Tag Archives: The Colored American
The Bottle

A Victim and his Child in The Colored American

We occasionally find a capital police report in the St. Louis Bulletin. On a recent occasion a bloated being, named Johnson, by profession an actor, was found drunk in the streets by a good hearted sailor, who in vain attempted to win him from his vile ways and evil companions. Johnson continued to drink, until he fell to the ground like a beast, when the following scene ensued;

“Just as they were about removing the miserable wretch to prison, a little girl about eight years old, barefooted and extremely ragged, came into the room sobbing and crying most bitterly. No sooner did she see her father than she ran to him, knelt down by his side, and motioning the officer away, cried – “Don’t take away papa while he sleeps! By and by he will wake up once more and kiss me.”

The Colored AmericanIt was a sight to wring the heart of more than man to see that pure and innocent creature, with her little head bare and her white shoulder peeping out from her tattered frock, leaning with fond affection over her drunken father, as if her affection strengthened with the unworthiness of its object. At length the sailor came forward, and speaking kindly to the little girl, took her away in his arms, and wrapped her little feet carefully in the skirts of his coat. The brutish father, by this time snoring in complete and disgusting insensibility, was then taken to the guard house for the purpose of sobering him.

This morning, after manifesting some symptoms of that most dreadful of diseases – mania [ ], he seemed to regain his senses in a measure, and confessed having been drunk, “I was not,” said he, “always the miserable wretch to which drunkenness has reduced me. I once was respected by friends, and beloved by my family. But I contracted bad habits, which got so strong and old upon my nervous temperament as to make a beast of me. My business was neglected, and my wife died, I do believe of a broken heart. Since that time I have wandered around the world without end or aim, except to procure whiskey! I have yet a daughter – at least I had yesterday – a beautiful, tender creature, who still loves me, despite my unworthiness.”

At this moment the benevolent sailor entered the room, leading the little girl by the hand. He had dressed her with new and comfortable clothes, and she looked really very pretty and interesting. After learning that a small fine had been imposed upon Johnson, he immediately paid it, and leading the little girl forward, placed her in her father’s arms. The poor man wept and sobbed over her as if he had been an infant: and for our part, we do not believe there was dry eye in the room. The three left the room together, and we sincerely hope that this lesson will work a thorough reformation upon the unhappy and degraded man.”

Now, my youthful readers, was not this an affectionate, good little girl? And do you not, while you read about her love her? And will you not try to be like her, although, we presume and hope, you have not a drunken father as this little girl had?

This item, and others like it, can be found in Accessible Archive’s African American Newspapers Collection. This enormous collection of African American newspapers contains a wealth of information about cultural life and history during the 1800s and is rich with first-hand reports of the major events and issues of the day.

Collection: African American Newspapers
Publication: The Colored American
Date: April 11, 1840
Title: A Victim and his Child
Location: New York, New York

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Son reading the Bible to his parents

The Blessing of Books

Many, who have not the advantage of wealth or high standing in society, are apt to repine at their situation; to regret that they are debarred from much refined and intellectual intercourse. But this deprivation, is, in a great measure, ideal; there is an intercourse more intelligent than of any living society whatever, the great commonwealth of letters, which knows no distinction of persons, admits of no adventitious superiority, where everything is rated at its real value, and reduced to its legitimate standard.

Whatever may have been the rank of authors, the wealth or consequence attaching to their living persons, they exact no further homage; they are entertained without expense, dismissed without ceremony; they are at once our preceptors, masters, servants; they come or go at our bidding: they speak or are dumb at our pleasure.


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James W.C. Pennington

A Text Book of the Origin and History of the Colored People

This work, which we announced some time since as forth coming, is now from the press, making a volume of about 100 pages, 16 mo.

We have given the work but a hasty perusal, though an entire one, yet have been both instructed and interested in a review of it.

The work is divided into 8 chapters, each treating upon a distinct subject showing the origin of the colored people – their history – what nations famous in the history were Africans – the cause of the degradation of the Africans – that slavery on this continent did not originate in the condition of the Africans – establishing the equality of intellect among the races of men – prejudice against color, its nature, tendencies, and cure – the causes of the complexion of the colored people &c, &c.


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The Double-Keyed Full Text Difference

Data in the Accessible Archives databases  is double-keyed by a team of highly skilled professionals familiar with the character and publishing idiosyncrasies of historical documents.

Double-keying results in much higher levels of accuracy than texts that have gone through simple OCR (Optical Character Recognition) scanning. Extensive quality control systems ensure that the converted data has an accuracy level in excess of 98%.

Research at the University of Virginia showed that in a text of approximately 700,000 characters, only around 200 characters were in error after double-keying. (99.999 percent accurate).


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Charles Sprague on The Intemperate Husband

From Mr. Charles Sprague’s Address, delivered before the Massachusetts Society for Suppressing Intemperance.

The common calamities of life may be endured. Poverty, sickness, and even death may be met – but there is that which, while it rings all these with it, is worse than all these together. When the husband and father forgets the duties he once delighted to fulfill, and by slow degrees becomes the creature of intemperance, there enters into his house the sorrow that rends the spirit – that cannot be alleviated, that will not be comforted.

It is here, above all, where she, who has ventured every thing, feels that every thing is lost. Woman, silent-suffering, devoted woman, here bends to her direst affliction. The measure of her woe is, in truth, full, whose husband is a drunkard. Who shall protect her when he is her insult, her oppressor? What shall delight her, when she shrinks from the sight of his face, and trembles at the sound of his voice? The heart is indeed dark, that he has made desolate. There, through the dull midnight hour, her griefs are whispered to herself, her bruised heart bleeds in secret. There, while the cruel author of her distress is drowned in distant revelry, she holds her solitary vigil, waiting, yet dreading his return, that will only wring from her, by his unkindness, tears even more scalding than those she shed over his transgression.

To fling a deeper gloom across the present, memory turns back, and broods upon the past. Like the recollection of the sun-stricken pilgrim, of the cool spring that the drank at in the morning, the joys of other days come over her, as if only to mock her parched and weary spirit. She recalls the ardent lover, whose graces own her from the home of her infancy – the enraptured father, who bent with such delight over his new-born child – and she asks if this can really be him – this sunken being, who has now nothing for her but the sot’s disgusting brutality – nothing for those abashed and trembling children, but the sot’s disgusting example! Can we wonder, that amid these agonizing moments, the tender cords of violated affection should snap asunder? That the scorned and deserted wife should confess, “there is no killing like that which kills the heart?” That though it would have been hard for her to kiss, for the last time, the cold lips of her dead husband, and lay his body for ever in the dust, it is harder to behold him so debasing life, that even his death would be greeted in mercy?

Ladies' Temperance Banner

Ladies’ Temperance Banner

Had he died in the light of his goodness, bequeathing to his family the inheritance of an untarnished name, the example of virtues that should blossom for his sons and daughters from the tomb – though she would have wept bitterly indeed, the tears of grief would not have been the tears of shame. But to behold him, fallen away from the station he adorned, degraded from the station he adorned, degraded from eminence to ignominy – at home, turning his dwelling to darkness, and his holy endearments to mockery – abroad thrust from the companionship of the worthy, a self-branded outlaw. This is the woe that the wife feels is more dreadful than death, – that she mourns over, as worse than widowhood.

Source: THE COLORED AMERICAN – June 10, 1837
Collection: African American Newspapers
Title: The Intemperate Husband

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