"Hope is the First Great Blessing": Leaves from the African Free School Presentation Book, 1812-1826
David W. Blight, Anna Mae Duane, James O. Horton, and Thomas Thurston
Introduction by Jean Ashton
"Hope is the First Great Blessing": Leaves from the African Free School Presentation Book 1812-1826 reproduces in facsimile over 50 drawings, calligraphic exercises, essays and poems produced by African American children in New York City for presentation to sponsors and friends of their school in lower Manhattan. Introduced by scholars David Blight and James Oliver Horton, with an explanatory essay and illuminating captions by Anna Mae Duane of the University of Connecticut and Thomas Thurston, both affiliated with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History at Yale, Hope is the First Great Blessing illustrates the achievements of these gifted children as they mastered the skills that would enable them to become effective citizens and leaders in a racially divided nation.