Respository of Early African American Literature

This repository is an ongoing project meant to provide researchers, teachers, and students access to an expanded canon of nineteenth-century African American literature. I use the term “African American literature” broadly and pragmatically. Not all of the literature is written by African Americans, and, while some is clearly racial in content, some of it is not. The texts, however, are all taken from race-oriented periodicals in the Antebellum US, and in this way there is always a racial context inflecting them.

These are texts that have received very little (if any) critical attention, but their potential is immense. These newspaper texts provide a glimpse into nineteenth-century American literature and culture that traditional anthologies alone cannot provide. There are texts written by enslaved people and formerly enslaved people, by black women and white women, by black men and white men, and by Americans, Africans, and Europeans. Represented genres include poetry, fiction, essays, letters, and miscellaneous genres like epigrams, jokes, and anecdotes. And while not all of the literature lives up to conventional measures of “greatness,” it is imperative that we take it seriously and investigate it critically.

Thus far, there are only three periodicals represented (and incompletely). If you are interested in helping to develop and expand this resource, whether individually or as a course instructor, please don’t hesitate to email me. Gracious thanks to Readex, HathiTrust, and the Fair Use Repository for the images of these texts. And thank each and every one of you for using the repository!

-Scott Zukowski, Stony Brook University

From Freedom’s Journal

1827-03-16 Poetry. “Hebrew Melody,” William Cullen Bryant (Freedom’s Journal).

1827-05-04 Essay. “Curse of Canaan” (Freedom’s Journal)

1827-05-04 Short Story. “Masaniello, Fisherman of Naples” [1/2] (Freedom’s Journal)

1827-05-04 Short Story. “Fratelli de la Misericordia” [1/2] (Freedom’s Journal)

1827-05-04 Poetry. “Janissary”; “Moveing Day” [sic] (Freedom’s Journal)

1827-05-11 Short Story. “Masaniello, Fisherman of Naples” [2/2] (Freedom’s Journal)

1827-05-11 Short Story. “Fratelli de la Misericordia” [2/2] (Freedom’s Journal)

1827-06-08 Poetry. “The Black Beauty”; “The Sorrows of Angola”; “Stanzas,” Norna (Freedom’s Journal)

1827-06-15 Essay. “Different Modes of Salutation” (Freedom’s Journal)

1827-06-15 Poetry. “Masonic Procession”; “Behave Yourself Before Folk” (Freedom’s Journal)

1827-06-29 Essay. “Apology for Pharaoh” [1/2] (Freedom’s Journal)

1827-06-29 Short Story. “The Ghost and Conjugal Affection” (Freedom’s Journal)

1827-07-06 Essay. “Apology for Pharaoh” [2/2] (Freedom’s Journal)

1827-08-17 Short Story. “The Buried Alive” (Freedom’s Journal)

1827-08-17 Short Story. “What Does Your Sugar Cost?” [1/2] (Freedom’s Journal)

1827-08-25 Short Story. “What Does Your Sugar Cost?” [2/2] (Freedom’s Journal)

1827-09-07 Poetry. “Slavery,” Erasmus Darwin (Freedom’s Journal)

1827-09-07 Poetry. “Freedom,” B.B; “Greek Song,” Simonides (Freedom’s Journal)

1827-09-14 Poetry. “Africa”; “Questions and Answers” (Freedom’s Journal)

1827-09-21 Essay. “Marriage Customs, &c. of Various Nations” [1/3] (Freedom’s Journal)

1827-09-21 Short Story. “The Haunted House,” L.E. Lorimer  (Freedom’s Journal)

1827-09-28 Essay. “Marriage Customs, &c. of Various Nations” [2/3]  (Freedom’s Journal)

1827-09-28 Poem. “Mural Felicity”  (Freedom’s Journal)

1827-10-05 Essay. “Marriage Customs, &c. of Various Nations” [3/3]  (Freedom’s Journal)

1827-10-12 Speech. “Extract from an Oration…,” William Hamilton (Freedom’s Journal)

