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Slavery and the Making of AmericaDrawing of a sermon at the First African Church in Richmond, Virginia
Time and Place Slave Memories Resources The Slave Experience

The Slave Experience: Religion
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Original Documents Religion

Reverend Jones' CATECHISM
1837
Cited in Dorothy Schneider & Carl J. Schneider, eds. SLAVERY IN AMERICA: FROM COLONIAL TIMES TO THE CIVIL WAR. (New York: Facts on File, 2000)
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Document Description
The imagery and language of Christianity could be interpreted and manipulated in a variety of ways. The relationship of God and Jesus to humans was sometimes used to suggest that slavery was antithetical to Christian beliefs and values. However, as in the Catechism by Reverend Jones, analogies between God and master could also be used to reinforce the hierarchies of slavery.

Transcript
Q: Who is duty bound to give Servants comfortable clothing, wholesome and abundant food?

A: The master.

Q: Who is duty bound to instruct Servants in a knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, and to give them every opportunity and encouragement to seek their soul's salvation?

A: The master.

Q: Who is the Master of us all in Heaven?

A: God.

Q: Does God show favour to the Master more than to the Servant, and just because he is a Master?

A: No.

Q: What are the Servants to count their Masters worthy of?

A: All honour.

Q: How are they to try to please their Masters?

A: Please them well in all things, not answering again.

Q: Is it right for a Servant when commanded to do anything to be sullen and slow, and answering his Master again?

A: No.

Q: But suppose the Master is hard to please, and threatens and punishes more than he ought, what is the Servant to do?

A: Do his best to please him.

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