While these poems and essay were not published during

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While these poems and essay were not published during Haynes‟ lifetime, they are important for the study of black abolitionism in Massachusetts because they demonstrate the degree to which Puritanism in particular, and Christianity in general, informed African American political thought in the colony. Haynes would not have kept the ideas contained in these works to himself during the revolutionary era, and we know that he later published works and spoke about the institution of slavery from the pulpit on many occasions. After his service in the war Haynes studied theology and was ordained as a Congregational minister, taking up the pastorship of a Congregational church in Rutland, VT in 1788, where he worked until 1818. From there Haynes would use the ideas and rhetoric shaped by his experience in Massachusetts, and possible reading of the other authors in this chapter, to 109 Ibid, 26; For Hopkins argument that men must n ot do evil that good may come about see his “Dialogue on Slavery,” in Bruns, ed. Am I Not a Man and a Brother , 403-404. 110 Haynes, “Liberty Further Extended,” 29 -30.
98 continue to critique the institution of slavery, arguing that both Christianity and republicanism were inconsistent with holding human beings in bondage. 111 Conclusion The writings of Phillis Wheatley, Caesar Sarter, “A Son of Africa,” and Lemuel Haynes demonstrate the continuing influence of Puritan theology on African American religious and political thought. This influence had its roots in colonial Massachusetts and the evangelism to slaves that ministers such as Cotton Mather had pursued since the early eighteenth century, and combined with the Enlightenment ideologies of republicanism and natural rights to constitute a powerful critique of the institution of slavery. In a time such as the Enlightenment when the power of reason to influence society was almost unquestioned, these authors believed that inserting their voices into the public sphere of rational, critical debate would help abolish slavery. While the institution was not abolished in Massachusetts during the 1770s, their arguments did influence those of white abolitionists, and the organized black abolitionist movement that arose at the same time these four began writing would employ many of the same critiques of the institution in their own efforts. Furthermore, by articulating the idea that slavery was a sin for which God would have His vengeance on America, postulating the horrors that accompanied the slave trade and slavery, and arguing that whites and blacks were descended from the same heavenly father and deserved the same natural rights, these four writers outlined the most important arguments that black and white abolitionists would use for years to come.

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