The Slave's Narrative

By Charles T. Davis; Henry Louis Gates Jr. | Go to book overview

tor; and that the publishing agent be directed to discontinue the sale of the work.

In accordance with this resolution the foregoing statement is submitted.

James G. Birney
Lewis Tappan, Committee

African Repository Vol. XV, No. 10 ( June 1839), 161-66.


The Narrative of Juan Manzano

ANONYMOUS

Poems by a Slave in the Island of Cuba, recently liberated; translated from the Spanish, by R.R. Madden, M.D.; with the History of the Early Life of the Negro Poet, written by himself to which are prefixed Two Pieces descriptive of Cuban Slavery and the Slave-Traffic, by R.R.M.

We opened this volume rather from curiosity than with any great expectation that the verses of a Cuban slave would possess much poetical merit. Not indeed that we are converts to the philosophy that He who made of one blood all nations to dwell upon the earth, created the inhabitants of one quarter of the globe with such inferior powers of intellect that, like brute animals, they were intended only to be the thralls of their more favored brethren.Mr. Lawrence, in his infidel Lectures on Physiology, attempted to prove that a negro "cannot be a religious animal;" or vie either in morals or intellect with "the white varieties of mankind." To suppose so, he says, would be "as unreasonable as to expect that the greyhound may be taught to hunt by scent like the hound, or the mastiff rival in talents and acquirements the sagacious and docile poodle." And as for religion, the well-meant labours of missionaries must be futile; for "organization is too strong for Christianity." And yet, if it were true, as he contends, that the notion that mankind possess souls,- an immaterial, immortal principle,—is a fable; the unconverted African would really shew his good sense, not his stolidity, in not embracing a

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