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Hopkins, Samuel

Brown, Moses to Hopkins, Samuel; January 20, 1786

Letter, dated January 20, 1786, from Moses Brown to Rev. Samuel Hopkins, a Newport minister and prominent leader of the Rhode Island anti-slavery movement. In addition to forwarding Hopkins copies of anti-slavery pamphlets just arrived from England, Brown raised the idea of endowing prizes at leading American colleges for the best student essays on the slave trade, a policy that had recently been employed with great success at Cambridge University in England. While doubtful that such a contest could be organized at the College of Rhode Island, due to the presence of slave traders on the College Corporation, Brown asked Hopkins to investigate the possibility of establishing such prizes at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. He even offered to endow the prizes himself. Whether the offer was communicated to officials at the three schools is unclear.

Hopkins, Samuel to Brown, Moses; March 7, 1787

Letter from Rev. Samuel Hopkins to Moses Brown, March 7, 1787, thanking Brown for the anti-slavery pamphlets he had sent the year before and briefly discussing his idea of creating a settlement for Christian blacks on the West Coast of Africa. He also endorses Brown's suggestion of endowing anti-slavery essay prizes at American colleges, but notes that he has been unable to pursue the matter.