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To The White People Of America



O'er this wide extended country,
Hear the solemn echoes roll,
For a long and weary century,
Those cries have gone from pole to pole;
See the white man sway his sceptre,
In one hand he holds the rod—
In the other hand the Scripture,
And says that he's a man of God.

Hear ye that mourning?
'Tis your brothers' cry!
O! ye wicked men take warning,
The day will come when you must die.

Lo! Ten thousand steeples shining
Through this mighty Christian land,
While four millions slaves all pining
And dying 'neath the Tyrant's hand.
See the 'blood-stained' Christian banner
Followed by a host of saints
While they loudly sing Hosannah,
We hear the dying slave's complaints:

Hear ye that mourning?
Anglo-sons of God,
O! ye Hypocrites take warning,
And shun your sable brothers blood.

In our Legislative members,
Few there are with humane souls,
Though they speak in tones of thunder
'Gainst sins which they cannot control,
Women's rights and annexation,
Is the topic by the way,
While poor Africa's sable nation
For mercy, cry both by night and day.

Hear ye that mourning?
'Tis a solemn sound,
O! ye wicked men take warning,
For God will send his judgment down.

Tell us not of distant Island —
Never will we colonize:
Send us not to British Highlands,
For this is neither just nor wise,
Give us equal rights and chances,
All the rights of citizens
And as light and truth advances,
We'll show you that we all are men.

Hear ye that mourning?
Tis your brothers sigh,
O! ye wicked men take warning,
The judgment day will come by

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:24 min read
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Joshua McCarter Simpson

Joshua McCarter Simpson was a well-known abolitionist songwriter, herbal physician, and Underground Railroad conductor. Subversive in his use of familiar tunes, Simpson created a “double voicing” in songs of emancipation that included an antislavery rendition of “America.” Born free in Morgan County, Ohio, and bound as a laborer until age 21, Simpson survived a difficult childhood. He attended school for only three months but taught himself to write. Within 10 years of publicly singing his first poem in 1842, he had published a pamphlet of antislavery songs. Simpson attended Oberlin College from 1844 to 1848, hoping to become a teacher. In 1874 he collected and published two decades’ worth of work—53 song-poems and two satirical essays. Simpson’s songs combine simple diction, repetitions, and refrains with topical humor, often to strike militant tones. His use of familiar hymns and folk and patriotic tunes is often ironic, disguising angry protest in common rhythms. The songs were especially popular on the Underground Railroad in the 1850s. more…

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    "To The White People Of America" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 28 Nov. 2022. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/43143/to-the-white-people-of-america>.

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