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Emir 2023-03-06 02:56:25 

Francis Williams is reputed to be the first person of African ancestry to graduate from Cambridge University.
Williams was born around 1702 to John and Dorothy Williams, a free African couple in Jamaica. John Williams had been manumitted by the will of his former master. Furthermore, a petition was filed in Jamaica on behalf of John Williams in 1708, resulting in him “being granted the rights to the known laws, customs, and privileges of an Englishman.” Williams acquired land and used enslaved Africans to work his crops of sugar cane. By 1716, John Williams had a wife and two sons, Thomas and Francis.

It is unclear how Francis Williams became the subject of a social experiment by the second Duke of Montagu. The Duke was anxious to know if a black person, trained at a grammar school and then a university, could be the literary equivalent of a white man trained in the same manner. The duke reportedly sponsored Williams being schooled at Cambridge University in England. Williams claimed to have graduated from the university, making him the first person of African ancestry to attend and graduate from Cambridge, but no record of his attendance has been found.

Williams took the oath of citizenship in England in 1723, the same year his father died. He then returned to Jamaica the following year to take over his father’s business. Yet, he ran into opposition from white elite society on the island while he reportedly looked down on the blacks who were still mostly enslaved.

Williams was described by Jamaican historian Edward Long as “haughty, opinionated, one who entertained the highest opinion of his own knowledge, treated his mother with disdain, and behaved towards his slaves with a severity beyond cruelty.” Williams’ desire to secure a position in local government was turned down by white British colonial officials, but he still wrote an ode for each incoming royal governor. Williams gained some acclaim as a poet, specializing in Latin verse. He is best remembered for “An Ode to George Haldane” and is reported to have written “Welcome, welcome Brother Debtor”.

Williams opened a school in Spanish Town, Jamaica where he taught reading, writing, Latin and mathematics, until his death in 1770 at the age of 68. At the time of his death, Williams owned sixteen slaves. A portrait of Williams hangs in the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. The work was acquired in 1928 and was painted by an unknown artist.

The portrait features Williams as a scholar in his study. The evidence of his education are clearly visible, including a celestial and a territorial globe. Beautifully-bound books line the shelves behind him and his left hand rests on an open book the artist claims as titled Newton’s Philosophy. The portrait reflects the style of European portraits of elite gentlemen of the era, but an open window reveals a view of Spanish Town, that situates Williams firmly in his Jamaican home town.

Brerzerk 2023-03-06 06:07:36 

In reply to Emir
WOW, Oh wow power abused on what his forebears once were. The guy who instituted "The Davy" was way duttier

Halliwell 2023-03-06 11:04:08 

In reply to Emir

but no record of his attendance has been found.

big grin

So what did the social experiment demonstrate?
That a grammar school Education and being brought up in the Englishman customs of the day would make him into what he was?

Emir 2023-03-06 12:04:55 

In reply to Halliwell

big grin
On a serious note, he was arguably our first Afro Saxon?

Halliwell 2023-03-06 12:07:53 

In reply to Emir

Certified and stamped big grin

Barry 2023-03-06 12:16:49 

In reply to Halliwell

Can you tell the Canadian fat men to send the reference razz cry

CricSham 2023-03-06 12:55:50 

In reply to Halliwell
It shows that brought up in a culture of privilege - irrespective of colour, religion, race, creed - man's predisposition to lord it over his fellow man - is as natural as breathing.

camos 2023-03-06 15:45:38 

The writer seems willing to believe the Duke's deed but unwilling to believe the man attended the school?

Emir 2023-03-06 22:45:15 

In reply to CricSham

It shows that brought up in a culture of privilege - irrespective of colour, religion, race, creed - man's predisposition to lord it over his fellow man - is as natural as breathing.

None-sense, cannot paint such as broad brush.

Many slaves- the vast majority who escaped or were freed dedicated their remaining life to ending that most evil passage.

I highlighted the story, knowing full well some of you would not be able to hold back you glee and say see- they did the same thing to their "own people" etc.

birdseye 2023-03-06 23:15:56 

In reply to Emir I am no surprised at all…when I was growing up I knew Jamaicans who had maids, and it was my impressions then that many of those Jamaicans treated their maids with tremendous disdain, their condescension was ripe… matter-of-fact it didn’t have to be a maid, Jamaicans use to look down on anybody they consider to not be in their social status and treat them as thus.

XDFIX 2023-03-06 23:23:24 

In reply to birdseye

Jamaicans use to

Still happens not only in Jamaica but throughout the Caribbean - it's a beastly thing among mankind!

XDFIX 2023-03-06 23:25:27 

In reply to CricSham

It shows that brought up in a culture of privilege - irrespective of colour, religion, race, creed - man's predisposition to lord it over his fellow man - is as natural as breathing.

Correct is right!

CricSham 2023-03-07 10:25:27 

In reply to Emir
Emir, with regards to quickly reacting to your post, I’m sorry to disappoint you but that has been my position for as long as I can remember. You post is merely highlighting one of many similar examples shared here before. Don’t give yourself too much credit please.

Emir 2023-03-07 12:08:16 

In reply to CricSham

So you ignore the majority number and you go along with a small number of cases to justify your belief system. This feller was also educated and privilege and this is what he did and most of the slaves were like him.