1827-10-12 Short Story. “Account of an Ourang Outang of Borneo,” Dr. Abel (Freedom’s Journal)

1827-10-19 Poetry. “Stanza”; “My Country” (Freedom’s Journal)

1827-10-19 Letter. “What Does Your Sugar Cost?” [Response] (Freedom’s Journal)

1827-11-02 Poetry. “Weep, Emelie, Weep”; “The Negro Boy” (Freedom’s Journal)

1827-11-09 Poetry. “Hymn to Humanity,” Phillis Wheatley; “Hymn to the Morning,” Phillis Wheatley. (Freedom’s Journal)

1827-11-22 Excerpt. “The Captive” (Freedom’s Journal)

1827-11-22 Miscellany. “When General Lincoln…” (Freedom’s Journal)

1827-11-30 Essay. “Reflections on a Skeleton” (Freedom’s Journal)

1827-12-07 Essay. “African Proverbs” (Freedom’s Journal)

1827-12-14 Poem. “Song of Emigration” (Freedom’s Journal)

1828-01-18 Short Story. “Theresa- A Haytien Tale” [1/3] (Freedom’s Journal)

1828-02-08 Short Story. “Theresa- A Haytien Tale” [2/3] (Freedom’s Journal)

1828-02-15 Short Story. “Theresa- A Haytien Tale [3/3] (Freedom’s Journal)

1828-02-15 Poem. “Inscription under the Picture of an Aged Slave” (Freedom’s Journal)

1828-03-24 Poem. “Tears of a Slave” (Freedom’s Journal)

1828-04-18 Poem. “Spring” (Freedom’s Journal)

1828-04-18 Poem. “Magic Mirror” (Freedom’s Journal)

1828-04-18 Poem. “An Evening’s Walk in Bengal” (Freedom’s Journal)

1828-04-25 Poem. “Hebrew Melody” (Freedom’s Journal)

1828-04-25 Short Story. “The Disinterment” (Freedom’s Journal)

1828-05-09 Short Story. “Narrative of John Williams, One of those persons who were buried alive in the ruins of the Brunswick Theatre” [1/2] (Freedom’s Journal)

1828-05-09 Short Story. “Resuscitation of a Convicted Criminal After Being Hung” (Freedom’s Journal)

1828-05-16 Poem. “Captive African Restored to Liberty” (Freedom’s Journal)

1828-05-16 Short Story. “Narrative of John Williams, One of those persons who were buried alive in the ruins of the Brunswick Theatre” [2/2] (Freedom’s Journal)

1828-06-29 Poem. “The African Slave” (Freedom’s Journal)

1828-07-04 Poem. “The Son of Mungo Park” (Freedom’s Journal)

1828-07-18 Poem. “Slavery” (Freedom’s Journal)

1828-08-15 Poem. “Lines,” by George Horton (Freedom’s Journal)

1828-08-15 Short Story. “The Sleep Walker” (Freedom’s Journal)

1828-08-29 Article. “Emancipation of George Horton” (Freedom’s Journal)

1828-08-29 Speech. Extract from William Pitt Palmer’s 4th of July Speech. (Freedom’s Journal)

1828-08-29 Poem. “On the Poetic Music,” by George Horton (Freedom’s Journal)

1828-09-12 Article. “George Horton” (Freedom’s Journal)

1828-09-12 Poem. “The Slave Ship” (Freedom’s Journal)

1828-10-10 Miscellany. “Confessions of a French Woman” (Freedom’s Journal)

1828-10-18 Poem. “Zara’s Ear-rings” (Freedom’s Journal)

1828-10-24 Poem. “Abduhl Rahaman” (Freedom’s Journal)

1828-10-24 Speech. “Public Dinner in Boston” (Freedom’s Journal)

1828-11-07 Poem. “The Captive African Chief” 1/2 (Freedom’s Journal)

1828-11-14 Poem. “The Captive African Chief” 2/2 (Freedom’s Journal)

1828-11-21 Poem. “The Slave’s Soliloquy” (Freedom’s Journal)

