charter'd lodge of just and lawful Masons; be always ready to give an answer to those that ask you a question; give the right hand of affection and fellowship to whom it justly belongs; let their colour and complexion be what it will, let their nation be what it may, for they are your brethren, and it is your indispensable duty so to do; let them as Masons deny this, and we & the world know what to think of them be they ever so grand: for we know this was Solomon's creed, Solomon's creed did I say, it is the decree of the Almighty, and all Masons have learnt it: tis plain market language, and plain and true facts need no apologies.

I shall now conclude with an old poem which I found among some papers:

Let blind admirers handsome faces praise,
And graceful features to great honor raise,
The glories of the red and white express,
I know no beauty but in holiness;
If God of beauty be the uncreate
Perfect idea, in this lower state,
The greatest beauties of an human mould
Who most resemble Him we justly hold;
Whom we resemble not in flesh and blood,
But being pure and holy, just and good:
May such a beauty fall but to my share,
For curious shape or face I'll never care.■


5 ADDRESS TO THE PEOPLE OF COLOR

Abraham Johnstone

In 1745, a broadside was issued entitled The Declaration and Confession of Jeffrey, Negro, who was executed in Worcester, October 17, 1745, for the Murder of his Mistress Tabitha Sanford, at Mendon, the 12th of September. A notice of the broadside was published in the Boston Evening Post of October 28, 1745, but there does not appear to be in existence any copy of the sheet itself or the "Declaration and Confession."

Early in 1797, Abraham Johnstone, a free African American who had

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