[Source Description: 3 September 1844. George Moses Horton to David L. Swain. David L. Swain Papers (#706), Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.]
September 3d 1844 chapel hill NC
To Mr. Garrison the Editor of a Boston paper
Having of late received information of you from a gentleman with whom you must be some what acquainted, to wit, Dr. Wurster[?] of Philidelphia, and that you are an Editor and a lover of the genious from every tribe and population of the human race, i am necessarily constrained, to apply to your honor for assistance in carring my original work into publick execution; while i gratify your curiosity in resolving the problem whether a negro has any genious or not. Sir i am not alone actuated by pecuniary motives, but upon the whole, to spread the blaze[?] of african genious, and thus dispel the recepti[v]e[?] gloom so prevalent in many parts of the country. My design is to give you my testimony from the pen of the honorable Mr David Swain, and president of the University of North Carolina; and who is very well apprised of my condition of life. I was born a slave, the property of Wm Horton in Northamton County, NC near the ronoak river; and never had one day's schooling in all the course of my life, from the alphabet to the present circle; i was early fond of hearing people read, and was as early with a ear for music; my letters i learned by heart, and by that means, lear[n]ed them in the book.
I also encounter[e]d with some of the most formidable difficulties that ever a poor and rustic boy has in the world almost; from which i have learned, that resolution, effects the conquest in almost every expedition in life. I can not but indifferently read, and can make shift to write an almost ilegible list. As to philogy, i know but little: i have mer[e]ly caught a light hint of the elements of english grammar, nor have i ever been so fortunate as to have studied any of the arts and sciences and my intellects have been by rude imployment deeply clouded. I faithfully trust a sign that your examination into the facts of my condition will inspire your pleasure to open to the world a volume which like a wild bird has long lain struggling in its shell impatient to transpire to the eye, a dubious world