1829-01-09 Poem. “Death of Ashmun” (Freedom’s Journal)


From The African Repository

1825-05 Poem. “The African Chieftain” (African Repository)

1825-05 Poem. “The Negroe’s Dream” (African Repository)

1825-06 Poem. “Fourth of July, 1825” (African Repository)

1825-10 Poem. “To the First Slave Ship” (African Repository)

1825-12 Hymn. “Hymn for the Anniversary of the Norfolk Colonization Society” (African Repository)

1826-04 Poem. “The African Boy, ‘Jerningham’” (African Repository)

1826-06 Poem. “Stanzas” (African Repository)

1826-07 Poem. “On reading the biography of the Rev. Samuel J. Mills” (African Repository)

1826-12 Poem. “The African Chief” (African Repository)

1828-03 Poem. “A Voice from Africa” (African Repository)

1828-08 Poem. “Africa” (African Repository)

1828-11 Poem. “Death of Ashmun” (African Repository)

1828-12 Poem. “African Colonization” (African Repository)

1828-12 Poem. “Burial of Ashmun” (African Repository)

1829-03 Poem. “Appeal to New England for Missions to Africa” (African Repository)

1829-04 Poem. “Lines to the Memory of the Rev. Lott Cary” (African Repository)

1829-05 Poem. “Abduhl Rahhaman” (African Repository)

1829-12 Poem. “Liberia” (African Repository)

1830-08 Poem. “Africa” (African Repository)

1830-08 Poem. “Liberia” (African Repository)

1831-01 Poem. “On the Publication of the Liberia Herald” (African Repository)

1831-06 Poem. “To the Memory of Ashmun” (African Repository)

1833-05 Poem. “The Command” (African Repository)

1833-10 Poem. “Missions to Africa” (African Repository)

1833-11 Poem. “The Voice of Liberia” (African Repository)

1835-04 Poem. “Prayer for the New African Colony” (African Repository)

1835-05 Poem. “A Ship Came Over the Ocean” (African Repository)

1835-07 Poem. “The Emigrant” (African Repository)


From The Liberator

1831-01-01 Poem. “New Year’s Day” (The Liberator)

1831-01-01 Poem. “The Salutation” (The Liberator)

1831-01-01 Poem. “To an Infant” (The Liberator)

1831-01-01 Essay with Poem. “To the Public” (The Liberator)

1831-01-01 Poem. “Universal Emancipation” (The Liberator)

1831-01-08 Poem. “Since, Muse…” (The Liberator)

1831-01-08 Poem. “Sonnet” (The Liberator)

1831-01-08 Poem. “Sonnet to ______” (The Liberator)

1831-01-08 Poem. “Think of Our Country’s Glory” (The Liberator)

1831-01-15 Poem. “The African Chief” (The Liberator)

1831-01-15 Poem. “Sonnet” (The Liberator)

1831-01-15 Poem. “To an Infant Child” (The Liberator)

1831-01-15 Poem. “The Powers of Woman” (The Liberator)

1831-01-22 Speech. “A Short Sermon” (The Liberator)

1831-01-22 Poem. “A Spur to Indolence” (The Liberator)

1831-01-22 Poem. “The Fair Quakeress” (The Liberator)

1831-01-22 Miscellany. “Epigram” (The Liberator)

1831-01-22 Poem. “Sonnet on the New Year” (The Liberator)

1831-01-22 Poem. “The Grave of a Slave” (The Liberator)

1831-01-29 Poem. “The Slanderer” (The Liberator)

1831-01-29 Poem. “The Slave Girl’s Address to Her Mother” (The Liberator)

1831-01-29 Poem. “The Slave” (The Liberator)

1831-01-29 Poem. “To A Lady” (The Liberator)

1831-02-05 Short Story. “New-York Negro and a Kentuckian” (The Liberator)

1831-02-05 Poem. “Our Free Country” (The Liberator)

1831-02-05 Poem. “Prison Sonnet” (The Liberator)

1831-02-05 Poem. “Childhood” (The Liberator)

