Encyclopedia of Slavery and Freedom in American Literature (July 10, 2009)

full name / name of organization: 
Timothy Mark Robinson /Bates College
contact email: 

Encyclopedia of Slavery and Freedom in American Literature (July 10, 2009)

Contributors sought for The Encyclopedia of Slavery and Freedom in American Literature. This book is scheduled to be published by Facts on File in 2010.


The purpose of this project is to provide a comprehensive and accessible catalog on the subject of slavery in American literature. It will identify the most important and influential literary works, authors, abolitionists and historical figures, and it will define various terminologies and subjects related to American slavery.

The primary markets for this encyclopedia will be high schools, colleges, and special libraries. It will be written in a manner that is comprehensible to the constituents of each market.

For the second phase of this project, I am seeking submissions in the following areas: Poems/Poets, Non-fiction (essays, speeches, sermons)
Author, Music: Spirituals, Gospel, Secular Rhymes, Gospel, and Songs of Social Change.


If you would like to contribute, please send an email to trobinso@bates.edu. In your e-mail, list the entries that you would like to write and briefly describe your qualifications and research. Use the following heading in your subject line:
Encyclopedia of Slavery: Inquiry

Dr. Timothy Mark Robinson
The Department of English & African American Studies
Bates College
205 Pettigrew Hall
Lewiston, Maine 04240
Tel. 207.786.6314


Short entry (S) = approx. 500 words
Medium entry (M) =1000-1200 words
Long entry (L) =1500-2000 words

POEMS/POETS (where a collection is listed, a selection of individual poems will be covered)

Elizabeth Alexander: The Hottentot Venus [5 short entries on individual poems]
James Madison Bell: Poetical Works of James Madison Bell [8 short entries on individual poems]
Stephen Vincent Benet: John Brown's Body
William Blake: "The Little Black Boy" (S)
Robert Burns: "The Slave's Lament" (S)
Charles Chesnutt: "The Perplexed Nigger"(S); "To the Grand Army of the Republic" (S)
William Cowper: "The Negro's Complaint" (S); "The Morning Dream"(S); 'Sweet Meat has Sour Sauce: or, the Slave Trader in the Dumps" (S); "The Task" (S)
Rita Dove: The Yellow House on the Corner (S)
Paul Lawrence Dunbar: "We Wear the Mask" (M); "An Antebellum Sermon" (M); "When Malindy Sings" (S); "Frederick Douglass" (S); "Sympathy" (S)
Sarah Forten ["Ada"]: "The Grave of the Slave" (S); "The Slave" (S); "The Slave Girl's Farewell" (S)
James Grainger: "The Sugar Cane" (S)
Jupiter Hammond: "A Poem for Children with Thoughts on Death" (S); "An Evening Thought" (S); "A Dialogue, Entitled The Kind Master and Dutiful Servant" (S)
Frances Ellen Watkins Harper: "Eliza Harris" (S); "The Slave Mother, A Story of Ohio" (S) "Enlightened Motherhood" (S); "Eva's Farewell" (S); "To Harriet Beecher Stowe"(S); "Learning to Read" (S); "Bury Me in a Free Land"(S); "Slave Auction"(S); "The Bible Defense of Slavery" (S)
John Harris: "The Fall of Slavery" (S)
Robert Hayden: "Middle Passage" (S)
George Moses Horton: Hope of Liberty; Poetical Works of the Colored Bard of North Carolina; Naked Genius [10 short entries on individual poems]
James Weldon Johnson: "Lift Every Voice and Sing" (S); "Black and Unknown Bards" (S)
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: "To William E. Channing" (S); "The Slave's Dream" (S); "The Good Part, that shall not be taken away" (S); "The Slave in the Dismal Swamp" (S); "The Slave Singing at Midnight" (S); "The Witnesses" (S); "The Quadroon Girl"(S)(; "The Warning" (S)
Maria White Lowell: "Africa" (S)
James Russell Lowell: "The Present Crisis" (S);
Herman Melville: "The Portent" (S); "Formerly a Slave" (S)
Hannah More: "Slavery" (S); "The Sorrows of Yamba" (S)
Sarah Morton: "The African Chief" (S)
James Oppenheim: "The Slave" (S)
Sarah Piatt: "The Black Princess" (S); "Over in Kentucky" (S); "The Old Slave Music" (S); "A Child's Party" (S)
John Pierpont: Anti-Slavery Poems
John Saffin: "The Negroes Character" (S) [reply to Sewall's "Selling of Joseph"]
Lydia Sigourney: "To the First Slave Ship" (S)
Lucy Terry: "Bars Fight" (S)
Phillis Wheatley: "On Being Brought from Africa to America" (S); Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral
James Whitfield: America and Other Poems [5 short entries on individual poems]
Walt Whitman: Leaves of Grass (M)
John Greenleaf Whittier: Anti-Slavery Poems Vols. I, II and III [10 short entries on individual poems]
William Wordsworth: ''To Thomas Clarkson. On the Final Passing of the Bill for the Abolition of the Slave Trade" (S); "To Toussaint L'Overture'' (S); selections from The Prelude

