With respect to the present work, I began it intending to prove that “Negroland” or Inner Africa is not cut off from the main-stream of events, as writers of philosophical history have always maintained, but connected by means of Islam with the lands of the East; and also that it has, by means of the slave-trade, powerfully influenced the moral history of Europe and the political history of the United States.
ndition of human progress that a people shall be married to a single land; that they shall wander no more from one region to another, but remain fixed and faithful to their soil. Then, if the Earth-wife be fruitful, she will bear them children by hundreds and by thousands; and then calamity will come and teach them by torture to invent.
The Egyptians were islanders, cut off from the rest of the world by sand and sea. They were rooted in their valley; they lived entirely upon its fruits, and happily these fruits sometimes failed. Had they always been able to obtain enough to eat, they would have remained always in the semi-savage state.
It may appear strange that Egypt should have suffered from famine, for there was no country in the ancient world where food was so abundant and so cheap. Not only did the land produce enormous crops of corn; the ditches and hollows which were filled by the overflowing Nile supplied a harvest of wholesome and nourishing aquatic plants, and on the borders of the des
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