1831-02-05 Poem. “The Crucifixion” (The Liberator)

1831-02-05 Poem. “The King-Fisher” (The Liberator)

1831-02-12 Poem. “Christian Love‘ (The Liberator)

1831-02-12 Poem. “The Poor Debtor” (The Liberator)

1831-02-12 Poem. “Rules of Conduct” (The Liberator)

1831-02-12 Poem. “In My Father’s House Are Many Mansions” (The Liberator)

1831-02-12 Poem. “A Sonnet” (The Liberator)

1831-02-19 Poem. “Invocation of Spring” (The Liberator)

1831-02-19 Poem. “A Voice from the Wine Press” (The Liberator)

1831-02-19 Poem. “Impromptu” (The Liberator)

1831-02-19 Poem. “The Cup…” (The Liberator)

1831-02-19 Poem. “Think of the Slave” (The Liberator)

1831-02-26 Short Story. “Big Dick” (The Liberator)

1831-02-26 Poem. “Change” (The Liberator)

1831-02-26 Poem. “Infant School” (The Liberator)

1831-02-26 Poem. “Funeral Thoughts” (The Liberator)

1831-02-26 Poem. “Heaven Help Ye” (The Liberator)

1831-02-26 Poem. “The Baptism” (The Liberator)

1831-02-26 Poem. “The Child’s Inquiry” (The Liberator)

1831-03-04 Poem. “Sonnet” (The Liberator)

1831-03-04 Poem. “Woman” (The Liberator)

1831-03-04 Poem. “Patriotic Ode” (The Liberator)

1831-03-04 Poem. “Spirit of Freedom” (The Liberator)

1831-03-04 Poem. “Fragment” (The Liberator)

1831-03-04 Poem. “Liberty” (The Liberator)

1831-03-12 Poem. “Letter” (The Liberator)

1831-03-12 Poem. “Love” (The Liberator)

1831-03-12 Poem. “Indian Wrongs” (The Liberator)

1831-03-12 Poem. “A Thought of Paradise” (The Liberator)

1831-03-12 Poem. “Sonnet to Benjamin Lundy, the Veteran Advocate of Negro Emancipation” (The Liberator)

1831-03-12 Poem. “Sonnet” (The Liberator)

1831-03-12 Poem. “The Lord’s Prayer” (The Liberator)

1831-03-19 Poem. “Negro’s Complaint” (The Liberator)

1831-03-19 Poem. “Past Joys” (The Liberator)

1831-03-19 Poem. “Spring” (The Liberator)

1831-03-19 Poem. “Domestic Asides” (The Liberator)

1831-03-19 Poem. “The False One” (The Liberator)

1831-03-19 Poem. “The Bible” (The Liberator)

1831-03-26 Poem. “Creative Power” (The Liberator)

1831-03-26 Poem. “Prayer” (The Liberator)

1831-03-26 Poem. “Sleep” (The Liberator)

1831-03-26 Poem. “I Know Thou Hast Gone” (The Liberator)

1831-03-26 Poem. “The Little Foot” (The Liberator)

1831-03-26 Poem. “The Slave’s Appeal” (The Liberator)

1831-03-26 Poem. “The White Infant’s Reply to the Little Slave” (The Liberator)

1831-04-02 Short Story. “A Dream” (The Liberator)

1831-04-02 Poem. “A Tribute of Affection” (The Liberator)

1831-04-02 Poem. “Communings with Thought” (The Liberator)

1831-04-09 Poem. “Apologies No. 1 The Slave Trade” (The Liberator)

1831-04-09 Poem. “Sonnet” (The Liberator)

1831-04-09 Poem. “The Converted Heathen” (The Liberator)

1831-04-09 Poem. “The Mind Is a Garden” (The Liberator)

1831-04-09 Poem. “Woman” (The Liberator)

1831-04-09 Poem. “Is It So” (The Liberator)

1831-04-09 Poem. “How Sleep the Good” (The Liberator)

1831-04-09 Poem. “Infancy Asleep” (The Liberator)

