Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Ruth Whelan
2021
Unknown
LIAS-SOURCES AND DOCUMENTS RELATING TO THE EARLY MODERN
Soul Songs: a snippet view of Élie Neau's 'Hymnes, ou cantiques sacrés' (1718)
Published
()
Optional Fields
African slaves Native Americans Élie (Elias) Neau Catechetical instruction Hymnody Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (SPG)
48/1
63
122
Élie Neau, a French Protestant and former galley slave, released in 1698 from captivity in Marseilles, rejoined his family in New York in 1699, where he became a successful merchant engaged in the business of import and export. In 1704, he accepted an appointment to be a catechist on behalf of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts among the Black and Amerindian slaves of the city. His catechetical school was not welcomed by the colonial plantocracy, who feared that instructing slaves, and baptising them, would lead to their emancipation. Forces at work in the colony had Neau dismissed from his position in 1718; in response he sent a manuscript copy of sixty hymns he had composed to the SPG in London as proof of the contents of his teaching and the methods used by him in his catechism classes—only part of which has survived. This is an edition of the extant hymns; it will be of interest to scholars of the early modern period who study Reformed spirituality, hymnody, and the reception history of the Psalms.
10.2143/LIAS.48.1.63-122
Grant Details