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.

The historical part of the work, giving the origin of the colored people, is most conclusive. And we think, had the author have extended this part of the work more, even had he been forced to have compressed that part on prejudice, &c., it would have materially increased the interest of the book; the historical part being but little understood, while all are more or less familiar with the nature and character of prejudice.

The book is an interesting little volume, and every colored person ought to have it. It will be to them all which it purports to be, “A text book,” and will furnish them with arguments in proof of the origin and character of our race, and the identity of men who are prominent subjects of profane history, with them, as well as the causes of the color of the Africans. We shall, as soon as we can dispose of a few things, furnish extracts from the work.

Curse of Curses

Curse of Curses


Collection: African American Newspapers
Publication: The Colored American
Date: February 27, 1841
Title: A Text Book of the Origin, and History, &c., &c., of the Colored People
Location: New York, New York


A Text Book of the Origin, and History, &c., &c., of the Colored People, by James W.C. Pennington, described here has been digitized by the Google Books project and can be downloaded or read online below.

This quote of Pennington’s helps put his writing in perspective:

“My feelings are always outraged when I hear them speak of ‘kind masters,’ ‘Christian masters,’ ‘the mildest form of slavery,’ ‘well fed and clothed slaves,’ as extenuations of slavery. I am satisfied they either mean to pervert the truth, or they do not know what they say. The being of slavery, its soul and body, lives and moves in the chattel principle, the property principle, the bill of sale principle…”

James W.C. Pennington


All images included in blog posts are from either Accessible Archives collections or out of copyright public sources unless otherwise noted. Common sources include the Library of Congress, The Flickr Commons, Wikimedia Commons, and other public archives.

Related Posts

Tags: ,

Stay Connected

Connect with Accessible Archives on Twitter, Facebook, or Linkedin to stay up to date on news and blog posts or get our latest blog posts by email.

Positive SSL