Joseph Seamon Cotter

(1861 - 1919)

Joseph Seamon Cotter
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On the Bardstown, Kentucky plantation where Stephen Collins Foster composed "My Old Kentucky Home", lived a young slave girl in whose soul were interesting melodies of her own. Strong in spirit and dramatic flair, Martha Vaughn faithfully served as the personal maid to Mrs. Rebecca Rowan, mistress of the Old Kentucky Home. Yet her vivid accounts of visions and dramatic recitations of her original stories and plays while she worked, forced plantation owners to send her away concerned that she would disrupt discipline among the other slaves. It's been said that of such mothers are seers and poets born. And so in this instance it proved to be.

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Best Poem of Joseph Seamon Cotter

Africa

A thousand years of darkness in her face,
She turns at last from out the centurys' blight
Of labored moan and dull oppression's might,
To slowly mount the rugged path and trace
Her measured step unto her ancient place.
And upward, ever upward towards the light
She strains, seeing afar the day when right
Shall rule the world and justice leaven the race.

Now bare her swarthy arm and firm her sword,
She stands where Universal Freedom bleeds,
And slays in holy wrath to save the word
Of nations and their puny, boasting creeds.
Sear with the truth, ...

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