The January release of Black Authors, 1556-1922: Imprints from the Library Company of Philadelphia includes:
♦ a description of the first major yellow fever epidemic in the United States
♦ a collection of verse by an African slave who became a leading American poet
♦ and W.E.B. Du Bois' first scholarly book—a history of the slave trade based on his Harvard University doctoral dissertation.
A Narrative of the Proceedings of the Black People, During the Late Awful Calamity in Philadelphia, in the Year 1793 (1794)
By Absalom Jones and Richard Allen
Absalom Jones (1746-1818) and Richard Allen (1760-1831) were both born into slavery and through various transactions were subsequently separated from their families. They were also both clergymen; Jones, in 1804, became the first African American ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Church of the United States, and Allen, in 1794, founded the first independent black denomination in the United States, the African Methodist Episcopal Church. In this jointly-written narrative they describe the 1793 Philadelphia yellow fever epidemic and respond to criticisms of African Americans who assisted in caring for the sick.