By Donald A. Petesch
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Extra resources for A Spy in the Enemy's Country: The Emergence of Modern Black Literature
1 The act of standing before that audience transformed Douglass's life (the private fugitive slave became the public Frederick Douglass: abolitionist speaker, autobiographer, statesman, adviser to presidents), but it also provided a metaphor for important differences between black and white writing, differences which must be considered in any generalizations about the nature of American literature. Audiences were accustomed to writings about slaves. Charles Osborn's antislavery journal the Philanthropist appeared in Ohio in 1817, to be followed by other antislavery periodicals, including Freedom's Journal, the first black newspaper, established in 1827.
Harvey Wish has written: [Sir Edward] Coke was the powerful champion of a revised common law against the divine right principles of James I.... In Anglo-American jurisprudence, this came to mean a "rule of law" rather than of men, a system binding upon all citizens and protecting the individual against the state by elaborate technicalities of procedure and rule. 5 Page 23 So in two of the traditional relationshipsthat between a person and his god and that between a person and his statethe emphasis in the early history of white America was on the individual.
John Smith, who might be dubbed the first American land developer. Alluding to the hardships in England resulting from the enclosures, rack renting, and inflation, Smith early expressed one of Franklin's later themes: "Here are no hard landlords to rack us with high rents or extorted fines to consume us, no tedious pleas in law to consume us with their many years' disputations for justice.... here every man may be master and owner of his own labor and land, or the greatest part, in a small time.