Excerpt from An Address Delivered at Amherst, Before the Members of the Social Union, 7 July, 1875 In contrast with this brilliant development of intel lectual activity, what had we at the same period to_ present? Benjamin Franklin was pretty much the embodiment of the whole stock of original genius. A small class of graduates from the colleges North and South, educated to the higher professions, some of whom became eloquent divines and others grew into statesmen; a youth, here and there, producing a spirited occasional ode, these embraced pretty much all the original enlightenment of the generation. I had nearly forgotten to remind you of the solitary muse of African origin whose scattered leaves of in spirationvvere deemed of merit sufficient to justify the collection of them into a printed book graced by the patronage and subscription of the father of his country, the illustrious Washington. Alas for the American genius of that day! I wonder how many of you, my young friends, ever saw or heard of the book of poems by Phillis Wheatley?
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