Friday, May 5, 2017

George Moses Horton

HORTON, George Moses, slave-poet, a fullblooded negro, was born in Chatham county, N. C., about 1798. He began to dictate verses before he had learned to read or write, and won the interest of Mrs. Caroline Lee Hentz (q. v.), who gave him instruction. He worked on his master's farm until about 1831, when Dr. Joseph Caldwell, then president of the University of North Carolina, secured him employment in the village of Chapel Hill, where he wrote verses, acrostics, and love letters for the students at twenty-five cents each. He hoped to buy his freedom and a passage to Liberia, but took to drink after the death of Dr. Caldwell in 1835. He went to Philadelphia after the war with a Federal general. He published “The Hope of Liberty” (Raleigh, 1829); a second volume of verse appeared in 1838, and a third about 1850, with an autobiography. He also published novels and essays. He died about 1880.

SOURCE: James T. White & Co., Publisher, The National Cyclopedia of American Biography, Volume 7, p. 93

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