"One great reason that is given by some for not freeing us, I understand is, that we should not know how to take care of ourselves, and should take to bad courses. That we should be lazy and idle, and get drunk and steal. Now all those of you, who follow any bad courses, and who do not take care to get an honest living by your labour and industry, are doing more to prevent our being free, than any body else. Let me beg of you then for the sake of your own good and happiness, in time, and for eternity, and for the sake of your poor brethren, who are still in bondage “to lead quiet and peaceable lives in all Godliness and honesty,” and may God bless you, and bring you to his kingdom, for Christ’s sake, Amen." ―Jupiter Hammon
Bio:Jupiter Hammon was born October 17, 1711, a slave of Henry Lloyd of Lloyd’s Manor (Queens Village), Long Island, New York. His 88-line poem “An Evening’s Thought : Salvation by Christ, with Penitential Cries,” was published at Hartford, Connecticut, and dated “December 25, 1760,” making it the first poem published by an American of African descent.
(Incidentally, it is also worth noting, that this writing is one of the oldest black conservative writings in American History. An amazing historical document, of an old slave (in his 70's) writing to newly freed slaves.)
Read more: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1011&context=etas