American Egyptomania Search

Observations on the Early History of the Negro Race

Freedom's Journal (December 5, 1828)

Browse scholarship by topic:

Art & Architecture

December 5, 1828


2nd. The whole southern peninsula of Africa was once called Ethiopia. - 3rd. Bruce gives us to understand, that there is a tradition handed down from time immemorial in that country, that Cush was their father, and that he actually dwelt among them - 4th. It is expressly related by historians that the Cushites, "traversed a great part of Africa "(See Rees Cush") 5th. and lastly, the Geographical situation of the Country, renders it almost a matter of demonstration. Whoever will take the trouble to examine a map of Africa, may see at once that the natives bordering the Mediterranean coast, are separated from the rest of the Continent, by a boundless and impassable wilderness. On the west of Egypt, (says our distinguished Countryman, Dr. Griffin, stretching away to the South, is the immense Lybian desert; west of that commences the great desert of Sahara, which extends across the continent to the Atlantic Ocean, cutting of the whole country of Phert Barbary,) from the body of Africa, by an Ocean of sand 800 miles in breadth.

Thus the only highway to the south, was blockaded up by the Cushites, who themselves had nothing to prevent them from spreading into all the regions now occupied by the Negro Race."

But their enterprize did not exhaust itself in the prodigies which they performed in Africa. "They bore sway over almost all Asia, and travelled even to the borders of Japan. Negro settlements are at present, scattered through out the mountains of that country. Even two continents could not afford field enough for the expansion of their energies. It is supposed by some that the whole Scythian race sprang from that section of Arabia, which they once inhabited. Be that as it may, they wandered over all Europe; and a settlement long existed on the western coast of Spain, which was called from them, Iberian Ethiopia.

"This people," says a writer from whom we have already quoted, were rewarded for their wisdom." "Wherever they went they were in every respect superior to the natives. It does really appear as if all the nations of the earth were under the heaviest obligations to them. They gave to Africa, and through her to Europe and America, all the wisdom of the Egyptians; while they scattered over Asia the Arts of weaving, dying, the management of silk and cotton, and the culture of the vine.

They introduced that form of Idolatry which has been denominated Hero worship, and made themselves the Gods.

Their achievements have been shadowed forth in the superstition of the early ages. It is supposed that they are the Giants that invaded Heaven, on the plains of Babylonia, the Magicians of Egypt,.. the Astrologers of Chalder, the Magic of the east, the Titans of Greece and Rome; the Cyclops of Sicily, and the fabulous Heroes of the world: invincible in war, and yet preeminent in all the arts of peace; distinguished above other men for learning, enterprize and valour - at once the tyrants and instructors of mankind!

The Egyptians borrowed from them their arts and sciences and even their religion - out of the wide elements of which, the classic mythology of Greece was afterwards constructed.

Beneath the influence [?] of this elegant superstition, the imagination was kept constantly awake. It breathed life into all the forms of material nature - the wilderness became populous with invisible inhabitants - every grove had its presiding genius; every City its guardian Deity; a Dryad inhabited every venerable oak; and some beautiful Naiad bathed herself in every fountain. Doubtless it was to this dream of fanciful devotions, that the Grecian bards were indebted for much of their poetic, inspiration.

For their philosophy, the Greeks were more unequivocally indebted to the Egyptians. Plato and Pythagoras studied in the school of Heliopolis. But even the Egyptians, who through other nations have shed down upon us the mellowed glories of antiquity, shine only with a borrowed illumination, - It was the light of this ancient people!

Note - (a) - See on this subject, Bibliothica of Rooanellus, under "Cush" Brown, under "Cush," supplements to Calmets Dictionary, p. 27. Charleston edition - Rollin. vol 1. p. 186 - Strabo's Geography, p. 27. 24 - Josephus, Antiq; of the Jews, B. 1. ch 6. See D.

Page: 2