A grad student at the University of Texas in Arlington has found a rare new poem written by the first black published writer in America, Jupiter Hammon. Hammon was born into slavery in 1711. While researching Hammon’s poems, Julie McCown found the 200-plus-year-old manuscript buried in the archives at Yale University Library in Connecticut. The poem is dated November 1786 and was in near “perfect” condition according to UTA professor Cedrick May.
Writings by Jupiter Hammon were last found in 1915.
Interestingly, May is a professor of African American literature but McCowan studied Hammon’s writings as part of his electronic text design and web publishing class.
In his first published book, Hammon referred to slavery as the will of God. That was in 1760. In this new poem, he refers to it as a man-made evil.
Hammon was born in 1711 to the Lloyd family in Long Island, New York. He was close to the family and was educated with his owner’s children. He served as their bookkeeper and negotiator of business matters. A devout Christian, Hammon served as a preacher among slaves. His writings focused on the gradual emancipation of slaves rather than the immediate. It was said that he believed the practice was so entrenched in society that it would be too difficult to achieve. His comfortable words were more accepted by whites and several white abolitionist groups published his work. His first publication was “An Evening Thought: Salvation by Christ with Penitential Cries.” The credits for the poem read: “Composed by Jupiter Hammon, a Negro belonging to Mr. Lloyd of Queen’s Village, on Long Island, the 25th of December, 1760.”
After serving a lifetime of slavery, Hammon wrote his “Address to the Negroes of the State of New York”, also known as the “Hammon Address” On September 24, 1786. While he expressed empathy for the enslaved, he held that slaves should be content with their lives as it is the will of God. He taught that slaves should live accordingly on earth as there is no reproach in heaven because of their suffering.
Based on his earlier writings, the newfound piece of literature shines a very different light on Hammon’s view of slavery. Professor May contends that there remains one lost poem of Hammons.
There is no record of his death, but Hammon died around 1806 and was buried on the Lloyd land in an unmarked grave.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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