October 21, 2019
For my research project, I chose to research Jupiter Hammon, who was a favored slave living in Long Island, New York. He became the first African American poet to be published in North America. When he was growing up he lived on the Lloyd estate, while living on this estate Jupiter Hammon received his education along with other children living on the Manor. A small school was there between 1685 and 1790, and the instruction was supplied by the Lloyd family.
The people who were impacted by Jupiter Hammon were mostly African Americans, his work helped shape the lives of black people during the early years of Americas independent republic. In his Hammons early years he was heavily influenced by the Great Awakening which was a huge religious revival at the time, and he then became a devout Christian. He became a well-known poet, he condemned slavery and lauded human liberty, but was not an activist.
Hey maintained the belief that God would eventually end injustice. Jupiter Hammon still has an impact to this day because his poetry led many people to advocate for equality. He inspired many young people to do things that nobody believes you can since he was able to be the first African American poet even when all the odds were against him. Any additional thought that expounds on the topic. Jupiter Hammon believed that preparing ones soul for heaven had more importance than gaining equal rights on Earth, he did this and many others followed in his footsteps. Hammon who was an A Calvinist preacher and Americas first published black poet was also deeply influenced by the Great Awakening and its emphasis on repentance and Christs spiritual sovereignty. Hammon was described as an intelligent and privileged slave, he was well respected by his master for his skill with tools and aswell by his fellow slaves for his power as a preacher.”
Jupiter Hammon was born a slave and he lived and died as a slave in the Lloyd family. He deserves to be recognized for his contribution to early African American culture. Hammon’s poetry shows his great intellectual and emotional involvement with religion, his poetry is sincere and enthusiastic as well as being primarily religious. He was strongly affected by the renaissance of religious fervor which was a big topic in Long Island during the middle of the eighteenth century. He expresses the deep feelings of the time, he also strings together similarities to Negro spirituals and to other religious folk poetry. Hammon says, “The same God will judge both them and us,” and “He will bring us all, rich and poor, white and black, to his judgment seat.” Not only did Hammon receive a better education than the average slave, but he also most likely was allowed to access the library of Lloyd Manor House. Jupiter Hammon purchased a bible from his master for seven shillings and sixpence, this indicates that Jupiter was able to earn some independent income and to devote some of his time to reading.
Hammon is described as being unpopular among many of his race sometimes. His fellow African Americans didnt seem to appreciate that Jupiter Hammon was an advocate of liberty for his race, even though he himself did not wish to be free. Hammon was interested in Salvation because the word appears more than twenty times in his poem. At the time that this poem was written, he was owned by Henry Lloyd, whom he served until his death, which occurred in 1763. At his death Hammon became the property of Joseph, Joseph died during the War and left his part of the Neck to Joseph, he became the last owner of Hammon, who at this time was a man of about 60 years of age. Hammon’s most important work was probably his last, but surprisingly it was not a verse, but rather it was an Address to the Negroes of the state. Its influence was felt beyond the borders of New York, and we find an edition printed in Philadelphia by Daniel Humphreys An edition was also printed in New York, 1806 after the author had ceased to be a slave.
Wegelin, Oscar. America ‘s First Negro Poet: The Complete Works of Jupiter Hammon of Long Island. America’s First Negro Poet: The Complete Works of Jupiter Hammon of Long Island, 2000, digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1064&context=etas.
Stewart, D. (2019). Jupiter Hammon and the Negro Vision of the Christian Life – The Witness. Retrieved 22 October 2019, from
About Jupiter Hammon | Academy of American Poets. (2019). Retrieved 22 October 2019, from