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"UNCLE MOREAU." FROM North Carolina University Magazine 2 (September 1854): 307-309.

The town of Wilmington, though of much commercial importance to the good State of North Carolina, cannot boast of many notable personages, and is wofully destitute of "lions." Perhaps it may strike some strangely, and others ludicrously, that many persons inquire with most apparent interest, or at least curiosity, after the venerable coloured man whose name stands at the head of this article. The reason of this we will make an attempt to disclose by a short sketch of his life.

and carried him with him to his plantation in Bladen county. but which resulted in his being sold into slavery. who treated him with great kindness. Since then. The strange characters. His name. that he was soon promoted to a mastership. is unfounded. exacting from him labour which he had not the strength to perform. This occurred when he was about five years old. like the more Enlightened States of excluding their sacred books from their schools. eighty-four years of age. Mumford. and for ten years taught the youth of his tribe all that they were wont to be taught. The tribes living in eastern Africa are engaged almost incessantly in predatory warfare. becoming security for his forthcoming if called for. all written in the Arabic language. cotton cloths. just a year previous to the final abolition of the slave trade. originality [sic] was Umeroh. according to his own account. Jas. he has been a trusted and indulged servant. so elegantly and correctly written by a runaway slave. that is. and in one of these wars the father of Moreau was killed. He was soon sold to a citizen of Charleston. upon the banks of the Senegal River. which was for the most part. but finding some coals in the ashes. His father seems to have been a man of considerable wealth. Those barbarians did not think. and the whole family were immediately taken by an uncle to the town of Foutah. a gentleman well known throughout this commonwealth for his public services. He took Moreau out of jail. died in a short time. Knowing nothing of the language as yet. owning as many as seventy slaves. soon attracted attention. and placed in the jail. and was landed at Charleston in 1807. whose chief city was Foutah. the chief articles of trade being salt. some event occurred. he filled the walls of his room with piteous petitions to be released. he could not tell who he was. Moreau resolved to abandon this pursuit and become a trader. the case of Moreau was brought to the notice of Gen. . for more than forty years. being. He was born in eastern Africa. After teaching for many years. While engaged in trade. he was taught to read the Koran (his tribe being Mohamedans) to recite certain forms of prayer. but who. &c. lessons from the Koran. and the knowledge of the simpler forms of Arithmetic. His family belonged to the tribe of Foutahs. Owen. and living upon the proceeds of their labour. Here he was taken up as a runaway. unfortunately for Moreau. which he is very reluctant to refer to. was found near to Fayetteville in this State. Here Moreau was educated."Uncle Moreau" is now well stricken in years. and after wandering nearly over the State of South Carolina. From him Moreau found means to escape. For a long time his wishes were baffled by the meanness and the cupidity of a man who had bought the runaway at a small price from his former master. Through the agency of Mr. shipped for America. The story that he was by birth a prince of his tribe. He was brought down the coast. of Bladen county. greatly to the joy of Moreau. So apt was he to learn. He was then sold to one who proved to be a harsh cruel master. in company with only two who could speak the same language. and always known as a man of generous and humane impulses. then Sheriff of Cumberland county. and many of the citizens of the town visited the jail to see him. or where he was from. This uncle appears to have been the chief minister of the King or Ruler of Foutah. until at last he was able to obtain legal possession of him.

where he is kindly watched over and in the midst of a church which honors him for his consistent piety. He now regards his expatriation as a great Providential favour. with great strictness. and shall never forget the earnestness and fervour which shone in the old man's countenance. but felt the blessed power of the truth they contained. "was all for good. he was introduced in Fayetteville to Moreau." There were signs in his countenance and in his voice. 'Me. Moreau was a staunch Mohamedan. Owen. and from which he will emerge into the brightness of the perfect day. and received into the church. and in the midst of a christian family. He was baptized by Rev. now of Greece. not long since. Since that time he has been transferred to the Presbyterian Church in Wilmington. in which. "His coming to this country. no fear. and became a believer in Jesus Christ. that he knew not only the words. and carry him again over the sea. Moreau has never expressed any wish to return to Africa." Mohammedanism has been supplanted in his heart by the better faith in Christ Jesus. of the Presbyterian Church in Fayetteville. as he read of the going down into the dark valley. Uncle Moreau is an Arabic scholar. Indeed he has always manifested a great aversion to it when proposed. Dr. that he will be supported and led by the hand of the Great Master. of which he has long been a consistent and worthy member. and using his own broken English said. After his fears were removed he conversed with Dr. master's with me there.At the time of his purchase by Gen. We remember once hearing him read and translate the twenty-third psalm. and the first year at least kept the fast of Rhamadan. King. reading the language with great facility." as he remarked to the writer. Snodgrass. Gen. His translations are somewhat imperfect. King with great readiness and delight. often with portions of the Bible. Through the kindness of some friends. that he read it more beautifully than any one he ever heard. Jonas King. and translating it with ease.—He is gradually going down to that dark valley. His pronunciation of the Arabic is remarkably fine. and to show more interest in the sacred Scriptures. his own firm hope is. save a distinguished savant of the University of Halle. Gradually he seemed to lose his interest in the Koran. but they are often very striking. as he never mastered the English language. When Dr. and read to him. an English translation of the Koran was procured for him. After some time he ascertained that the only reason of his reluctance was his fear that one who talked so well in Arabic might have been sent by his own countryman to reclaim him. until finally he gave up his faith in Mohammed. There are few Sabbaths in the year in which he is absent from the house of God. Titles by Omar ibn Said . Owen observed an evident reluctance on the part of the old man to converse with Dr. An eminent Virginia scholar said. changing the subject as soon as possible. returned to this country from the East.

30. No. John Franklin Jameson. 1770? and J. 1859-1937 . (July 1925). From The American Historical Review. Franklin Jameson (John Franklin).Autobiography of Omar ibn Said. 787-795 by Omar ibn Said. Ed. Slave in North Carolina. 1831. b. 4.