Catechism, of Scripture Doctrine and Practice: For Families and Sabbath Schools. Designed Also, for the Oral Instruction of Colored Persons. Charles Jones, olcock.
Catechism, of Scripture Doctrine and Practice: For Families and Sabbath Schools. Designed Also, for the Oral Instruction of Colored Persons.
Catechism, of Scripture Doctrine and Practice: For Families and Sabbath Schools. Designed Also, for the Oral Instruction of Colored Persons.

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Catechism, of Scripture Doctrine and Practice: For Families and Sabbath Schools. Designed Also, for the Oral Instruction of Colored Persons.

Savannah, [Ga.], 1837. 12mo, original half sheep and marbled paper over boards, xviiii, [blank], 257 pp. Early inscription in ink on ffep,”Fargus Duffy his book No. 7”; additional ink inscription on terminal endpaper: “Michael Duffy Savannah Georgia May 20 1841 Steal not this book my onest frend for fere the galas may your end M Duffy.” CONDITION: Spine worn with some loss at edges, damp-staining through much of paste-down and first eight leaves, additional lesser and relatively light damp-staining, light foxing throughout.

Stated second edition of this scarce catechism intended in part “for the oral instruction” of African Americans, first published in 1834 under the title A Catechism for Colored Persons.

Jones devotes part IV of his preface to this intended use:

A few remarks on the use of the Catechism in the oral instruction of the colored population, are deemed necessary. The first edition, which has been more than two years out of print, was almost exclusively used in the instruction of this class of our population, and with gratifying success. There are Plantations, and Plantation Schools, and large Sabbath Schools, in different parts of the country, that have gone entirely through the Catechism, and have reviewed, and re-reviewed it accurately and intelligently. Some Pastors have made it a manual of Instruction, and founded their Lectures to the colored part of their congregations on the afternoon of the Sabbath day upon the sections in their regular order. May the present edition be used for the instruction of the same People, to an equal, if not greater extent. Their depravity, their spiritual ignorance and destitution are amazingly and awfully great. They cry out for instruction to the wise and good, in all the length and breadth of the land…

Charles Colcock Jones (1804–1863) was born at Liberty Hall, a coastal plantation in Liberty County, Georgia. After undergoing a conversion at the age of seventeen, he went north to study, attending Phillips Academy (1825–27), Andover Theological Seminary (1827–29), and Princeton Theological Seminary (1829–30). While in the north, Jones was struck by the stark sectional differences and became increasingly troubled by the immorality of slavery, which he described in a letter to his cousin and fiancée, Mary, as “A violation of all the Laws of God and man at once…An inhuman abuse of power, and an assumption of the responsibility of fixing the life and destiny of immortal beings, fearful in the extreme.” While profoundly opposed to the institution of slavery, upon returning south Jones chose to focus on the spiritual welfare of the slaves themselves, rather than assailing “the peculiar institution” directly. In addition to the present catechism, Jones published The Religious Instruction of the Negroes in the United States (1842). Jones’s son, Charles C. Jones Jr., was a folklorist and author, with numerous books to his credit, including Negro Myths From the Georgia Coast Told in the Vernacular (1888).

This second edition of Jones’s Catechism was followed by others in 1844, 1845 and 1852, apparently being quite popular. Early editions are scarce. Worldcat records just six copies of the 1834 edition and eight of the present edition.

REFERENCES: Mathews, Donald G. “Charles Colcock Jones and the Southern Evangelical Crusade to Form a Biracial Community” in The Journal of Southern History, Vol. 41, No. 3 (Aug., 1975), pp. 299–320.

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