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Individual Influence

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 October 2020


George Moses Horton (1797?-1883?) is one of three African Americans known to have published poetry while enslaved in colonial north America or the United States. The recently discovered holograph manuscript of “Individual Influence” is the only available evidence that Horton also wrote short essays. Written in 1855 or 1856 and published here for the first time, “Individual Influence” provides a new perspective on Horton's writing process, his strategic affiliations in Chapel Hill, and his changing ideas about the relative efficacy of political and divine influence. More generally, the essay expands the available archive of writing by enslaved African Americans.

Little-Known Documents
Copyright © 2017 The Modern Language Association of America

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