Their cave was occupied at the time Teunis gazed down, by another race, whom the great Mohicans, in the days of Etan-o-quam, king of the rivers, would have despised. About sixty negroes of the jettest black, male and female, were assembled around a rough stone furnace stone furnace, about three feet high, which looked like one of those ancient alters at Baal, seen in the pictures of old Dutch Bibles. On the top burned a bright fire, fed by cones, gathered near the place. The heat and smoke diffused around; finding their way up to where Teunis lay, looking down upon the whole crew with curious amazement. They sat on their haunches in a circle around the fire; a man and a woman alternately, all naked to the waist. Their elbows rested on their knees, while they held out the palms of their hands, between their faces and the fire, as if to catch the heat and turn aside the blaze. In this posture they chanted some outlandish words, which were varied by a chorus, which came nearer to a squeaking of pigs than any sound the listener ever heard.” 94-95
Throughout the book there is a return to the suggested theme of satanic rituals – always practiced by Blacks, often enticing a few Whites to participate.
“When they had fairly run themselves down, they fell on the floor, rolling and screaming over each other, till they appeared actually like so many black hogs, with a few White ones among them, roused in their pen, when some thing disturbed them. Gradually they slackened down to a lowered key, but not less din. That was kept up in the night soon after the confusion of tongues tool place; for not a word could be distinctly distinguished till some one cried...” 280
America was on the edge of civil war. There were strong sentiments on both sides. Certainly this book seems intended to undermine northern sentiment to wage war to abolish slavery. The Blacks, as portrayed in this account, would not seem to merit the blood of an invading northern army.
“The festival table was the ground, raised as if a ditch had been dug round the knoll, into which the feet might be stowed away, and the edge of the bank used as seats. Many of them chose the flat places, squatting down on whatever was below them. There were at least fifty or sixty persons of the black population, with at least a dozen young Whites – sons of the farmers, whose low tastes led them to seek such frolics, where the animal propensities could be gratified unrestrained.” 367
Here the faithful Phoebe produced her liquor jug, well filled with strong waters of some kind, that had the usual effect upon human brains. All kinds of frolicking commenced, and some of a nature that could not be described without defiling my page. Savage nature came out in its most loathsome forms, such as we read of in histories of paganism at its feasts. Looking down upon them, Teunis saw the rolling and tumbling as if it had been the wiggling of black snakes, in a round pit. 368