Haiti: ‘Until She Spoke, No Christian Nation Had Abolished Negro Slavery’

Please support the people of Haiti who have suffered a devastating earthquake with your prayers and donations.  We owe them a debt of gratitude. I recommend Catholic Relief Services and the Mennonite Central Committee.

Douglass at his desk in Haiti
Douglass at his desk in Haiti

“Until she spoke, no Christian nation had abolished Negro slavery. Until she spoke, no Christian nation had given to the world an organized effort to abolish slavery.

Until she spoke, the slave ship, followed by hungry sharks, greedy to devour the dead and dying slaves flung overboard to feed them, ploughed in peace the South Atlantic, painting the sea with the Negro’s blood.

Until she spoke, the slave trade was sanctioned by all the Christian nations of the world, and our land of liberty and light included. Men made fortunes by this infernal traffic, and were esteemed as good Christians, and the standing types and representations of the Savior of the World.

Until Haiti spoke, the church was silent, and the pulpit was dumb. Slave-traders lived and slave-traders died. Funeral sermons were preached over them, and of them it was said that they died in the triumphs of the Christian faith and went to heaven among the just.

…Aye, and Haiti not only gained her liberty and independence, but she has never surrendered what they gained to any power on earth. This precious inheritance they hold to-day, and I venture to say here in the ear of all the world that they never will surrender that inheritance.”–Frederick Douglass, Minister to Haiti, 1893

From Frederick Douglass’ address at the World’s Fair in Chicago, January 2, 1893.

3 thoughts on “Haiti: ‘Until She Spoke, No Christian Nation Had Abolished Negro Slavery’”

  1. Thanks for posting these prophetic words from Frederic Douglas which are in marked contrast to Pat Robertson blaming the Haitian people for evicting the French masters. Maybe it took an earthquake, but perhaps now the oldest democracy in the hemisphere will give proper support to the second oldest democracy in the region. I also recommend The Uses of Haiti by “St.” Paul Farmer for those who would like to know more about the past that we must re-write! His charity Partners in Health (www.pih.org) also was working hard on the ground before the quake, mobilized when it hit, and will be there long after the rest of the releif organizations go home.

  2. God bless the people of Haiti, and all the people moved to help. Sacramento Diocese will be holding a special collection for Catholic Relief Services at all Masses this weekend.

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