NON-FICTION (essays, speeches, sermons):
"An Address to Those Who Keep Slaves and Approve the Practice"—Richard Allen (S)
"Southern Horrors"—Ida B. Wells Barnett (S)
"An Essay on Slavery and Abolitionism, with Reference to the Duty of American Females"—Catherine Beecher (M)
"War and Emancipation: Thanksgiving Sermon 1861"—Henry Ward Beecher (S)
The Silent South—George Washington Cable (M)
English Serfdom and American Slavery, or, Ourselves as Others See Us—Lucien Bonaparte Chase (S)
A Diary from Dixie—Mary Boykin Chesnut (M)
"Appeal in Favor of that Class of Americans Called Africans"—Lydia Maria Child (M)
The American Democrat [chapter on slavery]—James Fenimore Cooper (S)
'Thoughts on Slavery"—J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur (M)
"Hope for Africa"—Alexander Crummell (S)
"What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?"—Frederick Douglass (L)
Souls of Black Folk (L); John Brown (M)—W.E.B. DuBois
Lectures from Representative Men —Ralph Waldo Emerson (L)
Cannibals All, Southern Thought--George Fitzhugh (M)
Journal—Charlotte Forten (M)
"On The Slave Trade"—Benjamin Franklin (S)
On Woman in the Nineteenth Century—Margaret Fuller (M)
"Address to the Slaves of the United States"—Henry Highland Garnett (M)
"Appeal to the Christian Women of the South" (S) "Anti-Slavery Address"(S); "Letters to Catherine Beecher"(S)—Angelina Grimke
"A Charge, Delivered to the African Lodge"—Prince Hall (S)
"The Colored People in America"(M); "Appeal to the American People" (S)—Frances Harper
"Liberty Further Extended"—Lemuel Haynes (M)
"Where Liberty Is Not, There Is My Country" (S); "Address to the Colored People of the United States" (S); "Nat Turner's Insurrection" (S)—Thomas Wentworth Higginson
"The Effect of Slavery" from Notes on the State of Virginia—Thomas Jefferson (M)
Thanksgiving Sermon, 1808—Absolom Jones (S)
Second Inaugural (M), Gettysburg Address (S), "House Divided" speech (M)—Abraham Lincoln
"The Negro Christianized"--Cotton Mather (M)
"The Duchess of Sutherland and Slavery"—Karl Marx (S)
"Petition of Ladies, Resident in the State of Ohio"—Muskingham County Female Anti-Slavery Society (S)
"Facing Life Squarely"—Alice Dunbar Nelson (S)
"African Slavery in America"—Thomas Paine (M)
"Toussaint L'Overture"—Wendell Phillips (M)
"Appeal of Forty Thousand Citizens"—Robert Purvis (S)
"Negroes in the United States of America"—Sarah Parker Redmond (M)
"The Selling of Joseph"—Samuel Sewall [the first anti-slavery text in the American colonies] (M)
Lecture at Franklin Hall—Maria Stewart (M)
"Slavery in Massachusetts" (M); "A Plea for Captain John Brown" (M)—Henry David Thoreau
"Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World"--David Walker (L)
"Some Considerations on the Keeping of Negroes"--John Woolman (M)
"The Progress of the Antislavery Cause"—Theodore Wright (S)

AUTHOR ENTIRES(brief biography with emphasis on facts relevant to slavery/abolition where possible)
Catherine Beecher (S)
Henry Ward Beecher (M)
William Wells Brown (M)
Charles Chesnutt (M)
Lydia Maria Child (M)
Austin Clarke (S)
Julia C. Collins (S)
W.E.B. DuBois (M)
Paul Lawrence Dunbar (M)
Frederick Douglass (M)
Ralph Waldo Emerson (S)
Olaudah Equiano (M)
Sarah Forten (S)
Margaret Garner (S)
Angelina Grimke (M)
Alex Haley (M)
Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (M)
Joel Chandler Harris (S)
Thomas Wentworth Higginson (S)
George Moses Horton (S)
Harriet Jacobs (M)
James Weldon Johnson (M)
Abraham Lincoln (M)
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (M)
Paule Marshall (M)
Herman Melville (S)
Margaret Mitchell (S)
Hannah More (S)
Toni Morrison (M)
Sarah Piatt (M)
Harriet Beecher Stowe (M)
Lucy Terry (M)
Sojourner Truth (M)
Nat Turner (M)
Booker T. Washington (M)
Phillis Wheatley (M)
Walt Whitman (M)
John Greenleaf Whittier (M)

MUSIC: Spirituals, Gospel, Secular Rhymes, Gospel, and Songs of Social Change, Rhythm and Blues

Come Sunday(S)
Go Down, Moses(S)
Ezekiel Saw de Wheel(S)
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot(S)
Steal Away(S)
Many Thousand Gone (S)
Michael Row the Boat Ashore(S)
Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen(S)
Roll, Jordan, Roll
There's a Meeting Here To-Night(S)

Soon I Will Be Done(S)
This Little Light of Mine(S)
Down By the Riverside(S)
Freedom in the Air(S)
Stand by Me(S)

(Secular Rhymes and Songs)
No More Auction Block (S)
Jack and Dinah Want Freedom (S)

(Work Songs)
Pick a Bale of Cotton(S)

(Songs of Social Change)
Oh, Freedom (S)
Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around (S)
We Shall Overcome (S)
Four Women (S)

(African-American folktales)
"The Flying Africans" (S); John and Old Marster stories (M); animal stories (M))