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Collection African American Perspectives: Materials Selected from the Rare Book Collection


In this tract the African-American professor Caesar A. Taylor attempts to prove biblical statements about hell by quoting scientific principles. He argues that hell can be found in the "bowels of the earth" and offers a diagram of its exact location and size. He writes:

"Twice 52 or 104 off the main diameter of the earth gives us the diameter of the inside sphere, the surface of which multiplied by one third the radious of the diameter gives the result as laid down in solid miles of firery matter--a MOLTEN LAKE. Is it Hell? Drop in and see."

Hell Located, Described and Measured According to the Bible and Science. Caesar A. A. P. Taylor (Baltimore, 1887)

These reports published by the John F. Slater Fund and written by the geographer Henry Gannett offer valuable information on the social and economic status of Southern African Americans on the eve of the twentieth century.

The Slater Fund was established by the industrialist John F. Slater in 1882 to help educate former slaves in the South. Under the direction of former U. S. president Rutherford B. Hayes, the fund's trustees sponsored papers such as these to report on developments in the region. Gannett obtained many of the statistics for the Slater reports from the 1890 census.

Statistics of the Negroes in the United States. Henry Gannett (Baltimore, 1894)

In Statistics of the Negroes in the United States Gannett notes that African Americans mostly resided in rural areas in the South and had made tremendous gains in obtaining education. In Occupations of the Negroes he states that African Americans were chiefly employed in agriculture or as personal servants and reports that they had made few inroads into industry or business but had succeeded in acquiring more real estate.

Occupations of the Negroes. Henry Gannett (Baltimore, 1895)