Friday, February 08, 2008

America's 1st Published African-American Writer

: Jupiter Hammon’s first published work, an 88-line broadside, came out in Hartford, Connecticut in 1760 -- when Phillis Wheatley was only seven years old and ten years prior to her first broadside publication, entitled “Elegy on the death of Whitefield.”

: Hammon was a slave his whole life, owned by several generations of the Lloyd family on Long Island, New York. However, he was allowed to attend school, and thus (unlike many slaves) was able to read and write.

The Address to the Negroes of the State of New York, or the Hammon Address, was a speech by Jupiter Hammon,...Hammon delivered the speech, in which he expressed his opinions on slavery, before the African Society on 24 September 1786.

Jupiter Hammon wrote the speech at age seventy-six after a lifetime of slavery in Long Island, New York. In the speech, Hammon gives his famous quote, "If we should ever get to Heaven, we shall find nobody to reproach us for being black, or for being slaves."

Perspectives in American Literature: Hammon was also a preacher for his fellow brethren on the Lloyd Manor Estate.

: The American Revolution, which interrupted the comfort and stability of the poet-preacher's life, was the central political event of Hammon's experience. By the time of the struggle, the Lloyd family had split into Loyalist and Whig factions. When the British occupied Long Island in 1776, the sixty-five-year-old Jupiter Hammon went to Connecticut with two Lloyd Whigs, his second master, Joseph Lloyd (Henry's son) and John Lloyd II, Joseph's nephew. They lived first in Stamford and later in Hartford. Joseph Lloyd committed suicide mistakenly believing that the British had captured Charleston, South Carolina and were about to win the war.

Unfortunately, 1“The actual death date of Jupiter Hammon is not known because no one can find a death certificate or the exact spot of his burial”, it is estimated between 1790 and 1806.

Hammon first work:

An Evening Thought: Salvation by Christ, with Penetential Cries by Jupiter Hammon:

Salvation comes by Christ alone,
The only Son of God;
Redemption now to every one,
That love his holy Word.

Dear Jesus, we would fly to Thee,
And leave off every Sin,
Thy tender Mercy well agree;
Salvation from our King.

Salvation comes now from the Lord,
Our victorious King.
His holy Name be well ador'd,
Salvation surely bring.

Dear Jesus, give thy Spirit now,
Thy Grace to every Nation,
That han't the Lord to whom we bow,
The Author of Salvation.

Dear Jesus, unto Thee we cry,
Give us the Preparation;
Turn not away thy tender Eye;
We seek thy true Salvation.

Salvation comes from God we know,
The true and only One;
It's well agreed and certain true,
He gave his only Son.

Lord, hear our penetential Cry:
Salvation from above;
It is the Lord that doth supply,
With his Redeeming Love.

Dear Jesus, by thy precious Blood,
The World Redemption have:
Salvation now comes from the Lord,
He being thy captive slave.

Dear Jesus, let the Nations cry,
And all the People say,
Salvation comes from Christ on high,
Haste on Tribunal Day.

We cry as Sinners to the Lord,
Salvation to obtain;
It is firmly fixed, his holy Word,
Ye shall not cry in vain.

Dear Jesus, unto Thee we cry,
And make our Lamentation:
O let our Prayers ascend on high;
We felt thy Salvation.

Lord, turn our dark benighted Souls;
Give us a true Motion,
And let the Hearts of all the World,
Make Christ their Salvation.

Ten Thousand Angels cry to Thee,
Yea, louder than the Ocean.
Thou art the Lord, we plainly see;
Thou art the true Salvation.

Now is the Day, excepted Time;
The Day of the Salvation;
Increase your Faith, do not repine:
Awake ye, every Nation.

Lord, unto whom now shall we go,
Or seek a safe abode?
Thou has the Word Salvation Too,
The only Son of God.

Ho! every one that hunger hath,
Or pineth after me,
Salvation be thy leading Staff,
To set the Sinner free.

Dear Jesus, unto Thee we fly;
Depart, depart from Sin,
Salvation doth at length supply,
The Glory of our King.

Come, ye Blessed of the Lord,
Salvation greatly given;
O turn your Hearts, accept the Word,
Your Souls are fit for Heaven.

Dear Jesus, we now turn to Thee,
Salvation to obtain;
Our Hearts and Souls do meet again,
To magnify thy Name.

Come, Holy Spirit, Heavenly Dove,
The Object of our Care;
Salvation doth increase our Love;
Our Hearts hath felt they fear.

Now Glory be to God on High,
Salvation high and low;
And thus the Soul on Christ rely,
To Heaven surely go.

Come, Blessed Jesus, Heavenly Dove,
Accept Repentance here;
Salvation give, with tender Love;
Let us with Angels share.

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1.PAL: Perspectives in American Literature


Jackie said...

Oh my Jeane,
This is all so very,very interesting. I have been wondering all afternoon just exactly how,who,where and what to acknowledge this myself.

But, my you are doing such a grand job.

Thank you for such a lovely share. The prayer was very powerful.

ndpthepoetress Jean Michelle Culp said...

Hi Jackie of The Painted Veil!! I'm still learning more and more about Black History Month as I go along. Each year there is always such a wonderful new theme and interesting facts. I often refer to the site ASALH (Association for the Study of African American Life and History), Founders of Black History Month - to keep me informed. Jackie, I appreciate you and your encouragement on my work. May you have an evening as nice as you :)

Vanessa said...

Good mornong,Jeane! I love this series. Thanks for sharing.

ndpthepoetress Jean Michelle Culp said...

Hi Vanessa, always a pleasure to hear from you! I"m happy you enjoyed the series. Many Praises to you, your blog sites, and your empowering words!