The Worland Family in America and Beyond
I began my life in the Puget Sound area of Washington State, on an island filled with forests and wild rhododendrons. I was separated from my Worland family there at an early age. Recently, I was reunited with my family and learned of my heritage. And so, this journey to know my ancestors began. The Worlands, Gideons, Newtons, Conards... they were the colonists, the settlers, the pioneers. They fought in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Civil War. This is their story, and the story of a nation. -Deci Worland
Saturday, December 26, 2009
1740 To the Inhabitants of Maryland, Virginia...Concerning their Negroes
I must inform you in the meekness and Gentleness of Christ that I think God has a Quarrel with you for your Abuse of and Cruelty to the poor Negroes. Whether it be lawful for Christians to buy Slaves, and thereby encourage the Nations from whom they are bought to be at perpetual War with each other, I shall not take upon me to determine. Sure I am it is sinful, when bought, to use them as bad, nay worse, than as though they were Brutes, and whatever particular Exceptions there may be (as I would charitably hope there are some) I fear the Generality of you that own Negroes are liable to such a Charge; for your Slaves, I believe, work as hard if not harder than the Horses whereon you ride. . . .
. . [God] does not reject the Prayer of the poor and destitute, nor disregard the Cry of the meanest Negroes! The Blood of them spilt for these many Years in your respective Provinces will ascend up to Heaven against you. I wish I could say it would speak better Things than the Blood of Abel. But this is not all ⎯ Enslaving or misusing their Bodies would, comparatively speaking, be an inconsiderable Evil, was proper Care taken of their Souls. But I have great reason to believe that most of you, on Purpose, keep your Negroes ignorant of Christianity; or otherwise, why are they permitted thro’ your provinces openly to profane the Lord’s Day by their Dancing, Piping and such like? I know the general Pretense for this Neglect of their Souls is That teaching them Christianity would make them proud, and consequently unwilling to submit to Slavery: But what a dreadful Reflection is this in your Holy Religion? What blasphemous Notions must those that make such an Objection have of the Precepts of Christianity? . .
But I challenge the whole World to produce a single Instance of a Negro’s being made a thorough Christian, and thereby made a worse Servant. It cannot be. ⎯ But farther, if teaching Slaves Christianity has such a bad Influence upon their Lives, why are you generally desirous of having your Children taught? Think you they are any way better by Nature than the poor Negroes? No, in no wise. Blacks are just as much, and no more, conceived and born in Sin, as White Men are. Both, if born and bred up here, I am persuaded, are naturally capable of the same Improvement. ⎯ And as for the grown Negroes, I am apt to think, whenever the Gospel is preach’d with Power amongst them, that many will be brought effectually home to God.