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"though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not its own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth" -Corinthians 13
"if by supporting the rights of mankind... I shall contribute to save from the agonies of death one unfortunate victim of tyranny, or of ignorance, equally fatal, his blessing and tears of transport will be a sufficient consolation to me for the contempt of all mankind."-Marchese di Beccaria

FROM THE “PENITENTIAL TYRANT.” by Thomas Brannagan 1805

Thomas Jefferson in reference to this poem and another, dutifully you can be sure to their anti-slavery cause—

"The cause in which he embarks is so holy, the sentiments he expresses in his letter so friendly that it is highly painful to me to hesitate on a compliance which appears so small.  But that is not it’s true character, and it would be injurious even to his views, for me to commit myself on paper by answering his letter. I have most carefully avoided every public act or manifestation on that subject.  Should an occasion ever occur in which I can interpose with decisive effect, I shall certainly know & do my duty with promptitude & zeal.  But in the meantime it would only be disarming myself of influence to be taking small means.  The subscription to [investment in] a book on this subject is one of those little irritating measures, which, without advancing it’s end at all, would, by lessening the confidence & good will of a description of friends composing a large body, only lessen my powers of doing them good in the other great relations in which I stand to the publick.

[by investing in the book, Jefferson would have been curtailing his ability to influence the topic at all, being immediately and widely dismissed for such action, at the time.]

Awake, my muse, tho’ sorrowful to name, The crimes of infidels 

baptiz’d proclaim, Their complicated villanies explore From Afric’s 

golden coast to India’s shore ; Their pride, rage, lust, and tyranny 

extend, Then note with horror their tremendous end : Tell mankind, how 

their Maker they defy, And force unwilling vengeance from the sky ; At 

once their cruelty and av’rice show, Then boldly strike, and vindicate 

the blow : From Scripture, feeling, common sense then prove The dire 

resentment of the powers above. Expose oppression with an honest 

frown, Till guilt shrinks back, tho’ seated on a throne ; With cruel 

despots war eternal wage, Turn love celestial to terrestrial rage, 

Till ev’ry visage be with grief impress’d, Till pity throb in ev’ry 

human breast, Till tears and indignation rise by turns, Till ev’ry 

heart with Christian anger burns, Till crimson paints each face, and 

sorrows flow, Till mortals tribute pay to mortals’ wo. ” Not he who 

cannot weep, but he who can, Shows the great soul, and proves himself 

a man.” Beneath the pond’rous load what millions groan, For vice, for 

guilt, for folly, not their own,…