Quashee in Port Folio


The Port-Folio (1801-1827), Jul 10, 1802; 2, 27; American Periodicals



[I was yesterday sympathizing with a friend, at the fate of poor captain Jack, alias Quashee, who was unfortunately hung at Winton, North- Carolina, only for an “intention to rise, and commence a general massacre of the white inhabitants.” My friend told me, that, among the accomplishments he was universally known to possess, his poetical talents had not been much noticed; that many of his fugitive pieces possessed considerable merit, and he hoped they would be collected and published by the democratic society, of which he (poor fellow!) had been a member: in proof of this, he produced from his pocket the following copy of admirable verses, which I requested, and obtained permission to send you. The only liberty I have suffered myself to take, is to place the line of Persius at its head, which I have no doubt Quashee would have approved of, on its being explained to him, for, in all probability, his knowledge of the languages did not extend beyond that of the Gold Coast, and a little English. The orthography I have not dared to alter, as, I think, by reducing it to rule, it would have lost much of its inimitable wildness and simplicity.

Dicere res grandes nostro dat musa poetae.

Our massa Jeffeson he say,
Dat all mans free alike are born;
Den tell me, why should Quashee stat,
To tend de cow and hoe de corn?
Huzza for massa Jeffeson!

And if all mans alike be free,
Why should de one, more dan his broder,
Hab house and corn? For poor Quashee
No hab de one, no hab de oder.
Huzza, &c.

And why should one hab de white wife,
And me hab only Quangeroo?
Me no see reason for me life!
No! Quashee hab de white wife too.
Huzza, &c.

For make all like, let blackee nab
De white womans…. Dat be de track!
Den Quashee de white wife will hab,
And massa Jef. shall hab de black.
Huzza, &c.

Why should a judge (him always white)
‘Pon pickaninny put him paw,
Cause he steal little? dat no rite!
No! Quashee say he’ll hab no law.
Huzza, &c.

Who care, me wonder, for de judge?
Quashee no care….no not a feder;
Our party soon we make him trudge,
We all be democrat togeder.
Huzza, &c.

For where de harm to cut de troat
Of him no like? or rob a little?
To take him hat, or shoe, or coat,
Or wife, or horse, or drink, or vittle?
Huzza, &c.

Huzza for us den! we de boys
To rob and steal, and burn and kill;
Huzza! me say, and make de noise!
Huzza for Quashee! Quashee will
Huzza for massa Jeffeson!

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