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Black Puritan Black Republican: The Life and Thought of Lemuel Haynes 1753-1833 Oxford University Press USA John Saillant


26th October 2012 History Books 3 Comments

Born in Connecticut, Lemuel Haynes was first an indentured servant, then a soldier in the Continental Army, and, in 1785, an ordained congregational minister. Haynes’s writings constitute the fullest record of a black man’s religion, social thought, and opposition to slavery in the late-18th and early-19th century. Drawing on both published and rare unpublished sources, John Saillant here offers the first comprehensive study of Haynes and his thought.

“In Haynes we have a significant but neglected figure whose life and writings link theology, republicanism, and abolitionism in ways that challenge prevailing notions of religion and republican ideology in the revolutionary and early national period. Haynes was a free man of color, minister, and author, steeped in Edwardsean Calvinism, who came of age to the “shot heard round the world” and the Declaration of Independence. He forged these seemingly diverse strands into a black critique of a slaveholding society that professed liberty and inalienable rights. Saillant has done a wonderful job of making Haynes’ stance understandable and compelling.”–Kenneth Minkema, Executive Editor, The Works of Jonathan Edwards

“Saillant’s study of Lemuel Haynes is a well-researched and sensitive treatment of a complex individual and of some critical issues for American and African American social and religious history and for religious and theological studies. I am particularly impressed by Saillant’s deft treatment of Haynes’s engagement of the Bible as an index of his self-understanding and his complex negotiation of a complexly constructed ideological world. A very fine work. I recommend it with enthusiasm.”–Vincent L. Wimbush, Professor of Religion, Claremont Graduate University; Editor, African Americans and the Bible: Sacred Texts and Social Textures

“Comprehensively researched and wonderfully readable, John Saillant’s study of Lemuel Haynes offers a unique examination of an African American abolitionist of the American Revolution and the early republic. Known in his adult life as a minuteman and patriot, as well as an effective revivalist, Haynes articulated a vision of an America without slavery, where blacks and whites lived at once under a religious canopy and in a republican polis. A model of interdisciplinary scholarship and an extraordinary contribution to our historical understanding, this book is important for everybody interested in race and the Revolutionary era. And anyone interested in African American religion from its beginnings under slavery to its flourishing in a free society will find this book indispensable.”–Orville Vernon Burton, University Distinguished Scholar and Teacher, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

John Saillant is at Western Michigan University.

“In Haynes we have a significant but neglected figure whose life and writings link theology, republicanism, and abolitionism in ways that challenge prevailing notions of religion and republican ideology in the revolutionary and early national period. Haynes was a free man of color, minister, and author, steeped in Edwardsean Calvinism, who came of age to the “shot heard round the world” and the Declaration of Independence. He forged these seemingly diverse strands into a black critique of a slaveholding society that professed liberty and inalienable rights. Saillant has done a wonderful job of making Haynes’ stance understandable and compelling.”–Kenneth Minkema, Executive Editor, The Works of Jonathan Edwards

“Saillant’s study of Lemuel Haynes is a well-researched and sensitive treatment of a complex individual and of some critical issues for American and African American social and religious history and for religious and theological studies. I am particularly impressed by Saillant’s deft treatment of Haynes’s engagement of the Bible as an index of his self-understanding and his complex negotiation of a complexly constructed ideological world. A very fine work. I recommend it with enthusiasm.”–Vincent L. Wimbush, Professor of Religion, Claremont Graduate University; Editor, African Americans and the Bible: Sacred Texts and Social Textures

“Comprehensively researched and wonderfully readable, John Saillant’s study of Lemuel Haynes offers a unique examination of an African American abolitionist of the American Revolution and the early republic. Known in his adult life as a minuteman and patriot, as well as an effective revivalist, Haynes articulated a vision of an America without slavery, where blacks and whites lived at once under a religious canopy and in a republican polis. A model of interdisciplinary scholarship and an extraordinary contribution to our historical understanding, this book is important for everybody interested in race and the Revolutionary era. And anyone interested in African American religion from its beginnings under slavery to its flourishing in a free society will find this book indispensable.”–Orville Vernon Burton, University Distinguished Scholar and Teacher, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Black Puritan, Black Republican: The Life and Thought of Lemuel Haynes, 1753-1833 (Religion in America Life)










  • 3 responses to "Black Puritan Black Republican: The Life and Thought of Lemuel Haynes 1753-1833 Oxford University Press USA John Saillant"

  • lerhosen
    7:20 on October 26th, 2012
    Reply to comment

    Without a doubt, John Saillant has done a service to American History in general and Christian History in particular. By rediscovering the depth and insight of Lemuel Haynes and dispensing this information with clarity and scholarship, Saillant has given to us one of our lost and brilliant intellectual and theological heroes. Lemuel Haynes was a post-revolutionary African-American pastor in New England. The sharpness of his mind was only matched by his zeal for the truth and its application to America at her most needful time. His words to his generation were prophetic, and through the thorough and scholarly work of Saillant, we can hear the voice of Rev. Haynes and see just how true his thought and heart were to the God he loved and the people he served. If you want to see how the passionate, theological Puritan mind addressed the issue of slavery and the true American responsibility, take up and read Black Puritan, Black Republican. You will not be disappointed – challenged and enlightened – but not disappointed.

  • James Gerber
    20:57 on October 27th, 2012
    Reply to comment

    John Salliant’s research has uncovered the riches of a buried historical treasure. Lemuel Haynes’ life and thought has often been neglected, but no longer. “Black Puritan” is a catching and appropriate title. Rev. Haynes was a theologian, writer, pastor, and educator. He pastored a bi-cultural congregation long before “multi-culturalism” was a buzz word. And, he defended the historic Christian faith against the rising New England tide of universalism. His self-written epitaph is worth the price of the book alone, as it summarizes well his commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Reviewer: Bob Kellemen, Ph.D., is the author of Beyond the Suffering: Embracing the Legacy of African American Soul Care and Spiritual Direction, Soul Physicians, and Spiritual Friends.

  • DoubleD
    2:30 on October 28th, 2012
    Reply to comment

    This book is not just for students of black history. Introduced to Lemuel Haynes by its pages, I left this book very inspired. In fact, I wanted more, and I have since sought out works by Rev. Haynes. His vision was prophetic. Rev. Haynes was a Republican in the classic sense, desiring equality for all in a democratic society. As a Calvinist, he trusted a Sovereign God’s words of liberation and justice would come to fruition. Reading Haynes’ words, I was struck by how far ahead of his time he was. Later anti-slavery advocates often still looked upon minorities as inferior. Many advocated freed slaves be returned to Africa. Haynes advocated equality in a manner powerfully foreshadowing a dream that would not be repeated until voiced by Martin Luther King. This book is a fascinating read for those interested in democracy, religion, philosophy, race issues, or history.

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