Peter Williams, Jr.: “Oration on the Abolition of the Slave Trade”(1808)
About the Author
Peter Williams, Jr., was born around 1780, in Brunswick, New Jersey. His mother, Mary Durham, was an indentured servant from Saint Kitts, and his father, Peter Williams, Sr., was a slave who purchased his freedom in 1785. Williams, Sr., had fought on the side of the Patriots in the Revolutionary War and instilled in his son a love for the nation and its government. The family moved to New York, where a growing number of free blacks were living. There the elder Williams sold tobacco, while young Peter attended the African Free School and had private tutors. In 1796,...
Woodcut image of a supplicant male slave in chains (Library of Congress)View Full Size