Voices of the Past
Letter to Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State, August 19, 1791 from B. Banneker:
"Sir: I am fully sensible of greatness of that freedom, which I take with you on the present occasion of liberty which seemed to me scarcely allowable, when I reflected on that distinguished and dignified station in which you stand, and the almost general prejudice and possession which is so prevalent in the world against those of my complexion… Father of mankind and of his equal impartial distribution of those rights and privileges which he had conferred upon them, that you should at the same time, be found guilty of that most criminal act which you professedly detested in others with respect to ourselves."
Editorial from the First Edition of Freedom Journal, "We wish to plead our own cause." March 16, 1827
"We wish to plead our own cause. Too long have others spoken for us. Too long has the publick been deceived by misrepresentations, in things which concern us dearly, though in the estimation of some mere trifles; for though there are many in society who exercise towards us benevolent feelings;
From David Walker's Appeal in Four Articles, together with a Preamble, to the Coloured Citizens of the World, but in Particular, and very Expressly, to Those of the United States of America, 1829.
"My Dearly Beloved Brethren and Fellow Citizens, Having travelled over a considerable portion of these United States, is the result of my observations has warranted the full and unshaken, conviction, that we, coloured people of these United States, are the most degraded, wretched, and abject set of being that ever lived since the world began, I pray God that none like us ever may live again until there shall be no more. They tell us on the Israelites of Egypt, the Helots in Sparta, and of the Roman Slaves, which last were made up from almost every nation under heaven, whose sufferings under those [unreadable] and heathen nations, were in company with ours under this enlightened and Christian nation, no more than a [unreadable]—or, in other words, those nations of antiquity, had but little more [unreadable] them than the name and form of slavery; while wretchedness and enough miseries were reserved apparently [unreadable] to be poured out upon our brothers, ourselves and our children by Christian Americans. If any are anxious to ascertain who should know the world, that I am one of the oppressed, degraded and wretched sons of Africa; rendered so by the avaricious and unmerciful among the whites. If any wish to plunge me into the wretched incapacity of a slave or murder me for the truth, know ye, that I am in the hand of God, [unreadable] your disposal. I count my life not dear unto me, but I am ready to be offered at any moment. For what is the use of living, when in fact I am dead. But remember, Americans, that as miserable, wretched, degraded, and abject as you have made us in preceding, and in this generation, and support you and your families, that some of you, (whites) on the continent of America, will yet curse the day that you ever were born. You want slaves and want us for your slaves!!! My colour will yet root some of you out of the very face of the earth!!!!!! The Americans may be as vigilant as they please, but they cannot be vigilant enough for the Lord, neither can they hide themselves where he will not find and bring them out?"
An Address to the people of the United States of America delivered by Henry Highland Garner on [unreadable]:
"Brethren and Fellow Citizens: Your [unreadable] of the North, East and West have been accustomed to meet together in National [unreadable] sympathize with each other, and to weep your unhappy condition. Years have rolled on, and tens of thousands have been home on streams of blood and tears to the shores of eternity. While you have been oppressed, we have also been partakers with you, nor can we be free while you are enslaved. We therefore, write to you as being bound with you."
"Let your motto be resistance! Resistance! No oppressed people have ever secured their liberty without resistance. What kind of resistance you had better make, you must decide the circumstances that surround you and according to the suggestion of expediency. Brethren adieu. Trust in the living God. Labor for the peace of the human race and remember that you are four millions."
A Speech by Frederick Douglass, "What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?" July 1852.
"Fellow Citizens: Pardon me, and allow me to ask why am I called upon to speak here today?....I am not included within the pale of the glorious anniversary. Your high independence only reveals is the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you this day rejoice are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity, and enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity, and independence bequeathed by your fathers is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought life and healing to you has brought stripes and death to me: This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I just mourn."
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Abolition & Underground RR • African Americans. A significant historical date for this entry is August 19, 1791.
Location. 38° 19.323′ N, 77° 30.516′ W. Marker has been reported unreadable. Marker is in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Marker can be reached from Gordon W Shelton Boulevard, 0.7 miles north of Willow Lane, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 6001 Gordon W Shelton Blvd, Fredericksburg VA 22401, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this location. Middle Passage (here, next to this marker); Hallelujah (here, next to this marker); Abolitionists (here, next to this marker); Acts of Bravery (here, next to this marker); Harriet Jacobs (a few steps from this marker); Endurance Through It All (a few steps from this marker); Voices of the Present (a few steps from this marker); Runaways (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fredericksburg.
Also see . . . Abandoned National Slavery Museum. Atlas Obscura article (Submitted on June 29, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 29, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 29, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 69 times since then and 27 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on June 29, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.