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1711, Oct 171760-17861806 ca
a black poet who in 1761 became the first African-American writer to be published in the present-day United States. Additional poems and sermons were also published. Born into slavery, Hammon was never emancipated. He was living in 1790 at the age of 79, and died by 1806. A devout Christian, he is considered one of the founders of African-American literature.
 Timeline (1)
12/25/1760-Jupiter Hammon, New York slave, becomes first African-American writer to be published in US with An Evening Thought
 Quotes (25) • View in Quotations
All the time spent idly, is spent wickedly, and is unfaithfulness to our masters.
As we depend upon our masters, for what we eat and drink and wear, and for all our comfortable things in this world, we cannot be happy, unless we please them.
Besides all this, if you are idle, and take to bad courses, you will hurt those of your brethren who are slaves, and do all in your power to prevent their being free.
But this will not do, God will certainly punish you for stealing and for being unfaithful.
Good servants frequently make good masters.
He will bring us all, rich and poor, white and black, to his judgment seat.
I suppose I have had more advantages and privileges than most of you, who are slaves have ever known, and I believe more than many white people have enjoyed, for which I desire to bless God, and pray that he may bless those who have given them to me.
If a servant strives to please his master and studies and takes pains to do it, I believe there are but few masters who would use such a servant cruelly.
If there was no Bible, it would be no matter whether you could read or not. Reading other books would do you no good.
If we should ever get to Heaven, we shall find nobody to reproach us for being black, or for being slaves.
If you see most people neglect the Bible, and many that can read never look into it, let it not harden you and make you think lightly of it, and that it is a book of no worth.
It is our duty to be faithful, not with eye service as men pleasers.
It is very wicked for you not to take care of your masters goods, but how much worse is it to pilfer and steal from them, whenever you think you shall not be found out.
Let all the time you can get be spent in trying to learn to read.
Now the Bible tells us that we are all by nature, sinners, that we are slaves to sin and Satan, and that unless we are converted, or born again, we must be miserable forever.
That liberty is a great thing we may know from our own feelings, and we may likewise judge so from the conduct of the white-people, in the late war.
The Bible is a revelation of the mind and will of God to men. Therein we may learn, what God is.
The next thing I would mention, and warn you against, is profaneness. This you know is forbidden by God.
There are but two places where all go after death, white and black, rich and poor; those places are Heaven and Hell. Heaven is a place made for those, who are born again, and who love God, and it is a place where they will be happy for ever.
Those of you who can read I must beg you to read the Bible, and whenever you can get time, study the Bible, and if you can get no other time, spare some of your time from sleep, and learn what the mind and will of God is.
We cannot certainly, have any excuse either for taking any thing that belongs to our masters without their leave, or for being unfaithful in their business.
We live so little time in this world that it is no matter how wretched and miserable we are, if it prepares us for heaven.
When I was at Hartford in Connecticut, where I lived during the war, I published several pieces which were well received, not only by those of my own colour, but by a number of the white people, who thought they might do good among their servants.
You have discovered so much kindness and good will to those you thought were oppressed, and had no helper, that I am sure you will not despise what I have wrote, if you judge it will be of any service to them.
You know that murder is wicked. If you saw your master kill a man, do you suppose this would be any excuse for you, if you should commit the same crime?
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Jupiter Hammon1711, Oct 171760
 
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