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Scholarly Editing

The Annual of the Association for Documentary Editing

2013, Volume 34

"Will not these days be by thy poets sung": Poems of the Anglo-African and National Anti-Slavery Standard, 1863–1864

Edited by Elizabeth Lorang and R. J. Weir
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Complete Issue: The Anglo-African (17 October 1863)
F. M. J., "Lines" The Anglo-African (17 October 1863): [1]View Poem Image
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I think I see thy fair young face Beaming with truth and childish grace; The soulful light that lit thine eyes Too radiant shone for our skies, And Jesus called thee home.
Thy woesome feet will never tread The rugged path of life, o'erspread With thorny cares; nor will thy youth, In blindly groping for the truth, Fall in the tempter's snare.
The soul's fierce battles fought with sin, Which we must conquer ere we win The crown of life—and sore defeat That follows oft our wayward feet— All these thou can'st not know.
No longer suffering, pale and weak, Heaven's genial airs have kissed thy cheek, And left eternal freshness on Thine infant face, where lately shone The glistening dews of death.
Thy voice with seraph's now is blending In a chorus far transcending Earth's divinest harmonies; Yes, Jessie's glad refrain now is The song of the redeemed.
And when the viewless waves of time Have borne us to that happier clime, Then shall our eyes with joy behold In rarest loveliness unfold The bud that withered here.


  1. Carter A. Stewart, born in Virginia in about 1827, established himself as a barber in Washington, DC prior to the outbreak of the war. The 1860 census suggests that he owned real estate worth $2,000. At this time, he and Josephine had a six-year-old son (Carter) and a one-year-old daughter (Josephine); Jessie Victoria was born after the 1860 census, and her age at death is unknown. According to the Anglo-African of July 2, 1864, Carter A. Stewart was one of the Washington leaders who signed the call for a "National Convention of Colored Men." A prominent figure in postwar city politics, he was elected to the common council in 1868 and to the board of aldermen in 1869 (Kate Masur, An Example for All the Land: Emancipation and the Struggle over Equality in Washington, DC [Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010], 153; Congressional Dictionary for the First Session of the Forty-First Congress of the United States of America, comp. Ben. Perley Poore, 2nd ed. [Washington: Government Printing Office, 1869], 101). Little is known about Josephine. She was born in the District of Columbia about 1830.Go back
  2. Fanny Marion Jackson Coppin (1837–1913), born into slavery in the District of Columbia and emancipated by an aunt before her tenth birthday. She moved to New Bedford, Massachusetts, and then to Newport, Rhode Island, where she combined domestic work with study in order to enter the Rhode Island State Normal School. During the Civil War years, Jackson attended Oberlin College, "then the only College in the United States where colored students were permitted to study" (Fanny Jackson-Coppin, Reminiscences of School Life, and Hints on Teaching [Philadelphia: A. M. E. Book Concern, 1913], 12).
    At Oberlin, Jackson took "the gentleman's course" with "plenty of Latin and Greek in it, and as much mathematics as one could shoulder" (12). She distinguished herself as an exceptional scholar. "I never rose to recite in my classes at Oberlin but I felt that I had the honor of the whole African race upon my shoulders," she recalled in Reminiscences of School Life, and Hints on Teaching (15). The faculty recognized her academic achievements when they gave her preparatory classes to teach in her junior year. During her time at Oberlin, she also led evening classes for freedpeople and raised funds for African American soldiers. At the same time, she supported the Anglo-African with occasional contributions, and collected funds to send copies of the newspaper to soldiers. At the same time, she supported the Anglo-African, collecting funds to send copies of the newspapers to soldiers and assisting in the organization of a "National Fair" in aid of the paper (Anglo-African, June 4, 1864, [2]; January 21, 1865, [3]).
    After graduation, Jackson began her career as a teacher at Philadelphia's Institute for Colored Youth. In 1869 Jackson was appointed as principal of the whole school; the promotion broke new ground, as "no woman at this time headed a coeducational institution that had both male and female faculty" (Linda M. Perkins, "Coppin, Fanny Jackson," in American National Biography Online). She continued her pioneering work as an educator after marrying minister Levi Jenkins Coppin in 1881. Like Coppin, Jackson was a dedicated member of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1878 she established a "Women's Department" in the Christian Recorder. For more on Jackson's life and work, see Linda M. Perkins's biography, Fanny Jackson Coppin and the Institute for Colored Youth, 1865–1902 (London: Garland, 1987).
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