1831-04-09 Poem. “Fidelity of Woman” (The Liberator)

1831-04-16 Poem. “Epigram” (The Liberator)

1831-04-16 Poem. “Spring” (The Liberator)

1831-04-16 Poem. “The Voice of the Waves” (The Liberator)

1831-04-16 Poem. “The Sabbath Day” (The Liberator)

1831-04-16 Poem. “Weep Not Around My Bier” (The Liberator)

1831-04-16 Poem. “The Slave” (The Liberator)

1831-04-23 Poem. “Conscience” (The Liberator)

1831-04-23 Poem. “To a Babe” (The Liberator)

1831-04-23 Poem. “May Day” (The Liberator)

1831-04-23 Poem. “On the Death of Mrs. E– P–” (The Liberator)

1831-04-30 Poem. “Columbus” (The Liberator)

1831-04-30 Poem. “Inscription on Edinburgh Tolbooth” (The Liberator)

1831-04-30 Poem. “Imprisonment for Debt” (The Liberator)

1831-04-30 Poem. “Government” (The Liberator)

1831-04-30 Poem. “My Mother’s Love” (The Liberator)

1831-05-07 Poem. “Gems” (The Liberator)

1831-05-07 Poem. “Ambition” (The Liberator)

1831-05-07 Poem. “Human Grandeur” (The Liberator)

1831-05-07 Poem. “Hope” (The Liberator)

1831-05-07 Poem. “The Ladies’ Evening Song” (The Liberator)

1831-05-07 Poem. “The Child’s Evening Hymn” (The Liberator)

1831-05-14 Poem. “A Lesson from the Flowers” (The Liberator)

1831-05-14 Poem. “Life” (The Liberator)

1831-05-14 Poem. “To a Butterfly Resting on a Skull” (The Liberator)

1831-05-14 Poem. “The Vaudois Teacher” (The Liberator)

1831-05-21 Poem. “The Black at Church” (The Liberator)

1831-05-21 Poem. “The Zephyr” (The Liberator)

1831-05-21 Poem. “The Sweet Neglect” (The Liberator)

1831-05-21 Poem. “Love” (The Liberator)

1831-05-21 Poem. “Man” (The Liberator)

1831-05-28 Poem. “The Grave” (The Liberator)

1831-05-28 Poem. “Address to Poland” (The Liberator)

1831-05-28 Poem. “The Wail of the Unevangelized World” (The Liberator)

1831-06-04 Poem. “The Fourth of July” (The Liberator)

1831-06-04 Poem. “To ——” (The Liberator)

1831-06-04 Poem. “What is a Slave, Mother” (The Liberator)

1831-06-11 Poem. “Whene’r I see” (The Liberator)

1831-06-11 Poem. “The Arctic Dove” (The Liberator)

1831-06-11 Poem. “Paradise” (The Liberator)

1831-06-11 Poem. “Mercy” (The Liberator)

1831-06-11 Poem. “Serenade” (The Liberator)

1831-06-18 Poem. “O Tell Me Not I Shall Forget” (The Liberator)

1831-06-18 Poem. “Time” (The Liberator)

1831-06-18 Poem. “The Sabbath Evening” (The Liberator)

1831-06-18 Poem. “The Three Homes” (The Liberator)

1831-06-18 Poem. “Prayer” (The Liberator)

1831-06-25 Poem. “Hope” (The Liberator)

1831-06-25 Poem. “Africa” (The Liberator)

1831-06-25 Poem. “The Life of the Blessed” (The Liberator)

1831-07-02 Poem. “A Daughter’s Prayer” (The Liberator)

1831-07-02 Poem. “The Bible Class” (The Liberator)

1831-07-02 Poem. “The Neglected Wife” (The Liberator)

1831-07-09 Poem. “Ode for the Fourth of July” (The Liberator)

1831-07-09 Poem. “Flowers in a Room of Sickness” (The Liberator)

1831-07-09 Poem. “Oh, Tell Me Not” (The Liberator)

1831-07-09 Poem. “Song for the Fourth of July” (The Liberator)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email