The Sugar-cane!: A Poem. In Four Books. With Notes ...

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R. and J. Dodsley, 1764 - English poetry - 167 pages

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In researching my book, The Rattling of the Chains, I decided to read original material that gives one insights on the true life and customs of the Africian -Caribbeian American Slave. Too many were made up, guessed at or wrote about the evils of slavery, but little about slave life.
This poem called Sugar Cane by James Grianger is the best of them all. Published in 1764 he a Scottish trained doctor shared details about the slave as a skilled healer, and how the community operated. As a georgic poem presented in four books, it describes every plant, herbs and medicine used by the slave community. He claims I write out of truth not genius, out of experience, not fancy. Either way it assisted me to understand the life of slave, how they worked, ate and treated the various sicknesses . In my book, I incorporated the names, terms and expression used by slaves and masters alike wherever I could.
I recommend this book without any reservation for use by historians and social scientists. For the next 100 years, a dozen other earlier British and European writers copied the style and tried to repeat the scholarship of Grainger who used the writings of Robert Roberson (1736) ,Francis Williams Edward Ware (1638) Thomas Tryon( 1684) and others. After Grianger a host of writers such as John Singleton (1760) who wrote about the slave in the West-Indies. Most of these writers can be found in the book, Caribbeana by Thomas Kriser (1999) Who did an outstanding job Arrowhead Institute . Errol D. Alexander, PhD

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Page 6 - The fig-tree, not that kind for fruit renown'd, But such as, at this day, to Indians known, In Malabar or Decan spreads her arms, Branching so broad and long, that in the ground The bended twigs take root, and daughters grow About the mother tree, a pillar'd shade, High overarch'd, and echoing walks between...
Page 73 - Thunder, and rain, and lightning's awful power. She fled: could innocence, could beauty claim Exemption from the grave; the aethereal Bolt, 520 That stretch'd her speechless, o'er her lovely head Had innocently roll'd.
Page 73 - She thus address'd the youth, whom yet she knew : " Welcome, my Junio, to thy native shore ! " Thy sight repays this summons of my fate : " Live, and live happy ; sometimes think of me : " By night, by day, you still engag'd my care ; " And, next to God, you now my thoughts employ : " Accept of this My little all I give ;
Page 63 - A horrid stench the pools, the main emits; Fearful the genius of the forest sighs; The mountains moan; deep groans the cavern'd cliff. A night of vapour, closing fast around, Snatches the golden noon.
Page 67 - Wild, thro' the mountain's quivering rocky caves, Like the dread Crash of tumbling planets, roars. When tremble thus the pillars of the globe, Like the tall coco by the fierce North blown; Can the poor, brittle tenements of man Withstand the dread convulsion? Their dear homes, (Which shaking, tottering, crashing, bursting, fall) The boldest fly; and, on the open plain...
Page 89 - ... that a regular form of government took place. Then was tobacco planted, and negroes imported into Virginia. Since that time it has gradually improved, and does not now contain fewer than 100,000 white people of better condition, besides twice as many servants and slaves. The best shingles come from Egg Harbour.
Page 94 - This, by the natives, is emphatically called the Dumb Cane; for a small quantity of its juice being rubbed on the brim of a drinking vessel, whoever drinks out of it, soon after will have his lips and tongue enormously swelled. A physician, however, who wrote a short account of the diseases of Jamaica...
Page 6 - Milkę in the following lines: The fig-tree, not that kind renown'd for fruit, But such as at this day to Indians known, In Malabar and Decan spreads her arms ; Branching so broad and long, that in the ground. The bended twigs take root, and daughters grow About the mother-tree, a pillar'd shade, High over-arch'd, and echoing walks between.
Page 9 - For tho' the clouds relent in nightly rain, Tho' thy rank Canes wave lofty in the gale: Yet will the arrow,* ornament of woe, 170 (Such monarchs oft-times give) their jointing stint; Yet will winds lodge them, ravening rats destroy, Or troops of monkeys thy rich harvest steal. The earth must also wheel around the sun, And half perform that circuit; ere the bill...
Page 6 - High overarch'd, and echoing walks between ; There oft the Indian herdfman fhunning heat Shelters in cool, and tends his pafturing herds At loopholes cut through thickeft fhade : Thofe leave?

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