From: Yaphank As It Is and Was
is a colored compeer of Frederic Douglas, in Mr. Tuthill's employ at the present writing.
How true the words of a popular writer, " That in many unknown graves lie the mouldering mortality of men who could have startled the world, had the blessed ways and means been proffered them."
How many great minds are living in obscurity today, who require only the little accident to burst open the bud of their latent talents.
How many men, black and white-have loomed up amid the stately hills of New England, and made their names way-marks in the world. . How many sturdy lads have left the plow, the lap-stone, and the anvil, to cross swords in martial glory, and to dictate the laws of the land in their walks and talks with men.
Frederick Douglas' youthful attainments were no more promising than the colored subject of this sketch. Those who are acquainted with the character I have the boldness to present, will probably laugh at the variety of my composition of this work, but must acknowledge the moral superiority of my subject to others who possess whiter exteriors.
There is no regal road to fame, and no royal covering to budding greatness.
Alexander Smith was born at Coram, Long Island, Dec. 15th, 1849. He came to Mr. Tuthill's when but five years old. He has a brother and sister living. There is not a family in all Yaphank but welcome him as a friend. The people honor and countenance him because of his uncommonly excellent disposition and character, Although the slave of one of the most exacting men in Brookhaven Town, he stands upon a, whiter reputation than my preceding subject.
He has wonderful inventive faculties, and he offered to wager that he could properly adjust all the complicated and complete parts of a steam engine, however distributed.
He is a working member of the Presbyterian Church, and is respected everywhere as an upright and honorable man.
It is not presumptuous in predicting for him a brighter future than usually falls to the luminaries of his dark race.