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AfriGeneas Writers Forum

The Pacific Appeal Newspaper 1862 Poems

Dear Writers Forum:

The link below will take you to Iowa State's presentation of The Pacific Appeal's published poems. The introduction reads,

"This selection of eight antislavery poems appeared in the inaugural volume of The Pacific Appeal, a short-lived African American newspaper that commenced publishing in San Francisco under that name in 1862. It was the successor of The Mirror of the Times, another African American newspaper established in the same city in 1855. The Appeal’s editor, Phillip A. Bell, an assistant to the first African American newspaper editor, Samuel Cornish, and who himself became known as one of the leading early African American journalists. The newspaper’s politics in this first volume were adamantly abolitionist and vigorously supported the war against slavery."

This year begins the four year commemoration of the Civil War therefore, my favorite poem is:

“WHAT SHALL WE DO WITH THE CONTRABANDS?”

Shall we arm them? Yes, arm them! give to each
man
A rifle, a musket, a cutlass or sword;
Then on to the charge! let them war in the van,
Where each may confront with his merciless [5]
lord,
And purge from their race, in the eyes of the
brave,
The stigma and scorn now attending the slave.

To read the rest of the poem and others, please click on the URL below and enjoy.

Write Away


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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