Thomas Nelson Baker Sr. was the first African American to receive a Ph.D. in philosophy. He was a writer, orator, ethicist, and advocate for a positive black cultural identity. Baker was born a slave on August 11, 1860 to Thomas Chadwick and Edith Nottingham Baker on Robert Nottingham’s plantation in Northampton County, Virginia. Baker’s mother taught him to read the Bible and he attended public school from 1868 to 1872. He left school at the age of 12 to help support his family. Even while working as a farmhand, he continued his studies privately and in 1881 at the age of 21, he enrolled in the Hampton Institute High School program. Baker graduated in 1885 as valedictorian of his class.
Determined to prepare for college entrance, in May of 1886 Baker enrolled in the Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts, where despite being one of only two black students in attendance he acted as substitute principal in the summer months. He graduated from Mount Hermon in June 1889.
Baker entered Boston University’s Liberal Arts School in 1890 and graduated with his B.A. in 1893. From there he enrolled in the Yale Divinity School where he earned his Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1896. The following year he was ordained as minister at Dixwell Avenue Congregational Church in New Haven and remained there until 1901 while simultaneously studying philosophy at Yale Graduate School.
On September 18, 1901 Baker married Elizabeth Baytop (1867-3cool, and they had four children: Edith, Harry, Ruth, and Thomas Baker Jr. That autumn he also became minister of the Second Congregational Church in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Baker successfully defended his dissertation, The Ethical Significance of the Connection Between Mind and Body, at Yale in 1903 (when he was 43) and became the first African American to receive a Ph.D. in Philosophy in the U.S.
Baker wrote extensively on race issues through the remainder of his life. In 1904 he published his most significant book, Three Great Needs of the Southland, where he argued that both black people and northern whites needed to sympathize with the south due to its people spiritually and financially degrading themselves with slavery. He also argued that the South must foster a spirit of fair play if free labor is to bring prosperity and moral uplift to both black and white southerners.
In 1906 he wrote a series of essays challenging Jim Crow laws and outlining a need for black positive self-definition rather than allowing whites to define blacks. His ideas about black social, cultural, and aesthetic self-respect are seen by some scholars as a precursor to the Harlem Renaissance and the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s. In July of 1907 Baker wrote a controversial article addressing miscegenation (racial intermarriage). He argued against the right of intermarriage but explained why he believed people wished to intermarry.
In 1926 Baker, at 66 the oldest clergyman in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, also became the first black pastor to deliver the traditional annual Memorial Day address at the mound of unknown dead in the city’s cemetery.
In 1938, at age 78, he mourned the loss of his wife and two years later in 1940, after resigning as Minister Emeritus of Second Congregational, he died in Pittsfield at the age of 80.

Curtis 2023-03-07 14:30:00 

Same thing I trying to tell he, and he called me a Indo Guyanese, regarding similar attitudes between caste and class discrimination.

mikesiva 2023-03-07 18:15:47 

In reply to Emir

Do you have a link to that interesting Francis Williams story?

Barry 2023-03-07 19:09:00 

I can't take it anymore- The fat man from Canada does not know history . . . Carretta, V. (2003). Who Was Francis Williams? Early American Literature, 38(2), 213-237.

Almost everything publicly known about Williams is found in the account of him in Edward Long's three-volume History of Jamaica, published in London in 1774, twelve years after the death of Williams.2 Unfortunately, as Henri Gr?goire, an early nineteenth-century commentator, correctly notes in his own description of Williams, Long "cannot be suspected of being too partial to Negroes. His prejudice against them is manifest even in the words of praise that truth forced him to utter" (9cool. In Long's case, however, "prejudice" is an understatement. Long has recently been accurately described as "an apologist for the slave system and what we would now call a virulent racist" (Krise 315). In addition to being biased, Long's account of Williams is frequently misinformed, perhaps willfully so.

Barry 2023-03-07 19:09:59 

Stop slandering Wiliams confused

KTom 2023-03-16 11:54:30 

In reply to Barry

In addition to being biased, Long's account of Williams is frequently misinformed...

How so?

Barry 2023-03-16 12:39:48 

In reply to KTom

Fat man read the academic article- you have access to JSTOR in Canada twisted

Barry 2023-03-16 12:41:34 

You all realize Sarge throwing words on allyuh right? These are his new tablets twisted

Just check Wikipedia fat man

Henri Jean-Baptiste Grégoire (French: ]; 4 December 1750 – 28 May 1831), often referred to as the Abbé Grégoire, was a French Catholic priest, Constitutional bishop of Blois and a revolutionary leader. He was an ardent slavery abolitionist and supporter of universal suffrage. He was a founding member of the Bureau des longitudes, the Institut de France, and the Conservatoire national des arts et métiers.]

Kind of men for you cool

The 19th century began 1801
lol lol lol lol lol lol

The dead women didn’t believe in school or wha? razz

Barry 2023-03-16 12:43:50 

Even Wikipedia know about long

Edward Long (23 August 1734 – 13 March 1813) was an English-born British colonial administrator, slave owner and historian, and author of a highly controversial work, The History of Jamaica (1774). He was a polemic defender of slavery.]

Fatman, ah shut it down
razz razz razz razz razz razz razz razz razz

KTom 2023-03-16 12:54:37 

In reply to Barry

What did Henri Gr?goire [sic], writing decades later, know about Williams that materially disputed Long's claims? And what does Carretta, writing 250 years after Williams' death, add to that?