General Washington and General Jackson, on Negro Soldiers. Andrew Jackson.
General Washington and General Jackson, on Negro Soldiers.

General Washington and General Jackson, on Negro Soldiers.

Philadelphia: Henry Carey Baird, 1863. 12mo (21.5 cm), self-wrappers. 8 pp.

A pamphlet advocating for the enlistment of African-Americans in the Union army during the Civil War, citing historical precedent and addressing the bias against their service.

This pamphlet opens urgently with the following pronouncement: “We are in the midst of a great war for the existence of free institutions. No one can be so blind as not to see that the triumph of the Confederacy would insure the overthrow of rational liberty.” Note is made of the four million blacks currently holed up in the Rebel States, whom—it is argued here—“would gladly aid us in the war we are carrying on.” Acknowledging the strong prejudice in the North against employing blacks as soldiers, the author presents various extracts from America’s “wisest and best men”—such as Washington and Jackson—who “did not hesitate to solicit, to employ, and to reward the military services of Negroes in the War of the Revolution, and again, within the memory of many of us, in our last war with England.”

The various quotations presented are extracted from George Livermore’s recently published An Historical Research Respecting the Opinions of the Founders of the Republic on Negroes as Slaves, as Citizens, and as Soldiers. Also included are citations from General Thomas, in a letter to John Adams; Bancroft’s History of the United States; Major Samuel Lawrence (who fought during the Revolution); various official decisions ratified by Congress; General Andrew Jackson’s 1814 address to the “Free Colored Inhabitants of Louisiana,” various measures passed by Congress that Washington, Hamilton and others ardently affirmed, and so on.

The text concludes thus:

Such are some of the views of our ancestors in regard to the employment of Negro soldiers…By utilizing this element the Government can secure the services of 700,000 able-bodied men, acclimated to and familiar with the seat of war, and at the same time strike the Rebels a vital blow. Will not posterity hold to a severe account the statesman who would neglect to use so powerful a force for the suppression of the Rebellion?

CONDITION: Good; discoloration to portions of front wrapper/title-page, lightly stained and creased, a few minor tears and chips, 1.25” tear and various chips to the back-page.

Item #4895

Price: $225.00

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