First page of “Essay on Slavery” by Jupiter Hammon, the first African-American to publish literary works in the United States.

Written in 1786, Hammon’s manuscript poem, which is part of the Hillhouse Family Papers collection of Yale’s Manuscripts and Archives Department, recently received scholarly recognition by Professor Cedrick May of the University of Texas, Arlington.

The research by May and his student Julie McCown at Yale is the focus of an article to be published in the June 2013 edition of the journal Early American Literature along with the full text of the poem.

Anyone wanting to view the manuscript in full may do so by contacting Manuscripts and Archives at (203) 432-1744.

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