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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 341 pages of information about The Education of the Negro Prior to 1861.

EXTRACT FROM JONATHAN BOUCHER’S “A VIEW OF THE CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION"(1763)

“If ever these colonies, now filled with slaves, be improved to their utmost capacity, an essential part of the improvement must be the abolition of slavery.  Such a change would be hardly more to the advantage of the slaves than it would be to their owners....

“I do you no more than justice in bearing witness, that in no part of the world were slaves better treated than, in general, they are in the colonies....  In one essential point, I fear, we are all deficient; they are nowhere sufficiently instructed.  I am far from recommending it to you, at once to set them free; because to do so would be an heavy loss to you, and probably no gain to them; but I do entreat you to make them some amends for the drudgery of their bodies by cultivating their minds.  By such means only can we hope to fulfil the ends, which we may be permitted to believe, Providence had in view in suffering them to be brought among us.  You may unfetter them from the chains of ignorance; you may emancipate them from the bondage of sin, the worst slavery to which they can be subjected; and by thus setting at liberty those that are bruised, though they still continue to be your slaves, they shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the Children of God.”—­Jonathan Boucher’s A View of the Causes and Consequences, etc., pp. 41, 42, 43.

BOUCHER ON AMERICAN EDUCATION IN 1773

“You pay far too little regard to parental education....

“What is still less credible is that at least two-thirds of the little education we receive is derived from instructors who are either indented servants or transported felons.  Not a ship arrives either with redemptioners or convicts, in which schoolmasters are not as regularly advertised for sale as weavers, tailors, or any other trade; with little other difference, that I can hear of, excepting perhaps that the former do not usually fetch so good a price as the latter....

“I own, however, that I dislike slavery and among other reasons because as it is here conducted it has pernicious effects on the social state, by being unfavorable to education.  It certainly is no necessary circumstance, essential to the condition of a slave, that he be uneducated; yet this is the general and almost universal lot of the slaves.  Such extreme, deliberate, and systematic inattention to all mental improvement, in so large portion of our species, gives far too much countenance and encouragement to those abject persons who are contented to be rude and ignorant.”—­Jonathan Boucher’s A View of the Causes and Consequences of the American Revolution, pp. 183, 188, 189.

A PORTION OF AN ESSAY OF BISHOP PORTEUS TOWARD A PLAN FOR THE MORE EFFECTUAL CIVILIZATION AND CONVERSION OF THE NEGRO SLAVES ON THE TRENT ESTATE IN BARBADOES BELONGING TO THE SOCIETY FOR THE PROPAGATION OF THE GOSPEL IN FOREIGN PARTS. (WRITTEN IN 1784)

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