Part 1: 1450-1750
Part 2: 1750-1805
<--Part 3: 1791-1831
Part 4: 1831-1865

Narrative | Resource Bank | Teacher's Guide

Historical Documents
"Grand Celebration Ob De Bobalition Ob African Slabery"

Resource Bank Contents

Grand Celebration Ob De Bobalition Ob African Slabery

click image for close-up
This cartoon, originally drawn by Edward Williams Clay as one of fourteen in a series called "Life in Philadelphia," satirized black celebrations of the prohibition of the international slave trade.

A group of drunken black men sit, stand, and stagger around a table, proposing toasts:

"De day we Celumbrate! Who he no come sooner? Guess de hard fros & de backward Spring put um back. 29 pop gun & 2 grin."

"De Orator ob de day -- When I jus hear him begin he discourse, tink he no great ting, but when he come to de end ob um, I think he like de scorch cat more better dan he look -- Moosick -- Possum up de Gum tree."

"White man -- mighty anxious to send niggers to de place day stole him from, now he got no furder use for him."

"Gubner Eustas -- Cleber old sole as eber wore nee buckle in de shoe -- 99 cheer on tree quarter"

"De Genius de Merica -- He invent great many cruious ting: wonder who fust invent eating & drinking. 50 cheer & ober."

"De Sun -- Wonder why he no shine in de night putting nigger to dispense ob de candle."

"Joe Gales -- He asc massa Adams "if he be in health my brudder" and den he he cut he guts out."

"King Edwards -- Guess he no great tings no more nor udder people all he cut such a swell"

Image Credit: The Print and Picture Collection, The Free Library of Philadelphia

previous | next

Related Entries:
"Is Miss Dinah at Home? "
"Black Charge"

Part 3: Narrative | Resource Bank Contents | Teacher's Guide

Africans in America: Home | Resource Bank Index | Search | Shop

WGBH | PBS Online | ©