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Antislavery Poetry from San Francisco

Running man image from workshop poster

The Pacific Appeal was the leading African American newspaper on the West Coast during the early 1860s.  A newly-published set of eight antislavery poems from the journal's inaugural 1862 volume captures the sense of expectancy within the African American community for the imminent end of US slavery.  These poems include the work of James Madison Bell, a San Francisco plasterer, brickmason, and poet.  Read more... 
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The Underground Railroad


This undated single-page broadsheet poem on the Underground Railroad appeared sometime after the Civil War. The author, Cecilia Devere (1836-1912), was a Shaker community member in New Lebanon, New York. In this poem she adopts the name ‘Devyr’. Devere also published a broadside entitled 'Open Letter to Catholic Priests: A Shaker Sister’s Appeal for Ireland' (n.d.), a call protesting the impoverishment of the Irish people. This poem was occasioned by a lecture given by Edwin Coates, a well-known Philadelphia abolitionist and antebellum Underground Railroad station manager.

— Joe Lockard