Enslaved for nearly 70 years, George Moses Horton was perhaps the unlikeliest man of letters. After teaching himself to read, he took to poetry, composing and memorizing verses in his mind. Part of Horton’s repertoire, however, was lost in time. Although Horton released three collections of poetry — becoming the first slave and African American to publish a book in the South (The Hope of Liberty, 1829) — there was no record of other types of works until recently, when Jonathan Senchyne, an assistant professor of book history in the UW’s Information School, took a serendipitous trip to the New York Public Library.
Information School Associate Professor Alan Rubel contributes to an article in Nature examining how artificial intelligence and brain–computer interfaces must respect and preserve users' privacy, identity, agency and equality.
George Moses Horton published a book of poetry in 1829, when he was still a slave in North Carolina. He went on to write several volumes, which never earned enough money to buy his freedom. Horton was finally set free by the Union Army in 1865, moved to Philadelphia and continued to write until he died.
Jonathan Senchyne, a professor of history at the Information School of the University of Wisconsin, recently discovered an essay by Horton that shows another side of his intelligence — his political insights.
A previously unknown essay by George Moses Horton, an enslaved young man from Chatham County, N.C., was found at the New York Public Library by Jonathan Senchyne, an assistant professor of book history at the University of Wisconsin.