Slavery and the Making of the University University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Manuscripts Department Slavery and the Making of the University

[Source Description: 11 September 1853. George Moses Horton to Horace Greeley. David L. Swain Papers (#706), Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.]


Sept 11 1853 Chapel Hill
N.C.

To Mr. Grely

Sir

from the information of the president of the of the[sic] university of North carolina to wit the honorable D L swain who is willing to aid me himself i learn that you are a gentleman of philanthropic feeling i therefore thought it essential to apply to your beneficent hand for some assistance to remove the burden of hard servitude. Notwithstanding sir there are many in my native section of country who wish to bring me out and there are others far too penurious which renders it some what dubious with regard to my extrication it is evident that you have heard of me by the fame of my work in poetry much of which i am now too closely confind to carry out and which i feel a warm interest to do and sir by favouring me with the bounty of 175 dollars i will endeavor to reward your generosity with my productions as soon as possible i am the only publick or recognizd poet of colour in my native state or perhaps in the union born in slavery but yet craving that scope and expression whereby my literary labour of the night may be circulated throughout the whole world Then o forbid that my productions should ever fall to the ground but rather soar as an eagle above the towering mountains and thus return as a triumphing spirit to the bosom of its God who gave it birth though now confind in these loathsome fetters please assist the cowering vasal to arise and live a glad denizen the remnant of his days and one of active utility, yours respect

George M Horton
of colour



The poets feble petition

Bewailing mid the ruthless wave
i lift my feble hand to thee
Let me no longer live a slave
But drop these fetters and be free

Why will regardless fortune sleep
Deaf to my penitential pray'r
or leave the struggling Bard to weep
Alas and languish in despair

He is an eagle void of wings
Aspiring to the mountains height
yet in the vale aloud he sings
for pity, aid to give him flight

Then listen all who never felt
for fettered genious heretofore
Let hearts of petrifaction melt
And bid the gifted negro soar