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The Ethiopian Manifesto: Issued in Defence of the Black Man's Rights in the Scale of Universal Freedom

New York: Robert Alexander Young, 1829


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there, some time ago, did dwell his mother—his father then owner of the said estate. The church books of St. Georgestown, the capital of Grenada, can truly prove his birth. As another instance wherein providence decreed he should appear peculiar in his make, the two middle toes on each of his feet were, in his conception, webbed and bearded. Now, after the custom of the ancient order of men, with long and flowing hair, by like appearances may he be known; none other man, but the one bearing the alike marks, and proving his identity from the island on which he was born, can be the man of whom we speak. To him, thou poor black Ethiopian or African slave, do thou, from henceforth, place a firm reliance thereon, as trusting in him to prove thy liberator from the infernal state of bondage, under which you have been so long and so unjustly laboring. To thee he pledges himself, in life to death, not to desert thee, his trust being in the power of the Almighty, who giveth not the race to the swift nor the battle to the strong, but decrees to all men the justice he establishes. As such, we draw from him the conception of your rights, and to its obtainment we issue this to you, our first pledge of faith, binding ourselves herefrom to render to you, at all times, such services as shall tend most to your advantage in effecting a speedy deliverance from your mortal and most deadly foe, the monster of a slaveholder. We would most particularly direct you to such government of yourselves as should be responsible but to God, your maker, for the duty exacted of you to your fellow-men; but, under goading situations, where power and might is but the construction of law, it then behooves the depressed and vilely injured to bear his burthen with the firmness of his manhood:—So at this time, we particularly recommend to you, degraded sons of Africa, to submit with fortitude to your present state of suffering, relying in yourselves, from the justice of a God, that the time is at hand, when, with but the power of words and the divine will of our God, the vile shackles of slavery shall be broken asunder from you, and no man known who shall dare to own or proclaim you as his bondsman. We say it, and assert it as though by an oracle given and delivered to you from on high. God,