mes as servants."
The number of slaves at this period in the middle and southern colonies is not easily ascertained, as few books, and no newspapers, were published in North America prior to 1704. In that year, the Weekly News Letter was commenced, and in the same year the "Society for the propagation of the Gospel in foreign parts opened a catechising school for the slaves at New York, in which city there were then computed to be about 1500 negro and Indian slaves," a sufficient number to furnish materials for the "irrepressible conflict," which had long before begun. The catechist, whom the Society employed, was "Mr. Elias Neau, by nation a Frenchman, who, having made a confession of the Protestant religion in France, for which he had been confined several years in prison, and seven years in the gallies." Mr. Neau entered upon his office "with great diligence, and his labors were very successful; but the negroes were much discouraged from embracing the Christian religion upon accoun
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