The Common Good
December 2007

We Are Not Afraid

by Maria W. Stewart | December 2007

The passage below first appeared in print only two months after the bloody slave rebellion led by Nat Turner, in a time of great tension and fear among slave-owners.

The passage below first appeared in print only two months after the bloody slave rebellion led by Nat Turner, in a time of great tension and fear among slave-owners. Stewart writes with a more militant edge than did most white abolitionists of the time.

ye great and mighty men of America, ye rich and powerful ones, many of you will call for the rocks and mountains to fall upon you, and to hide you from the wrath of the Lamb, and from him that sitteth upon the throne; whilst many of the sable-skinned Africans you now despise will shine in the kingdom of heaven as the stars forever and ever. … We will tell you that it is our gold that clothes you in fine linen and purple, and causes you to fare sumptuously every day; and it is the blood of our fathers and the tears of our brethren that have enriched your soils. AND WE CLAIM OUR RIGHTS. We will tell you that we are not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that can do no more; but we will tell you whom we do fear. We fear Him who is able, after He hath killed, to destroy both soul and body in hell forever. Then, my brethren, sheath your swords, and calm your angry passions. Stand still, and know that the Lord he is God. Vengeance is his, and he will repay. It is a long lane that has no turn. America has risen to her meridian. When you begin to thrive, she will begin to fall.

From Religion And The Pure PrinciplesOf Morality, The Sure Foundation On Which We Must Build, by Maria W. Stewart, 1831.

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