Lift Every Voice: African American Oratory, 1787-1900

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

could. These were daily occupied in spinning, basket making, weaving, cotton fabric, &c. which they sold in the markets. They often went far into the country in groups selling provisions along with their wares, and the Doctor never heard of any of them being molested.

From what the lecturer said, the houses of the rich were a sort of factory, where the surplus women were taught to work, and where they were protected. They supported themselves. One of these houses put our own hotels, which are, nevertheless, "some pumpkins," into a complete shadow. It is owned by a chief, and covers 1200 square feet, and built of unhewn brick. Another contains a thousand females, and is about the rival of Solomon's immense court of concubines.

Women are always admitted to council meetings. He was present at one, when the wife of a chief leaned her head on his shoulder, and made many suggestions. He thought the hint might be taken in countries a long way from Africa.

Another feature of manners was given which we thought very interesting. It was the respect which youth always had to age, no matter whether the person were rich or poor.

In these interior and remote regions, the people were ruled by a king, whom they elected themselves. Kings, and their sons and families, were all amenable to the law. Litigation begins always in the morning, and defendant's counsel has always the last speech.

Numerous examples of the industry of the Africans were given. They cultivated the lands, and made them as productive as gardens. All the staple cereals of a tropical clime were grown in abundance, and every species of fruit. They were workers in iron and other metals, and made excellent leather and glass. They were a religious people naturally; and he never met a Pagan in all his travels.

At the close of the lecture, various specimens of native manufacture were shown to the audience.■


70 THE GOOD TIME IS AT HAND

Robert Purvis

The thirtieth annual meeting of the American Anti-Slavery Society, held at Cooper Institute in New York City on May 12, 1863, was a joyous occasion. The Emancipation Proclamation had been issued four months earlier, and the war for the preservation of the Union had

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