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American Views Throughout History (Critical Thinking Study)

Abraham Africanus!  His Secret Life by Alexander Del Mar
Abraham Africanus! His Secret Life by Alexander Del Mar
TGS Publishing

As an advocate for critical thinking education, it is always useful to hear explanations of views, which you may not agree with, and to know why and how ideas derived. No matter what biases we have against ones position, it is always good to hear explanations of ones views, especially when they have a detailed explanations to share. It’s always a good thing to know what you agree or disagree with first, before you defend it, or argue against it. The literary works below define a time in Americas history when many Scholarly and highly respected intellectuals, politicians, founding forefathers, educators, and community leaders, openly shared their views. As a critical thinker I’ve compiled a reading list of several of the most controversial or scarcely unknown views, held during the earlier years of America’s history, by many within the population. Many used these literary works to support their worldly views.

Once you are able to read and analyze these materials, you will be in a position to overstand the content, context, and inner perspectives, of the authors, providing you with first-hand knowledge that should allow you to examine and formulate a stronger intellectual viewpoint. To make this clear, I am by no means promoting the views of these authors as my own views. (I do however want to explore Thomas Paine’s position a little more)

1) Negroes In Negroland, the Negroes in America; and Negroes generally. Also, the several races of white men, considered as the involuntary and predestined supplanters of the black races. A compilation
By Hinton Rowan Helper (1829-1909)

2) Agrarian Justice
by Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine (1737-1809) was an author, pamphleteer, radical, inventor, intellectual, revolutionary, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He has been called "a corset maker by trade, a journalist by profession, and a propagandist by inclination." He also wrote the pamphlet "Agrarian Justice" (1795), discussing the origins of property, and introduced the concept of a guaranteed minimum income. –Barnes & Noble

3) Observations Concerning the Increase of Mankind, Peopling of Countries, &c.
by Benjamin Franklin

This is a short essay written in 1751 by Benjamin Franklin. The last paragraph of this book reads,
“Which leads me to add one remark: That the number of purely white people in the world is proportionably very small. All Africa is black or tawny. Asia chiefly tawny. America (exclusive of the new comers) wholly so. And in Europe, the Spaniards, Italians, French, Russians and Swedes are generally of what we call a swarthy complexion; as are the Germans also, the Saxons only excepted, who with the English make the principal body of white people on the face of the earth. I could wish their numbers were increased. And while we are, as I may call it, scouring our planet, by clearing America of woods, and so making this side of our globe reflect a brighter light to the eyes of inhabitants in Mars or Venus, why should we in the sight of superior beings, darken its people? Why increase the sons of Africa, by planting them in America, where we have so fair an opportunity, by excluding all blacks and tawneys, of increasing the lovely white and red? But perhaps I am partial to the complexion of my Country, for such kind of partiality is natural to Mankind.”

4) The Inequality Of Human Races The Renaissance
By Arthur, Count Gobineau

Joseph Arthur Comte de Gobineau (14 July 1816 – 13 October 1882) was a French aristocrat, novelist and man of letters who became famous for developing the theory of the Aryan master race in his book An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races[1] (1853–1855). De Gobineau is credited as being the father of modern racial demography, and his works are today considered very early examples of scientific racism. - wiki

5) The Negro Problem
By Nathaniel Southgate Shaler

In his 1884 article, "The Negro Problem", published in the Atlantic Monthly, Shaler claimed that black people freed from slavery were "like children lost in the wood, needing the old protection of the strong mastering hand," that they became increasingly dominated by their "animal nature" as they grew from children into adults, and American slavery had been "infinitely the mildest and most decent system of slavery that ever existed." –wiki-

6) Abraham Africanus I his secret life, as revealed under the mesmeric influence: mysteries of the White House
by J.F. Feeks

“Abraham Africanus I is a rare Copperhead political pamphlet from 1864 that satirically depicts Abraham Lincoln making a pact with the Devil to become the monarchical ruler of the United States.”

7) The Sword and the Distaff
by William Gilmore Simms

“This pro-slavery novel was a response to Harriet Beecher Stowe's classic Uncle Tom's Cabin. A key work in the forgotten "Anti-Tom" literature movement, this hard-to-find novel is of interest for Civil War buffs and anyone interested in how the south justified the "peculiar institution." –Goodreads-

8) Liberia; or, Mr. Peyton's Experiments
By Sarah Josepha Hale

“Is an 1853 novel by Sarah Josepha Hale, the author of the nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb", who wrote the novel under the name of Sara J. Hale. Liberia falls under the category of plantation literature, a literary genre that emerged in the Southern United States in response to Uncle Tom's Cabin, which was criticized as inaccurately depicting slaveholding in the south. However, whilst the majority of such works attempted to defend slavery as an institution, Liberia argues that freed slaves cannot live prosperous lives in anywhere but their native homes in Africa” –Wiki

9) The Pro-Slavery Argument; as maintained by the most distinguished writers of the southern states (1852) “A compilation of polemical essays by James Henry Hammond, William Gilmore Simms, Thomas R. Dew, and William Harper.” -LSU

10) The slave question. Speech of Mr. A. G. Brown, of Mississippi, in the House of Representatives, January 30, 1850, on the subject of slavery, and on the action of the administration in relation to California and New Mexico (1850]

Make sure to also checkout the 1up reading guide, in which many of the authors on that list challenge the views and beliefs of the current authors in this article.